Artisans in Industrial Scotland

Jenny Blain
Copyright © J. Blain 1988, 2005
I My mother's family
  1. Janet Lynch, her parents and siblings and their home life
  2. The Pendleburys and Fishers
  3. The Lynch family
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I. My mother's family

The Pendleburys and Fishers

(See fig. 2 for details)

Maggie Pendlebury or Lynch [Ed note: see Scottish naming conventions, in introduction] was born in 1870, in Glasgow (NRH, JPB), the eldest child (of eight) of Marion Fisher and John Pendlebury: she had two elder half-sisters, her father's children by a previous marriage. [Ed. note: also a half-brother, the child of Marion Fisher and Alexander Hay] Four children are recorded as having been born to John Pendlebury and his first wife Margaret Reid Young (ML), but as only two (Janet and Marion) appear in family stories, and the names of the remaining two (Margaret and John) reappear in the second family of John Pendlebury and Marion Fisher, it would seem that the younger two chilrdren did not survive infance. Indeed, given the dates of the birth of the youngest child (13 May 1866) and the remarriage of his father (12 July 1867), it seems likely that Margaret Reid Young died in childbirth or very soon after, leaving John Pendlebury as a widower with young children.

Marion Fisher's occupation on her marriage was that of power-loom weavver. John Pendlebury was a cotton-yarn dresser (MM, NRH). I know little about the circumstances in which Margaret Pendlebury was brought up. Her parents appear to have subscribed in part oto the Temperance Movement, as my brother Peter has in his possession a certificate in a dark wooden frame with the words Train Up a Child in The Way He Should Go, the 'pledge' signed by Maggie Pendlebury as a young child. She kept the 'pledge' until, as an elderly lady, she would take a small glass of port [4].

Marion Fisher may have come originally from Linlithgow, Midlothian, where her father William Fisher was a calico printer, her mother Margaret White a needlework teacher (MM).

[Ed note: Linlithgow Bridge, across the river into Muiravonside parish, Stirlingshire. William Fisher was a maker of shoes at the time of the 1851 census, later a calico printer.]
An alternative family story states that they kept an inn. Both versions may have truth in them. [Ed note: The inn was a generation further back..]

Her brother William's occupation is listed by my mother's cousin May Mackie as gas fitter, her brother Edmond also initially as calico printer. This Edmond Fisher worked in Linlithgow, but at the end of the nineteenth century [4a Ed note], when the Scottish cotton industry was in crisis, moved to Ramsbottom, Lancashire, where he became manager of a cotton mill (MM, JPB), later also owning a chain of baker's shops (JPB.) He appears in my mother's memories of childhood almost as a fairytale rich uncle, providing special treats and arriving in a cab on his visits to Glasgow.

We have little information on Marion Fisher herself. At the time of her marriage, in 1867, she was 25 years of age. My mother rmembers her grandmother, a little, aged now around 50, in voluminous skirts with brush-braiding around the hem, and with an elderly women's mutch, or bonnet, hiding her hair. On one occasion Marion Fisher, visiting her daughter's house, produced a chocolate teapot from the pocket of her skirts, a present for the younger children: but alas, she had sat on it during the tram-car journey. [Ed note: this will have been after the move the the 'house on the high dyke' as previously Marion Fisher lived in a flat next to that of her daughter Margaret Pendlebury and Thomas Lynch.] My mother remembers only one visit to her grandmother's house: she recollects a bedroom, with a rocking chair in it, and a memory for her Aunt Phamie (Euphemia) setting the table, but no more.

John Pendlebury was born in Elderslie, Paisley, the son of John Pendlebury and Marion Brown (MM) whose name is given in her marriage record as Mirren Brown. The parents' marriage is recorded at Low Church Parish, Paisley, on 16th April 1832 (MM, NRH). A daughter, Margaret, was born in 1833 (NRH) and John in 1836 (RP). At the time of his first marriage he was in his twenties, probably becoming established in his trade of cotton yarn dresser. According to information received from his granddaughter May Mackie, he had planned to study medicine, but on the death of his father John had to go into the cloth mill. He was a member of the army volunteers (the 16th Co. Lanarkshire Volunteers - CM) and received prizes for marksmanship, including a gold medal now in the possession of his great-granddaughter Christine Mogford. As an army volunteer he was at the 'wet review' which Queen Victoria inspected, as was his son-in-law Donald Carrick, cabinetmaker, husband of his eldest daughter Marion (daughter of Margaret Reid Young). My mother remembers her own mother, Margaret, speaking of this John Pendlebury as a tall man who cut a fine figure on Sundays, attending church wearing his sword.

