The Hurworth Family History written and researched by Neville Hurworth.



The Hurworth line of descent from Edward and Ann is shown in the family trees of the Figure 3 series.

Edward Hurworth (1728-1811)

Family Status: Son of Robert Hurworth and Beatrice Parkyn. See Fig. 3a.

It seems likely that all the males in Robert and Beatrice Hurworth’s family were farm labourers at some time in their lives, but international events caused major changes for Edward and for several of his descendants.

The middle part of the century  was a time of civil unrest, and war with France added the fear of  invasion. The Militia Bill of 1757 was passed, which required the establishment of a trained military force to assist in keeping law and order and to supplement the regular army at times of crisis. As a result, 720 men were required from the North Riding of Yorkshire and two battalions, the Richmondshire Battalion and the Cleveland and Bulmer Battalion, were  raised in mid-1759. It is clear from entries in various parish registers that Edward and his brother, David Hurworth, both served in the Richmondshire Battalion.

Edward was in the Militia for about twenty years. Since the men usually served for short spells of a few years, he was probably on the permanent staff. He married Ann Fenwick in March 1761 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, and when their first child Elizabeth was born early in 1762, he was described as a  “Sergeant in the Militia”. That Edward and Ann were married in Newcastle is almost certainly due to the movements of Edward’s Battalion.

Men were recruited for compulsory service in the Militia by ballot. This was universally detested and lead to public meetings and riots all over the country. The two North Riding Battalions marched to Newcastle-on-Tyne soon after their formation in 1759 and remained in this area during the next few years to keep the peace.

In 1761 there were fresh riots. There were ugly scenes in Gateshead where rioters destroyed books and lists referring to the Militia, as public officers looked on helplessly. This was repeated elsewhere. Flushed with success, the mob attracted more and more supporters.

Matters came to a head at Hexham Riots where the mob numbered about 5000. Two companies from each of the two North Riding Battalions marched from Newcastle to Hexham and found the mob in control, preventing the public authorities from balloting them. The next day the Militia was in position to assist the justices to carry out their duty. The soldiers were harassed by the mob for about three hours but they kept their cool. The justices read the proclamation and then warned the mob of the consequences of civil disobedience if they did not disperse.

The mob was not to be dismissed so easily. The taunting continued right in front of the bayonets of the soldiers, and then the bubble suddenly burst. One of the ring-leaders of the mob seized a soldier’s rifle and shot him dead. Shortly afterwards, another soldier was shot in the back by a pistol fired by someone in the crowd. In response the soldiers were given the order to fire and it is believed that nearly fifty of the mob were killed, some of them being found dead in the fields nearby. This effectively finished the riots in the area.

The shooting incident occurred on the 8th March 1761. Edward married Ann Fenwick in Newcastle ten days later.

It seems that Edward and Elizabeth had ten children. At least three of the six boys survived childhood and two of these have Hurworth descendants living today.

Robert Hurworth (1771-1833)

Family Status: Son of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3a.

Robert was Edward and Ann’s fifth child and is one of the enigmatic characters of our Hurworth history. Somehow in the time between his baptism in 1771 in Richmond, and his death in 1833 in London, he achieved the status of a “gentleman”.

He had stock invested in the Bank of England and his will gave detailed instructions as to how this was to be distributed after his death. The Bank of England recorded extracts of wills which made bequests involving its stock. These are beautiful, bound volumes, hand-written copies, and are kept in the Society of Genealogists premises in London. The extract of Robert’s will contained details of many of Robert’s family.

Robert’s wife Mary, also left a will, but Robert predeceased her and it tells us nothing about Robert himself. Unfortunately, this leaves us with some important questions unanswered.  What were the circumstances which took Robert to London and what was his occupation? The latter is particularly important for the following reason.

This branch of the family was very musical and produced some very accomplished musicians, a talent which passed down through several generations. There is the  following passage about a brass instrument called a “serpent” in “A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1450-1889” :-

“A Yorkshireman of Richmond, named Hurworth, who played in the private band of George the Third, could execute elaborate flute variations with perfect accuracy on this unwieldy instrument”.

The serpent is now largely obsolete. It is shaped like a snake and is apparently very difficult to play. It is possible that Robert was the great serpent player who rubbed shoulders with royalty. This would explain his status as a gentleman, how he came to be living in London, and the source of his assets when he died.

It seems from their wills that Robert and his wife Mary had no children.

Christopher Hurworth (1763-?)

Family Status: Son of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig 3a.

Christopher, Edward and Ann’s second child,  was in the North York Militia and reached the rank of Corporal. When he wasn’t  soldiering, he  was a shoemaker by trade. He married Jemima Forster in 1786 in Richmond and they had  five children, three boys and two girls. All of them survived childhood and all of them married.

When and where Christopher Hurworth died is a mystery. Until recently, I thought he had died before 1800. This was the year when Mary Ann Hurworth was born. According to the Richmond Parish Register she was the “bastard daughter of Jemima Hurworth and John Hutton Esquire of Marsk(e)”. From this I concluded, rightly or wrongly, that Jemima Hurworth was Christopher’s widow.

The Hutton family of Marske Hall, a few miles to the west of Richmond, were top-drawer gentry in the area, and had strong connections with the Militia. Indeed, Timothy Hutton, esquire of Marske, received the first recorded commission of the North York Militia in July 1602 (at this time the militia was funded by the gentry), “to receive the said private soldiers into his charge, and to command and to direct them as their captain and leader”. There was a captain John Hutton in the Richmondshire troop in the Militia of 1697 and another John Hutton was a Lieutenant (1865) and then a Captain (1869). The same man was once the M.P. for Richmond. There was a John Hutton of Marske who lived from 1774 to 1841 who was a special friend of the Reverend James Tate the celebrated Master of Richmond School  and Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral. This John Hutton was a generous and respected member of the gentry in the area. 

It seems that Mary Ann Hurworth did not marry and she left the Richmond area. The census shows that she was a servant in a house in Stockton in 1851. Her name was recorded as Mary A. H. Hurworth and it is possible that she was called Mary Ann Hutton Hurworth. It was quite common for the surname of the father of an illegitimate child to appear in the child’s name as a forename. If the couple married, the child’s surname which was the same as the mother’s maiden surname, was then dropped.

Three years later, in 1803, another illegitimate daughter was born to a Jemima Hurworth. The records do not identify the father this time, and the baby died and was buried a few days after the birth.

A Jemima Hurworth was buried in Richmond in 1824. Her age was recorded as 59 which means she was about 35 when Mary Ann was born in 1800 and that she was only a year or two younger than Christopher. Unfortunately the burial record does not say if she was a spinster, married, or a widow. I know of no other Jemima Hurworth who could have been the mother of the two illegitimate girls than Christopher’s wife.

After all this, it is perhaps surprising that Christopher is mentioned as a potential beneficiary in his brother Robert’s will in 1833. So it seems that the Jemima Hurworth who was buried in Richmond in 1824 predeceased him, whether she was his wife or not. 

In his will, Robert obligingly identifies all of Christopher’s children, as follows :-

“.... also to my Brother Christopher Hurworth and my Nephew(s) Robert Hurworth Christopher Hurworth Junior and James Hurworth Sons of the aforesaid Christopher Hurworth and to my Nieces Ann Handley .... and Margaret McLaren .... Daughters of  my aforesaid brother Christopher Hurworth ....”. This allows another part of the story to be put together with some confidence, as will be described later.

