Lacemaker whose skills were admired by the Royal family

Amy Lathy's royal credentials

Amy Lathy's royal credentials - Credit: Honiton Museum

Amy Lathy was born in Honiton in 1797. Her father was a sergemaker, mercer and draper. 
Amy dissolved the  lace manufacturing partnership with her sister Esther in 1826, the year after Esther married Theophilus Clarke.  
In August 1830 Amy was appointed to be the Royal manufacturer of thread lace after making a dress for Queen Adelaide. The initials of each flower motif formed the name Adelaide. 
The lace  was described as being superb with an elegant border and it was on display for a week in her Honiton establishment  so that customers could see it. Lord Rolle was so impressed with  the dress that he ordered a similar one for his wife. 
Amy became the second wife of Honiton maltster Albion Davey. In their wedding announcement in 1837 and the  announcement of the birth of their son and heir in 1840 Amy  is described as lace manufacturer to her Majesty the Queen Dowager. Albion was baptised privately because he was dangerously ill.  
In 1843 Amy had presented Queen Victoria  with a pair of elegant Honiton lace shoes with a unique design made especially for the Prince of Wales. Two years later Amy  was returning home from London on the Great Western Railway fast train  travelling at seventy  miles an hour. The train came off the track and dropped down a 15ft embankment.

Amy was in a carriage which had  partially overturned, and she managed to crawl out of a window and climb the bank to safety. Luckily, none of the 190 passengers including Isambard Kingdom Brunel were seriously injured.  
In 1850 newspapers reported that Queen Victoria  had appointed ‘Mrs  Amy Davey of Honiton sole manufacturer of thread  lace to Her Majesty in that town so justly celebrated for the beautiful specimens of lace manufactured there’.  
Albion senior died in 1871 and Amy moved to Bath where she continued working hard. She opened a new establishment  at the same address  as her son Albion. He was  a  chemist and  offered the  nobility, clergy, gentry, and residents of Bath and its vicinity  strict personal attention and careful selection of pure drugs at moderate charges. 
Amy invited the same people to inspect  the elegant assortment of lace which came directly from Honiton, offering it for sale at a much lower rate than was generally charged. Albion was  divorced by his wife Eliza for cruelty and infidelity and moved to London with Fanny Lester. Amy died in 1875 aged seventy-seven and she was buried at St Michael’s church in Honiton.