John moved to the Hutchesontown district of Glasgow, where he first marriage is recorded, then to Bridgeton, where the birth of his children, and his second marriage, took place. One assumes that he met Marion Fisher in Bridgeton, where she had moved in search of work. It may however be that they met in Linlithgow. I have childhood memories of family stories which suggest that they met when John stayed at her parents' inn; howver there may be confusion of generations, here. John may have had a sister, also called Marion, who stayed with him for a time in Bridgeton. The marriage of a Marion Pendlebury to one William Hamilton is recorded in Bridgeton in 1866 (ML) and the name Pendlebury is an otherwise very unusual one in the region.

Several of the children of Marion Fisher and John Pendlebury emigrated to Lowell, Massachusetts (CM, JPB, RP). Edmond Fisher Pendlebury moved from there to Graniteville, where he worked as a stationary fireman for over 40 years with the Abbott Worsted company. After his retiral he developed a second career as 'a landscape gardener of a very high order' (JPB). Several other siblings appear also to have been keen and successful gardeners. Prior to his move to the US, this Edmond had stayed for some time with his sister Margaret and her family.

Some information on the Pendlebury/Fisher family has been supplied by the family of this son Edmond. John Pendlebury was, according to Edmond's memories relayed through Edmond's daughter in law Ruth, an upstanding man with flaming red hair and beard, Protestant (an 'orangeman' in Glasgow), described as 'a good man who never laid a hand to any of his children' (RP). They have very little information about Marion Fisher, other than that her death was around 1916 (my mother gives a slightly earlier date), and that her father, as well as being a calico printer, was a musician, responsible for [Ed. rather associated with] the tune Fisher's Hornpipe [4b Ed note]. The Pendleburys appear to have been an artisan family, above the poverty line but by no means well off. The women and girls of the household were expected to perform all the domestic labout. A family story tells how when Edmond walked across the clean floor his elder sister Mary had just washed, she soaked the floor cloth 'good and wet' and applied it to his face (RP).

Girls and women however seem to have been recognised as productive members of the household, both as wage-earners and as performers of domestic labout. At least two daughters, Marion and Margaret, attended Glasgow's Logan and Johnston college, studying domestic science there. Margaret Pendlebury or Lynch kept a househeeping book throughout her married life. It is likely that all the daughters learned needlework skills from their mother, who in turn probably was taught by her mother, Margaret White [Ed: Whyte seems to have the more common early spelling], needlework teacher: my mother remembers with pride the dressmaking abilities of hermother and aunts; she herself was always able to sew and knit, and passed some of this teaching on to me.

Mary Pendlebury, referred to above, worked in the same cloth mill as her father, though in what capacity I do not know. She may, like her sister Margaret, have been a weaver. Her father died on 27 May 1898, of a heart attack, in the mill. Mary was apparently so shocked that she did not menstruate for several months (RP). The first sibling to emigrate to the US appears to have been Janet (daughter of first marriage of John Pendlebury), as the others are said to have stayed with her on their arrival. Edmond migrated in 1911, followed in 1913 by his then common-law wife, another Mary, who brought with her their two-year-old daughter Margaret (Rita). They were married in Lowell by a minister who was later to be Rita's father-in-law. Mary had apparently been married, in Scotland, to one named Henderson: the reasons for the breakdown of marriage are not clear. Henderson however said that if Mary and Edmond emigrated, he would not lay charges (e.g. of bigamy?) against them. Janet Pendlebury also married twice: her first husband was 'a sadist' (RP) who locked her in the house during the day, until her father John Pendlebury apparently broke the door down and removed her. In the US she married Doctor Robert Holgate, the 'Doctor' being a name often given to a seventh son, and not referring to the medical profession. Other emigrants to the US were Mary, William, and George, at different times.

Many of the family were musical, the Pendlebury daughters and sons playing various instruments, and George's playing apparently ranking with that of the best poopular musicians of the day (JBP, RP). My mother remembers her Fisher great-uncles, William and Edmond, as arriving at her parent's house with whistles in their pockets. The association of their father William Fisher with the Fisher's Hornpipe must be again mentioned here [Ed note: see earlier footnote comment on this composition]. In my mother's case both parents were musical, and this tradition has been maintained, to some extent, by her own children. Sarah Pendlebury married another musician, George Mackie, leader of the popular 5th H.L.I. Military Band, and a well-known figure in Glasgow.