As I mentioned earlier, this branch of the Hurworths was very musical. All three of Christopher’s sons, Robert, Christopher (Junior) and James, mentioned in Robert’s will, played in the Band of the North York Militia. An account of one man’s recollections of Richmond in the 1830s, claims that the NYM Band “was recognised as one of the finest military bands in the kingdom” and refers to “the performers in that inimitable band” mentioning “four Hurworths” and “two Forsters”.  From this it seems that Jemima’s Hurworth and Forster families were very good musicians. The fourth Hurworth mentioned was probably Thomas, Robert’s son.

In addition to their military performances, the band also played socially for a fee. There is an amusing story of a time when the Band played for the Richmond Municipal Reform Association (the town Liberal Party) at a Ladies Tea and Ball in 1846. Robert and Christopher were with the band and there was an argument about the fee. The band wanted ten shillings each but they were told bluntly that it would be £4 for the lot and the bandsmen would have to find their own refreshments!

Robert Hurworth (1789-1854)

Family Status: Son of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3b.

Robert  was a shoemaker and a soldier in the North York Militia, like his father and his uncles Christopher and James. In 1821 he was a Corporal in the NYM, and later became a Sergeant on the NYM Staff and a Music Teacher. He married Grace Hind  and they had seven children. The first three of these seemingly left no descendants. Two of these were Edward and  Christopher and are certainly worth a mention here.

Edward Hurworth (1819-1884) and Christopher Hurworth (1819-?)

Family Status: Sons of Robert Hurworth and Grace Hind. Grandsons of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Great Grandsons of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3b.

Edward was a carpenter by trade but he later signed on as a regular soldier with the Royal Artillery and served for twenty years. He spent almost half of this time in Canada and Australia. When he retired, he was a Battery Sergeant Major and went to live in Woolwich, Kent, with his wife Agnes and an adopted daughter. She was also called Agnes and she was born in Melbourne, Australia.

It seems that Christopher and Edward were twins, as they were baptised together the year after their parents married. Christopher became a printer and married a York butcher’s daughter, Elizabeth Dalton, in York in 1841. They had a son, Robert Henry, but he died a young boy and was buried in Richmond. His mother predeceased him and died in Hartlepool, aged 38. When and where Christopher died is still a mystery.

Thomas Hurworth (1823-1894)

Family Status: Son of Robert Hurworth and Grace Hind. Grandson of Christopher and Jemima Forster. Great Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3b.

Thomas Hurworth was the next child of Robert and Grace, born in 1823. He became a tailor and served as a Sergeant in the North York Rifles (The North York Militia became a Rifle Regiment in 1853). His first wife Sarah had three boys and two girls.

Sarah died, probably in 1862, and Thomas married Ann Robson in 1864. She was 18 or 19 years younger than him. In 1871, they had no children living with them in Richmond. In the next census, they were living in Darlington, and Ann and Thomas now had two daughters, Grace and Amy, aged 2 and 1, respectively. Thomas was 57.

I have some details of two sons from Thomas’s first marriage.

Photo 1: Thomas Hurworth

Robert Richard Hurworth (1845-1885) and Thomas Hurworth (1855-?)

Family Status: Sons of Thomas Hurworth and Sarah. Grandsons of Robert Hurworth and Grace Hind. Great grandsons of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Great great grandsons of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3bx.

Robert Richard Hurworth was born in 1845 in Kirby Fleetham, his mother’s birthplace. He was a solicitor’s clerk in Richmond in 1861. It seems he married his wife Ann in 1869 in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, where she was born.

The family moved around a bit. Two daughters, Alice Maud and Florence Annie, were born in Manchester in 1870 and 1873, respectively, and in 1879, a son, William Allan Hurworth was born in Accrington. The 1881 census shows them living in Bradford. Robert Richard was still in the law business and was described as  a “Solicitor’s Man(a)ging Foreman”. He died about four years later in the Doncaster area, aged 40. His son William Allan, also died young at the age of 43. He had only one child apparently, a son called William Rickett Hurworth. The male line ended when William Rickett Hurworth died in Darlington in 1967, aged 62, it seems, after two childless marriages.

Thomas Hurworth (Junior) was born in 1855 in Richmond. Like his father, he became a tailor. He married Mary Elizabeth Horsman in Scarborough in 1877 but she died either during childbirth or shortly after the birth of their first child, Constance Mary, in 1879. Thomas remarried in 1880 in Scarborough to Harriet, and a son, Thomas Edward, was born in 1881. What happened to the family after that I do not know.

Margaret Hurworth (1826-?), Elizabeth Hurworth (1828-?) and Mary Hurworth (1833-?)

Family Status: Daughters of Robert Hurworth and Grace Hind. Grand-daughters of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Great grand-daughters of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3b.

Margaret was a  dressmaker and seamstress before she married her second cousin Edward Hurworth, a soldier in the Royal Horse Artillery, in 1852. This very interesting couple and their family are discussed later under Edward Hurworth.

Elizabeth Hurworth  married a soldier in 1846 in York. Her husband had the same surname, Fenwick, as her great grandmother Ann Fenwick.

Mary Hurworth married George Smith in 1854. He was a tailor and a Sergeant in the North York Rifles. Will Stephenson, an Englishman now (1996) living in the USA, is descended from this couple.

Christopher Hurworth (1792-1852), Ann Hurworth (1787-?) and Margaret Hurworth (1796-?)

Family Status: Children of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Grandchildren of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Figs. 3a & 3c.

As I mentioned earlier, Christopher Hurworth (Junior) was a shoemaker and a soldier in the NYM. Like his brother Robert, he became a sergeant on the staff of the NYM. Christopher’s uncle Robert gave us the married names of Christopher’s two sisters, Ann and Margaret, in his will. From this information, an interesting picture emerges with a little help from the International Genealogical Index of the Latter Day Saints.

 The I.G.I. gives us details of the following marriages in Lanarkshire, Scotland:-

(1) Ann Hurworth and Thomas Handley on the 7th of June 1816 in Glasgow,

(2) Christopher Hurworth and Janet Forrest on the 12th of October 1818, in Glasgow,

(3) Margaret Hurworth and John McCleran on the 4th of June 1820 in Barony.

This information would suggest that most of the family lived in the Glasgow area for several years. Now how did this come about? We must also take into account that the other brothers, Robert and James, probably remained in Richmond,  because they both married there in 1818, the same year as Christopher married in Glasgow.

Again the answer may be found in the NYM, perhaps. The NYM had served in Glasgow for near on a year, in 1798/1799, keeping the peace there. They moved on to Edinburgh where they stayed until late 1800. Also, in 1813 when the NYM was sent off to serve in Ireland, the journey took three months, starting with a march from Harwich to Glasgow. Here in Glasgow the Regiment stayed for six weeks before continuing the journey. All this suggests that there may have been some barracks there and although the NYM was disembodied at Richmond in January 1816, it maybe that some permanent staff were required in Glasgow to maintain a presence there. Perhaps Christopher was stationed there and maybe his sisters lived with him.

One of the great mysteries in Hurworth family history is the whereabouts of their father Christopher Hurworth (Senior), from 1796 (when his daughter Margaret was baptised), until his death presumably some time after 1833.  Was he in Scotland when his children married there? Was he in some way, the reason for their being there? If the Jemima Hurworth who had the child to John Hutton Esquire was Christopher’s wife, could it be that Christopher left her, perhaps to live in Scotland? Maybe the Huttons helped. As was mentioned earlier, they were a powerful well-connected family and they were very prominent in the NYM.

