Into Chapel Street

Chapel Street …..

Warning for pedestrians!! One warm summer evening in 1870 collier Henry Trueman and his mate were relaxing on the corner of Bath Street and Chapel Street where Henry lived. Sitting on the corner footpath with their legs stretched out across the Bath Street footpath, they were approached by P.C. Baker who in no uncertain terms told them to depart. The mate did as he was told but Henry was made on sterner stuff and refused… a refusal which led to a court appearance and a fine of 5s plus 10s 6d costs. The magistrates declared that they were fed up with obstructions like this, but Henry wouldn’t believe that he had done anything wrong and refused to pay. This second refusal led to 14 days in prison.

At the time of his offence, Henry Trueman was about 50 years old, married with eight children, and had lived in Chapel Street for ten years. His wife, whom he married in November 1845, was formerly Ann Bostock … most of her family, including her parents, lived down Bath Street.
Ann’s sister Elizabeth, younger by almost ten years, also felt attracted to Chapel Street, and in 1861 was living there as a lodger with John Chapman and his family. She had with her, her three illegitimate children, and the census records her as a “chair woman” !!
A few years later she had found work as a silk winder, just round the corner and up Burr Lane, at Messrs Ball and Wilkins,  On Saturday, January 14th, 1865, she left work at 2 pm. and then visited her widowed father, to clean his house. In the early evening she returned home to Chapel Street, when she complained to her lodger, Jane Rigley, of pain in her head, and in her legs,which for several years ‘had been in a state of ulceration’. Her sisters came around to attend her, until midnight, and she spent the night and the next morning in great discomfort. Around midday on Sunday she ‘gurgled peculiarly‘ and died before a doctor could arrive.
Subsequently, Mr. Davenport, assistant to Dr. Norman, examined the body, could find no trace of poison or marks of violence — rumours had been circulating !! — and concluded that death was caused by ‘ulceration of the heart or the large blood vessels’.
At the time of her death Elizabeth had given birth to five illegitimate children, two of whom had died, and at least three of them fathered by ‘Samuel Tomlinson’. If you look on the 1851 census you will find a 22-year-old ironstone miner, ‘Samuel Tomlinson’, lodging a few houses away from the Bostock family in Bath Street !!
Elizabeth’s death left three young children without parents. One daughter died a couple of years after her mother. And this is how Henry Trueman (remember him ??) found himself living in Chapel Street with his wife, sons, daughters (one of them married), a lodger, and now his wife’s nephew and niece.
Twenty years after Elizabeth’s death, Henry was still living in Chapel Street, and died there on January 5th, 1886, aged 65.

Chapel Street

…. known to some old residents as Rice’s lane —  on each of the censuses 1841-1861 there were, on average, 21 ‘Rice’ inhabitants of Chapel Street. Surprisingly therefore, Adeline does not mention one of them !!
In a letter to the Pioneer of 1892, the contributor ‘Bath Street recalled that the name came from Mr. Samuel Rice, “who kept a few cows and lived about half-way down the lane”.
Samuel was possibly the unmarried framework knitter son of cordwainer Richard and Martha (nee Chadwick) who lived with his parents in that street for most of his adult life and whose father owned land there.

In October 1852 the Nottinghamshire Guardian reported the death (on October 4th) of Mr. Richard Rice, cottager, in the 85th* year of his age, leaving a widow, (to whom he had been united for 61 years) and eight surviving children whose united ages amounted to 416 years, with 59 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
* Richard had been baptised at Kirk Hallam on May 28th 1769 and so was more likely to have been 83 at his death … the age shown on his death registration.

Richard’s oldest son was Joseph Chadwick Rice, born on March 16th 1794 and a ‘Waterloo Veteran’. According to his army records, he had enlisted on May 4th 1812 and was discharged on June 10th 1817. In those five years he had been to Russia, Holland, Germany, Belgium (Waterloo) and France, with the 73rd Foot, never wounded, and rewarded with the Waterloo Medal.

