Les rêveries du retraité solitaire

Les rêveries du retraité solitaire

Mill Family Reminiscences

Mill Family Reminiscences by Jessie Mill


The following Mill Family Reminiscences were written in Liverpool, at the end of the last century by our great-aunt Jessie Mill, unmarried sister of our ancestor James Mill, who came in Canada and established himself in Maria, Bonaventure County (Province of Quebec) 




Jessie Mill


A man's heredity is not too overpowering in any case as that it amounts to a fixed compelling force'. How should it be so... God is omnipotent...  


The idea has often crossed my mind that you my dear nephews and niece, in years to come will feel interested to know any facts, few or meager though they be, about your forbears which I have heard recounted by various members of the family. 


In these days when so much stress is laid on hereditary tendencies to account for the various mental and physical characteristics in persons a little family record ought to have a double interest. 


On both sides of the house your English grandparents come of decent parentage, not too great to be envied, not too base to be despised. James Mill, the son of a sailor and merchant and Ellen Green, the daughter of a gentleman farmer "of the good old stock of the Greens" 


"The Saxons of old, out of all those trades of life which be conversant in gain, admit to the state of gentry such only as increased of honest husbandry or plentiful merchandise by navigation", men, in fact, who could manage a horse or guide a ship. Your Great grandfather Captain John Mill " so thrived that he passed over the wide sea thrice of his own craft and was thenceforth the thyne right worthy", and your other great Grandfather, George Green, was a notable lover and rider of horses and was skilled in husbandry. To legendary remote ancestors may be traced a few family tendencies. The love of roaming and impatience of control to a Scotch Gypsy great grandmother on the Mill side of the house-Mill of old Montrose-and to a merry man of Robin Hood's", John-a-Green, on the Green side. 


Both your English grandparents were members of large families, eight brothers and sisters on the Mill side and eleven on the Green side. They knew one another from early childhood because of a friendly intercourse between your two great grandmothers, Elizabeth Green, née Atherton and Frances Mill née Jebb. Frances Jebb was the daughter of Frank Jebb- a yeoman farmer who somehow or other managed his farm at Shottle-in-Derbyshire badly and gave it up to his son. Frances, after various turns of fortune married your great grandfather, John Mill in 1802 at Nottingham. She liked to tell her children how proud she was to be driven as a bride from St-Nicolas church in a carriage and pair. She was his second wife and much younger than he, a very amiable women, to whom her sons were greatly attached. Her husband was a confirmed invalid for many years before his death in 1819,(error, he died in 1821 C.M. ) so crippled with gout that he moved himself about in a Merlin chair. His life was one of varied experiences, for when quite a boy, only four teen years old, I think, he quarreled with his stepmother and ran off to sea. He was intelligent as well as independent and rose to be a captain and owner of ships, then a merchant in the African trade and prospered enough to leave a sufficiency for his wife to educate and bring up her children in comfort. 


Your other great grandmother Elizabeth Atherton was the daughter of a yeoman at Maghull and his wife Elizabeth née Stopforth. Elizabeth Atherton's mother was an heiress in her day, a catholic in religion, and the only daughter of Colonel Stopforth who fought by Lord Derby's side in Wigan Lane (Battle of Wigan Lane on the 25 august 1651).Her daughter Elizabeth was a very handsome girl with whom my grandfather George Green fell in love one day when, in riding past her father's home he saw her busy in some out of door work that fell to the lot of a farmer's womankind in 17--. 


Gentleman Green, as I have heard my grandfather called by old country people who remembered him, was the elder son of Samuel Green and Dorothy Green née Langhton. Samuel Green had one brother George.The two brothers came from Leeds to Liverpool and entered into business as merchants.George succeeded in life, flourished and married Suzan Oakes, a banker's daughter in Suffolk (Oakes of Rowton Court, Bury Street, Edmunds) Samuel did not prosper. Possibly the spirit that took him to Oxford and yet impelled him to refuse to sign the Articles greatly disappointed his people, indeed it seemed to be the beginning of a gradual deterioration in status which eventually extended to his children. He married Dorothy Langton, but her little property dwindled away through careless management and there was only slender provision for the bringing up of their two sons, George and James, and three daughters Hannah, Dorothy and Nancy. 


