Nancy Melrose (1853 – 1927)

A blog post in the series of people who are or were connected to my late father-in-law’s farm in Pilsley, Derbyshire. Nancy’s husband William Thorpe purchased the two fields from Tom Coupe in 1902. Following William’s death later the same year, the land was held in trust on her behalf until 1920 by Robert Thorpe and James Melrose.

Nancy was born in Derby in 1853 to parents James and Margaret (nee Hardman).1

In 1861, the family were living at 21 Railway Terrace in Litchurch, Derby. Nancy is 8 and at school. The family have four more children, James, Sarah, Alexander and Jessie. James Snr. is working as a blacksmith foreman.2

In December 1862 Nancy’s sister Lydia died aged 13 and in April 1867 Jane died aged 23.3 On the 4th of July 1867, Nancy is baptised at Holy Trinity parish in Derby.4

The family are still at the same address in 1871. Nancy aged 18, is at a teacher training school on Uttoxeter New Road in Derby.5 There’s a further loss in the family in August 1877 when Alexander died aged 20.6

Railway Terrace Derby in 2005

1881 sees the family still at Railway Terrace. Nancy is 28 and single, working as a governess, living with her parents and three siblings; Mary, James and Jessie. James Snr. and Jnr. have the same occupation, foreman blacksmith on the railway.7

On the 29th November 1881, Nancy married William Thorpe, a widower, in Lancaster and they move to William’s home in Pilsley, Derbyshire. William has one surviving daughter, Mary.8

White Hall in Pilsley Derbyshire in 2021. Large white famhouse in an 'L' shape
White Hall, Pilsley in 2021

The couple have five daughters; Jessie (1883), Jane (1884), Margaret (1885), Anne (1886) and Dorothy (1888).9

James Thorpe Snr. died in 1883, followed by his wife Margaret in 1886.10

In the 1891 census, Nancy is living with William at White Hall, Pilsley, with daughters Mary, Jessie, Jane, Margaret, Annie and Dorothy and two servants.11

By the 1901 census, William is retired and has moved to Fairfield Road in Chesterfield with Nancy and daughters Jessie, Jane, Margaret, Annie and Dorothy and one servant.12

On the 17th February 1902, William buys the two fields above from Tom Coupe.13

William died on the 31st May 1902 and was buried at Pilsley.14

His Will was 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.15

In the 1911 census Nancy has moved to Dore, Sheffield with her daughters, Jessie, Margaret and Ann. They have two servants living in.16

On the 4th of December 1920, James and Robert Thorpe sold the fields mentioned above to the Pilsley Hand and Heart Co-Operative Society.17

Nancy’s brother James died on the 10th of December 1927. Nancy along with William Lazenby is granted probate. Apart from a few bequests the bulk of the estate is left to Nancy.18

Nancy died on the 17th January 1931 in Walton, Chesterfield aged 78.19

Probate was granted to Edgar Eyre, John Herbert Sleeman and Jessie Thorpe.20



Sources

  1. Nancy’s Birth: GRO Birth Ref. at FreeBMD
  2. 1861 Census: Class: RG 9; Piece: 2505; Folio: 22; Page: 6; GSU roll: 542981
  3. Lydia & Jane Death: GRO Death Ref. at FreeBMD; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/125373089/alexander-melrose
  4. Nancy’s Baptism: “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch
  5. 1871 Census: The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1871 England Census; Class: RG10; Piece: 3569; Folio: 57; Page: 13; GSU roll: 839769
  6. Alexander’s Death: GRO Death Ref. at FreeBMD; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/125373089/alexander-melrose
  7. 1881 Census: Class: RG11; Piece: 3404; Folio: 29; Page: 6; GSU roll: 1341814
  8. Marriage Melrose & Thorpe: Lancashire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1936 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
  9. Jessie birth: GRO Birth Ref. at FreeBMD; Jane 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 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; Ann 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 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
  10. James Melrose Snr. Death: GRO Death Ref. at FreeBMD; Margaret Hardman Death: GRO Death Ref. at FreeBMD;
  11. 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
  12. 1901 Census: Class: RG13; Piece: 3248; Folio: 145; Page: 22
  13. Conveyancing documents in hand
  14. William Thorpe burial: Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1435 4/2
  15. William Thorpe’s Will: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
  16. 1911 Census: The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
  17. Conveyancing documents in hand
  18. James Melrose death & Will: GRO Death ref at FreeBMD; Derby Daily Telegraph 26 April 1928
  19. Nancy’s Death: GRO Death Ref at FreeBMD; Sheffield Daily Telegraph 19 January 1931
  20. Nancy’s Will: 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

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