To Chapel Street

William Tarlton, butcher.

Adeline introduces us to another Ilkeston family: … “The shop at the corner of New Street was empty for a considerable time. Its first tenant was Mr. Tarlton, butcher”.

William Tarlton was born at Cossall in 1831, the son of spinster Mary, and spent his early years there, living with his grandfather David after his mother married agricultural labourer Robert Wheatley in October 1835.
Trading as a butcher, he married Sarah Hillen, daughter of James and Mary (nee Knighton) in December 1860.
Then he moved into Ilkeston with his wife to live initially with his mother-in-law in Bath Street, close to Lee’s Yard (Albion Place).The latter had married again in February 1854 after her first husband died in 1852; her second husband was James Smith, joiner, cabinet maker, builder and contractor, from Hampshire.
The family stayed together in Bath Street although moving further down – northwards — to where Adeline locates them, in the 1860’s – at 84 Bath Street.

In the later 1880’s William returned to Cossall, while still trading as a butcher in Ilkeston. Towards the end of the century he held a butcher’s shop at 159A Bath Street (at the southern, west side). Opposite the Town Railway Station, it was part of the Marple’s (or Commercial) Temperance Hotel (No 159) as was a shop and dwelling premises occupied by tobacconist Mary Kirkland (No 161).
In 1896 the whole was put up for sale by owner John Bailey (health reasons !!) … at which time the gross annual rental value of William’s leasehold shop was £26. The hotel had been built in 1888.

The son William Taylor Tarlton also traded for a time as a butcher in Bath Street and Station Road.

William senior died in 1905 and his widow Sarah with her daughter Mary Elizabeth (then married to John Fritchley) and her son William Taylor, continued to farm at Church Farm, Cossall. But not for long !!
By 1907 the farm had suffered several set-backs — wet weather had ruined crop output, and disease had taken many cows and horses — the estate was put into the hands of the Official Receiver to wind up.
On the 1911 census Sarah is alone at the Almshouses in Cossall. She died in 1913, aged 74.

A cottage row of Aldreds and Tilsons.

“Next were three or four new cottages level with the street, and quite new.
“Sam Aldred, (in another article referred to as J. Aldred) a machinist at Carrier’s lived in one. His daughter Emily died early in life through heart trouble”.

It was lacemaker James Aldred whose family lived in this part of Bath Street – at number 87. (1871 Census).

Son of cordwainer Samuel and Lucy (nee Scattergood), James married Eliza Thompson, daughter of framework knitter John and Fanny (nee Chambers), in October 1848 and Emily was their second child, born in 1853.

Emily married lacemaker and later coalminer Frederick Henshaw in April 1876 and the couple were still living in this area of Ilkeston at the end of the century.
She died in 1935, aged 81 – not ‘in early life’. Adeline is probably recalling Emily’s elder sister Mary who died at the Bath Street home in June 1868, aged 17.

“Other tenants were Baker…..

Gap alert!! Mystery tenants Baker?

…… and Tilson.

Several Tilson brothers were scattered throughout Ilkeston, sons of Cotmanhay couple, framework knitter John and Hannah (nee Bamford).

Father John had been a local Wesleyan preacher for 27 years, and an excellent musician, a composer of ‘tunes’ and ‘anthems’.
The Derby Mercury of 1841 – the year of his death — records that John composed 99 congregational tunes and chants including ’The Prodigal Son’, ’The Nativity of Christ’ and ’The Captivity of Zion’. This seems to have been confirmed by another letter, nearly 50 years later, written to the Long Eaton Advertiser in 1890, by John’s grandson, Charles Tilson. The letter states that ‘The Prodigal Son’ and ‘The Captivity of Zion’ were written by “Mr. John Tilson, late of Cotmanhay,  near Ilkeston (who) composed 99 other tunes, also a great variety of chants. He composed ‘The Captivity of Zion’ specially for Cotmanhay Sunday school sermons, but died on August 31st*, 1841, a few days before that piece was performed by the children of that school”.
*John’s recorded date of death was September 3rd, 1841.

