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.
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.
- 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.”
Dramatically dismissed (see separate blog post) from the Isle of Man Mining Company
Opens stone quarry to send granite to Birkenhead for building docks.
Matthew Grose passes away.
He is buried at Marown, Isle of Man
Resources and further reading:
Please contact if you spot any errors, or have additional information to improve this post!