John Summerland (b.1767), Uttoxeter

John Summerland was the son of Joseph and Hannah Summerland. He was born in Uttoxeter in May 1767. He has entered historical consciousness through Michael Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation in which Foucault describes Summerland’s treatment at the Quaker Retreat in York for mental illness. Using William Tuke’s description of John Summerland as a being a man of Herculean size and strength, restrained by chains upon arrival and subsequently rehabilitated through Tuke’s treatment, the case is often presented as a pivotal moment in the treatment of mental illness. In 2015, however, Jon Mitchell used the archives of the Retreat to present a different image of the ‘wild’ John Summerland, as a man prone to periods of instability, but also a man capable of reasoned thought, contemplation and conversation.

From the correspondence between the Summerland family and the Retreat, it is evident that his father Joseph, his brother William, and his uncle Samuel Botham, all took an active interest in John’s progress organising his admission, funding his stay and hoping that he could gain useful employment as a gardener. Moreover, in his father’s will provision was made for John’s inheritance to be placed in trust. In the correspondence of Samuel Botham it is revealed that John had recently returned to Uttoxeter from America and while both in Uttoxeter and in America he had attended Quaker meetings on a regular basis.


Borthwick Institute, University of York, Retreat Archives, RET 1/5/1/7 Correspondence.

Michael Foucault, Madness and Civilisation.

Staffordshire Record Office, BC/11, Will of Joseph Summerland, 29 April 1808; B/C 11, Letters of Administration for William Summerland, Uttoxeter, 13 January 1835.

Jon Mitchell accessed 10/07/2016.  accessed 11/07/2016.

N.B. This  is a work in progress, subject to change as new research is conducted.

The State of Uttoxeter Workhouse, 1831

Uttoxeter has had several parish workhouses. One of them  was built on the Heath in 1789 and remained until it was replaced in the late 1830s. To be strictly accurate, it was not a union workhouse in the sense that such places were to become after the 1834 Poor Law Act, but in addition to the paupers it received from Uttoxeter, it also accommodated paupers from Doveridge and Rocester. White’s 1834 trade directory informs us that the workhouse had a brickyard and a garden extending to one and a half acres in which the inmates were employed. The assistant parish overseer at the time was Thomas Norris. A summary of the workhouse’s finances at the end of March 1831 provides a glimpse into this world. There were 44 inmates: 18 men, 13 women, 8 boys (of whom, 4 were under nine years of age), and 5 girls all under the age of nine). We know that 2 of the inmates worked in the kitchens and 8 of the men worked as labourers or scavengers. The remaining adult inmates were listed under headings of ‘infirm’, ‘sick, lame and blind’ and what to modern minds is the rather offensive ‘idiots’.

The brickyard account shows a total of £270 1s 6d received, and £248 10s 8d paid out. The inmates working in the  yard earned £19 18s 6d, although it is unclear whether they actually received this amount or whether it went into the overall workhouse coffers. In addition, the workhouse received money from the sale of butter and vegetables and for the carding of wool. The existence of the brickyard and garden offer a different perspective on how workhouse paupers occupied their time. More common images are  of stone breaking (which is also mentioned in the accounts) and of picking apart old ropes to make oakum, used in caulking ships.

Amongst the workhouse expenses, more than £308 was spent on provisions, £25 on the governor’s and matron’s salary, £32 17s 10d on clothing and shoes, and £9 8s 8d on coffins and funeral fees. These figures do not include the amounts expended on the out poor (parish paupers who were not in the workhouse).

Description of Wednesbury from the Universal British Directory

The following is an edited version of the entry in the fourth volume of the Universal British Directory.

Wednesbury is a market town, eight miles from Birmingham, six from Wolverhampton, three from Walsall and five from Dudley. The church is a very fine old Gothic structure. This place is rendered famous for its coal, the best in the kingdom for smiths work, on account of its extreme heat. It runs from three to fourteen yards in thickness, which makes it very valuable to its respective owners, who clear from one to three hundred pounds a week from the sale of that article only. This place also produces that sort of iron ore called blond-metal, used to make nails and horse shoes, and all sorts of heavy tools, as hammers, axes, &c. There are several vessels of diverse sorts made here, which are painted with a reddish sort of earth dug hereabouts, which they call slip. One of the collateral branches of the Birmingham Canal enters this parish about half a mile, to some coal mines not yet opened, and to the iron-works of Messrs. Samuel and John Hallen, iron masters. About two miles from hence are the very extensive iron-works of John Wilkinson, Esq. at Bradley Moor. Its principal manufactories are, guns, coach-springs, coach-harness, iron axel-trees, saws, trowels, edge-tools, bridle-bits, stirrups, nails, hinges, wood-screws, and cast iron goods. Enamel paintings are also done here in the highest perfection and beauty.

