The Fifth Baronet

Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet Rolleston

In the churchyard of St. Mary’s Church, Rolleston on Dove there are many old gravestones. An intriguing one lies next to the West fence railings.

Gravestone

It bears the simple inscription,

“OSWALD MOSLEY, 5TH.BARONET,

BORN DEC. 29TH.1873,

DIED SEPT. 21ST. 1928

“THE LORD OF PEACE GIVE YOU PEACE ALWAYS”

Gravestone b

It is intriguing to find this in the churchyard because inside the church are many plaques and a memorial of earlier Mosleys back to 1638 because they were Lords of the manor of Rolleston until 1928 – the death of the Sir Oswald on this gravestone. Why is it here? Not much has been written about this man. Is there a story that could be told?

Researching the local and national newspapers of 1928 soon revealed various accounts of his funeral ranging from the very short and simple to long and detailed indeed. Extracts from them have been used to give some insight into his life and make interesting reading, but, there is much more to be uncovered about this man.

The Derbyshire Advertiser, September 29, 1928

We regret to state that following his serious illness, Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., died at, his residence, Hilton Lodge near Derby, early on Friday morning. He was the fifth baronet in direct succession from his great-great-grandfather, who was created baronet by George III in 1761. He was also a descendant of Sir Nicholas Mosley, Kt., Lord Mayor of London in 1502 – the same Sir Nicholas who, when the Spaniards were expected to attempt a second time the invasion of England, took very strong measures for the protection of London, raised a corps of five hundred men for service in Ireland, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, who also gave him a carved oak bedstead, a “four poster” with the arms of the Queen and the Mosleys, and several other pieces of furniture. The late Baronet, who was born in December 1873. succeeded his father. Sir Oswald Mosley, of Rolleston Hall, in 1915… There are now three Lady Mosleys living. Elizabeth Constance, the widow the fourth baronet, who resides at Walden Abbotts, Whitwell, Welwyn, Herts; Katherine Maud, widow of the fifth baronet; and Lady Cynthia, wife of the successor to the title. The late Baronet returned from France only few days before his death. He was a Unionist, and keen sportsman, being particularly fond of racing. He was in the Derbyshire Yeomanry and served in Egypt until invalided in 1916…

THE FUNERAL.

The funeral took place at Rolleston on Monday, the service being marked by an appealing simplicity. Sir Oswald was well-known and greatly respected in the village of Rolleston, and the drawn blinds at the cottages were silent, but unmistakable, testimony to the feeling of the inhabitants… An unusually touching figure was “Peter,” the late Sir Oswald’s favourite black Labrador retriever, which was led by a chauffeur. The bearers were six old employees of the estate. They were Messrs. A. Bennett, W. Walker. R. Woolley, F. Bladon, H. Topley and H. Woolley.

A muffled peal was rung on the church bells as the funeral party approached. The party entered by the north aisle, and it was through that entrance that Sir Oswald last attended service at Rolleston, on the evening of Whitsunday. The service was conducted the Rev. William Bagnall. Rector of Rolleston, assisted by the Rev. E. Wardle, Vicar of Anslow. The choir was in attendance under the direction of Mr. A. G. Greening, the organist and choirmaster. The hymns at the service were ‘’Abide with me” and “Jesu, Lover of soul.” Mr. Greening played Tchaikovsky’s “Chanson Triste” on the organ and Dvorak’s “Largo” from “The New World.” and “Funeral Prelude” (Charnock). At the close of the service he played The Dead March from “Saul.” The hymn. “Abide with me” was Sir Oswald Mosley’s favourite.

The late Sir Oswald preferred not to be buried in the family vault. He gave a piece of land eight years ago for an extension the churchyard and was the first to be buried there. He chose the site of his grave himself on the last occasion he visited the church. The grave was lined with evergreens.

The coffin was of plain oak. with brass nameplate inscribed. “Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet. Born Dec. 29th. 1873; died Sept. 21st., 1938.”

Sir Oswald’s mother was unable attend the funeral but sent a simple and touching token of her sorrow. It was a small bunch of rosemary, to which was attached the message, evidently in her own hand; “Rosemary for remembrance, from my garden. Dearest Waldie; till our next meeting. Mother.”

It is worth noting that he gave the land for the extension of the churchyard eight years before and it is next to what was the Mosleys’ private entrance to the churchyard from Rolleston Hall and also adjacent to the Old Grammar School which was the cause a dispute between his family and the rector of the time which resulted in the church becoming owners of the building rather than the Mosley family. Also notable was the fact that he had attended church quite recently and chosen the grave site himself and that he chose to enter through the North door like the rest of the congregation. This may have been an acknowledgement of his support for the views of the church in another acrimonious dispute between the rector and the Mosley family about access to the Mosley Aisle and the South Door.

The family mourners were joined by many representatives from his extensive and varied interests and pastimes as well as employees and other villagers.

Some of these interests will be explored further. For example, there hangs a picture of him at the bottom of the staircase in The Spread Eagle pub in Rolleston on Dove. He was in hunting dress at one of the frequent meetings of the Meynell Hunt outside Rolleston Hall.

Outside the Hall

(If the caption is correct this is probably when he was temporarily running the estate between 1913 and 1915 ).

He was pictured with Rolleston cricket team who won the Burton Cup in 1920.

With Cricket team

His family affairs were unconventional. His son, the Sixth Baronet’s Memoir, “My Life” contains the following passage;

“In my early childhood I hardly knew my father, as a separation had occurred when I was five years old, and he was regarded as something of an ogre by my mother’s family…My grandfather had a robust dislike of his son…The origin of the feud was rather obscure… My grandfather in crisp summary used to say he could sometimes tolerate a merry blackguard, but he could not endure a gloomy one…this word now has a quite different connotation, my grandfather did not mean it to do with dishonesty. What he had in mind apparently were certain performances in my father’s early manhood when he … established himself in a local inn, The Dog and Partridge … (and)… set out to emulate the record of a remote ancestor who was reputedly known as the Tutbury Tup. These events on his own doorstep were regarded by my grandfather as an affront both to the proprieties and to the local reputation of the family.”

This was written many years after his father’s death which might have led to a softening of tone or glossing over of the facts which will be revealed in the following pages.

He was born in a house called Fryers (Fryars or Friars) on the outskirts of Beaumaris on the island of Anglesey. Several newspapers both local and national carried a brief announcement in the first few days of 1874;

MOSLEY – On the 29th ult., at The Fryers, Beaumaris, Elizabeth Constance, wife of Oswald Mosley, eldest son of Sir Tonman Mosley of Rolleston Hall, Bart., of a son.

Pictures of this house are hard to come by as subsequent occupants have, quite understandably, valued their privacy but an old drawing from an earlier time gives some indication of the style his family were living in when he was born. (They had been at a hotel in Bangor some months earlier, perhaps looking for a house to rent).

His father, also called Oswald, had married Elizabeth, Constance White 22nd January 1873 when he was twenty-one. She was only twenty and the daughter of a Knight. Her mother was widowed and, even though she was in favour of the marriage, they had to seek legal permission to marry. This was granted. He had to wait until his father died in 1890 before he inherited his title. How he occupied his time in the interim is currently a matter of conjecture though the family moved around before settling down. After the birth of his son he became a J.P. and is recorded as such in the 1881 census. He and his wife, Elizabeth, Constance, went on to have three daughters.

