The saga of Matthew Grose, John Taylor and the Isle of Man Mining Company

Before we cover the career of Captain Matthew Grose (1819 – 1887), we’re going to look back more closely at his father’s time with The Isle of Man Mining Company.

Just to recap – his father was Captain Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849) born in Loxton, Somerset to Cornish parents. He was a first cousin of the ‘most scientific engineer in Cornwall’, Captain Samuel Grose junior (1791 – 1866).

FIRSTLY… HAPPY TIMES!

In 1828, The Isle of Man Mining Company is formed by three adventurers from the Chester area. The mines at Foxdale are under the management of Mr. William Jones. Captain Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849) is employed as the Mine Agent there.

In 1833, local newspapers indicate that Matthew Grose is a popular Agent and member of the community. By this time he’d worked for the Isle of Man Mining Company for approximately five years.

After a company dinner, the engineer of the water wheel, Thom Anthony, expresses his gratitude by writing into the Mona’s Herald newspaper.

…we have great reason to be very satisfied and thankful in this neighbourhood, as so many of us are employed by the Isle of Man Company

Thom praises his employers…

…while the worthy adventurers carry on at the rate they do, and employ so worthy Agents, who behave like gentlemen ought to…

and he describes the music and dancing on Captain Grose’s street…

…cheering the ladies and gentlemen with all our might, three fidlers came forward, and played up as hard as they could, when a ring was made on Captain Grose’s street, and there we enjoyed ourselves and danced away in great style until it became dark…

Thom describes the staff raising a glass to the company…

…drinking the health of the Isle of Man Mining Company and their Agents



Mona’s Herald, Friday, October 04, 1833; Page: 3, Courstesy of Manx National Heritage


In 1844 Captain Grose advertises for a schoolmaster for the Foxdale Mines School. It is understood the school has been open on the Isle of Man since 1833, or earlier.

Mona’s Herald, Tuesday, May 14, 1844; Section: Front page, Page: 1 Courtesy of Manx National Heritage.

DRAMATIC DISMISSAL!

In January 1846, after eighteen years of employment with the Isle of Man Mining company, Captain Matthew Grose is dramatically dismissed from his position. Rumours swirl that he has been ejected from his dwelling in handcuffs and not paid his salary.

The company place a Public Notice in the newspaper announcing his dismissal:


Manx Liberal, Saturday, January 10, 1846; Page: 2, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

As ‘the skeet‘ (gossip) spreads across the Isle of Man, Matthew Grose responds a week later by placing his own advertisement in the newspaper, showing that he is…

“..as ignorant of the cause of my Offence as the Public themselves.”


Manx Liberal, Saturday, January 17, 1846; Page: 11, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

During March 1846, Matthew Grose further defends his character by publishing documents from the Isle of Man Mining company – which state he was considered…

“…honest, sober and attentive and having a good knowledge of practical mining operations.”

It seems that after the death of the general manager, Mr William Jones, the company were just having a ‘general change in management’ at Foxdale mines and…

“…now express their regret that so harsh a mode was adopted as they are informed was done–as it was far from their intention to cast any imputation on Capt.Grose’s character…”

 


Manx Liberal, Saturday, March 07, 1846, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

JOHN TAYLOR INTERVENES!

By July 1846, there is a dramatic conclusion to the saga when the Crown mining agent, John Taylor, intervenes. He deprives the Isle of Man Mining company of their lease to land throughout the island, (apart from their mines at Marown) and gives Captain Matthew Grose setts of land taken from the company. The rest of the island (except Lonan) is thrown open to the public.

The newspaper reports…

“The advantages to be derived to the inhabitants by the visit of Mr. Taylor are incalculable; and much is due to Capt.Grose for having been the chief instrument by which all these beneficial changes have been effected.

 

The company takes action too:

“The Company, determined not to be outdone by Mr. Taylor, have crowned his operations by paying Captain Grose the money due to him, and by a second time dismissing Mr. Beckwith from his situation as cashier! ! “

 

Undoubtably capturing the relief and mood of the public at the time…

“This is retributive justice with a vengeance. Handcuffs indeed!!



 Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, July 15, 1846; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage.

 

 …

In the next post, we’ll see what opportunities and risks were taken by Captain Matthew Grose (and his sons) after these dramatic events!

Thanks’, Resources and Further Reading:

Many thanks to iMuseum Newspapers & Publications  for providing digital access to the Isle of Man newspapers (from 1792 to 1960). Images and text are shared on this blog in accordance with their policy of using & sharing for ‘non-commercial personal use’.

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 The family of Captain Matthew Grose (1819 – 1887)

During the 1800s, Captain Matthew Grose was a prominent figure in the Isle of Man lead, copper and silver mining industry. From newspaper reports it is clear that he was also a popular and beloved member of the local community.

With ten siblings, two wives and sixteen children – this post will focus on his family.

His mining career will be covered in another post.

Photograph of Captain Matthew Grose from around 1880, courtesy of Manx National Heritage

CHILDHOOD:



He was baptised on 19th March 1819 in Phillack, Cornwall to parents Matthew Grose and Mary Wearn.
His father, Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849), grandfather, Matthew Grose (1761 – 1824) and great uncle, Samuel Grose senior (1764 – 1825) were mine captains from Cornwall and worked at mines in Cornwall and Somerset.

Many other family members were involved in mining and engineering in England and the Isle of Man. His father’s cousin was the famous engineer Samuel Grose (1791 – 1866).

His aunts were married to Henry Francis, Absalom Francis and Obadiah Ash.

Many of his brothers and brother-in-laws were engineers, mine captains and agents.
Matthew Grose moved to the Isle of Man around 1828, at the age of nine where his father became a Mine Agent at Foxdale Mines.

Siblings:


He had 4 brothers and 6 sisters:

  • Emma Grose (1812 – 1881) – wife of Jonathan Harrison


Manx Sun, Friday, April 24, 1835; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

  • Jane Grose (1814 – 1884) – wife of Richard T.C. Powning


Manx Sun, Friday, February 14, 1840; Page: 5, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

  • Mary Grose (1817 – 1822)
  • Thomas Grose (1821 – 1882) – husband of Jane ?
  • John Grose (1824 – ?) – husband of Charlotte Clucas (NOT Louisa Little)

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, January 15, 1845; Page: 7 Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

  • Mary Grose (1826 – ?) – wife of Joseph Waterhouse
  • Eliza Grace Grose (1828 – 1907)
  • Edwin William Wearn Grose (1832 – 1908) – husband of Elizabeth Lace
  • Samuel Grose (1833 – ?)
  • Lavinia Grose (1833 – ?) – wife of John Henry Millington

 

RESIDENCES:

From baptism, census & burial records:

  • 1819 – Phillack, Cornwall (baptised)
  • 1821 – Dodington, Somerset (likely lived here when brother Thomas baptised here)
  • 1841 – Foxdale Mines, Isle of Man (miner)
  • 1851 – Ballagawne, Rushen, Isle of Man (Agent of mines)
  • 1861 -Ballacorkish, Rushen, Isle of Man (Lead & Copper Mine Agent)
  • 1871 -Ballakilpatrick, Isle of Man (Agent Lead Mines)
  • 1881 – The Level, Rushen, Isle of Man (Captain of Lead Mine Unemployed)
  • 1888 – Ballavayre, Colby, Isle of Man (from burial record)

 

MARRIED LIFE:

First Marriage:
He married his first wife Anne Weston Read (1822 – 1868) at Kirk German, Isle of Man on 3rd October, 1841. Anne was the only daughter of John Read, Civil Engineer.



