Now that I’ve seen how far back I can trace back my Shropshire ancestors (for now, anyway), what I am even more interested in is finding out what became of those in the families who stayed in England and what they were doing during the time when my ancestors were coming to the US and doing what they did here (as covered in other posts). I’ll do this with the Joneses separately, but the next few posts covers what I currently know about the Maunds and Counds.
My great-great, etc. grandmother Sarah Maund Jones’s brothers and sisters were Elizabeth (chr. 1792), William (chr. 1794), Ann (chr. 1801), John (chr. 1804), and Mary (chr. 1806). I have not yet located William (although there are some burial records that fit him suggesting he may have died as a child) or Ann, outside of their baptismal records. Elizabeth is hard to trace for other reasons that I will also discuss. Therefore, I will focus primarily on Mary and John Maund.
Mary was living with her mother in Munslow and unmarried as of the 1841 census. On 11 Nov 1847 (at age 41), she married Charles Harrison, a widower and pensioner, in Madeley. This marriage record is helpful, because it provides the information that William Maund (May’s father) was a wheelwright, which I did not previously know. A site with information about wheelwrights and their history is here: The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights.
In 1851 and 1861, Charles and Mary were on High Street in Madeley, Shropshire. Charles was listed as a pensioner (late potter) and blind, and is about 20 years older than Mary. He is from Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. With them is a young daughter Sarah, born around 1850, so likely Mary’s daughter. Sarah’s baptismal record fits this: she was born 9 Jan 1850 and baptized in the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel in Madeley, daughter of Charles and Mary (Charles and Mary were married in the Anglican Church, however).
This leads to my first aside: the history and growth of Methodism and it becoming a separate denomination in 1812.
Really, really simplistically, Methodism began as a movement within the Church of England based on the teachings of John Wesley, most predominantly, and others. Wesley was a proponent of Arminianism which was engaged in a dispute with Calvinism in the Church of England and Christianity at the time (1700s), as well as the century before (see, e.g., Puritans for one famous example of Calvinists, of course). In my own family, my father’s mother’s family are largely from Calvinists who came to America in the 1600s (I’ll get there eventually, perhaps), although many of them subsequently converted to the Society of Friends and married others who came to America to practice that religion. My father’s father’s family is mostly Methodist, and I have generally associated Methodism with Arminianism (I’m a theology geek that way), until I found out that some of my Welsh ancestors on that side (again, I’ll get there, probably not so long from now) were members of a Calvinistic Methodist church, which seemed oxymoronic. Apparently not, certainly not in the US, as well as in Wales. Instead, the Arminian-Calvinist distinction was a split between followers of John Wesley and George Whitefield, both within the Methodist tent.
But I digress from my digression.
Keeping this simple and therefore continuing just to use Wiki: “Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include an assurance of salvation, imparted righteousness, the possibility of perfection in love, the works of piety and the primacy of Scripture…. Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor and the afflicted through the works of mercy. These ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens and schools to follow Christ’s command to spread the gospel and serve all people…. Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy,[nb 4] but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organised religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the making of the working class (1760–1820).”
The Wesleys had an early connection with America: in 1735 they were invited to and visited Georgia to preach, and Whitefield played a role in the First Great Awakening which was of course significant to the development of religion in America.
Wesley did not intend to found a new denomination, but himself remained a priest in the established church, declaring “I live and die a member of the Church of England” and teaching that Methodists should attend and receive the sacraments in their local parish church as well as attending Methodist meetings. See The Methodist Church in Britain, as well as the wiki link above. The eventual split was related in part to events in America: in 1784, Wesley responded to the shortage of priests in the American colonies due to the American Revolution by ordaining preachers for America with power to administer the sacraments, after the Bishop of London refused to do this. Claiming this power ultimately led to the legal separation of Methodism from the Anglican Church after Wesley’s death. Id. “Total membership of the Methodist societies in Britain was recorded as 56,000 in 1791, rising to 360,000 in 1836 and 1,463,000 by the national census of 1851.” See Methodist Church of Great Britain. Some of my Shropshire relatives, as noted above, fall out of the parish records in the mid 1800s (or slightly before), fitting this pattern. Other relatives (again, which I will get to) in other parts of England were members of independent or non-conformist churches before becoming Methodist (although marrying in the Methodist denomination by the early 1800s), which is consistent with another pattern discussed in the linked articles.
Just a little more: “Early Methodism experienced a radical and spiritual phase that allowed women authority in church leadership. The role of the woman preacher emerged from the sense that the home should be a place of community care and should foster personal growth. Methodist women formed a community that cared for the vulnerable, extending the role of mothering beyond physical care. Women were encouraged to testify their faith. However the centrality of women’s role sharply diminished after 1790 as Methodist churches became more structured and more male dominated.” This is illustrated with the character of Dinah Morris in George Eliot’s Adam Bede (set primarily in the 1790s in Staffordshire, so not at all far from Madeley), which ends with a discussion of how Dinah had been forced to give up her preaching. (And thinking of this reminds me that I really need to reread the book.)
Back in 1841, Charles was living in Stoke on Trent with his prior wife, Priscilla, and was working in the potteries. (Apparently Stoke on Trent is known for pottery with some historical sites: http://www.visitstoke.co.uk/.) As the maps below show, Stoke on Trent is not far from Madeley, but both are reasonably far from Munslow, which is down around the Shropshire Hills AONB, so I am curious how Charles and Mary happened to meet and marry.