The younger Christopher’s first wife, Janet Forrest, must have died in the five years following their marriage in Scotland, as he married Jane Veal on the 20th of  April 1823. This time he was back in Richmond and he lived there for the rest of his life, almost another 30 years. I don’t know if he had family from his first marriage, but Christopher and Jane had two boys and four girls. One of the girls, Jane, died when she was three years old. The two boys were Robert and (another) Christopher.

Robert Hurworth (1825-1889) and Christopher Hurworth ( 1834-1898)

Family Status: Sons of Christopher Hurworth and Jane Veal. Grandsons of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Great grandsons of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3c.

According to the census, Robert was a tailor’s apprentice and was living with his parents in Richmond in 1841 at the age of sixteen. Robert and his wife Catherine Jane had at least four children, all girls, and possibly a son, Robert Henry Hurworth, but he died while still a baby.

Robert’s first three daughters were born in Penrith between 1856 and 1862. The family went to live in the Birkenhead/New Brighton area of Cheshire where Robert’s younger brother, Christopher, was already living. He had married Mary Ann Phillips in 1857 and by the time Robert arrived, Christopher and his wife were settled there with a small family. These were Edward (born in 1859), Jessie (born in 1861), and Christopher (born in 1863).

A Directory for 1860 shows that Christopher was a teacher at the new Wesleyan school in Seacombe, New Brighton. Later Directories suggest that he moved to a school in Wellington Terrace, New Brighton, round about 1863/64. In 1865 both brothers were associated with this school, and another school in Rowson Street, New Brighton. Robert’s wife, Catherine Jane, was also listed in connection with the “Seminary” in Rowson Street, but by 1870, only the school in Wellington St. was mentioned, and in Robert’s name only.

It looks as though Christopher left the area probably in 1866 or 1867. There was another addition to the family while they were living in Cheshire in 1866. She was Mary Louisa Hurworth, known as “Louie” to her family. A Directory for 1867, the next year, shows that a Christopher Hurworth was master of  the Wesleyan School in Chapel Row in York. Towards the end of  that year another son, Alfred, was born in York. Two years later, in 1869, the second son, Christopher, died of scarlet fever at the age of 5 in Bulman village near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The two families obviously had connections with the Wesleyan Church and it may be that Christopher taught in various Wesleyan schools in the North of England during this period. A few years later though, in March 1874, Christopher and his family left England completely, and emigrated to Australia.  

We do not know what training or qualifications Christopher and Robert had to prepare them for a career in teaching. When Robert arrived in Cheshire, he was nearly forty. It would be interesting to know what happened in the years in between. Of course, similar questions could be asked about Christopher. He was nearly ten years younger than Robert and we have no details at all of his early adult years.

Robert and all his family, including his wife, were teachers. Certainly, the family was comfortable financially when Robert died in 1889. When his wife died in 1914 she left her estate to her second daughter Catherine Emma who was still a spinster. When Catherine died in 1924 she left property in the area, shares, silver and porcelain to her sisters. All of this is evidence that the family had prospered in those earlier years.

On the other hand, misfortune accompanied Robert’s brother Christopher and his family to Australia. Shortly after their arrival, a son Frank was born in August 1874 and his mother, Mary Ann Hurworth, died a month later. Nothing else is known about Frank and it maybe that he died at birth or shortly afterwards.

Christopher taught at a school near Brisbane. He was reputed to be “a very scholarly man” and one “with great musical ability”. He taught his second wife Phoebe to play the piano.

Edward Hurworth (1859-1923)

Family Status: Son of Christopher and Mary Ann Phillips. Grandson of Christopher Hurworth and Jane Veal. Great grandson of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3cx.

Edward Hurworth, Christopher’s eldest son by his first  marriage, also became a schoolteacher, and finally worked in the Head Office of the Education Department in Brisbane. He was another accomplished musician and it is believed that he accompanied Nellie Melba on one occasion when she visited Brisbane.

Edward married Isabella Ann Graham and they had five children. Two out of the three boys died as infants. Harold Christopher Hurworth, their youngest child, married Adelaide Ada Phipps. He was an accountant and worked in real estate and valuations. 

There is a place called “Hurworth Street” in the middle of Brisbane at Bowen Hills. It’s about 400 metres long and although it‘s now largely an industrial area, it was originally residential. The house where Edward died was called “Richmond” and is believed to have been in Hurworth Street.  Edward is buried in the Cemetery nearby.

There were two children of Christopher’s second marriage, a boy and a girl. Christopher Willa (not William) Hurworth (called C.W. or Will), was born in 1877. He became a dentist after graduating at Melbourne University and went on to win a scholarship to Harvard where he completed a doctorate. In so doing, it is believed he was the first Australian  to receive the title.

Although there were three generations of Hurworths descended from the Christopher Hurworth who emigrated to Australia, there is no male to carry on the Hurworth surname. Christopher’s brother Robert left no male heir either. When he died, he left no son to take over from him as headmaster of the school but the vacancy was filled by a man eminently suited to the task. He was a former pupil of the school, a scholarly man with impressive qualifications, and he was family, too.

Thomas Christopher Hurworth-Robinson (1863-1927)

Family Status: Son of Jemima Hurworth. Grandson of Christopher Hurworth and Jane Veal. Great grandson of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3c.

Jemima Hurworth, named after her grandmother, was sister to the two schoolmasters Robert and Christopher. She married a grocer in Middlesbrough called George Robinson and they had a son whom they christened Thomas Christopher Robinson. Thomas was educated at his uncle’s school in New Brighton and went on to Liverpool University where he graduated with the degrees B.A. and L.L.B. At the time of his uncle Robert’s death he was teaching in Leeds. He immediately left and took over the headmastership at his uncle’s school, the New Brighton High School.

That was in 1890. The 1891 census shows that Thomas and his wife Emma Jane Robinson were living with his aunt Catherine Jane and his cousin Catherine Emma Hurworth. Thomas and Emma’s surnames are recorded as “Robinson”, so it appears they adopted the hyphenated name Hurworth-Robinson later.

Thomas was a very energetic scholarly man and a great public servant. He was elected to the Wallasey District Council in 1900, and five years later he became its chairman. He was also chairman of many Committees associated with all aspects of the community in the area, e.g. Health, Finance, Free Libraries, Gas, Water and Electricity etc. However, the First World War put an end to all this.

Thomas was a first class linguist and his school attracted many foreign students, but when war broke out, it cut off this source of income and in 1916 Thomas was forced to seek another teaching position. He returned to his old school, Leeds Boys Modern, where he soon earned himself a reputation for his hard work and generosity. Above all, it seems he was a cheerful person always ready to join in with jokes and witty remarks and so his company was much appreciated by his fellow masters.

In the last few years of his life, he was troubled with cataracts in both eyes and had several operations, which eventually weakened his heart. In the obituary in the school magazine, it is said that after his last operation, when he realised he would be unable to return to school, and that his life’s work was over, he died within a few days. He was buried barely a mile away from where I live, in St. John’s Churchyard, Leeds, after a service in Ladywood Wesleyan Church nearby.

I recently discovered his grave, which was totally overgrown. When the weeds and brambles had been cleared away, I remember I was surprisingly moved as I read the inscription on the gravestone. It brought back to mind those agonising last few days before Thomas died, when it began to dawn on this apparently loveable self-sacrificing man that he could no longer be of any further service to his fellow men.

The inscription says simply :-

“In Loving Memory of T.C. Hurworth-Robinson, B.A., L.L.B.

Who Died 6th March 1927.

Remembering The Things That Were Aforetime”.