John Cartwright writes in a letter to the Pioneer of 1893 that Tilson, the composer “died early in the forties of throat disease, brought on partly by the excessive use of his voice both as a preacher and choir master”.

All four of John’s sons, employed in the lace trade, could play musical instruments and sing well.

1]  Eldest son John lived at Club Row and died at the age of 44.

2]  Second son James lived for a time in Bath Street close to Chapel Street, before moving to Crichley Street in Pigsty Park, and then on to Yorkshire, where he converted to coal-mining.

3]  Son Thomas also spent some time in Bath Street, moving to Queen Street and then Pimlico, where he died in February 1875, aged 59. He was an excellent violoncello (small bass) player and at his death had been a member of the Wesleyan Chapel choir for 30 years.

4]  Youngest son Joseph … alias ‘Fiddler Joe’ …. played both violin and double bass with great accomplishment and was not reluctant to share his musical talents …  as on one occasion in July 1863.
Unfortunately for his fellow townsfolk Joseph chose the middle of Bath Street as his stage, in the early hours of the morning.
And unfortunately for Joseph, Police Inspector Edward Brady was on his beat at the time.
Joseph had just left a private party at the Sir John Warren and was walking home, violin tucked under his arm, with a couple of pals, both good singers. The group thought that a tune on the way home would enliven the night and chose ’Rule Britannia’, with Joseph on fiddle accompaniment. They were in tune, as was the fiddle, and they thought that the nearby inhabitants would appreciate this ‘treat’. Inspector Brady however was not entertained nor amused, and requested that the trio return home in silence.
Perhaps it was Joseph’s reluctance to comply with this request which led to his appearance before the magistrates a few weeks later. One of his friends appeared in Joseph’s defence, swearing that the fiddler was not drunk, nor was he, and nor was the fiddle. Inspector Brady gave very opposing evidence, suggesting that drunk in charge of a musical instrument’ or ‘fiddling whilst under the influence’ at unreasonable hours was far too common in the town — such practices needed to be checked.
The Bench agreed but decided to treat Joseph with leniency — he was discharged on paying the expenses of 7s.

‘Fiddler Joe’ lived at many locations in Ilkeston, including High Street, Extension Street, Springfield Terrace and East Street.

In April 1842 he had married Ann Longdon, daughter of collier Charles and Alice, and born in 1842 was their oldest child Charles Tilson. About November 1875 the latter joined the Excelsior Lodge of the noble order of the Good Templars and ‘signed the pledge’, eventually managing to persuade his father Joseph and his brother Joseph junior to follow his example. So committed was Charles to his new cause that two months later he was attending a Band of Hope meeting held at the Primitive Methodist school-room where he addressed the children:

“You have all heard speak of Fiddler Joss have you not?”

“Well, Fiddler Joss was a teetotaller, he signed the pledge”.


“Well, I am very glad to tell you that last night Fiddler Joe signed the pledge”.

(And thereupon Joe was formally initiated into the lodge, with appropriate passages of scripture and tears shed).

At that time the Lodge had upwards of 100 members. (For more on ‘Fiddler Joss’ see ‘Sunday School Rooms‘ in South Street.)

Fiddler Joe eventually moved to Cossall to live with his daughter Alice and her family. There he died in 1891.

5]  There were also at least five Tilson daughters … Mary, Ann, Hannah, Martha and Dianna.