Although Charles was not a coal miner, it is notable that Madeley was a coal mining area, and this site provides information about the area and conditions during the same period:
The population of the parish grew from the early 18th century with the expansion of industry and new industrial settlements were built near the coalmines and foundries in Coalbrookdale and Madeley Wood. A branch of the Shropshire Canal was built to the east of the town between 1789 and 1792 and this facilitated the growth of a settlement at Coalport. Later industrial developments tended to be either adjacent to the canal or joined to it by tramroads. The Iron Bridge over the Severn was opened in 1780 and led to the growth of settlement on the north bank of the river at Ironbridge and the Madeley market moved there at the end of the 18th century.
18th century settlement in Madeley town seems to have remained concentrated on the sites along High Street and Park Street which had been laid out in medieval times with just a small amount of expansion e.g. Upper House which began life as a farm in the 17th century and nearby Madeley Hall which dates from the early 18th century. However the character of the town remained more rural than urban.
The industrial expansion of the later 18th and early 19th centuries as well as the coming of the canal at the end of the 18th century and the opening of the railway station on the railway line to Coalport in 1860 encouraged the construction of several handsome town houses in the town centre (e.g. the present bank buildings at the western end of Madeley High Street which both originated as private houses). The new market hall (now Jubilee House) opened in 1858 and the Anstice Memorial Hall and Workmen’s Club in 1869. The parish church of St. Michael’s had been rebuilt to a design by Thomas Telford in 1796 and a Roman Catholic church dedicated to St. Mary opened in the High Street in 1852-1853 on the site of an earlier ‘mass house’ (partly surviving as an element of St. Mary’s presbytery). The Baptist AEnon chapel also opened on the High Street in 1858 and several Methodist chapels sprang up around the town centre between the 1830s and the 1860s….
In the 19th century there was a growth in extraction and manufacturing industries close to the town including more coalmines as well as sandpits, brickworks and porcelain works. Despite this and despite the improved communications provided by the railway the town was already in decline by the later 1800s and the decline continued into the 20th century.
Juliet Barker’s The Brontës (2010) also discusses Madeley (and the growth of Methodism), in connection with Patrick Brontë’s early career as a curate, around 1809. First, though, Wellington, Shropshire, which is where Patrick’s post was. Wellington is partway between Madeley and Munslow, but seems more similar to the former in its economics (p. 27):
Sheltering under the slopes of the Wrekin, which towers 1,100 feet above the flat marches stretching northward as far as the eye can see, Wellington was a busy town in the fast-developing industrial heartland of England. The River Severn and the Shropshire Union Canal, both nearby, had opened up the area for import and export and Wellington, like Ironbridge and Coalbrookdale less than five miles away, had a fast-growing trade in coal and iron. Industrial success had brought both wealth and poverty, the town was prosperous, with a regular Thursday market and four fairs a year, but rapid growth had brought an influx of impoverished immigrants seeking employment in the mines and foundries.
And on Madeley specifically (pp. 31-32):
Madeley, though undistinguished as a town, was a place of immense spiritual significance, the inspirational source and guiding light which bound together all of these men [John Nunn, Thomas Stedman, Charles Hurlbert, John Fennell, and William Morgan] and profoundly affected their lives. It was the home of the aged widow of John Fletcher, the great charismatic preacher who had been vicar of Madeley from 1760 till his death in 1785…. Among the hard-drinking and often violent workers in the collieries and ironworks around Madeley, he had become a byword for personal piety. He was fearless in his denunciation of sin, assiduous in his itinerant preaching and so generous in his charity that his household frequently found itself without either money or food. An intimate friend of both John and Charles Wesley, he was the author of a number of books and tracts which had an enormous impact on the Evangelicals and the Methodists alike. With his insistence on the need for conversion to faith, his rebuttal of the Calvinistic doctrine of the Elect and his affection for St Paul, Fletcher became the model and inspiration for the many young clergymen, including Patrick, who converged on his home.
Back to Mary Maund Harrison and her family:
By 1871, Mary was widowed and is identified as a dress-maker and tailor. With her are nieces and a nephew, too young to be the children of any of her sisters, so perhaps her great-nieces and nephew. This is of extra interest to me because their surname is Jones (so Sarah’s grandchildren?): Henry Jones (age 8), Eleanor Jones (age 6), and Emma Jones (age 4), all born in Little Wenlock, Shropshire. In 1881, Mary is still a dressmaker and still in Madeley, but now living with daughter Sarah and her husband, Francis Franks, who married in 1877. Francis, who was born in Little Wenlock, is a postman, and Sarah a laundress. The two have a daughter named Mary Hannah around 1882.
By 1901, Mary Maund Harrison is dead, but her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were still in Madeley, Francis is now a greengrocer, Sarah a letter carrier (interesting, in light of Frank’s job in 1881), and Mary Hannah a dress-maker. By 1911, Sarah Franks is recently widowed (after 33 years of marriage), and in the confections business, still in Madeley. Daughter Mary Hannah was also in Madeley, married to Fred Jones, a home decorator and painter. They had three children, Maud Mary (b. abt. 1904), Dorothy Muriel (b. abt. 1907), and Frances Marian (b. abt. 1908), all girls. Fred was born in Market Drayton — I should see if there are any connections to the children who were living with Mary Harrison in 1871.
The 1921 census will not be out until 2021, so that’s where it ends, for now, fittingly now that I would have to struggle with the Jones name again.
(Continued in Maund and Cound Families, Going Forward (Part 2).)