Howdenshire History

Rev. Henry Earl of Goole

Goole History > Goole People & Families > Rev. Henry Earl


The following interesting article was submitted to The Norseman magazine by Patricia Earl:




Henry Earl was born in Carlisle in November 1770 and christened at St Cuthbert's Church on 2nd December 1770. He was the third son of Guy Earl and Rachel Henderson. Guy Earl was a cabinet maker by profession. Sometime between 1770 and 1776 the family moved to Sheffield where Henry's sister Ann was born in 1776.

In 1784 Henry was apprenticed as a filesmith to George Greaves but it may be that he did not complete that apprenticeship as the records do not indicate that he obtained his Freedom to become a journeyman, as did his elder brother Thomas. I think he may have attended the Independent College at Rotherham as documents held by his son, also Henry, refer to that establishment.

He married on 29th June 1808 in Skeckling with Burstwick, Jane Harrison daughter of John and Elizabeth Harrison of Burstwick. He also became a Minister at Skipsea Independent Chapel, and two sons were born in Hornsea; Henry Harrison in 1809 and John in 1812, both being christened at Skipsea.

In 1824 Henry became the first Minister at Goole, where he remained until his death in 1846. His wife Jane died in 1840 and they are both buried in the churchyard at Burstwick. A plaque to Henry and Jane is on the wall of the chancel there, erected by their son, Henry Harrison Earl.

Henry's second son, John, married Elizabeth Harrison of Burstwick, and after trading as a grocer in Sheffield, he and Elizabeth, together with their son, also John, emigrated to Ontario. John died there in 1864 and Elizabeth in 1871. No more is known of their son.

Henry Harrison Earl also moved to Sheffield where he went into business with his cousin John Charles Earl and in 1840 founded an Iron and Steel Stockholding company, H. H. Earl, later H. H. Earl & Son. He married Lucy Jane Lodge, daughter of a surgeon William Henry Lodge and his wife Jane. The company carried on until 1964 under the ownership of Henry Harrison Earl's son Walter, Walter's son Walter Geoffrey and his son John.

Walter Geoffrey had two other sons, Peter and Robin, and there are sons and grandsons to carry on the name. There are still descendants in Sheffield of both Henry Earl and his elder brother Thomas.

The Reverend Henry's grandfather, also Henry, was born in Cumberland and I suspect in the village of Cumwhitton, just outside Carlisle (where there is an extensive family of the name Earl recorded back to the early 16th century), as he was described as a bachelor of that Parish when he married Ann Stephenson of Lanercost in 1723. I think his father may have been John but sadly the rats have eaten some of the Parish Registers and I am unable to get back any further with certainty.

There was also a story in the family that they were related to the Hull Earles but that there had been a falling out in the family at some stage and a member had gone off to Hull and added an "e" to his name to distinguish himself from the Carlisle Earls. Again I have not been able to confirm this, in spite of help from the Archivist at Blue Circle Cement, formerly Earl Cement, and research into the family in Hull.

It was always known that a silver tea and coffee service had been given to the Reverend Henry during his time in Goole. It appears in subsequent Wills but it disappeared from the family during the 1960s and I have only recently found that it was given to him for his work during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

There is a portrait of Rev. Henry Earl in Christ Church, Hook Road, Goole [this chapel has recently closed, however, and the picture moved].

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