By the 1891 census his father was now Sir Oswald Mosley, 4th. Baronet and was in occupation of Rolleston Hall but Oswald the 1891 census Oswald was a Boarder aged 17 in Hampton, Uxbridge, Middlesex. No occupation is listed. He was, however boarding with the Rev. Charles Stephen who took in pupils for the Army. Other sources claim that he was at Eton for a while before studying for the Army and going to Sandhurst. Ten years later and now married he was a visitor to St. James Place in Westminster, living on his own means. His wife, meanwhile was living with her parents and her two sons in Knightsbridge. This bears out what his son claimed about an estrangement in his memoir quoted earlier.  When the father could only visit the boys for a few weeks each and never at school. He also had to provide financial support for the children.He opposed these arrangements but was over-ruled – though he remained rather tardy in his payments right until 1914.

His father, the 4th Baronet, a pillar of the community, was a noted breeder of cattle and horses and well-known nationally for this as well as his interest in Natural History and horticulture. What he thought of this matter is best left to the imagination.

He kept control of all his own affairs until 1913 when ill-health induced him to hand control of Rolleston Hall and its Estate over to his son. Throughout this time Oswald seems to have spent his time buying, selling and racing horses, hunting, playing polo and being “in society”. He joined the Derbyshire Yeomanry in about 1894 which carried out several spectacular ceremonial events in Derbyshire before WW1.

Derbyshire Yeomanry

Although this is not Oswald himself, it gives an idea of the glamorous figure he must have cut. He also took part in several race meetings in England and Ireland with his own horses and for other owners. Horses with names such as “Gangbridge” and “Rambler II” on which he won the Foxhunters’ Hurdle Race at Leopardstown in 1898 at 3 to 1 with a prize of 50 guineas, carrying 10st. 12lb. though he could get down to 8st. if needed. He loved point-to- point racing and playing polo.

In 1913 his father the 4th. Baronet became unwell and was advised to move south to a warmer climate so, despite any misgivings he might have had, he handed control of the Rolleston Estate to him. However, by 1914 the 4th. Baronet’s health had improved markedly so he changed his mind and wanted to resume control himself, but Oswald refused to hand over the accounts book. This resulted in much bad feeling leading to the two men only communicating through solicitors. It led to a court case which the newspapers gleefully reported.

Pall Mall Gazette – Wednesday 08 July 1914

SIR OSWALD MOSLEY AND HIS SON.

SETTLEMENT OF ACTION AGAINST A BARONET.

THE FAMILY SEAT.

CHANCERY DIVISION.

Before Mr Justice Joyce. An action against Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., brought by his son, Mr. Oswald Mosley, of Rolleston Hall. Burton-on-Trent, was settled after a consultation between the leading counsel engaged in the case. It had been stated in the course of interlocutory proceedings that by a family arrangement the son had been put in possession of the family seat and given the management of the estates under deed, the operation of which was terminable at three months’ notice. The notice to determine the arrangement had been duly given by Sir Oswald Mosley, and now the son sought to restrain his father from acting upon it. After a consultation in court, Mr. Lawrence, K.C., for the plaintiff, said that the happy result of the consultation was that the parties had met, and a compromise had been arrived at. He would not trouble to give any details of the terms, but there was one important matter that Mr. Hughes would mention. Mr. Hughes, K.C. (for Sir Oswald Mosley): On behalf of Sir Oswald I desire say that his reason for putting an end to the agreement was not any circumstance which reflects upon Mr. Mosley. Mr. Lawrence: There will a consent order on terms agreed. The Judge: Yes.

There were even pictures in the popular press.

Mosleys at Court

The resolution of the case surrounded the younger Oswald not wanting his father to see his personal accounts which had been recorded in the Estate Account Book. The judge directed that these pages should be cut out and kept by him and the book returned to his father.

By the time war broke out in 1914 Sir Oswald had re-joined the Derbyshire Yeomanry who were being mobilised to serve overseas.

His medal card shows that he was a Captain who reached the Egypt Theatre of War on the 7th December 1915 and was entitled to wear the appropriate medals. Various publications give some insight into the fighting and conditions the regiment faced before, during and after the Gallipoli campaign. He may have missed the Gallipoli debacle but was lucky to survive such service. Although not mentioned by name, a good account of the Derbyshire Yeomanry in WW1 can be read in “THE DERBYSHIRE YEOMANRY WAR HISTORY, 1914-1919, by Lieut.-Colonel G.A.Strutt, T.D., The Naval & Military Press Ltd. 2005.

His father, the 4th Baronet, died in 1915 and he inherited the title – though his father’s will made interesting reading.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal – Friday 18 February 1916

WILL OF SIR OSWALD MOSLEY BART.

The will of Sir Oswald Mosley, Rolleston Hall, Burton, who died on October 10th, aged 67, has left unsettled estate of the gross value of £94,198, and the nett personalty £67,355. The testator gives £100 and three months’ wages to his bailiff at Abingworth; £100 and three months’ wages his secretary; three months’ wages to his estate foreman, Ryder; three months’ wages each of his servants of five years’ service, and one month’s wages those of one year’s service. £3 to each of his indoor servants for mourning : his clothes, boots, and shoes to his valet: £10,000 in trust for each, of his grandsons, Edward Heathcote Mosley and John Noel Mosley; £100 each to his brothers, Tonman Mosley and Ernald Mosley; £10 to Alec John Ram, K.C.; £5,000 to Charles Robert French; and £500 in trust for Alfred Octavius Kirby, for life, with remainder his daughters, his wife and daughters being amply provided for. The residue of the property is to be held in trust during life of his son, Oswald, to apply the income thereof for the benefit of his grandson. Oswald Ernald Mosley, and his wife and family; and on the death of his son is to follow the trusts of a settlement of the family estates. The testator directs his executors not to allow his body to be screwed down in the coffin until some sugeon had certified death, the cause thereof, and had opened the veins in his neck, and open bottle of chloroform is to be placed in his coffin.

In any event the new Baronet soon began to make his presence felt by using Rolleston Hall as a venue for fundraising activities for The British Red Cross Society, wounded soldiers and sailors as well as reviving the Meynell Annual Agricultural Show. He exploited his various contacts to bring performers from far and wide to make these events very successful. He also played his part on the social seen attending local balls and other events.

From December 1916,

FORTHCOMING RED CROSS CONCERT AT ROLLESTON HALL. Country concerts are so rare in these days that, there should be a crowded attendance in ballroom Hall next Friday when Sir Oswald Mosley’s effort on behalf of the Red Cross takes place.

THE RED CROSS CONCERT AT ROLLESTON HALL. are informed Sir Oswald that the concert promoted him Hall on Friday evening realised £100. Proceeds, already stated, will handed over to the funds of the Red Cross Society. Sir Oswald has secured the Hippodrome at Derby for a Saturday afternoon in March, when he intends to give a concert on behalf of selected war charities.

September 1917,

CHILDREN’S FETE AT ROLLESTON HALL. Thursday last the whole of the school children Rolleston and the adjoining villages were entertained to tea by kind invitation of Sir Oswald, Mosley. Bart. The proceedings were favoured by delightful weather, and the youngsters had jolly time in the spacious grounds adjoining the hall. Games of all kinds were indulged in, and sports were also held for the elder children. Tea was served in the conservatory, the youngsters numbering over 200. At the tea interval Sir Oswald spoke of the pleasure bad given him to see the child-t ren, and said he was of the opinion that the war ought not to interfere with the simple joys of child life. hoped a’s they grew up they would realise and appreciate the sacrifices which were being made for them by their parents brothers. They were not old enough at present to comprehend the ungrudging sacrifices which were being made, but in years come they would understand what was being done for them At the conclusion hearty cheers were given for Sir Oswald. It should added that the local farmers conveyed the children to the hall in wagons

