Henry Danson, (1806-1881), my great great grandfather - a farmer, yeoman, carter and toll keeper, father of 9, grandfather to 28 and (known) great grandfather to 31.
The birth certificate of my great grandfather James Danson. born 1852 provided the names of his parents - Henry Danson, yeoman farmer. and Elizabeth Calvert of Trap Farm, Carleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a "yeoman" as "A man holding a small landed estate, a freeholder under the rank of gentleman....a coutnryman of rspectable standing, especially one who cutuivates his own land."
The family were still at Trap Farm (left) 10 years later in 1851, with Henry described as a farmer of 31 acres in a household that had grown to 13, including two servants. How on earth did they fit into what seems a small farmhouse? Grace had left home, but eldest daughter Elizabeth was there with her husband,Thomas Bailey and Peter was described as unmarried brother and annuitant.
With these details found so easily, it was frustrating to "lose" the family from Trap Farm in 1861 (this was before census returns online). What had happened to a seemingly prosperous farmer? Had there been a downturn in agriculture?
A notice in "The Fleetwood Chronicle" 24th August 1860 stated that "Tuesday 28th August a sale would tqke place at Leys Farm, in occupation of Henry Danson of 5 acres of wheat, 2 acres of oats and 6 acres of bean and hay".
Change of occupation to toll keeper
of the Shard Bridge Company appointed Mr Henry Danson of Poulton-le-Fylde toll collector, vacant by the demise of Mr Thomas Moore.
- For EVERY HORSE, OR other BEAST, drawing any coach, stagecoach, omnibus, van, caravan, berlin, landau, chariot, barouche, phaeton, chaise, marine galash, curricle, chairm, gig, whiskey, hearse, litter, chaise or like carriages - THREE PENCE
- For every ox, cow, bull or neat cattle - ONE PENNY EACH, 1/6 PER SCORE.
- For every calf, sheep, pig or lamb - ONE FARTHING EACH OR FOUR PENCE PER SCORE.
- For every foot passenger, not being the driver, of or engaged in driving or leading any cart of carriage passing over the bridge - ONE PENNY
Deaths in the Family
By 1881 the Danson household was much depleted. Mother Elizabeth had died in 1879, with widowed daughter Margaret returning to act as housekeeper, to her father Henry, her brother Henry and niece May.
|St. Chad's Church, Poulton-le-Fylde|
A photograph taken by my uncle Harry Danson