Sunday, 10 May 2009

A mystery marriage in Barton-under-Needwood - Epilogue

Image © and collection of Brett Payne

In Part 1 to Part 7 of this story, I described Nigel Aspdin's and my successful investigation into the identities of five people in a wedding portrait by William Farmer of Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire (shown above), and the location of this and two other carte de visite photographs. As part of that discussion I gave something of the background to the Smith and Hoult families. To round off the story, I would like to report on my research into what happened to the members of the two families after the wedding.

Image © 2007 Brett Payne
Rectory Farm & St Mary the Virgin Parish Church, Weston-on-Trent
from the Trent & Mersey Canal, 26 September 2007
Image © 2007 Brett Payne

Jacob Botham Smith and his wife Mary Ann settled initially at Rectory Farm, near the village of Weston-on-Trent in southern Derbyshire, where their only child, a daughter Mary Hardy Smith was born in about April 1870 and christened at the parish church on 7 May.

Image © The National Archives and courtesy of
1871 Census: Rectory Farm, Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire
National Archives Ref. RG10/3552/141/5/27

The census of 1871, taken on the night of Sunday 2nd April, found Jacob, Mary Ann and daughter Mary aged eleven months at home at the Rectory Farm. Jacob is described as a "farmer of 300 acres employing 5 men and 5 boys" so it must have been a fairly substantial operation. Also living in the household are two teenage girls, working as domestic servants, and three of the male farm servants.

Image © and courtesy of Ordnance Survey Get-a-map
Rectory & Glebe Farms, Weston-on-Trent
Source data - 1:25,000 Scale Colour Raster
Image © and courtesy of Ordnance Survey Get-a-map

F. Wright's Directory of South Derbyshire for 1874 includes the following listing under the village of Weston-upon-Trent:
  • Smith Jacob Botham, farmer, Glebe Farm
Presumably the family moved the few hundred metres from Rectory Farm to Glebe Farm (shown on the current OS map above) between 1871 and 1874. Both properties were probably been leased from Sir Robert E. Wilmot-Horton, Baronet, who is listed as the principal landowner of the parish in Kelly's Post Office Directory of Derbyshire for 1876, as well as lord of the manor. The same directory lists the chief crops in the largely loam soils of Weston-on-Trent as "half grass, half arable." In January 1878, Jacob B. Smith was sworn in as a member of the Grand Jury at the Derbyshire Epiphany Sessions in the Derby Crown Court [Source: The Derby Mercury, 9 January 1878].

Image © The National Archives and courtesy of
1881 Census: Glebe Farm, Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire
National Archives Ref. RG11/3386/122/6/31

On Sunday 3rd April 1881 Jacob and Mary Ann were living at Glebe Farm; Jacob is described as farming 286 acres and employing four men and four boys. The servants living on the farm included a dairy maid. Rather strangely their daughter Mary, then aged ten, was not shown at home and I haven't been able to locate her in the census anywhere else.

Mary Ann Smith's death was registered at the Shardlow Register Office in the first quarter of 1885. I presume that she was buried in the churchyard at St Mary, Weston-on-Trent, although I have not been able to check the parish registers. She was only fifty years old.

Image © The National Archives and courtesy of
1891 Census: Glebe Farm, Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire
National Archives Ref. RG12/2201/27/13/64

On Sunday 5th April 1891, the widowed fifty year-old Jacob was living with his daughter Mary at Glebe Farm. No details of the farm size or number of employees were provided by the census enumerator, but there were seven servants living at the farm, including a housekeeper.

Image © British Library and courtesy of Gale CENGAGE Learning
The Derby Mercury, Wednesday, January 11, 1893; Issue 9288.

Less than two years later, Jacob Smith decided to retire from farming. The Derby firm of auctioneers, Cumberland & Sons, inserted the following advertisement in the newspaper:
(3 minutes' walk from Weston-on-Trent Station, Midland Railway)
Messrs. CUMBERLAND and SONS are instructed by Mr. J.B. Smith (who is declining Farming) to SELL by AUCTION, on MONDAY, February 6th, 1893, the whole of his LIVE and DEAD FARM STOCK, viz.-
107 Beasts,
60 In-lamb ewes or theaves,
8 horses, pigs, poultry, Farm Implements, Tackle, &c.
Lunch by Ticket 10. Sale at 11.30.
Particulars in future papers and catalogues.

The Derby Mercury, Wednesday, February 8, 1893; Issue 9292.

