THE STORY OF Old Attercliffe (pt 2)
G.R. VINE B.Sc.
We enter Attercliffe from “Out of Bounds” by Westforth, or Washford, Bridge. The former name has dropped out of use, but there was an air of “Westward Ho!” about it when one was travelling from Attercliffe towards the town 1 The latter and more familiar ? Washford ” carries with it a suggestion of sheep-washing in the shallow water of the Don at this point long, long ago. Mr. Hunter’- wrote “the name plainly shows that there was a ford at or near this place before any bridge was erected.” It is well known that the river banks just here have not always been so high as they are now. The low-lying Mill-field, or Salmon Pastures, lay on the western side, and the once busy file-cutters’ shops behind, and below the level of, the Warwickshire Furnishing Company’s place, point to that conclusion for the eastern. side.
?Scrutineer’s ” paper on Sheffield Bridges in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph for December 13th, 1928, is both admirable and informative. “Our ancestors,” he says, “were accustomed to cross the rivers by fords. A bridge was an exception, and up to the 15th century its provision was solely and simply the result of private benevolence or religious zeal. A new bridge was thought such a boon that it called for a special act of devotion from the users thereof, and chapels or crucifixes were provided for such purposes. I am afraid few people now-a-days offer up thanks for such obvious benefits.” We are grateful to the author for such thought-. provoking sentences on one of our daily blessings.
The will of George More,1 of Sheffield, dated July the first, 1535, furnishes our first reference to the bridge. By it he bequeathed for the mending of Westforth Bridge the sum of three shillings and fourpence. This apparently trivial amount was in fact relatively much greater than it appears. Fancy the Mayor of Norwich, in 1561, entertaining to dinner the Duke of Norfolk ‘land lords, knights and gentry ” for the sum of ?1 17s. 9d. 11 The actual bi 112 of expenses contains such items as 8 stones of beef 5s.. 4d. a hind quarter of veal IP : a breast of mutton 7d.: sixteen loaves of white bread 4d. Or again dipping with our usual delight into Mr. Hall’s 1913 Catalogue of Ancient Charters we find bequests like these :-” to the mending of the highways about Darnall 3s, 4d.”; 11 to every one of my god. children 4d. 1 ” Money values have wonderfully changed, in the four centuries since George More left forty pence for our bridge
WOODEN BRIDGES, 1608 AND 1647.
Our next record deals with an order issued from the General Sessions of the West Riding, held at Rotherham on the first of October, 1608. The order is so entertaining in many ways that it is here copied in full, with modern orthography, however. 11 Forasmuch as the bridge called Attercliffe bridge, situate on the river of Don, being the common passage between Yorkshire and Derbyshire in those parts, is fallen into such ruin and decay that His Majesty’s subjects cannot well pass over the same without the danger of their lives: and for that it hath pleased the right honourable Earl of Shrewsbury out of his noble disposition towards the furtherance of such a good and charitable work to bestow upon the country towards the repair thereof, timber to the value of ?20: and for that a view hath been taken thereof by two of his Majesty’s Justices of Peace near thereunto, who do certify that fifty pounds will hardly suffice sufficiently to repair the same: It is therefore ordered by this court that the said sum of fifty pounds shall be allowed for the repairs thereof, and to be assessed upon the whole West Riding, and by the high constables within the several wapentakes thereof forthwith levied and collected and paid over to the hand of Hugh Rawson, Peter Perrins, John Staniforth and Nicholas Turton, who are appointed over seers of the works for repair of the said bridge: and are here to dispose the same for that purpose as shall be most fitting and requisite for the benefit of the country.
To derive the greatest amount of interest from this order it is necessary to add a few explanatory notes.
(1) THE BRIDGE does not directly connect the counties of Yorkshire and Derbyshire, although the words ‘I being the common passage,” etc., might suggest such an idea. The nearest point on the boundary line between these counties is about a couple of miles distant, where that tributary of the Sheaf called the Meersbrook fulfils the duty indicated by its name (1 meer’ denoting a boundary), forming the line of division between Derbyshire and Yorkshire in that neighbourhood. A point on the boundary line was the Heeley Toll-bar (demolished in 1875) between Albert and Valley roads, –thegate swinging out of Derbyshire into Yorkshire every time the barkeeper opened it.
(2) THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY mentioned was Gilbert, the seventh earl, lord of the manor of Sheffield, who died in the year 1616, 11 the last male of the family of Talbot who possessed the castle of Sheffield and its surrounding dependencies.”3 After his death the lordship of the manor passed by marriage to the illustrious family of Howard, Duke of Norfolk.
(3) The word RIDING comes from the Scandinavian thriding or triding which means a third part, but not, in this case, one of three equal parts. Yorkshire, centuries ago, was divided into ridings which met in the vicinity of the city of York. We are in the West Riding, Scarborough and Bridlington, for example, are in the East Riding, and Middlesborough in the North. York itself is in the wapentake of the Ainsty, or county of the city of York, the lord mayor and aldermen of that city forming a jurisdiction of its own: but it is included in each of the three ridings for certain specific purposes.”
(4) The word WAPENTAKE, taking Attercliffe back to King Alfred’s days,. is composed of two Saxon words denoting weapons and touching. Our West Riding was divided into nine wapentakes. In each of them 11 all men capable of bearing arms were required to assemble at stated times at some wellknown station to meet their chief or his deputy,”2 to touch arms with him, thus expressing their preparedness to assemble for military purposes should circumstances arise to demand a 1 call to arms.’ Our wapentake is that of Strafforth and Tickhill. The first name presents a difficulty in identification, but probably. refers to Strafforth sands near Mexborough: the second is more familiar, denoting the ancient town of Tickhill, ten miles east of Rotherham, near to which the great Norman Baron, 11 Roger de Busli, built for himself a residence”8 towards the close of the eleventh century.
(5) One cannot be absolutely sure of the ? Who’s Who ” of the four persons named in this 1608 order. That they were well known and dependable is evident from the confidence publicly displayed in their appointment as overseers of the work and disbursers of the fifty pounds in question. The following notes are suggestive of their identity.
HUGH RAWSON, ‘son of James Rawson, of Grimesthorpe (died 1603). At his father’s funeral he distributed four pounds to poor people of the town, one half being given equally to Hallam and Attercliffe, one mark (13s. 4d.) to Brightside, and the remainder to Sheffield.’ Hugh Rawson was deputed to watch the interests of a bill passing through Parliament, in 1614, relative to the formation of a Cutlers’ Company. (Our present Cutlers’. Company was formed in 1624). 11 He is entered in one of the manor surveys and rent-rolls (1624) as tenant of a tanyard at. Grimesthorpe and a garden at Norwood .112 John Rawson, son of Hugh, was the second Master Cutler, in 1625
PETER PERRINS may have been the husband of Anne Perrins, of Hall Carr House.
JOHN STANIFORTH, possibly yeoman John, of Darnall, 1571 to 1630.
