Joseph Wrigley I (1778 – 1833)


   1. His childhood

Joseph Wrigley was born at Netherton to James Wrigley (1748 – 1809) and Elizabeth Kenworthy (1748 – 1829). He came into this world on 3 April 1778 and christened on 12 April 1778 at Almondbury Parish Church, called All Hallows Anglican Church, at Almondbury, West Riding, Yorkshire (now West Yorkshire). He was the sixth child and had six brothers and four sisters of whom two died in childhood.1-6

   2. His wife

He married the 17 year-old Elizabeth Cockhill at the age of 21 years on 22 September 1799 at St John’s Anglican Church of England, the Parish Church of Kirkheaton, a small village 6 km east of Huddersfield.1,2,4-8  Joseph’s wife seems to have been the only child of Sarah Hirst (≈16 October 1748, Almondbury – 1784) and Thomas Cockhill (≈19 January 1743, Almondbury – 1784, Netherton). Elizabeth was christened on 7 January 1782 at the Highfield Independent Church, the first non-conformist Protestant church established in Huddersfield in 1771. Both her parents died two years later and left little Elizabeth orphaned.1,4-6,10 By whom she was raised further is not known.

After Joseph and Elizabeth had been married, the couple went to lived in a house in Netherton Fold where their first four children were born, but in 1809, the 31 year-old Joseph inherited Netherton Hall, also called Old Hall, from his father, as well as 1000 pounds and a third share in the family business James Wrigley & Sons Ltd. The couple thereafter lived at Netherton Hall for the rest of their lives, and even after her husband’s death in 1833, Elizabeth remained there for another nine years until 1842.1,8,9 Thereafter, Elizabeth, then aged 60, probably moved to live with one of her children or grandchildren, who resided in Huddersfield where she died at the age of 76 years on 12 September 1858.1,4-6,10

Sadly, Netherton Hall was demolished in 1878 by George Henry Wrigley (1837 – 1884) who was married to Lilly Maria Barton (1852 – 1923) – his second cousin once removed, and the great-granddaughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Wrigley. They built another mansion further back on the property. The new Victorian house was called White Gate House.1,2,4,5,11

   3. His career

Joseph Wrigley, nicknamed “Old Joe”, spend the first years of his career life with the James Wrigley & Sons Ltd. at Cocking Steps Mill at Netherton, West Riding, Yorkshire (now West Yorkshire). When Joseph’s father passed away in 1809, Joseph’s second oldest brother, John Wrigley (1774 – 1833) inherited a two-third share in the family business.1,2,4,9

Over time Wrigley Mill also adapted its operation processes and mechanisms as the Industrial Revolution swept through England and the rest of the world. Not everyone embraced these changes, though.12 From 1811, the Luddite riots started to spread through England until it was suppressed by military force in 1816. The Luddites were textile workers and weavers who violently opposed industrialisation and automation, since the new technology replaced the skills of their craft and therefore their role in the industry. Hundreds of craftsmen had already been turned out of work. Mill and factory workers working the machinery were often also employed at lower wages. Mills and factories were stormed by outraged mobs and weaving machinery were destroyed in the protests. Mill owners, employers and magistrates were also attacked. By 1812, the protests were at its height in Lancashire and West Riding, Yorkshire.12-14 Wrigley Mill was not left untouched by these riots. Soldiers had to be stationed in- and outside Wrigley Mill to protect the machinery from the rioters. At one time, John Wrigley was riding across Crosland Moor when he was shot at by a band of protestors on their way back from Huddersfield.1

Joseph and two of his sons, Thomas Cockhill and Joseph jr. continued to work at the mill until 1820, when John Wrigley’s selfish advancement of his own agenda and disregard for his brothers interest in the company, finally led to Joseph and his sons’ departure from the company. In 1820, he even changed the name of the family business to John Wrigley & Sons exclusively, thus ignoring the partnership with and interests of his brothers, James II, Joseph and Robert. Where James II and Robert continued to work for John after that, Joseph and his two sons left Wrigley mill to start their own woollen cloth manufacturing company at Dungeon Mill at Lockwood, a very small village just a few kilometers north of Netherton. Dungeon Mill became a very successful business and a worthy competitor of Wrigley Mill.1,2,4,7,15,16 As owners of a factory, Joseph’s sons had to complete an investigative questionnaire in 1833 – possibly just after their father’s death – regarding the employment of children in their factory. SEE HERE their report.