When I moved to the house where I live now,  my doctor’s surgery was at the end of the main road in a large private house. I did not know then that this was where Thomas Christopher Hurworth-Robinson had spent the last years of his life. Thomas died there one Sunday morning, nearly seventy years ago. I pass his house almost every day.

The following year, Emma Jane Hurworth-Robinson died in Middlesbrough of cancer of the gall bladder. She and Thomas had no children apparently, and so it seems that a memorable part of the Hurworth story died with her.

James Hurworth (1795-1866)

Family Status: Son of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3d.

The last son of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster, was James Hurworth. For some reason details of his baptism are elusive but census returns indicate he was born in about 1795 in Richmond. As was mentioned earlier, James was a shoemaker like his two brothers, and a soldier and bandsman in the NYM.

His connection with the NYM was perhaps not as strong as his brothers’. It seems that, unlike his brothers, he was not at any time on the permanent staff of the NYM, so maybe  his soldiering was confined to the times when the NYM was embodied.

Although he spent many years in Richmond, there were a few years in between where James lived in villages to the north of Richmond, and later he was on the move again. By 1851 he had moved right out of Yorkshire, and across to the east coast of County Durham to Stranton, Hartlepool, which is the area in which he died in 1866, aged 75. This was after the death of his first wife Hannah Adamson in 1837, and after he had remarried a year later. His second wife was called Mary and they were living on their own in Stranton at the time of the 1851 census. I do not know if they had any children.

Hannah and James however, had at least seven children. Three of these died at birth or soon afterwards. It seems that three boys and a girl survived. Unfortunately, I have very little information about these except for Christopher.

Christopher Hurworth (1823-1891)

Family Status: Son of James Hurworth and Hannah Adamson. Grandson of Christopher Hurworth and Jemima Forster. See Fig. 3d.

Christopher married Margaret Bowser in 1844 in Gainford (see Fig. 1), and they lived in Gainford all their lives. There are two monumental inscriptions to them and their family in the churchyard.

Christopher and Margaret had six daughters in succession, and then finally a son. Christopher was a stonemason by trade but according to the 1861 census, the family lived for a while at the Lord Nelson Inn in Gainford, and Christopher was described as “Victualler and Stonemason”. His eldest daughter had at least two children (Alfred and Annie) out of wedlock, and possibly one more (Alice), before she eventually married Nathan Dresser. Her sister Hannah was a life-long spinster. She was a dressmaker and then she left Gainford and was for many years a much-loved servant for a family in Dorset. When she died, they had a plaque installed in the local church in her memory.

Christopher’s only son, Christopher William, married, and after a number of children died young, there were apparently two sons who may have survived. One of them, Wilfrid Harry, lived until 1972. It seems that he married and there was one daughter, Alice. Of the other son, Elwyn, I only know when and where he was baptised.

Edward Hurworth (1774-1800)

Family Status: Son of Edward and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3a.

Edward the seventh child of Edward’s marriage to Ann Fenwick, became a stonemason. In 1796 he married Mary Clarkson in Gilling West but he died four years later at the age of 25. Edward and Mary still managed to have three children, William, Ann and Mary. Mary was born a few months after Edward died.

William Hurworth (1797-1884)

Family Status: Son of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3e.

William, the only son of Edward and Mary Clarkson, secured the Hurworth name for generations to come when he married Sarah Todd in 1822 in Gilling. In twenty three years, Sarah had fourteen children before she died at 44, perhaps worn out by almost continual childbirth and raising children.

At least four of the children, three boys and a girl, did not live to become adults. These included a William and a Sarah, their parent’s namesakes, and Sarah’s last baby, George, who died within a few weeks of his birth. Of the remaining ten children, we know a great deal about the sons and their families and there are many of their descendants living today.

William was a farm labourer and groom. When their first few children were born, William and Sarah lived in Gilling, according to the entries in the Parish Register. By early 1830, however, when their son William was born (he died soon after, it seems, and the next child was also christened William), it is evident from the same Parish Register, that they were now living a mile or so to the east of the village of Gilling West, at Sedbury Lodge, the gate-house at the entrance to Sedbury Hall, home of the Gilpin family. It is likely from the entries in the Parish Register, that William and Sarah’s remaining children were born at Sedbury Lodge. There is still a house there of the same name, right next to the busy A66 road and scarcely a stone’s throw away from Scotch Corner, the junction of the A66 with the A1. At the time of writing, it is occupied by the estate manager and his family.

After Sarah died, William moved into Gilling village. The 1851 census shows him, aged fifty three, with six of his children. By the time of the next census, William had married again and had moved to York. He was now working as a groom, and his wife Hannah, who was at least twenty years younger than him, was a dressmaker. John Hurworth, the last surviving child of his marriage to Sarah Todd, was also living with them. He was eighteen years old and a glass-maker. John married in 1864 but he died the following year. Hannah died in York, too, twenty years later. William must have moved very soon after that to Chester-le Street where his son, his namesake William, a miner, was living, and he died there before the year was out, aged 87.

Edward Hurworth (1824-1914)

Family Status: Son of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3e.

Photo 2: Edward Hurworth & his son Edward Robert Hurworth

Photo 3: Edward Hurworth & family


The first of William and Sarah’s surviving sons, Edward, was born in Gilling in 1824. At the time of the 1841 census it seems he was apprenticed to a vet in Richmond. However, he answered the call of the colours and joined the Royal Horse Artillery Regiment at Tynemouth in January 1846. His trade was described as “Shoeing Smith” when he enlisted. From then on, he served for just over twenty one years, during which time he was promoted through the ranks to become Battery Quarter Master Sergeant in 1858. He was in “A” troop which was sent out late to the Crimea arriving there in June 1855, so he missed the Charge of the Light Brigade and the severe winter of 1855 which caused so many casualties amongst the soldiers. He was awarded the Crimean and Turkish medals with a clasp for Sebastopol.

He was discharged at Maidstone on the 5th of March 1867, allegedly aged 41 years and 4 months (his service record has him nine months to a year or so younger than he actually was, and inconsistently so, in the two places where his age was noted). The record describes him as 5 foot 8 1/4 inches tall, hazel eyes, dark brown hair and of a dark complexion. Also, he was totally unmarked, i.e. “no marks scars on face or other parts of body”.

Early in his army career, in 1852, just before Christmas and in Richmond Parish Church, Edward married his second cousin, Margaret Hurworth, daughter of Robert Hurworth, one of the four NYM bandsmen, mentioned earlier. There were at least six children born to this couple. A boy and a girl died very young.

Margaret died in 1868 of TB, the year after Edward was discharged from the Royal Horse Artillery. She was only 42. According to the death certificate Edward was “a retailer of beer” at the time.

Shortly after that he must have decided it was time for a complete change of job and location. The 1871 census, shows him in Leeming, Yorkshire, near Northallerton, a widower of 46 years old (his correct age!) a “Painter in a Reaping Machine Works” and a “Chelsea Pensioner”. He was sharing lodgings with a couple of his workmates, a smith and another painter, lads about twenty years younger than he was.

Edward remarried in 1874 while he was living in Leeming. He married Ellen Forster in her local parish church at Croft. Interesting to note, Croft is in Yorkshire on the south bank of the river Tees, near to the village of Hurworth, a few miles upstream on the other side of the river, in County Durham (see Fig. 1).

In 1881 Edward and Ellen were living in Haxey, Lincolnshire, with Edward’s son John, a 14 year old scholar. I have not seen the full census entry, but Edward was 56 (again his correct age!) and a “Chelsea Pensioner”.

