First notes - Factories leased or used by John Wood when he came from Marsden and Manchester. These are in Old Glossop. Prior to 1838 and the building of the new Town Hall and the 1844 New Market Charter which moved the market from the Old Cross, Glossop was that area round the parish Church and Old Cross [now Old Glossop]. Milltown and Howardtown were two growing area south and west of Glossop.
Milltown was that area southwest of the Corn mill on the Shelf Brook [Corn St. near Manor Park] and Howardtown was the centre of the present Glossop mainly around Market St, George St, and Chapel Street westwards from the Glossop Brook at Bridge End.
On the 12th July, 1789, Mr. Benjamin Goodison had a 99 year lease on the land, and built the mill. It was bounded on the East by the Tanyard Meadow, 26 yards long; West by the same, 15 yards; on the North by same, 38 yards; on the South by a road leading to Mossy Lea 36 yards; total, 779. The house adjoining was built by Robert Bennett on a 73 years lease, 1,567 square yards.
On the 17th April 1823 Mr. John Wood was working it, and it was assessed at £15 10s. In 1833, Mr. Abraham Broadbent occupied both the mill and house. He made bobbins, hat tips and doubled yarn for hand loom weavers. He went weekly to Huddersfield, carrying his work on his back. He remained as occupier of the mill until July, 1840, when he removed to the Mouse Nest Mill at Padfield. The mill remained empty until 1846, when Mr. John Ford started the wadding business. He was succeeded by Mr. John Downs in the same line of business. It was then used by a Mr. Greaves as a brewery. The last occupier, I believe, was a Mr. T.P.Sykes, who manufactured tape and banding there. The house was afterwards used as a Cottage Hospital for smallpox patients. Scarcely a vestige of the mill or house is now left.
WATERLOO MILL, OLD MILL, TWIST MILL, LOWER WATER MILL.
These were the various names given to a mill built on land, the lease of which dates from 1st August, 1807. This mill, as well as the "Higher Water Mill", was worked by Mr. John Wood. the founder of John Wood & Bros. Ltd. when he first he came to Glossop in 1815. He gave up the tenancy in 1825. This mill, in 1825, was assessed for 8,665 spindles. Mr. Wood named it the Waterloo Mill because the great victory of Wellington over Bonaparte had just taken place. A sketch of the Water Mill and the Thread Mill appeared on his bill heads. This mill was advertised to be sold on the 20th April, 1809, and it was described in the advertisement as being 3 stories high, exclusive of loft, 99 feet long, 31 feet wide, water wheel, etc., water right. There were also 13 houses known as Barrack Row, warehouse, two goits or sluices from Shelf Brook, 1715 yards long.
Mr. Thomas Ward was the last occupier, but it was empty in 1831 and remained so for many years. Whilst it was empty, an exciting cock fight took place therein for £5 a side, between Cock Sam's of New Mills, and John Holden's noted cock. Threepence each was charged for admission and the fight was talked about for weeks before and after the match. John Holden was the Toll Collector at Dinting Toll Bar. In 1846, Mr. Thomas Leigh was the tenant. In September, 1851, Mr. John Newton Winterbottom took a 21 years' lease of it, at a rental of £300. Mr.T.P.Sykes then had it, and it was burned down during the time his sons were tenants-on the 29th May, 1879.
HOPE MILL, TOP MILL, HIGHER WATER MILL , BARRACKS MILL, OR WARD'S MILL.
Most of the mills have had different names at one time or other; the above mill is an example, all of them are applicable. This was one of the mills that Mr. John Wood first occupied when he came to Glossop. In 1824, the year he left it, it was assessed for 5,280 spindles. Mr Samuel Collier was his manager. He was afterwards a manager at Wren Nest Mills. He was also a clockmaker, and many of his clocks are still working in Glossop households. Mr. S. Collier was born 18th July, 1769, and died 18th November, 1837. I shall have more to say about Mr. Collier in a future article.
In 1830, Messrs. Sale and Harrison were the occupiers. It was empty for several years after 1831, when Mr. Benjamin Waterhouse worked it in conjunction with the Lower Water Mill. In 1846, Messrs. Berresford and Holland were tenants; after them, Mr. T.P.Sykes and Sons. It was burned down in 1875.
This mill was erected for the working of cotton wool, so says an old document. The lease was granted to Thomas Shaw, cotton manufacturer, of Lower Mill, on the 10th February, 1803. It was situated in the New Croft, bounded on the East by the road from Glossop to Whitfield, 88 yards long; on the West by the Crab Tree Spot, 66 yards; on the North by the New Croft, 39 yards; on the South by the Glossop Brook, 39 yards; total 2,925 square yards.
The mill was worked by Thomas Shaw and John Beeley in partnership. In 1811, it was assessed at £38 10s. In 1831 Mr Beeley was the sole occupier, and the assessment was for 5,700 spindles, and had risen to £74. In 1838 the occupiers were Messrs. Daniel Hodgson and Jonathan Wright, and both of them lived at Milltown. On the 27th January, 1842, the mill was burned down. The assessment was then £152. The following account of the occurrence appeared in the Manchester Guardian, Wednesday, 2nd February, 1842:-
Early on Thursday morning, a destructive fire broke out in the cotton mill occupied by Wright and Hodgson, spinners and weavers. The fire was discovered about 2 o'clock in the morning by a person who was passing at the time, and who immediately gave the alarm; but unfortunately, the inhabitants of the neighbourhood being wrapped in sleep, a long time had elapsed before assistance could be obtained. On the arrival of the engines, the devouring element had gained so great an ascendance that they were wholly insufficient to arrest the progress of the flames; and in a short time the entire mill, with its valuable machinery worth £2000 was totally destroyed. The property, we are sorry to hear, is only partially insured
Messrs. John Wood, Brothers and Cos., Narrow Mill is built on the site. Mr John Wood took a lease of the land on the 9th March 1850.