1918

GRAND FETE IN ROLLESTON HALL GROUNDS, SUCCESSFUL CHARITABLE EFFORT. A highly successful fete, ably organised by Sir Oswald Mosley. Bart., of Rolleston Hall, assisted by Mrs. Guy Winterbottom. was held in the charming grounds of Rolleston Hall, on Whit-Monday, in aid of the families of killed and disabled soldiers and sailors in the war belonging to Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Of the many efforts which have been necessitated by this terrible war none can be more deserving than this appeal on behalf of those unfortunate families whose lives have been saddened the loss or disablement of those most dear to them. Sir Oswald Mosley and Mrs. Guy Winterbottom are to be congratulated upon having arranged such an attractive fete to raise funds for this deserving cause, for not only have they secured the substantial sum of £450. but they provided delightful outing for the 4,000 visitors from all parts of the district, who welcomed the opportunity of spending a half-day amid such glorious surroundings as Rolleston Hall Grounds. Everything seemed to happily combine to make the proceedings enjoyable. The weather was lovely. Throughout the afternoon the bright and cheerful sunshine sent its rays of welcome light dancing through the foliage of the beautiful old trees, and the genial nature of the day brought out some pretty summer dresses, forming a pleasing contrast to the green leaves and grass, and rendering the picture charming and animated one. The whole of the grounds were thrown open to the public, and were looking at their best. The freshness of the foliage, with all its beautiful and varied tints, was most striking, and the glass houses and gardens. which, as usual, were kept up to the highest standard, looked very promising, and were greatly admired. Apart from the worthy object of the effort, which found a ready and enthusiastic response, the fete provided an outing for a vast crowd of visitors who benefited from a health point of view after their arduous labours in the office or workshop. An attractive programme of entertainments had been provided, and the joint hon. secretaries, Messrs. T. H. Barron and F. Bailey, had spared no effort to make the event a success. They were ably assisted by strong and enthusiastic committee, including Messrs. T. B. Shercliff (chairman). F. Burbridge, J. H. Topley, A. Buxton. J. Alton, O. Walker, S. Taylor, jun., S. Bushton, J. Topley, with T. H. Barron and F. A. Bailey as hon. secretaries. The refreshments and tea department was in the capable bands of Mesdames Barron, Bailey, Burbridge, Daphne, Woolley, Allen, Pickard, Fletcher, and Johnson. Early in the afternoon large crowds of visitors were arriving from all directions, and special trains were run for the occasion from Ashby to Burton, bringing many people from all the surrounding villages. Large numbers of Derby and Burton people were also present, and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was spent. Sir Oswald Mosley’s guests and supporters included the Dowager Lady Mosley, the Dowager Lady Burton, the Misses Thornewill (Rangemoor), Lady Price, Colonel and Mrs. McKay, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Evershed, Mr. W. H. Stein. Mr. and Mrs. Trafford Wynne and party, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Newton and party, Mrs. Johnson (Foston), Col. and Mrs. Winterbottom and party (Aston), Mrs. Guy Winterbottom, Capt. Fielden. the Misses Morrison. Miss Phyllis Wilks, Mr. and Mrs. Claud Burt and party (Rangemore). Mr. Chas. Harrison (Burton). Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Charrington (Dove Cliff). Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Manners, Mr. Harry Manners. Mr. Ernest Manners, Mr. Hincks, Mr. and Mrs. A. O. Fuller and party (Derby), Mr. D. Carlisle. Mr. L. A. Carlisle, Mrs. Brace. Mr. H. Giles, Mr. H. W. Goodere, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Turner, Mr. and Mrs. Hincks. Mrs. H. M. Hollins, Mrs. D’Arcy Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Kerapson, Mr. and Mrs. L. Frank, Mrs. Herbert Johnson. Mrs. FitzHerbcrt Wright, Major and Mrs. Wilmot Sitwell, the Rev. D. Owen, Mr. and Mrs. Yeomans, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Evershed, Mr. and Mrs. Hurdle. Major and Mrs. Baguley. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, the Misses Morrison, and others. Much interest was taken in a football match between the girl monition workers from Burton and wounded soldiers, and plenty of good sport was provided. The girls played exceptionally well, and at half-time were winning by three goals to two. whilst when the whistle blew for time they had scored five goals against four by the wounded soldiers, and were cheered at having been so successful. Both sides played very smartly, but the girls had an advantage over their opponents, for the men played with their hands tied behind them. Later jn the afternoon much interest was taken in a hockey match, between Winshlll ladies and Derby Ladies (Rolls-Royce). Other games included skittles and bowls, and there were numerous side shows. Variety entertainments were provided by “Les Demoiselles.” A high-class concert party from Derby, who contributed a lengthy and enjoyable programme, and “The Merry Munitioners,” whose efforts were loudly applauded. The party was comprised of munition workers from Burton, and they wore effective costumes, and provided capital entertainment. The chief feature of the day was a pigeon race, arranged by Sir Oswald Mosley, which created plenty of excitement. Tickets were sold on the grounds, and the numbers of the birds flown were drawn for. Sir Oswald flew twenty of his noted racing birds from Sheffield to his Rolleston loft, and these included pigeons which had flown many hundreds of miles, some from the South of France, a distance of 600 miles. All unsold tickets were put for auction prior to the arrival of the birds, the auctioneer being Mr. Harrison, Burton. An auction sale of numerous articles of a varied nature, kindly given by friends, was also held on the grounds, which helped very considerably to swell the funds. The Burton Excelsior Band was in attendance, and played a number of pleasing and up-to-date selections. Sir Oswald bad kindly thrown open the ballroom at the hall for dancing in the evening, which was greatly enjoyed, whilst an enormous amount of interest was taken in the museum, which was also open to visitors, and instructive display attracted large crowds throughput the day. Boating on the lake proved enjoyable, and Sir Oswald Mosley deserves the highest praise for having arranged the on such excellent and attractive lines. Mr. Chas. Harrison, during the auction sale, announced the following winning numbers in connection with the pigeon sweepstakes: First, 137; second. 1.095; third. 313; fourth, 1,551. The sweepstake tickets realised £50.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, Friday 6th. August 1920

MEYNELL HUNT AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL EXHIBITION. EXCELLENT SHOW OF STOCK,

The twenty-fifth annual show in connection with the Meynell Hunt Agricultural Society was held in the Park at Rolleston Hall (kindly lent Sir Oswald Mosley Bart.), Monday last. The Show has been held abeyance since 1916, but renewed with some very fine exhibits, and was well attended. Six hundred guineas in prizes were offered, in addition to seven challenge cups, two gold medals, and two silver medals …

The Tatler, Wednesday 6 April 1821

At Hurlingham

The last race Oswald rode was a point to point on Rambler II which he won but was disqualified because he was overweight.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Monday,19th December 1923

Trophies Presented at Burton.

At a Burton-on-Trent smoking concert, attended by some 1,400 representatives of various athletic clubs in the district, Wyebrow, the pitmen’s light-weight champion of Mansfield, and Billy Jordan, the local light-weight champion, boxed a draw over ten rounds. Both men gave a splendid account!. Mr. Eastburn (Sheffield) presented the gloves, which were auctioned for the benefit of the Infirmary, and Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., who purchased them for £6 10s.. caused great amusement by donning them in the ring and “boxing” a round with the M.C..

