From farmers to linen craftsmen, four generations.
John Sloan’s linen family history started with his father who was a farmer and had five sons. The inevitability of how his farm could not sustain his five sons to continue all as farmers was always present. An event one day changed the families’ path of history. At that time, it was typical for the noble men to entertain a fox hunt. As in most hunts, and this hunt was no exception. Farmland, fences, and crops were par for the course and where consequently damaged in the process.
John Sloan’s father took exception to this folly and caught the Master of the hunt’s horse and dismounted him. That day there must have been a bit of a tussle in that field. What we do know is that the following day, in a conciliatory gesture, the Master of the hunt returned to apologize for the damage his recklessness caused.
As was the custom he brought with him a pup as a present to display his remorse. As a result, John Sloan’s father accepted his apology. From that point on, the two must have become somewhat friendly. Consequently, the guest noted the reality of how this farm would not be able to offer a position for the many sons he had. On parting the Master presented John Sloan’s father with a further gesture of friendship by presenting an opportunity for one of his sons to study in the school for weavers. John Sloan was the one to take up this offer and from there on he worked hard to develop a very successful weaving business.
This was the start of Ulster Linen family history in linen. Since then, there have been four generations that have took up the mantle and furthered the development of Ulster Linens craft in Linen.