³Scrutineer'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
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 ³ 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."
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.'
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 ³ went to America and was one of the principal builders of the city of Washington." The third child was Mary, and the fourth ³William, of Attercliffe, a limeburner." That well-known Atterclevian, the late James Johnson, in his most valuable paper, ³ 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.
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.
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 ³ 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 .
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 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 BurtonF W. R 1677.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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, 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 ³ 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.
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, ¹ 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.
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.
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, , ³ ³ (p. 7 3) 1889 to present time, private tenancy
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.
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 ³let 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. , ³Unhappily, 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 ³widowed 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.
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.
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.
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