NICHOLAS TURTON, a member of the first jury of sixteen experts (September 21st, 1614) appointed to see to the carrying out of certain “orders made and agreed upon by the Cutlers of Hallamshire,” etc.
Repaired according to the Sessions order, ‘pedestrians and traffic from Sheffield used the old 1 highway ‘ past Royds mill as the bridge approach ; then, immediately on the Attercliffe side, turned to the right between the river and John Rhodes’ land, then to the left along the present Stoke street, and so to the village of Attercliffe. The reju venated bridge, however, after about thirty-five years of rural quietude, experienced some of the destructive phases of the Civil War, for in 1647 we find the West Riding again assessed, this time by an order from Wakefield, for sums of money requisite to repair certain bridges damaged or destroyed during the progress of hostilities, among them being “West. forth Bridge, otherwise Attercliffe Bridge.”
THREE STONE BRIDGES.
This second wooden structure faithfully discharged its duties for. a quarter of a century until, in 1672, came the first stone bridge over the Don at this point. The West Riding, instructed by—thejustices of the peace at the sessions held at Pontefract that year,”‘- raised the sum of ?150 for its erection. It had five small arches, and was so narrow that only one vehicle could pass over at a time, yet it proved sufficient for the traffic requirements of the next one- hundred- and- twenty years. It spanned the river a little .further up stream than does the present bridge, close to the near end of the modern Don terrace.2 About 1789, public opinion, or the 1 old age ‘ of the 1672 bridge, demanded that a more up-to-date crossing should replace the ‘old five arches. Accordingly a new site was selected about sixty yards to the south, near the other end of the terrace, and a one-arch bridge was put across. This, of course, altered the ancient approach to 1 Stoke street’; for traffic had now to pass along a short length of roadway on the river-side edge of Salmon Pastures, then over the bridge directly into the usual road. Somehow this effort did not prove a success: perhaps the river current at that point was too strong for it, but whatever the cause, in a few years it began to show signs of weakness, and consequently the third stone bridge was commenced forthwith. This had three arches, was 361 feet wide, and was opened in 1794. Mr.,George Blagden, the builder of the 1782 Newhail, Bridge, undertook the work, and the opening days saw the three structures spanning the river side-by-side : our old friend of 1672, the newer but insecure one of 1789, and the fine latest Washford Bridge of 1794. As the efficiency of Mr. Blagden’s work *was more and more assured the other two were removed, but even now some remains of their buttresses may be seen in the shallows of the river. The centuries-old road on the site of Don terrace, with, its continuation along Stoke street, was now s uperseded by a direct cut from the bridge to the village High street, and CarIton road consequently came into existence. But not before the lapse of another half century was the last wriggle in the old, old highway from The Pickle to Attercliffe High street smoothed out by making the present direct approach to the bridge across Millfield somewhere about the year 1850.
In 1880, owing to the increasing traffic, the bridge was Widened to sixty feet. Operations were commenced on the 8th of March and completed on the 22nd of October, the total cost being about ?8220. The corporate arms face the river on the southern side of the massive stone parapet, which is five feet high from the road.’
THE FAMILY OF BLAGDEN.
We are indebted to that eminent and beloved Sheffield genealogist, William Swift.(1818-74), -for most of the following details. His manuscript volumes, now in the Reference department of our Sheffield Library are vertable storehouses of information. Mr Leader wrote about him “Far into the night he would pore over manuscripts, sometimes copying old parish registers, making abstracts or copies of documents that had been lent to him, or entering up his volumes of pedigrees.”
George Blagden, of Attercliffe, described as a mason, tile builder of the Newhall and Washford Bridges, died on the 19th of January, 1807, aged 72. He married Ann, sister of Martha Boler, of Treeton, who died on the 3rd of March, 18 11, at the age of 75. Their first-born was John Blagden (1759.1820), a stonemason, of Rockingham street, Sheffield. His wife, Elizabeth, died four years after him at the* age of 59. George was the second son of George and Ann, who ? went to America and was one of the principal builders of the city of Washington.” The third child was Mary, and the fourth ?William, of Attercliffe, a limeburner.” That well-known Atterclevian, the late James Johnson, in his most valuable paper, ? Attercliffe of our fathers,”-‘ described him as a builder of boats and barges at the Sheffield canal basin, and as the principal owner of the extensive lime stone quarries at Levitag, near Conisborough. . He built for himself a commodious brick house, Park Place or Park Cottage as it is named on the ’53 map, in Bacon lane immediately south of the canal bridge, on the site of the present Park House Works. In 1807 he married a Miss Chambers, of Blythe, and Elizabeth Blagden, the owner occupier of the said house in the early ‘fifties, was possibly their daughter. The rate-book description of the little estate is suggestive of an old-time country residence: house, shrubbery, fruit walls, stable, coach house, harness room and shed. The ordnance map referred to above shows eight lime-kilns and a few houses named Blagden row nearly half a mile away, townwards, on the northern side of the canal. Blagden row is worth a visit. To find it, go along Effingham road citywards: just beyond Bernard road there’s a modest little lane turning off to the left and bending to the right. An aged rubble-stone wall at the corner arrests one’s attention which, however, almost at once centres on the row of five two-storey- cottages pierced by an archway leading to the rear. This is half of the lane; the other half is west of the railway arch and runs into Sussex street. The whole still carries the name of Canal street. A chat with a genial resident was the principal feature of a recent discovery of this little-known bit of Auld Lang Syne, He pointed out to me the house in which he was born some fifty years ago’, and here he has lived ever since. The scenic amenities of this suburb-apart from the sky-are not noticeable 1 The main L.M.S. line runs over the railway arch at the western end after claiming the site of Parkside Cottage when the row was in its youth: facing the houses Is a high wall shutting off the canal, beyond which are the Corporation’s Highway. Depot and a maze of L.N.E.R. and colliery lines: and further along to the east is Messrs. Geo. Senior’s canal wharf. Next to the row, embraced by the old wall mentioned above, is a coke,washing yard, and all round about are hives, of industry more or less- busy . . but go and get a personal peep at this interesting reminder of the Blagden Family.
Still continuing with the bridge builder’s children, Thomas takes the fifth place round the family table, a Sheffield silversmith. One wonders if he were of the firm Blagden, Hodgson and Co., manufacturers of silver and plated goods, at No. 3 Nursery street. Then followed Joseph, and James, and Elizabeth who married John Hawksworth, one of the tour cutlers associated with the house for long known as The Greyhound Inn, near Leeds road.
THE OLD HOUSE AT WASHFORD BRIDGE.
