1805 Info 3b for John Crompton
The life of Thomas Crompton, born 1867

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Thomas CROMPTON was born at Well Close, Lowthorpe on 21st November 1867 (GRO ref: Driffield 9d 256). He describes Lowthorpe as 'a delightful place to live in there was a grand fishing stream in which we were not allowed to fish and the woods round were very fine - we loved to go into them when the primroses and violets were in flower, but we were only allowed in at these times and with the exception of the rook shooting time and foxhunting.'

He went to his first school at Harpham on a 'shifty', one-eyed Shetland pony, bought for him to ride there. 'After three years at Harpham school I was sent to Mr. Buyer at Monument House School Driffield when for the first year I had a bad time with a big fellow named Boast who took a dislike to me and gave me a rotten-time.'
Well Close Farm, Lowthorpe 2010 - 77kB jpg
Above: Well Close Farm, Lowthorpe 2010 - from the drive

In 1880, at the age of 13, Thomas was sent to West Green Grammar School, now Pocklington School, which 'after the Driffield School ... was like Heaven on earth.'

1881 Census  Sun/Mon 2/3rd April 1881
Source:      FHL Film  TNA Ref RG11
             Piece: 4732; Folio: 63; Page: 20;                       
Dwelling:    West Green Grammar School 
Place:       Pocklington, York, England

Name             Rel     Mar Age Occupation          Birthplace
...
Thomas Crompton  Boarder     13  Scholar             Yorks, Lowthorpe 

That he 'was only in the second class, the first were reading for Cambridge,' suggests he was a sportsman, rather than a true academic, but with enough standing to become head boy boarder in his third year. He describes his interest in sports which continued to later life:

'We had a school sports every Summer and I won the 300 yds. [yards=274.32 metres] under 14 in my first year, the second year I got nothing but the third year ... I won the half mile [equivalent to the 800m], quarter mile [equivalent to the 400m] and 100yds. [yards equivalent to the 100m] thus winning the head's prize of a silver cup and 2nd Masters prize (an album) for the quarter.' ... 'I left at the end of that term [in1883] being nearly 16 years.'

Life at home was heavily influenced by his father's accident, which Thomas records as being in 1880. A fall down a coal depot at Driffield Station left him 'partly paralysed down his right side'. Thomas writes that because of the fall 'I had to begin to do most of the business'. Perhaps Thomas was unsure of the actual date because at the time he records the accident he was starting Pocklington School.

Four years after leaving school, at the age of 20 years, he 'had been put on to the Houndales Farms [Great Houndales and Little Houndales] at Nov[ember] 1887 doing the marketing of most of the produce of those two farms as well as buying in whatever was required and so was pretty well in touch with markets and sales of all kinds.'

'When I left Lowthorpe to live at Houndales at Martinmas [11 November] 1887 I had a house keeper and one maid who did the milking and the foreman and lads who were single lived in the house. Later when I was on my own I put a hand in the Little Houndales house and we boarded the lads at a cost of 7/- [35 pence] a week with milk and potatoes.'
1805info3b, sheet 2

Thomas CROMPTON senior died in April 1890, when Thomas was under 23 years. Under the terms of the will T.C. WILSON and his mother Margaret Elizabeth were trustees. [Thomas Crompton WILSON, born 1853, and farming at either Bainton Field House or North Dalton Grange, was Thomas' second cousin and 13 years his senior].

Whilst Thomas managed the Houndales farms, his widowed mother and eleven siblings remained at Lowthorpe, 'At my father's death my youngest brother Arthur was only 3 years of age so you will see the responsibility we carried lasted a long time.' ...

' ... and though my advisor T.C. WILSON wasn't on the spot I managed to get through my work somehow. One generally manages to rise to an occasion. It seemed hard lines that all the work was not producing as much as I should have liked for the family.'
Thomas continued at Houndales with his new wife Mary ellen Elgey, known as Nellie, whom he had married on 27 January 1891. (GRO ref: Driffield 9d 461)

She was born 05 June 1864 (GRO ref: Driffield 9d 255) and died 30 July 1944 (GRO ref: Buckrose 9d 35).

