Members of Neston Female Friendly Society – January 1817


Neston map 1814

Stella Young

There were thirty nine members of the Society when the Rules were signed in 1817. It is not clear which were honorary, apart from the Stewardesses and Lady Patroness, and which benefit members. It has been possible to find some details about some of these women and their lives and inevitably it has been easier to find information about the more prosperous members. There remain a few names which are either so commonplace that there are a few possibilities or others of which there is, as yet, no trace. If you can add any information (or can correct any errors) please email


Eliza Bayley (1737 – 1820)

Eliza Bayley was the Reverend Thomas Ward’s mother-in-law and the first Lady Patroness of the Society. Thomas Ward (1757 – 1827) was Vicar of Neston from 1787 until his death in 1827. She was born Elizabeth Paradine in Colchester, Essex in 1737 the daughter of Robert Paradine, a baymaker.

Marriage to Samuel Bayley. She married Samuel Bayley of Manchester, a lieutenant in a dragoon regiment, in 1764 and their daughter Anne (1765 – 1793) was born the following year in 1765. Elizabeth was widowed when Samuel died in 1776.

Ann married Thomas Ward in 1787. They had two sons, Thomas Ward (1788 – 1818) and John Paradine Ward (1791-1793) and two daughters Anne Elizabeth Ward (1789 – ?) and Frances Mary Ward (1793 – 1841).Anne died in 1793 a few months after the birth of her youngest child, Frances Mary.

At some point Eliza went to live with the Reverend Ward and his family possibly after the death of her daughter. She was certainly living in Neston by 1798 when she was included in a list of Neston residents making voluntary contributions to the war effort which was published in the Chester Courant on Tuesday 3rd April, 1798. When she died intestate in 1820 her granddaughters, Anne Elizabeth and Frances Mary were declared beneficiaries of her estate. She was buried at Chester Cathedral.

Honorary Stewardesses

Frances Mary Ward (1793 – 1841)

Frances Mary Ward was one of the two honorary stewardess and was the youngest child of the Reverend Thomas Ward (1757 – 1827) and his wife, Ann. Thomas Ward (1757 – 1827) was Vicar of Neston from 1787 until his death in 1827. She was baptized in Neston on 24th March 1793. Her father was also Prebend of Chester and Rector of Handley and had a house in Abbey Street, Chester so he and his family may not have been resident in Neston throughout the year. 1827 . When he died in Neston in August 1827 he left her the lease on his house in Abbey Street, Chester and it seems likely that this would have been her residence after his death. She died in 1841 and was buried at Chester Cathedral on the 11th March. She named her cousin, Peploe William Hamilton and her niece, Eliza Ward executors of her will. Other beneficiaries included her nephews Thomas Peploe Ward and Lewis Ward but there were small bequests to servants including a Mary Meadows of Neston and a friend, Anne Williams of Neston.

Arabella Monk (1788 – 1875)

Arabella Monk was the daughter of Parkgate customs officer, William Monk, and his wife Esther. She was baptised in Neston on 9th January 1788 and was 26 years old when she was appointed Honorary Stewardess of the society. Either her mother or another sister, Esther Monk, was also a member of the Society. Her sister, Anne Monk married John Brown whose family established what was to become Browns’ department store in Chester.

Marriage to John Wharton Bankes. She married surgeon, John Wharton Bankes, on 22 December 1825. They had three children: Nessie (born 23rd April 1827), James Roger (born 8th July 1828) and Arabella Ann (born 27th May 1831). All three were baptised on 21st April 1837. When her children were young Arabella and her husband lived in a house on the High Street opposite the church. In 1841 Nessie was listed on the Census as a pupil at a school in Leighton. Two of her children died young: Arabella Ann in 1845 and James Roger in 1844 and Arabella was widowed not long afterwards, in 1847.

Cheshire Observer, 8th September 1900

 Reminiscences of Neston Medical Men


By George Gleave

“…There have been, and still are, popular men in Neston, but none more so than William and Wharton Banks. The surgery of Mr. Wharton Banks was at the first large house below a popular and celebrated locality in Neston that has eminently distinguished itself by persisting in the enforcement of an antiquated and a repugnant form of speech that does not accord with our Queen’s English. Dr. Banks in his profession was for many years assisted by a “Mr. Packard,” who was also well known and widely respected.

