The photographs below are from the album of Mrs. Robert Wildgoose.
The album now belongs to the Ash family and was in the possession
of Ray Ash's step-grandmother Ash (Dora May Wheeldon before her
marriage) who was Mrs. Wildgoose's companion and housekeeper in
Maria Elizabeth (Marian) Wildgoose was born in Clifton, Bristol.
She was the daughter of James and Emma Painter and was baptized
on 9 Mar 1856 at St. Michael's Church, Bristol.
She became the second wife of Robert Wildgoose; they married in
Kensington, London towards the end of 1891. She was to be found
living in London in 1881,
next door to her brother Frederick George, later Sir F G Painter,
who was a Chartered Accountant and later a Sheriff of the City
of London. At the
time of her marriage, and for many years afterwards, she lived
at The Gables on Chesterfield Road but
at some time between 1916 and 1925 she moved to Stoneycroft, the
house she had built on Cavendish Road. She died on 19 May 1937
at the Queen Mary Nursing Home, Derby.
She had been a secretary of the Matlock and District Nursing
Association and a supporter of the Matlock Unionist League.
Her husband, Robert Wildgoose (1822 - 1900), was described in
the 1881 census as the Trustee Manager For Hosiery Manufacturer
Employing Nine Hundred Work People.
He was managing Lea Mills at that time and living in at The Poplars,
Holloway, with his first wife, Ann, and their servants. He was
still living at Holloway in 1887, by which time he had become
a Justice of the Peace.
But by 1891 he had retired from the Mill and had moved to The
Gables with two of his female cousins, Elizabeth and Hannah. He
was by then a widower.
He was born on the 27th September 1822 and
baptised at Matlock Church on 3 November, the son of John and Fanny
Wildgoose of Greenhill.
He married first Ann, the daughter of Aaron Stoppard of Lea, on
20 Dec 1847 at Ashover Parish Church.
Robert became involved with the management of Smedley's Hydro. "In
1875, the institution was acquired by a limited company, of which
Mr. R. Wildgoose was the chairman, a post he continued to fill
until his death in 1900". Whilst
he was chairman the company invested £30,000 on modernization
and also enlarged and improved the building on three occasions
in 1881, 1884 and 1886.
He was also one of the directors of the Tram company and made
a gift of the Tram Shelter and its clock to the town. "The
structure was formally opened for use and the clock started by
the donor and his wife on the 12th December, 1889, the Chairman
of the Urban Council, Mr. E. Slack, and many inhabitants being
present to express their hearty acknowledgements. A suitably inscribed
brass plaque perpetuates the name of the generous donor, the cost
to whom was £25". He
was also listed as one of the Board of Governors of Matlock's Causeway
and had been a County Magistrate.
After his funeral, one of the largest to take place in the district,
it was said that he "had made the last half century of his
life one of devotion to the advancement of the spiritual and temporal
benefit of the community".
His coffin was carried by workers from Smedleys and Lea Mills.
The Smedley's bearers were F. Bryon, J. Smith, C. Henstock, C.
Yates, J. Parsons and W. Slater. Those from Lea Mills were J. Buxton,
R. Fern, G. Dawes, W. Worthy, J. Ashmore and H. Shipley. Many societies,
associations, churches and chapels and well as representatives
from public bodies, local organisations and companies he had been
connected with attended the service.
Amongst the tributes at the graveside was a wreath sent by Miss
Florence Nightingale with a note attached that read: "This
wreath is sent in memory of a good, nay, even a great man. For
greatness consists not in post or rank, but in how we fulfil its
duties, and in our nearness to God in doing so. - Florence Nightingale"[a].
Mrs. Wildgoose was a good friend of Canon Kewley,
the Rector of St. Giles' Church, and his sisters. She is pictured
above with Canon Kewley; the other lady in the photograph may
have been Miss Kewley (Eleanor).
A little booklet about the church
gives some details of the Bells, which were re hung in 1936 but
had been recast in 1904. The recasting of Tenor Bell was the
gift of Marian Wildgoose and the Treble Bell was in memory of
Both Marian and Robert were buried at St. Giles.
The photograph above shows Mrs. Wildgoose sitting on the running
board of her motor car, which was a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.
She didn't drive the car herself but employed a chauffeur to
drive her around. When she died she left the open-topped Rolls
Royce to the Reverend W H Nixon who was Vicar of All Saints.
It is said that Nixon subsequently used the car.
Mrs. Wildgoose spent quite a bit of time in Devon and took many
pictures of Tavistock and Dartmoor. It is probable that she owned
another house there. She was clearly a keen photographer and
her subjects included her servants, the Rector and his sisters.
Whilst the main subject
of the above photograph was of her cat, Peter, the stone house
in the background with the beautiful bay windows is The Gables
and is why this picture has been included. The Gables became
part of Dalefield / Lilybank Hydro, the buildings joined through
an almost round extension that was built on the left
hand side of the house. So Mrs. Wildgoose's home became part
of the hydro. Her other home, Stoneycroft, was occupied by Henry
Hetherington after she died. It was later bought by Derbyshire
County Council as living accommodation for male students of Matlock's
Teacher Training College, along with neighbouring properties
on Cavendish Road. It has now reverted to private ownership.
There is more about Dalefield / Lilybank / The Gables
You may like to view more onsite information
Bank Road &
the Steep-Gradient Tramway, with which Robert Wildgoose was
Inscriptions, a Surnames Index
Wills Calendar for Post 1858 Wills (Robert Wildgoose)
There is a One Name Study for this surname
Kay Feltham's site at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~willgooseweb
References (click coloured links to
go to onsite references):
 Census returns of England and Wales,
researched by Ann and Ray. Robert Wildgoose was living at The Gables in
the 1891 census. Marian was living there in the
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
20th May 1937 (announcement of death) and 22 May 1937 (report of
 Will calendars at the London Probate
 Local trade directories. Matlock directories
include Matlock Local Board, 1891 | Kelly's,
1891 | Kelly's, 1908 | Kelly's,
 "Derbyshire Times", 12 May 1900.
 St. Giles
Church Hatches, Matches & Dispatches. See his baptism
 Ashover Church PR and "The Derby
 Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History
of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons,
 "Derbyshire Times",
26 May 1900.
 "Matlock Parish Church, Pictorial
Guide and Souvenir" (1969) ed. unnamed, The Church Publishers,