Right: Mary ellen Elgey/CROMPTON in 1891, at the time of her wedding

Mary Ellen Elgey/Crompton 1891 - 9kB jpg
1891 Census   Sun/Mon 5/6th April 1891
Source:       FHL Film  TNA Ref RG12
              Piece: 3955; Folio 71; Page 18
Dwelling:     Houndales Farm
Place:        Nafferton, York, England

Name              Rel   Mar Age  Occupation            Birthplace
Thomas Crompton  Head    M   23  Farmer                Yorks, Lowthorpe
Mary E Crompton  Wife    M   26                        Yorks, Driffield
Rachel Mathews   Serv    U   30  Housekeeper Domestic  Yorks, Huggate
Sarah Mathews    Serv    U   17  Farm Servant          Yorks, Huggate
Isaac Harrison   Lodger  U   24  Farm servant          Yorks, Lowthorpe
John Greenland   Lodger  U   28  Farm Servant          Yorks, Foston
Thomas Cross     Lodger  U   20  Farm Servant          Yorks, Kirkburn
John Bielby      Lodger  U   23  Farm Servant          Yorks, Lowthorpe
Henry Shaw       Lodger  U   16  Farm Servant          Yorks, Burshill
Charles Rifford  Lodger  U   15  Farm Servant          Yorks, Driffield

At one time Thomas was running four farms: Lowthorpe, the two Houndales and Sleights.

'In 1893 I began farming the two Houndales on my own, my brother Charles did the same on Sleights Farm and we gave Lowthorpe up. When this happened I felt as if a great burden had dropped off my back.' ... 'When the time came for the breaking up of Lowthorpe they were all very sorry to leave but it was inevitable under my father's will which only allowed us to carry on for three years unless we as Trustees took the responsibility for the profit and loss sustained. Mr. WILSON was inclined to carry on and risk it but I could not see my way to do so considering that I was married and with a family the risk was far too much in such time.'
1805info3b, sheet 3

'When I began farming the two Houndales in 1893 I was short of capital and could not stock in a big way having to study how to invest every penny carefully.

I began with 11 cart horses, 1 light horse and 1 old Hachney (sic) Mare Maria - about 3 cows 2 young cattle, 90 ewes and 40 gimmer [two year old] hogs and a few pigs and poultry. Implements just sufficient to work the land. In talking over the methods of harvesting previous to 1890 I forgot to say that in 1891 or 2 we bought a self-binder and I bought it second hand at Lowthorpe sale. I remember that in my first Summer we had not plenty of sheep to graze all our clover seeds so I let one field to a friend to graze which he did with his gimmer shearlings. As far as I remember that was the only time I took other people's stock excepting that I had an arrangement with my brother Charlie that he should keep my young horses in Summer while I kept his in Winter.' Great Houndales 2010 - 32kB jpg
Right: Great Houndales 2010
'When I began farming the two Houndales in 1893 I was short of capital and could not stock in a big way having to study how to invest every penny carefully. I began with 11 cart horses, 1 light horse and 1 old Hachney (sic) Mare Maria - about 3 cows 2 young cattle, 90 ewes and 40 gimmer [two year old] hogs and a few pigs and poultry. Implements just sufficient to work the land. In talking over the methods of harvesting previous to 1890 I forgot to say that in 1891 or 2 we bought a self-binder and I bought it second hand at Lowthorpe sale. I remember that in my first Summer we had not plenty of sheep to graze all our clover seeds so I let one field to a friend to graze which he did with his gimmer shearlings. As far as I remember that was the only time I took other people's stock excepting that I had an arrangement with my brother Charlie that he should keep my young horses in Summer while I kept his in Winter.'

Despite the two farms, changes in the weather patterns influenced the grain prices and therefore the income from the farms. There were debts and times must have been difficult for:

'We had a good harvest in 1893 but I had to pay for all the way going crop off the tillage land about 125 acres  [50 hectares] leaving me 90 acres  [36 hectares] of my own corn and most of this was second crop barley and the rest I had to do with roots. I also had to pay all the valuations and find seed and manures etc. which left me with an adverse balance at the bank. 1894 was wet and a bad harvest with equally bad prices - wheat went down to 18/- [90 pence] a Qr. [quarter of a hundred weight or 25 pounds or 11.3kg] and other cereals on an equal levels. I remember that my overdraft at the Bank was over £1,000 and then the manager told me I must pay some of it. This I managed to do with my wife's help - it was fortunate for me that she had something to draw on particularly now as we began to have a family and these too were to provide for. However in 1895 things improved a little and wheat went up to about 25/- [£1.25] per Qr. and barley did a bit better tho' the crops were not heavy. I managed to get a fair price for my sheep and also got a nice profit on my cattle and had a horse or two to sell as well, I'd bought some young ones.'
'Then came the real turning point in 1896 we had a topping crop of wheat most of it did 8 Qrs. per acre - the barley also did well in spite of still low prices. All this time the labourers wages were only 15/- [75 pence] per week and 1/- [5 pence] extra for Sundays. They got about £1 per week for a month in harvest - together with his food and a liberal allowance of ale and they could also make a nice addition in turnip hoeing time - for a while they were paid 5/- [25 pence] per acre for twice doing.'
'Later when I was on my own I put a hand in the Little Houndales house and we boarded the lads at a cost of 7/- [35 pence] a week with milk and potatoes. As the years went on 1896-97-98-99 were all dry Summers and good harvest so that each year I was making some profit but I never seemed to have any spare cash it all went in increasing my stock.'
1805info3b, sheet 4
'[W]hen the last item was paid off my mother and all my brothers and sisters made me a present of a handsome silver tea service as an acknowledgement for what I had done for them. They were all good hearted people and my wife and I have treasured their kind gift for the rest of our lives.'
In 1897 the Little Houndales house had to be pulled down and rebuilt or it would have fallen - this of course was a heavy expense with no return for the money spent. I managed to get a bit of cricket and tennis on Summer evenings which all helped to make life more pleasant.'
Thomas gave up living at Houndales in 1900 and left it empty, because of the general poor health of his children, who amongst other things, contracted typhoid fever. This is transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the faeces or urine of an infected person.

