Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Hon. Member for Calare: Henry Robert Maguire PIGOTT, M.H.R.

[Harry PIGOTT's "Official" portrait as M.H.R, as published in
 the Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook.]

Harry PIGOTT made a good impression on his entry into National politics:
"The Censure debate was resumed by Mr PIGOTT, the new representative for Calare. Mr PIGOTT dealt temperately with the various political issues. He is a clear speaker, with a complete knowledge of country interests, has a pleasant manner AND clearness of utterance that are both assets for a newcomer."
[The West Macquarie, 30 September 1913, citing the Sydney Daily Telegraph.]

His parliamentary career, which began with the General Election of 31 May 1913 (he was defeated in an earlier attempt on the same seat in April 1910), was not a stellar one, and is detailed below. He was re-elected in September 1914 and May 1917. His defeat in December 1919 led to this cable from W.A. WATT, the Treasurer, and for a time Acting Prime Minister:
"Deeply regret your defeat. I feel sure you will take it like a sportsman. Trust that the New Year will be kinder to you and that the future will bring you happiness AND prosperity."

Politics intruded upon the second of three stages in Harry's adult life - the first was in banking, from his leaving school in London in 1883, until the closure of his branch of the Australian Joint Stock Bank in Blayney, N.S.W., in 1899; the second was in business in Blayney as a Stock AND Station Agent and Auctioneer; and the third was as a Grazier at his property "Cadara" near Tottenham, in Central Western N.S.W.


Harry was born Henry Robert Maguire PIGOTT, in the Colombo suburb of Matakuliyah, Ceylon, on 2 October 1866. His parents were Baptist Missionaries, the Rev Henry Robert PIGOTT (see his separate posting on this blog-site), and his spouse Ellen GILES. Harry was raised in Matakuliyah, with his elder siblings Annie and Frank, and where two younger siblings, Frederick and Norah, were also born; the family moved to another Colombo suburb, Maradana, when Harry was about 4 years of age, living at the principal Baptist Mission House, and where his 3 younger sisters Effie, Mary and Winfred were born.
With his family, he visited his dying grandfather, Rev John Eustace GILES (see his separate posting), in Clapham, London, in 1875, when he and his elder brother Frank were placed in boarding school, at Eltham, School for the Sons of Missionaries, in Blackheath Village, Co Kent, run by an Independent (or Congregationalist) Minister, Rev Edward WAITE, M.A. Harry was enumerated there in the 1881 Census, aged 14, but incorrectly attributed with the birthplace of Ratnapura, which was instead where his parents were then living.

Harry left school in December 1882, and was employed from 2 January 1883 as a junior bank clerk " Mr BERNARD's office with a Mr MOYSEY in a bank near Liverpool Street Station" in London, later identified as the Bank of Australasia. Harry resided, with his brother Frank, at the residence of their mother's widowed step-mother, Mrs Ellen GILES, at 12 Freke Road, Lavender Hill. When Mrs GILES emigrated to Sydney in April 1883, Frank and Harry removed to lodgings at 46 St John's Hill Grove, Wandsworth, where their landlady was a Mrs THOMAS. Harry wrote to his parents on 15 August 1883, saying that he had spoken to the "...Australasian bank people" - presumably his employers.


In 1884, armed with a letter of introduction from Sir Morton PETO, a Baptist business man, he emigrated to N.S.W., departing London on the R.M.S. Carthage on 8 May, staying a month with his parents in Colombo, and completing his journey with a voyage on the R.M.S. Sutlej, arriving in Sydney on 10 July 1884. His father wrote to his mother, probably then up in the cooler climate of Nuwera Eliyah for the sake of her health:
"Harry left by the Sutlej this afternoon about 5.30. I saw the purser and introduced Harry and said he was a gentleman even though he was travelling second class, and told him to make sure he was alright and in a cabin with respectable people... So departed the Banker, in good spirits, waving a hanky all the way."

PETO's letter of recommendation was to the Australian Joint Stock Bank, a fierce competitor of the Bank of N.S.W. Harry served in offices in Burwood (a Sydney suburb), then in Grafton, Cooma, Milton, Wingham, and finally as Manager in the Blayney branch, from Jan 1893.
His start in N.S.W. must have gone well. On 3 March 1885, his elder brother Frank, still in London at the Crystal Palace Engineering School, wrote to their parents:
"I knew that Harry would get on all right in Australia. He is very sharp in many ways (takes after his brother) and is bound, if continued with good health, to make a 'Jumbo' at banking. 'Jumbo' here means a big pot. Fancy a rise from £20 to £40 a year. It seems a fine way of getting on."

Harry's entry to Grafton was marked by tragedy - his ship, the Paddle Steamer City of Grafton, was the first vessel to encounter the S.S. Helen Nicoll, which had earlier in the night collided with the S.S. Keilawarra, which sank with the loss of 46 souls, mostly women and children. Harry's ship brought first word of the tragedy ashore, at the Yamba telegraph office, on 9 December 1886.
While in Grafton, his skills as a swimmer were put into good use during one of the regular floodings of the Clarence River.

[Harry aged 21. Photograph taken in 1887 by Falk Instantaneous Portraits, 496 George Street, Sydney.]

Harry then went south, where he spent some time at the branch at Summer Hill, in Sydney, as this item illustrates, even as he was being sent further south again.
"Mr H.R.M. PIGOTT, acting accountant of the Summer Hill branch of the Australian Joint Stock Bank, has been promoted to the position of accountant at the Cooma branch."
[Evening News (Sydney), Tuesday 23 August 1887.]

The N.S.W. Electoral Rolls first record Harry in the Electoral Division of Monaro, by right of residence in Cooma, in for the rolls of 1888-89, and 1889-90.
The Cooma Express noted, in it's issue of Saturday 16 March 1889:
"Mr PIGOTT, formerly accountant at the Cooma A.J.S. Bank, is acting manager during Mr SEELEY's indisposition."

Harry's next posting was to the branch at Milton, near Ulladulla, on the N.S.W. South Coast. He was here from July 1889 until April 1892, and it was here that his parents arrived to stay from Colombo in January 1890. Harry's appointment as Manager, at a salary of £200 a year, was approved at a meeting of the full Board of the Bank on 16 July 1889; his last Manager's letter was sent to the Board on 28 March 1892. While there, he would walk 5 miles to Yatte Yatte, just to play tennis. He was enrolled for the Electoral District of Shoalhaven, 1890-91 and 1891-92, by right of residence in Milton.

This glowing tribute was made to Harry on his farewell from Milton:
"The following address has been forwarded to Mr H.R.M. PIGOTT... by his friends in the district, as a token of esteem and regard: -
"To Mr H.R.M. PIGOTT, manager of the Australian Joint Stock Bank, Milton.
"Dear Sir - On the occasion of your leaving for the metropolis, a few of the residents of Milton who have enjoyed your society and friendship during the past 3 years desire to assure you of their sincere regret at your departure.
"Your kind and gentlemanly bearing, your unfailing frankness and courtesy, your constancy in friendship, your strict integrity, and above all your genuine christian character, have won golden opinions and will keep your name fragrant in the memories of those who now address you.
"In partaking, they ask you to accept the accompanying Gold Albert as a slight expression of their respect, esteem and affection, with the earnest hope that you may live long to wear it, and that wherever you may be, your character and worth may be justly and sincerely appreciated, as they have been by them: -
[Ulladulla and Milton Times, Saturday 28 May 1892.]

Harry spent a short time at the branch in Wingham, near Taree, perhaps also on a temporary or "relief" basis. I have been unable to confirm the dates, but it would appear most likely that it was between his departure from Milton in April 1892 and his appointment to Blayney in January 1893.
It was probably during this period that Harry kept bees, and delivered a Lecture on Bees and Beekeeping " the School of Art last Tuesday evening." The broadsheet newspaper clipping of the Lecture, which was, unfortunately, undated, but noted the following:
" the conclusion of the lecture, Mr NAYLOR moved a vote of thanks to Mr PIGOTT, and to Miss PIGOTT, who had prepared the diagrams... Mr PIGOTT says that in preparing it he was greatly assisted by Dr ALLAN, and also obtained a lot of very valuable information from the book called 'Root's A.B.C. of Bee Culture.' But the bulk of it was obtained from his own observation."
Harry was quoted as saying:
"My brother and myself who go in for none but Italians (bees), are determined to introduce one or two new imported queens into our colonies every year, in order to keep up the strain. We are trying also top convert our neighbours to the Italian."
The mention of his brother, probably his younger brother John, and his sister, clearly suggests that he was probably keeping bees at his father's orchard Kellyville, rather than in Wingham.


Harry was appointed to be Manager of the Blayney branch, at a salary of £225 a year, by letter dated 17 January 1893. The letter was addressed to him in Sydney, so he may have spent some time in Head Office after his brief posting in Wingham. He managed the branch until it was closed in 1899, and specifically, from the time of his appointment, at the culmination of a banking crisis in N.S.W., brought about by the high levels of credit being extended on property deeds, corresponding with a major recession in rural Australia. By 17 May 1893, 12 major banks had failed, including the A.J.S. Bank, which closed it's doors on 21 April. Most of them restructured, and re-opened, the A.J.S. on 19 June 1893. But it, and other banks, immediately began to consolidate and contract their scope of operations; within 3 years, nearly half of their 170 branches in N.S.W. had been closed down.

