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Thomas and Elizabeth Crosland of Bradford and Darlington
Thomas William Crosland was born on 26 April 1843 in Bradford, Yorkshire. His father was Robert Crosland (1812 – 1855) who owned the Union foundry in Manchester Rd, Bradford. His mother was Tabitha Crosland (nee Parkinson 1814 – 1849). His mother died when Thomas was 6 years old and his father died when he was 12 years old. At the 1851 census Thomas’s aunt Ann Crosland is living with her brother Robert to help him raise his six motherless children. They also had a governess and 3 servants living with them.
Thomas inherited the Union Foundry. He married Elizabeth Swann (born in Bradford on 17 April 1844, died 1929) in The Registers Office, Bradford, 8 February 1865. His occupation and address were listed as, “engineer living at 5 Ashgrove, Horton, Bradford” when he married Elizabeth. They had 4 sons and a daughter:
1. Robert George Crosland born in Bradford (1866 – 1916)
2. William Howard Crosland born in Leeds (b. 1868)
3. Ernest Crosland born in Leeds (1871 – 1904)
4. George A. Crosland born in Bradford (b. 1874)
5. Ethel Crosland born in Darlington (b. 1876).
After 10 years of marriage in 1875 they were living at Darlington with their five children when his foundry business failed and he left his Elizabeth and the five children. His mother-in-law, Rebecca Swann wrote in her ‘Recollections etc of my life’ about how Thomas met, married and then abandoned Elizabeth:
“He was brought up amongst the Society of Friends but found his way among ‘Brethren’ while residing in Birmingham. When he returned to Bradford he attended the same meeting with us, and not infrequently visited at our house. He was young and inexperienced but possessed of means and at the time engaged at the Foundry which his father had owned (Father and Mother were both deceased) that there seemed no valid reason why they should not be married, but I think had we been judicious, we should have counselled a somewhat longer delay, but we cannot tell.
The union did not prove such a happy one as we had fondly hoped, and in about 10 years poor dear Lillie had to apply for a legal separation which was at once granted; they were then living at Darlington. Bitter as was the experience, the result was, I venture to think, a merciful deliverance from a life-long thraldom. It was not of her own choosing and there was but one course open to her. TW Crosland had made an assignment, the officers were in the house preparatory to a sale of their effects, and he left her (original emphasis) with their 5 children without any means of support.”
Robert George Crosland left England at about 18 yrs of age to sail to Australia. His sister Ethel remembered saying good-bye to him when she was very young and how sad it was for all the family as they were afraid they would never see him again, and she never did. He didn't come back to England to visit and she lost contact with him. He married Susannah Jordan in New South Wales. They had 3 sons and 3 daughters: Howard Crosland; Sydney Sharp Crosland; Clarice Sarah Crosland; Edith Mabel Crosland; Robert George Crosland and Edna Ethel Crosland born in 1899.
He became Harbourmaster at Newcastle, NSW and died in 1916.
William Howard Crosland, known as Howard, was born in Leeds 1868. He was recorded at Darlington in the 1881 census. He married Nelly and they had a son, John Crosland. He died in Sutton in 1953. The following obituary appeared in the Sutton and Cheam Herald on 18 December 1953.
“The cremation took place at Streatham Crematorium on Tuesday afternoon of Mr William Howard Crosland, a former Alderman and Mayor of Sutton and Cheam who died at his home, The Gallop, Sutton, on Friday. He was 85. Mr Crosland was first elected to the old Urban Council in 1920, was Chairman five years later and was one of the first Aldermen to be elected when the town was created a borough in 1934. He became Mayor in 1941-2 and retired from the Council in 1948. Mr Crosland was a chemist and until his retirement many years ago, owned two shops in the town, one in Grove Road, and another one in the High Street. He was also a former chairman of Cuddington Hospital Board, and one of the oldest members of Sutton Bowls Club. Mr Crosland was extremely active for a man of his age, and was still driving his car up to 6 weeks before his death, which followed a short illness.” His son John Crosland became a doctor with a practice in Harley Street, London.
Ernest Crosland was born in Leeds 1870. He was recorded at Darlington in the 1881 census.
He was a science teacher at Watford Grammar School and according to his sister Ethel, was highly regarded. He married Nelly Richards (1877 – 1900) and they had a son, Alan Crosland, born 27 May 1900. Nelly died shortly after giving birth to Alan. Ernest’s sister, Ethel Crosland remembered how Ernest got sick and died. He had been riding a motor bike which broke down on his way home. He became very hot pushing it up hill, then caught a chill which turned into pneumonia and he died.
George A Crosland was born in Bradford 1873. He is recorded living at Darlington in the 1881 census.
He married Laura …? They had two sons and one daughter: George Crosland born in 1893; Robert Crosland born in 1901and Margaret. Margaret married Vicar Head. George’s business was running a group of laundries. He used to carry around a photo of Princess Alexandra - he thought her the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen!
Ethel Crosland was born in Darlington 1876. She is recorded as living at Darlington in the 1881 census.
Ethel’s mother, Lillie, ran a little school at her home and in this way managed to make enough income to bring up her children. This must have been how Ethel became a teacher, probably helping her mother and then going out to teach on her own before eventually running her own school for girls. Ethel was a keen teacher before becoming a probation officer.
Ethel felt very close to her brother Ernest’s son, Alan Crosland because Ethel and her mother, Lillie Crosland had raised him from a baby after Ethel’s sister-in-law, Nelly Richards, died following childbirth.
During the bombing of London in the Second World War Ethel went to live with her nephew, Alan Crosland, whom she had helped to raise. Alan and his wife Biddy had three children Elizabeth, Richard and Sarah at ‘Weston Hall’, an old farm house at Foxearth in Suffolk. Ethel was a great aunt to the children and they called her 'Granty'. She passed down many stories about the family to them during the War.
Elizabeth remembers Ethel ran the parole department in London and was based at Scotland Yard Police Headquarters. Elizabeth remembers going with her mother, Biddy, to visit Ethel in her very nice office in the old Scotland Yard building which overlooked the Thames river. Ethel was on the plump side, but well dressed and had quite an air of authority about her. Ethel used to talk to Elizabeth about her work in prisons and how inhumane the conditions were for prisoners confined in very small cells. She was very keen on prison reform and as a probation officer was instrumental in bringing about some improvements. She was also very friendly with the lady (Elinor Wilkins ?) who organised the march and marched at the head of thousands of people marching from the north of England to London during the General Strike of 1926).
Elizabeth Crosland remembers, "My most vivid memory of Granty is of her playing the piano, which she did beautifully. She had been almost concert standard when young and had been taught by Tobias Matte, who was a well known piano teacher and only taught students who showed real promise of being concert standard. At the farm we often had percussion evenings with Granty at the piano, Richard, Sarah and myself playing, drum, cymbal or tambourine. She also taught the us to sing. I'm sure she was very influential in bringing out the musical side of Richard. Granty used to sew beautifully and she taught me to knit. She used to sew dresses mostly in Vyella for my sister, Sarah, and me, often with smocking, but most of this stopped during the war ( 1939-45) because clothes and clothing materials were rationed and it was possible only to have what was absolutely necessary - mostly school uniforms, a pair of grey flannel shorts and 2 or 3 jumpers for winter and in summer old school dresses for messing about in at home. While Granty stayed with us at Weston Hall she was always given breakfast in bed, partly because she didn't like getting up early and partly because I think my mother liked to have an hour or two without her in the mornings! It's only now that I realise it must have been difficult for my parents always having her around. I rarely remember any feelings of tension. One day Richard and I were picking hazelnuts behind a hedge along one of the country lanes around Weston Hall, when we heard Granty coming along the road. We waited till she had just gone past and then jumped out at her from behind. She threw up her arms and staggered backwards, sinking into the long grass beside the road. She looked shakey and didn't seem to be responding very well. I was sure she'd had a heart attack. I left Richard with her and ran home to get my mother, terrified of what she would say to us. However, I was quite surprised when I found her and told her what had happened, that she almost dismissed the incident and I had to be persuaded to come and see Granty. She obviously felt Granty was putting it on a bit, and taking advantage of the situation! I think my mother was right, Granty managed to walk home and didn't seem to suffer as a result. I think she was sent to bed to rest and we weren't punished at all !"