BRIDGE END MILL.
This mill which many of my readers will remember stood near to Victoria Bridge. It was always kept whitewashed. It was built for a fulling or milling mill. The lease was taken out on the 20th December, 1782, by Robert Fielding, fustian manufacturer, Whitfield; John Thornley, Hadfield; Samuel Roberts, clothier, Dinting; and Charles Calvert, Glossop. The area of the land was 42 square perches, situated in "Bottoms". On the 2nd September, 1800, George Burgess, woollen manufacturer, took out a lease for additional land situated in the "Great Bottom", bounded on the East by the Great Bottom, 44 yards long; on the West land occupied by himself, 46 yards; on the North land occupied by himself, 96 yards; and on the South by the Glossop Brook 96 yards. In June 1811, Mr. Burgess was married to Miss Howe, a daughter of the Rev. Christopher Howe, of the Parish Church. He was then working the mill. He was known to his workpeople as "Bandy-legged Burgess," owing to a misformation of his legs.
Mr. Burgess was not successful as a cotton manufacturer, and the mill was sold by public auction at the Howard Arms Inn on the 5th March, 1819, Mr John Wood being the purchaser for £1,900. It will give us an idea of the rapid progress he made if I give the number of spindles and looms he had working at this mill in the following years:-
When Mr. Wood bought the Howardtown Mill which was the name given to it after the sale, he was working three mills at Old Glossop, and also the Charlesworth Mills. The mill was known officially as the Bridge End Mill. It was necessary that he should have accommodation for his workpeople so he took out a lease of land on the 29th September, 1822. This land was bounded on the East by the High Field, occupied by Sarah Shaw, 22 yards long; on the West by the premises of Samuel Collier, the present Pear Tree Inn, which had only just been built as a private residence, 23 yards; on the North by the High Field, 108 yards; and on the South by the Glossop and Marple Bridge turnpike Road, 108 yards.
These houses were long known as the Step Row. On the 25th March, 1824 he took land in the Lower Bottom occupied by Samuel Collier, and the Far Meadow, occupied by Sarah Shaw. It was bounded on the East by the Far Meadow, on the West by the Chapel-en-le-Frith turnpike road which at that time came up Smithy Fold and Ellison Street; on the North by land and houses of Samuel Collier, nos. 16 to 26 High Street East; on the South by a cotton mill, occupied by Mr. Wood; total, 11,030 square yards. The Long Mill is built on this land.
On the 29th October, 1835 he took in vacant land bounded on the East and South by the Chapel-en-le-Frith Road, on the West by the recently formed branch road (Victoria Street) leading to the Norfolk Arms Inn, on the North by Land and houses belonging to Thomas Howe and Robert Wagstaffe, nos 2 to 14a, High Street East. On this land he built offices and houses including a weigh house, now pulled down. Jackson's Buildings now occupying the site On the 13th October, 1840, he took a lease of vacant land containing 908 square yards, bounded on the East by premises of John Wood and exors., of Robert Bennett; on the West by the Chapel-en-le-Frith Road and premises of John Wood; on the South by the Glossop Brook.
On the same date he had another piece containing 11,000 square yards, situated in the Far Meadow, the Lower Bottom and Bottoms, occupied by the exors. of Samuel Collier and the assignees of Thomas Shaw, bounded on the East and North-east by an intended street (the west side of Yorkshire Street); on the West by land and buildings of John Wood; on the North by the Glossop and Marple Road (High Street East); on the South by Bottoms, Lower Bottoms, and tail goyt. He built his house (Howardtown House) on this plot.
He had been living since he came to Glossop at a house in Hope Street built by James Owen, cotton manufacturer; the old pear tree is still living and flourishing at the gable end.
On the 11th October, 1846, he took 5,325 square yards of land bounded on the East by premises of his own; on the North by a lane, 12 feet wide, Milltown Lane; on the West by his own premises; on the North by Mill Street; on the South by the Glossop Brook. He now decided to have gas, and for the erection of a gas plant he was forced to go across the brook. This piece contained 4,518 square yards, bounded on the East and South by land which he occupied; to the South-west by land occupied by John and Joseph Hampson, on the North and North-west by the Glossop Brook.
He does not appear to have taken any more leases in his own name. The next one, 17th September, 1857 was taken out by John Hill Wood, Daniel Wood, and Samuel Wood, his sons. After the Milltown Mill was burned down, he acquired the leases obtained by Thomas Shaw.
One of them dated 3rd May, 1830, relates to the present reservoir and the Great Eastern Weaving Shed. The Long Mill facing the Lower Bank is really two mills, Milltown and Mill Bottom. One is narrower than the other, having been built at different times, and the spinning jennies having increased in length, necessitating a wider mill to accommodate them.
The Commercial Mill is near to Victoria Bridge, the Fireproof is opposite to the Pear Tree Inn. Great Eastern Weaving Shed is at Milltown, Brook Shed is opposite Lower Bank, Victoria Shed is opposite to the Manor Inn, Top Shed near the Victoria Shed, Bottom Shed near the same.
The Old Shed was on the site of Burgess' Mill. This mill was pulled down about 1859 to make room for the Commercial Mill, which was built in 1860.
The Old Mill contained a steam engine which originally was bought of Peel and Williams, Soho Foundry, Manchester, a noted firm in their days. The engine was put up again in Shepley Mill, and worked until destroyed by fire, which took place when Handforth's were the occupiers. Milltown Mill is built on the site of the old Milltown Mill which was burned down as described in the earlier portion of this article. These mills combined are a colossal monument to John Wood and his then sons.
