William Riley, unfortunate butcher

We leave behind Butcher Twells’ shop and field only to meet another butcher.

The shop next to Twells’ field was a butcher’s shop.

In this area William Riley had his butcher’s shop, approximately opposite to the Poplar Inn.

Born in 1813 William was the son of Bath Street grocer and butcher Thomas and Hannah (nee Walker) and had been apprenticed to butcher Thomas Critchley of Ilkeston.
In 1837 he married Maria Straw, eldest daughter of lacemaker Thomas and Eliza (nee Pares), one of the several Straw families then living in Boot Lane (later Stanton Road).

Bath Street (IP 1892) described William as ‘a capital man of business, an admirable judge of beasts and excellent company, but somewhat unfortunate’.
‘somewhat unfortunate’ was a reference to the fact that in 1861 he was declared bankrupt when, at his bankruptcy hearing, he was described as a careless book-keeper.

The butcher’s premises were subsequently sold at auction and the description of them to prospective buyers listed a dwelling house with parlour, house-place, kitchen and an old-established butcher’s shop on the ground floor and six bedrooms above, with a commanding frontage to Bath Street.

Outbuildings included a stable, piggeries, slaughterhouse and cow-house, with a spacious yard and a large garden containing fruit and ornamental trees.

This garden ground had an extensive frontage to the thoroughfare leading from North-gate to Bath Street, with about 950 yards well suited for building on.

The whole property covered about 1598 square yards.

The accommodation needed to be extensive to provide accommodation for William, his wife and ten children.

Right is the Notice of bankruptcy in the Ilkeston Pioneer July 11th, 1861

Shortly after his bankruptcy William and many of his family left Ilkeston to settle in Berlin, Ontario, Canada and there “he spent his last days”.
His wife Maria died there, aged 50, in September 1867, “after a long and severe affliction”.
Daughter Hannah Walker Riley married potter Joseph Oliver Wade in November 1876 at St. Paul’s Church in London, Ontario.

Bath Streetagain…. William “had a family of very intelligent children, Tom being, perhaps, the brightest. He told me a good story more than twenty years ago. When in Toronto he was fond of arguing on various topics, and could always hold his own. When asked where he was educated he said, “My father paid tuppence a week for me at a National School”. The work was done in the old school over the Butter Market, although it had no class-rooms, and the desks were ranged along one of the walls”. (see Education in Ilkeston).

Looking out from Bath Street and across Twells’ Field we can locate John Trueman and the Durham Ox