After the war, Ethel moved to her flat in Shortlands in Kent, near London, but was unable to manage on her own. She became very depressed, was admitted to a psychiatric unit in Peckham, London, where she received electro-shock treatment. Ethel was eventually transferred to another hospital in Colchester, to be near Biddy and Alan Crosland. Biddy Crosland visited her regularly.
She had never married and died in 1957 at 81 years of age.
Thomas William Crosland’s Life after 1875
Elizabeth and their children never heard from T.W. Crosland again after he left in 1875. However, after a year or two his family did contribute 25 Pounds a year for three years to help Lillie and the children.
In an 1876 Directory of Darlington Thomas was an agent to C. Davidson and Sons, paper manufacturers of Aberdeen. He was then living at Woodlands Terrace.
At the 1881 census T.W. Crosland is a lodger living in York whose occupation is described as “Commercial Traveller in Tea and Coffee”.
On 31 October 1882 T.W. Crosland arrived in Quebec, Canada on the ‘Circassian’ from Liverpool.
T.W. Crosland married Emma Eva Brown who was also English.
On 4 June 1886 their daughter Ella Eva Crosland is born in Windsor, Essex, Ontario, Canada. His occupation is listed as “Brass finisher”
In 1887 Thomas, Emma and Ella migrated south to the United States.
At the 1900 US census they are living in Detroit, Michigan and his occupation is again listed as “Brass finisher”.
At the 1910 US census they are living in Main St, Los Angeles, California. Thomas is listed as a “Helper” in an “RR Shop” and Ella is a saleswoman in a clothing shop.
At the 1920 US census Thomas and Emma are living on San Raphael in Burbank California. His occupation is listed as “Gardener” for “Private Homes”.
At the 1930 US census Emma Crosland is a widow living with her daughter Ella and son-in-law, Leroy Bradley (1882 – 1950).
Eveline Mary Edmonds (nee Simonds, Bowyer)
1894 - 1979
Eveline Mary Simonds was born on 23 May 1894 at Kennetside, near Reading in Berkshire. Her birth certificate lists her mother as Annie Simonds (nee Symonds) and her father as Richard Simonds, biscuit factory labourer. However there appears to be no record of a marriage between two people with these names. It appears that Eveline’s mother was probably Annie Simmonds who was unmarried when she gave birth to Eveline and she has given her own father’s name and occupation as the baby’s father at the time of registering the birth. Annie Simmonds probably gave false surnames at the registration of the birth to make it appear she was married to the baby’s father and to avoid the social stigma of illegitimacy for Eveline.
On 28 April 1897 Annie married Henry Bowyer, a carpenter (born on 24 Nov 1867). Annie was described as a ‘spinster’ on her marriage certificate. Three year old Eveline was given her step father’s surname so she became Eveline Mary Bowyer. At the 1901 census Eveline was 6 years old living with her mother, step father and her baby half sister Emma at Milborne Cottages, Sunninghill, Berkshire. Henry Bowyer’s mother, Emma Bowyer (nee Slann ) aged 54 was a widow living next door with 3 of her 13 children, Benjamin aged 18, Frank aged 11 and Evelyn aged 16.
In 1907 Eveline’s baby half brother Frank Edward died the same year he was born.
At the 1911 census Evelyn is 17 years old working as a housemaid in the home of Dr Thomas B. Dakin at Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire, about 16 miles from her family home. She changed the spelling of her first name. Her parents were at home in Sunninghill with Evelyn’s younger half siblings, Emma 10, Margaret 8, Jonathan 6, George 2 and newborn Frederick.
In 1916 at the age of 22 Evelyn had a relationship with a married artillery officer, Captain Thomas Burtonwood who had just returned from the war on the Western Front. On 9 May 1917 Evelyn was staying at Privett Rd, Alverstoke in Hampshire when she gave birth to a baby boy she named Henry Evelyn Bowyer. She gave Henry up for adoption, possibly to the National Children’s Home named ‘Stokesmead’ at Alverstoke.
In 1918/1919 Henry was adopted by Percy Spencer Yates and Clara Eveline Yates (nee Rolley) from Sheffield, Yorkshire. Their only child William appears to have died some time after the 1911 census.
On 12 June 1921 Evelyn Mary married Frederick Edmonds at St Mathews Church, Brixton. Frederick was a Decorator. They had a daughter named Evelyn Florence born on 14 March 1922 at Wandsworth in London. Then they had a son Frank Henry born on 1 July 1926 at Epsom in Surrey.
Evelyn kept a photo her whole life of the baby boy she had given up for adoption. The photo was cryptically marked with his initials and his birthday ‘H.E.B. 9.5.17’. It appears she never told her husband or her children about him.
Evelyn Florence worked as an occupational therapist and married Dr Malcolm William Arthurton MD, FRCP on 15 July 1950 at Banstead, Surrey. They lived for about 4 years at Eccleston Rd, London SW1 until they moved to Dewsbury in Yorkshire. They had two daughters, Amanda and Isabel. Evelyn Florence died in 1995 in Lancaster.
Frank Henry married Vera E Smith in 1949. They had two sons Geoffrey and Brian. Frank died in 1997 in Nottingham.
Evelyn Mary was a widow living with her daughter Evelyn Florence and her son-in-law Malcolm Arthurton at Sefton Lodge, Station Rd, Baildon, Shipley when she died in hospital at Bradford on 15 March 1979.
Evelyn Mary’s half sister Emma May (b. 5 February 1900) married Frank Moore and migrated to Toronto, Canada. She died in 1999. They had 2 daughters.
Evelyn Mary’s other half sister Margaret Lucy (b. 24 Aug 1902) married Edward Henry Beasley on 27 June 1925 at Sunninghill, Berkshire. She died at Sunninghill on 18 September 1996.
Her half brother Jonathan Henry (b. 1904) married Florence Maud Clayton in 1935 at Windsor, Berkshire. He died in 1990.
Her half brother George Anthony (b. 1908) married Margaret Alice Ward in 1937 at Windsor, Berkshire. He died in 1986.
Her half brother Frederick Albert (b. 1911) married Violet M Williams in Herefordshire in 1944. He died on 4 December 1991.
Updated 6 May 2012
Edward and Marina Newbegin of Sunderland
EDWARD JOSEPH NEWBEGIN, son of James Newbegin (1791 – 1854) and Susannah Davison (1794 – 1855), was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England on 19 December 1829 (St Mary Baptist). He followed his father into the tobacco manufacturing business. In 1863 he moved north to Sunderland, County Durham and took over the Eagle Works Tobacco, Cigarette and Snuff Manufacturer and Tavern at 201 High St. (Est. 1807).
In 1865 he married MARINA WARNE (1831 – 1916) in Norwich, Norfolk. Marina was born in Norwich, the daughter of Reuben Warne and Marina Swann.
In 1865 Edward’s address is given as Low Quay. At the 1871 census they are living at 20 John St, Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland. At the 1881 and the 1891 census they are living at 1 Claremont Terrace, Gunton where he died on 28 January 1892 at the age of 62.
Edward Joseph Newbegin and Marina Warne had five sons, Dennes, Lewis, Earnest, Percy and Donald:
EDWARD DENNES (known as Dennes) (1867 – 1937). He followed his father and his grandfather into the tobacco manufacturing business. He married ADA MABEL GUNNING (1870 – 1939). Ada's mother, Lucy Gunning (nee Warne) was a first cousin of Marina Newbegin (Dennes's mother) so Dennes and Ada were second cousins. They had four children: Marie Gwladys Ada Newbegin (1893 – 1973), Keith Dennes Newbegin (1901 – 1982), Lucie Marina Kate Newbegin (1905 – 1985) and Theodore Edward Gunning Newbegin born in 1914. Keith and Theodore migrated to Australia. Their mother Ada joined her sons in Australia.
LEWIS SWANN NEWBEGIN (1868 – 1929) migrated to Chicago, USA in about 1890. He died in New Orleans, USA in 1929.
