West side cottages

From Albion Place and our look at the story of George William Henshaw, “we return to Burr Lane, and on the West side were two cottages, fronting South. Askew’s lived in one, old Thomas Ball in the other”.

Old Thomas Ball.

‘Old’ Thomas Ball was born on February 22nd, 1784, the youngest son of Francis and Mary (nee Sudbury) and thus a brother of ‘Francis senior’ of Albion Place.
He worked in the lace trade like his father.
However — as Adeline later correctly identifies — Thomas lived most of his life in Ball’s Yard in South Street.

It was one of his sons — lacemaker Frederick —  who lived in this area of the town.
After his marriage in 1850 to Eliza Kirk, daughter of coalminer William and Elizabeth (nee Trueman), Frederick moved out of Chapel Street – but never very far! — to live at various times in Burr Lane, North Street and Albion Place.
He died in Burr Lane in November 1895, aged 76, and three years later – in March 1899 – his widow Eliza died in the same lane, aged 80.

The Askews.

The Askew connection to this area seems to be linked to the same Ball family.

One of Frederick Ball’s younger brothers was lacemaker Edwin who moved from Cotmanhay after the death of his first wife Sarah (nee Crich) in March 1857. A few months later he married Eastwood-born Hannah Askew, daughter of collier George and Susanna (nee Limb) and they lived in the Burr Lane/Chapel Street area.

Suffering from pneumonia, Hannah died in Burr Lane in June 1890, aged 59.

In 1892 Edwin married his third wife, Caroline (nee Frazer), widow of fruiterer John Bower Robey, of Robey’s Yard in South Street.

Edwin also died in Burr Lane, in February 1895, aged 73.

Old ‘bachelor’ Burrows.

Adeline has clear memories of one particular resident. “Over these cottages was a room approached by a long flight of steps.
Here John Burrows lived and worked his stocking frame.
I believe the last man to work a frame at home was John Burrows, an old bachelor, who lived alone in a room over a house in Burr Lane, approached by a long flight of steps. When at last his work was not required he was employed at Carrier’s factory”.

John Burrows was the son of framework knitter John and Elizabeth (nee Wilcox). Born in Ilkeston in 1804 he spent some years working in Belper but by 1860 had returned to live in Burr Lane where he lived the rest of his life as a framework knitter.

In 1838 he married widow Ann Orchard (nee Trueman) the daughter of collier James and Sarah (nee Blore), about nine months after her first husband, framework knitter John Orchard, had died.

Ann died in Burr Lane, aged 66, in February 1860 – which is perhaps why Adeline describes John as an old bachelor’ — and John died there in June 1887, aged 83.

There were no children.

Mr. Gregory, pit contractor.

“Next was Ball’s old family house. The house faced Ball’s Factory, the back being in Burr Lane. This house was tenanted later by Mr. William Gregory, pit contractor”.

William Gregory?? — The pit contractor was John Gregory living at 13 Burr Lane in 1871.

He and Anne Parkin, daughter of Isaac and Mary (nee Street) were born in Codnor and married in Heanor in August 1841. Almost ten years later they came to Ilkeston, lived in Bath Street but eventually settled in 13 Burr Lane.

John died in Burr Lane, aged 62, in December 1880, suffering from chronic bronchitis.

Mr. Gregory, machine builder.

“Then came two or three cottages, all facing West, with backs to Burr Lane. Mr. Tom Gregory and his wife lived in one of them”.

Machine-builder Tom Gregory was a son of collier Isaac senior and Mary (nee Skevington) and brother of grocer Isaac junior who we met earlier in Bath Street. His wife, whom he married in 1852, was Ruth Knighton, daughter of framework knitter Joseph and Mary (nee Clay) and who came to the marriage with one illegitimate daughter Ann, less than one year old. This child later adopted the surname of Gregory. Two other children followed before the family moved to Litchurch about 1862.

James Alexander Barker.

“Next came the hedge dividing Chapel Street from Burr Lane.
Two new houses were next. Mr. Barker, his wife, two sons and two daughters lived in the first one.”.
We are now approximately where Burr Lane and North Street met.

This Barker family was James Alexander Barker, his second wife Matilda, their sons John and Francis, and their daughters Elizabeth and Ellen.

Born in London about 1802, James Alexander Barker was the son of Edensor-born Alexander Mellor Barker, gentleman, and his first wife Elizabeth (nee Potter) – the sister of coal master Samuel Potter of Ilkeston Park.
They had married on April 18th 1801 and James Alexander was their first child. There were at least six other children before Elizabeth died in October 1810.
Alexander then married Mary Potter, elder sister of his first wife and she died on May 22nd 1825, aged 55.
Alexander’s third wife, whom he married on March 5th 1835, was born Susannah Child, about 1789, the daughter of John and Mary (nee Lee) of Oxton, Nottinghamshire…. and she too was now on her third spouse.
Married on November 5th 1820, Susannah’s first husband was framework knitter William Bennett, the widower of her elder sister Elizabeth who had died on May 29 1817.
Widowed on May 3rd 1825, Susannah married her second husband, cattle dealer William Bower on February 12th 1827 … and just over three weeks later she was a widow once more.
At the time of their third marriage Alexander Meller (sic) Barker is listed among the ‘Gentry’ of Ilkeston (Pigot’s Directory 1835).
Susannah died on March 12th 1848, and her husband on January 22nd 1852.

Back to the son, James Alexander Barker — he had married his first wife Elizabeth Copeman on April 4th 1826 and the couple had three children before Elizabeth died in December 1834, aged 27.

Eldest child Mary married Lincolnshire farmer Thomas Whaplate in October 1854 and lived away from Ilkeston.

“The eldest son, Alick, became a pork butcher in Bath Street”.

Alexander ‘Alick’ Mellor Barker was the only other surviving child of this marriage.
He traded in Bath Street as a pork butcher and in 1858 he married Martha Evans, elder surviving daughter of boatman/contractor John and Alice (nee Blount) of the Potteries — at the bottom of Station Road.
By 1871 they were at 66 Bath Street.
Alick died in 1899 and Martha in 1908, both at what was then 73 Bath Street.

James Alexander was established as a butcher in Ilkeston when he married his second wife Matilda Ball on New Year’s Day in 1841 and several more children were added to the family, more than Adeline has counted. (See the Ball Family)

Of their children…

—  Lizzie married Mr. John Moss, outfitter in Bath Street.
Daughter Elizabeth married South Street clothier and pawnbroker John Lowe Moss in March 1868.

—  On Christmas Eve 1871 lacemaker son John Barker married Mary Ann Beardsley, eldest daughter of Mark, miner – and later innkeeper at the Spring Cottage in Wilmot Street — and Catherine (nee Phillips) and lived in North Street. (John’s unnamed elder twin brother had died after 10 minutes of life).

—  Ellen was a dressmaker.
A few doors away from John was his younger sister dressmaker Ellen, living at No 1 North Street with her illegitimate daughter Ada who was born in that street.
Ellen died there, aged 60, in January 1911, still a dressmaker. Ada also died there in October 1953 – two days short of her 76th birthday – having lived all her life at number 1.

—   The youngest, Frank, like his father, was a cowkeeper.
And between them for many years was their younger brother Francis Ball Barker, also a lacemaker, his wife Martha (nee Barlow) and children

—  Youngest child George died from peritonitis in North Street in February 1877 aged 15.


Some of the residents we have met recently will now enter the stage once more, as we look a little more closely at one particular block of Burr Lane housing