Saturday, 30 May 2020

Norwood family of East Yorkshire


The sky is blue, the cuckoo has been calling and we are still confined largely to our homes. But I have a big garden and there is plenty to do - often at the moment watering everything as it is so dry.

I am not a great TV viewer and so have been spending lots of time on the internet. As many of my regular blog readers know I have a website [howdenshirehistory.co.uk], write this blog and also write books and booklets about local history. I enjoy reading and sometimes contributing to the local history facebook sites and saw on the Snaith page that someone was interested in the house called Norwood House aka no 1 George Street.

I was interested in this as the Norwood name had come up when I was researching my book about Eastrington - but I was doubtful that there was a connection.  I was right  about Norwood House - but I did nevertheless find a connection to my Norwoods in Snaith!!

First  the  George Street house. Several contributors to the Snaith fb page believed the house was named after a former occupant called [John] Norwood Howard who was a coal merchant. And they were right I think

John Norwood Howard was born at Snaith in 1913. His father too was a coal merchant  and he and  his wife Edith came originally from Lincolnshire. His mother's maiden name was Norwood and this explains why he gave the name to his son.

Norwood was the youngest member of the family. His eldest brother Stanley Hardy aged 19 was killed in 1918. His name is on the war memorial in the church.

George Street

But also in Snaith is Norwood Villa - no 8 Pontefract Road. It looks Victorian and I wondered who it took its name from.

I found a record from 1955 referring to the death of Mr. Robert Hall Fisher,  of  Norwood Villa, a retired grocer,  who died September 1954  and who  left £22,088. Robert was born in 1867 at Beast Fair where his father was a saddler. In 1901 he was a  grocer living next to Plough Inn,  Beast Fair but by 1911 he was retired grocer living  at Norwood Villa with his wife Annie and daughter Lucy  who died in 1964.


I then searched further back and found references to the death in 1907 of John Turner Norwood.


There were several newspaper reports of his funeral include the following

May 6th 1907. Deep regret is felt in Snaith, Goole, and district, at the death, which took place on Saturday, of Mr. John Turner Norwood, of Norwood Villa, Snaith. The old gentleman, who entered on his 78th year on May 1st, was born at Camblesforth, near Selby. The greater part of his life, however, was spent in Leeds, where he rose from a comparatively humble position to one of considerable importance in the city. He retired from active business life some twenty years ago, and came to reside at Snaith. He took a great interest in farming, and owned two large farms at Drax, close to his native village. He belonged to the old school of farmers, and being  a prominent local speaker, he often roundly denounced with much originality what he described as “the new-fangled notions of the agricultural schools.” For many years he presided over the monthly petty sessions held Snaith, and though a merciful magistrate, he had little sympathy with offending motorists.

1907
  A quiet, though impressive, funeral was that the late J T. Norwood, J.P., Norwood Villa, Snaith, which took place on Tuesday at Drax. The coffin was of plain oak, with brass mountings, and the hearse in which was conveyed from Snaith had drawn blinds. Moreover, there was not a single female in attendance, the chief mourners being the deceased's brother and nephews from Brighton. 

Amongst others present were Messrs G. F. Ogle, Hartley, and Weddall, fellow magistrates; Blair, J.P., medical attendant; Mr E. T. Clark, magistrates' clerk; Messrs R. B. Shearburn, Snaith Hall; Lealey, H. Rawson, Tillage Works, Goole; A. Hartley, Cowick; Superintendent Burkitt, Goole; Inspector Minty, Snaith; and Sergeant Dove, Selby. The Vicar of Snaith officiated in the church, and the committal service was taken by the Vicar of  Rawcliffe (Rev R. Proude). By request there were no flowers.

There is a plaque in his memory in Snaith church


Plaque in Snaith church, courtesy of Chris Watson

John T Norwood first appears living in Snaith in the 1901 census.  He is living alone apart from a housekeeper.


In 1891 he appears living at 16 East Parade in Goole with his aged mother  Ann and sister. His mother died aged 95 in 1894 and his sister remained in East Parade.

The Norwood family

I then looked at John's parents, grandparents and great grandparents. His father was Thomas Norwood born in 1799 and baptised at Howden. His father's address was then given as Yokefleet Grange. 
He had married Ann Wilkinson in 1827 at Adlingfleet, her home village.

