The career of Captain Matthew Grose (1819 – 1887)

Born in Cornwall, Captain Matthew Grose (1819-1887) was a renowned Mining Engineer in the Isle of Man. He managed Ballacorkish Mines on the island and also inspected many others, too numerous to cover in one post.

He was a mining man through and through. His father, also called Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849), born in Loxton, Somerset, was a Mine Agent who worked in Cornwall, then at Foxdale Mines, Isle of Man from 1828-1846, before opening a ‘fine granite quarry’.

His grandfather, another Matthew Grose (1761 – 1824) and great uncle, Samuel Grose (1764 – 1825) were Cornish Mine Captains born in Redruth, who worked at mines in Cornwall and Somerset.

More information about his family can be found here.


Photo of Matthew Grose 1819-1887 (Courtesy of Manx National Heritage)

1819 Matthew was baptised at Phillack, Cornwall on 19th March, 1819.

1828: At the age of nine, Matthew moved to the Isle of Man where his father becomes a Mine Agent at Foxdale Mines.

1841: The census shows Matthew is living and working at Foxdale Mines with his father who is the Mine Agent there. Matthew is working as a miner and his brothers, Thomas and John are engineers. Later that year he married Anne Weston Read.

1846: Slater’s Directory (Douglas) lists Captain Mathew Grose as the Agent to the Foxdale Mining Co. Adress given as Moore’s court, Market place. This is his father, but undoubtably both were still working closely. This is the year his father was dramatically dismissed from Foxdale Mines. The Crown Agent, John Taylor, then stepped in and gave him setts of land & he opened a fine granite quarry.

1846-1851: At some point adventuring, exploration and lead mining begins at Ballacorkish (Rushen Mines) on the hillside above Colby.

1851: The census shows Matthew Grose residing at Ballagawne in Rushen with wife, Annie, four of his children and a house servant. His occupation is given as Agent of Mines.

 1852: The Brig Lily is shipwrecked on the islet of Kitterland. The following morning a salvage team go to save the cargo, but the gunpowder aboard explodes. Miners at Ballacorkish have their candles go out and are thrown over by the force of the explosion.


Manx Sun, Saturday, January 01, 1853; Page: 12

1855: Limited lead mining operations are still ongoing at Ballacorkish.

ballacorkish 1855

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, April 11, 1855; Page: 7

1856: Captain Matthew Grose supervises all mines in the parish of Rushen

Manx Sun, Saturday, February 23, 1856; Page: 4, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

1857: Matthew Grose inspects Peel Castle Mines



Manx Sun, Saturday, December 19, 1857; Page: 23

1861: The census shows Matthew Grose residing at Ballacorkish in Rushen with wife, Annie, eight of his children and a house servant. His occupation is given as Lead and Copper Mine Agent.

1862: In April, newspapers report on The South Foxdale Silver Lead Mining Company offering shares to purchase

“the lease of an extensive sett of richly mineralised property…”

And

“The sett having recently been surveyed by eminent mining engineers — Captain R. Rowe of the Laxey; Captain M. Grose, Isle of Man, whose report is endorsed…”

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, April 16, 1862; Page: 4


Manx Sun, Saturday, April 19, 1862; Page: 12

The Manx Mines website states:

Work resumed when the mines were reopened in 1862 and developed on two lodes. Two shafts had been sunk 600 yards apart and the sett was worked as two separate mines which were known simply as North and South with no connections being made underground. The North, or Phosphate shaft (Rushen mine) was sunk to a depth of 360 feet (60 fathoms) with levels at 15, 30, 45 and 60 fathoms. The bottom levels were driven for 180 feet south and 780 feet north. The South shaft  (Ballacorkish) was sunk to a depth of 450 feet (75 fathoms) with levels driven at 12, 24, 36, 60 and the bottom at 75 fathoms which had been driven to a length of 390 feet south and 1470 feet north. Both mines had to pump water out at the rate of about thirty gallons per minute but an adit level driven from the main road also helped to drain the mine and reduce the pumping cost.

Extract from: http://www.manxmines.com/BALLACORKISH.htm

1863: Thwaites Directory (Rushen) lists Captain Matthew Grose as the manager of South Foxdale Mines (Ballacorkish).

