My Family History

Trace your ancestors and then immortalise them!

                         THE CHADDOCKS AND THE LOWNDES

Elizabeth Lowndes  1802-1882


Elizabeth Lowndes, mother of Thomas Chaddock-Lowndes, was a remarkable woman by any standards. Born on the 12th of January, 1802 in Manchester, and baptized on February 21 of that year, she was the third of eight children born to William and Elizabeth Lowndes (see their own section). She spent the early years of her life in Manchester, and her teen years at Ramsdell Hall, at a time when its lawns extended across the Cheshire Plain. It’s hard to imagine there being no canal, one of the most striking features of the landscape, but that’s how it was in William of Ramsdell’s days.


Elizabeth saw most of her siblings married before she met William Chaddock, a wine merchant from Congleton. They were married at Astbury Church on June 21st, 1832 ... the first day of summer! She was now thirty and the kind of daughter that made a father proud. A decade later, he would show the extent of his affection. Sadly, Elizabeth's mother died just before she married William. Meanwhile, she and William had a son named after her husband’s father, Thomas, in 1833, a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1835, and a son,William in 1836. A perfect start to married life. However 1837 brought two tragedies with the loss of  both Thomas and Elizabeth.


 The birth of Isabella, the following year, brought some comfort. The choice of name is poignant because Elizabeth’s youngest sister Isabella had died at the age of only twenty-eight in 1835. It had been quite a decade for her. In 1840, they named their newborn son, Thomas, and it was he who was to play such an important part in the reclaiming of Ramsdell Hall. Daughters Sarah Hope and Lucy Elizabeth followed in 1842 and 1844 respectively. In between, Frances Elizabeth Chaddock was born on My 3rd 1843, but she died six days later. Poor Elizabeth had lost three children in their infancy.


1844 was a momentous year in Elizabeth’s life. It had seen the birth of her last child Lucy and the death of her father, William of Ramsdell. It was expected that the family estates and fortunes would pass on to his eldest son, John Hope Lowndes but the reading of the will was to shake the family to its roots.

"And whereas my son John Hope Lowndes ... has been a very great expense to me, I therefore leave to my said son John Hope Lowndes ... the sum of fifteen shillings a week for his life only” So he had dis-inherited his eldest son and neither Mary,his eldest daughter nor James,his other son were to be the new beneficeries either. Instead Elizabeth inherited “the mansion houses, the messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments, and the income therefrom”. There were conditions, however which William laid out clearly.

"And further it is my will and mind, and I hereby direct that the person who shall be so entitled to my said estates as last aforesaid, not previously having the Surname and Arms hereinafter required to be used, and also the husband of any female who shall so become entitled, forthwill shall take and use the Surname of 'Lowndes' alone, or in addition to his or her own name, but so nevertheess that the name of 'Lowndes' shall be the last, or principal name, and also to assume, use and wear my Arms, and thence-forth from time to time to assume, use and wear such Surname and Arms accordingly".  See the section on Thomas Chaddock-Lowndes for explanation of how the name, decreed by William, was eventually adhered to. Elizabeth and William Chaddock, as far as I know, did not change their names, or those of their children……which is interesting.      


Whether Elizabeth or the rest of the family were the most shocked is hard to say. Clearly her father had seen in her the qualities that others would also admire in the coming years. When his wife had died in 1831, William had most likely looked to Elizabeth for support, as the eldest of his children still living with him. She was probably a rock for him then and the following year when his brother John died. He would remember that a decade later. Elizabeth’s strength in overcoming her own family losses in 1837 wouldn’t have gone unnoticed either.


She was to be further tested within a few years because her husband William died while still in his 40s. The census of 1851 is one of the most revealing documents that a family historian could ever wish to open and a poignant one. It shows Elizabeth, recently widowed, living with William’s father, Thomas in 87, West Street, Church Hulme, Congleton. Thomas is also widowed, and Elizabeth is recorded as his daughter rather than daughter-in-law. Rather poignant. Her daughters Hope and Lucy are with her. Her niece, Susannah Bury, twenty-six, is visiting from Manchester.William, Thomas and Isabella are away at boarding school.

Her father-in-law, Thomas, now eighty, had outlived his son by over thirty years. He died in 1855. What prompted Elizabeth to make the move that she did to St Leonards on Sea and when exactly she went, is not certain. The Post Office directory of 1857, lists her as a major landowner in Odd Rode, living at Old House Green. Therefore she had moved on from Congleton. Her eldest son William had married Patience Addison in 1854. So it can be surmised that she eventually vacated the ancestral home in order for William and his wife to take up residence there. What we do know is that by the 1861 census, she and her daughters are established at St Leonards. Thomas has remained  in Congleton, training to be a solicitor while William has died suddenly in 1860, leaving his widow Patience but no children. She herself died seven years later in York but no other details are known of her.


Elizabeth had now lost four of her eight children. Her remaining three daughters remained unmarried, and it was only Thomas who would marry and have children. To have been one of eight children and then to have had eight children herself, must have made this all seem rather strange. At least she had the consolation of living long enough to meet two grandchildren. Rosalind and Tommy, consequently, must have been very special to her. Ironically, both these grandchildren died without issue.


By the time of the 1871 census, Elizabeth had moved back to Old House Green. How long she spent in St Leonard’s I don’t know but she may well have returned to Cheshire in the early 60s soon after her son’s death. She was now approaching seventy but there were still some special moments to come in her eventful life. Thomas had met and married Emilie Horner in 1871. Thomas and his new family did move down to Hastings which meant that she didn’t see her grandchildren as often as she might. Hope and Isabella continued to live with her in an all female household while Lucy had moved away to become a hospital superintendant a few years earlier. At the grand old age of eighty, Elizabeth died and her children honoured her with a memorial plaque under the west window of the south aisle of Astbury Church the following year.


“To the firm memory of their Grandfather and Grandmother, William and Elizabeth Lowndes of Ramsdell Hall and Old House Green in this parish; also to the memory of numerous relatives who are interred in this Churchyard, and to the beloved memory of their Father and Mother, this brass is placed by Thomas Chaddock-Lowndes, Isabella Sarah Hope and Lucy Elizabeth Chaddock, October 1883."


The window itself depicts some beautiful scenes in stained glass and is also in memory of Elizabeth.

She had known most things in her life but had come through them all. The Lowndes family fortunes had been passed on to her by an admiring father, and she in turn passed them on to her son Thomas whose family would eventually lose them in the 1920s. Her daughters Sarah Hope and Lucy Elizabeth would also reach their 80th years.
      The 1871 Census showing Elizabeth living at Old House Green while the Williamsons lived at Ramsdell Hall
                                                              William Chaddock 1802-1850

As the husband of Elizabeth and father of Thomas Chaddock-Lowndes, William is an important ancestor in our Family Tree. He was born in Congleton in 1801 and baptised on the 12th August. His father, Thomas, was a wine merchant in Congleton, and his mother was called Sarah. Thomas was born in 1770 and christened on June 5th at Saint Peter's Church, Congleton. He was the son of Thomas and Margaret Chaddock. He had a younger brother, William, born in 1773, and a younger sister, Sarah, born in 1772. He also had an older sister called Elizabeth.


William worked in the family wine business. He married Elizabeth Lowndes on June 21st 1832, and they settled in Congleton. He and Elizabeth had eight children but the first two died in their infancy. William died when he was just forty-eight, and was buried in Congleton on February the 19th 1850. His father, Thomas, outlived him by five years, dying in 1855 and was buried on April the 9th in Congleton.

                     THE CHILDREN OF ELIZABETH AND WILLIAM CHADDOCK      

                                                     Thomas Edward Chaddock  1833-37

He was their first-born, on November 29th 1833, and christened on Dec 13th. He was named after William’s father. Thomas was not a name previously used in the Lowndes Family. Curiously, another Thomas was christened on January 23rd 1835 with parents still given as William and Elizabeth. Both christenings were at Astbury. Were there two Thomases, with the first one dying? If so, it makes the death of their second Thomas even more tragic. Despite Thomas’ short life, his parents still named their third son Thomas (see his own section) Third time lucky.

                                                      Elizabeth Hope Chaddock 1835-37

Elizabeth was very much a Lowndes name. She was born on November 18th, 1835 and christened on January 29th, 1836. She died on the 9th of March, 1837, and with Thomas dying the same year, one wonders if it was an accident involving them both.

                                                            William Chaddock 1836-60

Christened on August 1st, 1836, he was another of the family’s mysteries. The civil registration of births, marriages and deaths only started in 1837, the year after William’s birth. Censuses plus church records are our guides to those born before 1837. The only source of information on him, prior to the recent release of The Cheshire Bishops' Transcripts, were the details given on his tombstone at Astbury Church:


"Sacred to the memory of William Chaddock of Old House Green and Ramsdell Hall in this parish who died 24/10/1860 aged 24 years and of Patience his wife who died 28/10/1867 aged 32.They died without issue."


Until I found this tombstone in 2002, I didn't know of William's existence! Now we have two census records to add to the picture. The 1841 Census shows William living in Congleton with his parents and paternal grandfather. The 1851 Census, shows William at George Frost's Boarding School in Kensington, London, one of 16 boys, and 6 living-in servants.  More recent discoveries have resulted in us finally knowing details of his wife Patience and their marriage. They were married at St George Hanover Square Parish Church in Westminster, see below, on 31 Aug 1854. William had only just turned eighteen, and was recorded as a minor. He was living in Duke Street, and Patience in Regent Street. Patience's mother was a witness. William and Patience's fathers had both died recently, and they both had a mother called Elizabeth. 


To the left is St George Hanover Square Parish Church as it looked in 1829. To the right is a fashionable wedding taking place there in 1841. With both William and Patience living close by, this was an ideal place to be married, and a rather grand one at that.

Patience Addison was born or christened on April 23, 1833 in Davygate, York. She was the daughter of James Addison and Elizabeth Fawdington who had married on January 6, 1824 at York. James was a plumber and glazier, born in 1791 in Catterick, the son of James Addison and Elizabeth Alderson. Elizabeth Fawdington was born in the village of Alne in 1800, daughter of  Thomas Fawdington and Mary Moon. Patience had four brothers: James, Thomas, Daniel, and Albert, and three sisters: Mary, Sarah and Jane. She was the fifth born of the family. The 1841 census at Davygate recorded her name as Patrina, but by the 1851 census at 6, Great Blake Street, York she was known as Patience. Her father died in 1852, and her mother in 1884.

 

The following document suggests that their marriage lasted less than 5 years. The National Archives: Divorce Court File: C43. Appellant: Patience Chaddock. Respondent: William Chaddock. Type: Wife's petition [wx]. Date: 1859.

William died the following year on October 24th 1860, aged just twenty-four. As the eldest Chaddock, he would have inherited the family fortunes, including the ancestral home at Old House Green. This is probably where he died, and may have been his marital home. Ramsdell Hall, which appears on his gravestone, had been rented out to the Williamsons (see their own section) By this time, his mother, Elizabeth, had taken her family to live at Hastings. Patience died on October 28, 1867 in York, aged thirty-four.  A very poignant chapter in our family history.

                                                               Thomas Chaddock  1840 - 1912


                           See under Thomas Chaddock-Lowndes on the Chaddock-Lowndes page

                                                        Isabella Sarah Chaddock  1837-1894

Isabella Sarah Chaddock was Elizabeth’s 4th child, born on September 13, 1837 in Congleton, and christened on September 22. This was the year of Victoria’s accession to the throne. With her elder siblings dying young, including 24-year-old William, Isabella was in effect, the eldest surviving child of Elizabeth and William. Like the rest of her siblings, she was sent to boarding school at an early age. In her case, it was Elenor Wilson's school in Bridge Street, Macclesfield. She was just twelve when her father died and spent her early 20s living at St Leonard’s on Sea with her mother and sisters.


Eventually, the family moved back to Cheshire, and she lived with Elizabeth at Old House Green. She lived most of her life in an all-female household and never married. Her movements after 1882 when her mother died are uncertain but at some time she moved to London because her death is recorded in Hampstead in 1894 as Isabella Chaddock. Which brings us to the mysterious 1891 census which shows an Isabella S Loundes visiting a Jane Woodward in Hastings. This has to be our Isabella slightly incognito - certainly not born in London, though using the name Loundes as did her brother Thomas for the same census at Ramsdell Hall. It is likely that she and her sister Sarah Hope lived together in London until her passing. Some Chaddocks becoming Lowndes, taking their mother Elizabeth's maiden name. But Sarah remained a Chaddock, and didn't attend the laying of the memorial plaque at Astbury for her mother. Isabella did attend, but her surname wasn't recorded on the plaque. Interesting.

