1848 Tithe Map of Stockport showing John Marshall Esq as the owner of Heaton Lodge
After Roger Rowson Lingard died, the house was put up for sale. By 1851 John Marshall, mill owner had set up residence there.
John, was the son of James Marshall born around 1782 in Mottram-in-Longendale. James married Nanny Fielding in Mottram. In 1814’s Commercial Directory of Stockport he is listed as operating mills in Stockport, and by 1822 he is listed as a mill owner of “Marshalls Mill in the Park”, which was to become Park Mill (and come under the ownership of Eskrigge and Barr, Barr incidentally is the next owner of Heaton Lodge. It appears to have passed to Barr via the Marsland family.)
The area known as the ‘Park’ was the site of Stockport’s first mill back in 1732 when a silk mill opened there.
James Sr was not a reforming millowner. On 13 September 1822 The Stockport Advertiser reported that 8 men were committed to the House of Correction in Knutsford for two months for “combination and quitting the employment of Mr Marshall of Portwood” , it is unclear which mill this was, but by 1828 he is shown as operating from Palmer Mills as James Marshall and Sons. Marshalls Mills did not have a good reputation, and came under the gaze of Friedrich Engels when he was researching his work.
Palmer Mills were in Portwood on the banks of the River Goyt. The company became successful over the years and they expanded into ownership of other mills in Stockport and they started running Grove Mill, Heaton Mill on Heaton Lane as well as Waterside Mill in Disley.
James had four sons, James Junior, John, Thomas Steers and George, and lived at White Bank House, which alas these days is a little folorn and may not even stand any more, as in 2008 it was sold with planning permission for conversion to terraced houses.
Whitebank House from an Allsop LLP Auction Brochure 2008
John arrived first. He was born in 1801 in Portwood (which suggests a very early start for his father in the mill business) and christened at St Mary, Stockport. By 1837 he is listed as the manager of Palmer Mill, and lives in Mersey House, adjoining Palmer mill. The family are clearly successful as he marries Maria Marsland in 1840 at Manchester Cathedral.
In 1841 they are both living in Mersey House. Although the marriage was in Manchester, Maria was born in Heaton Norris to Roger Marsland of Lancashire Hill. She may have been related to the Marslands of Woodbank Hall and Highfield in Heaton Norris, but I have not been able to establish that. There was a Maria Marsland at Woodbank Hall in Stockport, she was married to Henry who ran Park mill in 1851. As this appears to have transferred from James Marshall Senior, the marriage of John and Maria may have been a part of the family and business merger. It was a lucky move for James Marshall as in 1851 Park Mill suffered a disastrous fire when a boiler exploded killing several.
Baines 1824 Map of Stockport, Showing Palmer Mill
Palmer Mill from the 1824 Ordnance Survey Map of Stockport
In 1842 he is shown as running Park Bridge Mill, which is on Raffald (later Corporation) Street and Vernon Street and by the River Goyt. By 1848 he owns Grove Mill, Palmer Mill and Heaton Mill and in 1850 the directory of Stockport alongside the 1851 census shows him living at Heaton Lodge.
His success continues and in 1851 the company is listed as having offices in Manchester. However, he does not live to enjoy this success and dies in 1852 at Heaton Lodge, and was buried at Tiviot Dale Methodist Church, which at the time was a fine Georgian Building, and became the burial site for all the Marshalls.
Tiviot Dale Methodist Church in 1826, showing a coach about to climb Lancashire Hill on the way to Manchester. From Stockport A History and Guide by Steve Cliffe
John died childless, but he had married late, both he and Maria were around 40 when they wed. Maria died at Heaton Lodge in 1864 and Heaton Lodge was once more put up for sale by John’s brother James.
The impact of new technology (near the railway!) can be felt in the advert from the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser of 28 October 1865:
“Heaton Lodge, one mile away from Heaton Chapel station, to be sold by Private treaty, or let, the mansion house called Heaton Lodge, situate in Heaton Norris, near Bank Hall, containing dining, drawing and breakfast rooms, china closet, nine bedrooms, servants hall, kitchen, laundry , bathroom and other conveniences. There are two stables and loose box and two carriage houses; also entrance lodge, conservatory and hothouses. The gardens and grounds, which are very ornamental and productive contain about three statute acres. The situation is delightful and the prospect which is most extensive and beautiful cannot be interfered with. For cards to view and particulars, apply to James Marshall , Esq, Stockport.”
You do get the feeling that John and Maria with only two servants did rattle around a little in such a big house. I suppose it was handy for the station though…
The second Marshall brother, James, was born in 1804. In 1827 he married Elizabeth Leech and they went to live in Brinnington Mount, working for the family firm. He directed his skills to the political side, and by 1848 he was Mayor of Stockport The power controlled by a few people from a narrow area is shown in the 1850 Stockport Directory, which has James Marshall as Mayor, John Vaughan (Roger Rowson Lingard’s brother in law) as Town Clerk, and several Marslands as councillors and officers.
James Marshall – Stockport Library Services
James was a trustee of Stockport Sunday School, a liberal and methodist, involving himself heavily in the running of Tiviot Dale Chapel, where he was steward for twenty years. He and Elizabeth had three girls, only one of whom married, Sarah Ann, she wed a farmer from Hale, but they had no children and that branch of the line died there. Elizabeth went to live with her daughter and husband after James’ death in 1873, and died 20 years later, they were all buried at Tiviot Dale.
Of the other two brothers, Thomas Steers Marshall was born around 1812, and appears from documents to be the one who interested himself in the finances of the company. He died young in 1850 never marrying.
Finally George who was born in 1818, and died in 1855. Although he never married, he appears to have excercised the “millowners rights” and in 1851, age 33 he is shown as living alone at Palmer House, with Mary Ann Fish, aged 34 as his housekeeper and with a maidservant, Jane McDonald aged 19. There are no children we know of…
All brothers then amassed wealth but had nobody to pass it on to, all being buried at Tiviot Dale Chapel, and today their graves are gone, covered by the motorway.
Eventually the power of the Marshalls dwindled and the cotton panic of the late 1860s made James ill. He died of ‘apoplexy’ in 1873 with no heirs to continue running the business.
In February 1884 Palmer Mills were offered up for Auction at the White Lion in Stockport. They must have been in a state of disrepair by then as in 1885 £26,000 capital was raised for their rebuilding.
Today Palmer Mills have gone, the mill that stood until 2000 was the number two mill, and even that underwent a major fire in 1892. The power that was the Marshalls in Stockport burned very briefly.
Copyright Allan Russell 2019