The South Foxdale Silver-Lead Mining Company have recently been established for the working of a set of mines lying south of the Foxdale mines. The set includes the Ballacorkish Mine and is upwards of four miles in extent. The capital of the company is £25,000 raised in shares of £6 each. The works comprise an edit level driven about 300 fathoms, which has yielded a considerable quantity of lead ore and blonde. About 200 fathoms from the entrance is a large east and west lode, from which, within a very small space, a cargo of rich silver ore was raised. About 80 fathoms in advance of this edit, two shafts have been sunk about 20 fathoms deep, and several parcels of ore raised; and a few fathoms from the present end of edit, several lumps of ore near the surface have been found in an east and west direction, yielding from 60 to 60 ounces of silver to the ton of ore.

Also, 

“Captain Grose… has for years past entertained a high opinion of the property”


Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, July 01, 1863; Page: 2, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

1863: Matthew is involved with other mining operations on the island.

LEAD MINE AT KERROW – MOAR , LEZAYRE .— Some two years ago a company commenced operations in search of the metal in this district, and after bestowing considerable labour and expense , were so ill remunerated for their outlay and trouble that the project was by them abandoned. Not discouraged, however, by a past failure , a new company has been formed, and a number of miners and labourers are now engaged in sinking a shaft and making other necessary preparations for searching for hidden treasures. The new company have not taken to the old working, but opened a new one a little higher up the hill, though in the immediate neighbourhood of the old mine. We bave been informed, on reliable authority, that they have already, during their progress, obtained large Quantities of ore, with encouraging prospects before them. Under the mining skill of Captain Grose, there is no doubt that the resources of this new mine will be fully developed; and if successful ia the enterprise, it will prove a great boon to the labouring classes of this locality.”

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, December 16, 1863; Page: 3

1868: Mining operations are going well at Ballacorkish.


Isle of Man Times, Saturday, May 09, 1868; Page: 6

His wife Anne died in May 1868.

He takes out a notice in the newspaper to state that he won’t be responsible for debts contracted by others.


Isle of Man Times, Saturday, June 13, 1868; Page: 8

In September 1868 he marries his second wife, a widow, Elizabeth Luff (nee Qualtrough).

In October 1868, two of his sons are in bother for stealing apples. Matthew Grose is referred to as:

“…the well-known manager of the Ballacorkish Mines, who is respected and beloved by all who know him.”

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, October 14, 1868; Page: 3 (Courtesy of Manx National Heritage)

1870: Matthew issues several reports on progress at Ballacorkish.


Isle of Man Times, Saturday, January 29, 1870; Page: 3


Isle of Man Times, Saturday, February 12, 1870; Page: 3


Isle of Man Times, Saturday, April 09, 1870; Page: 3


Isle of Man Times, Saturday, April 23, 1870; Page: 3


Image of Ballacorkish Mines © (Posted with permission of image owner: Rob Cannell, Isle of Man)

1870 proves a dramatic year at Ballacorkish. Very shortly after the mining updates it appears in the newspapers that…

“some fresh arrangements have taken place”

and

“Major Thorpe who holds a large number of shares in the mines has taken the sole management of this important undertaking”

and

“Some slight difficulties arose in the fresh management of the affairs.”

The ‘slight difficulties’ being that Major Thorpe made allegations that five young men (including some relatives of Captain Grose) had threatened to “Cook his Goose” and shoot him!



Manx Sun, Saturday, May 14, 1870; Section: Front page, Page: 1

But was it fake news?

Isle of Man Times, Saturday, June 18, 1870; Page: 3

1871: The England census shows Matthew Grose (Mine Agent) with his second wife Elizabeth (nee Qualtrough). He is in Pontesbury, Shropshire, England visiting his older sister Emma Harrison (nee Grose) who is wife of Jonathan Harrison (Mine Agent).

He is also on the 1871 Isle of Man census at Ballakilpatrick road, Rushen with occupation given as Agent Lead Mines.

1872: Matthew Grose inspects a mine at Dalby, Isle of Man.


13 April 1872 – Isle of Man Times – Douglas, Isle of Man

1873: Newspapers report on the issuing of a prospectus for the Colby Mining Company limited

 “for working silver lead mining properties in the Isle of Man, covering nearly 400 acres in the parish of Arboury. Capt. Rowe, of the Great Laxey Mines; Capt. Bowden formerly of the Foxdale Mine; and Capt. Grose formerly of the Ballacorkish Mine all report very favourably of the prospects of the mine.”