                                                      Sarah Hope Chaddock  1842-1923

Sarah Hope Chaddock at first remained somewhat of a mystery too. I had yet to find a record of her birth, and until I gained access to the 19th century censuses, I didn’t know of her existence. Consequently she missed my first family tree in 2002. She was born in 1842, the sixth of Elizabeth’s seven children and lived with her mother until her death in 1882. She was known by her middle name Hope (her grandmother’s maiden name) for the first 30 years of her life and thereafter as Sarah Hope.


She was just eight when her father died and one wonders how his premature death affected his three daughters who remained single and stayed with their mother for most of their lives. Even the details of her schooling are a mystery, but she probably went to boarding school in the 1850s. She wasn't present when her three siblings laid their memorial plaque to Elizabeth in 1883 which is surprising, given that she had lived all her life with Elizabeth. Had there been some sort of a family problem? Thomas wanted to move to Ramsdell Hall after it had been leased for over fifty years to the Williamsons. There had been a court battle in order to achieve this and so one would expect relations between the two families to be strained. Yet the 1891 census shows Sarah Hope staying with the Williamsons at their new abode. This suggests that she is loyal to her friends but at the same time, one wonders how good the relations were between herself and Thomas. Pure speculation of course.


Sarah was now approaching fifty, and like Isabella and Lucy, had remained single. Suddenly in the spring of 1896, she married Capel Wilson Hogg in Paddington, London. Capel was from Buglawton, a mile north of Congleton, and very much a man of means. He was a silk manufacturer, employing over two hundred people, and a JP too. Born on April 29 1841, he was therefore just a year older than Sarah, and they would have known each other for some time before their marriage.


   Buglawton School celebrating a Royal visit in 1911

                                 Buglawton Hall

Capel was the 7th of 8 children born to Henry and Charlotte Hogg. Henry, born on 7 Aug 1787, came from Gloucestershire and married Charlotte Coppinge, born1 June 1822, in Nantwich in Liverpool on November 21st 1831. Capel married nineteen-year-old Harriette Robinson of Mow Cop in the summer of 1867, and they had six sons and four daughters.  Harriet's father was the Rev J T Robinson. The 1881 census tells us that there are seven servants in Capel's  household and that Harriette's brother, William, is a bank manager.


However, Harriette died in the summer of 1894, leaving Capel a widower with ten children. Sarah's sister Isabella had also died that year in London. Sarah was taking on alot when she moved with Capel to his home, Davenshaw House in Buglawton, and Capel had someone to help him bring up his large family. What a change in circumstances and lifestyle it must have been for Sarah with some of Capel's children still in their teens. They had been together thirteen years when on the 9th of September 1909, Capel passed away at the age of sixty-eight.
The 1911 census showed her living alone in Congleton, except for a cook and a housemaid. Sarah died in 1923 at 23, Moody Street, Congleton, aged eighty. After being a spinster for most of her life, she had finally experienced what being a mother was, and ten 'adopted' children would have educated her well! A daughter for 50 years, a wife for 13 years and a widow for 14 years. Sarah never had a daughter of her own, but in her 80 years, she experienced more sides of life than most do. I would love to have met my Great Grand Aunt!!

                                               Frances Elizabeth Chaddock  1843 -1843

She was born on May 3rd and named after Elizabeth's youngest sister. Sadly, Frances lived for only six days and was buried at Astbury Church on May 11th. Bless you Frances.

                                                  Lucy  Elizabeth  Chaddock   1844-1924

Lucy Elizabeth Chaddock was born on May 21st 1844 in Congleton, and christened on December 6th. She was just five years old when her father died, and along with the rest of her family, lived with her grandfather, Thomas Chaddock, until he died in 1855. The loss of two father figures in her life, so close together, must have been traumatic to a girl just 10 years old. She followed her elder sister Isabella to Elenor Wilson's boarding school, during which time her eldest brother William died in 1860. It seemed that men in the family didn’t live as long as they might! It is hardly surprising, then, that like her sisters, she never married but continued to live with her mother.


She moved to Andover in the late 1870s, working as a hospital superintendant at the cottage hospital. There is no record of her in the 1891 census, by which time her sisters have moved to London, and Thomas to Ramsdell Hall. Perhaps she was away somewhere, taking her orders because by the time of the 1901 census, she was a sister of mercy living at 46,West Street,Congleton. She was still there at the time of the 1911 census. She died in 1924, just before her eightieth birthday, and a year after her sister, Sarah Hope.

                                                                      THE LOWNDES

One source gives Lowndes as being derived from the medieval personal name "Lovin". This derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "Leofhun". "Leof" meaning "dear beloved", and "hun", meaning "bear cub". Another gives it as a habitation name from the city of Louvain in Belgium. Lound,Lounde,Loundes are variants with the ‘s’ signifying ‘son of’. Our Lowndes here are traced back,  unbroken,to 1466. Pretty amazing and way beyond any other family in the tree. It is believed they originally came over with the Normans, and that William Seigneur de Lounde was given land by the king in 1066.

          William Lowndes  1772-1844  and Elizabeth Hope 1774-1831

William Lowndes was born in 1772, and christened on March 22nd, the second son of Edward and Mary Lowndes. It was he who came to be known as William of Ramsdell, although he was 43 years old by the time he bought the Hall and took up residence there. He and Elizabeth then raised their family of eight children in the spaceous surroundings of the Hall with its parkland, woodlands and large ponds. Unlike his grandson Thomas’ Victorian/Edwardian incumbency, there was no canal or station in William’s days. It must have been very different during that Georgian Period and of course,William’s family was twice the size. His wife's family came from Liverpool.


William had married Elizabeth Hope in Liverpool at St Paul's, Liverpool on July 10, 1796. Elizabeth Hope was born on the 6th of February 1774 in Liverpool and baptised at St Paul’s. Her father was John Hope born in 1744, and her mother was Elizabeth Walker. She was their second child following their marriage on June 8, 1772. Her elder brother John having been born in 1773. She had a sister, Sarah, born on October 8, 1775 and a brother, Samuel, born on November 6, 1781.


The name Hope is synonymous with Liverpool with the famous Hope Street named after a William Hope. In 2014, Hope Street won an award as Best Street in the UK. John Hope was the son of John Hope, born 1707 and Ellen Burgess, born 1706, who had married on February 14th 1732. John had two brothers, Peter and Samuel, and three sisters, Ellen, Hannah and Betty. Samuel's daughter, Mary, married John Hewitt in 1799, and it was their daughter, Mary, who married James Hugh Lowndes in due course. Their son, John, married James Hugh's sister Sarah Hope Lowndes. So cousins Mary Hope/Hewitt and Elizabeth Hope/Lowndes kept it in the family.


Returning to John Hope and Ellen Burgess. John was the son of Peter Hope and Hannah Kirkman who married on September 8th, 1706, and the grandson of John De Hope. Ellen was the daughter of Edmund Burgess and Mary Jackson who married July 21, 1700. John died in 1776. So William Lowndes' wife, Elizabeth Hope, comes from a family well-documented.


Elizabeth and William’s first two children, Mary and John, were born in Manchester, as was their fourth, Elizabeth. There is a known family connection with Everton Hill in Liverpool too. They lived in the Liverpool/Manchester area for a few years before taking up residence at Ramsdell Hall. Their third child, Ellen, was born in Cheshire in 1800, but the next 3 children were all christened in Manchester.  James, though christened in Manchester was born in Astbury in 1807.Frances and Isabella were also born in Cheshire in 1809 and 1812 respectively.


As the owner of substancial property in the area, including several farms, it was natural therefore that William was a much respected figure in the local community. He twice became Mayor of Congleton, in 1828-29 and again in 1830-31. He was very much a member of the privileged landed gentry with his children enjoying the advantages of growing up in such an environment. The daughters could expect sizeable dowries, and John Hope Lowndes, as the eldest son, could expect to inherit the lands in due course.


Mary was the first to leave in 1818 with her marriage to James Bury. Ellen Susannah left three years later, with her marriage to Thomas Bury. William didn’t approve of either marriage. Mary was married in Everton, Liverpool while Ellen was married at St Mary’s, Astbury. Perhaps he disapproved of Mary’s marriage more! John Hope Lowndes married Eliza Flemyng in Liverpool in 1826, and Sarah married John Hewitt during that period. As the 1830s dawned, half of the children had flown the nest and those remaining were ready to make their own way in the world.

1831 was a year William would never forget. His second term as Mayor had come to an end. The rural tranquility he had enjoyed for three decades ended with the opening of the Macclesfield Canal on November the 9th which passed by the sweeping lawns of Ramsdell Hall. One wonders what he made of that, or what he would have made of Mow Cop Station opening in 1848, four years after his death. He and his family would have watched the canal being built in the 1820s, and as Mayor of Congleton he would have been involved in the final stages of the canal’s development. Exciting times !!


Whatever his feelings about suddenly having a canal on his doostep, it all paled into significance with the death of his wife, Elizabeth, on the 22nd of September 1831,aged only fifty-seven. Things didn’t get any better for William,with the passing of his elder brother, John, in the May of the following year, aged sixty-two. He still had some of his children living with him who were no doubt a great comfort to him, particularly Elizabeth who was now thirty. William, himself, had just turned sixty, an age when one reassesses one’s life. He clearly felt that he needed a change and what better than to move to his family’s ancestral home at Old House Green, now vacated by the death of  John Lowndes. His children were either married or about to be. Elizabeth would marry that same year with Frances, Isabella and James following suit by 1835.


Exactly when William made the short move to Old House Green is not certain. It may have been in 1832, or it may have been when the last of his children were married. Either way, he didn’t entrust Ramsdell Hall to any of them. Or none of them were yet ready to take up the option. For whatever reason, he decided to lease the Hall to the Williamsons who owned mines in the area. He could never have imagined that it would be over fifty years before another Lowndes would occupy the Hall, and that none of his children would live there again. Instead, it would be his grandson, Thomas, who would become only the 2nd (and last) Lowndes in 160 years, to bring up a family at the Hall.


The 1830s were to bring further losses for William. He lost his youngest child, Isabella, recently married, at the age of twenty three in 1835. Two years later, his grandson Thomas Chaddock, aged 3 and granddaughter Elizabeth Chaddock, aged one both died. This time it was his turn to comfort Elizabeth, who herself must have thought that fate had been more than a little unkind in recent years. William was to do more than just console his daughter because less than a month after these deaths, he made a will, in her favour, which was to shake the family to its very roots (see under Elizabeth) No-one could have anticipated what he had in mind as he lived out the last few years of his life at Old House Green.


He now had lots of grandchildren in his life, though some from marriages he hadn’t approved of. It was these disapprovals which were to cause his Will of 1837 to disinherit his eldest son John and to overlook his two eldest daughters, Mary and Ellen Susannah. The latter (presumably widowed) and her daughter were with him at the time of the 1841 census but like Mary, she had earned his displeasure over her choice of husband. This left Elizabeth to inherit his estates and fortune. See her section for details of the Will. In the august of 1844, William passed away, leaving his family surprised and shocked by his actions and decisions.


Although he was forever known as William of Ramsdell, the irony was that it was his decision to lease the Hall that meant his descendants had to wait half a century before they could live there again.

                                                                   THE  WILLIAMSONS

Turnhurst Hall - home of James and Ann Brindley
Longport Hall - built for Robert Williamson in the 1770s

Before turning our attention to the children of William Lowndes, a family is included here who are not part of our family tree but are who are relevant to Ramsdell Hall’s history and Ramsdell's own family tree. The Williamsons ... who leased the Hall from William Lowndes, and then from his daughter, Elizabeth ... they also have a story to be told. We start with the Williamson who took out this lease.


