Thomas Ainsworth of Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire

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Thomas Ainsworth of Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire b.14 December 1758.

Son of Peter Ainsworth b.1711 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.1780 who started Halliwell Bleachworks in Bolton, in about 1739 (himself son of Peter Ainsworth and Mary Hilton) and (married 1729) Alice Galland d.1767. More information

Married 16 January 1782 Elizabeth "Betty" Wraith b.29 May 1751 at Birstall, Yorkshire d.21 March 1828, daughter of Reverend James Wraith b.28 May 1734 at Elland, Yorkshire d.1 May 1815 at Hampstead and buried at St Johns Church Cemetery, Hampstead, Minister of Bolton Independent Church and Mary Mann

They had the following children:

F i Amelia b.14 February 1783 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.1861-71
Married Joseph Yates b.circa 1782 d.circa 1851, father of Joseph St.John Yates b.10 October 1808 at Chancery Lane London d.1887 Sandbach, Cheshire.
M ii Richard b.5 March 1874 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
M iii Peter b.29 May 1787 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
F iv Elizabeth b.30 October 1788 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
M v Thomas b.22 July 1790 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
F vi Mary b.14 November 1791 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
F vii Dorothy b.10 September 1794 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
M viii Thomas Hargreaves b.19 February 1796 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.13 February 1841 at Nijverdal, Netherlands. More information
F ix Harriet Ann b.14 December 1797 d.
M x William b.2 June 1799 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.
F xi Edward b.10 September 1800 at Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire d.1878
Married in 1839 Annette von Hamelof Holland b.7 Feb 1812 d.. They had no children
F xii Alicia b. d.
F xiii Ellen b. d.
F xiv Thomas b. d.

8 April, 2021

Other information                                       Back to top of page

Thanks to Betsy Warner and Dennis Cakebread for the following:

Married Betty Wraith, second daughter of the Rev. James Wraith, Minister of Bolton Independent Church, on 16.1.1782 at St.Peter's. They had 14 children: Amelia, Richard, Elizabeth, Thomas, Dorothea, William, Mary, Alicia, Edward, Harriett, Ellen, Thomas (2), and Peter.
These notes were taken from an old notebook written by an early researcher of the family in the late 1800s who remembered his grandmother, Alice Cooksey (nee Ainsworth) a sister of Thomas Ainsworth, (Amelia’s father).
I quote:
Thomas Ainsworth born Jany 12 1759 the youngest son of Peter Ainsworth of Lightbowns afterwards became a great Manufacturer by hand of Cotton goods, Muslins, Cambricks etc at Great Bridge and Gilnow, Bolton, at Warrington, Atherton, and other places, and was the inventor of several important improvements in pattern weaving, was a generous contributor towards the erection of St George's Church Bolton. Though handloom weaving continued a few years after his death in 1831, it was gradually superceded by the steam loom. In his first beginnings the firm was Peel and Ainsworth. He married Betty the daughter of the Rev James Wraith of Bolton Jany 16,1782. They had seven sons and seven daughters. 2 sons married, 5 not, 2 daughters married, 5 not. His son Thomas born Dec 22 1795 and Edward born July 30 1800 commenced the bleaching business at Goor, Overyssel, Holland, and were great benefactors to the place. Thomas died at Evesbury? /Evesburg? Feb 13 1841. Edward married in 1839 Annette von Hamel a native of Holland born Feb 7 1812. They had no family. End quote. (From Dennis Cakebread Jan 2007)