Here are three meeting houses, namely, Presbyterians, Quakers and Methodists.

The mail from Ireland, Shrewsbury, and a great part of Wales, passes and repasses through this place every day: the post office is open at all hours.


Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 4 (London: 1796)

Description of Uttoxeter from the Universal British Directory

The following is an edited version of the entry in the fourth volume of the Universal British Directory.

Uttoxeter is a market town. It stands on a hill of easy ascent, near the river Dove. The town is rather rich, by means of its fine meadows and cattle; neat and handsome in respect of buildings: it has formerly suffered much by fire. The market is reckoned one of the greatest in these parts, for cattle, sheep, butter, cheese, corn, and all sorts of provisions: some of the London cheesemongers, by factors here, lay out five hundred pounds in a day. The town is pretty large, and the market place neat and commodious; three streets issue from the angles of the open area, and the market extends a considerable way into each of them. The market day is Wednesday; fairs May 6, July 31, September 1 and 19.

The town is surrounded with iron forges, and several considerable ironmongers carry on a great trade here in that manufactory; and it is remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants. By the late inland navigation, it has communication with the rivers Mersey, Dee, Ribble, Ouse, Trent, Derwent, Severn, Humber, Thames, Avon &c.

The excise office is at the White Hart and New Star inn: Mr Fryer, Supervisor; Mr Trougher and Mr Freer, Officers; George Prosser, Riding-officer.

Uttoxeter contains five hundred and fifty houses.


Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 4 (London: c.1796)

Richard Hayne’s (1723–1787) Memorandum on Uttoxeter Workhouse, 1782

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Amongst the papers of the Fitzherbert family of Tissington, Derbyshire, there is a bundle of miscellaneous items including a description of Uttoxeter workhouse, its management and the activities of its inmates in the second half of the eighteenth century. From the document, it is not clear why the memorandum was written or to whom it was addressed, but it may have been prompted by planned changes to the way in which workhouses were established as a result of Gilbert’s Act of the same year.

Richard Hayne was the second of five children born to John Hayne (b. circa 1688) of Uttoxeter and his wife Lettice Leighton (bapt. 11 Jan 1690). Richard was baptised on 26 March 1723. He was apprenticed to a Derby attorney William Turner in 1742 and appointed as a Justice of the Peace for Derbyshire in 1755, the year after he married Mary Newton at St Oswald’s parish church, Ashbourne. He spent some years living in Uttoxeter, but his main residence was Ashbourne Green Hall. The Hayne family also owned a number of other properties in Ashbourne including the Green Man inn and the Old House in Church Street used as a dower house. Richard died at Bath in 1787 and was buried in the churchyard of All Saints’, Weston. After Richard’s death, his widow moved to the Old House, remaining there until her death in 1802.

The memorandum offers one person’s perspective of the state of the Uttoxeter workhouse and its management before the construction of the one designed by Thomas Gardner which opened in 1789. Hayne’s views emphasise its poor state before his appointment as an inspector, the improvements made whilst he was in post and its decline once again after he left.

He starts the memorandum by recalling events of more than thirty years previously when Uttoxeter’s numerous poor were ‘constantly erecting cottages and enclosing small [plots] of land which they considered as their own, making careful not to change their place of settlement’. The workhouse itself was ‘mostly filled with old persons and children perhaps from 40–60’. Many other poor people received outdoor relief ranging from one to three or four shillings a week. The overseers, chosen usually from ‘the lower sort of Trades People’, sent provisions to the workhouse where ‘some of the old men there distributed it’, not just to the inmates but to others who came for their dinners. The problem was exacerbated, according to Hayne, because those who went to the workhouse for their meal had a tendency to pocket the victuals and carry them away.

Hayne’s other main concern was that the ‘Poor of the workhouse had no employ and ran about the town at pleasure by which habit the children were ignorant, idle and impudent’. The problem of how to ‘amend this bad and expensive conduct’ was discussed frequently by the gentlemen of Uttoxeter who attended the parish vestry. Remonstrating with the overseers proved ineffectual. Consequently the vestry proposed that ‘two Gentlemen should be added to the official overseers who could spare time to inspect’ the workhouse. Hayne and a Major Gardener were thus appointed. ‘Our first step’, wrote Hayne, was to ‘advertise for a person as Manager of the Workhouse’. They got one from Wolverhampton at £24 a year ‘or thereabouts for himself, his wife and his daughter’.

