Stephen Foster

Stafford Record Office Ref D1149/6/2/8/52 Darlaston, Staffordshire Paupers’ Vouchers.

A Settled bill from Richard Meek to Richard Taylor for £1 3s 5d dated April to Oct 1823 for Shoe repairs and new shoes. The names included Stephen Foster for “shoes with high heels for a lame foot.” As a retired Podiatrist I realised that Stephen probably had a form of club foot called Talipes Equinus in which the heel cannot reach the ground; similar to a horse’s foot hence the name.

Looking for Stephen I discovered several Stephen Fosters in Darlaston and reconstructed the family using a very informative Will and the St. Lawrence Parish Records.

 

Transcription of part of the Will of Stephen Foster dated 1813

Stephen Foster of Darlaston, Gunlockforger I give and devise:-

  1. unto my wife Hannah Foster for her natural life all and every my messuages tenements or dwellinghouses shops gardens hereditaments and real estate. After her decease I give and devise unto my son in Law William Bailey all that messuage tenement or dwelling house situate in Darlaston aforesaid and the shop near the same now in the occupation of the said William Bailey And also a necessary house near the said premises which is used by the occupiers of all my buildings in Darlaston. And also a pigstie near the said necessary house.
  2. After the decease of my wife I give and devise to my son Stephen Foster All that messuage tenement or dwelling house in Darlaston with the shop near the same now in the occupation of my said son Stephen and also full and free liberty power and authority to throw the shop slack through the window of the said shop and to fetch and carry away the same as often as shall be necessary but so nevertheless that the said shop slack be not suffered to obstruct the road to the shop hereinbefore given and devised to the said William Bailey more than is absolutely necessary And also the coal house and pigstie adjoining the said house which is now in the occupation of my said son.
  3. After the decease of my wife I give unto my son Josiah All that messuage tenement or dwelling house with the shop in the garden near to property [of] my son Job Foster And all that garden ground or void land the whole width and extending from the eastern part of the last mentioned shop to the back road to the Church and are now in my own occupation except the said shop which is occupied by my said son Josiah
  4. I give and devise to my sons Stephen and Josiah All that newly erected shop situate in Darlaston near the said other shops and now in my own occupation To hold the same unto and to the use of my said sons Stephen and Josiah as Tenants in common and not as joint Tenants. Provided always that the owners and tenants or occupiers of all the said messuages tenements or dwellinghouses shops and premises shall have an equal right to the pump standing near and belonging thereto and to have and take water therefrom and that the said pump and the well shall from time to time be repaired amended and kept in repair at the joint and equal costs and charges of the owners of the said messuages tenements or dwellinghouses and premises. And that the owners and tenants or occupiers of the said premises aforesaid shall have an equal right to the entry or passage and to pass and repass thereby to and from the street in front of the said premises to and from the back part of the respective premises.
  5. I give and devise to the said William Bailey and my said sons Stephen and Josiah All the void land at the back of the said dwelling houses except the garden ground or void land herebefore devised to my son Josiah. To hold the same unto the use of the said William Bailey and my said sons Stephen and Josiah as Tenants in common and not as joint tenants
  6. I give and bequeath to my said son Josiah my suit of black cloaths [sic] and to the said William Bailey and my said sons Stephen and Josiah all other my wearing apparel equally.
  7. I give and bequeath to my Grandson Richard Foster son of my late son George Foster one complete set of gunlock forgers tools to be chosen from my tools by him.
  8. I also give and bequeath to my said son Stephen all the rest of my tools belonging to my trade of a Gunlock Forger.
  9. I give and bequeath to my son Josiah the sum of fifty pounds.
  10. I give and bequeath to my executors hereinafter named all my household goods and furniture money securities for money book debts personal estate and effects, for my wife to have the use of all my household goods furniture bedding linen and other household effects for and during the term of her natural life
  11. Upon further trust to put and place the remainder of my said money personal estate and effects out at Interest upon government or real security and to pay all the Interest and product thereof unto my said wife for and during the term of her natural life
  12. And from and immediately after the decease of my said wife I give and bequeath to my son Job the sum of one Hundred pounds, to my son Stephen the sum of fifty pounds to the said William Bailey the sum of fifty pounds to my grandson Richard Foster the sum of Twenty pounds , to my grandson John Foster the sum of twenty pounds, to my grandson Stephen Foster the sum of twenty pounds, to my grandson Stephen Carter the sum of Twenty Pounds, and to my grandson George Carter the sum of Twenty Pounds.
  13. And from and immediately after the decease of my said wife I give and  bequeath all the rest and residue and remainder of my said household goods and furniture, money, securities for money, book debts, personal estate, and effects whatsoever and wheresoever and not herebefore given and disposed of to my daughter Elizabeth the wife of the said William Bailey and to my said sons Stephen and Josiah equally.
  14. And Lastly I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my friend Francis Taylor of Darlaston, Miner my said sons Stephen and Josiah and my son in Law William Bailey joint executors of this my Will. In Witness whereof I the said Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained and written on three sheets of paper, to the first two sheets set my hand and to this third and last sheet my hand and seal the this third day of January One Thousand and thirteen.

