The inner sole shows that these shoes were manufactured by ‘Marshall Snelgrove’ and would have been a substantial purchase. John Snelgrove set up the business in 1838 and was joined by partner James Marshall a decade later.
The pair established a highly-regarded garment and textile business, with a large premises in Oxford Street, London. One of the founder’s sons, James C Marshall, later expanded, opening a range of branches in northern England, including Harrogate, Leeds and York. Following the impact on business of the First World War, the store merged with Debenham and Freebody.
The shoes were given to Nairn Museum by Mrs Ros Wordie from Nairn. They would have originally been worn by a well-dressed and fashionable lady and give us a good indication of the shopping habits of wealthy Highlanders at the start of the twentieth century.