Harry lived in the bank premises, on the corner of Adelaide and Water Streets, as recorded in the Australian Town and Country Journal [Saturday 18 March 1893], in their report of an incident at the bank on the evening of 10 Mar:
"...The Manager (Mr PIGOTT), who sleeps on the premises, was out during the evening, and returned about 11 o'clock. On looking over the premises before going to bed, he was confronted by a man behind the bank counter, who threatened to blow his brains out if he attempted to move. The Manager, thinking the burglar had taken possession of the Accountant's revolver, which is kept in a drawer close to where the man stood, complied with his request. The man then made his escape through the Manager's room and out the back door. About 6 shillings in cash was taken. An examination of the premises showed that an entrance had been made by the back window, which had been prised open by a chisel or some other implement."
The culprit was identified independently by Blayney Police (Senior-sergeant ROCHE and Constable LENEHAN) as being Bertie GLASSON wearing a false beard, whom they met in the street near the bank on the night in question; and although never reported up the chain of Police command, the "incident" was characterised by them in a subsequent explanation to the A.J.S. Bank Head Office in Sydney as a "practical joke."
But the joke back-fired in a spectacular and shocking manner in the following September, when GLASSON, while attempting to rob the City Bank in Carcoar, killed the manager and his married daughter with an axe; he was later arrested in Cowra, put upon his trial for murder, convicted, and hanged in Bathurst Gaol on 29 November 1893, aged 26.
In the light of GLASSON's arrest and trial, further reference was made in the Press concerning the earlier incident at the A.J.S. Bank in Blayney, with the Bathurst Free Press [Saturday 7 October 1893], citing a report in the Blayney Advocate, as follows:
"We have also interviewed Mr PIGOTT in reference to this matter, and his statement is to the effect that on the first night of the Blayney Show (held in March last) he, with some others, was spending the evening up at Mr GLASSON's, and upon returning to the bank at about 11 o'clock found one of the windows had been tampered with and left open, but in consequence of a big nail it could not be opened sufficiently to admit a man without breaking the framework altogether..."
It is interesting that the two versions differ - but it is unclear whether Harry altered his version of events, or there was some editorial excision of GLASSON's involvement (perhaps seeking to avoid tainting the then judicial proceedings under way against GLASSON for the Carcoar murders?).
The article went on to argue that since GLASSON had been identified by Police in connection with the earlier bank burglary, then Police action against GLASSON at the time, even in the form of a formal caution, may have prevented the Carcoar atrocity.

Harry either still played football, or had a hand in the "management" of those in Blayney who did. The Bathurst Free Press [Tuesday 11 September 1894] reported, from their correspondent in Trunkey, about a match between the Trunkyites and the Blayney Rovers scheduled to have been played at Newbridge on the previous Saturday, it being the final game of the season, and that only 6 members of the Blayney team had shown up, along with the umpire (Mr CLEMENTS of Blayney):
"After waiting for a long time for the remainder of the Rovers, the Trunkey captain received the following telegram from Mr PIGOTT of Blayney - 'Very sorry; last moment many members declined to go; accept sincerest apologies'..."
The Newbridge locals, for whom this was their first hosting of such a match, were not impressed that the Blayneyites had "...been afraid of being defeated by the little town of Trunkey."

On Tuesday 18 April 1899, the Board meeting of the A.J.S. Bank received a Report by the Chief Inspector, respecting the Blayney Branch Inspection:
"The Manager to be severely reprimanded, and cautioned as to his (further - deleted) future conduct."

I can find no explanation as to why Harry was in trouble, and can only assume that he may perhaps have overstepped the mark as regards conditions for loan approvals. Branch Inspections were usually only carried out as a prelude to closure, so Harry should have been alerted to possible future insecurity of his position with the bank in Blayney. He married in 1898, but rules prohibiting staff on under £200 a year from marrying, on pain of dismissal, clearly no longer applied to him; and another bank rule prohibiting comment on political matters, particularly during election campaigns, may have rankled with Harry, especially during his father's tilt at Sherbrooke in the 1894 General Election, but that was well before 1899. Perhaps, instead, he had already begun to test the waters of his new venture in business in Blayney while the bank was still operating, which may have put him offside with his superiors; or more likely, the negative report spurred him into action to provide for his post-banking career.


Harry opened up in business as a Stock and Station Agent in Blayney, perhaps as early as the middle of 1898, and if so, clearly while he was still managing the Bank branch there; he later advertised the venture in the Blayney Advocate of 18 August 1900, as follows:
"H.R.M. PIGOTT, Stock, Station Agent and Auctioneer. Sheep, cattle, horse and general sales held on 1st and 3rd Saturdays every month at 2.30 p.m. Good lines of sheep for private sale always on hand. Cheap properties for sale in Orange, Carcoar, Grenfell, Cowra, Molong and Blayney districts. Correspondence promptly attended to. New Offices at sale yards, Old Mill premises."

By 8 September 1898, Harry was able to advertise yet another move to a new office in Adelaide Street, no doubt in the south end of the Club House Hotel building, which he occupied for another 30 years. It contained two rooms, an outer and inner office, although neither were very private, so Harry was obliged to hold his more confidential meetings in the back seat of his motor car in the street - but that was later on - in the early days, before the war, he drove a phaeton, drawn by a horse named "Rocket," which was also ridden to local appointments by his office boy.
The glass of the external window was etched with his "shingle":
"H.R.M.PIGOTT - Stock Station Financial Agent - Sworn Valuator under R.P.A. - Agent for A.M.P."

Harry appears to have run the business as sole proprietor. He placed it the hands of a manager, I.J. CLEMENTS, when he was elected to Parliament in 1914. Prior to that, in 1912, he had engaged a junior office boy, named Creel PRICE, who got "the shock of his life" when Harry offered him the Manager's position after CLEMENTS left for Sydney in 1918. Creel was to work with Harry until he retired to "Cadara" in 1932; he then purchased the business, and kept it on until 1949, when he sold to Harry's son-in-law, Paul CUTTS [see Creel's memoirs, "On the Wallaby," published in 1987].
Creel recalled his engagement by Harry in a conversation with Garry REYNOLDS:
"PIGOTT did so well that he approached the local headmaster with the question, 'Who is the smartest boy you have here?' On being told 'Young Creel PRICE' he offered the lad a job, which was taken up..." [See his "King's Colonials: the Story of Blayney and District."]

[Creel PRICE standing in the office doorway, part of the Club House Hotel, Adelaide Street, Blayney.]

Among a number of his registered real estate purchases in the area, one important one was dated 10 May 1900, for "Iona", a brick residence in Clarke St, Blayney, on over 13 acres of land at the end of Albion Lane. This became Harry's principal residence after his marriage, enabling him to remove from temporary arrangements with his parents-in-law at the Manse in Church Street, where his first child was born in 1899. "Iona" was disposed of by Harry's executors in 1950.

["Iona" in Clarke St, Blayney, Nov 2012, at the northern end of Albion Lane (now Street), which runs north off the Carcoar Road just west of the intersection with the top end of Adelaide Street.]

Another was the transfer of the Leasehold of "Cadara" on 9 April 1929, by an irregular transfer annotated on the Conditional Lease Tenure Cards in the Deeds Office with the letter "R" - probably indicating that the Mortgagors, unhappy with performance of the Mortgagees, made a Request for transfer of the Conditional Lease to Harry PIGOTT, who was probably already a "sleeping partner" with the Leaseholders, George PILE and Robert CLEMENTS, both Blayney men.
Sands Directories record, for the Condobolin Pastures Protection District, the following entries:
1913 - CLEMENTS and PILE; 1914, 1915 - PILE and CLEMENTS, "Candys" and "Condys"; 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920 and 1921 - PILE and PIGOTT, "Candora," "Candara," and "Caudara"; 1922, 1923, 1924 - PIGOTT, H., "Cadara"; 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 - PIGOTT, H.R.M., "Cadara"; and 1931 and 1933 - PIGOTT, J.A., "Cadara".
Post Town was Lansdale (1913-15); Trangie (1916-17); Tottenham (1919-21); Blayney (1922-23); and Tottenham (1926-33). Acreage was 10,240 (1913-17); 12,800 (1919-20); 10,240 (1921); 12,020 (1922); 12,084 (1923); 15,260 (1924); and 12,840 (1926-33). Sheep numbers on the station varied from 1,506 in 1915 to 11,709 in 1920, with most years averaging around the 4-5,000 mark.

But Harry's time at "Cadara" did not come until after his career in National politics.
And he got into a spot of bother with rabbits - which resulted in him being declined the benefit of half rates for rabbit proofing, which was found to be defective on his western boundary during an inspection on 26 October 1932. Harry, with his son (Jim), his manager, had gone next day to repair the fence, as instructed by the inspector, one Mr TOUGH. In his remonstrations with the Board over this matter, Harry acknowledged that there were large clusters of warrens just outside his western boundary, and that he had had men cutting and mattocking the burrows, and burning the cover; and protested that his was one of the most rabbit-proofed properties in the district. Jim left "Cadara" in the following year (he purchased "Back Woodlands" near Narromine in September 1933), having evidently come to the conclusion that he and his father could not see eye-to-eye on farming matters - perhaps the rabbit proof fencing was the last straw.


Henry Robert Maguire PIGOTT, Bank Manager, aged 31, was married in the Blayney Manse, on 23 March 1898, by his father, Rev Henry Robert PIGOTT (Anglican Curate of Castle Hill), assisting Rev James ADAM (Presbyterian Minister of Blayney), to his only surviving daughter, Margaret Paton (Maggie) ADAM, aged 24.

It was reported that the wedding was made into a private affair, as the church would have been unable to accommodate the vast numbers who would have attended any public function involving the popular Minister's family.
Maggie ADAM was born in the Carcoar Manse on 26 August 1874; she believed that she was named for her paternal grandmother; she was 3 when her family moved to Penrith, and 6 when they moved to Sydney; she attended Argyll School, Surry Hills, 1883-1884; aged 9 when the family moved back to Carcoar, and 16 when they moved to Blayney; by the time her father retired, she was 19, and playing the organ in St Paul's Church, Blayney.


A State Election was held in N.S.W. in 1908. Harry was then Secretary of the Blayney Electoral Liberal League, and wrote several pamphlets for them in reply to he Labor candidate Mr BEEBY, and particularly in reference to Labor's Land Policy which called for Nationalisation. In the following year, Harry first represented Blayney at Farmers and Settlers Conferences; and in 1910, Harry first stood as a Liberal candidate for Calare in the Federal Parliament.
The Division of Calare was created in 1906 after a re-distribution, and was won by Labor's Thomas BROWN; in 1909 it comprised polling places at Barmedman, Bimbi, Bogan Gate, Canowindra, Cowra, Cudal, Eugowra, Forbes, Grenfell, Molong, Obley, Parkes, Peak Hill, Temora, Trundle, Waroo and West Wellington.

Harry was expected to do reasonably well on his first attempt. The West Macquarie wrote, eleven days before polling, that his chances were regarded:
" those who should know, to be very bright, and political campaigners are tipping him to win by several hundred votes. If he is beaten, it will not be for the want of work, as our Blayneyite has been a trier from the word go."
But the voters thought otherwise, and Harry lost to BROWN by nearly 1500 votes - his 9,147 votes to BROWN's 10,561.
In the aftermath of his failure, moves were made to draft Harry as a candidate for the State seat of Blayney, but Harry would have none of it, as he wrote to the Telegraph:
"Although I have received numerous requests to come forward, it is not my intention to do so, for the reason that I am determined to hold myself in readiness to again submit my name to the Liberals in the Federal electorate of Calare, three years hence."

