The Burr Lane Brentnalls

Walking down Burr Lane, beyond the Knighton Estate, Adeline now introduces us to a family she knew well, through her chapel ….

“A distance further down (Burr Lane) on the East Side were two cottages.

In the first lived Mr. and Mrs. Brentnall, their son William, and daughter Sarah Ann.

Mr. Brentnall was a machinist at Ball’s. The daughter was a dressmaker”.

The Burr Lane Brentnall family, of strong Wesleyan Methodist connections, comprised …..

—   father James, born on January 26th, 1818, a warper, son of builder John and Hannah (nee Hickton).

—   mother Elizabeth (nee Bostock), born in 1811 and married on September 13th, 1837, daughter of collier George and Rebecca (nee Tatham)

—   son Herbert Thomas, born in 1838 and also a warper.

—   daughter Sarah Ann born in 1840.

—   there was a second daughter, Luema, but she died in April 1844, aged eight months.

James and Elizabeth lived all their married life in the Burr Lane area and died there, James on September 20th, 1875, aged 57, and Elizabeth on May 18th, 1882, aged 70. Both were buried in the Stanton Road Cemetery.

 Puzzle alert!! Some aspects of the domestic life of their son Herbert Thomas are ‘unusual’. At St. Mary’s Church, Ilkeston, in September 1859 he married Alice Allen, sister of Beatrice (the wife of Enoch Carrier) whom we met in New Street. The couple had several children, including twins, who all died in infancy before three sons were added to the family. The last one, Arthur, was born in 1874. At St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham, in November 1880, Herbert Thomas married a second time, to widow Mary Issitt (nee Brown). The groom declared himself a widower, while Mary’s first husband, warper William Issitt, had died in North Street in March 1879. Mary had already had at least seven Issitt children, though daughters Ann and Hannah were the only two alive at the time of her second marriage. Herbert Thomas and Mary had three children but they were all registered as illegitimate ‘Brentnall Issitts’ by Mary, suggesting that their ‘marriage’ was invalid. Of the three children, Elizabeth Ann was the only one to survive beyond infancy. At the age of 16 and after the death of her father she was baptised at Ilkeston St. Mary’s Church as a ‘Brentnall’. Was Herbert Thomas’s first wife Alice still alive when he married Mary Issitt in 1880?

In 1867 Herbert was described as ‘Bell Man, Bill Poster and General News Agent of Burr Lane’ (IP), taking over from his brother-in-law George Allen. And into the 1890’s he was still advertising himself as the ‘public bellman of 64 Burr Lane’.

Father James Brentnall was from a family of at least 12 children.
We have already met his sister Ann and her ‘humorist’ husband James Chadwick at the start of our walk.
We shall meet the oldest sibling Elijah in Market Street and older sister Elizabeth in the Market Place area with husband John Childs.

The other children left Ilkeston to spread over various parts of the country.

For example brother Thomas Brentnall found his way to Middlesbrough and married Susannah Atkinson in 1843. He established a grocery business there, in Suffield Street, where his younger brother Henry helped to attend the shop.
He was a town councillor and alderman, and in 1862 became the ninth mayor of Middlesbrough, and later became a JP for Middlesborough.
He was a Wesleyan and a Liberal.
He died at his home in Southfield Terrace in Januaray 1891 and was buried in the town — and for his services to the community a street was named after him. (No … it wasn’t called Thomas Street!!)

The younger brothers?…. bricklayer Henry spent some time in Surrey before joining brother Thomas in Middlesbrough in the early 1850‘s and traded as a grocer. He died there in 1896.

Joseph Edmund also moved to the North East, and also trading as a grocer….
And grocer, druggist, ironmonger Frederick Samuel also made his way to the same area, ….
while older brother and tax clerk John migrated eventually to Northampton via Lancashire, London and Scotland, accompanied by his Ilkeston-born wife Sarah (nee Gorse).
Third son, builder George, also went north but only as far as Riddings though some of his children were rather more adventurous and found their way to Australia.

Of the other daughters, Hannah married Yorkshire-born draper and widower Isaiah Cleminson and moved north to Durham County while Mary married general dealer Peter Daykin and lived in High Street, Ripley.


The father of all these children was bricklayer/builder John Brentnall, eldest child of William and Sarah (nee Beardsley), while their mother was born Hannah Hickton, at Greasley in 1785, the daughter of labourer John and Ann (nee Meakin).
John Brentnall died on February 2nd, 1848, aged 68, and his stone can still be found in St. Mary’s Church graveyard.
His wife Hannah died, aged 80, at Burr Lane on January 27th 1864, three days before her sister-in-law Mary (nee Brentnall) who lived in Pimlico with her husband, builder John Wheatley, and just three weeks after her daughter Hannah Cleminson. Both Hannahs were buried in Stanton Road Cemetery. .. and were, of course, two of the first burials there.
Mary Wheatley was buried in the extension graveyard of St. Mary’s Church in the same plot as her husband John, who died in August 1869.

And in the same lane were the Brown family.