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Matlock: H. G. Hartley's shop in Crown Square, about 1904
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Mr. Hodgson advertised in:

Popular Album



Autochrome Album




Bank Road & the Steep-Gradient Tramway

(there is a postcard of the side of Hartley's shop)


Crown Square 1948-52



Cycle track



Cycle track 1909



Judging by all the signs outside the shop, both on the windows and on the boards above and below them, Hartley's in Crown Square sold almost everything. The picture was taken about 1904[1] and the architect and solicitor John Nuttall had an office on the first floor.

The shop's proprietor was Hodgson Genn Hartley, who was born in Halifax to Robert and Caroline Hartley. The family moved to Sheffield where Robert Hartley was initially employed as a traveller in the beer trade[2]. However, by 1861 he was a working as a saddler[3] and his son Hodgson first appears in Matlock records as a saddler in 1871[4]. Hodgson began to take part in Matlock life, joining the 3rd Administrative Battalion of the Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers; he was clearly a good shot as he was one of the prizewinners in a competition held in 1878[5]. He moved his business to Crown Square in the early 1880s and around 1882 or 1883 provided a new home for the recently formed Conservative Club for a time[6].

He married Jane Walton, daughter of Anthony Walton of the Wheatsheaf in Matlock Town, in 1877. The couple initially lived on Matlock Green, but their four children were mostly brought up at the Crown Square property[7]. Whilst they were there they must have seen (and heard) a number of very significant changes to the Square: the opening of the Crown Hotel in 1883; the noise when the tramway was constructed and later that from the stonemasons working on the County Bridge; and the laying out of the Hall Leys so close to their front door. In 1902 Hodgson Hartley submitted plans for a verandah on the front of his two shops in Crown Square but permission cannot have been given[8].

Tramcar No.2 can be seen on the left of the photograph, with an advertisement for the Crown Square fishmonger & fruiterer William Pride on the plate below the car's stairs. On the right is the corner of the tram shelter, where a passenger is waiting to board the tram.

Mr. Hartley was a member of the Arkwright Lodge of the Masons, and was its hon secretary for a time[9]. He was also on the Committee of the Matlock Cycle Club when they made the cycling track three feet wider in 1899. He had first been the secretary but was elected treasurer that year[10]. The cycle club staged a carnival and torchlight procession for several years and the 1900 event was organised by Messrs Arthur Wall and H. S. Hartley. They began at the Old English Hotel, went through Crown Square, up The Dimple, along Smedley Street, down Lime Tree Road to Matlock Green, and from there back to Crown Square. These events were well supported and raised funds for Whitworth Hospital[11]. In 1907 Crown Square was awash with cyclists when the National Clarion Cycling Club decided to hold their conference in Matlock at Easter[12].

Hodgson Hartley was voted onto Matlock Local Board, later the Urban District Council, in 1893[13]. He was on various committees, ranging from Highways to the Tramway[14] and between 1901 and early November 1907, when he resigned, he was the Council's Chairman[15]. The family were to move to Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. They were living at 7 The Thorns at the time of the 1911 census and Mr. Hartley was employed as a commercial traveller in ironmongery and furnishing[16]. Unfortunately, at the end of April 1912 Matlock residents received a wire announcing Hodgson Genn Hartley's sudden death in Kensington, London. It was reported that the news caused intense sorrow in Matlock. He had died on 26th April, aged 65, and his body was returned to Matlock for his burial at St. Giles' on 30 April[17]. His wife, Jane, remained in Manchester for the rest of her life and passed away on 15 Jan 1924 at Withington.

The double shop unit became Goodalls initially, but eventually was part of the Derwent Valley Co-operative Society.


"Crown Square, Matlock Bank". Photograph in the collection of and provided by and © Susan Tomlinson.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] Waite, Glynn (2012) "The Matlock Cable Tramway", Pynot Publishing. ISBN 9780956270658. Glynn provides the 1904 date and it fits with other information. John Nuttall was not in Matlock in 1901 but he is shown in Crown Square in Kelly's Directory 1908.
[2] In the 1851 census H G Hartley was living at Nelson Hotel, Union Street, Sheffield and the eldest son of Robert and Caroline Hartley. His father was a traveller in the beer trade and a beerhouse keeper.
[3] By the 1861 census he was living in Fox Street Brightside Bierlow with father, by then a saddler, and his second wife Sarah. His father was employing one man and two boys, though Hodgson Hartley was not shown as having an occupation. Even if he wasn't employed by his father, he would have been learning the trade.
[4] See the 1871 census entry. He was living on Matlock Green. Also see Kelly's 1876 Directory.
[5] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 31 July, 1878. The 3rd battalion D. R. Volunteers' prize shooting at Bakewell. The web mistresses relative took part in the same competition.
[6] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 10 December 1932. When Crowder Johnson was made a life member of conservative club that year he recalled how the club had started in one room at Sherwood House (the old Post Office) 52 years ago.They were then offered more commodious premises in Crown Square, offered to them by Mr. Hartley.
[7] They were still on Matlock Green at the time of the 1881 census. HGH also advertised in Kelly's Directory of 1881. However, in later census returns they were in Crown Square: the 1891 census | the 1901 census. Also see Mr Hartley's trade directory entries: Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory |
[8] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 6 September 1902.
[9] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 15 February, 1899. Masonic Ball, New Bath Hotel. See: Matlock, Riber & Starkholmes Newspaper Cuttings.
[10] "The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent", Thursday, 20 April, 1899. The Annual Meeting was held at the Old English, with H G Hartley presiding.
[11] The events were reported in "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 15 September 1900, "Derbyshire Courier", 21 September 1901, "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 18 April 1903 and "Derby Daily Telegraph", 18 September 1909. It is probable cycle carnivals took place in other years too.
[12] "Derbyshire Courier", 6 April 1907 reported that 1500 people attended the conference, the 13th of the Club. The "Derbyshire Courier" of 13 July 1907 stated that Mrs. Webb, lessee of the Victoria Hall, took the secretaries (including the local secretary J. G. Gleadall) to court as they had ordered 800 meat teas, but only 250 were required. They still had to pay.
[13] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 6 May 1893. Name given as a member of the Local Board.
[14] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 6 December 1902. Mr. Hartley was the chairman of the Tramways Committee.
[15] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 5 November 1907. H. G. Hartley resigned as Chairman of Matlock Urban Council.
[16] The 1911 census is available on Find My Past.
[17] "Sheffield Evening Telegraph", 27 April 1912. Matlock Gentleman’s Death. There is a Hartley family grave at St. Giles - see Surnames Index, H.


Further references to either Hodgson Hartley or his family, not mentioned above, include:
Celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897
Matlock & District Amateur Operatic Society, Productions 1907-69
Wills see Walton, John Rupert (brother in law)
Churches (Primitive Methodist, Matlock Moor)