George Sanderson

1797 – 1850

George Sanderson was baptised on 6th December 1797 at Bolsterstone Church, which was a chapel of ease to Bradfield. His father was Joseph Sanderson born 1758, and mother Sarah (Helliwell) born c1777. Joseph and Sarah had married on 26th June 1797. They already had a son (baptised on 2nd April 1794 at Bradfield, as Joseph Helliwell because his parents were unmarried at the time). Sarah Helliwell was living at Wightwizzle.

Joseph was a cutler. Joseph and Sarah, had the further following children, siblings to George; – William (there is no record of his birth, but his burial recorded as 1801 and presumed to belong to this family. John born 1803 Wightwizzle, and Hannah 1806-1808, Joel 1808-1809, Zacharias 1812, and Mary 1815 born at Low Bradfield.

In 1803 The step Grandfather of George Sanderson (Joshua Hartley), died. He left a very informative will, detailing the births of Josephs children. This will is part of various documents, detailing various properties in Bradfield.

It seems likely that following Joshua Hartley’s death, the various members of the family, came into money, and /or property, and were able to set up homes or expand cutlery businesses in Bradfield.

After 1803, Joseph and Sarah’s Sanderson children were born in ‘Nethertown’ (Low Bradfield), rather than Bolstertone or Wightwizzle.

It appears the property was Netherhouse, (see document details), now Netherhouse Farm.

Nether House Farm Bradfield. Picture Sheffield
Nether House Farm 2020

George must have served an apprenticeship as a cutler, probably to his father, as his trade is given as ‘Cutler’.

On 2nd August 1819, he married Martha Ibbotson in Bradfield Church. Martha’s parents were Richard and Ann Ibbotson, and she was born at Thompson House, Bradfield Dale in 1802 (baptised 21st November at Bradfield Church). This would mean that she was probably just seventeen, at the time of marriage.

Their first child, Martin, was baptised on 26th December 1819, followed by Hannah 1822, Joel 1824, Alfred 1826, Sarah 1829, Malin 1831, Jarvis 1834, Amelia 1837, Morgan 1839 and Eliza 1844.

We have long been intrigued, by the unusual names chosen for the children. Although not an unusual name, Martin, is just about the only Martin, in the whole of my family tree, and is an unusual name in this instance. Jarvis and Malin, appear to be local names, with Martha having a brother Malin. Morgan too seems to have been a locally popular name at the time.

Perhaps by 1838 money was getting tight for George Sanderson, as he makes an arrangement with his brothers and sister, to sell his land to them.

18 DECEMBER 1838
John Hartley (Rowland's son) is making an agreement between himself and Mary Sanderson, Zaccariah Sanderson and Joseph Helliwell.

 Indenture between George Sanderson and John Sanderson (cutlers) and Zaccariah Sanderson, & Joseph Helliwell (cutlers) and Mary Sanderson (spinster) and John Hartley. Repeats the Will of Joshua Hartley 1803; and speaks of Joseph dying in 1830, leaving sons George, John, Zaccariah and Mary & Joseph Helliwell who was born out of lawful wedlock but was directed to have an equal share. Rowland died in 1830 leaving son John as heir. George and John are selling their parts to Zachariah, Mary and Joseph Helliwell. John Hartley is giving up his right to this land so that Zachariah and others can take it on. Francis Hoole is a gentleman holding land as trustee on behalf of Zachariah, etc.
 Dwelling and appurtenances, buildings and smithies and land in Nether Bradfield in occupation of John Sanderson, George Sanderson, William Wilson and Joseph Helliwell. The Mill Lee, The Upper Close, The Lower Close, The Croft, - Once in the occupation of Anna Hawksworth and then John Ibbotson but now in the tenure of Joseph Helliwell. These several closes also known as Gillott's Fields. Land bounded (eastward) by Adamson Parker, (westward) by William Tattershall, (northward) by ancient enclosures belonging to Joseph Sanderson and one Godfrey Jubb and (southward) by Damflask Road. Separated into three closes, House Field, Middle Field, Far Field, now in the occupation of Joseph Helliwell. Given to the use of Francis Hoole and his heirs. On 24 December 1838 the above was passed on to Joseph Ibbotson from Hoole and the Sandersons and Zaccariah and the rest were to lease it back from him. 
1841 Census George and Martha Sanderson

By 1841 George was living as a cutler with his large family, at ‘Nether Bradfield’. His oldest daughter Hannah, had left home and was working in service.

She later married George Hobson, with Martin Sanderson, marrying George’s Hobson’s sister, Ann, and Malin Sanderson marrying their sister Amelia. So three Sanderson siblings, married three Hobson siblings.

In 1847, disaster struck for the family, the cutlery industry was a boom and bust industry, for several years small family concerns like George’s would have been successful, but as Sheffield mechanised, and drove prices down, the small rural cutlers suffered. Although George and family did not live in extreme poverty, they were in constant danger from hunger and disease.

On 8th April 1847, Martha died of Typhus Fever, a contagious disease of poverty, transmitted by fleas or lice. She was buried two days later in Bradfield Churchyard. Three year old Eliza had been buried two weeks earlier on 26th March, and Alfred aged twenty one, was buried ten days after his mother on 20th April. It is likely all three of the family, were afflicted by the same disease.

George died 4th April 1850, Lower Bradfield, from a diseased liver. Oldest son Martin, was present at his death, and he was buried in Bradfield Churchyard on 7th April.

Whilst the older children had left home and married, the younger children were left as orphans. In the 1851 census, they are found separated in various households. We can imagine that a large and poor but happy family, was broken up by poverty and disease, and that the younger children suffered as a result.

May 2021