Dearest Father, Amy Wright 1913 – Alvanley, Nr Warrington

Beautiful birthday postcard sent to Dearest Father, Mr C Wright, Post Office Row, Alvanley, Helsby, Nr Warrington posted on 25th February 1913 from Chester


Dearest Father

Just a line to wish you many happy returns of the day. I am sorry I quite forgot to write this and post it yesterday I was so busy washing and ironing. Will try and write tonight. Much love to all, Amy x x x x x x x x

I found Amy and her father, Charles Wright in the 1901 census for Alvanley. Charles aged 31 was a blacksmith, his wife Mary was also 31 and they had three other children: Harold Seymour Wright, age 10, Blanche age 5 and Ellen/Nellie age 10 months.

Letter of thanks HOWARD & BRITTON 1929 Prestwich and Darlington

Letter of thanks addressed to:

Mr & Mrs Britton & Family

West Farm

Low Coniscliffe


Postmark: 24 Dec 1929 Manchester

Mrs Howard desires to express her sincere thanks for the kind expressions of sympathy received in her bereavement.

The many tokens of affection and regard have been a great consolation.

Okehurst, Prestwich

Dec 1929

I did a search on ancestry but there were quite a few Howards in Prestwich at that time. A lucky google search gave me a dog advertisement posted by a Percy Howard of Okehurst, Deyne Avenue, Prestwich so now we had a full name.

Percy Howard was born in Moss-Side, Manchester c1871. His wife, Elizabeth was born around the same time in Shuttleworth.

In the 1911 census they had been married for 12 years with no children. Percy was a Manufacturer’s Agent in the woollen trade (in 1901 he was working under his own account).

Staying with them that night at ‘Okehurst’ was Percy’s sister, Catherine Jane, her husband Harold SWITHENBANK and their son Harold, aged 8. ‘Okehurst’ had 8 rooms.

Rest in peace Percy. I hope we can find some of your family to pass on this sentimental letter ♥️

#genealogy #familyhistory #ancestry #ancestors #familytree #oldletter #britton #howard #prestwich #swithenbank #1920s #vintageink #vintagecard

1851 Letter Messrs Howcliffe & Son, Stogumber, Taunton

7 November 1851

To Mrs Tripp?

Dear Madam

We are much obliged by your favour of the 5th visit and greatly regret that W Rowcliffe must go to London on Monday, and will be engaged there all that week and part of the next. WCER? will however be most happy to wait on you on Monday, if that will be agreeable to you. Unless we hear from you to the contrary by return of post, he hopes to be at the Hele? Station by the train which arrives there at 12.27. But should there be no immediate necessity for seeing one of us WR —— will not fail to go to you the first moment his business will permit him to leave London. We beg to thank you for your very kind visit —- with best compliments of ——

Ps we will beg for the favour of an —- at all events by return says —- WCER shall go to you on Monday or WR as soon as he can get away from London.

Summons to George Bestwick of Leek, 1876

Summons to George BESTWICK of Regent Street in Leek in the county of Stafford, Silk Manufacturer

“………………..did employ in a certain factory in your occupation a certain child named Joseph Shenton for more than seven working days without having obtained a surgical certificate for the said child.

These are therefore to command you in Her Majesty’s Name to be and appear on Monday the seventeenth day of July, 1876, at eleven o’clock in the forenoon at the Magistrate’s Clerk’s Office in Leek……….and you are hereby required to produce your registers and age certification book. ”

Constable Charles Haywood

George Bestwick was a silk manufacturer and factory owner, born in 1828 in Leek. He married Harriett Brassington in 1851 and in the 1871 census, they had seven children with the three eldest Robert, 19, Charles, 17 and Maria, 12, all working in their father’s factory, Robert as a silk twister and Charles and Maria as silk pickers. George died in 1895 leaving effects to the value of £110.

I believe that the child mentioned in this summons, Joseph Shenton, was a local lad, aged just 11 and the son of James and Mary Ann Shenton. He didn’t always work for George Bestwick in his factory, he became a courier before 1891. He died in 1935.

Constable Charles Heywood was promoted to Police Sergeant by 1881.

