* Genealogy of the Beardmore & Owens Families *
(version February 27, 2023)
Please email corrections to Mike Clark





The earliest Beardmore ancestor we are certain of is Joseph Beardmore (1746-1829), who is Generation III in the following lineage. However, there is a lengthy will of six pages, in the Court of Canterbury Wills collection of the British Society of Genealogists, for one Joshua Beardmore, who moved to London prior to 1750, and died there in 1775. This will mentions "Joseph Beardmore . . . son of my late brother Jonathan". This document also lists several of Jonathan's children, as well as the children of a second brother named George. The will of this Joshua Beardmore is referenced below simply as 'Joshua's will', and it provides much of the evidence for Joseph's father and grandfather in Generations I and II below. Another important document is an 1864 letter from Henry Waterhouse to his cousin Nathaniel Beardmore, which confirms several of the items that can be deduced from 'Joshua's will'. This letter is one of the documents in the Beardmore Family Album that is discussed further under the References section. We have also included a brief Appendix that discusses the name and possible early origins of the family.

  1. George Berdmore, who was born in the late 1600s, probably somewhere in either Derbyshire or Staffordshire, is the earliest-known likely ancestor for the above-named Joseph Beardmore (1746-1829). He is thought to be Joseph's grandfather, but very little is known about him. He is listed as the father in the Dronfield, Derbyshire parish records of several of his likely children - most of whom are also identified as children of George Beardmore in the above-mentioned Joshua's will. George is mentioned as well in various apprentice papers relating to his sons - William, John and Joshua (see below). One of these documents, dated Sept 29, 1708, concerns his son John, and identifies George as being "of Unstone in this county of Darby Yeoman", Unstone being just a little more than a mile to the southeast of Dronfield. Another document, dated Oct. 4, 1728, concerns his sons William and John, and identifies George as a deceased yeoman (a free man who owned his own farm) late of Unstone, Derbyshire. This same document also states that "George could not write", and that he had at least two brothers still living at the time - one named Josias and another named Joseph. If we assume that George was at least 21 years old when his daughter Elizabeth was baptized in 1695, then he would have been born about 1674 or earlier. Also, we can constrain his death date to sometime between 1708 and 1728 based on the aforementioned apprentice papers of his sons.

    Mentions of George Beardmore of Unstone/Dronfield in three London apprentice documents for his sons John, William and Joshua. The left document, dated 1708, describes him as "Geo Besmer [Beardmore] of Unstone in this County of Darby Yeoman"; the middle document, dated 1728, describes him as "George Beardmore late of Unstone in the County of Derby Yeoman deceased", and the right document, dated 1745, describes him as "Geo. Beardsmore of Dronfield in the County of Darby Farmer deceased".

    Richard Goring in his The Beard(s)more One-Name Study website writes that our George Berdmore may be the same man as a George Beardmore/Berdmore who lived during the 17th century at Woodthorpe Mills, which was probably located at the hamlet of Woodthorpe, about six or so miles southeast of Dronfield, and not to be confused with a Woodthorpe Mill Farm that today is located on the south side of Chesterfield. Goring also writes that George was married to a woman named Rebecca, and they had at least two sons - Jonathan and Joshua. The Waterhouse (1864) letter states the same and mentions that there is a third son named George. Also, the records of the parish church of St. Mary Dronfield do indeed identify several children, including a Joshua and Jonathan, born in the late 1600's and early 1700s to a George Berdmore.

    children - BERDMORE/BEARDMORE: Six baptisms that date from 1695 to 1707 appear in the Dronfield parish church records for children of George and Sarah Berdmore. These children almost certainly correspond to individuals with the Beardmore surname, who resided in London in the decades that follow. Some family histories try to make a big deal about this seeming name change from Berdmore to Beardmore, but it is probably a lot of fuss about nothing. It is said the George Beardmore "could nor write". Thus, it is likely that both George and Sarah Berdmore did not know how to read nor write when the parish priest recorded the baptisms of their children. Although several of these children definitely knew who to read and write after they are found living in London, they were probably not even aware of, nor cared, how their names were entered in the parish registers of the town they had been born in.

    George Beardmore is believed to be the oldest child of George and Sarah Berdmore, but this is not known for sure. Joshua's will, which was proved in 1775, refers to him as "deceased", and names his children. Neither he nor his brother John appear in transcripts of the Dronfield parish records, which might indicate that they were born in another village. There is record of a George Beadsmore who was baptized on Oct. 4, 1724 to parents George and Rebecca Beadsmore in the nearby village of Stavely, but he seems to be much too young to be the George Beardmore we are looking for.

    John Beardmore (d. 1758) under the name of John Besmore (Besmer) became an armourers apprentice to one Edward Browne on Sept. 28, 1708 in London, and was admitted on or about Jan. 10, 1716 to the Company of Armourers in London. His father George was living in the village of Unstone at the time of the 1708 initiation of this apprenticeship, but both father and son were deceased in 1728 when John's brother William filed a document attesting that the family surname was properly spelled Beardmore, not Besmore. Later, William also filed a will that names John Beardmore and describes him as "Brazier of St John Street, Clerkenwell" . John's occupation is also listed as brasier (i.e., a brass worker) when on May 12, 1752 in London he took on as an apprentice his nephew Joseph Beardmore, the son of Joseph Beardmore, weaver, of Dronfield, Derbyshire. John had several children whose baptisms are recorded in the non-conformist register for Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) on Carter Lane in London. These baptisms all took place at his residence on High Street, several identify him as a brazier, and the 1737 record of his daughter Martha reveals that his residence, which was also his shop, could be found at "the sign of the Tea Kettle." He left a will, proven April 10, 1758 and available in the National Archives, that identifies him as an "Armourer and Brazier of Saint James Clerkenwell, Middlesex."

    • John Beardmore, baptized on Sept. 22, 1727 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Mary Beardmore, baptized on Oct. 20, 1728 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Thomas Beardmore, baptized on Oct, 31, 1730 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Priscilla Beardmore (twin), baptized on Dec. 7, 1732 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Mary Beardmore (twin), baptized on Dec. 7, 1732 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Joseph Beardmore, baptized on Aug. 6, 1734 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Martha Beardmore, baptized on Aug. 29 1737 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    • Susanna Beardmore, baptized on Mar. 7, 1739 at the Blackfriars Church (Presbyterian) in London.
    Elizabeth Beardmore (b. c.1695) was probably born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, as she was baptized there on June 9, 1695 in the parish church. Her father George Beardmore is the only parent indentified in the baptism register.

    William Beardmore (c.1698-1753) was probably born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, as he was baptized there on Oct. 5, 1698 in the parish church. His father George Beardmore is the only parent listed in the baptism register. William identifies himself as a taylor in a document of 1728 in which he testified that the proper spelling of the family surname for his brother John was Beardmore and not Besmore. He goes on to state that the confusion no doubt resulted from the fact that their father George could neither read nor write. William died in 1753 in Clerkenwell, and his will (made April 19 1753, and proven May 30, 1753), left everything to his brother.

    Thomas Beardmore (b. c.1699) was probably born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, as he was baptized there on Aug. 6, 1699 in the parish church. His father George Beardmore is the only parent indentified in the baptism register. He most likely died an infant before the 1700 birth of his brother and namesake.

    Thomas Beardmore (b. c.1700) was probably born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, as he was baptized there on July 6, 1700 in the parish church. His father George Beardmore is the only parent indentified in the baptism register.

    Jonathan Beardmore, who follows:

    Joshua Beardmore (c. 1704-1775) was probably born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, as he was baptized there on Feb. 25, 1704 in the parish church. His father George Beardmore is the only parent indentified in the baptism register. He married a woman named Mary (d. 1784), who might be the Mary Pyrke (Pike) who married a Joshua Beardmore on March 30, 1746 in Totteridge, Hertfordshire, but this is a guess and is not certain. We know nothing further of his life until he was admitted on April 8, 1746 to the London Company of Founders, a founder being one who casts metal. As he was over 40 years old by this time, we can assume that he was well established in his career, and that he probably first apprenticed and subsequently conducted business somewhere in Derbyshire or a neighboring area, but later relocated to London where he would have had to re-establish his business.

