January 1, 1970

Proud to be a Staniforth. Or The advantage of being an Axholme man.

By Bill Goldthorp

Hannah Stanniforth aged 33 married John Everatt aged 39 in 1857. According to family tradition,(my mother and aunts) an arranged marriage.
I have always felt proud of my 12.5% Everatt genes and totally neglected the 12.5% Stanniforth ones.

Looking at John Everatt’s career, the reason is obvious, 1841 age 22, agricultural labourer, 1851 age 32, farmer 6 acres, 1861 age 42, farmer 50 acres, 1881 age 62, farmer 162 acres, he also lasted until he was 89. At first he had no wife and children to support and when he did, his acreage would produce all the food necessary. He had advantages other labourers did not. The youngest son of William Everatt who owned and farmed 19 acres in Eastoft, his older brother William born 1806, remained a bachelor. John would have the advantage of professional advice and free use of his father’s farming implements.

Hannah’s father Robert Stanniforth also achieved highly but in a different way.

He and his wife Rebecca Husband or Osband lived long healthy lives at a time when many failed to reach 60 years. Robert born 1786 bapt Crowle 15 Jan. 1787 died aged 80 or 81 in October 1867, buried Crowle 15 Oct 1867. Rebbecca born Crowle 1785 died aged 74 in January 1859.
They were married in Crowle on 5 Dec 1806, for 53 years.
Their family starts with Thomas born Crowle 1808, death date is unknown. Then regularly every two years.
Mary b 1810 d Oct 1884 in Crowle. Age 74.
Robert b 1812 d. 1886 Crowle. Age 72.
James b. 1814 Crowle d. August 1866. Age 52.
Rebecca b 1816 Crowle. Death date unknown.
Sally (Sarah) b. 1819 Crowle. Death date unknown.
Henry b. 1921 Crowle d. Mar 1893 Age 72
Hannah b. 1823 Crowle. d, 31 Dec 1907 Eastoft Age 84.
Jane b. 1824 Crowle Death date unknown
Johnson b. 1826 Crowle Death date unknown.
Ann Elizabeth b. 1828 d. 1 Oct 1829 Crowle age about 12 months.
Maria b. 1834 Crowle. Death date unknown.
** According to Lornafillingham on ancestry.co.uk of Scunthorpe,
Charlotte b. 1835. Crowle. Date of death unknown

I do not know what happened to Maria but the first 10 reached adulthood, married and lived healthy lives.
** The addition of Charlotte, worries me a little about my thesis, often a baby a year after the predecessor means that one has died. I have no information about what happened to Charlotte.

What was Robert Stanniforth.
1841 Agricultural labourer.
1851 Farmer.
1861 Agricultural labourer.

In most parts of England a labourer would earn about 5 shillings a week and lose over 50% of his children. Yet Robert provides enough food and resources for him and his wife to live long healthy lives, remain highly fertile and only one child died in infancy. 10 certainly reached adulthood had families and long lives. How did Robert do it?
1. He was fit and healthy himself and capable of hard work.
2. He probably owned two or three acres of land, the farmer of 1851.
Ownership of small fields close to the village was often in the hands of labourers and the price per acre greater than ordinary farms.
W.B. Stonehouse in his History of the Isle of Axholme 1839, comments on this and the absence of large landholders providing capital with substantial tenant farmers, instead a plethora of small farms. When the farmer died, his wealth was divided equally amongst his children, the eldest son taking the farm but paying the full price taking on large mortgages, a result, their living standard was barely above the labourers they employed. Stonehouse prefers the system where landless labourers are heavily exploited and have to go on parish relief every winter as in the south of England. I am NOT a socialist but their are times !!!!!!!
3. Crowle was not enclosed until 1822. The ordinary person would have valuable common rights, hay, wood, grazing a cow and other livestock, fish and fowl in the wetter parts. There is a map of Crowle Parish from 1836, I have seen photographs of Crowle and its surrounds. (The actual map is 11 feet by 6.) South of Crowle was the massive Godknow Common.
Richard Brewer 1687, Thomas Walkwood 1692 and Richard Clerk 1721 left three houses, ten acres of land and extensive common rights for the education of the poor of Crowle. At the 1822 enclosure the land and common rights were exchanged for 21 acres, 3 rods and 10 perches plus £200. The £200 was used to rebuild the school and the estate let for £88 per annum. VALUE, several decades later Charles Dicken’s character Mr. Micawber in Great Expectations states “ Income £20, expenditure £19; 19s and 6d result happiness, etc.”

