James Hargreaves' Family j sig

WHAT's NEW - March 2019

We have at long last proven that my hypothesis ragarding James' son John changing his name to Edward has been proven wrong through recent research carried out by myself with excellant assistance from Elizabeth of Search Your Past Co Uk.
Because I have had no positive input into what happened to James' sons during the 14 years of the site's life, together with the above, I will not be renewing the hosting of this site. Should anyone like to carry it on then I will gladly pass it on at no charge providing there is no advertising allowed on it.

- August 2018

Changes to A Brief History of James - New information has been found and published by Chris Aspin. It is in the form of a letter written by Mary Stenson in 1822.


Where did James' sons go, who did they marry, when did they die and where are they buried?

I've been asking these questions on this web page for several years without finding any strong proof of any!

Please let me know if you have any ideas - CONTACT ME


My hypothesis:
I believed that John and possibly Christopher changed their first names to avoid victimisation when James moved to Nottingham. They were apprenticed to Haworth Peel & Yates to learn the weaving trade under Robert Peel (see in A Brief History). When Robert the younger stood for Parliament he did so on the platform of abolishing child labour in factories so, as his father had employed child labour, he burned all the employee records so there is now no way of knowing whether the boys changed their names or not.

Based on my Great Grandfather's obituary in the Christchurch Press, 25/6/1920, which stated " . . he was the great-grandson of the famous Hargreaves, the inventor of the spinning jenny." His Grandfather must have been John who changed his name to Edward and married Mary Collins and lived in Liverpool where he had a cotton weaving manufactory in 1805 and was a warehouseman in 1811. There is no record that I can find of a Mary Collins marriage to an Edward Hargreaves nor is there any record of where either of them came from to Liverpool.



The information listed in the first two paragraphs below was received from
the Hargreaves family of Oswaldtwistle Mills, Lancs.

Christopher b late 1400s m Jennet before 1500. Issue:-
John b 1500 at High Riley m Ellene. Issue:-
Christopher b c1520 m Agnes Whittaker before 1546, tenant farmer. Issue:-
John m c1568.Issue:- Christopher m Elizabeth Nutter 1604. Issue:-
John b 1601 baptised Church Kirk 12.5.1605, buried Church Kirk 2.11.1670. m Lettess, buried Church Kirk 2.7.1656. Issue:
          Christopher baptised Church Kirk 30.12.1632;
          Elizabeth baptised Church Kirk 22.6.1634;
          Elizabeth baptised Church Kirk 19.7.1635;
          Anne buried Church Kirk 14.3.1636;
          Agnes baptised Church Kirk 11.3.1636;
          John born c1640 buried 11.5.1708 at Rochdale;
          Henry born c1645;
born c 1646;
          George baptised Church Kirk 5.1.1650 m Ann Rothwell 22.7.1680;
          Richard baptised Church Kirk 8.10.1654.

George and Ann issue:-
John baptised Church Kirk 11.12.1681 m Katherine Bolton 1.1.1719;
Marie died 1683; Martha died 1683;
born 2.5.1686 in Mill Houses Fold Accrington;
George (James' father) born 18.5.1690 in Mill Houses Fold Accrington
m Ellen Rothwell 24.10.1719; Lettess baptised Church Kirk 24.7.1692;
Ellen baptised Church Kirk 1.3.1695;
Christopher baptised Church Kirk 30.8.1699. m Mary Rothwell 20.9.1731.

church kirk

The information below came from Christopher Aspin's
James Hargreaves and the Spinning Jenny and my own research:

Born 1720
Baptised 8.1.1721, Church Kirk, Ostwaldtwistle
Married 10.9.1740 at Church Kirk to Elizabeth Grimshaw, daughter of
Henry of Duckworth Hall (Elizabeth born 6.11.1720.)
Buried 22.4.1778 at St Mary, Nottingham

JAMES lived at:-
Ostwaldtwistle 1720 -
Brookside 1745 - 1748
Stanhill 1748 - 1750
Ramsclough 1750 - 1766/67
Hockley, Nottingham 1768 -

