Daykin’s Shops

Adeline takes us down South Street. “All this side of South Street had been parcelled out, and had fair-sized gardens at the rear. Mr. Richard Daykin, who was a joiner at Stanton, bought a plot and built two shops and houses on it”. 


Richard Daykin and family

“The first shop Richard occupied and started a grocery business. Mrs. Daykin managed it until Birch, the eldest son, was old enough to take charge”.

In 1871 this was 63 South Street.

Joiner and carpenter Richard Daykin was born in Kirk Hallam, in 1807, the son of lacemaker Samuel and Sarah (nee Birch), and married Ann Clemerson in June 1829. His wife was the daughter of Loughborough needlemaker and later post office messenger Thomas and Ann (nee Bailey).
(Next door – until 1870 — was Ann’s younger sister Harriet).

Several Daykin daughters were born to the couple before son Richard Birch ‘arrived’ in February 1842 but he died in childhood, aged five.
The next son, born on August 17th 1850, was thus registered with the same name and was followed two years later by Henry Frederick.

In the 1860’s, when in adulthood, Richard Birch Daykin lived on in South Street, while his brother Henry Frederick and their parents migrated to Little Hallam.
Richard (March 1885) and Ann (September 1883) died there and both were buried in Stanton Road Cemetery.

The Daykin children ….

According to Adeline “son Fred was a pupil teacher at the British School, and after Mr. Wright Lissett resigned he became the head master”.

Henry Frederick Daykin had a long attachment to the British School and became its headmaster after Wright Lissett resigned in 1873.
The Pioneer (1893) reported that he came direct from college to the headmastership of the school, after it had been closed some months, and retained that position after the school was taken over by the School Board.
His tenure was an apparent success story and “for the last 13 years (up to 1893), without a single break the highest award of ‘excellent’ has been yearly obtained; the Government inspector this year awarded the ‘excellent’ merit grant without examination, as a compliment to the extraordinary success which the school has obtained for so many years”.
He was also the teacher of the Art class under the Technical Instruction Committee.
In 1876 Henry Frederick married Annie Mary Bunting, only child of pork butcher George and his first wife Ann (nee Limbert) and continued to live at Little Hallam.
He was a Freemason and a member of the Congregational Church, identifying himself with the Christian Endeavour Society and the PSA (Pleasant Sunday Afternoon) Movement.
Tilkestune (IA 1929) remembered Henry Frederick as a man of much ‘internal and external energy’ who ‘was worn out in the middle of life and succumbed to a lung infection’.
In November of 1893, aged 41, he contracted pneumonia which a few weeks later triggered a fatal septicaemia infection.
“This was all the more sad because owing to the recurring high standard of efficiency in his school, he received a Government appointment as school inspector. He, however, died before he could start on his new duties”.
He was buried in Park Cemetery on December 22nd, a Wednesday afternoon of bitterly inclement weather.


“Fred Daykin’s elder brother, Birch, had the grocery business in South Street, left to him by his father. This shop, with others, was taken over by the Co-operative Society”.

In 1874 this was at 62 South Street.

On October 15th, 1867 Richard Birch (alias Birch) Daykin married Sarah Ann Bonsall, whose family were later to live at Bonsall Place, off Bath Street.

In the summer of 1879, he was using the stables at the Rutland Hotel in his trade, after the bankruptcy of George Spouge who had previously been based there.
He was still using it in late 1882 to house his shillibeer (a horse-drawn omnibus) when a fire was discovered there. Immediately a message was sent out to mobilise the fire brigade which was quickly on the spot. Not quickly enough however!!! 
Thanks to the efforts of  the local populace the fire was out by the time the brigade had arrived.
Birch became proprietor of the Rutland Hotel after the retirement of Mary Hives in 1884 and in the following year experienced a serious accident. (April 1885).
A bullet became wedged in his old muzzle-loading gun and in an effort to displace it, he removed the barrel from the stock and placed it in a fire, hoping to dislodge the shot. He then removed the barrel from the fire and peered down it to see if it was now clear. As he did so there was the mighty bang of exploding powder and his eye was severely damaged.
The bullet remained in the barrel but Richard’s eye did not remain in his head.
Dr. Taylor of Nottingham was forced to remove it though he felt that the victualler’s brain had not suffered any ill effects.


