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
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.
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
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
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 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
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
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
Frederick Henry Boddington 'Sonny' SHAW
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
Shaw family and their relationship
to the Boddington family.
I am very much indebted to Danika Lloyd of Family
who has undertaken the research to discover the history of the Shaw