Cheadle Hulme

Henshaw / Brown Family and the Hulme Hall Road Smithy 


(Who can you identify?)

Jonathan Robinson School (Class of 1911-1912)

Henshaw / Brown
(Arthur Brown 1872-1956)
(Edith Brown 1872-1943)

Sarah Brown
(nee Henshaw, daughter of James, wife of Thomas)


Thomas Brown

Cheadle Hulme Carnival 1908

Cheadle Hulme carnival Foresters 1908

Hulme Hall Road Smithy c1935

Hulme Hall Cottages 1999



by Kay Brown (October 1999)  (Email) (Updated 2010)

Henry Henshaw was born in 1773, the eldest of the nine children of Daniel Henshaw and Mary Ashton. His parents were married in Mobberley in 1772 and were living in Hough, Wilmslow at the time of their deaths. Daniel was a blacksmith and Henry followed his father’s trade and also became a smith in Cheadle Hulme. He is recorded as having a Smithy in Occupation Road since 1812. This road is now known as Billy’s Lane and is off Heathbank Road leading to the allotments and playing fields. He lived in Heathbank House and was a small landowner as shown on the 1844 tithe map.

Henry married Hannah Woodall on the 17th December 1799 at St. Mary’s Church, Alderley. They had ten children Mary, Daniel, Ann, William, Thomas, Harriet, Elizabeth, Henry, Emma and James.

Henry died in 1849 and left his property to his wife for her lifetime and upon her death it was to be sold and divided amongst his surviving children. Hannah died in 1857 and the property was sold per Henry’s wishes.

Both Henry and Hannah were interred in Edgeley Wesleyn Chapel which was later pulled down and is now the site of Somerfield’s car park on Castle Street, Edgeley.

All the five sons became blacksmiths or wheelwrights. Daniel was the smith in Didsbury village; William and Thomas founded a successful business on Wellington Road South, almost opposite Georges Road, called The Stockport Lurry Works. Apart from the work associated with blacksmiths such as shoeing horses and wrought iron work, they became builders of tradesmen’s vehicles.

Henry and James became blacksmiths in Cheadle Hulme. Henry lived on Hulme Hall Road in the area known as Smithy Green. He was married to Mary Ann Robinson and they had five children, Beatrice Ann, Thomas, Daniel, William Henry and Susan. As he outlived his wife and children he left his estate to his Grandson Thomas Henry Kitchen, the only child of his daughter Susan Kitchen.

James the youngest son bought the four cottages and Smithy on Hulme Hall Road almost opposite Pinfold Farm, in 1857. He was married to Jane Fallows on the 19th February 1844 at Manchester Cathedral. They had four children, Sarah, Eliza, John Henry and Daniel. James died in 1869 and Jane in 1887.

The four cottages and Smithy were willed to the four children and as Daniel was a blacksmith like his father, he naturally was given the cottage that was attached to the Smithy.

Only Sarah was to marry and that was to Thomas Brown, a silk weaver born in Handforth.

Sarah’s cottage was leased as she and Thomas lived at Nos. 102 and 104 Hulme Hall Road in the area of Smithy Green. One of the cottage’s front rooms became a grocer’s shop. This was probably a more profitable occupation with the decline of the silk industry.

Thomas was the son of James and Ellen Brown of Handforth. He was born in 1821 and had five older brothers, William, James, John, Joseph and Henry. I cannot trace William or Henry after the 1841 census. James was married to Ann Wright and they had six children, Mary, John, Ann, Margaret Ellen, James and John. The family lived on Grove Lane and James was a handloom weaver. John was also a weaver and he was married firstly to Esther Brown by whom he had five children, James, John, Margaret, Thomas and Ann. They lived in the area known as Lane End. James married his second wife Mary who gave him another two sons, Samuel and Joseph. Joseph was employed as an agricultural labourer and lived in Adswood with his first wife Sarah Bancroft. They had three children, Ellen, Joshua and John. His second wife was Hannah Isherwood, a widow, with a daughter called Betty. The family had now moved to Smithy Green and Joseph was a silk weaver. At the time of the 1971 census Joseph had married his third wife Martha and was now a gardener by trade living at 100, Hulme Hall Road.

When Sarah Henshaw married Thomas Brown on the 4th July 1864 at St Thomas’s Church, Heaton Norris, he was a widower having been previously married to Sarah Bancroft (another well known local family) and by whom he had three daughters, Emma, Sarah Ellen and Ruth. Sarah Henshaw was twenty-three years younger than Thomas. He was a good friend of Henry Henshaw, Sarah’s uncle, so that it probably how they met.

Sarah and Thomas had three sons, James Henry, Tom and Arthur. James Henry became a schoolteacher and moved to Kings Lymm. Tom died in infancy and Arthur became a Master Plumber with his own business in Manchester. Arthur married Edith Cadman and had five children, Tom, Frank (who died in infancy), Leonard who joined the 11th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment and was reported as missing in action in Belgium during the 1914-1918 war, Edith and Alice who died in 1986.

Eliza Henshaw had a daughter Sarah Jane and when Eliza, John Henry and Daniel died they all left their property to her. As she never married she in turn willed it to her friend and relative Tom Brown.

At a date unknown to me a pair of semi detached houses were built on the land next to the cottages. Whether Thomas Brown built them for his sons is pure speculation but when Thomas died in 1902 he left these two properties along with nos. 102 and 104, Hulme Hall Road to his wife Sarah.

Prior to the 1930’s this part of Hulme Hall Road was a cart track with fields opposite and as there were so few houses along the road the cottages and the two houses were originally numbered 11 to 19. Because more houses have now been built from the traffic lights at Albert Road, the properties were re-numbered 31 to 41.

Tom Brown was also a Master Plumber and his business was run from his premises in the Smithy workshop. He employed two men, Geoff Burgess, whose son Robert is one of our local postmen and William (Bill) Green who is well known for his excellent paintings of Cheadle Hulme buildings and scenery.

Tom and his wife had two children and the houses and cottages are still owned and lived in by four generations of the Brown/Henshaw family.

The original anvil from the Smithy is still in one of the gardens. 


Updated March 30 2004