EARNEST WARNE NEWBEGIN (1870 – 1947). A lawyer.
WHEATON PERCY NEWBEGIN (known as Percy) (born 1875). He was an organ maker and did not marry.
DONALD TRACY NEWBEGIN (born 1872) He had a laundry business, 'The Middlesex and Surrey Laundry'. Donald married twice. He first married MARY WADHAM (known as ‘May’) (1877 – 1908) in 1898. May was the daughter of Arthur Wadham and Sarah Marina Swann. May was Donald’s second cousin: her grandfather, William Swann was the brother of Donald’s grandmother Marina Warne (nee Swann). May's cousin, Ethel Crosland said of Donald and May, "it was a great love match". They were very musical. She used to play the piano while he accompanied her on the violin.
Donald and May had two sons and a daughter: Donald Swann Newbegin born in 1900; Mary Marina Newbegin (known as ‘Biddy’) born on 5 November 1903; Philip Wadham Newbegin born in 1907.
May died from infection following the birth of their son Philip in 1907 and Donald was devastated. Ethel Crosland told how Donald had ordered straw to be strewn on the street outside their house to deaden the noise of the horses' hooves so that it was quieter for his ailing wife. She was buried on 24 June 1908 at Friends’ Burial Ground in Winchmore Hill, North London.
Donald wouldn't allow anyone to touch May’s clothes after she died and he used to bury his face in them in his grief. After her death he didn't touch the violin again. Their daughter Mary (‘Biddy’) told how her father tried to forget his grief by working long hours and hardly ever being at home. She doesn't remember seeing her father much during this time.
In 1911 Donald married FLORENCE SLATER (1871 – 1966). She was a manageress in his laundry business. Biddy said she thought he just wanted someone to look after his children and run his home efficiently, as she had done at his laundry business. Elizabeth Crosland recounted later, "According to other relatives he was really in love with Nancy Slater, Florence's younger sister, but because of a pact (fairly common in those days, I believe) made between the 3 sisters, Florence, Nancy and Bertha, the eldest sister had to get married first, then the second, then the third, so Florence became my grandfather's wife. However I was told he used to take Nancy every summer for a sailing holiday on the Norfolk Broads. Nancy died of alcoholism about the time I was born in 1932”.
Donald and Florence had a son, Arthur Newbegin, born about 1914. Biddy told how Florence had a difficult labour and broke her false teeth clenching them in order not to cry out in pain. She was a very tough, stoic lady. Donald's first three children, Donald (jnr), Biddy and Philip often suffered because of the favoritism shown by their stepmother towards their half brother Arthur.
Elizabeth Yates (nee Crosland) remembers Donald (jnr), "Uncle Donald, I don't think ever got over losing his mother at such a young age. I don't think he ever got on with his stepmother Florence. He missed his own mother whom he used to call ‘Little Mother’ terribly. It affected him for the rest of his life.” He tried a venture growing a tobacco plantation in Africa but it did not succeed. He married Margaret Wells in 1942 but they did not have any children. He committed suicide in 1982.
Biddy Newbegin married Alan Crosland in 1931. They were second cousins and they had three children, Elizabeth Mary, Sarah Marina, and Alan Richards.
Philip Wadham Newbegin was a very good pianist engaged to a famous concert pianist Rachel Lev. He volunteered for the Royal Air Force during the second world war and was lost over the North Atlantic in December 1942 while patrolling for German U boats.
Elizabeth remembered the war years, “We were bombed out of our house in Clacton-on-Sea in May 1940, and my brother, Richard and I went to stay with Grandpa and Grandma [Donald and Florence] for a few months while our parents were finding somewhere else to live. They lived at Laleham-on-Thames near Staines. The house was called 'The Barn' (made from beams from an old barn) and was right beside the River Thames.
While we were living there we often had to come down in the middle of the night to sit under the stairs, and later in a dug-out bomb-shelter at the bottom of the garden, during air raids by the German bombers.
I remember saying "good-bye" to Grandpa after breakfast when he went off to work at the laundry in Staines - the 'Middlesex and Surrey Laundry'. We were usually in bed by the time he came home.
I do remember sitting on his knee on two or three occasions while he brought out his gold fob watch for me to look at. He would open up the lid and make it chime for me. He was always dressed in a business suit and tie. I suppose he wore more casual clothes when he went sailing or fishing. Sometimes I went into his bedroom and watched him shaving. He used a cut-throat razor which he sharpened on a leather strap first.
Donald kept a punt at the landing stage outside the house on the other side of the tow path. He loved fishing and would spend much of his spare time at it. In fact he died in a small boat on the Thames, just opposite the house, from a heart attack in 1946.”
Donald Newbegin and Florence Slater had one child:
ARTHUR NEWBEGIN born 1915. During the Second World War he was a navigator in the Royal Air Force Bomber Command flying Lancaster bombers. He married twice. He married PHYLLIS OTTOWAY and they had three children: Jean, Louise and Philip.
Arthur’s second marriage was to SHEILA VIOLET. They had one child, John Newbegin in 1949.
Isaac and Mary Sharp (nee Likeman) of Brighton, UK
ISAAC SHARP was the son of George Sharp who came from Hampshire. He was a Quaker.
Isaac married twice. By each of his wives he had seven children, the same number of boys and girls in each family. He died in January 1837.
He first married MARY LIKEMAN, also a Quaker. Mary was the daughter of John Likeman and Elizabeth Bourne.
Mary died of typhus fever on 10 December 1815 at the age of 39. Many years later their son Isaac wrote in a letter dated 10 December 1894, "Seventy-nine years ago today, I lost a precious mother. I well remember that solemn period and its associations. Our father's grief was intense... Our uncle Ebenezer and my father occupied one room that night, and I slept with them."
Isaac and Mary had three sons and one daughter who survived: Isaac Sharp (jnr) born in Brighton on 4 July 1806; John Sharp born in 1811; George Sharp born in 1812 and Rebecca Sharp born on 4 September 1815. Mary’s sister, Elizabeth Likeman stepped in and played a mother-like role for the motherless children.
Isaac’s second wife was ESTHER THOMSON. Isaac and Esther had three surviving children: Thomson Sharp; Priscilla Sharp (who married Mr J. Dunning) and Isabella Sharp.
Isaac’s oldest son was also named ISAAC SHARP, born in Brighton 4 July 1806. Isaac Sharp (jnr) became a Quaker travelling minister who travelled all over the world. His life is documented in a biography by Frances Anne Budge titled, 'Isaac Sharp, An Apostle of the Nineteenth Century', published by Headley Brothers, London, 1899 (second edition). She had access to his diaries. The Foreword is written by Joseph W. Pease MP who comments on the extent of Isaac’s traveling. "His journeyings were long and arduous - from the Moravian Settlements in the North, to the Cape of Good Hope in the South, and far away up the wide water navigations of central China in the far East - everywhere teaching, preaching, comforting, strengthening, to the cheer and comfort of those who in their very isolated positions stood really in need of encouragement. ... He narrated, with an eloquence and pathos difficult to describe, how he had been marvelously directed and sustained. His mission was essentially to preach the Gospel of the Love of God to mankind..."
The list of chapters in Budge’s biography gives an idea of the extent of his travels: Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Labrador, South Africa, Madagascar, Australasia, United States, Mexico, France, India, Japan, China, Syria. Isaac obtained a total of 45 certificates from the Friends of the Darlington District to undertake travelling ministry service in almost every part of England and on every [inhabited] continent. These certificates required confirmation by the Friends’ Quarterly Meeting and the Yearly Meeting.
Isaac (jnr) attended William Impey's school at Earls Colne, Essex. He left his hometown of Brighton on 26 May 1827 for his first job at 'Day and Robson' in Saffron Walden. He remained at Saffron Walden until he was about 24 when he moved to Darlington in Yorkshire to become the Private Secretary to Joseph Pease. Isaac Sharp took an active part locally in the General Election of 1832 when Joseph Pease was the first Quaker to take a seat in the Parliament.