Almost completely. hidden from sight as one crosses the bridge there stands behind the –Washford Arms” one of the most fascinating of Attercliffe’s old. houses. To reach thin venerable relic of King Charles the Second’s days we turn along Stoke street from the main road; on the right, #scar the end, an opening between two blocks of property gives access to the back of Don terrace. Walking down the yard We readily recognize at its lower end the house we are seeking, so different is it from its neighbours. It stands; alone in every way even its doorstep is much below its surrounding level. Mournfully it seems to gaze upon the backs of the dwelling houses that have for nearly fifty years intercepted a view now retaining not one vestige of the beautiful panorama once spread out. before it-the Pastures, the farm in the hollow, the well-stocked river, the sylvan distance, the sleepy, winding highway on the right. Could the old house of Elizabeth Roades speak would it not express its satisfaction in thus being screened from the devastating, though probably unavoidable, results of commercial enterprise, a depressing scene of smoke and grime and hurlyburly that has completely replaced the rubble-stone obtained from Dick Bank behind Zion Chapel. The large, dressed corner stones, the door jambs, the lintel and window mullions came from further afield. Over the vision it enjoyed in early youth? I think it would!
We are indebted to the researches of the late Mr. A. B. Shaw1 for most of our knowledge relating to this property, Mr. Charles Paul being an indefatigable fellow investigator in the quest. The present building has a frontage of about thirty-five feet, but originally it extended somewhat further towards Stoke street. It is built of only doorway is a massive headstone, cut in a shallow semi ellipse, bearing an inverted heart-shaped shield with the initials E.R. and the date 1671. The upper and lower windows on the north side of the door, that is on the Washford Arms side, are similar in design, having ‘,three lights with chamfered stone mullions and jambs,” the glass being cut into the small diamond-shaped panes so much favoured by our forbears. But the other two, on the south side, are evidently more modern, for oblong panes and ordinary wooden casements now take the place of the dainty workmanship of 1671. William Topham’s picture of the place as it probably appeared towards the end of the 18th century (though drawn about 1882), shows six windows of similar pattern, two on the left-hand side of the door and four on the right, suggesting that about a third of the whole building, towards the south, has since disappeared. ..There are traces of another doorway and a mullioned window of two lights at the rear of the house, and at this side there was probably a small projecting wing or offshoot.” The room on the right, as one enters the house, contains a very fine overmantel in plaster work, divided into three panels by vertical strips of ornament. The outer panels have similar conventional designs, but the centre one repeats the initials E.R. of the entrance door, the date here, however, being 1676.
The family of Roades, Rodes, Rhodes or Roides, was associated with Attercliffe and Darnall centuries ago. For example, in 1430, the will of William Byrley, of Atterciiffe, directed that after certain bequests had been paid, including on@ shilling to the Vicar (of Sheffield) and forty shillings to the poor, the residue should go to Thomas Rodes, his executor.’ Again, in 1441, John Rodes was one of the five witnesses to a charter, dated at Darnall, confirming a grant from John Povey, of Barbot Hall, John Smyth and John Staniforth, of Darnall, of certain lands and tenements in the ? town and fields of Darnall. ?
In the Sheffield records of manorial affairs there are #natty references to people of this name. Thus in. an account roll of the Receiver of Hallamshire, dated 1442, 11 it is shown that William Rodes, senior, for the sum of ?10, occured the right of getting iron-ore within the 1 lord’s lord#hip.’ and sufficient fuel for the smelting thereof from the forest of Rivelin.” It is interesting to note in passing that ? charcoal was the only fuel used in smelting till the year 1618, when Dud Dudley introduced coal for the purpose: but, the ironmasters being unanimously opposed to change, Dudley s improvement died with him. It war. not re-introduced till Abraham, Darby, in 1713, employed it in his Coalbrook dale furnace.”
Later we meet an Attercliffe carpenter, John Roades, born in 1569, died in 1619, who was the owner of the land on the river bank where the E.R. house now stands. He was recorded tenant, in 1592, of three cutlers’ wheels subsequently called Roades mill, and of ;and which he held in lease from the lord of the manor. He also had a, house in Darnall. In 1593 he married Jane Bullas, and it is suggestive that in 1637 her son, Richard Rhodes, was paying threepence per annum for Bullus (or Bullas) house, in Darnall. Is it possible that Bullas lane, off Tinsley Park road, is reminding us of this. Darnall lady of three centuries ago’?
The children of this marriage were John, George, Peter and Richard. The fat-her left by his will, to Peter, his second surviving son, his household furniture and goods in and about his house in Darnall: to Richard, his youngest son, his husbandry goods, etc., in and about his house at Attercliffe mill: to his wife, Jane, and his son, Peter, all his leases from the Earl : and, finally, to his wife and his three sons, John, Peter and Richard, the residue of his estate to be equally divided among them .
PEDIGREE OF ROADES.
Richard Roades, or Rhodes, was tenant of the mill, which is so familiar. to us as Royds mill, in 1637, as probably he had been for some years previously. He married Elizabeth Barnsley, in 1624, perhaps the daughter of George Barnsley, Master Cutler in 1629, ‘of Gothard (or Goddard) Hall.’ Their family consisted of a son and six daughters of whom Ruth, born in 1633, alone concerns our story. The father was unfortunate in business, and dying in 1638 he left his’ affairs somewhat involved. His freeholds in Attercliffe had been sold, and the mill business was with difficulty retrieved from misfortune by the strenuous efforts of his widow, Elizabeth Rhodes, the lady whose initials still claim the inquiring interest of every visitor to the old house. She held the mill ‘at will” until, in 1650, she agreed to a lease of the premises for twenty-one years. Of thin long period we know nothing, but to some extent, at least, we can realize the strain entailed in maintaining the business coupled with her family cares and anxieties. Upon the expiration of the lease in 1671, at the age of 00, otter a life-time of hard work and thirty-three years of Widowhood, she appears to have retired from business and then built for herself the ” Old House at Washford Bridge,” gib we now appropriately call it. There in the quietude of the situation, with its happy, rural surroundings, in peaceful enjoyment of her well-earned rest, occasionally reminded of the outside world by the leisurely rumble of traffic along the old highway in front of the house she spent the remaining year& of her life, apparently adding to the interior amenities of her home, as shown in one instance at least, by the decorated overmantel in the parlour bearing the date 1676 and her own initials. Her death occurred about three years later, in January, 167.8/9.
Many of my readers may possibly wonder why the date to given in this curious fashion. This is the reason : previous to 1752 the year was reckoned as commencing on the twenty-fifth of March, not as now on the first of January. You readily see, then, that the date of Widow Rhodes’ death, in modern reckoning was January, 1679, but according to the custom at that time it was January, 1678.
