1. MIDDLETON, Lancashire: 1800–1864

Click here to open a map of Middleton. All names coloured purple are direct ancestors to Robyn.


St Leonards Church, where so many of this family were baptised, married and buried.

The town of Middleton (pop. 43,000) is now part of Greater Manchester, but in the years our Hardman and Frankland families lived there, it was part of the ancient county of Lancaster. The village was probably founded in the seventh century, although it was not mentioned in the “Doomsday Book” of 1086. However, by 1194, the name had appeared and was known in the Middle Ages as a centre for domestic flannel and woollen cloth production. The heritage-listed St Leonards Church was erected in 1412 by local boy Thomas Langley, who was the Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England, and expanded in 1524 in celebration of Sir Richard Assheton’s part in the Battle of Flodden in 1513 (Scots are permitted to go, “Boo, hiss!” at this point 🙂).

In 1770, just about the time our earliest known members of this family branch were born (and Captain Cook was charting a future homeland for their descendants), the village was known to have about 20 houses, and in 1803 we find the marriage of Robert Hardman and Betty Butterworth at St Leonard’s Parish Church:

1803 ENGLAND O.P.R. MARRIAGES: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 1Source: HARDMAN, Robert & BUTTERWORTH, Betty; 1803 Church of England Marriages; GB127.L56/1/4/2; Middleton, Lancashire.

Nº 963 }  Robert Hardman of this Parish, Weaver,
and Betty Butterworth in this Parish, Spinster, were
Married in this Church by Banns
this eighth Day of February in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Three

By me, James Archer, Curate
This Marriage was solemnized between Us { Robert Hardman; Betty Butterworth, her X mark
in the Presence of { Samuel Mitchell , his X mark; John Kenyon

Robert and Betty would have easily recognised the church in the picture above, and had at least seven children baptised there between 1804 and 1815. Their last child, Richard, was born just a few weeks after the Battle of Waterloo; but their third child was James Hardman, Robyn’s great-great-grandfather, and his baptism was recorded in 1807:

1807 ENGLAND O.P.R. BAPTISMS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 2Source: HARDMAN, James; 1807 England Births and Christenings; FHL 1545699/1; Middleton, Lancashire.

August 26 | James s. of Robert Hardman Weavr. & Betty his w. of Middleton


The other branch of our Middleton forebears was, however, better documented. James Frankland was a clogger and cordwainer (basically, a shoemaker) who lived and worked in the shadow of St Leonard’s Church in an area called ‘Back o’th Brow’, which lay between the cemetery and the Whit Brook. James had married earlier than the Hardman’s:

1796 ENGLAND O.P.R. MARRIAGES: Manchester Cathedral (Collegiate), Lancashire 3Source: FRANKLAND, James  & WARBURTON, Ann; 1796 England  Select Marriages; 1,545,576; Collegiate Church, Manchester.

Nº 505 }  James Frankland of this Parish & Town of Man[chester] Clogger
and Ann Warburton Spinster
were Married in this Church by Banns pubd. May 8th 15 & 22d. 1796
this twenty ninth Day of May in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety six

By me John Gathoff
This Marriage was solemnized between Us  {  James Frankland ; Ann X Warburton
in the Presence of { Jno. Harrison

The Olde Boar’s Head was built in 1622, just 120 m (130 yds) due west of St Leonards Church. This pub would have been very familiar to our family.

Although this record is marked “Manchester Cathedral”, it is very unlikely the marriage took place there — at the time, the Cathedral insisted that all fees paid in the larger diocese were to be collected and registered by them, and this would have applied to fees collected at St Leonards in Middleton. Some parishes made the marrying couple pay two fees!

We know nothing about the parents of James Frankland and Ann Warburton, but the couple, though married in the Church of England, had four children baptised as Wesleyan Methodists between 1802 and 1809 — two of these (Richard and Benjamin) died young. It seems likely that there would have been more children earlier in the marriage, but perhaps some of those had also died young, or their baptismal records have not yet been discovered. The last of Ann’s recorded children was Mary Ann Frankland (Robyn’s great-great-grandmother) who was born just two years before her mother’s death:

1810 ENGLAND O.P.R. BAPTISMS: Wesleyan Methodist, Middleton, Lancashire 4Source: FRANKLAND, Mary Ann; 1810 England Wesleyan Christenings (Wesleyan); RG4/1490; Middleton, Lancashire.