JAMES' children:-
George born c1740 bapt Church Kirk 1742
Margaret bapt Church Kirk 1743 m Charles Smoke, St Peter,
Nottingham, 1773
Susan bapt Church Kirk 1745
Ellen bapt Church Kirk1745 m John Bird - (mill owner),
St Mary, Nottingham, 1770
Henry bapt Church Kirk 1745. Died 1745
Christopher bapt Church Kirk 1748 m Rachel Ratcliff, Church Kirk, 1769
John bapt Church Kirk 1750
Mary bapt Church Kirk 1752 m William Stenson,
St Mary, Nottingham, 1774. Later m Burgess
Betty bapt Church Kirk 1755 m Samuel Wilkinson,
St Mary, Nottingham, 1780
Harry bapt Church Kirk 1761. Died Nottingham about 17 years old
Ann bapt Church Kirk 1764 m Richard Haslam,
Manchester Cathedral, 1787
Alice bapt Church Kirk 1767 m William Thompson - (confectioner)
Manchester Cathedral, 1786


A Brief History of James-

Born at Stanhill in the Accrington area of Lancashire to George and Ellen Rothwell. George was of Mill Houses Fold, Acccrington, and was a tailor by trade.

Where James and Elizabeth lived after their marriage has not been recorded, and so their first born - George and Margaret - were most often not included in their issue by past historians. They had 13 children born - Henry died as an infant and Harry probably died before he was 17 years old.

James and Elizabeth's first recorded place of residence was at Brookside, Oswaldtwistle, in 1745 - they had lived at least ten miles away from Oswaldtwistle for five years.

James' first invention was a contrivance that doubled the out-put of a hand-carder. His jenny was the next and was invented whilst he lived at Stanhill and perfected at Ramsclough where he moved at Robert Peel the elder's insistance. The rest is well known.

James was not illiterate as most brief summaries of his life state. He was uneducated. Part of his employment with Robert Pell was to "keep the books" and his signature at the top of this page shows that he could write with some flair.

Many stories have been told as to how the jenny got it's name and most of them revolve around James' daughter, yet he had no Jenny. Others say that it was named after Thomas Highs daughter, Jenny, (Thomas also designed a spinning wheel). But, it seems more likely that it was named for his wife, Elizabeth, whom he referred to as his jenny - and jenny was the local name for a machine. He is recorded as having often said to her " ee by gum. I married thee because I had never seen another lass as fast as ye at the spinning. You are my jenny." Or words to that effect.

James moved to Nottingham with all his daughters except Margaret, and with Harry. He apprenticed the other boys to Haworth, Peel and Yates ". to learn the (fabric) printing trade." ( Robert Peel the younger burned all the personnel records of the mills his father had an interest in at Church, Brookside and Bury, shortly after his death.)
Prior to leaving, and to provide for the future and clothe his children in the mean time, he sold several of his jennys to his local friends.

He went into partnership with Thomas James, when he arrived in Nottingham, and together they set up a cotton spinning business at Hockley. The outcome of which, and without going into the litigation that followed, was that the business did not prosper because the partners commercial acumen was not as sharp as that of their main competitor, Arkwright. Arkwright's mill was virtually across the road from James' mill in Hockley.

James was granted a patent for the jenny on 12. 6. 1770, but, because he had sold several of them before he left Lancashire, the courts found that Arkwright need not pay any royalty for patent infringements so he carried on plundering James ideas - as he had been doing for some time.

James left 400 Pounds in his Will - most of it went to Elizabeth and the sum of Two Pounds, two shillings was bequeathed to each of his surviving children: George, Margaret Smoke, Ellen Bird, John, Mary Stenson, Jonathan, Ann (Haslam) and Alice (Thompson). The 400 Pounds was the sum James' partner at the time, John James, paid for James' share of the business.

According to Miss Thompson, who lived at Rusholme Road, Manchester, and was the daughter of Alice who ". . kept a large independent wholesale and retail establishment in confectionery. . " - "more than two (of James' daughters) were involved (living in penury at a house in Manchester). The eldest son (George) seeems to have done moderately well in the cotton trade."

One daughter, Ellen, married a cotton spinner. Mary Ashworth and Ann Haslam were the two mentioned as having been in penury - the other must have been Margaret Smoke.