On his return to Chapel Street, he married Hannah Farnsworth (October 19th 1818), and continued to live in that street for the rest of his life.

Nearing the end of his life, Joseph had never ‘drawn’ his war pension (of 5 years and 38 days plus two extra years for fighting at Waterloo). He had suffered from severe asthma for 20 years and was described as destitute and unable to work, unable to do anything. However through the intervention and good offices of the Rev. John Francis Nash Eyre, his condition was brought to the attention of the War Office, and Joseph was awarded his pension in early 1874, at a rate of 15d. He died nine months later, on December 21st 1874, at 29 Chapel Street.


Another census error … when Bostock becomes Rice.

A search for Samuel Bostock, born in 1799, son of Samuel and Dorothy (nee Barker), on the 1861 census would not reveal his name … even though he was very much alive.
This is because an inaccurate — or careless — use of ditto marks had led the enumerator, Ilkeston surgeon Nathaniel B. Gill, to record Samuel and his wife Mary as ‘Samuel and Mary Rice‘ living in Chapel Street …. as if there weren’t enough of the ‘Rice’ clan living there already !!
Surrounded by ‘Rices’, Samuel Bostock correctly appears on the 1841 census, in Chapel Street, with his first wife Elizabeth (nee Gratten) and three of their children.
Three months after this census and Elizabeth was dead. Thus on the 1851 census Samuel Bostock, now a widower, is still at Chapel Street.
Meanwhile, on the same census, Mary Shaw (nee Bowman) was living in Heanor with her husband, glazier Joseph, and her children. And three weeks later Joseph was dead.
Widow Mary then moved to Ilkeston with her children and just over two years after the death of her first husband she married Samuel. The couple continued to live in the Chapel Street area … Samuel died there in March 1871,  (and so he just missed being ‘missed off ‘ the 1871 census !!!
Samuel’s widow Mary died in December 1874.


Adeline didn’t think much of  this area ….”The next houses were in Chapel Street. This was a cul-de-sac, having a hedge dividing it from Burr Lane. It was a very muddy and unpleasant street in winter.”

The Pioneer also thought the street unpleasant but not for the same reason.
In 1860 it reported on ‘the vain, foolish and ridiculous displays’ of the pigeon fanciers who were congregating in Chapel Street and other parts of the town in order to race their birds. The races were attracting persons ‘of low, vulgar and blackguard character’ who were clogging up the street and making it impossible for decent people to pass. If any loosed pigeon dare to rest on a nearby house it would be greeted by shouts and whistles in an effort to urge it into action. If these failed then stones and dirt were hurled at the sedentary bird, resulting in blocked spouts, broken slates and windows, and possible serious injury to local householders.
These paltry and nefarious practices’ reflected ‘truly contemptible’ behaviour and the Pioneer urged the racers to get rid of ‘these boyish toys and childish whims’ and find something better to fill their leisure hours

Despite the entreaties of the Pioneer it appears that “these boyish toys and childish whims” were not totally eradicated any time soon.
In 1893, brickmaker Joseph William Shaw was living in Lower Chapel Street with his wife and two children … and his 13 tame pigeons. He fastened them all up one February evening and an hour later discovered that he now had only 12 tame pigeons !! His best one — a homer, worth 5s — had disappeared. Police enquiries led to William Morrall who admitted kidnapping the bird which was then returned to its owner. William was fined 10s. without costs.
Joseph William was a son of brickmaker Samuel Shaw whom we have met down Station Road.


Watsons and Woolleys.

“The old Primitive Methodist Chapel was in this street, hence the name of Chapel Street. (The new one was built in 1852)”

Also in Chapel Street — and close to the site of the former Primitive Methodist Chapel, on the street’s south corner with Burr Lane — lived the neighbouring Watson and Woolley families.

