Hollingworth family history

As we saw in the last section, there is a link between the Birch and Hollingworth families. And here it is explored in more detail.

I would like to thank Simon Hollingworth  (ex Dale Abbey, Breadsall, West Hallam, Spondon, Ockbrook, Stapleford, ex Hollingworth, Co Cheshire) for providing nearly all the written content of this section on the Hollingworth family.
Simon has researched this ‘clan’ extensively and built up a family tree going back to the pre-Norman Conquest period, roaming over Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and several other counties. He writes …..

“I am member of the Hollingworth family of Dale Abbey. My family originally came from Cheshire, where they are related to the parent branch of the Bostocks of all people. I  have much of my family’s history back to 1145.
“I have been researching the environs around Ilkeston for many years now. My research includes families such as the Cockers of Ilkeston Hall, the Powtrells, the Draycotts of Dale Abbey and Losco, the Dethicks of Breadsall, the Illingworths of Breadsall, and a great many of the landed families from this part of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
“My line has been closely connected to the Daykin family for a number of centuries in villages such as Spondon, West Hallam etc.
“My Daykin connections include the following:
William Hollingworth, Gent, a draper of Nottingham, originally from West Hallam who married Bridget Daykin in 1640.
Mary Hollingworth of Spondon, who married, George Daykin, Gent the son of Richard Dakin Circa 1640s.
Thomas Hollingworth of Alton Hill estate at Ashover who was a supposed kinsman to George Daykin, Gent of Stubbing Edge circa 1650.
“All three of these Hollingworth lines originally came out of West Hallam, and 100 years earlier from Stapleford, and prior to 1550, Hollingworth Hall at Hollingworth in Cheshire.

Trying to keep to the confines of this site, I have concentrated upon the Hollingworths in and around Ilkeston.

We start on the East Side of South Street, at the home of Amos and Sarah Beardsley. Sarah’s father was John Birch, and her paternal grandfather was Samuel Birch, both trading as joiners and carpenters in South Street. Her grandaunt, sister of Samuel, was Betty Birch and it is with her that we begin.


Betty and Benjamin Hollingworth, carpenter of Dale Abbey.

Betty Birch married Benjamin Hollingworth, the son of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey,  in January 1811 at All Saints Church, Kirk Hallam. Betty died in April 1815 and was buried at the same church.


Betty’s grave can be found close to the churchyard main gates, on the left-hand side of the path leading to the Church entrance.
(In memory of Elizabeth, wife of Benjamin Hollingworth and daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Birch, who died August 9th 1815, aged 35 years)

Nottingham and Newark Mercury (September 18th, 1832)

Benjamin had been baptised 24 April 1786 at Dale Abbey. He traded as a carpenter and lived with the Hancock family of Bridge House at Kirk Hallam in 1851. (Julia Hancock (nee Daykin), the wife of William Hancock of Bridge House, was the niece of Betty Hollingworth).
Benjamin died in January 1860 and was also buried at Kirk Hallam Church.

Beyond Benjamin

The sisters and brothers of Benjamin Hollingworth

Simon has identified nine siblings of Benjamin, listed here in age order ….

Elizabeth Hollingworth, ‘the Wesleyan of Dale Abbey’

Elizabeth Hollingworth was the daughter of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey.
She was baptised 24 August 1777 and died within one night, of a fever at the age of 28.

Elizabeth was a driving force of Wesleyan teachings in the Hollingworth family of Dale Abbey.
Mr Salt, an old school friend of Joseph Hollingworth came to preach at Dale Abbey for the Wesleyans. He is documented as having a profound impact on Elizabeth Hollingworth. At this stage, Joseph Hollingworth was yet to enter the priesthood, preferring the joys of village life. In his memoirs, Rev Joseph Hollingworth later writes that his sister Elizabeth was taken ill overnight and died the next morning.
Rev Hollingworth credits his own religious progress to the dying words of his sister, which he felt would hold him in judgement should he not follow the will of God. Elizabeth’s influence and death had a profound effect on her other brothers … William Hollingworth of Poplar Farm, John Hollingworth of Stanley Grange and Benjamin Hollingworth the carpenter. Her dying words are credited by Rev Hollingworth as turning her four brothers and twelve other towns people decidedly religious from that time on. She is further credited as having united the Hollingworth family of Dale Abbey in the teachings of the Wesleyan society.

