Saturday, 23 February 2013

School Mistress Project - FACHRS

Many years ago I took an Open University module called "Studying Family and Community History: 19th and 20th Centuries" or DA301 for short.  It was the first OU module I took and if you know anything about the OU you'll realise that with a 3 in the title like that it means it was a level 3 or third year Undergraduate module.  At the time I don't think I intended to take more - I just wanted to learn how to do Family History properly and doing a course seemed like the best way to learn.  The module no longer runs, the OU doesn't teach Family History any more - but DA301 did lead to the formation of a society, the Family and Community Historical Research Society or FACHRS.  It used to recruit from people who did DA301 - but that supply dried up, now it publishes books and runs stalls at Family History Fairs, and conducts mini-projects which all the members are invited to help with. I've been a member since it first began - and even though we, the OH and I, are cash poor at the moment, I decided I had to renew my membership for 2013 - I can't abandon them now, not after fifteen years.

Yesterday I received a newsletter from the Society.  I was invited to take part in a new mini-project and my assigned subject was Caroline Frudd, School Mistress in Barnsley in 1881.

School Mistress Project - Caroline Frudd

Caroline Frudd was born to William Frudd and Hannah (nee Theakston) in 1848 in Barnsley.
William Frudd (b. 1820) appears to have come from a fairly comfortable family in Barnsley, his father James was a Hairdresser or Barber and his brother Edward (b. 1816) was a Grocer, who in 1841 owned a gig and a “fine spirited” mare, as can be seen in the cutting below.
Leeds Times Saturday 3 April 1841 (from Find My Past - Newspapers)
In 1841 his mother Ann is listed as a Dressmaker living on Cheapside in Barnsley, the main shopping area.  Living in the household is a Elizabeth Theakston with several other young women, maybe as apprentices or shop girls.  However there were ‘troubles’ connected with the linen industry in Barnsley in the 1840s which may have caused the family financial problems (see the extract from Eli Hoyle decribing events in 1842 below) I'm not certain that this is our Mr Frudd, but it seems likely it is the same family.  In the 1841 census William is living with Thomas Cliffe, a draper in Huddersfield as a shopman.  He appears to go into the drapery business in partnership with a Thomas Broadbent in Barnsley, but an entry in the London Gazette for 1845 shows that their partnership was dissolved.

11. The agitation culminated in May in a large public meeting of weavers being held on May Day Green, on Monday (the 8th). The meeting was called to give efficiency to the strike of the weavers employed by the firm of Haxworth, Carnelley, and Co., which firm persisted in reducing the wages of weavers of that kind of cloth about 3s in the pound. Mr. Richard Taylor presided, and the first resolution was moved by Frank Mirfield, and seconded by John Shaw, that “in the opinion of the meeting the attempt of Messrs. Haxworth and Co., to reduce the wages was cruel in the extreme, and injurious to both employers and employed.” It was also resolved that the meeting should use its utmost endeavors to prevent the reduction. Mr. Frudd, linen manufacturer, failed early in June to the extent of several thousand pounds.
From Eli Hoyle's Barnsley From Early Times (transcribed by Phil Norman from the Barnsley Chronicle)

William somehow meets Hannah Theakston from Ripon, whose sister Elizabeth is by 1851 a self-employed milliner employing 4 apprentices.  This is very likely to be the same Elizabeth Theakston who was living with William’s mother in 1841.  Did Hannah come to Barnsley or William to Ripon?  The Frudd family turn out to have several links to Ripon.
Leeds Times Saturday 17 January 1846 (Find My Past - Newspapers)
They marry in 1846 in Ripon Cathedral and the wedding was reported in the Leeds Times, note the occupation of Hannah's father - "of the Crown Inn".

William’s sister Elizabeth Frudd (b. 1823) marries Joseph Scales, a Linen Draper from Manchester at St Mary's, Barnsley in 1848.  A business connection maybe?  She is later mentioned as one of the administrators of her sister Ann's (b.1813) estate along brother William.

Probate Calendar Entry for Ann Frudd (d.1886) - (from Ancestry)
In 1851 Edward Frudd, William’s brother, is living in Ripon where he is an Inn Keeper.  He married Isabella Theakston in the Leeds area in 1847.  This seems quite a coincidence – Hannah is the daughter of M.Theakstone of the Crown Inn and as we will soon see Edward is running the Crown in 1871.  It seems a good guess Isabella is Hannah’s sister, and Edward takes over the pub on his father-in-law's death or illness.

William and Hannah live in Barnsley for a while where William continues business as draper.  Caroline is born in 1848 and her sister Elizabeth in 1849 to “William Frudd, Draper” according to their baptism records at St Mary’s church. 
London Gazette 11 April 1851 (from the London Gazette Archive)
But then another London Gazette entry shows William is declared bankrupt in early 1851.  In the 1851 census the family are living in Ripon with Hannah’s sister Elizabeth.  William’s son, James Edward Frudd is born in Ripon in the fourth quarter of 1851 – possibly October, but the date on his gravestone is unreliable.  So it wasn’t just a visit to Ripon, Hannah at least stayed long enough to have her baby.

