Holesgrove * Ashforth * Hawley * Holmes * Kniveton *


A Crossley in-law journey from Wales to America! See Great great Uncle Wilson & Aunty Fanny (Josephs) Crossley in the Crossley Family History page. (Dec 2012)

Great great Grandmother Susan de Marchye - a surprising find! See the Kelland Family History page.

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 A Little East - life in the countryside!

The Lives & Times of Bella, our Japanese Shiba Inu x Staffie

Letters Words & Lines - some short stories and poetry

Musings while in London 2007-2011

Photography by Megan

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Jenna-Lea's Bakes

August 2012: A little beyond the Street family-link boundary to a single mum in the 1840's, a 19 year olds fatal accident, and a young wife dies leaving a babe in arms. The Hitchcock connection under the Street Family History page.

June 2011:  Marriage, Birth & Death between the Census. Catherine Mary and her son John Joshua cannot be found as wife, mother or son on the census records. Read the story under the Street Family History!

June 2011: William Holesgrove's Will gives clarification on the family, and gives a bit of insight into his interests. See his story on the Holesgrove Family History page! 

April 2011 - New poems from Grandad Walter Ash: A Beautiful Princess (just in time for Royal Wedding weekend!); Verses on the Death of my Niece; and On the Sinking of the Titanic.

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HOLESGROVE's connected to the PAGE's & Cricket!

It's sometimes the tiniest twig that has the pretty flowers!! 

 William Cobbett Holesgrove (1828-1888) and Elizabeth Charlotte Williams (1827-1914 - her parents were 1820 settlers) had a daughter called Celia Jane (1856-1914). Celia Jane married into the PAGE family. She was the 3rd wife of William Page snr. William's first wife was Jemima Ann Watson (1829-1859) and she gave William four children, one of which was OLIVER EDWARD PAGE born 26 October 1855.

Oliver Edward married Alice Lucas and they also had four children, one of which was EDWARD SEARLE PAGE born 9 March 1888.

 While looking for Alice's maiden name and any other information on this family, I came across Craig Sheldon's research on his family tree and was able to confirm the dates of births and baptisms I'd already gleaned. However, Craig had one other interesting tit-bit: - 

"About Edward Searle Page-  Listed as a Cricketer on these pages:"

So following the first link I discovered that Edward Searle Page had been the Umpire for the 4th Test between South Africa and England in January/February 1928 at The Old Wanderers in Johannesburg!!  Following the links on there were all the stats with E.S.PAGE as one of the umpires!  Out of interest paging down and scanning the teams, I was surprised to see JP DUMINY! Despite his 2 overs for 9 runs and a total of 12 runs in the two innings, South Africa won the match by 4 wickets!!

Edward Searle Page died at the age of 50 or 51 - sources disagree on whether it was 19 December 1938 or 1939.

Just a bit of trivia on Great Great Uncle William Page's grandson!

The "William Holesgroves" !

Currently I have four William Holesgrove's on the family tree!

1.    William born 1780 in Crediton, Devon, Uk

2.    William born 1805 in Bristol, Somerset, UK

3.    William Charles born 1828 in Chelsea, London, UK, and

4.    William Charles Cobbett born 1862 in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Let's start with William No. 1 - born 1780. The first we read of him is in the 1851 UK Census when he was already living at No. 8 Charles Street, Chelsea, London, with his wife Sarah, a niece Emma Manning and a servant, Martha ComptonWilliam is 71 years old in 1851 and is still listed as a Boot & Shoe Maker - not retired!

It's sometimes interesting to snoop on the neighbours!  William's neighbours in 1851 were Sophia Green, a 65 year old widow from Essex, and Thomas F. Crew, a 45 year old unmarried solicitor from Petersham, Surrey. Others down the street are Needlewomen, Painter's Labourers, Dressmakers, Charwomen, Commercial Travellers and Cordwainers (a kind of shoemaker).  It seems to be an average middle-class area.



              With some very kind help from another researcher, the 1851 Will of William Holesgrove is finally legible! Having discovered the meanings of legal terms such as ‘devise’, ‘bequeath’ (I knew those already!), ‘messuage’ (house with outbuildings & land), ‘tenement’ (any structure), ‘hereditaments’ (inheritances) and ‘appurtenances’ (any right or restriction that goes with the property), all of which are scattered liberally through the five A4 page Will, it started to make a little bit of sense. However, I don’t think punctuation was too popular in the legal documents of those days – no commas, and sentences seemed to go on forever, but at least I was able to confirm some family members and summarise their inheritance. 

          William Holesgrove starts by stating that he was 

 “of No. 8 Charles Street Queens Elm Chelsea and of No. 66 Burlington Arcade in the parish of Saint James Westminster both in the county of Middlesex Boot and Shoe maker.” 

        Both these addresses I’ve managed to visit in the last year!

       William Holesgrove left matters in the hands of his executors James Hedges & William Gringell. James Hedges was, according to the 1851 census, a “Proprietor of Houses”, but William Gringell I couldn’t trace. Each of these executors would receive £19 19s for their trouble – they deserved it!

