Need, Samuel

Need, Samuel
b. 1718
d. 14 April 1781 Bread Street, Cheapside, London, England
English manufacturer of hosiery who helped to finance Arkwright's spinning machine and early cotton mills.
Samuel Need was apprenticed as a framework knitter and entered the hosiery trade c. 1742. He was a Dissenter and later became an Independent Congregationalist. He married Elizabeth Gibson of Hacking, Middlesex, who survived him and died in 1781. He had a warehouse in Nottingham, where he was made a burgess in 1739–40. In 1747 he bought a mill there and had a house adjoining it, but in 1777 he bought an estate at Arnold, outside the city. From about 1759 he supported Jedediah Strutt and William Woollat in their development of Strutt's invention of the rib attachment to the knitting machine. Need became a partner with Strutt in 1762 over the patent and then they shared a joint hosiery business. When Arkwright sought financial assistance from Ichabod and John Wright, the Nottingham bankers, to develop his spinning mill in that town, the Wrights turned him over to Samuel Need. Need, having profited so much from the successful patent with Strutt, was ready to exploit another; on 19 January 1770 Need and Strutt, on payment of £500, became co-partners with Arkwright, Smalley and Thornley for the remainder of Arkwright's patent. In Need, Arkwright had secured the patronage of the leading hosier in Nottingham. Need was leader of the Hosiers' Federation in 1779 when the framework knitters petitioned Parliament to better their conditions. He gave evidence against the workers' demands and, when their bill failed, the Nottingham workers attacked first his Nottingham house and then the one at Arnold.
Need was to remain a partner with Arkwright until his death in 1781. He was involved in die mill at Cromford and also with some later ones, such as the Birkacre mill near Chorley, Lancashire, in 1777. He made a fortune and died at his home in London.
Further Reading
M.L.Walker, 1963, A History of the Family of Need of Arnold, Nottinghamshire, London (a good biography).
R.S.Fitton, 1989, The Arkwrights, Spinners of Fortune, Manchester (covers Need's relationship with Arkwright).
R.S.Fitton and A.P.Wadsworth, 1958, The Strutts and the Arkwrights, 1758–1830, Manchester.
S.D.Chapman, 1967, The Early Factory Masters, Newton Abbot (describes his wider contacts with the Midlands hosiery industry).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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