Howdenshire History

Tradespeople in 19th century Eastrington

Shoemakers - Tailors - Blacksmiths - Bricklayers - Wheelwrights - Grocers - Butchers - Policemen


Boot & shoe makers (and parish clerks)

The picture below shows 'Blind Harry' (Harry Wiles) making doormats on the left, and James 'Jimmy' Ellis standing on the right.


Harry Wiles and Jimmy Ellis, shoemakers, Eastrington, East YorkshireIn 1823 only one shoemaker was listed in Eastrington, James Brownbridge. By 1840 Mr Brownbridge was listed not as a shoemaker but as the landlord of the Cross Keys. The three men who were listed then as boot and shoe makers were Henry Collins, John Wilson and Thomas Eccles, who also kept a beer house.


Thomas Eccles

Thomas Eccles had married Ann Collings at Eastrington in 1824 and by 1841 was living with his wife Ann and children Hannah, 15, George, 14, Thomas, 10, John, 7, Sarah, 5 and James Collings, 1. Also living with them were William Pashley, 29, who was also described as a shoemaker and James Cowling, aged 17, an apprentice. Then in 1847 the vicar, Rev. Hamerton, writing in the charity accounts, said that he had allocated the 'dole' money of £1 a quarter to James Brownbridge in compensation for removing from him the job of parish clerk. He had given the job instead to Thomas Eccles who by 1851 described himself no longer as a shoemaker and beerhouse keeper, but solely as parish clerk.

William Pashley was born in Asselby. In 1841 he was lodging with Mr and Mrs Eccles but in 1842 he married Hannah Bulliment who was ten years younger and born at Thealby in Lincolnshire. By 1851 had three young children and also three lodgers: Thomas Burn, a farmer; Michael Chapman, a soldier from Ireland and Henry Bulliment, who was probably related to Mrs Pashley since he too was from Thealby, and who worked as a farm labourer. William Pashley was still working into his eighties. He died aged 84 at the Union workhouse in Howden and was buried at Eastrington in October 1893.


Henry Collins

Henry Collins, shoemaker, was aged 46 in 1851 and born in Howden. His wife, Ann, was from Ellerker. He died in October 1861 and their son, also Henry, died the following May aged only 19. On the gravestone on the north side of the churchyard are the poignant words, 'Fret not for me my mother dear, My sins are all forgiven, Just in my bloom I was cast down, Prepare to meet your only son in heaven'. Mrs Collins made a living as a dressmaker and also seems to have brought up her young granddaughter, Ann Elizabeth Jackson, who was 10 in 1871.


John Wilson

John Wilson was a native of Eastrington. In 1851 he was 63 and living on his own in the village. Living a few doors away was John Barker, who was also described as a shoemaker. John Barker was aged 47 and living with his wife Ann and their son John, who was 13.


George Ellis and John Ward

The youngest shoemaker in 1851 was John Ward, aged only 19. He was living at the mill with his aunt Margaret who was married to John Stather. His mother was Agatha Ellis, nee Ward, and both Agatha and Margaret were the daughters of Martin Ward, a farm worker and his wife Jane who herelf was a daughter of George Wise Nurse. Agatha had given birth in 1831 to John (Ward) and another son, George Tock (Ward) in 1837. Then, two years later in 1839, she married George Ellis, a shoemaker, and they had three children, William, Jane and Robert Ellis, before George died aged only 33 in 1848.

In 1851 Agatha Ellis and her family were living in the poor houses near the brickyard. Her son William, who had been only eight years old when his father died, carried on his father's trade but the family were poor. Writing in 1865 to his brother in Canada, George Nurse (Agatha's cousin) said, 'As for W. Ellis, with is marrige he is very badly off, scarce a shirt to put on is mother saide. She add been been mending is old shirt ... forced to put a blew sleeve into a wite shirt'.