Staffordshire Advertiser 6th January 1923

The annual examination the children of Rolleston School took place on the 17lh December last,(i.e. 1922) before Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart, the Rev. John Peploe Mosley, the Rev. Paget Mosley, and several the Inhabitants of Rolleston, who were all highly gratified with the progress they had made during the last year, particularly in writing and arithmetic. to the highest branches which several the boys have attained. Books were distributed, as usual, amongst the scholars according to their respective merit. And deserved approbation was given to Mr. Eley, the Schoolmaster, for his assiduity and attention in the care and instruction of his numerous pupils.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, 8th December 1925

Rolleston Hall, the seat of Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart was the scene of festive hospitality on Friday last in celebration of the twenty-first birthday of his eldest son, Mr. Oswald Mosley. A select party of relatives and intimate friends was invited to dinner, and in the evening a very large company, consisting the principal families in the neighbourhood, assembled to partake of a ball and supper. The evening visitors were invited for ten o’clock, and dancing commenced nearly at that hour, so that as the respective parties arrived they were at once ushered into the ballroom. The apartment appropriated for this purpose was the very handsome dining-room lately added to this noble mansion, and in this the company, amounting to about two hundred, were delightfully accommodated. Supper was announced about half-past one, and it was spread out on a long array of tables in the gallery. It is needless to say that consisted of every delicacy which the season and the hospitality the worthy Baronet could supply. The health the promising heir of the family was drunk with every mark of respect and all the enthusiasm of good wishes, and he returned thanks for the honour thus offered on his coming of age with much propriety, modesty, and good feeling. Th© company began to disperse soon after three o’clock, but many remained till a much later hour.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, 24th November 1925

A request having been made to Mr. Cropper, of Liverpool, to visit this town, with the view of stating his sentiments on the condition of the Slave population, and the most efficient means of promoting their amelioration and ultimately their emancipation, with this request he kindly complied. And it is much to be regretted that it was impossible to communicate information of the time and place of Mr. C.’s delivering his sentiments by any means so widely as was desired. Nevertheless, was met on Wednesday morning a£ the King’s Head highly respectable company of about fifty gentlemen. Wm. Evans, Esq., M.P., having been called on the motion of Sir Oswald Mosley to the chair, read a letter from Sir George Crewe expressive of warm feelings in the cause; his wish and purpose to have been present on any other day, but regretting his inability to attend on that morning. then introduced Mr. Cropper, who gave a great deal of information on a subject becoming every year more interesting. At the close, ‘ after having very obligingly and satisfactorily given information on several points suggested by different gentlemen, a motion made by t.ie Rev. Mr. Higginson and seconded by Wm. Strutt, Esq., conveying a vote of thanks to Mr. Cropper for his enlightened and luminous details, and pledging themselves to promote the great object of emancipation, and referring it to a committee to adopt such measures as should seem most effectual for that purpose, was passed unanimously. Such a committee was then proposed by Sir M. Blakiston and seconded by Jeffrey Lockett, Esq , and the following persons were appointed to the office: —Sir George Crewe, Esq., Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., Wm. Evans, Esq., M P., E. S. C. Pole, Captain Heathcote, Dr. Bent, Wm. Strutt, Esq., J. Strutt, Esq., J. Lockett, Esq., Newton, Esq., Rev. P. Johnson, Rev. J. Harrison, Rev. G. Higginson, Mr. Longden, together with the secretary of the Anti- Slavery Society.

All these activities took place while the Hall and estate were up for sale because, as the Sixth Baronet wrote in his auto biography, “I persuaded him to sell the house and estate”.

There were disagreements between father and son, particularly over the son’s change of political allegience.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Monday, 12th April 1926

SIR OSWALD MOSLEY WRITES TO THE PRESS ABOUT HIS SOCIALIST SON. RELINQUISH WEALTH INSTEAD OF TITLE.

Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., writing from the Carlton Club, Pall Mall, has addressed the following letter to the ” Daily Mail ” :— My attention has been drawn to statements in the British and American Press that my son, Mr. Oswald Ernald Mosley, and my daughter-in-law, Lady Cynthia, desire to relinquish their titles. I would like to state that my family were Whigs and turned Tory. I am, and intend to remain, a Conservative, and it has occurred to me that more valuable help would be rendered to the country by my Socialist son and daughter-in-law if, instead of achieving cheap publicity about the relinquishing of titles, they would take more material action and relinquish some of their wealth and so help to make easier the plight of some of their more unfortunate followers.

He died Sept. 21st., 1928.

The funeral took place at Rolleston on Monday, the service being marked by an appealing simplicity. Sir Oswald was well-known and greatly respected in the village of Rolleston, and the drawn blinds at the cottages were silent, but unmistakable, testimony to the feeling of the inhabitants.

Sir Oswald Mosley, the heir, who had travelled from the Riviera during the weekend, arrived on Monday morning and proceeded to Hilton and thence to Rolleston for the service. His wife, Lady Cynthia Mosley, was unable to present.

The family mourners were Sir Oswald Mosley (eldest son), Lady Mosley (widow), Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mosley (second son and daughter-in-law); Mr. John Mosley (third son); Colonel and Mrs. McKie (brother-in-law and eldest sister); Mrs. Ellison (sister); Mr. Gerald Ellison and Mr. Victor Ellison (nephews).

Members of the household staff accompanied the mourners from Hilton Lodge. They were Miss Hipkiss (housekeeper), Mr. Yeomans (chauffeur), Mr. Dykes (gardener). Mrs. Birch, a former housekeeper, was also present. An unusually touching figure was “Peter,” the late Sir Oswald’s favourite black Labrador retriever, which was led by a chauffeur. The bearers were six old employees of the estate. They were Messrs. A. Bennett, W. Walker. R. Woolley, F. Bladon, H. Topley and H. Woolley.

A muffled peal was rung on the church bells as the funeral party approached. The party entered by the north aisle, and it was through that entrance that Sir Oswald last attended service at Rolleston, on the evening of Whitsunday. The service was conducted the Rev. William Bagnall. Rector of Rolleston, assisted by the Rev. E. Wardle, Vicar of Anslow. The choir was in attendance under the direction of Mr. A. G. Greening, the organist and choirmaster. The hymns at the service were ‘’Abide with me” and “Jesu, Lover of soul.” Mr. Greening played Tchaikovsky’s “Chanson Triste” on the organ and Dvorak’s “Largo” from “The New World.” and “Funeral Prelude” (Charnock). At the close of the service he played The Dead March from “Saul.” The hymn. “Abide with me” was Sir Oswald Mosley’s favourite.

The late Sir Oswald preferred not to be buried in the family vault. He gave a piece of land eight years ago for an extension the churchyard and was the first to be buried there. He chose the site of his grave himself on the last occasion he visited the church. The grave was lined with evergreens.

The coffin was of plain oak. with brass nameplate inscribed. “Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet. Born Dec. 29th. 1873; died Sept. 21st., 1928.”

Sir Oswald’s mother was unable attend the funeral but sent a simple and touching token of her sorrow. It was a small bunch of rosemary, to which was attached the message, evidently in her own hand; “Rosemary for remembrance, from my garden. Dearest Waldie; till our next meeting. Mother.”

SIR O. MOSLEY’S WILL

Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., of Hilton Lodge. near Derby. left unsettled estate valued at £5,764. There are bequests to his mother and sister (who is an executrix). The residue is left on trust for his housekeeper, Mary Elisabeth Hipkiss, ” who has faithfully and looked after me in various illnesses for over 16 years.”

What are we to make of him? How can a life like his be summarised succinctly? Physically vigorous and active – though developing habits of heavy drinking as he became older and heavier. His son’s opinion of him is worth recording, “his faults were mostly of superficial character, but led to some rather disastrous results. Abounding vitality and physical energy were wasted. All went well in his youth, when he had considerable success as an amateur jockey, but when years and weight brought this to an end he did not know what to do with himself. Art and music were certainly represented in his own little house…there was a disturbing tale about some of the extra money being used to buy the fastest car of the period – strong in the engine , but weak in the brake … which ran smack through the closed gates of a respected neighbour. He died of sclerosis of the liver … at the early age of fifty-four … he had many good and endearing qualities.

Lord Horder was doctor to three generations of our family (and stated that) my father’s excesses were enough to have killed several men.”

