Henry Dawson, silk glove maker from Duffield

Henry Dawson was one of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers. He was born on 18 April 1810 in Duffield, Derbyshire, the son of a linen weaver, Francis Dawson, and Martha Dunn. His baptism took place on 12 May 1810 at Duffield’s Presbyterian Chapel.

England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567–1970, Ancestry.co.uk


(Notes from Derbyshire County Council’s online catalogue: “The Presbyterian Chapel in Wirksworth Road, Duffield, was built before 1790. In the early 19th century the congregation adopted the Unitarian faith. By 1860 the chapel had closed, but it was subsequently rented to the trustees of Duffield Reading Room. After the 1870 Education Act, Mrs Constance Smith of Duffield Hall encouraged the establishment of an infant school in the former chapel, which remained in use for this purpose until 1895. In the 20th century it became the meeting place for many local organisations including the local Temperance Society. In the 1960s and 1970s it was a china factory called Abbeydale China Co. Ltd., and in the 1980s was used as a light engineering workshop. Despite local protests, the building was demolished in June 2001 to make way for a housing development.”)

We don’t know anything else about Henry until his marriage at the age of twenty-five. He married Charlotte Parker on 27 December 1835 at St Alkmund’s church in the village.

Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1932, Ancestry.co.uk


The 1841 census shows us Henry, working as a silk framework knitter, his wife Charlotte, two-year-old Elizabeth, and two-month-old Philip. They were living on the Wirksworth Turnpike Road in Duffield.

The Derby to Duffield Turnpike was authorised in 1756 and operated until 1875. It is now the A6.


Henry and Martha’s first son, William (aged four), was staying with Henry’s parents.

By 1851, Henry had become a silk glove maker, sons William (14) and Philip (10) were silk winders and three more children had been born: Caroline in 1844, Martha in 1847, and Francis Henry in 1850. They were living at Upper Green, and Henry’s parents were living with them (his father Francis would die that December):

1851 census, Ancestry.co.uk


It was not a good time to be in the industry. The local papers were full of depressing news about the state of trade, and the family would all have had to work to earn enough to live on.

Derby Mercury, 18 December 1839, Findmypast


There had been a strike in 1845:

Derbyshire Courier, 2 August 1845, Findmypast


Derby Mercury, 2 July 1851, Findmypast


The family moved to Castle Orchard before the 1861 census.

Derby Mercury 02 June 1886, Findmypast


Francis Henry had died aged two, and one more child had been born: Charlotte Agnes in 1853. Henry’s widowed mother was living with them and working as a washerwoman.

Henry died at London Rd Infirmary in Derby when he was only fifty-three, on 31 October 1864. The record of his hospital admission is included in the collection called Derbyshire Hospital Admissions And Deaths 1855–1913 on Findmypast. The cause of death was given as “Disease of bladder, Asthenia” (asthenia is weakness or lack of energy).

He was buried at St Alkmund’s on 3 November:

Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813–1991, Ancestry.co.uk


Ari, this is how you are related to Henry:

#Derbyshire #Glovemaking #Frameworkknitters #Dawson #Duffield

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I started my blog when my grandson Ari was born in Feb 2017. His birth gave me an opportunity to focus on part of what has become an unmanageably large family tree, looking again at all the records I

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