It will be worth while to go over the details of the property that Richard Rhodes rented from the lord of the manor, in 1637. Surveyor John Harrison’s way of stating the matter is very entertaining, as we have already noted in the case of Abraham Stocks: 11 Richard Rhodes holdeth at will a tenement and lands, a corn mill, three cutlers’ wheels, and a part of Booth Wood,” at a yearly rent of fifty pounds. Then he goes into details: first, a tenement and a gat-den lying next to Booth Wood lane on the west and a highway on the south, and a corn mill and three cutlers’ wheels lying near the said tenement on the other side of the way. It is clear that the house and garden occupied the site, approximately, of the present caretaker’s house at the smelting works, the corn mill and cutlery department being the actual Royds mill opposite. Booth Wood lane has disappeared. It seems to have trended northwards from near the corner of Blackmore street across #&vile street east, eventually turning to the west, perhaps Set) Hall Carr Wood. Booth Wood was a vanishing quantity even three centuries ago, for all references to it in the 1637 survey specify only arable land, that is ploughable, or suited to the purposes of cultivation. North of. the tenement and garden was the hopyard, a Pasture of about one-and-a-quarter acres with two barns,, *lye River of Donn ” on the east and Booth Wood lane on the west. Still north, approximately across the site of the Princess street Wesleyan Chapel, was the Long Meadow with the river and lane as before, and part of ThomasHiggs’ holding closing it off on the north, say in the region of Norroy street. A further twenty acres of arable land, part of Booth Wood,” lay on the other side of Booth Wood lane, covering portions of the present Princess and neighbouring streets up to Savile street east with the 11 lord’s lands in the use of Ann Halsworth and Ann Perrins” on the south and west, the lane on the north and Hall Carr Wood on the north-west. With the meticulous care characterising Harrison’s measurements, the total of. Rhodes’ holding was 24 acres 1 rood 22-A perches! It will be noticed that Royds lane, running north between the Smelting Work and the river, which is shown on Fairbank’s 1795 map, is not mentioned in the description, the lands of Richard Rhodes and Thomas Higgs covering its site. Now concerning the tenement or dwelling house: John Rhodes (1569-1619) seems to have occupied it occasionally, his home being Bullas House, Darnall, as indicated by the terms. of his will already given. Richard lived here during his tenancy of the cutlers’ wheels, as did his widow to the time of her retirement in 1671. Her daughter, Ruth, had married William Fenton to whom the mill and adjacent lands were let in that year. He was probably a descendant of the William. Fenton to whom was granted a trade mark for his knives, in 1566, by the lord of the manor before the Cutters’ Company came into being.’ William and his wife seemingly built for themselves a larger house, or extended the old tenement, recording the fact by cutting their initials on the headstone of the doorway along with the date,
F W. R 1677.
It is possible that the Fentons had purchased the property, enabling them thus to build or extend the cottage. After Fenton’s death the property passed to William and Michael Burton
Mr. Paul contributed the following item relating to the Fenton-Burton property. “The will of William Burton of Royds mill, dated 10th January, 1718, and a deed of partition dated 1716, relating to the Fenton family with whom the Burtons had inter-married, show that the E.R. house passed to the Fentons about the year 1700 by Mrs. Ruth (Rhodes) Penton.”
FENTON, RHODES, BURTON.
For the benefit of my younger readers who may not he accustomed to translating family tabulations or pedigrees, lot me read part of the above in the ordinary way. 11 William Fenton, resident in Sheffield, died before 1716, the exact dutr of death being unknown by the pedigree compiler. He married Ruth Rhodes, the daughter of Richard Rhodes and him wife, Elizabeth Barnsley. Here again, though it is known she was born in 1633, the date of her death is not known. The children of this marriage were, first, Ruth, about whom no details were given; second, Hannah, who married Thomas Handley, a gentleman resident in Hall Carr House, Spital Hill; and third, Anne, who became the witty of William Burton, of Royds mill (who died in 1719). Their ton was William, of Royds mill, who was born in the year 1704, and died at the age of sixty . . .” and to on it goes. You will find the tabulated form is a very useful method of giving a great amount of information in a little space: and further, the relationships of various members of a family are more readily recognized and remembered than when given in a narrative statement.
THE FAMILY OF BURTON.
Joseph Hunter stated’- that two or three generations of Burtons lived here, that is at the 1677 cottage: William Burton, who died in 1719, his son, William, who died in 1764, and, possibly, his grandson for a time. What they did in the way of business at Royds mill is not clear, but the adjacent weir still retains the descriptive Burton weir name, which it seems to have acquired during their occupancy of the mill. The family has, however, a fascination of its own in many other ways. Of these, not the least was the fact that into a branch of this widespreading family there was born, in 1577, Robert Burton, the celebrated author of ‘,The Anatomy of. Melancholy,” 11 an enormous and most carefully arranged treatise devoted really to the life and thought Of man, in which he amassed such an extraordinary amount of reading that possibly no follower of his has ever tracked him completely through the maze of authorities he cites.”
Mr. P. H. Brindley, in an interesting and valuable article on Historic Halls, that appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph for March 3rd, 1926, told us of the shield of the Burtons, beautifully carved in stone over the front door of Holmesfield Hall, close to the Church, now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. It reveals twenty marriage connec. tions with other outstanding families. One of the crests is that of James Burton, a member of the bodyguard of King Richard the First, about 1190. Another quartering tells us that the bride of Francis Burton, lord of the manor of Dronfield in 1664, was the heiress of the Linley Burtons. of Leicestershire. In this hall resided William Burton, the grandfather of the first Royds mill Burton.
What a lesson on local geography this family furnishes 1 Here is a tabulation of ten successive generations of Burtons.
- . Richard Burton, of Chesterfield, time of Henry V1.
- . John, of Totley, time of Henry VIII.
- . John, of Totley and Dronfield, died 1536.
- . Thomas, of Cartledge, Dronfield, died 1585.
- . John, of Apperknoll, nephew of (4).
- . William, of Holmesfield, died 1657.
- . William, of Holme, near Chesterfield, died 1720.
- . William, of Royds mill, died 1719.
- . William, of Royds mill, died 1764.
- . William, surgeon, of Sheffield, died 1798.
Fanshawe-gate, Dronfield-Woodhouse, Dore, Bradfield, Greenhill, Coal Aston, Wirksworth, Gleadless, Whittington, Attercliffe are other places named in the pedigree of this far spreading family. Francis, the youngest son of Thomas, of Fanshawe-gate (the elder brother of No. 7), was lord of the manor of Dronfield,_ dying in 1687. Michael, of Holmesfield and Wirkswoith, cousin of No. 9, had three children: John, the eldest, resided at The Hallowes, Dronfield, and Jane, daughter of this John, married Philip Smelter, of Goddard Hall, Pitsmoor.
To clearly follow the geography of the previous paragraph we@ the Sheffield Corporation Map of the Tramway and Motor Omnibus routes, procurable at the Division street offices.
William Burton’s (9) will. which was proved at York, An June, 1764, shows us (with the able guidance of Mr. T. Waiter Hall) that, through his wife, Margaret, daughter of George Bamforth, of the High House (which stood at lower end of the present Bamforth street, off Langsett road), he came, into possession of the manors of Wadsley and Owlerton, .and that upon his death, in 1764, the manor of Owlerton passsed by will to his second son, John Burton, of Bramley Hall, Handsworth, and the manor of Wadsley to his third and fourth sons, William Burton (10), of Sheffield, a surgeon in the Old Haymarket, and Michael Burton, an attorney, in Change alley, and later in Paradise square, who thus became joint lords of that manor.