Dr. Wharton Banks was a man of medium height. He had a good muscular physique, but rather inclined to rotundity. He had, however, no “lean and hungry look.” His manner was both genial and affable, and his round features usually beamed with humour.”


In 1848 Arabella’s daughter, Nessie, married surgeon, James Braid, on 6th July 1848 in Neston and Arabella was living with them in 1851 at Springfield in Church Lane . Nessie’s first child, James Bankes Braid, born in 1849 died in infancy and Nessie herself died in 1854 and was buried in Neston on 12th May along with her one year old son, John Bankes Braid. Nessie’s second son, Charles, born in 1850 survived to adulthood.

After her daughter’s death Arabella lived in Parkgate Road with her brother, Charles Monk, in Beech House, which had been built for him in 1847. She died on the 14th September 1875. In her will, dated 12th April 1875, she named her grandson Charles as main beneficiary and executor apart from a bequest of £20 to her sister-in-law, Sarah Bankes. Her ‘clothes and wearing apparel’ she left to her niece Nessy Brown.

Benefitted Stewardess

Sarah Pinnington (nee Pyke)(1789 – 1821)

Sarah Pinnington was the Society’s first Benefit Stewardesses at the age of 25. She was born Sarah Pyke (or Sally Pike?) and was baptised at Neston on 1st February 1789.

Marriage to John Pinnington. She married John Pinnington, a joiner, on 24th August 1815. Although the entry in the church register indicates that he was living in Neston at that time the announcement of their wedding in the Chester Chronicle on 25th August describes him as ‘Mr J. Pinnington of Chester’. They lived in Pennington’s Weint off the High Street.

Sarah’s first child, Joseph, was baptised at Neston on 1st July 1821. She had a second child, a daughter Sarah, who was baptised on 27th April 1823, but Sarah herself died around the time of her birth and was buried on the same day as her daughter was baptised. She was 34 year old when she died.

Her daughter, Sarah, married Henry Houldin, a plumber, from Birkenhead in 1842.

(Their position on the list makes it possible that Mary Browne and Jane Browne were also benefitted stewardesses )


Mary Browne (nee Mitchell) (c1754 – 1832)

Mary Browne was born Mary Mitchell.

Marriage to James Brown. She married Captain James Browne of Liverpool in Camden on 31st October 1799. She was his second wife. Captain Browne was born in Cork, Ireland in 1754, the son of the Reverend Thomas Browne of Kinsale. It is likely that he was involved in the slave trade out of Liverpool . ( see Schwarz, S., Slave Captain: The Career of Captain James Irvine in the Liverpool Slave Trade, Liverpool University Press, 2008 and Holcombe, J., Early Merchant Families of Sydney: Speculation and Risk Management on the Fringes of Empire, Melbourne, 2013 – extracts from both on had children from his first marriage to Jane Fairclough and his daughter, Jane Browne, was also a member of the Society.

He bought a house in Neston around 1803 – Elm Grove House, built in 1800 by Dr Stephen Bond. He had some financial difficulties (see Holcomb, 2013) and in 1812 he advertised a house with 20 acres of land for sale (Chester Chronicle, 10th July 1812). A legacy of £4000 from his brother, Reverend Thomas Browne, in 1813 evidently solved his problems and when he died in 1817 he owned a house and land in Neston which he left to his wife, Mary, and daughter, Jane, during their lifetime and aftewards to his son Thomas Browne of Liverpool. His oldest son, Wareham Jemmett Brown, is not mentioned in the will. One of the witnesses to his will was John Cliffe, surgeon to the Society.

Mary died in 1832 and was buried in Neston on 18th July 1832. In her will her she requested that she be buried with him and “as nearly as may be with like forms and ceremonies as accompanied his funeral”. She left bequests to her stepson Thomas and his children, to Warham Jessop Browne and his wife and to nephews Henry Eugene Shadwell and William Latham.

