Where did Edmund Cockshutt of Ball Grove and his family live and work?

Using the “pedigree” written by Nicholas Cockshutt (born c. 1863) and the records available some progress can be made in finding out more about where Edmund Cockshutt of Ball Grove (c. 14 Jan 1753), his son, Edmund Cockshutt, the Younger (b. c. 1779), his grandson Edmund Cockshutt (b. Dec 1809), his  great-grandson Joshua Cockshutt (b. c.1840) and their families. First, it would be interesting to know where they lived and worked.

A Map of Colne and surrounding areas (with notations showing the locations referred to below) can be viewed  here. Map of Colne with Notes.

Ball Grove

In the available records, “Ball Grove” is variously referred to as “Ballgreave”, “Ballgrove” and Ball Grove. From enquiries made with the local historical society, it seems likely that in the early years this would have referred to the farm that once was located just on the northern side of Colne Water in what is today Ball Grove Park.

Entry to Ball Grove Park

Entry to Ball Grove Park






Map of Ball Grove Park today

It seems likely that the early Cockshutts ran a woolen “fulling” mill, using fast flowing river as their source of power. The fulling process converted the raw woolen weave into cloth by beating and rinsing the greasy threads with water and soap or fine clay. This was done using wooden mallets powered by a turning wheel. The end product was a woolen material suitable for use in clothing, etc. There is evidence in the modern Ball Grove Park of a mill canal, designed to divert water from the river into a reservoir (still to be seen on site) used to store the water from which it could then released to drive the mill wheel. By the end of the 17th century, most mills around Colne were also spinning cotton. By the 1850s many had been converted to steam power.

Site of Ball Grove Cotton Mill

Site of the Ball Grove Cotton Mill







The 1824 Colne Directory lists “Cockshutt Edward, gent, Ball grove” under the heading “Miscellany – Consisting of names of inhabitants not arranged in the Trades Lists”. Lancashire County Archives holds the probate documents dated December 1825 for “Edmund Cockshutt of Ballgreave”. Edmund Cockshutt of Ball Grove was buried at St. Bartholemew’s Parish Church, Colne on 30 September 1825.


St Bartholomew's Church, Colne

St Bartholomew’s Church, Colne







Bough Gap Mill and Farm

The Bough Gap Mill was located about 500 yards further upstream from the Ball Grove Mill. It was located on land that was a part of Bough Gap Farm located to the present day on the southern side of Colne Water.

Bough Gap Farm

Bough Gap Farm







In April 1842, Joshua Cockshutt sold the Bough Gap cotton spinning mill and adjacent workers cottages. The following advertisement, which appeared in the Leeds Mercury newspaper on 16 April 1842, provides a good description of the Mill:

Sale of Bough Gap Mill April 1842

Sale of Bough Gap Mill April 1842








At the time of the sale in April 1842, according to the rent roll for the property, Joshua was the owner of and living in the house adjacent to the Mill. It is not clear whether, after the sale, he moved to the nearby Ball Grove Farm where he is recorded as living when he died on 15 August 1865.


Inghey Farm

Mentioned in at least one of the Cockshutt records is “In Heys”. Local authorities suggest that this is likely to refer to Inghey Farm, which is the neighbouring farm to the East of Ball Grove.

Inghey Farm

Inghey Farm








Similarly, there are several references to members of the Cockshutt family as living at “Longroyd” or “Longroad”, Colne. It is not clear whether these references refer to “Longroyd Hall” or “Longroyd Farm” located about a mile and a half north of Colne.


Longroyd Hall

Longroyd Hall







 Worsaw Hill Farm

From the memoirs of Ignatius Cockshutt we know that James Cockshutt (who later went to Canada) from 1816-1826 managed one of his “grandfather’s farms” at “Worsaw Hill in Worston”.

Worsaw Hill Farm in Worston

Worsaw Hill Farm, Worston with views to Pendle Hill






A Map of the area around Pendle Hill

A Map of the area around Pendle Hill


10 thoughts on “Where did Edmund Cockshutt of Ball Grove and his family live and work?

  1. David Egan


    Sacred to the memory of James Egan of
    Toarphalem Esq’ whe departed life March
    the 4th 1811
    Also his wife Mary Egan otherwise Potts
    Who departed life the 4th of Oct’ 1830


    1. Ted Flack Post author

      The only information I have on Elizabeth Cockshutt, nee Egan, born c.1877 at Tullamore, Ireland, is that she appears on the 1911 Census as wife of Nicholas Cockshutt, Barrister at Law, married 8 years with two children born to present marriage, living at 23 West Cliff Road, Preston. I note that there is a third child in the family – Nicholas McKelvie Cockshutt, son aged 16, suggesting that Nicholas had a previous marriage. There were three servants living in the house.

      I don’t have any information about how they met although, if you calculate the DOM as c. 1903 in Preston, then it may be that she came to Preston as a small child with her parents as a part of the great Irish immigration to the industrial north in the 1850-60s? Could her father have been employed in Nicholas Cockshutt’s father’s engineering works in Preston?
      Good luck with your research.

      1. Dee Haworth

        Hello Ted
        I am interested in the Cockshutts of Colne, Simonstone and Barrowford. In particular James Cockshutts parentage. I have a differing version of Ann Cockshutt and Stephen Heaton. my email is deehaworth@hotmail.com .
        Look forward to you making contact
        Dee Haworth

  2. David Egan

    Ted, apologies for not getting back to you, your information most helpful.