The elder son George my grandfather, entered business in Liverpool but not being successful he took a farm near Ormskirk, Walsh Hall. He was interested in country pursuits; he was the first to cultivate mangold wurzel in South Lancashire, to introduce merino sheep and to build an iron oven in the district. He had all the Yorkshireman's love of horses and was a great rider. Money never stayed long with him and after his marriage in middle life to his younger wife, a large family added yearly to embarrass him, and one long, wet summer ruined him. 


The marriage took place in 17--. at St-Nicolas' church, Liverpool, without his father's knowledge and was a great blow to his parents. His father did not long survive. Samuel Green's half-sister Abigail Scholey had married in 1743 Robert Hibbert of Stockleid Hall and as Samuel Green was executor or trustee for some of the Hibberts, there was frequent communications between their families and a long lasting intimate friendship formed between my grand-father George and his so-called cousin William Hibbert. Of William's marriage a romantic story is told. He fell in love with a Miss Elizabeth Greenhalg of Horwich and his father strongly disapproved of the attachment. In order to prevent William's engagement his father sends him to Antigua to look after property there. Before William sailed he bought a lottery ticket, a fashion of those days. The voyage to the west Indies was then very long and before William reached Antigua another ship from England overtook and spoke William's vessel, and brought him news that his lottery ticket had turned out a prize of £20,000..No sooner did he arrived at the west Indies than he took passage back to England and on the strength of his £20,000 married his love. Curiously enough his brother fell in love with Elizabeth's (sister?) and married her, so their poor father had two daughters-in-law thrust into the family that he would have preferred not to have. 


Both brothers prospered and William ever continued a steady friend(ship) to my grandfather, and my mother, uncles and aunts have pleasant remembrances of the delightful children's books he used to send them, such as Evenings at Home a source of endless amusement in their country home at Walsh Hall. 


In that remote farmhouse my grandfather's large family was born and reared; with its old world moat and its tall irises; the nut hedge near where grew hosts of daffodils the large meadow called the Fold, that came up to the house without any intervening path, peacefully gay with the white lambs in early spring and often cheerfully gay on soft winter mornings with men in pink and their hunters. Only one great sorrow was there, the illness of their eldest brother Samuel; in consequence of an injury to his spine, caused by jumping over a five barred gate, he was an invalid for many years. 


This delightful home, alas, had to be quitted when my mother was ten years old, and for long years subsequently she spent much time with her grandmother Mrs. Atherton and her aunt Mrs. Kershaw. The latter, née Elinor Atherton, had married Mr. Thomas Kershaw who was the son of a yeoman and was very fond of literature; quite a self-educated man he became a schoolmaster and for many years carried on a successful large school in Burscough Street, Ormskirk, now let to the Preston Bank. 


My great uncle and aunt Kershaw were exceedingly kind to my mother. They had two sons, no daughter, so the niece was appreciated and in many ways treated as a daughter; indeed, from their house my mother was married in the parish church of Ormskirk, 26 of April, 1838. She went to school kept by the Miss Kirkpatrickes two very superior women in their day. The elder sister had been for many years in Archbishop's Magee's family. My mother always had great respect, and impressed the same wholesome feeling on her children, for any schoolmistress or master by whom either she or her children had been taught and I remember her going frequently to call on the surviving Miss Kirkpatrick and taking us , your aunt Emily and me also. She was in very strained circumstances in her old age, added to her means by selling tea and having a small circulating library in Southport. I remember little about the old lady save that she took snuff and spoke with becoming pride of being a direct descendant of the Kirkpatrick who made "richer" the death of the Red Comyn.  


My mother was very fond of botany and poetry and had other pleasant tastes in common with two of her lifelong friends, Ellen Corlett (Mrs. Ashton, wife of Dr. Ashton of Ormskirk) and Ann Copeland (Mrs Dawes ) who were ever most kind and hospitable to us children for our mother's sake. Truly her relations and friends living near and in Ormskirk gave us many pleasures. New Year’s days spent with our great aunt Kershaw, many a week in summer time spent with our aunt Mrs. Welsby our mother's only married sister, (married into a yeoman's family where the five sons were each wealthy enough in land to have licence to shoot game) and frequent visits to our aunts Hannah and Dora Green, the most indulgent of maiden aunts and very racy women. Mrs. Dawes and her husband we always called uncle and Aunt Dawes. Mr. Dawes was a non-conformist minister, the son of a naval captain who commanded the ship that first transported criminals to Botany Bay. Uncle Dawes was at school with Doctor Scott. 