John Wood, founder of John Wood and Brothers Ltd. was born in the year 1785 at Marsden, Yorkshire. Nothing much is known definitely as to his early life. But he must have had a good sound education in the three R's. He was a beautiful writer; his accounts were neatly kept, and his letters show that he was well able to hold his own with the people with whom he dealt. He married a Miss Alice Hill, a Liverpool Lady by whom he had three sons and two daughters; viz.
John Hill Wood, born or baptised on the 28th July, 1813; Eliza, born or baptised on the 17th July, 1815; Daniel, born 21st July, 1817; Samuel, born 24th January, 1819; and Alice, born 1821.
Before coming to Glossop he had lived at Manchester and Liverpool. Where he got his undoubted practical knowledge of cotton spinning and weaving is not known. It has for many years been commonly reported and believed that when Mr. John Wood came to Glossop he was so poor he could not afford either a pair of clogs or shoes, but had one of each on his feet. This is a ridiculous old woman's tale.
Mr. Robert Bennett, cotton spinner of Mottram, had two cotton mills empty at Old Glossop, the Thread Mill and the Old Water Mill, as well as a house in Hope Street, which was misprinted High Street in my last article. He let them to Mr. Wood, who was only thirty years of age, at a rental of £88 per annum for the Thread Mill, and £178 5s. for the Old Water Mill.
This is quite enough evidence in itself to prove that Mr. Wood was not a poor man when he came to Glossop. He had money and could command money. He entered into possession, and sent away his first productions on the 7th November, 1815.
In the year 1816 he was dealing with 22 firms, his transactions with them for the first year amounting to over £30,000. To one firm alone he sold over £6,000 worth of goods. His business increased so fast that on the 17th November, 1818, he rented another mill from Mr. Bennett. This was the New Water Mill, rental £211 4s. per annum; an additional part was put to it, and he had extra mules put in, which commenced working on 20th November, 1821, when the rent was raised to £264.
When he bought the Bridge End Mill the rental was £150 per annum. Mr Wood lost no time in entering into possession, and in July 1819, such was his energy that he had it in full working order. The names of his spinners were; William Thornley, Joseph Wood, Ernest Bowden, John Winterbottom (Moorside), James Winterbottom, Joseph Goddard, Grace Williamson, George Williamson, Amos Willis, James Knott, William Newton, John Chatterton, John Newton (Waterloo), Samuel Newton, Robert Wood, Jonathan Shaw, George Bowden, Moses Winterbottom, Ann Harrop, Samuel Bowden, Amer Garside, Thomas Harrop, Samuel Wood, Jonas Wood, James Newton, George Wood, John Hall, John Wood, Joseph Shaw. Their wages averaged over £2 per week, and were paid fortnightly. That many of these spinners remained for many long years in Mr. Wood's employment speaks well for his character, and that, many of their sons and grandsons entered also into the firms employment shows that his successors followed out his policy of being just to the hands.
Mr. Wood was a most energetic and industrious man, and he expected his workpeople to follow his example. He had no room for shirkers. Like other cotton masters, he had to deal with some tough customers, but he was fully equal to the task. There was nearly always a scarcity of hands, and he imported many from the Yorkshire towns, and these were no saints. Polite language was not commonly used by either masters or men in those days, and Mr. Wood could express himself very forcibly and to the point. He had a soft heart, and lent any of his workpeople money or supplied them with food when they were in distress through no fault of their own, and he allowed them to repay the amounts in small fortnightly sums.
He was very exact, and any agreement that he entered into he fulfilled to the letter. He expected being treated the same, and if this was not done he severed his connexion with those who did not keep to their agreement. He did not believe in verbal agreements, but would have them in writing, properly signed and witnessed. He was scrupulous in every detail, as the following extracts will show:-
March 25th, 1825. Purchased from J.Wilson and Sons, Birchworth Mills, Penistone, 15 pecks of beans (equal to sample left) and to be a little crushed, at 27s, delivered at Saltersbrook on the 10th inst., by 10 o'clock morning.
July 1st, 1825, Edwin Moorhouse, 15 setts of heald staves. Memoir., one half to be sent by Sheppard (the carrier) on Friday next, and to be as good as Marsden's healds, or Edwin Moorhouse is to have nothing for them.
November 16th 1825, Received from Joseph Waite 50 weavers candlesticks. (The spinners paid for their own candles).
February 3rd, 1826, Ordered from James Mills, Gee Cross, one gross of bobbin frame bobbins, equal to sample, at 60s. per gross; if not more than what has been given to John Higginbottom, but if they are more, then to be at the same price as J.H's.
March 13th 1826, Memoir., That Charles Garside engages to paint new warehouse windows inside and outside, at 3d each window. These windows were glazed by Joseph Winterbottom; 13 windows 5 ft, 1.5 in. by 3 ft. 81/in.; 8 windows, 4 ft. 113/4 in by 3 ft. 8.5 in.; 393 feet at 1s 1.5d., £22 2s 5d.; priming, 4d. each
April 3rd. 1826, Sold James Brocklehurst, Hayfield, all the scutch fly at 1d. per lb. for two months from this date, the whole of what is made.
April 20th, 1826, John Bridge agrees to take a cottage belonging to Mr. Wood at Bridge End at the rate of 2s. per week, and agrees to quit the same cottage in two months from this date without further notice.
April 26th, 1826, Memoir., of a return made to the assessor of Taxes this year, William Thorpe, viz., the clerk, 1 horse for private use, 6 draught horses, 1 dog, Paper delivered in this day by William Bramald.