Mona’s Herald, Tuesday, October 12, 1841; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

They had 11 children:

  • Alfred Matthew Grose (1842 – ?) – husband of Ann Cubbon
  • Matthew John Grose (1843 – 1905) – husband of Louisa Adie
  • Walter Henry Grose (1847 – 1902) – husband of Elizabeth Kneale
  • Emma Mary Grose (1847 – 1920) – wife of William Clarke Dawson
  • Martin Grose? (1848 – ?)
  • Frederick William Grose (1850 – 1858)
  • Francis Read Grose (1852 – 1889) – husband of Fanny Summerville Thomson
  • Clara Weston Grose (1853 – ?) – wife of William Kinnock
  • Florence Amelia Grose (1855 – 1879)
  • Albert Edwin Grose (1858 – 1931) – husband of Mary Ann Wright?

Manx Sun, Saturday, February 06, 1858; Page: 5

  • Horace Hamlet Grose (1860 – 1908) – husband of Elizabeth Vick

His wife, Anne, died in May 1868 and was buried 8th May 1868 in Marown, Isle of Man.

Manx Sun, Saturday, May 09, 1868; Page: 21, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

Second Marriage:

He married his second wife, a widow, Elizabeth Luff (nee Qualtrough) (1835 – 1918) on 22nd September, 1868.



Isle of Man Times, Saturday, October 03, 1868; Page: 5, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

They had 5 children:

  • Beatrice Catherine Grose (1869 – 1929) – wife of Richard Clague
  • Maud Mary Grose (1872 – 1920) – wife of William Edmund Moore
  • Laura Margaret Grose (1875 – ?) – wife of William Henry Cubbon
  • Herbert Qualtrough Grose (1879 – 1956)
  • Frederick William Grose (1881 – ?)

Matthew Grose died on the 11th October 1887 and was buried on the 14th October in Rushen, Isle of Man. Interesting that this newspaper spells his property Beal-e-Vere whereas other records have the more ‘manx sounding’ Ballavayre!


Manx Sun, Saturday, October 22, 1887; Page: 13, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

His wife, Elizabeth died in 1918 and was buried 19th June, 1918 in Rushen, Isle of Man.


 Isle of Man Examiner, Saturday, June 22, 1918; Page: 2, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

FURTHER READING AND RESOURCES:

Most information in this post (but not quite all!) concurs with that within the fantastic ‘Lawson Spouses’ research papers of the late Brian Lawson. Some differences are because other records have been discovered recently.

Please contact here if you spot errors, have extra information to share, or require specific details.

View more records from the Isle of Man Museum http://imuseum.im/search/all/search?tab=all&view=&term=grose&sort=&size=20&images=

 

 

 

The migration of Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849)

Leaving the south west and heading north.

Matthew Grose, born in 1788, is the Adventurous Ancestor who left the mines of Cornwall and Somerset in England.

Around 1828 he was seeking new opportunities in the mines of Foxdale in the Isle of Man.

Moving with his wife, children, other family members, friends and mining / engineering colleagues from Cornwall  – they all headed across the breezy Irish Sea.

Upon arrival in the Isle of Man, his community-minded wife, Mrs Mary Grose (nee Wearn), would have noticed the hustle and bustle in the town of Douglas.

“Women often with round hats, like the Welsh, and girls without shoes and stockings, though otherwise not ill dressed..”

 

 (Extract from a visitor’s diary in 1828)

Bringing mining expertise to the island

Matthew Grose came from a renowned family of mining captains and engineers. Like other Cornishmen migrating to the Isle of Man, he brought with him specialised skills and direct experience of new technologies that were revolutionising mining at that time.

Previously we’ve read about his father, Matthew Grose (1760 – 1824) and uncle, Samuel Grose senior  (1764 – 1825) who were mining captains in Cornwall and Somerset.

Captain Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849) was a first cousin to Captain Samuel Grose junior (1791 – 1866), who was a pupil of Richard Trevithick. Samuel Grose junior was called the ‘most scientific engineer in Cornwall’.


Many of Matthew Grose’s sons became mine captains, agents and engineers. His sisters and daughters married into families of other Cornish mine captains and engineers.