Peter Ainsworth b.1711, founded the Halliwell Bleachworks in Bolton, in about 1739, whilst his eldest son, also Peter, purchased the lovely old mansion known as Smithills Hall in 1801. This is now preserved in public ownership and open to the public.
Several booklets on the Ainsworths are available from Smithills Hall, including one taken from the excellent paper produced by John Keelan for the Domesday Exhibition in 1985.
Sources state that the earliest recorded member of this family was Robert de Ainsworth 1175, named in a charter in 1212 with his son Elias making a Grant of some land in the manor of Middleton, near Bolton, Lancashire. The family remained big landowners in Middleton for 200 years and then in 1396 John Ainsworth, a descendant of Robert acquired by marriage into the Winckley family the Lordship of the manor of Pleasington, near Blackburn. So Pleasington Manor became the home of many later generations of Ainsworths.
On the death of John's grandson, Lawrence Ainsworth, his 1st son Henry inherited Pleasington Manor and the 2nd son John inherited the remainder of the estate lands in Middleton Parish near Rochdale (this line of John was the Ainsworth family who later would own Smithills Hall in Bolton.)
John's grandson, also called John, moved to Breighmet, near Bolton soon after 1600. For a further century the Ainsworths moved between Halliwell, Eccles, Prestwich and Bolton.
Peter Ainsworth was born in 1682 at Prestwich lived his adult life at The Holcroft near St.Peter's Church, Bolton and was a Master Bleacher. His son Peter, born 1711, at Bolton was a pioneer of chemical bleaching and founded the Halliwell Bleachworks in 1739. The bleachworks prospered and later Peter's son, also Peter, became very rich and was known as "the opulent bleacher". A few years before his death he purchased the large Smithills Hall Estate in 1801 with its ancient mansion and several coal mines.
Early Years: He was the elder son and was brought up with his brother Richard at The Holcroft near St.George's Church, Bolton.
Occupation: He was apprenticed to his father at an early age and like his father Peter became a Bleacher in his own right. He was a pioneer of chemical bleaching and founded Halliwell Bleachworks in about 1739.
Marriage:Peter married Alice Galland at Darwen on 1.6.1729 when they were both about seventeen years old.
Children: The couple had 11 children:
Known Places of Residence:
As a child Peter lived at The Holcroft. After his marriage the couple moved the house adjoining the Barn at Halliwell Moss. Later after receiving a bequest from a relative they moved to Lightbounds House a short distance away.
Death of Wife: Alice died in 1767
Death: Peter died in 1780. Burial: He was buried in the family vault on the south side of Bolton Parish Church. (Re-interred at Tongue Cemetary in 1902)
Inscription taken from Records held at Bolton Archives:
Here rest the remains of Mary daughter of Peter and Alice Ainsworth of the Moss Halliwell who was interred July 10th 1743, aged 3 years. Also Robert son of Peter and Alice Ainsworth who was interred June 21st 1751, aged 8 years.
Here also rest the remains of Peter Ainsworth of the Moss Halliwell, who died April 12th 1780 in the 67th year of his age.
Farewell vain world I've seen enough of thee
And now I'm careless what thou sayst of me
Thy smiles I court not nor thy frowns I fear
My cares are past my head lies quiet here
What faults thou'st see in me take care to shun
Go home and look enough is to be done
Where ere I lived or died it matters not
To whom related or by whom begot
I was I am not ask no more of me
Tis all I am and all that thou shalt be.
Here rest the remains of Alice wife of Peter Ainsworth, who died December 28th 1787 in the 75th year of her age.
Also of Ann wife of John Cort of Great Bolton and daughter of Peter and Alice Ainsworth, who died August 1789, in the 50th year of her age. Also John Cort of Great Bolton, who died April 30th 1791.
We must all die A.D. 1842
Peter 1736 married Alice Aspinall on 17.7.1761. They had one surviving child, Richard. Peter became known as "The Opulent Bleacher".
Ann 1738 Chr. 5.8.1739 St.Peter's, Married John Cort on 29.11.1768 . They had 4 children: Edward, Peter, Ann Ainsworth, and Thomas.
Mary 1742 Chr. 31.1.1742 St.Mary's, Deane, She drowned by falling into the Holy Well at age of 3 years.
Richard 1743 Chr. 13.10.1743 .St.Mary's, Deane Married Betty Morris at St.Peter's in 1765. They had 6 children: Robert, James, Nancy, Peter, Alice and Beatrice.
Robert 1 Died at eight years old.
John 1746 Married Betty Nield at Manchester Cathedral in 1768. Children not known
James 1748 Chr.16.12.1748 at St.Mary's, Deane Married: 1. Betty Mason on 18.6.1771. 2. Molly Green. They had a son James. 3. Molly Burgess. They had a son John. 4. Betty Nuttall on 4.3.1780. They had 4 children: Charles, Thomas, Alice, and Ann.
Robert 2 1751 Died young.
Alice 1754 Chr. 20.2.1754 St.Mary's Married: 1.Charles Charlton at St.Peter's 1774. They had 4 children: James, Thomas, Jane, and Robert. 2. Thomas Parkinson, also at St.Peter's, on 2.3.1783. They had a daughter Alice. 3. Thomas Cocksey, at St.Peter's on 7.3.1790. They had Ann, and Thomas.
Jenny 1756 Chr.9.5.1756 St.Peter's Married Thomas Hanby at St.Peter's. They had 5 children: Joseph, Jane, Sophia, Miranda, and Josiah.
Thomas 1759 Chr. 12.1.1759 St. Mary's Married Betty Wraith, second daughter of the Rev. James Wraith, Minister of Bolton Independent Church, on 16.1.1782 at St.Peter's. They had 14 children: Amelia, Richard, Elizabeth, Thomas, Dorothea, William, Mary, Alicia, Edward, Harriett, Ellen, Thomas (2), and Peter.