This Tilson family was also responsible for providing Ilkeston, and especially the Rutland Cricket Club, with several sportsmen of significant talent and repute.
For example, Fiddler Joe’s son, John alias Bellows, played cricket for Derbyshire on three occasions in the early 1870’s and then was engaged in April 1876 to bowl for the Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
In November 1877 P.C.199 found John lying drunk at the side of the road at two o’clock in the morning, having been ‘completely overpowered’ by a good dose of beer and brandy after a cricket match… fined, with costs.
And in  March 1879 John was appearing at Ripley Petty Sessions where he was fined for drunkenness – his seventh such case.
At the time of the annual Ilkeston Wakes in 1887 John led out his own cricket eleven at the Rutland Recreation Ground to play against the team of Mark Wheatley Harrison…. the occasion was a charity match in aid of Nottingham Road ‘pensioner’ Frank Cowlishaw, and an occasion which was to have a poignant reflection a few years later. (PS. John’s team scored 11 runs in total, over 100 runs less than their opponents).
On Friday afternoon, November 1st 1895, William Baker, groundsman for the Ilkeston Rutland Cricket Club, was at the Recreation Ground when he saw a man lying under the pavilion. He shouted to the man who raised his head slightly, and William decided to leave him there — thinking he was a tramp.
Three days later William got another look at the ‘tramp’, still in the same place, but this time quite dead .. and he recognised him as ‘Bellows’ Tilson whom he had known for 40 years.
At the subsequent inquest John’s brother Charles painted a bleak picture of the deceased man’s recent history …. he had parted from his wife, his lack of home life and work leaving him depressed; he had spent three months as an outpatient at Nottingham Hospital, being treated for dropsy and boils, and for some time had used laudanum to rub into his boils, although he had taken to drinking this medicine; and he had been resident at the Workhouse for a few weeks.
However six weeks before his death a benefit cricket match had been played for John at which £6 had been raised to help support him.
And brother Moses Tilson added that until a fortnight before his death John had been taken in by a sister living at Radford, Nottingham. (Was this sister Alice who had married lacemaker Samuel Rigley in 1874 and spent some years in the 1890’s in Nottingham?)
When he was found there were two empty laudanum bottles and £3 16s in his pockets.
Surgeon Robert Wood considered that John had died from exposure and want of food, coupled with an overdose of laudanum.

Another son was lacemaker James, also a leading member of the Rutland cricket club and when in full health ‘was full of life and frolic’.
He lived in Burr Lane and worked at lace manufacturers Joseph Maltby & Sons in Station Road.
James died of meningitis, aged 23 in 1882 and “the other members of the family felt his loss keenly. Amid many manifestations of regret, his remains were interred in the Stanton Road cemetery, and anyone visiting his grave there may see a monument emblematic of the sport he loved so well – bat, ball, wicket and mittens’. (Sheddie Kyme)

Other Tilsons

Moving out to the wider Tilson family, a nephew of ‘Fiddler Joss’ was John Tilson.
Born in June 1841 he was the son of Cotmanhay framework knitter John and Ann (nee Clower). A miner living in Pimlico, in December 1863 he married Ellen Lebeter (or Leadbetter), daughter of coal dealer Robert and Mary (nee Straw).
As John A Goulder has pointed out, this relationship was not a happy one ….

Ilkeston Pioneer – Thursday 5th October 1865 (Page 4 Column 5)
at ILKESTON PETTY SESSIONS on Thursday Sept. 28th, (Before W. T Cox and M H M Mundy Esquires)
WIFE NEGLECT- John Tilson, miner, Ilkeston, was charged by William Dean, relieving officer, with leaving his wife chargeable to the parish.
It appeared that defendant, who resides with his mother at Pimlico, has been married for nearly two years, his wife being a daughter of Robert Lebeter, Ilkeston Common. – that a separation took place between them some eight months ago, the agreement being that the husband should allow the wife 2s 6d per week. – and that the payments had been made irregularly and ultimately stopped altogether.
It also appeared from the statement of Mrs Lebeter that Tilson had been in the habit of ill-treating his wife besides neglecting her, and accounted for his not supporting her by his spending his money at wakes and fairs.
In answer to the charge, defendant said he had been short of work, or otherwise the payments would have been regularly made. The magistrates informed defendant that they considered his case to be a very bad one, and that he would have to be imprisoned for one month.
Defendant begged to be allowed to get off by paying a fine, but the magistrates refused to grant his request.