Hayne’s and Gardener’s next step was to inspect the workhouse where they ‘found a room full of broken spinning wheels … We directed these implements to be thoroughly repaired’. The boys and girls were then taught to spin and knit linen and wool, and the ‘old people as were able had their allotment of such work as suited them best’. The House was ‘whitewashed and cleaned in a wholesome manner’. Rooms were inspected on a weekly basis. As the workhouse manager was ‘qualified to instruct the children … in reading, writing and accompting’, copy books and reading books were procured for their education. For the sake of their health the children were permitted to play in a large yard attached to the workhouse where a palisade and locked gate were fixed. A boy, seated in a box, was to unlock the gate and admit in or out ‘all proper persons’.

Gardener’s and Hayne’s role as inspectors lasted for a year, during which time they alternated their duties every two weeks. Hayne claimed that he scarcely missed a day, sometimes carrying out unannounced inspections twice a day. He visited the market to see the butcher’s meat (usually animal muscle tissue) being weighed and put his mark next to the entry in the general account book. He also did this for the flour, wool, hemp and other materials brought into the workhouse. Outdoor relief (except during sickness) was stopped as was the practice of feeding any other than workhouse inmates.

As a result of the inspectors’ endeavours the workhouse was transformed: ‘From a most filthy, dirty place the House became perfectly sweet, clean and wholesome’. The inmates became industrious and the children ‘attained an attention to Business & were (from Parental Homebread (sic)  Brutality) Civilised and fited (sic) to be put out as Parish Apprentices into any decent families’. The spinning of linen yarn for shirts and worsted produced a sufficient amount to make stockings and ‘to be sent out to be woven into liney wolsey for coats and waistcoats for the Men and Boys and Gowns and Petticoats for the Women and Girls’.

After his term of office Hayne removed to Ashbourne, the major returned to his regiment and a contested county election ‘divided the friendship of the Gentlemen [of Uttoxeter and the] workhouse gradually sunk into its former state’.

How much of Hayne’s account we accept at face value is difficult to say. Frederick Eden’s State of the Poor certainly confirms many of the practices Hayne found on his arrival at Uttoxeter workhouse, but the extent to which the workhouse and its inmates were transformed within the space of a year is open to question.


Derbyshire Record Office, D239/Z/6, Fitzherbert of Tissington Papers, Memorandum Uttoxeter Workhouse 10 May 1782

Frederick Morton Eden, The State of the Poor, A History of the Labouring Classes in England, 3 vols (London: 1797)

Adrian Henstock (ed.), A Georgian Country Town: Ashbourne 17251825:  Fashionable Society (Ashbourne: Ashbourne Local History Group, 1989)

Alannah Tomkins, The Experience of Urban Poverty, 1723–82 (Manchester: MUP, 2006) accessed 6 Mar 2018 accessed 6 Mar 2018

This is a work in progress, subject to change as new research is conducted.

Royal Approval for Uttoxeter Workhouse

In November 1840 the Derby Mercury reported, in glowing terms, the visit of Queen Adelaide (widow of William IV) to the new Uttoxeter Workhouse. At the time she was living at Sudbury Hall. With her ‘accustomed benevolence’, reported the paper, ‘Her Majesty … has graciously consented to become the patroness of the Uttoxeter Provident District Visiting Society [and] has intimated her intention of giving an annual subscription of ten pounds to the society’. The queen also ‘paid a visit to the Uttoxeter Union Workhouse, and conveyed … her … intention to bestow a substantial meal of roast beef, plum pudding, and ale, upon the poor inmates on Christmas day. Her Majesty was pleased to inspect the house, and to express her approval of the general arrangements made for the accommodation and convenience of the poor people, who, with numerous other objects of compassion, will have cause to bless the Christian sympathy of the Queen Dowager.’