Robert Williamson was born in 1780, and christened on September 10 in Burslem, one of the 5 towns in Stoke-on-Trent. He was one of 14 children born to Robert Williamson and Ann Henshall. They were as follows: Hugh Henshall 1775, James 1776, Jane  1776, Mary, 1778–1860, John  1778, John Henshall 1779–1787, Robert 1780–1869, Joseph 1780, Elizabeth 1782, Esther 1782, Ann 1784, Catherine  1785, Henry 1786, and John Henshall 1787. Robert's father had married Ann Brindley (formerly Henshall) a widow for 3 years, on 30 Dec 1775 at Wolstanton Parish Church. Ann, born in 1746, already knew Robert because he had worked for her late husband as an engineer. I had initially found Robert rather elusive, and their marriage licence record was helpful in confirming that Robert was living in Staffordshire at the time, not Liverpool, where he may have been born, and that he was an engineer. Finding his burial record - Newchapel, Staffs on 5 Oct, 1799, aged 49 - confirmed his birth year as 1750.


Ann's previous marriage, on 8 Dec 1765, had been to James Brindley, one of the most notable engineers of the 18th century. He had helped design the Bridgewater Canal, and also the Harecastle Tunnel and many other waterways. Ann was was 30 years younger than James but she was advanced beyond her 19 years. She was born in 1746, the only daughter of John Henshall, born 1706, a land surveyor from Newchapel, and Ann Cartwright, born 1710. They had married in 1730. Ann had one brother, Hugh, 12 years her senior, who had studied under James Brindley, and become an expert on canal engineering. Ann and James moved into Turnhurst Hall, Newchapel, which was well situated for Brindley to reach his workshops at Burslem and other places. Ann took over most of the writing that he had to do. They had 2 daughters, Ann and Susannah. Sadly, James died on 25 Sep 1772, aged 56.


After his marriage to Ann, Robert Williamson became one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the area forming partnerships with both the Clowes and the Henshalls. These wealthy landowners and industrialists dominated North Staffordshire at the time, being involved involved in coal mining and canal engineering as well as Pottery Manufacturing. Robert had erected one of the earliest manufactories at Longport after John Brindley had erected the first about 1773. William Clowes and Co. was one of the leading producers of  Staffordshire Ware, dealing in China, Glass, and Earthenware.


Following the company's dissolution in November 1780, various partnerships of Clowes, Henshall, and Williamson came into being. When William Clowes died in 1782 his son, William, took over his affairs, and it is thought that Robert Williamson and Hugh Henshall became part of the Company. In 1792 Hugh Henshall, Robert Williamson, and William Clowes insured their Longport pottery for £1500, and they continued as Henshall, Williamson, & Clowes. However, in 1799, Robert Williamson died leaving his share of the business to his wife, who had astute business acumen. In January, 1800, she insured a potworks, stock, utensils etc. and a house for a total of £1200.  The same year, the partnership with Wm Clowes was dissolved, and the Henshalls and the Williamsons continued to work together.


In 1802, there were five potteries in Longport – one was listed as Henshall, Williamson & Co. and another was listed as Williamson & Henshall, later changed to Henshall & Williamson. Interesting that the Williamson here is Ann, making it a brother and sister collaboration. Their sister Jane was married to William Clowes. Robert and Anne Williamson's eldest son, Hugh Henshall Williamson, married Anne Clowes on 01/03/1814 at Wolstanton to further cement the alliance of these families. By now, another of Robert and Anne's sons, Robert, was making his mark and working with his brother Hugh.


Robert (with whom we started this section) was now following in his father's footsteps, and indeed his mother's. In 1816, Hugh Henshall died, and Ann died in 1826, aged 80. The earthenware manufacturing partnership between Hugh Henshall Williamson and Robert Williamson ended on December 30, 1830. Both had other interests to pursue in the area – Coal and Iron in particular. Davenport & Co. bought the pottery works, and then Henry Davenport bought Longport Hall from Robert and Ann's son Robert. Henry developed the Hall substantially.

   Harecastle Tunnel  1785 - designed by James Brindley          Clough Hall - Home of the Kinnersleys since 1809

Robert married 23 year old Ann Kinnersley on the 31st  of August 1809 in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Ann was the 4th child of Thomas Kinnersley of Ashley (1751–1819) who had married Mary Shepherd of Sheffield (1757–1825 on 08 Aug 1778) Thomas, son of William Kinnersley and Mary Forde, had grown up with just William his brother – his sister Mary having died aged 5. Thomas and Mary Shepherd duly had 12 children: Mary 1780–1823, William Shepherd, 1780–1823, Thomas 1782–1855, Ann 1786–1842, Edward Shepherd 1788, Jane 1793–1849,  Sarah 1795, Catherine 1795, Elizabeth 1797, Harriet 1797, Frances 1801, and John Collour 1803. They lived at Clough Hall in Kidsgrove ( see above )


Ann Kinnersley had grown up in a large family like Robert, and their own family of seven was much smaller by comparison. Making sense of their years and places of birth is very difficult because the Williamsons have more contradictions than one usually finds in census returns. The family moved from Staffordshire to Lancashire at some point, and the Lancashire-born children seem to be missing from Christening Records. For birth years, Church Christening records are the most reliable ones of all, even though christenings may be several years after the birth year. Census returns, Death Registration indexes, and even Burial Date Ages are open to the integrity and memory of the informant. So, let's try to make sense of the birth years and order of  births of Robert and Ann's seven children.


THE CHILDREN OF ROBERT AND ANN WILLIAMSON

Staffordshire Church Records have John, Thomas, and Mary all baptised on 03 Mar 1814 at St James Church in Audley, Staffordshire. Not such an unusual occurence. Therefore these children were born before that date even if census returns and other records suggest otherwise!


John Henshall Williamson 1811-1883 is recorded as being 3yrs 1mth old at the time, making his birth c.Feb 1811. The 1851 census has him aged 34 (therefore born 1816 or 1817) and the 1871 census has him aged 57 (therefore born 1813 or 1814) Contradictions and I believe, misinformation. The church record is very precise, and therefore I do believe John's birth year is 1811, making him Robert and Ann's eldest child.

Thomas Hugh Williamson  1812 - 1863 Thomas' burial date - 5 Nov 1863 - gives his age as 51, making him born in 1812, unless he was born between 6 Nov and 31 Dec of 1811. The 1851 Census give him as Wolstanton-born, and the 1861 Census as Newcastle-born. Either way, Staffordshire-born. Thomas ages 13 years between these 2 censuses, but his 1861 age fits with his burial date age. Neither census or burial dates are reliable, but in the absence of a Christening Record, 1812 looks to be his birth year.

Mary Kinnersley Williamson: 1813 - 1868 Mary was christened on 31 Dec 1813, at Church Lawton, according to the Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts but born in Lancashire according to the 1851 census, and aged 28. Two complete contradictions, but one has to go with the Bishops, and take 1813 to be Mary's year of birth. Her burial on 14 March 1868 records her as being aged 48, and a spinster. England and Wales Death Registration Index likewise. This dates her birth year as 1820! However, I must stay with the Bishops Transcripts record, supported by the 1814 triple baptism record. Mary was born in 1813.

Robert Williamson 1815 - 1870s The Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts record him christened on 30 Sep 1815 at Church-Lawton, Cheshire. The 1851, 61, and 71 censuses all record him as being born later. However, all record him as Staffordshire-born with the 1871 Census specifying Clough Hall rather than just Woolstanton. He seems to have died between the 1871 and 1881 censuses. One must go with the Bishops for his birth year with his year of death yet to be determined.

Hugh William Williamson 1817 - 1899 No church records found for Hugh, but 6 Census records. Hugh's age and therefore year of birth varies from census to census – ranging from 1820 to 1826. The England and Wales Death Registration Index records him as being 82 at the time of his death in the 3rd quarter of 1899. This makes 1817 or 1816 his year of birth. Very different to his 6 censuses dates but not necessarily more reliable. His place of birth is Lancashire in 4 out of 5 censuses with Liverpool specified by the 1881 census. However in true Williamson style, the 1861 census throws us a curved ball when Edward and he are recorded as being born in Dalderby, Lincolnshire, and as late as 1826. Were it just Lincolnshire, one might assume Lancashire was mis-recorded ... but why Dalderby? Home of the legendary Teapot Hall. This may be true because it is so specific. 1817 makes the most sense to me.

Edward Williamson 1818 - 1898 The Death Registration Index records Edward as being 79 for his First quarter of 1898 entry, and the Cheshire Bishop's record his burial at Astbury on Feb 26 1898, aged 79. Therefore, if we believe the death informant, his birth year was 1818 or 1819 – the former being 83% more likely. Like, Hugh, much earlier than the census records suggest.

William Shepherd Williamson 1823 - 1887 His burial date - 15 Feb 1887 - gives his age as 63, making him born in 1824 or statistically more likely, 1823. Burial date ages are not totally reliable, but we do have a christening date: Saint Mary's, Edge-Hill, Lancashire, 14 Nov 1823. His 1851 census age has him born in 1824 or 1825. The 1861 has him born 1825 or 1826, and for the 1871 census 1827 or 1828. But his christening date must override these records. His place of birth is very consistent – Liverpool.


Robert and Ann's first 4 children's years of birth - as listed above - fit in with their 1809 marriage and the Church Records. They then moved to Liverpool, some time after Robert's christening on 30 Sep 1815. Hugh and Edward were the next children born, and William was the last child born. The censuses, for all their contradictions, consistently make Hugh older than Edward, and it is Hugh who is Head of House following Robert's death in 1869. Maybe the family did live in Dalderby before moving to Liverpool, where the youngest child, William, was born no later than 1823. If there was no Dalderby residence, they went straight to Liverpool about 1816. Sometime, in the 1820s, they returned to the Stoke area. During the 1830s, Robert decided that Ramsdell Hall was the place for his family.

             St James Church, Audley, Staffordshire                                                           Ramsdell Hall

Robert and his younger brother Hugh Henshall Williamson worked together as the Williamson Brothers and later formed the Stonetrough colliery company which was based in Kent Green. They had mining interests and other enterprises throughout North Staffordshire. In 1823, they acquired the lease for Astbury Limeworks and its interesting that Ann’s name was registered too, coming from a family of entrenepeurs herself. Hugh’s wife was also called Anne, thirteen years younger than Hugh.


In 1832 Robert acquired the lease for Stone Trough Colliery and Towerhill Farm, where he built the Towerhill Colliery and Welsh Row, a row of brick terraced houses to accommodate miners from Wales. Since 1809, the Williamsons had been involved with railway projects such as Hugh’s Falls Colliery one. In 1838, the Williamsons reached an agreement with The Macclesfield Canal Company and started work on the Stonetrough Colliery Railway which took six years to build. We know that Robert was now resident at Ramsdell Hall because of the Canal Company’s agent Edward Hall and his fascinating diary.

 

Edward says in his diary for February 2nd, that he “Dined at Mr Robert Williamson's, Ramsdell Hall, to meet Mr Watts”. A week earlier, he had met “Mr H H Williamson”. Mr Hall kept a regular watch over the railway, going to Hall Green “to examine Mr Robert Williamson's railway” on June the 4th 1841, then to check his railway tunnel a year later, then “With the Subcommittee to Mr Robert Williamson's” on April 26th 1842. Finally, on Boxing Day 1842, “To Ramsdell Hall. Opening of Mr Williamson's Railway”. He hadn’t quite finished there because on June the 11th 1843 “To the Locks, Hall Green etc. Slept at Mr Williamson's”.

 

Edward Hall certainly kept his eyes on Robert’s railway or perhaps, like me, he was just partial to Ramsdell Hall. William Lowndes still owned Ramsdell Hall and lived less than a mile away at Old House Green. I read somewhere on the web that Robert “eventually purchased Little Ramsdell Hall, a striking Georgian building overlooking the Macclesfield Canal”. I don’t know if William would have laughed or cried at this! Mow Cop Station itself was opened in 1848, so these were exciting times.

 

Sadly, one person, wasn’t able to witness the grand opening of the Robert’s railway. His wife, Ann died in 1842 at the age of fifty-five. It must have been a wonderful experience for her to be the mistress of Ramsdell Hall and its beautiful surroundings. Her family were to live there for half a century, but for Ann it was just a few short years, hardly time to fully express herself. The boys had now become men, and by the census of 1851, they are fully involved with their father and uncle’s business. John Henshall is a colour manufacturer, Edward a coal master, with Hugh and William Shepherd Williamson iron masters. They have a housekeeper, cook, kitchen maid, housemaid, and footman, Henry Blagg, all in their early twenties. Robert must have felt very elderly at seventy years old. Robert’s two other sons had moved to Witton Cum Twambrook where the 1851 Census records Robert Junior as a bone merchant and Thomas an engineer. Robert is married but his wife was not present.

