William Thorpe (1834-1902)

Another blog post in the series of people and families associated with my late father-in-law’s farm in Pilsley, Derbyshire. William purchased the two fields from Tom Coupe in 1902.

William Thorpe was baptised on the 14th December 1834 in North Wingfield to parents William and Ann (née Wheatcroft) from Woodthorpe. William Snr. noted as a farmer.1

In 1841 census, aged 6, he lived with his parents William & Ann in Woodthorpe. His father is a farmer. William has four siblings, John, Mary, Ann and Robert.2

By 1851 William is 16 and employed as a grocer’s apprentice in Chesterfield by Joseph Rainforth. His family are living at Stretton Hall, his father is still a farmer, working 148 acres and employing two labourers. John, Mary, Ann and Robert are still living at home.3

William Thorpe Snr dies in early 1860 and is buried at North Wingfield4 and in the 1861 census, William has moved back to the family farm and is working as a farmer of 152 acres employing one man and one boy. He lives with his mother Ann and siblings Ann and Robert, both single.5

St Lawrence's church North Wingfield
St Lawrence’s Church, North Wingfield, Derbyshire

William marries Mary Holdsworth on the 30th January 1868 at Clay Cross. According to the marriage entry William is still living at Stretton Hall. Mary is the daughter of Thomas Holdsworth, the proprietor of Pilsley colliery.6 In 1870, they have a daughter Mary, who is baptised at North Wingfield.7

In 1871, William is 36 and a colliery manager. He’s living with his wife Mary and their daughter in Pilsley.8 Their second daughter Sarah is born in June 1871,9 but only lives for nine hours. She is buried at North Wingfield.10 A third daughter Hannah is born in November 187211 but sadly dies in June 1874. She is buried at Pilsley.12 A fourth daughter, Esther Ann is born in June 1875,13 but only lives for two weeks and is buried at Pilsley.14 Such sad times for the family.

In 1873, William is nominated for the Clay Cross school board and is voted vice-chair in December 1876.15

Ann, William’s mother dies in 1876 and is buried at North Wingfield.16 Sadly, William’s wife, Mary dies in June 1878 and is buried at Pilsley.17

St Mary’s Church, Pilsley, Derbyshire

By 1881 William, a widower, is living at White Hall in Pilsley, with his daughter Mary, a house keeper and a domestic servant. His occupation isn’t noted.18

On the 29th November 1881, William marries his second wife, Nancy Melrose, in Lancaster.19 Nancy is 29 and the daughter of James Melrose of Derby. I can’t imagine how they managed to meet over such a distance. The couple have five daughters; Jessie (1883), Jane (1884), Margaret (1885), Anne (1886) and Dorothy (1888).20

In April 1882, William is the victim of a theft from his property – James Purdy stole six domestic fowls and is later found guilty and sentenced to a month in prison with hard labour.21

In the 1891 census, William is still living at White Hall, Pilsley, with his wife, Nancy, daughters Mary, Jessie, Jane, Margaret, Annie and Dorothy and two servants.22

As the manager in 1891, William is directly involved with the strike at the colliery, when union banksmen refused to work with non-union men. They had the support of the Derbyshire Miners Association and William refused to intervene as he thought it was between the miners and not the colliery management.23

Thomas Holdsworth, William’s first father-in-law, dies on 23rd September 1893 and is buried at Clay Cross.24

William resigns from the colliery in 1899 and is given an engraved silver tray during an evening at Pilsley. The newspaper report gives the impression that it was not his choice to leave. The vicar notes that William had an unbroken record of attendance at church between 1874 and 1899.25

By the 1901 census, William has moved to Fairfield Road in Chesterfield with Nancy and daughters Jessie, Jane, Margaret, Annie and Dorothy and one servant. and describes himself as retired.26

On the 17th February 1902, William buys the two fields marked on the map above, from Tom Coupe.27

William dies on the 31st May 1902 and is buried at Pilsley.28

His Will is proved in London on the 11th July 1902 – leaving the bulk of his estate in trust for his wife and unmarried daughters. He appointed Robert Thorpe (his younger brother) and James Melrose (Nancy’s brother) as trustees.29

Sources

  1. William’s Baptism; England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918
  2. 1841 Census; Class: HO107; Piece: 196; Book: 17; Civil Parish: North Wingfield; County: Derbyshire; Enumeration District: 10; Folio: 3; Page: 1;
  3. 1851 Census; Class: HO107; Piece: 2147; Folio: 437; Page: 20; GSU roll: 87779-87780
  4. William Thorpe Snr. Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 33
  5. 1861 Census; Class: RG 9; Piece: 2526; Folio: 39; Page: 31; GSU roll: 542984
  6. William & Mary’s Marriage; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 660 A/PI 2/1
  7. Mary Thorpe’s Baptism; Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 6
  8. 1871 Census; RG10; Piece: 3607; Folio: 11; Page: 16; GSU roll: 839780
  9. Sarah Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 6
  10. Sarah Thorpe’s Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 33
  11. Hannah Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 6
  12. Hannah Thorpe’s Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/P14/1
  13. Esther Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/PI 1/1
  14. Esther Thorpe’s Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/P14/1
  15. School Board; Derby Mercury 19 November 1873; Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 09 December 1876
  16. Ann Wheatcroft’s Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 34
  17. Mary Holdworth’s Burial; Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 15 June 1878; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/P14/1
  18. 1881 Census; Class: RG11; Piece: 3428; Folio: 114; Page: 5; GSU roll: 1341820
  19. William & Nancy’s Marriage; Lancashire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1936 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.; Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 03 December 1881
  20. Jessie Thorpe’s Birth; GRO Ref; Chesterfield, March 1881, 7b 71; Jane Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/PI 1/1; Margaret Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/PI 1/1; Anne Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/PI 1/1; Dorothy Thorpe’s Baptism; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 A/PI 1/1
  21. Theft; Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 21 April 1882
  22. 1891 Census; The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891; Class: RG12; Piece: 2758; Folio: 110; Page: 5; GSU roll: 6097868
  23. Strike; Derbyshire Courier 24 October 1891
  24. Thomas Holdworth’s Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 660 A/P/4/2
  25. Presentation; Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 20 May 1899
  26. 1901 Census; Class: RG13; Piece: 3248; Folio: 145; Page: 22
  27. Field Purchase; Conveyancing Documents in hand
  28. William’s Burial; Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 4/2
  29. William’s Probate & Will; Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.


© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.