Robert Sutton (1815-1863) and Margaret Sutton (nee Willan, 1814-1848)


Robert Sutton was born at Rigg End, Dent in 1815; he was the sixth of twelve children born to Richard and Ellinor Sutton (nee Constantine); their first two boys, having been christened Richard and Robert, died in infancy. Here are photographs of Rigg End:

Robert's father rented Rigg End for 30 years until he inherited it from Ann Sill. Robert grew up here with his ten siblings, Richard, who was 7 years older; Betty who was four years older; Jane, 3 years younger; James 6 years younger; John 9 years younger; Mary 11 years younger; William 15 years younger; and Thomas who was 17 years younger. Robert did have another, older, sister, Ellen, but she died when she was 16 years old in 1828, when Robert was 14. His younger sister, Mary, died in 1834 at the age of 9.

After his father had inherited property and money from Ann Sill, he took out a mortgage and bought the Sill family home, West House, in 1835. The Sutton family moved in the same year. It is important to remember that Robert's father had been orphaned when he was 14 years old and taken into the Sill family as a servant.

In the same year the family moved into West House, Robert aged 21 years, married Margaret Willan. We do not know much about Margaret. She was born on 3rd December 1815 at Town in Dent to John and Hannah Willan (nee Bainbridge) and baptised at Independent Congregation, Dent, which built the Zion Congregational Chapel in 1835.

John and Hannah has six children altogether: Mary (1805); Thomas (1808); George (1811); Margaret (1815-1848); Robert (1818); and William (1820).

When Robert and Margaret's first children were born in 1836, twins, Richard and John, they were born at West House. The twins died in infancy, like the first two boys born to Robert's parents. Twins occur a lot in the Sutton family. Usually the first-born male is named after the father, hence, Richard, and the first female after the father's mother.

Cow Fold

By 1838 Robert and Margaret had moved to Cow Fould, which is where their third child, Richard, was born. Their fourth child, Ellen, was born in 1840.

Robert and Margaret are still living at Cow Fould in 1841 when both are aged 25 years, their son, Richard, is 2 years old and their daughter Eleanor is eight months old. They also have lodgers: Roger Tatham, aged 25; Elizabeth Willan, aged 30 and John Willan, aged 10 months. I assume that Elizabeth is Margaret's relation, perhaps her sister-in-law?

Their fifth child, Hannah, is born in 1842, followed by Elisabeth in 1845; both were also born at Cow Fould.

Here is a map showing where Cow Fould was:

Cow Fould is just after Rigg End, which is next to Dyke Hall, another farm house which Robert's father had inherited from Ann Sill. These are all down Dyke Hall Lane; but neither Dyke Hall nor Cow Fould are still standing. It is interesting to note that in 1827/28 Robert's father was renting Cow Fould from Richard Greenbank.

Sheep Worrying

The following was reported in the Westmorland Gazette, 22nd June 1839:


This was an information by William Mattinson, of Dent, against Robert Sutton, of the same place, for having, on the 11th inst. set his dog upon the sheep of the complainant upon Whernside Fell, whereby one of them was so much injured that it ultimately died. Mr Sykes, of Kirby Lonsdale, clerk to Mr Pearson, appeared for the complainant, and Mr William Bramley, clerk to Mr Fawcett, solicitor, Sedbergh, for the defendant. After the reading of the information Mr Bramley took an objection to the proceedings, inasmuch as the information was laid under a wrong statute, and that the defendant being charged with unlawfully and maliciously killing a sheep, if guilty at all, must be so of felony, and liable to an indictment, or might be proceeded against at common law for damaging the personal property of the complainant.

Mr. Sykes replied that sheep were not cattle within the meaning of 7 and 8 George 4 c. 30 sec, 16, and that the information was properly laid.

The Bench intimated that some fault might perhaps belong to the individual who had filled up the information in inserting the work killing instead of damaging, and as quashing the information for informality did not bar a right of action. Mr. Bramley withdrew the objection, but directed the clerk to make a note of its being taken in case it might be necessary to appeal to the sessions. James Mattinson was then called for the complainant, and stated that he was amongst his father's sheep on the 11th of June and saw the defendant let his dog at them, when it ran at one and threw it down, and that the sheep died in consequence. He considered the sheep was worth ten shillings.

Cross examined. - Did not stay to assist the sheep up, but left it to take its chance, the defendant and a young man of the name Baynes being left with it; never saw the sheep again, but found the wool some time afterwards; thought it was worth ten shillings though he never sold a sheep in his life.

