The Sutcliffe Family

Sutcliffe surname

The name originally comes from the Hipperholme area – Sutcliffe wood. It mans South Cliff as opposed to the north cliff in Southowram. It is believed that one of the early Sutcliffes moved to Wadsworth.

Of the 23 Sutcliffes taxed in 1509, 18 of them lived in Wadsworth. An Abraham (a popular Sutcliffe name), was an early settler in New England. (George Redmonds, Yorkshire surnames)

Well known Sutcliffes include a Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe who was Dean of Exeter and Private Chaplain to His Majesty James I. He founded Chelsea College, and wrote many works on divinity, and one on the Arts and Usages of War.

There are many stories around the origin of the name - that they came from originally from the Low Countries and settled in England following persecution; that sons of Gamel de Zoetcliffe, a Flemish clothier, erected fulling mills in Lancashire, and Yorkshire in 1311. This is very unlikely to be true. It is possible that immigrant families may have adopted a more English name.

Sutcliffe Family Tree
The Sutcliffe family tree. (click for larger version)
This tree shows the main branch of the Sutcliffe family who owned the Lumb Mills and who lived at Stones Hey Gate. It also shows a small part of the Sutcliffe family who owned Edge (Salt Pie) Mill.

1841 Census
The 1841 census showing the Sutcliffes of Stoneshey Gate (click for larger version)
Images courtesy of Ancestry

1851 Census
The1851 census showing the Sutcliffes of Stoneshey Gate (click for larger version)
Images courtesy of Ancestry

Some notable Sutcliffes

Gamwell Sutcliffe 1718 – 1803 A gentleman Gamwell Sutcliffe was born at Lee, Heptonstall in 1718, before his father sold it to John Greenwood and moved to Stoneshey Gate. He was the son of Joseph Sutcliffe (1661 – 1751) and Martha Redman (1692 – 17630) of Cross Ends. Wadsworth. He had three brothers, Thomas, John and Joseph and two sisters, Mercy and Sarah.

He married Grace Whitaker Greenwood (1714 – 1802), daughter of John (Thomas) Greenwood and Mary Mitchell.

In 1767 and 8 he was an overseer of the Poor for Heptonstall.

1789 DRAFT BOND OF INDEMNITY dated 30th September 1789 – Robert Thomas of Blackshaw Royd in Stansfield, p. Halifax gentleman only surviving brother and heir of Richard Thomas, late of same, gentleman deceased who died intestate) to Gamwell Sutcliffe of Heptonstall p. Halifax, gentleman.
The said Gamwell Sutcliffe has contracted to buy a messuage with buildings closes etc. called Stoneshay Gate within Heptonstall for the sum of £700 now in occupation of said Gamwell Sutcliffe.
And whereas John Thomas the eldest brother of said Richard Thomas went abroad, beyond seas (as supposed) about 40 years ago and hath never since been heard of but no certain proof can be found of his death. Hebden Bridge Lit Sci Society.

He made his will in 1803 and is buried at Heptonstall Church in the old church in the nave.

Gamaliel Sutcliffe 1750 – 1840 of Stoneshey gate

Gamaliel was the son of Gamwell Sutcliffe (1718 -1803) and Grace Whitaker Greenwood.
In 1774 he married Susannah Gibson (1753 – 1820) and they had eight children, John, Richard, Grace, Sally, Betty, Thomas, William and Henry.

DRAFT CONVEYANCE dated 1793 - Daniel Eastwood of ColdenHey otherwise Lower Slater Ing in Heptonstall, yeoman, and Sally otherwise Sarah his wife (1) James Cooke of Warley House, William Kershaw of Halifax merchant and John Rawden of same place
merchant (executors of will of William Thornburn late of Halifax gentleman deceased) (2) John Thornburn of Halifax grocer (only brother and heir at law of said William Thornburn deceased) (3) John Ogden of Heptonstall gentleman (4) and Gamaliel Sutcliffe of Heptonstall gentleman and Samuel Ibbetson of Ovenden p Halifax, woolstapler (a trustee for said Gamaliel Sutcliffe)(5), Conveyance to said Gamaliel Sutcliffe of Lower Slater Ing and all premises mentioned in 11549 1155 and 1158.

He built the two Lumb Mills in 1800 – 1802 and in 1802 also built a road to the mills from Mytholm:
“To construct new carriage road from Rawtonstall High Road to Slayter Ing, Heptonstall (i.e. Ragley Road) & branch roads for 21 years at £7/10/- p.a. rent. Richard Lumley Savile to Gamaliel Sutcliffe of Stones Hay Gate, Heptonstall, stuff manufacturer”.
This then became known as Gamaliel Lane.

In 1809 he took Bob Mill for cotton spinning from Robert Sutcliffe who was tenant there, as it was near the two Lumb mills.

"Auction on 6th July 1809 of Slater Ing Mill, used for spinning cotton. by Robert Sutcliffe, on Colden Beck, with waterwheel, shafting, dams etc. 20yds x 10yds within 3 stories. Good fall of water plus extra if required. Owned by Wm Greenwood, Little Lear Ings, Heptonstall.”

In 1818 an indenture was drawn up between Gamaliel Sutcliffe of Stoneshey Gate and Richard Sutcliffe of Bank in Heptonstall containing agreements affecting the Upper and Lower Lumb Mills with memorandum 1913 between Wm Sutcliffe and Herbert Walsh and Arthur Richard Walsh re rights of way and water.

The two dams, Little Scar Ings or Hebble Hole dams, found between the ‘praying hole’ and the clapper bridge, are named in a deed in 1818 between Gamaliel and his son Richard. Here water could be collected and the mill dams lower down the valley filled at night or when the mills were not working.

Pigots of 1834 states “Cotton weavers and manufacturers; Sutcliffe Gamaliel & Sons, Lumb mills, Hebden Bridge”.

Gamaliel finally retired in 1837 and the business was passed to sons Richard and Thomas - firstly leased then sold to them. He wrote the Sutcliffe pedigree in 1839.

The 1851 census states Betty Sutcliffe was head of family and as landed proprietor and farmer of 12 acres, her eldest Richard aged 28 was running Lower Lumb following the death of his father. “Designated cotton spinner with a workforce of 43 women and 15 men, 14 girls and 2 boys”.

It would also seem that the Sutcliffes had interests in Lancashire, where many of their handloom weavers lived.

In 'A History of the County of Lancaster' it states that:
The fortunes of the Banisters soon afterwards declined. 'In 1661 the family rebuilt Park Hill and soon after mortgaged the larger portion of the house and estate to a Mr. John Swinglehirst of Gill in the forest of Gisburn, who eventually became mortgagee in possession. Other portion of the house and estate was subsequently sold to a Mr. Yorker, who (or whose descendants) sold it in after years to Mr. Gamaliel Sutcliffe of Stone Shey Gate, Heptonstall, great-grandfather of the present (1878) owner'; Carr, Annals of Colne, 125–6. Townships Barrowford Booth



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