Updated 21 Jul 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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KILLER Brothers

From an email sent by Stuart Flint. More information
about the KILLER family can be found on:
PRs Marriages, Burials
PRs Baptisms
1851 census
1861 census
1871 Census
1881 Census
Decendants of KILLER-1
Hopton Wood quarries
Hopton Wood Stone
Ince's pedigrees 045c
Ince's pedigrees 104d
FLINT connections
Decendants of FLINT-1
Decendants of WALKER-2
Tradesmen 1827-46
MI Index
Aerial photos by Neil France
The Study, Bonsall 1907
Wagon for Longcliffe quarries
Search this website for KILLER

    Hello John
    Over some years now I have read different accounts as to how Killers Quarry was begun.. In one account on your web pages it says that Killer Bros began the quarry in 1850 which would be difficult as the eldest brother John was only born to William and Mary nee Willans in 1840 his other brothers being Adam born in 1852 Joseph in 1842 and William born in 1850.. In the 1861 Census it gives William Killer the elder as being a Joiner..which is correct but he was also setting out as a Stonemerchant from 1850 on land where he had intended to build a new workshop for his family building business ...He married Mary Willans of Brinksway which is twixt Cheadle and Stockport and must have lived there for a time either as a sub contractor possibly on the railway's as local men my Gr Grandfather Joseph Walker had already gained sub contracts on the railways on The L&NWR and Midland Railway between Gloucester - Carliske and into West Yorkshire ..Joseph Walker and William Killer being brothers in law ..Some of William Killers sons were born at Cheadle, but by 1850 he was back at Middleton living on what today is still known as Killers Yard opposite the Junior school.. It is on record in a court case bought against Killler Bros in the early 1900s that Joseph Killer the remaining brother living at the time of the court case, gave an explanation as to how Killers began the quarry and he states that his father whilst digging out the foundation for a new workshop in late 1849 struck what he recognised as a rich seam of Hopton Wood Stone .. The original quarry known as Hopton Wood which I believe one of the Hubbersty family along with the Gells owned ..could not get to quality stone due to an overhang of muck and clay and William the elder made a deal that he would supply the original quarry with memorial and building stone which is why Killers hardly ever used explosives as they had to take the mineral out in blocks which meant using Stone Cutters and Masons to wedge out the rock.

    It was on December 5th 1905 that my Grandfather William Flint was killed at Killer Bros Quarry whilst in the process of wedging out a block of stone the face giving way and falling on the crane he was driving (see Mines and Quarries Inspectorate Report 1906 where it gives the reason of his death). By 1906 Killer Bros was absorbed into what became known as Hopton Wood Stone Firms. I have an early photograph of the firm when the Crane Gantry was still in place and when blocks of stone were being stacked underneath for the contract to provide Memorial Stones for the 1st W.W. dead the contract given by The War Graves Commission

    The Brothers took over the quarry from their father in around 1874 Adam being the Managing Director his demise in his 40s.. William Killer the elder for his remaining years returned to his trade as a Joiner when the brothers took over

    William Killer the elder on the demise of Mary his first wife married Anna Brownson who was daughter of my 2XUncle and Aunt John and Elizabeth Brownson Elizabeth sister to my Grt Grandfather Joseph Walker who headed the firm Joseph Walker & Sons Building Contractors and Master Stonemasons.. William and Anna's son Samuel Thomas Killer married into my wifes Mather family who were also of the Mathers who adopted my Aunt Harriett Janet Fields Woodiwisse known as Dolly Mather who married my fathers brother Sidney Flint .. Elizabeth Mather of this family married into my wifes allied Doxey family

    Anna Brownsons sister Elizabeth married Frank Eaton of Grt Berkhamstead (actually he was born at Cromford but worked as a Railway Engineer) Frank Eaton was kin to my sister in law's Farnsworth family who married my brother and way back in time his Eaton family were my wife's 6XGrandparents and my sister in laws 5XGrandparents

    John Brownson was son of Thomas and Hannah Brownson nee Bamford whose family are direct heirs of Johannes Conradt Molius, he colleague to Sir Cornelius Vermuyden when they drained The Dovegange Sough whilst the Brownsons came from Parwich and before that way back in the 1500s are reputed to be ancestors of John Brownson (or as it was spelt Braunson) who was a Steward to Mary Queen of Scots when she was incarcerated in Tutbury Caslte and South Wingfield by The Earl of Shrewsbury

    The Bamford family History They also married into my Frost Grand fore bares

    Major Johannes Conradt Molinus married Madellin of Gorsey Bank
    Major Molinus came to the Wirksworth area from Holland with Sir Cornelius Vermuyden they being Land Drainage Surveyors originally who drained The Isles of Axeholme Hatfield Chase and The Bedford Levels on the Cambridgeshire Fens plus parts of The Thames Embankment bought over from Holland by King Charles 1st 1623 For his efforts Vermuyden was Knighted by King Charles 1st in 1629

