The West Family

Lydia West was born in Shenstone in 1798, but her siblings Louisa, Mary, Ann, Elizabeth, Henry and Eli were born in Uttoxeter. Their father Joseph was a Quaker and a grocer who had set up shop in the Market Place by 1818.  The Wests took their share of the grocery business arising from workhouse supply and in the period 1821-29 the family earned £51 13s 9.5d by these means.  Payments on parish bills in 1826-7 were receipted by daughter Lydia West, and in later years her sister Ann also signed for parish money.  We have not yet found Elizabeth signing for parish money, but she lived with her brother Eli, his wife Mary, and the couple’s children at the time of the 1841 census.  All three women may have retained connections to the business at some level , although it was their brother Eli (born 1806) who took over the business in the 1830s.  The West’s grocery continued to supply goods including candles, soap, sugar, tea, coffee, treacle, tobacco and rice for use at the workhouse, but only once or twice per year. They competed with Ralph Bagshaw and other grocers for parish contracts, and ultimately Eli’s heart was not in the grocery trade.  By the mid 1840s he and his brother Henry had re-established themselves as manufacturing chemists in the city of Derby. They initially formed a partnership with one Francis Hollingworth but this agreement was dissolved in 1846 whereafter the Wests continued alone.  In 1861 Eli was employing three other men.  At that time his sister Ann was still living with him.

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