 

Robert had completely changed his staff by 1861,and raised the average age, with his cook Alice Goodman, thirty-two and the housemaids in their late twenties. Only Hugh and Edward still lived with him, continuing as iron masters. Robert Junior had married Maria Edwards from Burslem, 20 years his junior, and moved to Rose Vale, Newcastle Under Lyme. His brother Thomas was still with him and he now had three children as well as six servants. William had also married, Maria Louise from Sheffield, and moved to Mortlake House, Congleton. He was an iron master, like Hugh and Edward, as distinct from Robert who was a colliery owner.

 

Either way,they were all landowners and powerful men in the community in 1861. John Henshall Williamson, was staying at a hotel in Covent Garden. He had married Mary Williams(who gained a ‘son’ as well as a husband) and they moved with her sister Anne to Golden Hill Oldcott. They had two children and later moved to Color Works House, Oldcott where John ran his business as an Ironstone and Colour Works proprietor.

As the 1870s dawned, both Robert and Hugh Williamson passed away. Hugh,who had been the deputy lieutenant of Staffordshire amongst other offices, died in 1867 in Norton at the age of eighty-three, and two years later Robert also passed on, aged eighty-eight. Two stained glass windows in the south wall of Astbury Church are in memory of the Williamson Family, adjoining Elizabeth Lowndes window. The picture opposite is of Hugh Henshall Williamson, and the gravestone is of his brother Robert.


The end of an era but there were many young Williamsons to continue the family tradition. Robert Junior had lost his young wife Maria, after the birth of their 4th child, and the 1871 census finds him with his children to bring up alone, albeit with the help of six servants still. His brother Thomas had also died - in 1863, and buried at Newchapel Parish Church on Nov 5. By the 1881 census Robert's children are all in Lancashire, and Robert has also died. See the censuses below for Robert's family. Hugh and Edward continued to live at Ramsdell Hall with three servants. The Hall had never been so quiet.


But at last, in 1877, Hugh got married in Croydon, London. He was now in his mid-50s and Ramsdell Hall had its first mistress for thirty five years. Mary Williamson was sixteen years younger than Hugh, now fifty-six, and they employed a staff of six at the Hall. They didn’t have any children, so Ramsdell would have to wait for the Chaddock-Lowndes for the patter of tiny feet. Edward moved on to Hulme Walfield, and remained single as the Census returns for 1881 and 1891 record. John Williamson died in 1883, leaving Mary a widow.


Hugh and William were working together during the 80s but things were not going well, and in 1886 they filed for bankruptcy.William died a year later, aged sixty-two. Hugh’s time at Ramsdell was also coming to an end. Elizabeth Chaddock had died in 1882, and her son Thomas had decided it was time to reclaim the Hall. Hugh’s financial predicaments didn’t help his cause and after court precedings, the Chaddock-Lowndes finally moved to Ramsdell Hall. Hugh and Mary moved to Lower Heath, Congleton, still maintaing five servants including the faithful Alice Goodwin who had been with the Williamsons  for over 40 years. Hugh was still a colliery proprietor.


The era of the Williamsons at Ramsdell was over, but remarkably, their fifty year tenure was far greater than any Lowndes incumbency. The Chaddock-Lowndes would see thirty years at the Hall before it passed out of the family hands forever.

          Robert and Thomas Hugh Williamson in 1851                               William Shepherd Williamson in 1871

                       THE CHILDREN OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH LOWNDES

                                   Mary Lowndes  1797-1872

Mary Lowndes was the eldest of William and Elizabeth’s children. She was born on May 1st, 1797, and christened on June 5th at Saint Peter's Church, Manchester. By the time her family moved to Ramsdell Hall, she was well into her teens. She married James Bury of Manchester on May 07, 1818, at Saint George’s in Everton which at that time was an affluent part of Liverpool. Her mother’s family were from the area, and Elizabeth had been christened and married there herself at St Paul’s Church, 22 years earlier. Mary's parents were witnesses to the marriage together with S.Lowndes who was her sister, Susannah Lowndes. A marriage intention document shows that Mary was living in Everton, Walton at the time, and not at Ramsdell Hall, perhaps staying with her mother's family, the Hopes.


James Bury was 12 years older than than Mary, having been born in 1785, and baptised on October 1st at Lower Chapel Baptist, Old Accrington, Lancashire. His father was the James Bury of  Miller & Bury Ltd, cotton spinners and printers, which in its heyday was a thriving manufacturing business in Sabden and seemingly a model industrial employer. James Senior was a committed Baptist churchman who established a Baptist chapel in Sabden. James had married Ellen Bury (maybe related) of Church Kirk on 4 Dec 1784 at St James Church, Accrington, His brother, John Bury, being a witness. James was therefore their first-born child. Details of his siblings a little later.


An interesting family that Mary married into, and a husband whom her father apparently disapproved of. Or perhaps it was James’ staunch Baptist background that displeased him. Whatever the reason, once he had disinherited his eldest son John, William wasn’t going to let the Lowndes family fortunes slip into the hands of the Burys! Mary married James just days after her twenty-first birthday. Mary and James had seven children, five girls and two boys: Elizabeth Lowndes Bury was born in 1820, Ellen Bury in 1822, Anne Bury in 1825, James Bury in 1826, and William Thomas Bury in 1830. I don't have names or dates for the other two girls, but I would think all were born in Manchester.

Mary's eldest child, Elizabeth Lowndes Bury, had no less than 14 children with Thomas Woodhouse of Nottingham whom she married in 1844. One of them, Thomas Vernon Woodhouse, founded the engineering firm of L. H. Woodhouse & Co. in Nottingham in 1890 which until 1997 was still in family hands. It constructed temporary structures for Agricultural Shows, circuses, and skating rinks. Thomas married 22 year old Lucy Hardwick in 1873 in Mansfield. Lucy came from Heath in nearby Derbyshire daughter of Mary Anne Hardwick. Thomas, like his parents, decided that large families were the way forward, and he and Lucy were blessed with 11 children:
Florence Lucy , 1874, Thomas Vernon , 1875 , Bella , 1876, Percy D , 1877, Frederick 1878, Pattie 1880, Beatrice 1881, Beryl Eva, 1884, Muriel G, 1887, Leslie D, 1891, and Marjory Grace, 1893. Sadly their mother Lucy Woodhouse died in 1909 aged 58. 


Mary and James had raised their family in Manchester, but they had moved to Nottingham by the time of the 1851 census, perhaps to be near their daughter's family. James died a few years later because by the 1861 census, Mary is widowed and still living in Nottingham with her son, James and sister-in-law, Mary. The 1871 census sees her in Bidulph with her unmarried daughter Ellen living with her. Mary died the next year at the age of seventy-four, fortunate enough to have seen many grandchildren in her life.

                      Old Market Square, Nottingham 1889                                                       St Peter's Gate, Nottingham 1842
                                                    The Burys of Accrington and Sabden

It was an interesting family that Mary married into, and one that has been much researched worldwide. Her sister Ellen, who we will meet later, also married into the Bury Family three years after Mary did. From my own family perspective, there are still gaps to be filled in. A visit to the Manchester Archives and Local Studies office would certainly complete the picture, because there are many letters and documents appertaining to John and Betty Bury's family and business life, including family trees. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records is a wonderful resource which alerts one to the existence of these documents, and summarises what each contains. Together with Familysearch.com, Lancashire Online Parish Clerks, and various articles on the net, there is much to be found.


James and John Bury were the sons of James Bury, who was probably born in 1739 in Moorhead, Accrington. John was born in either 1763 or 1764, and James in 1765. If the latter date is correct, then their mother was Martha. They had a sister, Ann Bury, who married Edward Burford. Their son, John, was a good friend of his cousin John Bury. As mentioned earlier, James Bury married Ellen Bury on December 4, 1784. James and Eliner(as she was also known) had their first child, James, born the following year, and baptised on October 1st at Lower Chapel Baptist Church in Old Accrington ... better known as Machpelah Baptist Church. John was their second child, born in 1787, and baptised on April 4th. In between, James, himself, was baptised in 1786! With his grandfather Henry in mind, James named his third child Harry, baptised on May 6, 1789. In 1791, Eliner became their first daughter, baptised on March 25. Thomas was baptised on January 3, 1794. We will get to know him better in his future wife Ellen Lowndes' section. Mary was the next child on 'record', baptised on January 23, 1796 at Machpelah. Nancy was born in 1797, and baptised on November 27 at Machpelah.


John Bury married Betty Westell on July 9, 1788 at St James Church, Altham, which is a small township bordering Clayton le Moors and just north of Accrington. The intended marriage document gave John Bury's age as 24, therefore born 1764 or 1763. The marriage record stated that John was from Altham, and that Betty was from Church, as was James' wife Ellen. George Westell was one of the witnesses, but I believe he was her brother rather than her father. George had married Betty Riley in 1786 with James Westell a witness. James died in 1787, and was probably Betty Westell's father.


John and Betty named their first child John. He was born in 1789, and baptised on May 25. John figured prominently in the aforementioned family letters, writing regularly to his parents and siblings. An 1807 letter to his mother expressed his concern at his father's attitude towards his twelve year old sister Mary's schooling. An 1808 letter to his Aunt Mary tells of his brother Charles illness. From this letter we know that Betty Westell had a sister called Mary. In these pre-census days, such letters are genealogical goldust. They also tell us that John was sent to London in 1811 to put his father and uncle's business affairs in order. His letters to his family described his life in London. The Manchester family documents contain a letter dated 22nd Oct. 1817 "J. Lord to John Entwistle" and another from "Wm. Bury, to 'Dear Sarah' [wife of decd.] " This suggests that the John who died was the son, aged twenty-eight, and that his wife was called Sarah. Other sources have since confirmed this.


John Bury of Read (which is near Sabden) married Sarah Horsefield of Pendleton on October 23, 1813 at St Mary and All Saints, Whalley, Lancashire. John's good friend John Burford was one of the witnesses. Interestingly, the other witness was Henry Bury. He is neither John's father nor brother. Nor is he a cousin or uncle. The William Bury, who was an executor of John's will, is also interesting because I haven't found a record of his death, but the family lost a rather special young man in John Bury. His wife Sarah was the daughter of James and Ellen Horsefield, and was born in 1793 or 1795.


John and Betty's second child, James, was born in 1792, and baptised on June 6. Samuel was born in 1794, and baptised on January 8. Mary became their first daughter when she was born in 1795, and baptised on October 5. Thomas was born in 1798, and baptised on March 1st. Betty was born in 1800, and baptised on July 22nd. Helen followed in 1802, baptised on September 20. Charles was born in 1805, and baptised on April 13. James was born in 1807, and baptised on March 13. James b.1792 probably died.

SABDEN. Here James Bury, the father-in-law of my Great Great Grand Aunt Mary, worked with his brother John.

                                                      James and John Bury - Calico Printers  

Calico printing was relatively new to Lancashire, the first workmen having been brought from London. Thomas Bell had patented the technique of printing by copper rollers in 1783, and the first machine was set up by Livesey, Hargreaves & Co near Preston in 1785. On 21 September 1790, articles of agreement were drawn up between " ... 1 John Bury, journeyman calico printer, and 2 James Bury of Oakenshaw, calico printer and merchant. John Bury bound himself for 7 years. Yearly salary £80. £200 to be forfeited on non-observance or non-performance of all or any covenants etc ..."


In 1795, James Bury's partnership of Fort, Bury and Taylor was dissolved, and their print works at Sabden was now run by James and John Bury. Sabden, valley of the spruces, was a tiny hamlet, at the foot of Pendle Hill. In July, they entered into partnership with Samuel Lloyd. The selling side was conducted from Peel Street, Manchester, and Lloyd supervised London operations, providing feedback about fashions etc. Gradually, the Burys helped other calico printers sell their goods from their Manchester and Blackburn wharehouses. The business flourished, and by 1808, there were 2000 employees, with the brothers providing for the welfare of their work force in more ways than one.