Joseph Pease (jnr) wrote about Isaac’s (jnr) role in the early development of Darlington, "He was interested in, or a witness of, the various events that laid the foundation of the town [of Darlington]. He saw it commence from the farmhouse, and grow ere his death to one of some 90,000 inhabitants." Frances Budge states, "The year before Isaac Sharp went to Darlington, the 'Middlesborough owners', of whom Joseph Pease was the chief, had bought the five hundred acres of land on which the town now stands. The estate at first contained only a single farm-house, but it is now a large town with 70,000 inhabitants. The development of this estate brought much thought and work to Isaac Sharp, but not to the exclusion of other claims. Isaac spoke in the ministry for the first time in a Friends' meeting at Darlington in 1832. He accepted the post of Secretary to the Auxiliary Bible Society, and to the Friends' Public School at Great Ayton, as well as the lighter labour of the Secretaryship of the Friends' Essay Society at Darlington.”
In 1838 Isaac (jnr) wrote to his friend Joshua Green about his engagement to Hannah Procter, "My thirty-second birthday finds me thoroughly satisfied that I have not waited in vain. The endeared object of my tenderest affection has consented to be mine, and bright are the beams which illuminate my pathway. ... It is about two years since I first paid my addresses, and truly I have abundant cause for rejoicing, in finding my dearest friend, Hannah Procter, more than I could reasonably expect, and all that I could wish. It is inexpressibly comforting to think of the prospect before me."
Isaac (jnr) married HANNAH PROCTER in February 1839. She was 30 years old, the daughter of Joseph Procter and Elizabeth Procter from North Shields. Isaac and Hannah set up home in West Terrace, Darlington. In her diary, Hannah Sharp wrote of her wedding, "We are sweetly and preciously united, and have often been favoured to feel the overshadowing of divine power".
Isaac and Hannah had two daughters:
PRISCILLA SHARP (known as ‘Polly’) born at Darlington in 1840
ELIZABETH SHARP born in 1841
Hannah died in July 1843 in the fourth summer after her marriage. She said one day to her husband, Isaac, "I think I cannot continue long. Thou wilt have the two little darlings". Isaac describes her saying goodbye to their two little daughters, "Soon after twelve she took leave of our precious lambs, and having kept up remarkably well till this trying moment, she was exceedingly overcome, and it was as much as I could well bear to carry them in one at a time, to receive the last fond kiss and the last sweet smile from their dear mamma. She gave Polly one of her roses, gazed on them till they left the room, and then a flood of tears came".
Isaac was grief-stricken. His sister, Rebecca took charge of his household for some time. His daughter Elizabeth wrote later in life, "My father was, indeed, very kind to his motherless little ones. We used to go to his room in the mornings as soon as we were dressed". Isaac wrote to his girls from the Shetland and Orkney Isles of the comfort he found in thinking of the line, "There is an eye that never sleeps - an eye watching over his dear child and her sister".
Isaac Sharp (jnr) died 1897 at 90 years of age.
JOHN SHARP was born 1811 and became head teacher at the Friends’ school at Croydon. In 1837 he married Hannah Irwin, Governess of Wigton School.
GEORGE SHARP was born 1812 and became a commercial traveller. He died of “atrophy” in March 1843 at 31 years of age and is buried in the Friends’ burial ground at the Darlington Friends’ Meeting House.
REBECCA SHARP was born in Brighton on 4 September 1815. Rebecca has left a diary written in 1888 which describes her life, ‘Recollections etc of My Life’, which she subtitled, “Short sketches of some of the main incidents of my life thinking my dear children might be interested in their perusal”.
Rebecca’s mother died when Rebecca was only three months old. Rebecca was placed with a wet nurse/foster mother for the first 3-4 years of her life.
At the age of 8 she was attended the Friends’ school at Islington. After 2 years the school moved to out to Croydon which was countryside at that time. She would like to have become a teacher like her brother John but she suffered from an undiagnosed nervous disorder that made her drop her ambition.
In 1832 at the age of 16 Rebecca’s brother Isaac “undertook charge” of her. She travelled from Brighton to Scarboro with Isaac where she was apprenticed to a Friends’ millinery business for a year. In 1833 Isaac came for her and took her with him to Darlington where he lived. They travelled to Stockton by stage coach and stayed a night at Whitby, visiting the Abbey. From Stockton to Darlington they went by rail. This was the first time she had seen a railway. Indeed this railway line was the first one in the world and only commenced a passenger service in 1827. She described it as, “…not a very comfortable experience either – but the novelty was exhilarating and with my ‘Lion’ of a brother I remember no sense of fear when he was with me, tho we were likely to be jerked off our seats very suddenly on to the seats of passengers opposite.”
In Darlington Rebecca was placed with a widow, Mary Thistlethwaite, to help her run a drapery business. After a year or two she became Isaac’s housekeeper. Rebecca describes herself when she first came to the North, “…I was as shy as a partridge”
After Isaac got married in 1839 Rebecca moved to Bradford where she started a baby linen business and Friends’ millinery combined. In 1841 she returned to Darlington to help her sister-in-law Hannah Sharp whose health was declining. During her sojourn at Bradford Rebecca met William Swann. He was a widower with two daughters and one son. In her diary Rebecca recounts her reaction to his offer of marriage, “I can honestly say when he first asked me I was not a little astonished and gave him a very decided answer never thinking at the time I should give any other… before I left Bradford he renewed the offer and altho’ under protest, yet I allowed his company and did not refuse him with the decision I did in the first instance. We continued to correspond and he visited me more than once at Darlington.”
Rebecca married WILLIAM SWANN in Darlington Registrar’s Office on 26 June 1843. William was born in 1803, the son of William Swann and Sarah Blake. At the time they married William was living at Bowling, Bradford. He is described as a warehouseman.
Rebecca’s diary continues, “…I have no doubt, to most of our friends and relatives, there looked little prospect of happiness, for “…to leave a good home and marry a man who, though very gentlemanly and well read, had but a small income and a family to commence with, looked folly indeed. Certainly there was not much romance about it.”
Rebecca’s marriage to William caused her to forfeit her membership of the Society of Friends because he was a Quaker by conviction and not a member by birthright. However, they remained close to their Quaker friends in Bradford.
Rebecca became stepmother to William’s three children aged 15, 13 and 4:
FRANCES CARSON, known as ‘Fanny’ was born at Bungay, Suffolk on 15 March 1827.
JOSHUA WILLIAM was born in St Martin at Palace, Norwich on 20 February 1829.
RACHEL was born at 15 Friars St, South Lynn on 2 April 1838.
William and Rebecca had 5 daughters and 3 sons: “Lillie, Willie, Priscie, Polly, Bema, Alfred, Fred and Edie”. They were:
ELIZABETH SWANN was born at Broomfields, Bowling, Bradford on 17 April 1844;
WILLIAM SWANN at Broomfields, Bowling, Bradford on 10 December 1845;
PRISCILLA SWANN at Broomfields Terrace, Bowling, Bradford on 28 April 1847;
MARY HANNAH SWANN at 8 Horton Rd, Horton, Bradford on 31 December 1848;
SARAH MARINA SWANN at 13, St James Square, Horton, Bradford on 8 May 1852;
ALFRED SWANN at St James Square, Horton, Bradford, 16 May 1854;
FREDERIC SWANN at 40 Salem St, Bradford, 27 May 1860;
EDITH SWANN at 40 Salem St, Bradford, 26 January 1862.
In 1847 Rebecca’s husband lost his job with Millet & Co and waited a long time to find another job. Isaac Sharp came to Rebecca’s rescue. He paid her twenty pounds a year plus a clothing allowance to look after their half sister Isabella Sharp who was “rather weak-minded”.
Rebecca was a wonderful needlewoman before sewing machines were invented. She made every piece of clothing her children wore, even the boys’ suits, often propping herself up in bed as soon as it was daylight.