William Hollingworth Gent, of Dale Abbey and Mary Sneap.

William Hollingworth was the son of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey.
He was baptised 12 April 1778 and married Mary Sneap at St Mary’s Nottingham in 1803.
William was a farmer at Dale Abbey and voted for the Hon. George Vernon & Lord Waterpark, the Whig candidate in 1832.
William and Mary had six children before his death in 1836. Their children were William (b.1813), Herbert Henry (b.1812), James (b.1815), Martha (b.1803), Elizabeth (b.1806), and Anne (1811).

(See Grave No 1 of the Hollingworth graves)

Anne Hollingworth of Dale Abbey (1)

Anne Hollingworth was the daughter of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey.
She was baptised 21 September 1779 at Dale Abbey and died at 12 years of age in 1791.

Rev. Joseph Hollingworth Jnr the Methodist Minister and Rebecca Sharrocks.

Joseph Hollingworth Jnr was the son of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey.
He was baptised 30 December 1781 and married Rebecca Sharrocks of Lamberhead-Green.
Joseph and Rebecca had three children who all died young: baby Rebecca, Joseph Aquila who was born 1822 and died at age 12 in 1834, and Pricilla Mary who was born in 1815 and died at the age of 9 in 1824.

Rev Joseph Hollingworth joined the Methodist Ministry shortly after the death of his sister Elizabeth in 1805.
Elizabeth begged that her brothers promise to follow God and and the teachings of John Wesley from her death-bed. As a consequence, Joseph became a Methodist minister and was at times responsible for the connexions of Derby, Nottingham and Manchester before his death.

“Joseph Hollingworth, who was brought to a saving knowledge of God in the 24th year of his age.
His religious character became strongly marked; his experience was rich and clear, and his path was that of the just, shining more and more to the perfect day. After labouring about nine months as a local preacher, he entered upon the itinerant work, and was afterwards stationed in some of the most important circuits in the Methodist Connexion. It pleased the Lord to favour him with much fruit; and many were the souls brought to God by his ministry. His ministerial character was highly respectable. His views of Divine truth were clear and comprehensive; his language was perspicuous, copious, and frequently eloquent; his manner was natural, solemn, and earnest; and his mind and heart were fully engaged in bringing sinners to God. During his affliction he enjoyed great peace and unshaken confidence in his Saviour. He fell asleep in Jesus on Monday, January 25th, 1836.”
(Extract from ‘Memorials of Wesleyan Methodist Ministers, 1777-1840, p 231′

John Hollingworth, Gent of Stanley Grange Farm of Dale Abbey and Anne Draycott

John Hollingworth was the son of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey. He was baptised 2 November 1783 at Dale Abbey and married Anne, the daughter of John Draycott Esq., and Elizabeth Bailey.

John Draycott was a ‘Member of the Sixteen of Derbyshire’ being the sixteen best men of Derbyshire and was the armiger of the Draycott family of Loscoe. As such, he was entitled to use the ancient arms of the Draycotts of Draycott-in-the-Moors from Staffordshire.

John Draycott’s daughter Anne, therefore descends from Marcus de Draycotte of Loscoe Park near Heanor in Derbyshire.
Marcus de Draycotte comes from a junior line that descends back to Sir Richard de Draycotte, the Justice of Chester in 1244.
Sir Richard de Draycotte traces his descent back to William Maldebeng (Malbanc) the first Norman Baron of Nantwich Castle in Cheshire, and cousin to Hugh Lupus the Norman Earl of Chester.
This branch of the Draycott family were closely connected to a number of leading Roman Catholic gentry including the Powtrells of West Hallam, the Babbingtons and the Vauxs. These three families were involved in establishing a secret Roman Catholic school for gentleman at Stanley Grange farm.
Stanley Grange farm was also the residence of Anne Vaux, the sister of Lord Vaux of Harrowden in 1635 and had probably been the residence of either John Hollingworth or Reginald Hollingworth of West Hallam in the 1550s.
During the Commonwealth period a number of warrants were issued to raid Stanley Grange Farm whereby a series of secret rooms and corridors were found beneath the barn with an underground escape passage into the fields. Stanley Grange farm was given protection for a period, by Endymoin Porter Esq., one of King Charles’s courtiers who was known to visit the farm on regular occasions.
The school established at Stanley Grange Farm by Lady Vaux in the 1630s later moved to Spinkhill in Nottinghamshire in 1733, where it is now called St Mary’s College.
The Draycott family of Staffordshire were very much involved in the Gunpowder Plot having been caught with 4,000 pounds of powder prepared for Guy Fawkes in 1604. Interestingly, Guy Fawkes was also a relative of Anne Vaux of Stanley Grange and her brother Lord Vaux of Harrowden.
Guy Fawkes’ name is believed to be a corruption of his ancestral name of Vaux. Ironically, this gun powder was brought from the Leigh family of Addlington in Cheshire (a relative of the Hollingworths of Hollingworth) presumably by Edward Hollingworth the then ‘carrier for Cheshire’.
The Leighs, the Draycotts and the Powtrells of West Hallam were all punished severely for their involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, with the Draycotts of Staffordshire having their grand manor house of Paynsley Hall burnt to the ground by the British Parliament.