After Dr. Scott's death his widow was in strained circumstances and Mr. Dawes, in enthusiastic gratitude to his old master married Mrs. Scott, a woman very much older than himself. After her death he married my mother's dearest friend, a young widow, Ann Welsby, née Copeland. Uncle Dawes was a cleaver astronomer, especially clever in knowledge of the fixed stars, and a great friend of Sir John Herschell when Uncle Dawes lived at Cranbrook in Kent. Aunt Dawes was a most lovable woman. She was your father's godmother and left him a timely legacy. She died at Haddenham near Thames in 188- where Mr. Dawes subsequently died. 



Saturday night. 1st October 1893  


My mother suddenly declared that she wished to drive around by Wavertree Hall and Green Hill, places she had known when a girl and then she and my father began to speak about the people of that time. 


Dr. Allenson lived at Wavertree, and his son Frank was a friend of my mother's eldest brother Sam and stayed with him occasionally at Walsk Hall. My mother always speaks with great affection and respect and averts that had he lived the family would not have deteriorated as it did, for he had a kind heart, a fair education and good sense. Also, I once heard Cousin Elizabeth Green, who was his contemporary and very fond of her cousin, say that his death was a great loss to all his people. 


My mother spoke of happy days at Allerton when she went to chapel at Gateacre with her father, and of the pleasant talks she heard between him and his faithful friend and kind landlord, Joseph Clegg, who lived at Green Hill with his two maiden sisters. Mr. Clegg let to my grandfather a very small farm in Allerton when he was obliged to leave Walsh Hall. After that breakup nothing seemed to prosper, but times of greater anxiety and trouble came which were not lightened by wisdom or unselfishness on the part of the two elder sons of the family. One of the younger sons Atherton struggled and carried on the farm at Allerton, married Miss Elizabeth Rye, a neighbouring farmer's daughter. They had two children who died in infancy and then my aunt died and my uncle cared afterwards for little but his farm. Eventually, after years of calm, frugal life, he died and left quite a large fortune. His youngest brother Thomas had a very struggling life, at first on a farm in Ireland and then he went to the United States where he died to my mother's great distress. She was very fond of him, the youngest of the family; but was utterly unable to help him save in sympathy and she was always very faithful in writing to him. Her shock and sorrow was great indeed when she received her letter returned simply endorsed "dead" the kind-hearted lovable man. 


My maternal grandfather George Green went to school kept by Mr. Booth at Woolton Hall to which most of the elite sent their sons. He was much attached to his pupil, George Green, and when he gave up the school and went to America he had a picture of my grandfather painted to take with him. Miss Kirkpatrick averted always that George Green went to her father's school at Aighburth, probably he was at both... Mr. Kirkpatrick built Eaton and thereby ruined himself. Two of the Peals were at school with my grandfather. He died the 24th of December 1838 and was interred at St-George's Church, Liverpool, in a vault belonging to his relation Mrs. Needham. 


8th April 1894  


Father and mother were talking this evening of a visit they paid in the early days of their marriage to an uncle of my father, John Jebb, a farmer at Shottle in Derbyshire. He was a good man and an original character, much loved by his sister, my maternal grandmother Mrs. Mill (Frances Jebb) She took great interest in the children, her many nieces Hester, Hannah, Frances, Pyarea and Caroline and three nephews, John, James and George. When a little boy my father had been sent to Shottle recruit after some childish illness and he always kept in lively remembrance the delights of farm life, the raciness of Derbyshire peasantry, and the deliciousness of cherry pies.. He took pleasure in introducing his wife to the scenes of unforgotten boyish delights. 


They travelled to Wirksworth and there uncle Jebb met them with a wagon in which they journeyed to Shottle across the River Ecclesburn. He treated them most hospitably and my mother was greatly pleased with the daughters, especially Hannah who looked so nice, whip in hand, mounting her poney and setting off to market. The farm belonged to the Duke of Devonshire, who though a spendthrift and careless about repairing farmhouse and buildings, did not change tenants; a traditional management of the estates which almost created the farm into a Freehold as it descended from father to son. 