Signed Stephen Foster  Witnesses Thos. Brevitt, Butcher, Darlaston and A. Rooker, Surgeon, Darlaston

.

Codicil dated 12 Mar 1813 removes Francis Taylor as an executor. A more shakey signature from Stephen. Wit: Moses Foster (Darlaston), William Foster (Darlaston) and Jno. Sketchley Clk to Messrs Crowther, Wednesbury.

The Chart above shows the family but curiously no Baptism has been found for either Job or George Foster. Job appears to have been born circa 1765 calculated from his age at burial but George who was dead before 1813 has no age given so I have guessed it based on the age of his first child.

There were 4 Stephen Fosters alive in 1823 – Stephen born 1777 s/o Stephen; Stephen born 1799 s/o Job; Stephen born 1800 s/o George and Stephen born 1817 s/o Josiah.

Stephen born 1777 and his brother Josiah inherited property from their Father so I have discounted these and their children as being less likely to need the help of the Overseers of the Poor.

That leaves the two Stephens born 1799 and 1800 as likely candidates. These were the sons of Job and George both of whom Stephen the Gun lock Forger claims in 1813 to be his sons but he leaves them considerably less than his other sons (Stephen and Josiah). It could be that he had previously provided for them, but this part of the family may be considerably less well off financially. It could be that Job and George were either adopted or illegitimate sons.

There is also a curious familiarity of the Names.

Frances Taylor is named as an executor. Could he be related to the one who went to Tettenhall to become Governor of the Workhouse? William Bailey – a William Bayley has supplied goods and services to the Darlaston Workhouse. A Rooker is also the surgeon to the Darlaston Workhouse.

Both Stephen who died 1813 and his wife Hannah are buried with an abode of Church St. Using this and the description of the various properties in the Will I am wondering if they can be identified. The Will states that he gives to Josiah ‘And all that garden ground or void land the whole width and extending from the eastern part of the last mentioned shop to the back road to the Church’.  Also’And that the owners and tenants or occupiers of the said premises aforesaid shall have an equal right to the entry or passage’

Using Google Earth and Maps it appears that this property might be between Church Street and Cramp Hill as there is an entry to the Church from Cramp Hill.

 

(Google Maps)

There is a Passageway between what is now Hair by Wendy and Kirans Balti making me wonder if the car park etc behind might be the land in question. Or they could be a little further along to the right of the photograph.

Halberber Root or Halbert Weed?

Darlaston Pauper’s Vouchers at Stafford Record Office contain  an account from 23 April to 22 May 1817. (ref. D1149/6/2/2/20)

This is a list of all bills received, and presumably paid, during the month and a list of smaller cash payments one of which is for Halberber Root.  I have been unable to discover anything with this name but have found Halbert Weed or Neurolaena Lobata.

Although no reference was made to the use of the root, it appears in several references as a medicinal plant such as:

  1. MEDlCINAL PLANTS OF JAMAICA. PARTS 1 & 11. By G. F. Asprey, M.Sc., Ph.D. (B’ham.), Professor of Botany, U.C.W.l. and Phyllis Thornton, B.Sc. (Liverpool), Botanist Vomiting Sickness Survey. Attached to Botany Department, U.C.W.l. NEUROLAENA LOBATA (Sw.) R. Br. Cow Gall Bitter: Halbert Weed; Bitter Wood; Bitter Bush;  Goldenrod. In Jamaica Neurolaena lobata is thought to be useful for treating stomach disorders. Early writers speak of its use as a bitter and also as a dressing for sores, wounds and ulcers. Barham thought it to be diuretic. In Honduras it has a reputation as a malaria remedy.
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3971758/The Journal of Natural Products.  Neurolaena lobata (L.) R. Br. ex Cass. (Asteraceae) is a herbaceous plant distributed widely in Central America and north western parts of South America. In Caribbean traditional medicine, the leaves of this plant have been used for the treatment of different types of cancer, ulcers, inflammatory skin disorders, diabetes, and pain of various origins. In some regions, N. lobata is also used to treat or prevent a variety of parasitic ailments, such as malaria, fungus, ringworm, and amoebic and intestinal parasites.13

