Widow Brown

After Thomas Tomlinson, Adeline tells us that “the next were two new shops. The first was tenanted by Mrs. Brown, a widow, and her little daughter Annie”.

These shops were at 33 and 32 South Street on the 1871 census.

Widow Brown was born Julia Emma Hawley in 1827, daughter of butcher John and Mary (nee Burgin-Richardson) and sister of Edwin Flint Hawley whom we shall meet later on the other side of South Street.
She became Mrs. Brown in 1852 when she married Nottingham-born glazier Samuel Brown, son of builder Richard and Hannah (nee Care). Their daughter, Annie Hawley Brown, was born on July 27th of the following year.
She became Widow Brown on the morning of September 25th 1855.
Her husband Samuel had gone to a corn mill at Trowell to mend a window there. He refused the miller’s offer of a ladder and climbed onto the roof of a shed covering the waterwheel, to glaze the window above. Perhaps impatient to complete the work he didn’t wait for the miller to stop the waterwheel. The shed roof collapsed, Samuel fell, got caught in the wheel and was crushed to death.
Samuel had been a member of the Primitive Methodist connexion for 25 years and an accredited preacher for 20 of them.

Daughter Annie Hawley Brown died in South Street in April 1872, aged 18, from tubercular meningitis.

Adeline then continues Julia’s story: “Later on (widow Brown) married Mr. Wright, who joined her at her grocery business”.

Julia Emma’s second marriage on October 31st, 1858 was to John Clay Wright (alias John Claywright or John Clay) and their marriage entry shows John’s father as Benjamin Clay Wright, collier.
It was Benjamin Clay of Marlpool who married Rebecca Hodgkinson of Heanor in October 1819. They had several children before it appears that Rebecca separated from Benjamin in Marlpool to live with labourer James Wright in Heanor in the mid-1820s. This latter liaison resulted in several more children, one of them being John Clay Wright, born about 1829 and baptised in that year as John Wright.

After his marriage to Julia Emma, John traded as a grocer in South Street for many years.
“Mr. and Mrs. Wright at the Toll Bar, whose cheese cakes and other pastries, would have won for them a diploma today”. (Tilkestune IA Mar 1929)
Both died while living at White Lion Square, John on May 26th 1907 and Julia Emma on May 27th 1910.


“They had several children; Newel, who married Miss Ogden, Louisa and Ada, who married Mr. Henry Smith, son of the late Mr. Henry Smith, shoemaker, Bath Street”.

Newell James Clay Wright married Lincolnshire-born Sarah Ann Ogden, daughter of farmer William and Mary (nee Grieves) in September 1882.

Mary Clay Wright married Lincolnshire-born grocer Thomas Newman Cousins, son of hotel keeper Thomas Newman Cousins and Amy (nee Shelton) in 1884.

Ada Clay Wright married iron moulder Walter Adams, son of iron moulder Walter and Ann (nee Halley) in 1889.

Ada’s older twin sister (by 45 minutes), Kate Clay Wright, had died in January 1865

Lucy Clay Wright lived unmarried with her parents, and after their death kept a fancy draper’s shop at White Lion Square.

Amelia Clay Wright married cashier Henry Smith, son of cordwainer Henry and Elizabeth (nee Riley) in April 1892. They then lived (and died) at 6 Gregory Street.

All these marriages took place just a short walk away from the family home, at the Wesleyan Chapel in South Street.


And now we meet their neighbour — Joseph Shaw, butcher …. not Ralph Shaw as Adeline writes.