R Cook and Sons, the present owner of Great Houndales, located the old well against the house wall by the potted tree. Across the yard are loose boxes for horses. Was that the source of the slurry? Note the location of the modern manhole.

Right: Great Houndales back door and old well 2010
Great Houndales back door and old well - 32kB jpg
Great Houndales new well - 48kB jpg As a result of the typhoid fever a new well was constructed on raised ground at the perimeter of the back garden. This well still has its crank handle, covering plates and delivery pipe.

Left: Great Houndales new well
1805info3b, sheet 5
Sunnyside, 14 Driffield Road, Nafferton 2010 - 38kB jpg The family moved to Sunnyside, Nafferton for two years. Roger Parkin, Thomas' grandson, records that Thomas' mother, Margaret elizabeth Duggleby had property in this road. The 1911 census shows her to be living in Driffield Road, Nafferton, probably in the same house.

Left: Sunnyside, 14 Driffield Road, Nafferton 2010, the temporary home before Thomas moved into Westfield Farm
1901 Census   Sun/Mon 31st March/1st April 1901
Source:       FHL Film  TNA Ref RG13
              Piece: 4518; Folio 44; Page 11/12;  Sched: 84                      
Dwelling:     Driffield Road [Sunnyside?]
Place:        Nafferton, York ER, England

Name               Rel Mar  Age  Occupation    Status    Birthplace
Thomas Crompton    Head  M   33  Farmer        Employer  Yorks, Lowthorpe
Mary E Crompton    Wife  M   36                          Yorks, Driffield
John Crompton      Son   U    7                          Yorks, Nafferton
Marjory Crompton   Dau   U    5                          Yorks, Nafferton 
Harry Crompton     Son   U    4                          Yorks, Nafferton
Edith Crompton     Dau   U    2                          Yorks, Nafferton
Jane E Dunnington  Serv  U   22  Cook Domestic           Yorks, Southburn
Florence Noble     Serv  U   14  Housemaid               Yorks, Southburn

In 1902 he took Westfield Farm, Nafferton where the family remained until shortly after the 1911 census. However,

'Leaving Great Houndales house empty I gave up the farm 1903. We had had it our family for more than 100 years and for 50 of those old John Tennison [in 1901 a 67 year old widowed agricultural labourer living in Coppergate, Nafferton] had worked there. He was a fine type of English farm worker - over 6ft. [1.83 metres] - and as straight as an arrow a first rate hedger, thatcher and turnip hoer. He is buried in Nafferton Churchyard together with his wife and I put up a tombstone to their memory.'
'In 1903 as a climax I got typhoid fever myself and nearly died from it. This knocked the stuffing out of me for a time and I was never able to ride much after that as I could not stand the shaking.'

Perhaps an astute man, Thomas saw an opportunity by leasing additional land.

'About that time I had taken East Field a Driffield farm of about 130 acres [53 hectares]. It joined Little Houndales and was worked from there. Like mine it was a good farm and not too dearly rented at 30/- [£1.50] an acre. ... '
1805info3b, sheet 6
1911 Census:           Sun/Mon 2nd April/3rd April 1911
Source TNA Ref:        RG14 PN28860  
       Reg. Gen. Ref:  RG78 PN1659 RD525 SD2 ED5 SN136
       RegDist:        Driffield SubDist: Nafferton  En.Dist: 5 Sched: 136
Dwelling:              West Field          
Place:                 Nafferton, Driffield, East Yorkshire          
Rooms in dwelling, other than scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom: 11
Years married:         20
Children:              Alive 5, dead 1 

Name                  Rel  Age Mar Occupation                   Status    Birthplace 
Thomas Crompton       Head  43  M  Farmer                       Employer  Yorks, Lowthorpe
Mary ellen Crompton   Wife  46  M                                         Yorks, Driffield
John Crompton         Dau   17  S  Articled clerk to accountant Employed  Yorks, Nafferton
Edith Crompton        Dau   13                                            Yorks, Nafferton
Katherine Crompton    Dau    7                                            Yorks, Nafferton
Charles Crompton      Son    4                                            Yorks, Nafferton
Gertrude Collingwood  Serv  19  S                                         Yorks, Nafferton
Hilda Patrick         Serv  18  S                                         Yorks, Middleton
Mary ellen Elgy - date unknown  - 26kB jpg Thomas Crompton - date unknown - 14kB jpg
Above: Thomas CROMPTON, taken at an unknown date
Left: Mary ellen Elgey, taken at an unknown date

The family lived at Westfield until just after the 1911 census, when they move to Cottam (see 1805info3e) for three years as 'a way to expand the business and that proved a wise move'.

