John Stanley 1786-1855


John and Lexey's second son, baptised at Dukinfield Old Chapel on the 8th April 1786. He was somewhat of a curious enigma when viewed from today's perspective. A canny northern businessman who at the same time was persuaded to divest huge sums of money into the coffers of the Christian Israelites, and along with others fell under the spell of the Prophet (or Charlatan?) John Wroe.

He trained as a mechanical engineer and by 1823 is already described in various sources as a wealthy ironmaster.

In 1823 he went into partnership with Henry Lees (second son of Hannah Lees of Park Bridge) in premises on Oldham Road, Ashton-u-Lyne trading as Messrs John Stanley and Henry Lees, Iron and Brass Founders and Machine Makers supplying parts to the cotton mills. In the same year he constructed Stanley Mills on Gas Street which was leased to Abel Buckley and Co.

In 1835 he purchased a long narrow plot of land between the River Tame and the Peak Forest Canal behind what is now Portland Basin Heritage Museum. Here he built Waterside Iron Works, which he ran with his friend Eli Cryer. On this land he also built two small cotton mills on a purely speculative basis, Dukinfield mill and Waterside mill.

In 1840 he took over the running of Egret Mill on the corner of Old Street and Bentinck Street from Edward Lees (Hannah Lees' eldest son) and ran it in partnership with a man called Chadwick.

In 1842 he purchased more land on Gas Street to enlarge his premises there.

Meanwhile he also had a shoe warehouse on Delamere Street, and a Grocers and Tea Dealers on Stamford Street. These were shops known for their dealing in fair weights and measures and for supplying the 'Kosher' produce demanded by John Wroe for the Christian Israelites.

His son John also ran an Iron Founders and Millwrights on Cotton Street.

By 1844 he branched out into coal mining in partnership Stanley and Schofield Coalmasters, Limeside. In the late 1840's he became the owner of Standard Pit at Moston.

It is about this time that he married again to Mary Deane in 1845. He was nearly sixty and his new wife Mary twenty five. When he died in 1855 he left four small children Sarah aged 9, Elizabeth aged 7, Deane aged 5 and Sophie aged 3.

In his will he left his estate to be run by his friends and executors Eli Cryer, James Cryer(his son) and Alfred Deane. He also nominated Robert Wood Surgeon of Ashton-under-Lyne to act instead of his wife Mary should she remarry. These executors were to continue to run his businessses until his young children attained their majority.

He leaves an annuity of 300 per annum to his wife Mary, whilst she still remains his widow and 50 should she remarry. 100 to his son John twelve months after his death, and 2,500 to his grandson Horatio Strongi'th'arm Stanley, the interest thereon from the age of twenty one and the principal when he is twenty four. He also left 2,500 to each of his four children from his second marriage when they reached twenty one. Altogether he left a personal estate and effects of 12,000.

John died 27 April 1855 and is buried in the family tomb in St Peter's Churchyard, Ashton-under-Lyne. I may have found his grave earlier, but on his tombstone his date of death is given in Roman Numerals and the transcribers of the Memorial Inscriptions had mistranslated his date of death by ten years.

John Stanley married Sarah Greenwood at Stockport St Mary's Church 29 April 1806
Anne10 Dec 1809
Ashton St Michael
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John12 Feb 1811
Ashton St Michael
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Hannah31 March 1820
Dukinfield Old Chapel
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John Stanley married Mary Deane on the 29th April 1845 in the Christian Israelite Sanctuary
Sarah28 Aug 1846For more information click here
Elizabeth26 Mar 1848For more information click here
Deane10 May 1850 For more information click here
Sophie22 Mar 1852For more information click here



Gay J Oliver © 2001 - all rights reserved