1875: Matthew Grose is appointed manager again. 

“…a more competent gentleman can scarcely be found.”

 


Isle of Man Times, 13 March, 1875

1880: Matthew seems to be in some financial difficulties with his goods and effects being sold off.


Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, April 28, 1880; Page: 8

1881: The census shows him at The Level, Rushen with wife and children. He is Captain of Lead Mines, unemployed.

1886: Matthew Grose is ill and residing at Ballakillowey.


Isle of Man Examiner, Saturday, March 13, 1886; Page: 4

1887: Matthew passes away at Ballavayre (or Beal-e-Vere in the newspaper).

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

Conclusion:

These are just a handful of the references to Matthew Grose’s long mining career on the Isle of Man. In future posts, specific aspects might be revisited and discussed in more detail.

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’.

Also thanks to fellow researcher, Rob Cannell – between us we’ve found plenty of newspaper clippings!

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

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/mines/Ballacorkish-Lead-Mine-2/

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/Album/Photographs-Of-Ballacorkish_62848/

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/record?catid=5641891&catln=6

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4800471

Matthew Grose opens ‘a fine granite quarry’ at Foxdale

Quick recap

You will recall from a previous post, (The Saga of Matthew Grose, John Taylor and The Isle of Man Mining Company) that during January 1846, Captain Matthew Grose (1788-1849) was dramatically and unfairly dismissed (handcuffs indeed!!) from the Isle of Man (Foxdale) Mining Company.

By July 1846, the Crown Mine Agent, John Taylor had stepped in and deprived the company of their lease to land throughout the island, (apart from their mines at Marown). He gave Captain Matthew Grose setts of land taken from the company.

So what happened next?

A fine granite quarry:

By September 1846, the Manx Liberal newspaper reported on an exciting new venture by the entrepreneurial Captain Grose, his sons and Richard Powning (his son-in-law):

“We are gratified to learn that in consequence of the recent eruptions at the Foxdale mines, our Island is likely to he benefitted to a considerable extent. A fine granite quarry has just been opened in the neighbourhood of the mines by Messrs. Grose and Powning, and we learn that orders have been received for large shipments of the stones to Birkenhead, to be used in the construction of the docks now building there.”

Manx Liberal, Saturday, September 12, 1846; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

The first shipment:

By January 1847, the Manx Sun newspaper reports on the first shipment of Foxdale granite leaving the island for Birkenhead. There is also interest from London for paving blocks.

“The first shipment of excellent granite, raised at Foxdale, took place this week at Peel, for Birkenhead. Some of the blocks weighed five tons, and are intended for the construction of Birkenhead docks. We likewise have heard that a party in London are in treaty with the workers of this quarry for smaller blocks, suitable for paving. The stone is reported to be of excellent quality.”

Manx Sun, Saturday, January 16, 1847; Page: 4, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

Paving Douglas:

In January 1847, it is reported that Douglas is to be paved with Foxdale granite…

“We understand that the High Bailiff of this town [Douglas] intends to order -from the proprietors of the granite quarry, at Foxdale, stone to pave the market-place. If found to answer, of which there can be no doubt, the streets are to be all paved with the recently-explored Foxdale granite, of which there is an inexhaustible supply. It is said to surpass the Scotch granite, the only place where that stone is to be had in Great Britain.”

 

Manx Liberal, Saturday, January 30, 1847; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

Church at St. John’s:



In May 1847, the Manx Liberal newspaper reported on the enormous quantities of granite being shipped and how the new church at St Johns’s will be built of Foxdale granite:

The granite quarry at Foxdale, is likely to become of great benefit to this Island. Tbe number of men has been increased of late, and carts from the different parishes in the Island are employed in conveying the blocks of stone to Douglas daily, from whence it is exported to London; one day this week the dray of Mr. John Hogg, of this town, brought down three tons, in company with a train of other carts. Several of the hands who worked at the Scotch quarries are employed here, and by them the stone is acknowledged to be of a superior quality, and is of easier transition for exportation than in Scotland. The new church at St. John’s, it is said, will be built of this stone.