Jane Browne (1783 – 1822)

Jane Browne was 31 years old when the Society began. She was borne in Liverpool on 13th September 1783, the daughter of James Browne and his first wife, Jane, and was baptised at St Thomas’, Liverpool. She lived in Neston with her father and step mother, Mary Browne.

She died in 1822, at the age of 39 and was buried in Neston on 15th November 1822. Witnesses to her will were Thomas Ward and Ann Bond.

Anne Elizabeth Ward (1788 – ?)

Anne Elizabeth Ward was Frances Mary Ward’s sister, Rev Thomas Ward’s oldest daughter. She was baptised in Neston on 30th December 1789 and was 25 when the society began.

Marriage to Howel Wepre Jones. Shortly before her father’s death she married widower Reverend Howel Wepre Jones of Nerquis, Flintshire on 17th July 1827 in Neston. His sister, Charlotte, was the wife of Neston curate John Husband. Charlotte Husband and Frances Mary Ward were witnesses at the wedding which was performed by her cousin, Peploe Hamilton Ward. Reverend Jones had four children with his first wife, Henrietta Maria Williams who died in 1826.

Reverend Jones died in 1837 and as she is mentioned in his will it is likely that she was still living at this time though it has not been possible to discover anything of her life after this date.

Dorothy Butler (1764 – 1858)

Dorothy Butler was born in Lancaster and baptised on 11th September 1754, the daughter of Edmund Lancaster, gentleman. She was a half-sister of Ralph Butler who married Maria Wilson in 1805.

She was in Neston when the Society began, possibly living and working with her sister-in-law, Maria Butler.

In 1841 she was living at Great Boughton. By 1851 she had moved to Birmingham and was living with her niece, a governess, and a great niece. Sometime after this she moved to the house where her sister in law was living, The Knowle, Hazlewood in Derbyshire. She died there on 8th April 1858, at the age of 95.

Maria Butler (1782-1857)

Maria Butler was born Maria Wilson in Leeds on the 18th March 1782 and baptised at St Peters’, the daughter of  William Wilson of  Leeds.

Marriage to Ralph Butler. She married Ralph Butler, a Lancaster attorney, at St Mary’s Church, Lancaster on 8th July 1805. They had been married less than a year when he died at the age of 27 and was buried at the same church on 8th September 1806.

By the 20th September their house in Castle Hill, Lancaster was advertised to let with details available on application to Mrs Ralph Butler (Lancaster Gazette, 20th September, 1806).

Maria Butler advert

Chester Chronicle, 5th October, 1810 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

By 1809 she was running a small school at Leighton Cottage, Parkgate which could accommodate six young ladies (Chester Chronicle, 6th January, 1809).

According to Mrs Augustus Hare (nee Maria Leycester) Maria had been at some point governess to Lady Stanley of Alderley’s children. (Chester Chronicle, 1st April 1882 extract from Augustus J. C. Hare’s ‘Memorials of a Quiet Life’ entitled Mrs Hare remembers ). She charged 70 guineas per year for under 10 year olds and 80 guineas for those over 10 with additional charges for French, Drawing and Dancing. The following year the school added Italian to the extras available and could accommodate 8 pupils.

Two of Lady Stanley’s daughters were pupils at the school and it appears from a letter written by Lady Stanley to Maria Butler that Lady Stanley took some interest in the school. Maria had evidently asked Lady Stanley’s advice on the suitability of the navy as a career for her young brother, Richard, then about 10 years old.

Maria Butler advert 2


Maria moved to larger premises at Ashfield House which could take 12 young ladies in 1813.

She was still in Neston nine years later and she is listed in the Neston section of Pigot’s Commerical Directory of Cheshire for 1822.

In 1844 Ashfield House was advertised to let (Chester Courant, 16th March, 1824) and there is no evidence of her opening another school elsewhere after this date

n 1851 she was staying with the family of barrister William Winstanley Hull at Tickwood Hall, Much Wenlock, in Shropshire and her occupation is given as proprietor. Also staying there was her nephew, Charles Henry Penny.

In her final years she lived at The Knowle, Hazlewood, Derbyshire, a property owned by William Winstanley Hull.