Reverend James Wraith b.28 May 1734 at Elland, Yorkshire d.1 May 1815 at Hampstead and buried at St Johns Church Cemetery later became a Vicar in London and was buried there in 1815.
Notes from: A HISTORY OF BLACKBURN, Town and Parish. by Wm. Alexander Abram. Page 408... WRAITH OF BLACKBURN, &c.; Mr. James (actually John) Wraith, born at Mirfield, Co. York was father of Rev. James Wraith, born at Elland, Co. York, May 28th, 1734, became minister of the Independent Church, Bolton, in 1772 removed to Wolverhampton; in 1792 removed to Chorley in this county, and was afterwards Independent minister at Hampstead, Co. Middlesex, where "he ministered to local Methodists in 'some kind of shed' in the Little Church Row area." (from : a survey of monuments at Saint John - at - Hampstead : by Camden Historical Society) . He died May 1st, 1815, in his 81st year. He had sons, James; and Benjamin, and daughters: Mary, Betty, and Priscilla.
Components of the WRAITH Family Name Coat of Arms The Shield is: Gold with a black cross.
The Crest is: An Anchor. The motto is: "Spero Meliora" The Origin of WRAITH: WRAITH history The very first record of the family name WRAITH was found in Nairnshire , which is located in Scotland. The WRAITH family traces their ancestral roots back to Pictish origin before the year 1100. From here they branched and migrated, gaining prosperity as a notable family of Scotland and later other countries.
Wraith, James (Male)
History of Penn United Reformed Church - Wolverhampton
Land for the new chapel was purchased for £52.10s. and building work quickly commenced. Like the old meeting house, it was a square brick building without any decoration. The inside was plain with a pulpit fixed against the back wall and complete with a sounding board above and a clerk's desk below. The chapel was surrounded by a graveyard, where many members of the congregation would be buried in the fullness of time.
The chapel opened for worship in 1782, the first 18 members being from the old St. John's Lane meeting house. They were as follows:
Lydia Butler, John Evans, John Hasbury, James Higgins, Charles Hunter, Elizabeth Hunter, John Johnson, Jane Kenrick, Esther Mander, John Mander, Elizabeth Orme, Esther Parrock, Mary Rooker, John Smith, William Stone, Sarah Stonely, Mary Thompson, and Thomas Thompson.
The location of Temple Street Chapel can be found on the 1842 tithe map.
The minister and his wife were James and Mary Wraith. James was born in May, 1734 at Elland in Yorkshire. He became the village preacher and continued as such for 15 years until he received an invitation to preach at Bolton Congregational Church, where he remained until the commencement of his appointment at Grey Pea Walk on 7th June, 1782.
In 1788 the chapel was put in trust and a number of trustees were appointed. Mr. Wraith appears to have been popular with the local Christian community and parents travelled from all around to have their children baptised by him. They came from as far afield as Bilston, Brewood, Brierley Hill, Bushbury, Sedgley, Shareshill, and West Bromwich.
He stayed in Wolverhampton for 10 years before moving to Hampstead, where he died in 1815. Mr. Wraith's replacement was John Godwin, a strong, warm-hearted Calvinist.

