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Sarah Woolliscroft (nee Wright) 1799-1878 of Abbots Bromley
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Sarah Woolliscroft (nee Wright) 1799-1878

of Abbots Bromley


St Mary, Swynnerton, Staffordshire

On the 23 September 1818 Sarah Wright married John Woolliscroft at Swynnerton, Staffordshire. Sarah was from Marchington, Staffordshire. The witnesses at the marriage were George and Rosehannah Mills. In 1827 Sarah’s husband was sentenced to death for Highway Robbery. The sentence was commuted to transportation for life and he was exiled to Tasmania in 1828. 

St Mary, Swynnerton, Staffordshire
©Copyright Andy & Hilary and licensed for
reuse under this
Creative Commons Licence 

The evidence suggests the marriage was not happy and John was living with someone else at the time of his trial in 1827. However, the couple did have a daughter Mary born in 1824 and christened at Checkley, Staffordshire. In 1841 Mary was a servant living in Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire. She had moved to Liverpool, Lancashire by 1851 where she most likely married mariner, William Alexander Mason in 1851.

After John was exiled his wife Sarah went to work as housekeeper for farmer William Charles of Bromley Wood in the parish of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. The couple never married but she bore William three children. When William died in 1836 he made provision for Sarah and their three children in his will. Sarah was left an annuity of £3 a year on condition she did not remarry, cohabit or “otherwise act imprudently”. Sarah also inherited items of household goods in her own right. The will states that “....the remainder of the proceeds of the interest to accumulate to pay and apply the same towards the maintenance education placing out to apprentice and bringing up in the world the three illegitimate children I since have begotten in the body of my housekeeper Sarah Woolliscroft formerly Sarah Wright before named and which are called by the following names (namely) Charles Charles Woolliscroft, Fanny Charles Woolliscroft and William Charles Woolliscroft .......”  On attaining the age of 21 or when they married, whichever was the earliest, they were to receive their inheritance. After Williams death Sarah lived in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire and is listed on both the 1841 and 1851 census returns. By 1861 she had moved to Ilkeston, Derbyshire to live with her son Charles. She died in Ilkeston in 1878.

St Nicholas, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire


Her daughter Fanny Charles Woolliscroft was christened at Abbots Bromley in 1832. In 1854 she married Thomas Lyons at Abbots Bromley. Fanny was a schoolmistress. Sadly, she died two months after her marriage and is buried in the churchyard at Abbots Bromley. 


St Nicholas, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire.
© Geoff Pick and licensed for reuse under this 
Creative Commons Licence 

Fanny's brother Charles Woolliscroft served his apprenticeship as a carpenter with Lord Anglesey according to his obituary. William Charles Woolliscroft served his apprenticeships as a draper. The two brothers set up a business in Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire in the mid 1850’s as drapers, possibly funded by their inheritance from their father. In 1862 their partnership was dissolved and William moved to Dewsbury in Yorkshire. Charles continued to run the business in Ilkeston. Both William and Charles were member of Wesleyan Methodist Church. 

The information on Sarah’s descendant’s is summarised in the family tree chart. The surname was spelt both Woolliscroft and Wooliscroft.

Please follow the links to the left of the page to read more about Sarah’s sons William Charles Woolliscroft and Charles Woolliscroft. Also her husband John Woolliscroft, grandson George William Woolliscroft and granddaughter Gertrude Woolliscroft.

Williscroft * Wool(l)iscroft * Wolliscroft  Worldwide Onename Study

Email: williscroft@one-name.org

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