John Woolley junior, son of joiner John and Eliza (nee Fletcher) had formed an attachment to Julia Watson, daughter of framework knitter James and Mary (nee Sisson).
The couple had been courting for about a year when in 1857 Julia was accused of stealing a deed of security worth £15 from John. Julia claimed that this was a bond, a pledge of love given to her by John until they were married. Consequently she had begun to prepare a ‘bottom drawer’ of ‘several bottles of pickles, preserves, and other things requisite for housekeeping’ in expectation of the happy day.
Although Julia later appeared in court, John would not press charges and each party paid its own expenses.

Just over a year later Julia gave birth to illegitimate daughter Harriet, married plasterer Joseph Eley three months later and died shortly after, aged 18.


The Flower Pot.

“The Flower Pot Public House was in Chapel Street” announces Adeline.

The Flower Pot, just before its demolition in the 1990’s. (

In the early 1860’s — and at least until 1867 — the Flower Pot was kept by Isaac Parkin, who later moved on to keep the Erewash Hotel in Station Road and in 1883 tenanted the Foxholes Farm at West Hallam.

In May 1871, rather unwisely, Ilkeston jewellery hawker George Webster had been drinking in the Flower Pot beerhouse and upon exiting into Chapel Street was accompanied by several other drinkers. As they barred his way George drew out his pistol and fired it in the air to dispel them but they took no notice. Instead they retaliated with a few carefully aimed brick ends, one of which caused a hole in George’s head.
Pursued by the gang, he made his way into Bath Street and on to the police station to report the attempted highway robbery with violence.
Less than a week later coalminer Isaac Eyre of Langley was at Heanor Petty Sessions charged with this offence but now George did not wish to press the charge. Had he been nobbled? Case dismissed.

In 1874 the beerhouse was kept by Joseph Beardsley and he was still there in 1885. By 1888 James Olley had taken over. John William Maclure was the landlord in 1891 and he handed over to John Cooke in August 1895. From John Cooke it passed to Enoch Jeffries in May 1897 — he had just left the Gladstone Inn. Meanwhile John Cooke left town to take over the Pack Horse Inn in Loughborough. The licence of Enoch Jeffries was renewed in August 1898 even though he had been convicted of allowing gambling on his premises — though he was cautioned severely. However, a month later he was replaced at the ‘pub’ by Thomas Rose.

In mid June 1899 the licence was ‘temporarily’ transferred from Thomas Rose to Jabez Barber (he had just left the Travellers’ Rest at White Lion Square) who was still there at the end of the Victorian era. (Jabez died a few years later, aged 46 — on August 26th, 1906 — then serving as landlord of the Poplar Inn. He had just returned from a week’s holiday in Blackpool. His body lies in Stanton Road Cemetery).


Smith’s cottages.

“The cottages were very tiny, and built right up to the roadway, there was not any pavement and when the weather was bad so was the road, but not at any time was Chapel Street very attractive.
Mr. Smith built one or two cottages in (Chapel Street).
One daughter, Hannah, was a lace mender at Carrier’s, but developed consumption. I have seen her sitting in a chair outside the cottage door, evidently trying to get fresh air.”

The Smith family referred to by Adeline was possibly that of cordwainer Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Smith).

Eldest child in the family was Hannah, the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth and born in 1839, nearly two years before the marriage of Elizabeth and Samuel. On the 1871 census Hannah is recorded as ‘unwell’.

We shall meet Samuel again, as we travel up Bath Street towards the home of his younger brother Joseph. (See the tale of George Clay Smith).

In the 1850’s Chapel Street was the home to several shoemakers or cordwainers, one of whom appeared anonymously in the pages of the Pioneer in 1857. Having bought a packet of turnip seed, he put it away in a cupboard to wait for improved weather to sow his crop. At last this arrived and he went out to plant in the garden.
A blacksmith, living under the same roof, wanted a brew of tea but could find none in the cupboard, where it should have been.
He shouted to the gardening cobbler, “Jack! what’s thee dun wi my tay?”
“I’ve dun now’t wi thee tay! I’ve hed now’t aut ud cubbard but my tornop sayd!”
By this time the blacksmith was outside, standing over the cobbler, watching him sowing his tea instead of the turnip seed. As the Pioneer put it “A few mutual blessings and expressions of astonishment were exchanged between the two old mates, who both hope to live to drink broth flavoured with the cobbler’s Souchong Turnip!”