William set up a shop selling gentleman's boots and shoes in Bank St. However this proved a failure and in 1849 he obtained a position at Leeds and the family moved there. Rebecca's brother, Isaac Sharp, had entered into a partnership in a machine business at Kirkstall. As he was not able to look after all of the business himself, he asked William to assist him. This only lasted a couple of years and then around 1851 William obtained a position back at Bradford working for Mr Richard Fawcett, son-in-law to Mr Thomas Willett and also a wool stapler. He was young in the business and William was an efficient bookkeeper. A few months elapsed before the family could move back, as obtaining suitable accommodation was very difficult. The business grew apace and Mr Fawcett became one of the foremost woolstaplers in Bradford. It was located at the top of Cheapside, Bradford.
In the 1851 census the family were living at 13 St James Square. William is described as a merchant in the wool trade, aged 47. By the time of the 1861 census they had moved to 40 Salem St and William is recorded as a clerk and traveller in oils (presumably a salesman). William worked in the employment of Mr Fawcett for 17 years until 1868 when his services were no longer required. Again the family was under severe financial pressure. William went to stay with his brother, Joshua in Norwich, then obtained an agency at 120 pounds a year. But even with the income from the school (where his daughters taught) life was difficult.
In the 1871 census it shows the family at 3 Park Place, Bradford. William is recorded as a Commission Agent (salesman) in olive oil, aged 67.
Joshua Swann, Rebecca’s brother-in-law died at Norwich in December 1876 leaving Rebecca a bequest of 500 pounds and the income from half his considerable estate during her lifetime.
In the 1881 census the family was living at 37 Athol Rd, Manningham, Bradford. Living with Rebecca and William were Mary Hannah aged 32; Alfred aged 26, a doctor; and a servant. They moved down the road to 49 Athol Rd. William died there on 16 February 1889 at 86 years of age.
Rebecca moved to Dulwich in London and was living at Townley Park Villas.
She had a small pamphlet published titled, 'A Few Lines of Thought on Some Momentous Subjects by an Aged Christian', published by Kegan Paul, London, January 1890 (copy in Friends' House, Euston, London). She was still living at the same address in the 1891 census with Mary Hannah and two other people.
Rebecca died on 25 August 1898 at 300 Lordship Lane, Dulwich, at 82 years of age. She is buried with her husband and their son Alfred in the Friends' section of Undercliffe Cemetery Bradford, Yorkshire.
In 1943 Rebecca’s daughter Edith added some of her own comments to her mother’s diary, including:
“Dear Mother certainly embraced poverty as her mission when she married father – a widower with 3 children and a mere pittance of an income.”
Alan and Mary Crosland (nee Newbegin) of Essex
ALAN CROSLAND, son of Ernest Crosland and May Richards, was born on 27 May 1900. He was orphaned at the age of 4. Alan's mother, May died in childbirth in 1900. Alan's father, Ernest, died of pneumonia four years later leaving Alan’s grandmother Lillie Crosland and his aunt Ethel Crosland to raise him.
Alan’s eldest daughter Elizabeth recounts... "For his education he joined the other children being taught by Lillie at her little school. Later, sometime during his teens, he joined the Eastern Telegraph at Porthcurno, Cornwall, where I think he completed his education and learnt morse code. This must have been during the time of the First World War. There is a photo of him in an army uniform looking very young and I seem to remember he told us he went to join up by raising his age, but was later found out and discharged. This is all a bit uncertain as Daddy was still in the Eastern Telegraph for years after the war. He was sent to Gibraltar and Alexandria in Egypt for the Eastern Telegraph and may have been part of the Secret Service as he told [Elizabeth’s brother] Richard he had a special "red passport" which enabled him to go anywhere. He was also in Turkey at the time Ataturk drove all foreigners into the sea. Daddy got out on the last boat to leave. This must have been in the early to mid 1920's. He was away from home for 5 years.
He left the Eastern Telegraph and joined my grandfather Donald Newbegin in the Middlesex and Surrey Laundry to train in the laundry business. My grandfather wanted him to take over from him, but Daddy wanted further experience and joined West Simpson who owned a group of laundries in East Anglia.
It was about this time that Alan was diagnosed with Type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetes. He was a patient in St Thomas's Hospital in London which is where my mother trained as a nurse, and where they became re-acquainted as adults. They had played together as children because they were second cousins. Alan’s grandmother Lillie Crosland (nee Swann) and Biddy’s grandmother, Bema Wadham (nee Swann) were sisters.
Alan was one of the first three patients chosen in Britain to start receiving insulin injections which had just been developed in the USA. He was on a very strict diet and set insulin doses by injection morning and evening. There was no easy way of monitoring blood sugar in those days. Later he got know by the way he felt whether his blood sugar was low or not.
Biddy and Alan started going out together after his discharge from hospital. She must have finished her training and also completed her midwifery training in Scotland by the time they were going out together because she was attending mothers for home deliveries and travelling all over England. Alan was driving at the weekends to meet her. They became engaged in 1930.
Alan married MARY MARINA NEWBEGIN (known as Biddy) at Staines, UK on 6 October 1931. Biddy was born on 5 November 1903. Biddy was the daughter of Donald Tracy Newbegin and Mary Wadham. Mary got the family nickname 'Biddy' because as a child she used to point to things and say 'biddy' for 'pretty'. Alan and Biddy had a very happy marriage.
Biddy died on 21 July 1956 at 52 years of age while she and Alan were on a cruise in the Mediterranean. She had a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage brought on by sea sickness and died within a few days. She was buried at sea in the Mediterranean south of Greece.
Alan died in May 1967 at Clacton-on-Sea, at 66 years of age.
Alan and Biddy had three children: Elizabeth, Richard and Sarah.
ELIZABETH MARY CROSLAND was born in Clacton-on-Sea, UK 20 Oct 1932. Elizabeth wrote the following brief autobiography for a gathering of descendants of the Swann family at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta in October 1993:
“My brother and sister and I were all born at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex in England, a few years before the second World War. We were bombed out of our house in Clacton-on-Sea in May 1940, and my brother, Richard and I went to stay with Grandpa and Grandma (Donald and Florence Newbegin) for three or four months while our parents and Sarah were finding somewhere else to live. Grandpa and Grandma lived at Laleham-on-Thames near Staines. The house was called 'The Barn' (made from beams from an old barn) and was right beside the River Thames.
Then our family went to Glapthorne in Northamptonshire to stay with Mr and Mrs Spencer on their farm. They had a big house and we stayed there for several months, nearly a year I think before we moved into the cottage opposite. It had no running water or electricity when we moved in. My mother carted water from the farm in buckets every day. Later a cold water tap was installed supplied by the windmill in the neighboring field. My mother cooked on an oil stove, very primitive and very hard work. After staying there for a year we moved to Weston Hall, a farm in Suffolk.
We were lucky in many ways, as we escaped most of the horrors of the war living at Weston Hall during most of those years. It was a big old Elizabethan farm house, quite creepy at night, but fun for children to live in! My great aunt, Ethel Crosland, whom we called ‘Granty’ lived with us for much of that time and she was able to tell us little stories about our ancestors, some of which I remember. I wish now I had listened more closely and, I remember, she said I would wish later that I had! She was very musical and played the piano beautifully. We all went to boarding school in the east of England, coming home during the holidays. When I finished school I attended a domestic science college in London, then started my nurse's training at St Thomas's Hospital. Towards the end of my training I met Dennis Yates, a journalist In Fleet St.”
Elizabeth married DENNIS YATES in London, UK on 16 March 1955. Dennis was born 9 May 1917. They had two children:
GILES was born in London, UK on 12 April 1955.
MARY-JANE was born in London, UK on 15 Mar 1957.
Elizabeth’s autobiographical account continues, “…in 1963 Dennis developed cancer and was treated for 3 years before he died in 1966. My brother, Richard, had left England in 1961 to drive to Australia, settling in Sydney. He married Maureen Alexander and had 2 children, Fenella and Lisa, but, unfortunatley, Maureen died very suddenly a few months after Dennis. When Richard came back to England for a holiday we decided it would be good for all of us to join up and live in Sydney. I arrived in Sydney with Giles and Mary-Jane in January 1968 and we lived together happily in Richard's house in Paddington. I looked after the children while Richard went to work. When Richard re-married three years later, I went back to nursing at St Vincent's Hospital for a while, until I left to do midwifery at St Margaret's Hospital for a number of years. I also started my own home visiting service for mothers with new babies, which I very much enjoyed.”