By the time Harry made his second attempt on Calare, several alterations had been made to the electoral boundaries - Barmedman, Bimbi, Grenfell, Peak Hill and Temorah polling places had been removed from the Division, and Orange, Stuart Town and Wellington had been added. And this time, in general elections held on 31 May 1913, Harry was successful - improving his own vote by 2,700 by polling 11,848 votes to BROWN's 10,911. Joseph COOK formed a new Liberal Government, although Labor still controlled the Senate, a situation which culminated in the Double Dissolution election of 1914.

Harry delivered his his maiden speech to Parliament, then sitting in Melbourne, on 21 August 1913, as part of the Address-in-Reply to the Governor-General's speech, and speaking for 1 hour and 45 minutes. He began:
"I need not say that I am proud to be privileged to take part in the public debates of this National Assembly, not because of a personal achievement in securing a position in this House, but because my return enables me to assist in restoring responsible government in this great Commonwealth of ours.
"I desire to take advantage of the opportunity to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, upon your elevation to the high office you now fill, and upon the action you have taken in restoring the mace to the table of this House."

Harry went on to refute a claim that the Liberals held their conferences behind closed doors:
"I have personally attended five Liberal Conferences since these conferences were initiated, and I am in a position to give the statement of the ex-Attorney-General a flat contradiction...
"I can only say that I belong to the Liberal Association of N.S.W., and happen to be a member of the council, and I have never seen the doors closed against anyone at a meeting of the party."

Harry also had something to say about the recent coming together of the anti-Labor forces:
"We have been called a fusionist party because Free Traders and Protectionists on this side have agreed to drop their fiscal differences to further the principles of Liberalism. On this ground, our friends opposite are equally Fusionists... The ex-Attorney-General is one of the strongest Free Traders N.S.W. has ever had, whilst the ex-Prime Minister, Mr Andrew FISHER, is a strong Protectionist and the Arch-priest of Protection in Australia."
Harry supported the White Australia Policy, in terms that would be probably today attract charges of racial vilification! And under that banner, he strongly argued for more immigration.
He also argued for the re-introduction of Postal Voting, noting that Labor repealed it because greater advantage accrued to the Liberals from its use; and he vigorously advocated the principle of uneven electorates, citing the advantages of civilisation enjoyed by those in city electorates, and their relative size:
"...a candidate for Parliament could, from an elevated position, make himself heard by the whole constituency with the aid of a megaphone. Contrast Surry Hills with a district like Cobar, in which it would take 3 years to visit every elector, even travelling by motor-car. Those living in the interior are doing the work of the country; they are its brawn, muscle and sinew."
No argument on the last point from the electors of Calare - except those on the Labor side!
He attacked Labor for irregularities in the appointment of a Union official to a senior government post in the Northern Territory; praised the new government for taking rural workers out of the Arbitration Act; and criticised the former government's Australian Notes Act of 1910, and its effect on the money market:
"I have lived in country districts many years. I have been on the land; have engaged in business pursuits; have been a bank manager for some considerable period, and latterly have carried on business as a stock and station agent. I have to deal with people who buy and sell sheep, and engage in various investments, and I say, without hesitation, that during the whole of my 28 years experience of life in country districts, I have never known the money market to be so stringent as it has been the last 3 years."
He went on to elaborate his point with discussion of gold reserves, and even drew comparison with monetary policy in France just after the Revolution! He gave the Commonwealth Bank a serve, accusing it of being badly governed (by one appointed Governor, rather than a Board), arguing that its policy of cheap loans did not get to needy small land-holders. He also attacked the Graduated Land tax, pointing out that it had led to highly variable valuations of country properties; and he concluded with an attack on the Absentee Land tax, on the grounds that the small net gain (of £20,000) was offset by the presence of "...the British Fleet riding supreme at sea, serving to protect our interests in every corner of the globe," and that it was driving capital out of the country.

Some things don't change!

[A coach outing of Parliamentarians, with Harry PIGOTT on the big coach, immediately above the front wheel, 
just in front of the lady wearing the dark, wide-brimmed hat. The photo is undated.
 The name "WEBSTER ROMETCH" appears on the side of the larger coach, indicating that the photo was
probably taken in Tasmania - WEBSTER, ROMETCH and DUNCAN were a firm 
which ran a coach service in Hobart and surrounding areas.
In May 1917, WEBSTER, ROMETCH, Ltd, advertised the sale of their horses, brakes and harness, having decided 
to convert their tourist fleet to motor transport, which suggests this photo predates that date.]

Harry was re-elected to represent Calare for a second term in General Elections held on 5 September 1914, increasing his primary vote and his majority over his Labor opponent, this time William JOHNSON. But the Government he supported was defeated, and Andrew FISHER formed a new Labor Government with a comfortable majority.

FISHER wrote to Harry from Melbourne on 23 September, 18 days after the Poll:
"Many thanks for your kind letter of the 14th September. I am glad to have your assurance of loyal co-operation in these times of uncertainty. With best wishes."
The first World War had broken out in Europe.

Harry was appointed to a delegation which visited Norfolk Island, in connection with a Bill that had been before the Parliament in 1913 for taking over the former Crown Colony, previously under the administration of the New South Wales Government.
A party of 10 Members, including three Senators, sailed from Sydney on the Steamer Levuka on 24 December 1914, and arrived at Norfolk Island on Sun 27 December, disembarking passengers between 4.30 and 6.00 p.m. It is possible that he was accompanied by one of his sons, as the S.M.H. recorded the departure of the Levuka from the Lime Street wharf of the A.U.S.N. Coy, the passenger list including both Mr Henry PIGOTT and Mr PIGOTT Junior, probably his eldest son Robbie, the aged 15.

[A Parliamentary adventure - a delegation being landed, probably on Norfolk Island, off the steamer "Levuka."]

[A picnic - probably while on Norfolk Island, if the pines in the background are any indication.
Perhaps the occasion of a cricket match at the Melanesian Mission there.
The young man standing between the two groups bears a passing resemblance to Harry's
eldest son, Robbie PIGOTT, then aged 15 and-a-half, and who did travel with his father.]

The delegation left in the evening of Sunday 17 January 1915, on the Steamer Makambo, via an 8 hour stint on Lord Howe Island, and disembarked in Sydney on Thursday 21 January, during a severe dust-storm.
Harry was reported [S.M.H., Friday 22 January] as stating that:
"They gave us a rattling good time down there - dancing, tennis, all sorts of things. We had a cricket match with the Melanesian Mission, and got licked. Bishop WOOD was playing for them. I can tell you he's a good batsman."

Later that year, on 27 October 1915, FISHER was succeeded as Labor Leader by William Morris HUGHES.
Another year further on, with the defeat of the first Referendum on Conscription, HUGHES was removed from A.L.P. Leadership by the Labor Caucus, and on 14 November 1916 formed a new Ministry from among his supporters in the National Labor Party.
He reached an agreement with the Liberal Party on terms for a merger, and a new coalition Ministry was sworn in on 17 February 1917.

Under these much changed circumstances, Harry was again returned as M.H.R. for Calare in Elections held on 5 May 1917, eventually maintaining his majority over yet another Labor candidate, Thomas LAVELLE.
Calare's boundaries had altered but slightly, with the removal of the Polling Place at Obley.

But the early count wasn't good; Harry received the following telegrams:
Joseph COOK, in Sydney:
"Glad to see your nose in front all good luck. Waiting anxiously further news."
W.M. HUGHES, in Melbourne:
"Sincerely hope later returns will ensure your success."
W.A. WATT, in Melbourne:
"Watching your count with deep interest. Sincerely hope that remaining figures will work out in your favour."

The Nationalists won in a landslide. HUGHES put the Conscription question to a second Referendum, and in December 1917, that was again defeated. HUGHES resigned his commission, but as only he could command a majority in Parliament, he formed a new Ministry which was re-sworn on 10 January 1918.

At the time, Harry was implicated in an "Intrigue" between the Official Labor Party and a "cave" within the Nationalists led by Mr TUDOR. The Western Advocate of 24 January 1918 printed the following report:
"Mr PIGOTT held that the HUGHES Government should have resigned and thereby have fulfilled its pledge, and that a ministry should have been formed from other members, but he never at any time contemplated giving the Official Labor Party any chance to secure office, either by discreditable connivance of Nationalists with Tudorites or by any process which would have ended up with an appeal to the country.
"Although Mr PIGOTT's point of view was that the Government should have fulfilled its pledges by resigning and that a Government should have been formed irrespective of the HUGHES Ministry, he was never consulted further by the 'cave.'
"But to his surprise on the last afternoon of the debate he was approached by a prominent member of the 'cave' who said they had been considering his contention that the Government should have resigned, and had drafted an amendment, which they would ask him to move. As they had already spoken, none of them could move it, so they would ask him. Mr PIGOTT expressed his surprise at being asked to move such an amendment or any amendment half-an-hour before the time fixed for the conclusion of the debate, and declined to do anything until he saw the Government Whip. He was approached by another member of the 'cave' to the same effect and gave the same answer. Failing to persuade Mr PIGOTT, the 'cave' sought Mr Austin CHAPMAN, and it was understood that he would move the amendment.
"Mr PIGOTT then informed Mr Massey GREENE, the Government Whip, of what had happened, and that information was the first intimation the Government had of the amendment. It was to have been sprung on them at a moment's notice and to have taken them by surprise.
"Mr PIGOTT refused to be party to such a method of unseating a Government formed from his own party.
"The statements of the metropolitan papers certainly are assumptions that the 'cave' was in collusion with the Official Labor Party, and there was a certain suggestion that Mr PIGOTT had been in consultation with that party, but Mr PIGOTT never approached them, nor did they approach him, and he never knew of any consultation with the Tudorites, nor of the amendment, nor of the proposal to move it, till the prominent Nationalist informed him they (the 'cave') had been considering his point of view and had drafted an amendment which they would ask him to move.
"Mr PIGOTT, no doubt, saw a certain amount of treachery in the matter and refused to be party to a mean intrigue. No doubt too, he saw what must follow the defeat of the Government, not merely an election, but the probable succession to office of a party whose loyalty is a negligible quantity, or at best lacks emphasis."

The Sydney Morning Herald had implied Harry had joined the intrigue, and Harry, it appears, may have been forced to undertake a little bit of "damage control."

Harry's absence from the Chamber through illness was noticed by the Speaker (Sir W. Elliot JOHNSON), who wrote to Harry on 6 April 1918:
"It was with profound regret I learned today of your illness. I sincerely hope it will not be serious or of long duration, and that your smiling face will soon again be in evidence to illumine the chamber and help dispel the air of gloom which pervades it when some of the more cheerful spirits like yourself are absent. Sincerely Yours."

