Lowcock Razor & Cutler: Cornhill UK

I randomly discovered the Lowcock Razor and have done some research on the associated family. I do not know if I am related, let me know if you can help fill in the gaps.

There’s a George Lowcock, listed in the London Post Office Directory (thanks, Google Books) as a Razor Maker & Cutler with an address in Cornhill, UK. A Cutler is a maker of cutlery. George Lowcock made the Lowcock Razor.

In the 1817 directory, George’s address listed as 8 Ball Alley, Lombard-ft. Which according to Wikipedia, Ball Alley ran off Lombard Street. The site is now occupied by a Barclays Bank. Ball Alley was in London EC2.

George Lowcock 1817

In 1843, the address for George is listed as 38 Cornhill.

George Lowcock - Razor MakerA Google Map search shows that both addresses are in Bank and a short walk from the historic location of Ball Alley to Cornhill would have been about 0.1miles or about 2minutes.

I did find out that George Lowcock Jnr lived with his father George Lowcock Snr. Their store on Cornhill was robbed in 1842, the culprit was caught and it went to trial. According to the court transcript, the business sold knives, corkscrews, and Lowcock Razors.

James Clift - Theft of Lowcock Razor

The Lowcock Razor and Lowcock Cutlery must have been held in some esteem. I discovered a classified advertisement in Boston (USA), from October 4, 1842 where the inventor of a Razor Strop, quotes that the “first cutlers in London…  Lowcock, 38 Cornhill…. have them for sale and recommend their use”.

Lowcock Cutler Boston

George Lowcock, Obituary

George Lowcock’s will is available in the National Archives (dated 9 May 1845) and some miscellaneous papers. There’s a fee to access these records. I haven’t viewed the records and I don’t know if they are useful.

There is an obituary for George Lowcock in “The Gentleman’s Magazine“, dated 1850 (thanks again to Google Books). It has George’s age at death of 47 in Bayswater. I am guessing this is George Lowcock Junior. As his daughter, Sophia was born in 1849 and her wedding notice (detailed later) mentions her late father.

George Lowcock ObituaryThe Cutton’s-Hill, Sussex reference provides an interesting clue. That at least puts George outside of London. The relative proximity of Sussex to Brighton may suggest he moved there for health reasons. I can’t find references anywhere online to a Cutton’s Hill (and it’s definitely Cutton not Cotton). If this location reference makes any sense to you, please contact me.

George Lowcock, Family Tree & Ancestry

I randomly found on Jamaica Gleaner, a reference to George Lowcock’s daughter, Sophia Ruth Lowcock in a wedding notice. Sophia married Mortimer Moses Brandon, Esq., of London, and of Marble Hall, Kingston, Jamaica, eldest son of the late David Brandon, Esq., of Kingston, Jamaica, merchant. Sophia Ruth is listed as the youngest daughter (so this suggests George had multiple children) of the late George Lowcock, Esq., of Cornhill and East Grinstead.

Thanks to the specific details of Sophia, I was able to trace a little more information via Rootsweb (an Ancestry.com community) and Geni.

  • George Lowcock Senior b ~1767.
  • George Lowcock b. ~1803. d. Dec 24, 1850 (Bayswater, UK)
  • Sophia Clarke
    • John Hardistry Lowcock b. 1846. d. Mar 1891, Brentford Middlesex
    • Sophia Ruth Lowcock b. 1849. Islington, London.
    • m. Mortimer Moses Brandon Esq. b. 1838. Kingston, Jamaica
      • Beatrice Bertha Brandon b. 6th April 1868. 29 Russell Road, Kensington, London
      • Florence Brandon b. 1869 in Kensington
      • Inez Clare Brandon b. 1871 in Eallin
      • Evelyn DaCosta Brandon b. Mar 1873. Melrose Villa, Elletson Road, Kingston, Jamaica.
      • Irene Brandon b. 24th April 1875
      • Linda Brandon b. 1876
      • Algernon Mortimer Brandon b. 25th Sept 1877. 28 Russell Road, Kensington
      • Gerald Brandon b. 16th Dec 1880. Marble Hall, Rae Town, King

Lowcock & Co Straight Razor

This is a Lowcock Razor, specifically a straight razor. A second photo I found shows the address of 38 Cornhill.

Lowcock Razor

Lowcock Razor Zoom

Lowcock & Co – Fighting Knife / Bowie Knife

This item is owned by Alan, who visited the website and share the photo. The knife in question is a Bowie Knife, a type of fighting knife. Alan was kind enough to send me the 4 photos below, along with a close-up of the Lowcock & Co Cornhill mark, and one with the tape measure. The latter of which helps size the knife at 12″.