Of the daughters of this family …

3] Eliza Eleanor, born in 1830, married Stanley-born cordwainer, grocer and druggist George Moon on Christmas Day 1855 and subsequently went to live at Mapperley —  the village to which George’s family had moved shortly after his birth, ‘a small colliery village, with drunkenness and vice rampant and almost unrebuked’. (IP 1881)

Her husband was ‘a devout Christian’, for almost 40 years a Sunday School teacher, for 16 years the Churchwarden of Mapperley Church, and all his life a total abstainer. He died in November 1881 and his burial at Kirk Hallam Parish Church was conducted with the appropriate dignity, respect and reverence.

Eliza Eleanor died in South Street in May 1890.

Their one child was Arthur Henry Moon, born on June 13th, 1862, who was an assistant master at Granby Boys’ School and who, on July 23rd, 1892 married Mary Tamar Gregory, the daughter of ‘Captain’ Charles Hiram Gregory, landlord of the Old Wine Vaults Inn.
Five years later, on a fortnight’s family summer holiday at Chapel in Lincolnshire, Arthur Henry was drowned while swimming in the ‘German Ocean’ (the North Sea).
He was buried in Park Cemetery.
The Chairman of the School Board described him as ‘an old and a very efficient, careful and plodding teacher’.
He was a talented oboe player and took part in many oratorio performances in the district.

Buried with Arthur Henry — in grave 9833 — is his only child, Charles George Moon who died aged 22 in 1917. The grave shows that the latter was in the Sportsmen’s Battalions, fought in World War 1, was wounded at Douai in northern France, taken prisoner of war and died of his wounds.
(Grave 9833 is less than 100 metres along the path running from the rear of the Cemetery Chapel in a north-east direction, at its southern or right-hand edge).

4] Elizabeth I was born in 1832 and died in infancy.

5] Elizabeth II born in 1833, married Bath Street tailor and draper Elijah Higgitt in 1855 and lived there with him until her death in May 1885.

6] Anna alias Annie was born in 1837 and died at the South Street home unmarried in October 1861. She was buried at All Saints Church, Kirk Hallam.


A Case of Mistaken Identity

Approaching Christmas time of 1865, the postman left the Post Office of Richard Potts in South Street, in his possession a letter addressed to ‘Mrs. A. Daykin, South Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire’ and bearing the post-mark of ‘Perth (Scotland), December 16th 1865′. Inside the letter was a banker’s draft for £20 — a Christmas present ?

The postman walked along the street, past the home of Richard and Ann Daykin, past Pleasant Place and Queen Street, past the Nag’s Head, West Street and the Wesleyan Chapel, and then turned right into Derby Road — shortly arriving at the home of jobbing tailor Alfred Daykin and his wife Mary (nee Manners), who had very recently lived in South Street but now were residing at their present address, next door to the Three Horse Shoes Inn. The letter was thus delivered…. one day after it had been posted.

The sender of the letter and banker’s draft was Thomas Bailey, a prosperous tailor and clothier though now out of business, and the uncle of Ann Daykin, wife of grocer Richard. As he did not receive an acknowledgement of its arrival Thomas wrote (again !!), less than a week later, to his niece who quickly replied to the effect that the letter had not been received by her.

Now, ‘wheels’ were set in motion.
Ann’s brother-in-law and next door neighbour, William Armstrong, (see below) made unsuccessful inquiries at the post-office, after which the Dead Letter Office in London was contacted — with the same result.
Meanwhile Ann made her own inquiries and discovered that the Ilkeston branch of the Nottingham Joint Stock Bank (Limited) had paid out on the banker’s draft to Mrs. Mary Daykin !!

Now it was a police matter !!
Having determined that Mary Daykin, wife of Alfred, had indeed presented the draft for payment, Inspector Edward Brady was soon on the case … and after an abortive trip of a few miles to Sandiacre, he eventually followed Mary and her husband to the Bell Inn in Nottingham. The pair, having been there for some while, were ‘a little fresh’ and were taken in to custody, charged with obtaining £20 under false pretences.

However Mary had already been on a spending spree in Nottingham, having bought a bed, bolster, pillows, sheets, blankets, mattresses, some skirts and several yards of various fabrics  All of these were in the possession of Ilkeston carrier John Whitehead who was just about to make his daily return journey from the metropolis when the Inspector reclaimed them.