Email from Dennis Cakebread (a branch of the Ainsworth family):
I have the 1851 census CD for Warwickshire and see that Amelia and her sister Elizabeth were at Dormer place, Leamington Priors. Amelia was a widow and Elizabeth was unmarried and both were listed as Annuitants so no doubt not short of money.
Leamington priors was part of what is now Leamington Spa (correctly Royal Leamington Spa) which gives the clue why they were there.
The town had become famous as a "Spa" and famous for its mineral waters with medicinal properties so people came from far and wide to take treatment there. Nice hotels and boarding houses had sprung up and the town had lovely parks and gardens. Dormer Place overlooks the park and the pleasant river. I see no problem in believing that the 2 elderly sisters, both free from marital ties and maybe suffering from age-related health problems, would visit and spend some time there.
Four more of Amelia's sisters were actually at Avon Bank, Stratford-on- Avon. They were all unmarried and teachers at a private school for teenage girls.
Stratford is only about 10 miles from Leamington so maybe that is why Amelia and Elizabeth chose Leamington for their healthy holiday.
I see that in 1881 her sisters Harriett and Alice were living at Walcot, Somerset in the southwest of England, both on "Independent means" so they made the most of money to get around the country!!

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Email from Joop Freie received 21 March 2021 at 19.56
Thomas Hargrave Ainsworth (1795-1841) and his brother Edward (1800-1878) moved in 1827 to Belgium and after a couple of years (around 1833) they moved to The Netherlands. Edward started a tectile-factoy in Goor, province Overijssel and Thomas started in Goor, Enschede and (in 1834) in a small farmer-area, called Noetsele in the Community of Hellendoorn. The textile-industry grows fast and many people came from elsewhere to that area. Houses were built. And in 1836 Thomas founded a new village: Nijverdal. He hired there in a landhouse ‘Eversberg’, which was located at that time in the community of Wierden. He lived there with a house-keepster. His wife, Jane Bower, and the 5 children stayed in Brussels, Belgium. That was the place for her the life to live. Thomas died 13 Febr. 1841 in the landhouse. Edward asked for burying his brother in Goor, where Edward lived. And in 1843 there was build a
statue for his brother.

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Notes on sources

Anderson family tree

Information is largely taken from the book 'The Andersons of Peterhead'. This was based on the records made by John Anderson 1825/1903 [VIII 32], known as 'China John'. This was brought up to date in 1936 by Cecil Ford Anderson [X 17] and Agnes Donald Ferguson [CS 45 X b]. Many photographs were taken and compiled in an album by Olive Edis (daughter of Mary Murray, daughter of Andrew Murray (2) of Aberdeen). Corrections to both Janet Innes Anderson's and Alexander Murray's death dates from Robert Murray Watt and Iain Forrest.

Forrest family tree

Iain Forrest kindly supplied material to update the Forrest family (progeny of William Forrest) details.

Hibbert family tree

The information is largely taken from a tree compiled by F.B. (she knows who she is!) with extra material found by the author.

Murray family tree

The 'Genealogical Table showing various branches of the Murray family', from which this information was taken, was prepared by Alexander Murray of Blackhouse, extended by Andrew Murray - advocate - Aberdeen circa 1880 and further extended by Arthur Murray Watt 1972. The generational notation is the author's.

Pike family tree

Information from family sources as well as 'Burke's Landed Gentry' 1875

Stevenson family tree and many Stevenson and Anderson photos

Deepest thanks for some fantastic pictures and for writing the wonderful book 'Jobs for the Boys' to Hew Stevenson, which you can see on

And the rest

Thanks also to all who have written in with information, advice, help and, most importantly, corrections.

© John Hibbert 2001-2013

8 April, 2021