James Dore Blake is included on the basis of his short-lived career as an ironfounder, but he also embraced the professions of pastry chef and medical practitioner. The validity of his medical qualifications received much attention in the press in 1847. That topic is beyond the scope of our interest here, but one of the reports sheds a small amount of light on his industrial activities. There follows an extract from 'Evidence from the Taunton and Somerset Branch of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association' :-
'From 1830, or thereabouts, until December, 1839, Mr. Blake was personally engaged as a retail pastry-cook, in the town of Taunton. At that date he embarked in co-partnership with a Mr. Richards, of the same town, in an iron-foundry, taking an active share in his new business. From Mr. Richards, Mr. Blake separated, somewhere about March, 1841, when he obtained a pastry cook’s shop in the city of Bristol, where he remained until September,1842, combining with the duties of his shop the study of homoeopathy, under a Mr. Trotman, an homoeopathic practitioner in that city, and from whom a certificate was received at the college, as proof of Mr. Blake’s professional education. From September, 1842, to December, 1843, Mr. Blake was occupied in smelting iron for Sir Thomas Lethbridge, residing in the immediate neighbourhood of Taunton. And finally, in December, 1843, or January, 1844, he returned to Taunton, having purchased the business of a Mr. Hitchcock, a retail pastry-cook, in which business he was constantly and personally engaged, until May, 1845, he removed to London, and on the 8th of May, 1846, he obtained his diploma, and is now a professed homoeopathic practitioner in Taunton.'
1874 Death announcement: Died October 13 1874 at Downend, Bristol, James Dore Blake M.D. late of Taunton, age 69.