The Manor House

After the Rutland Arms

At the bottom of Bath Street on the West side we come to Manor Road, in which was the Manor House.


The Cockers and Taylors

The Manor house was formerly Cocker’s Farm — and was also known as Ilkeston Hall.


The Cockers came from Heanor about 1634 when nailer Richard Cocker bought a farm in Ilkeston from William and Eleanor Marshall. For some years the family made little impression on Ilkeston.
In 1658 George Cocker had an Ilkeston mill by the river Erewash.
The family later occupied the Manor House and had strong connections to the Unitarian Church in High Street.

A son of John and Hannah (nee Dovrale?), Isaac Cocker died in February 1849, aged 68, at Ilkeston Hall.
On the day of his burial, Shrove Tuesday, a performance of the ‘Messiah’ was held at the South Street Wesleyan Chapel as recalled by Kensington.
“Henry Farmer conducted, and he was ably supported by George West, John Richardson, and an army of Goddards, Adcocks, Tilsons, Harrisons, Carriers, and others”.

Henry Farmer (1819-1891) was an organist, composer and ‘Professor of Music’, born in Lenton, Nottingham … he has his own short Wikipedia page.

The Cockers have their family burial section in St. Mary’s Churchyard, at the east end of the Church.


The Manor House (was) occupied by Mr. John Taylor, a gentleman farmer, his wife, son and daughter. 

Hannah Cocker was an older sister of Isaac and married Little Hallam farmer John Taylor in November 1794.

The Taylors were often called the Cocker Taylors.
Mrs. Taylor was the last of the Cocker Family.
Miss Taylor and her mother used to drive each morning in their pony carriage to their farm in Kirk Hallam. Mrs. Taylor always wore a velvet bandeau across her forehead.
After Mr. Taylor’s death Mrs. Taylor and Miss Taylor left the town, and so ended the line of Cockers.

Born in 1811 ‘gentleman farmer’ John Taylor junior was the son of John senior and Hannah (nee Cocker) and married Elizabeth Frearson of Sawley Grange, daughter of farmers William and Elizabeth in May 1844.

The son, John Cocker Taylor, who was fond of shooting, was out one day in heavy rain, he took a chill which developed into rheumatic fever from which he did not recover.
He was about sixteen years old when he died.

John Cocker Taylor was the only son of John and Elizabeth and he died from ‘spinal meningitis’ at the Manor House on June 17, 1867, aged 16.

Young John and his sister, who was older, attended the British School when Mr. Holroyd was the head — that is, from about 1856 to the end of 1862.

The older sister was Mary, born in 1845. I believe that she died unmarried, in Victoria Street, New Sawley, aged 64.

At the end of 1877 John Taylor junior put much of his farming stock up for sale at Manor Farm and left Ilkeston to live in Spondon with his wife and daughter Mary. He died there on October 19th 1892, aged 81, and his body was returned to Ilkeston to be buried, five days later, in the Stanton Road Cemetery.


Frederick Shaw

In June 1878 builder Frederick Shaw moved into the Manor house, leaving behind his living premises at 109 Bath Street, between the premises of china dealer Richard Riley and the Alms Houses.
Frederick had an office and building yard in Rutland Street and had been in business for 20 years.
He was born in Ilkeston in 1833, the son of framework knitter William and Mary (nee Mather) and married Marina Matilda Hawley, daughter of butcher John and Mary (nee Burgin-Richardson), in June 1855.

Early in 1886 Frederick left the Manor House and farm, selling all his cattle, horses, wagons, carts, mowers, reapers, ploughs, harrows, etc., etc.. The Manor farm of 200 acres of pasture and arable land, belonging to the Duke of Rutland, was to be divided into small allotments. The Duke already had over 1000 such garden allotments in the town. This was all part of the Duke’s ‘small allotment scheme’ to make small holdings available to cottagers and others in the town.

Frederick Shaw’s father had been born in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, in 1796 and Frederick died at Chilwell House in Wilmot Street in June 1895.


A ‘courting couple’ caught in the act

About half past three on Sunday afternoon, August 8th 1882, Frederick’s son William Edwin was out in his father’s wheat fields with Police-constable John Downing when they came across a ‘courting couple’ lying down in one field, beside a footpath. They were 18-year-old coalminer Ezekiel Ellis and 20-year-old factory worker Kezia Stevenson, who, less than a week later found themselves appearing at Ilkeston Petty Sessions, charged with wilfully damaging growing wheat, the damage amounting to about 1s.
At the time of the ‘offence’ neither realised that they were doing any harm, denying that they were in the wheat but rather on the grass at the side of the field.
Perhaps by now William Edwin was having second thoughts about the prosecution — he didn’t wish to press the case but had brought it to act as a deterrent to others. Each was ordered to pay 6d in damages, a 1s fine and 4s 3d costs.
Kezia was the illegitimate daughter of Sarah Stevenson and had lived with mother after her marriage to William Byer in 1869. Now, however, Kezia was with her aunt Alice White (nee Stevenson) and her husband William in Norman Street, and already had an illegitimate son, William, aged 1. In the next ten years, and living with Ezekiel, Kezia had a further six illegitimate children — until her ‘partner’ died in 1901.


And we are now ready to walk beyond Bath Street, towards the Cotmanhay area.