Elizabeth Wild and Solomon Smith, of Betley, Staffordshire

The following voucher comes from the parish of Betley, Staffordshire and is an agreement by Solomon Smith, the son-in-law of Elizabeth Wild, to indemnify the Churchwardens and Overseers regarding her maintenance. In return for agreeing to pay the Churchwardens and Overseers a fixed sum of money, Smith was to receive what amounted to an annuity.  Perhaps Smith was banking on his mother-in-law living for longer than the value of his £20 indemnity. We have come across no other vouchers similar to this.

Transcription:-

8 March 1797

I promise to pay to the Churchwardens and Overseers of Betley in the County of Stafford the sum of Twenty pounds in Case any Charges and Expenses heretofor (sic) be upon them on account of my mother in law Elizabeth Wild whether as to her maintenance funeral or otherwise They undertaking to pay me two shillings a week during her natural life As witness my hand

The mark X of Solomon Smith

 

Soloman Smith married Mary Wild on 3 Nov 1782 at Church Lawton (Cheshire BTs) only about 7 miles away from Betley.

Soloman Smith was possibly the illegitimate child baptised at St. Peter Ad Vincula, Stoke on Trent. 9 Oct 1725 Soloman son of Catherine Smith.

Mary Wild was baptised at St. Margaret’s, Betley, Staffordshire on 11 Jun 1763 and was the daughter of Ralph and Betty Wild (spelt Wyld)

Ralph Wylde married Elizabeth Cotton on 16 May 1749 at St. Margaret’s, Betley, Staffordshire and so far only 2 children’s baptisms have been found in St. Margaret’s Parish Records, Betley, Staffordshire

  1. Peter Wyld bapt 17 April 1759 at St. Margaret’s Betley Buried 12 Sept 1819
  2. Mary Wyld bapt 11 Jun 1763 at St. Margaret’s Betley

Ralph Wild was buried 2 Aug 1785 at St. Margaret’s, Betley

So far the burial for Elizabeth or Betty Wild is not identified and so do not know if Soloman Smith made a good investment.  2s per week = 104s pa. £20 divided by 104s = 3.8yrs.

Ann Barnard (1805-1882), Gnossall

The collection of Poor Law Vouchers for the Parish of Gnosall in Stafford Record Office contain several bills from Stafford Lunatic Asylum. Two have notes added to them concerning Ann Barnard.

(D951/5/81/56) Bill from Stafford Lunatic Asylum 26 Dec 1821

Gentm. It is very much the wish of the Physician to this Institution to give A Barnards a trial out & we recommend that she should in the first instance be taken care of in the Workhouse. She will be given up any time after next Saturday. J.G. [John Garrett]

The next has a more curt note. ( D951/5/81/57) Bill from Stafford Lunatic Asylum 26 March 1822

Gentm. I am directed to request that you will remove Ann Barnard for the sake of giving her trial at home as it appears to us she may now be removed on trial with safety and probable advantage – I am further directed to call your attention to the [heavy?] amount of the arrears & to require that you will order their payment. I am Gntm. Your Obed. ———  John Garratt

NB A quarter’s maintenance was £4 17s 6d. However this probably was not paid as a further Bill appears (D951/5/81/63) dated Nov 1822 from Stafford Lunatic Asylum for £81 13s 1d (16 Nov £71 13s 1d and 23 Nov £10.)

Not all records for Stafford Lunatic Asylum have survived but fortunately a book for 1821-22 has and it contains a page transcribed below but is difficult to read as it has poor writing and several abbreviations which are in red and any suggestions as to what the abbreviations are would be welcomed and an extract is shown below. Ann obviously has Post Natal Depression.

D4585/6 Stafford Lunatic Asylum 1821-22

Feb 12. Ann Barnard

This is a pauper from Gnosall, who became deranged about a fortnight since, having been delivered of an illegitimate child three weeks before. She seemed disposed at first to destroy the infant and on Tuesday attempted suicide by making a slight incision under the chin with a shoemakers wife knife (sic) Her mother was insane for 3 months after childbirth. Takes food irregularly, is thirsty and confined in her bowels. Is very violent and obliged to be put under restraint. H Cath all? Auror? 21 Has been freely [purged?] and is more calm, says her own [wickedness?] has [induced?] her present malady. Her disease now appears the Melancholic form Can—- an– Cith[????] 29 Is still obliged to be kept under restraint owing to a propensity to commit suicide. Cant? March 15th [– Digit gn x1d -ugend dos?] 12 Is generally improving [Cant Uain Cith?] 27 Cost.[Costive?]

