John Edward Greenwood Pinder

Derby Gaol, South Street Derby Gaol, South Street

John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a three month sentence for theft. John hadn't had much going for him in his life. They even got his name wrong on the 1911 Census when they substituted "Henry" for "Edward" in his name. This is the story of his life up to that point.

 

John Pinder was born in Totley in the first quarter of 1864 and baptised at Christ Church, Dore, on 6 April 1865. His mother was Eliza Pinder, the daughter of Robert Pinder (1789-1866), farmer at Totley Bents. She was unmarried at the time of John's birth and no father's name was recorded in the register. The name "Greenwood" came from John's grandmother, Robert Pinder's wife, who was Elizabeth Greenwood (1795-1861) of Holmesfield. John's mother, Eliza, married Clement Needham, the farmer and beerseller of the Grouse Inn, Totley Bents, at Christ Church Dore on 19 December 1865.

The former Grouse Inn, Totley Bents The former Grouse Inn, Totley Bents

John Pinder's first encounter with the law was in 1869 when, aged just 5, he was the plaintiff named in a case brought on his behalf by his step-father to recover £10 in damages for injuries said to have been caused by ill treatment. It was alleged that John had been badly beaten with a stick and thrown over a hedge into a stream, not once but twice, by Joseph Rollison. The credibility of witnesses on both sides was called into question and the jury eventually found for the plaintiff but awarded just five shillings in damages presumably believing the injuries caused to have been exaggerated. In the 1871 census John is recorded as a scholar but how much schooling he received is uncertain because later newspaper accounts report him to be illiterate. By the time of the 1881 census he had become a farm labourer.

 

From around 1884 John appears frequently in the court reports in Sheffield and North Derbyshire newspapers, occasionally as a witness but more commonly having been summoned for minor offences. In many of the cases he brought a counter-summons and in all of them he denied the offence. He liked a drink and many of the summonses relate to disturbances that followed either inside or immediately outside local pubs.

 

He was summoned by Luke Beeston, the landlord of the Crown Inn, for three alleged offences on 1 November 1884: assault, wilful damage and refusing to quit the pub when so ordered. On the last of the three charges John was fined £1 but was acquitted on the two other charges. The following June he successfully brought a counter-summons against Beeston for assault and was awarded £30 in damages when it was proven that Beeston used unjustifiable force when he struck John a blow on the head with a fireplace poker.

 

Further fights led to two court summonses soon afterwards which were also successfully defended. In July 1888 Joseph Henry Belson alleged assault following an argument about John's driving of his horse and cart and, in February 1892, John was summoned for assault after a fight at the Cross Scythes with three local men, Charles Henry, miner, William Jowett and Thomas Elliott, both labourers.

 

On 3 July 1892 at Christ Church, Dore, John Pinder married his cousin, Jane Pinder, Rev. J. T. F. Aldred officiating. Jane, a spinster aged 24, was the daughter of James Pinder, the brother of John's mother Eliza. Their marriage got off to an unfortunate start when there was an accident on the way home to the Grouse Inn. When turning into the yard, the horse swerved, overturning the vehicle and throwing all the occupants on to the ground. The bride received severe injuries to both knees. The rest of the occupants escaped with a shaking but a little child, belonging to one of the employees on the Dore and Chinley Railway, was severely injured by the overturned vehicle falling upon it.
 
Two children were born to the Pinders soon afterwards. Louisa was baptised on 28 August 1892 and Robert Clement James on 9 July 1893 (born 30 May 1893), both at Christ Church, Dore. However, not all was  well with their marriage:

Saturday 21st April 1894 Derbyshire Courier (page 7)
Couldn't Agree with her Mother-in-law. 
At Dronfield Sessions on Monday, Jno. Edward Greenwood Pinder, farmer of Totley, was summoned for neglecting to maintain his wife. Jane Pinder said that her husband refused to find her a house, excepting with his mother, who was continually abusing and insulting her, and who turned her out. Defendant said he had a good home for his wife if she would behave herself. The magistrates said they were of the opinion that defendant did not find his wife a comfortable home. He would have to find her another home or pay her 10s. a week. Complainant would have the custody of the children.

This instruction appears to have been obeyed as the couple found alternative accomodation at Totley Bents soon afterwards as is evidenced from quarrels with their neighbours, the Udalls, which reached the attention of the courts.