[The cartoonist LOW's caricature of Harry PIGOTTpublished in the Bulletin, 18 September 1919.]

Harry's career as sitting member for Calare ended at the General Elections held on 13 December 1919, when, standing as an endorsed Nationalist and Farmer's Candidate, he was defeated by his Labor opponent, by a margin of over 1,000 votes.
W.A. WATT telegraphed Harry on 24 December:
"Deeply regret your defeat. I feel sure you will take it like a sportsman. Trust that the New Year will be kinder to you and that the future will bring you happiness and prosperity."
Harry did contest the seat again, at the General Election of 16 December 1922, but his chances never looked promising. Now held by Labor, it was open to other conservative candidates, and against the sitting member was also to stand a candidate for whom Harry was no match - a General Practitioner in Orange, a twice returned serviceman, with a Victoria Cross, Sir Neville HOWSE. He won the seat with 95% of Harry's preferences (although he only needed 35% of them).


Life after politics for Harry involved continuing in business in Blayney, and developing his grazing interests at his property "Cadara" near Tottenham.
In 1932, Harry finally retired from the Blayney business, selling to his former office-boy, Creel PRICE, whom he had appointed Manager in 1918 to replace his original Manager I.J. CLEMENTS. Creel ran it until 1949, when he sold it to Harry's son-in-law Paul CUTTS.

[Harry (far right), with brother Frank (far left), wife Maggie (next left) and 
sister-in-law Cassie (wearing the hat), at "Cadara" about 1935.]

Harry retained his residence "Iona" in Albion Street, but concentrated on his "Cadara" property, spending the summer months in town, and avoiding the harsh Blayney winters at "Cadara."
Youngest son Frank recalled that he would drive with his father, while the women-folk, namely Maggie PIGOTT and her mother Bessie ADAM would travel by train, presumably a more comfortable form of travel when roads were not so good as they are today.
The car is not identified, but was probably the 1930 model 6-cylinder Chevrolet Sedan, which he bequeathed to his son Frank; but perhaps not the one, parked outside his office in Adelaide Street, Blayney, in which he had conducted his more "private" business dealings.

His daughter Elsa and her husband Paul CUTTS lived at "Iona" after Harry retired to the coast; and it was disposed of as part of Harry's deceased estate, being assessed in Stamp Duty documents as a "...brick cottage, 8 rooms, iron roof, garages, tennis court, shed, fencing and clearing, on 13 acres 2 roods and 27 perches, annual value £123."

In 1945, Harry sold "Cadara" and retired to the sea-side.
His late brother Frank had lived at 61 Osborne Street, Manly, with his second wife Cassie, and she was now living with her sister Mary MADDEN at Manly. Harry was residing at 61 Osborne Street when he wrote to son Jim, on 8 October 1945, advising that he wanted to buy "Cambrae," a cottage on the corner of High and Marshall Streets in Manly, just 200 yards from Cassie; but a week later Harry wrote that the owners of "Cambrae" were "...fooling us around" and he was now looking at a house at 10 Fairlight Crescent. He purchased that in November 1945.

And that is where he settled, after 30 March 1947, in a small cottage with a view across the outer harbour straight out through the Heads, with a steep path up the back to the garage, and "filled" with SPENCE and ADAM family memorabilia - the "Dunbar" table, the epergné, the tilting silver kettle, the engraved silver salver, the plush upholstered set of dining chairs and sofas, the wall-mounted Royal Coat-of-Arms thermometer and air pressure gauge, and the upright piano.
I have very fond memories of early childhood summer days at "Balclutha," No 10 Fairlight Crescent, away from the heat of Parramatta where the cooling sea-breezes never reached; of the trips down to the local harbour pools at Fairlight Beach, past the rusting remnants of what we were told was one of the Japanese mini-submarines; and the longer trips around the headlands to the harbour Baths at the Manly Ferry Terminal, with slippery dips on one side of the broadwalk, and speed-boat rides on the other; and along the Corso, past the old favourite fish-and-chips shop, to the Ocean Beach at North and South Steyne.

[A "family" group at Manly Surf Beach, with Harry standing behind his mother, Ellen (who died in 1926); 
the two younger women remain unidentified.]

Harry died at his home in Manly on 8 July 1949, aged 82. He was buried in the family plot in Blayney Cemetery, Presbyterian Section, adjacent to the ADAM grave.
An Obituary notice was published in the Blayney West Macquarie, Friday 15 July:
"One of Blayney's best known citizens died last Friday evening...
"Mr PIGOTT had been in ill health for many months, being a patient in hospital for a portion of this time. His death is sincerely regretted by a wide circle of friends. As a Parliamentarian, he became widely known and highly respected, especially throughout the whole of the western division of New South Wales.
"During his residence in Blayney, Mr PIGOTT was a prominent citizen of the town, and took a keen interest in all public activities. This was particularly so in regard to A. and P. Association matters, and he did a great deal of work on their behalf. For many years he was a Trustee. Deceased lived a fine Christian life, and his kindly acts for others will always be a revered memory to those who knew him..."

Apart from his two former residences, "Iona" in Blayney and "Balclutha" in Fairlight, Harry's estate also included another dwelling named "Wynalla" in William Street, Warringah, a part of the Meadowbank Estate, which was valued at £625, and let at £6 13s per month.

Harry's widow Margaret remained at 10 Fairlight Crescent for a number of years. Her increasing frailty saw her spend periods with her "city" sons Robbie (Harris Park) and Frank (Strathfield), with occasional respite in "ghastly" Nursing Homes, from which my horrified mother would always "rescue" her from her place in the line of wheelchairs awaiting their next round of medications.

She was living with us when her last illness saw her removed to Parramatta Hospital, where she died on 18 March 1960, aged 85. She too was buried in Blayney.
And part of her estate included the four houses in Woolloomooloo that her mother had inherited in 1878, and bequeathed to her in 1932 - shop-front dwellings at 92 and 94 William Street (demolished to make way for the Bay-Boulevarde Hotel), and terraced houses at 126 and 128 Palmer Street (demolished in the 1980's to make way for the Bourke Street diversion under William St).

I never knew my grandfather Harry, who died in Sydney when I had spent the entire 6 months of my young life 600 miles to the north in Brisbane.
But I do remember my grandmother, from her running the "holiday" home in Fairlight, to her later and less mobile periods of residence with us at 32 Alice Street, Harris Park.
There was the smell of lavender, and the 4711 Eau-de-Cologne which she thought was good for repelling mosquitoes; the well-below-the-knees woollen skirts, and the cream felt bowler hat; the ringing of the bell at the lighting of the birthday-cake candles, and the slow hand-clapping to herald the flaming Christmas Pudding's arrival at table (or was that the other way around?); the perennial gift of the wooden box of western district cherries, packed by our CUTTS cousins, that gave me gastric attacks for the over-eating; the evident dislike she took to our border-collie dog being inside the house; and her humming over her ADAM chin, and the occasional raspy coughs, which kept her younger grandchildren highly amused, even after she had gone to her grave!

Harry andMaggie had four children:

1. Henry Robert (Robbie) PIGOTT, born in the Blayney Manse, 25 May 1899.

Educated at All Saints College, Bathurst; Royal Military College, Duntroon (1917-20); Lieutenant, Royal Australian Artillery, North Head, with a year spent in Artillery units in England (1921) and briefly with the Occupation Forces on the Rhine; B.A. (1926) and B.Sc. (1932), Sydney University; Rugby break-away forward (United Services sides at Duntroon, Blackheath Club in London, and Sydney University Blue), and retrospectively ranked as an "international" for one game played in 1921 for the Waratahs (N.S.W. - but then the de-facto Australian team) against the Maori; Schoolmaster at The King's School, Parramatta (1923-35 and 1953-1967 and 1973), and at St Peter's College, Adelaide (1936-1947), specialising in Chemistry and Mathematics; Headmaster of Brisbane Grammar School (1948-1952); died at Pennant Hills, 21 July 1981; he was married in Scot's Church, North Terrace, Adelaide, on 2 April 1938, to Elizabeth Nancy (Betty) GORRIE, daughter of Dr Peter GORRIE and Jane Howatson YOUNG; they lived at St Peters and then at Whyatt and Allen School House, Adelaide, then at School House at Brisbane Grammar, at 32 Alice Street, Harris Park, and finally at 9 Werona Street, Pennant Hills; Betty also lived in her widowhood at Wollstonecraft; she died at Chatswood, 6 January 2009, aged 94; they are survived by 7 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

2. James Adam (Jim) PIGOTT, born at Blayney, 2 October 1902.

Educated as Wyoming School, Blayney, and "Shore" School in Sydney; Farmer and Grazier, firstly as manager of his father's property "Cadara" via Tottenham; he purchased "Backwoodlands" at Webb's Siding near Narromine, in September 1933; Elder of the Narromine Presbyterian Church; Secretary of the Narromine Branch of the United Country Party, February 1943; he died in Sydney, 12 Sep 1971; he was married at Narromine Presbyterian Church, on 7 January 1937, to Eleanor WEBB, the 4th daughter of Albert Edward WEBB, of "Corringle" near Narromine, and Frances Lillian ALLEN; they had 8 children, of whom 6 survive them, with their grandchildren.

3. Elsa Grace PIGOTT, born at Blayney, 24 August 1906.

[Elsa, on the right, with her parents.]

Educated at St Heliers School, Orange, and Sydney University (B.A.); she died in Canberra, 22 Dec 1976; she married at St Chad's, Cremorne, 17 Jan 1941, Paul Hardy CUTTS, Schoolmaster (2nd A.I.F., 8th Division, 10th and 13th Australian General Hospitals in Malaya and Singapore - P.O.W. in Changi, and "F" Force on the Burma Thailand Railway); they lived in Blayney, Orange, Hornsby, Laurieton and Canberra; he died at Leeton, 13 Mar 1987, aged 78; they are survived by three daughters and grandchildren.
4. Francis Paton (Frank) PIGOTT, born at Blayney, 14 May 1917.

Educated at The Kings School; M.B., B.S., Sydney University; 2nd A.I.F., Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, and served with the 7th Division at Balikpapan; Obstetrician and Gynaecologist; Honorary, Royal Prince Alfred and Parramatta Hospitals; lived in Haberfield and Strathfield; retired to King's Park, Joadja Road, near Bowral; he died at Bowral, 6 August 2003.
Frank married at St Stephen's, Macquarie Street, Sydney, 1946, Patricia Leonard COLMAN (second daughter of Joseph Leonard COLMAN and Daphne Ernestine WAHLBERG):

Pat died in July 2014. They had two children and grandchildren.