Poor young William Ellis himself died in 1868, aged only 28, and his mother faced further tragedy when her eldest son John, who no doubt too had learned his trade from his stepfather and whose own wife had died in 1867, himself died in 1869 leaving two children, Margaret and George, aged nine and five. They were brought up by their Great-Aunt Margaret, by then a widow, who made a living by dressmaking. The number of men employed as shoemakers declined so that by 1881 there were only two men still working - these were Mr Pashley and John Barker, both then in their 70s.




There seem always to have been one or two tailors making a living in the village during the nineteeth century. By 1840 Thomas Wilson and James Young were listed and, by 1851, James Young and George Wilson.


James Young, then 56, was born in Crowle but his wife, born Mary Collins, was born at Blacktoft Grange. They had lost two young daughters, Mary aged 9 in 1838 and Maria aged 16 in 1847, but their youngest daughter Elizabeth, aged 17 in 1851, was living at home. James Young also had an apprentice, 14-year-old Bentley Hill. Young Bentley fell in love, as was often the case, with his master's daughter, Elizabeth, and they married in 1865. Bentley then set up in business on his own. James Young was by then a widower, looked after by his teenage grand-daughter Mary Broughton. Her mother, Hannah Young, had married a Samuel Broughton of Kirkstall (Leeds) in 1850. James Young died aged 80 in October 1874 and within a few weeks 20-year-old Mary had married Thomas William Holmes. Their son James was baptised the following February. Bentley Hill seems to have prospered, employing two apprentices in 1871 and by the 1890s briefly occupying Bennett Lodge. He was a church warden and, as such, his name is inscribed on a plaque on a chair in the church made from old oak. He lived until 1927, dying at Howden aged 89.


George Wilson was from Eastrington and aged 29 in 1851. Also living in the village at this time was Thomas Wilson, described as a pauper but a tailor by trade. It seems likely that this was George's father, who was listed as a tailor in 1840. George Wilson did not prosper and by 1871 was an inmate of Howden workhouse.

Another village tailor, who combined tailoring with several other occupations, was William Barrow.




The earliest references to a particular Eastrington blacksmith concern one Henry Thomas, an eighteenth century villager who was arrested in 1756 for taking part in the militia riots and who a few years later was charged at the Beverley Quarter sessions with breaching the Eastrington pinfold along with William Smith. The full story will never be known but he appears to have certainly been a man of principles. He was married to Ann Wainman and their only son, Robert, was also a blacksmith. Robert married Sarah Swan[n] and most of their descendants eventually moved to South Cave.

In the nineteenth century members of the Ainley family were blacksmiths. Some family members emigrated to Canada and the Ainley family is dealt with in more detail on a separate page. In 1823 the blacksmith was John Jackson who was renting land opposite Elm tree farm from John Ainley.

Another family working in the centre of the village as blacksmiths were the Pittock family, whose details can also be found on a separate page.

By the end of the century Mr John Mays was the blacksmith and lived with his family in the first house on Howden road on the corner opposite the blacksmith's shop (which itself was in what is now a corner of the Black Swan yard). He was 31 in the year 1891 and had been born at Faxfleet. His wife Mary was from Seaton Ross and they had five children and employed 12 year old Emily Parker (born in Ryder) as a servant. The family had previously lived in Kirkella near Hull. John Mays was a keen churchgoer and his name appears as churchwarden on a chair in the church made in 1888. The family suffered a tragedy in January 1896 when their seven year old daughter Edith died from 'catarrh of the windpipe'.



Bricklayers and builders

For much of the nineteenth century Francis Stephenson and his son Joseph were the village bricklayers. In 1835 when the church vestry was repaired, for example, Francis Stephenson was the bricklayer employed. He was born in Eastrington around 1798, one of the eleven children of Francis and Elizabeth Stephenson (nee Youll, and had married his wife Jane, who was from Adlingfleet, at Whitgift in 1819. They too had a large family - 12 children - although by 1841 only five seem to have survived. Son George was married and living in the village and working as a bricklayer, and Charles, Henry, Ann and Joseph were at home. By 1851 only their daughter Ann, aged 20 and a dressmaker, was living at home with her six-month-old daughter Caroline as well as her 16-year-old brother Joseph.