1 May a little better. 22 June the disease has [now expanded?] the violent form. [Uanst Cilt al—-?]

30 Oct Continues in the subacute form of disease expresses extreme anxiety to return to her friends. 18 Nov Has employed herself more than usual lately but expresses the same anxiety to return home. Discharged on trial Dec 2 1820 re-admitted Dec 7th Continued quiet for about 2 days and then became violent, undressing herself. Said the room was in flames etc. 14 Ʀ [sign for prescription?] Digitales gn x1[orN?]d. The [S?]iving to be used. Discharged on Trial April 3rd 1822 Readmitted April 13th 1822. Has attempted suicide by throwing herself into a well.

July 9 Continues in much the same state, is constantly requesting to be allowed to return home. Oct 14 no alteration.

Jan 13 1823 Has become emaciated from her anxiety to go home a trial recommended. Feb 22 discharged on trial.

Bearing in mind that Ann Barnard was admitted on Feb 12 the Gnosall PR was searched and the Baptism found in St. Lawrence, Gnosall 10 Jan 1820 for Richard son of Ann Barnard single woman.

A further search for an unmarried Ann Barnard of child bearing age brings up a probable baptism on 29 Dec 1805 at Gnosall and she was the daughter of Susannah Barnard. (no Father.)

Ann Barnard does not appear on the 1841 Census, nor is there any record of a burial in either Stafford or Gnosall between 1823 and 1841 but there is a probable marriage for Ann Barnard (signed X) in St. Lawrence, Gnosall on 27 Dec 1827 to William Richards. Witnesses Charlotte Halls X and Joseph Badger. (Gnosall, St. Lawrence PR have the burial on 21 June 1839 of Joseph Badger age 42 which indicate that he was the Parish Clerk)

Ann & William Richards can be found in the 1841i and the 1851ii Census across the county border in Shropshire, but are back in Gnosall in 1861iii and1871. Having started as an Ag. Lab William then becomes a Blacksmith before acquiring a small farm of 19 acres by 1881.

William and Ann Richards have 7 children listed in the Census

Thomas born 1831 in Shropshire

John born 1834 in Shropshire

William born 1837 in Shropshire

Mary born 1839 in Shropshire

George born 1839 in Shropshire

John born 1842 in Shropshire

Mary Ann born 1844 in Shropshire

It was a pleasure to find that Ann survived to a ripe old age – hopefully without a re-occurance of Post Natal Depression. Her burial is seen in St. Mary’s Moreton. 6 July 1882 Ann Richards of Moreton. Age 77. Her husband lived a little longer and a burial is seen in St. Mary’s Moreton. 7 Jan 1887 William Richards of Moreton age 83.   Moreton is part of Gnosall Parish.

In none of the census records has Ann’s son Richard Barnard been found. He did not die before 1830 as Staffordshire Apprentice Records have a record dated 15 May 1830 iv in which Richard Barnard Age 10 years, son of Ann of the parish of Gnosall is apprenticed to Joseph Bekcher a Farmer otp. Until 21 yrs [Probably Joseph Belcher]

After this there is no trace of Richard. He is not found on the 1841 census but no burial has been found. He could possibly have gone to America as one Richard Barnard is found travelling to America from Ireland. Or he could have gone into the Army as another is found in the Military Records and Greenwich Pensioners on Find My Past

Notes

i  1841 Census HO107/904 folio 22. Uckington, Atcham, Shropshire

ii1851 Census HO107/1987/folio 356 Burlington, Shiffnal, Shifnal, Shropshire,

iii1861 Census RG9/1904 folio 37 Lower Road, Gnosall, Newport, Staffordshire

iv      D951/5/94

Sources

Staffordshire Record Office

D951/5/81/56, Gnossall Overseers Voucher, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, 26 Dec 1821

D951/5/81/57, Gnossall Overseers Voucher, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, 26 March 1822

D951/5/81/63, Gnossall Overseers Voucher, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, Nov 1822

D4585/6, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, 1821-22

Young Parton’s Thigh

D10/A/PO/25, Colton Parish Overseers’ Voucher 19 February 1756.

