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William Charles Woolliscroft 1835-1932
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William Charles Woolliscroft 1835-1932

of Dewsbury, Yorkshire


Woolliscroft advert 1857

Advertisement of the new shop in Ilkeston dated 1857

William Charles Woolliscroft was the youngest child of William Charles and Sarah Woolliscroft born in 1835 at Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. He was baptised at Abbots Bromley on 31 May 1835. In 1841 he was living with his mother and sister in the High Street, Abbots Bromley. Soon afterwards William was apprenticed to draper Edward Fenton of Croft Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire. On completion of his apprenticeship William and his brother Charles moved to Ilkeston, Derbyshire where they set up a Drapery business in Bath Street about 1857. They placed an advertisement in the local paper reproduced here.

On the 15 August 1860 William married Sarah Stanesby at Duffield in Derbyshire. In 1861 the couple were living in New Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire. The following year on the 29 April Williams partnership with his brother Charles was dissolved. 

Woolliscroft 1862

Transcript of the entry in the London Gazette: 29 April 1862. 

William and Sarah moved to Uttoxeter, Staffordshire and then to Dewsbury, Yorkshire about 1866. Charles continued to run the business in Ilkeston and William set up a new business as a Draper in Westgate, Dewsbury 

Sarah died on the 13 January 1869 in child bed. Her obituary appeared in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine. The couple are known to have had four children Sarah, William Charles, Fanny and Arthur. In 1871 William was living in Westgate, Dewsbury with his children William, Fanny and Arthur. His daughter Sarah was at boarding school in Methley, Yorkshire. His sister in law Rose Stanesby was living with the family and keeping house. In December that year William married for a second time to Jane Bowes at Heanor, Derbyshire. 

Woolliscroft 1892

William had retired by the 1891 census and was living in Bolton Bridge Road, Ilkley, Yorkshire with Jane. William retained an interest in his business in Dewsbury following his retirement. He had gone into partnership with Robert Armstrong. The business was known as “Woolliscroft & Armstrong”. The partnership was dissolved in 1892. 

Transcript of the entry in the London Gazette:
11 March 1892 

William and Jane had moved to Wetherby, Yorkshire by 1901 and were living at Gordon House. Jane died in 1903. William married for a third time in 1905 to Martha Bassett Wright. William died in 1932 aged 97. He was buried with other members of his family at St James on the Corner, Wetherby, Yorkshire.  Martha Bassett died in Leeds, Yorkshire, on 16 Nov 1938; she was 87. 

Centenary Chapel, Daisy Hill, Dewsbury 2006

As stated above William and his first wife Sarah Stanesby are known to have four children, Their daughter Sarah Woolliscroft born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire in 1861. She married Thomas Henry Kirkness, a Wesleyan minister , at the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel, Dewsbury, Yorkshire. Thomas died in 1930 whilst living in Pontefract Yorkshire. Sarah died in Scarborough, Yorkshire, in 1954; she was 92. 



Centenary Chapel, Daisy Hill, Dewsbury 2006
© Copyright Humphrey Bolton and licensed 
for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Sarah's sister Fanny Woolliscroft was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire in 1865 married William Heath at the Centenary Wesleyan Chapel, Dewsbury, Yorkshire in 1884. Her husband was a draper from Nottingham. Fanny died in 1892 soon after the birth of her youngest daughter Dorothy. The girls eldest brother William Charles Woolliscroft was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire in 1864. In the summer of 1888 William visited New York arriving aboard the ‘Alaska’ on the 25 June. He married Emily Copestake at Ripley, Derbyshire in 1891. William was a draper and clothier in Wetherby, Yorkshire. He died in 1926 and Emily passed away in 1944. 

William and Sarah's youngest child Arthur Woolliscroft was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire in 1867. He was ordained a Wesleyan Methodist minister in August 1897 at Leeds, Yorkshire.  The following month he married Adelaine Waddy the daughter of Rev. Samuel Dousland Waddy, at Calne in Wiltshire.  By the time of the 1901 census they were living at Stanhope in Durham. By 1911 they had moved to  Croston, Lancashire. Following Arthurs retirement the couple lived in Ashover, Derbyshire where Adeline died in 1930 aged 87.  In 1939 Arthur married for a second time his housekeeper Laura Jenkins aged 37. Arthur died in 1948 aged 82. Laura died in 1977.

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