    The next mention of Joshua is in 1749 in a tax list for the St. Giles without Cripplegate parish in the Southwark Borough of London, and a 1750 London poll book identifies him as a founder at the Barbican, an area of Cripplegate that once housed the Roman garrison of ancient times. Then on April 5, 1756 he took on as an apprentice his nephew Jonathan Beardmore, the son of Joseph Beardmore, weaver, of Dronfield, Derbyshire. The Beardmore Foundary is known from at least 1766, and the products it produced included apothecary weights, and mass-produced mortars and pestles that were used to grind herbs and medicines. There is a cast bronze mortar inscribed BEARDMORE & CO. FECIT 1768 in the collection of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and shown on the right is a mortar made from c.1766 to c.1788 by Joshua that is from the Wellcome Collection at the London Science Museum.

    Although Joshua had passed on by 1775, the Beardmore Foundary continued under various partnerships at No. 15 Barbican until 1788, when the firm of Reynolds and Wilkens was operating a foundry at this address, Reynolds being listed as a partner in earlier versions of the Beardmore operation. John Reynolds and William Wilkins were, in fact, cousins of Joshua's wife Mary, and they are said to be mentioned in her will. Thus, when Joshua died, his foundry continued for a time under the partial ownership of probably either his wife, or another member or his immediate family, until eventually being acquired in total by his wife's relations. His wife's will, which we have yet to transcribe, probably discusses the disposition of this foundry.

    Henry Waterhouse writes in an 1864 letter to Nathaniel Beardmore that Joshua died on August 18, 1775 at the Barbican, which is one of the Medieval gates into the old walled city, and which is located in the parish of St. Giles without Cripplegate. This letter is preserved in Beardmore family album, and other than it, we know of no other mention of the actual day of Joshua's death. There is in the non-conformist register for the Bunhill Fields Cemetery in Islington an entry for the Sept. 22, 1775 burial of a "Mr. Joshua Beardmore from Cripplegate in a grave". Assuming the validity of the August 18th death date, an incredibly long span of 35 days separates Joshua's dates of death and burial. However, it was widely believed in those days that premature burials were a common occurrence. This led some to fear being pronounced dead, only to later awaken from a death-like trance and find themselves mortally trapped in a tomb or buried coffin. Hence, there were some unusually long delays in burial, sometimes weeks or more until putrefaction set in, to insure that the deceased were truely dead.

    Boyd's London Burials, at the Society of Genealogists, records that the Joshua Beardmore buried at Bunhill fields was 71 years of age when he died, an important detail that is missing from the burial register. Although Boyd may have simply assumed this age, if it is correct, then it gives the Joshua Beardmore buried at the cemetery a 1704 or 1705 birth date, which makes it possible that he and the Joshua Beardmore baptized in 1704 at Dronfield are indeed the same man.

    Joshua left a will that is dated Nov. 4, 1773, many months before his actual decease, and which was proven on Sept. 27, 1775, just a five days after his burial. He identifies himself in this will as "Joshua Beardmore of the parish of Saint Giles without Cripplegate London Citizen and Founder", and he goes on to give details about several members of his close family. These details makes Joshua's will an extremely important genealogical document on the early Beardmore family. A summary of Joshua's Will is available elshwere on this website, and the original can be obtained from the British National Archives, the Society of Genealogist and Ancestry.com.

    Joshua's wife Mary died on Nov. 24, 1784, according to the Waterhouse letter (1864), and the Bunhill Fields Cemetery register has record of the Dec. 2, 1784 burial for "Mrs. Mary Beardmore from Barbican in a grave." She also left a will, dated April 30, 1783, and proven on Dec. 1, 1784. Like her husband's will, it is available in the National Archives and Ancestry.com. Her will also names various family members, and leaves something to a "Mr. William Beardmore, hosier of Nottingham", who is likely to be her nephew.

    Joseph Beardmore (b. c.1707) was probably born in Dronfield, Derbyshire, as he was baptized there on June 22, 1707 in the parish church. His father George Beardmore is the only parent indentified in the baptism register. When Joseph's two oldest sons - Joseph the younger and Jonathan - were bound in 1752 and 1756 in apprenticeships to his brothers, the older Joseph is listed as a weaver in Dronfield. The baptism record in the Dronfield parish church lists several children who are likely to be his, in addtion to Joseph, Jr. and Jonathan whom we know with certainty. Unfortunately we do not have the name of his wife. There is record of a Hannah Beardmore, spouse of Joseph Beardmore, who was buried Aug. 5, 1775 in Dronfield, but other than name similarities we have no connection between the two.

    • Ann Beardmore, daughter of Joseph, was baptized May 8, 1748 in Dronfield, Derbyshire.
    • Joseph Beardmore (c.1739-1812) was baptized May 27, 1739 in Dronfield, Derbyshire, and apprenticed on May 12, 1752 in London to his uncle John as an armourer and brasier. He married Patience Harrison (c.1744-1828) on Dec. 21, 1766 at St Giles without Cripplegate and had several children whose baptisms appear in the non-conformist register for Whites Row Chapel (Independent) at Spital Fields. Their first three children were baptized when they lived at Hall Street, and the next three when they lived at Houndsditch, a street that follows an old ditch, which once ran along the outside of the London Wall. Lowndes's London Directory shows him as a brasier living from 1780 to 1791 at No. 125 Houndsditch, just a few doors down from his brother Jonathan, and not far from his cousins William and Joseph Beardmore at 38 Milk Street. We continue to find Joseph listed there as a brasier in various other directories for at least another 25 years, sometimes in conjunction with his son George, who continues on as a brasier at 125 Houndsditch for at least another ten years.

      Joseph and Patience, along with some of their children, are buried at Bunhill fields. Joseph was buried there on Dec 12, 1812, and Dec. 2, 1828 is the date Patience was buried there. We know of at least 6 members of the Beardmore family that were buried at Bunhill, which leads us to suspect that they were buried near one another in a family plot. Bunhill Fields today is a park, located across the street from John Wesley's City chapel, but we have no idea we have no idea if any tombstones or monuments from the family survive there today. Joseph left a will that was proven on March 9, 1813 and is available from the British National Archives. This will identifies him as a brasier of Saint Botolph Aldgate London.

      • Joshua Beardmore, born Nov. 20, 1767 and baptized Dec. 22, 1767.
      • Thomas Harrison Beardmore, baptized March 22, 1774; and buried at age 50 on Jan. 1824 at Bunhill fields. He left a will that was proven on Jan. 17, 1824 and is available from the British National Archives.
      • Jonathan Beardmore, baptized July 21, 1775.
      • George Beardmore was baptized Oct. 30, 1776, and followed his father as a braiser, working at his father's original shop at 125 Houndsditch in London. We find him there in Kent's 1823 London Directory, and he probably worked there as a brasier until his death. He was buried at the age of 51 years on June 4, 1828 at Bunhill Fields.
      • Nathaniel Beardmore, baptized Jan. 25, 1781.
      • Hannah Beardmore, born Aug. 1783, baptized Sept. 24, 1783; and buried at age 53 on Nov. 17, 1835 at Bunhill Fields.

    • Jonathan Beardmore (c.1741-1786) was baptized March 29, 1741 in Dronfield, Derbyshire and apprenticed on April 5, 1756 in London to his uncle Joshua as a founder. He evidently went on after his apprenticeship to establish his own business, as he does not appear to be connected with his uncle's well-known foundry at the Barbican in Cripplegate. He is listed in Lowndes's London Directory as a founder from 1780 to 1787 at No. 93 Houndsditch, but there is no mention of him after that, which indicates that he may be the Jonathan Beardmore who died in 1786 and was buried on Feb. 13, 1786 at Bunhill Fields. There is also a will, proven Feb. 8, 1786 and available in the National Archives, for one "Jonathan Beardmore, Cock Founder of Saint Botolph Bishopsgate , City of London." If this is him, which we strongly suspect, then he specialized in the casting brass taps (water cocks) used for drawing water, wine or beer out of kegs and casks.
    • Hannah Beardmore, daughter of Joseph, was baptized Oct. 7, 1743 in Dronfield, Derbyshire.
    • Elizabeth Beardmore, daughter of Joseph, was baptized Sept. 29, 1745 in Dronfield, Derbyshire.
    • Amy Beardmore, daughter of Joseph, was baptized May 8, 1748 in Dronfield, Derbyshire. She might be the Amy Beardmore, daughter of Joseph, who was buried May 15, 1777 in Dronfield, but this is speculation, as we do not know her age at death.
    • George Beardmore (Berdmore, Boardmore), son of Joseph, was baptized May 10, 1752 in Dronfield, Derbyshire. He might be the George Beardmore, son of Joseph, who was buried July 12, 1771 in Dronfield, but this is speculation, as we do not know his age at death.


