The following article was kindly sent to us by David Johnson.
This article was written for, and first published in, The Scrivener,
Journal of the Calderdale Family History Society, in June 2021
© David Johnson 2020 CFHS 2021
This summer I decided to tackle a long-standing gap in my paternal tree - who were the parents of 3x great grandfather Edwin Cheetham (1809-1841). In a few weeks of intensive research I quickly went from nothing to knowing more about his parents lives than any ofmy other early 19th century ancestors. A fascinating story rich in social history unfolded.
Edwin was married in Leeds in 1830 to Hannah Johnson but appears to have lived and worked as a woolstapler (wool merchant) in Huddersfield for the rest of his short life before dying in December 1841 at the age of 32. They had four daughters, their names proved to be significant: Emma Sophia Waller Cheetham, Hannah Maria, Elizabeth Rose and finally my 2x great grandmother Mary Johnson Cheetham.
As Edwin died before the 1851 census there were no geographical clues as to where to start looking for his birth other than that he was born outside Yorkshire. Fortunately Edwin Cheetham is a scarce name combination. A broad search brought up only two likely baptisms, both around Oldham, one obviously too young. So, could I link this remaining baptism to my Edwin? The date of 1809 was perfect based on his age at death, but the Church register and Bishops Transcripts gave different names for the mother, Mary or Elizabeth. The other clue was the occupation of father James, an Innkeeper.
Searching for an Oldham Innkeeper James Cheetham turned up trade directory entries for the White Hart in Hollinwood, Oldham from the 1820's to 40's. From this I found census records from 1841 which showed that James and his sister Maria and her family, the Wolfenden's, ran the White Hart from before 1841 through to at least 1871. However, no sign of a wife and family for James. Baptism and burial records for James and Maria were soon traced, all in Hollinwood. However, no marriage which would fit, and James would have been age 21 when Edwin was baptised - surely a bit young to be an Innkeeper. At this stage I was working on the assumption that Mary, from the earlier Church register, would be the correct mothers name, the Bishops Transcripts being a copy. Such assumptions are dangerous...
This just didn't feel right, so having left it for a while, when I came back to it I decided to look for a marriage of James Cheetham to Elizabeth in Oldham around 1809 and struck gold immediately. James Cheetham married Elisabeth Waller at Prestwich St Mary 18th March 1808, both of Oldham. Remember the name of Edwin's eldest daughter? At last an answer the mystery from where Emma Sophia Waller Cheetham acquired the name Waller. I was also offered a hint to a newspaper entry about the marriage:
Manchester Mercury 28th September 1808, Marriage Notices1:
"Lately, Mr Cheetham, hat manufacturer, of Oldham to Mrs Waller, of the George and Dragon Inn, in that town."
So Elisabeth was a widow and she originally was the Innkeeper. After this I was hooked, a rapid trail of jumps from record to record through relatively unusual names quickly took me back to the start of the story of Elisabeth Rose and to Calderdale.
Elisabeth Rose Martin was born around 1766, possibly in Northowram, a baptism record has yet to be found. We first encounter her in the records at her first marriage to Elkanah Hoyle, Yeoman at Halifax St John's 30 July 1792. She and Elkanah have a daughter Carolina baptised 27 September 1796 at Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge at which time they were living in Warley. Elkanah wrote a Will just before his death, he was buried at St John's on the 28th April 1799 and he was then an Innkeeper.
The Last Will and Testament of Elkanah Hoyle2 gives many clues to the life of a man of considerable property and connections in London.
His children are the main beneficiaries of the Will, they are named as Carolina plus Elizabeth, John, Mary and Luke. Elisabeth Rose is also mentioned as his wife and an executrix of the Will. John and Luke are still clearly young as Elkanah arranges for their schooling and learning trades - are they also children of Elisabeth Rose? I have found no baptism records which could link to them as yet.
"... I leave to my wife Elizabeth Rose Hoyle her ?thirds? out of that house in Bow Street Covent Garden no. 36..."
According to the Survey of London vol. 36 Covent Garden (1970)3 a small section of the east side of Bow Street to the corner of Russell Street retains its original numbering. The site of nos. 35-36 Bow Street is now the Wildwood Pizzeria and is just across the street from the goods entrance to the Royal Opera House, the famous theatre portico being just up the street to the north. This is the same Bow Street where the Bow Steen Runners were based and the location of the Bow Street Magistrates Court.
"There are 3 pints 1 tankard 1 Gill 10 tea spoons 1 pair of tongs 3 table spoons and a pair of buckles all silver I desire my (son) Luke Hoyle may have my silver watch when capable of taking care of it..."
"I do desire my executors will pay the sum of Ten Guineas to my daughter Elizabeth Herring who married Mr Herring and lives in Tothill Street Westminster that receives the money from the houses that the executors are to receive the money of..."
This suggests that perhaps daughter Elizabeth and her husband are managing houses he owned in London and collecting rents for him.