Timeline for Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849)

1788 Matthew Grose is baptised at the parish church of St Andrew, Loxton, Somerset. His father, Matthew Grose and uncle, Samuel Grose are likely in Loxton with other Cornish miners on an expedition to explore the green veins that have been found in the caves there. Unfortunately these contain no copper and the venture is abandoned.

1789 (likely earlier) – 1800 His father, Matthew and uncle, Samuel are mine captains at the Dodington copper mines.

  • 1793? His brother John baptised in ? 
  • 1797? His sister, Elizabeth baptised in Somerset? (Wife of Obadiah Ash?).

1801 Dodington copper mine in Somerset closes when unable to raise capital to buy a steam pumping engine.

  • 1801 His brother William and sister Grace are baptised in Gwinear.
  • 1807 His sister Elizabeth (Eliza) is baptised in Gwinear
  • 1809 His sister, Mary, marries Henry Francis in Gwinear.

1809 Aged 21, he marries Mary Vivian Wearn in Phillack.

1810 His uncle, Samuel Grose snr and cousin, Samuel Grose jnr, puts their names to a ‘protest of miners’ at Wheal Alfred in the Royal Cornwall Gazette. They are distancing themselves from political reformist, Edward Budd who was establishing a new newspaper (the West Briton or Miners Journal). A ‘Matthew Grose’ signs the petition too – likely him (or father).

  • 1812 His daughter, Emma is baptised in Phillack.
  • 1814 His daughter Jane is baptised in Phillack. On one census she describes herself as from Relubbus. Perhaps her father worked at mines near there.
  • 1817 His daughter Mary is baptised in Phillack

1817 Dodington Copper mines in Somerset reopen when a steam pumping engine is installed.

  • 1819 His son, Matthew is baptised in Phillack.
  • 1821 His son, Thomas is baptised in Dodington, Somerset

1821 Dodington mines in Somerset close after heavy losses.

1824 His father, Matthew Grose, is buried in Dodington, Somerset

  • 1826 His son John is born in England. (No baptism record found yet). John is husband of Charlotte Clucas.
  • 1826 His daughter Mary is baptised in Phillack.

1828 Isle of Man mining company formed by investors from Liverpool, Chester and Flintshire and lease Foxdale mines.

  • 1831 His daughter Eliza Grace is baptised in Marown, Isle of Man
  • 1832 His son Edwin William Wearn Grose is baptised in Marown, Isle of Man
  • 1833 His daughter Lavinia is baptised in Marown, Isle of Man
  • 1835 His eldest daughter, Emma, marries Captain Jonathan Harrison (both ‘of Foxdale Mines’) at Kirk Patrick, Isle of Man. The couple move to Llanidloes in Wales, then onto Meadowtown, Westcott and Snailbeach mines in Shropshire.
  • 1835 His son, Samuel Grose is baptised in Marown, Isle of Man
  • 1837 His sister, Eliza, marries Captain Absalom Francis in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and then to the mines of Halkyn, Flintshire.

1839 His wife Mary Wearn passes away at Foxdale Mines, Isle of Man. Her obituary in the West Briton newspaper, Jan 25, 1839 reads 

“On Tuesday, the 8th instant, at Foxdale Mines, Isle of Man, Mary, the beloved wife of Captain Matthew Grose, aged 49 years, deeply regretted by all her family and friends. Her charities and benevolence had endeared her to all classes, and in her the poor of the surrounding district have lost a kind benefactor and adviser.



Manks Advertiser, Tuesday, January 08, 1839; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

1839 Aged 51, He marries his second wife, Mary Tregonning in Holywell, Flintshire

  • 1840 His daughter, Jane, marries Richard Powning in Marown, Isle of Man. The witness to their marriage is Foxdale Mine Captain Edward Bawden.

1841 He appears on the 1841 census at Foxdale Mines, Isle of Man as a Mine Agent along with his children Matthew (miner), Thomas (engineer), John (engineer), Mary, Eliza, Edward, Lavinia and Samuel.