In 1852 Ann Stephenson married Robert Lilley. By 1881 Joseph Stephenson, 46, master bricklayer, was living at Filbert Grove, while his brother George and his wife Jane, 61, were living in Couper Street, Goole. He and his sons were all bricklayers and a grandson, George Denby, 7, was living with them.


Later in the nineteenth century David Sherbourn worked as a village bricklayer.



Wheelwrights and carpenters

In the nineteenth century the wheelwrights and carpenters in the village were all descendants of the nine children of John and Elizabeth Thompson (nee Bletcher). Members of the family also married into the Nurse family and all three families had branches who emigrated to Canada and settled in Ontario.




There seem to have been from two to four grocer's shops at any one time in the village in the nineteenth century. Their exact location is hard to trace as often the shop was little more than a shelf or two in a house. However, the main shopping area of Eastrington for many years has been in the centre of the village in the premises on the south side of the High Street.

In 1823 William Belt and John Holmes were listed as shopkeepers.


Robert Belt and his wife Mary, with their son John had moved to Eastrington from Skelton in 1753. Robert was a weaver and was one of the local men arrested and imprisoned at York for taking part in the militia riots. His son John Belt had a house and garden in Pinfold Street and had a large family including Betty (b.1780) and William (b.1786). William Belt, who went on to marry Ann Padget, kept a little shop but by 1841 he still described himself mainly as a linen weaver. The couple had ten children, two of whom emigrated to America. William (b.1821) and Thomas (b.1825) travelled first to Indiana, then moved to Sacramento and then, sometime in the 1850s, William travelled to Australia to the gold rush in Bendigo, Victoria. He worked on the goldfields until he made enough money to buy a property at Runnymede, which is near Bendigo. He built a house, became a successful farmer and built the Catholic Church in the town of Runnymede which was named after his wife, Bridget Belt [information from from his Australian descendant Lorraine Schmidt with many thanks].


John Holmes was renting two cottages and garden in the centre of the village owned by Joseph Lowther in 1822 about where the present village shop is today. By 1840 there was no mention of them but Robert Fielder and Thomas Wood were described as the village shopkeepers. Thomas Wood's shop was in the centre of the village. Mrs Sarah Wood was a widow by 1851, still in business as a grocer aged 74 but with her daughter, Mrs Hannah Beecroft, staying with her.


Robert Fielder was a grocer and draper and lived in one of the shops in the centre of the village, probably adjoining the present garage premises. He was originally from Airmyn and Mary, his wife, was from Kelfield. Mr Fielder's young niece, Elizabeth Morfit, who later married John Ainley, lived with them as a house servant. Mrs Fielder died in 1853 but Mr Fielder, who was also a Methodist local preacher, kept on the shop.


By 1880 Robert Thomas Nurse (see Nurse family) kept this grocer's shop, renting it from Joseph Cox who owned property in Gilberdyke. In 1880 two field girls from Hull were charged with stealing two pairs of leather gloves, value 2s, the property of Thomas Nurse, shopkeeper of Eastrington. They came into the shop on 28th August at 10.15 in the evening. He was serving one with bread and cheese when the gloves went. A witness saw them get the gloves and soap out of the shop window. However Robert Thomas Nurse did not stay there long. By 1885 he had moved out and new tenants came to the grocer's shop. John Swale was from Elland and he and his wife Emily had formerly lived at Accrington and Gomersal where John was a linen draper - Eastrington must have seemed very different from their former homes.


In 1871 one of the grocer's shops in the middle of the village, next door to Mr Fielder, was kept by Thomas Holmes who described himself as a grocer as well as a flax and teazle merchant. By 1881 his son Thomas William and his wife Mary and their growing family were running the shop but by 1891 Thomas Holmes had given up groceries and had taken over his father's hay and straw dealing business.