The marriage of Elizabeth Hoyle to Richard Herring took place at St Martins-in-the-field, Westminster on 21st October 1784, Elkanah Hoyle signed as a witness. A Richard Herring was baptised in Westminster in 1756. This all indicates that Elkanah's marriage to Elisabeth Rose is probably a late second marriage to a significantly younger woman.
Elkanah appears rather distrustful of Elisabeth Rose:
"If she keeps unmarried and does well to the children she is to receive the money that may be received out of the estate but if they find that she is embezzling the money the executors are to provide a place for the children to be taken care of..."
"...as long as she does not marry or offer to sell the goods she is to have them if she keeps the public house but if she leaves the public house then to be sold..."
This distrust was perhaps well justified. Probate was granted to Elisabeth Rose and Thomas Lister on 20th May 1799. Just one week later at Halifax St John's, Elisabeth Rose Hoyle, widow, married John Waller, Office of Excise both of Warley.
At this time many inns and public houses would still be brewing their own ale and beer. Excise Officers covered rides, a district in which they would regularly visit licensed premises to check on the brewing process and ensure that the correct duties were being declared and paid. If John Waller was the Excise Officer covering the Halifax ride he would likely have been a frequent visitor to the Hoyle's public house...
This Calderdale part of the story seems plausible from the available records, but not entirely certain and the next step is the least certain of all, but from there on the cross connections which bind the story together make me certain that these are indeed the parents of Edwin Cheetham.
We move to Oldham, just across the Pennines from Halifax, at the other end of a coaching route being forged between the fast developing towns. Our next source, the Diaries of William Rowbottom, hand-loom weaver4, were serialized in the Oldham Standard in the 1880’s and have been transcribed and published online [on their website] by the Oldham Historical Research Group.
The Diaries gives a graphic and detailed insight into the life and society of Oldham at the turn of the 19th century. This is a turbulent time. News of the Napoleonic Wars is frequently reported. The winters are hard with much snow and wind, and often the summers wet, with poor harvests and high prices for food. This is the tail end of a period of disturbed climate throughout the world following from the massive Laki and Grimsvötn volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 1783-85. It is also the period when mechanization is beginning to have an impact on the cotton trade. Work was often scarce and wage poor for the hand-loom weavers like William Rowbottom. Political radicalism was taking hold around Manchester, including Oldham, in the lead up to the Peterloo Massacre in 1819.
11 Aug 1799: "Died Thomas Rowland, master of the George Inn, Oldham, disorder consumption."
From Oldham St Peter's records: Buried 17 Aug 1799 Thomas Rowland of Mill End, age 27.
Looking at a map of Oldham5 from the period, also on the website of the Oldham Historical Research Group, Mill End is the area adjacent to the corner of High Street and Clegg Street, the location of the George Inn.
14 Nov 1802: "A short time since died, Mr. Waller, master of the ;George and Dragon; Inn, Oldham."
From Oldham St Peter's records: Buried 24 Oct 1802 John Waller, Innkeeper.
The book 'Inns and Alehouses of Oldham'6 tells us that the Inn at 36 High Street in Oldham was variously known as the George Inn or the George and Dragon Inn and that a John Waller held the license from 1798 to 1802 when his widow Elizabeth took over as licensee until 1808 when James Cheetham arrived staying until 1814. Rowbottoms Diaries suggests that Mr Waller didn't take over until August 1799 at the earliest which is just after John Waller married Elisabeth Rose Hoyle in Halifax. Waller is another relatively uncommon name and marriages of a John Waller to an Elisabeth in the years before 1800 are few. Geographically, the nearest is the Halifax marriage, there being none in and around Oldham. The timing fits and there is also the continuing connection with the licensed trade, so it is a strong candidate. Also, John and Elisabeth Waller do not seem to appear in extant burial records around Halifax.
We learn more of life at the George Inn from the Rowbottom Diaries:
12 Apr 1803: "One Bradey, an Irish taylor, stole a silver cup from the house of Mrs. Whalley, the George Inn, Oldham, for wich ofence he was commited to the New Bailey prison to take his tryal."
(A costs account for trial of a James Bradley is available on Ancestry from the Lancashire Quarter Session Records)
8 Dec 1807: "Comedy of the “Birthday” performed at the Theatre, George Inn, Oldham, for the benefit of Mrs. Holbrook."
(Oldham Local Studies Centre hold a copy of handbill for this event)
The George Inn appears to have been a substantial property and business which later develops as a coaching inn serving routes from Manchester to Leeds via Huddersfield or Halifax.
23 Apr 1814: "A short time since G. Statham entered as tenant George Inn, in Oldham, late Mrs. Waller, afterwards Cheetham."
Another event also took place in this period, before Elisabeth Waller marries James Cheetham:
Oldham St Peter’s 11 Nov 1804 James Blakeburn son of Elizabeth Waller, Innkeeper was baptised.
Edwin had an elder half-brother, one could guess that the father was a Mr Blakeburn. As previously told, Elisabeth Waller, widow, of the George and Dragon Inn then married James Cheetham in 1808 and they had their son Edwin in 1809.
