Category Archives: Methodism

Luke Richardson (1774 to 1852) – a family of teachers, ministers and solicitors

I added Luke, my 4th great grand uncle, and some of his family to my tree some time ago. In the 1841 census he was intriguingly described as a schoolmaster in Northgate, Market Weighton. As I re-checked my research before writing about him and his family, I discovered a previously unknown son. This led me to finding more school teachers, two Wesleyan Ministers, a number of solicitors, and a tragedy off the coast of New Zealand.

Luke was baptised on 27 February 1774 in St Catharine’s Church, Barmby Moor to parents Luke (1734-1813) and Ann Kirkby (1732-1811). He married Ann Cook (1781-1865) by license in St Michael’s Church, Spurriergate, York. Luke’s application for a license gave his address as Pocklington and that Ann was from York. They married on 1 December 1804. So far, I have traced eight children, four boys and four girls. Initially they lived in Pocklington, although by the time their second child Jane (1807-1883) was born, they had moved to Market Weighton. It’s not clear at what point the family became Wesleyan Methodists. The earliest non-conformist baptism record found for a member of the family is one for their youngest son Francis (1819-1854). He was baptised on 4 November 1819 in the Wesleyan Chapel in Market Weighton. The chapel is mentioned in Lewis’s description topographical directory of England as follows:

Lewis’s Topographical Directory of England – Market Weighton

What also proved helpful in finding out what Luke was doing prior to the 1841 census, was a series of trade directory entries for Market Weighton on the Genuki site. They provided the following information for Luke:

  • 1823 Baines’s trade directory – gentlemen and boarders academy run by Luke Richardson in Northgate.
  • 1829 Pigot’s trade directory – day pupils and boarders academy run by Luke Richardson in Northgate.
  • 1834 Pigot’s trade directory – gentleman’s day and boarding school run by Luke Richardson in Northgate.

In the 1851 census Luke was still running the school in Northgate, assisted by two of his daughters, Jane (1807-1882) and Ann (1812-1886), and son Francis, who were all described as teachers. It is this census record which alerted me to Luke and Ann’s son Henry, who was a visitor, and described as a Wesleyan Minister.

Luke died in 1852 and was buried in St Catharine’s churchyard, Barmby Moor.

St Catharine’s Church, Barmby Moor

After his death the school continued to be run by his family. In the 1861 census it was described as the Northgate House boarding and day school. Luke’s widow Ann was the school proprietor, son William (1806-1887) assistant school master, daughters Jane and Ann school mistresses and daughter Mary Ann (1825-1882) the assistant manager. They had two servants, two male pupils aged 12 and 15 and 11 female pupils aged between 7 and 15. The following OS map from 1855 shows the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel circled in black and the National School, in North Gate circled in blue. Unfortunately, the precise location of Northgate house couldn’t be clearly identified; it was possibly on the other side of the street to the National School nearer to the junction with Market Place.

OS Yorkshire Sheet 209 date 1855

After Ann died in 1865, the school continued to be run by the family. In the 1871 census Jane was the head of the establishment with her siblings William and Ann recorded as teachers and Mary Ann as the housekeeper. By 1881 Ann was shown as the head of the school with Jane, Mary Ann and William as teachers. Jane and Mary Anne died in 1882. According to her gravestone, Ann was still living at Northgate House when she died on 10 March 1886. Her nephew Joseph Richardson was her executor and she was buried in Barmby Moor churchyard like her parents and siblings. William was living in Leeds when he died in 1887 and is also buried in Barmby Moor churchyard. There was no trace of the school in Bulmer’s 1892 trade directory for Market Weighton.

A summary of Luke and his family is included in the following outline descendant chart. People outlined in purple are the teachers in the family, the Wesleyan Ministers are outlined in pink and the solicitors in blue.