The Udall Family of Monnybrook Cottages The Udall Family of Monnybrook Cottages

A further summons in June 1896 for an assault on Thomas Coates was dismissed but John was to appear in the courts yet again the following month when he was summoned by Totley Parish Council on two charges: wilful damage and leading a horse to a fenced off village green. The case was covered extensively in the newspapers as it was of widespread interest to the local community. The facts were these. The Parish Council had fenced in certain parish land adjacent to the Cricket Inn which had been vested in them for the use of the inhabitants of the parish as a place of exercise and recreation. John Pinder questioned their right to do so, claiming that it had been used for generations as land for pasturing animals. He persisted in driving a horse into the enclosure and even broke a lock off the gate in order to effect access. It was when other people began to follow his example that the Council was forced to take proceedings against him. After perusing the acts affecting the enclosure, the justices decided no right did exist and they fined John the sum of £1 12s. for leading his horse to the enclosure and a further £1 11s. for wilful damage to the lock.

 

In the following month, August 1896, yet more charges were brought against him. Henry Nicholson, a farmer, charged him with stealing a hay tippler and Sarah Barker Bulliman summoned him for the use of abusive language. Both cases were dismissed. Two months later John was back in court, following another incident with a neighbour:

Saturday 10 October 1896 Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald (page 3)
Unloving Neighbours
John Ed. Pinder, Totley Bents, labourer, was charged by Albert Lee with stealing a tame rabbit, value 2s. at Totley, on the 29th ult. Prosecutor said about 7 a.m. in the morning of the 29th ult. he looked out of the window and saw defendant unfasten the wire netting around the hen and rabbit pen and put a dog inside. Subsequently he got in himself and shortly afterwards the dog and rabbit came out. The dog chased the rabbit round the garden and caught it, and defendant picked it up and took it away. Complainant's son also gave evidence. The case showed that there was a great deal of ill feeling between the parties and in the end the Bench dismissed the case. Mary Ann Lee, Totley Bents, was next summoned for violently threatening Jane Pinder, at Totley, on the 30th ult. After hearing a good deal of evidence, the Bench decided to bind both parties over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace, and ordered both to pay her own costs, 8s. 9d.

On 1 December 1897 a more serious charge was brought against John Pinder, that of night poaching. Ellis Ashton, keeper at Longshawe, said that on 7 November, between 12 midnight and 1 a.m., he was with two other keepers on land belonging to His Grace the Duke of Rutland at Dore Moor when he saw two men coming along the wood-side with a dog. As soon as they saw the keepers the men gave a shout and began to throw stones and then ran away. Two of the keepers gave chase and caught John Pinder who threatened the keepers and refused to surrender his stick for some time but ultimately did so. Mr Ashton searched him and found two nets and four pegs and another net close by. The other man, James Robinson, was also caught by the third keeper and he too was found to have a bag on him.

 

Mr Garlick, the prosecuting counsel, said there had been a great deal of poaching in this district and asked for a committal. After deliberation, however, the Bench said they had decided to give the two poachers one more chance and not send them to prison. They looked upon the case as a very serious one. John Pinder was fined £5 or one month's imprisonment with hard labour and Robinson fined £1 or 14 days.

Despite that warning, a similar incident arose in September 1899 when John Pinder and another man were spotted at about 2 a.m. at Stoney Ridge, again on land owned by His Grace the Duke of Rutland. John was carrying a bag which he dropped as he ran away. The gamekeeper, Abraham Taylor, found it to contain six rabbits and gave chase. John fought him off but was recognised. The fine this time was £2 plus costs or 1 month's imprisonment.

 

A third incident on the Duke's land was brought to the attention of the Dronfield magistrates on 29 December 1900 when John Pinder was charged with trespassing by night in search of game. A list of eleven previous convictions was produced and the magistrates inflicted a penalty to £5, including costs, or in default two months' hard labour.

Perhaps John was finding it increasingly difficult to support his growing family. By the time of the 1901 Census a further three children had been born: Lucy (baptised 6 Feb 1898), Eliza (baptised 21 May 1899) and John Edward Greenwood Jnr. (born 29 Aug 1900, baptised 14 Oct 1900).

 

More widely reported cases of drunkenness were proved against John Pinder in 1902. One was brought by Emily Cockayne of Norton Lees for damage caused to her carriage after a collision with John's horse and dog cart on Beauchief Bridge, Abbey Lane. It was alleged that John was driving negligently as a result of being drunk. It came out in evidence that John had already been fined 20s. for being in charge of a horse and cart whilst drunk on the evidence of P.C. Jepson. Despite John's continuing denial it was hardly surprising that the jury found for the plaintiff on the claim to the extent of £5.