  2. Jonathan Beardmore (Berdmore) is probably the son of George Beardmore and Rebecca, as Joshua's will (proven 1775) names him and describes him as "my late brother Jonathan (deceased)". Neither his birth nor baptism dates are known, but we can guess that he may have been born sometime between 1700 and 1707, probably in Dronfield, Derbyshire. In any case, the late dates of his possible marriages, when compared to the baptism dates of his siblings, seem to indicate that he was probably one of the younger children of his likely father George Beardmore.

    Jonathan at some time must have removed from Derbyshire to relocate 25 miles away to the southeast in Nottingham, in the adjacent county of Nottinghamshire. There he appears to have married three times. Although it is far from certain, he may have married his first wife Hannah Newton on April 11, 1737, at St. Peter's Church in Nottingham. If true, then Hannah must have died sometime between 1740 and 1742, as we know with reasonable certainty that Jonathan married Sarah Gascoyne on Jan. 20, 1742 at St. Mary's Church in Nottingham. It is possible that he also married a woman named Ann, as Joshua's Will also mentions "Ann Beardmore, widow of my late brother Jonathan at Nottingham". If true, then he is likely the same Jonathan Beardmore who took out a license on Feb. 16, 1766 to wed Ann Sellars at St. Mary Nottingham. If this third marriage is accurate, then Sarah Gascoyne, the only wife of whom we are certain, must have died between 1757 and 1767. If the death dates of Hannah and Sarah can be found in the Nottingham parish registers, then this might support the speculation that Jonathan was married to Hannah Newton and Ann Sellars, as well as to Sarah Gacoyne. Richard Goring in his Beard(s)more One-Name Study website refers to Jonathan Beardmore as "a hosier of Nottingham, who seemingly died before 1775", but Jonathan's actual death date is unknown. The fact that Jonathan's eldest son was a weaver, might indicate that Jonathan was probably one also.

    children - BEARDMORE (tentative marriage with Hannah Newton)

    John Beardmore (b. c.1737) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on March 20, 1737 at the St. Mary's parish church. He most likely died before the 1751 birth of his stepbrother of the same name.

    Mary Beardmore (b. c.1740) was probably born in Nottingham, as she was baptized there on Oct. 28, 1740 at the St. Mary's parish church. Joshua's will (proven 1775) leaves money to William and Joseph in trust for their "sister Mary, my niece".

    children - BEARDMORE (with Sarah Gascoyne)

    Joshua Beardmore (b. c.1743) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on Sept. 27, 1743 at the St. Mary's parish church. Nothing further is known about him.

    William Beardmore (c.1745-1809) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on Dec. 1, 1745 at St. Mary's parish church. Joshua's will (proven 1775) names him and describes him as a " hosier in London".  There is evidence that at various times between 1785 and 1790 he and his brother Joseph were partners in the making and selling of silk and lace goods, as various London trade directories sometimes show W. & J. Beardmore and other times show J. & W. Beardmore operating at 38 Milk Street, which is known to have been Joseph's residence and place of business. There is evidence that in later years William was a crewel manufacturer who made and sold an ancient form of raised embroidery that was stitched onto fabric.

    William died on May 2, 1809 at his house, which was also his shop, at no. 8 Owen's Place (also called Owen's Row), on Goswell Street in Islington, London (Gentleman's Magazine), and he was buried at the age of 65 on May 9, 1809 at Wesley's City Road Chapel in a family vault. The 1786 burial record of William's infant nephew John Beardmore indicates that William was the one who originally purchased this tomb. Interestingly, he is the only Beardmore outside of the family of his brother Joseph to be interred there, which indicates that William probably never married, nor had children of his own.

    When William died, his house at no. 8 Owen's Row in Islington passed to his brother John, whereas his business apparently was taken over by his brother Joseph, as an 1811 London directory lists John at the house, but the firm of Beardmore & Sons as proprietor of both Joseph's shop at Cheapside, and William's old shop at Owen's Row. Also, John's 1814 obituary writes that when he retired to his brother's house, he withdrew from business entirely. Furthemore, we know that Joseph and his sons were the sole owners of Beardmore & Sons. Thus when William died, his estate did not pass to a wife nor children, but was divided between his two surviving brothers. William left a will, which was proven on July 5, 1809 and is available from the British National Archives.

    Joseph Beardmore (1747-1829) who follows:

    Sarah Beardmore (b. c.1749) was probably born in Nottingham, as she was baptized there on Nov. 20, 1749 at the St. Mary's parish church. Joshua's will (proven 1775) names her and describes her as "at Nottingham".

    John Beardmore (1751-1814) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on Nov. 15, 1751 at St. Mary's parish church. Joshua's will (proven 1775) names him and describes him as a "cooper at Nottingham", which indentifies him as a cask and barrel maker. He became a clerk at the London brewery of Calvert & Company, probably working his way up from cooper, and eventually becaming a partner in the firm. John and his brother Joseph were also friends of the Rev. John Wesley, and both are listed in 1813 as contributors to the British Foreign Bible Society, a prominent Wesleyan Methodist charity.

    John's lengthy obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine tells us that he had an amiable wife, but we do not know her name. The obituary also states that as long as John was working at the brewery, he was in the best of health, but when he retired to a house on Owen's Row (Owen's Place) in Islington, London that he inherited in 1809 from his brother William, he began a gradual decline. He died at the age of 62 on Feb. 13, 1814 at Owen's Row, and was buried three days later at St. Giles Cripplegate. The name Owen's Row has nothing to do with John's brother-in-law the Archdeacon John Owen, and refers instead to a school associated with Dame Alice Owen, who is no relation. John also left a will that was proven on June 16, 1814 and is available from the British National Archives. This will idenitifies him as "Cooper of London."

    George Beardmore (b. c.1754) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on Feb. 12, 1754 at the St. Mary's parish church. Nothing further is known about him.

    Jonathan Beardmore (b. c.1755) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on March 12, 1755 at the St. Mary's parish church. Joshua's will (proven 1775) names him and describes him as a "hosier in London".

    Thomas Beardmore (b. c.1757) was probably born in Nottingham, as he was baptized there on July 19, 1757 at the St. Mary's parish church. He lived only a few months and died on Oct. 23, 1757 in the same parish.



  3. Joseph Beardmore (c.1747-1829), the son of Jonathan Beardmore and Sarah Gascoyne, was born in Nottingham, and baptized there on March 27, 1747 at St. Mary's parish church. His parents are shown on his baptism record as Jonathan and Sarah Berdmore. Given that baptisms in those days generally took place within a few days of the birth of the child, seldom more than a few weeks later, and given that the Beardmore family, at least those of Joseph's generation, were very religious, it is likely that he was born during the Winter of 1746/1747, and baptized soon afterwards. Although there are a number of family trees on the internet that show Joseph to have been baptized on Jan. 17, 1746 in Cheadle, Staffordshire to parents Thomas Beardmore (1717-1794) and Ann Adderly, this is completely at odds with the Beardmore Family Papers, which were compiled by Joseph's son Joshua (1787-1860), and Joshua's descendants. These documents show that the family origins are to be found in Nottingham and Derbyshire, not Staffordshire. The Cheadle baptism is also completely at odds with the lengthy will of Joseph's uncle Joshua Beardmore (proven 1775), which demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that Joseph Beardmore and his proven siblings are the children of Joshua's brother Jonathan Beardmore of Nottingham.

