James Kinder (b 1779)

parents James Kinder and Judith Longsden

born May 1779, Gorton, Lancashire, England
baptised 22 May 1779, St James, Gorton, Lancashire, England[13]
died after 1825, probably Dukinfield, Cheshire, England

 James was the second son of James Kinder and Judith Longsden and was baptised at St James, Gorton, Lancashire on 22 May 1779[13].  

from St James Gorton - transcripts

from St James, Gorton parish register

His father’s occupation is noted as Weaver.  It is likely that James grew up in, or around Gorton. Nothing of his early life is known but it is likely that he started working in cotton mills aged about 12 years as this was the custom at the time.

James' First Marriage
James married Mary Worthington on 3 September 1805 at St John's, Deansgate Chaple in Manchester[1].  James worked as a Warper and lived in Gorton at the time.

from Manchester Cathedral parish register

It is believed that Mary died and was buried on 16 May 1808 in the graveyard at the Unitarian Church in Gorton[12]

from St James, Gorton parish register -  transcript

It is also believed  they had a son, James, born 22 October and baptised on 7 December 1806.  Nothing has been found of this son except the following birth entry in the Gorton records[12].

from St James, Gorton parish register -  transcripts

James' Second Marriage
James then married for a second time and also to another Mary, Mary Rider (born ca 1786) at Manchester Cathedral, St Mary's Chapel on 16 April 1810[1].  In the marriage certificate he was noted as being a Widower.

from Manchester Cathedral parish register

The marriage certificate of James and Mary’s 4th child, James, states his father's occupation as a Warper[8].

A Warper, was a trade employed in the textile mills prominent in north-west England at the time.  A Warper set up the warp threads (ie the threads which run longitudinally in the woven cloth) on the looms.  This involved winding yarn from hundreds of small bobbins (the warp threads) on to the beam which was basically a long cylinder of wood approximately 150 mm in diameter with metal flanges at each end.

The bobbins were put in a rack or creel and the secret was to get exactly the same tension on each of the hundreds of warp threads.  The next step was to combine several of these beams so that several thousand threads were combined together and these were then passed through a sizing machine which combined the threads from the different beams and passed them through a mixture of flour and water and ‘sized’ them to give the threads more elasticity.  The yarn at the end of this sizing machine was wound onto a smaller type of beam fitted at the back of the loom and passed through the healds (or heddles) and the comb before attaching them to the front beam.  The weft (the transverse thread) was housed in a bobbin in the shuttle which flew to and for between the separated warp threads.

James’ later life is also a mystery.  He is around in 1824 when his 6th child, Cyrus is born.  He is mentioned as the Executor of his brother, John's estate in March 1825 and this is the last record of him. 

He does not appear on any of the census data from 1841 onwards.  Pigot’s Directory of 1841 has an entry for Dukinfield for Mary Kinder, Beer Retailer, Wharf Street but James is not mentioned and Mary is recorded as being the Head of the household[6].  In the census of 1851, Mary is still at Wharf Street and is referred to as a Widow.  Again, in Pigot’s of 1857, there is again an entry for Mary Kinder, Beer Retailer, Wharf Street[7].  When Mary died in 1860, she was noted as being a Widow.

James probably died locally sometime between 1826 and 1841.  Amusingly, on the death certificate for Cyrus (Cyrus Kinder b ca1834) who died in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, his father, James is not named but is described as a Musician.  This certificate was probably completed by Cyrus’ son James.  Did he know something yet to be discovered?

Mary Rider’s origins are no more certain
On James and Mary Rider’s marriage certificate, Mary is (appropriately) noted as a Spinster and no father or mother’s names are mentioned.  In the 1841 census Mary stated her age to be 50 years suggesting a birth year of 1791 and in the 1851 census, she stateed her age to be 65 years which suggests a birth year of 1786.  Also on her 1860 death certificate, her grandson, Thomas (Thomas Kinder b1838) stated her age to be 74 years suggesting a birth year of 1786.  It was not unusial for ages to be rounded down in the early censes so perhaps her stated age of 50 was 54 or 55 rounded down to 50?  This would yield a consistent birth year of 1785-1786.

In the Brookfield Unitarian Church records there is a baptism on 23 October 1785 for Mary, daughter of John and Anne Rider.  This Mary was born on 31 August 1785. There are also a number of brothers and sisters for this Mary recorded in subsequent years.  There is no firm evidence that this Mary Rider is the one who married James, however:-

James and Mary Rider's Marriage
At the time of their marriage, both James and Mary stated that they were living in Gorton, Lancashire, now a  suburb of Greater Manchester[2].  James and Mary’s first born children, John and Sarah were twins (b 13 November 1810) and James and Mary were noted as living in Gorton at the time of the twin’s baptism[12].  These twins were born only 7 months after James and Mary are married, so she was already 5 months pregnant at the time of their marriage.  When Joseph was born in 1812, James and Mary stated that were still living in Gorton[12].  However, when James was baptised in 1814 and Ann was baptised in 1817, the family was living in Dukinfield[12].  Their 6th child, Cyrus, was baptised in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1824 – probably at the parish church, St Michaels and All Angels.

Dukinfield street map showing Wharf Street[5]

1841 Census
According to the census of 1841, Mary was living in Wharf Street, Dukinfield and was noted as being the Head of the family[3]. Her occupation was Beer Retailer.  

In 1830 the Beerhouse Act passed to encourage the sale of beer, brought into being beer retailers who kept beer shops or beer houses they could only sell beer and cider (as against public houses which could also sell wine and spirits).  Licence for these could be obtained on demand from the local excise office.  Beer retailers did not have to acquire a licence at the annual Brewster Sessions.  The regulations were amended in 1834 and 1840 by which date a property qualification was required for new beer retailers and parish officers had to provide certificates as to the rateable value of the premises.  These Beerhouse Acts were repealed in 1869 from which date new beer house licences were issued by the justices.  Very few areas have licensing records relating to beer shops before 1872.[2]

Her unmarried son, Joseph, was living with her as were two other children, Ann and Cyrus.  