When John Hollingworth came to live at Stanley Grange with his wife Anne Draycott, he came into a house and a family, with a mighty reputation in this part of Derbyshire.
The Draycotts had long standing connections with the manor of Breadsall through the marriage of Marcus Draycott to Mary the daughter of John Dethick, the Lord of Breadsall and Spondon.
What connections the West Hallam Hollingworths of the Breadsall and Spondon families had with the Draycotts in the past is not entirely clear. However, in 1605 Alice Hollingworth of neighbouring Chaddesden documents a Mr William Decote (Draycote) as one of her witnesses, so there must have been some earlier connection as yet unidentified.

John Hollingworth of Dale Abbey married Anne Draycott at St Peters Church in Derby on the 3 February 1815 in the presence of Anne’s brother George Draycott Esq., and John’s Hollingworth’s sister, Martha. As a side note, George Draycott and Martha Hollingworth were to later marry in 1825, ten years after their brother and sisters marriage. Although George Draycott was the heir and son of John Draycott Esq., the lease of Stanley Grange Fram was granted to John Hollingworth and Anne
Draycott in 1823.

John and Anne Draycott had eight children at Stanley Grange Farm: John (b. 1817), Joseph (b.1819), Thomas Hague (b.1821), William (b.1827), Hannah (b.1815), Mary Matilda (b.1823), Anne (b.1829) and Clara (b.1831).

The 1851 Census for Stanley Grange Farm, shows John Hollingworth as head of the household at 67 years of age, and farming 97 acres and employing 2 servants. His wife Ann Draycott is 56 years of age and they still had four of their children living with them at home.
Thomas Hollingworth was unmarried and 29 years of age;
Mary Matilda Hollingworth was unmarried and 26 years of age;
Ann Hollingworth was unmarried and 25 years of age;
William Hollingworth was unmarried and 23 years of age.

Note: William Hollingworth is the ancestor of Rev. Peter Hollingworth, the former Archbishop of Brisbane and Governor General of Australia.
Ironically, Sir Francis Newdigate owned Stanley Grange Farm before becoming the Governor of Tasmania and the Governor of Western Australia in the 1920s.
John Hollingworth’s closest friend was John Hague who was a fellow tenant farmer and governor of the poor for West Hallam. It would appear that part of the rights to farm Poplar Farm were held jointly by John Hollingworth’s elder brother William Hollingworth and John Hague. After the death of John Hague in 1828, John Hollingworth was also given Hague’s rights to Poplar Farm.

Samuel Hollingworth, the publican of Dale Abbey and Elizabeth Winrow

Samuel Hollingworth was the son of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey. He was baptised 13 July 1788 at Dale Abbey and married Elizabeth Winrow in 1811.

Samuel was a wheelwright and carpenter and also the publican of the Blue Bell Inn at the Vergers in Dale Abbey. This was the same inn his grandmother Elizabeth Hollingworth, the wife of William, owned.
Samuel was the publican for Dale Abbey in 1841 and died in 1845. His widow Elizabeth was the publican for Dale Abbey in 1851 and was later living with Joseph Cresswell of Dale Abbey before her death in 1873.

Samuel Hollingworth and Elizabeth Winrow had six children: John (b.1815), Joseph (b.1815), Herbert (b.1821), James (b.1827), Elizabeth (b.1813) and Martha (b.1817).