    Elizabeth Egan born in 1876 2nd daughter of Patrick Egan, a wealthy Irish merchant and brewery owner in Kings County. Elizabeth (Bess) finds her father dead on the floor of his office in 1897. Marries Nicholas Cockshutt in 1903. After Patricks death the family moved to Dublin – I suspect Nicholas may have had some business to attend to in Dublin where they met? Interestingly a legal row erupted in the Egan family in 1918 for control of the family business – one of the outcomes was the ‘Cockshutt Settlement.’

    Elizabeth Egan (b.1876) married Nicholas Cockshutt (1863 – 1938) in 1903. Nicholas practiced law as a Barrister on the Northern Circuit before becoming a solicitor in Guildford. He stood unsuccessfully on two occasions for the Conservative Party in the constituency of Rochdale in the1910 and 1923 British General Elections. By coincidence, in the same year, his wife’s first cousin Patrick (Pat) Egan was elected as a member of the 4th Dail having been successful as a Cumann na nGaedheal TD for Leix-Offaly in the 1923 Irish General Election. He subsequently lost his seat in 1927.

    Elizabeth Egan and Nicholas Cockshutt had a son and three daughters one of whom, Elizabeth Evelyne Mary, married Philip Rolls Asprey in 1937. A second daughter, Aileen, married Philip’s cousin Harry Asprey in 1947.

    Philip and Elizabeth Asprey had two sons, Maurice and John Asprey. Asprey of New Bond St., London continue to hold a Royal Warrant as Jewellers since 1862. However Maurice Asprey at age 41 and his father Philip and Mother Elizabeth agreed in 1979 to sell their remaining interest in the business which is currently owned by a US Private Equity Firm.

    Elizabeth Egan’s and Nicholas Cockshutt’s third daughter Judith Maureen “Billie”, married a man by the name of Whinney. Her death notice was published in The Telegraph in 2006. “WHINNEY Judith Maureen “Billie” (née Cockshutt) aged 96. Much loved mother of Sarah and Martin, grandmother and great grandmother, peacefully on 20th March. Requiem Mass and burial at 2 p.m. on Thursday 30th March at St Edward’s, Sutton Park, Sutton Green, Nr. Guildford”. Maureen Whinney was a shareholder in the malting company Egan-Tarleton Ltd when it entered voluntary liquidation in the late 1970’s.

  3. maurice egan

    Elizabeth Egan Cockshutt, called Bessie, lived at The Red House, Sutton Green, Guildford, Surrey with her husband Nicholas who died in 1938 age 75, she had the following printed in The Tablet:
    “MR. N. COCKSHUTT: Mr. Nicholas Cockshutt, of The Red House, Sutton Park, Guildford, died at his home on January 9th.
    The second son of the late Joshua Cockshutt, cottons-pinner, of Preston, Mr. Cockshutt was born in 1863 and was educated at Ampleforth. His mother was Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Hayes, of Brownedge, Preston, and sister of the late Rev. James Hayes, S.J., Rector of Farm Street, and of the late William Hayes, the founder of the firm of Hayes and Finch. Mr. Cockshutt practised for some years as a Barrister on the Northern Circuit, but later became a solicitor at Guildford. He was keenly interested in public affairs, and twice, in 1910 and 1923, contested Rochdale as a Conservative. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick Egan, of Tullamore, who survives him together with one son and four daughters. The Requiem and funeral were at St. Edward’s, Sutton Park, on the 11th. ¹”
    Their eldest daughter, Evelyne Cockshutt born 1905, married in 1937, the widower Philip Rolls Asprey M.C., of the famed ASPREY’S jeweller’s, 167 Bond Street, London.and their youngest sister Aileen, age 34, married Philip Rolls Asprey’s cousin Harry Asprey, in 1947. Their sister Judith Maureen ‘Billie’ Cockshutt married Commander Brian Toller Whinney. Their step brother was Nicholas McKelvie Cockshutt, later an engineer, born in 1894. He became Lieut N.M. Cockshutt of the Royal Army Service Corp, 1914-1921. Unsure of the where-about of the fourth daughter?
    Maurice Asprey and his first cousin John Rolls Asprey successfully ran the Asprey business for a number of decades. As a young man Maurice Asprey visited Ireland touring the auction houses. On one occasion, in the mid 1960’s, stayed in Tullamore whilst attending a dinner party hosted by Henry (Harry) Egan, nephew of Bessie Egan and his wife Betty Egan. Maurice was in high spirits after successfully buying a long sought after, antique wooden rose bowl with inlaid solid Irish silver³.
    Maurice’s father Philip Roll’s passed away in 1980, aged 86.
    That same year, Asprey’s was almost acquired by Dunhill, the luxury goods group, after a bitter feud spilt the family. One faction was keen to sell but John and other supporters retained control by buying out the dissenting shareholders. Fifteen years later The Independent newspaper headlined the following:
    ‘End of an Asprey era: Two hundred-year tradition over as ‘Queen’s gift shop’ passes into foreign ownership’².
    John Asprey sold the family Asprey Jewellers to the Sultan of Brunei’s brother Prince Jefrei in 1995 for £243million.
    Philip’s widow Evelyne Asprey, passed away in 1985, age 81
    The Egan’s, Cockshutt’s and Asprey’s are buried at St. Edward the Confessor’s Catholic Church in Sutton Green, Guildford, Surrey.

    1. Ted Flack Post author

      Thank you for this excellent contribution. Although some facts were previously known, the detail you have provided is wonderful. Thank you.


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