Meet the Caldwells (work in progress)
From the middle of the eighteenth century ‘Caldwell’ (or derivatives thereof) was one of the most common surnames in Hathern. In this extract from from the births, marriages and deaths on this website you can see around 200 references to Caldwell or Caudwell or Cauldwell etc. Note that the dates of birth in these records are baptism dates and in some cases the record notes indicate the age of the child when baptised. For example there was a very special day on June 15th 1815 when framesmith Samuel Caldwell and Mary (nee Eldershaw) had five of their children baptised - Robert aged seven months, Hannah aged five years, Louisa aged nine years, Samuel aged twelve years and Matilda aged fifteen years. In that same year on Christmas day two other Caldwells were christened.
The Caldwell connection to Hathern started when William Caldwell (born in Rolleston-on-Dove near Burton-on-Trent Staffs in 1701) and Sarah Hickling (born in Hathern in 1699 but baptised in Long Clawson on December 15th in the same year) married in Hathern in 1727. The article in the Echo described below states that William came to Hathern to work at the Stone House and another farm. William's family reaches back to the early fourteenth century. The photo shows the family tomb created in 1600 in St. Mary's church in Rolleston. Incidentally there is a hamlet called Caldwell not far from Burton-on-Trent.
Many of the children of William and Sarah died young including twins Samuel and Jane who died at birth in 1740 but some, like John (1732-1806)) and William (1735-1800) and Thomas (1737-1816) married and raised their families in Hathern. The occurrence of twins was to become quite a feature in subsequent generations.
In the Enclosure award of 1778 only land trannsactions are shown and the single family reference is to John Caudwell who was allocated a three-acre field to the right down the ‘Private Lane leading to Nether Meadow’ (later Pasture Lane). This would be the John (1732 -1806) mentioned above. He had married Elizabeth Cad from Long Whatton in 1756 and they had nine children. In the National Archives there is a record of John's will leaving £300 to his widow (£25,000 in today's money).
The 1824 rates map shows that the Caldwells had become well-established as owners and tenants in Hathern.
- At the top of Wide Street next to the Anchor Thomas Caldwell lived in one of four houses owned by N.L. Smith.
- Further down Wide Street, on the Anchor Lane opposite the Stone House Samuel Caldwell Senior owned four houses, two occupied by himself.
- Nearby, on the corner of Dovecote Street were six houses owned by Christ’s College Cambridge, all sub-let through the Caldwell family, three of them also residents - Samuel Junior, John and Thomas.
- A John Caldwell (same one ?) is listed as owner and occupier of the malt office, yard, house and garden immediately opposite to the public house at Hathern Turn.
- A John Caldwell is listed as owner and resident of the house still standing at 48 Wide lane, next to the Three Crowns.
- On the corner of Pasture Lane and the Green lived William Caldwell in a house belonging to Charles March Phillipps Esq. of Garendon Hall.
- A further sixteen fields are in the occupancy of (and some of them owned by) the Caldwell family. These include fields in Tunnel and Pasture Lane, Shepshed and Whatton Road and the field opposite the Stone House. The second biggest tenant of land was John Chapman from Derby, almost certainly the “John George Chapman” who married Mary Caldwell in 1816.
Soon afterwards in the 1832 'election of knights' there are two mentions of the family - Samuel - occupier of land "near the Normanton road" and John Caldwell, freehold house and land at "Mount Pleasant" (?). here you can see a complete record of residence records for the Caldwells.
The Heathcoat connection
One of the children born to William and Sarah was William (1734-1899). He married Elizabeth Gimpson in 1760 and raised several children which included Samuel (1762-1824) and Ann (1776-1831) who both played a part in the Heathcoat story. Samuel, a framesmith, married Mary Eldershaw in 1790 (his young sister was witness). Ann first married John Chamberlin in 1794 (who died only three years later) and then John Heathcoat in 1802, an aspiring hosiery engineer born in Duffield with connections in Long Whatton and Nottingham. His connection to Hathern is fascinatingly told on the Nottinghamshire History website. The following is the bit that relates to Hathern :-
‘Soon after he was twenty-one he married Ann Caldwell, of Hathern, an active, thoughtful, clear-minded woman, a good manager, wife and mother. And now came the pressure of his business and his inventions. "I worked, and I invented," he afterwards related, and there was not only the pressure of business but the difficulty as to secrecy of his work. So he decided to dispose of his business, and his wife's brother, Samuel Caldwell, being a skilled mechanic at Hathern, they two at that place, took out a patent for a new apparatus to be attached to warp frames. Then followed two or three years of study and experiments in overcoming the difficulties encountered, and a second patent was in 1809 taken out, and this was successful. One eventful Saturday—Mrs. Heathcoat is telling the tale years afterwards—her husband returned home and she enquired, as often before, "Well, will it work?" and his reply was "No! I have had to take it all in pieces again." She was constrained for once to sit down and cry bitterly, for great personal self-denial was necessary, but recovering herself her brave heart cheered and encouraged him, and in a few weeks more the desired result came, and at twenty-four years of age he was the inventor of "a machine for the making and manufacturing of bobbin lace by which means such lace would be made to much greater advantage than by any other mode hitherto practised, at less cost, time and labour, and which he conceived from repeated experiments would be productive of great public utility.* Yet this was one of the most intricate in the whole range of textile mechanism that the world has ever seen’.
For some reason the text of the first patent mentions James Caldwell of Hathern not Samuel.
This is a Japanese print with Heathcoat showing to his wife the first successful result from his knitting machine. It has often been surmised John Heathcoat and Ann lived in the Stone House on Wide Lane for the few years they were in Hathern, hence the recent naming of the adjacent Eldershaw Close. An interesting article in the Loughborough Echo by the long-time resident Michael Forrest explores the evidence and but cannot prove the link.
The 1824 Rates Book, described above, suggests John and Annn may have resided in one of the four houses on the other side of Anchor Lane owned by Ann’s father Samuel and wife Mary who went on to have ten children including those christened in 1815 (described above).
The abundance of Caldwells in the census records etc. and the repetition in those families of favoured christian names - Samuel, John, Thomas etc. make it very difficult to document the exact family tree so instead below are a few snippets.
Samuel Caldwell Junior - framesmith and farmer 1803 - 1881.
Two legs of the family came together in 1832 when Samuel Caldwell Junior married Elizabeth Caldwell in Hathern. Elizabeth was nine years younger than him and the two shared the same great-grandfather William (1701-1777). Like his father before him Samuel was a framesmith and in the 1851 census we can see the family in ‘Church Street’ which then included what is now Wide Lane. Ten years later the family’s lived in Wide Lane next to the Three Crowns, and Samuel is a farmer of twenty-one acres employing one man and a boy. His son Edwin, born 1835 took over his father’s role - as a framesmith master employing three men and two boys. He lived in Church Cottage which he acquired in 1860 from John Cooper of Liverpool and Henry Henson of Loughborough. You can see the gravestone of Samuel and Elizabeth and Edwin and other Caldwells in the churchyard.
John Caldwell hosier and owner of houses and land
Just after Christmas in 1801 John was born to William Caldwell, a framework knitter and Ann. In 1822 John, a hosier, married Elizabeth Williamson and they proceeded to bring up a large family producing a child almost every two years. The death of an Elizabeth Caldwell is recorded in 1836 but we cannot tell if this is John's wife. Hoping to find John in the first census (1841)