Eaton Ringers 1887

A photograph that hangs in the tower at Eaton church is reproduced below.

Eaton Church Ringers 1887

Eaton Church Ringers 1887

 Information on the picture reads:     The Eaton Church Ringers 1887

(Standing L-R) George Singleton, James Shelton, Henry Singleton, George Jackson, William Smart, Richard Harrison (seated L-R) Thomas Pearson, Richard Selby.

Reproduced by Heawood Melton Mowbray

Comment from the webmaster.

The picture dated 1887 appears to be a later copy when the information “reproduced by…..” is considered. The information given on the picture must be accepted but could perhaps be wrong. It shows a group of eight men, more information about them is given below. Two are seated on well polished domestic wooden chairs, they surround a table, with cloth, that contains handbells. Today Eaton has six tower bells but no home band and no handbell ringers.

The table also holds a jug beside which is a glass that could well hold beer. All the men are wearing hats and five have tobacco pipes. The two seated men have especially large pipes. They are all wearing what could be their Sunday best and a button hole. In the background is a large wooden door and to the left a lower brick building with a pantiled roof and a smaller wooden door. Just in view is a besom (brush) and the bricked yard surface is clean and free of rubbish.

We offer you some information about the men in the picture, if you can tell us more please contact us.

George Singleton aged 22, born in Eaton 1865 and worked as an Ironstone Miner.  He lived with his parents William and Mary Singleton on Main Road, his father was also an Ironstone Miner.

James Shelton aged 30, born in Eaton 1857 the son of George and Sarah (of Kinoulton Notts.) He married Elizabeth Turton and they had two children Arthur and Elizabeth James was an agricultural labourer but later worked as an Iron Ore Miner.

Henry Singleton (baptised John Henry) aged 19, born 1868, brother of George. He was serving an apprenticeship as a cordwainer (shoemaker).

George Jackson aged 26, born in Eaton 1861, had trained as a Miller and Baker (perhaps his figure gives a clue to his trade). The family had a Grocer’s business on Main Street.

William Smart aged 26, born in Eaton, son of David and Ann (of Barkestone le Vale). William was an agricultural labourer, like his father but after his marriage to Elizabeth he became a Gardener while living at Glenns Cottages East.

Richard Harrison aged 30 was born in Eaton the son of William & Deborah. He married Mary Gibbs (of Derby) in 1877, they had a daughter Florence aged 9 and had been living at Markeaton Street Derby while he worked as a labourer. The family moved to Eaton where Richard worked as an Iron Ore Miner.

Thomas Pearson aged 37, again born in Eaton, his wife Mary (of Barkestone le Vale). They had  a son John aged 14, Elizabeth aged 11 and Walter aged 6. They had spent their early married years at Doddington, Lincolnshire where perhaps Thomas had acquired the skill to be a Carrier and General Dealer now at Church Street in Eaton.

Thomas Pearson, seated on the left, is my great grandfather. I would like to add to the information given about Thomas in the comments from the webmaster. Diana Inkley (nee Robinson) – daughter of John & Peggy Robinson (nee Pearson) of Eaton.

Thomas was married to Mary Ann Smart in May 1880 and Eaton parish marriage records show that he was a widower.

He had two children with his first wife, John William b.c. 1873 at Doddington and Elizabeth Ann bapt. 1875 at Eaton.

Eaton Parish records show a burial of Mary Pearson (28yrs) on February 20th 1877. This Mary is thought to be the first wife of Thomas.

Thomas and Mary Ann (nee Smart) had 3 children, Walter b. 1881, Florence b. 1883 and Thomas Edgar (my grandfather) b. 1885. These can be found on the 1891 census for Eaton.

On the 1901 census for Eaton, Thomas Edgar 16yrs is still living with his parents (he didn’t marry till the age of 37) and his sister Florence (18yrs) is a domestic servant in Grantham.

Thomas and Mary Ann lived in the cottage opposite the church and school in Eaton where Thomas was a market carrier and his son Thomas Edgar was his assistant (1901 census). Thomas was also the parish clerk, with Thomas Edgar later following in his footsteps.

Mary Ann kept a shop in what is now the kitchen of the cottage on Church Lane –  it was also the house where I was brought up till the age of 12.

Thomas died in 1929 and Mary in 1931.


William Smart in the same photo is the brother of Mary Ann – i.e brother in law to Thomas Pearson.

Richard Selby born at Wymondham Leicestershire in 1852 made him 35. He had wife Ellen born in Eaton but no children and worked as a General Labourer.

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