Manx Liberal, Saturday, May 22, 1847; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage


Image of Tynwald Church, St John’s © (Posted with permission of image owner: Rob Cannell, Isle of Man)

Stone for sale:

In May 1848, we see Matthew Grose, Richard Powning (his son-in-law) and a business associate, Charles Berry, selling off granite stone:


Manx Sun, Wednesday, May 17, 1848, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

(If anyone knows what this ‘Coroner’s Sale’ might imply, please let me know!)

Death:

In 1849, Captain Matthew Grose passes away on 19th June, 1849 and buried on 23rd June at St. Ruinus, Marown.

“On Thursday last at Laburnum Cottage, near this town. Capt Matthew Grose, for many years manager of the Foxdale Mines, aged 70 years.”

Manx Sun, Wednesday, June 27, 1849; Page: 5, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

The Albert Tower:

Just a month after Captain Grose’s death, the Manx Liberal newspaper reports on the opening of the Albert Tower in Ramsey and how Foxdale granite was used for the window corners:

The Tower was built by subscription by the inhabitants of Ramsey, from the design of G. W Buck, Esq.; it is a square building, about forty feet high, built of blue slate, with the exception of the window corners and coping, which are built of granite from the Foxdale quarries. The door is on the eastern side, over which are the three legs of man, and the following inscription :

—”Albert Tower. Erected on the spot where H.R.H. Prince Albert stood to view Ramsey and its neighbourhood, during the visit of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria to Ramsey Bay, the XXth September, MDCCCXLVII.”

Manx Liberal, Saturday, July 28, 1849; Page: 3, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage
img_4243
Image of Albert Tower, Ramsey, Isle of Man © (Image owner: Adventurous Ancestors)

A tribute:

Perhaps it is a fitting tribute to the adventurous ancestor, Captain Matthew Grose. He was baptised in the tiny hilltop village of Loxton, Somerset in 1788 whilst his Cornish father and uncle were there on a speculative copper mining venture.
After his own mining adventures (in Cornwall, Somerset and the Isle of Man), he ends by contributing materials to build Birkenhead docks, pave the streets of Douglas and London, build a church at St John’s and finally decorate the Albert Tower – which is built on a hilltop, celebrating the visit of Royalty.

Further reading:

Quarries
Albert Tower
Church at St John’s

Matthew Grose and Mary Tregonning, married 1839 in Halkyn, Flintshire

Another little diversion of sorts…

From census and obituary records we know that Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849) was married twice.

Firstly to Mary Wearn (1790-1839) who he married 6th June 1809 in Phillack, Cornwall.

This Mary died at Foxdale Mines, Isle of Man on 8th January 1839.

Secondly to another Mary – who (from marriage index records and discussing with others over the years) we’ve worked out was most likely Mary Tregonning (1796-1864).

According to the England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915, Mary Tregonning and Matthew Grose both married in Quarter 3 (July-Aug-Sept), 1839 in Holywell, Flintshire.

If this is the right person, Matthew Grose married Mary Tregonning seven months after his first wife, (Mary Wearn) died.

The big questions have always been:

Why did Matthew Grose get married in Flintshire if he lived in the Isle of Man? Was his new wife living there?

If he remarried in 1839, where is his new spouse (now, Mary Grose) on the 1841 census, which was taken on the evening of 6th June 1841? She is on the Isle of Man as his widow in the 1851 and 1861 censuses.


It was worthwhile obtaining their marriage record to look for more clues:

From the marriage record we find the following additional information:

Date of Marriage: 12th August, 1839

Place of Marriage: Parish Church of Halkin (Halkyn), Flintshire

To see they married in Halkyn is very interesting because Matthew Grose’s younger sister, Eliza lived there with her husband, Absalom Francis who was the Mine Agent at Halkyn lead mines.

The groom, Matthew Grose, is a widower and mine agent. His father is Matthew Grose, a mine agent.

This information helps confirm that we’ve got the ‘right’ Matthew Grose here!

The bride, Mary Tregonning, is a spinster. Her father is James Tregonning, a mine agent.

This is interesting as we didn’t know if Mary was a spinster or a widow. Also we haven’t had her father’s name or occupation before seeing this record.

Residence at time of marriage: Llan Township

Were they both really ‘living’ there, or just visiting?

The witnesses are Mary and William Davy (or Davey?)

I think their surname looks like ‘Davy‘ – what do others think?

These witnesses need further research to see if there is any family connection. Matthew Grose’s grandmother’s maiden name was ‘Davy/Davey’. Also, his sister’s (Eliza’s) mother-in-law’s maiden name was ‘Davy/Davey’.

