Thomas BROOKS 1843-1931
Jo Williams writes:
"....Thomas BROOKS, a lead miner, husband of Emma Matilda BROOKS,
maternal grandfather of Florence SLACK. Thomas & Emma married on
17 Sep 1863 and had eight children. In 1881 they lived in Main Street,
Middleton.Photo taken in 1930.
Follow Thomas BROOKS and his ancestors in these Census links:
And also see his Pedigree
In July 2006, Jo Williams sent the following newspaper cutting.
From the Derbyshire Times.
Saturday, June 9, 1928.
MIDDLETON'S OLDEST RESIDENT.
Mr T.Brooks celebrates his 85th birthday.
Mr Thomas Brooks, Middleton's oldest resident, celebrated his 85th
birthday last week, and was the recipient of many congratulations.
Mr Brooks, who is confined to his bed, is a native of Middleton, and
was born in 1843 in the same house in which he now resides. He was the
son of Mr Samuel Brooks, a lead miner, and when about ten years of age
started as a "server", carrying the ore to be washed. In those days
there was no machinery to dress the ore and it had to be washed at the
top of the mine by women. The women began their work with hand sieves
at 8 am and did not finish until 4 pm, the pay being 1s 6d per day.
The boys who carried the ore were paid 6d per day.
When 12 years of age Mr Brooks started work in the lead mine "Ratchwood".
He delighted in talking of old times, and while chatting to our
representative told how he used to be taken to Carsington races, which
in those days was an important event. Mr Brooks has a splendid memory
and is able to give correct dates of past events. He remembers when there
was no railway between Cromford and Matlock, and he also recollects the
High Tor tunnel being driven through, his father having helped in its
Mr Brooks states that he was born about a year before Middleton Church
was erected and was one of the first boys to enter the day school when
it was first built. He remembers the first P.M.Chapel in Middleton,
the old chapel, which has been superseded by a new one, and can
also recall the re-building of the Wesleyan Chapel. The problem of
the water supply seems to have been more acute in those times than
at present, for Mr Brooks remembers there being only
THREE TAPS IN THE VILLAGE,
one at the top, the middle tap, and the alley tap. He spoke of the time
when a tinder box and flint and steel were used to obtain a light.
Mr Brooks also recalled to mind a tragic event, when three thatched
houses which stood on ground in front of the house now occupied by
Mr Tom Walker were burnt to the ground. It appears that the tenant of
one of the houses was "rather partial" to pancakes and, expecting
some for his dinner one day, he was bitterley disappointed to find
that his wife had not produced any. Asking for an explanation, he
was told that she had no fat in which to fry them, and with the
exclamation "I will soon find you some fat", he brought some tallow
candles and threw them into the pan, with the results that the
chimney and thatched roofs of the houses took fire and the premises
were burnt to the ground.
Mr Brooks was married to Miss Emma Matilda Doxey, daughter of Mr Thomas
Doxey, Hopton. There are eight children of the marriage (two sons and
six daughters), the eldest being 64 years of age. Mr and Mrs Brooks were
married at Middleton Holy Trinity Church by the Rev. R Denman Norman,
who has just celebrated his 100th birthday. Mr Brooksis a non-smoker.
He has been a life-long Primitive Methodist. Until two years ago
he was often seen taking his favourite walk on the Gellia Road. His
youngest daughter now lives with him, his wife having died 39 years ago.
And a further cutting from Jo Williams:
From the Derbyshire Times 1931?
MIDDLETON'S OLDEST RESIDENT.
Many Mourners at Funeral of Mr Thomas Brooks.
Mr Thomas Brooks, aged 88, who died at New Road, Middleton, on Friday,
was the oldest resident of the village. He lived with his youngest
daughter and her husband, Mr and Mrs J Wigley, his wife having died
40 years ago. He started work at the age of 10 as a "server" on the top
of a lead mine, and two years later went down the mine and was in that
occupation until he retired at the age of 70.
As a youth, he was a chorister at the Parish Church, where he was married
by the Rev Denham Rowe Norman, who recently died at the age of 103. There
were eight children of his marriage, six daughters and one son of whom are
living. There are 26 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. As a
Primitive Methodist, Mr Brooks was a trustee of the local church. He was
also keenly interested in sport and was a non-smoker.
The funeral took place at Middleton on Monday at the new cemetery, a service
in the P.M. Church being conducted by the Rev S A Price, assisted by the
Vicar (the Rev Basil Dawe). Three hymns were sung. Mrs Harrison was organist.
Mourners were:- Mr W Brook (son); Mr and Mrs Edward Mather, Mr and Mrs P Boden,
Mansfield, Mr and Mrs John Slack, Mr and Mrs Thos Flint, Wirksworth,
Mr and Mrs george Slack, Mrs John Wigley (sons-in-law and daughters);
Mr S Brooks, Bolsover (daughter-in-law); Mr John Wigley, Mrs William
Brooks, Mr T Brooks, Shirebrook, Miss Ada Flint, Mr John Slack, Mr John
Wigley, junior, Mrs Henry Jepson (grand-children).
Bearers were Messrs H Mather, A Boden, W Slack, Thos Brooks, senr.,
Bolsover, H Slack, G Mather, J Slack, junr., and J Petts (grandsons)
Among those present at the church were Mrs Johnson, Mrs Charity,
Mansfield, Mrs Arthur Boden, Mrs Bristoe, Mansfield, Mrs C Slack,
Mrs Sidney Flint, Mrs N Harrison, Misses E Mather, D Slack and Doris Flint
(granddaughters); Mr and Mrs Hilditch, Wirksworth; Mr Macbeth, Wirksworth;
Mr J Walker (P M Church Circuit steward); Mr Henry Slack (society steward);
and Mrs John Walker.