James Hollingworth of Dale Abbey 

James Hollingworth was the son of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey.
He was baptised 12 September 1789 at Dale Abbey and died in 1868.
James remained unmarried and lived with his nephew William Hollingworth and the latter’s wife Ellen Frost from 1841 -1861 (See Grave No 2)

Anne Hollingworth of Dale Abbey (II)

Anne Hollingworth was the second daughter of that name born to Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey.
She was baptised 12 September 1789 and died at the time of birth. This Anne was the twin to James Hollingworth born 1789.

Mary Martha Hollingworth, the wife of George Draycott, Esq of Stanley Grange Farm.

Mary Hollingworth was the daughter of Joseph Hollingworth and Martha Porter of the Poplar Farm at Dale Abbey and sister of John Hollingworth of Stanley Grange Farm.
She was born 1794 and married George Draycott the son of John Draycott of Stanley Grange Farm. George Draycott and Martha Hollingworth were married at Muggington in 1825.
George Draycott was the older brother of Anne Draycott, wife to John Hollingworth, wwho was the brother of Martha Hollingworth.
George Draycott and Martha Hollingworth had three children: John Draycott (b. Wesleyan Chapel Derby 1826), Mary Draycott (1827) who later married John Humphreys, and Anne Draycott (b.1830) who married Samuel Bacon. It is most likely that Mr Walter Mackay Draycott, late of North Vancouver in British Columbia, the famous pioneer and WWI soldier, descends from John Draycott, the son of George and Martha Hollingworth.


Parents, aunts and uncles

The parents…. Joseph Hollingworth of Dale Abbey and Martha Porter.

Joseph Hollingworth was the second son of William Hollingworth and Elizabeth of the Poplar Farm in Dale Abbey.
He was baptised 28 July 1748 and married Martha Porter at Spondon in 1774. Martha Porter grew up as a child at Ockbrook, where her parents were part of the Moravian Church.

Joseph Hollingworth was an incredibly pious man known for his adherence to the Church. And from her death bed in 1805, his eldest daughter Elizabeth had instructed the family to follow the teachings of John Wesley.

Joseph Hollingworth held regular sermons on a Sunday afternoon from his barn at Poplar Farm for the people of Dale. Later he gave lands for the first Wesleyan Chapel to be built in Dale Abbey. The original building was burnt down and then rebuilt in 1905. The site of the Wesleyan Chapel given by Joseph Hollingworth, still stands today in Dale Abbey.
Joseph and Martha had eleven (?) children before Joseph died on 1 May 1821.

Martha, his widow, is found to be paying the taxes for Poplar Farm from 1821 – 1825 when their eldest son William Hollingworth takes over Poplar Farm at her death in 1825.

Their gravestone can be found in Dale Abbey All Saints Churchyard.


Here lieth the mortal remains of Joseph Hollingworth who departed this life May 1st 1821 aged 72 years
Also Martha his wife who departed this life May 22nd 1825 aged 68 years.

The voyage of life’s at an end,
The mortal affliction is past,
But the age that in Heaven they spend,
For ever and ever shall last.


… and Aunts and uncles

William Hollingworth Jnr. of Dale Abbey

William Hollingworth was the eldest son of William Hollingworth and Elizabeth of the Poplar Farm in Dale Abbey.
He was baptised 3 September 1740 (and married (unknown) at St Mary’s Notts in 1770)?
William was paying taxes for Dale Abbey Farm from 1780 to 1793 before his death on the 20 March 1794.

Anne Hollingworth, the wife of William Smith

Anne Hollingworth was the daughter of William Hollingworth and Elizabeth of the Poplar Farm in Dale Abbey.
She was baptised 12 September 1742 and married William Smith in 1762.

Elizabeth Hollingworth of Dale Abbey

Elizabeth Hollingworth was the daughter of William Hollingworth and Elizabeth of the Poplars Farm in Dale Abbey.
She was baptised 27 July 1745 and died a spinster in 1820.

Mary Hollingworth, the wife of Christopher Turner

Mary Hollingworth was the daughter of William Hollingworth and Elizabeth of the Poplar Farm in Dale Abbey and married Christopher Turner at Dale Abbey in 1783.


There is a collection of Hollingworth graves in Dale Abbey All Saints Church, which you can see on the following page