Derby Mercury, 25 November 1840

Sampson Bartram (1790–1863), Master Blacksmith, Uttoxeter

Bartram’s skills as a blacksmith were called upon for repairs to metalwork and for sharpening tools at Uttoxeter workhouse and brick yard. In January 1831 he was paid a total of £9 6s 10d for such work. A year’s bill for sharpening and mending tools, possibly at the brick yard amounted to £2 14s 0d. An additional £1 15s 5½d was received for a year’s ‘repairs, nails and other metal work for House’, presumably the workhouse. In 1833 he mended and sharpened picks and harrows and in 1835 was paid for repairing tools for stone breaking. A detailed bill of 1835 lists ‘Nails, mending locks, mending a key, mending dung forks, mending of ironwork on alms houses, mended a cow chain, plaits for a wagon, fixed the mangle, mended a pair of stuffers, steeling a brick hammer, 5 dowels, a pair of pincers, window bar repairs, repaired a table, hoop on washing dolly, mended a ladle, mended door handle & mended fire shovel’. He was paid £2 0s 7d.

In March he received £0 3s 0d for repairs and mending locks. On this occasion he was paid by constable James Mills. Sometimes Bartram took in overnight lodgers. In April 1832 he took in Francis Evans and family, William Robson and Thomas Johnson. In September 1832 he was paid £0 3s 0d by the constables of Uttoxeter for 12 nights’ lodgings.

Sometimes receipts were signed by Enoch Bartram. Occasionally, he may have been called upon as a rat catcher.

Bartram was born in Birmingham in 1790. In the 1841 Census Sampson Bartram the elder was listed as living with his sons David, a blacksmith; Sampson the younger, an apprentice joiner; William; and his daughter Hannah in a freehold house in Carter Street, Uttoxeter. Ten years later, Sampson, now 61, was living with his wife Sarah, 55; and William an apprentice blacksmith. By 1861 he was once again listed as a blacksmith. Sarah has disappeared from the record and Sampson was living with William, 30, and Hannah, 27, a housekeeper. The change from blacksmith in 1841 to master blacksmith in 1851 may represent Bartram’s advancement in his profession. The way in which people defined themselves in relation to others, however, in this case through a gradation in status, may also represent one of the ways in which Bartram formulated his identity.

The Census returns reveal only part of Bartam’s family. What follows is supported by documentary material but there are some areas where doubt remains. Bartram married three times. First to Mary (1784–1823) the daughter of John and Mary Allport of Uttoxter. The marriage took place in 1823. Sampson and Mary had at least three children: Enoch (c.1816–1889) who became a blacksmith in Lincoln; David (1817–1899) who moved to Shawnee County, Kansas; and Sampson. There may also have been another child, Amos (b.1820), a cattle drover lodging in Kineton, Warwickshire at the time of the 1851 Census. Bartram’s second marriage was to Priscilla (1807–1838), the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Burton of Uttoxeter. The marriage took place on 3 October 1825 in Stone, Staffordshire. Sampson and Priscilla had two children: William (1831–1905) and Hannah (c.1833–1862). Sampson’s third marriage to Sarah (1783–1858) took place in 1842.


Peter Guillery, The Small House in Eighteenth-Century London, A Social and Architectural History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009),13.

Kansas Territory Census 1865, ks1865-4

Poll Books and electoral Registers, Pirehill South, Uttoxeter, 1832

National Probate Calendar, Sampson Bartram, 11 April 1863

Staffordshire Record Office, D3891/6/34/4/028, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 15 Jun 1829

SRO, D3891/6/35/3/20–21, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 Jan 1831

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/47, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 19 Jan 1832

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/55, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 19 Jan 1832

SRO, D3891/6/37/12/55, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 31 Mar 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/6/006, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, Jan–Dec 31 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/11/1, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 12 Apr 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/11/2, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 9 Apr 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/11/8, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, Sep 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/17/1, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 25 Jan 1833

SRO, D3891/6/40/10/8, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Jan 1834

SRO, D3891/6/41/1/13, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Jan 1835

SRO, D3891/6/41/1/16, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Jan 1835

SRO, D3891/1/7–20, Uttoxeter, St Mary Parish Registers

TNA, HO 107/1007/14 Census 1841

TNA, HO 107/2010, Census 1851

TNA, HO 107/2105, Census 1851

TNA, Census 107/2074, Census 1851

TNA, RG 9/1954, Census 1861

This is a work in progress, subject to change as research continues.

Thomas Woolrich (active 1820s-1830s), Chemist and Druggist, Uttoxeter

A bill sent by Thomas Woolrich turns up just once in the overseers’ vouchers for Uttoxeter when, in 1835, he charged 6s for supplying sulphuric acid and a further 6s for manganese. With extensive business interests and multiple income streams, notably as a purveyor of his own ‘horse balls’, as an agent for Sun Life insurance, agent for Heeley and Sons pens, and the supplier of patent medicines, perhaps he had little need to rely on business from the parish overseers. He may also have faced competition from George Alsop and Samuel Garle.

