William Cuffay grew up in Chatham. At around 12 years old he was apprenticed to a local tailor, probably Acworth and Matthews, whose premises was on the site of no.7 High Street. This is shown on the map below. Normal apprenticeships lasted for 7 years, so at the age of 19 he was a fully-fledged tailor.
A short time after William left to work in London this shop was damaged in the Chatham fire of 1820.
Extract of Chatham Ordnance Survey map 1866 XIX. 7. 13 showing the location of Taylor’s shop where Cuffay was an apprentice, from approx. 1800 – 1807 MAC Local Studies Collection