Joseph and his family lived at Netherton Hall all their lives. It seems, however, as if the family also spend much time in Huddersfield as his sixth child, Joseph jr. was born there. Most likely the child was born there while they were visiting relatives or during a business trip. Queens Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Huddersfield – just 6 km northeast of Netherton – was also their spiritual home and all their children were christened there.2,3,6,17,18 Huddersfield had already by then replaced Almondbury as the most important major cloth trading centre in West Riding, Yorkshire. Although Huddersfield had an open-air market established in the 17th century, the building of a very large circular brick arcade, called Cloth Hall, in 1766 by Sir John Ramsden, Lord of the Manor, set Huddersfield up to become the hub of the woollen market. Certainly Joseph Wrigley sr. and his sons, Thomas and Joseph jr. must have traded their products there too.4,19,20

One wonders what Joseph Wrigley’s thoughts were on the rulers of his day. Joseph lived during the reign of George III and George IV, who reigned from 1760 to 1820 and from 1820 to 1830 respectively. In 1801, Joseph witnessed the union of Great Britain and Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, often referred to as the “Second British Empire”. The long reign of George III also saw the American Revolution, the defeat of Napoleon and the decline of monarchical power. Military conflicts were limited to the British colonies and France, while financial and administrative reforms were also implemented. From the 1780s, however, George III started to experience mental incapacity on a number of occasions. By 1810, it worsened so significantly that his son George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales became Prince Regent in 1811 until his father’ death in 1820. In the last few years of his life, George III was blind and deaf. Interestingly, the long deemed manic-depressive insanity of George III has recently been diagnosed by medical experts as possibly the result of a rare metabolic disorder called porphyria. His son, who became known as George IV, succeeded his father. He was warm-hearted and generous, and a man of superb, albeit expensive taste for the arts, culture and architectural treasures. The latter made him quite unpopular with the general British population. While George III was a moral and pious man, George IV was the opposite and his extravagant life style, characterised by indulgence and fornication, was detested by many.21-24

Apart from being a prosperous businessman, Joseph Wrigley sr. also served as Constable of South Crosland area from 1824 to 1825 and later Overseer of the Poor in the same area, which included Netherton, just next-door to South Crosland. The latter position of Overseer was also held by his grandfather, Robert Wrigley (1697 – 1773) who served in South Crosland area.2,4

    4. His death

Joseph Wrigley sr. died at the age of 55 years on 31 March 1833 at Netherton Hall and was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Anglican Church at South Crosland. His widow remained at Netherton Hall until 1842, when thereafter she left for Lower Broughton, Manchester to live with her daughter, Harriet and her husband. In 1858, at the age of 76 years, Elizabeth Wrigley passed away at Lower Broughton. Her body was taken to South Crosland for burial and laid  to rest with her late husband at Holy Trinity Church.1,3,4

   5. His children

Joseph and Elizabeth Wrigley had 11 children, who were all born at Netherton Hall, except for their sixth child that was born at Huddersfield. All the children were christened at Queen Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (later renamed Huddersfield Methodist Church).1-4,6,9,17,185.1 Harriet

Their eldest child, Harriet, who was born on 6 October 1800, and christened on 30 October 1800, married Robert Townend (1797 – 1862) on 16 May 1827 at Almondbury Parish Church at the age of 27 years. She inherited 200 pounds in 1833 from her father’s estate.1,6,9,25 The Townends went on to live in Lower Broughton, Manchester, Cheshire (now Greater Manchester). In 1842 her mother came to live with them until her death in 1858.1,4

Their children were Catherine (1828 – ?), Joseph (1829 – ?), George Henry (1833 – 1872), Edwin (1835 – 1887), Alice Annie (1836 – 1923), Harriette (1839 – 1920) and Frederick (1841 – 1910). Harriet and Robert’s granddaughter, Lilly Maria Barton (1852 – 1923), the daughter of Catherine and Millner Barton, married George Henry Wrigley (1837 – 1884). Joseph Wrigley I (1778 – 1833) of Netheron Hall was his grand-uncle. For the occasion of their marriage in 1878, George bought the Wrigley family mansion Netherton Hall on Corn Bank, Netherton from Joseph Wrigley III (1839 – 1926), the son of Harriet’s brother, Joseph Wrigley jr. (II) who had passed away in 1877. George and Lilly knocked down the old house and by re-using the bricks of the demolished Netherton Hall built another house called White Gate House, also known as Whitegates, further back on the property.4,5,11

Harriet (Wrigley) Townsend died in Salford, Lancashire at the age of 67 years in 1867 of apoplexy (stroke or cerebral haemorrhage) while having a bath.1 She was buried on 11 May 1867 at Haworth, Yorkshire.6