As Woolrich’s business network extended far beyond Uttoxeter, it is no surprise to find that like a number of other residents of the town he was on the provisional committee of the Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield and South Staffordshire, or Leeds, Wolverhampton and Dudley Direct Railway. His claim to fame, however, rested on ‘Woolrich’s improved diuretic horse balls’ available from ‘all respectable medicine vendors in most market towns in the kingdom’. In addition to Uttoxeter, they were also sold wholesale by London agents such as Messrs Barclay & Sons, 95 Fleet Market; Mr Edwards, 66 St Paul’s Church Yard; Sutton & Co., Bow Church Yard; and Butlers’, Cheapside. They could be bought at 73 Princess Street, Edinburgh, and at 54 Sackville Street, Dublin. Closer to home they were sold retail by Drewry & Son, Derby; Whitham, Ashbourne; and Claughton, Chesterfield.

His shop in High Street offered a wide range of patent medicines including John Leeming’s genuine horse medicines; Dr Sibly’s Reanimating Solar Tincture for debility, consumption, nervous complaints, rheumatism, spasms, indigestion, and  lowness of spirits; Barclay’s asthmatic candy; Hayman’s Meredant’s antiscorbutic drops; Lignum’s antiscorbutic drops; Blaine’s celebrated powder for distemper in dogs; and ‘Dr Boerhaave’s red pill no 2 famous for the cure of every stage and symptom of a certain complaint [the] cause of foul ulcerations, [and] blotches’.  Regarding such medicines, Alan Mackintosh notes ‘A few of the supposed inventors were dead and certainly had no real link with the medicine, as in the case of … the enigmatically named Dr Boerhaave’s Red Pill Number Two’.

Woolrich may also have operated an informal registry office for servants. In March 1831 a cook was ‘wanted for a small genteel family where a kitchen maid is kept’. For particulars interested persons should apply to Mr Woolrich. In June two cooks and other domestic servants were wanted in a respectable household near Uttoxeter; a good plain cook of middle aged was preferred. Housemaids and nursery maids seeking positions should enquire of Mr Woolrich, or Mrs Horn and Son, Cheadle. In September a clergyman’s family in a country village wanted a plain cook with a good character reference from her last place. Particulars could be had from Messrs Mort at the Advertiser Office, Stafford, or from Mr Woolrich.

Woolrich subscribed to Thomas Fernyhough’s wonderfully titled Military Memoirs of Four Brothers, Natives of Staffordshire Engaged in the Service of their Country as Well in the New World and Africa, as on the Continent of Europe, by the Survivor.

No specific dates have been given for Thomas Woolrich as there were several in Uttoxeter. In 1787 a Thomas Woolrich apprenticed Francis Woolley as a druggist; another, James Walters was apprenticed in 1790 and a third, William Morley was apprenticed in 1796. Thomas Woolrich senior of High Street, was registered as a voter in the 1832 poll book. Another Thomas, son of Thomas and Sarah Woolrich was baptised in Uttoxeter on 14 April 1782 and was buried 20 September 1853.

Woolrich served as a juror at the quarter sessions in1811 and 1821.


Bradshaw’s Railway Gazette vol. 1, (London: William James Adams; Manchester: Bradshaw and Blacklock, 1845)

Hyde Clark (ed.), The Railway Register and Record of Public Enterprise for Railways (London, John Weale, 1845), pt II, 166

Derby Mercury, 6 Apr, 27 Jul, 2 Nov 1831, 1 Feb, 8 Feb, 9 May 1832

Thomas Fernyhough, Military Memoirs of Four Brothers, Natives of Staffordshire Engaged in the Service of their Country as Well in the New World and Africa, as on the Continent of Europe, by the Survivor (London: 1829)

Alan Mackintosh, The Patent Medicines Industry in Georgian England: Constructing the Market by the Potency of Print (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) p.244

W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory, (1818)

Poll Books and Electoral Registers, Totmonslow South, Uttoxeter, 1832

Staffordshire Advertiser 1 Jan, 12 Mar, 26 Mar, 2 Apr, 23 Apr, 11 Jun, 10 Sep 1831

Staffordshire Record Office, D3891/6/41/7/71, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 1 April 1835

SRO, D3891/1/7–20, Uttoxeter, St Mary’s Parish Registers

SRO, Q/RJr, Quarter Sessions Jurors’ Index 1811–1831

TNA, IR 1/34, 1/64, 1/68, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures 1710–1811

This is a work in progress, subject to change as research continues.