In 2008 Elizabeth is retired and living in Pyrmont, Sydney. She keeps active, particularly helping her family in her role as grandmother and aunt.
ALAN RICHARDS (known as Richard) was born on 23 Mar 1935. Richard wrote the following brief autobiography for a gathering of descendants of the Swann family at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta in October 1993:
“I was born in 1935 in Essex, England. Two sisters, Elizabeth (older), Sarah (younger). In 1940 our family was evacuated from home due to bomb damage. After moving around a bit, we lived in an old Tudor farmhouse in the depths of Suffolk for five years. From 1945 to 1953 I was a boarder at Culford School, Bury St. Edmunds. In 1950 (approx) our family moved to "Tudor Barn", near Colchester in Essex. From 1953 to 1955 I did my National Service in the Royal Signals, eventually becoming a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1956 Mother died suddenly while on a Mediterranean cruise. From 1956 to 1959 I trained to be a manager in the family business of laundries and dry cleaning plants. 1959-60 I lived in a caravan on the banks of the river Wye in Monmouthshire, Wales, managing a staff of approx 100 in Monmouth and Cardiff. In September 1961 six bachelor layabouts (including me) set off from the Grenadier pub in Belgravia, London, destination Sydney, in a second-hand VW van. We sold the van in Penang, Malaysia three months later. On 1 January 1962 I landed at Sydney airport from Singapore. From 1962-67 I worked at various jobs including 5 years of utter boredom at Permanent Trustee Co. in the City. I also attended Sydney University for 3 years (part-time) doing Economics (unfinished). I got married, had two daughters, Fenella and Lisa. Maureen, their mother, died suddenly in 1967. I returned to U.K. for three months following my father's death and stayed with my sister, Elizabeth, in London. She had lost her husband , Dennis, from cancer, the previous year. We decided she and her two children, Giles and Mary-Jane, would emigrate to Australia. They arrived in 1968 and we lived as one family in Paddington. In 1970 I married Judy Pearce and in 1971 Adam was born. From 1969 to present - set up my own business as cabinet-maker (evolving from renovating terrace houses in Paddington) and then started my own woodwork school.”
Richard married three times. He married MAUREEN LESLEY ALEXANDER . Maureen was born in 1941. Maureen was the adopted daughter of Walter and Beryl Alexander. She grew up on their dairy farm near Lismore in northern NSW. At the time she married Richard she was living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and working as a nursing assistant at the Eastern Suburbs Hospital. Maureen died very suddenly of a siezure on 4 May 1967 in Paddington, NSW. Richard and Maureen had two daughters:
Fenella Jane Crosland, born at St Lukes Hospital, Kings Cross, Sydney on 15 Jun 1965;
Lisa Juliet Crosland born at Royal Women's Hospital, Paddington, Sydney on 27 Nov 1966.
Richard’s second marriage was to JUDITH ANNE PEARCE in September 1970. Judith was born in 1945.
Richard and Judy had one son, Adam Crosland born in Paddington, Sydney, Australia on 15 December 1971.
Richard and Judy separated in 1987.
Richard’s third marriage was to DELPHINE MORRISEY in Woollahra, Sydney on 12 April 2003. In 2008 Richard and Delphine are living in Alexandria, Sydney and he continues to run his own successful cabinet making school.
SARAH MARINA was born at Clacton-on-Sea on 22 June 1938.
At 23 years of age Sarah became the mother of Jeffrey Inkpen in London, UK on 3 April 1962.
She married EDWARD GAINEY in London, UK. Ted was born 1919.
Sarah and Ted had two children:
Pamela Gainey born on 26 July 1963;
Alan Gainey born on 17 September 1964.
Sarah died on 9 February 2002 in Mitcham, UK, at 63 years of age.
Arthur & Sarah Marina Wadham
ARTHUR WADHAM was born in Barnstaple, Devon around 1853. He was 23 years old, a coke and iron merchant living at 38 Bondgate, Darlington, Yorkshire when he married SARAH MARINA SWANN (known by her family as ‘Bema’) in Hallfield Chapel, Manningham, Bradford on 30 May 1876. Bema was born at 13, St James Square, Horton, Bradford on 8 May 1852. Bema was the daughter of William Swann and Rebecca Sharp.
Arthur Wadham founded a publishing firm called 'The Machinery Market' and was described in the 1891 census as a proprietor and editor of a trade journal aged 38. At that time the family were living at 5 Townley Park Villas.
They were living at 11Ridge Rd, North London when Bema died on 30 December 1910 at Southend-on-Sea, at the age of 58. She was buried on 3 January 1911at the Friends Burial Ground, Winchmore Hill, London.
Mary Marina (Biddy) Crosland's only memory of her grandmother Bema was going to visit her when she was about 4 years old. Bema was in bed in a first floor bedroom, and Biddy remembered her as being a sweet old lady. She was quite happy for Biddy to amuse herself by picking some flowers in the garden, putting them in a basket and then pulling the basket up on a piece of string, from the garden below, to her grandmother's window.
Arthur and Bema’s great grand daughter, Elizabeth Yates (nee Crosland) remembered, "The Machinery Market developed into a successful business. It was later run by their son Rob, who in turn handed on the running of it to his 3 sons, Ralph, Robin and Bertie. I think Robin was the name - he looked after the accountancy side, but, unfortunately, died fairly young. Ralph continued the magazine until quite late in life, but having no sons it was not passed on in the family, although I believe one daughter was quite involved. Ralph was very interested in yachting and during his career had bought "Yachts and Yachting" magazine which lost quite a lot of money and eventually stopped printing, I think. "Machinery Market" carried on for sometime after that and was eventually sold.
Arthur and Bema had three children, two girls and a boy:
MARY WADHAM (known as ‘May’) was born at Darlington in 1878.
About 1899 May married her second cousin DONALD TRACY NEWBEGIN. Donald was the son of Edward Joseph Newbegin and Marina Warne. May and Donald had three children:
Donald Newbegin in 1900;
Mary Marina Newbegin on 5 November 1903;
Philip Wadham Newbegin in 1907.
May died at the age of 30 from infection following the birth of their son Philip on 20 June 1908.
ROBERT was born in Darlington 1879. He spent some time in his father's business then went to Sweden for further study with an English engineering firm. A few years later he married ESTHER (Essie) CALVERT, his chief's daughter. Esther was born in Gothenberg. Their sons were sent to school in England at Sidcot, a Quaker school.
MILLICENT was born in Darlington in 1882. She was a noted sculptress who had 6 works exhibited at the Royal Academy in London between 1909 and 1919. She sculpted a white marble sculpture titled 'Peace' in an art deco/ancient Egyptian style.
Elizabeth Crosland remembers, "She used to come and stay with us occasionally during the war. She used to live at Shortlands, on the outskirts of London, and needed respite from the bombing. She was a quiet, gentle little lady, who did not seem to be very strong physically. I'm not sure that I heard it from her or from Granty [Ethel Crosland], that Millicent felt spiritually restless during her life. She had travelled quite extensively when young, looking for a spiritual teacher and had lived in India for a year or so, I believe. She never married. Not long after the war she became very ill with cancer and died. I remember waiting in the car outside a London nursing home while my parents [Alan and Biddy Crosland] visited her."
I would be very happy to get any further information about the origins or descendants of Arthur & Sarah Marina Wadham.
William & Rebecca Swann of Bradford, Yorkshire
WILLIAM SWANN, son of William Swann and Sarah Blake, was born in 1803. He was baptized in St George Colegate, Norwich on 10 December 1803.
William Swann was admitted as a freeman of Norwich on 11 December 1824 as a linen draper. He was a witness as the wedding of his half sister, Hannah in 1825. His occupation at Kings Lynn was given as a grocer.