May 30th, 1826, Mr. William Cresswell agrees to cart the stone from Turn Lee Pit to Bridge End for a wall, at the rate of 6s. per rood of eight yards; William Cresswell paying the tolls and other expenses and loading himself at the pit.
July 8th, 1826, Copy of letter to W.B..Lees, timber merchant, Salford: Not having yet received or heard anything of the baywood ordered from you a considerable time since, which was promised should be delivered immediately, I shall in consequence consider the order void and shall look out elsewhere for the article, it is not being convenient for me to wait any longer. -Remaining yours respectfully, J. Wood.
July 27th, 1826. Memoir., William Broadbent agrees to let Mr. Wood have good iron castings to order at 14s. 6d. per cwt., and taking what old metal he may have at 5s. 6d. per cwt. of 120 lbs.
October 1st, 1826, Memoir., Robert Byrom, of Ashton, veterinary surgeon, engages to physic and doctor and keep in good healthy condition Mr. John Wood's eight horses, at the rate of £2 each horse per annum, for the space of twelve months.
Bridge End, 31st October, 1826, Mr. Rose Saddler. It is Mr. Wood's strict request that you will not from this time do anything whatever for any of his carters or other persons in his employ without an order written in a book, for the purpose, and every article of work shall be paid for as it is done, and no more running accounts will be discharged from this day. It is particularly requested that Mr. Rose will refuse to do any work whatever without an order being written expressly in the book.
December, 4th, 1826, John Wood, Gunthwaite, near Penistone, has good hay to sell at £8 per ton; would be delivered at Fidler's Green as much as 30 tons.
December 5th 1826, Thomas Bowers and Co. agree to get any quantity of stone for building a gas house and setting up apparatus at the rate of 5s. per rood, mason's measured in double walls, flags of 2.5 to 2 inches thick at 1s. per square yard; keep stones at 9d. per square yard; window tops and bottoms 1s.4 d. each stone.
December 6th, 1826, Mr. John Atherton, foundry, Mottram, 11 patterns returned with castings. Mr Atherton will please to take notice that he must not do any castings without a written or personal order.
December 11th, 1826. Sold James Swindells, Stockport, all the pin-cop bottoms, at 23/4d. per lb.; all the twisters in thrumbs, etc., at 1s. per score, all the weaver's sweepings, at 4d. per score. Have had 10s on account, and if he does not fetch them away in the course of this week he shall forfeit it. 25th December, 1826. Memoir., of Notice to give up the 13 cottages near Waterloo Mill on 25th March, 1827,
Glossop, 25th December, 1826, Mr. Robert Bennett, Mottram, Sir, The present is to give you due notice that on the 25th of March next certain, I shall deliver up possession of the 13 cottages situated near Waterloo Mills which I now hold and rent from you, and from and after that day the respective tenants therein will be accountable to you for their rents. On the other side you will find a list of the present occupiers of the 13 cottages. Yours respectfully, signed J. Wood.
Names of tenants in cottages: on 25th December, 1826 (Barrack's Row) Robert Alsop, John Newton, Joseph Handford, John Williamson, Matthew Fin, Amos Willis, John Smalley, Thomas Maloney, Benjamin Arnfield, William Halton, Robert Collier, John Sidebotham, and Joseph Goddard.
Delivered in to Mr. Robert Bennett on the 23rd December, 1826 by H. Hunt, and R.B. said he would accept the possession of the 13 cottages in the occupation of the tenants without the keys being delivered to him, and he wished Mr. W to have what windows were broken put in repairs. The neighbourhood was not called Roughtown without due cause.
March 12, 1827, Mr. Wood ordered from James Russell, Wednesbury near Birmingham, 5,150 feet of piping and 698 T's. He writes, after giving the details of the piping:- And as I understand it is a general rule to return any part of tubing which may be left after the mill is fitted up, you will, of course, have no objection to do the same. You will please send word by what conveyance you will send them, with an account of the particulars by post, and when they are to be in Manchester.
Mr Wood erected his first gas forks in 1827 on the site of Jackson's Buildings and the prices he paid were; Retorts, 13s. per cwt., purifiers, 15s per cat.; hydraulic main, 13s. per cwt; gasometer pillars, 11s. per cwt., gasometer, weights 10s. per cwt.
March 23rd, 1827. John Bancroft engages to number the looms at the rate of 8d. per score of figures.
April 9th, 1827, Bradbury, Glossop, walling boundary wall for gas house yard, 5s. for eight yards lineal.
April 16th, 1827, Bought of Thomas Wagstaffe, Thurlstone, one ton of straw, dry and good at £4 per ton, laid down here on Friday or Saturday next, and therewith three or four pecks of good broad bran, at 17s. per peck, to be sweet and good, and if it does not suit Mr. Wood's purpose to be returned. Mr. Wood was fond of a garden and a farm. In 1820 he took a 15 years lease of a new piece of land from Joseph Fielding, schoolmaster at at a rental of £20 per annum.
It was customary in those days, before the Truck Act came into force 15th October, 1831, and many years after, for masters to supply their workpeople with the produce of the farm; milk, butter, potatoes, pork, mutton,, beef; they also supplied them with flour, meal, malt, etc., and brought them coal from collieries. When they received their pay the amount they owed the firm was deducted. The system had advantages as it ensured the workpeople having food and shelter, and it also had disadvantages where unscrupulous masters charged their workpeople exorbitant prices for inferior food, but I have never met with any evidence that such was the case in Glossop.
The Joseph Handford mentioned as living in the Barrack Row was the person Mr Wood employed to kill his beasts,etc.
April 16th 1827, James Booth engaged on 2nd January to keep in good condition and do all gardening work in Mr. Wood's garden at the rate of £8 for one year.
