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.

Ordnance survey old map showing a tailor shop in Chatham

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