Outline descendant chart for Luke Richardson

Rev Henry Richardson (1809-1884) was the second oldest of Luke and Ann’s sons. He had probably become a Wesleyan Minister by 1833. Henry married Jane Elizabeth Bell (1812-1897) by license on 7 August 1837 in Eastrington parish church. They had at least six children, four boys and two girls. By the 1881 census Henry, Jane and daughter Hannah were living at 5 Stockhill Grove, Eccleshill, Yorkshire. They had moved to Greengates by the time Henry died on 28 January 1884. His probate record mentions his son William (1843-1923), schoolmaster of Ashville College, Harrogate.  The college is still an independent day and boarding school operating under Methodist principles and values. Henry was buried in the Greenhill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel yard in Rawdon near Leeds. Underneath his name was the inscription “In labours more abundant”. The gravestone also remembers his eldest son, John Bell Richardson (1840-1881) with the inscription:

“Also, in living memory of his eldest son the Rev John Bell Richardson Wesleyan Minister President of the New Zealand Conference Born January 18th 1840 perished in the wreck of the SS Tararua off the coast of New Zealand April 29th 1881”

John had followed his father Henry into the Wesleyan Ministry, and by 1868, he was in New Zealand when he married Mary Ann Hay (1843-1897). They had at least eight children, three boys and five girls. Information about the wreck of the SS Tararua was easy to find on the Trove website as there were many reports of the tragedy (for example, The Ballarat Star, 2 May 1881). It seems that only 20 of the 140 passengers onboard were saved. The ship had struck a reef on the most southerly part of New Zealand’s South Island. John was one of a number of clergy and lay people traveling to Adelaide, Australia for an Intercolonial Wesleyan Conference. He was specifically mentioned as one of those who had died in the Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumerda Advertiser (6 May 1881). The following woodcut appeared in the Illustrated New Zealand Herald.

Wreck of the SS Tararua

John’s only surviving son, Henry Hay Richardson (1871-1951) trained in New Zealand as a teacher, while John’s youngest brother Joseph (1853-1930), remained in the UK where he married Sarah Hannah Firth (1853-1899) on 25 July 1876 in the Wesleyan Chapel in Armley near Leeds. The ceremony was carried out by his father Henry and Rev Joseph Midgley. In the 1891 census Joseph was described as a solicitor and the family were living in Eccleshill near Bradford. He was followed into the profession by his son Frederic Henry Richardson (1877-1964). When Joseph died in 1930, he was buried in the Norman Lane Wesleyan burial ground in Bradford.

Finally – It seems that an interest in schooling runs in the family. After I left university, my mother asked me if I was going to be a school teacher. I didn’t do that but have retained my interest in education. The last qualification I gained was an MSc in genealogy, palaeography and heraldic studies. I haven’t ruled out taking another Masters course as I’m finding that having some knowledge of local and social history adds to what I’ve been able to find out about my ancestors.

I am interested in knowing more about the Richardson family, and in particular, any descendants in New Zealand. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.

Note: the map used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence and sourced from the NLS maps site


1939 Register.  : accessed January 2022.

Barmby Moor. : accessed January 2022.

Barmby Moor Memorial Inscriptions. : accessed January 2022.

Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials.  and : accessed January 2022.

Census Records.  : accessed January 2022.

Lewis, Samuel ed. (1848) A Topological Directory of England. London: Lewis. : accessed January 2022.

Market Weighton. : accessed January 2022.

Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Records.  : accessed January 2022.

OS Maps. : accessed January 2022.

Probate Records.  : accessed December 2021.

Trade Directories. : accessed January 2022.

Trove. : accessed January 2022.

Wreck of the SS Tararua. : accessed January 2022.