And it didn’t stop there !!
Alfred had a good supply of tobacco on his person while Mary was clothed in new crinoline and a fur, and was carrying a new basket containing four pairs of stockings and a wash-leather. By that evening, a couple of days after Christmas, Mary and Alfred and the newly-purchased goods were all safely housed in the lock-up in Ilkeston Market Place.

Several questions now surfaced.
Why should the postman pass an obvious destination for the letter — only a few yards from the post-office — without at least making inquiries of Richard and his wife, to learn if they knew someone residing in Perth ?
Why did he go into Derby Road when the address on the letter was clearly for someone in South Street ??
Why did Alfred and Mary hold onto the letter and draft for eleven days, knowing no-one in Perth who would send them £20, and then cash the draft — which was clearly not for them ???

After the Daykins were charged with fraudulently obtaining the money it emerged that Mary had only been able to cash the draft at the Ilkeston Branch Bank after it had been endorsed by her husband — as it was made out to ‘Mr Daykin‘ — and that she had later returned, with the draft endorsed by her husband, to deposit half the money in her own name, saying that she did not require all of it just yet !!

Less than a week later the accused couple appeared, on remand, at Smalley Petty Sessions. … defended by solicitor Hubert Henri Sugg.
George Villency Hamilton Smythe was the bank agent who had cashed the draft and upon cross-examination he admitted that the transaction had followed the usual course of business, and that Mary Daykin had not lied or misrepresented herself.
Uncle Thomas Bailey came down from Perth to give evidence, during which he admitted that he did not know the first name of her husband and so had simply made the draft out to ‘Mr. Daykin’ …. he did not know that there was a second ‘Mr. Daykin’ living in the town at that time !! (– there were in fact several more than two !!)
When it came to Inspector Brady’s opportunity to give evidence, he stated that Mary Daykin had claimed to have checked with several people — John Harvey, landlord of the Three Horse Shoes Inn, her brother-in-law bricklayer Joseph Derbyshire, James Aram of the Collier’s Arms beerhouse in Derby Road, and even postmaster Richard Potts — and all had assured her that the draft was hers and that she should cash it, though none had seen Thomas’s letter which had accompanied the draft.
At that point the case was adjourned and despite solicitor Hubert’s best efforts, the magistrates resolutely refused to grant bail. … though they had to wait only a few more days before the couple were back in the dock, still on remand.

During the Daykin’s second appearance at court,  Messrs Potts, Harvey, Aram and Derbyshire all gave evidence though not one of them would confirm what Mary had supposedly told Inpspector Brady … several of them had cautioned Mary and advised her to take the draft back to the post-office or to consult the police before cashing it.
Hubert Sugg did point out that Mary had never said that these witnesses had told her that the draft was hers and that she should cash it … it was Inspector Brady who had reported this to the court. Did the Inspector have an accurate recall ? Was he telling the truth ?? 
And now came a surprise for the solicitor … a charge of forging an endorsement on the draft had been added to that of fraud. On both charges the accused couple agreed to say nothing and so they were committed for trial at the Derbyshire Lent Assizes in early March. And once more, despite Hubert’s best efforts, they were denied bail.
Mary was distraught.

At the end of the later Derby trial the jury was instructed that when a woman acted in the presence of her husband the law presumed that she acted under compulsion (marital coercion*) … Mary was thus acquitted.
Alfred was not so lucky, but he was lucky !!
He was found guilty though the prosecution recommended mercy …  technically his offence was forgery but he was leniently treated, and thus sentenced to six months imprisonment, with hard labour.

P.S. Thomas Bailey was a younger brother of Ann, who had married Thomas Clemerson in 1807 .. their daughter Ann Clemerson married Richard Daykin.
Thomas Bailey traded as a tailor and clothier in High Street, Perth for many years.

P.P.S. *As a defence, ‘marital coercion’ was abolished only in 2014, by the Coalition Government (2010-2015), after a former minister of that government, Chris Huhne, was caught up in trial in which that defence featured. He and his wife, celebrated economist Vicky Pryce, were accused of perverting the course of justice. Vicky was not as fortunate as Mary Daykin … the former was found guilty along with her husband, and sentenced to a period of imprisonment.

P.P.P.S Look for Alfred Daykin on the 1871 census and you will find him once more housed in Ilkeston’ lock-up, next door to the Sir John Warren, and adjacent to the Ilkeston branch of the Nottingham Joint Stock Bank (Limited) !!