I do not know if Edward’s bride Ellen Forster was related to Jemima Forster, grandmother of Margaret, Edward’s first wife, and of course, there were the Forsters who played alongside the Hurworths in the NYM band. It looks as though Ellen may have been a very good friend of Margaret and Edward, since one of their daughters was called Ellen Fo(r?)ster Hurworth. Maybe Ellen Forster was a second cousin to Margaret, but at the moment I do not know.

There was at least one person at the wedding who had played in the NYM band. He was Margaret’s brother, Edward’s former brother-in-law, Thomas Hurworth, a tailor and a Sergeant in the North York Rifles (as the NYM was now called). He was a witness to the wedding, as was his second wife Ann Hurworth. Their names are on the marriage certificate. What is rather strange is that the bride’s father is given as “Edward Hunter”, especially since Ellen is recorded as a “spinster”.

It seems they had no children and Ellen died in 1891, aged 58, but Edward kept on going until 1914, when, at 89, it seems he just faded away. The death certificate gives no other cause of death than “Senile Decay”! When he died, he was living in Eggleston, a few miles to the north west of Barnard Castle (see Fig.1, top left hand corner). The 1881 census shows that this is where his wife Ellen was born.

His daughter, Sarah Vickers, was living with Edward when he died. She had married John Vickers, a farmer’s son, in Thornthwaite in the Lake District, Cumberland, soon after her step-mother Ellen died in 1891. In 1944, Sarah Vicker’s brother, Edward’s youngest son, John Hurworth, died in a nursing home in Bishop Auckland. He was 77. His home address was then “ The Drive, Eggleston, Barnard Castle”. This was the same address as that of his nephew J.V. Vickers who reported his uncle’s death, so perhaps Eggleston was the home of Sarah’s Vickers and Hurworth families for at least the thirty years from 1914.

It seems that Edward was well thought of in the Regiment. According to his great grandson, Ted Hurworth, a plaque was erected to his memory in the Military Church at Woolwich. Unfortunately this can no longer be seen, as the church  was bombed during the war. Ted also says that Edward was affectionately known as the “Grandfather” of the Royal Artillery Band, so Edward was clearly another musician of note in this talented family.

His friends were not restricted to his fellow soldiers either. His army records show that  when Edward was short of funds in 1905, Lord Westbury interceded on his behalf for assistance. Apparently Edward was not eligible for an increase in pension, but it was suggested that he could apply for an “In pension”. For some reason Edward did not take up this offer. Perhaps this would have meant his living in the Chelsea Hospital, and maybe he preferred to live out his days in the area where he had been born.

Edward Robert Hurworth (1855-1888)

Family Status: Son of Edward Hurworth and Margaret Hurworth. Grandson of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3f.

The first child of Edward’s marriage to Margaret Hurworth was Edward Robert Hurworth, born in Woolwich in 1855. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a soldier in the Royal Artillery. Later he was a foreman in the Woolwich arsenal.

He married Ellen Gordon in Woolwich Parish Church in 1878 and they had six children. The first three were girls and the last three were boys. The first two boys died either at birth or shortly afterwards, so it was left to the youngest child Edward to carry on the Hurworth name. Edward Robert, his father, died the year after young Edward was born. He was still a young man, aged 32.

Edward Robert Hurworth was an accomplished musician like so many of this branch of the Hurworths. He could play at least three instruments, the violin, the cornet and the piano. There are several of his descendants living today, including Ted Hurworth, and a great grand-daughter Mrs. Patricia Done who lives in Perth, Australia.

Joseph Alderson Hurworth (1828-1909)

Family status: Son of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Grandson of Edward  Hurworth and Margaret Clarkson. Great grandson of  Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3g.

William Hurworth and Sarah Todd called their fourth child Joseph Alderson Hurworth. The name comes from the Joseph Alderson who signed as the first witness at William and Sarah’s wedding in 1822. The first witness was quite often the groom’s father, but William’s father, Edward Hurworth, had died when William was a baby. Joseph Alderson was William’s step maternal grandfather as is shown in Fig. 3gx.

William’s mother Mary was one of several children born to Margaret and William Clarkson (she was perhaps the eldest of three daughters and a son). William Clarkson died while still a young man, leaving Margaret with at least four children between a few months and six years old. About eighteen months later, Margaret married Joseph Alderson, a man of great character and integrity. Margaret Alderson had at least another four children but most of them died very young.  In the meantime, her daughter Mary married Edward Hurworth but she soon suffered a similar experience as her mother, when Edward died leaving Mary herself with a young family to support. They had been married only four years. The two infants were William and Ann, and Mary was born a few months later. The timing of things is probably important, to understand what happened next.

At least three of Joseph and Margaret Alderson’s children had died before Edward. The last one of these, Sarah Alderson, was buried in 1798, and Edward died in 1800. So far as I know, Mary Hurworth did not remarry (she signed as “Mary Hurworth” at William’s wedding in 1822). In the circumstances it would have been natural for Joseph and Margaret Alderson to “adopt” Mary and her young family. Mary’s children were after all, Margaret Alderson’s grandchildren, so maybe Joseph was a father figure to William. This would explain why Joseph Alderson signed as the first witness at William’s wedding to Sarah Todd and why one of their sons was christened Joseph Alderson Hurworth.

Thanks to an essay written by John Shaw, who was living in Gilling at the time, we know a little more about Joseph Alderson. Shaw had the following to say about Joseph. “... Egglestone’s property belonged to Joseph Alderson and was rebuilt by him. He was a weaver by trade. Afterwards he was a bread baker and kept two or three cows. He was one of the first Methodists in Gilling. His manners were simple, his abilities as a local preacher were slender (!). He built the first place of worship for Methodists in Gilling. Peggy Todd (any relation to Sarah?) who is now 93 years old, lives in the house which was built for the simple and primitive mode of worship followed by that people. Above the door is J.A. 1798.” Shaw also tells us that when the Wesleyan Chapel in Gilling was built in 1808, Joseph was one of four Superintendents.

Who did the building work for Joseph Alderson which is mentioned in Shaw’s essay? Could it have been his wife’s son-in-law, Edward Hurworth? He was a stonemason. 

Joseph Alderson Hurworth was christened in St. Agatha’s Church in Gilling on the 4th of April 1828. From then on, I have little information about him until the time of the 1851 census. As I mentioned earlier, Joseph’s father, William, was a widower by this time and he was living in Gilling with six of his children. Joseph Alderson Hurworth was among them, 23 years old and a blacksmith by trade. As the children became adults, the family split up and moved right out of the Gilling West area.

Joseph married for the first time in 1860. For some reason the wedding was in the Hartlepool district. A few months later, the 1861 census shows that Joseph and his wife Mary were living in Upleatham village near Redcar in Cleveland. Mary had been born just a few miles away in Yearby, so this was home territory for her. Joseph was still working as a blacksmith.

Joseph and Mary had so little time together. A daughter, Elizabeth, was born in mid-1861 and a son, William, followed in the last days of 1862. Mary probably died in the childbirth or shortly afterwards.

By 1881, their daughter Elizabeth was twenty years old and a scullery maid in Scarborough working for a local magistrate and alderman, John Woodall Woodall MA (Oxford). The next census in 1891, shows she was employed nearer home and in even more distinguished company. She was the Cook at Pinchingthorpe House between Middlesbrough and Guisborough for members of the famous Darlington Pease family.

The Pease family were Quakers and had come to Darlington in 1660. By now, they were prominent business people in banking and the railways. Joseph Pease was the first Quaker to become an M.P. In 1891, the head of the house where Elizabeth was cook, was Alfred E. Pease. He too, was an M.P., and his younger brother, Joseph Albert Pease, lived with him and their wives. The two brothers were also J.P.s and bankers. In addition to Elizabeth the cook,  two ladies maids, two parlour maids, one house maid and one kitchen maid, attended to the needs of these four people.