She died in 1857 at 7 Gloddeath Crescent in Llandudno and was buried in Hazlewood on 20th August 1857. Her will indicates that at the time of her death she was relatively wealthy woman.



Margaret Sophia Wilson (1795 – 1862)

Margaret Sophia Wilson was born in Leeds on 17th December 1795, the daughter of William Wilson, and she was Maria Butler’s sister. When she and her brothers, Wiliam James and Richard, were born the family were living at 8 Park Square, Leeds in house which had been built for their father. She would have been about 19 years old when she was a member of the Society. It seems likely that she taught with her sister at Leighton Cottage and/or Ashfield House.

Marriage to Edmund Henry Penny. She was living in Neston when she married Rev Edmund Henry Penny of St Johns, Clerkenwell, London, on 21st May 1822 in Neston. He was the son of Reverend James Penny ( a curate at Alderley fom 1785 to 1789) and his wife, Elizabeth.  Edmund’s mother, Elizabeth Penny, was born Elizabeth Butler, sister to Ralph Butler who was Maria Butler’s husband.

Margaret Sophia’s husband was assistant master at Charterhouse school for a time and later Rector of Great Stambridge in Essex from 1839 until his death in 1879. They had at least nine children: Arthur Edmund (1823), Maria Elizabeth (1824), Margaret (1825), Frances (1827), Louisa (1828), Charles Henry (1830), Emma Harriette (1834), and Charles William James (1835), Henrietta Eliza (1837)

She died on 22nd May 1862 at the Rectory in Great Stambridge.

Elizabeth Robinson ?


Alice Hancock (1762 – 1845)

When the Society began Alice Hancock was the wife of Captain Charles Hancock, a mariner, of Liverpool. He was her second husband. She was born Alice Sugar in 1762, the daughter of glazier Francis Sugar and his wife, Mary.

Marriage to Nathanial Warrington.On 24th March 1784 she married a Chester baker, Nathanial Warrington. They lived in Toxteth, Liverpool after their marriage. Their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1785. They had at least two more children who both died in infancy. Although they were born in Liverpool both children were buried in Neston. Nathanial Warrington died in 1792

Marriage to Charles Hancock. Alice married widower Captain Charles Hancock of Liverpool on 21st May 1805.

Although Captain Hancock’s residence is given as Liverpool in the parish register he was in all probability the Charles Hancock who was baptised in Neston in 1757, the son of Charles Hancock also a mariner. He married Ann Hayes in 1770 and Gore’s Directory of Liverpool in 1790 gives his address as Atherton Street, Liverpool.

Alice’s daughter, Elizabeth Warrington married John Wolstenholme of Neston in 1809. He is listed as Neston postmaster in Pigot’s 1822 directory of Cheshire. He died in 1828 leaving Alice’s daughter a widow.

Charles Hancock died in 1837 and by 1841 Alice was living with her daughter, Elizabeth Wolstenholme, in Neston.

Alice died in 1845 and was buried at Neston on 15th May.

Anne Schroeder (1787 – 1866)

Anne Schroeder was born in Neston, the daughter of barber, Henry Schroeder, and his wife Mary and baptised on 29th April 1787. Her father died in 1811 but her mother lived until 1832, dying at the age of 83.

Marriage to Samuel Williams. Anne married Samuel Williams in 1837 at St Oswalds church, Chester. He was some twenty years older than Anne and was a widower with children from a previous marriage.

It is probable that he was the Samuel Williams who owned the Court of the Hundred of Wirral. For most of the sixteenth century the franchise to it was held by members of the Glegg family. Samuel’s son, John Williams was a Liverpool attorney who purchased it from the Crown in 1820. John Williams was convicted of forgery in 1829 and sentenced to transportation for life. He sold the rights to the Court to his father, Samuel.

The court was held in ‘a building situated at the norther end of what is known as Pyke’s Weint’ (Stewart-Brown, R. The Wapentake of Wirral: a History of the Royal Franchise of the Hundred and the Hundred Court of Wirral in Cheshire, 1907).