A brief and partially faded voucher has turned up amongst those for Colton. It reads ‘19 Febry 1756 To reducing Young Partons Thigh 11s 6. Jany 21 1757 Rd of Mr Clark the contents above in full Gilbt Hordeane’.

This produced much speculation amongst the volunteers. Had Clark given Hordeane the reduced bit of Parton’s thigh? What had caused Parton to require the reduction of his thigh? What exactly is thigh reduction?

According to www.aesthetic-plastic-surgery.co.uk/body-thigh-reduction-info.php (accessed 11 January 2019) ‘Thigh reduction surgery removes excess skin and fat from the inside and front of the upper thigh to produce a firmer, more youthful contour’, but surely this was not practiced in the mid-eighteenth century? Of course it was not. As usual volunteers on the project were able to provide the answer: ‘Thigh reduction’ refers to setting a fracture. It may refer to a displaced fracture where the two ends of the bone are out of alignment. Reduction and manipulation would involve the stretching of the bone to pull them back into alignment.

A Blog post about Clogs

Inventory of Grace Matthews’ goods and clothes.

Clogs feature in both the Staffordshire and Cumberland vouchers. In 1829 and 1830, for example, the overseer of Uttoxeter Mr Wood paid John Green for the following:

2 Sept  1829 Pair of Clogs 1s 4d John Green Mr Wood
7 Nov  1829 1pr clogs 1s  8d
18 Nov 1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Wood 1s 10
21 Nov  1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Norres 1s 6d
18 Dec 1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Wood 1s 10d
8s 2d

 

10 Jul 1830 4 pr boys clogs 5s 4d John Green Mr Wood

Clogs were also by the overseers of Darlaston, Staffordshire: in 1818 Thomas Challinor was paid for three pairs.

In Skelton, Cumberland, the inventory of Grace Matthews goods and clothes included one pair of clogs. There is a separate blog entry for Matthews.

In Wigton, Cumberland, Thomas Watman’s 1773 bill refers to the calking of clogs.

Details of two further vouchers from  Wigton (1771) and Skelton 1791 are shown below.

6 Dec 1771 John Barnes
John Little
Daniel Steel
Daniel Steel
John Barnes
John Little
£0-3-8
£0-0-11
for 3 pairs of clogs
Ironing 3 pairs of clogs
1 Jun 1791 Thomas Mather William Stalker Thomas Mather £4.19.0 Maintenance, repair of clogs & 6 mths house rent

In his State of the Poor Frederick Morton Eden recorded: ‘Some years ago clogs were introduced into the county of Dumfries from Cumberland, and are now very generally used over all that part of the country, in place of coarse and strong shoes. The person who makes them is called a clogger. “All the upper part of the clog, comprehending what is called the upper leather and heel quarters, is of leather, and made after the same manner as those parts of the shoe which go by the same name. The sole is of wood. It is first neatly dressed into a proper form; then, with a knife for the purpose, the inside is dressed off, and hollowed so as to easily receive the foot. Next with a different kind of instrument, a hollow or guttin, is run round the outside of the upper part of the sole, for the reception of the upper leather, which is then nailed with small tacks to the sole and the clog is completed. [The Staffordshire vouchers often contain quantities of ‘tacketts’]. After this they are generally shod, or plated with iron, by a blacksmith. [Calking clogs – adding iron strips or plates to improve their durability – appears on numerous bills for Cumberland]. The price of a pair of men’s clogs (in Dumfrieshire) is about 3s including plating; and, with the size the price diminishes in proportion. A pair of clogs, thus plated, will serve a labouring man one year … at the end of that period, by renewing the sole and plating, they may be repaired so as to serve a year longer… [Many of the Cumberland bills are for making such repairs]. They keep the feet remarkably warm and comfortable, and entirely exclude all damp.”

At Lancaster, Eden noted: ‘Ironed clogs, which are much cheaper, more durable, and more wholesome than shoes, are very generally worn by labouring people’.

The noise clogs made alarmed those unused to it. In August 1797 Henry Kitt recorded: ‘We were annoyed at first by the harsh clatter made by the clogs of the boys playing in the street … We were soon, however, convinced that these wooden shoes, capped with plates of iron, were well adapted to the use of the peasants who inhabit a rough and marshy country’.