5.2 Catherine

Catherine was born in 1803 and died on 26 October 1825 at the age of 22 years at Norwich, Norfolk, England, where she was also buried. She was married at the age of sixteen on 23 March 1819 in Almondbury. Her groom was the 30-year old, Thomas Randall Wiley (*20 November 1789, ≈29 November 1789, Norwich, Norfolk, †17 October 1827, Norwich), son of Thomas Wiley (ca 1763 – 1838) and Mary Randall (ca 1761 – 1847).1,6,26-28The couple, who were married for six years before Catharine passed away, lived in Norwich and together they had one son, Thomas Wrigley (1820 – 17 September 1900, Belmont, Dawlish, Devon) [One website mentions two children – the second one possibly died young or the information is erroneous].1,6,26-28 Thomas Wrigley Wiley was left an orphan at the age of seven years when his widowed father died, aged 38, and was probably raised by family who took him in. He married Esther Ferneley (8 October 1812, Manchester, Lancashire – 11 July 1875, Southport, Lancashire) on 19 June 1844 in Didsbury, Lancashire and together they had three daughters and five sons.6,27

5.3 Thomas Cockhill

Thomas Cockhill (*15 May 1805, ≈3 June 1805, †10 May 1863, Huddersfield, Ω16 May 1863, South Crosland) and his younger brother, Joseph jr. (II) worked, with their father Joseph sr. (I), for their uncle John Wrigley (1774 – 1833) at Cocking Steps Mill at Netherton. When John changed the family business’s name in 1820 from James Wrigley & Sons to John Wrigley & Sons, both the young men resigned. Their father, and Thomas and Joseph jr., then aged 25 and 20 years respectively, set out and started out their own woolen cloth firm called J. & T.C. Wrigley, operating at Dungeon Mill in Lockwood near Huddersfield. Their business became very successful.1,4,6,9,15,16The 24 year-old Thomas married the 30-year old Betsey Ferneley (8 August 1800 – 27 September 1832) in 1830. She was the daughter of George Ferneley (1783 – 1850) and Ellen Bradshaw (1781 – ?). Her brother, William Ferneley married Elizabeth Wrigley, the younger sister of her husband, Thomas Wrigley in the same year (see 5.5). Thomas and Betsey had one daughter, Helen Ferneley (≈14 November 1831 – 27 September 1909, Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk).1,6

In 1833, a year after Betsey (Ferneley) Wrigley had died, Thomas Wrigley inherited a warehouse and a piece of land in Netherton called Shop Croft from his father’s estate.1,9 Only after being a widower for nearly twenty years, did Thomas marry a second time in 1852 to Emma Theobold (1817, Norwich, Norfolk – 4 February 1899, Richmond, Surrey). She was the daughter of Thomas Theobold (1774 – 1841) and Elizabeth Colman (1780 – 1859). Four children, namely George (ca 1853, who died young), Evelyn Emma (1854, Lockwood – ?), Percy Theobold (20 December 1855, Lockwood – 7 January 1931, Kew, Surrey) and Beatrice Katherine (*27 July 1857, Lockwood, †16 May 1875, South Crosland, Ω21 May 1875, South Crosland) were born from Thomas and Emma’s marital union.1,2,6 The Wrigley family lived in the house called Woodfield Lodge near Huddersfield. Thomas Cockhill Wrigley died in 1863 at the age of 57 years. His younger brother and business partner, Joseph jr. (II) continued as sole owner of J. and T.C. Wrigley and Co. and its operations at Dungeon Mill until his own death in 1877.1,2,4

  • Helen Ferneley Wrigley (1831 – 1909) married Clement William Cozens-Hardy (27 February 1833 – 27 April 1906) on 8 May 1856 at All Hallows, Almondbury. He was a Justice of the Peace (local magistrate) for North Norfolk and son of William Hardy Cozens-Hardy (1806 – 1895) and Sarah Theobold (1808 – 1891) of Letheringsett Hall, Norfolk, who were not only her newly acquired in-laws but also the in-laws of her father via his second marriage four years earlier. Sarah Theobold and Emma Theobold were sisters.1,6,9,29,30 Helen’s brother-in-law, Sir Herbert Cozens-Hardy (1838 – 1920) became 1st Baron Cozens-Hardy of Letheringsett in 1914. Her sister-in-law, Caroline (1832 – 1895) was married to Jeremiah James Colman (1830 – 1898), a mustard miller. In 1951, Caroline and Jeremiah’s great-grandson, Timothy James Alan Colman (1929 – 2021) married Mary Cecilia Bowes-Lyon (1932 – 2021), niece of the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Windsor (née Bowes-Lyon) (1900 – 2002), mother of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom1,6,29-32 