Henry Robert Maguire PIGOTT was my grandfather.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Joseph LEESE, one of the principal Manchester merchants

["The late Jos'h LEESE, Esq" - photo undated but probably taken quite late in his life.
From the photo album of Helen GILES of London, and undoubtedly our Joseph LEESE (1783-1861).]

[A signature, probably that of Joseph LEESE Sr, on the marriage registration of his eldest daughter Mary LEESE to Samuel GILES, March 1832.
Image courtesy of Manchester City Archive, through ancestry.library edition.]

"Good morning Mister Shop! If you will stick to me today, I will stick to you. And again, remember this, my young friend, that the nimble ninepence will always overtake and go beyond the lazy shilling."
The words were of an unknown and elderly gentleman in Burton-upon-Trent, about 1804, addressed to an impressionable young draper just out of his apprenticeship, and who was to remember them with clarity, 60 years later, after he had risen to be one of the principal cotton merchants in the principal city of cotton Merchants, Manchester in Lancashire.
The young draper was Joseph LEESE, and these recollections were published in a major article on his life and career, published in the Manchester City News of 21 and 28 January 1865.

[A portrait from the family collection of Helen GILES in London, incorrectly identified as Rev William GILES Sr.
Comparisons with the portrait photograph above leave very little doubt in my mind that it is that instead of
a younger version of our Joseph LEESE Senior.]


Joseph was born in Tutbury, Staffordshire, and baptised in the Parish Church there, 6 April 1783. He was named for his father, Joseph LEESE Senior, about whom we know almost nothing, except that, in his son's second marriage registration in 1838, his occupation was recorded as Architect.
We know quite a bit more about the family of his mother, Dorothy HARLOW, who was baptised in Tutbury on 3 May 1752, daughter of John HARLOW of Tutbury, by his wife Hannah BATE of Duffield, Derbyshire.
Dorothy married Joseph LEES Senior at Tutbury on 20 January 1782, after publication of Banns in the same church some ten months earlier, on 25 February and 4 and 11 March 1781.
The image of the marriage entry is viewable on, and reveals that while Dorothy signed the register page, Joseph LEES made his "X" mark. The minister was Henry BABINGTON, and the witnesses were O. BIDDULPH and John YATES.
This detail suggests that Joseph Senior may have had some difficulty engaging in business as an Architect, especially insofar as the writing of specifications and contracts was concerned - perhaps he was instead a tradesman-turned-builder who acquired writing skills on the run, and went on to bigger and better things.
Joseph was their only child to be baptised in Tutbury.

Joseph's maternal grand-father, John HARLOW, was baptised at Tutbury on 27 March 1715, son of John HARLOW of Tutbury and Martha PLIMMER of Sudbury; his great-grand-father was bapt at Hanbury, 19 March 1680, son of John HARLOW, Mason in Tutbury and Hanbury, by Sarah TURNER of Hanbury. The grave where his grand-parents were buried, in Tutbury churchyard, had a monument, now relocated to the perimeter, which records their burial - John HARLOW, died 4 December 1766, aged 51; and his wife Martha died on 17 May 1800, aged 73.

[A detail of the HARLOW gravestone in Tutbury Churchyard, Staffordshire.]

The movements and whereabouts of Joseph and Dorothy LEESE after young Joseph's birth in 1783 are not known. Dorothy, as was common practice for first births, appears to have returned to her mother's parish for the birth of her first child.
The Stafford Advertiser records the death of a Mrs LEESE on 30 May 1829, perhaps Dorothy; some HARLOW research suggests that they may have spent some time in Turnditch, Derbyshire; and the capability for Joseph Junior to take with him £10,000 in capital to invest in Manchester in 1815 suggests a possibility of inheritance, perhaps after his father's death - but none of these clues has yet furnished any detail sufficient for corroboration, apart from the last, which may instead have arisen due to a death in his first wife's family (see below).
A Joseph LEESE, of Stone Smithy, in the Parish of Caverswall, Staffordshire, was buried in the Churchyard of St Filumena's (another source has this burial in St Peter's), Caverswall, on 23 May 1820, aged 73 - he was of an appropriate age to have been married in 1782.
He was buried in the same tomb as Ralph LEES, late of Leek Road, who died on 6 May 1811, aged 91 - Ralph probably married at Sandon, Staffordshire, on 24 January 1742, Ellen or Helen LEESE, and had issue, inter alia, a son Joseph LEESE, born at Caverswall, 11 November 1747, and baptised there on 27 November 1747, undoubtedly the 1820 burial.
Joseph was sib to Sarah LEESE (born 5 June 1743), Thomas LEESE (born 14 October 1745), and Hellen LEESE (buried 19 March 1750-51), all these events recorded in Registers of St Peter's, Caverswall.
But, apart from the age and regional affinities, there is no other evidence to indicate that he was the "Architect" who married Dorothy HARLOW.

Joseph LEES, Blacksmith, of Stone Smithy, Leek Road, Caverswell, made his will on 16 May 1820, and it was proved at Lichfield on 21 Jun 1820; he identified his Blacksmith Shop as being one in the occupation of William SPOONER; and named his brother-in-law John COOPER, COOPER's two sons-in-law Thomas GAITOR and William MEIGH, and his cousin Lydia ROWLEY, wife of John ROWLEY of Newcastle upon Lyme, Staffs, Barber.
This Joseph's occupation is not that of Architect, as our Joseph recorded for his father in his second marriage registration in 1837 - although I suppose it might be possible that Joseph manufactured cast or wrought architectural hardware?
But, with no indication that Joseph left a wife or any children, this suggests that this is not a likely solution to our Joseph's paternity.

Lichfield Wills and Probates also have the will of an earlier Joseph LEESE, of the new house near the Fox Holes in the parish of Carswell, Com Staffs, Yeoman, dated 23 May 1747, in which he named his wife Mary, his brother Thomas LEESE's son Thomas and daughters Mary BRADSHAW and Alice BURR, his brother Ralph LEESE's son Ralph and daughters Jane and Mary, his sister Lydia's son John HEALTH, his sister Ellen's daughters Patience ROBINSON and Mary STURGESS, and his sister Jane DIXON's four children - Mary, Lydia, Sarah and Jane.


Joseph was apprenticed to a Draper in Burton-upon-Trent named LATHBURY. Joseph LATHBURY, Linen and Woollen Draper in High Street, Burton-on-Trent (1822-23 Directory), may have been the same, or a relation.
Joseph LEESE completed his apprenticeship about 1804, and went into business with Henry HAWKINS, as Drapers and Mercers in Burton.
On 8 March 1810, Joseph dissolved his partnership with Charles LEE, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, where they had carried on a business of LEESE and LEE, Mercers and Drapers [Leicester Journal, Friday 16 Mar] - LEE was to continue the business alone, under his own name.
And on 28 December 1814, Joseph dissolved his partnership with Henry HAWKINS, whence he went up to Manchester.


In Manchester, about the beginning of 1815, Joseph, with his £10,000, went into business with Mr WARREN, founding the firm WARREN and LEESE. They were joined by Robert MILLINGTON as a sleeping partner, and by 1821-22, the firm LEESE and MILLINGTON was in business as Calico Manufacturers and Printers, at 16 High Street, and Market Street, Manchester.
By 1824-25, James KERSHAW and W.R. CALLENDAR had both joined the firm and shown great promise, and Joseph took them on as junior partners when Messrs WARREN and MILLINGTON went out. They operated from premises at 56 High Street, Manchester. In 1830-31, at the same address, the firm was styled LEESE, KERSHAW and CALLANDER; by 1833, the firm was at 22 High Street.
About 1834, Joseph, having withdrawn from the firm in favour of his son, opened again in business as a Cotton Manufacturer and Spinner, in works at Ainsworth and Bolton, in a firm named LEESE, CUSSONS and THOMPSON, and as an Iron-Founder and Machine Maker at Bury, named LEESE, CUSSONS and DIGGLE. George CUSSONS left both partnerships in late 1836.
In October 1837, the firm of LEESE, RYLANDS and THOMPSON, Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers, of Ainsworth, was dissolved.
On 16 September 1839, Joseph LEESE, then of Outwood Lodge, Pilkington, notified his lease to John RYLANDS of Manchester, Manufacturer and Linen Merchant, for a term of years, "... the several mills, steam engines, erections and buildings belonging to me, situate at Ainsworth... and at Nobb in the Village of Little Lever, (both) in County Lancaster... known as... Ainsworth Mill and Nobb End Mill," and advised that "... all the machinery, fixtures, effects and articles, and things" therein located were his sole property [Manchester Courier and Lancaster Commercial Advertiser, Saturday 21 September].

[Section of an 1848 map of Manchester.
Cannon and High Streets are identified in the top left, Cannon Street leading away from the Collegiate Church.
The small darkened square on the northern corner of the intersection of York and Falkner Streets,
backing onto a laneway off Falkner just north of York, all just one block south of the Infirmary on
Piccadilly Southside, was the Particular Baptist Chapel, of which Joseph LEESE was a Deacon.]