Mr. Wood also had a farm at Milltown, of which his sons continued the occupancy, as the following advertisement in the Glossop Record shows:-
December 21st, 1863. Sale of live stock by Thomas Wagstaffe at the farmsteads belonging to Messrs. John Wood and Bros.
At a later period Mr. Wood had a garden at Shepley Mill, and a farm at Simmondley.
May 15th 1827, Ordered from George Beaumont, Newton Moor, to make as many rivets to finish complete the new gasometer at 7d. per lb. and to take back any quantity which may be sent too many; to be made of the best material.
September 27th, 1827. Agreed with William Thompson to drive Charlesworth Mill engine at 18s. per week, and allow 3s. 6d. each time the flues and boilers are cleaned out.
November 26th, 1827. Agreed with John Langwith, Mottram Moor, to cast brass work at the rate of 4d. per lb. finding him old brass and to return the same weight of castings as old brass sent.
February 27th, 1828. Lent Robert Bennett, blacksmith, the punching engine and one punch.
March 12th, 1828. Memoir., of several pieces of Gunnell iron found. the same buried in the ground of John Ferniough, gasometer maker, as stated by Morgan and dug up by Thomas Heathcote, and weighed by William Bramhall, 2qrs. 6 lb.
April 19th, 1828. Return made to Assessors of Taxes, Joseph Platt, Padfield: 1 clerk, 1 groom, 1 gig, 1 horse for private use, 6 draught horses, 1 dog.
April 25th, 1828. Agreement by John Rhodes that he engages to shoe and keep Mr. John Wood's ten horses in good travelling condition during the space of 12 months from this day, and also to do all the farriers work, including every expense of physic, etc., the whole for the sum of £35, commencing this day to the 25th April, 1829; payments to be made quarterly; John Rhodes finding all materials, etc.
June 5th, 1828. George Rhodes and William Thornley agree with Mr. John Wood that they will get him ashlar stones for an engine bed to any dimensions, which shall be hereafter named by John Wood, of as good a description as any they have delivered to him before time, at the rate of 6.5d. per solid foot laid down at Bridge End Mills, and any stones which may come of too large dimensions Rhodes and Thornley will cut them to the size wanted by J.W., and they also agreed that John Wood shall not have to wait for any stones which may be ordered; if so he shall be at liberty to give up this bargain at his discretion.
July 10th, 1828. Agreed with Joseph Ecton for cutting foundation of house at 4d per yard, and soughing from the bottom of same at 11d. per yard, running measure.
August 6th, 1828. Agreed with Ollerenshaw to paint the mill windows at 6.5d. each, inside and out; to be done in a good workmanlike style.
These extracts show that Mr. Wood would have the best of everything, and nothing that he had not ordered, ordered exactly what he wanted or arranged for any surplus goods to be taken back. He believed in keeping no old stock. He kept a copy of all orders, and the details of dimensions, quality and prices and time of delivery. He always insisted upon delivery of goods ordered, on the day agreed upon. He could not brook delay, as he was of a very active temperament, which made him very careful of whom he employed. Anyone applying for employment had to give his name and address, and the place where he was last employed, and Mr. Wood enquired about the applicant's character for work before he employed him.
The following extracts may interest those readers who like or care to contrast the prices paid now and the dates given. 1825:-
September 13th. Grinding three pairs of scissors, 4d.
September 17th. Crowther and Hadfield, drink while making joints in the pipe, boiler house, 1s.
October 18th. Drink for men working at engine all night, 5s.
It seemed to be a general rule for the masters to provide ale for men working overtime. Mr. Wood used to give children, women and men, buttermilk if they at any time wanted any whilst working.
The items of the cost of drink supplied is interesting, as they give the work the men were employed upon, and thus fixes the dates of extensions and improvements.
March 10th, 1826. Postage of a letter to London, 1s.
June 12th, 1826. John Minshull, cleaning and repairing clock in warehouse (who was he?), 2s. 6d.
June 12th, 1826. James and Samuel Downs, hay making; one day at 2s. 8d.. £s. 4d.
July 15th, 1826. George Williamson and two others, mowing four days, at 3s. 6d., £2 2s.
September 18th, 1826. Drink for Peel's men, four days 11s. (in connexion with fitting up the engine)
December 5th, 1826. Paid Thomas Shaw 1.5 years rent of privilege of Tail Goyt to 29th September £10 10s.
January 27th, 1827. John Kinder, one gallon of linseed oil, 3s. 8d.
September 21st, 1827. Paid James Bennett, highway rate for Hurst Farm, 10s. 9d.
November 15th, 1827. m. Moss, 24 loads of potatoes at 15s 10d.,£7.
December 1st, 1827. 1.5 lbs. of quicksilver for steam gauge to N. engine pan. 6s. 9d.
December 24th, 1827. Expenses at, to and fro, from Stockport to Macclesfield, 10s.
January 27th, 1828. Repairing clock, T. Collier, 1s. 6d.
The extracts which I could give from my authentic source of information would of themselves fill a newspaper.
Mr. Wood had many anxieties in his business. In December, 1830 the spinners in the district had turned out for a uniform payment. Rioting had taken place, and soldiers, a detachment of the 10th Hussars and 4th Regiment of Foot, came to Glossop, and as the Long Mill of Mr. Wood's was not fully filled with machinery; having only just been completed, the soldiers were stationed in the third storey of the middle section. So careful was Mr. Wood that no fire should take place owing to the carelessness of the soldiers, that he many times slept in the room where bales of cotton were stowed.
A shaft went through the room which the soldiers occupied and when the engine started in the morning the noise of the revolving shaft annoyed these soldiers, who were light sleepers, so they determined that they would stop the engine by preventing the shaft from turning round. For this purpose they surreptitiously procured some ropes, tied one end to the shaft and the other end to their beds. They were grievously out in this calculation. In the morning the shaft went round as usual, the ropes coiled round the shaft, the beds were dragged towards it, and the soldiers had to jump hastily out of bed to prevent themselves being injured. Much damage was done before the engine could be stopped.