Joseph Baynes recollected being with the defendant; saw young Mattinson drive his sheep along the fell. The defendant's dog ran at them, and turned one of them over a small hillock; when it fell witness lifted the sheep up but could not find a mark upon it. Mr Bramley, for the defendant, then stated that this proceeding was instituted in malice, and not because there was any reason to believe that the defendant had an intention to damage the complainant's sheep, but that the dog ran after the sheep without the defendant speaking to him, and that the death of one of them was caused by the fall.

Joseph Baynes was called for the defendant, and, after stating as above, said that he believed the dog ran after the sheep of its own accord; that the place where Mattinson had driven his sheep was upwards of half a mile from his own pasture head, which is the usual place to turn cattle on the fell, and when the dog ran after them they were just above the defendant's pasture. Witness believed the defendant had no intention to harm them, and that the sheep did not die by being bitten with the dog but from the fall got in running; that the defendant bore an excellent character, and was never known to dog any person's sheep.

Joseph Hodgson, of Dent, farmer, said that he went with the defendant next morning to see the sheep, which was dead. Witness examined it, but found no bruise upon it, but believed it died from internal disease; heard defendant say "that if his dog had been the cause of its death he had no objection to make it good, as he did not wish to injure anyone." Complainant offered to take the value of the sheep if defendant would allow him to drive them above his pasture, but to which he would not agree. The defendant bears an excellent character; never knew him dog sheep; the value of the one killed witness (who had sold many hundreds) thought was not more than five shillings.

The room was then cleared, and the magistrates, after some deliberation, fined the defendant five shillings and costs, the lowest penalty allowed by the statute. During the cross-examination of the complainant's son, a man, who we understand, is of weak intellect, frequently spoke up and gave his opinion as to the cause of death, but after being called to order, by the Rev. Mr. Airey the poor fellow did not again attempt to interrupt the proceedings.


At some point between 1845 and 1848, Robert, Margaret and their children moved over the hill to Leck in Lancashire which is next to Cowan Bridge.

Margaret died in 1848 when she was 32; at the time the family were living at Bank in Leck. Bank House Farm is still there.

In the following year Robert married Betty Middleton. The marriage was at St John the Baptist, Tunstall in Lancashire.

The marriage certificate tells us that Elizabeth (Betty) was of full age and a servant from Leck. Robert's father was Richard Sutton, yeoman and Elizabeth's father was John Middleton, a shoemaker. The witnesses were Robert Burton and Margaret Bulfield. It is worth noting that both Robert and Elizabeth did not sign their names but used a mark.

By 1851 Robert and his family are still in Leck. He is aged 36, is a yeoman farmer living with his new wife Betty who is 26, and the children from his previous marriage, Richard (12), Ellen (10), Hannah (8), and Elizabeth (6) who, the census tells us, were all born in Dent. There is also their new child, Barbara (spelt Barbary in the census), who was one year old and born in Leck.

Here is a photo of Leck from the graveyard.

Robert had six children from his first marriage with Margaret, and of these, four survived. From his second marriage, he had five children with Betty: Barbara (1850); Jane (1853); John and twin Robert (1855); and Ann (1827).

By 1861, Robert had been widowed again; he was 46 years old and living at Greygarth House, Leck which, sadly, is no longer there. He was a farmer of 1800 acres. Also living with him was his son, Richard (22) with his wife, Agnes (23, born at Austwick); his daughter Hannah (18) who was a dairy maid. His twin sons John and Robert, both aged six; and his daughter Ann who was three years old, are living with him at Greygarth.

His daughter, Barbara, was 11 and living with her grandma, Barbara Middleton aged 79 in Laneing, Dent, she was still working as a worsted stocking knitter.

Whilst his other daughter, Jane, who was 8 is living with her aunt and uncle Mary and William Burrows at the Tailor house and shop, Laneing, Dent.

Robert's father, Richard Sutton, had died in 1851 and left substantial sums of money/property to his children. It seems likely that this is the reason behind Robert moving to Greygarth House and becoming a farmer of 1800 acres.

Robert died on 26th January 1863 at Greygarth House, Leck Fell, Parish of Tunstall, County of Lancaster. According to his will he left under £1,000 (this was worth about £43,000 in 2005). The executors were his son, Richard Sutton of Leck Fell, farmer and Thomas Fawcett of Deepdale, farmer.

Robert's Descendents

Richard (1839-1910)

Richard married Agnes Brown in 1861 at St Peters in Leck. Here is a photograph of St Peters as it looked between 1825 and 1879:

Richard and Agnes' first child, Margaret, was born in 1862; their second child, Anne, was born two years later. Ellen Agnes was born in 1866 but died in 1868.