    No doubt the incentive for trying to erroneously attach Joseph Beardmore (d. 1829), hosier of London, to the Cheadle baptism is to try and force his lineage back to a Thomas Beardmore (d. c.1572) of Farley in Staffordshire, an ancestor of Olive (neé Beardmore) Dale (1898-1979), who carefully researched and documented her lineage back to this ancestor over many years. Mrs. Dale's notes are available to researchers in Staffordshire, and they do not show Joseph Beardmore, hosier of London, as part of her line.

    Joseph married Mary Owen (1750-1809), the daughter of Hannah Frances Owen of Publow, on Jan. 2, 1776 at St. Giles Church in the Camberwell Parish of the Southwark Borough of London. Mary was also the sister of Archdeacon John Owen, who later became the Chaplain General of both the British Army and the British Navy. Joseph subsequently became a close friend of the Rev. John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist faith, and there are several mentions of the Beardmore family in Wesley's journal and letters. Joseph was also one of the trustees, as well as treasurer, of Wesley's Chapel on City Road in London. In addition, both Joseph and his brother John were listed much later in 1813 as contributors to the British Foreign Bible Society, which was a charity dominated by Wesleyan Methodists. Furthermore, when members of the family passed on, they were generally buried at either Bunhill Fields or City Road Chapel, which were so-called non-conformist, rather than Church of England cemeteries. Thus, Joseph and his family were evidently very religious, though they would have been associated with a faith that mainstream Church of England practioners at the time basically regarded as a cult.

    Rev. John Wesley writes that Joseph was a hosier, which means that he made and sold the silk knee socks that were the fashion of his time. Apparently, Joseph did quite well at his trade, and became reasonably wealthy. He owned a warehouse at no. 38 Milk Street, in the Cheapside district of London, which was his place of business, and at times his home, from at least 1787, when his son Joshua was born there. Lowndes's London Directory in 1785 lists W. & J. Beardmore at this address, and Bailey's British Directory for the same year lists J. & W. Beardmore there, which leads us to assume that Joseph and his brother William for at least a few years were business partners. Although Joseph initially lived with his family at the Milk Street address, they moved in later years to a separate residence no. 5 Canonbury Street in Islington. Notes written by Joseph's son Joshua (b. 1787) in the Beardmore family album make no mention of Milk Street in any other context than being where he was born, which seems to indicate that most of his childhood was spent at Canonbury. Our impression is that the family was probably living at Canonbury by the middle of 1797 when Joshua was sent for several months to Walling, Berkshire, probably to a boy's school.

    Interestingly, the famous organist Samuel Wesley, John Wesley's nephew, writes in a May 15th, 1807 letter to his uncle Charles Wesley that, "Master Jacky [John] Owen, Archdeacon of York, and own brother-in-law to John Beardmore, Esq., crewel manufacturer — not cruel malefactor — Milk Street, . . . and his niece [Mary Beardmore] having recommenced her musical studies with me" . This letter is a little confusing for a couple of reasons. First, a crewel manufacturer was someone who made an ancient form of raised embroidery that was stiched onto linen. This would more appropriately apply to John's brothers William and Joseph, who were hosiers, and more likely to William, as Joseph is never referred to in any other context as a crewel manufacturer. Also, Wesley uses the name John Beardmore, who indeed was the uncle of Mary Beardmore, but he is clearly referring to Mary's father Joseph, who was the Beardmore brother who actually lived and worked at Milk Street as a hosier. John Beardmore, on the other hand, was a partner in a brewery, and even though we do not know his address in 1807 (he later lived at Owen's Row), we have no evidence beyond this account that he ever lived on Milk Street. It appears that Wesley was more interested in making the "cruel malefactor" joke, than in being straight with his facts.

    Joseph's wife Mary died in 1809, well before he did, and she was buried in a family fault at Wesley's Chapel. When Mary's brother the Archdeacon Owen died in 1824, he left half of his fortune, said to be upwards of £100,000 to the Beardmore family, with the remainder going to various charities, including the British Foreign Bible Society. This inheritance enabled Joseph's spinster daughters Elizabeth and Frances Beardmore in 1826 to acquire the manor house of Juniper Hall in Dorking, in the Mickleham parish of Surrey, and this is where Joseph retired to spend his final years. He died on Oct. 28, 1829 at Juniper Hall, and was buried on Nov. 5, 1829 in the family vault, which was just a few steps from the tomb of the Rev. John Wesley, at Wesley's Chapel on City Road in London. However, the graves were moved sometime between 1972 and 1978 during a renovation of the chapel, which makes unlikely that any tablets or memorials for the Beardmore vault still exist.

    Joshua Beardmore's will (proven 1775) names Joseph and describes him as "Joseph Beardmore, hosier in London, son of my late brother Jonathan (deceased)". There is another document that surfaced as Lot 215D on May 16, 2008 at an auction held by Bloomsbury House in London, where an album was sold of the family papers of Joshua's grandaughter Frances Mary Beardmore (b. c.1843), afterwards Mrs. Austin Dobson. One of these papers is an 1868 letter, where her aunt Mary Owen Beardmore (1813-1891) writes, "My Father's name is Joshua, the eldest son of Joseph & Mary Beardmore... who came to London ... he had success in life, had a large business in Hosiery and Soldiers Crimson silk sashes... . There were three Miss Owens who lived.... in Somersetshire they three heard Charles [name crossed out and John substituted] Wesley preach, became his devoted followers so that my Father was the child of many prayers for his dear Mother was one of these Miss Owens...". This album of family papers and the letters therein are dicussed further in the References section as the Beardmore Family Album.

    When Joseph died he left a will that was proven on Nov. 19, 1829 and is available from the British National Archives. This will was held in probate for 35 years, not being settled until 1864 with Joseph's grandson Nathaniel as administrator. Apparently his children Joshua, Mary and Elizabeth were associated in some fashion with the proceedings, but all of them had passed on by the time Joseph's estate was finally settled to the benefit of his heirs. Given the huge inheritance left to the Beardmore family by their Uncle John Owen, it is no surprise that there were legal complications when the older members of the family passed on.

    A miniature portrait of Joseph Beardmore that is shown on the left is one of two sold in an online auction (Lot #549, www.liveauctioneers.com) on June 29, 2006 to an anonymous bidder. The middle miniature is from the Beardmore family album. Both are after the portrait on the right of Joseph Beardmore that was painted by Joseph Slater, and probably mezzotint engraved by William Say.

    children - BEARDMORE

    Joseph Beardmore was born June 30, 1777 in London, and was buried at the age of five in the Bunhill Fields Cemetery. Although his sister Mary Owen Beardmore's 1868 entry in the Beardmore family album gives the death date on his tombstone as June 9, 1782, the burial register for the cemetery clearly shows that he was buried there on July 12, 1782, more than a month after the death date written by his sister. However, elsewhere in the album she gives July as the month of his demise, and because it seems unlikely that the family would have waited more than a month to bury him, we suspect that he actually died on July 9, and that Mary simply misread the date on his tombstone.

    Elizabeth Beardmore (1778-1831) was born Aug. 23, 1778, and baptized Sept. 23, 1778 by her uncle Rev. John Owen at his church at St. Albans on Wood Street in the City of London (Cheapside). She never married and died Sept. 3, 1831 at Brighton. Elizabeth and her sister Frances are buried in their Uncle John Owen's vault at St. Martin's Church in East Horsley in Surrey. There is a memorial inscription to them at the vault, as well as one at the Mickleham parish church near Juniper Hall. Elizabeth also left a will that was proven on Oct. 6, 1831 and is available from the British National Archives.

    Mary Beardmore (1779-1838) who follows:

    William Beardmore (1781-1786) was born June 17, 1781, and baptized July 14, 1781 at St. Alban Wood Street in the City of London. He was probably baptized by his uncle Rev. John Owen, as had been his older brother and sister, but this is not a certainty. He died just a week after his brother John, and was buried on Oct. 18, 1786 in the Beardmore family vault at Wesley's Chapel City Road in London. Both William and John are interred together on the west side of the vault.