When Thomas Shaw of the Milltown Mill, died he was succeeded by his son in law Charles Dane, or Dean, and Mr. Wood and Mr. Dane had a dispute about the amount of water he was entitled to. This led to a law suit, and the result was that a plate was fixed in Mr. Wood's mill yard, and the inscription on it is as follows:- "This is to certify that the north-west end of the Bridge End Mill Weir, as ascertained by award, is precisely 6 feet 5 and a half inches below the line A.B. hereupon engraved, and that the south-east end of the same weir's precisely 6 feet below the line A.B. A---B March 14th, 1839.
Mr. Wood's neighbours soon found out his business qualities, and he was soon assisting them in the parochial government of the Parish. He was a regular attendant at the meetings of the Select Vestry, and was often the chairman. Being a thorough and staunch churchman, on the 22nd January, 1824, he and three others were appointed by the Vestry to examine claims of persons to seats in the gallery of the Parish Church previous to alterations
On the 8th February, 1825, the Vestry appointed Mr. Wood to assist the churchwardens in examining the state of the Church, and give an estimate, etc., of what is required to be done.
On the 11th, June, 1827, Mr. Wood was chairman of a meeting to consider the repairs to be done to the Church.
It was usual to appoint two persons from each hamlet to assist the assistant overseer and the constable in their duties by holding committee meetings, keeping a watch over, controlling and sanctioning their expenditures. At the Easter Vestry meeting in 1830, Mr. Wood was appointed one of the two representatives for the hamlet of Glossop, and whilst he occupied this office he saw that no one able to work should impose on the poor rate, as the following resolution shows:- April, 1830. That the overseer do take William Rothwell before the magistrates on Saturday next if he does not go in the meantime to Mr. Wood's to work.
In 1823, Mr. Wood was the constable, and he issued the following unique notice:- "The Constable and Churchwardens of Glossop Do hereby give Public notice That all Persons found wandering in the streets, highways, lanes, or fields on Christmas Day Will be apprehended and dealt with according to Law N.B. Masters and mistresses are particularly requested to send their servants to some place of worship. John Wood Constable; J. Goddard, T. Thornley, Churchwardens Dec. 19th 1823.
In 1824, Mr. Wood and Messrs. Sidebottom's of Waterside, were the only two local firms who had permanent offices in Manchester. Mr. Wood's being in Concert Lane.
Mr. John Wood was known in the trade as John Wood, junior, because there was another John Wood, a partner of Kershaw's at Charlestown Mill; this John Wood was the father of John Wood, of Ardern Hall, and the Old Hall, Mottram. To distinguish the two John Woods, whenever they were present at a local meeting, they were described as John Wood of Glossop, and John Wood, of Hadfield (Hall).
Mr. Wood always kept a fine lot of horses, which were daily going to and from Manchester. When he was pressed with goods he also engaged Mr. James Harrop, a carrier, who left the Seven Stars, Withy Grove, Manchester for Glossop every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Mr. Wood loved a joke even when it was against him. It is related of him that one day seeing a carter doing something that displeased him, he told a lad to go and tell the carter to go to Hell. The boy did so, and came back almost immediately and said, "Mester, he wants to know if he mun tak th' wagon and horses with him." Mr. Wood burst out laughing and exclaimed, "Done again by a little piecer."
In 1832, a coach, The Norfolk, left the Talbot Inn, Manchester, for Glossop, at half past four every afternoon, Friday's excepted. The Royal Mail coach left the Royal Hotel, Manchester, for Glossop and Sheffield every morning at seven o'clock. The Umpire coach left the Swan Coach Office calling at the Flying Horse Inn and Albion Hotel (now the Trap), every day at twelve o'clock for Glossop and Sheffield. Of course there were the return journeys.
That they were well patronised, especially on Tuesdays, may be inferred from the number of local manufacturers who attended the various places in Manchester which were advertised as where they could be met by their customers, agents, etc.
The following cotton spinners and manufacturers attended: John Hollingworth of Hollingworth, attended on Tuesday at the Mosley Arms, Piccadilly; Mr. Samuel Marsland, of Best Hill and James and William Wardlow, bankers attended on the same day and place. Mr. William Barber, Padfield, and Henry Lees, Woolley Bridge, and John Lees, Padfield Brook, who were relations, attended on Tuesdays and Saturdays at their joint offices at 10 Pool Street, off Market Street.
John and Joseph Bennett, Turn Lee: Robert Booth, Coombs Mill; William Hadfield, Cowbrook; Benjamin Harrison, Charlesworth; Jos. Howard, Bridgefield; George Platt, Padfield; Joseph Robinson and Sons, Gnat hole; Robert Shepley, Glossop; John Wood and James Kershaw, Charlestown Mill, could all be found on Tuesdays at the Seven Stars, Withy Grove.
John Nield and Sons, Rough Town Mill; John Stanney, Mellor, on Tuesdays at the White Bear, Piccadilly.
Josiah Cheetham, Vale House Mill; John Kershaw, Hurst; John and William Sidebottom, Waterside; on Tuesdays at the Talbot Inn, Market Street.
Thomas Rhodes and Sons (woollen manufacturers), Bottoms, on Tuesdays at 7 High Street.
Thomas Shaw and John Beeley, Milltown on Tuesdays at the Swan Inn, Shudehill. Samuel Shepley, Brookfield, on Tuesdays at Cross Street and King Street. George and Joseph Sidebottom, Broadbottom, on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 13 New Market Buildings. George and Ralph Sidebottom, Millbrook, on Tuesdays at the Palace Inn, Market Street. Samuel Oliver and Jones, paper makers, Hollingworth, on Tuesdays at 141 Cannon Street.