Ellen Tilson died in January 1866, aged 22 …. and John also points out a rather unusual circumstance about her death.
From 1837, the year when Civil Registration was introduced into England and Wales, ‘nearly all deaths were registered because from 1837 burial was only permitted on the production of a death (or coroner’s) certificate, which confirmed that civil authorities had been informed of the death’. (Mark D Heber in ‘Ancestral Trails’)
It appears however that Ellen’s death was not registered though her burial appears in the records of St. Mary’s Church, thus…
Page 242 Sch No 1932 Ellen Tilson Ilkeston 21st January 1866 age 22 years.

Widower John moved north to work as a coalminer in the Normanton/Castleford area of Yorkshire and in July 1867 married Charlotte Masterman (written also as Mesterman or Westerman), daughter of potter Thomas and Harriet (nee Walsh?).
I believe that he died there in 1887.

In 1877 and almost opposite the New Inn were the premises of clothier George Coupe at 91 Bath Street, alias Nottingham House.

The mystery Henshaws.

“Then below Chapel Street and standing right back on the top of the bank were two whitewashed cottages of James Henshaw, and his son Robert. Father and son were miners”.

Mystery alert !!
There were several Henshaw families sometime living in this area of Bath Street/Chapel Street but as yet I have been unable to pin down ‘father James with his son Robert’. Later in her articles Adeline refers to Ruth Bostock who married miner Bob Henshaw ‘and lived in a small white-washed cottage, built on the bank on the East side of Bath Street. Ruth died after a few years of married life’. Born in 1838 Catherine Bostock was a daughter of wharf labourer Benjamin and Grace (nee Hutchinson) and married Robert Henshaw in April 1866 – though on the 1871 census she is referred to as ‘Ruth’. This ‘Bob’ was the miner son of Bath Street fishmonger Samuel Henshaw and Matilda (nee Barton) and all their eight children were born in Chapel Street before the family moved into Station Road in the 1880’s. Catherine alias Ruth died in Lower Chapel Street in July 1908.

My thanks to Anita who has commented on these Henshaws and has a family line back to Robert and Catherine Henshaw.

Born in January 1874 their fifth child was Robert Henshaw junior who in the late 1890’s developed a relationship with Mary Ann Straw (nee Bell), the second child of  William Bell junior and Elizabeth (nee Jacques), keepers of the Travellers’ Rest beerhouse in White Lion Square.
Mary Ann had married coalminer George Straw in February 1892 but after just a few years — and three Straw children — left to set up home with Robert Henshaw junior.
At least six illegitimate children were born to the couple, all registered as ‘Henshaw Straws’.
And by 1911 the family was still living at Chapel Street. Robert was single, Mary Ann was his married housekeeper, and the household included both ‘Straw’ and Henshaw Straw’ children.

And this throws up a few more mysteries !!

Where was the family on the 1901 Census?
What happened to George Straw?
And what circumstances led to his split with Mary Ann?

P.S. Robert Henshaw married Mary Ann in late 1914?

Argyle’s tin shop.

“The small shop against Chapel Street finally became Argyle’s tin shop”.

Catherine Argyle or Argile (nee Wallis), daughter of William and Mary (nee Lees), came to Ilkeston from Heanor with her children some years after the death of her husband, cordwainer William, in July 1860.
It was son John Wallis Argyle and his mother, who traded as Argyle & Son, general dealers and tinners, in Bath Street
John’s elder sister Fanny was a dressmaker at the same address while elder brother William traded elsewhere in Bath Street as a boot and shoe dealer.
John’s brother Charles left Ilkeston in the 1870’s and died in Brooklyn, New York in December 1878, aged 25.

About 1884 John Wallis Argyle moved into South Street while his mother and sister remained at their Bath Street home.


And now Into Chapel Street                                                                                                                   The Grand Tour