It seems all focused on Tottington and broadly the Bury/Bolton area. This of course will continue to grow. However my father can trace his history back to Harmston, thence to India, Cornwall and then via London to Tottington. Pix and info to follow. He had a large family too! Then of course is my wife's family, father from what we thought was originally Sussex, but we now know Hampshire! Last but not least my mother-in-Law, part German and part Polish.
Probably time for some sort of Genealogy table!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Lets go to Harmston!

Although I want to return to the wilds of Parbold, Wigan and the rest of that rolling, but very muddy Lancashire plain, our journey takes us to Harmston, Lincolnshire, equally flat but where my fathers side of the family originates. Henry Martyn-Clark wrote the biography of his father, Robert Clark. I enclose the first chapter of his book. Tells me much about this side of the family. Up to 1990, I knew nothing except that Henry Martyn-Clark was shrouded in mystery, We had snippets of mail and written records, some transcribed. My fathers parents had died and he was "farmed" out to his aunts, his mothers sisters. They will have a chapter to themselves too. However the Internet changed so much of that. There is no way you can miss "Henry Martyn-Clark" if you search, but finding the biography for sale at a reasonable cost in America, and reading it was possibly the biggest eyeopener of my genealogical career. I include the earliest photograph of Robert, He is fittingly the one standing behind his father, Henry. He also fittingly deserves a Chapter to himself. I am indebted to my Great Grandfather for writing the book.

Rev.Henry Clark seated centre with wife Mary (Blackwall) to his left Sons: -Left to right: Hamlet, John, Robert, Roger, Henry,  Daughters:Mary (standing), Elizabeth (seated in chair)  Susan(Susanna) (seated on floor).

This is an excerpt from the Lincoln Record Society Newsletter:

The first stage was for both advowsons – or, rather B.H. Thorold’s life interest in them - to be put up for auction at the  Saracen’s Head in Lincoln, in 1858. The description noted  that the current incumbent was in his 73rd year. The copy of  the particulars in the Padley deposit at LAO has a pencilled  note of a bid of £200 for Harmston (worth £167 per annum) from someone who appears to have been a Leicester solicitor. both advowsons had high reserves: it is almost as though the auction was an invitation to treat rather than a sale as such.. 
Potential purchasers presumably made discrete enquiries  about the health of Henry Clark, the incumbent. by 1861, Henry Clark was employing curates at both his parishes and had taken a house at Torquay. he died there on 2 July 1862. The conditions of sale for Harmston and the price (£300) were agreed in January 1862 by Robert Toynbee, solicitor – another of Lutt’s brothers-in-law, evidently acting for him. In June, Lutt wrote to Henry Clark to ask if he was willing to sell a couple of cottages he owned at Harmston adjacent to the vicarage; his son replied on his behalf as his father was too ill to attend to business. Immediately after Clark’s death, Lutt wrote to Toynbee to see whether it would be possible to arrange an exchange with the purchaser of Rowston. In a postscript he urges Toynbee (not, I think, wholly in jest) to tell them that Rowston church is falling  down. A further letter (12 July) notes that ‘Mr hood abated £50 on our behalf’; he wants this taken into account in any matter of exchange. In the event no exchange took place; Lutt was presented to Harmston on 1 October 1862. The sale was  only completed a year and a day later, so the presentation was actually made by Thomas hood. Benjamin Hart Thorold had died by the time of the next presentation, so there are few indications in the official record even that Lutt had bought the advowson.
I assume that all parties took care to stay on the right side of the law. It is nevertheless clear from Lutt’s  correspondence that his intent was to buy ecclesiastical preferment. both the solicitors involved appear to have  regarded the transaction as entirely normal. 

There is a description of Simony here. Cannot believe that this was practiced by any of my ancestors!

This new information was provided from the website above. I will dive into Ancestry and try to provide extra info from the censuses.

Here are the jpg's :

1841 Census

1851 Census

1861 Census

Both Hamlet and Roger followed  Robert to India. Up to Chapter 12 has now been added.
Click on this Tab to read the biography.
I am in the fortunate position of finding 4 pictures on the Flickr site that relate to the Clarks and the time they spent in Harmston. They are below. I am indebted to the photographer. A Mr Clark!