Thomas and John Dalton, calico printers, Hollingworth, daily at their offices, 21 Fountain Street. John Wood, Howardtown and Charlesworth, on Saturdays at the Bush Inn.
It was Mr. Wood's habit to bring back with him from Manchester the wages for his workpeople, who were paid fortnightly on Saturdays. On one occasion, owing to a snowstorm and a breakdown on the road Mr. Wood was unable to return at his usual time, and the manager kept his workpeople waiting until 8 o'clock. Mr. Wood did not get back until 10 o'clock, when of course the hands had gone home. Mr Wood was very angry at them being without their wages, which in the circumstances was unavoidable. Mr Wood whose word was a bond, exclaimed, "Why they will think I have broken."
Mr. Wood always supported any movement or object that tended to better the conditions or raise the morals of the working classes, and at a meeting in the Town Hall in reference to the 1851 Exhibition, which was addressed by Highmore Rosson, Esq., one of the Commissioners, Mr. Wood set an example to the other employers of labour by giving £20 towards the object of the meeting. Mr. Edmund Potter followed suit with a five pound note. It is not recorded what the others gave.
In personal appearance, Mr. Wood was a John Bull type of a Gentleman, looking more like a prosperous gentleman farmer than a successful cotton manufacturer. He was fond of shooting and encouraged his sons to play at cricket and other manly games.
He died, much regretted in November, 1854, at the age of 64 (he was buried on 15.11.1854.). His sister, Miss Wood, died on the 7th May, 1866, at her residence, Gateshead, Marsden. During her lifetime she frequently came to see him at Glossop.
FORMER GLOSSOP COTTON MASTERS. MEN WHO HELPED TO MAKE THE TOWN. MORE ABOUT THE WOOD FAMILY.
Mr John Wood knowing from his own experience what an advantage it is to a manufacturer to have a sound commercial education, saw to it that each of his three sons got one, and he did not waste his money and their time in learning things that would be of no practical use to them in the career which he had mapped out for them.
He believed in the old saying that a man diligent in business is fit to stand before Kings, and therefore did not put them to any of the learned professions, but when they came of a suitable age he took them to his mills and put them through the business. Each one went through every department, learning every stage of the manufacture from the first to the last operations, and when he was satisfied that they had a practical knowledge of the work, he set them over different departments. His eldest son John Hill Wood, took charge of the weaving; Daniel, his second son, the grinding, and the care of the horses, wagons and all pertaining to the conveyance of raw material, etc. and the dispatch of manufactured goods. Samuel, his youngest son, went to the spinning department. The consequence of this arrangement was that no spinning jenny, loom, or any other machine was stopped any longer than was necessary to effect the alteration, or repairs required, which was a great advantage to both the firm and the workpeople. If an overlooker was bothered with any machine there was always one of the Young Mesters at hand, to help him out of any difficulty.
The sons were at the mill as early as any one, and often the last to leave. They did not walk about with their jackets on finding fault with this and that, or the other, but took off their jackets and buckled to like any workman. An incompetent overlooker had soon to seek fresh quarters.
Using the best of materials, and having it worked up in the best way possible, the result was what could naturally be expected. Wood's cloth became so well known for its quality that Woods' needed not to ask for orders, there were always some merchants ready to buy. Of course the firm suffered like any other firm in the district during bad trade, but the firm was able, knowing that they could always sell the cloth, to work their mills and store their cloth until their warehouses were overflowing when many other firms were stopped.
THE LATE MR. JOHN HILL WOOD.
Mr John Hill Wood married in 1854, Emma, the oldest daughter of William Sidebottom, Esq., J.P. of Etherow House, Hollingworth, by whom he had a son, John Wood, Esq., J.P., M.P. for Stalybridge, and Miss Alice Wood of Leominster.
Mr. John H. Wood, like his father was a staunch churchman, and took great interest in the well being and moral welfare of the firm's workpeople. When Penny Readings became popular, the firm converted the old coachman's house into a recreation and reading room. It was well stocked with a library of good books, and was made good use of by those for whom it was intended. Concerts, entertainments, and tea parties were held frequently, whilst annually there was held a flower, fruit and vegetable show, when substantial prizes were given to exhibitors.
On the 15th May, 1869, Mr. John Hill Wood, as the oldest representative of John Wood and Brothers, was presented by the workpeople with an illuminated address as a token of their appreciation of the Reading Room and Library. Mr. Wood and Mr. F.J.Sumner were honoured by being made County Justices of the Peace on the 30th June, 1857.
In December, 1869, Mr. Wood went on a visit to Leominster, and whilst there was suddenly taken ill and died there. It had been the deceased gentleman's intention to erect a Church at Dinting, but unfortunately, he was not spared to accomplish his intention. However, his two brothers and widow did so, and erected Holy Trinity Church and Vicarage to his memory.
Mrs. Wood, during her life, made many gifts to the Church, including a stained glass window, representing The Prodigal's Return; a handsome carved bath stone font, with marble pillar; an organ, which cost £560, besides the cost of erection. She, her son, and daughter jointly, erected the tower and spire. She also erected the drinking fountains, one opposite the Norfolk Arms Hotel, one at the Junction of James Street and Victoria Street, and one at the junction of Hall Street and Sheffield Road. She completely furnished every room in Wood's Hospital at a cost of about £600. She contributed generously to All Saint's and St. James' Churches, and to many charitable objects, not confining herself to her own denomination.