The particular commercial arrangements throughout his time are not altogether clear, but some clues are evident from the Manchester City News article of 21 January 1865:
"After carrying on his concern in Burton-on-Trent ten years, he [Joseph] had by his marvellous energy, princely manners, tact, talent and industry, saved, we understand, ten thousand pounds, which he brought into the concern of WARREN and LEESE, and removed to Manchester, giving up his concern in Burton.
"Mr Joseph LEESE Sr joined Mr WARREN, when the firm became WARREN and LEESE; subsequently Mr Robert MILLINGTON, who had another concern in Manchester, joined them as a sleeping partner, and the firm became WARREN, LEESE and Coy, and it may not be uninteresting to our readers, or out of place, if we state that the entrance of Mr LEESE into the concern was the turning point in the future prospects of the firm.
"About this time, or shortly after, Mr James KERSHAW became an employee at a small salary. He was a man of humble origin, his father being a handloom weaver. But notwithstanding that, like many other men of eminence in arts, science and commerce, he in early life displayed those qualities, physical and mental, that led to his rapid preferment. Quickly following Mr KERSHAW, we believe, Mr W.R. CALLANDER Sr, who had served his time to a respectable draper in Birmingham, and then acted as an assistant, was induced to remove to Manchester, and was employed by Messrs WARREN and LEESE as salesman.
"Circumstances, however, soon arose to bring about the dissolution of the firm. Messrs WARREN and MILLINGTON went out, and Mr LEESE took in Messrs KERSHAW and CALLANDER as junior partners, and the firm became LEESE, KERSHAW and CALLANDER. If we are not mistaken, the warehouse they then occupied was the corner warehouse of High-street and Cannon-street; but as their business rapidly increased, they removed about the year 1825 to the more commodious warehouse in High-street, close to Bridgewater-place.
"Previous to this, however, Mr KERSHAW commenced in the print trade, which, through his energy, so rapidly increased, that the firm determined in 1829 to take the top storey of the adjoining warehouse, and to make such a printroom as, at the time, became the admiration and envy of all who saw it. It is well known that there is no light so admirable for advantageously displaying printed calicoes and other fancy goods as a north light. Accordingly, Messrs LEESE KERSHAW and CALLANDER's printroom was thus constructed; and as it extended from High-street to Birchin-lane, over two warehouses, it was certainly one of the finest print-rooms that then existed, or even now exists, in Manchester; and was admirably adapted for carrying on a very large print trade.
"Mr LEESE took at this time the management of the fustian department, including ticks, nankeens, etc; Mr KERSHAW, assisted by Mr James SIDEBOTTOM as salesman, who was his brother-in-law (they having married sisters of Mr Isaac SLATER, the publisher of that invaluable work, 'SLATER's Manchester Directory'), entirely managed their very large print department; and Mr CALLANDER, assisted by Mr Joseph BERRY as salesman, took the white and grey cloth, and dyed sarsanet and rolled jaconet departments. At this period, viz., 1830-31, the average weekly sales of prints was fully twenty-five thousand pieces, and the annual returns of the concern about a million sterling. This remarkable result was in a great measure owing to Mr LEESE having several years previously introduced into his concern the admirable principle of small profits and quick returns, and acting on the sound and disinterested advice of his venerable Burton mentor, that 'the nimble ninepence will always overtake and go by the lazy shilling'."

Joseph's particular business acumen resulted in the reduction of terms of credit, and put pressure on the shakier or "rotten" accounts, eventually winnowing them out in favour of the "very cream of the customers" of the Manchester trade. This involved altering existing conditions, of a six months bill of credit on purchases, or a 3 months bill with 1.5% for cash at the end of 3 months from the date of invoicing. The firm's new terms were shortened to the 3 months bill with 1.5% for cash in 10 days, excepting those customers with a daily running account and for whom all goods bought up to the 25th of each month should be paid for in cash, or a 3 months bill the last Friday of the following month.

Joseph and his partners work hours were long - 8 a.m till 8 p.m., with an interval of an hour and a quarter for dinner. They were more often than not the first on the premises. Joseph himself left his home at the Polygon at 7 a.m. sharp, on the three market days of the week, and his phaeton was facetiously called the "Polygon Diligence." Customers, especially the country manufacturers, were required to have their goods ready for purchase by 7.00 a.m, and any that weren't open by then were simply by-passed. Joseph made his intentions clear, and he was therefore able, on a regular basis, to complete the on-selling arrangements with the large London firms before 9 a.m.
Joseph bought principally from Mr (later Sir) Elkanah ARMITAGE, from Mr Thomas BARNES of Farnworth (father of the later M.P. for Bolton), and from Thomas WALKER of Stand. He sold largely to the London firms CALDECOTT and POWELL, COOK and GLADSTONE, and STUART and SHARP.

Joseph's attitude is summed up in a conversation he had with Sir Thomas POTTER, which was quoted by the writer of the Manchester City News article of 21 January 1865:
"I tell thee what, friend Tom, I wouldn't give thee sixpence for all thou knows, and I'll sell thee all I know for sixpence - the fact is, as your own experience has proved, that if a man wants to get on in Manchester, there's nothing for it but downright hard work, and sticking to it."


During this period, Joseph was directory listed at addresses in Rusholme Road, Manchester (1819-20); the Polygon, Ardwick (1824-25, 1828-29, 1830); and Greenmount, Harpurhey (1832-33, 1836, 1838, 1840-41). He was also recorded at 5 Tipping Place, Ardwick (1836).
He later resided at Knibb Place, Victoria Park (1843) and at 1 Richmond Hill, Bowdon, Cheshire (1845, 1847, and until his death in 1861).

Several of his house transactions were advertised in the Manchester Guardian, as follows:
1. House, at Number 10, Bloomsbury, Oxford Road, containing inter alia three bedrooms on each of the first and top floors - advertised on 5 April 1823. Oxford Road and Rusholme Road intersected shortly west of the site of the Dissenters Burial Ground (established 1821), and Joseph may have lived near that intersection.
2. Dwelling House, at Plymouth Street, Longsight, near the turnpike road from Manchester to Stockport, containing inter alia six bedrooms - 18 March 1826. This description puts this house very near, if not in the Polygon, and if so, the directory listings suggest he may have moved between residences within that estate.

The move to Green Mount House took place when Joseph purchased the Mansion after the death of Robert ANDREW, Esq, who had died in June 1831; having purchased it "lock, stock and barrel," he sold all his own furniture and household goods at the Polygon house, by auction, November-December 1831.

[A section of an 1848 map of Manchester, showing Rusholme Road, which arcs over the top of the
General Burial Ground, which had been opened in 1821 as the Dissenters Burial Ground.
Rusholme Road has since disappeared, but Grosvenor Street, just to the north, still remains;
and the cemetery is today the park known as Gartside Gardens.
The Polygon is further south and east of the cemetery, and the cluster of six expansive
dwellings there are named, just to the right of the word "CHORLTON".]

About 1834, Joseph "retired" from the firm, leaving his son Joseph Junior as a junior partner running the print department. I am not sure what transpired, but the condition placed upon him was probably significant, and may suggest something untoward had occurred - he was bound not to go into any of the same branches of business as his firm had been previously carrying on. This condition certainly acknowledged the formidable rival he would have been to his old firm, had he chosen to do so!
Joseph invested the capital he took out of the firm in new enterprises - he purchased an engineering concern at Bury from Sir Thomas WALKER, the Bury M.P. He also purchased a mill near Bolton, called "Nob End," where he wove fustian; and another at Ainsworth, near Bolton, where spinning and manufacturing were carried on.
The concern at Bury was known as LEESE, CUSSONS and DIGGLES, but did not prosper, and Joseph, realising his error, promptly decided to end his connection, and did so at considerable financial loss. George CUSSONS remained involved with Joseph in the "Ainsworth" Mill concern, along with Joseph's nephew Richard THOMPSON, who had brought in a small capital which he had acquired in working many years in his father's cotton mill in Newcastle-under-Lyme. This firm was known as LEESE, CUSSONS and THOMPSON.
Perhaps because of the experience at Bury, George CUSSONS did not survive long in this partnership, and was replaced by John RYLANDS, who injected considerable capital into it. Joseph and his nephew ultimately left it to RYLANDS' sole ownership and management.

On his "retirement," Joseph dabbled in the stock-broking industry, and his firm, HOUGHLAND and LEESE operated at 51 King Street, Manchester - as Stock and Share Brokers; Land, Building and Money Agents; and Agents to the Royal Insurance Fire and Legal Office, and to the Western Life Assurance Office (1847).
Joseph was earnestly requested by his many friends to enter the newly reconstituted Manchester Corporation as Alderman, and to become the first Mayor, which requests he declined.
He was also urged to stand as a candidate for the Liberals for one of the two new seats in Parliament which were re-instated after the Reform Bill of 1837 (they were lost after the Restoration as 'punishment' for supporting the Parliament against Charles I).
Joseph's response here was typical - after hearing them patiently, he replied:
"I feel much honoured, gentlemen, as well as flattered, by your kindness and confidence, but I cannot entertain the proposal for a minute. I am one of the most unsuitable men alive; besides which, there are plenty of simpletons in St Stephen's without going to add to the number."

But one responsibility which Joseph pursued "very actively" for a number of years, and which came to him unannounced and unsought, was his elevation to the Bench as a County Magistrate for Lancashire. This elevation took place on 14 April 1838, many years after that working men's monster meeting of 50,000 people in August 1819, called to demand reform in Parliamentary representation, and that came to be known as the Peterloo Massacre, after the then Magistrates sent in the cavalry, resulting in up to 15 dead and over 500 wounded by saber cuts. We have no evidence as to whether Joseph had an opinion on this earlier event.

Another incident occurred during his time in business. Some serious allegations surfaced concerning the "illegal" copying of printing patterns. Angry law suits were instituted, and injunctions granted by the Court of Chancery. And Joseph's business partner, James KERSHAW, seemed to be at the heart of the issue. KERSHAW was called to give evidence before a Parliamentary committee, which was investigating the claims and drafting legislation for a Copyright Bill - so severe was his cross-examination by the committee members that his health was very seriously affected. His friends later circulated a pamphlet in his defence, arguing that he had been supplied prints by a Thomas DUCKWORTH, of designs which he was unaware had been illegally copied. DUCKWORTH had spent a large amount of money extending his works, and about 1833-34 got into financial difficulties, and was unable to make repayments. Messrs LEESE, KERSHAW and CALLANDER were heavy creditors, and they proceeded to take over DUCKWORTH's works at Ardwick and Reddish, and ran them themselves.
It is probably the aftermath of this activity that led to Joseph's "withdrawal" from the firm.


The first of Joseph LEESE's two marriages took place in Wolstanton, in Staffordshire, where, in the Parish Church, on 31 December 1808, he married, by License, Ann HARRISON, daughter of John HARRISON, Hat Maker of Burton-upon-Trent, by his wife Mary BEALE. The marriage was witnessed by Thomas and Maria THOMPSON.

[The Wolstanton Parish Marriage Register.
Image from Findmypast, courtesy of Sraffordshire City Archives.]

[Part of the 1808 marriage registration in Wolstanton - the signatures of the groom and bride. 
Crown copyright PRO, courtesy of ancestry.library edition.]

Maria was Ann HARRISON's sister, and married Thomas THOMPSON at Burton-on-Trent on 26 August 1794; it was their son Richard THOMPSON, baptised at Cat Street Particular Baptist Church, Burton, on 11 April 1806, who went into business later with his uncle Joseph; it was their daughter Sophia, born at Wolstanton on 28 June 1811, who was Joseph's housekeeper in the 1861 Census, and witness to his will.

[A Portrait, from a collection in the family of Helen GILES of London, identified as Mrs Elizabeth GILES (alias PIKE).
But it is evidently too young for her, and appears very likely to be instead a portrait of Ann HARRISON.]