5.4 John

He was born on 14 April 1807 and christened on 15 June 1807, but just seventeen years later passed away at Netherton on 21 September 1824.1,6,8 He was buried in the same grave at All Hallows Almondbury Parish Church as his younger brother, William who had died in 1817.15.5 Elizabeth

Elizabeth, called “Eliza”, was the fifth child and was born in 1809. She was married on 25 February 1830 at the age of 21 years, to William Ferneley, a cotton spinner and the son of George Ferneley of Withington Lodge in Netherton.1,6 The couple settled at Stockport, Cheshire (now in Greater Manchester), which lies 11 km south-east of Manchester. Together they had two children, Thomas Wrigley (*1831) and Joseph John (*ca 1832).1 In 1833, Eliza received 200 pounds from her father’s estate, who had died on 31 March 1833.1,9 Sadly, Eliza (aged 24) passed away at Stockport just a couple of months later in late 1833.1

5.6 Joseph jr.

Joseph and Elizabeth’s son, Joseph jr. (II), who was born in 1811 at Huddersfield,1,2,4 became my husband’s great-great-great grandfather. READ MORE on Joseph Wrigley II.

5.7 William Henry

He was born on 6 May 1813 and christened on 7 June 1813. William sadly died at the age of four years on 13 March 1817.1,6,9 He was interred at the churchyard of Almondbury Parish Church.1

5.8 Edwin (twin)

Edwin was born as one of fraternal twins on 20 February 1815. He and his sister were christened on 3 April 1815 at Queens Street Chapel. Edwin was 18 years old and still living at Netherton Hall with his parents when his father died in 1833, from whom he inherited 1000 pounds and four cottages at Lane side in Netherton.1,6,9 The unmarried Edwin left Netherton Hall with his mother in 1842, and went to live at Lower Broughton, Manchester, presumably also with his sister Harriet, who was married to Robert Townsend, and where this couple resided. The following year, on 19 March 1843, Edwin died at the age of 28 years of consumption1,6 – “an old and once common term for wasting away of the body, particularly from pulmonary tuberculosis”.33

5.9 Jane (twin)

Jane was born on 20 February 1815; Edwin was her twin brother. In 1833, she inherited 600 pounds from her late father.1,6,9 In 1836 at the age of 21 years, she married John Harding, a very wealthy man. Unfortunately their marriage ended in divorce, executed in the Divorce Court. It is uncertain whether this couple had children. Jane died at the age of 76 years in 1891.1

5.10 Alfred

Alfred was born on 13 January 1818 and christened on 2 February 1818.1,6,9 He was away from home most of the time to pursue further studies. He was very clever man. In 1833 when he was 15 years old, he inherited a cottage in Netherton and 8600 pounds from his late father’s estate. The large sum of money was most likely provisional funds towards his education. After finishing his preparatory schooling, he went to St John’s College, Cambridge. Thereafter he became a Professor in Mathematics from 1841 to 1861 at the East India Company (Royal) Military College, also known as Addiscombe Military Seminary, at Addiscombe, Croydon, London, Surrey. In 1862, he was appointed Headmaster of Clapham Grammar School and remained there for 20 years until 1882. During this time he wrote a book “Collection of Examples and Problems in Pure and Mixed Mathematics” that was used in schools for decades.1,9,34 Quite late in his life, he entered the Church, completed a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D. degree) and continued studies in the discipline of Divinity up to doctoral level. He also completed a Masters of Arts in Astronomy, and later became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.1,7Albert married Maria Jane Worgan, the daughter of Thomas and Margaret Worgan, on 15 June 1842.1,6 The matrimonial ceremony took place at St John’s Church, Croydon, London, Surrey. Maria Worgan’s grandfather was the well-known Dr Thomas Worgan, organist to King George III. The original surname was actually “Wogan”. In 1648, Thomas Wogan signed the Death Warrant of King Charles I, and the family in disgust, changed their name to “Worgan”.1

Alfred and Mary Wrigley had one son, who died in infancy and two daughters, Edith Jane (1852 – 1886) and Amelia Harriet (1856 – 1931). Both sisters never married. Amelia joined the Salvation Army. Their father, Alfred Wrigley, died on 30 January 1898 at the age of 80 years.1,2,6