  1. He firstly leaves £25 to his nephew John Prickman of

The Island of Saint Helena, Servant to Colonel Farrers.”

         (Haven’t found the Prickman line yet!) However in a Codicil nine months later he revoked this bequest, but I don’t know why - yet!

      2.  The land, buildings and contents of No. 8 Charles Street, Chelsea, he left to his wife Sarah, and like most other bequests in this will stated that they were to be

“free from the debts and control of any husband she may intermarry with.”

       3.  This land, the buildings etc. were to be passed on to his son, William Holesgrove, when Sarah died, for a period of 99 years if William lived that long, or until he sold or got rid of them. (William died one year after his father)

       4.  And after his son died, he wanted the land to go to his grandson William Cobbett Holesgrove,

 “now residing at Grahams Town in the Cape of Good Hope Clerk to a Merchant to hold to the said William Cobbett Holesgrove his heirs and assigns for ever.”

   This bit of information was useful in giving the location of WC Holesgrove as Grahamstown, South Africa. Again he protects the inheritance declaring that:

 “no woman whom the said William Cobbett Holesgrove shall leave his widow shall be entitled to dower out of the said piece of parcel of land.”

      5.  His business, “Holesgrove Boot & Shue Maker” (as it was spelt on the shoes now in Northampton Museum), which was at 66 Burlington Arcade, he left to his son as well – the leasehold of the shop and the Goodwill of the business and the stock “for the residue of the term to come and unexpired at the time of his death.”

     6.  However, William’s son would still need to pay the Earl of Burlington (or his heirs)

 “the sum of £46 being the moiety of the rent reserved in and by a certain Indenture of Lease dated the tenth day of August one thousand eight hundred and thirty three and made between The Right Honourable George Augustus Henry Earl of Burlington….” (‘Moiety’ meaning half)

     7.  Today, Nos 66 & 67 Burlington Arcade are one shop, viz Cameo Corner ( and there is no mention of a No. 67 at all! But William Holesgrove left No. 67 -

“to my daughter Sarah Southgate now the wife of Edward de Lima Wood ….. yielding and paying to the said Earl of Burlington his heirs and assigns the sum of £46 being the remaining moiety of the said rent ….”

 etc. and again protected

“ shall be for her sole and separate use and free from the debts and control of her present husband or any future husband she may intermarry with and that upon such condition my said daughter shall not bargain sell assign transfer and set over the said leasehold messuage or tenement No. 67 Burlington Arcade excepting for a Lease of not more than seven years if the term thereon shall so long continue and that such Lease shall only be granted for the best rent than can reasonably be got for the same ….”

    8.  And then he moves on to his insurances.

 “I give devise and bequeath all my Book debts and money at the Bankers together with the money due on a Policy of Insurance effected by myself on my life at the United Kingdom Life Insurance Company, Waterloo Place in the said County to my said wife for her own use and benefit forever.”

     9.  He also had ten shares in The Hungerford Market Company in Middlesex as well as The Hungerford Bridge Company in the counties of Middlesex and Surrey. has the following two articles regarding the Hungerford  Market Company:

 “An ingrossed Bill to incorporate ceratin Persons, to be called “The Hungerford Market Company” for the establishment of a Market for the Sale of Fish, Poultry and Meat, and other articles of general consumption and use, and for other purposes, was read the third time.” The second article reads: “By the beginning of the nineteenth century the old market and its surroundings had become an eyesore, "a deplorably dirty-looking piece of ground, flanked by squalid houses, and little better than a monster dust-heap, and a cemetery for the dead dogs and cats of the neighbourhood," but undeterred by the previous failure to create a market a number of speculators formed the Hungerford Market Company, which was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1830.”  

So maybe William was one of those speculators.

“There was a ceremonial opening on 2nd July, 1833, when the ascent of a balloon was among the attractions provided……  Everything possible was done by the "spirited proprietors" ….. to bring customers to the market—a fleet of steamboats were launched which plied between Hungerford Wharf and the City, Westminster, Vauxhall, Greenwich and Woolwich, while Hungerford Suspension Bridge was in part designed to bring housewives from Southwark and Lambeth thither—but in spite of all the efforts of the proprietors the enterprise was largely a failure. In 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition, Hungerford Hall was erected for lectures and shows of various sorts, but in April, 1854, during an exhibition of a Panorama of the Duke of Wellington's Funeral, it was destroyed by a fire caused by the carelessness of the boys employed to light the gas…..  The fire also caused considerable damage to the market hall. In 1862 the whole of the property was bought by the Charing Cross Railway Company for the formation of Charing Cross Station. (From: 'Hungerford Market and the site of Charing Cross railway station', Survey of London: volume 18: St Martin-in-the-Fields II: The Strand (1937), pp. 40-50. URL:

      It’s interesting what you can get out of an ancestor’s Will! So his wife Sarah got all ten shares in the Hungerford Market Company but after she died they were to be allocated as follows: Sarah his daughter (together with all the protections of being free from any husband’s greed) got two shares; William Holesgrove Woods, daughter Sarah’s son, got one share; George Woods, Sarah’s other son, got one share; two shares went to Elizabeth Holesgrove, his granddaughter and daughter of son William; two shares went to his grandson George Holesgrove; one share to grandson John Holesgrove, and one share to Frances Ann Woods, his granddaughter.