Alfred and Martha Haw – York, England

Alfred Haw (1869-1940) is my first cousin four times removed. He was born in Heslington, near York, the youngest son of Joseph Haw (1818-1875) and his second wife Anne Cariss (1827-1888). In 1871 Joseph was farming 55 acres in Heslington. By 1891 Alfred was a general labourer living with his brother Frederick (1861-1936), a gardener, at 93A Heworth, York. Alfred married Martha Emma Fowler (1867-1938) on 10 July 1892 in the Centenary Chapel (Wesleyan Methodist), in York. Alfred was described as a labourer from Dennison St, York and Martha, a domestic servant, whose father John, a railway foreman, was deceased. Alfred’s brother Edwin was one of the witnesses.

Alfred and Martha had four daughters and one son. No baptism record has been found for Elsie their eldest daughter. Lydia, Lily and Alfred were all baptised in St Maurice’s Church, Monkgate while the family were living in Dennison St. The church was demolished in 1966. Ivy was baptised at St Thomas’, York with a change to her father Alfred’s occupation. Their address’ proximity to the Rowntree Cocoa works, suggest that Alfred was working at Rowntree’s by November 1899. The following table shows their children’s birth and baptisms and where the family were living in York and Alfred’s occupation.

Child’s nameBirth dateBaptism dateAddressAlfred’s occupation
Elsie Evelyn Haw21 Jul 1893   
Lydia Anne Haw21 Aug 18954 Sep 189517 Dennison StLabourer
Lily Constance Haw05 Dec 189623 Dec 189617 Dennison StLabourer
Alfred Edward HawQ2 189827 Apr 189817 Dennison StLabourer
Ivy Maud HawQ4 189915 Nov 1899Ashville StPacker
Table 1 Baptism details for Alfred and Martha’s children

All seems to have been well with the family until the later part of the 19th century. However, what happened to the family in the early 20th century becomes less clear. In the 1901 census Alfred was recorded as the only member of his household at 2 Ashville St, York. Neither his wife Martha nor any of his five children were recorded as living with him at the time. Further census records for his wife Martha and son Alfred have so far proved elusive. Three of Alfred and Martha’s daughters, Elsie, Lydia and Lily, were recorded in the 1901 census in St Stephen’s Orphanage, Trinity Lane, York and their youngest daughter Ivy was probably living with Frederick, one of Alfred’s siblings.

St Stephen’s orphanage was set up in York in 1870 in a house in Precentor’s court near York Minster to provide for destitute orphans. By 1901 the orphanage occupied premises in Trinity Lane (numbers 21, 23, 25 and 27), York and that is where Alfred and Martha’s daughters were living in the 1901 census. By then it was providing for children who had lost one or both their parents. Elsie, Lydia and Lily’s father Alfred was alive in 1901, as evidenced by his entry in the 1901 census. The following extract from the OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.SW map shows the location of Trinity Lane in York (marked by a square box). The premises occupied by the orphanage have been converted to residential use.

OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.SW map

What is unclear is what had happened to Martha and her son Alfred by the 1901 census; they haven’t been found in either the 1901 or later censuses in York.

By the 1911 census it seems that Alfred senior had been reunited with two of his daughters: Lily and Ivy, who were living with him at 2 Ashville St, York; his occupation was recorded as a labourer. His two eldest daughters, Elsie and Lydia, were both working as servants. Elsie was a housemaid at The Mount School in York and Lydia a kitchen maid at Alne Hall, Yorkshire. The following extract from the OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.NW map shows the location of Ashville St in York (marked by a square box).

OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.NW map

The FindmyPast collection of National School Admission Registers and Log-Books helped bridge the gap between the 1901 and 1911 census records. Some information about the girl’s education was gleaned from these records, although no information for their son Alfred was found. The following table charts each of their daughter’s education.

Elsie Evelyn HawLydia Anne HawLily Constance HawIvy Maud Haw
SchoolBishophill and Clementhorpe Infants for GirlsBishophill and Clementhorpe Infants for GirlsPark Grove Infants for GirlsPark Grove Infants for Girls
Date entered21 Feb 190229 Jun 190313 Aug 190615 Feb 1910
Home addressThe Home, Skeldergate58 Skeldergate13 Lord Mayor’s Walk2 Ashville St
Date left4 Jul 19027 Jul 190429 Jan 190725 Aug 1911
Next schoolGrey Coat School for GirlsGrey Coat School for GirlsHaxby SchoolLeeman Rd School
Table 2 Four daughters and their schools

Elsie and Lydia also attended the Grey Coat School for girls. This was a charity school which fed, clothed and prepared pupils for domestic service.  