During the 24 years he had farmed in Nafferton he was involved in village life being a member of Driffield Urban District Council, the chair of the local National Farmers Union (NFU), from 1911 to 1917 the first chairman of the East Riding County Branch of the NFU, a member of the Workhouse Committee and a Church Warden for many years at Nafferton Church. As one of nine members of Nafferton's Feofee Charity Trust he was responsible for the cottages for aged people and for distributing modest funds to help individuals or groups living in the ecclesiastical parish of Nafferton with Wansford who are in any kind of need or hardship. His grandson, Roger Parkin maintained this role and connection for many years.

The next few years were peaceful. Thomas farmed farmed Little Houndales and his son Harry the newly bought Bempton Farm, near Bridlington, of 130 acres [53 hectares]. Times came very hard and eventually Harry had to leave and went to Kenya.

1805info3b, sheet 7
It was Thomas' ambition to retire at 50. In 1915 the family moved to 91 Cardigan Road, Bridlington. The war years were of great anxiety with two sons fighting. In 1917 news came that Jack was badly wounded. In 1919 Cottam was sold at a good price and before The Depression.

Thomas wrote: 'I remember my father saying to me one day. "You must get out on the land and see the working of it and not spend all your time with the horses and sheep". This was very good advice. Despite his arable success and his father's advice Thomas continued to breed show winning sheep and hachneys (sic) (Hackney, a type of horse).

Right: 91 Cardigan Road, Bridlington 2010
91 Cardigan Road, Bridlington 2010 - 57kB jpg
Cardigan Road, Bridlington - 55kB jpg Cardigan Road by David Hockney - 24kB jpg
Above: a general view of Cardigan Road, Bridlington 2010 Above: David Hockney's view of Cardigan Road, Bridlington 2008
1805info3b, sheet 8
Thomas and Mary ellen's Golden Wedding 27jan1941 - 41kB jpg
Above: Thomas and Mary ellen's Golden Wedding on 27 January 1941.
Note the photograph of grandchildren Alec and Roger Parkin on the wall.

Thomas CROMPTON died on 15th November 1946, of bronchitis, at his daughter Kitty's home in Sheffield (GRO ref: Sheffield 2d 296).

Registration District SHEFFIELD
1946 DEATH in Sub-District of Sheffield South West       in the County of Borough of Sheffield
No. When and
where died
Name and surname Sex Age Occupation Cause of
Death
Informant When
registered
Signature of
registrar
221 15th November 1946
15 Devonshire Road UD
Thomas Crompton Male 78 years Farmer Broncho pneumonia Certified by
Ian J McCormick MD
A.M.Parkin
Son-in-law
Present at death
15 Devonshire Road Sheffield
16th November 1946 Austin Pryor Registrar
1805info3b, sheet 9

Nafferton New Church Yard

Crompton family memorial at Nafferton - 34kB jpg
also
THOMAS CROMPTON
died Nov 15th 1946
age 78 years
Re-united
Mary ellen Crompton's headstone 2010 - 27kB jpg MARY ELLEN
beloved wife of
Thomas Crompton
of Houndales & Bridlington
Born June 5th 1864
Died July 30th 1944


Mary Ellen CROMPTON, of 91 Cardigan Road, Bridlington, was buried 04 August 1944 aged 80 after falling downstairs: an accident from which she never recovered.
In
Loving memory of
MARJORY daughter of
Thomas and Mary Ellen Crompton
who died 23rd June 1902 aged 7 years
Thy will be done


Marjory died three days before her brother Harry's sixth birthday, from food poisoning after eating berries.
Marjorie Crompton's headstone 2010 - 23kB jpg
1805info3b, sheet 10
Capt. John Crompton's headstone 2010 - 28kB jpg also to their
beloved eldest son
JOHN Captain 3rd London Regt.
who died March 26th 1922
aged 28 years
RIP


Captain John died of tuberculosis possibly as a result of the War - see 1805info3g

Sources:
The family letter is reproduced, with some modifications in:
Crompton, Thomas, 'First Chairman', East Riding Farmers Journal, Volume 57, 1985, East Riding Archives ref: DDFU/4/1/39
Oral evidence: Roger Parkin, Thomas' grandson


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This page was created by Richard Crompton
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Version A.5
Updated 23 October 2010