Just to go off on another tangent – one day we’ll figure out where Sir Humphry Davy – the famous Cornish chemist and inventor – fits into this family tree.

Undoubtedly information from this marriage record will form the basis of further research and likely another genealogical rabbit warren  to lose ourselves in!

History of Mining and Engineers in Cornwall: A great resource

A short diversion before we continue with the tale of Captain Matthew Grose and his sons, (the Cornish Mine Agents in the Isle of Man).

NAVSBOOKS

Anyone with a deeper interest in the history of mining and engineers in Cornwall, should follow the fantastic NAVSBOOKS blog.

“Navsbooks is the blog and website of the author and publisher John Manley, who produces books on maps, navigation and Cornish history.”


The NAVSBOOKS blog covers in great detail many of those involved in Cornish mining and engineering, including Samuel Grose, John Taylor and William West.

ISLE OF MAN

Interestingly it seems that all of these had links of some sort to the Isle of Man.

We’ve already seen how Samuel Grose (“the most scientific engineer in Cornwall”) was the first cousin of Matthew Grose (1788-1849), who moved to the Isle of Man. Also how John Taylor intervened when the Isle of Man Mining company dramatically dismissed Matthew Grose.

But what about William West?

WILLIAM WEST

A newspaper article from 1851, in the Manx Sun, describes how the Tynwald Mining Company (operating in Marown, Isle of Man) imported…

 “a splendid engine”

that was…

“erected under the direction of Mr. William West of Cornwall which works admirably and fully to the satisfaction of all concerned.”



Manx Sun, Saturday, August 30, 1851, Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

Yet again we see the close ties between mining and engineering in the Isle of Man and Cornwall.

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’.

 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!

Mining Captains, Matthew Grose and Samuel Grose

Researching the Grose family history in the Isle of Man leads us over to Cornwall where Mining Captain Matthew Grose (1819 – 1887) was born.

His parents were Matthew Grose and Mary Vivian Wearn who married in Phillack, Cornwall on 6th June, 1809.

He was baptised in Phillack, Cornwall on 19th March, 1819 and buried in Arbory, Isle of Man on 14th October, 1887.

Some questions included…

Who was his father, (also called Captain Matthew Grose), born c1788 and buried in Marown, Isle of Man on 23rd June, 1849? It had always been a struggle to find a baptism record for him.

Was there any family connection to Captain Samuel Grose (1791 – 1866), ‘the most scientific engineer in Cornwall’?

The breakthrough came from two baptism records written side-by-side from the parish church of  St Andrew in LOXTON, Somerset!


Researching Matthew and Samuel Grose

In the 1700s and 1800s, the names ‘Matthew Grose’ and ‘Samuel Grose’ appear many times. There were confusing connections between Redruth, Hayle, Phillack and Gwinear in Cornwall, Somerset, Halkyn in Flintshire and the Isle of Man.

Time to attempt to work out ‘who was who’ and ‘what was what’.

Let’s start with two other mining captains, also called Matthew and Samuel Grose – two brothers baptised at St Uny in Redruth in the 1760s. (They had other interesting siblings – to be discussed another time).

These two brothers, Matthew and Samuel Grose worked as mine captains at Dodington in Somerset.

Their parents were likely Matthew Grose (1732- ) and Mary Davey.


CAPTAIN MATTHEW GROSE (1761-1824)

Matthew Grose was baptised at St Uny, Redruth on 24th May, 1761.

He married Jane/Jennifer Williams on 21st April, 1783 at St Uny, Redruth.

Matthew and Jane/Jennifer Grose’s children:

  • Mary baptised in St Uny, Redruth, Cornwall, 11th April 1784
  • Mary baptised in St Uny, Redruth, Cornwall, 14th May 1786
  • Matthew baptised at St Andrew’s Church in Loxton Somerset in 1788. This is who married Mary Vivian Wearn in 1809. They migrated to the Isle of Man in the 1820s where he was a Mine Captain at Foxdale and Ballacorkish (Rushen) mines. He married his second wife, Mary Tregonning, in Flintshire in 1839. (His son was Captain Matthew Grose (1819 – 1887) who took over at Ballacorkish mines & also captain at others).
  • John baptised in ? in 1793?
  • Elizabeth baptised in Somerset in 1797? Wife of Obadiah Ash.
  • William baptised in Gwinear, Cornwall, 27th December, 1801
  • Grace baptised in Gwinear, Cornwall, 27th December 1801
  • Elizabeth (Eliza) baptised in Gwinear, Cornwall, 15th March 1807. Likely the second wife of Absalom Francis, married in Shropshire, 1837 and lived in Halkyn, Flintshire.