He was a complex man who was never reconciled to his father or wife and was distant with his sons. Before the Great War he lived for his own interests and pleasures, afterwards he tried, briefly, to live the life of the Lord of the Manor and still pursue his own interests. His father’s will constrained his life and with his son showing no interest in continuing to live that sort of life he broke up and sold the estate at Rolleston, changing the village for ever which coincided with the ending of the Great War, itself changing life throughout the country. Yet out of this upheaval came an influx of small independent farmers, tradesmen and artisans who sustained the life of the village as well as forcing many to leave the village to seek employment and build a new life elsewhere.

Perhaps, with the passage of time it is best to leave it to this obituary from a long-defunct publication;

Obituary pic

SIR OSWALD MOSLEY 5TH BARONET

Born December 29th1873 – Died 21st September 1928

A country gentleman of the old school.

He was fond of shooting, motoring, racing and box

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Dear Cousin Jim.., a window into the past.

 

It is January 2018. I am confined to the house by a minor foot ailment. To fill in the time I looked through some old notes made some years ago and there it was. A transcript of a letter from a woman in Rolleston written to her cousin July 1st1861. How had I missed this? I love family documents, but I had never read this before. Anyway, it might not be very interesting after all. Still, it was a miserable day, so I set to – with low expectations.

This is what I read,

“Rolleston, July 1st, 1865.

Dear Cousin Jim,

I now have pleasure in answering your long and looked for letter, as I daresay you will be as glad to hear from us as we are to hear from you. Nothing could have given us more pleasure than we had in receiving your letters for we quite thought that you must all be dead but instead you have had an increase and we are so glad to hear that you are all quite well and hope these lines will find you still enjoying good health and I am happy to say that we are all enjoying the best of health at this time.

It gives me pleasure to tell you that we have only had one misfortune since you left England and that I will explain as well as I can. It was in February that my brother Tom had the misfortune to have his arm broken, so as to render it necessary to have his arm taken off just below the elbow, but he goes to work again, and it is going on we hope very well. It hurt his head and almost cut his right ear off. It is his left arm as is cut off. The accident happened at Burton Railway Station. He has worked there from last Spring but one and was doing well till this happened. I might have been worse for it was a train which knocked him down and one of the carriages ran over his arm. It was the Saturday night before Rolleston Wakes. He was on nights – he went to work at 4 o’clock and there came news home at eight that he was run over. He stayed at Burton unable to be moved till Tuesday and then they brought him home in a Fly. It was no wake at our house, he kept his bed for two months and then he got up in the day a little and by degrees he got out of doors again, and now goes to work. He bore it very well indeed. He had a man night and day from the railways to wait on him. It was a great trouble to us all, but it was the will of God it should be so and, so we bore it patiently. Accidents will happen to all families.

Joe is not married, he lives at home with my father. There is plenty for him to do. Father keeps 19 cows and two horses and 9 … no I need not say any more of that, only, he has got 9 store pigs and a sow with 7 and another expecting to pig. I will now say a little of myself. I am in service as Jane still lives with my father, she says she can manage without me. I am doing a little for myself, I have lived two years at Horninglow and a living my second year at Mr. Holbrook’s. I shall have been out 4 years in service next Michaelmas. Mr. Holbrook and Mrs. are glad to hear of you doing well.

Sir Oswald is still alive and looks well saying he is turned his 80th year. Miss Mosley and Miss Emilie are still with Sir Oswald. Lady Mosley is dead. Miss Octavie is married to a clergyman and lives in London. Miss Letitia has married an independent gentleman and lives in Rolleston Villa. The Rector lives at the Rectory. His son has married a Roman Catholic lady. They have no family. Robinsons live at the Eagle yet; Miss Mary has married a farmer and lives where Mr. Talbot lived. (Mr. Talbot is dead, and Mrs. Talbot is married to Mr. Heath). Thomas Robinson is married and does the farm at Home. He had 6 children. Cousin Fanny Shelly is married but has got a bad husband. My Aunt Bates is dead, and Uncle Bates is married again. I have not seen William Gibbons for a long time, but I believe he is married, his mother is dead. Old Mrs. Eley is dead some years ago. It is a pity you are so short of females in America for there are sadly too many in England. I am glad to hear of Myra doing well and I hope she will write to us now we have once more found each other. Tom and Bob are young men I suppose by this. We should be so happy to see you all again and my little cousins which we have not seen. I should like you to come and have a look at Burton, you would not know it to be the same place, it is so enlarged with Breweries and Houses. They employ thousands of men. It is quite a job for the farmers to get men.

We have a thrashing machine in Rolleston that goes along the road by steam and thrashes by steam.

I must conclude this time with my very best love and well wishes to you all and hope to hear from you again soon. I remain,

Your affectionate Cousin,

Ann Shelly

P.S. Your white rose tree stands by the doors yet. It has been covered with roses this year. I often look at the shop and think about you. It is still a shoemaker’s shop.”

There was a little note with it, “Ann Shelly’s letter, aged 20, to her cousin in Blue Springs, Nebraska, U.S.A. Her brother Tom was involved in an accident at Burton Railway the previous February.

What a gem. The contents were interesting enough but now I wanted to know more about these people and their lives.

During the next few days (and weeks) many interesting hours were spent on the internet. I learned a lot about local railways and the Shelly family. I felt that it deserved a wider audience. I hope you agree.

To begin with, it is hard for us to realise just how delayed communication could be. No telephone or internet that we take for granted today. Letters from abroad could take weeks to arrive – even if you had an accommodation address.

I began with a trawl through old newspapers. I soon found this cutting from the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal of Friday 10th February 1865.

Cutting tom shelly

This is “brother Tom,” born in Rolleston in 1843. It is worth just thinking about his accident for a while. It seems that his arm was amputated at the scene of the accident. No anaesthetic and with other injuries. The wound probably cauterised, maybe even coated with hot tar and then he was take to a nearby inn where he rested for three days. He must have had a strong constitution. It is worth remembering that about half of all amputations were fatal. It was interesting to see that a man from the Railway company came to help him while he was confined to bed for two months. Was this normal for injured employees? It was certainly more philanthropic than I expected.

It is possible to trace Tom’s subsequent career from the census returns. He returned to work on the railways becoming a foreman and getting married in 1870. Then he moved to Horninglow and had a career change becoming Rate and Tax Collector, House Agent and finally a House and Insurance agent. He and his wife produced seven children who all married and themselves had children. He died on the 30th September 1933 aged 90 eight years after his wife passed away.

The writer, Ann Shelly, was born in Rolleston in 1846. She married Enoch Johnson in 1871 and moved out of the village. They had three children who all married and had children.

Cousin Jim was James  the son of Francis Shelly who had moved away from Rolleston soon after finishing his apprenticeship as a shoe maker in the cottage next to Rolleston Club.

The writer, Ann Shelly was born in Rolleston and lived with the rest of her family in Barn Farm, which is in what is known as Chapel lane today.

barn farm

In 1870 she married Enoch Johnson and moved away from the parish. In due course they had three children who also married and produced children of their own, but not in Rolleston.

Her elder brother Joseph Shelly worked the farm and married Elizabeth Taylor in 1878, from an ancient Rolleston farming family and they produced four children. One of them remained in the village and in time worked the farm living in the farmhouse. His grandchildren were the long-established “Shelly sisters” well-known to many villagers, who only died recently.

“Cousin Jim” was James William Shelly who travelled to the USA by sailing ship with his parents and siblings, arriving 21st June 1855. (Ship John Rutledge, insert extract from passenger list). The journey took over six weeks.

Although he was born in Melbourne in Derbyshire his father Francis Shelly a shoemaker was born in Rolleston but moved to Melbourne to get married where he was when the 1841 census was taken. By then James’s sister Myra, mentioned in Ann’s letter, had been born. James himself was born in 1843 and the family returned to Rolleston, probably to live in this house – the right-hand side half of it – before they left for America.

cobblers house

James did have two new brothers born in America which were obviously referred to in his letters.

