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Tagged With: the Burnley family

Bath – the headquarters of Satan?

While I have been enjoying the current vogue for the Georgians, it does seem to be very gentry and metropolitan focussed.  Far from everyone at this time experienced either grinding poverty or, if wealthy, had a pragmatic secular outlook and engaged in frivolous pastimes like dancing, card games and music.  The trading and nascent industrial … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Shell-shock and James Gordon Burnley

James Gordon Burnley enlisted in the Leicestershire Yeomanry in February 1915, with a reference from the august owner of Saltaire (the Salt family’s successor), Sir James Roberts, stating he was distinctly soldier-brained and would make an excellent officer.   Seldom was a man more mistaken.  James Gordon was a little above average height at five foot … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Tracing living relatives

Over the past three years of family history research I have had some wonderful luck in finding people who could help.  Some came from chance meetings from visits to Gomersal and Yorkshire, where my father’s Burnley family lived.  But I have also had important material from people I contacted via Ancestry – when they had … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

From clothier to mill owner

I have written much about my ancestors’ religious life, under the theme ‘Men of God and Commerce’, but practically nothing about their business.  Time to redress the balance I think. My first traceable ancestor William Burnley (1725-1813) was born in Batley, West Riding of Yorkshire, to one Thomas, a clothier.  There is a whole lifestyle … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Genteel poverty in the 1960s

The wrinkled old lady lying in the hospital bed brightened up at the approach of two visitors, whom she recognised.  ‘Matron’, the small bundle commanded, clicking her fingers, ‘bring these ladies tea and biscuits please’.  Her visitors squirmed and shuffled their feet – here was a pauper, in the old workhouse, giving orders to a … Continue reading »

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Sisterly solidarity

Those ‘surplus’ ladies, middle-class spinsters and widows, brought to the public’s attention by the Census in Victorian times, were not all a financial burden on their male relatives.  Throughout the 19th century fathers in my family of mill owners left Wills which divided the family wealth equally among sons and daughters, unlike those with landed … Continue reading »

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