I was very interested to read the articles on the Bainbridge Workhouse. My great-grandfather, George Whitton, was master for over 20 years from the late 1870’s into the early 1900’s. He was born in Thornton Rust and at first was a farm worker on the family farm but then became a coach-builder and moved to London for a time. However he moved back in the 1870’s was widowed, remarried and remained as master of the workhouse well into his 70’s.
In 1851 he was living at Thorns House working there for his cousin Thomas. However in 1861 he is certainly in Chelsea as a coach wheeler which is a bit of a change of direction.
I do not know the exact date George took over as Master of the workhouse. Obviously it was between 1871 and 1881 because the ’71 census shows the family living in Bainbridge with George in the carriage building trade whilst in 1881 he is a widower and the Master.
My grandmother Mary was born in Bainbridge in 1869 and is the girl called Polly visiting her father in 1881.She said she was a maid to the headmaster of the Grammar School. You probably know that in Victorian times Polly was the diminutive for Mary.
George had 2 wives both called Elizabeth. The first one was Elizabeth Coates. They were married in London when George went into the coach building trade there and two of his children were born there but Elizabeth was from Wensleydale, I think from Redmire.
There seems to have been quite a colony of Whittons in London most from Bainbridge originally and all living in the same street in Chelsea.
George really had 2 separate families, one with his first wife and then another with his second wife Elizabeth Baynes from Bainbridge. They do not seem to have had any contact because my grandmother never spoke of another family existing from a second wife.
The oldest child from both, a son, went into the army and I have found him as a Sergeant-Major in the Royal Engineers in 1901. A son William from the second marriage followed in his footsteps and was an ‘officer’ in a workhouse in Lancashire. I do not have any photographs of the Whittons other than of my grandmother but not in her Bainbridge days. She married into the Cork family long established in Skipton.
DOROTHY McKNIGHT great grand daughter of George Whitton
Hi Angela, I do not know whether this attachment may be of any interest to you but I thought I might take a gamble and show you my find.
Whilst I was out Metal detecting last Sunday on a farm in Bedale I found this top/lid of what could be off a snuff box, when I cleaned it up at home I found engraved on it Whitton – Bainbridge. As I was interested in the history I put the name onto the internet and found the history of the workhouse and of course the history of George Whitton of Bainbridge, could be nothing but I wouldn’t be surprised if this item did at one time belong to George. There is another word inscribed in-between the Whitton and Bainbridge but I cannot make it out.
If you know any person who could be related please pass this e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
One thing about Metal detecting is that its not just the find its the history that is behind the find and how far you can take it. Many thanks for your time
Regards Terry Wayne