James Hithersay

“The shop and house next to South Street Chapel was very old” declares Adeline. It belonged to Mr. James Hithersay, grocer, and his wife. Mr. J. Hithersay was one of the leading men at the Baptist Chapel. He was a grocer, and his wife, one son and two daughters, Ann and Mary, assisted him in the business”.

We are now opposite the Old Baptist Chapel in South Street at 39 South Street.

Born on November 12th 1812, James Hithersay was the son of framework knitter Benjamin and Martha (nee Orchard). After his marriage on September 29th, 1834 to Ann (nee Bancroft), daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (nee Kirkby), he worked for a time as a lacemaker in Radford before returning to trade in South Street as a grocer.  Ann died on August 3rd, 1863, aged 54.

Gap alert!   James senior then married his second wife at Ilkeston Baptist Chapel on November 10th, 1863 — a year before James junior married his first and only wife. She was widow Helen Johnston (nee Anderson) and possibly the sister of William Milroy Anderson, Baptist Minister and schoolmaster.

Adeline writes that “Mrs. Hithersay was the second wife, she was a Scotch lady, a Miss Anderson, sister to one of the Baptist ministers.
This family were attendants at the South Street Baptist Chapel.
My father occasionally preached in the Chapel, and I used to go with him. After the service we would go across the street to Mr. James Hithersay’s house, and spend a little time with him, his wife and family”.

James Hithersay senior retired from the grocery trade in June 1879 when he sold his stock and copyhold premises in South Street and went to live at Lilac Grove in Beeston. The South Street shop was sold with living accommodation, gardens, warehouses and outbuildings. There was also an adjoining house with outbuildings included. The whole lot had a frontage to the street of 56 feet, was just over a quarter of an acre and had the advantage of extending right through to Albert Street.
James also sold his freehold field called Hare Hill Close – almost three acres – on the north side of Derby Road, where Paul Hodgkinson’s Corn Mill stood. Prime land for building purposes !

James senior and his first wife, Ann, at least nine children but six died in infancy. Adeline remembers…..

James (October 21st, 1837 – September 4th, 1881)

“Son James married and started as a grocer at the bottom of Market Street, in White Lion Square” … a grocer like his father.

Ann (1843-1914) and Mary (1849-1921)

“They assisted their parents in their shop”. They lived together, unmarried, all their lives, Ann dying first at 10 Derby Road on March 6th. 1914.
Mary died on November 13th, 1921, aged 72, at 94 Ash Street, the home of her niece Renee Whitmore.

The other children were ..
Emma (October 20th, 1835 – March 1st, 1840)
John I (June 1839 – February 6th, 1840)
John II (March 7th -March 21st, 1841)
Joseph I (April 1842 – October 14th, 1842)
Emma (1845 – December 11th, 1850)
Joseph II (1847 – April 22nd, 1848)


(Two or more cottages, an opening leading to a cottage and the gardens) and then the premises of farmer Henry Tomlinson.