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Article compiled by John Meads, 2006

The Stokes Family - Farmers, Wheelwrights,
Carriers and Shoemakers

John Stokes' home, Washpit Farm, High Street, pictured here when in the occupation of garage owner George Mason.
Earlier in the 20th century it was also the home of Dr. Harris and is now part of the Budgens supermarket site.

John Stokes came to Burton Latimer from Middleton c 1830. He was a farmer and moved to Washpit Farm, High Street, where he brought up a family of seven children with his wife Mary, née Wiggins. Three other children died in infancy.

His surviving children were:

1831  Mary Ann Stokes — Married in 1870 to George Frederick Downing, farmer. They lived at Downing’s Lodge, otherwise known as Buccleuch Lodge, Higham Road.

1833  Martha Wiggins Stokes — Married in 1855 to Alfred Downing, farmer. Farmed at Finedon then came back to Buccleuch Lodge.

1836  Elizabeth Stokes — Married in 1856 to John Marriott Garton, tailor, draper, farmer and then draper’s assistant.

1838  Maria Stokes — Married in 1869 to Samuel John Clarke, farmer. Moved to Warwickshire.

1840  Harriett Stokes

1843  John Northen Stokes — Farmer, followed his father at Washpit Farm, married Susannah Ann Linnell in 1871. He gave up farming and moved to Kettering where, in the 1901 census, he was a beer agent.  

1844  Emma Louisa Stokes — Married in 1869 to Allen York of Rothwell, baker.

Benjamin Stokes, John’s brother, followed him to Burton Latimer circa 1838. Benjamin was a carpenter and wheelwright and lived in Meeting Lane. With his wife Emma, née Shortland, he had six children:

1837  Mary Ann Stokes

1839  Thomas Stokes — Carrier to Kettering & Wellingborough, married Jane Howard in 1860. See below.

1841  John Stokes — Shoemaker, married Fanny Taylor in 1863. One of their sons, Arthur John Stokes, became a music teacher and was organist and choirmaster at St. Mary’ Church from 1931 to 1954.

1844  Elizabeth Stokes

1847  William Stokes

1850  Henry Stokes — Shoe worker, married Elizabeth Freeman in 1874.

Thomas Stokes
Thomas and Jane surrounded by family members
Standing L–R: 1 John T.? 2 Samuel? 3 Herbert S., 4 Fred W? 5 George H. 6 Charles. Seated: Ann, 2 Thomas, 3 Jane, 4 Benjamin.
Jane Stokes

Thomas Stokes, son of Benjamin, was a carrier who took goods to Kettering and Wellingborough with his horse and cart.

In his 'Memories of a Villager’ Albert Granger writes: "Tom Stokes was a carrier, and with his horse and cart, used to journey daily to Kettering and Wellingborough. He used to bring the shoe work from the factories in Kettering for the men to do in their own homes. He also brought the money each week for their wages. He did general carrying and would charge 1d or 2d for an errand. He would even visit the Kettering pawnbroker Mr. Brake and pawn anything he was asked. He would then redeem it the following week. One family even sent their piano in for a week to pay for a holiday".

He married Jane Howard in 1860 and they had eight children:

1861  Benjamin Stokes — Went to Sheffield to work in the steel industry after marrying Mary Ann Marriott in 1882. It is thought he later moved to Hulme, Manchester.

Charles Stokes at Manse Cottage, Meeting Lane, where he lived in the early 1890s.

1862  Charles Stokes — Married Lucy Annie Howard in 1885. Charles Stokes was Secretary and Manager of Burton Latimer Industrial & Co-operative Society for about 25 years, overseeing its expansion in Duke Street and High Street. He was a Parish Councillor for two or three terms and a manager of the High Street undenominational school from when it was built in 1898 until his death in 1923. He was a leading figure at the Baptist Church for forty years, its secretary for twenty years and, at the time of his death, a life Deacon. He was also involved in the affairs of the Ancient Order of Foresters and other charitable organisations. He had one son, who died aged 16 and five daughters.

1864  Ann Stokes — In 1884 she married William Meads, shoemaker, later dairyman. They had eleven children, one of them dying in infancy.

1866  John Thomas Stokes — Shoe worker, married Ellen Louisa Hull in 1895. Another family member involved in the affairs of the Baptist Church and the Ancient Order of Foresters.

1869  Samuel E Stokes — Shoe manufacturer (Stokes, Dicks & Co. 1903) married Elizabeth Flawn in 1890. His two sons Frederick W. and Charles E. served in the First World War; Fred lost a leg and Charles was killed in action.

1872  George Henry Stokes — Married Sarah Sculthorpe in 1905. A confectioner and grocer with a small shop in Alexandra Street. He was on the committee of the Ancient Order of Foresters, a trustee of Burton Latimer Band Club and Secretary of the Britannia WMC. He had two sons Thomas Howard and Stanley George.

1873  Frederick William Stokes —Married Fanny Louisa Geagan in 1899. He was a member of the Parish Council for a few years and also its Clerk until 1923 and then rates collector for the Urban District Council until 1929. He had two children Louie, who never married and Walter (see below) who married Grace Ashley.

1878  Herbert Shortland Stokes — Carrier, married Eva Frances Braines in 1903. They had two children, Ida (Jessie) and Ruby. He continued in his father’s carriers business from premises at 11 Church Street and then his nephew Walter carried it on after his death, transporting explosives for ICI to local ironstone quarries until the early 1960s.

Stokes Family Members:

Top Left: Herbert Shortland Stokes (1894)

Top Centre: Frederick William (1894 and 1913)

Top Right: Charles (1913)

Bottom: George Henry (Undated and 1920)


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