Let my readers review this Burton section again before passing on, in order that the wonder of this family in its geographical raimifications and connections, its social position, influence and intellectuality, may be adequately realized.
ROYDS MILL GROUNDS.
It is probable that the pair of houses, numbers two and four in Royds Mill street, were built by Mr. Marrian about the year 1840. The 1842 directory entry seems to indicate that he lived here. A glance at the 1853 map readily suggests the early beauties of the grounds, which originally extended across the site.. of the present Attercliffe road to the mill stream emerging from the rear of Royds works. A summer. house tucked away in the. southern corner, trees along the boundaries, pathways around the lawns land gardens, another summer-house near the lane, more foliage, grass and winding paths, a wooded island in the lake, a wooden bridge over the stream, and the residence on the northern limit facing it all 1 Doubtless there are some who remember the alreadydeparting rusticity of the scene in the ‘seventies and ‘eighties, the tall iron railing along the pavement affording a view of the grounds, with Michaelmas daisies near the managers’ dwelling-houses;, and the leisurely- flowing stream that once rushed impetuously onward to drive the old mill-wheel in the days of long ago. And here, one cannot but have a word about that old wheel. It may not be the actual sixteenth. century one, but a time-honoured wheel is still there, on (belt’s left when entering the Effingham works’ gate, a huge affair, long dormant, reminiscent of the water-power days, and prophetic of a possible return to water wheels in the future. Mr. Bradbury, the managing director, who very kindly showed a little group of us round the old mill some time ago, is enthusiastic in his advocacy of the re-installation of this once so largely-used motive power. The possible shortage of water resulting from an inadequate rainfall is doubtless one of the reasons for the present unpopularity of the water wheel. One can, therefore, understand an advertisement of a century and more ago, in its enumeration W the desirable features of the Brightside iron works then for sale making quite a point of the fact that the said works “are situated on the five rivers,” indicating, of course, that this spot on the lower reaches of the Don would necessarily enjoy the total water supply from the principal river and its tributaries, the Loxley, Rivelin, Porter and Sheaf.
OUTLINE CHRONOLOGY OF ROYDS MILL.
—, Date of erection not known.
1592 John Rhodes rented three grinding wheels here (p. 56).
1637, Richard Rhodes, cutler and corn miller (p. 59).
1638, Elizabeth Rhodes, tenant (p. 57).
1660. Elizabeth Rhodes had a lease of the mill for 21 years (p. 57).
1671. William Fenton, tenant (p. 60).
1716, or earlier, William Burton (8) (p. 63).
1718 to 1764, William Burton (9) (p. 63).
1780, Samuel Froggatt, optician, rented a workshop here (p. 3 1).
1794. Booth and Co. had 36 grinding wheels here employing 34 men.
[Most of the following items are culled from directories.: the dates given do not necessarily indicate the commencement or termination of occupancy.]
1814, Booth and Co., anvil makers, iron founders, Brightside works and Royds mill.
1821, Booth and Co., iron and steel rollers, anvil, vice, boiler, plating forge for horse shoes, and ironboat manufacturers.
[In 1787, Booth, Binks, Hartop and Co. were iron founders, probably at the Park iron works-now Davy Bros. In 1797, the firm was Jno. Booth and Co., iron founders, Sheffield Park. In 1833, Booth and Co. were coal merchants having the Tinsley Park Colliery Wharf at the Canal Basin, and iron masters at the Park iron works. 1 Mr. Thomas Booth, of Tinsley Park colliery, was a very impressive and important man in those days, that is in 11 The Early Eighteen- thirties.” His house, a small one, stood in what is now Blast lane, and I remember it in the ‘eighties’-so wrote Mr. Councillor Bland in the Edgar Alien magazine for September, 1928.]
1824. Advertisement in the Sheffield Mercury, January 17th 1824. ‘ Royds Steel Mills. To ‘be let, that part of Royds mills, with all the valuable machinery, nearly new, which has lately been occupied for rolling steel, with the addition of a powerful plating hammer, which might be used as a forge or tilt. There are workshops adjoining the same, lately used for the manufacture of anvils and steam boilers. Apply Mr. Schofield, Silver street.’
1828, John Schofield, miller, forge and rolling mills (cf. 1814, Edward and John Schofield, iron founders, Furnace hill. 1825, Schofield, Oxley and Co., cast iron founders, etc., Union Foundry, Furnace hill-between Westbar and Scotland street),
1833 to 1852, George Shallcross, baker, corn and flour dealer, corn miller and purveyor of oats for the army, 43 Gibraltar street and Royds mill.
1842, Thomas Marrian, Royds Brewery (which is still standing, though otherwise used, near the old water wheel. All the present buildings abutting on Attercliffe road were erected at various times after 1851, the date of the ordnance survey). 1849, ditto, also at the, Royal Hotel which formerly stood at the top of Waingate, opposite the old Town Hall.1- 1864, ditto, Burton Weir Brewery, The Royds. Residence, Sharrow Grange. 1896, T. Marrian and Co., Ltd., 2 Royds mill street. Wm. Curtis, Geo. Richman, James Panton, managers. 1903, Marrian’s Brewery purchased by Mr. F. A. Kelley, of Holly Court, and Mr. J. Kelley, of Wath. Later, Messrs. Carter and Sons, manufacturing chemists, came to the newer building, which was destroyed by fire on February 10th, 1922 : rebuilt, and again occupied as now.
1860, 1864, 1876, Marriott and Atkinson, merchants and steel, etc., manufacturers, Fitzalan works, Attercliffe, and Royds Rolling mill. Later came the Effingham steel works-and in Washford road, as at present; the Pearlite Steel Company; Messrs. Wellerman Bros., builders; and George Yeomans, carting contractor.
MATTHEW OAKES AND HIS DESCENDANTS
Three centuries ago there lived in Attercliffe a tailor named Matthew Oakes. Little is known about him-not even his place of abode-but many of his descendants have still are, well known in Sheffield. Some of the details have been gathered from Leader’s monumental ‘History of the Cutlers’ Company.’ Two features are conspicuous in the family’s records: the number of scissor makers and the wealth of Scriptural names given to boys Abijah, Benjamin, Ebenezer, Elijah, 1 Imanuell,’ Joseph, Joshua, Jonathan, Matthew, Mark, Samuel, Thomas, Timothy, Titus. The predominance of scissor-making in Attercliffe is explained by the following extract from the above-named History, vol. 1, page 14 : 11 It was part of the policy of Queen Elizabeth and her great minister, Cecil, to encourage the immigration of refugees driven out of Prance and the Netherlands by persecution. Powers were given to the lord-lieutenant to appoint commissioners to receive these strangers, and it fell to the lot of the Earl of Shrewsbury to arrange for the settlement of large numbers who came to the Humber. Clothiers were sent to York, but entrance being refused them, they were located in Leeds, Halifax and the neighbourhood. Others were directed to Manchester and Northwich. To Sheffield came men skilled In the working of iron and steel. And as it was convenient to keep like to like, the sickle-makers were established in Eckington parish, scythe-makers in Norton parish, scissor-makers in Attercliffe, and so on.”
