Nottingham born Clergyman William Lee is credited with the invention of the stocking frame in 1589, his invention, a mechanical knitting frame, was the first step in mechanising the production of textiles that was especially important in Leicestershire in the 18th century.
A description of William Lee's frame can be found in an indenture dated 6th June 1600.
"William Lee hath by his long study and practice devised and invented a certain invention or artificiality
being a very speedy manner of working and making in a loom or frame all manner of works usually wrought
by knitting needles as stockings, waistcoats and such like."