Another of the lane’s cordwainers was James Smith, son of James and Jenny (nee George).

In a letter to the Pioneer in 1892 the correspondent who signed himself ‘Bath Street referred to the untimely death of James in the Queen’s Head Inn but adds no more detail to the episode.


Flinders’ Row

“Mr. Flinders, the cattle slaughterer, built a row of cottages, the gable up to the roadway. You went down two or three steps to these cottages. They were called Flinders’ Row”.

Flinders’ Row was a terrace of cottages, accommodating five families on the north side of Chapel Street.
It was situated about halfway between Bath Street and North Street, and built at a right-angle to the street.
Before 1871, it did not officially exist in name – like many such rows and yards in Ilkeston at that time.
In February 1871 the Local Board for Ilkeston received a letter from the Registrar General who was preparing to conduct the decennial census on the night of April 3rd. He was requesting that all unnamed streets in the district be given a name and that all houses be numbered, a request that the members of the Board unanimously agreed to.
Consequently the town was divided into three areas — from the Town Hall southwards; from the Town Hall to the bottom of Bath Street; and from the bottom of Bath Street northwards — and three groups of the Board’s members then visited the areas to decide upon names for any unnamed street, yard, court and terrace in consultation with the owners or occupiers of the premises. Within a week the names had been determined.
The Board also discussed at great length the specifications for the street lettering and door numbering….. what colour and type of paint was to be used, the size of the letters and their background and border, the size and colour of the door numbers — black was chosen; if any resident wanted a different colour he was to pay for it himself.
Tenders for the task of lettering and numbering were sought from eight of Ilkeston’s foremost house painters, five replied, specifications were then changed, tenders were resubmitted, and Richard Blake of Nottingham Road was chosen (* see below) …he was the cheapest, charging 1s per dozen letters and 2s 9d per hundred numbers, the total to cost an estimated £20.
The Pioneer records the total cost of numbering and naming the streets as £11, during which process five ‘unknown, unassessed’ houses were discovered.
Thus it was that the census of 1871 was the first one to see the majority of the town’s houses numbered, and the town’s inhabitants were faced with a collection of new place names to master, one of them being Flinders’ Yard.

Before 1871 the houses in Flinders’ Row appear to be referred to in the census simply as part of Chapel Street.

Ten years later, as the 1881 census approached, the Registrar General made a similar request, asking that unnumbered houses be given a number. This time the Board acquired brass figures for the purpose.

The 1871 census records Thomas Flinders and wife living at Number 5 of Flinders’ Yard.
He was a son of framework knitter John and Dorothy (nee Hemingway) and had married Ann Trueman, daughter of hosier Thomas and Ruth (nee Seal) in October 1834.
At the time of this marriage Ann had at least one illegitimate child, William Severn Trueman, whose father was wheelwright William Severn and who lived with his maternal grandparents in his early years.

His father William Severn married Mary Shaw on October 7th 1834 just six days before his mother’s marriage to Thomas Flinders.

Thomas Flinders is variously described as a hawker, higgler, boatman, labourer, timber/coal merchant, pork butcher and slaughterer, and with wife Ann, he spent his early married life at Club Row.

The cottages at Chapel Street/Flinders’ Row had been bought by Ann’s father, Thomas Trueman, and when he died in 1846 their ownership transferred to his wife Ruth. However the Truemans don’t appear to have lived in these cottages but rather in others also owned by them, in the Burr Lane area.

