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The Newbury Coat

The Newbury Coat

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The Newbury Coat

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  1. The Newbury Coat A sheep’s coat at sunrise, a man’s coat at sunset!

  2. This photo shows part of Greenham Mill. In 1811, it was owned by a man called John Coxeter. There were many mills in the Greenham area and they provided hundreds of jobs for local people. John Coxeter was very proud of his mill and the new cloth making machinery that it had.

  3. One day in 1811, John boasted . . . "So great are the improvements in machinery I have introduced into my mill, that I bet I could turn wool from the back of a sheep into a completed coat between sunrise and sunset of a summer’s day!" Impossible! it can't be done! how could this be possible?

  4. This claim was heard by a rich man called Sir John Throckmorton, would owned a large house called Buckland House in Berkshire. He had a fine flock of Southdown Sheep on his estate. Image from: He bet 1000 guineas that the wool taken from his flock in the morning could be turned into a coat for him to wear that same evening!

  5. At 5 o’clock on the morning of 25th June 1811, Throckmorton’s shepherd delivered two of his finest Southdown Sheep to the Greenham Mill, where he sheared them. John Coxeter watches anxiously! John Throckmorton is measured by tailors for his new coat Here is the sheep being shorn

  6. Once shorn, the wool from the sheep was washed, treated and spun. You can see the loom in the picture below, where the wool was woven into cloth for the coat. The loom Spinning wheels

  7. By four o’clock in the afternoon, the cloth arrived at the tailors, ready to be made into the coat for Mr Throckmorton. For the next few hours, the tailors worked hard and at 6.20pm, Mr Coxeter presented the coat to John Throckmorton. By now, over 5000 people had gathered and Throckmorton went out to them, wearing the coat!

  8. There was much celebration as the coat had been completed in just… 13 hours & 20 mins! 13 hours & 20 mins! In front of the thousands of people who had gathered to watch the event, Throckmorton sat down and ate a meal of roast lamb…. eating the same sheep that had provided the wool for the coat!

  9. On September 21st, 1991, a second identical Newbury Coat was produced in exactly the same way, but beating the previously set record by a whole hour. The second Newbury Coat can now be seen in the West Berkshire Museum in Newbury. The original is now on display at the Throckmorton’s Warwickshire home of Coughton Court. This is the grandson of John Coxeter, wearing the Newbury Coat