Samuel Brassington (c.1782–1858), Cooper, Uttoxeter


Overseers’ vouchers survive for Samuel Brassington for the period 1829–1837. For the financial year 1829–1830 he was the parish overseer and in 1831 was a juror at the quarter sessions. In 1824 he had been the parish constable. It was not unusual in Uttoxeter for people to ‘graduate’ from the position of constable to overseer. His role as a supplier of goods and services to the parish, however, potentially brought him into conflict with his position as overseer. As noted in the blog entry ‘Penalties for profiteering overseers’ (October 2017), by a parliamentary Act of 1815 churchwardens and overseers were barred from supplying goods and services (and hence profiting from their positions) during their period in office. There is the possibility that Brassington contravened this Act. One bill, for new buckets for the brick kiln dated April 1829 for ‘cooperage work’, appears to have been settled soon after he took office as overseer. Two other bills suggest also that Brassington may have been circumventing the Act, by supplying goods but not receiving payment for them until after his year of office had ended. Both bills were for miscellaneous items including ladles, buckets and hoops. The first for £2 1s 8d covers the period 26 May–31 August 1829 was settled on 18 April 1830; the second for £0 2s 6d is dated 18 April 1829, but settled on 28 April 1830. From then on no further bills are recorded until 1832.

Some bills took a long time to be settled. One dated 1 July 1828 was not settled until 25 March 1830. Others were presented as part of his responsibility as parish overseer including journeys made to Birmingham and Stafford to bind apprentices.

Tubs, hoops, trenchers, ladles, buckets, barrels, pails and corks were supplied to the work house and to the brick yard on a regular basis.  A typical itemised bill was settled in January 1830. As with most of his supplies, the majority of items were of small value.

2 New Buckets £0.8.0d
1 Barrel 2 Iron Hoops £0.1.4d
21 New Trenchers £0.8.9d
1 New Bowl £0.20d
6 New Trenchers £0.2.6d
1 New bath Tub £1.18.0d
1 Wood Spoon £0.0.4d
1 New Gown £0.3.9d
3 New Cork Bungs £0.1.0d
1 New Sieve £0.0.8d
1 New Lantern £0.2.6.d
1 Barrel 3 Iron Hoops £0.1.9d
2 Rings for breaking stones £0.1.0d
1 New Cork Bung £0.0.4d
1 New Barrel £1.1.0d
1 New Tub £0.5.0d
1 Cup £0.0.4d

Brassington was born in Rugeley, Staffordshire. For much of his life he lived in High Street, Uttoxeter. He married twice; first to Mary (1780–1818) the daughter of Josiah and Mary Piddock of Uttoxeter, and second to Julia (c.1787–1871) from Church Broughton, Derbyshire. Samuel and Mary married in Uttoxeter on 21 April 1814. Samuel and Julia had two children: Julie, baptised on 31 January 1823, and Samuel, baptised in on 26 December 1824

In 1841 Samuel and Julia were living in Uttoxeter’s High Street. No children or servants are listed in the Census. By 1851 Samuel described himself as a cooper employing one man. This was Thomas Allen, a cooper’s assistant, who lived with the Brassingtons. In 1861 Julia, now a widow, was living alone in Balance Street Yard.

In 1871, the year in which she died, Julia, describing herself as an annuitant, was assisted by a servant, Emily Beech. She had moved again to Sheep Market.


W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory, (1818)

Poll Books and Electoral Registers, Totmonslow South, Uttoxeter, 1832

SRO, Samuel Brassington, Marriage Bond and Allegation, 1814

SRO, B/C/11, Samuel Brassington, 1858

SRO, D3891/6/33/3/008, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 20 April 1829

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/043, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, July 1829 –15 March 1830

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/066, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 18 April 1830

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/114, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 April 1830

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/44, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 January 1832

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/50, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 January 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/4002f, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 18 September 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/4002i, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 12 January– 8 October 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/4002k, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, settled 22 February 1833

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/44, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 25 March 1835

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/50, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 26 March 1835

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/66, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 26 March 1835

SRO, D3891/6/43/5/8, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 17 February 1836

SRO, D3891/6/45/9/1r, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 11 December 1837

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/055, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 25 March 1830

SRO, D3891/6/36/9/42, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 23 January 1830

SRO, Marriage Allegations and Bonds, Samuel Brassington, 20 April 1814

SRO, Q/RJr, Quarter Sessions Jurors’ Index 1811–1831

TNA, HO/107/1007, Census 1841

TNA, HO107/2010, Census 1851

TNA, R.G. 9/1954, Census 1861

TNA, R.G. 10/2892, Census 1871

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834)

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1851)

This is a work in progress subject to change as new research is conducted.