    Joseph Beardmore (1783-1819) was born in 1783 and baptized Jan. 8, 1784 at St. John the Baptist in Clerkenwell, Islington. He most likely apprenticed as a hosier with his father, and we find him by 1811, and probably earlier, as a partner with his father and younger brother Joshua in the firm of Beardmore & Sons, conducting business as hosiers at 38 Milk Street, Cheapside. His father withdrew from the business in 1813, and then his brother Joshua withdrew in 1817, afterwhich Joshua shows up at times acting as his brother's attorney. Joseph in 1819 was still conducting business as a hosier. He died on Sept. 19, 1819 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, probably while visiting the family of his sister Mary Wathen. He apparently is buried in Stroud, which makes it likely that he lies in the churchyard cemetery of St. Laurence Church.

    John Owen Beardmore (1785-1786) was born June 6, 1785, and named after his uncle the Archdeacon John Owen. He was the first of three of Joseph and Mary Beardmore's children to baptized by the Rev. John Wesley. According to Hyde (1901), John's brother Joseph was the third Beardmore child baptized by Owen, but this is not consistent with the records, and Hyde is probably confusing the two brothers. John Owen Beardmore died at the age of one year and was buried on Oct. 11, 1786 at Wesley's Chapel on City Road in London with his brother William on the west side of the Beardmore family vault.

    Joshua Beardmore (1787-1860) was born Jan. 15, 1787 at 38 Milk Street in Cheapside, London, and baptized privately one month later on Feb. 15 at his parent's house at 38 Milk Street, Cheapside by the famous Rev. John Wesley, who was a family friend, Wesley having previously baptized Joshua's brother John. Joshua and his brother Joseph probably apprenticed as hosiers under their father, as both eventually became legal partners with him in the firm of Beardmore & Sons, which conducted business at the Milk Street address where Joshua was born. When Joshua married Marianne Dorothea (Dorothy) Cox (1789-1855) on April 12, 1812 (indenture dated April 24) at St. Mary's Church in Nottingham, he calls himself a hosier, as did Marianne's father George Lissant Cox and her brother Edward. The following year, Joseph Beardmore, Sr. withdrew from Beardmore & Sons, and Joshua and Joseph, Jr. took over the firm. Then Joshua withdrew in 1817 from the business as well, leaving Joseph, Jr. to carry on with a partner from outside the family. Later, we find Joshua mentioned in an 1819 legal announcement in the London Gazette acting as an attorney for his brother, and many years later, Joshua gave his occupation in the 1851 U.K. census as a "landed proprietor of Houses from London", which implies that by then he was dealing in real estate.

    Joshua and Marianne lived initially in Nottingham, where their first three children were born; but Joshua's business interests were in London, and the family around 1817 relocated there, residing at No. 7 Hermitage Place in Islington. Obituaries/biographies of Joshua and Marianne's famous son Nathaniel Beardmore tell us that the family then moved in the 1820s to Chudleigh in Devon, where Joshua took on 9-year old Elizabeth Manning in 1829 as an apprentice for Bidgoods House. Then we find the family in the 1830s in Beeston, just outside Nottingham. Later, the 1851 U.K. Census shows them at Belgrave House in the village of Boxmoor, Hertfordshire, which today is part of the Hemel Hempstead registration district. Marianne died at the age of 66 at Boxmoor (Hemel Hempstead), and was buried on Oct. 20, 1855 in Highgate Cemetery (West) in North London. Joshua died on June 9, 1860 in Croydon, Surrey, close to where his oldest daughter Mary lived. He is buried at Highgate Cemetery (West) with his wife Marianne and four of their children. Joshua and Marianne had eleven children, including the four listed below.

    Mary Owen Beardmore (1813-1891) was born February 13, 1813/14 in Castlegate, Nottingham (according to a note by her father Joshua Beardmore) and died January 31, 1891 in the Croydon, Surrey registration district. She is buried in London's Highgate Cemetery with her parents. Mary is the main contributor to the Beardmore Family Album that is an important genealogical reference on the family. She also wrote a short family history that is shown in italics in the section above for her father Joseph Beardmore.

    Frederick Joshua Beardmore (1814-1853) was born in March 23, 1814 in Castlegate, Nottingham (according to the Beardmore Family Album). He studied at London University and became a doctor, being listed on January 1, 1842 as a member of the Royal College of surgeons, and sharing a practice with George May Lee on High Street opposite the new Wesleyan chapel. He emigrated later that same year to Australia, where he married Eleanor Nicholls on January 3, 1843 in Morpeth, New South Wales. He and Eleanor subsequently moved to Maitland, New South Wales, where Frederick had a medical practice for many years, and was associated with the Maitland Hospital. He died when he was just 39 years old on December 14, 1853 in West Maitland, leaving behind his wife and four children. The coroners inquest reveals that he committed suicide at home by cutting his own throat. He is buried at Campbells Hill Cemetery in New South Wales. His wife Eleanor died on July 24, 1883 in Cooktown, Queensland, Australia, and is buried there in the Cooktown General Cemetery with her son Frederick Joshua Beardmore, Jr.

    Nathaniel Beardmore of Broxbourne (1816-1872) was born on March 19, 1816 in Nottingham and baptized April 4, 1816 St. Mary's Nottingham (according to the Dictionary of National Biography). He became a civil engineer, and he is well enough known that he has an entry in the Oxford 'Dictionary of National Biography'. He appears to have more or less been the legal head of Beardmore family in the mid 1800s in England. This is bourne out by the fact that in 1864, long after the death of his grandfather Joseph, the death of his father Joshua, and the deaths of his aunts Mary and Elizabeth, Nathaniel was the administrator of a will, or perhaps several wills, covering the estates of all four of these relations, and that portions of the Beardmore estate were in probate for nearly 35 years. Although his Aunt Frances was still alive, and probably party to the proceedings, she is not mentioned in association with them. Nathaniel is buried with his wife, two of their children, and his parents in London's Highgate Cemetery, where there is said to be an accolade to him on his parent's tomb.

    Nathaniel married Mary Bernard (1826-1890) and had several children, but two of them merit further mention. His daughter Frances Mary Beardmore (1843-1927), known as Mariette, married the poet, author and biographer Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921). She and her younger brother Rev. Henry Leslie Beardmore (1855-1933) inherited many of the family papers, including several letters written by their great uncle John Owen to friends and family. These letters, which have since been either lost, or auctioned off to private collectors, were available to Henry Hyde (1901) when he wrote Parochial Annals of Bengal, which contains a nice history of the Owen family, and in particular of Archdeacon John Owen, who was the Chaplain General of the British Armed Forces.

    Please see the Wikipedia article on Nathaniel Beardmore for additional information.

    George Lissant Beardmore (1818-1893) was born on Feb. 16, 1818 in London (according to his tombstone), and emigrated in the 1830s to Canada, where he established the Beardmore Tanning Company in 1844 in Hamilton, Ontario. This company at one time was the largest tannery and wholesale leather outlet in Canada, until the business was sold in 1944 to Canada Packers, who continued to operate a subsidiary as Beardmore & Company until 1969 when they closed the last tannery. George built a magnicent mansion in 1875 in Toronto that he named Chudleigh after his family home in Devon. It serves today as the Italian consulate. He married Elizabeth Dowker (1828-1898), with whom he had several children. One of their more notable descendants is their grandaughter Frances Constance Beardmore (1875-1956) - the daughter of Walter Dowker Beardmore (1849-1915) and Melinda Elizabeth Williams (1854-1923) - who as Lady Kingsmill was the wife of Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill (1855–1935), the first director of the Royal Canadian Navy. George died on his 78th birthday on Feb. 16, 1893 in Chudleigh, Toronto and he and Elizabeth are buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, where an impressive obelisk stands over their grave.

    Elizabeth Pine Beardmore (1825-1905) was born on June 13, 1825 in Chudleigh, Devonshire, the eleventh of 14 children. She sailed to Canada in the summer of 1861 to visit her brother George and his family, stayed there, and married Wharton Metcalfe (1814-1884) on June 24, 1862 in Toronto. She and her husband evidently traveled for a time after their marriage, as two of their children were born in Java and Munich, but they were back in England by the time of the 1881 U.K. Census. Elizabeth died on Jan. 30, 1905 in Dartford, Kent; and she is buried with her husband at Malew on the Isle of Man.


