The Castle, the Gatekeeper and the Inn Keeper!

The Castle, the Gatekeeper and the Inn Keeper!

This story starts back in 1829 in Lancashire (England), but my introduction to it was actually less than year ago.

When I was over in England in August 2014 with some of my family, one thing that my dad really wanted to do, was to visit Lancaster Castle in Lancashire, as his great great grandpa (William Todd Hayhurst) worked there as a warden.

This was a story I’d vaguely heard before, but not followed up. Afterall there’s only so many families that you can trace at once. But on going to the castle, I thought I’d better do some digging.

After all, a ancestor who worked at a castle is kinda cool, eh?

My first surprise when researching this family was to find out that Lancaster Castle, which is most certainly is a castle, wasn’t actually used as one. Well, not for the past 900 years or so anyway. In fact it’s been used as a jail, housing many thousands of people who were debtors, petty criminals, murderers and witches.

Lancaster Castle - August 2014

Lancaster Castle – August 2014

The tour of the castle was amazing, even if we weren’t allowed to go in ALL parts. It was incredible to think that this 1000 or so year old mega-structure is even still standing. And that people lived and died in this prison – including many hangings – which by the way, were a public attraction of the day, even in the late 1800s.

the gates at the entrance to Lancaster Castle

the gates at the entrance to Lancaster Castle

Now back to 1829.

William TODD, born to Margaret TODD was christened  on 25 October 1829 at Cockerham, Lancashire. Note: no father mentioned.

However less than a year after that, I find that Margaret Todd was living at Quernmore in Lancashire … as was Thomas Hayhurst, whose wife had died a little while before, leaving him with several young children. They married, and from then on William TODD was always known as William Todd HAYHURST.

I’m still trying to prove who the father was, and this may never be solved. It may have been Thomas Hayhurst, or anyone else. However, I’ve been scouring the Lancashire Quarter Session records looking for a bastardy bond record, or anything else that will give me the father’s name. Still looking for that one though.

Anyway to keep a track of what William Todd Hayhurst was doing and where he lived, I created a timeline based on any records I could find (parish records, his certificates, his children’s certificates, newspaper references, census records, directory entries and so on), and the list below is what I have compiled to date.

1829 – baptised, St Michael’s, Cockerham, Lancashire
1841 – Cotton Weaver, Ann Street, Lancaster
1848 – marriage 1 to Jane Jackson, Lancaster
1848 – Cotton Stripper, 18 Monmouth Street, Lancaster
1851 – Grinder in Mill, 13 Black Marton Street, Lancaster
1853 – Police Constable, 27 Mary Street, Lancaster
1855 – Police Constable, 60 Bridge Lane, Lancaster
1857 – Warder at the Castle, 6 Common Garden Street, Lancaster
1860 – Warder at the Castle, 6 Common Garden Street, Lancaster
1862 – Warder at the Castle, 71 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1865 – Warder at the Castle, 71 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1868 – Warder at the Castle, 71 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1869 – Warder at the Castle, 71 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1869 – wife 1, Jane dies
1870 – marriage 2 to Bridget Cardus, Kirkby Malham, Yorkshire
1871 – Warder at the Castle, Castle Hill, Lancaster
1872 – Warder, Castle Hill, Lancaster
1874 – Warder, Castle Hill, Lancaster
1876 – Goal Warder, 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1877 – Warder at the Castle, Castle Hill, Lancaster
1879 – Prison Warder, 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1881 – Goal Warder, 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1881 – Gatekeeper Lancaster Castle, 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1881 – Superannuated Prison Warder, 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster
1890 – Inn Keeper, 20 Briery Street, Lancaster
1890 – William died, Lancaster
1922 – wife 2, Bridget dies, occupation listed as “widow of William Hayhurst, licenced victualler”

Castle Hill is the street on the right going down the hill. This is directly opposite Lancaster Castle

Castle Hill is the street on the right going down the hill. This is directly opposite Lancaster Castle

While I don’t have an actual birth date for William, I’m reasonably confident (based on findings) that he was born in 1829, with his baptism taking place a few months later in late October. Using the timeline makes it easier to see his progression through work, and when he moved house. It also shows, as was quite common back in the day, him as a twelve year old working in the Cotton Mills in Lancaster.

But what I find exciting is that he managed to get out of the Cotton Mill cycle, and made it into the Police Force, then into the Castle, working there for 24 years, and ending up as the Gatekeeper there.

Willima Hayhurst's gatekeeper entry in the "Topography and Directory of Lancaster and Sixteen Miles Round', by P. Mannex & Co, in 1881

William Hayhurst’s gatekeeper entry in the “Topography and Directory of Lancaster and Sixteen Miles Round”, by P. Mannex & Co, in 1881

Another surprise I found with William was that once he retired from the castle, based on snippets on certificates, it appears that he owned an inn or pub. This is something I’m keen to follow up on, but haven’t as yet. So is on to-follow-up list of things to do.

I don’t get a whole lot of time to dedicate to my research, but what time I have, I’ve had discovering my Hayhurst family over the past ten months.

For further information on the castle, including details of those who were prisoners in the castle, the Lancaster Castle website is the place to check out.

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3 Responses to “The Castle, the Gatekeeper and the Inn Keeper!”

  1. Dick Hayhurst says:

    It looks like we’re distant relatives … Margaret Todd was Thomas Hayhurst’s second wife and all the children following this union were named `Todd Hayhurst’ to differentiate them from children of his marriage to Grace Taylor (my grt grt grt Grandma) … Thomas is my grt grt grt grandad … I’ll have to look up the details in my family records if you are interested … best regards

    • Alona says:

      Hi Dick … wow, great to hear from you. I am currently on a genealogy cruise somewhere in NZ, and don’t have all my genie files with me. So will get back to you when I return (earlyish March).

    • Maura Kate Benford says:

      Hi did you find anything? I’m a relative of Cuthbert Hayhurst of the Quaker founding mission.

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