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Charles Woolliscroft 1830-1910
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Charles Woolliscroft, J.P. 1830-1910

of Ilkeston, Derbyshire


Charles Woolliscroft 1830-

Charles Woolliscroft 1830-1910

Charles Woolliscroft was born on the 17 October 1830 at Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. The eldest son of Sarah Woolliscroft (nee Wright) and William Charles. According to his obituary he served his apprenticeship under the Marquis of Anglesey at Beaudesart Hall on Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. In 1851 he was lodging at the home of George and Ann Smith in Garden Walk, Walsall, Staffordshire and a carpenter. By 1861 Charles and his brother William Charles Woolliscroft had moved to Ilkeston, Derbyshire and set up a business as Drapers in Bath Street about 1857. 

His brother had served his apprenticeship as a Draper. Both boys had received their inheritance from their father William Charles when the were 21 and this possibly enabled them to start their business. 

Charles was living in Bath Street on the 1861 census and his mother Sarah was living with him and keeping house. On the 8 May 1861 he married Amelia Bamford at Shardlow, Derbyshire. At the time he said he was the son of William Charles Woolliscroft, a farmer.

Woolliscroft Drapers Shop, Bath Street, Ilkeston, c 1896

In 1862 Charles and William's partnership in the business in Bath Street was dissolved by mutual consent. Charles continued to run the business in Ilkeston which was still in existence in 1937 when it was sold. By 1901 the couple were living at Inglewood, Pimlico, Ilkeston, Derbyshire where Charles died on 12 Feb 1910. He had requested that his funeral procession pass his shop in Bath Street. 

Woolliscroft Drapers Shop, Bath Street, Ilkeston, c 1896
Source: Picture the Past, www.picturethepast.org.uk 

He was well respected and the Mayor, Francis Sudbury, followed the procession. Charles was made a magistrate in 1909 but never sat on the bench. He was also the Chairman of the Public Library Committee and a deacon at Wesleyan Methodist church in Ilkeston for over 50 years. Amelia died in 1920.

Charles’ business continued to be run by the family until it’s closure at the end of September 1937. The business was brought by a ‘multiple shop company’ (Derby Daily Telegraph-Friday 06 August 1937).

Charles and Amelia are known to have eight children. Three of their children died young, sons Charles John Woolliscroft (1862-1862), Charles Woolliscroft (1866-1872)) and daughter Susan Wesley Woolliscroft (1875-1876) died whilst young. Their daughter Annie Amelia Woolliscroft worked in her father's shop in the millinery and mantel department. She married Richard Hall in 1894  at the Wesleyan Chapel, Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Her sister Florence Mary Woolliscroft (1870-1943) was living with her widowed mother in 1911. She married Andrew Williams in 1931. 

Woolliscroft Calendar 1903

Calendar dated 1903

Their daughter Gertrude Woolliscroft was born in 1872. In 1902 she married John Angus MacDonald who was an estate agent. John was Lord Mayor of Ilkeston between 1913 and 1916. In 1922 he was involved  in the “Jubilee Cotton Mills” scandal. He appeared at the Old Bailey accused of fraud with five other people including Ernest Terah Hooley known as “The Splendid Bankrupt”. Following the trial John was bound over to keep the peace (Advocate (Burnie, Tas. (1890 - 1954), Sat 3 June 1922,). The trial received world wide coverage at the time. Gertrude died in 1948 and John in 1953. 

Charles & Amelia's son, John Bamford Woolliscroft was born in Ilkeston in 1868. He worked in the drapery business. He was a member of the Wesleyan Methodist church and steward at Market Harborough in the early 1900's.  He married widow Annie Hall in 1894 at Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England. In 1911 the couple were living in Ilkeston with John's mother. John died in 1926 at High Lane, West Hallam, Derbyshire. John and Annie did not have children but Annie did have a son Edward from her first marriage born in 1891 in Russia.

John’s brother George William Woolliscroft was born in  17 January 1865 at Ilkeston,  He married Sarah Ann Wallis in 1898. He was Lord Mayor of Ilkeston, Derbyshire in 1926 and a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. More information

I would like to thank Michael Harmer for sharing his family history research with me. Images on this page are reproduced with Michael’s consent unless otherwise stated.

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