A report on the sale published in The Derby Mercury gives some idea of the farming operation, as well as the respect he had earned amongst the local farming community in the 25 years or so that he had been living there.
Although it cannot be said that the agricultural prospect has materially improved of late, except as regards the weather, great interest was shown in this sale, held at Weston-on-Trent on Monday, and an unusually large attendance of country gentlemen, agriculturists, stock dealers, and butchers assembled at the place of sale. Doubtless the hopes engendered by Spring, and the prevailing opinion that prices hace now touched the bottom, the nearness to a good railway centre, the acknowledged usefulness of the cattle and horses to be sold, combined with the popularity of the owner, Mr. J.B. Smith were all instrumental in calling together one of the largest companies seen at a local stock sale for some years. A capital lunch was provided, to which over 500 persons did justice, and here, as in the sale yard, most satisfactory arrangements had been made under the direction of the auctioneers, Messrs. Cumberland and Sons. The sale commenced with the farm implements, waggons, tackle, dairy utensils, &c., which, being in trim order and modern, were quickly disposed of, and the live stock was then dealt with. Before proceeding, Mr. Cumberland said it was almost superfluous to impress upon his audience the sterling character of the lots he had to dispose of that day, both in cattle and horses. Mr. Smith's reputation and judgement were sufficient guarantee for any praise that he might bestow. The Shropshire inlamb ewes and theaves first came under the hammer in lots of five. They were a very fine flock, and made from 58s. to 63s. apiece. There were over 100 beast, which came up in capital form and condition; incalves realised from 15l. to 22l, barren cows 10l. to 14l., heifer yearlings 13l. to 15l. the pair. Calves 2l. to 2l. 10s. Fat bullocks 15l. to 21l. 5s. Fat heifers 17l. to 25l. 5s. Fat cows 19l. to 23l. Two bulls made 22l. 15s. and 21l. 5s. respectively. A good deal of interest was shown when the horses were trotted out. They were all of a very useful stamp, and eagerly bid for. Traveller, bay gelding, made 24½ guineas; Captain, black gelding, 28gs.; Jack, black half-legged gelding, 29gs.; Poppett, brown mare, 26gs.; Weston Blossom, bay shire mare, served by Harold, 60gs.; Berry, black shire mare, 62gs.; Florence, black shire mare, 29gs.; brown nag mare, 45gs. These concluded a sale that was in every way considered highly satisfactory, and as the company dispersed the general hope and expression was that Mr. J.B. Smith would experience many years of health and happiness in his well-earned retirement.
Image © The National Archives and courtesy of
1901 Census: High Street, Castle Donington, Leicestershire
National Archives Ref. RG13/3204/61/5/34

In early 1899 Mary Hardy Smith, too, died at the age of twenty-eight. Her father retired to Castle Donington, Leicestershire, where he was shown living on the High Street - with three servants - on 31 March 1901. Subsequent directory entries demonstrate that he remained living at "The Hawthorns" in the High Street until his death in late 1915, aged eighty six.

Since their only daughter died at a young age without having married or had children, Jacob Botham Smith and Mary Ann née Hoult would have no surviving descendants. However, both had several brothers and sisters and numerous nephews and nieces.

  • Joseph Botham Smith (1829-1915) married Jemima Bancroft (c.1840-1913). They farmed at Draycott Fields near Wilne and had six children.
  • Elizabeth Botham Smith (1831-1912) married Charles John Storer (1828-1891), a Derby grocer and chandler.
  • James Hardy Smith (1836-1928) married Jemima Marples (c.1836-1901) and farmed at Alvaston. They had no surviving children.
  • John Hardy Smith (1838-1920) married Fanny Margaret Smith (c.1849-), with whom he had five children. Although originally a farmer, after his marriage they moved to Leicester, where he was a leather merchant.
  • Margaret Abigail Hoult (1841-1901) married James Archer a farmer of Hoon Hay and Brailsford, Derbyshire. They did not have any surviving children.
  • William James Hoult (1843-1900) married Hannah Newcomb (c.1847-1896) and farmed initially at Cranage, Cheshire, where their only son was born in 1870. In the 1870s they moved back to Barton-under-Needwood, and farmed at Tucklesholme Farm. James Newcombe Hoult (1870-1940) became a brewer's clerk, married Mary Ann Bruxby (c.1872-1916) and lived nearby at Efflinch; they had at least three daughters.
  • Louisa Georgiana Hoult (1847-) married Edward Etches (c1816-), a cheese factor from Derby, and had three children.
  • John Abell Hoult (1849-) married Fanny Archer (c1850-1929) and, after farming at Upper Blakenhall with his father James until the latter's death in 1882, moved to Newbold Manor Farm, north-east of the village of Barton-under-Needwood, in Dunstall parish. They had at least seven children, including a son Albert James Hoult (1883-) who served on the parish council in the late 1890s and early 1900s, and purchased Fulbrook House on Captain's Lane, Barton-under-Needwood in 1933. His son William John Hoult (1916-2000) also served on the parish council from 1952-1976.
  • Joseph Emmanual Hoult (1851-) married Carolina Victoria Archer and settled in Cheadle, Staffordshire, where he was a chemist. They had one daughter.
  • Constance Emily Hoult (1853-) married Charles Henry Hess, manager of a chemical factory; they settled in Hampstead, London.
... and that's it. I think I've done this one to death now, and will move on! I hope you've not found the journey too tedious.