In 1894 Elizabeth married in Stokesley. She had several children and the family lived there for many years. It is believed her married name was Beasley.

Her brother William was a teacher for most of his life. The 1881 census shows he was a teacher, even at 18 years old. At the time he was living in Bishop Wearmouth, Sunderland. It seems he married in 1894, the same year as his sister Elizabeth, and there were three sons and two daughters from the marriage, including twin brothers, one of whom died in infancy. One of the daughters also died young, possibly at birth.

He is reputed to have been a great admirer of Thomas Hardy and at some stage, possibly soon after he married, William went to live in Dorset where for many years he was a headmaster at a school in Sydling St. Nicholas, near Dorchester. It appears there are several of his Hurworth descendants alive today.

After his first wife Mary’s death in late 1862, Joseph Alderson Hurworth was left with two babies. Mary Ann Gallilee came as house keeper and child-minder, and she became Joseph’s second wife in 1867. She was about eight years younger than Joseph, and a dressmaker. They had six children, two boys and four girls. The last two children were girls, both called Margaret, and they died before they were one year old. The surviving daughter, Sarah Hurworth, lived to be 96! She never married, and died in Whitby in 1966.

At the time of the 1891 census, Joseph was a lodger in the N.E. Railway Cottages at Pinchingthorpe, so he was not far away from his daughter Elizabeth, the cook at Pinchingthorpe House. His wife, Mary Ann, was in Marske, alone, and somewhat mysteriously, she is described as “living on her own means”. Joseph was now 63 and the census lists him as a farm labourer.


Joseph Alderson Hurworth (1868-1959)

Family Status: Son of Joseph Alderson Hurworth and Mary Ann Gallilee. Grandson of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3h.

Mary Ann Hurworth’s first child was a son, and he was given the same name as his father. So the name of Joseph Alderson, was perpetuated again for another generation.

Joseph Alderson Hurworth (Junior) was a teacher. Born in Upleatham in 1868, he married Sarah Elizabeth Winterbourne in 1901 in the West Ham area of London which is where their four sons were born and married.

In the early years of the Second World War, Joseph’s wife Sarah died in Cardiff. Joseph’s third son, William Edward (Bill), moved to Cardiff, and Joseph lived with Bill and Bill’s wife until Joseph died in 1959.

John George Cook Hurworth (1871-1951)

Family Status: Son of Joseph Alderson Hurworth and Mary Ann Gallilee. Grandson of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3j.

The next son of Joseph Alderson Hurworth’s marriage to Mary Ann Gallilee  was christened John George Cook Hurworth. There is a family rumour that the  “Cook” forename indicates a connection with Captain Cook, the explorer, but the Cook surname is very common, and the odds are that a different Cook family is involved. Nevertheless, there is some interesting circumstantial evidence to support a possible link with Captain Cook.

A genealogical study by Mrs. Burnicle, published by the Cleveland Family History Society, shows that Captain Cook’s sons and daughters had no children, and most of the known relatives are descendants of one of Captain Cook’s sisters, Margaret Cook, and her husband James Fleck. The family trees are by no means complete and there is plenty of room for “new” descendants to be discovered. There are many examples of the custom of using close relative’s Christian names and surnames as forenames. Fig. 3jx shows the Cook surname in the names of direct descendants of Margaret and her husband James Fleck . The Cook forename occurs four times in the names of Margaret’s grandchildren, five times amongst her great grandchildren and twice amongst her great grandchildren.

It is also interesting to note that Joseph and Mary Ann Hurworth lived not far from where Captain Cook was born and went to school. Furthermore, Margaret Fleck and James Fleck, had lived in Upleatham, and many of their children were born there. Census records show that one of the Fleck daughters, Grace, had lived in Upleatham with her husband John Carter and their family until just a few years before Joseph came to live there. Grace Carter, a great niece of Captain Cook, never married, and died in Upleatham in 1876, so she was a contemporary of Joseph and Mary Ann Hurworth. Upleatham was also home for several other members of the families into which Captain Cook’s nephews and nieces had married.

 If the Cook forename indicates a blood relationship with Captain Cook in the case of John George Cook Hurworth, it must surely be through his mother’s line. Unfortunately, her father’s name and occupation is not recorded on her marriage certificate. Furthermore, it seems that Mary Ann was born before just before civil registration began, and I have not yet found a record of her birth and parentage.

John George Cook Hurworth married Annie Maud Holliday in 1896, and they had a large family, maybe as many as 11 children, 5 of whom, it seems, died very young. John and his wife ran a bakery and cafe business for many years in Saltburn. Eventually, they moved to Bishop Auckland, where John died in 1951, aged 80. There are several of his descendants who are living in County Durham today. One of John’s sons, George Frederick, emigrated to New Zealand and members of his family are still living there, and in Australia.

William Hurworth (1831-1906)

Family Status: Son of William Hurworth and Sarah Hurworth. Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Anne Fenwick. See Fig. 3l.

William Hurworth was the third son of William and Sarah to survive childhood. The 1841 census shows him living with his parents in Sedbury, aged 10. In November 1850 he married Maria Harle in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, and they were living there a few months later at the time of  the 1851 census. William was working as an agricultural labourer and the record shows his birth place as Sedbury Lodge. Later William became a coal miner and he lived rest of his life in Chester-le-Street, where he died in 1906, aged 76.

William and Maria had at least fifteen children, eight boys and seven girls. Four of these, all boys, did not survive childhood. Edward Hurworth was working down South Pelaw pit when some waggons ran over his legs. He died two months later. He was eight years old.

The first child was a boy and he was promptly christened after his father and grandfather. This William Hurworth also became a miner and lived in Chester-le-Street for many years. He married Elizabeth Speed there in 1873 and it seems they had four children. Their only son Robert died when he was a baby. At some stage the family moved to the Gateshead area probably in between 1881 and 1884, and William died there in 1902, aged 51.

One of the youngest children was christened Joseph and he married Maria Holmes in the final year of the century. It seems they had no children.

James Ridley Hurworth (1859-1923)

Family Status: Son of William Hurworth and Maria Harle. Grandson of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3m.

James Ridley Hurworth was the second surviving son of William Hurworth and Maria Harle. He was born in 1859 in  Chester-le-Street. In 1881 he was living with his parents and several brothers and sisters in the Chester Moor part of Chester-le-Street. His older brother William and his wife and two children were also living nearby. According to this census, James was 21 and a miner.

In 1888 he married Mary Tindall in the Houghton-le-Spring area of County Durham which is where the family settled. They had eleven children, it seems. The last six died as babies and these included two sets of twins. The fifth child, Margaret, became a teacher but died at 27.

James Ridley Hurworth’s second son, Thomas Henry Hurworth, married, and his wife had two sons and a daughter. Both sons died as bachelors. The second of these, William (Billy), was killed in the First World War at the age of 18.

James Ridley Hurworth’s first son was also called William. He was a miner, too. He married Mary Ann Miller who came from a Whitehaven family, and they had six children including twin girls who died as infants, possibly at birth.

William died at the relatively early age of forty leaving his wife with two girls and a boy, aged between about 4 and 9 years old, and  three months later, their last child William was born. Their mother Mary Ann also died young, eight years later at the age of 47, and the family of four children, two boys and two girls were now orphans.