Francis Shelly left with his family on 7th May 1855 and arrived in New York on 21st June 1855 on the Ship John Rutledge with Captain, William A. Sands. To give some idea of the risks involved this ship was sunk by icebergs just six months later.

All this family went on to settle and establish new areas of Nebraska. The children all married other pioneers and had several children who all played an active part in the development of the new state.

I went on to have many hours discovering obituaries and family trees for everyone else mentioned in the letter but, they will have to be for another day.

 

Votes for Women after WW1

During 2018 I expect that we will be hearing a lot about the centenary of votes for women starting in Britain. As with most things, the reality is different to the slogan. No doubt this will be explored at length by earnest, learned people during the year. I wondered about the effect in Rolleston.

Before I began I thought about notable women I had come across in Rolleston. There was Lady Rolleston who re-married and went as the wife of the Governor of Barbados where they both died.

1n the 1841 census I found four widows with occupations out of the ordinary; Jane Mason and Hannah Higgott described as farmers and Charlotte Higgott, a wheelwright, and Maria Atkin a blacksmith. These were women who carried on their husbands’ businesses until their own deaths.

In subsequent censuses the usual women’s occupations of domestic and farm service were well represented as well as garden workers, laundresses, ladies’ companions, nurses, shopkeepers and school teachers but there was a boot maker in 1881, a cow keeper and milk seller in 1901, and from then on the Whetton sisters were grocers and bakers and then assisting in the business. By 1911 an upholsteress was here as well as Post Office employees as well as an Old Age pensioner formerly a pork butcher.

It is worth remembering that before WW1 to vote in Parliamentary elections you needed to be a man paying an annual rent of at least £10 or owning land valued at £10.

The local government franchise was different. Single women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections from 1869 following the Municipal Franchise Act, confirmed and extended to some married women by the Local Government Act 1894.

At the start of the war, two out of every five men was not eligible to vote. An influential consideration, in addition to the suffrage movement and the growth of the Labour Party, was the fact that only men who had been resident in the country for 12 months prior to a general election were entitled to vote. This effectively disenfranchised many troops who had been serving overseas in the war. With a general election imminent, politicians were persuaded to extend the vote to all men and some women at long last.

On 15 October 1918 the Electoral Roll was produced because the United Kingdom general election of 1918 was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War.

It was the first general election to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918 which meant that it was the first election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. Previously, all women and many poor men had been excluded from voting.

The Electoral Roll was drawn up with three Divisions. Division I contained all those entitled to vote in both Parliamentary Elections and Local Elections which numbered 314. Division II contained those entitled to vote in Parliamentary Elections but not Local Elections and this numbered a further 70 making a total of 384. Division III were those entitled to vote in Local Elections but not in Parliamentary Elections and this contained another 20 names all included because they owned land in Rolleston. The only two in this Division who lived in Rolleston were Mr. and Mrs. Dunicliffe of “Roseneath”, Station Road. I wonder why they were not in Division 1.

Of the 384 entitled to vote 72 were absent voters. One of these, Henry Palmer, lived at the Gardens, East Lodge which was included in Rolleston at that time (his parents among others were included in Division I in places not now regarded as in Rolleston). On closer examination these 72 were all men who were still in the services – some gravely ill in hospital.

It is worth remembering that, for many of the men included in this electoral roll and for all the women, this was the first time they or any one in their position in society had ever been allowed to vote. Any man in the services who had reached 19 years of age was also allowed to vote.

The election was held on Saturday 14 December 1918. It was the first general election to be held on a single day, although the vote count did not take place until 28 December due to the time taken to transport votes from soldiers serving overseas.

It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916 during the war and who was generally regarded as the man responsible for ending the War. Quite a Christmas present!

Looking at the women Parliamentary voters of Rolleston, the majority were entitled to vote because of their husband’s occupation with others by their own occupation. I can’t understand why Margery Spurrier is included with Divison II because of her husband’s occupation. They owned land in Rolleston but lived in Marston on Dove. Is this a mistake? Her husband was an absent voter in the Services on the 1919 electoral roll! Was he under 19 in 1918?

Mr and Mrs. Dunicliffe of “Roseneath”, Station Road, Rolleston are interesting entries. They are not entitled to vote here in Parliamentary elections but are in Local elections by virtue of his and her Occupation. He was a solicitor, but her occupation is a mystery – perhaps a land and property owner?  None of the others in Division III live in Rolleston. They certainly bought the property, but I wonder if they also kept “Mayfield” in Tutbury where they were living in 1911. When their son Eric was killed in WW1 his parents were said to be of “Roseneath”, Rolleston. I wonder if they ever moved in or just rented the property. Maybe they were here for a very short while before they moved to Burton.

As for the other women entitled to vote in their own right in Parliamentary elections;

Alderson Minnie Emily Beechmount
Archer Catherine Eliza Station road
Austin Lilian Maria Brookside
Bates Clara Station road
Birch Mrs Maria Dove Cliff road
Bowen Emily Cinder lane
Causer/Cawser Hannah Elizabeth 12 New  row
Collier Elizabeth Bladon’s yard
Cox Emma Elizabeth Norbury House
Dale Sarah Brookside
Dicken Ellen Bladon’s yard
Fisher Sarah Station road
Forman Helena Edith Holmby, Station road
Gammage Annie Dove Cliff road
Goodhead Hannah 2 New  row
Grimley Mary Burton road
Hanslow Selina Village street
Hinsley Ann Village street
Howes Caroline Dovedale
Kinson Mrs. Alice Village street
Mason Mabel Dovedale
Mountford Jane 10 New  row
Oliver Jane Cinder lane
Peace Elizabeth The Almshouses
Penny Annie Brookside
Rushton/Ruston Jane Station road
Sears Annie Burnaston House
Simmonds Miss Annie Post Office
Topps Rachel Tutbury road
Twigg Miss Harriett Brookside
Watson Mary Brookside
Whetton Emma The Bakery
Whetton Fanny The Bakery
Whetton Louisa The Bakery
Winterbottom Reva The Cottage

 

There were 36 of them and only six of them lived in households which contained a man. Three of them, Emma, Fanny and Louisa Whetton lived with their brother William Henry and all were unmarried and voters.

In 1911 Minnie Alderson lived at Beechmount on what was then Cinder Lane, now Beacon Road with her husband and five children. Her husband was a customs officer who died in 1917 the same year that their son died of wounds. He was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery.

Lilian Maria Austin, Emma Elizabeth Cox and Reva Winterbottom were war widows – others had left the village.

The whole thing seems to have passed with very little comment in the village, or at least very little has been recorded. There is nothing in the records of the “Commem.” or the Parish Council. I wonder if it was mentioned in the Church magazine or any other records. This seems odd because it was a momentous occasion. Admittedly things had happened quickly. After the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918, the Representation of the People Act came into effect. Although 8.5 million women met the criteria, but this only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. The same act abolished property and other restrictions for men, and extended the vote to all men over the age of 21. Additionally, men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The electorate increased from eight to 21 million, but there was still huge inequality between women and men.

 

7TH ROLLESTON HISTORY DAY, NOVEMBER 2017

Instead of a blog from me summarising last year’s History Day this is an article from the Spring edition of the “Rollestonian” by Tom Martin who organised it. It is published with his permission.

Attendees heard two very interesting presentations on the current state of the Civic Trust’s village tree survey and on the Rolleston Station project by Clive Baker.

The larger part of the day was spent on discussion of the recently recovered Rolleston Manor Court Rolls.

As, has become traditional, members were sustained with an excellent buffet lunch prepared by Mrs Beryl Toon  and proceeds from the day provided a donation of £400 to St Mary’s building maintenance funds.

