My recent foray back into genealogical research has given me some insight into how many of my ancestors made their fortunes in the Industrial revolution. There’s my mother’s family the Birtwistles, who were prosperous cotton-mill owners in Lancashire. Then there’s the family of my great great grandfather Alfred Octavius Kirby’s first wife Alice Baxendale. Her family had made their fortune through the Pickfords removal firm. I also found out yesterday that his second wife was Beatrice Elizabeth Schneider. She was the daughter of the industrialist and politician Henry William Schneider, who played a leading role in the development of the new town of Barrow-in-Furness.
His father John Wright was a banker and had joined the Butterly Company in 1791 having married Elizabeth Beresford, daughter of his close business associate Francis Bereseford and the co-owner of the Butterly Company.
Francis Wright married Selina FitzHerbert, daughter of Sir Henry FitzHerbert and Agnes Beresford, on 12 August 1830. He died in 1873. Sir Henry was the third of the Fitzherbert Baronets, of Tissington. I’m guessing that Elizabeth and Agnes Bereford are related, but can’t work how Elizabeth’s father Francis is related to Agnes’ father the Reverend William Beresford.
There’s a long article about how Francis Wright was a philanthropist and leading light in Midlands industrial development here It points out that considering his low-church beliefs and values, the house he built for himself at Osmaston was ostentatious. They suggest, however, that he balanced this outward sign of their social mobility with generous patronage and charitable work.
Sir (Charles) Douglas Fox was a civil engineer and had designed, amongst other things, The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. There’s a wiki entry for him here:
Sir Douglas was the oldest son of the civil engineer Sir Charles Fox who was knighted for his part in the design and build of The Crystal Palace. Born in Derby in 1810, he was the youngest of four sons of Dr. Francis Fox. In 1830 Fox married Mary, second daughter of Joseph Brookhouse, by whom he had 3 sons and a daughter.
Can’t seem to go any further back with Foxes and Beresfords, but the Wrights seem to trace their family to a John Wright in 15th Century, a Yeoman in the Parish of Stowmarket Suffolk. Their coat of arms was granted in 1825. I don’t know much about the Fitzherberts but the wiki has an entry for Fitzherbert Baronets, which says that Baronetcy of Tissington in the County of Derby was created on 22 January 1784 for William Fitzherbert, an usher to George III. His parents were William and Sarah Fitzherbert of Tissington Hall, Derbyshire. The Wiki entry says that the Fitzherberts descend from Norman knights and from the 12th century Fitzherberts of Norbury Hall, Norbury, Derbyshire. They are related to the Fitzherberts of Swynnerton Hall, Staffordshire.
There’s also a German connection to follow-up because my great great grandfather FitzHerbert Wright , father of Ernest Fitzherbert Wright, married Charlotte Rudolphine Louise von Beckman (they are also the great great grandparents of Sarah Fergusan, Duchess of York).
Charlotte von Beckman was the daughter of Ernst Christoph Friedrich (von) Beckmann, a pastor in Holzendorf (Mecklenburg- Schwerin, Germany). I saw a discussion on the web that suggest that there’s a book called “Unsere Landesgeistlichen von 1810 bis 1888: Biographische Skizzen….” and that it states that Ernst Christop Friedicht (born 1804) was a son of reverend Johann Ludwig Beckmann from Westenbrügge. Apparently, the names of his wife and mother are also mentioned. Think this genealogical search is one for my retirement though ;-)