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Matlock: Visitors to the Hydros, Mr. George Knowles
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The recipient of these three cards was Alfred Knowles Ludlam, a surgeon living at 24 Trafford Road, Salford in 1903[1]. They were sent to him by his uncle G.K., whom we have identified as George Knowles. George Knowles emigrated to the United States on 12 May 1864[2]. He appears to have visited Matlock at least twice as the first card (above) was posted at Matlock on 8 Jul 1905 whilst he was staying at Rockside Hydro and the middle card of the three was posted in the town on 2 Jul 1906. He was probably staying at Rockside once more, but the card's message doesn't tell us that. As the bottom card was posted in Delano, FLA (Florida), USA on 19 January 1906 it is likely he had returned home in between times.

Enlargement of the card below. It was possibly taken in the Unites States.
Of interest is the American looking gentleman behind George Knowles.
Also note the flat pillar behind the man with the newspaper.
There is another like it in the very last image.

Posted 2 Jul 1906 at Matlock

So who was George Knowles and how was he connected to Matlock, other than as a visitor?

He was born at Brampton and christened on 30 Jun 1830 at St. Thomas' Church[3] but his family were connected to the Knowles family of Matlock. George's parents were Luke Knowles and his wife Eliza (nee Goodall); Luke was an earthenware manufacturer and coal master who ran the New Brampton firm of Payne pottery[3]. It isn't clear when Luke settled in Brampton but he had been christened at Matlock St. Giles in 1800[3]; Luke's brother, Job, lived on Matlock Bank and owned quite a lot of land[4].

George Knowles was living with his parents in 1841, but he married Rebecca Middleton in 1850 and the last record of him living in the U.K. was in 1861 when he and Rebecca were on Baslow Road, Brampton with their children George H (5) and Eliza (3)[5]. George had followed in his father's footsteps and was also an earthenware manufacturer. We have been unable to find any records of a passport application or details of his emigration but the 1880 US census shows him working in the "Pottery Business" and living at Trenton, Mercer, New Jersey[6]. He was head of the Millington-Asbury Pottery Company at Trenton for 21 years and later built the Enterprise Pottery Company, also in Trenton. Following his retirement from manufacturing pottery he began to import china and ball clays and was considered to be a pioneer in this. He lived in Columbiana for 25 years and died at his home in East Liverpool on 10 Mar 1919. He was buried two days later[2]. His wife had pre-deceased him.

Posted Delano, FLA (Florida), USA 19 January 1906

All three images © Susan Tomlinson collection.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] "Slater's Manchester, Salford & Suburban Directory", 1903. He was listed as Alfred K in the 1901 census and s Alfred Knowles in both 1891 and 1911. The 1891 census indicates he was born at Chesterfield, although this wasn't the case, and says he was someone's nephew! Alfred Knowles Ludlam / Ludlum was born at Brierley Hills. In 1881 he was in Salford and living with his uncle Henry Knowles, a married physician and surgeon who was born in Brampton.

[2] "East Liverpool Evening Review"- East Liverpool, Ohio, 10 March 1919. Death Roll, George Knowles, Sr. He died at 903 Avondale Street of "infirmities intendent upon old age". Two sons, Frank M. Knowles of Avondale street, and George H. Knowles, Jr., of Trenton, N. J. survived him.

[3] See the baptism of Luke Knowles | Strays (L) which confirms his birthplace in Matlock in the 1851 census | Will calendars (of father George). Luke Knowles is mentioned under Brampton, or Brampton Moor, in trade directories from Glover, Directory of Derbyshire, 1829 to the Post Office Directory of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire, 1855. He died in 1857.

[4] References to Job Knowles include the 1841 census | the 1851 census | the 1861 census | the 1871 census | Wills Calendar | Owners of Land | Great Matlock Will Case.

[5] In 1841 Luke and Eliza were living with seven children, including George, and a servant at Brampton Low Moor. In the 1851 George was living in his own house, though his wife was visiting Stubbin, Hoyland Nether.

[6] Family Search (IGI). By 1880 George and Rebecca had two more sons. Another nephew, James L Ludlam was living with them, also employed in the Pottery business.

[7] Family Search (IGI). The U.S. record of his burial provided a birth date a year later than his U.K. baptism and the wrong Christian name for his mother, but it is undoubtedly the same man.