Sources

Frederick Morton Eden, The State of the Poor, vols. I & II (1797)

Henry Kitt, Kett’s Tour to the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland, vol. 5 (1797)

Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle

PR10/100/18, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, An account of Grace Matthews clothes and goods, 2 June 1785

PR36/v/2/49, Wigton Overseers’ Voucher, 6 December 1771

PR V/36/3, Wigton Overseers’ Voucher, Thomas Watman 1773

Staffordshire Record Office

D1149/6/2/3/93, Darlaston Overseers’ Voucher, 19 October 1818

D3891/6/34/9/018, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Voucher, 2 September to 18 December 1829

D3891/6/36/8/12, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Voucher, 10 July 1830

Richard Bills (1777-1849), Ironmaster, Darlaston, Part Three

As noted in the Richard Bills blog part one, his main connection with the Darlaston overseers’ came through the provision of grocery goods. A number of the bills were sent to Charles Green (see entry Charles Green (1778 –1856), Overseer, Darlaston).

Bills, however, was a gunlock-maker and ironmaster iron master. He also served as churchwarden for St. Lawrence’s, Darlaston, in 1815. Samuel Mills served in the same capacity in 1858 and between 1862 and 1864.

According to Pigot’s 1828-29 directory there were a number of gunlock-makers in and around Darlaston, including Richard Bills and Samuel Bills, and one woman, Elizabeth Bayley.

Richard Ashmore

Elizabeth Bayley

William Baylis

Richard Bills

Samuel Bills (is this a misprint in the directory; should it read Samuel Mills?)

William Golcher

Joseph Harper

William Howell

Philip Martin

William Partridge

Thomas Rubery

Charles Spittal

Thomas Stone

Charles Thornhill

Bagley Turner

John Griffiths Whitehead

Job Wilkes

William Wilkes

Thomas Worley

Samuel Mills was the son of a butcher, Thomas Fellows Mills and his wife Elizabeth. Thomas’ early death, in 1806, aged 23, however, occurred when Samuel was not yet one. In 1813 Thomas’ widow, Elizabeth, married Richard Bills.

Richard’s business was located in Furnace Lane, Lower Green. When he attained the age of 21, Samuel Mills was made a partner in his step-father’s business.

Aris’s Birmingham Gazette (15 June 1829) contained an advert for Bills and Mills at Darlaston Green Iron Works for a ‘steady man to undertake the management of a Mill for polishing shoe heel tips’.

In February 1849 the London Gazette carried the following announcement:

Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore existing between the undersigned, Richard Bills and Samuel Mills, carrying on trade at Darlaston, in the county of Stafford, as Iron Masters, Steel Manufacturers and Coal Masters, under the firm or style of Bills and Mills, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. All debts owing to or by the said partnership will be received and paid by the said Samuel Mills, by whom the trades will in future be carried on. Dated the 7th day of February 1849.

Richd Bills

Saml Mills

Richard Bills died soon afterwards. The business, however, prospered to become one of the largest iron company’s in the region, with around 2000 employees on a site covering 55 acres.

Richard’s connections with the iron industry, however, stretched beyond the immediate area of Darlaston. In April 1810 he loaned £500 to Hannah Lees (née Buckley, 1764–1831), the owner of Park Bridge Ironworks, a large concern near Manchester. It is not clear, at present, how Bills and Lees came to know each other. Perhaps it was through their shared business interests, or through family connections. Nevell believes that in all likelihood the loan was used to finance the building of new weir on the river Medlock and a water-powered building (purpose unclear) referred to in a lease April 1810.

The Park Bridge Ironworks had been established by Hannah’s husband Samuel Lees (1754-1804) in 1786. His death in 1804 left Hannah with their six surviving children (three others had died in 1800) aged between fifteen and two. The management of Samuel’s estate was conducted by his widow Hannah. Although the business was left in trust to Edward, in 1806 Hannah took over the lease of the site. Under her the ironworks expanded significantly.

Sources

Frederick Hackwood, A History of Darlaston (Wednesbury: Horton Bros., 1887)

London Gazette, 9 February 1849

Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory for 1828-29, Cheshire, Cumberland [&c.] (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828)

This blog has benefited enormously from the information available from the following websites:

Mike Nevell, Salford University: https://archaeologyuos.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/hannah-lees-of-the-park-bridge-ironworks/ accessed 09/07/2018

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Samuel_Mills accessed 09/07/2018

http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/articles/Darlaston/NotablePeople.htm accessed 09/07/2018

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

 

 

 

Description of Lichfield from the Universal British Directory

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

Lichfield is a pretty large town, one hundred and seventeen miles from London.

