I was tidying up some files and folders on my computer the other day when I found the 1841 census entry for my great x 4 grandfather George Hall (1774 - 1855).
His occupation was recorded on the census as a clog and patten maker.
I know what clogs were but had never heard of pattens. I assumed they must have something to do with footwear and this has proved to be correct as pattens were a form of clog. They were an overshoe worn to raise the wearer above the mud and manure of the street in a time when paving was minimal.
The height varied but could be as much as 10 cms. The base fastened over the ordinary shoe with leather straps and was made of wood and later wood and metal. Pattens had largely gone out of use by the end of the nineteenth century. They were worn by women more than men who had the alternative of riding boots. Pattens were removed along with coats and hats when going indoors and always removed at the porch in church.
There's a good image of a patten dated 1780 - 1820 on the V&A website which I suppose would be like the pattens made by George Hall. There are some nice pictures of pattens being worn at the Jane Austen's World website especially this one.
I found the picture below on WikiCommons. Apparently it's a maid wearing her pattens while she gets on with her work in 1773. I think this must be a contemporary joke about the fashions of the day. How could she possibly have done the sweeping without falling over in those heels?
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