Jump to content

John Sanderson, mason of Bradfield, and his family (1670-1730)

Richard Axe

Recommended Posts

Two masons, Jonathan and John, are known from parish and apprenticeship records covering the period 1690-1720. John’s locus was Bradfield whereas Jonathan was situated in Wickersley; there is nothing concrete to link them although Jonathan and his family appear likely to have been recent immigrants. Two, possibly three of Jonathan’s sons became cutlers in Sheffield, thus further offering a chance that they returned to their roots.

John, mason of Bradfield, finds mention in Leader’s apprenticeship records. It is probably one man as the father of three apprentices: John, Jeremiah and Joshua (1690, 1700 and 1705 start dates). That is noteworthy, as are some of the potential relationships that are offered from the names of their masters. John and Joshua are labelled sons of John of Bradfield; Jeremiah as son of John of Lavash – the father is listed as a mason in all instances. Lavash appears likely to be a corruption of Low Ash[1].  A Low Ash is today associated with Worrall and part of the Bradfield chapelry, so the locus of John Sanderson, mason, probably should be sought around the latter place. If so, he might have been a part of the Sanderson family of Midhope.

Who took on an apprentice as a Master is a relevant line of enquiry. The first example can be found with Benjamin Drable, cutler of Low Ash. Two Sanderson boys were apprenticed to Benjamin.

1.     Jeremiah, son of John, 1700 and gained his freedom in 1709

2.     Joshua, son of John, five years from 1705-1710 before moving to another employer. The reason was Benjamin’s death around June 1710.

Two more possible connections to this Drable family exists. A John Sanderson married Sarah Drable at Bradfield on 16th August 1699. That is perhaps John, the son of John, the mason, whose own apprenticeship was completed in 1698. Sarah and Benjamin Drable were probably siblings: Benjamin, son of Jonathan, and Sarah, daughter of Jonathan, were baptised at St Nicholas, Bradfield, in 1669 and 1673 respectively. Secondly, FMG ii, p796 contains a pedigree of a Bramall family of Storrs. Two daughters of Edward Bramall (will 18/1/1720-1) married Jeremiah Sanderson (Ellen in 1714) and Joshua Drabble (Mary).

The second case concerns Joseph Ellor, cutler of Wadsley Bridge. No marriage link between him and Sandersons is known but three boys were apprenticed to him.

1.     Joseph, son of Francis, gained his freedom in 1710

2.     Joshua, son of Francis, 1702 and gained his freedom in 1710

3.     Joshua, son of John, mason of Bradfield, two years from 1710-1712

It seems not unreasonable to suggest that all three Sandersons abovementioned might have been related. The first two were almost certainly sons of Francis Sanderson, clothier of Worrall (only the entry for Joshua provides occupation and location). The third boy in the list above was apprenticed to three masters: firstly, to Benjamin Drable, cutler of Low Ash., in 1705; secondly, to Ellor, in 1710; thirdly, to Jeremiah Sanderson, of Worrall, for a few months in 1713.

The probable third son John ought to have been the eldest of the three apprentices. He was apprenticed twice: firstly, to Samuel Austwick, a scissorsmith; secondly, to Thomas North. He began his apprenticeship in 1690 and gained his freedom in 1698.

The apprenticeship records provide a context for likely baptism years for the three men. Joshua can be found on 11th June 1693; Jeremiah on 9th February 1687-8, and John perhaps on 30th March 1676. There is no evidence of any children after Joshua, but the birth span between the three allows for more, and offers a thought for a marriage date for the father. Joseph (baptised 12/7/1685) or Jonathan (baptised 10/4/1685), another Joseph (baptised 9/4/1682), Hanna (baptised 28/9/1681), Elizabeth (baptised 18/7/1678) or another two Johns (baptised 11/5/1674 and 3/1/1673-4) are all possible offspring. Two marriages appear as possibilities – dependent upon whether John (1676) is brother to Jeremiah and Joshua: firstly, with Dionel Beamont, at Bradfield on 16th June 1672; secondly, with Anne Hawksworth, also at Bradfield on 30th January 1678-9.

No death or burial dates are known for the mason. That is not to say that he is absent from the parish records, merely that no burial has the occupation of mason attached to it. Perhaps the most that can be said is that he is not listed as deceased at the time of any of the apprenticeship start dates for his three sons. That might suggest a date of death in or after 1705.


[1] Printed as Lavash, but clearly consistent with the Low Ash printed elsewhere in Leader’s work

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...