She was born 17th April, 1828, and died 3rd, May, 1889. In her will she did not forget those servants who had faithfully served her during their service to her, and she directed that £250 should be expended annually in charitable objects.
MR. DANIEL WOOD.
Daniel Haigh Wood, the second son, was more like his father in temperament, habits and physically, that any of his brothers. Mr. Wood did not encourage his sons to be spendthrifts by giving them too much spending money. He taught them how to earn money and how to take care of it. On the 1st August, 1835, when Daniel was 16, and his sister Alice was 12 years old, they went to Manchester for the day, and had 6d each allowed them to spend.
The cricket club was formed in ....... and on 7th October, the first annual dinner was held, at which Mr John Wood was present. It cost him 11s, for his dinner and drinks round. His son, John Hill Wood, was an enthusiastic cricketer. The cricketers played in top hats, and it was evident that Daniel was joining the club, for we find Mr. Wood entering in his diary. "Paid Thomas Oven 16s, hat for Daniel."
On the 1st January, 1831, Daniel and Samuel went to see their aunt at Marsden, when they each had 1s. 6d. allowed them. Their father did not stint them from any selfish motive, but to give them practical lessons in economy. Mr. Wood was fond of shooting, and he encouraged his sons to shoot. On the 25th January, 1834, "Paid for powder flask for Dan, 3s." Three weeks afterwards we find "Give George Pye 10s. at pigeon shooting." Perhaps Dan used his flask for the first time on that occasion.
Mr. Daniel Wood never married. He built a mansion at Moorfield, and resided there with his brother, Samuel, who remained with him until his marriage. Mr. Daniel Wood took a great interest in the Parish Church, at which he was for forty years a regular attender. He was always willing to give to any object that was beneficial to the congregation. He defrayed the cost of a new clock, and paid for the alteration of the seating accommodation. For some years he gave £100 annually towards the curates expenses, gave treats to the choir and Sunday School scholars, and took a general interest in their welfare.
He, with his brother Samuel, and sister in law, Anne Kershaw Wood, built Holy Trinity Church and Vicarage at a cost of £12.000 as a memorial to his brother, John Hill Wood, and one of his last public acts was to give £25,000 to build and endow Wood's Hospital. Mr. Wood did not confine his benevolence to his own denomination. The firm of John Wood and Brothers became a limited company in 1875, and Mr Daniel was the managing director for 12 years, when he resigned, owing to failing health. In politics he was a Tory of the old school. At the first municipal election he was returned at the head of the poll in All Saint's Ward. A few days afterwards he was elected to the office of Alderman.
Much local ill-feeling was caused by Mr. Daniel not being elected the first mayor. He was the representative of the largest firm in the borough, and many thought that fact alone should have been recognised. It is not, however, my intention to raise up in these articles any political or religious controversies, but merely to give plain statements of facts as far as I know them.
Mr. Daniel Wood died 7th. February, 1888, much regretted, particularly by the old hands who had been associated with him for many years and knew his true worth. The name Haigh was the name of his great grandmother, whom his great grandfather married early in 1700 at Marsden, where he had an estate, which is still in the family.
The youngest son was the mechanical genius of the family and like his brothers he took an active part in cricket and other recreations of the day, but delighted in his spare moments in constructing models of engines, etc. Those that are still in existence show that he possessed mechanical skill of no mean order. In disposition he took more after his mother than his father, being a man "In whose mild glance, shone forth a mind serene."
In the religious and social life of the people he took a deep and practical interest. From the consecration of Saint James' Church in 1846 until his death he was a regular attender and worker there, being for nearly thirty years the superintendent of the Sunday School, and for seven years one of the churchwardens. He spent over £380 in the purchase and fitting up of a new organ, was at the expense of two enlargements of the school, and of a new infant school.
He married in 1869, Anne Kershaw, the third daughter of William Sidebottom, Esq., J.P., and sister to Emma, the wife of John Hill Wood. During their married life they spent large sums of money in charitable objects, and jointly provided Glossop with Public Baths and Park at a cost of over £15,000; Lord Howard giving over 12 acres of land for the park.
Mr. Samuel Wood was elected a Town Councillor, representing St. James' Ward, in 1873, and was on the Town Council for 9 years. He was the mayor for two years 1874-76. In 1870 he was appointed a County Magistrate. He was a Commissioner of the Glossop Reservoirs, also a Commissioner of Assessed Taxes, and held other important positions during his active and strenuous life. Those who had dealings with him in his varied capacities testify to his unfailing patience, courtesy, integrity, honesty of purpose and dealing out justice to all classes with an unbiased mind. His patience was proverbial, and he had always a ready ear to listen to any complaints or wrongs genuine or otherwise; he was always approachable, a gentleman in every sense of the word. A monument to his memory and to his brother Daniel, was erected in 1889 in the Park, by public subscription, but their real monuments lie in the hearts and memory of those who knew them. On the 16th August, 1896 two stained glass windows at Saint James' Church were dedicated to the memory of John and Emma Wood and Samuel Wood.
Mr. Samuel Wood was the father of S. Hill-Wood Esq., J.P., D.L., M.P.
JOHN WOOD'S DAUGHTERS.
Eliza, the eldest daughter married Samuel, a son of Robert and Sarah Lees of Padfield. Their daughter Sarah married James Murgatroyd, by whom she had eleven children; the eldest married Thomas Harrop Sidebottom, M.P. Mr. Lees died in December, 1896 at Walney House, Hereford.
Alice, Mr. Wood's youngest daughter, married 19th April, 1845, Joseph Hesslegrave, surgeon. She died 12th December, 1870, at Buckley Hill, Marsden, leaving issue Daniel Haigh Hesslegrave and John W. Hesslegrave.
Page last updated: 25 September 2017.
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