In 1871, Richard and his wife Agnes and their two daughters, Margaret (8) and Anne (6) as well as Richard's half sisters Jane (18) and Ann (13) and his half brothers, twins John and Robert (both 16) were all living at Greygarth House; and Richard is a farmer of 1658 acres. In fact, the census uses the term 'step' sisters and brothers, they are, in fact, half siblings as they all had the same father.

Their fourth child, William Robert, was born in 1875.

In 1881, Richard and Agnes are still living at Greygarth House with Ann their daughter (16) and Richard's half brothers John and Robert (both aged 26 years). Richard is a farmer of 1650 acres and employs two labourers.

However, by 1891 there appears to be no-one living at Greygarth, and I don't think it exists now. Richard (52), Agnes (53), their daughter Ann (26) and son William Robert (16) have moved to Skirwith, Ingleton.

By 1901, Richard, Agnes, their daughter Ann and son William Robert, are back in Leck living at Over Leck House Farm. Richard's neice, Elizabeth Parkinson who was born in Liverpool, is also living with them, she is 24. Richard is still working as a farmer, even though he is now 62. It was difficult to find him in the census originally as he is down as Richard Sultan.

It seems likely that Richard died when he was 72 years old, the death of a Richard Sutton being registered in Settle for 1910.

In 1911, Richard's widow, Agnes, is 73 and living with her daughter Ann and her husband, Richard Garnett who is a jobbing gardner. They are living in Main Street, High Bentham. Richard's daughter, Mary, who is 15 and a milliner, is also living with them.

At this point in time I cannot find any more information about William Robert.

Margaret married a Thomas Robinson in 1881, also at St. Peter's in Leck. Margaret and Thomas went on to have seven children, John, 1882; Agnes 1883; Richard 1886; Mary 1888; Margaret A 1890; Elizabeth 1893; and Eleanor 1897. Margaret's husband, Thomas, was a farmer. They initially lived in Satterthwaite then moved to Ingleton then to Addington in Northamptonshire, where they lived in 1911.

Eleanor (1840-?)

In 1861, Ellen is a general servant at Preston Hall, Preston Patrick, Westmorland.

She married Thomas Haworth who was born in Kirkby Lonsdale, on 17th November 1869. They have three children, Jane (1870); John (1874); and Margaret A (1880).

In 1871 Ellen and Thomas were living in Mansergh, Westmorland. Thomas was a labourer and they had one child, Jane, who was born in Kirkby Lonsdale in 1870.

They had moved back to Kirkby Lonsdale by 1874 as this is where their son, John was born. Their daughter, Margaret A. was also born in Kirkby Lonsdale in 1880.

The following year they are living at Old Cross, Kirkby Lonsdale with their children, Jane, 11; John 7; and Margaret A., 1. Thomas is 41 and a mason's labourer, Ellen is 39. Ellen's half-sister (although in the census she is down as her sister-in-law), Jane Sutton aged 27, who was a dress maker and was born in Leck, was also living there, as too was a lodger called Richard Bainbridge who was a stone mason. Here is a photograph of the area called Old Cross:

Ten years later and they are still living at Old Cross. Thomas is a labourer. Their daughter Jane is 21 and a dress maker; John is 17 and a joiner's apprentice; Margaret Ann is 11 and at school. They have two lodgers: Thomas Bayliff who is one year old and a "nurse child" (sort of foster child) and Thomas Howard, a shoe maker and rural postman!

In 1901 the family have moved to 8 Mill Brow, Kirkby Lonsdale. Thomas is a general labourer and their son, John a carpenter. Here is a recent photograph of Mill Brow:

Jane and Margaret Ann have left home by 1901. By 1911, Thomas has died and Ellen is now living on her own at 8 Mill Brow. The census tells us she had 3 children and all are still living. I don't know when Ellen dies but she is 70 years old in 1911. This is what happens to their children:

In 1901 Jane is a lady's maid working for Lord Henry Cavendish Bendinck and Lady Olivia Bendinck at 13 Grosvenor Place, Hanover Square, Westminster. Lord Bendinck is a Conservative MP. Jane is still a lady's maid to Lady Olivia at Grosvenor Place in 1911. Here is a modern photograph:

Jane dies on 29th January 1960 at Kendal Green hospital, she is still a spinster and is 90 years old; she was living at 17 Fairbank, Kirkby Lonsdale. She left £3622.12s 9d to her nephew, Thomas Douglas Haworth, company sales rep.