These are photos of the church interior. I was fortunate to visit in September'16.

Susan (Susanna) married Joseph Harris, Rector of Sheepy. A more complete rundown of her is on The Harris Family section of Church of the Martyrs website. Although the website still exists I am not sure this document still exists. I wrote to the writer but I never received a response.However it provided much useful information.

Elizabeth Catherine Clark  married the Rev Thomas Simcox Lea, the eldest son of  Reverend Frederick Simcox Lea of Astley Hall, in the county of Worcester, and The Lakes, Kidderminster, Master of Arts of the University of Oxford.

Henry Clark married Charlotte Jones, there is more information on this website - thanks to  Tim Clement-Jones.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Affetside Article in local paper

A skull in Affetside
I think this may have been published in the Bury times or the local BoltonEvening News in the late 60's. However this clipping was kept by my mother Pat Martyn-Clark(nee Lomax) and deserves the light of Day! (Further info available at Anything in brackets are my additions) Cannot easily find a reference to Anne Thomas working for the Bury Times or the Bolton Evening News. The article is reproduced in its entirety.
A Skull at the Bar – written by Anne Thomas.
Licensee Mike Hilton has a skull for company behind the bar of his 15th Century inn at Affetside, near Bury. And it's a distinguished fragment of bone, a gruesome relic of a famous executioner who seemingly has a few unpleasant tricks up his ghostly sleeve.
A skull, black and polished with age, isn't something that you expect to see in your local pub.. But regulars at Affetside's ancient Pack Horse Inn are used to it.. From a special shelf high in the back wall of the bar, this grim relic surveys the nightly festivities with a tooth smile or a grisly grimace , depending on where you stand. It's not just any old bit of bone either, but all that's left of a man who earned himself a footnote in many a history book. “That's George Whewell”, explained Mike Hilton, “The man who executed the Earl of Derby.”

Staunchly Royalist Lord Derby led a 2000 strong army in support of the King. Defeated near Wigan, he was later captured and and sentenced to death at Chester Castle. But Parliament thought revenge would be sweeter if the execution was held in Bolton, where the King's troops had earlier taken bloody reprisals in the town. 

Ye old Man and Scyth - note the inscription over the door!
this is situated in a square with an informative cross -
The Parish church is yards away to the right -
seems a good place for an execution!
Lord Derby was brought to an inn where he could see the scaffold through a window. There was a delay before he was led to the block. No-one wanted to be the executioner, until George Whewell – his family was massacred at Bolton – (It seemed his family were dissenters) volunteered to do the job.. Lord Derby felt the edge of the axe and gave him money”This is all I have,” he said “do your job well.”(1651)
George Whewell came to a similar end later and his head, thinks Mike Hilton, “was brought to the Pack Horse immediately after his execution. He was an Edgeworth man ( a village only two miles away, and perhaps the inn was one of his favourite haunts.”

George's skull is still supposed to do a spot of haunting. A local man who stole the head and left it on his bedroom dresser paid the price. He claimed he was woken at 3 am by a blow on his nose. “ I sat up and saw something bobbing up and down, like a great moth, in a ghostly blue colour, shining like phosphorous and with two blazing red eyes.”
And if the vision was nothing more than the result of a late cheese supper, it was enough to to make him return the skull to its usual resting place at the pack horse. Mike Hilton admits to treating the skull with respect. “We don't tempt fate by taking it out of the building,” he told me. “We’ve never seen any ghostly figure, but we do hear odd noises, especially footsteps in the room above the bar. Two doors opened of their own accord. One was an outside door and could have been blown by the wind. But the second door was a sliding door into the little room by the bar. It was a Saturday lunch time and the regulars stared , drank up and hurriedly left without a word.”

The Pack Horse was a flourishing inn over 500 years ago, when its front door opened onto the main pack horse road to the north. Affetside was a market village , and later developed as a mining community – the row of cottages next to the inn were built for miner working narrow drift mines nearby.