Mary Ann Daughter of James Frankland (Clogger)
& of Ann his Wife of Middleton. Born Decemr. 11th 1809
was Baptized Jany. 16th 1810 By me —— John Farrar

Nothing else is known of Ann Warburton’s life, but her burial was recorded at St Leonards in September 1811, and she would only have been in her mid-thirtys:

1811 ENGLAND O.P.R. BURIALS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 5Source: FRANKLAND, Ann [Warburton]; 1811 Church of England Burials; Drm 2/225b/3; Middleton, Lancashire.

September 10 | Ann wife of James Frankland Clogger of Middleton

James had been married to Ann for over 15 years, but was only a widower for less than nine months before he married for the second time:

1812 ENGLAND O.P.R. MARRIAGES: Middleton, Lancashire 6Source: FRANKLAND, James & Taylor, Hannah; 1812 England O.P.R. Marriages; GB127.L56/1/4/3; Middleton, Lancashire.

Nº43 }  James Frankland of this Parish Clogger & Widower
and Hannah Taylor in this Parish, Spinr, were Married in this Church by Banns
this twenty first Day of May in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twelve
By me James Archer Curate
This Marriage was solemnized between Us { James Frankland; Hannah X Taylor
in the Presence of { James Verity ; Rickd. Kenyon

Hannah Taylor was the daughter of William Taylor, weaver, and his wife Elizabeth, and was baptised at St Leonards on 20 April 1788; she was probably about 14 years younger than her husband, and 24 when they married. Hannah went on to bear James eight children between 1813 and 1829, though at least six of these died before they reached 30, and are buried at St Leonards.

James Frankland was registered between 1824 and 1853 as living at the “Lodge” in at least five business directories (Deans’, Pigot’s, Baines’, Slater’s and Whelan’s), as well as the 1836 Poll Book and Electoral Register.  The Lodge extends from the Back o’th Brow around the southern end of St Leonard’s cemetery. In these directories, James is noted as a “Clog and Patten Maker” (sometimes described as a “boot and shoe maker” or a “cordwainer”). Hannah was eventually to outlive James by about eight years, and following are the parish index entries for those Frankland family members who were buried at St Leonards:

1818–1864 INDEX of BURIALS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire

Nº 1575; p.197; Frankland, Sally; 13 Nov 1818; age 3; Dau of James & Hannah
Nº 2216-3; p.108; Frankland, Elizabeth; 6 Oct 1839; age 26; Dau of James & Hannah
Nº 2217-4; p.227; Garner, Hannah; 19 Jan 1843; age 28; PR Wife of Thomas
Nº 2218-5; p.88; Frankland, James; 16 Oct 1847; age 29; Son of James & Hannah
Nº 2219-6; p.119; Frankland, Betty; 11 Jun 1848; age 18; Dau of James & Hannah
Nº 2220-7; p.146; Frankland, Martha; 28 Apr 1849; age 21; Dau of James & Hannah
Nº 2221-1; p.59; Frankland, James; 23 Jul 1856; age 82; of Middleton
Nº 2222-2; p.85; Frankland, Hannah; 13 Jun 1864; age 76; Wife of James

In all, James Frankland had lost at least eight children from his two marriages, so we are very lucky that his fourth child, Mary Ann, survived. Until the birth of Martha (27 Jul 1827), all the baptisms for James’ children had been as Wesleyan Methodists. For unknown reasons, and uniquely in our family history, on the day Martha was baptised, James also had most of his other children still living at home re-baptised at St Leonards as Church of England: Joseph (25), Mary Ann (17), Elizabeth (14), Hannah (13), James (10), Hannah Maria (7), and Martha (new born). Why the four-year-old Daniel is not in the list is unknown – he lived till he was 56.

Mary Ann was 18 when she married 20-year-old James Hardman in 1828 — and they were married by the same curate, with the same witness, as her father had when he married her step-mother:

1828 ENGLAND O.P.R. MARRIAGES: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 7Source: HARDMAN, James & FRANKLAND, Mary Ann; 1828 England Marriages; 473; Middleton, Lancashire.