Old friends of my grandmother (Frances Jebb) lived at Duffield, the clergyman Mr Ward and his two sisters; and cousins of my grandmother, the Milnes, lived at Turndich, her father and G, Milne having married sister’s two misses Harrisons. Parson Ward and his two sisters once came to pay a visit to my grandmother in Liverpool; It was the first time they had travelled so far or had seen a large town near the sea. My grandmother gave her children an amusing account of the Misses Ward's anxiety for their brother when he went to look at the shipping; they begged him most earnestly not to approach nearer the river than the old Church- yard; My mother had told me a story confirmatory of my father's natural kindness of heart and manners. My grandmother (Jebb) in her endeavours to help her brother's children persuaded him to send his second son James to Liverpool to be trained in my uncle Frank's and my father's office for a merchant business. After staying a short time the boy suddenly disappeared and was not seen or heard of for many days; then word came from Shottle that he had walked the whole way back to his home; and when his people upbraided him for thus returning, he merely remarked , "I should never have left if cousin James had been there. But he is in America... "My father had gone to Charleston, there looking after business; seeing life in the States, enjoying Christmas hospitality shown by the consul, Mr. Clough, to stray young Englishmen. Walking behind Niagara Falls; having his shaving water split over his handsomely bound red Moroccan Bible, much to the boy's fright. The water marks I remember, we always loved to look at when we were children, because then my father would tell us the delightful and true story of that black boy and another entrancing story of a rattle snake that he killed just in father's path; the skin of that very rattle snake being in the drawing room cabinet for us to see and handle. 


I am no herald to enquirer into men's pedigrees It sufficed me if I know their virtues. (Sir Philip Sidney)  


My father was born at the house No… Islington Flags, on the 21st June, 1810, the second son of John Mill and Frances his wife née Jebb. His father John Mill was a captain and merchant in the African trade, at the time when the public conscience was at last fully roused to the iniquity of the slave trade in which Liverpool for more than fifty years had been gaining greater wealth than the other seaports of London and Bristol whence the trade had declined. 


Privateering and slave trading employed the energy and enterprise of very many who in all other relations of life were patriotic and good hearted men; and from anything I have heard of my grandfather, John Mill, he was such a man; loved in his own family; very sociable and cheerful during a long illness, gout having crippled him early in life. My father was only ten years old when his father died and remembered him as always an invalid in a Merlin Chair. 


When very young, my father went to school at Ormskirk kept by Mr. Kershaw; There he was well taught the elements of writing, arithmetic, etc., loving the holiday walks in the country, watching the blue jays in the Fir wood, going to the little " publics " on Shrove Tuesday to toss and eat pancakes,-a privilege granted to the school boys. Bun loaf and bacon...was a favorite breakfast treat...Subsequently he went to Mr. Prince's school which ranked as the second best school in Liverpool, the Royal Institution ranking first. Here my father was fellow student with Edward Cardwell and fell under the influence, for a short time, of young Charles Page Eden, Mr. Prince's cousin.(twelve good men ) C.P.E. 


Being intended for a merchant my father was early placed in an office to be trained to business, then a hard life for a young beginner his elder brother being trained in a cotton broker's office that of George Holt. 


My father's life was uneventful as that of most of the average young business men's life’s; but he had the advantage of a home with a well-loved mother. He very soon took great interest in the public questions of the day; early became a reader of Cobbett's literature, a staunch believer in the Reform movement, in fact he was a radical of the days between 1825 and 1835. Study of Spanish was one of his useful recreations and necessary in his career as merchant. Other recreations were long and pleasant holidays on foot or in coach "those days of long leisurely travel" when his first journey to London took thirty hours to accomplish in the coach "Peveril of the Peak". Frequently have I heard him and my dear mother speak of the drive to Cheltenham in "the "Hirondelle", of the speed at which the horses were driven, the rapidity at which they were changed at various stages. One special journey he delighted to recall was to the "North Country" with his friend Will Remington; the drive in a snow storm over Shap Fell, the refreshment of Morocco at Levans Hall. 


