The Big Houses Of The Heatons: West Bank – Part Seven: Charles Fielding Johnson

In 1913 the contents of West Bank are put up for sale after the death of Charles Scott. The Manchester Courier of 8 March that year announces the auction. Even the lawnmower is for sale, I wonder if it is the same one that Mortimer Lavater Tait owned.

Manchester Courier West Bank Contents For Sale

For a long while the only information I had about the next inhabitant was this rather curt advertisement from the Manchester Evening News of 15 March 1917.

This transpires to be Charles Fielding Johnson, who was born to John Goode Johnson and Katherine Parr Brady on 1 October 1863 in Stockport. Charles kept up the informal West Bank tradition and ran a bleachworks, but this time it was not the Heaton Mersey Bleachers, but Henry Marsland’s Park Bleachworks in Edgeley.

Katherine Parr Brady was the daughter of Charles Robert Brady and Ann Parr. Charles was born in 1801 in Orford in Suffolk, Anne was an Essex girl, born in 1804. Charles came up to Stockport to work for Robert Legh of Lyme, tending his farm as a tenant. Katherine was born in Gate Cottage, Lyme Park, the family moved in the 1840s to Cale Green, where they looked after Cale Green Farm and lived next door to Samuel Carrington who we met when looking at Cephas John Howard.

Charles then took charge of Castle Farm on Mile End Lane, which subsequently became the Davenport Park estate. He died in 1864. Katherine Parr Johnson, as she became, died in 1919.

John Goode Johnson was born as part of a long line of John Goode Johnsons, on 23 January 1831 in Langwith, Nottinghamshire. He was the brother of Thomas Fielding Johnson, who founded Fielding & Johnson Engineers, the first company to use steam engines in its factories, and subsequently in 1919 donated 37 acres of land which established Leicester University.

At the age of 18 John Goode Johnson came to Stockport and entered the firm of Henry Marsland Bleachers in 1849. He married Amelia Sophia Turney around 1855 and had four children with her. After she died he married Katherine Parr Brady on 8 October 1862, and soon after became managing Henry Marsland’s bleach works on Alexandra Park in Stockport.

Henry was clearly a generous employer to his management because John Goode Johnson amassed enough wealth to move to Brinnington House and he lived there from the late 1870s until his death on 3 September 1912, having risen to Chairman and Managing Director of Henry Marsland Ltd.

The Johnson Family 1902 outside Brinnington House
Back row l-r Lewis Brady, Charles Fielding, Isobel Katy, George Leonard, Frank Stafford
Middle row Samuel Turner, Mary, John Goode Sr, Katherine Parr, John Goode Jr
Front row Helen, Alan, Little Vic The Dog, Fanny (Frances)
Stockport Image Archive

Brinnington House stood next to Brinnington Hall, and is now the site of St Paul’s primary school in Brinnington.

Charles Fielding Johnson was the eldest of John Goode Johnson and Katherine Parr Brady’s children. in 1871 he is living with his parents on Old Road in Heaton Norris, but by 1891 he has moved to London, where he is staying with his half brother Samuel Turney Johnson (1857-1928) who is working as a wholesale lace warehouseman at Manor Villas on Hamilton Road in Islington, London, Charles is at this point working as his assistant.

Charles returned to Stockport around 1896 to marry Edith Rachel Gardiner (1874-1952) a farmers daughter from Pott Shrigley in Cheshire.

Charles worked with his father at Henry Marsland’s bleachworks and in 1901 he living at Mayfield on Goyt Crescent in Brinnington with Edith and described himself as Secretary to a Limited Company (Bleachworks). They moved to West Bank in Heaton Norris after Charles Henry Scott’s death in 1913.

Charles was a amateur entomologist, and a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He died on 22 October 1928 at West Bank, after his death his extensive Lepitoptera collection was put up for auction. The couple had no children.

Edith lived on there together with her maid, Frances Bateman, until early 1952 when she too died.

Of John Goode Johnson Senior’s other children, the first four were born to Amelia Sophia Turney.

John Goode Johnson Jr (1856-1923) took charge of Henry Marsland’s bleachworks and moved next door to Brinnington Hall, home once of the Howards. He was involved in the formation of the HM limited company and the dissolution of the partnership which proceeded it. In the new company 3/7 of control was with the Johnson family.

He married Sarah Cope Allen in 1886 and died at Brinnington Hall on 26 April 1923.

We have briefly met Samuel Turney Johnson (1857-1928) when Charles was living with his half brother. Samuel died in Brondensbury in Middlesex in 1928.

Mary Johnson (1858-1940) had a rather tragic life. She married Leonard New in 1883. Leonard was an Evesham solicitor who had settled in Stockport. Leonard became a partner in Lake New and Lake on Bridge Street in Stockport, and rose to Deputy Magistrates Clerk and president of the Stockport Law Society before dying suddenly in October 1911 at home in Longacre, on St Lesmo Road in Stockport.

They had two sons and a daughter, Oswald (1886-1915) was killed at Gallipoli, and Oliver (1893-1918) fell in Flanders. Dorothy New (1886-1936) carried out volunteer war work in Stockport, before also dying relatively young. Mary outlived them all, dying in 1940.

Katherine Johnson (born 1860) married accountant John Bark Moorehouse and they had three sons, Eric, Paul and Jack.

The next nine children were born to Katherine Parr Brady. Charles Fielding was the eldest, and then came Frances Eleanor (born 1867) married Sydney Coppock in 1894 who was by trade a paper stainer. They moved to Macclesfield where they lived at Daisy Bank.

George Leonard Johnson (born 1868) emigrated to the New York in 1891 where he married Helen Page (born 1871) and had three children. George imported cotton goods and they lived on Lincoln Street in New Jersey. They were still there in the 1940 census.

Isobel Katy Johnson (1871-) did not marry, and was still living at Brinnington House in 1911.

With Frank Stafford Johnson (1873-1950) we have a sportsman and olympic silver medalist in Lacrosse in the London Games of 1908. However as there was only a Canadian and English team competing the medal chances were rather high to start with, and our man came second in a field of two. Not unlike the 1900 Paris Olympics when England won gold at cricket against a French team populated by English expats. He also played cricket and golf at club level in Stockport.

He married Sarah Alice Pickford in 1901 and they went to live at the Alders in the Crescent in Davenport where he was manager of a textile mill.

Lewis Brady Johnson (1875-1947) became a travelling salesman for his father’s firm, settling near to his brother Frank at number 37, The Crescent in Davenport. He married rather late in life, Theresa Boyd in 1931 aged 56 and died age 72 at his house on the Crescent.

Helen Margaret Johnson (b 1877) married Lewis Hyde a Stockport solicitor and they lived at 6 Brook Road in Heaton Norris. They had three children but she died young, aged 31 on New Years Day 1909.

Alan Septimus Johnson (1879-1949) lived at Brinnington House until at least 1911, after which he married to Barbara. He visited his brother George in New York in 1939, and died in 1949.

Finally Amy Johnson married Thomas Greenhalgh a bank cashier of Heaton Moor in 1910, and they lived at Moorside in Levenshulme.

Copyright 2019 Allan Russell

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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