An item in the Leeds Intelligencer in May 1851 leads me to suspect that William's bankruptcy was a bit 'tactical' as he appeared in court without his balance sheets, a tactic designed to seek and adjournment so that he could "go to York and get whitewashed under the Insolvent Act". 

William Frudd is listed in an 1855 Trade Directory as a Linen and Woolen Draper of Cheapside, Barnsley - so he's back in business less than four years later!

By 1861 the family are at 7 Eastgate, however William is now a Commercial Traveller in Spirits.  His brother Edward is living at 14 Eastgate, having returned from Ripon, and he is a Spirit Merchant – so William has joined his brother’s business temporarily.  In the 1862 Trade Directory Edward’s firm is listed as “Edward Frudd and Co, Wholesale Spirit and Porter Merchants, George Yard, Market Hill” with his home at 14 Eastgate.  William is listed as a Spirit Merchant, and cross referenced to his brother’s firm. 

1871 Census for 42 Church Street, Barnsley (from Ancestry)
In 1871 William is once more a Draper, the whole family is living at 42 Church Street.  According to a Trade Directory for Sheffield and Barnsley in 1871 Hannah Frudd was running a Ladies’ Academy on Church Street.  This was probably where Caroline and Elizabeth were also teaching.  In the same Trade Directory William’s address is given as 44 Church Street – a typo or house at one number, business at the other?

Edward Frudd has gone back to Ripon by 1871 and is once more an Innkeeper, this time of the Crown Inn, on Water Skellgate, the very pub mentioned in the marriage announcement of his brother in 1846.  His wife Isabella dies in the Ripon area in 1873, they have no children.

Elizabeth, Caroline’s sister dies in 1874 aged 24 – she is buried at St Mary’s church in Barnsley.

1889 map of St Mary's Gate, Barnsley
In the 1879 Trade Directory the William Frudd’s have moved to 1 St Mary’s Gate.  There are two separate entries, Mr William Frudd and Mrs Hannah Frudd, Ladies Day School.  St Mary’s Gate is a prestigious address near the parish church, there are only two houses on the street and the old Manor House which is listed as number 3.  No occupation is listed for William in the Trade Directory and in the 1881 census he gives his occupation as Unemployed Draper.  Both his wife Hannah and daughter Caroline are listed as School Mistresses in 1881.

Edward Frudd, William’s brother and Caroline’s uncle dies in Barnsley in 1885.  His brother William is his only executor.  Unlike his siblings he does not appear to leave much in the way of personal effects in his will, however he may have disbursed his property to other members of the family before his death.  Sister Ann dies next in 1886 - maybe that is why a large sum is mentioned in her probate entry.  Both Edward and Ann are buried in St George's churchyard in Barnsley.  The inscription on their gravestone can be found transcribed on the Barnsley Family History Society site.

William Frudd dies in May 1890 and Hannah in December the same year. William leaves £1,642 personal estate in his will.  William and Hannah are both buried from St Mary’s church.  Many of the stones in this churchyard have been laid down and I am not aware of any transcriptions.

In the 1891 census the occupiers of 1 St Mary’s Gate are “Away from Home” and I cannot find them anywhere else in the English census.  Did James Edward and his sister go aboard?  I can find no further mention of the school or the drapery business in the Barnsley Trade directories.

In the 1901 and 1911 census James Edward Frudd and Caroline Frudd are still living at 1 St Mary’s Gate.  They are living on private means, neither have married.  A “hospital nurse” is living in the household in 1911, maybe for Caroline as she dies in May 1911 aged 62.  She is buried in St George’s churchyard and is remembered on her uncle Edward’s gravestone.

Probate Calendar Entry for Caroline Frudd (from Ancestry)
Caroline’s probate index entry shows she leaves personal effects of £7,805 – a lot of money in 1911.  Looking back, her aunt Ann Frudd leaves £5,445 in 1886.  Her brother lives on at 1 St Mary’s Gate until 1938, when he dies leaving a substantial sum - around £2 million in modern terms!

For the purposes of the FACHRS mini-project I only had to find out what sort of teacher Caroline was and for how long, look up her birth and death and follow her and her family thorough the census returns to see what sort of social class they came from or moved into.  Did she marry (no), were others in her family teachers (yes), did she move around the country from school to school (no)?  I've done that and submitted my results to the project co-ordinator, but now I have so many other questions ...

Where did they get the money? Did the drapery business turn out well after the initial hiccups?  Was the Ladies' Academy and/or Ladies Day School a real money spinner?  I do really look forward to the Barnsley Archives reopening so I can investigate further.  I'll let you know if I find out more.

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