But the merchants business had soon to be given up and he ultimately joined his brother Frank in the business of Stock and Share broker. In that difficult business the brothers always maintained an honorable character for straight forward dealing. For some years my father was Chairman, and for very many Vice-Chairman of the Liverpool Stock Exchange. 


When older, dear father most enjoyed several holidays he took in Ireland with his Irish friend, Mr Johnson of Ashfield Spital (also one to France and Switzerland with his brother- in- law Charles Frodsham and another friend). 


And now my dear nephews, what can I tell you of your grandparents characters as shown to us in their "daily stage of duty". They were magnanimous, constant, hopeful and generous in the midst of many disappointments and aggravations of life. They had delight in the simple pleasures; they never let the sun go down upon their wrath. Both were tender hearted in a remarkable degree, though your grandmother was impulsive and quick tempered, nay, passionate in her detestation of cruelty and wrong. Both loved poetry, father caring especially for Wordsworth or Byron, also for reading Carey's translation of Dante. Mother always took up Scott and Burns. In the long winter evenings, during their later years of life, it was beautiful to see their mutual happiness in life together. How your grandfather would read aloud at night some new or old favorite book while your grandmother knitted, while they would vary amusement with a game of Diquet. 


Again in the pleasant summer days, either at home or at "Kent's Bank", they would sit chatting in the garden, feeding the birds, and even an anon, your grandfather would do a little gardening craft, tie up his carnations, transplant the asters, etc. They both had a deal of quiet humor and often a merry glance or deprecating gesture might be seen when they ran counter to their children's or the younger generations, modern idiosyncrasies and vehement opinions; However, the forcible words were never the outcome of petty natures, rather unhesitating warm expressions, which might momentarily hurt or startle ones " amour-propre " but good sense and right judgment were always the basis of their opinions. In home life they had beautiful traits of manner; I may say they were always courteous, unselfish and sympathetic. 


And how pleased and proud they were to welcome you three dear grandsons John, James and Francis when with your father's and mother's permission your dear Aunt Emily brought you on her return from Canada in 18.. So glad were they to help you in being educated suitably, so that you, John, could do well in the Agricultural College at Guelph, James take his degree at University College Oxford, and Francis study engineering with distinction. They were ambitious for you in the best sense of the word, they prayed not for the great material things of the world but for the noble things that make for righteousness. 


"To the future not the past looks true nobility and seeks its blazon in Posterity" (Lytton)


 March 1896 

This little family record was laid aside and forgotten when my beloved father died just a year ago. How vividly my mind recalls the sorrow and anxiety of that time when my three dear ones, Father, Mother and Emily were all so ill at the same time, and then the irremediable loss my Father's life caused in our life. That Sunday morning Dr. Campbell had said my father was distinctly better and the whole household became hopeful. In the afternoon he was full of tender solicitude for us all; and said if God restored him to health he hoped Francis would come over from Canada. Then he expressed wishes concerning his own interment should he not recover. He spoke of our dear John's loss at sea, then of dear James wandering life, and finally repeated with great fervour the hymn " Sun of my Soul " Late in the day a sudden change came on, failure of the heart, and he passed away just when the doctor came to pay his evening visit. "a good man and a loving soul had gone to his rest".


"You are dependant not only on every act of people you never heard of who are living around you, but on every past act of what has been dust for a thousand years. So also does the course of a thousand years to come depend upon the little perishing strength that is in you ."  (Fors Clavigera)


23rd October 1899 




Priory en Angleterre


Emily and I have come to Priory, Kent's Bank to look after the garden which we love, especially because the planting of it and the building of the stable are all inseparably connected with the loving interest our dear Father and Mother took in all. 


We have been going over in memory their keen interest fourty years ago in the planting of their own little garden in Princes Park where they planted and built together the modest substantial house in Croxteth Road. 


In those days Princes Park was quite in the country, no house nearer than Parlement street on the north and Parkfield and Aigburth Road on the south side. Princes road was laid out in the midst of fields and at the end where now the Greek Church stands we children were shown marks on the old red sandstone.


