After Henry Kirk’s death both Parr’s House and Parr’s Mount were put up for sale.
The house was certainly big, with six bedrooms, and considered convenient for Heaton Norris station – with the viaduct newly built journeys to Birmingham and beyond were now viable, and as we learnt last time, Henry Kirk’s ex coachman had set up a carriage service from the station. We can also see that Heaton Mersey was becoming a desirable place to live, and the seller had no compunction in selling the land for housebuilding.
The 1854 electoral register shows Henry Pearson living in Heaton Mersey and in his obituary in 1887 the Manchester Evening News says he lived for there 40 years, in 1865 another auction notice posted by John Thorniley has Parr’s House once more up for sale, this time mentioning it is in the occupancy of Henry Pearson. Henry probably lived there from the late 1840s until his death in 1887. He most likely bought the property in 1865 as he is the owner at his death.
Henry Pearson was born in January 1817 in Stockport to John Pearson and Sarah. By 1838 he was working in partnership with his brother James and Thomas Rhodes running a cotton mill, the brothers continued on their own account from 1838, and in 1840 they are in charge of the Heaton Mersey Cotton works. This went bankrupt in 1840, paying a dividend of 8s (40p) in the pound to creditors. Henry was however an honourable man. In 1852, he summoned all the original creditors to his offices at 45 Brown Street in Manchester and voluntarily paid out the remaining debt, making a full dividend of 20s in the pound. His creditors were so pleased with him that the presented him with a silver tea service, worth £80 (£11,000 in 2020).
Around the mid 1830s he married Elizabeth Winterbottom the daughter of , John Winterbottom a cotton spinner from Hayfield in Derbyshire. The couple lived on Brinksway and had three children. Sarah Elizabeth married Frederick Simpson, the son of John Atkinson Simpson, a Manchester cotton merchant and the couple lived at Avenham Tower in Preston. (which subsequently became the residence of Edwin Booth of Booth’s Grocers).
George Edward Pearson (b 1839) married Sarah Jane Bennett and was a cotton spinner as his father. They lived at the Manor House on Torkington Road in Stockport and finally James Marriott Pearson (b 1842) appears to have died in infancy.
In 1843 Henry bought the old Stockport Grammar premises on Adlington Square in Stockport and built Square Mills in its place. Some would say the demise of the centre of Stockport dates from this, as a leafy pleasant Georgian square was transformed an industrial landscape which was run down by the mid 20th century.
The mill was a medium sized mill for Stockport, and had 21,000 spindles. Henry had his warehouse on Portland Street in Manchester, by 1871 he was employing 400 people.
At the same time Henry busied himself in the Heaton Mersey community. In 1857 he headed the project to build the Day and Sunday school at St John’s church there.
Elizabeth Pearson passed away some time around then, and in 1867 Henry married Mary Ellen Duckett, the daughter of Richard Duckett a partner in Duckett and Stead, Railway Contractors, who had made his fortune building the Great India Peninsular Railway.
Henry kept involved in local life, being elected as councillor for Middle Ward in Stockport in 1868, and becoming a patron of St John’s school in 1869 and a JP for Lancashire in 1869. He also owned a not insubstantial property in Didsbury, the Limes which he sold in 1885. Subsequent residents in The Limes include Rik Mayall and Ade Edmundson as students inspiring The Young Ones, fittingly I’m told it’s now an anarchist squat.
At around 9 o’clock on Friday 21 July 1887, Henry went to take a bath, after which he had an attack of paralysis after which he sadly died at the age of 71. The house and contents were sold after his death, and he left a fortune of £18,276 9s, approximately £2.1m in 2020. Mary had died the previous August, and was buried in Heaton Mersey.
Henry and Mary had three children between them. Ellen Duckett Pearson (born 1869) moved to live with her half sister, Sarah in Bispham after her parent’s death. Henry Duckett Pearson (b 1870) went to live with George at the Manor House on Torkington Road, as did Sarah Simpson after her husband Frederic died in 1878. Finally, Ethel Mary Pearson (born 1873) married Cyril Rayner Luzmore of Hayfield.
Copyright Allan Russell 2020