Not long after the printworks began, the Burys, acknowledging the need for a place of worship for themselves and their workforce, set about building one. They had been members of the Machpelah  Baptist Church in Accrington for ten years. The Baptist movement, started in 1612 in Spitalfields, London, was well established in Lancashire. The Yorkshire and Lancashire Association,  founded in 1695, had been re-organized at Preston in 1786. It sent out a letter in 1795 with a view to reviving and promoting the Baptist Faith, and met the next year at Accrington. On 28 October, 1796, nine members of  Machpelah met in a valley cottage to  consider the erection of a building by subscription to be used as a Dissenting  Meetinghouse and Sunday School.


Subscriptions were collected to build a Baptist Chapel on the hillside behind Step Row, with the Burys being the main subscribers. The chapel opened for worship on 31st August 1797. It wasn't long before the Baptist Sunday School was formed in an extension next to the chapel. Here, the working class children of Sabden would have learned to read, with the Bible being the main focus, as was customary at that time. Some of the parents were not too keen to send their children but the inducement of a penny or two per child per Sunday made all the difference.

                             Bury Row in 1910         
                               Crow Trees Row in 1910

The Baptist Historical Society, formed in 1804, was involved in the education of Baptist Ministers, and during its annual meeting in Liverpool in 1830, it acknowledged James Bury's contribution to Horton Academy. The effort to supply the Northern counties with qualified ministers had begun in 1773. Bristol, the only Baptist Academy existing at that time, was too far away. The Academy's main aim was to to identify and train preachers committed to the task of evangelism. Dr John Fawcett, a Yorkshireman, had met with Lancastrians, James Bury and Littlewood, a Baptist Minister, to discuss opening a private academy, to be housed in an adapted weaving shed and warehouse in Little Horton, Bradford.


The Society reported their conversation. "At last Bury said, "We want action rather than words." "Well," said Littlewood, " I will give £20 to begin." "And I will do the same," said Fawcett. Both expected Bury to respond at once, but his silence was so long that at length Littlewood asked him what he proposed to do. He said he would give £500. So, to a Lancashire minister belongs the honour of being the first donor, and to a Lancashire layman the honour of being the first of a long line of laymen who have been princely givers"

Upon James' death, the Baptist Quarterly reported: "In December, 1815, Bury of Sabden died. This Lancastrian was virtually the Father of the College, and the Committee at his decease gratefully record his generosity and his £500 with which the Society was launched." James had been the founder and first treasurer af the Northern Baptist Educatian Society. As well as the chapel, the Burys, together with Nicholas Grimshaw (clerk at the printing company) built forty houses for their workers at Bury Row, Crowtrees Row and Step Row. http://www.grimshaworigin.org/Webpages2/NicholasGwSabden.htm is a fantastic source of information & photographs (much larger size than mine)Thank you and bless you.


In 1800, Charles Miller and Christopher Nockells joined the Burys and Samuel Lloyd in forming a new partnership which eventually brought a London house into operation. Miller, Nockalls & Company already had a wharehouse in Cheapside, the principal area for cotton in London. Samuel Lloyd left in December 1801, and Christopher Nockells in January 1804. At one time it was called Miller & Bury Ltd, cotton spinners and printers of cotton. By 1812, however, the company was facing bankruptcy, having lost £33,820. It survived, but was finally dissolved on 25 March,1813. James Bury took over the running of the three houses under the name of James Bury & Co. Though he ceased to be a partner, John Bury remained at Sabden as Manager. His son John, was left in charge of the London end of the business, and James' sons James, John and Thomas were employed at Sabden and Manchester.


The collection of letters at Manchester Archives illustrate the company's problems during this period, and Charles Miller's feelings towards James Bury. Both his brother John, and his nephew John, felt that James was leading the company into new difficulties with his overspending and ambitions. John Bury was not best pleased with his brother in other ways: "He charges me with ingratitude and unthankfulness for what he has done for my family. What has he done as it respects my property."

He goes on to list twenty-eight occasions when James Bury had acted solely to his own advantage.

These letters also document James' decline in health during 1815, leading to his death on December 31. James had re-married on 13 Dec, 1809 at St. Paul's, Bristol, Gloucester. His wife, Patience Petrie, is referred to in the letters, but I have found no record of  his first wife Elinor Bury's death.  Following the death of James in 1815, and with John retiring, James Bury's sons continued the concern until it failed sometime early in 1825. They maintained an interest in Sabden in partnership with John Fort, James Bury's former partner, until they finally dropped out in 1828. Patience Bury married bookkeeper John Layland on September 8, 1820 at St Peters, Bolton.

                        Members of Sabden Baptist Church above and opposite - crossing Sabden Bridge
  Thank you to https://hiveminer.com/User/Preston%20Pilot%2047472/Timeline for some wonderful photographs
                                                       Ellen Susannah Lowndes  1800-1842

Mary’s younger sister, Ellen Susannah, was born on March 31, 1800, in Manchester, and christened on April 27th at Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Manchester, at Independent Chapel, Cavendish Street. Like Mary, she married young, on May 16th 1821 at Astbury Church. Her husband Thomas Bury was a calico printer from Accrington, and the younger brother of James Bury who had married Ellen's elder sister Mary, three years earlier. I understand that William Lowndes didn’t approve of Thomas either. Or perhaps it was their father's staunch Baptist views which influenced him.


Thomas Bury's father had died in 1815, but he and his brothers continued to run the business until it failed in 1825. Thomas was involved at the London end, and their first child, James Lowndes Bury was born or christened on February 4, 1822 at St. Stephen Walbrook, London. His christian name was that of Thomas' father and his middle name would have pleased Ellen's father William. Their second child, William Edward Bury, would have pleased William even more, particularly with his own father remembered in Ellen's choice of middle name. William Edward Bury was born in 1823, and baptised at Walworth, Newington, Surrey on December 16. Thomas and Ellen's last child was a girl, Mary Ann Bury, born on July 9, 1825. The christening took place at St. Marys, Newington, Walworth, Surrey on December 1st that year.


I don't know what happened to Thomas and Ellen after that. We know that the Bury's business failed the year of Mary Ann's birth, which suggests that the London branch also closed. The Burys still had some interests in Sabden until 1828 when they went their seperate ways. The 1841 census was a most revealing document as are many censuses. Ellen and Mary Ann were now living, or staying at Old House Green with William Lowndes, rather than with Thomas. Ellen was using her middle name Susan. Early the next year, Ellen Susanna died aged forty-one and was buried at Astbury Church on 3 March 1842. On the tombstone, it said "Ellen Susanna, the wife of Mr Thomas Bury of Accrington in the county of Lancashire." I haven’t been able to find out what happened to sixteen year old Mary Ann, following her mother’s death, but Thomas' movements can be traced, as can his two sons.


I am grateful to the great-grandson of William Edward Bury, Chris McCormick, for being able to extend this section. He alerted me to the fact that Mary Ann Bury wasn't the only child of Ellen and Thomas; and after being told about William Edward Bury, I then discovered James Lowndes Bury. We will look at both in due course. But first their father Thomas.

                                                        Thomas Bury 1794-1872

The 1841 census has a Thomas Bury living in Bolton Le Moors, but although the age fits our Thomas, the rest doesn't. The 1851 census is definitely Thomas, living in Church, because his sister Mary is two years younger, which we know her to be from their family records, and both were born in Clayton-le-Moors. It's an interesting household with three unmarried cousins living with them Andrew Bury, 51, John Bury,49, and Ellen Bury, 45. Both men are involved in calico printing, as is Thomas still, as clerk to a calico printer. Ellen is the housekeeper, with Mary's occupation given as 'proprietor of houses'. Thomas' twenty-one-year-old niece Eleanor is also with them, and Jane Rawcliff, a servant. None of Thomas' cousins are children of his Uncle John Bury, so James and John Bury must have had a brother.


Andrew, John, and Ellen were still together for the 1861 census, but Thomas had moved on to Sproston Green in Cheshire, and the household of his son William Edward Bury, and his wife Alice Sophia, together with their five children. More of them later. Alice's parents James (born in Sabden) and Alice were also living or staying there. Thomas was still with his son's family for the 1871 census at Church Hulme,Cheshire. His occupation was given as retired calico printer. Thomas died early in 1872 at the age of seventy-eight.

                                                                  William Edward Bury 1823-1906

Thomas' son William Edward Bury, born in London, was still living there at the time of the 1851 census. He was at 24, Margaret St, Clerkenwell with Thomas and Georgiana Read, both two years older than William, who was a cabinet maker by trade. On February 9, 1853, he married Alice Sophia Bury in the registration district of Manchester. Alice was born in 1836 or 1837 in Timperley, Cheshire, close to Altrincham. She was the daughter of James and Alice Bury. I don't know if William was related to this branch of the Burys, but his father-in-law James was born in Sabden in 1800, so there may be a connection. William was now a Wine Merchant, and he remained so for the rest of his working life. Echoes of his Uncle William Chaddock over in Congleton.


William and Sophia lived at Sproston Green, Middlewich, Cheshire, and later at The Cottage, London Rd, Holmes Chapel, a short distance from Sproston. They had nine children : George Harold: 1853 , Arthur William: 1855 , Charles James: 1857, Harriette Louisa: 1859, Ada Mary: 1860, Albert Edward: 1863-1906, William Cranswick: 1864, Arthur Hope: 1866, and Francis Stuart: 1868.


A few details about their children: George married Annie Rose Candelet in 1876 at Salford Ascension, and had seven children. Arthur William must have died young before 1871, and possibly Harriette, although I found no records of either deaths. Ada Mary married Arthur Wallace McClure in 1887, and re-married in 1893. Albert Edward married Sarah Ellen Pickstock in 1885. William Cranswick married Jane Elizabeth Smith in 1887.

Tragedy struck the family early in 1872, when Alice died at the age of thirty-five. Poor William had lost both his father and his wife in a matter of months. Now turned fifty, he married again in the second quarter of 1873. Elizabeth Lowndes was his cousin, born in 1847, the daughter of James Hugh Lowndes, the younger brother of William's mother. James had died aged only forty-two just as his sister Ellen Susanna had. So both William and Elizabeth had a lost a parent relatively young. They married in Broughton,Salford, but started their married life in Holmes Chappel where Cecil Lowndes Bury was born early in 1874. They then moved to Broughton, Salford, living at 134, Great Clowes Street, and then at 26, Victoria Street. William's brother James was already living in Salford and was also a wine merchant. Perhaps they were in business together.


The following children were all born in Salford: Claudius James:1878, Dorothy Hope:1881, Winifred Mary:1883, and Wilfred Hope:1889-1964. William died in the first quarter of 1906 at the age of eighty-two. He had fathered fourteen children and seen England change from Georgian Times, through the Victorian Era and into the Edwardian Era. His son Cecil married Frances Emilie Amiel in 1901 at Salford Register Office, and they had seven children. Cecil died in 1938. It is the son of one of his children who has built an extensive and impressivr family tree at Ancestry.com, which I have found a useful resource during the latter part of this section. Wilfred Hope Bury married Clara Cookson at St Paul's, Preston in 1915, and they had two children. Winifred Hope Bury married Tom Wood in 1910 at Broughton St John's, where Dorothy Hope Bury had married Charles Hodgson the previous year.

                                                  James Lowndes Bury 1822-1900

Like his brother William, James became a wine merchant. The 1851 census found him living in Pendlebury with Alice Crossley a servant. Thirty-one-year-old Ellen Bury, unmarried, was visiting him. I'm not sure which branch of the Burys she was from. By 1861, he had moved to 66, Cross Lane, Salford with fifty-five-year-old Eliza Farrell, from Ireland, keeping house. The same year, James, now thirty-nine, married twenty-five-year-old Eliza Mary Hewitt at Manchester Register Office.


She was the daughter of Henry and Eliza Hewitt. Henry was a merchant sailor, and employer of twenty-six men. As brother of William, James was uncle to fourteen children, but he and Eliza were to have no children of their own. They moved to 6, Hope Street, Broughton, and then to 2, Devonshire Street. In the first quarter of 1881, poor Eliza died at the age of forty-four. James remained a widower until the summer of 1900 when he died aged at the age of seventy-eight.