Grandma’s Legacy – Blanche Mary Fleet, 1898 Leeds, Yorkshire

Letter written by Marion Fleet (nee Kemp)

4 Silsbury Street,

Kirkland Street,

Beeston Road,


May 16th 1898

Messrs Wright & Brown


My daughter Blanche Mary Fleet will attain her twenty first year on the twenty fifth of June next – she wishes me to say she shall be glad to receive her share of money left by her Grandmother (the late Sarah Fleet) at your earliest convenience as she is in very ill health and has been for some time.

Trusting this will meet your approval.

I remain Gentlemen, Yours obediently

M Fleet

To Messrs Wright & Brown

There are some handwritten notes obviously made after the letter reached its recipients and most likely by the clerk who was dealing with the matter. The notes say £50 on attaining 21 then there are some calculations … 4 years and 3 months at 4%. £58 10 0

Blanche Mary Fleet was the third of 8 daughters, she was born on 25th June 1877 to Horatio Nelson Collingwood Fleet and his wife Marion (nee Kemp). Poor Marion – her husband was a commercial traveller so was hardly ever at home and she had 8 children under 7 (aged 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 and 8 months) in the 1881 census! Horatio did well for himself and was recorded as a Civil Engineer in the next census ten years later although he still worked away from home.

Whatever ill health was troubling poor Blanche at the time her mother wrote that letter, she appeared to make a good recovery and she appears in the 1901 census at 4 Silsbury Street, Leeds, along with mother Marion, Marion’s parents and brother, and Marion’s other daughters Daisy Marion, Mabel Isobel and Maggie. Marion, 40, was a laundress, Daisy, 16, was a French Ruler Stationer, Blanche aged 13 at that time was a nursemaid whilst Mabel was at school and baby Maggie was just 3 years old.

Here is a photo of Silsbury Street at the junction of Kirkland Street, off Beeston Hill in Leeds. These houses were back to back “two up, two down” houses – two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs so you can imagine how cramped the living conditions were for the 8 of them (and this would be 9 when Blanche’s father, Horatio, came home every now and again.

For those wondering, £58 back in 1898 would be worth roughly £5,270 today however it didn’t appear to change Blanche’s life at all.

In the 1911 census, Blanche was 32, single and still living with her parents at 10 Buckley Avenue, in Leeds – another house with four rooms. Her occupation was listed as a book sewer (binder, stationer’s assistant).

Blanche did get married – but not until she was 44. The wedding took place at St Luke’s Church in Beeston on 9th April 1923, her new husband was a chauffeur named Frank Charles Knight, aged 38, and Blanche’s mother Marion, by then aged around 72, was a witness, signing the marriage register.

At some point over the next 16 years, Blanche and Frank moved to London and can be seen in the 1939 register – Blanche was still a stationery book sewer and also a general cook. Frank was a motor mechanic but incapacitated at the time.

From the records available to me, I believe that Blanche died in London in 1969 aged 92. Rest in peace Blanche, I’ve enjoyed getting to know your story after finding your mother’s letter.

Whilst we know that Blanche didn’t have any direct descendants, we do know that Marion and Horatio had several surviving daughters and I’d be delighted to pass on Marion’s letter to any of their descendants. Please get in touch if you’re reading this.

The Rector’s Wife’s Letter Mary A Haines, Kirkby Stephen, 1884

Great Musgrave,

Kirkby Stephen

July 31st 1884

Dear Mr Brown

Having casually heard “that Mr Bradburn has been to Carlisle and taken away all deeds and papers and that they are now in his possession” I write to let you know what I have heard, trusting that you will excuse my letter, but I cannot help feeling uncomfortable about it — although resting on your kind province to me that you “would look after my interests and write when there was anything to tell me”.

Being aware how very busy you have been I did not care to trouble you with even a letter but I know positively nothing about matters.

My husband has not been to Carlisle or he would have called upon you.

With kind regards, believe me

Yours sincerely

Mary A Haines

This letter is edged in black which means that Mary Haines was in mourning for the loss of somebody within the family. This could have been up to twelve months prior to writing the letter.

After carrying out some research, it is my belief that Mary A Haines was the wife of the Rector of Great Musgrave, Mr Stafford A Haines. He was born in Bombay, East India in 1839 but can be found in the local censuses for Kirkby Stephen. His wife, Mary A, was born in Dalston, Cumberland circa 1843.

The million dollar questions of course are who was Mr Bradburn and was he up to no good? My guess is that he deeds and papers were connected to Mary’s bereavement. Perhaps an expected inheritance?

Would love to send this letter to one of Mary’s descendants. Any takers out there?