Wednesday, 12 July 2017

A little bit of Chorlton's past knocked on our door yesterday ......... Mr Renshaw comes visiting

Now I like the way bits of history pop up just when you don’t expect them.

Sampler of Miss Florence Elizabeth Renshaw, 1877
And I wasn’t expecting Mr Renshaw who knocked on yesterday afternoon on the off chance I was in.

The Renshaw’s are an old Chorlton family and can be traced back to the mid if not early 18th century.

I have a copy of the legal agreement between James Renshaw and the Egerton’s from 1767 setting out the tenancy agreement for the farm on Beech Road and the family continued to be part of our history pretty much up to today.

And a few years ago someone kindly posted this sampler made by Miss Florence Elizabeth Renshaw, 1877

But I have misfiled the name of the person who so kindly provided the image. It is somewhere but as yet it eludes me.

Now Martin my visitor is related to Miss Florence and in the course of our conversation he passed over his family tree, all of which set me off again with the Renshaw family who I first came across when I wrote that book on Chorlton-cum-Hardy.*

"There are a number of Renshaw families which are interwoven in to the history of the township.  They appear in the parish records, census returns, rate books and are on gravestones in the church yard.  They are connected in marriage to the Bailey, Chesshyre and Taylor families.  

James Renshaw began farming on the Row in 1767 and the family continued to work the land until 1844 when the tenancy passed to the Bailey family who in turn stayed until the early 20th century when they moved to Park Brow.  

Alice Bailey was the niece of John Renshaw who had occupied the farm until his death.  John Renshaw also owned  eleven cottages as well as Renshaw Buildings.  He is in the electoral register for 1832, and 1835. 

His will is in the Lewis and Bailey Collections.

Renshaws Buildings, 2011 from a photograph circa 1900
Other Renshaw’s appear on Ellwood, Chapter 4, Ancient wood and plaster Dwellings,  November 28, 1885, Chapter 16, Wesleyan Methodism,  February 20 1886, Chapter 17, Wesleyan Methodism,  February 27 1886 and Chapter 24, Shops & Schools,  April 24 1886 beaten at school.**

These include Charles, James the Methodist school teacher, Margaret, Thomas and William the hay cutter, and thatcher.

One family are also to be found in the baptismal records of the Wesleyan chapel on the Row, including, James and Elizabeth whose daughter Elizabeth was married to Richard Pearson, John and Sarah, Joseph and Jane, Thomas and Sarah, and Thomas and Susannah.”***

So there you have it, a little bit of our past in our dining room added to which Martin is now the third descendant of the Renshaw family I have met.  Years ago I became friends with Oliver whose family were related by marriage and lived on one of the farm houses on Beech Road and around the same time met Karen Lewis who also supplied material on the Renshaw family.

Which just leaves to wonder who will knock on next.

Picture; sampler of Florence Elizabeth Renshaw, 1877 and Renshaw’s Buildings, 2011 by Barri Sparshot from a photograph circa 1900

*The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Andrew Simpson, 2012,

**Thomas Ellwood, wrote a series of 26 articles on the history of Chorlton-cum-Hardy between the winter of 1885 and the spring of 1886.  They were published in the South Manchester Gazette under the title The History of Chorlton-cum-Hardy and are available in the Local History Library of Central Ref.

***ibid the Story of Chorlton-cum- Hardy, pages 266-267

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