Thomas Staniforth & Co. Sickle works at Hackenthorpe.
George Staniforth of Harthill's Signature
The Staniforth family of Eckington, Mosborough, Hackenthorpe, Beighton and Ridgeway have long been associated with the Sickle and Scythe smithing industry beginning in the 16th Century, the family had various workshops and grinding wheels along the streams and brooks that flow through the neighbouring villages. There was however a line of Staniforth’s that did not conform to this trade, and instead worked as plasterers.
This line remains a mystery at this point, however I wanted to put an article together that clearly displays the facts. This page will most certainly be updated as more clues are uncovered.
The first reference we get to a Staniforth plasterer is on the Sheffield Apprentice Records. In 1663, William Staniforth, the son of Thomas Staniforth, plasterer of Carter Hall is apprenticed to William Staniforth, shearsmith of Jordanthorpe. This shearsmith is the same William that was the head of the line of Staniforths that went onto Hackenthorpe, however it is unclear who Thomas Staniforth the plasterer was, and it remains a mystery how he ended up at Carter Hall.
Looking back in 1654, Thomas is not at Carter Hall, as a William Jackson, son of Robert Jackson, husbandsman of Carterhall is apprenticed to an Edward Turner, Sicklesmith of Sloade Lane.
It is also clear that the Staniforth family did not remain at the hall for long, as in 1690, a Jeremy Greaves, son of George Greaves of Carter Hall is apprenticed to William Wilkin, Filesmith.
There is also some interesting clues at the nearby parish of Harthill.
On January 14th 1726, George Staniforth marries Mary Shaw at the Sheffield Parish Church, George is recorded on the record as being from ‘of Harthill’.
The Harthill parish then records children of George Staniforth, plasterer:
- William Staniforth b July 13th 1728
- Mary Staniforth b November 23 1729
- George Staniforth b May 16th 1731
- Thomas Staniforth b October 15th 1733
- Hannah Staniforth b March 8th 1735
There is also an indenture that George Staniforth of Harthill signs where he transfers land to a man in Eckington, a clue that George has ties to the neighbouring parish.
In 1782, a Thomas Staniforth dies in Eckington, and in his will he describes himself as being ‘Thomas Staniforth the Elder, plasterer of The Marsh, Eckington’. In this will he lists the following sons:
- John Staniforth baptised October 8th 1747
- Jacob Staniforth baptised April 26th 1794, married Anne Gibson April 26 1772
- George Staniforth baptised March 6th 1751
- Amos Staniforth baptised November 26 1758
Also on the Eckington Manor Court Rolls we find:
11 October 1782 - Admittance of John Staniforth, Jacob Staniforth and George Staniforth to all such tenements as were devised to them in the will of Thomas Staniforth the elder late of the Marsh in Eckington, plasterer
11 October 1782 - Surrender by Jacob Staniforth and Anne his wife, and George Staniforth, of their shares of a close in Eckington called the Birchensty, to the use of John Barber the younger of Eckington, chandler, his heirs and assigns.
1733 - surrender by Wm Staniforth of Eckington plasterer...... Apr 12th... 3 closes at Bramley... known by the names of the high Bramleys containing 3 acres- giving it over to John Croft
1808 - A will is left by Thomas Staniforth, plasterer of Eckington, based on the information, he never had a family of his own.
It is also worth noting, that in nearby Aston there was another line of Staniforths that stem from Thomas Staniforth, a Wine and Spirit merchant, he married Elizabeth Birks at Handsworth on November 15th 1782, he died February 11th 1826, with his wife following on January 25th 1829. It is unclear as to where this Thomas originated, but he may also be a link based on his unusual occupation and close proximity to Harthill and Eckington. This Thomas Staniforth is a man that has many descendants around the Woodhouse and Handsworth areas.