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J Y Cowlishaw
Dates: 1831-1895
Biographical Account: John Yeomans Cowlishaw was related to the Mappin family through his mother Mary; he was nephew to John Newton Mappin, and was cousin to the Mappin brothers, who founded Mappin Brothers and Mappin & Webb. John Cowlishaw lived with his uncle John Newton Mappin from a young age and followed him into the family business, making silver fruit knives. Cowlishaw joined the family firm, Joseph Mappin & Son, in Pepper Alley as a pearl cutter and dealer, and by 1854 he had started his own firm in Norfolk Street making silver fruit knives and cutting mother of pearl. When John N. Mappin finally retired from pearl cutting he gave the business to Cowlishaw who combined it with his own. As the business grew, he moved into larger workshops finally working from 67 Arundel Street. After Cowlishaw’s death in 1895, his son John Edward Cowlishaw took over running the company until his retirement in 1901. The Cowlishaw name passed out of the family and was run from various different addresses in the city. By the early 1970s the company was based at Portland Works, Hill Street.
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