Anne lived with her husband Samuel in Leighton Road and continued to live there after he died in 1853 at the age of 85. One of the executors named in Samuel’s will was James Woodward, secretary of the Society and husband of founder member Jane Downward.

Anne died of cholera in 1866 and was buried at Neston, with her parents and husband, on 14th September.

Hannah Rogers ?

There were two Hannah Rogers, born in Neston who might be the signatory of the Society’s first rules.

The first Hannah Rogers was baptised on the 18th May 1783, the daughter of labourer John Rogers and his wife Mary.

The second was the daughter of William Rogers, a tailor, and his wife Lydia. She was baptised in Neston on 1st September 1799. She died, age 50, in the County Lunatic Asylum and was buried at Neston on 15th September 1848.

Arabella Mawdsley (nee Matthews) (1755 – 1824)

Arabella Mawdesley was born Arabella Matthews the daughter of mariner John Matthews and his wife Elizabeth. She was baptized at Neston on 5th October 1755.

Marriage to Captain Joseph Hughes. She married Captain Joseph Hughes, a mariner, on 10th November 1775 at St Philips, Liverpool. He was probably the Joseph Hughes born in Neston, the son of Thomas Hughes, who was also a mariner, in 1742. He was a widower, previously married to Ann Walmsley on 16th October 1762, also in Liverpool.

He was possibly involved in the slave trade out of Liverpool, as captain of the President in 1785 (Behrendt, A.J.H. et al, The Diary of Antera Duke, an Eighteenth Century African Slave Trader, OUP, 2010 extacts online at ).

Captain Hughes evidently owned property in Moorside: in 1795 a field leased by Joseph Hughes, Moor Meadow, was offered for sale (Chester Courant, 15th December, 1795) and in 1799 his name appears on an advertisement for a house available for rent at Moorside (Chester Courant,28th May, 1799).

Joseph Hughes died in 1801 and was buried at Neston on 24th January 1801.

Marriage to Peter Mawdsley. After Joseph Hughes’ death, Arabella married Peter Mawdesley, also a mariner, at St Paul’s Liverpool on 14th June 1804. He had already been married and widowed twice: he married Ann Poston in 1787 in Liverpool and Elizabeth Barber in Neston in 1790 . Elizabeth died in 1803 and was buried at Neston 18th October 1803.

When Arabella died in 1824 she was buried with her late husband, Joseph Hughes, in the graveyard of Neston church on 28th May.

Soon afterwards, on the 16th December 1824, Peter married Mary Mack Whire at St John the Baptists, Chester. There was a legal dispute, concerning Arabella’s will, between Peter Mawdsley and Arabella’s sisters and their husbands, Esther and William Monk and Ann and William Hutchinson. Under the terms of her marriage settlement a house and fields in her possession were to go to her children or next of kin on her death but because of the wording of her will Peter Mawdsley claimed that they had been left to him. The case was eventually decided in favour of the sisters in 1827 (Reports of Cases decided in the High Court of Chancery by the Right Hon. Sir John Leach, Master of the Rolls, 1831 online at

Esther Monk

Esther Monk is one of the signatories on the regulations dated 1817. There were two Esther Monks, mother and daughter, but it is most probably Esther Monk senior who signed the 1817 regulations.

Esther Monk (nee Matthews) (1759 – 1829)

Esther Monk was the wife of Parkgate customs officer, William Monk. She was born in 1759, the daughter of mariner John Matthews and his wife Elizabeth. Arabella Mawdsley and Ann Hutchinson were her sisters.

Marriage to William Monk. She married William Monk, on 19th September 1779 in Neston. They had ten children; the youngest, Esther (Nessie) was born in 1799. Esther Monk senior died in 1829, age 70, and was buried at Neston on 4th February. Her husband died two years later in 1831.

Esther Monk 1799 – 1874

Esther Monk was the youngest daughter of Parkgate customs officer, William Monk and his wife, Esther, and was born in 1799.

Marriage to Mervyn Otto Matthews. She married Mervyn Otto Matthews of Dublin on 12th May 1820. Rev Thomas Ward officiated at their wedding and her sister Arabella was one of the witnesses. She may have moved to Dublin with her husband but by 1841 she was a widow and had returned to Parkgate.