Compared with the Stews of London, the slums and cellars of Manchester, where less than 40% of babies reach their second birthday, Robert and Rebecca only lose one out of twelve. There is enough food on the family table to ensure the parents remain in good health and the children are sturdy with well developed immune systems. Crowle being rural was less prone to infections especially the water transported ones due to bad sanitation. There would still be epidemics of measles, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, scarlet fever, rubella, influenza, chicken pox and smallpox, fit healthy children can overcome these. Smallpox was still a danger. Jenner only introduced vaccination in 1795. The family can never have contacted tuberculosis, which in rural sparsely populated Crowle would not be a problem..
Robert’s children.
1. Thomas. Farmer. Married Elizabeth Jackson 20 Oct. 1829 and had a family. I have records of three, George 1829, Hannah 1831, and Eliza 1854.
2. Mary, badly let down. Like many had assured fertility before marriage. 1834 son Thomas Stanniforth born. Lives with Thomas at her parents and later with Thomas. Lived 74 years. Thomas died at 80, agricultural labourer, then Coal Agent, Commercial Traveller, Brewers’ traveller.
3. Robert. An agricultural labourer like his father. Lived 74 years. Married Hannah Windle of Althorpe in 1843. They loose three, of 11 children, a girl at 18 months and a boy and girl at four years.
4. James becomes a butcher but died at 52, probably not from poverty but the sedentary life of a shopkeeper and the animal fat in his diet. He married Hannah Jackson in 1843. They had 8 children, one Infant death and one at six years..
5. Rebecca, married James Ducker in 1839. Four children are born in Crowle and five in the Rotherham area, all survive.
6. Sally (Sarah) dies over 72 years of age. Married James Spence, but widowed early.
Robert 1846, Henry 1849, Hannah Rebecca born and died 1854, James b. 1854 and George born 1854 died 1855 all at Eastoft. Finishes at Poor Row, Eastoft.
Robert and Henry lived quiet successful lives in Eastoft and Amcotts.
7. Henry, flax dresser or farm labourer, lived in Crowle 72 years. Married Susannah Richardson from Keadby with Althorpe, 8 children all reach adulthood except Mary, the second, who dies at 18. What killed off teenage girls? Usually rheumatic heart disease following a simple sore throat as a child.
8 Hannah, the person who started this article.
9.Jane, married Samuel Proctor in 1846, in Crowle. Still alive in 1901 age 77 staying at Penny Green Street Eastoft with widowed son Alfred. All children born in Crowle, three recorded, Johnson 1847, Emily 1851 and (Samuel) Alfred 1856.
10. Johnson. Flax dresser, still alive in 1871, but in Goole. Late marriage at 33 to Charlotte Dolphin from Thorpe on the Hill, in Crowle 1859. All five children reached adulthood, Johnson 1860, Rebecca 1862, Elizabeth 1863, Alan 1865 and Fanny 1868.

It certainly can be fun tracing families in a place like the Isle of Axholme, think of the people you can upset by telling them that they are related to you, more so if both parents were born in the Isle.

Robert Staniforth had an older brother William who had a daughter also called Hannah baptised in 1803, she married a Richard Slingsby bapt. 1800. Could my next door neighbours at 48 Wharf Road, Len Slingsby a year older than me and his older sister Mary be my very distant cousins, that would certainly have upset my mother. If Cyril Proctor, joiner, builder, undertaker etc on the other side, known as Bucket by my dad, (because that is how big his head was) was also a distant relative, the animosity would have been greater.

** Added two weeks after I completed this article.