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Walter Grimshaw’s Relatives











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Walter’s Son


Walter Edwin Grimshaw


Walter Edwin Grimshaw, son of Walter  Grimshaw, was not obviously a regular chess player, but he and his father both played for Whitby against Grosmont on 11/03/1885.  Whether Walter junior was resident in Whitby at the time, or just visiting, is unclear.


Walter Edwin Grimshaw was 15 years old at the time of his father’s re-marriage in 1878.  He is listed at Bagdale House in 1879, under “Private residents” (as opposed to the commercial listing), though his father and step-mother are not so listed, which is somewhat confusing 13.  It seems Walter Edwin was shortly to be sent out to seek his own fortune, so to speak, as in the 1881 census, as an 18-year-old, he is recorded as a hosier living as a boarder at 13 Mildred Street, Bradford, in the household of widowed confectioner, Zillah Womersley.


By the time of his father’s death, he was living at 6 Bond Street, Liverpool, and working as a hosier, but after his father’s death he settled in Whitby.  The address he quoted on 2nd March 1891 was 9 Normanby Terrace, Whitby, which is where the 1891 census found him as a 28-year-old unmarried boarder living on his own means, rather implying he’d given up the hosiery business, had inherited money to keep him going, and hadn’t yet set himself up in business in Whitby.  The household in which he was boarding was in fact that of Whitby chess-player Edwin Collier.


In 1891/92 he married Therese Jenny Marie [surname?], who had been born 1873/74 at Hamburg, Germany, to a father [Heinrich??] who, according to the 1911 census, had been born at Gifhorn, Hannover (roughly 45 miles NNE of the city of Hannover).  The couple had at least the following seven children:

Erica Grimshaw

born 1892/93, Aislaby

Walter Heinrich Grimshaw

born 1895, Whitby

Ronald Edwin Grimshaw

born 1897/98, Whitby

Arthur Ernest Grimshaw

born 1897/98, Whitby

Edith Viola Grimshaw

born 1898/99, Oxton, Birkenhead, Cheshire

Edith Joyce Grimshaw

born 1902/03, Sleights

Alan Theodor Grimshaw

born 1906/07, Whitby


The names listed in the 1901 census suggest some of the children were normally known by their second forenames, specifically in the cases of “Ernest” and “Viola”.  How Viola came to be born in Cheshire (now Merseyside) is unclear.


The birthplaces of the children suggest the newly-weds may have set up home initially at Aislaby, about three-and-a-half miles SSW of Whitby, and later moved into Whitby.


The 1901 census enigmatically listed “home alone” children Erica (8), Walter (5), Ronald (3), Ernest (3) and Viola (2) resident at Sleights, with 8-year-old Erica listed as “Head” of the household.  One can only assume the parents were away, and neighbours were overseeing the Grimshaw children.


He presumably took over aspects of his father’s shipping interests, as in Kelly’s directory of 1905, “Walter E. Grimshaw” is listed as a ship-broker at 73 Baxtergate, a structure built in 1880 and known as “Central Chambers”.  In Cook’s directory of 1901, 73 Baxtergate had been occupied by John Foster & Co, ship-owners, and H. Baxter & Co., ship-owners, so Walter Edwin Grimshaw presumably moved in at some time after his father’s death.  The building now (2011) houses the Yorkshire Bank.


The 1911 census found the family living in the Channel Islands, at 65 St. Saviour’s Road, Jersey.  The household consisted of the above seven children, their two parents, and three servants.  Walter Edwin Grimshaw was described as living on private means.  The parents’ marriage was recorded as having existed for 19 full years, and there to have been seven children, all of whom were still living.


Walter Heinrich Grimshaw seems, named perhaps after his two grandfathers, adopted “Henry” as his middle name.  He joined the merchant navy, receiving certificates of competency to serve on foreign-going steamships only, as Second Mate (dated 10/06/1916), as First Mate (dated 21/10/1918) and finally Master (dated 04/10/1923 – showing he survived the war).




Walter’s Siblings


Edwin Grimshaw


The 1851 census found eldest son 25-year-old Rawdon-born Edwin, with 22-year-old Silkstone-born sister Elizabeth, living at Snaith, barely half a mile south of the modern East Yorkshire-North Lincolnshire border.  Edwin was described as a veterinary surgeon, an occupation later attributed to the family back at Liversedge.  Edwin and Elizabeth retained one servant.


In time both Edwin and Elizabeth took marriage partners from the local community.  The first to get married was Elizabeth, on 04/04/1852 (see below), at which stage she presumably left Edwin’s household.