He married twice. His first wife was FRANCES COE. They married in St Lawrence Church, Norwich on 15 June 1826. Frances was born in 1803 and died on 18 October 1840 in Bradford, at 37 years of age. William and Frances had 3 daughters and 3 sons:
FRANCES CARSON, known as ‘Fanny’ was born at Bungay, Suffolk on 15 March 1827. She was baptized in Bungay, Suffolk on 30 April 1827. In 1843 she took a position in a Quaker drapery establishment at Hertford. Rebecca Swann described her as, "...a particularly fine handsome girl and with a generous disposition. She had a great talent for drawing". In the 1851 census she was 24 years old and living with her father at 13, St James Square, Bradford. Fanny married CHARLES FLINT in The Register Office, Liverpool on 29 March 1860. He was a 32 year old cabinet maker living at 36, Moon St. Later they moved to London then immigrated to Australia and settled in Brisbane.
Fanny and Charles Flint had two boys: Charles Flint and Edmund Flint
Fanny died on 9 April 1898 at 71 years of age.
JOSHUA WILLIAM was born in St Martin at Palace, Norwich on 20 February 1829. Joshua died 11 January 1890 in Leeds, at 60 years of age. He married twice. He married MARY ANN RUSSELL in the Register Office, Hunslet, Leeds on 22 August 1850. Mary was born in Norwich. In the 1851 census for Bramley, Leeds she was a dressmaker, aged 23, born at Norwich. He was a millwright, aged 22, born at Norwich. (HO 107/2315/99). When he married Mary Ann he is described as Manager of a Gypsum works living at Armley Ridge, Armley. He later became Head Gaoler at Leeds and they had no children.
His first wife Mary Ann must have died. He married EMMA NABBS (nee COOPER) in Leeds Church on 13 May 1855. A widow, she married Joshua when she was 36. He was then a widower living at Spenceby St and an Assembly Rooms Keeper.
EDWARD was born at Gaywood on 29 November 1832. He died on 23 April 1834 at 15 Friars St, South Lynn, at 1 year of age.
HENRY was born at 15 Friars St, South Lynn on 17 April 1836. Henry died on 16 March 1838 at 15 Friars St, South Lynn, at 1 year of age.
RACHEL was born at 15 Friars St, South Lynn on 2 April 1838. She married JAMES WATSON in the Register office, Bradford, 22 August 1865. Originally from Dumfries. He was an architect at Caledonian St, Leeds. Ruth Swann remembers that he was associated with the theatrical business in Leeds. He was the proprietor of a theatre. He and Rachel had 4 children. He must haved died between 1890 and 1898.
In the 1851 census for Bradford she was living with her father at 13, St James Square. Around 1851 she was at a school run by Quakers at Rawdon (N.E. of Bradford). In Rebecca Swann's journal she states, "She was then sent to Mr Hunton's in Darley St, Bradford in 1855 to learn something of business. Her half brother, William Swann from Parramatta, NSW, Australia visited her on his trip to England in 1900.
EMMA was born in Bradford on 22 September 1840. Emma died on 28 February 1841 at Manor Row, Bradford, at less than one year of age. She was buried on 1 March 1841 at Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford, Quaker Burial Ground.
It is clear from the birthplaces of their children that they moved frequently around the East Anglian countryside, from Bungay to Norwich, to Kings Lynn. Many families moved from Norwich to Bradford at this time because of the rise of the textile trade in Bradford and the decline of Norwich as a pre-eminent manufacturing centre.
In 1840 William Swann moved to Willett and Co, fabric manufacturers in Bradford. His brother Joshua was employed by the same company in Norwich. When his first wife, Frances died in 1840 the family was living at Manor Row, Bradford West End, Bradford. William was described as a writer (probably an alternative name for a clerk). He was living at the same address in the 1841 census with his three children and a servant, Sarah Walter aged 20.
William’s second wife was REBECCA SHARP. They married in Darlington Register Office on 26 June 1843. Rebecca was born in Brighton on 4 September 1815. Rebecca was the daughter of Isaac Sharp and Mary Likeman. Rebecca died on 25 August 1898 at 300 Lordship Lane, Dulwich, at 82 years of age. She is buried with her husband William at Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford.
William appears to have met his second wife, Rebecca Sharp, around 1841 while she was staying at Bradford visiting friends, the Thistlethwaite family. Subsequently he visited her more than once at Darlington. He was living at Bowling, Bradford when he married Rebecca, He is described as a warehouseman. Broomfield Terrace was their first house where their first three children were born.
William and Rebecca had 5 daughters and 3 sons: “Lillie, Willie, Priscie, Polly, Bema, Alfred, Fred and Edie”:
Elizabeth Swann was born at Broomfields, Bowling, Bradford on 17 April 1844;
William Swann at Broomfields, Bowling, Bradford on 10 December 1845;
Priscilla Swann at Broomfields Terrace, Bowling, Bradford on 28 April 1847;
Mary Hannah Swann at 8 Horton Rd, Horton, Bradford on 31 December 1848;
Sarah Marina Swann at 13, St James Square, Horton, Bradford on 8 May 1852;
Alfred Swann at St James Square, Horton, Bradford, 16 May 1854;
Frederic Swann at 40 Salem St, Bradford, 27 May 1860;
Edith Swann at 40 Salem St, Bradford, 26 January 1862.
William Swann set up a shop selling gentleman's boots and shoes in Bank St. However this proved a failure and in 1849 he obtained a position at Leeds and the family moved there. Rebecca's brother, Isaac Sharp, had entered into a partnership in a machine business at Kirkstall. As he was not able to look after all of the business himself, he asked William to assist him. This only lasted a couple of years and then around 1851 he obtained a position back at Bradford working for Mr Richard Fawcett, son-in-law to Mr Thomas Willett and also a wool stapler. He was young in the business and William was an efficient bookkeeper. A few months elapsed before the family could move back, as obtaining suitable accommodation was very difficult. The business grew apace and Mr Fawcett became one of the foremost woolstaplers in Bradford. It was located at the top of Cheapside, Bradford.
Lillie, his eldest daughter by Rebecca said he was very strict about table manners and used to keep a "little switch", which he used on any stray hands on the table! He, it seemed, was often between jobs and not very inclined to work. He used to say "God will provide".
In the 1851 census the family were living at 13 St James Square. William is described as a merchant in the wool trade, aged 47. By the time of the 1861 census they had moved to 40 Salem St and William is recorded as a clerk and traveller in oils (presumably a salesman).
William worked in the employment of Mr Fawcett for 17 years until 1868 when his services were no longer required. Again the family was under severe financial pressure. William went to stay with his brother, Joshua in Norwich, then obtained an agency at 120 pounds a year. But even with the income from the school (where his daughters taught) life was difficult.
In the 1871 census it shows the family at 3 Park Place, Bradford. William is recorded as a Commission Agent (salesman) in olive oil, aged 67.
At the close of 1876 William visited his brother Joshua Swann in Norwich for the last time. Joshua Swann died in December 1876, and Rebecca inherited 500 pounds and the income from half his considerable estate during her lifetime.
In the 1881 census the family was living at 37 Athol Rd, Manningham, Bradford. Living with Rebecca and William were Mary Hannah aged 32; Alfred aged 26, a doctor; and a servant. They moved down the road to 49 Athol Rd. William died there on 16 February 1889 at 86 years of age. He is buried with his second wife Rebecca and their son Alfred in the Friends' section of Undercliffe Cemetery Bradford, Yorkshire, UK. Rebecca moved to Dulwich in London and was living at Townley Park Villas. She was still living at the same address in the 1891 census with Mary Hannah and two other people.
Rebecca has left a journal written in 1888 which describes her life, ‘Recollections etc of My Life’, which she subtitled, “Short sketches of some of the main incidents of my life thinking my dear children might be interested in their perusal”. She had a small pamphlet published titled, 'A Few Lines of Thought on Some Momentous Subjects by an Aged Christian', published by Kegan Paul, London, January 1890 (copy in Friends' House, Euston, London).