Thomas' father was another Thomas born at Saltmarshe in 1767, a farmer who married Alice Turner at South Cave in 1791. It was this Thomas who eventually settled at Camblesforth and who was buried at Drax in 1816. 

His widow Alice, then aged 41, re-married in 1819. Her groom, Samuel Nicholson was a gentleman farmer of Rawcliffe aged 82. This age discrepancy meant that the marriage  featured in several Yorkshire newspapers. Samuel died the following year and one of his heirs, a nephew also called Samuel Nicholson appears in a chancery case. It would be fascinating to know the human story behind these bare facts.

There is a school book of this Thomas Norwood dating from 1785 in the Goole Museum collection


Thomas Norwood's book now in Goole museum, image courtesy of Chris Watson
page 2 of Thomas Norwood's book, image courtesy of Chris Watson




Camblesforth where Thomas Norwood lived



But another generation back and I was in Eastrington.  Thomas [ 1767-1816] was the son of John and Ruth Norwood [nee England] . He was one of a family of at least seven children. John and Ruth had moved from Saltmarshe to Eastrington in the 1770s to take up the tenancy of Townend Farm, then one of the largest farms in the village. 

I had researched their Eastrington life for my book on the history of Eastrington and had found that John was one of the signatories of my 4x  gt grandfather's [George Wise Nurse] will. They farmed and lived next door to each other.
Station Road Eastrington. The original Townend farm is on the extreme left

There were several Norwood sons so it is understandable that their son Thomas should move to farm at Camblesforth. And equally understandable that Thomas and Ann should farm there too.
This was where their five children,  Thomas Wilkinson, John Turner, Alice, Ann Frances and Ruthella were born. 

Thomas and Ann at some point moved to North Cave where Thomas gave his job as auctioneer in 1851. By then their two sons had left home. John was working as the manager of a Leeds flax and wool business with his sister Alice as housekeeper.


Thomas Wilkinson Norwood
But eldest son Thomas took a completely different and very interesting path.  He received a private school education, possibly at Leeds and in 1847 aged 19 went up to St John's College Cambridge. He received his degree in 1851 and entered the church being ordained priest in 1852.
 His first post was as curate of Bollington in Prestbury in Cheshire. Here he met the lady he was to marry. The vicar of Bollington then was Rev George Palmer who died at the untimely early age of 38 in 1852. His widow was the former Jane Gaskell of Ingersley Hall  and she  was left with a young family. 

Meanwhile Thomas was appointed curate of St Paul's in Cheltenham and was chaplain  to the Cheltenham Union. 
Three years after Rev Palmer's death  in March 1855  at St. Mary's Church, Cheltenham Rev. T. W. Norwood married Jane, daughter of the late Thomas Gaskell Eaq., of Ingersley Hall, Cheshire, widow of late George Palmer Esq.
The family were living in Cheltenham in 1861 but in 1867 Thomas was appointed  curate of St Luke's church in Chelsea.  Jane stayed in Cheltenham.
He obviously made a deep impression on the parish in Chelsea as there is a tablet in his memory in the church erected after his death.


The tablet in St Luke's church Chelsea commemorating Thomas Wilkinson Norwood


 In 1878 he was appointed vicar of Wrenbury in Cheshire,  and remained there for the next 29 years.
Jane died in 1880 in Florence.

He was obviously a very interesting and learned man and there are many references to him in newspapers and on the internet. He was a founder member of the SPAB [Society for the Protection of Old Buildings], alongside William Morris,  a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and wrote several papers on gypsies and their vocabulary which are deposited in Liverpool University archive. He worked hard for the church at Wrenbury apparently personally underpinning parts of it 'a very hazardous undertaking'. He was also a keen archaeologist and left his collection of shells and fossils to Cheltenham College.

He resigned the living in  September 1907 - his brother had died in May - and came to his brother's house in Snaith but died on January 31st 1908.
The brothers left substantial  funds which passed to the children of their sister Ruthella.


I was not sure when I began to look at Norwood House in Snaith where  I would  be led. Family history is like that. I still have not found who lived in the George Street house before the Howard family - the deeds might sort that out - or whether John Norwood built Norwood Villa. I would be delighted if anyone has any more information or pictures.


















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