Interests:- Thomas Smith (1762) Phoebe Allen, Smith's Bank

  • 23 July, 2010 at 20:01 #560

    I noted that the following person is listed:
    Thomas Smith (b. 1762), a son of William Smith and Ann Roe.
    I also picked up a Phoebe Allen (bn in Crich).
    It is possible that these are Thomas Smith and Phoebe Allin who were married 19 May 1788 in Crich. Their daughter(?) Ann was living at Wheeldon House, Crich in 1861. Her sister Mary (mar. Hawkins?) was there too.
    Has anyone else picked up those connections?

    If so, then has anyone also picked up their son, Samuel (b. abt 1798) – who was to settle in Manchester as a Draper in Deansgate. Ralph Allen Smith his brother, (b. 1792)also pops up there. Ralph's eldest son, Frederick (b 1824) mar. Mary Moseley).

    Does anyone know of a link between these Smiths described and the Thomas, Samuel, and Abel Smith of Smith's Bank, Nottingham.

    23 August, 2010 at 08:50 #671

    Hi Dawn I have listed a diary entry by Denman Mason which shows that Ralph Wheeldon Smith owned Wheeldon house at the time you have listed also the Mosely family tree for some reason doesn't list Thomas as a son of william but he is mentioned in the will of William Smith born 1753.

    By a happy chance a copy of a diary kept by one Denman Mason has become available and it gives some insight into middle-class affairs in Crich in the mid-19th century. Denman's father Edwin Mason was, it seems an easy-living man who had fritted away his property. In a diary note of March 20th 1868 Denman recorded that his father was just recovering from a drinking bout that had lasted about three weeks. (Such bouts were not at all uncommon in Victorian and Edwardian times and – various local people have confirmed that it was still occurring in the 1920's and the 1930's). Moreover Edwin had sold to cows, his pony and trap and other things – "for a supply of drink". Denman said of his father that he had been "nothing but a scatterer during the whole of his life". Denman's mother was Julia. Her father had been Ralph Wheeldon Smith, who was a direct descendant of the Ralph Smith who, in 1660, had acquired part of the property and some of the manorial rights in Crich from Henry Howard – of the House of Arundel.

    Two of Julia's brothers, Rupert and Thomas, emigrated to Australia and it seems that Julia had sent Denman out to Australia to live with his uncles hoping to give him a better start in life than he might expect in Crich. But times in Australia were hard. The uncles were farmers and butchers and on April 8th 1868 Denman recorded in his diary that although butchers in Crich could sell second quality beef at 8d a pound and mutton at 7 1/2d a pound, in Melbourne Australia it was reported that good mutton was only fetching 1d or 2d a pound. In the hope of restoring their fortunes, uncles Rupert and Thomas sent Denman back to England to progress the settlement of his grandfather's estate. He arrived in Crich on August 31st 1866 and his diary covers the period from then to July 1869.

    His grandmother, now Mary Marshall, was a widow and in her eighties and was living in a cottage near Dial Farm. Mary had married William Marshall after the deaths of her two previous husband's; John Mason (father of Edwin) and Samuel – brother of Ralph Wheeldon Smith. Denman also had an uncle Ralph W. Smith living in Crich – at Fishpond House which is at the foot of the last peak of Crich Hill.

    William Marshall had bequeathed the Crich Manor House below Edge Moor – the "Pot House" – to Grandmother Mary. When this was put up for sale on October 16 1866 Denman Mason was given authority, as her agent, to receive the monies from the sale.

    Ralph Wheeldon Smith had owned much property in Crich and at one-time lived in Ralph Beler's 14th century Manor House on what is now Crich Market Place, and which later was renamed Wheeldon House. The Smiths also owned Fishpond House; "the Common House", where Aunt Smith had entertained John Wesley a century earlier: land on the Nether, the Upper and the Middle Cliff as well as rights in a local lead mine, fishing rights on the Derwent and so on. Some of these were sold – as a step towards settling Ralph Wheeldon Smith's estate – on February 25th 1867 at the 'Jovial Dutchman' at Crich Cross. The last sale of R.W. Smith's property also took place at the 'Dutchman' about a year later, on January 14th 1868. On that occasion the Butterley Company bought the Cliff Land for £62 per acre and S. Radford of Bullbridge bought the Common Farm for £ 751.

    Ralph Smith, who had been living at Fishpond House when his son, and Denman's cousin Joseph Smith had died there (aged 18) on August 29th 1867, moved to Wheeldon House in February 1868. (it had been standing empty for over 3 years). Denman Mason helped his cousin Susannah to tidy-up the old front garden, which was in a very bad state. He contrasted it with its condition when his Grandmother – as wife of Sam Smith – took pride and tended it with so much care.

    Ralph Smith owned the 'Jovial Dutchman' and on March 23rd 1868 Denman drew up an agreement for letting the Inn to a Mr. Boole from Sheffield. Ralph also had the rent from Fishpond House and he received an income of £1 a week (and travelling expenses) from the Crich Co-operative Society – a company of butchers – for "buying in and selling out". Denman thought this to be good pay for about three days work. Later, property-owner Ralph began working 'physically'. He started slaughtering cattle for the Co-operative Society, and Denman used to help his uncle. For instance on March 5th 1868 together they killed acow and two sheep, and on March 12th 1868 they killed a calf and a sheep. Denman must have felt he had aquired skill as a butcher for, on May 25th 1868, he "wrote to Messr. Money Wigram and Sons for a situation as butvher for the voyage out to the Colony".

    He was ready to return to Australia but before he went he, on September 30th 1868, helped his Uncle Ralph by painting at the "old house on the green" (i.e., the Market Place) and he noted that Ralph had given-up butchering for the Crich Co-operative Society and was now in business for himself" in the old shop on the green". On October 9th 1868 Denman and Ralph slaughtered two cows and five sheep for Crich Fair. Ralph "sold out all the Wakes beef and has killed another cow, making his share three. I think Crich people are noted for beef eating, especially at the Wakes for this time there was 16 slaughtered in all".

    In an earlier part of his diary, Denman noted, on September 2nd 1867, that Squire Hurt (of Alderwasley) and Squire Wass (of Holloway) had spent today shooting on Crich Common and had called at the Mason house for refreshment – giving Denman "full permission to fish their rivers any time I thought well". The next day, September 3rd 1867, he recorded that he and his brother had good days sport – fishing on Gregory Pond (nowadays called the Gregory Widehole on the Cromford Canal on Squire Nightingale's land. They caught 32 roach and several perch. A few days later Denman "received at present of three brace of birds and one rabbit from Sir H.. F. Every, Egginton Hall as a return for the privilege of shooting over the Inkermill land" and on September 13th 1867 he had "a hare and brace of birds from Squire Buxton, being his annual present for the privilege of sporting over the Hilton Common land – now in the occupation of Mr. Blood". Both these were family properties.

    So, although the Smith's and the Mason's were no longer so prosperous as formerly, they were obviously in easy social contact with the local squirearchy – and recognised as 'gentry'.

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