John HARRISON, Hat Maker, was married by H. JONES, Minister, and by License, at the Parish Church of St Modwen, Burton-upon-Trent, by License, on 22 September 1776, to Mary BEALE, Spinster, both of the Parish, and witnessed by Benjamin FRANKS and Elizabeth COTTON.

 [Part of the 1776 marriage registration at St Modwen's - the signatures of the groom and bride.
Crown copyright P.R.O., courtesy of ancestry.library edition.]

John HARRISON was possibly baptised in St Modwen's Parish Church, on 8 June 1745, the elder son of Samuel HARRISON and Mary FITCHETT (they were married in the same church on 9 August 1744, and she was buried there on 30 September 1751, having had three other children baptised there - Thomas on 2 January 1746-47, Sarah on 4 June 1748, and another Thomas on 3 November 1750, the first Thomas having been buried there on 3 August 1748). However, there was another John HARRISON in Burton-upon-Trent, making marriages in St Modwen's Parish Church on 21 January 1750 to Ann ASSTON, and in 1768 to Grace HODSON - although it is not yet clear whether this was the same John HARRISON with two marriages, or different John HARRISONs, it is clear that neither could have been our John, the Hatter.
John made his will on 26 March 1792, leaving his estate to his "...loving wife Mary" and after her death to his daughters Maria and Ann HARRISON, "... share and share alike." Mary did not prove the will in her lifetime, at least not in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, where Administration with Will was granted, on 26 August 1815, to the two residuary legatees, the daughters Maria THOMPSON, wife of Thomas THOMPSON, and Ann LEESE, wife of Joseph LEESE.
This estate included four newly built "... messuages with appurtenances" on the north side of New Street, Burton, concerning which a Deed of Release dated 1809 was made out to Thomas THOMPSON of Newcastle, Cotton Spinner, and Maria his wife, and Jos. LEESE of Burton, Draper, and Ann his wife, the co-heiresses of Mary HARRISON, deceased. [See Item D877/53, at]
The date of this P.C.C. "administration with will", in 1815, certainly corresponds well with Joseph's removal up to Manchester.
And it would appear, from the almost exact proximity of the dates, that John HARRISON was buried at St Modwen's Parish Churchyard, Burton-on-Trent, on 30 March 1792, and his wife Mary HARRISON alias BEALE likewise, on 16 May 1808, although it does appear that their ages were not recorded in the burial register.
Their marriage was recorded in the Register of the Parish Church of St Modwen, Burton-upon-Trent, by License, on 22 September 1776, John recorded as Hat Maker, Mary as Spinster, both of the Parish, by H. JONES, Minister, and witnessed by Benjamin FRANKS and Elizabeth COTTON.
The two girls were also named in the business or "Case" that followed the processing of yet another will - that of their mother's relation, William FRANKS, of Bristol, Gentleman, which was dated 5 March 1776, before they were even born. In this will, FRANKS appointed as his residual legatees "... Middlemore BEALE, Weaver, Charles BEALE, Grocer, and Mary BEALE, Spinster, all of Atherstone... and every the child and children of whom... issuing." The "Case" notes, found in Birmingham Archives, are undated (but clearly some time after 1808), and record that this Mary BEALE "... survived the Testator, married John HARRISON, and died in 1808 leaving two children Maria and Ann both living." Unmistakeably Maria THOMPSON and Ann LEESE!
And it is not impossible that the "belated" proving of their father's will in 1815, and in the superior Prerogative Court, that of Canterbury, may have been connected with this FRANKS legacy.
This may have been another source of money Joseph was able to take with him to Manchester - although the shares would have been small, as there appear to have been numerous BEALE cousins.

Mary BEALE was born in Atherstone, Parish of Mancetter, Warwickshire, in or about 1740, the only surviving daughter of Charles BEALE (1708-1778) of Atherstone, a "Tammy" Weaver, by his wife Ann FRANKS (died 1778); and a grand-daughter of Middlemore BEALE (1671-1729) of Atherstone, Weaver, and Sarah AUSTIN (died 1751); they appear to have been members of an English Presbyterian (or Unitarian Chapel) congregation in Mancetter.
[I am very grateful to Robert O'CONNOR of Christchurch, N.Z., for comprehensive details of the BEALE clan.]

John HARRISON may have had relations who emigrated to Pennsylvania. The will of Thomas HARRISON, Currier, a native of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, was dated in Philadelphia, 15 March 1793, and proved there on 28 August 1794. In it he names, among others, his wife Mary (possibly THORNTON, of Market Harborough, with a daughter Mary born there in 1777); sister Elizabeth (wife of Joseph HOLROYD) of the City of London; cousin Hannah LOAKE (daughter of late uncle Thomas LOAKE), nephew Thomas HARRISON; brother John HARRISON (probably of Charleston), his wife and children - as well as "... the children of John HARRISON, late of Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire" but who clearly was not a brother.

Ann LEESE alias HARRISON died at her residence, Green Mount, Harpurhey, near Manchester, on 27 January 1837, aged 55 [notices in WHEELER's Manchester Chronicle, and the Manchester Courier and Lancaster General Advertiser, both on Saturday 28 January 1837]; she was buried by Rev John BIRT in grave #1164, Rusholme Road Cemetery, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, on 1 February 1837, "... aged 55 years, from Harpurhey, cause of death - liver complaint" [Burial Register, Manchester City Library - imaged on Findmypast].

[The LEESE plot in the old Rusholme Road Cemetery lies in this part of present-day Gartside Gardens.
Photographed by Helen GILES of London in December 2012.]

There was no surviving Monumental Inscription for her at Rusholme Road before it was cleared to create a park - but her details were inscribed on the tabular stone covering Joseph's vault in St Mary's Churchyard, Bowdon, still clearly visible (2010), which suggests there may never have been an inscribed monument on the grave at Rusholme Road.


Joseph and Ann had the following issue:

1. Mary LEESE was born Burton-on-Trent, 24 December 1809:

[A portrait of Mrs Mary GILES. From Helen GILES of London.]

Mary died at Stoke Newington, London, on 17 March 1852, and was buried in grave Number 8584, Rusholme Road Cemetery, Chortlon-on-Medlock, aged 42; she was married in the Collegiate Church of Christ, Manchester, on 29 March 1832, to Samuel GILES, Merchant in Manchester, with issue (see the separate posting on this blog-site for his brother John Eustace GILES).

2. Anne LEESE was born at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordhsire, on 16 May 1812.

Her birth details, with that of her siblings, were recorded in the Nonconformist Registers in Dr WILLIAMS's Library in Redcross Street, near Cripplegate, London [image above courtesy of the PRO through].

[A silhouette of Ann LEESE, aged 11, cut "...with common scissors... without drawing or machine" in 1823
by the 13 year old child-prodigy, Master William James HUBARD - the original is in the possession of Jules DRAKE.]

[A portrait in oils identified as Anne LEESE.
It is clearly of the same style and vintage as Mary LEESE's portrait above, but clearly not Mary.
Image  from a photo posted on-line to the Brookmans Park Newsletter in 2002,and re-posted on a U.S. pedigree for
a family related to William Leese GILES, Anne's second son.
The original painting was de-accessioned in 2002 by the Flagler Museum, Florida.]

Ann died at Sheffield, 29 November 1852, and was buried in her father's plot in Rusholme Road Cemetery, Manchester; she was married, at the Collegiate Church, Manchester, 1832, as his second wife, to Rev John Eustace GILES, with issue (see his separate posting).

3. Eliza LEESE was born at Burton-on-Trent, 13 November 1813; she was at Broughton, Lancs, 1841 Census, with husband and son; at Sutton, Hester, Middlesex, 1851 Census, Boarder, with husband visiting, 1851 Census; she died at Sutton, near Hounslow, 12 June 1851.

Eliza was married at the Collegiate Church, Manchester, 3 May 1836, to James Francis WATCHURST, Calico Printer; he also recorded as a Silk Manufacturer, of the firm NUTTAL, GILES and WATCHURST, Moseley Street; with issue:
a. James WATCHURST, born 24 March 1837, and buried Bowdon, 27 March 1837, aged 3 days.
b. James WATCHURST (II), born at Chorlton, June quarter 1838, and with his parents, 1841, aged 3 years.
c. Elizabeth Sophia WATCHURST, born 16 November 1840, and buried Bowdon, 27 May 1841, aged 6 months.

4. Joseph LEESE Junior was born at Chorlton, Manchester, 13 February 1815:

[Joseph LEESE, 1 March 1865 - from the album of Helen GILES of London.]

Part of his education took place at Barton Hall School in Patricroft, under the care of William GILES, who would in time become Joseph's brother-in-law.

[A testimonial in favour of William GILES's school, written by Joseph LEESE Sr, April 1834, 
and published in the Manchester Times and Gazette, Saturday 5 April.]

