JOHN SELLERS 1792. (BROTHER GEORGE 1794)

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JOHN SELLERS 1792. (BROTHER GEORGE 1794)

Post by Stanley » 22 Apr 2012, 08:17

JOHN SELLERS 1792. (BROTHER GEORGE 1794)

Born London, died 1882. Orphaned at 5 and 7 years of age, were sent by some persons to an uncle in Barrowford, Lancs. One story says they tramped it all the way with all their worldly possessions in a small box, brass nailed and covered with cowhide measuring about 8" x 8" x 16". John was apprenticed to hand loom weaving. He married and moved to Barnoldswick when children came to the family circle until there were 11 of them. All of the children were engaged in the home producing cloth which their father took to Colne market. The journey from London by these small children no doubt was undertaken with a party of people or carriers who were coming to Colne, at the period, the principal marketing centre for all the cloth produced in the Craven district and right up to Wensleydale. Their father [the brother’s] was probably a cloth agent in London selling for the Colne merchants and they were probably stricken by small pox or some other virulent disease of that period. One story says the boys spent some time in a Free Mason School or orphanage. Certainly both could read and write, which at that period was a rare thing unless they came from well to do parents.

The other son, George, earned his living as a man by bookkeeping for the farmers around Blacko and Barrowford. Buying eggs and taking them in a wheelbarrow to Burnley market. He used to live on Blacko Moor, but always hid any money, as there were too many robbers about, only taking from his little store when transacting a deal. He emigrated to America at the age of 80 and opened a school for farmer’s children teaching them to read and write.

EZRA SELLERS 1831 - 1896

Son of John Sellers, spent his boyhood helping the family occupation of hand loom weaving. Married early, he and his wife started married life with 8 looms in Bracewell's Mill, Barnoldswick and from there he moved to Howarth where he managed a small water power mill (weaving) Unfortunately, it was burned down one day whilst he was at Bradford market. He was out of work, so moved with his young family to Colne where he struck up an acquaintance with W. White, the founder of the loom making firm of that name, who at that time was engaged making weft forks which were only then coming into general use. White’s business began in two cellars formerly used for hand loom weaving. Marshall Sellers, elder brother of Ezra, had, at that time, a small water power weaving shed situated on the border of Lancs. and Yorks. between Foulridge and Barnoldswick containing 24 looms making wincyettes. [Midge Hole Mill, County Brook] Marshall died from a chill and Ezra was asked to take over the business but had no money (how could he of 25/- a week) but such faith in him had another older brother, who had no children, that he lent him the money to take over the business. But after a time the waterman who looked after the reservoirs that supplied the mill with power died and Ezra could not get on with the successor who wanted too much ‘palm oil’. So he began to look out for other premises and in 1882 moved into a portion of Holme (?) Mill, Nelson, where they increased their looms eventually to about 165. His eldest son John went to Manchester on market days seeking commission weaving. At this period Ezra would be 53 and John his eldest son 25. John had 3 children at that time, Bertha, Frank and Hannah. It was on one of these business journeys that one day he call in T. W. Rice, cotton manufacturer’s office soliciting commission weaving and there came into contact with T. W. Rice Junior, then a young man of 32. His father owned Croft Mill, Chorley with about 400 looms engaged in coloured goods manufacture. The mill was undergoing a period of depression. T. W. Rice invited the Sellers family to join the firm and they moved to Chorley in 1886.

[note at end of article: John Rice, b 1789. T Wilde Rice, b. 1820. Same name with two more birth date, (son and grandson?) 1851 and 1882. Children of John Sellers 1792: Elizabeth, James, Marshall, William, Charles, Ezra, Richard, Thurza, Alice.

[ I was given this typescript long ago, it had been found in some old papers, I know nothing about its origin but everything I have learned since has checked out with it. There was a very bad copy of a newspaper article from the Chorley(?) Advertiser. It was an obituary for John Sellers.]

Mr John Sellers [son of Ezra]
Death of a Chorley cotton manufacturer

The cotton trade has lost a well known member by the death on Monday last of Mr John Sellers, aged 65, of Alma House, Charnock Richard. The death was painfully sudden being the result of a seizure and the announcement came as a greet shock to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr Sellers hailed from the Colne district where his forbears had been hand loom weavers. The family acquired a house at Foulridge, a village of the district, where 22 looms were erected the power being supplied by a water wheel on the banks of a stream [Midge Hole Mill? SCG] At the outset wincey shirtings were made for the Bradford district but as this class of business fell off a change was made over for cotton goods for the Manchester market and a mill was secured at Nelson where over 200 looms were worked.

It was the mill at Nelson which brought about the association of the Sellers family with the Chorley district. The firm became associated in work with the late Mr T Wilde Rice, cotton manufacturers of Croft Mill Chorley and this association ultimately resulted in a partnership. The business at Nelson, together with the machinery, was thereupon transferred to Chorley and with it came the Sellers family in 1886.

Mr John Sellers had therefore an extensive knowledge of the industry and in his reminiscences recalled that he was a tackler at the early age of 14 years.. At the death of Mr T W Rice he became managing director of the firm and when a reorganisation of the company tool place in 1920 he was made chairman of the directors, a position he occupied up to the time of his death and as recently as last Saturday last he was engaged in business. He had been a member of the Manchester Exchange for 42 years and also attended the Bradford Exchange.

Mr Sellers had resided at Charnock Richard for about 30 years following residence in Pall Mall and Rawcliffe Road, Chorley. Characteristically a Yorkshire-Lancashire man, for the district where he was born is on the border of the two counties, he knew his business thoroughly and whilst outspoken, like the majority of his race he was always fair.

In religion he was a Wesleyan and in his younger days was superintendent of a Sunday school in his native village. Since coming to the Chorley district he has been a generous supporter of the Trinity Wesleyan Methodist church of which he was a trustee. In politics Mr Sellers was a Liberal and was a vice-chairman of the Chorley Reform Club. He was a well-known Freemason, holding provincial rank and had been a secretary of the West Lancashire Lodge (1403) for a long period of years. He was also a member of the Chorley Subscription Bowling Green.

At Charnock, Mr Sellers and the Rev. T H Leeson were good friends and to them the village owes the Charnock Richard Young Men’s Club, a flourishing institution which has done much to relieve the monotony of village life. No persons realised its importance as a social centre as did both these gentlemen. The death of the Rev. Leeson created a vacancy on the …….. [the rest of the obituary is missing. In the next column there is a report on attendance at the funeral.]

SCG/19/02/06
Stanley Challenger Graham
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Re: JOHN SELLERS 1792. (BROTHER GEORGE 1794)

Post by Stanley » 01 Apr 2019, 13:20

Bumped after a request for more information. Has anyone anything further on this family?
Stanley Challenger Graham
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scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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