William Armstrong

“Mr. W. Armstrong lived in the second shop. He was a furniture dealer, also a cabinet maker. Herbert Armstrong, their eldest son, died while still a boy. Mrs. Armstrong was Mrs. Daykin’s sister”.

This second shop was 62 South Street in 1871.

Both born in Loughborough, William Armstrong and Harriet Clemerson, younger sister of Ann, married there in 1857. He was the son of master hairdresser Thomas and Mary Ann (nee Yeoman) and she was the daughter of letter carrier Thomas and Ann (nee Bailey). Shortly after the marriage they made their home in South Street and then over the next decade saw their family expand as three sons and two daughters were added.

Business too expanded.
By 1868 William owned a ‘wholesale and retail furniture and paper-hanging warehouse’ which stocked furniture ‘suitable for Cottage or Mansion‘… dining and easy chairs, bedsteads, sofas, couches, chiffoniers, sideboards, drawers, book-cases, mirrors, carpets, hearthrugs, mattresses and blankets.
Plus a range of over 6000 pieces of paper hangings of 400 different patterns in gold, flock, grounded and pulp papers.
William also offered ‘joinering, cabinet-making, painting and general decorating, paper-hanging, etc. attended to on the shortest notice’.

However events in the late 1860’s were very traumatic and painful for the Armstrongs, and affected William and Harriet deeply.
During that time the couple lost sons Frank Thomas from whooping cough (May 1868) and Harry Frank (born in 1869) in infancy, daughter Eliza Harriet as a young child (December 1868), and then their eldest child 11-year-old William Herbert from typhus, at the beginning of 1870.
A few weeks after this last death, William left home one Sunday morning to attend chapel as usual, leaving Harriet alone. She was improving in spirit but perhaps not sufficiently to go with her husband. She told him that she would stay behind to prepare an early dinner and then the couple could go out for an afternoon walk.
At midday William returned home to find the dinner ready as usual, except for some partly peeled potatoes in a basin, but no Harriet. He called out to her and then hearing a moan, he was drawn to a small room in the house where he found his wife, lying on the floor. Not having the strength to lift her himself, he ran for Dr. Norman who came immediately, accompanied by his assistant. Although Harriet was still alive at that time, the doctor found her  in a state of great spasmodic contraction of all the muscles of the body, the pupils very much dilated, teeth firmly clenched, and insensible’. It was too late to treat her meaningfully and she died within half an hour, the cause of death being strychnine poisoning, in the form of ‘Battle’s Vermin Killer’. Troubled by mice on his premises, William had purchased the poison a few weeks previously, from near neighbour and druggist Richard Potts — who had allowed the sale only after George Sanson could witness the transaction.
The jury at the inquest held at the King’s Head returned a verdict to the effect that Harriet had committed suicide ‘while in a state of temporary derangement’.

In the Spring of 1870 the furniture warehouse was sold to William Alfred Whitchurch.
William Armstrong, with his two surviving children – Florence and Arthur Ernest – then left Ilkeston.

About a year after the death of his first wife, William Armstrong married Elizabeth Snelson, a Nottingham lass, the daughter of house agent Frederick and Ann (nee Sissling).
He returned to his native Loughborough where he lived the rest of his life.
By 1882 he was advertised as an auctioneer, public house and general trade valuer at 33 Cattle Market in that town.

*My thanks to Jane Gott for commenting on the Armstrong family and adding detail to the events above. (see Comments)


This is an edited transcript of a conversation concerning the Daykins and Armstrongs

John Daykin commented (Oct 18th 2013)…
I have one problem that I have yet to find any positive answer to and that is regarding Joseph and Catherine Dakin’s (nee Meakin) parentage, as I believe that “Jos and Cath” are the parents of Samuel Daykin who married Sarah Birch in 1804.
I have Joseph Dakin’s parents being George and Elizabeth Dakin (nee Straw) and Catherine’s being Samuel and Katherine Meakin (nee Beardsley). How, or where can I find confirmation of this query????