Ordnance Arms Hotel, Hathersage Ordnance Arms Hotel, Hathersage

John Pinder was also summoned on a charge of being drunk and disorderly at Hathersage. P.C. Thompson said that he was called on 17 October 1902 by Mr Hulett to eject a man from the Ordnance Arms, "where he had been creating a disturbance and turning out the people."  John was described as a big, John Bull-looking fellow with a smile on his face. He claimed that he had had a cup of tea with some whiskey in it, but wasn't drunk, and called witnesses who stated that he was "neither sober nor drunk but had had a drink." The Bench, however, decided to convict being unable to disregard all the evidence of the reputable witnesses they had heard; they imposed a fine of £1 and £1 18s. 2d. costs.

 

Four more children were born to John and Jane Pinder between 1903 and 1910; Jane (baptised 13 November 1903), Thomas (born in 1905, baptised 20 May 1910), Harriet (born in 1907, baptised 20 May 1910) and Ada (born in 1910, baptised 20 May 1910). During these years there were fewer reported convictions: a fine of 10s. for driving a vehicle without a light in 1903; a fine  of 5s. plus costs for a breach of the Dog Regulations in 1907 and a fine of 10s. plus costs for being drunk and disorderly in 1907.

 

And so we come to the incident on 22 December 1910 which led to John Pinder's imprisonment:

 

Saturday 25th February 1911 Nottingham Evening Post (page 6)
Plantation Despoiled.
Carter Sent to Gaol for Theft

Just before Christmas a most barefaced case of spoliation of a plantation occurred in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, no fewer than 86 small ornamental trees being cut down and carried away. The plantation is situated on Moorwood's Farm, Holmesfield, and the trees stolen, which were planted about ten years ago, were valued by the owner, Mr. G. H. Crawshaw, of Sheffield, at £63 10s. The sequel was furnished at Derby Assizes this morning, when John Edward Greenwood Pinder, 46, an illiterate carter, who lives two miles from the plantation, was indicted for the theft. Mr. H. Hole, prosecuting, described it as a particularly cruel case of damage, and suggested that prisoner's object was to sell the trees as Christmas trees and for decorative purposes. Seven witnesses were called to testify to prisoner driving to the plantation, leaving his horse and dray standing in the road near by, and subsequently go away with a load of portions of trees. It was nearly daylight when he was seen, and the suggestion of the prosecution was that he cut the trees during the night, for several hours of which dogs at neighbouring farms were continually barking. The defence advanced by Mr. Dietrichsen was that the load consisted of trees and evergreens purchased from neighbours for sale in Sheffield market where they realised £1, and that the presence of the dray outside the plantation for a considerable time was due to the fact that prisoner had left it there while he went back in search of a tarpaulin which had been blown off. Pinder was found guilty and 16 convictions for minor offences were proved against him. He had lived in the district all his life. Sentence of three months' hard labour was passed.

Part 2: The Later Years

Whilst John Pinder was in Derby Gaol on census night 2 April 1911, his wife Jane was living in three rooms in Totley Bents with six of the couple's nine children. With her were Louisa (whom the census records as an imbecile from birth) aged 19, John Edward Greenwood Jnr. aged 10, Jane aged 8, Thomas aged 6, Harriet aged 4 and Ada aged just 1. Eldest son Robert had emigrated to the United States in 1909 to join his great uncle Vaniah Sparks who had sponsored him for the journey. Daughter Eliza, aged 11, was living with her aunt and uncle, Mary Ann and John Thomas Cotterill, at The Clough in Bamford. Daughter Lucy is not at home and we have not yet traced her. A tenth child had died in infancy before being baptized. Perhaps this was Herbert Pinder who was buried at Dore Christ Church on 7 December 1902 aged 9 months. The parish register shows that Herbert had lived at Totley Bents but his parents are not named.

SS Ivernia Cunard Steamship Line's SS Ivernia, built in 1899 by Swan Hunter in Newcastle

After serving his prison sentence, John Pinder seems to have decided that the family's future lay in America. His mother Eliza had died on 31 January 1911 whilst John was on bail awaiting trial and been buried in the same grave at Christ Church as her parents and five of her siblings. So whilst Jane stayed behind in Totley with the younger children, John sailed from Liverpool on 13 March 1912 on the SS Ivernia bound for Boston via Queenstown, Ireland. He took with him daughter Lucy aged 14 and son John junior aged 11. His intention was to travel to Westboro, Missouri to meet up with son Robert. In the ship's records John senior is described as a farmer, 5ft 10 inches tall, with grey eyes and a dark complexion. In the column headed 'health' it says 'insane, attempted suicide'.

