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Family tree | Henry SHAW b.1806 | Frederick Henry SHAW b.1842 |
Frederick Arthur SHAW b.1873 | Frederick Henry Boddington Shaw b.1903

The Shaw family

Introduction

The Shaw family came from Huddersfield in Yorkshire, UK. This town was at the very centre of the Yorkshire woollen industry and the Shaw family became significant drivers of that trade, building a mill (Victoria mill at Lockwood, Huddersfield), and trading in wool and woollen products, over very many years during the 19thC and early part of the 20thC.

We start with Thomas SHAW who was born about 1780, but we know little of him. He married Mary EASTWOOD and that family remained close to the Shaws, in a business sense, for very many years. It is probable, therefore, that the Eastwoods were also in the woollen trade from an early date. Thomas and Mary had five children, one girl and four boys, Joseph b.1804, Henry b.1806 (our ancestor), James b.1810 and John William b.1812.

Henry SHAW (1806 - 1875)

Born and raised in Huddersfield, Henry went on to found the Shaw family woollen business. He lived at Spring Street, Huddersfield, an address that seems no longer to exist, probably due to the late 20thC re-development of the town centre and the construction of a substantial inner ring road amongst others.

In 1840 he established together with partners, the company of Messrs J. W. & H. Shaw, manufacturers of woollen products and woollen merchants. The partners were John Shaw, William Shaw the Elder, Henry Shaw, and William Shaw the Younger. It is presently unclear the exact family relationship between Henry and the others. Henry had a brother John William - so does this individual account for the John, or one of the Williams? This partnership was dissolved on 31 July 1856, seemingly to enable the departure of William Shaw the Elder - maybe he was an uncle of Henry's. The company was then continued under a new partnership including John, Henry and William the Younger. At some later stage Benjamin Eastwood also became a partner, who, no doubt, was related to Henry's mother.

Later, in November 1856, the manufacturing business carried on at Victoria mill was put up for sale by auction. It seems that after disposing of the manufacturing side of the business they restricted themselves to the merchanting of wool.

We know from the various census returns that Henry described his occupation differently as his life progressed - 1841, Cloth manufacturer; 1851, Woollen manufacturer; 1861, Commercial traveler; 1871, Woollen merchant. In 1856 Henry and his partners had closed and sold Victoria mill and concentrated only on the trading of woollen products. In 1861, on census day, he just happened to be staying at the Commercial Hotel, Black Boy Yard, in Nottingham, no doubt selling his company's products, and so felt the need to answer his occupation as Commercial traveler.

In 1873 this partnership was dissolved on Henry's retirement. Where the company went after this is not yet clear.

Henry married Mary MILNER from nearby Kirkheaton. They had four children, one daughter and three boys, including Frederick Henry SHAW JP b.1842 (our ancestor) who went on to be the star of the family, and Herbert Thomas SHAW who had both health and business problems and required support from his more successful brother and his mother.

Frederick Henry SHAW JP (1842 - 1902)

Frederick Henry Shaw, wife and familyThe second son of Henry Shaw, Frederick Henry Shaw seems to have become the most successful member of the family. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace (JP) and was very prominent in his local community, and on changing his religious allegance - he was brought up a Baptist - gave great support to Lindley Anglican parish church. He married Sophia Ann HODGE, who was from another wool family, but in Newcastle upon Tyne, rather than Huddersfield.

Inglewood, Birkby Road, Huddersfield Frederick and Sophia raised their family of six children (plus one who died in infancy) (above) in a large Victorian house, Inglewood (garden view left), on Birkby Road, Edgerton, Huddersfield. The house still stands, and in much of its original grounds, but is today in multi-occupancy. The surviving children were four girls and two boys. Two of these children married Boddington siblings - Frederick Arthur SHAW b.1873 married Clare BODDINGTON b.1879 m.1902, and Winifred SHAW b.1874 married Arnold John BODDINGTON b.1876 m.1901. Winifred and Arnold are our Boddington ancestors. As both the Shaws (from Huddersfield) and the Boddingtons (Samuel Boddington & Sons from Birmingham) were in the woollen trade it can be reasonably certain that these families met in the course of business.