In 1851 she was living in Parkgate Road with her brother John, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. She lived with him in Parkgate Road until her death on 12th September 1874. In her will, which was proved in Chester on 7th January 1875, she left £100 in trust for the benefit of the poor of Neston and Parkgate to be administered by her nephew William Brown of Chester.

‘to my nephew William Brown of the city of Chester, the sum of one hundred pounds upon trust to pay and apply the same for the benefit of the poor of Parkgate and Neston in such manner as the said William Brown in his discretion shall think best.’

Her brother, John Monk, made a similar bequest of £200 on his death in 1880 and, as the Monk Matthews Charity, their bequests continue to benefit the people of Parkgate and Neston.

Mary E. Bond (c1763 – 1844)

Mary Eliza Bond was born Mary Elizabeth Lawrence around 1763.

Plaque in Neston Parish Church.

Plaque in Neston Parish Church.

Marriage to Stephen Norman Bond. She was the second wife of surgeon Stephen Norman Bond whom she married on 6th January 1789 at St George’s Church, Liverpool. He had a practice in Liverpool. His first wife, Barbara Twisleton Ridsdale, whom he married in 1774, died in 1778.

Stephen Bond died in 1816 at the age of 66. In his will he left the sum of £3 a year to be distributed by his wife to ‘the Poor of Neston’ on the 24th December each year and £3 to the Neston Charity School to be given on the 1st August. When no relative remained to distribute these sums he gave responsibility for continuing the donations to Neston churchwardens and vestry. These sums to be charged on his house at that time occupied by a Miss Clough.

Mary Bond continued to live at Vine House after her husband’s death but when she died on 18th March 1844 she was living in Liverpool at the home of her friend Arthur Ellison. She was buried in Neston on 26th March. In her will she left a donation of £20 to the Neston Female Friendly Society and £10 to the National Schools. She left a further bequest of £100 to be invested by the Vicar and Churchwardens to secure an income which was to be distributed annually on the 24th December as ‘clothing, food or money as most required’. The recipients to be six poor but ‘worthy and deserving’ parishioners.

A plaque in Neston Parish Church is dedicated to Dr Stephen Bond and his wife.


Cheshire Observer, 8th September 1900

 Reminiscences of Neston Medical Men


By George Gleave


“…Mrs. Bond was a lady very highly esteemed by the people for her good deeds. She lived in Neston at the inception of one of the oldest and most successful of the benefit societies of England — the Neston Ladies’ Club. In that Mrs. Bond took a deep and abiding interest, and for many years occupied the dignified position of lady patroness. We can imagine Mrs. Bond, together with the vicar, then the Rev. Thomas Peploe Ward, the Misses Ward, and Mrs. Joseph Lyon, taking an active part, so far back in the century as the year 1814, in the formation of the Ladies’ Club…”




Ann Bond (1754 – 1825)

Plaque in Neston Parish Church

Plaque in Neston Parish Church


Ann Bond and her twin brother, John, were born 1754 and baptized in Neston on Christmas Day. She was the daughter of Neston doctor James Bond and his wife Mary. Mary Eliza Bond was her sister-in-law, married to Ann’s brother Stephen Bond. She did not marry and died in 1825 age 71. She was buried at Neston Parish Church on 22nd November 1825.

A plaque in Neston Parish Church commemorates her death.

Jane Downward (1781 – 1865)

Jane Downward was the daughter of Thomas and Hannah Downward and was baptized in Neston on 6th May 1781. Her father was a ropemaker.

Marriage to James Woodward. She married teacher, James Woodward (born 1794) on 11th August 1818. Their first son, James, born in 1819, died when he was six months old. Their second son, Henry was born in 1821.

In 1841 they were living in Meadow Cottages, Neston with their son Henry. Both James and Jane gave their occupation as Schoolteacher and their son was a Professor of Music. Henry eventually became a vicar and was a curate in Wigan before moving to a parish in Lambeth. James continued to work as a teacher but in 1861 accountant appears as one of his occupations. He was the Secretary of the Society for over thirty years until 1862.