James Hardman of this Parish, Weaver
and Mary Ann Frankland of this Parish, Spinster
were married in this Church by Banns with Consent of Parents this Twenty first day of July
in the Year One thousand eight hundred and Twenty eight
By me, James Archer, Curate
This marriage was solemnized between us  {  James X Hardman’s;   Mary Ann X Frankland’s
In the Presence of  {  Joseph Moore;  Richd. Kenyon

When Mary Ann married James Hardman, she was nearly five months pregnant with their first child, Joseph. Her older brother, also Joseph, had become a clogger like his father and, at 27, married his first wife, Martha Millet, in January 1830 — they lived on Manchester Road in the neighbouring village of Tonge [Robyn has a DNA connection with two of his descendants].

James & Mary Ann Hardman


The Hardman and Frankland families continued to live and work in the area immediately adjacent to St Leonards, and Mary Ann’s parents were, as we would expect, at the Lodge with four of her half-siblings on census night in 1841:

1841 ENGLAND CENSUS: Lodge, Middleton, Lancashire 8Source: FRANKLAND, James; 1841 England Census; HO 107 / 544 / 11; Middleton, Lancashire.

James Frankland; 60; Clogg Maker; born Lancashire
Hannah Frankland [Taylor]; 50; born Lancashire
Hannah Frankland; 25; born Lancashire
James Frankland; 20; born Lancashire
Martha Frankland; 13; born Lancashire
Betty Frankland; 11; born Lancashire

All of James’ children by his first wife (Ann Warburton) had by now died, or married and moved on. Of his second tranche of children by Hannah Taylor, we know that two-year-old Sally had died in 1818, and unmarried Elizabeth had died in 1839, aged 26. Unaccounted for on census night was Anna Maria (nearly 21), and Daniel (18), no doubt both working and lodging elsewhere. Their daughter Hannah was only three weeks from marrying Thomas Garner, a bleacher — but she would join her deceased brothers and sisters at St Leonards graveyard 17 months later. James Hardman’s parents were also close by:

1841 ENGLAND CENSUS: Back o’th Brow, Middleton, Lancashire 9Source: HARDMAN, Robert; 1841 England Census; HO107/544/; Middleton, Lancashire.

Robert Hardman; 60; Weaver; born Lancashire
Betty Hardman [Butterworth]; 60; born Lancashire
Robert Hardman; 30; born Lancashire
Betty Hardman; 20; born Lancashire

Only two of of James siblings were still at home. His youngest brother, Richard, had died at age two, and we know his sister Alice had married John Wilde (in 1824) and had probably moved to Oldham by this time [Robyn has a DNA connection with a descendant of Alice]. What had become of John (35) and Ann (32) is unknown, but it was likely they had married and moved away. James and Mary Ann, though, were also still in the shadow of St Leonards, and already had their first five children:

1841 ENGLAND CENSUS: Church Croft, Middleton, Lancashire 10Source: HARDMAN, James;1841 England Census; HO 107/544/11; Middleton, Lancashire.

James Hardman; 35; Weaver; born Lancashire
Mary Hardman [Frankland]; 30; born Lancashire
Joseph Hardman; 10; born Lancashire
Elizabeth Hardman; 9; born Lancashire
Martha Hardman; 8; born Lancashire
James Hardman; 5; born Lancashire
Ann Hardman; 1; born Lancashire

The photo below (left) of St Leonard’s Church was taken in 1888 from the north, and the lighter-coloured building in the left foreground was the ‘Church Croft’.  James and Mary Ann were living here for the 1841 and 1851 censuses, and the Croft was only a minute’s walk from both their parents’ homes. ‘Back o’th Brow’ was an area on the other side of the church off to the left, and the cemetery lay directly south with the ‘Lodge’ immediately beyond that. Today, nothing is left of the Croft, with only a car park existing where it once stood (below right).

The 1841 census was to be Robert Hardman’s last — five years and four months later, he left his wife Betty a widow; no doubt he departed this world at his home in the Back o’th Brow:

1846 ENGLAND BURIALS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 11Source: HARDMAN, Robert; 1846 England Burials; Nº 394, p.50; St Leonards; Middleton, Lancashire.

No. 394
name: Robert Hardman, Weaver
abode: Middleton
buried: Oct 21   age: 73 [years]
minister: R. Durnford

If the age is correct on the burial record, we can estimate that Robert Hardman was born in 1773.