The oldest boy was christened James (presumably after his grandfather) and he was a miner for 41 years from the age of 14 to 55. A life-long bachelor, James and the oldest of the two sisters, brought up the other two children after their mother died.

John Hurworth (1863-1919)

Family Status: Son of William Hurworth and Maria Harle. Grandson of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3n.

John or “Jack” Hurworth was the third surviving son of William Hurworth and Maria Harle.  Another miner, he married  Isabella Innes on Christmas Eve day in 1887 and they had eight children of whom three boys and a girl died as babies. John, their seventh child, died in the Great War. The last son, Frederick, married, but it seems they had no children.

William Hurworth was Jack’s eldest son, and first-born. Yet another coal miner, he worked at Harraton Colliery near Chester-le-Street. A life-long supporter of Newcastle United football team, he went to most of their matches at Wembley. He was also a local football referee. In 1916 he married Lydia Colman Richmond and they had two daughters and a son. Their son, William (“Bill”), served in the Black Watch during the Second World War. As a prisoner of war he was forcibly employed at Hesedorf  in Germany on the manufacture of V2 rockets.

James Hurworth (1837-1924)

Family Status: Son of William Hurworth and Sarah Hurworth. Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great Grandson of Edward Hurworth and Anne Fenwick. See Fig. 3o.

James Hurworth was the fifth surviving son of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. He was a thirteen year old “scholar” at the time of the 1851 census and was living in Gilling with his father and some of his brothers and sisters.

A few years later, James emigrated to South Africa. It is believed that he was retained by Sir Andries Stockinstroom, Governor of the Eastern Cape Province, to look after two horses on the journey out to South Africa in return for a free passage in 1856. James took a sack of acorns with him to feed to the horses, and on his arrival in South Africa, he rode the horses from Port Elizabeth to Bedford. He built a stable for them on the Stockinstroom farm near Bedford. There were some acorns left over from the trip. He planted these, and the streets of Bedford are still lined with the oak trees which grew from these acorns.

James acquired some land at Wilfred’s Hope near Bedford and settled down to farming. In its heyday the farm was about 800 acres. He married Mary Holinwood or Hollaway and they had  two boys and two girls but one of the boys died young. His eldest son married but it is believed that the couple had no children.

Shortly after his arrival in South Africa, when James was about twenty, some children were playing near a mill pond. A young girl became caught up in the mill wheel and he rescued her, saving her from drowning. She was Margaret Rose Lawrence, and years later, James married her after his first wife died. The couple had eight children, all girls except for one boy. He was called James like his father.

Four of the seven daughters married, and another daughter died as a baby. The other two daughters never married. One of these was Meg, the eldest .


Dr. James Ernest Hurworth (1889-1938)

Family Status: Son of James Hurworth and Margaret Rose Lawrence. Grandson of William Hurworth and Sarah Todd. Great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Mary Clarkson. Great great grandson of Edward Hurworth and Ann Fenwick. See Fig. 3o.

Meg took it upon herself to see to the other children’s education. When she was unable to teach James any more, she succeeded in persuading her parents to find the funds to send him to Kingswood College, a boarding school in Grahamstown. After he matriculated, he decided he wanted to be a doctor, and he set off for England. He arrived at St. Bartholomew’s in London and found that their term had started. They advised him to go to Edinburgh, so he took the overnight sleeper and managed to enrol there the next day.

James was an accomplished sportsman like his father. He played rugby and cricket for his University, and continued to play rugby as a doctor,  - at least  until his senior partner told him that on Monday morning his patients were saying he looked worse than they did!

James had a great love of horses, polo and racing, which continued throughout his life, so when war broke out in 1914, it is no surprise that he joined the Royal Horse Artillery. He survived the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign by being sent home with acute dysentery, and in 1916 he distinguished himself in the Battle of the Somme and was mentioned in dispatches.

After the Battle of the Somme the army was short of doctors and James was brought home. His studies and training were accelerated, cramming two years into one, and he graduated on the 23rd of April 1917 at Edinburgh University. In the afternoon, after the graduation ceremony, James married Edith Somerville Grieve, a fellow student at the University. Three days later James returned to the war and set off for Tanganyika (now Tanzania) with the East African Rifles. It was two and a half  years before they were reunited.

After the war James became a government doctor in Southern Rhodesia, but he soon joined the medical practise in Salisbury in which his brother-in-law, Guy Peall (James’s sister Flo’s husband), was a partner, and so it became MacNaughton, Huggins, Peall and Hurworth.

The senior partner, Godfrey Huggins, was for many years Prime Minister of Rhodesia, and later became Lord Malvern. During this time, Huggins started his operations at 7.30 so that he could be back at his civic duties by 10 o’clock in the morning. James’s daughter, Jean, remembers getting up at 5.30 during the school holidays to go riding with her father so that James could be back in time to assist Huggins as his anaesthetist.

It is probably as a gynaecologist that James is most remembered by his patients, and fondly so. Jean recalls many occasions when she came across people who knew her father and whose children had been delivered by him.

He enjoyed his life immensely and he lived it to the full, but few people knew that he was increasingly in pain from duodenal ulcers. In those days there were no drugs to  help him and James was fighting a losing battle. On Easter Sunday 1938, Jean was taken to say good-bye to her father. An emergency operation on the perforated ulcer which burst had been unsuccessful in saving his life.

There is still a road in Harare, Zimbabwe (formerly Salisbury, Rhodesia), called Hurworth Road in memory of Dr. James Ernest Hurworth. When he died, this remarkable Hurworth line ended. James’s only son, and a daughter, died at birth. Jean is his only surviving child.

I have copies of two excellent interesting essays written by Jean about her father and grandfather, to which she has added many lovely photographs. A photograph of Dr. James taken after his graduation, and one taken the same day of the wedding group, are among my favourite Hurworth photographs.




The Hurworth line of descent from William and Catharine is shown in the family trees of the Figure 4 series.

William Hurworth (1763-?)

Family Status: Son of David Hurworth and Agatha Stokell. Grandson of Robert Hurworth and Beatrice Parkyn. See Fig. 4a.

William was a Sergeant in the North York Militia like his uncle, Edward Hurworth. He married Catharine Harrison in 1786 and their first child was another William Hurworth. His wife was Mary and they were Roman Catholics. They had at least seven children, all baptised in the Roman Catholic Church in Richmond between 1817 and 1828. The 1851 census shows us that William and Mary ran a tea and coffee shop in Richmond.

William and Mary’s first son was christened Thomas Hurworth, probably after William’s uncle Thomas, who was also a Roman Catholic, founder of a new prospering branch of the Hurworths, who had married and settled in York. Young Thomas became a fellmonger, i.e. he sold skins and hides. His wife, Elizabeth, had just one child, whom they christened Catharine, possibly in memory of Thomas’s sister, who had died at seventeen.

The next child of William and Catharine Harrison was called Catharine like her mother. Catharine made straw hats and was also a silk dyer. She married John Lancaster, a Pay Master Sergeant in the NYM from Darlington in 1825.

William and Catharine Harrison’s third child, David Hurworth, was a painter. His wife, Sarah, was a southerner from South Moreton in  Berkshire. They had three children, two girls and a boy. Henry and Sarah survived infancy but the middle child, another Sarah, died as a baby.

Henry Hurworth was a printer and bookbinder in Richmond. He produced a lovely book in about 1885, “The Guide to Richmond including Swaledale, Wensleydale, Teesdale, Rokeby Catarachtonium and District”. According to a family source, he was a Catholic, and was once Mayor of Richmond. The former is very likely, but I have been unable to confirm the latter.