Jane Woodward died in 1865 and was buried at Neston on 10th October, aged 85. James died on 8th January 1870.

Ellen Jones


Martha Dawson 1791 – 1851

Martha Dawson was baptized at Neston, the daughter of Charles Dawson, sawyer and his wife Martha, on 3rd April 1791.

Marriage to Thomas Jones. She married farmer Thomas Jones on 11th February 1817. Anne Schroeder was a witness at her wedding. Martha and Thomas had nine children, including one set of twins, though two died in infancy. The lived in Snig Lane, Neston.

Martha died in 1851 and was buried at Neston on 5th November 1851.

Kitty ? Norris


Mary Griffiths


Jane Williams


Nancy Webster (c1778 – 1859)?

There were a number of Webster families in Ness and Neston and the men were mostly blacksmiths in Neston or at the colliery in Ness. There is no baptism record for a Nancy Webster in Neston but in 1819 a Nancy Webster gave birth to an illegitimate child, named Mary, who was baptised in Neston on 23rd April. If this was the Nancy Webster who signed the 1817 rules this would have resulted in her being expelled from the Society. A Nancy Webster is recorded on the 1851 Census living in a Liverpool almshouse and her place of birth is given as Neston. She would have been born around 1778 and her occupation is given as fisherwoman.  Possibly the same Nancy Webster died in Liverpool in 1859.

Ellen Pyke 1781 – 1826

Ellen was baptised at Neston on the 4th November 1781, daughter of Neston baker John Pike and his wife Mary. Sarah Pinnington and Jane Roberts were her sister.

Marriage to William Martin. Ellen married William Martin, a widower, on 2nd February 1820. His first wife was Martha Banks. They were married in Neston 18th June 1806 and one of the witnesses at their wedding was Sarah Pyke. They had three children but the she died when her third child, James was born in 1817. She was buried in Neston on 18th August 1817 on the same day that her son was baptised.

Ellen and William had two daughters, Sarah, baptised 26 Jan 1821 and Elizabeth, baptised 4th October 1822.

She died at the age of 45 in 1826 while her children were still young.

Her two daughters, later Elizabeth Tozer and Sarah Morrison, continued the family tradition and were also lifelong members of the Society.

Jane Roberts (nee Pyke) (c1785 – 1871)

She was probably sister to Ellen Pyke and Sarah Pinnington (nee Pyke) and a daughter of baker John Pike and his wife Molly. A Jenny Pike was baptised in Neston on 31st August 1783.

Marriage to John Roberts. She married joiner John Roberts at St Peters Church in Liverpool on 6th July 1806. One of the witnesses at their wedding was Sarah Pyke. John Roberts died in 1818 just before the birth of their seventh child, Mary Ann.

A Jane Roberts is listed as an earthenware dealer in Pigot and Co.’s Commercial Directory of Cheshire in 1822. A Jane Roberts appears on the 1841 census living with 15 year old Mary Roberts working as a milliner. She appears on the Census in the 1851 living in Parkgate Road and earning a living as a shopkeeper. In 1871 she was still living in Parkgate Road with two granddaughters, Annie and Euphemia Bell, who were her assistants. She was still working as “small ware dealer’.

She died in 1871 and was buried at Neston on 22nd May.

Carolin Johnson (1786 – 1823)

Caroline Johnson was born in 1786 the daughter of Richard Johnson, a saddler, and his wife Mary. She was baptised in Neston on 10th February.

A Caroline Johnson is listed as a confectioner in Pigot and Co.’s Commercial Directory of 1822.

She died in 1823, aged 37, and was buried at Neston on 29th May.

Mary Johnson (1791 – 1858)

There were a number of Mary Johnson’s in Neston around this time. One possibility is that she was Caroline Johnson’s sister who was baptised in Neston on 1st August 1788, the daughter of Richard and Mary Johnson.

Elizabeth Gardner

There were two Elizabeth Gardners (Garner) living in Neston in January 1817; brothers Joseph and Thomas Gardner both had wives named Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Gardner (nee Norman) (1783 – 1855)

Elizabeth Norman was baptised in Neston on 18th May 1783, the daughter of Sam Norman, a butcher and his wife, Rebecca.

