John Gaskell



Son of Thomas Gaskill, Father of John Gaskell  and Husband of Elizabeth Thumpstone


John was born c.1677 in Cheshire and married Elizabeth Thumpstone at the Collegiate Church, Manchester on Wednesday, 15th July 1705 when he was 28 and she 20. There is also an account of the marriage at Trinity Chapel, Salford. At the time of his daughter, Sara’s, baptism in 1706 he was living in Toad Lane, then a road leading from the Collegiate Church, and was a “Taylor”. All their children were born in Manchester but, as adults, some moved to other parts of England. See details of children


John appears as a bondsman at the wedding of his elder brother, Thomas, in Lime Hanley, Prestbury, Cheshire on 22nd September 1707


According to two of his daughters, Ann and Elizabeth, their father was a “Capital Taylor” (presumably, owning a tailor’s business) in Manchester who changed late in life to keeping a workshop for Linen, Woollen and Mercury goods - this business, however, failed and John died soon afterwards.


John died on 6th May 1743 and was buried at the Collegiate Church on 8th May 1743; he was then living in Fenel Street, which still exists, next to the Cathedral.


An Administration document of 19th July 1743 confirms the bankruptcy of John, then deceased, owing £100 (£10,500 in money of 2002).  John is described as a Chapman (merchant or broker) in the document. The money was owed to George Barlow, Calenderer (a smoother of cloth and paper through a calender); Thomas Longworth, also a Calenderer and Richard Gibson, Shopkeeper - all of Manchester. These three men became administrators of all John’s Goods, Chattels and Credits.


John’s daughters report that their father was a good man.


According to two of Elizabeth’s daughters, Ann & Elizabeth, when her husband’s business failed and he died in 1743, Elizabeth was left destitute and for a short time lived in a garret; however, she was soon awarded a legacy of £20 per year for life by her “dear and affectionate children” John and Thomas. The sisters also report that their mother was a “tender and affable parent”.


Elizabeth died on 13th July 1772 at the age of 88 and was buried at the Collegiate Church on 16th July 1772.  The cause of death was recorded as “old age”


The gravestones disappeared from the Collegiate Church many years ago.  However, a record was made of the graves and inscriptions in 1895 and the following inscription existed at that time:


Here lyeth the body of John Gaskell died May 6th 1743 aged 67

Elizabeth his wife died July 13th 1772 aged 88

Peter their son died May 26th 1745


The narrative information on John and Elizabeth’s character and fortunes comes from letters from William Usher, held at the Worcester Record Office, St Helen’s, through an intermediary, to John’s grandson, George.


The Administration document is held at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.


Other data was obtained from the Archivist at the Cathedral in Manchester and the Manchester Record Office at the City Library


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