Representing the Wesleyan Church were Mrs Martin and Mrs A Millward.
Flowers were sent by:- Arthur and May; Ada and Fred; Annie and Billie
(Mansfield); Emma, Jack and Jackie; Nellie,Tom and family; Emma, Ernest and
family (Denton); Lydia, George and family; Will and Georgina; Florrie and
Walter; Hannah, Ted and family; Sarah Ann and Peter; great-grandchildren
(Buxton); Mary rose, Jack and family; Mrs Geo Brooks (Wirksworth); Mr and Mrs
H Jepson and family; members of the P M Church; his little friend Enid
(Mansfield); Dorothy; Mrs S Brooks and family; Mr and Mrs B Hilditch and
Maitland; Lewis and Brewin; all the neighbours; Mr and Mrs A Meredith and family.
[shortened]....He talked of the coming of the railway to Wirksworth,
the building of the Town Hall and the thousand and one public houses that
used to exist in that old world town. He once made the journey to Buxton on
the High Peak Railway, and the "coach" being drawn by horses; a fact almost
unbelievable in these days of modern transport......
Stuart G Flint writes (15 Feb 07):
It was with great interest that I viewed the information given by
Mrs Williams re her Grand fore bare Thomas Brooks 85th birthday and
his funeral as many of the mourners were of my family
Thomas Brooks daughters Hannah born 1864 married Edward Mather..They
adopted Harriett Janet Field Woodiwise (daughter of Samuel Woodiwisse)
who married my Uncle Sidney Flint my father's brother Uncle Sid Chief
Engineer at John Smedley Lea Mills formerly a Mining Engineer at
Bolsover Colliery where others of my kin were miners and pit deputies..
Harriett was known affectionately within the family as Aunt Dolly Mather..
In recent weeks I have had her family history sent to me from the Field
family of Long Eaton..
Ellen Brooks married Thomas Flint who was son of Joseph and Hannah Flint
nee Brooks of Greenhill Wirksworth Joseph Flint played cricket for
Derbyshire 1870s being a fast bowler.
Thomas and Ellen Flint nee Brooks had children Joseph Flint Ada Flint
and Doris Flint
Doris married Roger Hanson of Wirksworth he Verger at Wirksworth Parish
Church In my youth when attending Wirksworth Newbridge Secondary School
I had my dinner at the Flint house their son my school friend.. Joseph
Flint, Doris's brother, was my wife and my Landlord on Cromford Road
Wirksworth when we first married 1969 Joseph moving to Elm Tree Farm
Scropton near Derby..His wife was related to my Harrison Petts and Benyon
Lydia Brookes married John James Petts Monumental Mason brother of
Bertram Petts of Middleton.. John James and Lydia's daughters were
Lillian Petts who married Norman Harrison he my kin via Sims Land and
Brooks of Bolehill and Lillians sister Ada Petts who married my Uncle
John Samuel Flint, Dads brother, also brother to Sidney Flint
aforementioned ..When John James Petts died Lydia remarried George
Slack a widow (first wife Agnes Doxey daughter of William Doxey Butcher
with shops at Matlock, Matlock Bath Wirksworth and Middleton) whose
son Douglas Slack was of my distant kin also my wifes kin..Douglas Slack
managed my father's Gents Outfitters Shop at Wirksworth 1930s then took
over the business Mr Slack was my father's Best Man at Dads wedding
as was my father when Douglas married Mary Stone of Street Lane Denby..
Douglas Slack and my father were Deacons at Middleton Congregational
Church Mr Slack the Organist..The Slacks of this family were my wife and my kin
Emma Matilda Brookes married John Wigley living in my youth around The
In the 1950s when I first sang in Mount Zion Methodist Church Choir I
was placed twixt Mr John Wigley(known as Jack) and Mr Arthur Milner
brother in law to the Conductor of the choir Mr Alec Spencer..whose wife
was Alice Slack who had blood ties with the Brooks family Mr and Mrs
Spencer living across the road from Mr and Mrs Wigley... Alice Slack's
father was Henry Slack mentioned in the list of mourners Society Steward to Wirksworth Methodist Circuit
Mount Zion Methodist Church was built by my Grandfather John Walker and
his brothers under the family firm known as Joseph Walker & Sons John
Walker my Grandfather along with his wife Annie nee Cauldwell are
mentioned among the mourners Grandfather being the Circuit Steward
Grandmother being Sunday School Superintendent at Zion later taken over
by Mr Alec Spencer...
The Circuit MInister who led the funeral service was my Uncle Rev Sidney
Austin Price (married my mother's sister Elsie Walker) Uncle Austin was
born at Wem Shropshire to Welsh parents his family having an engineering
works at Birmingham...From Wirksworth Circuit Uncle Austin and Aunt Elsie
went to Retford Methodist Circuit living near Ranskill where Elsies sister
Doris in the 2nd W.W.lived with them when Doris was a General Manager
at Ranskill Ordnance Factory sent there by Mr John Bertram Marsden Smedley
Managing Director of Lea Mills where Aunt Doris was General Manager over
the Womens section up to 1960..
Uncle Austin in the late 1940s then took over a Welsh Methodist Circuit
Uncle Austin Price died at Wigan Methodist Circuit 1959
The Jepson family mentioned are also of my allied kin
Middleton village was a close knit community up to the 1950s most of
the inhabitants were blood related... The Mrs Harrison who was organist
at Mr Brooks funeral would be, I believe, wife of Mr John Harrison whose
heirs still live at Middleton today..being related to my wife and distantly
to my own family .
Regards Stuart G Flint
Photo taken: 1930
Source: Jo Williams Bristol, England
Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
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