After James and Elisabeth leave the George Inn they disappear from the records and nothing is known until Edwin and his family appear in Huddersfield from 1830 on. From the 1841 census, now we know of his half-brother, it is apparent that Edwin is living next door to James Waller, his wife Fanny and family. Following the Wallers into later census records, in 1861 we find that Emma Sophia Waller Cheetham, Edwin's eldest daughter, is living with them as Governess to the children. The youngest child is also Edwin. His full name from his baptism on 3 June 1855 at Ramsden Street Chapel, Huddersfield, is Edwin Cheetham Waller completing the web of family cross-naming.
The final record found offers to tie the whole story back to Halifax. A record for Huddersfield Holy Trinity, the church where Edwin Cheetham was later buried, for 14 Jan 1830: buried Eliz. Rose Cheetham age 64. Not forgetting that Edwin's third daughter was also an Elizabeth Rose.
Questions remain, can other members of the Calderdale Family History Society [or any other society] help answer them?
I would love to hear from anyone who is a direct descendant of Caroline Hoyle/Wells, James Blakeburn Waller or Edwin Cheetham especially if they have taken genealogy DNA tests. It would be interesting to see if there is DNA evidence to support them all being children of Elisabeth Rose.
Note: I have chosen to spell Elisabeth’s name with an ‘s’ throughout except when quoting direct from sources as this is how her name is transcribed in earlier records. The signature of Elisabeth is different in each of the marriage register entries, not unexpected for someone who would probably not have to sign frequently, but in each case looks more like an ‘s’ than the conventional ‘z in Elisabeth’.
1. Manchester Mercury, 28 Sept 1808, Marriage Notices. British Newspaper Archive, https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/
2. Will of Elkanah Hoyle of Warley , Yorkshire, The National Archives, Kew:PROB 11/1324/267 (also at ancestry.co.uk)
3. 'Bow Street and Russell Street Area: Bow Street', in Survey of London: Volume 36, Covent Garden, ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1970), pp. 185-192. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol36/pp185-192
4. The Annals of Oldham – The Diaries William Rowbottom from 1787-1830. Oldham Historical Research Group.
5. Map of Oldham 1817. Oldham Historical Research Group. http://www.pixnet.co.uk/Oldham-hrg/archives/maps/pages/map-1817.html
6. Inns and Alehouses of Oldham, by Rob Magee. 1992 Neil Richards.
7. BMD & Census Records: ancestry.co.uk, familysearch.org
Transcription of the 1799 Last Will and Testament of Elkanah Hoyle of Warley, Innkeeper
In the Name of God Amen the sixteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine I Elkanah Hoyle living in Warley in the County of York so make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say I order that all my just debts funeral expenses and probate of this my last Will and Testament be first paid off and discharged by my executors and executrix hereafter named.
I appoint Thomas Lister of Salterhebble in the parish of Skircoat John Lees in the said parish Executors and my wife Executrix of this my last Will and Testament I give to my son John Hoyle Twenty pounds a year to be paid by my said executors to his Mother If she keeps unmarried and does well to the children she is to receive the money that may be received out of the estate but if they find that she is embezzling the money the executors are to provide a place for the children to be taken care of in the best manner they can and pay them out of the money they receive out of the estate.
I give to Mary Luke and Carolina Hoyle all that alike to be divided equally alike what may arise from the estate and furniture when sold if she marry to be sold and the money to be divided for the children the goods to be valued by two appraisers and the executors to have one and my wife the other and as long as she does not marry or offer to sell the goods she is to have them if she keeps the public house but if she leaves the public house then to be sold and I leave to my wife Elizabeth Rose Hoyle her ?thirds? out of that house in Bow Street Covent Garden no. 36
I do desire my executors will pay the sum of Ten Guineas to my daughter Elizabeth Herringwho married Mr Herring and lives in Tothill Street Westminster that receives the money from the houses that the executors are to receive the money of he is my son in law and will receive it and send it ?back?
There are 3 pints 1 tankard 1 Gill 10 tea spoons 1 pair of
tongs 3 table spoons and a pair of buckles all silver I desire my Luke Hoyle may have my silver watch when capable of taking care of it And I desire my executors will put him to a trade as soon as he is fit for it as good a ? as they can meet with and send him to school to learn to read and write. John if he ? to his lessons and gets fit for a trade I would be glad if he was put out to ? what they think best for him I trust my executors with my children as friends and hope they will behave as fathers to them.
Elkanah Hoyle Sealed signed published and declared by the said testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request have signed our names as
Witnesses Robert ?urworth Richard Hollar, Joseph Wadsworth.
This Will was proved at London the twentieth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine before the Worshipful John Sewel doctor of Laws and surrogate of the Right Honourable Sir William Wyatt Knight also doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully? by the oaths of Thomas Lister and Elizabeth Rose Hoyle widow the relict of the deceased and two of the executors named in the said Will to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods chattels and ? of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer power reserved of making the like grant to John Lees the other executor named in the said Will when he shall apply for the same.
Reference: PROB 11/1324/267
Description: Will of Elkanah Hoyle of Warley , Yorkshire
Date: 30 May 1799
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Return to the Pictorial Index Page HERE