     10.  After his wife Sarah’s death, all his shares in the Hungerford Bridge Company (distinct from Hungerford Market Company) were to be transferred to his granddaughter Frances Sarah Holesgrove (also known as Fanny) who he says “is now residing at The Reverend Derwent Coleridge Saint Marks College Chelsea.” The 1851 Census shows a Fanny Holesgrove as a lady’s maid, aged 24 at St Marks College.

      The rest of the Will covers the legal speech of who of they, them etc, should not be “answerable or accountable for any loss or damage which may happen by the failure of any Banker…..” etc.  to ensure that his wife and son and daughter and heirs be provided forever, or to anyone they nominated if they wished to quit the agreement!

      William Holesgrove signed this Will on the 14th June 1851 in the presence of Frederick Parsey and William Peirce Rice. I found Frederick Parsey at 12 Seymour Terrace on the 1851 census and he is only 15 years old, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Parsey and he is an Attorneys Clerk. William Peirce Rice was also a clerk, to “Mr T.F. Crew Solicitor”. (See previous entry showing that Mr Crew was a neighbour!)

      On 18th March 1852, William wrote a Codicil revoking the £25 to his nephew John Prickman, and made the same bequest to his grandson John Holesgrove. The codicil was witnessed by the same witnesses as the original Will.

      The Will was proved on the 16th October 1854 after William died in November 1853 in Chelsea, and he was buried at St Luke’s Church Chelsea.

 (Thanks for helping with the transcribing of the Will, Sue!)

      Post-William:  William Holesgrove's son, William, died a year later in September 1854, and his daughter-in-law, also a Sarah, emigrated to South Africa at the age of 50 in 1858 together with four of her children. They joined her son William Cobbett Holesgrove in Grahamstown.

Getting this family in a straight line has been a bit of a headache as both father and son – both named William – married wives called Sarah!  I think this is now correct! It's been an interesting research into the places he lived and worked, his family, and his interests (in the share companies).


Annie Jane Ferguson & William Charles Cobbett Holesgrove  - Great Grandparents


 Most of what we know about Annie Jane comes from the obituary in the South African Division Outlook magazine (see below).

She was born in Ireland on 31st October 1867, and according to her 'Form of Information of Death', her parents were unknown as she “came to South Africa when was about 12 years old.”

She married William Charles Cobbet Holesgrove on the 7th May 1887 at the Grahamstown Presbyterian Church, and lived in the Eastern Cape area. At her time of death she lived at 24 Scott Road, East London.

The obituary shown below records that William & Annie had 7 children, however only 6 are currently known to me.

On the 28th April 1941 she died at the Frere Hospital in East London, having suffered from Apoplexy and Cystitis for about a month.

She was buried next to her husband at the Old Cemetery in Grahamstown.

Annie’s great grandson (LH), sent this photo of William & Annie sitting outside their house.


Obituary in The Southern African Division Outlook.

(Volume XXXIX, Kenilworth, Cape, May 15, 1941, Number 9. (Sentinel Publishing) Harvest Ingathering Silver Jubilee edition:)

 "Annie Jane Holesgrove, nee Ferguson, was born in Ireland on October 31, 1867, and passed away in East London on April 28, 1941, at the age of seventy-three years. She was united in marriage with William Charles Cobbert (sic) Holesgrove and to this union were born three sons and four daughters.

Our sister is survived by two sons: Milton, of East London, and Leo, of Grahamstown; three daughters: Mrs Violet Crossley, and Mrs Gladys Bagg of East London, and Mrs Audrey Bagg of Bulawayo; sixteen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

From childhood Sister Holesgrove was a devoted Christian and to the best of her understanding followed the teachings of God's word. She accepted present truth and was baptised as a result of the meetings held in Grahamstown by Elder Moffitt and Elder Clifford in 1927. During her last brief illness her trust in God remained strong and the promises of the resurrection comforted her.

We laid our Sister to rest by the side of her husband in the Old Cemetery, Grahamstown, there to await the call of the Life-giver. The funeral services were conducted by the writer, assisted by the Rev. L. W. Matthews, minister of the Grahamstown Baptist church.

E.D. Hanson."

William Charles Cobbett Holesgrove was born in Grahamstown on 30th November 1861; the only son born to William Cobbett Holesgrove and Elizabeth Charlotte Williams. They had three daughters before William!

William is recorded as a 'Carpenter' on his 'Form of Information of Death'

 On the 28th November 1907, William C.C. was awarded the South African Medal & Clasp in Grahamstown. Private W.C.C. Holesgrove, Regt No. 106,  served with the 1st Battalion Grahamstown Town Guard, under Lt Col OC A.E. Nelson.

William died on 6th January 1936 at his home, 2 Francis Street, Grahamstow suffering from Syncope and Asthma, and he was buried in the Old Cemetery, Grahamstown.