 

Unfortunately, John was refused entry by United States immigration and was sent back to England on board another Cunard Steamship Line vessel, SS Franconia, which docked in Liverpool on 24 April. The passenger list shows the word 'rejected' against John's name in the column recording the intended country of future permanent residence. There is no mention of the two children returning to England and it is presumed that they were cared for by the Sparks family as the two families were known to be very close. As we shall see later, all of John and Jane's children were eventually to emigrate to the United States with the exception of poor Louisa who it would appear died in Burton-on-Trent in 1913 at the age of 21.

Egerton Arcade, Wilbraham Road, circa 1913-14 Egerton Arcade, Wilbraham Road, Chorlton cum Hardy circa 1913-14

For a number of years, the Pinder family had had connections with the Manchester area. Jane's sister Annie married James Henry Neale in Chorlton cum Hardy in 1891 and the couple had four daughters and six sons, the three oldest of whom were working for their father in his butchers shop at 4 Egerton Arcade, Wilbraham Road, at the time of the 1911 Census. Another sister, Harriett, married William Gell, a labourer, on 29 September 1904 at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Hulme and was living at 18 Langworthy Road, Moston. A third sister, Lucy Ada, lived at 12 Harriet Street, Stretford where she was a general servant for Mary Ellen Houghton, the widow of an East India and China Merchant who had lost her sight.

 

Perhaps in order to be close to these relatives, John and Jane Pinder moved to Manchester and were living at 63 Jenkinson Street, Chorlton on Medlock. John Pinder died on 24 May 1915 in the West Didsbury Workhouse (Withington Hospital) at the age of 51. He was buried at Philips Park Cemetery, Miles Platting, three days later in the same grave as his sister-in-law Harriet Gell who had died on 12 August 1913. Jane Pinder died on 28 March 1919 and was buried in the same grave.

Grave of John Edward Greenwood Pinder, his wife Jane and sister-in-law Harriett Gell Grave of John Edward Greenwood Pinder, his wife Jane and sister-in-law Harriett Gell

With their parents, grandparents and mentally ill sister all dead and three of their siblings already settled in America, it is not surprising to find that the remaining children also emigrated to the United States.

 

Eliza, aged 20, and Thomas, aged 15, sailed from Liverpool on 26 September 1919 aboard the RMS Empress of France to Montreal. They gave their last permanent address as Stretford and their nearest relative in the country of departure as aunt Lucy Ada Pinder who was still in the service of Mrs Houghton at 12 Kenwood Road, Stretford. On the passenger list, Eliza and Thomas gave their intended destination as Westboro, Missouri, where brother Robert was now living and where John Junior had enlisted in the US Army on 17 September the previous year.

 

Youngest daughter Ada Pinder was the next of John and Jane's children to emigrate, accompanied by her aunt Lucy Ada who had first crossed the Atlantic in 1904 on the SS Luciana on a Thomas Cook tour to St Louis as a companion but to whom is unclear. Aunt and niece sailed on the White Star Steamship Line's SS Celtic from Liverpool to New York on 9 February 1921, Mrs Houghton having died on 10 August 1920. Evidently on arrival in New York they were detained overnight for special inquiry, the reason given was that Ada was under 16.

Canadian Pacific Steamship Montrose, built in 1920 Canadian Pacific Steamship Montrose, built in 1920 in Glasgow by the Fairfield Company

That just left Harriett and Jane behind in England. They sailed together on the Canadian Pacific Atlantic Line's SS Montrose departing Liverpool on 27 April 1923 disembarking at Montreal. Harriett was aged 17 and Jane 20. They gave their nearest relative in the country of departure as Mrs Neale, presumably aunt Annie, whose address was shown as 3 Cambridge Avenue, Manchester. Interestingly, they gave their intended final destination as Kiowa, Elbert County, Colorado where we think brother Robert was living.

Family tree charts for Jane and John Edward Greenwood Pinder
John Edward Greenwood Pinder Family Tree[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [82.3 KB]

 

This article has been inspired by a letter we have received from Ken Black, a direct descendant of John E. G. Pinder's grandfather Robert Pinder and Robert's son Edward Pinder, and by the wealth of information that Ken subsequently sent to us. We have attempted to replicate Ken's research. Any error you may find, therefore, is entirely our own.

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Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 600 gravestones in  the churchyard.

 

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