The Elsmore Family, Great Haywood, Shoemakers, Part Two: Who were the Elsmores?

The Elsmores were Roman Catholics. As a result of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act, between 1754 and 1837 all marriages had to take place in the Church of England. The Catholic registers that do survive for this period contain records of illegal marriages. Several Elsmore marriages took place at the parish church of St John the Baptist, Tixall, Staffordshire. White’s 1834 directory notes, however, that adjoining the south wing of Tixall Hall ‘is a modern Catholic chapel, a handsome Gothic structure, with an octagonal tower, and beautiful stained glass windows. The parish church … is a small edifice dedicated to St John the Baptist’. For several centuries Tixall had been a safe haven for Catholics. In 1827 the Clifford family, who lived in the hall, built the chapel. By 1835 they had left the area giving the chapel and an acre of land to the Catholics of the area. In 1845 the chapel was taken down and rebuilt in Great Haywood.

William Elsmore (b.1783) married Susan or Susanna Dale on 13 February 1809. The marriage was recorded as having taken place at St John the Baptist church. Susanna was around six months pregnant at the time. Their son James was baptised 23 July 1809 at St John’s. Susan Dale and her sister Frances were confirmed on 5 May 1802 at Tixall chapel.

For Colwich, the 1841 Census (when ages for adults were rounded down to the nearest five years) lists William (55) a cordwainer, his wife Susanna (50) and five children: Stephen (25), Thomas (20), Mary Ann (16), Frederick (15) and Francis (13). Living next to them was another William Elsmore, (30) a joiner and carpenter; his wife Anne (32), and children Teresa, (4); Louisa, (2) and Ann (1).

The 1851 Census reveals that William, aged 68, was born in Stafford, and Susanna, aged 67, was born in Tixall. Stephen (38), born in Baswich, was a cordwainer like his father. No other children of William and Susannah are listed but living with them were two grandchildren, Cecily aged nine (born in Stowe) and Edward Brian, aged two, born in Campden, Gloucestershire. This may explain the connection with Chipping Campden of Thomas Elsmore, a bricklayer, lodging at an inn in High Street, noted in the 1851 Census.

Another child of William and Susanna was Charles, born 1814. At the time of the 1851 Census he was a ‘post’ boy living in St John Street, Lichfield, along with his brother Francis, an ostler and general servant; and an extended family that included their sister Mary A. Brian (37), a victualler’s wife, born in Great Haywood; her sons William (3), born in Longton; Charles (1), born in Great Haywood; and Henry (6 months), born in Lichfield. Also living at the same address was brother-in-law Edward Guy (36), an agricultural implement maker, born Boston, Lincolnshire; and niece Teresa Elsmore (14), a nurse. Visiting when the census was taken was cousin Harriet Dale (30), born in Tixall.

White’s 1851 directory informs us that William Brian was the innkeeper of the Lord Nelson, St John Street, Lichfield.

James Elsmore (b.1809)

Also in the 1841 Census for Colwich are James Elsmore, a cordwainer, his wife Pamela and their children James (b.1836), Robert (b.1837), Pamela (b.1838) and George (b.1840). James and Pamela (née Wood) were married at Painswick, Gloucestershire, on 15 July 1833.

In the 1871 Census James (61), a master cordwainer employing one man, and Pamela (60) and two of their children, Monica, aged 25, a machinist and Francis, aged 15, a cordwainer were all living next to Great Haywood Catholic school and chapel. On the other side of them were William Elsmore, (60) a joiner and carpenter; his wife Anne (67), daughter Martha, (28) a certified schoolmistress; son William (26) also a joiner and carpenter, and a grandson, Francis (3), born in Broughton, Yorkshire.

Jane, Brian and Ann Elsmore

1841 Census for Great Haywood at Norton Land are Henry and Mary Yates and their children John and Ann; and a Mary Elsmore (30). Henry was an agricultural labourer. Next to them at Swansmoor Farm were Robert Cliff [?] aged 70, a farmer; Jane Elsmore (60); Jane Elsmore (26); Brian Elsmore (24); and Ann Elsmore (20).