Whilst no further information has been found for Alfred and Martha’s son Alfred, Martha’s death certificate does help to explain what had happened to her. She died on 5 February 1938 in York City Mental Hospital, Fulford. It is possible that she had been in a mental institution since around the turn of the 20th century, although that has not yet been confirmed. A visit to the Borthwick to consult their mental health records is planned for when archives can re-open.

It looks like Alfred was unable to cope with his children around the time of the 1901 census, hence why he was living on his own and three of his daughters were in St Stephen’s Orphanage and his youngest was probably living with one of his brothers. He was reunited with his two youngest daughters by 1911. It is likely that the education his two older daughters Elsie and Lydia received meant that they were able to secure work by the time of the 1911 census.

Only one of Alfred and Martha’s daughters, Ivy, married; the other three remained single. Brief biographies for Alfred and his four daughters are as follows:

Alfred Haw (1869-1940) continued to live in 2 Ashville St, York and in the 1939 Register he was listed as a widow and confectioner’s labourer with two of his unmarried daughters: Elsie and Lydia. He died in York in Q2, 1940 at the age of 70.

Elsie Evelyn Haw (1893-1984) remained single and in the 1939 register was recorded as a housekeeper. She died in York in Q2, 1984 at the age of 90.

Lydia Anne Haw (1895-1985) was a daily maid in 1939. She was living at 2 Ashville St, York when died on 25 September 1985. She left an estate of approximately £40,000 and was the last member of her immediate family to live at the address.

Lily Constance Haw (1896-1983) was a patient in the York City Mental Hospital in Fulford, near York in the 1939 Register. Her personal occupation was described as “private means”. She died at the age of 85 and her death was registered in York in Q1, 1983.

Ivy Maud Haw (1899-1977) married Joseph Taylor in Q2 1932. They were living at 34 Diamond St, York in the 1939 Register. Ivy died in York in Q1, 1977.

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post, and in particular what happened to Alfred and Martha’s son Alfred. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.

Note: the maps used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence and sourced from the NLS maps site


National School Admission Registers and Log-Books 1870-1914. : accessed February 2021.

OS Maps. : February 2021.

St Maurice, Monkgate. : accessed February 2021.

St Stephen’s Orphanage, York. : accessed February 2021.

St Stephen’s Orphanage, York. : accessed February 2021.

Tillott, P. M. ed. (1961) Victoria County History: A History of Yorkshire, The City of York. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 440-460.

Methodism in York and the Haw family

Whilst researching my Haw ancestors I came across a number of them who had been baptised and/or married in Methodist chapels in York. I didn’t know much about Methodism in York so this post starts with some brief information on how Methodism developed in York before looking at some of my ancestors and the chapels where I’ve found baptism and marriage records for them.

Methodism in York

According to the Victoria County History for York, Methodism was first introduced in York in 1744 by John Nelson, a stonemason, who was an early Wesleyan convert. By 1747 a society had been formed and Methodists continued to meet in a house in the Bedern until 1752. After that meetings were held in a number of places in the city, including Pump Yard. Both Charles and John Wesley preached in York, with John preaching there 15 times between 1761 and 1790.

The first chapel to be established in York was the Peasholme Green chapel, probably opened by John Wesley, in 1759. It was built to accommodate 400 worshippers. Methodists did also continue to meet in other places in the city, including Coppergate and Coffee Yard.