ROLLESTON MANOR COURT ROLLS

The Rolls which cover the period 1717 – 1933 were discovered in a house attic in Lincolnshire in 2016 and fortunately recovered by Rolleston Parish Council before they disappeared into a skip.

Their appearance in that part of the country can be explained the fact that they were held originally in Rolleston Hall. When the Hall failed to sell at the last estate auction in 1924 it was subsequently purchased, together with the title of Lord of the Manor, by a company with its headquarters in St Ives. The final transactions in disposal of the estate were conducted from there.

The Manor Court Rolls are very simply the official records of two very different parish courts.

First, “The Court Leet and View of Frank Pledge with the Great Court Baron and Customary Court of Sir Oswald Mosley Baronet Lord of said Manor”

Interpreting these words –

A Leet was a court concerned with the administration of the manor and civil or minor criminal misdemeanours. It also maintained the quality of bread and ale.

The term Frankpledge derives from an Anglo-Saxon system whereby groups of ten men pledged themselves to be mutually responsible for good behaviour and it survived, reflecting the peace keeping role of the Court Leet

In today’s terms think of offences such as as cutting down trees, dumping your old mattress in Marston Lane or parking on double yellow lines outside the school.

Second, the Special Court Baron was a basic manorial court held by a manorial lord for his tenants. It was concerned primarily with land and property ownership, tenancy and transfer under the old copyhold system of tenure.  Again, Copyhold was defined legally as land held “by copy of the court roll at the will of the lord at the custom of the manor”. Copyhold was legally terminated in 1921 and replaced by the modern system of leasehold.

Briefly, our holdings are as follows –

First there are three large volumes holding the official records, starting in 1717.

The first volume is interesting in that the years, 1717 to 1733, are in Latin

Regrettably, the fifty year period, 1761 – 1811, is missing and we return to the record in 1811 which then runs complete to 1933. During this time we see the decline and obsolescence of the Court Leet as other civil administrations such as the constabulary come into play.

From 1818 the official records are accompanied by several sets of draft minutes from which they are derived. There is also duplication for short periods where there are dual minute takers

Finally there are two index books covering the Courts Baron. The first one covering 1717 to 1819 is continuous script in one hand with minor additions. The second, covering 1717 to 1911, and appearing to use the first, is an alphabetical indexed ledger in various hands. These do allow us to see the names but not substance of land transfers in our missing 50 year record.

There are several ancillary documents, one of which outlines model court procedure. This allowed the group to re-enact a typical example from the records.

At present, the Rolls are held in the village but we expect them to be transferred for conservation in the County record Office when a new archive facility has been built in the next 2 – 3 years.

The History Group will be including more information on the content of the Rolls in future issues of Rollestonian.

Votes after WW1

During 2018 I expect that we will be hearing a lot about the centenary of votes for women starting in Britain. As with most things, the reality is different to the slogan. No doubt this will be explored at length by earnest, learned people during the year. I wondered about the effect in Rolleston.

Before I began I thought about notable women I had come across in Rolleston. There was Lady Rolleston who re-married and went as the wife of the Governor of Barbados where they both died.

1n the 1841 census I found four widows with occupations out of the ordinary; Jane Mason and Hannah Higgott described as farmers and Charlotte Higgott, a wheelwright, and Maria Atkin a blacksmith. These were women who carried on their husbands’ businesses until their own deaths.

In subsequent censuses the usual women’s occupations of domestic and farm service were well represented as well as garden workers, laundresses, ladies’ companions, nurses, shopkeepers and school teachers but there was a boot maker in 1881, a cow keeper and milk seller in 1901, and from then on the Whetton sisters were grocers and bakers and then assisting in the business. By 1911 an upholsteress was here as well as Post Office employees as well as an Old Age pensioner formerly a pork butcher.

It is worth remembering that before WW1 to vote in Parliamentary elections you needed to be a man paying an annual rent of at least £10 or owning land valued at £10.

The local government franchise was different. Single women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections from 1869 following the Municipal Franchise Act, confirmed and extended to some married women by the Local Government Act 1894.

At the start of the war, two out of every five men was not eligible to vote. An influential consideration, in addition to the suffrage movement and the growth of the Labour Party, was the fact that only men who had been resident in the country for 12 months prior to a general election were entitled to vote. This effectively disenfranchised many troops who had been serving overseas in the war. With a general election imminent, politicians were persuaded to extend the vote to all men and some women at long last.

On 15 October 1918 the Electoral Roll was produced because the United Kingdom general election of 1918 was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War.

It was the first general election to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918 which meant that it was the first election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. Previously, all women and many poor men had been excluded from voting.

The Electoral Roll was drawn up with three Divisions. Division I contained all those entitled to vote in both Parliamentary Elections and Local Elections which numbered 314. Division II contained those entitled to vote in Parliamentary Elections but not Local Elections and this numbered a further 70 making a total of 384. Division III were those entitled to vote in Local Elections but not in Parliamentary Elections and this contained another 20 names all included because they owned land in Rolleston. The only two in this Division who lived in Rolleston were Mr. and Mrs. Dunicliffe of “Roseneath”, Station Road. I wonder why they were not in Division 1.

Of the 384 entitled to vote 72 were absent voters. One of these, Henry Palmer, lived at the Gardens, East Lodge which was included in Rolleston at that time (his parents among others were included in Division I in places not now regarded as in Rolleston). On closer examination these 72 were all men who were still in the services – some gravely ill in hospital.

It is worth remembering that, for many of the men included in this electoral roll and for all the women, this was the first time they or any one in their position in society had ever been allowed to vote. Any man in the services who had reached 19 years of age was also allowed to vote.

The election was held on Saturday 14 December 1918. It was the first general election to be held on a single day, although the vote count did not take place until 28 December due to the time taken to transport votes from soldiers serving overseas.

It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916 during the war and who was generally regarded as the man responsible for ending the War. Quite a Christmas present!

Looking at the women Parliamentary voters of Rolleston, the majority were entitled to vote because of their husband’s occupation with others by their own occupation. I can’t understand why Margery Spurrier is included with Divison II because of her husband’s occupation. They owned land in Rolleston but lived in Marston on Dove. Is this a mistake? Her husband was an absent voter in the Services on the 1919 electoral roll! Was he under 19 in 1918?

Mr and Mrs. Dunicliffe of “Roseneath”, Station Road, Rolleston are interesting entries. They are not entitled to vote here in Parliamentary elections but are in Local elections by virtue of his and her Occupation. He was a solicitor, but her occupation is a mystery – perhaps a land and property owner?  None of the others in Division III live in Rolleston. They certainly bought the property, but I wonder if they also kept “Mayfield” in Tutbury where they were living in 1911. When their son Eric was killed in WW1 his parents were said to be of “Roseneath”, Rolleston. I wonder if they ever moved in or just rented the property. Maybe they were here for a very short while before they moved to Burton.

As for the other women entitled to vote in their own right in Parliamentary elections; there were 36 of them and only six of them lived in households which contained a man. Three of them, Emma, Fanny and Louisa Whetton lived with their brother William Henry and all were unmarried and voters.

In 1911 Minnie Alderson lived at Beechmount on what was then Cinder Lane, now Beacon Road with her husband and five children. Her husband was a customs officer who died in 1917 the same year that their son died of wounds. He was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery.

Lilian Maria Austin, Emma Elizabeth Cox and Reva Winterbottom were war widows – others had left the village.

The whole thing seems to have passed with very little comment in the village, or at least very little has been recorded. There is nothing in the records of the “Commem.” or the Parish Council. I wonder if it was mentioned in the Church magazine or any other records. This seems odd because it was a momentous occasion. Admittedly things had happened quickly. After the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918, the Representation of the People Act came into effect. Although 8.5 million women met the criteria, but this only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. The same act abolished property and other restrictions for men, and extended the vote to all men over the age of 21. Additionally, men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The electorate increased from eight to 21 million, but there was still huge inequality between women and men.