The elder John Pendlebury seems to have originated in Lancashire, possibly in the Wigan area [5 and Ed note 5a]: the name is a very common one there. His occupation was 'weaver' and he seems to have moved in search of work. Family stories state that he was previously in the army, an officer [Ed note: this is the story, but NCO may be more likely], that he may have fought in the battle of Waterloo, and that he had retired on half pay, which would supplement his weaver's wages. At the age of 64 he is reputed to have married his housekeeper, who must have been Marion Brown, though I have heard (JPB) that it was this Marion, rather than Marion Fisher, who was the innkeeper's daughter at Linlithgow [6 and Ed Note 6a] A family story, that has a John Pendlebury serving 12 years in Ireland, in the city of Dublin, with the Lancashire militia, then on his honourable discharge walking from Wigan to Glasgow in search of work (CM), almost certainly refers to this elder John Pendlebury. [6b- Ed note.]

The younger John Pendlebury is said to have traced the Pendlebury line back three hundred years, finding that they had originally been Jews who fled persecution in Germany, to England (RP) [7]. One must presume that they took the name 'Pendlebury' from the area in England where they settled: Pendlebury is a Lancashire town, in an area famous for an episode of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. [Ed note: not quite - Pendle Hill is a little bit distant but still part of the area that now is part of the north of Manchester and the south of Lancashire: but this was written while I was in Canada, and getting in something about 'the Witches' was important to me at the time.] At some point the family became Protestant. The church the younger John Pendlebury attended is not known, but may have been Congregationalist [Ed. note: almost certainly]: Margaret was married by a Congregationalist ceremony.


[4] My mother first saw this on a visit to Rothesay, where her parents and their friend, James Barr, chair of the Glasgow Eastern Cooperative Society, were on holiday. Niver having seen her mother drink, she felt quite shocked! .

[4a] Ed. note: this Edmund Fisher is recorded in the 1881 Lancashire census, at Shuttleworth near Ramsbottom, as a papermaker, married and with three daughters.

[4b] Ed. note: this composition seems unlikely - there are manuscripts giving 'Fisher's Hornpipe' before the time of William Fisher. However, either there may be two tunes of that name or he may have played it as a 'signature' given the name. As the composition of Fisher's Hornpipe, and of the identity of 'J. Fishar' as composer is somewhat disputed, it may be, speculatively, that there is an older family connection.]

[5] I have not found the official record of his birth.

[5a] Ed. note: The name is very common around Wigan, Bolton and Hindley. From the death record of the elder John, his parents were Jonathan Pendlebury and Margaret Seedon. Family accounts give the mother's name as Mary Seddon. The most likely birth (checked in Wigan library's records) is of John Pendlebury to Jonathan Pendlebury, in 1786, recorded in the Hindley Presbyterian church, though the mother's name is not given. Further details of Pendlebury marriages in Hindley, Wigan and Bolton etc. will be in additional material when I can put this up. Clearly, John Pendlebury was not 64 when he married Marion Brown, but around

[6] The marriage record, registered in Paisley Low Church in 1832, is of little assistance here as it details only the names of the participants, with no information as to occupation, age or names of parents (later marriage records are much more informative).

[6a] Ed note: this innkeeper business was persistent through my childhood. I came to think it was simply be a romantic story that had accrued from elsewhere to a tale of young people meeting during the massive economic and population changes that affected Scotland in the late 18th and 19th centuries. However there does seem to have been a connection to inn at Linlithgow and a daughter - Mary McCulloch, daughter of William McCulloch, Innkeeper at Linlithgow, who married William Fisher in 1812, their son born in Linlithgow Bridge being the William Fisher who was father of my great-grandmother Marion..

[6b] Ed note. There seems considerable confusion over regiments, dates, and generations. Another family story suggests that one of the John Pendleburys was a 'Scarlet Lancer' (Queen's Lancers). These apparently did serve in Ireland, though dates may not match. An extant photograph of the younger John Pendlebury, in his twenties of early thirties (possibly before his wedding to Marion Fisher, hence around 1866), shows him in uniform which is probably that of the 16th Lanarkshire volunteers. From the stripes he is a sergeant and his sharpshooter's badge is visible on the left sleeve. It seems most likely that the elder John Pendlebury did serve, most probably in the Lancashire Militia but possibly in something else.

See later material for additional research, for all this section.

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