    Frances Beardmore (1790-1868) was born June 30, 1790 in Islington, London. Although we do not have the date of her baptism, she is said to have been the last child baptized by Rev. John Wesley. She was baptized privately at her parent's house in Islington, and she was also the third of Joseph Beardmore's children to be baptized by John Wesley. Like her sister Mary, Frances was a student of the great organ player and composer Samuel Wesley, but she does not appear to have had the talent that Mary did. With money left them by their Uncle John Owen, the Chaplain General of His Majesty's Forces, Frances and Mary Bearmdore in 1826 purchased Juniper Hall in Dorking, Surrey, a manor house sits that in a wooded valley of the North Downs chalk. Henry Hyde (1901) has a somewhat different version, writing that just before he died in 1824, John Owen purchased the manor house as a place for his unmarried nieces to live, but this is at odds with the 1826 purchase date quoted elsewhere. In either case, Frances and Mary Beardmore by virtue of their Uncle John Owen's wealth came into possesion of this grand estate.

    Frances and Mary Beardmore as aging spinsters were remembered with great fondness by the many family members that visited them at Juniper Hall. Among these relatives was Frances' nephew Edmund Symes-Thompson, who owned a watercolor of the house by Thomas Dibdin (1810-1893). Frances never married, and died on August 1, 1868 at Juniper Hall, many years after the 1831 passing of her sister. Both Frances and Elizabeth are buried in their Uncle Owen's vault at St. Martin's Church in East Horsley in Surrey. There is a memorial inscription to them both at the vault, and another at the Mickleham parish church that the Beardmore sisters attended. Juniper Hall was sold after Frances died to a Mr. Richardson. Today the estate is owned by the National Trust, and run by the Field Studies Council as a Field Centre for staging nature classes.

    Juniper Hall, the home of Elizabeth and Frances Beardmore - then and now.


  4. Mary Beardmore (1779-1838), the daughter of Joseph Beardmore and Mary Owen, was born Dec. 22, 1779 in London, and baptized Jan. 19, 1780 by her uncle Rev. John Owen at his church at St. Alban's on Wood Street in the Cheapside district of the City of London. She married a wealthy Gloucestershire clothier named Nathaniel Wathen on May 19, 1804 at St. Mary's Church in Islington, London. It is said that she was the star pupil of Samuel Wesley, who was the greatest organ player of his time, as well as the nephew of the great Rev. John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist faith. This, plus the fact that Mary's father Joseph was John Wesley's friend and chapel treasurer, makes it likely that she played organ at Wesley's Chapel, possibly the small organ of Charles Wesley (John Wesley's brother) that sits today in the foundry chapel, an annex adjacent to the main chapel.

    Mary died on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1838 in London. Her brother Joshua recorded in a family book of verses that she actually died between 6 and 7 pm that evening at Euston Square in the north part of central London. She was buried on Jan. 1, 1839 in the Beardmore family vault at Wesley's Chapel on City Road in the Finsbury parish of London. This vault was near the north boundary of the wall surrounding the chapel, just a few steps from John Wesley's tomb. However, the graves were moved sometime between 1972 and 1978 during a renovation of the chapel, which makes unlikely that any tablets or memorials for the vault still exist. As far as we know, Mary was the last member of her family to be buried there, and when her husband Nathaniel died many years later he was buried near his daughter Elizabeth in London's West Norwood Cemetery. There is a memorial window dedicated to Mary and her sisters Elizabeth and Frances at her Uncle John Owen's church in East Horsley, Surrey.






The Family of Hannah Francis Owen


  1. Hannah Frances Owen (c.1725-1785) was probably born between 1720 and 1725 in or near Bristol Gloucestershire. She might be the same woman as a Hannah Lamb who was baptized on Jan 2, 1720 in Bristol, at the Tucker Street Chapel, a non-conformist church that operated from 1686 to 1786, but was torn down in the late 18th century when some of the Bristol city streets were rebuilt. However, it is by no means certain that his is the correct baptism, and cannot be blindly assumed.

    Photograph from a 1916 edition of Rev. John Wesley's Journal by Charles Kelly showing Hannah Owen's school in Publow.

    Hannah married sometime before 1746 a wealthy shipping agent (ship husband) named John Owen (d. 1779) of Portsmouth, who was a friend of the famous Rev. John Wesley. Owen is said to have made a comfortable fortune, and he and his wife had the financial resources to send their son to Oxford University. John and Hannah retired about 1772 or earlier to the village of Publow, which is located near Pensford, Somerset, and about seven miles from Bristol. Here Hannah and her three daughters were encouraged by the Rev. Wesley to open a Christian boarding school for about twenty girls. The school was definitely in existence by Nov. 23, 1772, when one of Mrs. Owen's daughters mentions the school in a letter that she wrote to Wesley. This school was funded, at least in part, by individuals and charities associated with Wesley.

    John Owen probably died soon after Feb. 5, 1779, when his daughter Hannah mentions in a letter to Rev. John Wesley that "My dear father seems declining very fast. I fear he cannot live long". Then when the younger Hannah married on April 6, 1779 in Publow, her mother, not her father John, signed as witness. His burial is not known for certain, but it is very likely that he was buried in the St. Thomas á Becket Churchyard, which is just across the river from, and in the same parish as Publow. The fact that the Owen family were members of the "Pensford congregation" make this all the more likely. However, no tombstone is likely to survive, as the church was rebuilt in 1868, and became derelict in 1968 after a stream/channel that surrounds it on both sides severely damaged it.

    Mrs. Owen is mentioned several more times in Wesley's Journal and letters. We know from these that she closed her school and moved with her youngest daughter Hannah around 1780 to London. Wesley writes on Sept. 17, 1781 in his journal, "Pensford is now a dull. dreary place, the flower of the congregation being gone." Then he writes on Oct 28th, "Miss Owen has removed from Publow". Her middle daughter Mary was already in London, having moved there in 1776, when she married Joseph Beardmore. Although Wesley lamented the closing of the Publow school, Mrs. Owen's work was carried on by her eldest daughter Elizabeth Pine, who opened a similar school across the river in Pensford.

    Mrs. Owen died on Oct. 16, 1785 in London, and was buried on Oct. 20 in the small cemetery in back of Wesley's City Road Chapel in a vault that was subsequently paid for by her grandson William Beardmore. An index of burials from Wesley's Chapel incorrectly records her age at burial as 28 years, but the actually burial register and the inscription on her tomb gives her age as 60 years. If she was indeed 60 years old when she died, then we can assume a birthdate of about 1725 for her. However, the Hannah Lamb we already mentioned, was baptized in 1720, which either rules out Hannah Lamb as the maiden name of Mrs. Owen, or casts doubt on her age of death inscribed on her memorial.

    children - Owen

    Elizabeth Owen (c.1746-1822), the eldest daughter, was born about 1746, probably in Portsmouth, Hampshire, where all of her siblings were baptized. However, we have found no record of Elizabeth's baptism. She lived with her younger sister Mary at the school/boarding house that her mother Hannah ran in Publow, Somersetshire. When Hannah left Publow around 1780 or so, and removed to London, Elizabeth is said to have stayed behind and started a school of her own in Pensford, a neighboring village to Publow that is located on the opposite side of the River Chew. According to Hyde (1901) this school still existed when he wrote a biography on her brother John in Parochial Annals of Bengal.

    Elizabeth married the printer William Pine (c.1739-1803) of Bristol on Oct. 6, 1790 at St. Mary's Church in Islington, London. Her brother-in-law Joseph Beardmore was a witness at the wedding. Pine, who for many years was John Wesley's chief printer and publisher, is blamed for various ommissions and errors in some of the editions he printed of Wesley's journal. Although Wesley continued to use Pine's services for awhile, when Pine espoused the cause of American colonists revolting against the crown, it was more than Wesley could bear, and the two men after 1775 ended their business relationship. Pine also published two Bristol newspapers, the first, beginning, being the 'Bristol Chronicle and Mercantile Register', and then in 1767 he also ran the 'Bristol Gazette and Public Advertizer'.