The complete list of independent women voters in 1918.

Alderson, Minnie Emily
Archer, Catherine Eliza
Austin, Lilian Maria
Bates, Clara
Birch, Mrs Maria
Bowen, Emily
Cawser, Hannah Elizabeth
Collier, Elizabeth
Cox, Emma Elizabeth
Dale, Sarah
Dicken, Ellen
Fisher, Sarah
Forman, Helena Edith
Gammage, Annie
Goodhead, Hannah
Grimley, Mary
Hanslow, Selina
Hinsley, Ann
Howes, Caroline
Kinson, Mrs. Alice
Mason, Mabel
Mountford, Jane
Oliver, Jane
Peace, Elizabeth
Penny, Annie
Rushton, Jane
Sears, Annie
Simmonds, Miss Annie
Topps, Rachel
Twigg, Miss Harriett
Watson, Mary
Whetton, Emma
Whetton, Fanny
Whetton, Louisa
Winterbottom, Reva

Can anyone give me more information about them?

 

Ernest E. Baguley

When browsing through the local newspaper for references to Rolleston I kept coming across this man and his wife. In the village he was active on the Parish Council, in the church and in the Swimming Club and was a magistrate.

I was particularly drawn to him because, like me, he was born in the North East of England. That is about all we have in common. I retired to  Rolleston, he moved here in connection with his work. And he certainly made his mark as will be seen below.

He was born in 1864 in Newcastle upon Tyne and served his apprenticeship with Hawthorn Leslie in their shipyard and locomotive works on Tyneside. He moved to Stafford in around 1890 to become Chief Draughtsman for W. G. Bagnall Ltd. building steam locomotives. Over the next decade he invented a valve gear for such locomotives but his interest moved towards motor vehicles. His employers did not share this interest so he moved to Burton on Trent in 1901 to join the Ryknield Engine Co. Ltd. This company only survived until 1905 and was succeeded by the Ryknield Motor Company with Ernest as Manager. Once again this company struggled and he moved to Birmingham to work for the Birmingham Small Arms Company as Manager of its newly formed Motor Division. He stayed jus over three years before coming back to Burton and establishing Baguley Cars Ltd from the assets of the failed Ryknield Motor Company. This company was a success. Initially producing road vehicles but soon moving into locomotive manufacturing. Then war broke out.

Ernest had served in the Army during the South African War and reached the rank of Captain later rising to Major in the Territorial Army (second in command of the 6th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment) so was quickly called upon to serve on the Western Front. After about a year he had been sent back to concentrate on the production of small gauge locomotives for war service. In all 365 were produced and installed throughout the battlefields for the transport of munitions. The company employees certainly did their bit, too – 111 served and 12 lost their lives.

After the war Ernest moved to Rolleston. He lived at what is now 34, Church Road which was then called “Sandalwood”. In preparation for his marriage he bought the house in Chapel Lane/School Lane known as the “Grey House”.

In 1923 the company name changed to Baguley (Engineers) Ltd largely because road vehicles were more successfully produced by larger manufacturers and they concentrated on manufacturing railway equipment. Even so, the company was liquidated in 1931.

However, Major Baguley soon set up a repair business  which grew into another locomotive manufacturer, E. E. Baguley Ltd. by 1932, even moving to larger premises in 1934.

He and his wife lived in the “Grey House” there from their marriage in 1921 (where their daughter Patricia was born in 1924 and married from in 1945) until they retired in 1946.

By the time he retired Ernest had taken out twelve patents. He certainly was a man who made his mark. I have found several online sources linked to the products of his companies and there are some still working or being restored at the National Brewery Centre, Narrow Gauge Railway Museum, Tywyn, Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge railway, Amerton Railway, Chasewater Railway, Abbey Light Railway, Leeds, and Goldfields Railway, Waihi, New Zealand

Useful Publications are;

Baguley Locomotives 1914-1931 by Rodney Weaver, published by the Industrial Railway Society in 1975 ISBN 0-901096-22-9

The Railway Products of Baguley-Drewry Ltd by Alan Civil and Roy Etherington published by the Industrial Railway Society in 2008 ISBN 978-1-901556-44-5

Imagine

Over the holiday period I was confined to the house for a few days – no not alcohol related! I had a bit of time to think and imagine. I was feeling a bit jaded and rather worn out by the “celebrations and activities” of the festive season. In my mind’s eye I went back to the year 1837. Just as Victoria was coming to the throne. Long before we had Christmas trees to decorate, cards to write and post and dirge-like carols to sing – all Victorian introductions.

I said I was feeling jaded!

I imagined a stroll along some of the lanes around Rolleston – no “on Dove” in those days. To make it more interesting I decided to describe my routes only using the field names. Can you trace my steps?

I started from the bridge beside the “Spread Eagle” and wandered West toward Tutbury. After a few hundred yards I turned North and passed between Townsend Close and Two Leys and, keeping Betts Close on my left swung North-West between Dovefield Close and Green Lane Close where I eventually came to the end of the farm track where it turned into a footpath, as it remains today. If you haven’t already worked it out, the field names give the game away. On my left is Dovefield leading away to my left towards Mill Balk, Mill Close and Mill Lane Pingle and on my right … Shotwood Hill.

O.K. so that was easy. Maybe this will be more of a challenge. I imagine that I strolled North through Burnt Yard then across Parsons Ley with the Fish Stews on my right. Where am I now? This walk was only xxx yards.

Here’s the last one. Start walking just East of North between Moorfield Hill and Fiddler’s Lane Plantation. That is a big hint. Next on the left comes Clay Butts, Casters Bank Plantation, Casters Bank itself and Primrose Pit. On the right is Far Lawn and Falling Pit Field. The track used to swing right through this, but it was re-routed in the 1820s by Sir Oswald so that he could extend his gardens. In my imagination I continued along the track until it reached the road and I turned right and walked past Whitestone Pit and Townsend Close. Hang on! Isn’t this where we were before? It is.

You can probably find these in the booklet about Rolleston on Dove Footpaths that can be picked up in shops in the village or downloaded on line.

http://www.rolleston.org.uk/Village%20Walks%202016.pdf

I have inserted some of the Field Names here to help.

Map for blog

My mind then started to wander to the tracks and paths shown on the early maps. They had existed from time immemorial and were all to serve a purpose, usually for access to fields through or alongside other people’s property.

What we call Church Road they called Tutbury road. Walking up it from the bridge towards Tutbury Marston Lane and Shotwood Lane were on the right as they are today. On the left there were entrances to the Hall at each of the lodges and an entrance to the wood yard etc which is now Mosley Mews. There was no entrance where Hall Road is now, but a farm track gave access to some of the fields as it does today just north of what is now Hall Farm which was where the Head Gardner of the Mosley’s lived. Continuing towards Tutbury Fiddler’s Lane still exists but before the road curves towards Corn Mill Lane entrance here was a road which is now lost. It was called Woodingway and led towards the A511 and crossed it leading towards Stockley Park. There are only farm gates betraying its presence today.

At the other end of the village, Station Road was once known as Derby road, and earlier still Meadow lane. Other nameless lanes led off it uphill towards fields and downhill to meadows.

What we call Chapel Lane has been known as Village street or Higgott’s lane.

Here are a few unusual field names for you to ponder on and try to locate.

 

Thorny Hollows

Foulsitch

Dodslow

Pilton Close

Lount Close

Darley Roods

Stony Furlong

Burnt Hollows

Red Bank

Pickle Mear

Flax Hollow

Stin Yard

Big Black Ditch

Agard’s Piece

Little Cliff