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     William Watson was born in Barnsley 23rd May 1788 and the earliest recording of he being a Blacksmith in Brierley was around 1816. He was the son of William Watson and Charlotte Pigot, who were married in the district of Wadworth by Doncaster 19th September 1784. The Transcripts for Barnsley shows he married Charlotte Cooke 7th March 1814, later to be said to be of Darton. She was a daughter of Jane Cooke, and was baptised Darfield 6th December 1786.

The 1822 Trade Listing for Brierley shows William to be the Victualler at the Farriers Arms, and the same list shows John Watson to be a Maltster. There is a possibility of a family connection, but to be certain is difficult to say. There are two or three Watson families living in the district at this time.

By 1841, William and Charlotte Watson have completed the raising of their children, and with the exception of Mary and Thomas, all are resident at the Farriers. Five children have survived to reach the font, George 24th November 1816, Mary 27th December 1818, Thomas 16th October 1825, Jane 31st January 1827 and finally William 7th March 1830.

The 1840ís were probably the heyday for the Farriers, William the Innkeeper, with his wife looking after the Housekeeping. Williamís son George was grafting in the Smithy, with a resident Blacksmiths Apprentice in the name of Jonathan Lunn aged 15. Jane and young William are there to assist, but other sister Mary is absent.

Publican, William Watson dies in 1847 and is interred Felkirk 23rd August aged 59. Charlotte now takes over as the Innkeeper with the return of daughter Mary, and the retention of Jane. Both daughters are unmarried. Son William is lurking in the background but does not seem to be doing a great deal of work.

The 1850ís sees the last of the resident Blacksmiths. Son George has set up home ten houses away after marrying Mary in 1849. They have children in the names of Mary Jane, born 1849 and son William born 1851.George has named his daughter after both his sisters. 1851 also sees the marriage of Jane Watson to Thomas Rogerson, the service-taking place at Felkirk 21st December. Thomas, a stonemason, was the son of a stonemason Thomas Rogerson and Mary Cusworth. They were married at Felkirk 25th September 1826, and had moved from Shafton to Brierley in 1834. Thomas, in later life becomes a builder and farmer of six and a half acres and was resident at 5 Provident Terrace Brierley with one of his six offspring living next door.

(In later years, George and Mary have two further sons in the names of Joseph (1854), and Samuel (1863).

Joseph, an agricultural labourer weds Christiana from kirkby, and Samuel, a coachman weds Harriet. There were children from each of these marriages).

Back to the Watson family and we find 15th January 1854 at the age of 68, the death of Charlotte. She joins William at Felkirk. Under the long grass, I feel sure there will be a stone to mark the grave.

The 1860ís, and the Farriers is said to be now on Doncaster Road. William Watson junior has finally taken over as the Innkeeper. His sister, Jane Rogerson is retained as Housekeeper. Jane has now two daughters in the names of Mary Elizabeth and Clara Jane.

However, husband Thomas has disappeared. In the next few years, Jane also leaves the district. In 1871, William, still unmarried, has taken on the 35-year-old unmarried Jane Harrison, as Housekeeper. She is said to be from Darton, although Higham was later to be recorded. George Watson the Blacksmith dies 1st May 1875 and the Farriers is now in decline. It possible that the death of George, (who I believe had been doing the smithy work at the Farriers) prompted the change in occupation for his brother William.

William Watson moves out of the Farriers to take up the profession of Shopkeeper come grocer/general provisions trading on Church Street. From information already mentioned, I place the shop, roughly at the doorstep of the residence/workshop of his late brother George. Williamís Domestic Servant, Jane Harrison, stays with him up till his death on 3rd January 1894. The unmarried Jane Harrison joins him 17th December 1912. Their grave is marked with a cross-shaped headstone that is close to the church, on the roadside elevation.

The third generation William Watson carries on the profession of his father George. William marries Edith, and all their children are born and baptised in Brierley. They are, Edith 1883, Herbert 1886, Wilfred 1888, Mabel 1893, Anne Louise 1895, and Jessie 1899. In his middle fifties, William becomes a dealer in cattle.

William and Edith were buried in Brierley in 1921 and 1929 respectively, and daughter Mabel was interred in the same grave in 1972. Although there were two other Watson families, (not related), in Brierley, during this same period, I feel sure there are other descendants, directly related, living locally. In 1915, Joseph and William Watson were resident, and Rowland had residence and shop in Brierley.

William and Charlotte are my Great Great Great Grandparents on my Grandmothers side. There are many descendants, reaching as far as eight generations, but not one is, or has been, a Shopkeeper, Blacksmith or Innkeeper.


Trevor  Limbert Copyright free for Local History use only



  The photograph left shows Mary Elizabeth Rogerson with three of her four daughters from her marriage to Stonemason, Samuel Squires. They are standing, left, Ada Florence born 1885, Emily born 1883, seated are Ethel born 1891 and Mary Elizabeth born 1855. A family grave in Barnsley is where Jane Rogerson, Samuel Squires, Mary Elizabeth and three of her children that died in infancy are interred.

The photograph right shows the Farriers Arms after being converted to living accommodation. Date unknown, possibly early 1900s. The house is still standing today (Jan 2001) and is situated on Cordeux's Corner, opposite Lindley House.


Trevor Limbert comes from Mapplewell and I met him in September 2000 when he called at my home to ask if I had any information or photographs on the Farriers Arms of which Trevorís ancestors where the victuallers. Trevor informed me that he was researching his family tree and promised me a copy of any information he gathered together about the Farriers. These writings are in Trevorís own words following his intense research and I am privileged Trevor has allowed me to copy his work into the Baipip archives for future generations to enjoy.


Baipip 1 November 2000


Update March 2009

Sadly Trevor has passed away



I have just found your website today and I was reading about the Watsons of the Farriers arms and the article by Trevor Limbert and he said no descendants of the Watsons were ever Innkeepers. I have been researching William and Charlotte Watsons daughter Mary born 1818...she married a publican Joshua Wilkinson of the musical tavern Shambles Street Barnsley. When he died she became the Inn keeper until her death in 1893 in which case her son Joshua Watson Wilkinson took over until 1922. Mary's other son Joseph Henry Wilkinson went on to become the publican of the Sovereign Inn in Shambles St Barnsley 1898-1905 and then Landlord of the Cock Inn from 1905-1917.

Susan Ross New Zealand


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