The next chapel to be built in York was New Street Wesleyan chapel which held 1500-2000 worshippers and was completed in 1805. The Peasholme Green chapel was then sold. New Street Chapel continued in use until 1908 when it was sold. Its closure had been mooted in 1897 as a result of the extension of Methodism into the neighbourhoods of Bootham and Clifton. Further chapels were built in different places to serve the needs of Methodists in the city, including two of particular interest with regards to my Methodist ancestors; the Centenary Methodist chapel in St Saviourgate and Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan chapel.

Primitive Methodism was introduced to York through the preaching of William Clowes in May 1819. This was followed by other local evangelical preachers. Although initially small, the York branch expanded and occupied the Grape Lane chapel. This was vacated in 1851 when the Ebenezer chapel in Little Stonegate was opened. It was the principal Primitive Methodist chapel in York until the new Monkgate chapel was opened in 1903; it provided accommodation for 775 people and the organ from the Ebenezer chapel was rebuilt and installed within it.

A development of Methodism, Wesleyan Protestant Methodism, was first introduced to York in 1829. Their first chapel in Lady Peckitt’s Yard was opened in 1830 followed by the Monk Bar chapel in 1859 which was able to accommodate 800 people. Financial problems meant that in 1917 the trustees agreed to its disposal. This was avoided by amalgamating it in early 1919 with the York Central Mission. It then became the Monk Bar Central mission which was closed in 1934. The building itself is still in use as commercial premises.    

Haw Methodist ancestors

William Haw (1780-1855) and Phillis Feather (1788-1844) are my fourth great grandparents.  All the people mentioned in this blog post are related to them.  The majority adopted Wesleyan Methodism .

The first ancestor I found who married in a Methodist chapel is Sarah Haw (1839-1896). She is my first cousin four times removed and is William and Phillis’s granddaughter. Sarah married William Thorpe (1841-1920 on 10 August 1867 in New St Wesleyan Chapel. The chapel was located in New Street, York and was converted into the Tower cinema in 1920. It was damaged in WWII and later demolished. The following 1910 map of York has been annotated to show the location of the New Street Wesleyan chapel which is circled in purple.  

OS Map York 1910 CLXXIVNW

Baptisms have been found for four of Sarah and William’s children as follows:

Date of baptismChild’s nameMethodist chapelFamily’s address
2 Sept 1868Sarah Ellen Thorpe (1868-1902)New Street Wesleyan ChapelPark Crescent
4 Feb 1871John Edwin Thorpe (1871-1931)New Street Wesleyan ChapelGoodramgate
7 Dec 1877Laura Thorpe (b 1877)New Street Wesleyan ChapelLow Petergate
30 Mar 1880Rose Ann Thorpe (b 1880)Pontefract non-conformistNot known

Although their daughter Rose was baptised in Pontefract, the family moved back to York where her father William was recorded as a school attendance officer in the 1891 census.

A record has also been found for another family member who married in New Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel. Annie Eliza Haw (1867-1914) married William Douglass (1850-1918) on 10 November 1890. Annie was William’s second wife and he was described as a widower and a tailor on their marriage certificate. One of the witnesses was Annie’s brother Edwin Haw (1866-1945). Annie and Edwin are my first cousins four times removed and Sarah Haw’s (1839-1896) is their first cousin. Annie and William did not have any of their children baptised in a Methodist chapel; they used St Maurice’s Church in Monkgate. The following image shows New Street Wesleyan chapel.

New Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Moving on next to Maria Mason (1861-1942), my second cousin three times removed. She was the daughter of James Mason (1831-1872) and Elizabeth Haw (1837-1902), my first cousin four times removed. Elizabeth’s cousins are Sarah Haw and Annie Eliza Haw who were also involved with New Street Wesleyan chapel as discussed above. Maria had been baptised in St Lawrence’s Church in York but her brother Albert was baptised a Methodist in the Monk Bar United Methodist chapel on 14 February 1871. He later married Kate Adams (1871-1955), a Roman Catholic whose family came from Ireland, in 1895. More information on him can be found in the WWII submariner story.