This Matthew Grose, born 1760, was buried in Dodington, Somerset in 1824.

CAPTAIN SAMUEL GROSE (1764 – 1825)

Samuel Grose was baptised at St Uny, Redruth, 26th December 1764.

He married Eleanor Giddy at St Uny, Redruth on 21st June 1786

Samuel and Eleanor Grose’s children

  • Eleanor baptised in Holford, Somerset, 24th December 1786 (born 12th October, 1786)
  • Mary baptised in St. Andrew’s Church in Loxton, Somerset in 1788
  • Mary baptised in Luxborough, Somerset in 1789 (TBC)
  • Samuel baptised in Somerset, 1791. He married Ann Vivian in 1812. He was a pupil of Richard Trevithick and designer of the Cornish Engine. ‘The oldest and most scientific engineer in Cornwall.
  • Matthew baptised at All Saints church in Dodington, Somerset, 11th December 1795. Unmarried, copper  miner/Mine Agent on censuses of 1841 and 1851 in Gwinear.
  • Edward Giddy baptised in Nether Stowey, Holford, Somerset, 22nd November 1799 (&/or 28th Nov 1799 in Taunton, Somerset).
  • Elizabeth Giddy baptised in Gwinear, 6th January 1805.
  • James baptised in Gwinear, Cornwall, 25th February 1810. Wesleyan Methodist Minister.

This Samuel Grose, born 1764, was buried in Gwinear in Cornwall in 1825.


Mining Captains on the move!

The baptism locations of their children all have links to the mining and engineering activities of the Grose family in Cornwall and Somerset.
Redruth, Cornwall

Boomed from the 1730s for tin and copper mining when steam engines were used to pump water out of deeper mines. Town grew rapidly in the late 18th century.

Loxton, Somerset

Loxton Cavern was written about in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ in 1794.

Cornish miners came to the caves in the 1790’s where green veins’ were tested for copper. Upon assay they contained no copper and the venture was abandoned. The Cornish miners removed stalactites, possibly for sale or souvenirs.

Dodington, Nether Stowey and Luxborough, Somerset

The Dodington estate was inherited by the Marquis of Buckingham in 1762.

William Jenkin (a close associate of the Grose family) was the mine agent for the Marquis’s Cornish mines and developed mining on the Dodington estate.

Copper was mined sporadically from the 1780s until 1801, but the mine closed when unable to raise capital to buy a steam pumping engine.

Tom Poole’s business acumen and ‘the practical enthusiasm of Matthew Grose‘ the mine captain, lead to a steam pumping engine being installed and mining began again from 1817 until ceasing in 1821 after heavy losses.
Gwinear, Cornwall

Gwinear lies two miles east of Hayle and there were many mines and engineering works in the area.

Samuel Grose (1791-1866) designed the Cornish engine and some were built by Sandys Vivian and co. at the Copperhouse Foundry in Hayle.

Making Connections

Descending from the two brothers from Redruth, Cornwall who went copper mining in Somerset – we can see that Captain Matthew Grose (1788 – 1849) who migrated to the Isle of Man was the first cousin of Captain Samuel Grose (1791 – 1866), ‘the oldest and most scientific engineer in Cornwall.’


Sources and further reading:

Most records from searches on Ancestry, FamilySearch and Find My Past

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mining-Quantocks-John-Frederick-Lawrence/dp/0900187190

http://www.friendsofcoleridge.com/MembersOnly/Dunning.html

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

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-1416-1/dissemination/pdf/9781848021648_Quantocks_all.pdf

http://www.iomfhs.im/resources/lawsons/v2/spouses.pdf

http://petergardner.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Samuel-Grose-1793-1866.pdf

https://navsbooks.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/samuel-grose/

 

Note: Any errors or omissions in this post are unintentional and might be my mistakes, or transcription errors. Happy to review and update as additional information discovered and shared. Please contact if you can help.