By November 1852, Edwin was resident in lodgings in Carlton.  He had apparently become an innkeeper as well as a veterinary surgeon, as indicated in the following notice.  He’d clearly was experiencing financial difficulties as he had become insolvent.  The London Gazette of 05/11/1852 (p. 2936) contained the following:

WHEREAS a Petition of Edwin Grimshaw, formerly of Snaith, in the county of York, Inn Keeper and Veterinary Surgeon, and now of Carlton, near Snaith aforesaid, in lodgings, Veterinary Surgeon, an insolvent debtor, having been filed in the County Court of Yorkshire, at Selby, and an interim order for protection from process having been given to the said Edwin Grimshaw, under the provisions of the Statutes in that case made and provided, the said Edwin Grimshaw is hereby required to appear before the said Court, on the 11th day of November instant, at ten of the clock in the forenoon precisely, for his first examination touching his debts, estate, and effects, and to be further dealt with according to the provisions of the said Statutes; and the choice of the creditors' assignees is to take place at the time so appointed.  All persons indebted to the said Edwin Grimshaw, or that have any of his effects, are not to pay or deliver the same but to Mr. Richard Perkins, Clerk of the said Court, at the office of Mr. Charles Newstead, in Selby, the Assistant Clerk of the Court, the Official Assignee of the estate and effects of the said insolvent.


The 1851 census also recorded John W. Rickard (born 1807/08, Riccall, about four-and-a-half miles NE of Selby) and his wife Hannah Rickard (born 1811/12, Riccall) living with three servants at North End, Carlton, about one-and-a-quarter miles north of Snaith and in the part of the West Riding of Yorkshire which is now in a southward-pointing finger of modern North Yorkshire.  Carlton fell within the wider registration district of the better-known Selby.  John Rickard was a farmer of 60 acres, and employed one labourer.  The 1841 had listed the Rickards with an 8-month-old called Ann, but this baby seems to have disappeared from the scene by 1851.


It is likely that Edwin, as a veterinary surgeon, would be acquainted with farmer John Rickard and his wife.  John Rickard presumably died in the early 1850s, as the marriage of Edwin Grimshaw and Hannah Rickard was registered at Selby in the fourth quarter of 1854.  Accordingly, the 1861 census found Edwin and Hannah Grimshaw at Low Street, Carlton, with Edwin now being describes as a farmer of 60-odd acres, and employing two labourers.  Edwin Grimshaw had presumably taken over the running of John Rickard’s farm.  Hannah’s age was given as 45, though 49 might have been nearer the mark.  The household included three servants, but no children.


The 1871 census found Edwin back in Snaith, with Hannah, working once more as a veterinary surgeon, presumably having disposed of the farm somehow.  Hannah’s age was now given as a plausible 58.


The death of Hannah Grimshaw, age 59, on Sunday 10/12/1871, was recorded by The Goole and Marshland Weekly Times, Howdenshire Gazette and Selby Express, of Saturday 16/12/1871, under “Deaths”, as follows:

Snaith. – December 10th, Hannah, the wife of Edwin Grimshaw, veterinary surgeon, Snaith, aged 59 years.


The 1881 census found Edwin as a 54-year-old widower, living with a servant and her daughter in Snaith.  He was still a veterinary surgeon.


The1891 census found Edwin still working as a veterinary surgeon, but now living at Shearburn Terrace, Snaith, with the same domestic staff.


Probate records show that Edwin Grimshaw of Snaith, Yorkshire, veterinary surgeon, died 25/01/1892.  Administration was granted to Emma Cockill, wife of Edward Cockill, i.e. his youngest sister.  He left effects of £243 10s.  The London Gazette of 03/05/1892 (p. 2586) contained a notice, dated 30/04/1892, from William H. Clough, Townhall, Cleckheaton, as solicitor acting for Emma, requesting claimants on Edwin’s estate to contact him by 01/06/1892.


Neither Edwin nor wife Hannah is listed in the Snaith burial register, or in a list of monumental inscriptions at Snaith.



Elizabeth Grimshaw


Elizabeth had lived with brother Edwin in Snaith in 1851 and possibly before.


White’s Leeds, Bradford etc 1854 directory listed William Pheasant as a gunsmith and ironmonger at Rawdon, and it was into this local family that Elizabeth married.  Accordingly, on 04/04/1852, 23-year-old Elizabeth Grimshaw of Hightown, daughter of veterinary surgeon James Grimshaw, was married to 21-year-old Thomas Pheasant, coal merchant of Snaith and son of ironmonger William Pheasant, at St. Peter’s, Birstall, by W. M. Heald.  Witnesses signing the marriage register were J. Grimshaw (presumably father, James), and Harriet Grimshaw.  Thomas had been born 1825/26, Snaith.  The couple had at least six children:


James Pheasant

born 1853/54, Snaith

Mary Pheasant

born 17/04/1856, Hightown;

baptised 04/03/1876, St. Mary, Mirfield

Thomas Pheasant, jun.

born 1858/59, Pontefract

George Walter Pheasant

born 20/06/1860, Pontefract;

baptised 04/03/1876, St. Mary, Mirfield

William Pheasant

born 26/11/1862, Pontefract;

baptised 04/03/1876, St. Mary, Mirfield

Edward Pheasant

born 08/02/1869, Brighouse;

baptised 04/03/1876, St. Mary, Mirfield


The 1861 census found Thomas and Elizabeth living at Southgate, Pontefract, with 4-year-old Mary (a scholar), 2-year-old Thomas and 9-month-old George Walter.  Thomas had exchanged coal-merchanting for the job of “photographic artist”.  James was in his maternal grandparents’ household at Liversedge.  The other children and their parents are elusive in the 1861 census.


The 1871 census found both patents and the three younger children living at (rear of?) 18 Lightcliffe Road, Brighouse.  Thomas was described as an unemployed clerk, suggesting the photography career hadn’t taken off, while George and William were scholars.  16-year-old Snaith-born James Pheasant, on the other hand, was a photographic artist’s assistant, boarding with photographic artist William Baker, his wife and six children, at 9 Regent Street, Stockton, Co. Durham.


Thomas Pheasant died in 1872, aged 39, and was buried on 05/05/1872, at St. Martin, Brighouse (apparently in plot A6), by George Oldacres.  His place of residence was given as Brighouse.  Only a quarter or so of the gravestones at St. Martin’s are still in place and visible, and the Pheasant grave, which might had afforded extra information, is not now evident.


It appears the widowed Elizabeth Pheasant moved to Mirfield.  Tragedy struck again when Elizabeth Pheasant died, aged 46, and was buried on 30/10/1874, in the same grave as Thomas at St. Martin, Brighouse, also by George Oldacres.  Her place of residence was given as Mirfield.  The 1881 census hints that William and possibly one or more siblings was resident at Mirfield at the same time.


On 04/03/1876, Mary Pheasant, George Walter Pheasant, William Pheasant and Edward Pheasant were baptised at St. Mary’s, Mirfield, by John M. Horsfall, curate.  The baptismal register gives their dates of birth.


On 12/05/1879, at St. Peter’s, Birstall, 23-year-old Mary Elizabeth Pheasant, daughter of Thomas Pheasant, bookkeeper, was married by C. W. Heald, curate, to 23-year-old tailor, Samson Clough, son of blacksmith William Clough.  Both Samuel and Mary seem to have been illiterate, as they both “signed” the marriage register by making their “marks” (crosses by their names written by another person).


The 1881 census found 20-year-old George and 12-year-old Edward living in the Liversedge household of George, Elizabeth’s brother.  It found 18-year-old William Pheasant living in the household of John Brown, a 49-year-old Liversedge-born painter, his Mirfield-born wife Ann, and Liversedge-born 19-year-old son Moses.  William and Moses were painters.  William Pheasant was described as a servant in relation to John Brown, and a painter by occupation.  His place of birth was given as Mirfield, which probably means William came to the Brown household from Mirfield, and John Brown assumed Mirfield was his place of birth.


William Pheasant’s marriage to Alice Mann was registered at Dewsbury in the fourth quarter of 1886.  Accordingly, the 1891 census found 28-year-old Pontefract-born William, a painter and paperhanger, and Alice with 3-year-old Bury-born Sarah Elizabeth Pheasant, and 1-year-old Ethel, at Ash Place, Middlegate, Liversedge.


George Grimshaw


George never left home, it seems, always being recorded in censuses as resident at Liversedge.  In 1851 and 1861 he was described, like his father, as a veterinary surgeon.  On the death of his parents George took over the business of the inn.  On 30th July 1868 he married twenty-six-year-old Margaret Jackson, who was eleven years his junior, and had been born at Eskdaleside in 1841/42, on the basis of ages recorded in censuses, though the gravestone gives her date of birth as 1st August 1840.  One wonders whether George met his bride when visiting brother Walter in Whitby, from which Eskdaleside lies inland.  In the 1871 census he is listed as head of the household, being described as a veterinary surgeon and inn-keeper.


George and Margaret had at least three children:


James Grimshaw

born 1870/71, at Liversedge

Ada Grimshaw

born 1871/72, Liversedge;

died 11/10/1876, aged 4;

interred with her paternal grandparents

Basil Grimshaw

born 1873/74, at Liversedge


The 1881 census records George as an inn-keeper and veterinary surgeon living at the White Hart Inn on the Wakefield & Halifax Road, Liversedge, with his wife Margaret, sons James and Basil, and also two nephews, 20-yerar-old George W Pheasant, a carpet mill worker, and 12-year-old Edward Pheasant, a carpet mill worker.  These nephews in the household were orphaned children of his eldest sister Elizabeth.


