The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter


In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester…


…”One-and-twenty button-holes of cherry-coloured silk! To be finished by noon of Saturday… Alack, I am undone, for I have no more twist!”

…the poor old tailor was very ill with a fever, tossing and turning in his four-post bed; and still in his dreams he mumbled—”No more twist! no more twist!”

…From the tailor’s shop in Westgate came a glow of light… There was a snippeting of scissors, and snappeting of thread; and little mouse voices sang loudly and gaily…


…”Alack,” said the tailor, “I have my twist; but no more strength—nor time—than will serve to make me one single button-hole; for this is Christmas Day in the Morning! The Mayor of Gloucester shall be married by noon—and where is his cherry-coloured coat?”


…But upon the table—oh joy! the tailor gave a shout—there, where he had left plain cuttings of silk—there lay the most beautifullest coat and embroidered satin waistcoat that ever were worn by a Mayor of Gloucester…

…The stitches of those button-holes were so small—so small—they looked as if they had been made by little mice!


Excerpt from The Tailor of Gloucester By Beatrix Potter 1901.  Full story here.

Photos by taken in Gloucester 2013, Hannah Meiklejohn.