Matthew Oakes, born about 1625, had five sons appren. ticed to the cutlery trade, three of them to scissors. Four of the masters to whom Matthew bound hie tons were Attercliffe scissor-makers: James Newbold, Richard Leighton, William Goddard, John Staniforth. Matthew’s fourth son, Jonathan, born about 1669, had eight tuna, all scissors 1 The youngest lad, Titus, was born about 1716, and his name is still to be found in the trade notice of the present firm of Edwin Millwood, Oakes and Co., manufacturers of all kinds of scissors, for they use the mark granted by the Cutters’ Company, in 1737, to their ancestor, ‘Thus. The two sons of Titus were Jonathan and William. The elder was born in 1737 and died in 1810. both he and his wife Fanny (1745-1811), being buried in the Hill Top Cemetery. William, the younger, born about 1751, was described as of Attercliffe Bridge.’ This first particularised indication of residence is very welcome. One wonders if the name Oakes Green originated from the settlement there of previous members of the family. However, with William we are definitely back in the E.R. house after nearly a century of conjectural occupancy. This William was apprenticed to 1 Jonathan Oakes of Attercliffe, scissors,’ and claimed his freedom in 1772. It is very probable that his master during the apprenticeship was his elder brother, Jonathan. The 1787 directory gives this last named as a ? maker of fine scissors at Attercliffe.” His son was another Jonathan, born in 1768, the well-known occupier of the E.R. house in the early years of the last century. In 1819 he rented this house from Joseph Ward, Esq, together with workshop, orchard and garden, covering about half an acre in all. The orchard occupied the site of the present Washford Arms and the neighbouring houses, east and west. Then came the workshop next to the house, but long since removed: and lastly, the garden graced the property on its southern side extending to Blast lane or Stoke street.
The question presents itself insistently-where did the cutler Oakes do the grinding of their scissors ? 11 At the E. R. workshop” is a very doubtful answer, for whence could they have derived the motive power? Is it not possible that they followed the ancient practice of grinding at Royds mill ? The finishing processes demanding no great driving power could reasonably have been accomplished in the adjacent workshop.
Jonathan and his wife, Hannah, were devoted members of Zion Congregational Church, and a gravestone in the little burial ground behind the chapel bears the inscription:
Sacred to the memory of Jonathan Oakes, who departed this life, May 9, 18,36, aged 68 years. Also of Hannah Oakes, his wife, who died April 2, 1866, aged 84 years
Mrs. Oakes appears to have continued in residence here for a time after her husband’s death, eventually leaving the spot when her son, Edwin Millwood Oakes, transferred the business to Solly street in 1841. She was the owner of some tenements between the Green Dragon and Marsden’s Yard, in the ‘fifties and early ‘sixties.
OUTLINE PEDIGREE OF OAKES (IN PART).
A detailed pedigree of the family Is needed to show Mark Oakes’ connection with the Matthew Oaken line of the previous section, but so far this ham not been found. Mr. William Swift, in his collection of pedigrees, left the required tabulation incomplete. He was horn In 1786, and in 1819 was living in a cottage adjacent to the Green Dragon, in CarIton road. Fairbank records him as the owner of a tenement abutting on the eastern wall of the E.R. house, a William Oakes being the occupier. Mark Oakes was the well-known maker of crucibles, of a special: nature, for steel melting, coke in minute particles being mixed with the clay used in their manufacture. It is of speculative interest to note that Joseph Bailey had a steel furnace very near to William Oakes’ residence. One wonders if Mark employed Bailey’s furnace facilities for exp . erimental work in his crucible quest, or if Bailey’s steel – enthusiasm urged him,, along the line of investigation towards the goal that he eventually reached. In later life he lived in Blast lane, next door to where Mrs. Stockdale, at No. 13; has resided for over thirty years, a lady who gave me many interesting details about this old-world spot ; pointing out, for example, the onetim c farm-yard- now used in a l~ss agricultural capacitywith an old boundary wall still standing-on the site of Mark Oakes’ property mentioned above: further telling me about 1′ The Furnace,” as the children called it in her early days, an open sp ace, close to the footpath running between Attercliffe road and Stoke street, littered with broken pots (probably disused cruci6Ies), where Joseph Bailey’s works formerly stood.
The rate-book for the early ‘fifties shows that Oakes was the landlord of four tenements here, his residence being the largest of the four, -and described as, 1 house, garden, pottery, stable and shed,’ ?19 per annum. James Johnson, in his ” Attercliffe of our Fathers,” 1 stated that ?he was also employed as a gold and silver refiner at Messrs. Read and Co.’s smelting works.’ Directories of the early ‘twenties classified him as 1 pot maker’: in the ‘thirties he was ?casting pot maker’: later, 1 fire-proof chimney-pot manufacturer’ was added to the previous description. By 1852, ? brass founder ‘ joined his qualifications, and after his death the old, familiar ?Mark Oakes’ became Edmund Wm. Oakes and Co., brassfounders and crucible manufacturers, mortar grinders, etc., Blast lane. In 1871, the firm was E. W. Oakes and Co., gold and silver refiners and general smelters, Washford Bridge Smelting Works, 22 Washford road, and in 1883 the Sheffield Smelting Company incorporated the business with their own.
Mark Oakes died in 1856, aged 70, and was buried in Zion graveyard, where also his widow, Mary, was interred some years later.
The two words Sugar House are printed conspicuously across the E.R. property on the ’53 Ordnance map. At some time between 1845 and -48, Anthony Cavalier had established himself here as sugar refiner. The ’49 directory shows also Francis Collings Cavalier as a sugar baker at Burton Head, along Attercliffe road. Sugar refining had its place in Sheffield a century and more ago. Edward Bennet, the uncle of George Bennet who, with James Montgomery, founded the Sheffield Sunday School Union in 1812, was a 1 sugar refiner at the bottom of Coal Pit lane, or Cambridge street of to-day. In that business he made a large fortune, which, after his death, largely benefited his nephew, George, one of Sheffield’s greatest philanthropists.
Cavalier’s business did not live long at Attercliffe Bridge, for, in 1855, Sandy Mudford, rope maker, owned the property, the old-world description of 1 house, orchard, garden, stable and workshop ‘ giving place a few years later to the brief 1 ropery, sheds, etc.,’ of Sandy Mudford’s executors. James Mudford then carried on this branch of the business that had been established in the town in 1832. The three-storey houses at the end of Stoke street formed part of Mudford’s property, erected probably in the eighteen -fifties, on part of the time-honoured garden mentioned previously. About 1888 the rope business was transferred to the Greenland rope works, near the now-departed, branch of the canal. Quoting their business description from the 1911 directory” James Mudford and Sons, rope (etc.) manufacturers, 32 Exchange street, and Greenland Rope Works, Bullas lane, Tinsley Park road “-we get a final glimpse of John Rhodes,. owner of this Washfordian corner of Attercliffe, and his wife, Jane Bullas, of whom Bullas road is suggestively reminiscent.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE E. R. HOUSE..