In 1901 Margaret Ann is a boarder at 10 Whitfield Street, Clayton-le-Moors and is a dress maker. By 1911 she has followed her sister to London and is now a lady's maid to Alice Butive at 29 Eaton Place. Margaret dies on 18th March 1949 at Edgware General hospital, although she had been living with her sister at 17 Fairbank, Kirkby Lonsdale. Margaret was also a spinster and left £1450 11s 4d to her brother, John Haworth, a joiner.

John, married Jessie in 1902, who was born in Fulham. I am guessing he met her whilst visiting his sisters in London. In 1911 they live at Elm Villa, Ingleton. John is a joiner/builder and they have one child, Thomas Douglas who was born in 1905 in Ingleton. Jessie dies on 10th September 1944 and leaves £584 9s 4d to her husband, John. John dies 23rd February 1958 in Kendal Green Hospital; he leaves £1797 8s 9d to his son Thomas Douglas, who is a commercial traveller. Thomas Douglas dies in 1987 in Poole, Dorset.

Hannah (1842-1891)

On 10th February 1866, Hannah marries Edward Hodgson in Kirby Lonsdale. Edward is a year older than Hannah and was born in Kirby Lonsdale.

I am guessing that all of the Suttons who were married in Kirby Lonsdale probably got married (and had some of their children baptised), at St Mary's:

On our recent visit to Kirby Lonsdale we sat and had lunch in the church yard; it felt very peaceful and familiar. There is a lovely walk behind the church which leads to the spot where JMW Turner painted 'Ruskin's View.' Ruskin described the view as, 'one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world'.

And here is a compilation of photographs taken on our visit to Kirby Lonsdale in July 2014.

In 1871 Edward is the landlord of the Fleece Inn, Kirby Lonsdale. Hannah and Edward have had three of their six children at this stage: Mary Ellen born in 1865; Mary Hannah in 1868; and John Robert, 1869. Mary Ellen was born in Old Hutton, Mary Hannah and John Robert in Kirby Lonsdale.

Mary Ann, Edward's sister, aged 27 years, is also living with them, as is Ellen Hodgson aged 20 a servant, John Hodgson, 21 and William Smith, 30, the latter two being general labourers and lodgers. It seems likely that Ellen and John could well be related to Edward but the census doesn't say that they are. The Fleece Inn is a listed building.

In 1881 the Hodgson's had moved seven miles to Preston Patrick. They are living at the School Houses, Preston Patrick.

Hannah is 39 and a labourer's wife. Edward is working as an indoor farm servant at Foul Stone, Lupton for the Benson family who own 375 acres. Lupton is only a few miles away from Hutton Roof.

Their eldest daughter, Mary Ellen is living with her aunts Alice (52) and Ann (50) who are both unmarried and down as farmers of seven acres. In fact there are six young people, all neices and nephews, living with their aunts, as well as two boarders. Mary Ellen (19), along with her two cousins Sarah (15) and Mary A (19) is a domestic servant. They are all living at Fare House, Hutton Roof.

John Robert, 12 and Mary Hannah, 10, have been joined by three further siblings: Sarah Jane 8, who was born in Kirby Lonsdale; Barbara Ann 4, born in Hutton Roof and Elizabeth Alice, 2, born in Lupton.

Hannah dies in 1891 at the age of 48 but she is still alive when the 1891 census was taken on 5th/6th April. She is living with her husband, Edward who is now a general labourer and her children, John Robert who is 22 and a general labourer; Mary Hannah, 20, who is a cartridge packer at the Gunpowder Works; Barbara Ann who was 14 and Elizabeth Alice who was 12. There were also two lodgers, Roger and Joshua Williamson. The family were living at End Moor, Preston Patrick. Hannah died later in the month, she was 48.

Edward took a new wife, Jane, the same year. Jane was 16 years younger than Edward. In 1901, Edward, his new wife Jane, and Edward's children, John Robert 32 and Barbara Ann 22, are living at Endmoor Cottages. Edward and his children all work in the Gunpowder Works, the two men being labourers and Barbara Ann being a cartridge packer. John William Yates, Edward's 14 year old grand son, also lives with them and also works at the same factory, as does their boarder, John Holme who is 27.

In 1911 Edward is 72 and living at 6 Woodside Cottages, End Moor, with his wife Jane (it says she is 50), and John Robert who is now 42 but is still single. They also have a boarder, Cornelius Mahoney. Edward and John Robert still work at the Gunpowder Works; Edward is a mill keeper and John Robert a labourer. Their boarder is a foreman at the works.

Elizabeth (1845-1922)

Elizabeth is my great, great, grand-mother. She married Christopher Foster in 1861 in Ingleton. There is a separate page for Elizabeth.

Other Children

Robert had five other children with his second wife. At this point in time I have not looked at their stories.