    Although Elizabeth and William had no children together, Pine did have a son, William Pine, Jr. (c.1768-1836), from an earlier marriage. Interestingly, there is a reference showing that William, Sr. married an Ann Broughton (c.1754-c.1822) on July 10, 1780 in Bristol, Ann being the daughter of Rev. Thomas Broughton (c.1704-1774), the vicar of Redcliffe (another source says Bedmister). However, Elizabeth Pine was still very much alive in 1780, and then when William Sr. died in 1803, Elizabeth survived him by almost twenty years more. Thus, there is either a problem with the date of this other marriage, for which we have found no confirmation, or perhaps Anne Broughton is actually the wife of William Pine, Jr?

    Hyde (1901), who had first-hand information from Elizabeth Pine's family, reports that she lived to be 76 years old, and died on December 16, 1822 in Bristol. She is almost certainly the Elizabeth Pine who was buried on Dec. 24, 1823, aged 76, at the Church of St. Peter in Bristol. This makes 1746 her approximate birth year. Furthermore, Gentleman's Magazine in 1823 reported that the wife (no name given) of William Pine, the "original printer of the Bristol Gazetter", died sometime around Jan. 1, 1823 (no date given) at Park Row, Bristol, which is consistent with Hyde's (1901) account.

    Hannah Frances Owen (1748-1820), the second daughter of Mrs. Owen, was probably born in 1748 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, as she was baptized there on May 19, 1748 in Saint Thomas Church. She married William Ford (c.1743-1788) on April 6, 1779 in Publow, and moved soon after with her mother to London. William died on April 20, 1788 aged 45 years, in London, and he was buried in the Beardmore Family Vault at Wesley's City Road Chapel. Hannah survived him and died at the age of 71 in May of 1820 in Weymouth, Dorset - her death date constrained by April 3, 1820 when her will was written at Clifton, and June 14, 1820 when it was proven in London. Hyde (1901) states that she was buried in the parish of Wike, which means she is almost certainly the Hannah Frances Owen, who was buried on May 20, 1820 at All Saints and St. Edmund church in Weymouth, Dorset in the parish of Wyke Regis.

    The two two spinster daughters of Hannah and William Ford were Frances (1780-1846) and Eliza (1781-1856), and they lived together in Clifton, where they also died. Both are buried at St. Andrew Clifton. Eliza in her later years lived with a much younger companion named Annie Margaret Geary (c.1821-1904) at #7 Litfield in Clifton, and the two of them at this address were witnesses on Dec. 24, 1850 when Nathaniel Wathen (1772-1856) wrote his will there, Nathaniel being the husband of Eliza's 1st cousin Mary Beardmore (1779-1838). Annie later married Nathaniel and Mary's son George Henry Wathen (1816-1879).

    Nancy Owen (1749-?), the third daughter, was probably born in 1749 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, as she was baptized there on Dec. 18, 1749 in Saint Thomas Church. She probably died young, as there seems to be no further record of her.

    Mary Owen (1750-1809), the fourth daughter, was probably born in 1750 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and was baptized there on April 8, 1751 at Saint Thomas Church. Although born in Portsmouth, she is thought to have grown up at her mother's boarding school for girls in Publow. She married Joseph Beardmore (1746-1829) on Jan. 2, 1776 at St. Giles Church in the Camberwell Parish of the Southwark Borough of London, and lived with him in London, where her children were born. Mary Owen Beardmore is no doubt the 'Sister Beardmore' who is referred to in the Rev. John Wesley's writings. Sister Beardmore was one of Wesley's inner circle of friends, helping to tend him in his final days, and she may have been present at Wesley's deathbed when he died.

    Two letters at the John Ryland Library at the University of Manchester mention the death of Mary Beardmore (Fletcher-Tooth Collection, Correspondence Part 2: M-S). The first, dated Nov. 13, 1809 and written by Elizabeth Mortimer to Mary Fletcher, notes that Mrs. Beardmore had long been ill and is now on her death bed - "Her prospects into eternity are clear and her comforts strong". Mrs. Mortimer then writes on Feb. 9, 1810, again to Mrs. Fletcher, that Mrs. Beardmore is now gone and that she had been ill for three or four years but was wonderfully supported by her faith. She died on Dec. 15, 1809, and was buried at the age of 59 on Dec. 21, 1809 in the Beardmore Family vault at Wesley's City Road Chapel in London. Oddly, the burial register for the chapel records her name as Elizabeth Beardmore. However, it should be noted that this is but one of several errors we have noticed in the chapel records, and the correct name of Mary is given on her tomb. Mary Owen's children with Joseph Beardmore are listed above under her husband's heading.

    John Owen (1752-1824) was probably born in 1752 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, as he was baptized there on Dec. 19, 1752 at Saint Thomas Church. Initially he aspired to be a painter, and he apprenticed under the Cornish artist and future Royal Academian John Opie (1761-1807). However, Owen decided instead to enter the church, which led him to begin missionary work in India in 1785 as a chaplain with the British East India Company. He and John Opie remained close friends, and copies of some of Opie's letters to Owen still survive. When Owen sailed back to England in 1794, he began theological studies at Hertford College in Oxford, where in 1797 he earned a BA, and continued on to Christ's College at Cambridge where he earned in 1801 an MA. He became the Archdeacon of the city of Richmond in Yorkshire the same year, and the following year he also became the rector of St. Benet Paul's Wharf in London.

    Ultimately, John Owen was appointed in 1810 as the Chaplain General to His Majesty's Army, and then in 1812 Chaplain General to the Navy as well, which made him the first Chaplain General of the British Armed Forces. Notably he gave an address to British troops on the eve of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. Although he was also appointed rector on June 1, 1820 of St. Martin's Church in East Horsley, Surrey, he retained his office of Chaplain General. He died on June 4, 1824 at East Horsley, and is buried there at St. Martin's Church in a family vault with two of his nieces. Shown below is the inscription on their tomb. He left behind a sizeable fortune, said to be in excess of £100,000, half of which he left to his relations in the Beardmore family, and the remainder of which was divided into two or three large legacies to bible and missionary societies, including the British Foreign Bible Society. A portrait of John Owen painted by his friend and mentor John Opie RA hangs in the Museum of Army Chaplains in Amport House, Andover, North Hampshire.

    Rev. John OWEN, A.M. Rector of this parish & of St Benet & St Peter Paul's Wharf, London & Archdeacon of Richmond, Yorkshire, & Chaplain General to His Majesty’s Forces died 4 June 1824 aged 70

    Frances youngest daughter of Joseph & Mary BEARDMORE born in London 30 June 1790 died at Juniper Hall in this county 1 August 1868

    Elizabeth of Juniper Hall near Dorking, eldest daughter of Joseph BEARDMORE, Esq. of Islington, Middx & niece of Rev. Archdeacon John OWEN 1831


    Mary Owen Beardmore (1813-1891) writes in the Beardmore Family Album (see Beardmore, 1868) that there is also an inscription on a memorial window at East Horsley Church that reads,

    Elizabeth, Joshua & Frances
    Beardmore ob: 1831, 1860, 1868

    John Owen, Rector, ob: 1824

    Mary Wathen ob: 1838

    Frances & Eliza Ford
    1846   1855


    Please see the Wikipedia article on John Owen for additional information.






The Beardmore Family Vault

An entry in the Beardmore Family Album that was written by Mary Owen Beardmore (1813-1891) over a period of several years, and which is referenced as the Beardmore (1868) album entry, describes the Beardmore family fault. Mary writes, "Near the northern boundary wall of the graveyard of the City Road Chapel & within a few steps of the burial place of the Rev. John Wesley is a vault of the Owen & Beardmore family. Eight members of the family lie in this vault." Elsewhere it is described as "vault 7, with iron rails." Unfortunately vault 7 and the graves within were moved elsewhere sometime between 1972 and 1978 during extensive renovations of the chapel. When a member of the family in 1990 made enquiries to the staff at City Road Chapel as to where the graves had been moved, the information did not seem to be available.

"On the slab"

Mrs Hannah Owen
departed this life Oct 16th . 1785
aged 60 years.