1671, built by Elizabeth Rhodes (p. 57) 1700, by Deed of Partition, the property of William and Ruth Fenton (p. 61) Silent Years 1768, Jonathan Oakes (1737-1810) in residence (p. 69) 1783, Madame Fell, of Newhall, owner 1791, Topham's picture shows it as an inn-the Fleur-de-lis [This picture is the only authority so far discovered for the public-house phase of the property. Jonathan Oalies, father and son, were scissor makers here at the time of the suggested inn-ship'! 1819, Jonathan Oakes, tenant; Joseph Ward, owner (p. 69) 1836-41, Widow Oakes, tenant (p. 70) 1848, Anthony Cavalier, sugar refiner (p. 72) 1855, Sandy Mudford, rope manufacturer (p. 72) 1861, James Mudford, , ? ? (p. 7 3) 1889 to present time, private tenancy
JOSEPH WARD AND JOSEPH READ.
Among the property owners in Western Attercliffe when the 1819 survey was made by the brothers William and Josiah Fairhank, there were two that particularly claim our attention at this point of the story. The E.P. house was owned by Joseph Ward, Esq. Now the Fairbanks seldom used the courtesy addition of esquire except in the case of a person of outstanding influence in the town. In the present instance, therefore, one feels justified in assuming that the Joseph Ward referred to was the Master Cutler of 1790, perhaps better remembered in these days as the father of Thomas Asline Ward (1781-1871), the famous local diarist, to name only one of many claims to distinction in our town. He was the fourth of a line of Sheffield men dating back to the 17th century, Joseph, Thomas, Thomas, and our Joseph, born in 1745, and buried in the Parish Church in 1820. At the time when Thomas Asline was born he was living in Tudor House, which stood on the site of the present Lyceum Theatre. His two sons, Samuel Broomhead Ward (who lived at Mount Pleasant, Highfield, now the Girls’ Charity School) and Thomas Asline Ward, had their business premises in Howard street, on part of the site of Messrs. Walker and Hall’s property to-day. One should read Canon Odom’s biography of T. A. Ward, J.P., the friend of Chantrey, , Montgomery, Hunter, and a host of other prominent men, in his “Hallamshire Worthies,” a splendid insight into the life of Sheffield of the last century.
To revert to the property near Washford. Bridge: on the north side of the road, Jonathan Oakes and others were Mr. Ward’s tenants of a meadow and six gardens, an acre and-a-half in all, where now stand the Warwickshire Fur. nishing Company’s place, the Bridge Inn, and buildings in Washford road, as far along as Ambrose Shardlow’s steel works. Joseph Read, Esq., was the owner of about nine acres of meadow land, most of it rented by John Shirley, of the Steam Flour mill, covering the other part of Washford road, Faraday road and Trent street. His story is so fascinating, forming an engrossing sequel to that of the Rhodes 1592 tenement and the Fenton 1677 cottage, that it really demands inclusion here, although it does take us into Brightside Bierlow once more
For the details of the story we are principally indebted to Mrs. Rawson’s history of the family, a copy of which was’ kindly loaned to me recently by. Mr. Cecil H. Wilson, and to Mr. R. E. Leader’s papers on Winicobank Hall published in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, March 12.th and 14th, 1921,. The recent correspondence in the Sheffield Telegraph, April and May, 1932, has brought this fine old story well before an interested public. For these sources of information, as well for Mr. “Current Topics” welcome additions, we express our. heartiest thanks.
THE SMELTING WORKS.
John Read, founder of the business, descendant of a line of nonconformist Northamptonshire farmers, came to Sheffield about 1765 (the date is uncertain) along with his mother’s brother, Samuel Lucas. His coming coincided with the time when the manufacture of Sheffield Plate was at its zenith.’ In those days 11 every man of standing wore silver buttons on his coat and silver buckles on his shoes.” A small percentage of the precious metal would inevitably be lost in the manufacture of these articles. Here John Read saw his opportunity,’ for, disliking the ancestral farming, he had studied chemistry at Bewdley, in Worcestershire, under Mr. Skeye, the owner of the chemical works there. This loss was to prove his gain:: the workshop waste as it was called, was the raw material for a smelter,’ that is one who makes it his business to separate the valuable from the useless. His uncle Samuel helped him to set up a refinerythe first of its kind in Sheffield-and they accordingly collected all kinds of waste from the workshops of those engaged in making gold and silver articles, old floor-cove rings, bench dust and refuse, chimney sweepings, and so forth, from which they extracted, or refined, the precious metals. The business became exceedingly lucrative. He took into partnership his cousin, Samuel Lucas, 11 a man of high integrity and superior abilities and attainments.” Later he purchased a tract of land, c-lose to the refinery, through which ran Green lane (mentioned in Harrison’s 1637 survey. Walk along the lane some day and experience the thrill of the old-world story It is -close to St. Philip’s Church), and here he built an excellent brick house with 11 very long sash windows at the front, situated amongst trees in a pleasant garden that sloped down to the river.” Hither, in 1771, he brought his bride, Anne Turner, and here were born their children, of whom Joseph, born in 1774, and John, in 1777, alone concern our story. Favourable circumstances enabled him in early middle-age to retire to Norton House, leaving the business in the hands of his two sons and their father’s cousin, Samuel, aforenamed. However, as the years rolled on the neighbourhood altered rapidly: buildings crowded around : the lane lost its claim to be called green : and in the early years of the 19th century -the then owner’s demolished the beautiful old house, and on its site now stand the premises of Messrs. Henry Hoole and Co.,stove-grate manufacturers.
Joseph Read, on December 23rd, 1800, married Elizabeth Smith, the daughter of Ebenezer Smith, ironmaster of Chesterfield, the grandfather of the still well-remembered Francis Ebenezer and Sydney Smith, stock and share brokers, late of George street, Sheffield, and of Glossop road Baptist Church. 11 Like his father before him, he took his bride to the house in Green lane, where their eldest daughter, Mary Anne, was born in 180l.” Now, sometime between 1787 and 1795, the Reads had built Royds mills on the ancient hop yard and long meadow of Richard Rhodes in 1637 (p. 58). Under the former date the refinery was in Green lane : on Fairbank’s 1795 map the refinery is shown at Royds,. Mr. Read ?let some of the Green lane land for building, and also the house to advantage. He had felt the inconvenience of living at a distance from the works near Attercliffe bridge, and he determined to enlarge the house-that is the Fenton 1677 cottage-connected therewith, which was occupied by Mr. Lucas, his two sons and a daughter, along with Mrs. Bower, his wife’s mother. It was a pretty rambling cottagehouse almost covered with a luxuriant vine. The Lucases left the house with regret, and it certainly seemed a great pity for them to remove, and for a much larger, handsomer house to be built in such a situation.. Whilst the building was in course of erection we went to live in Attercliffe, at the house which has since been occupied as the parsonage, and we remained there until 1805.”.’ When the old Fenton cottage was demolished the initialled and dated lintel stone was preserved, and built into its present position over the back entrance door, a whisper of the long past of our story.