This city is uninfluenced in the election of its members of parliament.

The city has power of life and death within their jurisdiction, a court of record, and a picpowder court. Here is a gaol for both debtors and felons, a free school, and a pretty large well-endowed hospital, for a master and twelve brethren. The county of the city is ten or twelve miles in compass, which the sheriff rides yearly on the 8th of September, and then feasts the corporation and the neighbouring gentry.

The cathedral, which stands in the Close, was originally built about 300. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 766. In 1148 it was rebuilt, and greatly enlarged in 1296. In the Civil Wars it was several times taken. When the civil war broke out the nobility and gentry garrisoned the close and defended it against parliament.

Here are three other churches, one of which St Michael’s, has a churchyard of six or seven acres. In the neighbourhood are frequent horse races.

A bill is now about passing for a canal from Wyrley canal to Lichfield, to join the Coventry canal at Huddlesford. A considerable manufactory of horse-sheetings is carried on here by Mr John Hartwell.

The late Dr Samuel Johnson was born in this city, 1709. His father Michael was a bookseller. He more than once held the office of chief magistrate. When arrived at a proper age for grammatical instruction Samuel was placed in the free school of Lichfield. Mr Garrick, so famous for his talents in the dramatic line, received the first rudiments of his education at the same free school.

Markets here are on Tuesday and Friday.

The principal inns are the George kept by Mr Burton; Swan kept by Mr Luke Ward; and Talbot, kept by Mr Jackson for gentlemen travelling on horseback.

Bankers: Catharine Barker and Son, and Francis Cobb.

Seats in the neighbourhood are Elford Hall, the seat of Lady Ann Andover; Fisherwick Hall, the seat of the Marquis of Donegal; Packington, the seat of Thomas Levett; and Freeford, the seat of Richard Dyott.

Source

Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 3 (London: c.1794)

Frederick Morton Eden on Lichfield in 1795

The following is an edited version of the entry in the second volume of Eden’s State of the Poor.

Lichfield contains three parishes, viz. St Mary’s, St Chad’s and St Michael’s: the first has most houses and inhabitants, but no land; the other two have few houses but a considerable quantity of land.

In 1782 the number of houses in Lichfield was 722, and of inhabitants about 3,555; it is supposed, that, since that period, the population has considerably increased.

In the whole city 408 houses pay the window tax; the number exempted could not be ascertained.

The prices of provisions are: beef and mutton, 5d the lb; veal, 4½d; bacon, 9½d and 10d the lb; milk ¾ of a quart for 1d; butter 1d the lb; potatoes, 4d the bushel; bread flour, 5d the stone; coals, 6d the cwt.

Farms are generally small: the principle articles of cultivation are, wheat, barley, oats, turnips and clover.

The poor are maintained in their own houses: about 23 pensioners, at present, receive £2.17s.6d a week; six of these are bastards: several house rents are paid, and casual reliefs are given to many of the necessitous.

St Mary’s and St Chad’s each have a workhouse. In St Mary’s workhouse there are, at present, 41 Paupers; they manufacture a little blanketing for the use of the house. The bill of fare till very lately included puddings and bread and cheese dinners about 3 days a week. On account of the scarcity of bread and flour the following diet is used: Breakfast—every day, milk pottage. Dinner — Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, meat and vegetables; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, broth and cold meat; Saturday, bread and cheese. Supper—every day, bread and cheese.

It is necessary to observe, that a great part of the other parishes bury at St Michael’s [see separate entry on Thomas Clerk], and children at their own churches: it is owing to this circumstance that burials greatly exceed births [at St Michael’s].

In 2 or 3 small parishes in this neighbourhood, which consist of large farms, there are very few Poor: the farmers, in order to prevent the introduction of Poor from other Parishes, hire their servants for 51 weeks only. I conceive, however, that this practice would be considered by a court of justice, as fraudulent, a mere evasion in the matter, and that a servant thus hired, if he remained the 52 week with his master, on a fresh contract, would acquire a settlement in the parish. August 1795

Source

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

Thomas Earp the elder (1766–1831) and Thomas Earp the younger (c.1799–1864) Cheesefactors and Brewers, Uttoxeter

Cheesefactor and brewer Thomas Earp the elder married Mary Cockayne. They had a number of children including: Thomas (born in Derby, c.1799), Sarah (bap. 9 November 1800), Mary (bap. 3 November 1802), John (bap. 24 August 1809), Maria (bap. 17 October 1813), and Jane.