1841 Census

1851 Census
At the time of the 1851 Census, Mary was still living in Wharf Street and still selling beer!  Her son, Joseph, continued to live with her and remained unmarried[4].  

1851 Census

Cyrus (later to emigrate to Australia) was also still there and was noted as being a Widower.  His wife, Elizabeth Kenyon, had died by now leaving him to take care of his son, James, but he is not noted in the census – see Cyrus Kinder b1824.

Mary’s address was very likely to have been 20 Wharf Street (the house number was not stated in either of the censes of 1841 or 1851 but in the census of 1861, her son, John and his family were living at 20 Wharf Street and he had taken over the beer selling business[9].  His brother, Joseph remained in the house.  Mary had died the year before.

The part of Wharf Street where number 20 would have stood has been redeveloped.  The two-up, two-downs on the north side of the street were replaced some time ago by light industrial factories.  When the author visited in November 2000, this area was in a state of general disrepair.

Wharf Street, Dukinfield Wharf Street, Dukinfield - looking east from Peak Forest Canal

Peak Forest Canal at west end of Wharf Street, Dukinfield.
Disused railway bridge over canal.

Last Will and Testament of Mary Rider
Mary’s death certificate states that she was aged 74 years and she is noted as the Widow of James whose occupation was a Cotton Spinner.  Her cause of Mary's death is stated as heart disease.  Her son, Thomas, was the registrant.

From Mary Rider's death certificate

Mary’s Last Will and Testament was made out on 26th June 1860, just one month before her death.  It is delightfully written and says, in part:–

"… being weak in health but sound of mind, memory and understanding …. First and principally I commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God – my Creator, hoping for a Glorious Resurrection and a remission of all my sins, through the merits and mediation of my Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and my Body I commit to the Earth, to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named."

It goes on to request that all of her goods and "the sum of eighty pounds invested in the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank together with all interest…"  be divided between her sons John and Joseph and two grandchildren, Sarah and Thomas.  John was to receive her bedstead "which I at present occupy together with all bedding, blankets and linen………. and the Smoking Chair that belonged to Father".

 She also bequeathed items which previously belonged to her sons James and Cyrus who emigrated to Australia in 1841 and 1854 respectively – "…one set of Drawers and the four wood chairs that belonged to my Son James…" for John and "… and the Clothes Box that formerly belonged to my Son Cyrus …" for Joseph.

Additionally, Mary made provision for any remaining part of Joseph’s entitlement (in the event of Joseph’s death) to be paid to Cyrus “… if he should come from Australia within the space of twelve months after the death of my Son Joseph …”. She also bequeathed items which previously belonged to her sons James and Cyrus who emigrated to Australia in 1841 and 1854 respectively – "…one set of Drawers and the four wood chairs that belonged to my Son James…" for John and "… and the Clothes Box that formerly belonged to my Son Cyrus …" for Joseph.

Children of James and Mary Rider

John, Sarah (b 1810)
James and Mary Rider's first children were twins, born 13 November 1810 and baptised on 13 January 1811 at the Brookfield Unitarian Church, Gorton[1].

from St James, Gorton parish register -  transcripts

Sarah - There is no mention of Sarah in the 1841 census. Has she died or has she married by now?  No further record of Sarah has been found.

John - John and his family, appear to have remained in Dukinfield.  In 1841, John married Ann and they were living in Wellington Street, Dukinfield with their son, Thomas, aged 2 years[4].  In 1861, John and his family were living at 20 Wharf Street and he had taken over the beer selling business[10].

Joseph (b 1812)
Joseph was born in Gorton on 1 February 1812 and baptised on 8 April 1812 at  the Brookfield Unitarian Church, Gorton.

from St James, Gorton parish register -  transcripts

James (b 1814)
In 1841, James, his wife Mary Ramsbottom and their young son, Cyrus, set off for the Port Philip District - now the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to be amongst the district’s first free settlers[10].

Ann (b 1817)
Ann was baptised on 22 June 1817 at the Brookfiled Unitarian Church, Gorton[1].

Cyrus (b 1824)

Cyrus left Dukinfield in 1854, also bound for the Port Philip District which by this time had grown to become the Colony of Victoria[11].  Cyrus and his son, James, arrived during one of the greatest gold rushes of history which was in full swing in Central Victoria.  Cyrus presumably met up with his older brother as he passed through Melbourne on his way to the Bendigo area to try his luck as a gold miner.

  1. Manchester, St John's Deansgate register
  2. From  "Victualler's Licenses" by Jeremy Gibson & Judith Hunter (Federation of Family History Societies Publications Ltd - ISBN 1 86006 048X)
  3. 1841 UK Census  HO  107 / 109 / 4  page 33
  4. 1851 UK Census  HO  107 / 2237  page 15
  5. Dukinfield street map - from www.mapquest.com
  6. Pigot’s Commercial Directory of Cheshire (Dukinfield) 1841
  7. Pigot’s Commercial Directory of Cheshire (Dukinfield) 1857
  8. James Kinder & Mary Ramsbottom marriage certificate
  9. 1861 UK Census  RG 9 / 2994  page 25
  10. Manifest of the ship Wallace, arrived Port Phillip District, 26 November 1841
  11. Argus Passenger Index 1852-55, steamship Golden Age, arrived Colony of Victoria, 14 February 1854
  12. Unitarian Church, Gorton parish register
  13. St James, Gorton parish register
  14. Family Search (https://familysearch.org)