                                                            Mary Ann Bury 1825

Again thanks to Chris McCormick's family tree, I noticed that Mary Ann had married  in 1847. A visit to the good people at Cheshirebmd.org.uk revealed the name of her husband. My two year search was over. Mary Ann Bury married twenty-four-year-old John Drinkwater from Manchester on April 5, 1847 at good old St Mary's Church in Astbury. This was where her parents had married in 1821. Both her brothers had married in Manchester, but Mary Ann had gone back to true Lowndes family tradition. It would be interesting to know where she had been living after her mother's death in 1842, and her grandfather William's death in 1844. Her Astbury marriage suggests that she was still in the Odd Rode area, and may have stayed on at Old House Green.


However John Drinkwater whisked her away to Lancashire where he was a wool merchant. The 1851 Census found them living at Trafford Park View, Pendlebury, with two servants but no children. By the 1861 Census, they were living at Leedly Mount, Pendleton but still no children were present. John was still a woollen manufacturer, employing fifty men and women. A Mary Ellen Drinkwater-parents John and Mary Ann-was christened on 27 December 1852 at Heywood, but is unlikely to be a child of our John and Mary Ann, given the aforementioned census returns. Similarly, Martha Ann Drinkwater born in Manchester in 1855. Death records showed no children of their ages passing away between censuses.


John and Mary Ann had moved to Broughton by 1871, with John now employing thirty-eight people. They were still in Broughton for the 1881 Census, living at 203 Lower Broughton Rd. So all three of Thomas and Ellen Bury's children were now living in the same town. John had become an estate agent. The 1891 Census saw them lodging in Moss Side, at the house of John Fort, a jeweller's assistant, and his widowed sister Caroline Skelton, a hospital nurse. One wonders if times had become hard because the previous census was the first time John and Mary Ann had not had any servants recorded. Later that year, John died in Salford at the age of sixty nine. A Mary Ann Drinwater died in Barrow-in-Furness in 1907 at the age of eighty-two, and this is probably our Mary Ann.

                       St Augustine Church, Pendlebury                                                   St Thomas Church, Pendleton

                                       John Hope Lowndes  1798-1864

John Hope Lowndes was the eldest son of William Lowndes, christened on August 17th 1798 at Manchester Cathedral. As has already been documented here, he was disinherited due to his excesses. In the words of his father: “And whereas my son John Hope Lowndes ... has been a very great expense to me, I therefore leave to my said son John Hope Lowndes ... the sum of fifteen shillings a week for his life only". He was a member of the Manchester Yeomanry, a troop of part-time mounted soldiers. They had helped the regular troops when they carried out their charge on a peaceful meeting at Peterloo Fields in Manchester, in 1819. The Peterloo Massacre as it became known. Apparently he was worse for drink and whilst waving his sword in the air, he cut off the ears of his horse ... not a son that William was proud of.


John married 23 year-old Eliza Ann Fleming from Shropshire, on Dec 28th 1826 at Saint Paul’s in Liverpool. It was the same church where John's mother and father had been married nearly thirty years earlier, and also where his elder sister married John Bury. Eliza Ann was one of 6 children born to Richard Fleming and Elizabeth Rushbury who had married 23 September, 1793 in Abdon, Shropshire. Their first 3 children were all born in the delightfully named Shropshire village of Clee St Margaret in the Clee Hills area. Mary, 1795, Ann, 1797, and Sarah, 1799. John and Eliza then moved to Eaton under Heywood where Eliza Ann was born in 1803. Alice followed in 1805. Just when a son seemed unlikely, Richard Acton Fleming was born in 1811. 5 sisters had a brother at last.


Beautiful as Shropshire was, John and Eliza made their home in Manchester. The 1841 Census recorded them living in Grove Road. They didn't have children, and 2 years later, Eliza Ann died in Deansgate, Manchester. The pain of being widowed and then disinherited in 1844 was alieviated the next year when John married thirty-three year old Ann Coxon from Ashbourne in Derbyshire. Ann, born in 1812, was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Coxon.


John, now a cotton broker, continued to live in Manchester, as he had with Eliza. With his 50th year not far away, he finally became a father with the birth of Samuel Hope Lowndes in 1847, named after his mother’s brother. Ellen followed the next year. Perhaps at last, John had found contentment and put aside his wayward days. He saw his children reach teen hood before he passed away in 1864. His had been a colourful life and it is his side of the family that has been responsible for keeping the Lowndes name prominent on the world wide web. Without Mike Lowndes and his father William’s stirling work at the Lowndes website and particularly the Lowndes Family Tree which traces the family back to the 16th century, I doubt the work that I have done on my part of the family tree would have been possible. It was discovering Mike’s tree back in 2002 that initiated my own interest in genealogy and my heritage. So John Hope Lowndes made his mark in more ways than one.

           The beautiful Derbyshire village of Ashbourne                                                        Ashbourne Hall

His widow, Ann, moved from London Road, Manchester to St Jude, Manchester. She became a grandmother in 1866 when her son Samuel, became a father at nineteen. A new John Hope Lowndes had been born. Samuel had married Hannah Crawford earlier that year. Hannah was four years older than Samuel, born in Wrentham, Denbighshire in 1843. They had another son in 1870, William Ashby Lowndes. Thereafter it becomes something of a mystery. The 1871 census shows Samuel and four year old John Hope living with Ann at St Jude. Where are Hannah and William? They are with Hannah’s mother, Ann, in nearby Chorlton - On - Medlock. With Samuel having become a father, relatively young for that time, it is natural to assume both grandmothers would be supportive to their children. Why Hannah is recorded as an unemployed cook is puzzling. In the summer of 1872, Hannah had a girl, Ellen Hope, but sadly Hannah died in childbirth, as did Ellen.


Widowed at twenty-six and with two young sons, Samuel did not let this tragedy overcome him. He re-married, as his father had done, in 1873 at Manchester Cathedral. Mary Smith was his June bride, twenty-five years old from Knaresborough in Yorkshire. Their marriage was a most productive one with nine children plus John Hope and William Ashby. Meanwhile his mother had moved to 66 Rosamond St East, Chorlton Upon Medlock with her widowed daughter, Ellen Gill, where they worked in upholstery. Ann died in 1889, and Ellen didn’t re-marry, although she did revert back to her maiden name, not uncommon in those days.

                           Chorlton-on-Medlock,1894                                                All Saints Church, Chorlton-on-Medlock

                                     Elizabeth Lowndes 1802 - 1882   See top of the page

                                     James Hugh Lowndes  1807-1849

James was William Lowndes’ second and youngest son. His middle name Hugh was a traditional family christian name but less popular with the later Lowndes. He was baptised at Saint Thomas, Ardwick, Manchester on the 24th of November 1807. He married Mary Hewitt in Eccles, Lancashire on July 13th, 1835. The 1841 census tells us that James and Mary are living in Vernon Street, Broughton, Salford, with children Fanny, aged four, Mary, three, and William, one. Mary and William were both christened at the Chapelry-of-Christ, Salford, Lancashire on 29 Jul 1840. Isabella, Edward, Elizabeth and Susan brought the number of children to seven. Isabella was christened at the Chapelry-of-Christ, Salford in 1842, and the others all at Manchester Cathedral. Edward in 1846, Elizabeth in 1847, and Susan in 1849.

                           

I found no record of the family in the 1851 census, but the 1861 census shows the family now living in Park Road, Pendleton. It tells us that Mary was born in 1814, and that she is now widowed. A James Hugh Lownds died in 1849 in Salford; and given the location of his christening and his death, it is fair to say that this is the same person despite the missing ‘e’ in his surname. Lowndes had a tendency to lose the 'e' in their name. So poor James died aged just forty-two.


Mary's mother, Mary Hewitt, aged eighty-four, was living with the family in 1861. The Family Tree of Peter Anthony Brown (a valuable resource for Hopes and Lowndes) establishes that eighty-four year old Mary Hewitt was not only born Mary Hope, but is first cousin to Elizabeth Hope, mother of James Hugh Lowndes! James sister Sarah had married Mary's elder brother John Hewitt.

James had been a merchant by trade. He had a strong sense of heritage because all five of his daughters shared the names of his sisters. Mary shared the name of her mother and grandmother Hewitt, while Elizabeth had James’ mother’s name. His grandfather was remembered in his son Edward, and his father in his son William. His life had been short but he had achieved a lot. Whether he was a keen cricketer as the novel "Ramsdell Hall" portrays him to be is not known.


Mary’s situation after James’ premature death in 1849 parallels that which faced her sister-in-law, Elizabeth  when William Chaddock died in 1850. Both had lost their husbands relatively young and both had large families to bring up and reconcile to the loss of their father figures. Elizabeth had the support of Thomas Chaddock, aged 80, and Mary had her mother, aged 84. Elizabeth was 48 when she was widowed, and a lady of some financial means, whereas Mary was just 35 with 7 children to support.


The 1881 census shows Fanny and Mary, now in their forties and unmarried, still living with their mother in Barton Upon Irwell, Lancashire. So too were William and Susan. Apart from William who was a joiner, they are all described as being of independent means. Mary died in Pendleton in 1903 at the age of eighty-nine. She had been a widow for 54 years.


Mary Hewitt, like Elizabeth Chaddock, was one of those strong, independent Victorian ladies who shone like beacons in the face of tragedy and adversity.

                                   Sarah Hope Lowndes  1804 -1841

Sarah was the fourth daughter of William and Elizabeth Lowndes born in 1804. She was born on the 3rd of February 1804 and christened on the 4th of March at Mosley Street Removd From Cannon Street Independent Church in Manchester. One therefore presumes that William Lowndes was still living in Lancashire, although the IGI also gives Sarah as born circa 1805 at Astbury, Cheshire. She was named after her mother's younger sister with her middle name derived from her mother's maiden name. Sarah married solicitor John Hewitt, son of her mother Elizabeth's cousin Mary, on 16, April, 1839 in Cheshire, at St Mary's, Astbury. Sarah and John lived in Park Place in Salford. Sadly, Sarah Hope Hewitt died in Salford in the summer of 1841, aged just 37. John and Sarah had no children.


John married Jane Ann Armitage on Dec 1st 1842. Jane was born in Salford, Manchester on 28 August 1818, the eldest daughter of Elkanah Armitage and Mary Lomax Bowers who had married in 1816. Jane had several siblings. With John having lived in Salford himself, it was natural that he and Jane would start their married life there, with Pendleton, an inner city area of Salford, 2 miles from Manchester Town Centre, being their choice. John was also close to his work as Attorney and Agent for the Promoter Life Assurance and Annuity Company in Princess Street.


John became a father at last with the birth of Mary in 1843 in Pendleton. Eliza, John, Ellen, Thomas, Elkanah, Edward and Frank followed in due course ( see opposite ) Thomas and Elkanah becoming solicitors like their father. John passed away during the 3rd quarter of 1880 at the age of 77. The 1881 Census showed Jane living at Leaf Square, Pendleton with 4 of her children. She died during the 2nd quarter of 1892 at the age of 72.

                                      Isabella Lowndes  1807-1844

Isabella was born in 1807 in Ardwick, Lancashire, and christened on November 24th. With James Hugh christened the same day, it is likely that they were twins. Isabella was reputed to be a rare beauty. She married Andrew Bannerman on August 16th, 1828 at Astbury Church. Andrew was from Blackford, Perth in Scotland. He was born on 21 July 1800, the youngest son of Henry Bannerman and Janet Motherwell. He had several siblings as follows - all are birth dates not christening dates:
William, born, 04 May 1778, Amelia 17 Dec 1779, Louisa 28 Sep 1781, Mariane 15 Jul 1783, Isabela, 05 Jun 1785, David 18 Aug 1787, Elizabeth, 26 Jul 1789, Janet 07 Jul 1791, Alexander 18 Jun 1793, John  03 Jul 1795, and Henry 13 Jun 1798.


So each presented the other with many siblings in law! Until updating my website this week, I understood Isabella to have died in 1835. The same source had dated her birth incorrectly as 1812. I corrected the latter date to 1807 some years ago, though too late for my Family History novel in which Isabella and members of her family appeared. Now, I discover from my tried and trusted source website, www.familysearch.org, that Isabella died in 1844. Indeed she outlived Andrew by five years. No children resulted from their marriage. I also now realize that Andrew had settled in Manchester before the wedding, and that is where he and Isabella lived. I usually check information thoroughly but in Isabella's case, I didn't double check my original source. Time to present some evidence.