Ruth Trueman died on Christmas Eve 1862 and it was possibly around this time that the Flinders family moved from Club Row to the Chapel Street cottages.

Also living in the Row, at number 1, was their daughter Kezia, with her husband, collier Joseph Smith and two   sons.

At number 4 were daughter Mary, her husband, collier Thomas Pritchett, and newly-born daughter Ann Elizabeth.

And at number 3 was labourer Enoch Turton, the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Turton and collier John Winfield.
Enoch’s mother was a first cousin of Ann Flinders and he is an elusive character in his early years, through no fault on his own. Registered at birth as Herbert (1846), listed on the census as Alexander (1851), and baptised at St. Mary’s Church as Enoch (1852), a name which appears to have stuck.
In September 1873 and still living in Flinders’ Row, Enoch was involved in a sinister case of porcicide.
On the Wednesday evening he went to feed supper to his pig, in the usual manner, when it seemed in good health and was eating with its ordinary appetite. However, having been allowed to dine in peace, the animal left half of its meal and appeared to have wandered away, lay down and died.
Enoch was suspicious.
Local vet Samuel Revill of Bath Street was summoned and his opinion was that the pig had been poisoned. Enoch was of the view that some neighbouring dastard had watched him as he fed his pig, waited for his departure and then had mixed poison with the pig-swill. Perhaps out of spite

Enoch died — with that name — at 42 Chaucer Street in September 1919.

Thomas and Ann Flinders had at least 13 children.

John was their fifth child and at the end of the century was the town’s bellman, billposter and town crier.
In October 1865 he married Jane Ann Timms, daughter of railway worker Thomas and Susanna (nee Newbold), who lived in another part of Chapel Street.
He died at 14 Taylor Street in 1915. Jane Ann died at Mill House in Mill Street in 1934.

From the Ilkeston Pioneer of October 19th 1934 …
Obituary. Mrs John Flinders.
Mrs. Jane Ann Flinders, widow of Mr. John Flinders, died at Mill House, Mill Street, Ilkeston, on Friday in her 89th year.
Mrs. Flinders for many years carried on a general dealer’s business in Bath Street, Ilkeston, and Mr. Flinders, who died 19 years ago, was for many years Town Crier.
Mrs. Flinders afterwards resided at Taylor Street.
The interment was on Tuesday at Park Cemetery, a preliminary service at St. Mary’s Church Army Mission Church, Station Road, being conducted by Capt.J. Forshaw, C.A. The Vicar of Ilkeston, Rev.Linsan Graves, M.A, Hon. C.F., officiated at the graveside.
(Then followed a list of the mourners)
The coffin was of plain oak with the simple inscription: ‘Jane Ann Flinders, Died Oct. 19th, 1934, in her 89th year’.
(Then followed a list of those who sent floral tributes)
Mr. Arthur Johnson of Lower Station Road, Ilkeston, was the funeral director.
(This was Arthur Reuben Johnson of 64 Station Road)


Thomas Flinders didn’t build these cottages in the row that bears his name, but rather lived in one.
It was generally the case that cottage rows were named after occupants rather than builders. The cottages in Flinders’ Yard were the work of Ilkeston builder and mason, Robert Wade, in the last years of the eighteenth century, when he bought the land from James Potter and built three houses on it. These were later altered to accommodate four and then five families.

*Joiner and painter Richard Blake lived close to Kensington in Nottingham Road.
In 1864 the Pioneer reported him as “a very hard-working man… respected in the town by those who have had occasion to employ him, and by the working class generally”.
His wife since 1830 was Sarah (nee Meakin), daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Trueman), but she had been ina state of helpless infirmity’ for many years.
Just before Christmas of that year, 1864, Richard’s workshop almost burnt to the ground, causing him to lose all its contents including tools and materials. A local appeal fund was started to help Richard replace his stock and restore his business.
Three months later Richard’s wife died, on March 22nd, 1865, aged 60.


Fancy a pint at The Prince of Wales beerhouse ?