At the 1851 Census, a widowed Betty Hardman and two of her children were still at Back o’th Brow — and this census provides us a good deal more information about each individual in the household:

1851 ENGLAND CENSUS: Back o’th Brow, Middleton, Lancashire 12Source: HARDMAN, Betty (Butterworth); 1851 England Census; HO107/544/11; Middleton, Lancashire.

Betty Hardman [Butterworth]; Head; Widow; 75; Silk Winder; Blind; born Middleton, Lancashire
Robert Hardman; Son; Unm; 38; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Betty Hardman; Daur; Unm; 37; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire

At 75, Betty was quite old for her times, and was marked as being “blind”; her two children at home were also quite old to be still unmarried (38 and 37). Again, John (45) and Ann (42) are missing from the record, and may have been dead or living elsewhere. Just a short stroll along the road, we still find James Frankland and his second wife, Hannah, at the ‘Lodge’ with a married daughter staying with them:

1851 ENGLAND CENSUS: Lodge, Middleton, Lancashire 13Source: FRANKLAND, James; 1851 England Census; HO 107/ 2242; Middleton, Lancashire.

James Frankland; Head; Mar; 77; Cordwainer; born Yorkshire
Hannah Frankland [Taylor]; Wife; Mar; 63; Cordwainer’s wife; born Middleton
Robert Stringer; Son-in-law; Mar; 23; Cordwainer; born Middleton
[Anna] Maria Stringer [Frankland]; Son-in-law wife; Mar; 30; Cordainer’s wife; born Middleton
Alice Eastwood; Lodger; Unm; 22; Silk Winder; born Middleton

One very interesting bit of information from this record is that it gives James Frankland’s birthplace as “Yorkshire”, even though the 1841 census marked him as having been born in “Lancashire” — this is something for future research. Daughter Anna Maria and her husband, Robert Stringer, eventually migrated to Bendigo, Victoria, in 1858 [Robyn has a DNA connection to one of their descendants]. Meanwhile, Mary Ann and her ever-growing family were still at the Church Croft for 1851:

1851 ENGLAND CENSUS: Church Croft, Middleton, Lancashire 14Source: HARDMAN, James; 1851 England Census; HO 107/2242; Middleton, Lancashire.

James Hardman; Head; Mar; 44; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Mary [Ann] Hardman [Frankland]; Wife; Mar; 40; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Joseph Hardman; Son; Unm; 21; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Martha Hardman; Daur; 18; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
James Hardman; Son; 16; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Jane Ann Hardman; Daur; 10; Scholar; born Middleton, Lancashire
Maria Hardman; Daur; 8; Scholar; born Middleton, Lancashire
Robert Hardman; Son; 4; born Middleton, Lancashire
Alfred Hardman; Son; 3; born Middleton, Lancashire

The younger Hardman family were at home with seven of their nine children — their daughter Elizabeth (21) had married John Hulme in May 1850, and they were living in Chadderton, about 4 km (2.5 miles) east of Middleton on the outskirts of Oldham. Elizabeth died at Prestwich in 1889, aged 59.  Joseph (21) was to marry Hannah Collinge just over eight months after this census, and he moved to Oldham where he died in 1911, aged 82. Sadly, his wife only survived 14 years and died in 1866 [Robyn has DNA connections to their descendants]. Daughter Maria (8) later called herself “Hannah or Anna”, and we will hear more about her further on in the story. There was only one more child (the most important to our line) to be added to the Hardman brood, and she would be the only one to be born outside of Middleton proper:

1853 ENGLAND O.P.R. BIRTHS: St Michael’s, Prestwich, Lancashire 15Source: HARDMAN, Emma Alice; 1853 Church of England Baptisms; Nº 1214; p.152; Prestwich, Lancashire.

No. 1214    baptized: Decr, 18th [1853]
Christian name: Emma Alice, D. of
parents’ Christian names: James & Mary    parents surname: Hardman
abode: Tonge    father’s trade: Weaver
minister: Mattw Lawler

Emma Alice, was born in Tonge, a village which was essentially contiguous with Middleton proper on the south, but divided by the River Irk, and in the parish of Prestwick. James and Mary Ann Hardman had now completed their family — but, just over two years later, both were to lose their remaining parents. First Betty Hardman (neé Butterworth) was put to rest in January 1856:

1856 ENGLAND BURIALS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 16Source: FRANKLAND, James; 1856 Church of England Burials; Nº 467; p.59; Middleton, Lancashire.