The garden at Croxteth Road was a very small, just a pleasance, but ever a source of pleasure and healthful recreation in leisure moments to our dear Father who spent many an hour in it. He used to say nothing soothed more his mind when worried or anxious than work in the garden. Our mother was always one for planting trees useful rather than ornamental pear trees, apple trees, still thrive and bear fruit in that garden, town garden though it has become, and their beautiful blossom cheer the heart and sight every spring. 


Plants too of perennial rather than annual beauty, and in those earlier days roses and mezerem, gum cistus and Jessamine, Madonna lilies, the gift of the kind neighbours the Misses Fletchers in Green Hayes Road; a vine , the offering of dear aunt Dawes, and a clump of Japanese lilies a present from Mother's laundress, all flourished and many are still a glory of the garden; a fine bed of lilies of the valley, Solomon's Seal, London Pride, orange lilies and pot herbs of various and useful kinds.


Our brothers, James and John built each a shed of bricks for poultry. James was very fond of dogs as was also Emily; they loved animals and James had a pony (VanTromp by name) that Father brought from Towrey near Hawkeshead and it was kept at a livery stable. Then Emily took great care of a monkey "Jenny" of which she can tell many amusing anecdotes. Before going to Croxteth Road, my Father and Mother lived in various Liverpool houses. As a bachelor my Father lived in Hope Place with his youngest sister Pyarea. There he brought up his wife and his four children were born there in that roomy old- fashioned house belonging to the ... 


There were only three houses and all around was free open space. Then the family moved to 10 Huskisson Street whence they were finally driven by the plague of tiny white ants that began to infect the whole block of houses. It was close to St-James Mount, an eminence that had been made to employ labour in some year of great distress; and on the Mount your great-grandfather John Mill built a house and lived many years. Now on that same site the new Anglican Cathedral is being built. Great are the changes in Liverpool since those days. The house on Islington Flags where my Father was born is the site of a great public building close to the Free Library and Brown's Museum, and close behind in Hunter Street is Christchurch where members of the family are buried. 


After leaving Huskisson Street we lived five years at no 44 Bedford Street South and thence migrated to the dear home in Princes Park. We children were early sent to day school, Emily and I went when we were four years old to a school kept by two kind clever women, Bell and Hannah Fletcher. They belonged to a well-known non-conformist family much in touch with William Roscoe and his family. Two other branches of the Fletcher family we knew intimately, one our friends in Green Hayes Road and the other the ladies who were the co-heiresses of Andrews of Rivington.  One only of the ladies eventually succeeded to the estate. One only of the ladies married, Lucy, and her eldest son John Crompton eventually succeeded to the estate. New Rivington, where Emily and I spent many a happy visits; has passed from the family, having been bought by a successful soap boiler, Sir S. Liver. Our brothers went at first to a class for little boys held by Mrs. Crompton then a young widow with one daughter and four sons; then to Miss Scout's day school for boys, and afterwards to various other school finishing up at the Liverpool Royal Institution school, under the head master ship of Dr. D. Turner, a very clever eccentric man. 


Of your Father, James Mill, you dear boys will know more than I can tell you; and your uncle John Samuel was lost in the "Anglo- Saxon" off Cape Race. He was going to Canada to see some things of the world after a few years training in Brown, Shipley's Merchant office. His loss was a most terrible blow to his parents specially. It was John's sad death in voyage to Canada that determined your father to go to Canada, after his life of many wanderings. He had been articled to a very good Attorney, Lowndes and Bateson, then he went on a voyage to Australia; afterwards learned farming at Dulbeath, Scotland, then began farming himself at Bryn Polyb, near Mold, North Wales, but this he gave up in favor of living at the Channel Islands. Finally he went to Canada and there married your admirable mother Elizabeth Gauvreau. 


