Freeholders, Ashton-under-Lyne Parish 1776

Below is a list of all the Freeholders of Ashton-under-Lyne, recorded in 1776. This was the year when Boston (America) was evacuated by the British, and that the American States declared their independence becoming a republic, to be known as the United States of America. The record is especially valuable as it gives a picture of a time just as mechanised industry was about to change the whole area and lay the foundation of the textile trade and the vast cotton factories. At this time the changes of the industrial revolution were, as yet, hardly being felt and this list gives the status and occupations of the influential parishioners of the area, whose families, but for a few exceptions had been members of this community through centuries past.

A list of all the Freeholders within the Town and Parish of Ashton Underlyne(sic)
in the County of Lancaster who are proper Persons to Serve as Jurors
at the Assize and Quarter Sessions for the Year. [1776]

Ashton Town
Mr James Brown
Mr John Brown
Mr Samuel Swire
George Wood, Butcher
Benjamin Harrop, Carrier
John Swindle, Yeoman
John Slater, Carrier
Mr Thomas Taylor, Attorney
Arthur Holt, Yeoman
Henry Lees, Mercer*
Mr Thomas Derwent, Attorney
Mr Miles Greaves, Docter(sic)
William Walker, Cabinet Maker
Joseph Hibbert, Weaver
John Newton, Weaver
Jos. Oldham, Grocer
John Cheetham, Carpenter
John Smith, Blacksmith
Thomas Dewhurst, Swailer**
Jonathan Ridgway, Weaver
Abel Wood, Weaver
John Lees, Docter
Daniel Slater, Yeoman
Mr John Cock
John Saxon, Yeoman
Arthur Burgess, Swailer
Jos. Higginbottom, Cordwainer***
John Mallinson, Hatter
John Wood, In[n]holder
James Lees, Weaver
Samuel Crabtree, Inholder
James Taylor, Inholder
John Thorpe, Yeoman
John Williamson, Barber
James Newton
Jonathan Higginbottom, Swaler
The Reverend Mr Craddock
John Lees, Yeoman
Henry Lees, Yeoman
Henry Lees, Weaver
Thomas Harrop, Huckster****
John Worthington, Clothier

Mr Thomas Jones, Attorney
John Byrom, Carpenter
Mr John Grimshaw, Chapman*****
Mr George Fletcher, Chapman
George Worthington
Thomas Stopford, Hatter
John Ashton, Yeoman
Ralph Wood, Yeoman
Mr John Ridgway, Chapman
Adam Stopford, Hatter
William Stopford, Hatter
John Saxon, Weaver
Robert Hyde, Chapman
Hugh Keaton, Chapman
William Stopford, Carter
Robert Hampson, Carter
Thomas Stopford, Cordwainer
Jos. Hall, Carrier
James Warren, Inholder
William Cock, Weaver
John Stopford, Hatter
Jos. Saxon, Weaver

Samuel Heap, Weaver
George Walker, Weaver
John Scholes. Weaver
Miles Slater, Weaver
Timothy Wright, Weaver

John Harrison, Yeoman
John Andrew, Weaver
James Knight, Yeoman
Timothy Knight, Yeoman

Knott Lanes
David Holt, Weaver
John Knott, Weaver
Jonathan Taylor, Miner
Jonah Harrop, Yeoman
Thomas Harrison, Cordwainer
John Leech, Weaver
John Taylor, Collier
John Harrop, Carter

Henry Booth, Weaver
John Wright, Yeoman
John Marland, Yeoman

Jos. Wrigley, Clothier
Jonathan Andrew, Yeoman
Jonathan Taylor, Weaver
John Street, Weaver
Jonathan Lees, Swailer

John Ainsworth, Hatter
John Ogden, Weaver
John Lees, Blacksmith
Samuel Worral, Clothier
Jonah Andrew, Yeoman
William Higginbottom, Flaxman
James Lees, Weaver

Thomas Cresswell, Chapman
John Mayal, Clothier
James Beaumond, Weaver
James Lees, Clothier
John Cresswell, Chapman
James Bardsley, Weaver

Alt Edge
Henry Taylor, Clothier
John Hyde, Clothier
John Andrew, [clothier]
John Shaw, Clothier
John Lees, Carrier
James Lees, Smith
John Peak

Abel Hyde, Yeoman
James Gartside, Clothier
John Gartside, Joiner
James Marland, Carrier
Charles Fielding, Farmer
William Kenworthy, [farmer]
George Hall, Clothier
John Buckley, Clothier
Joshua Knott, [clothier]
Jos. Buckley, Carrier

Thomas Seal, Clothier
Moses Slater, Weaver
Edmund Buckley, Clothier
James Buckley, Drysalter
John Oldham, Clothier
James Schofield, [clothier]
Daniel Clayton, [clothier]
John Mallalieu, Clothier
Edward Hardy, Cab[inet]-Maker
Robert Bennett, Baker
James Lees, Inholder

William Bardsley, Weaver
Joshua Lord, Weaver
William Williamson, Weaver
Joshua Warren, Carter

Ralph Hall, Yeoman
John Hall, Yeoman
James Leech, Chapman
John Kenworthy, Clothier
John Line, [clothier]
Samuel Lees, Weaver
John Lees, Carter
William Lees, Butcher
Josiah Taylor, Weaver

Edward Lees, Yeoman
John Mellor, Stoneman
James Ogden, Clothier
James Shaw, Clothier
Matthew Hague, Weaver
Samuel Hague, Weaver

Nathan Buckley, Clothier
George Knight, Clothier

Henry Harrop, Weaver
Ralph Worthington, Clothier
Jonathan Hyde, [clothier]
John Broadbent, [clothier]
Nicholas Higginbottom, [clothier]

Ridgehill & Lanes
Samuel Saxon, Weaver
James Hall, Clothier
James Ousey, Clotheir
Jesse Whitworth, Clothier
Nicholas Lilley, Clothier
William Hampson, Weaver
George Kelsall, Yeoman
Abraham Gartside, Tanner
James Hall, Clothier
Samuel Cook, Swailer
Isaac Miller, Yeoman
Robert Hall, Clothier
John Hall, Clothier
John Rhodes, Weaver
James Stansfield, Clothier
Mr Robert Ellison, [clothier]

Sworn at Ashton Underline[sic] in the said County theThirty-first day of December 1776
by James Stopford Constable there, Before me - George Clarke.
{L.R.O., Q.D.F./2/5. (5).}

Explanation of some of these Old Occupations
    * Mercer - Cloth Seller.
   **Swailer - Miller or Grain Dealer, especially referring to oatmeal.
  ***Cordwainer - Originally meant leather worker using high quality Cordovan leather from
       Spain, but came to be the general term used for shoemaker as opposed to cobbler
       who simply repaired shoes.
 ****Huckster - retailer of small wares, from a shop or booth.
*****Chapman - Market Stall Holder or Pedlar of Goods.

The Term 'Clothier' used here is generally meant to mean cloth maker.

Source: Winefred Bowman's 'England in Ashton-under-Lyne'.

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