The England and Wales Death Registration Index recorded an Isabella Bannerman died in Manchester during the 3rd quarter of 1844. I found no other such record, and despite the gap of over a year between her death and obituary, I believe it is the same Isabella in both. Records show that one or more siblings of Andrew lived in Lancashire during this period, but no other Isabella Bannerman died in Manchester in either 1844 or 1845. The 1841 Census entry above, though not the best census for finding precise information, is the only such entry for an Isabella Bannerman. Even if, mysteriously, the 1844 death record and the 1841 Census record are of a different Isabella, the 1845 record is definitely our Isabella.

Andrew's death was recorded in the Death Registration Index as during the 2nd quarter of 1839 in Chorlton. This would be Chorlton on Medlock, an inner city area of Manchester, not far from Oxford Street where Isabella was living during the 1841 census. In Andrew's case, his obituary followed the same month which would have been April. He was just 38 years old.

Andrew’s nephew, Henry Campbell, son of his sister Janet, was born a year after Isabella’s death and inherited Hunton Court and the Bannerman Kent estates from Andrew’s brother, Henry. Henry Campbell added the surname Bannerman to his own as stipulated in the Will. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, as he was now known, always kept a portrait of his Aunt Isabella in his home, and when he became Prime Minister in 1905, one assumes that Isabella adorned 10 Downing Street too. It’s a portrait that I hope one day to track down! Nice to have a Prime Minister associated with the family, and a much-respected one at that.


It's interesting but also poignant to note that 4 of William of Ramsdell's 8 children died relatively young. Isabella aged 28, Sarah Hope, aged 37, and Ellen Susannah, and James Hugh aged 42. Frances, whom we will now meet, lived into her 52nd year which is not that old. John Hope Lowndes managed to live into his 66 year. Mary made it to 75, and Elizabeth reached the grand old age of 80.
                                                                               Blackford, Perth, Scotland

                                   Frances Jane Lowndes  1813-1865

Two records give christenings for a Frances Jane Lowndes in 1813. One is for September 10, the other for October 10. Both are in Manchester but in different churches. Both records have William and Elizabeth Lowndes as the parents. Either way, 1813 looks very good for her year of birth, making Frances very much the youngest child of the family.


Frances married Thomas Templeton on the 9th of April, 1834 at Astbury Church. He was from Campbeltown, Argyll, born on October 6, 1806 to Archibald Templeton and Ann Harvie. Frances and Thomas had a daughter, Elizabeth, who was born in Cheshire in 1844. By the time of the 1851 Scottish Census, the family was in Campbeltown and they were still there in 1861. They moved down to Nottinghamshire later where Frances' elder sister Mary Bury had settled. However, Frances passed away early in 1865 at the age of fifty-two.


Thomas and Elizabeth were still together in Nottingham at the time of the 1871 census, but Thomas died days after the census, aged 64. Elizabeth had lost both her parents within 6 years. By the 1881 census, Elizabeth, still single, is teaching in Watford at Portland House, a private establishment run by her widowed cousin Elizabeth Goadby. The latter's daughter, Elizabeth Hope Goadby, compiled a family history which has information on the Lowndes that I have yet to see, but ' snippets ' from it have been of great help. The 1891 Census records an Elizabeth M Templeton boarding with Annie Gosling in Biddulph, Cheshire. She is recorded as single still. An Elizabeth Templeton married an Alfred Gosling in 1880 in Stockport Cheshire. This seems to discount our Elizabeth because the 1881 census records her as single, as does the 1891 Census. The Gosling connection may just be a co-incidence.

                                                                                       Campbeltown, Argyll

   WILLIAM LOWNDES’ SIBLINGS AND ANCESTORS

                                       John Lowndes  1770-1832

John, christened on August 19th 1770 at Astbury Church, was the elder brother of William Lowndes. As such he would have inherited the Lowndes estates. While William lived first in Lancashire, and then at Ramsdell Hall after he bought it in 1815, John lived at Old House Green, the Lowndes ancestral home. His gravestone shows that his wife’s name was Hannah, and if she was Hannah Sandbach, then they were married at Over Peover, Cheshire on the 29 March 1796. She died on September 11th, 1815 at the age of forty-two, and was buried on September 18th. As yet, I have found no record of any children. John died on May 25th 1832, aged sixty-two. Having no children, he would have left the Lowndes estates to William.

                                               Ellen Lowndes  1783

Ellen was born in 1783 and christened on the 5th of March, a decade after her brothers John and William. The latter named one of his daughters after his sister ... Ellen Susannah. Ellen  probably grew up at Old House Green, the Lowndes ancestral home. Ellen married George Wilkinson on the 15th of February 1810 at Astbury Church. Just in time for her father, Edward Lowndes, to give her away because he died the following year. George was born in Congleton, the son of John Wilkinson and Ellen Olephant who had married in January 1779. The following family tomb inscription gives information regarding Ellen's sibling-in-laws, as well as confirming the names and location of her parents in law.


Sacred / to the Memory of / ELLEN WILKINSON Daughter of / JOHN and

ELLEN WILKINSON / of Congleton Who Died Decr. 2nd 1791 / Aged 4 Years. / Also

WILLIAM their Son Who Died / July 22nd 1804 Aged 18 Years. / Also JOHN their Son

Who Died / November 27th 1814 Aged 31 Years. / Also THOMAS their Son Who Died /

November 13th 1816 Aged 31 Years /

We are now in the era of Online Ancestry and Records which is brilliant. But visits to Churchyards will always yield extras. The last part of the Wilkinson Inscription informs us that George's father was an Alderman who died on 16 Jan, 1814, aged 67, and his wife died on 7 August, 1823 aged 82. We can approximate their dates of birth from this, although Ellen's maiden name, Olephant, is acquired from other sources such as Church Marriage records.

George and Ellen lived in Congleton. No records have been found of any children for them. Ellen died in 1837, and was buried in the Wilkinson Family part of St Mary's Churchyard at Astbury. "Also Sacred to the Memory of / ELLENWILKINSON the Beloved / Wife of GEORGE WILKINSON of / Congleton, Gent, Who Died August 5th, / 1837 Aged 54 Years."  Ellen was buried on August 10th. I couldn't find George in either the 1841 or 1861 Censuses, but the 1851 Census showed George and two servants living in West Street, Congleton where George was a proprietor of houses. He died in Congleton, during the Summer of 1862, and was buried alongside Ellen "Also the Said GEORGE WILKINSON /Who Died July 19th 1862 aged 81 Years.

                                           Edward Lowndes 17xx -1825

Until the discovery of the portrait of Dr William Lowndes, and the inscriptions at the foot of it, I did not know of Edward Lowndes' existence. He remains a mystery because I can find no records of him in the usual places such as FamilySearch.org, but there are some possible references to him elsewhere. A visit to Astbury Church and grounds would almost certainly provide the missing details. We know that he lived at Old House Green - the Lowndes Ancestral Home - because of the above inscriptions, and that he was the grandson of William Lowndes. Which William Lowndes? William of Ramsdell 1772-1844 never lived at Old House Green. Doctor William Lowndes 1701-1766 is the only candidate. So we know that this William was Edward's grandfather. But who exactly was Edward?


William had two sons, Edward and John. One must be the father of our Edward. I discounted John because, although he did marry, he died five years later in 1765, and there are no records of any children. This only leaves Doctor William's eldest son, Edward 1730-1811, to have provided his father with a grandson Edward. The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal 1825 Historical Register Provincial Occurences in the counties of England records for Oct 1st, 1825 the death of "E.Lowndes, esq. of Old House Green, Congleton". I believe this to be 'our' Edward, grandson of William Lowndes. His brother William was living at Ramsdell Hall at the time, and his other brother, John, widowed since 1815, was living at Old House Green. His widowed mother, Mary, must also have been living there. Curiously, she had died just a few months before Edward did.


The question of his date of birth must, for now, remain open. I presumed John, 1770-1811, to be the eldest son. However Edward could have been born between 1767 and 1769, making him the eldest son. Alternatively, he might have been born between William's birth in 1772 and Ellen's in 1783. An Edward Lowndes was born on 19 July, 1783, with his parents given as Edward and Mary. The christening was at St Nicholas, Liverpool on August 5, 1783. His occupation is given as a surgeon. This is probably another Edward, but the Lowndes did have Liverpool connections, and Ellen may have been born in 1782, even though her christening wasn't until 5 March 1783. All speculation ...

Finishing with those previously referred to references. Some are regarding England, Cheshire, Land Tax Assessments, 1778-1832, and there are many references to Edward Lowndes. Most would be for Edward's father, but some are dated after his death in 1811. This adds further creedence to Edward's 'existence'. The other references are from the invaluable National Archives documents and letters. Edward Lowndes and Old House Green are well documented, though, again, one cannot be sure which Edward is the subject.


This particular one suggests the three Lowndes brothers, dated the year before their father died. GRANT by Edward Lowndes of Congleton, gentleman, John Lowndes of Oldhouse Green in par. of Astbury, gentleman, and the latter's Trustee William Lowndes of Manchester, Lancs., merchant, to Randle Wilbraham of Rode Hall in Odd Rode in par. of Astbury, esq., Date: 1810. More speculation (or maybe deduction) Perhaps Edward moved from Congleton to Old House Green following his father's death. The Edward living in Congleton is not Edward Senior because he was living at Old House Green, and at eighty years of age, he was unlikely to be involved in such land affairs.


He did have a 4th child, and that child was our Edward. Nothing else makes sense. Welcome to our family history, Edward Lowndes, and thank you for playing your part in the safekeeping of that wonderful painting of William Lowndes, which found its way to Roderick Chaddock-Lowndes, 1893-1966, and then to Andy Mackay, who is related to Roddy's wife, Marjorie Horner.

                                   Edward Lowndes 1730-1811

Edward, the father of William of Ramsdell, was one of six children born to Doctor William Lowndes and his wife Isabella. He was baptised at St Mary’s in Astbury on August 28th, 1730. As the eldest son, he would eventually inherit the considerable family estates.

Edward married Mary Slack on the 22nd of February 1767 at Great Budworth, one of Cheshire's most beautiful villages. Doctor William didn’t live to see the first of his children married, having died the previous year. His wife Isabella, however, was only fifty-eight and was to live another twenty-eight years. So it would be natural for her to continue as head of Old House Green with some of her children still at home. 

As the new century dawned, certain events took place which changed circumstances for Edward and Mary. His mother Isabella died in 1794, and in 1796 both of his sons married. William moved to Liverpool, where his wife was from, and John and his bride, Hannah took up residence in Old House Green.

                      Left - The complete County of Cheshire  Right - Congleton  both by Martin Stuart Moore

                                Doctor William Lowndes  1701-1766

William was born in 1701, the eldest son of Hugh and Elizabeth Lowndes. He had three brothers and a sister, Elizabeth, and went on to have six children of his own. Much of the information below was gathered following my trip to Astbury churchyard in 2002 and viewing the tombstones. Combined with the Cheshire Bishops Transcripts and Cheshire Marriage Bonds etc, courtesy of my friends at FamilySearch.com, we get a very good picture of Doctor Williams and his family.


He had married Isabella Buckley at St Mary’s Astbury on the 3rd of February 1726. Isabella was christened on February 27th 1707 or 1708 in Sandbach. She was the daughter of Richard Buckley. Doctor William and Isabella's first child, Elizabeth, was born in late 1728. Sadly she died and was buried on December 30 1728. They named another daughter, Elizabeth, in 1740, christened on the 25th of May. She remained single, and died on March 14th 1820, aged eighty.


Edward, his eldest son, (see earlier) was born in 1730.


Frances was his eldest surviving daughter, born in 1732, and christened on May 12th. At the age of forty-three, she married John Hodgkinson at Saint Martin In The Fields,Westminster,on the 20th of April, 1776. Frances died on January 26 1794, and was buried on January 30th 1794 at Astbury, close by her father and her brother John.

             Saint Martin In The Fields, Westminster                                 Nantwich, Cheshire  by Martin Stuart Moore

John was William's second son, born in 1734, and christened on May 19th. He married Hannah Yoxall on January 1st 1760. Hannah was one of the Cheshire Yoxalls as opposed to the Worcestershire Yoxalls. She was born in Nantwich, Cheshire in 1728, and christened on March 3rd. She was the eldest child of Thomas Yoxall, born in 1706, and the grand-daughter of John Yoxall, born in 1660. She had two sisters, Mary and Sarah, and four brothers. John and Hannah settled at John's home in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which is one of Stoke's five towns, but their time together was to be short.