Whitsuntide in all its glory-in its own in effacing season... And I alone at home in holiday mood with many sweet memories, Opened a packet of letters Mother had told me one day to take and do what I liked with them. In her last long illness she asked me to look over and sort with her an accumulation of letters and papers. This particular bundle was wrapped in paper sealed and endorsed " My love Letters " The letters were seventeen in number and written by my father during his engagement. The first written the 1st of January 1838 telling Ellen Green of his love for her and the latest written on the 21st of April a few days before their marriage, 26th of April. One letter only in the packet is from my Mother to my Father, evidently the one she wrote after receiving his offer in which she begs him to call and see her. All the letters are touchingly simple and straight foward. My Father had been in the United-States for some time and he mentions in one letter that Ellen Green had been the last friend outside his own family to wish him farewell and then on his return to welcome him home. Soon afterwards his Mother died and alas...he had reasons to believe that Ellen Green was engaged to someone else, but when his sister Pyarea, who lived with him in Hope Place, assured him that such was not the case, he straightway wrote his offer on the first of January. Ellen was living at that time with her Uncle and aunt Kershaw in Ormskirk so my father had frequent journeys there while wooing my mother. He went by the Mail Coach and in the country town his many visits kept upon exiting curiosity among their friends and neighbours during these four winter months. 


That country town was by no means a poor place as regarded the education of the inhabitants. There were no rich folks but there were interesting men and women. Among them was a young Italian patriot, a Venetian by birth. He had been in the army and had fought against Austrian rule. He was a handsome and agreeable man, Signor Ippolite, by name. How he had drifted to such an out of the way place as Ormskirk my Mother did not know. He lived two years there and then died of consumption, to the regret of all that knew him. Mr Talbot the priest was another admirable personality. Highly educated, well bred, courtous to all. He was naturally friendly towards the young Venetian being of the same faith. Ippolite had an allowance from his father whom he often spoke with affectionate respect. 


Then the Brandreth family was one highly respected. Old Dr. Brandreth who married Miss Pilkington, and Mr William Brandreth whose widow and her two children each occupied separate houses in Ormskirk as they did not get on happily together in one house. Spirited enough to shock conventional society were Eleanor and Alice Brandreth and their mother equally so. 


Alice we knew fairly well, though she was younger than my mother. She married, eventually, her cousin Canon Brandreth, Rector of Standish. Miss Mawdesley was another attractive maiden lady, proud was she or her talented brother Dr John Mawdesley, a clever surgeon settled in London. 

The Berry family was one connected with the district. One member built the cottage where lived with her aunt Miss Blundell, Mary Culshaw whom my mother's cousin Rev. John Atherton Kershaw married. Their children are some of our most valued cousins. To return to the Berry family, Sam and Henry Berry were well known in Liverpool where Berry Street recalls their name. They became poor whilst their Yeoman relatives at Burscough waxed rich and gave the name to Thomas Berry Horsfall the forbear of the Liverpool Church building family, Father and Grandfather of the men who built St-Agnes, St-Margarets and Christchurch. 


At Town End House lived Miss Ford the daughter of the Rector of St- North Moots, she married Major Hilton. These were the richer members of the community. The society though not rich was cultivated. Miss Burrows and Mrs. Weip both agreeable Scotch women; the latter was sister of the post Campbell's wife. 


One of my Mother's reminiscences was of Baron Parke whose family had shown kindness to her grandmother Mrs. S. Green (née Langton) Baron Parke was the youngest of thirteen children and his father once a successful merchant had fallen into difficulties. Family circumstances indeed were not prosperous but Baron Parke had an Uncle possessed of considerable wealth. This uncle probably because he discovered James was the "flower of the flock" left everything to him. However James saved from actual want by his Trinity Fellowship and feeling strong enough to stand on his feet had no idea of becoming rich at the expense of his nearest and dearest. Accordingly he divided this inheritance into thirteen shares and distributed them one by one amongst his brothers and sisters reserving only the last for him. 


Mother also spoke of her father's kind and faithful friend Joseph Clegg who lived with his two maiden sisters at Green Hill,-a very delightful place in my eyes when Mother took me to call on the old ladies, and they would send us home in the Irish Car. I have loved a Jaunting Car ever since. Mr. Clegg had been engaged to marry a young lady afterwards married to a Mr. Gibbon. Her father broke off the engagement to Mr. Clegg saying Mr. Clegg was a foolish man for having lent a sum of money without obtaining security and that it would be madness for a woman to marry such an imprudent thoughtless man. 





 La maison de John Mill à 12, Croxteh Rd. à Liverpool



Printed in Quebec January 1964 at the request of Mrs. Henri A. Leblanc (Florence Mill)



Rewritten by Charles Mill with MS Word in May 1999.


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