Author Topic: Golcher Locks  (Read 559 times)

Offline Seth Isaacson

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Golcher Locks
« on: July 03, 2023, 09:07:05 PM »
I thought this might be of interest given how common Golcher locks are on American rifles and how variously they have been listed.
The Gun Makers of Birmingham, 1660-1960 by Joseph McKenna lists:
-Golcher, George, Foster Street, Darlaston, 1853-96, 172, Walsall Road, Wednesbury, 1878-1879. GLM (Gun Lock Maker).
-Golcher, George Jr., King Street, Darlaston, 1864-1872.
-Golcher, J. Bright street, King's Hill, Wednesbury, 1887-1900. GLM.
-Golcher, James, Great Croft Street Darlaston, 1899-1900.
-Golcher, Joseph, King Street, Darlaston, 1834-79. GLM.
-Golcher, Thomas, Darlaston, 1841. GLM.

The bankruptcy of Joseph Golcher, gun lock maker, was reported in the regional papers in 1842.
From The London Gazette, Year 1843:
Quote
Whereas a Petition of Joseph Golcher, of King-street, Darlaston, in the county of Stafford, Gun Lock Maker and Huckster, having been filed in Birmingham district Court of Bankruptcy, and the interim order for protection from process having been given to the said Joseph Golcher under the provisions of an Act of Parliament, passed in the Parliament holden in the fifth and sixth years of the reign of Her present Majesty, intituled "An Act for the relief of involvent debtors," the said Joseph Golcher is hearby required to appear in Court before Edmund Rboert Danniell, Esq. a Commissioner acting in the matter of the said Petition, on the 19th day of January instant, at two in the afternoon precisely, at the Birmingham District Court of Bankruptcy, at Birmingham, for the purpose of being then and there examined touching his debts, estate, and effects, and to be further dealt with according to the provisions of said Act. All persons indebted to the said Joseph Goulcher, or that have any of his effects, are not to pay or deliver the same but to Mr. Frederick Whitmore, the Official Assignee, nominated in that behalf by a Commissioner so acting."

and

Quote
In the Matter of the Petition of Joseph Golcher, late of King-street, Darlaston, in the parish of Darlaston, in the county of Stafford, Gun Lock Maker and Huckster. Notice is hereby given, that Edmund Robert Daniell, Esq. the Commissioner acting in the matter of this Petition, will proceed to make a Final Order thereon, at the Birmingham District Court of Bankruptcy, at Birmingham, on Wednesday the 22d day of February instant, at eleven in the forenoon precisely, unless cause be then and there shewn to the contrary.


The Birmingham Journal and General Advertiser on February 21, 1829, announced Joseph Golcher's marriage to Miss Sarah Read. They listed him as a gun stock maker on January 30, 1847, when they reported his house collapsed. That August 21st they listed him as a gun lock maker when he charged an employee named George Greaves with stealing from him. He is still shown as a gun lock maker on King Street in Darlaston in the post office directory in 1854.

James Golcher is also listed in records as going bankrupt which may explain why he crossed the pond and setup business in Pennsylvania.
The Law Journal, 1840:
Quote
GOLCHER James of Darlaston, in the county of Stafford, gun-lock manufecturer, d.c.- Sols. Broughton, Falcon-square, and Bayliss, Wednesbury. Fiat, March 13. Pet. Cr. Richard Hampson, of Birmingham, gun-smith.

Joseph Golcher's entry on Family Search indicates was born c. 1806 and died in 1858 in Darlaston. His brother James was born c. 1807 and died in 1883 in Philadelphia. He appears to have been in Pennsylvania starting in the early 1840s. I found the following advertisements dated August 2, 1841, and April 10, 1843, in "The Compiler" from Gettysburg:




Those are the first American references I found. He is later listed on Germantown Road near Second Street in Philadelphia in the 1849 and then later in 1857 at the Sportsman's Depot along with Joseph Butler and Samuel Birch.

Some of this connects with prior research published in the article below by Jim Whisker in 2004, but that doesn't get into Joseph Golcher, who, from what I can tell was James's older brother.
https://www.aolrc.com/upload/files/Vol%20XXVII%20No%201%20Feb%202004.pdf
« Last Edit: July 03, 2023, 09:14:29 PM by Seth I. »
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline Seth Isaacson

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Re: Golcher Locks
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2023, 09:29:03 PM »
Does anyone have more on the "Eagle Rifle/Gun Works" ? I find one in the late 19th century in Birmingham, but I did not see one in the 1840s-1860 in Philadelphia connected to the Golchers. The only thing I found in records was a brief mention that the Eagle Gun Works at Wilkesbarre failed in January 1888. I haven't done a big dive into this stuff, just some surface level skimming and then got lost down the rabbit hole a bit.
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Golcher Locks
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2023, 02:30:03 AM »
Darlston and Wednesbury are, of course, two of the black country towns that were well known for making gun locks. There were others, but those two probably accounted for more than half of the gun locks made in the UK. It's  virtually certain that the American Goulcher was a member of the same family. This has been discussed here before and someone found the census record that shows he emigrated from England. He did advertise that he "made" locks but, that having been said, we should remember that lock makers probably did not make all the parts of the lock. They purchased them from other specialist makers and assembled them. I suspect that if Goulcher did make locks in America he made them from imported parts. He certainly would have had the proper connections.