Lowcock Bowie Knife Measurement

Lowcock Bowie Knife Close Up

What is unusual in this case is the knife previously belonged to someone in Texas, USA before ending up in Alan’s collection. According to Alan,  it is his guess this knife saw action during the Mexican War or the Civil War. In the 1800s almost everyone carried a Bowie knife, they became almost a fashion statement. Thousands were imported to the US from England, most from Sheffield and some from London. The English made the finest Bowie knives in the world at that time.

I’m intrigued to learn more about how this Lowcock knife made it from the UK to the USA and it’s the only example I have ever come across. If you have any information, please contact me. You can click on any of the images in the grid below to zoom in.

Lowcock Case – Lowcock Hat Brush Case

The embossed text reads “Lowcock & Co Established 1762, 38 Cornhill”.

The case is made from leather and measures L 4″ (~10cm) x W 1.1/8″ (~3cm) x H 5/8″ (~1.5cm). It was described in the (now defunct) eBay listing as a clothes brush case and featured a brush. Another eBay listing of a similar product describes it as a Pocket-Sized Top Hat Brush. The case was described as being in Dark Blue Moroccan Leather.

Lowcock Clothes Brush - Box

Lowcock & Co – Carriage Key / Railway Latch-Key / Porter Key

One of the more interesting (but random) items to appear on eBay was a Lowcock & Co “Carriage Key”. What is a Carriage Key?

A universal key used for locking and unlocking doors of railway carriages. Additional terms: Railway key; Latch-key (source: Virtual Corkscrew Museum)

The images below are of the Carriage key open and with the Carriage Key arms folded. The key doesn’t really work as a lock, in the typical sense. It’s the sort of key you would insert in a door that doesn’t have a handle (like on a train). If you look at the wedge-shaped part of the key (click the image to zoom) you will see Lowcock & Co, 38 Cornhill embossed on the key.

Lowcock & Co Carriage Key - Open KeyI’m not sure why the key exists. Other than cutlers are known to have made these types of keys. The Virtual Corkscrew Museum is the best place to learn more about carriage keys. I own the key (Hooray!) as I was successful bidding on it on eBay. The seller was from Devon but said they picked up the key in an auction from Norfolk. The key is from around 1800 to 1849.

Lowcock & Co – Corkscrew

This item is not in my collection and was discovered via a now-ended Christie’s Auction as well as an Etsy listing. It’s an antique Farrow & Jackson style corkscrew by Lowcock & Co, Cornhill. As you can see, it’s made of brass, has brass butterfly handles (although I have also seen one with wing nut handles), and an open frame with a rising button. The original listing has a size of ~16cm (6.25″). The corkscrew style seems common (according to eBay) so I am not sure if Lowcock & Co made this, modified it, or were simply imprinting their mark.

Lowcock Corkscrew Full

Lowcock & Co – Ink Scraper

This was an eBay listing in France (I didn’t bid, nor do I own it). Ink scrapers were essential desk items in the Victorian office. The blades were used to correct errors in ink-written documents by scraping the ink off the parchment or vellum. This example was made by George Lowcock a working cutler in London from 1820 until 1875. It measures 4 5/8 inches, has a spear blade, and is tang stamped “Lowcock”. The shaft is an unidentified material. Ink scrapers are often incorrectly listed as fleams for bloodletting.

Henry Lowcock, Hong Kong

It’s “possible” that George Lowcock Junior is related to Henry Lowcock who is important enough to have his own Wikipedia page. Henry Lowcock was born in Middlesex (similar to George) around 1837. George Junior “may” have been his father and Sophia his sister but I need to do much more research.

Help Needed!

I am sharing all I have discovered about the Lowcock Razor, George Lowcock, and his family. I do not know if there is any relationship to me. If you can assist – please check out the Lowcock Family History Help Needed page.

Lowcock Family History

If you would like to learn more about the Lowcock surname and family history, please visit the Lowcock History page.

You can learn more about Lowcock Genealogy, or specific Lowcock family member:

If you are researching Lowcock Family History and can help – visit the help needed page. If you want to understand the distribution of the Lowcock surname in the UK, visit the Lowcock map page. Just interested in the images and photos? Visit the Lowcock Genealogy Pinterest page.

This page is maintained by Joshua Lowcock.

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