Frederick became a partner in his father's business, John William & Henry Shaw, dealing in woollen cloth.

Frederick was involved in a wide range of community activities. He was " a warm supporter of the Lifeboat Institution", a trustee and vice-president of Huddersfield and Holmfirth Fire Brigades Friendly Society, a founder of Huddersfield Golf Club, the United Mutual Improvement Societies, he supported the Penny Bank, the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce (on the Council of which he served in 1893 and 1894), the Infirmary (on the Board of Management of which he served for a period of three years), and the Volunteer movement.

In February 1884 Frederick gave a lecture at the Lindley Mechanics' Hall on a "Tour in Italy". This "... was illustrated by a large number of slides shown by powerful limelight." The vote of thanks was "... carried with acclamation."! Unfortunately, we don't know whether Frederick was also the photographer of the illustrations. In January 1891 he gave a public lecture at the Baptist Young Men's Society on the subject of "Through Norway by steamer and carriole [an open carriage for one person]." The talk was illustrated by Frederick's 'views' which were again shown by 'lime light' which evoked frequent applause. These presentations suggest that Frederick (and Sophia?) was an early international tourist, and giving illustrated talks was certainly an early example of what I have been doing for the past 16 years - like great grandfather, like ...!

Frederick was brought up as a Liberal but couldn't support the Home Rule Bill for Ireland and so he " joined in the formation of the Huddersfield Liberal Unionist Association, of which body at the time of his death he was a vice-president."

He was also Honorary Secretary of the Huddersfield Infant School Society which, in October 1873, resolved ...

"... that, instead of selling their school premises in Spring-street to your Board [Huddersfield School Board, a public body] ... , they should be presented to the School Board without any money payment whatever. By doing so the committee think that they will be best fullfilling the objects for which their society was established. I am instructed to say, however, that this decision was arrived at on the understanding that certain members of their committee would be appointed as school managers. ... yours very truly, Frederick Henry Shaw, Honorary Secretary. P.S.—We think you will have no objection to refund the sum of £5 5s. paid for the valuation of the property ..."

The gift was gratefully recieved by the School Board. It had been valued at £900 and the board had previously agreed to pay this amount.

Sophia Shaw played her part in the local community too, being involved with the organisation of events in aid of Lindley parish church, in particular the Church Bazaar held in November 1883, for which there was a copious report in the Huddersfield Chronicle. Sophia, with the support of her daughter Alice Muriel (age 12), was organising the "Chalet Chillon". The design of the bazaar was a Swiss village, the stalls having chalet names. Further support was given by a Miss Heslop whose address was also given as 'Inglewood', so it seems that the Shaws may have had a lodger or a child staying at this time. Meanwhile, younger daughter Winifred (age 9) was in charge of a goose which laid golden eggs! The eggs were found to contain many novelties!

Sophia and at least three of her daughters were involved in the organisation of severl further bazaars and other events for the church and others.

There is further information on the Boddington and Shaw families on another page.

Frederick Arthur SHAW (1873-1928)

The third child but eldest son of H F Shaw, Frederick Arthur carried on the family woollen industry but in a slightly different direction. He established himself in Somerset in order to manufacture woollen thread to sell to the carpet weaving industry which was prominent in that county, particularly in Frome. On marriage to Clare BODDINGTON, Arthur and Clare (or Clara as she was often known) bought a house in Frome called 'Metchley'. I have made a cursory attempt to find this house without success, but have been surprised to discover another house of the same name in a neighbouring town as well as one near Pershore! We learn something of Arthur and Clare's visitors from their Visitors Book.

Frederick Henry Boddington 'Sonny' SHAW
(1903-1965)

Son of Frederick Arthur Shaw and Clare BODDINGTON, Sonny continued the family woollen business in Frome, Somerset, and seems to have specialised in tweed cloth.


Shaw family page set:
Frederick Henry Shaw, obituary and funeral;
Frederick Arthur Shaw, visitor book;
Shaw family and their relationship to the Boddington family.


Acknowledgement

I am very much indebted to Danika Lloyd of Family History HelpersExternal link, who has undertaken the research to discover the history of the Shaw family.


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