Old Ilkeston replied (Oct 19th 2013)…
Joseph Dakin/Daykin married Catherine Meakin in 1763 at St Mary’s Church in Ilkeston, and all their children were baptised at that church, Samuel being the last (?) one, in 1784.
Subsequent to that last date there was a burial of Joseph Daykin at St. Mary’s in 1817, when he was aged 76. This would put his birth around 1740/41 and so would link to him possibly being the son of George and Elizabeth (nee Straw), baptised in 1741 at St. Mary’s as you suggest.
Catherine Daykin might be a little more involved.
There was a burial of Catherine Daykin (nee Meakin) at St. Mary’s in January 1821, aged 79 … thus suggesting a birth year around 1742 ( allowing for the unreliability of burial ages!).
Katherine Meakin, daughter of Thomas and Hannah of Hucknall, was baptised at St. Mary’s in 1742.
Also a Catherine Meakin was baptised at All Saints Church in Kirk Hallam, in 1737, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (formerly Beardsley)…. the latter were married in Kirk Hallam in 1731 when Catherine/Katherine ‘Beardsly’ was described as a widow.
She may have been the widow of William Beardsley and if so, there is a marriage of William Beardsley of Kirk Hallam, aged,23, to Catherine Osbourne of Wollaton, aged 25, at Radford, Nottingham in Sep. 1721. They subsequently had several children, baptised at Kirk Hallam between then and 1730 when there is a burial of William Beardsley at Kirk Hallam.
A lot of ‘mays’ and ‘could be’s’ here.

Samuel Daykin, son of Joseph and Catherine, was baptised in 1784 and a Samuel Daykin married Sarah Birch in Nov 1804.
On the 1841 Census she is living with her daughter and her brother-in-law (?) Benjamin Hollingsworth who had married Elizabeth Birch in Jan 1811. Elizabeth died in 1815, aged 35 and was (possibly) baptised as Betty Birch at Kirk Hallam, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (nee Beardsley). Their daughter Sarah Birch was baptised in 1782 and on the 1841 census she is aged 55.(rounded down).
I am tying myself in knots here so I think I’ll pause.

Jane Gott nee Armstrong commented (Nov 10th 2013)…
I knew that Harriett nee Clemerson committed suicide as I have her death certificate but didn’t know the reason. Also I had no idea they had other children other than Arthur Ernest, Harriett and herbert who I think may be the William Herbert mentioned.

John Daykin commented (Nov 13th 2013)…
I have just read the reply from Jane Gott on your page regarding the Armstrongs, and realised that the lady she refers to, Harriett Armstrong (nee Clemerson) is my G.G.Grandmother Anne Daykin (nee Clemerson’s) sister who lived next door to them – a fact I learned from your “Grand Tour” of Ilkeston.

Jane Gott commented (Nov 18th 2013)…
William Armstrong and Harriett nee Clemerson
After reading the information I found on your website I sent for the death certificates of their children who died.
Frank Thomas 18th May 1868 aged 11 months Died of Whooping Cough
Eliza Harriett 12th December1868 aged 4 and half years Died of Cerebral Congestion. This term
was used a lot in general and possibly she was having fits.
Henry Frank 30th September 1869 aged 14 weeks Died of Tabes Mesenterica. This was TB of the Abdomen caused by drinking infected milk.
William Herbert 20th January 1870 aged 11 Died of Typhus.
The final straw for Harriett I suspect.
On Harriett’s death certificate it states that the Coroner’s inquest was held on 9 March 1870.
Have you any idea where a copy will be held? and will it show any more information that you have shown?
William remarried as you said Elizabeth Snelson and had another Son Frederick William Snelson Armstrong.
My Gt Grandfather was Arthur Ernest Arnest Armstrong.

Old Ilkeston replied (Nov 18th 2013)…

Thank you for that information. The inquest you refer to was held at the King’s Head Inn in the Market Place, Ilkeston on Monday March 7th 1870. I doubt that there will be an existing record of it but you might start at the National Archives ( › Records )
There is an account of it in the local Ilkeston press, and also in the Derby Mercury of March 9th 1870 (page 8) which is online.


My thanks also to John Daykin. He has contributed his extensive research on his ancestry to the site and I have put it all onto the site.  He has also worked on the Birch family and this will appear later in our walk around the town, as we approach Weaver Row.
The full version of John’s research appears later in this section.
So let us pause here and look at the Family History of the Daykins as supplied by John Daykin

Alternatively, we can continue down South Street to meet the next of its inhabitants … the Lowe family