    Sir John Gell and Sir Robert Heath were the Kings Mineral Advisers and due to this Sir Robert Heath had his eyes on The Dovegange Mines twixt Middleton and Black Rocks which at the time belonged to Independent Miners. The Dovegange had the potential of being rich in the mineral of lead but the Independents had no way of releasing the flooding of the mines to reach the richer levels of lead veins With the conivance of The King and Sir John Gell and Heath Johannes Molinus was ordered to rid the Independents from their mines by force of arms if neccassary. By the early 1700s my Flint family along with my wife's Pearson family were back in charge as Agents at The Dovegange and other mines in the Colehills Middle Peak and Bolehill area

    Son of Johannes Conradt Molinus (he assusmed the English spelling of his name on marriage John.. He died May 23rd 1661

    John Molinus born 1633
    Matthew born 1635 married Mary Mellor
    Marcellus born 1640
    Thomas born 1643 obt 1644
    Edward Baptised 1660 married Dorothy Greenhough 1682

    Children of Edward and Dorothy

    Dorothy born 1690 obt 1703
    Francis born 1684 obt 1706
    Hellena born 1706 obt 1706
    Daniel born 1689 obt 1689
    John born 1696
    Catherine (also spelt with a K in some records married Samuel Wheatcroft alias Collinson as his 2nd wife his 1st wife Mary Spencer of Middleton Samuel was the illegitimate son of my 7XAunt Jane Wheatcroft daughter of William and Mary Wheatcroft nee Ragg (Wragg) they my 7XGrandparents (Their daughter Elizabeth married William Norman ..Elizabeth died in the 1690s soon after giving birth to my 5XGrandmother Sarah Caldwell nee Norman..
    My 7XGrandfather William Wheatcrofts sister Mary Wheatcroft married Timothy Cadman who were also my kin by marriage to my 5XGrandfather William Colledge as his 1st wife was Timothy's sister Mary Cadman his 2nd wife Margaret Holmes being my 5XGrandmother.. Samuel Wheatcrofts future heir Elizabeth Gibbons widow nee Collinson married my 4XUncle Joseph Flint he Mining Agent at The Bage Mine Bolehill and Ratchwood Mine Rise End Middleton his brother Samuel Flint being Agent at The Dovegange and at Rantnatakers/Ravenstor in the early 1700s Ravenstor Grove Mine co partnered by my 7X and 6XGrandfather's William and Thomas Hodes along with Ratchwood Grove and Orchard Grove Mines my 7X and then 6X Grandparents Hodes also owned Bow Wood near Lea Bridge which they purchased from John Spateman of Rodenook Wessinton who in his will left Thomas Nightingale a Smelting Mill and land at Lea Bridge ..my 6X Grandfather selling Knights Close to Thomas Nightingale and by the mid 1700s my 5XGrandfather selling Bow Wood to Peter Nightingale 1st where my 6X and 5X Grandfathers both named Adam Killer were Woodsmen at Bow Wood living in cottages near Wood End where in recent years a Director of John Smedley Lea Mills lived for a time (White Coal Charcoal for the Smelting Hearths)

    Daughter of Matthew and Mary Molins nee Mellor

    Mary Molinus married Anthony Bamford 1692

    Their son Anthony Bamford married Alice Wigley of Bonsall

    Children of Anthony and Alice Bamford nee Wigley

    Marcellus Bamford born 1752 married Elizabeth Mather daughter of James Mather of Matlock Marcellus Bamfords sister Hannah born 1758 married Thomas Brownson in 1793 whose son John Brownson born 1802 married Elizabeth Walker they my Gr Gr Uncle and Aunt.

    Marcellus Bamfords son Marcellus married Hannah Frost daughter of John and Anne Frost nee Wright Anne Wright being my blood kin via Frosts and Wheatcrofts Annes Grt neice Anne Wright married my Grt Grandfather Joseph Walker as his 1st wife (Hannah Frosts brother was Samuel who married Nanny Smith dau of Richard Smith partner and brother in law to Thomas Smedley Hosier Wirksworth father of John Smedley 1st founder of Lea Mills John Frost was nephew to my 5XGrandfather John Frost whose daughter Mary married John Flint they my 4XGrandparents ..Samuel Frost was Actuary at Wirksworth Savings Bank now Andrew Macbeth Cash & Co Offices, Samuel also being a Rope Manufacturer on The Rope Walk Hammonds Court by the side of Andrew Macbeth & Cash offices he also a Maltster and Grocer and owning a Coal Agency which in time my Gr Gr Grandfather Samuel Flint who married Mary Killer sister to William Killer aforementioned founder of Killers Quarry, took over the coal yard along with a Brick Yard with his cousins Joseph Flint and Thomas Hall at Flints Wharf Steeplegrange where a member of the Flint family, May Flint lived up to recent years partner to my mother in laws cousin Haydn Spencer ..

    Regards Stuart G Flint

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