Marriage to Thomas Gardner. She married Thomas Gardner, a plumber and glazier, on 18th January 1807. They had nine children, most of whom died in infancy. The lived in the High Street, Neston.

Elizabeth died in 1855 at the age of 75 and her husband, Thomas died three years later in 1858.

Elizabeth Gardner (nee Jones) (c 1790 – 1878)

Marriage to Joseph Gardner. Elizabeth Jones, married Joseph Gardner, tailor, at St Anne’s church, Liverpool on 9th October 1815. He was listed as a tailor in Neston in Pigot’s 1822 Directory of Cheshire.

They do not appear to have had any children and Joseph died in 1826 as the age of 36.

Marriage to Michael O’Loughlin. Elizabeth married Michael O’Loughlin, also a tailor on 10th January 1827. They had three children: Elizabeth born 1827, James in 1829 and Ann in 1831.

Her daughter Elizabeth was a member of the Female Friendly Society from the age of 16 and remained a member throughout her life. She married Frederick Powell in Liverpool on 19th November 1862.

Elizabeth and Michael O’Loughlin lived in Parkgate Road. Michael died of cholera in 1866. Elizabeth was still living at the house in Parkgate Road in 1871.

She died in1878 at the age of 88.

C. Cooke (nee Jones)

She was born Catherine Jones and married William Cooke, a Leighton farmer at St Nicholas Church in Liverpool on 20th May 1800. This may have been his second marriage as there is record of a Willim Cooke, also a farmer at Leighton marrying Elizabeth Jones in Neston on 5th August 1772.

Catherine and William had at least six children: Elizabeth (1800), William (1802), Joseph (1805), Jane (1809), Scarsbrick (1808) and Thomas (1811).

William died in 1816 and was buried at Neston on 25th December 1816.

It is not certain when Catherine died.

Jane Cottrell ?


Anne Williams ?


Rebecca Parr (ne Lambe?) (c1792 – 1822)

Marriage to Peter Parr. Rebecca (Rebekah) Lambe married Peter Parr at St Oswalds Church on 27th December, 1809.. When they were first married he was a farmer but by the time their second child was born in 1813 he was working as the Liverpool carrier. They had six children: John in 1811, James in 1813, Maria in 1816 (died aged 9 months), Richard in 1817, Mary 1819 and Maria in 1821 (died aged nine months in 1822).

Rebecca died in 1822 at the age of 31 and was buried at Neston on 6th November 1822.

Peter married Mary Hosker in 1824 and their first child was named Rebecca.

Mary or Nancy Cottrell?


Margaret Cavan?


Ann Hutchins (nee Matthews) (1757 – 1840)

Ann Hutchins[on]was born Ann Matthews, daughter of mariner John Matthews and his wife Elizabeth in 1757. Arabella Mawdesley and Esther Monk senior were her sisters.

Marriage to William Hutchinson. She married William Hutchinson, possibly at St Olaves Church in Bermondsey in 1795. There is no record of any children born to them in Neston.

William was probably a Liverpool attorney and was one of the shareholders/proprietors of the Liverpool Herculaneum Pottery. He died in 1833 and was buried in Neston on 25th March.

Ann died seven years later in 1870 and was also buried at Neston on 26th April

Mary Williams ?


Phoebe Cliffe (nee Young) 1780-1852

Phoebe Cliffe was born Phoebe Young in Bunbury in 1780 and was baptized at Bunbury on 5th November 1780. She was 34 when the Society began.

Marriage to John Cliffe. She married surgeon, John Cliffe  in Bunbury on 15th February 1810 and evidently moved to Neston soon afterwards. In 1814 he was appointed Surgeon to the Neston Female Friendly Society.

Their seven children were born in Neston between 1811 and 1822. Their youngest child, John, died when he was a few hours old.

John Cliffe died in 1824 at the age of 36 and was buried at Bunbury on 11th May. His residence is given as Tarporley so he and his family may have left Neston at this point.

Phoebe was still living at Bunbury in 1851 and when she died in 1852 she also was buried in Bunbury on 10th March


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