The 1881 census for York shows Maria and her brother Albert living with their mother Elizabeth, her second husband John Law (1825-1886), their two children and George Poole (1857-1942) a lodger and groom. One Elizabeth and John Law’s children, Sarah Elizabeth Law (1876-1937), was baptised in Monk Bar United Methodist chapel on 28 January 1877.

Maria married George Poole on 20 August 1881 in the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel; they both gave their address as Gray’s Court, York and George’s occupation was recorded as a coachman. The chapel had been built in Little Stonegate in 1851 and was closed in 1901. The building is listed and still in use as commercial premises.

Maria and George baptised their children in the Monk Bar United Methodist chapel (see above map where the chapel is ringed in blue) as follows:

Date of baptismChild’s nameMethodist chapelFamily’s address
1 Mar 1882Ada Poole (1882-1947)Monk Bar United Methodist7 Gray’s Court
21 Mar 1883James Poole (1883-1916)Monk Bar United Methodist7 Gray’s Court
19 Nov 1884William Ewart Poole (b 1884)Monk Bar United MethodistGray’s Court
19 Oct 1887Edith Mary Poole (b 1887)Monk Bar United Methodist2 Gray’s Court, Ogleforth
13 Mar 1889Annie Elizabeth Poole (b 1889)Monk Bar United Methodist2 Gray’s Court
18 Jun 1890Frank Lockwood Poole (1890-1917)Monk Bar United Methodist18 Nelson Street
7 Oct 1896Edward Poole (1896-1915)Monk Bar United MethodistNelson Street
14 Mar 1900Maria Louisa Poole (1900-1934)Monk Bar United Methodist11 Emerald Street, Park Grove

The Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan Methodist chapel also features in the family’s history. Emma Bean’s (1853-1825) cousin, Ann Bean (1843-1911), married my second great grandfather William Haw (1846-1907) and she has been included here as a member of the extended Haw family.  Emma married William John Oxtoby (1857-1932) on 29 May 1882 in the parish church of East Acklam, Yorkshire.  They subsequently moved to York and had at least five children. So far, I have found Methodist baptisms for three of their children as follows:

Date of baptismChild’s nameMethodist chapelFamily’s address
17 Nov 1883William John Oxtoby (1883-1944)Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan ChapelAlne Terrace
7 Dec 1884Henry Ewart Oxtoby (1884-1963)Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan ChapelAlne Terrace
1 Oct 1890Albert Oxtoby (1890-1954)Centenary Methodist chapel, St SaviourgatePalmer House, Palmer Street

The following map shows the location of the Melbourne Terrace chapel and nearby Alne Terrace.

OS Map York 1910 CLXXIVSE

The chapel the family would have been familiar with was demolished and rebuilt in the 1950s. The Centenary Methodist chapel in St Saviourgate is marked in green on the first map in this blog post. It was built in 1840 and became the Central Methodist church in 1982.

The final Methodist member of the Haw family to be included in this blog post is George Haw (1857-1931), my first cousin four times removed. He married Esther Ambler (1863-1913) on 11 March 1884 in Shipton parish church, Yorkshire. They too moved to York and I found just one Methodist baptism for their eldest son George William Haw (1884-1966). He was baptised in the Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan chapel on 7 June 1885 when the family were living at 8 Milton street, off the Hull Road. Unfortunately, there are no further records for Melbourne Terrace in the FindmyPast online collection after 1885. The original records are held at the Borthwick Institute in York and a visit there in the future is planned.

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.

Note: the maps used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence and sourced from the NLS maps site


Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate, York.  : accessed October 2020.

Cinema Treasures, Tower Cinema, New Street, York. : accessed October 2020.

Ebenezer Chapel, York. : accessed October 2020.

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Genuki/York. : accessed October 2020.

OS Maps. : accessed October 2020.

Tillott, P. M. ed. (1961) Victoria County History: A History of Yorkshire, The City of York. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 404-418.