The Robinson Family and Tetley Hall
The earliest record of the Robinsons is in the Census of 1841 when John Robinson, a coal merchant born in Epworth in about 1776, was living with his wife Elizabeth (born in about 1780) at Crowle Wharf. The household also included John’s son George born in Hatfield in about 1810 and his wife, Hannah Whittaker born in Selby two years later. George and Hannah had three children at the time – Elizabeth (born in 1837), Mary Ann (1839) and young George who was only four months old. George Robinson is listed as a publican and from directory records, it is almost certain that the family lived at the Ship Inn.
George and Hannah Robinson were still at Crowle Wharf in 1851 with seven of their eleven children (Elizabeth and Mary Ann, the eldest, appear to have been elsewhere) and with father John, although mother Elizabeth had died in 1850. In the Census, George is described as a farmer and his father John as a coal merchant.
At the time of the 1861 Census, George and his family, including John, were living at the South Yorkshire Hotel and George was described as an inn-keeper and coal merchant with no mention of farming. There were nine children at home – two daughters, Ada and Dora had been added since 1851, Elizabeth had left home and Emily Jane was away visiting. John Robinson died in 1864.
In 1871, George Robinson and his family were living at Tetley Hall, Crowle with his wife and four youngest daughters. George is described as a coal merchant and farmer of 384 acres. From the effusive local accounts at the time, the move to Tetley Hall would appear to have been the ultimate in social progress although George was possibly living above his means since he apparently had liabilities which were eventually taken over by his elder son. These were worthy of comment by the Official Receiver at the son’s bankruptcy hearing some twenty years later (see below). George Robinson died in 1878. Before his death, he distanced himself from the Anglican vicar in Crowle and turned to the Baptist minister for his spiritual needs (see records of Crowle Baptist Church). His wife Hannah died in 1880.
Altogether, George and Hannah Robinson had eleven children – nine daughters and two sons. The children were born between 1837 and 1854 and the lives of ten of them can be followed throughout the 1800s. The sixth child, Emily Jane, born in 1846, died in 1863 when she was only seventeen years old.
The eldest child, known apparently as Aunt Lizzie, was born in 1837 and she can be found in Crowle in the 1841 Census. She was married in Manchester Cathedral in 1856 to Edmund Gervase Maw of Crowle and they can be found in the Census of 1861 farming at Belton. It is not known why Lizzie and Edmund were married in Manchester but there was a connection with the city in that her uncle on her mother’s side, Thomas Whittaker, lived there with his family. The Maw’s marriage does not appear to have lasted and they can be found living apart in several later Censuses. Lizzie possibly died in 1900.
Mary Ann Robinson was born in 1839 and was known as Polly. In Cambridgeshire in 1865, she married James Hind, one of two Hind brothers to marry Robinson sisters. It is not known why the couple were married in Cambridgeshire but at the time, James’ uncle, Thomas Hind, farmed there. In 1881, James and Polly were farming at Belton with their five children and several servants. By the time of the 1891 Census, James Hind had died and Mary Ann was living ‘on own means’ with four of the children in Sheffield where her eldest son was a civil engineer. Mary Ann died in 1905.
The elder Robinson son, George, born in 1841, was described as an ‘engineer’ in the 1861 Census. In 1870, he married Hannah Maria East with whom he had three children. In 1871, George and Hannah were living at Tetley House when George’s occupation was given as ‘corn and coal merchant’. In 1878, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Thomas Nutt and a Yorkshire coal owner, Thomas Dymond, George founded the New Trent Brewery, Crowle Wharf – hence George’s reputation in the family as ‘having the brewery at Crowle’ although this never appears on any census. In 1881 when he was described as a general merchant, he and his family were living in Spen Cottage.
In 1878, Thomas Nutt left the partnership, losing a great deal of money, and in 1884 many of the Brewery’s assets were sold. George Robinson and Thomas Dymond parted company in 1886 after which Thomas Dymond became the sole owner. In 1891, George and his family were living in Tetley Hall where George is described as a ‘coal merchant’. In 1895, he was declared bankrupt. By 1901, the family had moved back to Tetley House and he is described as a brick manufacturer – Robinson’s brickyard was adjacent to Tetley House. George Robinson died in 1903 and his wife in 1940.
Hannah Mary Robinson was the only one of the adult Robinson children not to marry. She was born in 1842 and in the 1881 Census, she was listed as the head of the household at Tetley Hall Mansion and had presumably taken over the running of the Hall after the death of her father George. Her younger sisters Alice Ellen and Dora lived with her, together with several visiting nephews and nieces. It is not known what happened to her in the interval between then and her death in 1901.
Thomas John Robinson was born in 1844. He married Mary Ann Taylor in 1870 and in 1871 they were farming at Little Hurst, Belton with their young son Herbert. Thomas’ younger sister Clara was living with them. Thomas gave away his sister, Louisa, at her marriage in 1874 and signed the register. By 1875, Thomas, Herbert and two younger children, Elizabeth and William, were all dead and Mary Ann died in 1879. The family has an imposing marble tomb in Crowle cemetery.
Louisa Robinson was born in 1847. She is named on her birth certificate as ‘Leweza’ (sic) but has been given her rightful spelling in the Censuses of 1851 and 1861. In 1874, wearing ‘a silk dress of the new blue, trimmed with a darker shade, a wreath of orange blossoms and a tulle veil’ (quote from a local newspaper), she was married at Crowle Church to Thomas Nutt of Aughton near Selby. The celebrations were held at Tetley Hall. Louisa and Thomas Nutt eventually lived at Ellerton Hall in Ellerton, the neighbouring village to Aughton and had five children. Louisa died in 1927.
The sixth Robinson daughter, Clara, was born in 1849 and, as well as appearing in the earlier censuses, she can also be found in 1871 living with her elder brother Thomas and his family at Little Hurst. In 1873, Clara married William Hind, brother to Mary Ann’s husband, James. In 1881, William and Clara were farming at Coleby, Lincolnshire with a sizeable household but, by 1891, they and their family had moved to Scarborough where, in the Census, William has no listed occupation but Clara is described as a ‘lodging house keeper’. There was, apparently, a suggestion of bankruptcy. Clara died in 1898.
Alice Ellen Robinson, born in 1851, was living with her sisters Hannah Mary and Dora at Tetley Hall in 1881. She married John Pindar, an electrical engineer some twenty years older than herself, in Scarborough in 1884 and they went to live in London. They appear to have had no children and Alice Ellen died in 1910.
Ada Theresa Robinson was born in 1853 and she married George Edward Dixon in 1874. George and Ada had at least three sons and in the 1881 Census, the two younger boys were actually living at Tetley Hall with their three aunts. At some time in the late 1800s, the Dixons emigrated to the United States where they lived in Victorian splendour at La Grange, Illinois. ‘Geo. E. Dixon & Co.’ were in business as ‘Engineers and Steamfitters’ in Chicago and also had offices on Broadway, New York. George and Ada Dixon were killed in a motor accident in 1904.
Dora, the youngest of the Robinson children was born in 1854. She was living with the rest of the family in Crowle in 1861 (where she was mistakenly named in the Census as Flora) but, in the 1871 Census, she was at school in Micklegate, York. In 1881, Dora was living at Tetley Hall with her sisters Hannah Mary and Alice Ellen. Dora married Robert Hood in 1891 and they farmed at South Otterington in Yorkshire where a daughter, Margaret Ethel was born. Dora died in 1927.
Arthur Weston, great-grandson of Thomas & Louisa Nutt, Bramhall, Cheshire, Feb. 2013