Parson’s and Bradshaw’s 1818 directory lists Earp and Lassetter as cheese factors with a business in High Street, and Thomas Earp as an ale and porter brewer, cheese factor and spirit merchant, also in High Street.

Upon Thomas the elder’s death in 1831, his probated estate amounted to £200. As the sole beneficiary and executor of his late-father’s estate, he was tasked with making appropriate provision for his mother and his siblings. In 1833 Thomas the younger was involved with a property transaction involving the Croft of the White Hart, Uttoxeter, with Michael Clewley (see separate biography).

On 21 November 1825 at Uttoxeter, Wesleyan Methodist Thomas the younger married Sarah Jane Salt (1804–1856) who was born in Liverpool. They had a large family: Thomas (b.1828), Jane (b.1830), Ann (b.1832), Mary (b.1834), Sarah (b.1836), Edwin (b.1839), William (b.1841), Maria (b.1843), Henry (b.1847), Charles  (b.1848), and Eliza (b.1849). For much of their married life Thomas, Sarah Jane and their family lived in High Street.

At the time of the 1851 Census Thomas employed eight men. Thomas and Sarah Jane were living with children Jane, Ann (a teacher), Mary, Sarah, Maria and Henry (the last three described as scholars at home), Charles and Eliza.

By 1861 Thomas Earp, now a widower, and his family had moved to Burton-upon-Trent. He is listed simply as an ‘agent’ with an address in Horninglow Street in White’s 1857 directory. The family unit now comprised Thomas, and his children Jane, Mary, Maria, Sarah and Eliza, his niece Louisa Ann (aged 13) and his nephew John B. Earp (aged six). Mary, Maria, and Sarah were all governesses, and although his niece Louisa had been born in Uttoxeter, his nephew John had been born in America. Also in the household were Mary A. Eddes (17), a teacher born in St Pancras, London, and Ann Calvert (31), a servant born in Uttoxeter. Louisa’s and John’s parents John, a brewer and Emma Brindley had married on 28 July 1846 at St Peter’s, Fleetwood, Lancashire.

Both Thomas Earps supplied the overseers of Uttoxeter with cheese, but not on a regular basis. This was probably because the workhouse was also in receipt of substantial amounts of milk from the likes of George Hartshorn, suggesting that the workhouse was also engaged in producing cheese.

In the late-1820s Thomas [the younger?] and Edward Saunders established the Uttoxeter Brewery Company. Thomas’ business was sufficiently prosperous for him to be able to invest in railways and to be a member of the Provisional Committees for the Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield and South Staffordshire, or Leeds, Wolverhampton and Dudley Direct Railway and the Tean and Dove Valley and Eastern and Western Junction Railway.

In May 1854 Thomas’ and Sarah Jane’s daughter Ann married George Jones. At some point they emigrated to Mossel Bay, South Africa. They had three children: Charles Earp Jones, Sarah Jane Jones, and George Alliebrooke Jones. George Jones died 23 May 1890, and his widow Ann on 27 November 1896 aged 62.

Sources

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

Census 1841 HO107/1007/14

Census 1851 HO107/2010

Census 1861 R.G.9/1965

England and Wales Civil Registration Marriage Index 1837–1915

Herapath’s Railway Journal, 28 June 1845

http://www.lan.-opc.org.uk/Fleetwood/stpeter/marriages_1842-1874.html

Lichfield Record Office, BC11 Will of Thomas Earp, 26 October 1831

Parson, W. and Bradshaw, T., Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: 1818)

Poll Books and Electoral Registers 1538–1893

Francis Redfern History and Antiquities of the town and neighbourhood of Uttoxeter

RG4/2701 England and Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567–1970

SRO, D3891/6/36/8/11a–d, Uttoxeter Poor Law Vouchers, George Hartshorn, 31 July 1830

SRO, D3891/6/37/2/7, Uttoxeter Poor Law Vouchers, Thomas Earp, 26 Mar 1831

SRO, D3891/6/37/4/3, Uttoxeter Poor Law Vouchers, Thomas Earp, 23 July 1831

SRO, D4452/1/15/2/14 abstract of title of Thomas Earp to the White Hart Croft Uttoxeter 1833

SRO, D4452/1/15/2/15 Lease and release of part of White Hart Croft Uttoxeter 1833

White, William, History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Staffordshire and of the City of Lichfield (Sheffield: 1834)

White, Francis, History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derbyshire with the Town of Burton-upon-Trent (Sheffield: 1857)

www.southafricansettlers.com/?cat=9&paged=479

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