In 1861, at Swanmoor Farm, Colwich, were Brian Elsmore, (47) farmer of 114 acres employing one labourer and one boy; and Brian’s sisters Jane (49) and Ann (44).

White’s 1834 directory notes that Swanmoor was three miles north-west of Colwich with two large farms. One belonged to Sir T. A. Clifford, constable, and the other to William Moore.

George Elsmore (b.1814)

In 1861, at Billington, Bradley, lived George Elsmore (47), a cordwainer; wife Ellen, (38); Thomas (12), a cordwainer; and Ann (9).

By 1871 George Elsmore (57), born at Little Haywood, his wife Ellen (48), born Stafford, and their children (all born in Bradley) William (16); Thomas (22), an indoor farm servant; Ann Eliza (19); George (18), a ‘farmer’s son’; Ellen (15); Elizabeth (13); Emily Jane (11); Alice (8); and John (5) were still resident at Billington, Bradley.

By the next census (1881) many of George’s and Ellen’s children were no longer living in the family home. George (67) and Ellen (58) were living with their unmarried son William (26), an agricultural labourer; and a grandson Edward B. Elsmore (5) in Berry Ring, Bradley.

Joseph Elsmore (Farmer)

In 1826 Joseph Elsmore of Swanmoor was appointed as a juror for the Quarter Sessions.

Joseph Elsmore (b.1814)

Joseph was born in Fradswell and became a farm bailiff in the parish of St Andrew, Shifnal, Shropshire, living at Hatton School. His wife Elizabeth (b.1823) was the school mistress and was assisted by their daughter Margaret (b.1857). Living with them was Herbert Merriman (b.1853), and agricultural labourer; and Richard Wedge (b.1861), a groom and domestic servant.

Thomas Elsmore (b.1821)

In 1841 in the parish of St Mary, Stafford, shoemaker Joseph, born around 1821, was living with his wife Mary and their two children William, aged two; and Bernard, aged one.

Joseph Elsmore (b.1821)

Living in the same street in Stafford as Thomas Elsmore (b.1821) was shoemaker Joseph, his wife Caroline and their son Thomas, aged one.

Frederick Elsmore (b.1828)

Like his father William, Frederick became a shoemaker. He appears to have moved around a great deal. In 1841 he was an apprentice shoemaker in Stafford living in the household of his master Samuel Mountford. In 1851 he was lodging in St Peter’s parish Derby. Ten years later he had moved to Walsall Wood. He was still a shoemaker and still living in digs.

Robert Elsmore (b.1784)

In 1851 at Mavesyn Ridware, Staffordshire, Robert Elsmore (67), born in Colwich and his wife Sarah (51) were in receipt of parish relief. Their 14-year-old daughter Rebeccah was dressmaker’s apprentice, and their 11-year-old-son Henry was an agricultural labourer.

William Elsmore (b.1816)

Living at Ellastone, Staffordshire, were William Elsmore (35) a bookkeeper to a builder, (born in Bradley, Staffordshire); his wife Charlotte (42) born in Ellastone, and their children William H. (12), born in Colwich; Bryan T. (9); Jane (7); Frederick J. (4); and Louisa (1). The last four children were all born in Ellastone.

John Elsmore (b.1814)

John Elsmore was born in Great Haywood. By the time of the 1851 Census he was a widowed a farm labourer living in Armitage. His daughter Elizabeth (b.1828) was a laundress, and his son, Thomas (b.1829) was a farm labourer.


Birmingham Archdiocese Archives, P162/1/2, Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Deaths, Roman Catholic Parish Marriages, 1798–1853

Gloucester Archives, P244, IN 1/16, Gloucestershire Anglican Parish Registers, Painswick

SRO, Q/Rjr/1826, Quarter Sessions Jurors Lists (Staffordshire Name Index)

The National Archives, ‘How to look for records of Catholics’

TNA, HO 107/994/11, Census 1841

TNA, HO, 107/1010/1, Census 1841

TNA, HO, 107/1999, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2014, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2015, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2076, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2143, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2146, Census 1851

TNA, RG, 9/1908, Census 1861

TNA, RG, 9/1909, Census 1861

TNA, RG, 9/2018, Census 1861

TNA, RG, 10/2819, Census 1871

TNA, RG, 10/2820, Census 1871

TNA, RG, 11/2634, Census 1881

TNA, RG, 11/2687, Census 1881

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834)

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1851)

This is a work in progress, subject to change as new research is conducted.