The stone column and round base that jut awkwardly into the road are a mystery. An old market cross, perhaps, or a pilgrims shrine? Or maybe a mile post for the Roman road a few feet away underground, or a marker for a Roman staging camp on the way to Ribchester? “ They excavated the the Roman Road a few years ago” recalled Mike, “but there wasn't much to see, just a few cobbles.”
In his snugly renovated cottage Alan Needham, offered another explanation. “ As a tall post on high ground it could have been a long distance marker for packhorse traffic, or it could just mark the the fact that Affetside is traditionally the half way point between London and Edinburgh.”
He also suggests, with a little tongue in cheek, an explanation for the village name . “Affetside, with a little imagination, could be a corruption of Half Each Side, meaning the half way point between the two cities.”
Alan is chairman of the Affetside Society, a sure sign that it is no longer the quiet, slow moving , out of the way place that it was not many years ago. Newcomers have moved in, buying the old cottages, renovating and restoring with vigour, modernising and improving and in the process sending property prices smartly upwards. We aim to preserve the village and improve it where we can.” Alan explained.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Dunn's in Tottington

Jane Dunn
Roger Dunn
The first photo is a picture of my maternal grandmother Jane Dunn, married Thomas Lomax. He was also a Tottingtonian. As far as I am aware this was the earliest photo I have. The date on the back of the photograph is 1901. I suppose that she would be 3 or 4 at the time. Stand to be corrected if others appear.  Sometimes she was known as a Dunne. As Tottington was a close knit community she was known as Jennie Dunn,even after 30 years of marriage!  However I want to go back a bit further. I have quite a lot of early Dunn Photographs which I have scanned. Big huge files.
Sarah Ann or Sadie Dunn
The first picture is of Rodger Dunn, died at the age of 26. I have discrepancy here with my mother and with ancestry. My mother has written on the reverse of the photo died at the age of 26. Ancestry claims 23 years.
He was however the son of William Greenhalgh Dunn and Hannah Baker Yoxhall.

Greenhalgh's figure a lot in the history. The Lomax's married into the Greenhalghe's, whether they were the same line I do not know. Research has been going on for a number of years and I really do not have any satisfactory conclusions. His Brother William was my direct ancestor. He would have been my grandmother's uncle. Taking a leap of faith here. I believe that this lady, known as Sadie is actually Sarah Ann Dunn, a brother of Roger. The photos have always been kept together. This would of course have been my Grandmother's aunt. The final picture of these three is another Dunn of the same generation. Walker Dunn. There has been a long line of Walker Dunns. His father was a Walker Dunn too.  He was born in 1854 and died in 1929.

Tracing the line back includes a Walker Dunn who was killed in 1916 at Pozieres in France. He is commemorated on the War Memorial in Walshaw.

Walker Dunn
Walker Dunn. I suspect this
gentleman was born in 1923
These 3 siblings were 3 of 9 children. All born in Tottington. The names of the other 6 were Alice, Eliza, John, Jane, William, and Hannah. William was my Grandmother's father reputed to have a fearsome temper and a great singing voice. William married Ann Walmesley Forrest. Another post will show the pictures I have. This is where the plot thickens as far as being able to trace relatives. I am going to add 2 pictures of Walmsley Forrest' that do not appear on any of the searchable websites.

Below are photographs of my Grandmother - most of them are when she was a Lomax but also including one or two later ones.

These 4 pictures are of my Grandmother with here very close friend Phyllis Hampson. I do not know what her unmarried name was. These were dated in the Second World War as Air Raid Wardens.

My Grandmother as I really do recall her. It seems that she was about 65 in this photograph. This will have been about 7 years before her death at 72. We were still playing golf occasionally. I had probably just about left home at this time. Pictured at a wedding
I do not know the date, but I do know the name of the officer presenting. This was John Woodcock, I believe a solicitor, practised or lived in Hawkshaw. My mother was on first name terms.
My Grandmother is the woman on the right - haven't a clue who any of the others were!
Finally - one of the few pictures of my mother and my grandmother. Pat Lomax and Jane Lomax. Predictably holding cats. I think the photo may well have been taken in Ruislip.