Joseph was a Cotton Merchant, of Manchester and Dunham Massey; he died at Southport, Lancashire, 28 April 1906, and was buried in the first LEESE plot (#1798), in the burying ground of St Mary's parish Church, Bowdon, on 1 May; he was married at the Parish Church, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 23 August 1842, to Frances Susan SCURR (second daughter of John SCURR, Merchant of Everton and of Montevideo); she was buried in her husband's plot on 6 August 1890; they had issue:
a. Spencer LEESE, born Chorlton, Lancashire, June quarter 1843 [Volume 20, page 238?]; Cotton Spinner in Preston; Artist; died 5 June 1894; married at Stockport, 1865, Mary Ellen HUDSON, with issue:
     i. Joseph LEESE, born Preston, 4 August 1866, Analytical Chemist and Musician.
     ii. Mabel LEESE, born Manchester, 1867.
     iii. Mary Frances LEESE, born Preston, 1868, and died Ormskirk, 1883.
     iv. Jessie LEESE, born Preston, 1869.
     v. Nora LEESE, born Preston, 1871.
     vi. Gertrude LEESE, born Preston, 1872.
     vii. Hilda LEESE, born Preston, 1874.
     viii. Arnold Spencer LEESE, born Fylde, 1878, Veterinary Surgeon, specialising in Camels, and interned during the war for his Fascist views, died 1956, and married.
     ix. John Scurr LEESE, born Ormskirk, 1889, Private, 6th Manchesters, and "...vanished forever" at Kinthia, Gallipoli.
b. Joseph Francis LEESE, born 28 February 1845; Recorder of Manchester, M.P. for Accrington, and the 1st Baronet of Send Holme; died at Guildford, Surrey, 29 July 1914; married on 20 November 1867, Mary Constance HARGREAVES, with issue:
     i. William Hargreaves LEESE, born Guildford, 1868; 2nd Baronet; married Violet Mary SANDEMAN (born 19 October 1869); she was at Wood Ridder, Cuckfield, Sussex, 1939 Register, a Widow, with her daughter and son-in-law; they had issue, including Sir Oliver LEESE, the W.W. 2 Army General who had served under MONTGOMERY at Alamein, and Betty Violet M. LEESE (born 28 September 1899, the wife of Robert H.M. DRAKE).
     ii. Vernon Francis LEESE, born Kensington, 1870, and married Edith Gwendoline STEVENSON.
     iii. Neville LEESE, born Preston, 1872, and married Matilda SAUNDERS.
     iv. Theodore LEESE, born Fylde, 1874.
     v. Cecil Mellor LEESE, born Fylde, 1876, and married Jessie TOURNAY.
     vi. Constance Alice LEESE, born Kensington, 1878, and married Lt-Col Sidney R.G. KENDALL.
     vii. Dorothy Violet LEESE, born Woking, 26 November 1882, and married Leonard Curlie RAWLENCE, Engineer (born 19 March 1881); they were at Invar Moriston, Walton and Weybridge, Surrey, 1939 Register.
     viii. Clive LEESE, born Woking, 1885, and married Dorothy DICKINSON.
c. Frances LEESE, born 30 November 1846 and Registered Chorlton, March quarter 1847 [Volume 20, page 247]; buried by Rev Francis TUCKER, on 13 May 1847, in Grave 1164 (Joseph LEESE Senior's plot), Rusholme Road Cemetery, Chorlton, aged 5 months, cause of death "...spasm of the glottis" [Cemetery Register - imaged on Findmypast].
d. Sarah Elizabeth LEESE, born Chorlton, 20 April 1848, and Registered June quarter [Volume 20, page 264]; buried in her parents' plot, 13 July 1880, aged 32, unmarried.
e. John Scurr LEESE, born 21 September 1851; buried in his parents' plot, 16 November 1852, aged 14 months.
f. Ernest LEESE, born at Bowdon, 30 November 1854; Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer; Stockbroker.

Ernest died at Southport, 15 November1913; married at Salford, 1887, Ethel AGNEW with issue:
     i. Ernest Henry LEESE, born Eccles, 1888.
     ii. Charles Phillip LEESE, born Eccles, 1889, and died 1947.
g. Walter LEESE, born Altrincham, Cheshire, 18 November 1856, and Registered December quarter [Volume 8A, page 149]; he was buried in his parents' plot, 3 July 1857, aged 7 months.
h. Harriet Katherine LEESE, born Altrincham, March qtr 1863 [Volume 8a, page 149]; she married at London, October 1899, John Davies WILLIAMS, LL.D.

5. Maria LEESE was born at Chorlton, 23 August 1816; she witnessed her father's second marriage in 1838; she died at Bowdon, 31 August 1849, aged 33; she married at Altringham, September quarter 1848, John SANDS, Merchant in London.


Joseph married secondly, at Leeds, on 17 May 1838, Mary OASTLER, the widow of William BRACEWELL, of Leeds (she was born at Thirsk, Yorkshire, 29 December 1785, daughter of Robert OASTLER, of Leeds, by Sarah SCURR, and a sister of Richard OASTLER, the Tory Radical known as the "Factory King").

[A portrait of Mrs Mary LEESE, probably Joseph LEESE's second wife Mary OASTLER. From Helen GILES of London.]

This marriage was not without a little controversy. Joseph and Mary had intended the marriage to be solemnised in the Baptist Church in Leeds by his son-in-law Rev John Eustace GILES. But the law governing Licenses under which Dissenting Ministers could marry had a strict residency requirement, which Joseph could not meet, and so arrangements had to be made at the last minute for the official ceremony to be conducted in the Parish Church. The Tory "Intelligencer" newspaper took great delight in pointing out the irregularity in the Leeds "Mercury" marriage notice, published on Saturday 19 May 1838, which failed to observe that they were married in an established church:
"On Thursday... Joseph LEESE, Esq, of Greenmount House, Harpurhey, Manchester, to Mrs BRACEWELL, Sheepscar Cottage, in this town. The religious service associated with this marriage was performed at the Baptist Chapel, South Parade, by the Rev J.E. GILES."

By her, Joseph had no further issue. She died at the residence of her sister (Mrs Ann CADMAN), at Sheepscar, Leeds, on 29 May 1854, aged 68, and was buried at St Mary's Churchyard, Bowdon.


Joseph was enumerated in three English Census returns, as follows:
     i. 1841 - at Mount Highe, Broughton, Lancs, aged 55+, Calico Printer; with (second wife) Mary LEESE, aged 55+; (son) Joseph LEESE, 25+; (daur) Maria LEESE, 20+; and three female servants.
     ii. 1851 - at 59 Richmond Hill, Bowdon, Cheshire, aged 68, Out of Business, born Tutbury; with (second) wife Mary, 65, born Thirsk; daughter Mary GILES, 41; grand-daughter Maria GILES, aged 15, born Manchester; and Elizabeth WITHNALL, 22, born Manchester, recorded as his "adopted" daughter.
[Curiously, in December 1830, a firm of Manufacturers and Warehousemen in Manchester was wound up - the partners were William DENBY, J. WITHANALL and Joseph LEESE - I would not be surprised if this was our Joseph LEESE (I can think of no other), and the father of Elizabeth WITHNALL; see The Law Advertiser, Gazette, 21 January 1831. Further, John WITHNALL and Elizabeth ENGLISH had two children baptised at the Collegiate Church in Manchester - Elizabeth WITHNALL, baptised 14 February 1833, who would have been aged 18 in the 1851 Census; and Joseph Leese WITHNALL, baptised 2 July 1834, who appears to have emigrated to Christchurch, New Zealand.]
     iii. 1861 - at 1 Rose Hill, Bowdon, Cheshire, aged 78, Retired Business; with niece Sophia THOMPSON, 49, Unmarried, Housekeeper.

[A photo of a portait in oils of a man identified as Sir William LEESE.
Probably instead another mis-identification, and instead that of an older Joseph LEESE, Senior, father of Anne LEESE.
Image taken from a photo posted on-line to the Brookmans Park Newsletter in 2002,
and re-posted on a U.S. pedigree for a family related to William Leese GILES, Anne's second son.
The original painting was de-accessioned in 2002 by the Flagler Museum, Florida.]

Joseph was a Baptist, although when he came to that cause is unknown. His children were all christened by the Baptists; he was a Deacon at the Baptist Church in York Street, Manchester, when he purchased a building at Binkley Bank near Stockport, about 1835, for use of the Particular Baptist congregation there, although it was too far out of town for them to use it; he was noted as a considerable benefactor to the Baptist cause, with a donation, in 1837, of £150 to the Baptist Missionary Society (for sending 10 new Missionaries to India), and another in 1840, of £50 to the Lancashire and Cheshire Association; he was named in the affairs of the Eccles Baptist Church in 1842, as the nominee of the Lancashire and Cheshire Association to whose care was entrusted the cause of Eccles "... with the understanding that he will close our connection with it in 12 months" [see]; he was also on the Building Committee of that Association; and he was "... one of the financial guarantors of William GILES' school" - William, elder brother of his two GILES sons-in-law, had left Eccles in 1838 to open his school in Ardwick.
Joseph was also named in an undated list of 78 Vice-presidents of the Union and Emancipation Society of Manchester, then operating out of an office at 51 Piccadilly, Manchester, under the aegis of Earl RUSSELL [see for "From Slavery to Freedom," The African American Pamphlet Collection, 1842-1909].

[Joseph LEESE's last residence at 1 Richmond Hill, Bowdon, Cheshire.]

Joseph LEESE died at 1 Richmond Hill, Bowdon, on 8 December 1861, "... after a long but not painful illness" and in his 79th year [notices in numerous newspapers, including Liverpool Mercury, Leeds Mercury, Chester Chronicle and Chester Observer]. He was buried in his own vault in St Mary's Churchyard, Bowdon, covered by a large inscribed tabular stone.

[Detail on the tabular stone covering the Joseph LEESE vault in St Mary's Churchyard, Bowdon.]

His will was proved 29 March 1862, with effects under £450; all real and personal estate to his son Joseph LEESE the younger of Bowdon, Cotton Spinner, the sole executor; witnessed by his housekeeper Sophia THOMPSON (who was also his first wife's niece) and his grand-daughter Mary Leese GILES.
But there was a hitch - evidently the date inscribed on the will was 9 December 1861, whereas the death had occurred on the Sunday the 8th; which necessitated further oaths to made by the witnesses that the will was the one signed by the testator in their presence, it having been read back to him before he signed it, and that all that had taken place on Sunday 8 December 1861, notwithstanding the incorrect date that was written on the will. These oaths were taken on 24 March 1862, at H.M.'s Court of Probate, Chester, by Sophia THOMPSON and Mary Leese GILES, both Spinsters, and both then residing at Stockport, Cheshire.

The article in the Manchester City News of 28 January 1865 (the second instalment) made some further observations of Joseph's character:
"It is universally admitted that very few men in Manchester have equalled Mr LEESE as a merchant, either in buying or selling. His fine personal appearance, and his intelligent countenance made him a universal favourite with those from whom he bought as well as with those to whom he sold. His prompt judgement and knowledge as to the value of goods, and his decisive off hand manner, led him all but invariably, never to make a second offer in buying, or to take a less price in selling than he had first quoted. Physically very strong, his energies never flagged, nor was his strength apparently ever exhausted, and the writer has often heard him say, he didn't know his own strength, and that the longest day's work was never too long for him.
"His public and private benevolences were almost proverbial, but very unostentatious. Many deserving men have had reason to be thankful for timely pecuniary aid offered at the turning point of their history, in advancing capital to set them up in business, and in solacing them under painful, personal, or family affliction, or bereavement. Out of his own purse he considerably augmented the small salaries of many of the young men in the establishment, unknown to his partners; and if they or their families wanted to go to the sea-side for health, etc, almost invariably a handsome present was made them to help cover expenses.
"The natural consequence of such consideration was a manifestation of the kindliest feeling towards him by all his employees, who would have done anything they could for him.
"...and, as he bore his great prosperity without any undue elevation, so also did he bear his heavy reverses of fortune with manly courage and resignation."

Joseph LEESE was my gt-x-3 grand-father.

[Comparative array of the three images we have of the man believed to have been Joseph LEESE.
I speculate that they were created in about 1815-20 (left), about 1830-35 (centre), and about 1858-61 (right).
I am in no doubt that they are one and the same person.]