George died on 18th June 1890 at Hightown, Liversedge, aged 60.  The death was noted by the Whitby Advertiser where he was described as a veterinary surgeon, but not an inn-keeper, perhaps for the sake of appearances to the people of Whitby 29.  He was interred at Liversedge parish church.  George’s wife, Mrs Margaret Grimshaw, continued to run the White Hart Inn.  She was listed as so doing in Kelly’s West Riding Directory of 1892, while son James is listed as a farmer at Lower Hall, High Town.  Margaret was still listed at the White Hart in White's Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, 1894.  Margaret died on the 11th March 1906, and was interred in the same grave as George. The grave inscription is as follows:


In Loving Memory of



Of Hightown

Who Died June 18th 1890,

Aged 59 Years.


Relict of The Above




(Click here for a photograph of George and Mary’s grave.)


The 1891 census found Margaret, a publican, sons James and Basil, Brighouse-born grandson Edward Pheasant (now 22 years old) and a servant, at the White Hart Inn, Halifax Road, Liversedge.


Harriet Grimshaw


Harriet’s name sometimes gets written with double “t” at the end, but she signed her name as a witness in sister Elizabeth’s marriage register entry with only one “t”, which spelling is consequently adopted here.


The 1851 census shows that Harriet had left home and had entered domestic service, being recorded as a nurse in the household of 46-year-old fancy woollen manufacturer William Learoyd, at bridge Field House, Leeds Road, Huddersfield.


She was a witness signing the marriage register at sister Elizabeth’s marriage at Birstall, on 04/04/1852.


Direct evidence is lacking, but it would appear that when Walter moved from York to Whitby around 1855, Harriet went to live with him, perhaps as his housekeeper.  This arrangement couldn’t have lasted long, as a report in the “Deaths” column of the Malton Messenger of 27th September 1856 6 reads:

On the 25th inst., at Whitby, suddenly, Miss Grimshaw, sister to Mr Grimshaw, pawnbroker, aged 20 years.


The deceased’s age makes her clearly Harriet, in which case she would appear to have died around her birthday.


Mary Ann Grimshaw


Mary Ann Grimshaw married a Mr. Jackson around 1860, give or take a year, but was rapidly widowed.  Her married name, Jackson, was the maiden name of George’s wife Margaret, so her husband may conceivably have been her brother-in-law.  22-year-old Cleckheaton-born widow Mary A. Jackson was listed in her parents’ household at Liversedge in the 1861 census.  She appears in time to have joined brother Walter in Whitby, as the death of Mary Ann Jackson was registered at Whitby in the second quarter of 1869.


Emma Grimshaw


The first Emma died at the age of seven months, and was buried on 16/09/1837 at St. John’s, Cleckheaton, by the incumbent, John Seaton.


The second Emma is listed in the 1861 census as living at Whitby with brother Walter, as his housekeeper.  What is not clear is whether she went to Whitby with Harriet, or joined Walter after Harriet’s death.  It is probable that when Walter got married in 1861, Emma returned for a while to Liversedge, or thereabouts, and in due course met her future husband.


In 1868, Emma married Edward Cockill (born 1842/43, Robert Town, son of Dewsbury-born master currier William Cockill).  The marriage was registered in the fourth quarter of 1868 at Dewsbury.  The couple had two daughters:


Mary (aka Polly) Cockill

born 1869/70, High Town

Lizzie Cockill

born 1876/77, Liversedge


The 1871 census found both parents and 1-year-old Mary living at High Town, Liversedge.  Edward’s occupation was that of (leather) currier.


The 1881 census found the family’s address given more specifically as Quaker Lane, (High Town,) Liversedge.  This may well be where they were in 1871.  Edward was still a leather currier.  The two girls were scholars.


The 1891 census saw no change except than the girls were now both employed in an elementary school, Mary as a teacher, and Lizzie as a “monitress”.


In 1892 she acted as administratrix of the estate of brother Edwin after his death on 25/01/1892.


Emma’s death was registered in the second quarter of 1895 at Dewsbury.


The 1901 census found widower 58-year-old Edward, now a “leather currier manager”, living with 24-year-old Lizzie, now a certificated assistant schoolteacher, still living at Quaker Lane, High Town, (Liversedge).


Edward Cockill of Quaker Lane, Liversedge, died on 12/11/1908.  Probate was granted at London on 03/12/1908, to Ernest Cockill, leather currier.  He left effects of £471 17s. 5d.  The death was registered at Dewsbury


(Return to Walter Grimshaw)





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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