No. 276
name: Betty Hardman   abode: Tonge
buried: Jan 6 [1856]   age: 80 years
minister: Henry E. Garnet

Betty had been a widow for just over nine years, and her given age would mean she was born in 1776. Only six-and-a-half months later, Mary Ann was to lose her father, James Frankland, who died just short of 45 years after his first wife, Ann Warburton.

1856 ENGLAND BURIALS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 17Source: FRANKLAND, James; 1856 Church of England Burials; Nº 467; p.59; Middleton, Lancashire.

No. 467
name: James Frankland   abode: Middleton
buried: July 28 [1856]   died: July 23   age: 82 years
minister: W.W. Kendall

His second wife, Hannah Taylor, mother of eight of his twelve children, was to battle on for another eight years.


As we can see from the birth of Emma Alice, the Hardman family had moved from Church Croft to Tonge by 1853, and the 1861 census registers them in Oldham Road, Tonge. As previously mentioned, their older children, Elizabeth and Joseph, had married off some years before; however, in April 1859, 20-year-old Martha had married Daniel Knott and, a year later, daughter Jane Ann married James Reed, a cotton dyer (April 1860) — these two couples and their young children were sharing accomodation at 2 Peach Bank, Tonge, at the 1861 census. The Knott family eventually moved west to Salford, where Martha died in 1883, aged 50 [I’m in touch with descendants of the Knott family via Ancestry.com].  The Reed family remained in Tonge for many years, but Jane Ann died in 1893, aged 53, in Bradford, Yorkshire. So, only four of Mary Ann’s nine children were at home on census night in 1861:

1861 ENGLAND CENSUS: 21 Oldham Road, Tonge, Lancashire 18Source: HARDMAN, James; 1861 England Census; RG9 / 3025; Tonge, Lancashire.

James Hardman; Head; Mar; 54; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Mary Hardman [Frankland]; Wife; Mar; 50; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
[Hannah] Maria Hardman; Daur; Unm; 18; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Alfred Hardman; Rel; Unm; 13; Silk Weaver; born Middleton, Lancashire
Emma [Alice] Hardman; Daur; 7; Scholar; born Middleton, Lancashire
Richard [probably Robert]; Son; Unm; 16 [14]; Clogger; born Middleton, Lancashire

S.V. “Wanata” was built at New Brunswick, Canada, in 1852. It sank after a collision with the “Queen of Beauty” in the Bay of Biscay in 1866.

Their other unmarried son, James (25), was not at home, but lodging with a family in Spotland (5 km, or 3 miles, north of Tonge) and, like his granddad, working as a clogger. He would, however, rejoin the family for their next adventure.

We know nothing more about the lives of the Hardman family until we find seven of them boarding the two-mast Sailing Vessel “Wanata” in London on 1 November 1862.   James and Mary Ann set sail for the Southern Antipodes with five of their children: James (24); “Hannah” Maria (19); Robert (17); Alfred (14); and Emma Alice (10) — the other four children remained in Lancashire: Joseph, Elizabeth Hulme, Martha Knott, and Jane Ann Reed. The “Wanata” sailed via Queenstown, New Zealand, and after three months and three weeks at sea arrived in the port of Brisbane on 20 February 1863. A new chapter in their lives was about to begin.

They had only been in the colony for 16 months when Mary Ann’s step-mother died back in Lancashire, ending the Middleton story for our family:

1864 ENGLAND BURIALS: St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire 19Source: Frankland, Hannah; 1864 England Burials; No. 676, p.85; St Leonards, Middleton, Lancashire.

No. 676
name: Hannah, Widow of  James Frankland
abode: Middleton

buried: June 16   died: June 13   age: 76 years
minister: E. Nates

Next page: 2. Brisbane, 1863–1940.

See the relevant maps (maps open in new browser tabs):


This illustration from The Middleton Guardian, 1898, shows St. Leonard’s Church as viewed from the north. The building to the left was known as Church Croft, and this is where James Hardman and Mary Ann Frankland were living for both the 1841 and 1851 censuses. Most of their children were born here, but by 1853 they had moved to Oldham Road, where Emma Alice was born.