John passed away on January 8th, 1765, aged but thirty, confirmed by his tombstone in Astbury churchyard. The inscription there states he was from Old House Green, thus confirming it as Doctor William's family home too. Hannah died on February 6th, 1774, at the age of forty-seven and was buried next to John. They had no surviving children.


Mary Lowndes was born in 1738 and christened on the 29th of September but no further information about her. A Mary Lowndes was buried at Astbury on Oct 9th 1767. When I get the opportunity to see this gravestone, I should know more. There were also three Mary Lowndes who married at Astbury in the 1770s. This would have made our Mary well into her thirties.


William inherited the family estates and Old House Green in the early 1740s, following the death of his father Hugh. He missed Edward's marriage by one year. He died in August, 1766, aged sixty-five, and was buried on September 2nd, next to his son John, who had died the previous year.

Isabella went on to reach the age of eighty-six. She died on June 4th, 1794, just five months after her daughter Frances. Isabella was buried on June 7 at Astbury, next to Doctor William. She probably continued to live at Old House Green after Doctor William’s death in 1766.


Doctor William and Isabella had had six children, but only one of them, Edward, had presented them with grandchildren. William did not live to meet any of them, but Isabella lived long enough to meet her two grandsons and her granddaughter.

                                     Hugh Lowndes   1672-1741

Hugh was the father of Doctor William Lowndes. Hugh was a popular christian name amongst the early Lowndes, but which died out after him. This Hugh was born in 1672 and the son of Edward Lowndes. The Lowndes of Odd Rode family tree on the internet, which helped galvanise my own genealogical efforts in 2002, incorrectly gives Hugh’s parents as Hugh and Margery who would have had to be in their mid-60s to have conceived Hugh. Fortunately, Irene Parker-Lowndes did question this entry and posted her amendment at Mike Lowndes website. She decided that Edward, previously entered on the tree as Hugh’s brother, was in fact his father!


Obvious, really, but only Irene challenged this and came up with the correct lineage. Had I checked more carefully at FamilySearch in 2002, I would have found the entry of Hugh’s christening on the 13th of January 1672, with Edward given as his father. A daughter, Lydia, was born in 1670 with Edward given as her father too. No other records of children born to Edward. So it would appear that Edward and Margaret became parents rather late in life.


Back to Hugh. He married Elizabeth ( maiden name possibly Tailor) at Astbury in 1699, and they had five children. The eldest, William (see Doctor William Lowndes earlier) was born in 1700, with Edward following the next year. William and Edward both lived to be sixty-six and died within a year of each other. 

Elizabeth, their only daughter was born in 1704. She went on to marry William Delves on 13th February 1730 at Trentham, Stafford. Their children were christened at Astbury Church. John Delves was christened on Nov 10th 1736, and Mary on January 26th 1740. Mary married Ralph Baddely of Biddulph in 1760. John married Sarah Beech in 1762. A William, born in 1749, also has William and Elizabeth as his parents ... Elizabeth would have been forty-five by then, but it is an Astbury christening. This William married Elizabeth Shaw at Astbury in 1771. I couldn't find any other children for Elizabeth. She died in 1773, and was buried at Astbury on Boxing Day.


Hugo and John were the younger sons.They had relatively short lives. John died aged twenty-three, and Hugo, born in 1706, died aged forty-eight. Hugo was a clergyman, and may be the Hugh who married Mary Braddock at St Michael's, Macclesfield on June 25th, 1741. Hugh died in 1741. 

                                        Edward Lowndes 1626–1695

Edward was christened on September 29th, 1626 and called Edwardus in the Bishop's transcripts. He was the father of Hugh Lowndes as we now know and not the brother as previously and erroneously recorded in the Lowndes Family Tree. Therefore he is the grandfather of Doctor William, and the great-grandfather of Edward Lowndes. Nothing is certain about his wife, other than her name was Margaret.


I suspect that she was Margaret Sherwood, and that Edward married her on September 21st, 1665. Therefore, they waited five years before their first surviving child. They appear to have had only one other child besides Hugh. Her name was Lydia, born two years after Hugh in 1670 and christened on the 30th of March at Astbury. No marriage or children have been found for her. Edward would have been forty-four when he started his family.

                                    Hugh Lowndes c.1604-c.1680

The father of Edward, and although probably born in 1604 and christened on the 22nd of July that year, I cannot confirm this. He married Margery (surname not known) around 1625 with Edward being their first born in 1625 and inheritor of the family estates.

Their only daughter, Thomasine, was born in 1627. Their third-born was William, in 1630, who married a Jane. There then appeared to be a gap of nine years before Hugh and Margery had their fourth child, Thomasine. Their eldest daughter must have died, and they decided to keep the name Thomasine.


Two years later, Thomas came along. He became known as Thomas of Betchton, which is a township just east of Sandbach. He was born in 1641 and died in 1708. He is also the only Lowndes to be named Thomas. Though a common enough name, it wasn’t one used by our branch of the Lowndes until Elizabeth Lowndes of Ramsdell Hall married into the Chaddocks some two hundred years later. Clearly, however, Hugh and Margery loved the name Thomas and its female variant, Thomasina.


In 1645, they had their sixth and last child, John. Other than he died in 1695, I have found nothing else for him. Margery died in 1666. Hugh died in 1680 and was buried in the September of that year.

                                Bechton Hall
                               Old Hall at Sandbach

                                          Edward Lowndes  1566-1608

As we move into the 16th Century, a nice symmetrical pattern emerging here with the names Hugh and Edward alternating in the Family Tree! This Edward was the father of Margery’s Hugh and was born in Odd Rode in 1566. He was the middle child of seven born to Hugh and Thomasin Lowndes. Therefore he wouldn’t have been the one to inherit the Lowndes fortune with elder brothers Matthew and Humphrey outliving him. But it is his lineage that makes its way south to Old House Green and eventually to Ramsdell Hall. Perhaps it was Edward who made his own fortune, but then he only lived to be 42. What it does suggest is that Old House Green, as the ancestral home of the Lowndes, started with Edward.


Edward and Johanne had three children that I know of with Thomasine the eldest, born in 1602 and christened on the 2nd April. There is a record of their marriage as having been in Gawsworth, Cheshire circa 1591, but that would leave a gap of eleven years before Thomasine’s birth. Even allowing for child mortalities in these days, that marriage date doesn’t seem to fit. Hugh was born in 1604 and John in 1606. Edward’s death is recorded as being in 1608. If so, Johanne was left with three children under the age of seven to bring up alone. Marrying again didn’t seem to be the practice then.

                                          Hugh Lowndes 1532-1599

The father of Johanne’s Edward and the eldest son of another Edward and Margaret Lowndes. Hugh was born in 1532 in Gawsworth which is one of Cheshire’s most picturesque villages, situated just south of Macclesfield. It is famous for the magnificient Gawsworth Hall, a 15th century manor house. He married Thomasina Broadhurst on the 24th of January 1557. She was born about 1536 in Prestbury, an equally attractive village just north of Macclesfield.


Having had six sons between 1560 and 1576, they finally had a daughter in 1578 with the birth of Anne. She was christened at St Mary’s, Astbury on the 10th of May. She married John Wedgewood on February 20th, 1603 at St Mary's,Astbury. No details for John but they had a daughter, Thomasina born about 1604.

                                 Gawsworth Hall                                                                                     Prestbury Village

Their youngest son Roger’s birthplace is given as Astbury whereas their second-youngest James’s birthplace is given as both Astbury and Prestbury and his year of birth ranges from 1568 to 1572. What is certain is that James married Margery Rathbone on the 26th of November,1593 at St Mary'S, Astbury. They had three children that I know of. James born a year after their marriage. Thomazin in 1600, and then there is a gap of ten years before Margery. We have already met their middle son, Edward, born in Odd Rode.


Peter was their third child and was christened on the 18th July 1564 in Gawsworth. He married Margaret Hankinson on the 20th February,1603 at Astbury. Margaret was from Gawsworth and her birth is given as circa 1568. An alternative date for the marriage is given as 1587. This is more credible because their eldest daughter,Thomasina,was born circa 1590. However their second daughter, Anne wasn’t born until 1604, some fourteen years later. Her birth fits in with the 1603 marriage and this marriage does have a definite date recorded. A mystery to be solved. These records are parish records collected by FamilySearch.com with the emphasis on christening dates rather than birthdates. Their third daughter, also named Thomasina (presumably the first Thomasina died) was born about 1607 and they had a fourth daughter, Margaret born in 1611. The 1603 marriage date looks the most likely.


Humphrey Lowndes was Hugh and Thomasina’s second child, christened on the 20th February, 1562 at Gawsworth. An alternative date is given as the 20th February, 1561 at Gawsworth. Humphrey married an Eme in 1586 in Gawsworth. They had a son born around 1587 whom they named Humphrey.


Their eldest child was Matthew born in 1560 in Gawsworth. No christening date for him. He became a stationer and married Anne circa 1893. There are four children known of. Robert was the eldest with Thomas also born in the 1590s. Marie and Anne followed in the early 1600s. Matthew died in 1625.

Hugh Lowndes died in 1599 with Thomasina outliving him by nine years.

                                        Edward Lowndes  1510-1592

Edward was the father of Thomasina’s Hugh Lowndes, initiating the family pattern of Edward >Hugh>Edward>Hugh>Edward> Hugh taking us through the generations to Doctor William in 1700. Each one is a direct ancestor of mine on my mother's side. Sadly, I have no father's side.

Edward was born in 1510 in Gawsworth, the 2nd son of Peter Lowndes of Odd Rode. Naturally, of course, his elder brother was called Hugh. He married 17 year old Margaret in 1531. Hugh was born a year later with Edward following in 1534. A 3rd son, Peter was born during this period but it’s not certain which year. So Edward had named one son after his father, one after himself, and one after his brother. Choosing your children’s names in those days was pretty straightforward!

Edward died in Gawsworth on the 3rd of September 1592 with his son Edward following suit in 1597. Edward Junior's Will of 1580 tells us that he was a batchelor. Hugh died two years later. Peter made it into the next century, dying in 1611. He was probably single with no records of a marriage or children.

                 The Knot Gardens at Little Moreton Hall                                              Little Moreton Hall entrance

                                       Peter Lowndes  c1488-c1568

Peter takes us into the 15th Century with his birth in 1488 in Odd Rode. We don’t know the name of his wife. She is recorded as Mrs Peter Lowndes as was often the custom. But her birthyear is given as about 1492, also in Odd Rode. Their marriage is given as about 1509, making Mrs Peter as young a bride as her daughter-in-law Margaret was. The problem is that their eldest son, Hugh, was born in 1508. Consequently it’s best to put the “about”s back a couple of years and then we’re ok. Edward, already chronicled, was their second son born in 1510. There may have been a third son, Matthew, born about 1514 who married Emme.

                                       Peter Lowndes  c1466-1558

Peter was born in Odd Rode about 1466.Interestingly, Peter also marries a Mrs Peter Lowndes, just as his son did. Small world. She was also from Odd Rode. The source that gives us his approximate date of birth,also gives us his date of burial in 1558. A very long life for that time. His marriage to Mrs Peter Lowndes took place about 1487, with their son, Peter born the following year.


With Peter Lowndes, the elder, we have traced our direct, unbroken lineage of Lowndes back as far as is possible. Peter’s father may have been a John Lowndes of Overton, born in 1434. But mays are not good enough. Incidentally his wife was called…… you’ve guessed it…Mrs John Lowndes. Help!!

Here is the list of my direct descendents from Peter in 1466 (sorry John of 1436 but we're not sure enough) to myself sitting here in 2009 ... or 2018 as I update this page.


Peter, Peter, Edward, Hugh, Edward, Hugh, Edward, Hugh, Doctor William, Edward, William of Ramsdell, Elizabeth, Thomas, Ione, Ina, and Chris.


Bidding farewell to the Lowndes of Overton, my maternal grandmother Ione's branch of the family, on her father’s side, we now turn our attention to her mother’s side and the Horners.

If there is one place that defines the Lowndes, it is the village of Astbury, and the ancient church of St Mary's overlooking the Cheshire Plains. A fitting end to our 500 year  journey.