1844 Examines lead ore in Castletown


Manx Sun, Saturday, May 04, 1844; Page: 4, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

  • 1841 His son, Captain Matthew Grose, marries Anne Weston Read in Kirk German, Isle of Man.

1841 His mother, Jane/Jennifer passes away in Goldsithney, Perranuthnoe, Cornwall. Her obituary in the West Briton newspaper reads

 

“At Goldsithney, in Perranuthnoe, on the 23rd instant, at the house of her son, Capt. John Grose, Mrs. Jane Grose, aged 80 years, relict of the late Capt. Matthew Grose, formerly of Gwinear, and of Dodington in Somerset, much regretted and respected by her numerous family and friends. Her end was peace.”

 

1846

Dramatically dismissed (see separate blog post) from the Isle of Man Mining Company


Manx Sun, Saturday, January 10, 1846; Page: 8, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

1846

Opens stone quarry to send granite to Birkenhead for building docks.

1849 

Matthew Grose passes away.


Manx Sun, Wednesday, June 27, 1849; Page: 5

He is buried at Marown, Isle of Man


Resources and further reading:

http://www.manxmines.com/manx__mines__history.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday/dblock/GB-226000-476000/page/10

http://www.nmrs.org.uk/assets/pdf/BM3/BM3-34-42-introduction.pdf

https://www.gov.im/lib/docs/mnh/education/trb/mining/teachersresourcebkpt2thestoryofmi.pdf

http://www.cornish-mining.org.uk/delving-deeper/cornish-mining-isle-man

Please contact if you spot any errors, or have additional information to improve this post!

Desperately seeking… Samuel and John Grose

When researching family history it can be frustrating when records and documents that ‘should’ exist cannot be found.

I’m currently hunting for the baptism record of Captain Samuel Grose (1791 – 1866).

It is well documented that he was born in Dodington or Nether Stowey in Somerset to parents Samuel Grose and Eleanor (nee Giddy).

His census records and death records all indicate this too, but his actual baptism record remains elusive.

Perhaps he was born and/or lived there, but was baptised elsewhere?

The family had connections to Redruth, Hayle, Gwinear, Phillack and likely travelled elsewhere in Somerset and Cornwall.

Another record that I’m seeking is a baptism for Captain John Grose, son of Matthew Grose (1760-1824) and Jane/Jennifer (nee Williams).

He is mentioned in his mother’s obituary in 1841.

His siblings’ baptisms span 1784 – 1807, so he could have been baptised anywhere around there. Likely around 1793.

Once again the likely location is within Somerset or Cornwall.

Alternatively, there could be an error in the obituary and John is another relative – perhaps a nephew, rather than a son.

The obituary in the West Briton newspaper reads “At Goldsithney, in Perranuthnoe, on the 23rd instant, at the house of her son, Capt. John Grose, Mrs. Jane Grose, aged 80 years, relict of the late Capt. Matthew Grose, formerly of Gwinear, and of Dodington in Somerset, much regretted and respected by her numerous family and friends. Her end was peace.”


There can be many different reasons for ‘hard to find’ baptism records.

Misspelling of names is a common reason. The spelling of names was changeable, often recorded phonetically.

When researching the Grose family tree we encounter records with surname spelling variants like Grove, Groce, Groves, Gover, Gross, Grosse, Grace, Grasse, Gasse and Craze and Cross.

Forenames can cause problems too.

We can see the same person as Jane, Jenefer, Gennifer or Jennifer.

Eleanor, Elenor, Allnir, and Ellen.

Matthew, Matthias and Mathew.

Ann, Annie, Anne and Ellen.

Mary, Maria and May.

As well as the names differing on the actual records, transcription errors can add another level of confusion. eg, When Lisa becomes Jessie.

Often, with patience and sometimes years(!) of detective work these puzzles can be solved, either on our own, or with the help of others.

If anyone finds the ‘missing’ baptism records for Samuel and John Grose, please comment below, or contact here.

I’ll be happy to try and help out with your most puzzling puzzles!