Swan pinner

Stramshall had a swan pinner. In 1831 William Allsop sought reimbursement for taking his oath as constable and for John Ward taking his oath as swan pinner.

This poses several questions. Did the role involve what its title suggests? Were swans a particular nuisance in Stramshall? Was it an honorific title – a legacy of former times? Did other places have swan pinners?

Early research has drawn a blank so far….


John and Ann Chatterton hightail it out of Uttoxeter

By 1851 John & Ann Chatterton had left Uttoxeter for Burton upon Trent and were living in Bridge Street. John was a pawnbroker and Chelsea pensioner, born in Lichfield.  Ann was 25 years younger and originally from Atherstone. They had married in Uttoxeter in 1847 following the death of Jane Chatterton, John’s previous wife, in 1845. Jane had been matron of the Union workhouse in 1841, while John was governor there. Ann had known John for some time as she had been governess at the workhouse in 1841 under her maiden  name of Ann Wootton.

John and Ann continued to live in Burton moving to Union Street by 1861. They died in 1861 and 1871, respectively, both leaving wills. He left his estate to her. Her will is somewhat lengthier and includes reference to 2 cottages on the Heath in Uttoxeter.

Did life in Uttoxeter become too hot for them?

Another Thomas Norris!

The 1841 census listed another Thomas Norris in Uttoxeter besides the one who was a relieving officer. This second Thomas was a printer and bookseller living in the Market Place and was somewhat younger, having been born in 1809. He was at this stage unmarried and living with his mother Ann and sister Jane. He married Ann Caroline Fowler of Leominster in 1845 and went on to be steward of the Wesleyan Methodist church in Uttoxeter. His sister Jane married a Wesleyan minister (John Peaviour Johnson) in 1844.

However, it is their mother Ann who is the most intriguing figure. She was born Ann Schofield and married Thomas & Jane’s father John Norris at Leek in 1806. Sometime after Thomas’s birth in 1809 and that of Jane in 1814 the family decamped to Pentwyn in Llanfair Kilgeddin, Monmouthshire. John Norris had been a baker but became a farmer in Wales. By 1834 Ann was a widow and was living in Uttoxeter again. In May of that year she requested to register a printing press and thus the firm of A. Norris & Son of Uttoxeter was born. This must have been quite a departure from her life as the wife of a baker then farmer. What happened in those 20 years between 1814 and 1834 remains to be uncovered.

Ann died in Uttoxeter in December 1848 aged 72. Her son continued the business in the name of A. Norris & Son until the 1860s when it hit the rocks financially.


Thomas Norris (1787-1848)

Thomas was baptised in Uttoxeter in 1787 (7 March or 30 May), the son of Thomas and Ann Norris. His father was a farmer. He married Charlotte Kiernan Collins at Stone by licence on 26 May 1821. In 1836 he advertised his intention in local newspapers to stand as candidate for Relieving Officer to the Uttoxeter Poor Law Union. He had had considerable experience of the old pre-1834 Poor Law system as his signature appears on many of the receipts among the Overseers  Accounts for Uttoxeter parish in the late 1820s and early 1830s. He was successful in his candidature as the 1841 census shows his occupation as Relieving Officer. His wife Charlotte listed her occupation as dressmaker, which proved important as she would need to support herself and her children after Thomas died in October 1848.

Thomas and Charlotte had 6 children: daughter Charlotte became a dressmaker, too, Ann and Mary became milliners and Elizabeth became a governess at Blore Hall and at Croxden Abbey. Son Henry eventually became a station master. Their other son, Thomas Henry, died aged 17 months in 1830. Henry became head of the family, gathering his womenfolk in his home at Dove Bank, including his aunt Harriet, Thomas’s sister, who had been a witness at Thomas and Charlotte’s wedding in Stone.

Thomas’s widow Charlotte died in Uttoxeter in September 1872 at the age of 82.


Return to Uttoxeter

It seems that George Haslehurst was determined to return to Uttoxeter following his removal to Eckington. We can see from the 1851 census that he was living with his wife Fanny in Buntings Yard off the High Street in Uttoxeter. With them was Fanny’s son Enoch Overton aged 18. George had married Fanny Overton nee Baker on 28 March 1846 at St Oswald’s church in Ashbourne. He continues to be a nail maker by trade.


Elizabeth Wetton

These two printed receipts amongst the Uttoxeter overseers accounts show payments made to Elizabeth Wetton for printing handbills and supplying haberdashery items. The later one for 1832 (on the left) indicates she was a draper in the Market Place. The earlier one for 1830 (on the right) shows she was operating quite a multi-purpose business.

At this time Elizabeth was a widow in her 70s who had carried on her husband’s business (printer and mercer) after his death in 1800 as she had several young children to raise and educate. The receipts are signed by her son-in-law William Smith, who took over the business in January 1834. Elizabeth died in May 1834 at the age of 80.

Elizabeth emerges as a determined lady, keen to soldier on when widowed and to continue to run the business until very shortly before her death at the grand age of 80.



Dispatched to New York

We found this receipt amongst the Uttoxeter overseers accounts which shows that they paid £20 for the Erams family for passage from Liverpool to New York on the ship Glasgow. This was an American ship making its first return voyage to the US. It came into Liverpool in May 1832 with a cargo of cotton bales. The Glasgow left Liverpool on 18 June and arrived in New York on 30 July 1832. Passage in steerage cost £2 per head, so the family may have comprised as many as 10 persons. No wonder the Uttoxeter overseers were keen to dispatch them so far away! Reports of arrivals in American newspapers estimate the number of steerage passengers on the Glasgow at 160, which must have made the family’s 6-week journey a rather crowded one.

Bernard ticket