5.11 Frederick

Frederick, also known as Fred, was born on 24 November 1823 and christened on 22 April 1825 at Queen Street Chapel.1,6 When he was ten years old, he inherited 1000 pounds from his father’s estate, as well as a  house with a garden that previously belonged to his grandmother Johnson (presumably his maternal grandmother).1,9 Fred received his schooling, like many of the other young Wrigleys, at the private boarding school of Rev. George Hough (1 July 1797, London – 6 June  1879, South Crosland).1,35 He was the first vicar of the newly established Parish at South Crosland next-door to Netherton. The Holy Trinity Church opened its doors on 29 October 1829. He lived in Rose Cottage in Netherton until the vicarage of Holy Trinity Church was completed and then moved to South Crosland. Rev. Hough was a dynamic person and well-liked in the surrounding community. He served at South Crosland for 50 years until his death at the age of 81 years. He also had many Curates  – Rev. George Edwin Wilson, Rev. F.G. Deedes, Rev. Charles Whitaker and Rev. George Coulton.35 Rev. George Edwin Wilson married one of the Wrigley woman, Cecilia Wrigley, daughter of Joseph jr. (5.6) and the couple named their third son, George Hough Wilson, after Rev. Hough.1,4

Unfortunately, Frederick died on 11 August 1841 when he was only 18 years old, while attending the University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England which lies 235 km south-east of Netherton.1 He was buried five days later on 16 August 1841.6



REFERENCE 4: The outstanding research work of Margaret Muir of England (great-great-granddaughter of Joseph and Hannah Wrigley) must be acknowledged. Without her hard work over many years, a significant and rich portion of the history of the Wrigley family would have been lost. Much gratitude is due to Margaret Muir for graciously granting permission to use her work as reference material for the purpose of this website.

REFERENCE 6: A big thank you is due to Richard Lyne, the great-great-grandson of Helen and Clement Cozens-Hardy, for sharing his detailed research data on our Wrigley ancestors with me. It certainly filled many gaps regarding chronological events in their lives.

REFERENCE 28: James Wrigley of Totnes, Devon, England has over the past four years shared much information and photos of invaluable family portraits I would have otherwise not have had access to. An enormous thank you!

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  1. Hurndall, R. 1933 History of the Wrigley family of Netherton, Yorkshire. Copy made available in July 2018 by James Wrigley of Totnes, Devon, England
  2. The Wrigleys of South Crosland. Wrigleys of South Crosland
  3. James Wrigley.
  4. Muir, M. 2002 The Wrigley family of Netherton in Yorkshire. Research notes in possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa
  5. Family tree notes by Jean Jamison, made available by Katie Taylor, October 2017
  6. Information, photos and copies of official documents received on 8 November 2020 and 12 May 2022 from Richard Lyne of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, great-great-great-grandson of Thomas Cockhill Wrigley (1805 – 1863)
  7. Wrigley, M. 1936 History of Netheron and the Wrigleys, 1633 – 1936. Copy made available by James Wrigley of Totnes, Devon, England
  8. Kirkheaton Church.
  9. The Wrigley Family. 1999 Copy of family notes made available in April 2019 by Simon Wrigley of Tel Aviv, Israel
  10. Highfield Independent Chapel, Huddersfield.,_Huddersfield
  11. George Henry Wrigley (1837-1884). (1837-1884)
  12. Industrial Revolution.
  13. Luddites. The growth of political rights in Britain in the 19th century. Power, Politics & Protest.
  14. Luddite.
  15. Dungeon Mill, South Crosland.,_South_Crosland
  16. Lockwood Viaducts, Park Valley, Huddersfield.
  17. Great Queen Street Chapel. British History Online.
  18. Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Queen Street, Huddersfield.,_Queen_Street,_Huddersfield
  19. Cloth Hall, Huddersfield.,_Huddersfield
  20. Huddersfield Cloth Hall (1766 – 1930).
  21. George III facts.
  22. George III of the United Kingdom.
  23. George IV facts.
  24. George IV of the United Kingdom.
  25. Robert Townend.
  26. Thomas Wrigley Wiley (1820 – 1900).
  27. Information and photos supplied on 12 May 2022 by James Wrigley of Totnes, Devon, England
  28. Catherine Wrigley.
  29. Clement Cozens-Hardy.
  30. Bird, M. 28 March 2023. Major parts of the Cozens-Hardy private archive lodged at the Norfolk Record Office. Blakeney Area Historical Society (BAHS).
  31. Timothy Colman.
  32. Mason, J. 19 June 2015. The Cozenz-Hardy Family.
  33. Medical definition of consumption.
  34. Darwin, C., Burkhardt, F. & Smith, S. 1867 The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Vol 15. Cambridge University Press.
  35. Rev. George Hough (1797-1879).