Thursday, September 2, 2021

Handsome Joe: the Druid of Derby


A particularly handsome chappie caught my eye this breafast time. No, not on the other side of the breakfast-table: those days are way, way past.  This was, of course, merely on e-bay.

And he's labelled, too. Mr J Bullivant, Derby. Dated, 1878. Here we go. 

Mr Joseph Bullivant. Mr James Bullivant. Both sons of the elder Joseph Bullivant (1791-1870) and his wife Ellen née Woohouse. In 1878, James (b 1822) would have been 56 and an 'elastic-bandage-maker'. Joseph (b 1833) would have been 45. I think we can safely go for the 45-year-old, don't you?

The whole family started off in St Werburgh doing various jobs in the sillk, framework-knitting and Stocking making business. But Joseph was upwardly mobile. He became a book-keeper, an accountant to and then secretary to Derby Friendly Society Medical Association, inspector for the Derby Gas Co,  got involved in such local questions of importance as 'Burials on Sundays' and liberal politics.

He married Sarah née Walker (1835-1904) in 1856, and they had four sons and two daughter, of whom three sons and one daughter survived to adulthood

After Joseph's much-mourned death, 24 February 1892 -- the Friendly Society put together an appreciative  25 guinea purse for his widow --  the two eldest sons followed in his ways. Herbert (d Gerard St 27 June 1930)  took over at the Gas Company, Reuben (d 35 Crewe St, Derby 4 May 1929) became a Grand Master of the Oddfellows and a sometime director of the Derby co-op, while working as a fitter in the railways ...

Thomas (b 27 February 1870), as you see, followed where his brothers led, as chief accountant as the Gas Works, up to his death in 1943.

Sister Mary married (1891) John William Anable, 'auctioneer's clerk', and lived to the age of 84 (1953).

I shall just add that Herbert's wife (née Annie Maw) delivered him ten children (little Doris was crushed by motorbike at the local sports), Reuben's wife, Matilda né Marshall, produced three, Thomas's wife (née Elvira Rushton) limited herself to one daughter, and Mary likewise gave birth to a daughter. So, out of fifteen grandchildren, and judging by the number of extraordinarily half-hearted and erroneous family trees on the web .. somewhere there must be someone who would like to claim the dashing Joe as their ancestor!

PS I imagine the watch fob and the tiepin are parts of Druidic or other regalia.

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