Henry’s father, David Hurworth, died a relatively young man at 39 in 1831. The census returns give us some insight into how his family lived in the following years.

His wife Sarah was a dyer for a while like her sister-in-law, Catharine Lancaster, had been. Daughter Sarah was a  dressmaker and seamstress and she lived with her aunt Catharine Lancaster after she was widowed. After David’s wife Sarah died, Henry lived alone in Tower Street close to Richmond Castle, and then when Catharine Lancaster died, Henry joined his sister In Newbiggin, a street in Richmond  where Catharine had lived for at least twenty years. Brother and sister lived together in various houses until Henry died in 1899. Sarah died the following year on her birthday.

Sarah did not leave a will. How her estate (gross value £212) was to be distributed must have caused someone a headache. The nearest relative geographically, was Catharine Bearparke, who lived in Richmond, and she was granted the Letters of Administration. Sarah and Catharine’s father,Thomas Hurworth, were cousins, so Catharine was Sarah’s cousin once removed. Potentially, there were closer relatives alive, e.g. a (first) cousin. To settle who should inherit, and how much, meant that enquiries had to be made in other branches of the family. Sarah had a second cousin amongst the Hurworths living in York, and a draft of a letter which seems to be a reply to an enquiry about this inheritance, is still in existence.

George Hurworth (1793-pre 1843)

Family Status: Son of William Hurworth and Catharine Harrison. Grandson of David Hurworth and Agatha Stokell. Great grandson of Robert Hurworth and Beatrice Parkyn. See Fig. 4b.

There is circumstantial evidence that George, the last of William and Catharine’s children, left Richmond to live in London. Certainly a George Hurworth married Margaret Stevenson in 1817 in London in St. George’s Church, Hanover Square. We cannot yet be sure that he was William’s son George from Richmond, Yorkshire. The best evidence so far, comes from names. The recycling of family Christian names and maiden surnames of an earlier generation are sometimes the answer to a genealogist’s prayer.

The first child of George and Margaret was christened Barnard William Hurworth. Where the Barnard comes from is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the name is a reference to Barnard Castle, and the family roots, but the second forename, William, is a classical choice, if Barnard’s father was George, William and Catharine’s son.

This is also supported in Barnard’s first son’s name, George William, - after his father George, and hopefully his grandfather, William. Barnard’s next son’s name is an even better clue to the family’s origins. He was christened Thomas Lancaster Hurworth. The Lancaster forename must surely be indication of a family link with Catharine Hurworth, Richmond-born George Hurworth’s sister. She was the straw bonnet maker who married the NYM Pay Master Sergeant, John Lancaster.

Barnard’s youngest brother, Thomas, was the only one of George’s children to be christened in a Roman Catholic Church in the year after The Catholic Emancipation Act had been passed. So here is another clue, George and Margaret were Catholics, like several of George Hurworth’s family in Richmond, Yorkshire.

George and Margaret had five children, four boys and one girl. George probably died before civil registration began in the second half of 1837, since his death was not registered. Margaret died in 1843. Her death certificate confirms George had been a tailor.

Barnard William Hurworth (1821-1896)

Family Status: Son of George Hurworth and Margaret Stevenson. Grandson of William Hurworth and Catharine Harrison. Great grandson of David Hurworth and Agatha Stokell. Great great grandson of Robert Hurworth and Beatrice Parkyn. See Fig. 4b.

Barnard William Hurworth was a tailor like his father. He married Eliza Hudson in 1845 in Shoreditch, where they lived for the rest of their lives. They had at least seven children, three boys and four girls, between 1846 and 1860.

The census returns give the impression that business was good and provided employment for many of the family. In 1851, Barnard was described as “a master tailor employing one man occasionally”, son George William was a “card-cutter” (1861), daughter (Dorothy) Agnes, was a “tailoress” (1871), another daughter, Emma, was a “box maker” (1881 and 1891). Grandson William Taylor was a 13 year “errand boy” in 1891 and lived with them.

George William married and it seems that his wife had two boys and four girls. A boy and a girl died as babies, and the surviving boy, George Barnet (George Barnard?), married, and there is at least one Hurworth family living today descended from him.

Thomas Lancaster Hurworth married in 1876 in Shoreditch. He died less than three years later, aged 26, without leaving any children. About a year later, his widow had a son to a man called Jones. The boy’s birth was registered as Thomas Harry Jones, but the couple did not marry, and for most of his life he was known as Thomas Hurworth. He was a soldier for twelve years, serving in the Boer War for nearly three years. Although he married, there were no children. Both his wife and mother predeceased him, and he died without leaving a will. His estate (valued at £1735) was granted to the Solicitors for the Treasury.

The other brother Henry, a leather cutter, married in 1882 and died less than two years later, aged 23. It seems there was a child who died in infancy.

Thomas Hurworth (1830-188?)

Family Status: Son of George Hurworth and Margaret Stevenson. Grandson of William  Hurworth and Catharine Harrison. Great grandson of David Hurworth and Agatha Stokell. Great great grandson of Robert Hurworth and Beatrice Parkyn. See Fig. 4d.

There is significant evidence that Greg Hurworth is descended from Thomas Hurworth, the last son of George Hurworth and Margaret Stevenson.

Greg’s grandfather, Harry Hurworth, wrote the little he knew about his ancestors in his Bible in 1915. In it, was the information that Harry had an uncle who was a tailor in East and City Road, Shoreditch. He was clearly Barnard William Hurworth. Greg had found out from the 1871 census that his great grandfather, Thomas, was born in St. Pancras in 1829/30. This fits exactly with the IGI information for Thomas, George and Margaret’s last child. Also, Thomas’s first son was called Thomas George, presumably after the boy’s father and grandfather. However, according to Thomas’s marriage certificate, his father was John Hurworth, not George! We should not be too quick to dismiss it, but it seems that this entry is incorrect.

Harry Hurworth (1872-1952)

Family Status: Son of Thomas Hurworth and Nanette Williamson. Grandson of George Hurworth and Margaret Stevenson. Great grandson of William and Catharine Harrison. Great great grandson of David Hurworth and Agatha Stokell. Great great great grandson of Robert Hurworth and Beatrice Parkyn. See Fig. 4d.

Harry was the youngest child of Thomas and Nanette Hurworth. He was orphaned by the time he was 8 or 9 and was brought up in an orphanage. When he was 18, Harry went to sea and was based in Bristol. In the last years of the century, Harry went into service. He met and married Kate Trim, who was working in the same household. Their daughter, Katrim was born while they still living in Bristol. In 1902 the family returned to London and Henry John Hurworth was born later in the same year.

The couple worked as vergers for various Anglican churches, firstly in London and then in Cleethorpes. Here Henry died in 1905, aged three. Two more sons, Greg’s father, Robert Oswald, and  Greg’s uncle Hubert were born in the next few years. Oswald and Hubert were the names of priests at the church where Greg’s grandparents worked. Oswald baptised Greg’s father.

Greg’s grandparents returned to London at the beginning of World War One and they managed an Anglican Home for wounded soldiers. For this work, Harry was offered the Freedom of the City of London but when he was unable to produce his birth certificate, it was later bestowed on his children for their lifetime only. Harry’s birth was never registered, and this was a source of unhappiness to him for many years.

Harry was partially blind for most of his life, and eventually became totally blind. Even so, somehow, Greg’s grandparents set up in business, cleaning Guy’s hospital and various offices in London. They retired in 1932 but managed the business for some time afterwards, and also remained active in the Church Army. Harry and Kate died in the 1950’s, both octogenarians.