William and Rebecca had the following eight children who survived:
ELIZABETH, known as Lillie was born in Broomfields, Bowling, Bradford on 17 April 1844. Lillie died 1929 at 85 years of age. She married THOMAS WILLIAM CROSLAND in The Registers Office, Bradford, 8 February 1865. Thomas was born 26 April 1843. Lillie and Thomas had 4 sons and a daughter:
Robert George Crosland;
William Howard Crosland born in Leeds, 1868;
Ernest Crosland born in Leeds, 1870;
George A. Crosland in Bradford, 1873;
Ethel Crosland born in Darlington, 1876.
WILLIAM was born in Broomfields, Bowling, Bradford 10 December 1845.
William died 11 November 1909 at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta, NSW, Australia at 63 years of age. He married ELIZABETH DEVLIN at her parents' farmhouse on 7 October 1870. Elizabeth was born in NSW 15 August 1853. Elizabeth was the daughter of John Devlin and Elizabeth McKay. Elizabeth died 8 December 1940 at 87 years of age. They had 12 children:
Margaret Swann at Grenfell on 7 August 1871;
Rebecca Swann at Grenfell, 7 April 1873;
Priscilla Swann at Grenfell, 8 April 1875;
Mary Marina Swann at Bowning, 3 June 1877;
Elizabeth Swann at Bowning, 17 June 1879;
Isabella Frances Swann at Temora, 1 January 1881;
Edith Rachel Swann at Temora, 7 June 1883;
William Alfred Swann at Temora, 15 August 1885;
John Isaac Swann at Naremburn, 17 November 1887;
Ruth Hannah Swann 3 March 1890;
Frederic Joshua Wadham Swann at Granville, 4 August 1892;
Nona Filia Swann at Granville, 13 January 1898.
William's life is documented in a small book by two of his grand daughters titled, 'A House Re-born - The Story of William Swann of Elizabeth Farm House, Parramatta' by Elizabeth Plimer and Ellen Errey, published by EM Plimer, Lindfield, Australia 1991.
PRISCILLA was born in Broomfields Terrace, Bowling, Bradford 28 April 1847. Priscilla died 1929 at 82 years of age. She married GEORGE CATER . She was a music teacher and in 1876 arranged to travel with friends to Brisbane, Australia. While on board the ship 'Ramsey' sailing to Australia she fell in love with the Captain, George Cater. They were married within a couple of weeks of their arrival in Australia. Later they settled in Brisbane. They had three surviving children and a son who died in childhood.
MARY HANNAH, known as ‘Pollie’, was born in 8 Horton Rd, Horton, Bradford. 31 December 1848. Polly died 15 November 1932 in St Albans, Hertfordshire, at 83 years of age. She made a will 26 March 1926. She was engaged to be married to George William Wright, a stuff manufacturer, but he died of typhus on 24 November 1870, a few days before the wedding. He had willed all his money and goods to Mary. She took a long time to recover from this bereavement and remained at home to help look after her parents. She was living at 21 Townley Park Villas, Dulwich with her mother in the 1891 census. She was living at Carlton Drive, Heaton, Bradford in 1898, when probate of her mother's estate was granted to her. She was living at 18 Brampton Rd, St Albans, Hertfordshire at her death on 15 November 1932, aged 84. She left everything in her will to her niece and executrix, Edith Gwendoline Chettle.
SARAH MARINA, known as ‘Bema’ was born at 13, St James Square, Horton, Bradford. 8 May 1852. Bema died on 30 December 1910 in Southend-on-Sea, at 58 years of age. Her body was interred 3 January 1911 in Winchmore Hill, London, Friends Burial Ground. She married ARTHUR WADHAM in Hallfield Chapel, Manningham, Bradford., 30 May 1876. Arthur was born in Barnstaple, Devon. They had three children:
Mary Wadham, known as ‘May’ at Darlington in 1878;
Robert Wadham at Darlington in 1879;
Millicent Wadham at Darlington in 1882.
ALFRED was born at St James Square, Horton, Bradford on 16 May 1854. He married MARIA LOUISA CADMAN in Sheffield on 12 September 1888. She had 2 children by her first husband Arthur Dean. Alfred brought the boys up as his own. In accordance with their mother's wishes one went into the medical profession and the other went into the church (Church of England). The doctor went to France during World War 1 and married a French woman and settled as a farmer in the north of France. Her children had no offspring.
Alfred was a year or two in school at Rawdon. He left to go into an office, and studied at night to improve his position. In the 1871 census he was working for a stuff manufacturer at Bradford, living with his parents. He studied at Birmingham, but thanks to his aunt's generosity he was able to leave business and enter a medical career. He became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS London) and an MD (Brussels). In the 1881 census he is recorded at Bradford living with his parents, as a doctor aged 26. He eventually took a practice at Batley, Yorkshire in 1879 and became Medical Officer of Health to Batley Town Council. Alfred was living at Brunswick St, Batley, when he married Maria Louisa Dean but died on 6 June 1895 at 41 years of age. He is buried with his parents at the Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford.
FREDERIC, known as ‘Fred’ was born in 40 Salem St, Bradford 27 May 1860. He married EDITH MARY ROBSON in Grange Church, Stockton Rd, Sunderland, 15 November 1888. Edith was the daughter of Samuel Sinclair Robson. Edith died 29 September 1950 at Pyrmont Point, NSW, Australia. Fred and Edith had 3 surviving children:
Meredith Blake Robson Swann born on 29 July 1893;
Edith Marjorie Glaholm Swann in Sunderland on 21 June 1895;
Mary Alfreda Sinclair Swann in Sunderland on 17 January 1899.
Fred was never a member of the Society of Friends though both his parents were Quakers. He was a student at the Flounders Institute, Ackworth, and a master at two private schools conducted by Friends. He obtained a BA and a BSc from London University in 1887. He was living at 69 Gloucester St, Newcastle when he married Edith Robson. He was then described as a science teacher. He became science master at the Grammar School, Newcastle. He became Headmaster of Ilkley Grammar School in 1893 for 12 years. He was responsible for the building of the large new science buildings there. In 1904 he was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple and resigned his Headmastership. On coming to London he also joined the staff of the Times newspaper. He was sent by the paper to many places at home and abroad. He was a Past Master of the University of London Masonic Lodge. He did work on the Education Committee of the Beckenham Urban District Council and frequently gave addresses to the Men's Brotherhood and the Women'sCitizenship Association on social and economic questions. In 1917 he was at Beckenham, a barrister and on the board of his father-in-law's firm, Glaholm and Robson, wire rope manufacturers of Sunderland. Said to have manufactured the cables for the Melbourne trams and also for the King St cable tram in Sydney. Fred was the author of 2 books, one of which was titled, 'English Citizenship', the other 'A Primer of London Citizenship'.
Fred died on 14 December 1925 at Milagiriya (St Paul's Church) at 65 years of age. His body was interred in Cambridge, Trumpington Cemetery.
EDITH, known as 'Edie', was born in 40 Salem St, Bradford 26 January 1862. Edith’s uncle, Joshua Swann, helped her financially with her education, first at Fulneck and then at Bradford Grammar School for 3 years. She taught at Sidcot school, Winscombe, Somerset 1880, 1881, piano and other subjects.
She married DAVID WILLIAM CHETTLE, known as Will, in St John's Wesleyan Chapel, Bradford, 3 October 1882. At that time she was living at 37 Athol Rd, Manningham. Edie and Will had two boys and a girl:
Henry Hulbert Chettle in 1883 (They had a son who died in infancy. Recorded in the Bradford Observer death notices, 9 August 1884);
Eric Chettle at Bradford in 1885;
Edith Gwendoline Chettle, known as Gwen, at Bradford in 1889.
Will was from an Irish family. He became a bank cashier. They were living at 65 St Mary's Terrace, Manningham, Bradford in 1889 when he was present at his father-in-law's death. In the 1891 census they were living at 65 St Mary's Rd, Bradford and he was described as a bank manager. In 1909 he was a stock and share broker at 5 Charles St and was living at 18 Clevelan Rd, Bradford.
Edith lived to be about 90 years old. She refused to take shelter from the bombs dropping over London during the war.
I would be very happy to learn any new information about the ancestors or descendents of William and Rebecca Swann of Bradford.
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