Totley History Group
Totley History Group

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 at 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, 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. (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.


We believe that John Edward Greenwood Pinder died in March 1917 and is buried at Abbey Lane Cemetery, Beauchief.

Latest News

On Wednesday 28th June, we welcome back Ann Beedham whose talk is called Days of Sunshine and Rain: Peak District Rambling in the 1920s, with words and photographs from the life of George Willis Marshall who was a keen walker and who took lots of photos in the 1920s and 1930s as he wandered the hills of Derbyshire with his friends. They were pioneers of the ‘right to roam’ and took part in the famous Kinder Trespass of 1932. The meeting is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m.


On Wednesday 26th July Alan Powell will tells us about The History of Newspapers in Sheffield. Alan is a former Editor of the Sheffield Telegraph and The Star newspapers and had a career of more than 44 years in journalism in Sheffield. The meeting as usual is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m. Non-members are welcome.


The first meeting after our summer break will be on Wednesday, 27th September when we present an illustrated talk by David Templeman called Mary, Queen of Scots: The Final Journey - From Sheffield to Fotheringhay (1584-1587). This talk relates the compelling tale of the events leading up to and including Mary’s trial and execution. Mary’s courage and conduct come to the fore as she takes her tragic story through Wingfield Manor, Tutbury Castle, Chartley Manor, Texall and culminating in the climax at Fotheringhay Castle where she is tried and executed for High Treason. But was she guilty? That is the question this talk addresses. The meeting is in Totley Library, starting at 7.30 p.m. 

A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.

Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination  This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections. 

The story is told in Totley War Memorial WW1 of the ten men from our village who gave their lives in the Great War. Written by Pauline Burnett, Jim Martin and Dorothy Prosser, a chapter is devoted to each of the soldiers with a family tree followed by as much information as could be discovered about the men and their families. There is also information about their military careers and the actions in which they lost their lives. The book has 64 pages and is illustrated throughout with photographs of the men, their families and the houses where they lived.

Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.

We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.

Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. 

On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.

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 sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.

We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now. 

We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.

We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search. 

Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road

John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.

The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure. 

When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.

Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.

Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.

Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.

We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore. 

Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.

When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.

Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status. 

What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine. 

We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.

On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.


Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.



Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.




Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.



Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation the steel industry.



Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.



The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.



Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives. 



We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale and Norton.



Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.

This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have decided to create a Virtual Museum instead, starting with old bottles that were found under the floor of the Old Infant School. Please contact us by email if you would like to see the real thing or have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about John Roberts and the building of St. John's Church. There are several about the history of Brinkburn Grange and its first occupier, John Unwin Wing, an accountant who later lived at Totley Hall before being convicted of forgery and fraud and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in Pentonville gaol. There are more than 50 articles from the 1880s and 1890s about Joseph Mountain and the Victoria Gardens, and twenty on the construction of the Totley Tunnel and the Dore and Chinley Railway.

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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