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Dear Reader #113

Dear Reader,

We are making great progress in translating all my books into Portuguese. Here is the latest addition, Stormy Weather, Sam Smith Mystery Series book eighteen. The theme of this story is the climate crisis.

I’m researching my 4 x great grandparents, John Glissan and Sarah Foreman. John was a surgeon/dentist/chemist while Sarah was a nurse/dentist/chemist. In the 1830s they were living on Blackfriars Road, a prosperous street according to Charles Booth’s Victorian maps. Incidentally, my youngest son is thinking of becoming a dentist 🦷 

Just discovered that in the third quarter of the eighteenth century my ancestor Thomas Glissan subscribed to ‘Essays and Poems, Satirical, Moral, Political, and Entertaining’, by J.S. Dodd, which is still available.

In this month’s issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine…

Bushcraft and Survival Skills

The Olympics

Side Benefits of Writing

World Honey Bee Day

Plus photography, puzzles, poems, recipes, short stories and so much more!

My 11 x great grandfather William Dent was born into a life of privilege in 1627 in Ormesby, Yorkshire. He married Elizabeth Jarrett on 16 July 1650 and the couple produced four sons: Robert, John (my direct ancestor), Charles and Edward, who sadly died in infancy. Robert entered Jesus College, Oxford on 28 May 1672 as ‘Robert Dent, son and heir of William Dent of Guisborough, gent.’ In July 1674, after college, Robert was admitted to the Middle Temple. 

In 1673 the Hearth Tax returns for Guisborough listed 214 households of which only twenty-one were taxed for possessing four or more hearths. William Dent’s property had nine hearths, which offers an insight into its grandeur. In later life William moved to Sunderland where he died in 1698.

The Dent branch of my family continued with John, son of William, William, John, George, William and Thomas Thompson Dent (11 February 1781 – 10 November 1854). By the eighteenth century the Dent family owned a number of properties throughout the North East of England. They farmed these properties as yeomen. 

John Dent, father of George, was born on 16 June 1700 in Romaldkirk, Yorkshire, the family’s main residence. Romaldkirk is a village in Teeside. It’s thought that its unusual name derives from St Rumwold, an obscure Saxon saint.

On 7 September 1715 John Dent became an apprentice merchant tailor to Peter King of York. Trade directories reveal that the Dents did branch out into the clothing trade with stores in Leeds. They also held on to their lands in Yorkshire.

John Dent’s Apprentice Indenture and signature

Thomas Thompson Dent married Betty Brown on 12 April 1806 in Bowes, Yorkshire. The couple produced six sons: Thomas Thompson Dent (my direct ancestor), John, William, George, Henry and Richard. 

In September 1842 Isabella Hutchinson was brought before the court and charged with stealing oats from one of Thomas Thompson Dent’s fields. Isabella cut off the ears of corn as they were growing. The case was proved and she was sentenced to one month’s hard labour in Northallerton gaol.

A contemporary newspaper report

In 1851 Thomas was seventy years old and a widower farming 200 acres in Lartington near Romaldkirk. His sons John, George and Richard, 42, 38 and 32 respectively, lived with him. All three were unmarried. A fourth son, Henry, had moved away from the family home. Three servants also lived on the farm: Mary Brunskill, 32, Sarah Langstaff, 25, and Joseph Minto, 22. Between master and servant events now took a romantic turn.

In 1840 the trade directories listed Richard Dent as a flour dealer no doubt trading in the crops grown at his father’s farm. Meanwhile, Sarah worked as a servant on the farm. The couple fell in love and married on 14 March 1857 in Romaldkirk. This was unusual for the Victorian era where there are plenty of examples of masters taking advantage of servants, but fewer instances of those encounters resulting in marriage.

Richard and Sarah’s marriage produced three children: Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Richard Thompson Dent. Sadly, Richard died in 1866, the year his son was born. 

Sarah lost her husband, but inherited a small fortune – the equivalent of £93,000 in today’s money. Sarah sold the farm and lived off her inheritance until her death in 1891. Despite her status of ‘highly desirable widow’ she didn’t remarry, maybe out of affection for her late husband. Certainly, her job as a humble servant on the Dent farm had turned her life around and placed her in a position where, financially at least, she had no reason to worry ever again.

Richard Thompson Dent, Richard and Sarah’s son, became a chemist in Barnard Castle, a highly successful chemist, for he left the equivalent of £235,000 in his will.

Thomas Thompson Dent’s will of 1854 bequeathed a farm in Cotherstone to his son John, another farm in Bowes to William, a third farm, also in Bowes, to Henry, and a fourth farm, again in Bowes, to Richard. Money, farming equipment and household utensils were also divided between the four sons.

Extract from the will of Thomas Thompson Dent and his frail signature 

But what of Thomas’ son and my direct ancestor, Thomas Thompson Dent Jr? Why didn’t the will mention him? The reason is Thomas Jr, his wife Dorothy Hornsby and their five children had set sail for New York en route to Canada, arriving on 24 June 1846. More about them next time.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Bestselling psychological and historical mysteries from £0.99. Paperbacks, brand new in mint condition 🙂
https://hannah-howe.com/store/

2 replies on “Dear Reader #113”

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