Next door to Thomas Holmes in 1891 were George and Mary Jipson and their children. George Jipson was originally from Newport but his wife Mary, 40, had been born in Eastrington. The family were living at what until very recently was still the village shop. Mr Jipson described himself as a farmer while his wife was described as a grocer. Their sons Thomas, 18, and Fred, 16, were both described as farmer's sons. Their other children, Lizzie, 14, Arthur, 10, Hannah, 8 and Sidney, 5 were all still at school. Their eldest daughter, Clara, had died in October 1888 aged 19.




In the first half of the nineteenth century Matthew Tate was one of the village butchers. At other periods there were Charles Jepson in 1840 and William Leaper in 1841. However, by 1851 Mr Leaper and his family had moved to the more prosperous town of Goole.


Robert Lilley was born in 1827 at Old Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire, the son of Joseph Lilley, a bricklayer, and his wife Martha. It is not known when Robert came to Eastrington but he married Ann Stephenson in 1852 at St Michael's Church in the village. Ann's father Francis was also a bricklayer and it seems likely that the families met through this connection. Two of Robert Lilley's brothers also moved to the area: George Lilley (b.1833) died in Eastrington of diphtheria in 1860, leaving a wife Mary (nee Jackson, born Sandholme) and two daughters. Another brother, Edward Lilley (b.1829), married a girl from Bielby and lived in Bubwith with his wife and large family, working as a gardener.

Robert Lilley, who described himself as a cattle dealer, and his wife Ann lived at first near the brickyard and then in the 1880s moved to North Howden where Robert also had a small grocer's shop. They had nine children including sons George (b.1858) and Joseph (b.1861). In 1882 George married Annie Ellis at Howden Primitive Methodist church. By 1891 George and Annie were living in Eastrington, George working as butcher while his brother Joseph was lodging at the Black Swan and working as a gardener. George and Annie had 13 children although not all survived beyond childhood: Joseph died aged two in 1899; in 1900 their daughter Jessie died aged 14, and the following year young Teddy died aged 12.


The Lilley family were well known butchers at Eastrington and Hull market throughout the twentieth century and intermarried with many existing village families.


Edwin Hairsine was both butcher and farmer in Eastrington in the 1870s before moving to Skelton. He and his wife Hannah kept the butcher's shop attached to the south end of the manor house, later run by the Holmes family.


Lilley family by Black Swan, Eastrington, East Yorkshire

George and Annie Lilley and two of their children, with their butcher's cart outside the Black Swan in Eastrington



There have been police officers stationed in Eastrington since early in the nineteenth century, generally staying only for a short time. In 1891, for example, PC David Alden, originally from Norfolk, was living at the 'police constabulary' somewhere on Vicar Lane with his wife and family. However, several Eastrington men joined the police force such as Joshua Fenton who lived for a time in Amethyst House with his family. His father owned a threshing machine and had a large family. Young Joshua was briefly a pupil teacher at the village school before joining the East Riding police in 1894. He left the force in 1906. Other local men in the force were Richard Parkin, whose father worked at the station and George Holt who joined aged 30 in 1891 and left in 1900. There were also families like the Longs who were posted to Eastrington and settled there after retirement.


PC John James Long

John Long was born in Goodmanham and joined the East Riding force in 1885, the same year he married his wife Lydia. He served all around the East Riding - Beverley, Wetwang, Filey, Flamborough - until coming to Eastrington in 1903. The family stayed in the village after his retirement in 1912. His wife Lydia often acted as the local midwife and for many years was the Eastrington correspondent for the Hull Times and caretaker at the village hall.

Several of their children - Claudine, Arthur, Charles, Herbert Gibson, George, Olive, Florence, Gwen, Mildred and Reginald - remained in the area although, sadly, 19-year-old Herbert was killed in the First World War. PC Long died in 1927. Charles Long built the house at the corner of Sandholme Road and Pinfold Street and lived there with his mother and sister Mildred (Millie) and her son Cyril.

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