William Ford Esq
died April 30th 1788,
aged 45 years.

William Beardmore Esq
died May 2 . 1809
in the 65th year of his age

Mrs Mary Beardmore
died Dec 15th 1809
in the 59th year of her age

Joseph Beardmore Esq
died October 28th . 1829
in the 84th year of his age

Mrs Mary Wathen
Daughter of the above
Joseph & Mary Beardmore
died Dec 25th 1838
aged 59 years

"On the west end of the same tomb"

John Owen Beardmore
son of Joseph & Mary Beardmore
died Oct. 4, 1786 aged 14 months
William Beardmore
died Oct. 19, 1786 aged 5 years & 4 months

"Interred in Bunhill Fields is another little son of the above Joseph & Mary Beardmore"

Joseph Beardmore
Ob 9 June 1782 aged 5 years


APPENDIX: Name and Early Origins of the Family
Paraphrased from the Beard(s)more One-Name Study by Richard Goring

Spelling variations of the Beardmore family name have been in use for centuries -- the earliest mention of which we are told is in 1290 when the name Richard de Berdesmor* appears in a Medieval document. Apparently some believe his first wife Matilda was a sister of King Henry III, but the evidence for this is lacking. Nonetheless, de Berdesmor apparently was a man of some importance, and his progeny continued to bear this surname in the area of the villages of Whiston, Froghall and Kingsley, which are all close together in north Staffordshire, near the Derbyshire border.

The name itself is thought by some to derive from the Olde English words of 'berd', meaning a border or an edge defined by a hill, and 'mor', meaning a moorland or marsh. Apparently, there was a place in the 13th Century called Berdmore that was at or near Whiston Moor (the present-day remnant of which is Whiston Common), and there is also a present-day place called Beardmore that is located on a hillside close to the hamlet of Whiston Leys.

*De Berdesmor also appears in "Plea Rolls for Staffordshire: Gaol Delivery, 21 Edward I" (i.e., in the 21st year of the reign of King Edward I, son of Henry III, which corresponds to 1293 A.D.). Here it is written that "Richard de Berdesmor [and several others] are sureties to produce Margaret de Bagenholt to stand to her trial for harbouring (de receptamento) Stephen de Bagenholt her son". This Richard de Berdesmor is said by Beardmore family researcher Olive Dale (1898-1979) to have died in 1295 in Staffordshire, leaving a son Richard by his first wife Matilda, and sons William and Robert by his second wife Philippa.

Joshua Beardmore (1787-1860) before he died described in the Beardmore Family Album, in his own words, his family's coat of arms as being those that are shown on the left. Richard Goring (2013) at one time had a section on "Beardmore Coats of Arms" in his online The Beard(s)more One-Name Study, which is no longer available. However, none of the Beardmore arms described by Goring resemble those of Joshua Beardmore. One of those arms are those of the academic Scrope Berdmore, Jr., D.D. (1744-1814), who was the son of the well-known Rev. Scrope Berdmore, D.D. (1708-1770) of Nottingham. Though born in Nottingham, the family origins of the elder Scrope are in Worcestershire. His son's bookplate, which is shown on the right, has his father's Berdmore family arms on the left half of the shield, with the arms on the right half said to be those of the wife (name unknown) of the younger Scrope.




  • The documentation for many of the dates and places listed in this history are found in the Ancestry.com online databases (subscription required).

  • Beardmore Family Album is a 118-page 5" X 7" album of letters, notes, newspaper clippings, memoriums and other genealogical material compiled over at least a 50-year period by various members of the Beardmore family. It most likely was started in the 1850s by Mary Owen Beardmore with assistance from her father Joshua Beardmore, before passing to Mary's niece Frances Mary "Mariette" Dobson, and then to Mariette's brother Rev. Henry Leslie Beardmore. Although it contains contributions from all, Mary Owen Beardmore appears to be responsible for most of the material in the album, with the earliest entries being notes dating back to the 1830s that were written by her father Joshua on separate pieces of paper, and subsequently pasted by Mary into the album. There is at least one entry by Joshua that is cut from the page of a bible, which was purchased in 1757 by his uncle William Beardmore. Mary and Mariette's album appeared in 2008 as lot 215D in an online auction of Bloomsbury House in London, and subsequently passed through two or three antique dealers before being acquired in 2013 by Mike Clark. Listed below are some of the more informative entries in the album.

    • Beardmore, Mary Owen (1868), Album Entry on Joshua Beardmore, and description of the Beardmore family tomb is a series of notes in the Beardmore Family Album compiled over several years, probably from the mid 1850s to at least 1868 or later by Mary Owen Beardmore. The entries discuss her father's life, and give details on the Beardmore family vault at the cemetery of Wesley's Chapel.

    • Beardmore, Henry Leslie (1919), Letter to Mariette Beardmore is a letter dated Nov. 10, 1919 in the Beardmore Family Album that is from Rev. Henry Lesle Bearmore to his sister Mariette. The letter discusses various genealogical information, and includes a table of dates for the children of their great grandparents Joseph and Mary Beardmore.

    • Waterhouse, Henry (1864), Letter to Nathaniel Beardmore is a letter dated Feb. 26, 1864 in the Beardmore Family Album that is from Henry Waterhouse of Newstead Grove, Nottingham to his cousin Nathaniel Wathen of Broxbourne, Hertsfordshire. The letter discusses the early history of the Beardmore family in Dronfield, Derbyshire and solicits Nathaniel for additional genealogical information on the family.

  • Beardmore, Joshua (1775), Will of Joshua Beardmore, Founder of Saint Giles without Cripplegate, City of London, Website of The National Archives (of Great Britain), Public Record #PROB 11/1011/289, Last accessed 21 Aug 2021. See also the reference Harris (2008).

  • Cleary, Anthony (2012), Family Group Sheet for Joseph Beardmore: Ancestry.com. Last accessed 21 Aug 2021.

  • Dale, Olive Beardmore (undated), "Beardmore Family Papers", Acquisition No. 213/79 of the William Salt Library at Stafford. These papers are genealogical notes compiled be Olive Dale (d. 1979) and donated to the library collection after her death. The library is run as an extension of the adjacent Staffordshire County Record Office, and the papers may be examined by appointment.

  • Goring, Richard, The Beard(s)more One-Name Study. Last accessed 23 Aug 2013. An archived version of a portion of the site from 8/25/2008 also exists.

  • Grave and burial locations where known are listed with tombstone photos (when available) on  

  • Harris, Tony (2008), The Will of Joshua Beardmore (1704-1775) - Research by Tony Harris with contributions from Richard Gordon and Sandy Beardmore, reported in Modified Register for George Beardmore and Jonathan Beardmore, from Public Member Trees on Ancestry.com. Last accessed 21 Aug 2021.

  • Hyde, Henry Barry (1901), Parochial Annals of Bengal: Being a History of the Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment of the Honourable East India Company in the 17th and 18th Centuries, Bengal Secretariat book depôt, Calcutta, p. 202-204 & 220-231. Hyde includes some of the letters exchanged between John Opie and John Owen, as well as excerpts from the Beardmore (1868) album entry.

  • Lapthorn, Nicholas, A Brief History of Juniper Hall. Last accessed 23 Aug 2013. Although this site seems to have vanished, some of the material from it can be found at Juniper Hall - French Exiles in Surrey. Last accessed 21 Aug 2021

  • Stevenson, George J. (1872), City Road Chapel, London and it's Associations: Historical, Biographical and Memorial: Methodist Book Concern, London, p. 384-385. Call no. BX8278.L6 S84 1872 at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA, and Film No. FHL BRITISH 369135 at LDS Family History Libraries.

  • Stevenson, George J., 1876, Memorials of the Wesley Family: S.W. Partridge and Co., London, p. 516-517.

  • UK Census Records, 1841-1901, Parish Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records and Non-Conformist Records: online databases available on Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, and Find My Past.




by Mike Clark & Family

This history is an evolving document.
Despite our best intentions it probably contains mistakes.
Please let us know if you spot any by sending an email to Mike Clark



Copyright © Michael S. Clark, Ph.D., 1998- - All rights reserved.