Post Script

Many thanks to Michael Spencer who kindly checked the Weston-on-Trent parish registers in the County Record Office at Matlock for me. I now know that Jacob Botham Smith and Mary Ann Hoult were married by the rector Thomas Wadham at Weston-on-Trent on 22 February 1870 by licence, and that the witnesses present at the ceremony were Joseph Botham Smith, James Hardy Smith and Jemima Smith (two brothers and a sister-in-law of the groom).

When Mary Hardy Smith was baptised at Weston-on-Trent on 7 May 1870, the following was written into the margin of the baptism register:
Chas John STORER,
Elizabeth STORER,
The Mother Apr 5 1871
Mike states that similar notations elsewhere in the register specify the named individuals as sponsors of the child. I'm not sure what the sponsors would be in this context - perhaps something like godparents. I suspect that this means that on 5 April 1871, her mother asked the parish clerk to make the additional notation in the register that Charles John Storer and Elizabeth Storer had assented to become her daughter's sponsors. CJS and ES were, of course, the child's paternal aunt and uncle.

Mary Ann Smith née Hoult was buried at Weston-on-Trent on 12 January 1885, her place of residence at the time of her death, aged 51, being shown as Rectory Farm.


J.G. Harrod & Co.'s Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Staffordshire, 1870, from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories
F. Wright's Directory of South Derbyshire, 1874, from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories
E.R. Kelly's Post Office Directory of Derbyshire, 1876, from Ancestry
Kelly & Co.'s Directory of Derbyshire, 1881, from Ancestry
Kelly & Co.'s Directory of Derbys, Leicestershire & Rutland, and Nottinghamshire, 1891, from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories
Kelly & Co.'s Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1899, from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories
Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1908, from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories
Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Nottingham, Leicester & Rutland, 1912, from Ancestry
Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1916, from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories
The Derby Mercury, in 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Digital images online from GALE Cengage Learning
UK Census 1841-1901 indexed images from Ancestry
Barton under Needwood Parish Council History on the Barton-under-Needwood Community web site


  1. Louisa Georgiana Hoult (1847-) married Edward Etches (c1816-), a cheese factor from Derby, and had three children.
    I would love to hear more about this alliance.

  2. Thanks for your interest Dianne. By 1881, Edward & Louisa Etches were living at Grange House, 47 Grange Street, Litchurch with their three children Charles E. (8), Caroline L. (6) and Mary C. (3).

    Edward Etches died at Derby in 1882 and Louisa remarried to retired army officer Thomas Huddlestone (again a man almost two decades her senior) at St Geo. Hanover Sq (London) in 1890. By April 1891 they were living at "The Cedars," Whitaker Rd, New Normanton - no sign Louisa's children in the house, so perhaps they had been shipped off to boarding school.

    By 1901 they had moved to Westgate-on-Sea in Kent, and her daughter Caroline was back at home. Louisa died at Richmond, Surrey in 1931.

    Are you related to this family?

    Regards, Brett

  3. Very interesting to me also as my mother spent part of her childhood living with her family at Rectory Farm. I think it would have been in the 1920's. It's lovely to find any information at all that broadens the family history, thankyou.

  4. Thank you, Brett.
    Edward and Louisa Etches are my great great grandparents. Charles Edward my great grandfather. His eldest son, Edward Charles, my grandfather. He too married a Louisa! I have paintings done by Caroline Etches. I didn't know about Mary - I'm wondering if she died in childhood because I think when Edward died, there were only two children. Would it be possible for me to check? Or do you know any more about them?

  5. How interesting, Dianne. It's great to fill out the story from external sources like this. Please send me an email via the link in my profile and I will send you full details of what I have on the ETCHES family. I don't suppose the paintings by Caroline Etches are of rural Derbyshire or Staffordshire, are they?

  6. Thanks Anonymous for your comments. I don't suppose you have any photographs of Rectory Farm from the time that your mother grew up there, do you? Regards and best wishes, Brett


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