Established together in the refinery, Joseph and John along with Samuel Lucas maintained their prosperity. ,John Read followed his father at Norton House,, afterwards removing to Derwent Hall. But generous sacrifices made for others in misfortune prevented him from long enjoying that historic scat, and he died at Rycroft Farm, Dore, in 1863, unmarried, at the age of 86.”2 In 1816 Joseph bought Wincobank Hall from Mr. Jonathan Walker, one of the Masborough iron kings, and removed there with his family. They had previously been in active association with Zion Church, Attercliffe, but, finding no place of worship nearer to Wincobank Hall than Ecclesfield or Attercliffe, Mr. and Mrs. Read were constrained to open a meeting room in their new home, which in a few years later eventuated in the present Wincobank Chapel. –
Gradually he enlarged and beautified the house and the surrounding grounds. , ?Unhappily, Mr. Read was not destined long to enjoy the pleasures of his charming estate. Before many years had passed clouds rolled over from the Chesterfield iron works of his wife’s relations. By long endeavours to relieve their embarrassments his resources were crippled, with injurious effects on his own business, and, what was worse, on his own health. Leaving the Wincobank he had so fondly cherished, he resumed residence at the. Mills,”1 where he died in 1837 at the comparatively early age of nearly 63.
His eldest daughter, Mary Anne, married William Rawson, a Nottingham banker, but ?widowed after a very short married life she returned to Sheffield, and, discharging the liabilities resting on Wincobank Hall, recovered it as a residence for her mother, herself and her two sisters.”‘ There for many years she lived a life abounding in good works, and dying in 1887 she left a memory that is cherished, along with that of her mother and sisters, not only by those who knew her personally, but.by many others who yet experience the results of her devoted life, notably in the Wincobank Chapel, and its activities, that owed its origin in 1841 to her incessant and persevering efforts.
The second daughter of Joseph Read married Mr. William Wilson, of Sherwood Hall, Mansfield, who purchased the smelting business from the Reads in 1846, when the name was ch anged to the Sheffield Smelting Works.2 Their two sons were Henry Joseph Wilson, M.P, for Holmfirth from 1885 to 1912, and John Wycliffe Wilson, J.P., Lord Mayor in 1902, who largely extended the business. Their descendants still carry on, not only the business, but those dominant characteristics of lofty purpose and unswerving fidelity thereto that, back through the generations, have ever been synonymous with the names of Read and Wilson.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE SMELTING WORKS.
1765, Jno. Read and Samuel Lucas settled in Sheffield 1787, Jno,. Read, silver refiner, Green lane 1795, Fairbank's map-Refinery. (Royds Millis) 1797, Read., Lucas and Read. refiners of silver, Burton Mill, near-Attereliffe Bridge 1822,~ Read, Lucas and Co., gold and silver, refiners, and blue vitriol manufacturers, Royds Mills, 1828,, Wm. Rawson, Esq~, The Mills, Attercliffe Read and Co., refiners, The Mills, Attercliffe Wm. Lucas,. gold and silver refiner, The. Mills, B'side 1833,' Joseph Read, gold and silver refiner: ho., The Mills, Attercliffe Bridge Read and Co., ditto 1846, the Read business bought by Wm. Wilson 1849, J. Read, silver refiner: ho., The Mills, Attercliffe 1852, The Sheffield Smelting Co., The Mills, Attercliffe John Read, Esq., Moorbottom House, Dore (see p. 78) 1804, The Sheffield Smelting Co., The Mills, Royds, 1876, " " " " Hy. Jos. Wilson Jno. Wycliffe Wilson 1896, " " " " Hy. Jos. Wilson, M.P., J.P. Jno. Wycliffe Wilson,' J.P. Cecil H. Wilson, J.P. Oliver Chas. Wilson Talbot Edward R. Wilson
Curious but interesting. variants in the Royds’ postal address occur in the directory quotations above, especially in 1828. The Wilson pedigree on, page 80 is given in outline only, furnishing the, family links for the clearer appreciation. of the chronology. One cannot but wish’ that space permitted’. more detailed memoranda on. the various people tabulated. Sheffield-and Attercliffe–are richer in tone.for their residdence amongst us. Religious, . political, civic, business activities are not forgetful of their influence. Mr. H. J. Wilson along with Mr. Jno. P. Moss and Mr. J. E. Taylor, of the Central School, are venerated in the author’s memory for encouragement afforded in the early days of his educational career. Huntsman’s Gardens School was erected from the design of the first named. Nor can the ‘Welcome name of Cecil H. Wilson fade in the Attercliffe annals. No one has had a more varied record of public service to the city than he, and after forty years of it he is still in harness and lives in our midst. Honours he has more than once declined: he might have been Lord Mayor in 1914, and a knighthood was offered him more recently. But there’s the Wilson characteristic: the purple counts but little : service is everything.
We are indebted to Mr. W. H. Baggaley, curator of our museums, for generously affording us facilities for copying Martin’s picture of ‘Attercliffe Bridge and Winco Bank,’ one of a set of valuable prints on view at Weston Park. The picture is not as accurate, as a photographic exposure would have proved. The hill is too near and too high, and the ground-floor windows of the E.R. house are not shown. Jonathan Oakes’ workshop& are seen abutting on the northern gable. The buildings on the left, along with the house in the distance, have not been identified. The bridge is that of 1789 (see p. 58), the artist’s view point being on the Foundry road across Millfield.
David Martin was an engraver and copper-plate printer in Norfolk street, as shown in the 1787 directory issued by Joseph Gales and himself, printers and bookbinders, in the Hartshead. James Montgomery’s ‘ commemoration tablet on the wall of the Sheffield Telegraph buildings in Hartshead indicates the site of their office and works.
WILLIAM TOPHAM’S PICTURE
of the E.R. house, drawn in 1882, has been reproduced in Pen and ink by my artist niece, Miss Marion Wood, of Leeds, whose father and mother were formerly well known in Attercliffe.
THE RICHARD RHODES DIAGRAM
furnishes an indication of the position of his fields, no attempt to give the shape thereof being possible in the absence of the lost Harrison plans. The various approaches to Attercliffe across the river at this point were sketched by the late Mr. Paul in 1916. The plan clearly contrasts the ease of the present direct road with the almost painful 11 wriggles of the earlier years, especially those of 1789 (see p. 51).
RURAL WESTERN ATTERCLIFFE IN 1819.
This is a product’on-probably for the first time-of Fairbanks’ map 3 of their Attercliffe and Darnall survey. Careful study of the map will reveal valuable information anent the nature, size, owner, and occupier of nearly forty land-plots a century and more ago. Many of the details will be dealt with in Part I I I.