Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

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Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:32 am

My great grandfather Peter Ascroft was Mayor of Bootle in 1900. He had 13 children including my grandmother Edith May (Woods). His wide, Sarah Smith, was a gypsy's daughter.

Peter Ascroft started out as a stonemason and by the time he died owned 700 houses in Bootle. My grandmother told me he declined a knighthood out of modesty.

Does anyone know how he came to rise to such wealth?
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:33 am

Hello and welcome to the Forum, Peter came from a family of stone masons including father, uncle and brother at the least. He lived at a time when there was a huge influx to the population and a need for housing was very pressing, he may have started with his family in a speculative way, that is building a house and selling 'on spec' to finance a subsequent house/houses eventually leading to renting houses rather than selling them. Many a self made man did this in those times, he made at least 1 journey to the USA ,in 1910 he travelled on the Caronia to New York, I will have a further look later.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:19 am

That's interesting,I never heard about his visit to the US, thanks very much. My grandmother and her husband Ernest Henry Woods emigrated to Canada in about 1906 but returned, I think so that my grandfather could enlist in the RFC.

Peter's son Harry (Thomas Henry) was involved in a sensational scandal when he got one of Peter's servant girls, Ellen Foley, pregnant and then tried to hide the fact from Peter by marrying her under an assumed name (Chorley Registry Office, December 1901, Ellen Foley married "Harry Trevor"). He then tried to deny it was him!

Are there any records of which parts of Bootle Peter owned?
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:50 am

Hi again I will see if there is anything but if they were rentals may not be much to go on, the following link may add something to your family research::::

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... _q=ascroft
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:12 pm

Image
Image
Image
welcome hyvon
the top photo shows linacre house next to the picture house
this is after ww2 as i think the house was hit and rebuilt
the map is 1911 where the spot is is linacre house
the last photo is linacre grange on the area of where linacre house is built
with peter being born bootle 1840s he might have lived by the grange
which was around at the time
he also had an address hawthorne road no 143 by kent street now gone
i looked up the news papers of the early 1900s to see if he was renting or selling houses
other members of his family where also contractors builders
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:24 pm

Nice work Bob :D
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:32 pm

I note that you may have done extensive family research so have avoided duplicating and am trying to see any links to your question, I feel the answer may lie in the Bootle rates registers (if they are still in existence) but sadly that would be need to addressed to the city of Bootle itself. Peter left a very substantial will (which I assume you might have that may show properties owned) it would need to be the full will and testament and not the online ones that only list amounts and benificaries.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:51 pm

From an online newspaper site pay to view in full though::::


http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.u ... cho&page=0
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:16 pm

Peter did make a border crossing to Canada in 1914 the actual copy of the manifest lists him as an Alderman with a street address of 40 Breeze Hill which I am pretty sure was a house called LURLEI and was his home at his demise. The date was barely a month before WW1 was declared.

Peter Ascroft
Birth Date:
abt 1847
Birth Country:
England
Age:
67
Gender:
Male
Race/Nationality:
English
Arrival Date:
Jun 1914
Port of Arrival:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Residence Country:
England
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:47 pm

Image
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:51 pm

I'm just overwhelmed at the effort made by total strangers to help me with my enquiry. What a great photo! Any idea who the other people in the picture are?

And how interesting that in his old age he travelled to Canada to visit his daughter. He seems to have been a decent bloke, unlike some other family members...

And yes, he did live at Lurlei, I remember seeing a photo of the house with that name at my grandmother 's

I know he possessed around 700 houses because his wayward son Thomas Henry (Harry) used the fact as an alibi in a court case, claiming to be out rent collecting on the day he was in fact getting married under an assumed name.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:57 pm

His son William Alf had a estate office 155 stanley road by trinity road
not sure if you have all family history his peters faher Thomas was born in wigan
peter was born down marsh lane
the photo is in derby park garden party 1900 only peter and wife mentioned
the photo can be purchased
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:59 pm

Thank you very much.

Yes I did know his parents were Thomas Ascroft and Margaret Taylor. Another researcher thinks Thomas Ascroft's parents were James Ascroft and Lois Hodson but I can't find evidence for this.

Peter's wife, Sarah Smith (in the picture) was the daughter of William Smith, a gypsy. I can't find out any more about him.

I'd love to have the photo, how can I purchase it?
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:43 pm

Hi again I wasn't sure how much family history you had done and did not want to replicate anything you may have done, but I can confirm that after checking the births of Peters sibling and his own the mothers maiden name was Taylor.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:14 am

Thank you, yes, and her father John Taylor was a Tailor.

William Ascroft's Parents could have been James Ascroft and Lois, nee Hodson, but I can't see conclusive proof.

Thereis a family story that Peter Ascroft got his first break when he stopped the major developer of Liverpool Docks ( a Lord) on the road and offered to supply him with cheaper stone.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:00 am

http://www.sefton-digital-archive.org/archive/categories/people
lots of photos :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
a snippit from 1899 a local buider mr price was building houses hornby road ,peel road area
the council surveyor was summons to the job after complaints of a bad smell
the mortor from the job contained hair and pieces of flesh this was found in the lime
which came from local tanneries a good few in bootle
it was purchased from Peter ash croft :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:02 pm

Haha I like the macabre story of the lime, but was it Ashcroft or Ascroft that sold it?
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:19 am

Just let us know if you need any help with the family.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby Thommos sister » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:21 am

Just to say to Lily & Bob, you have been wonderful wombats. I'm sorry, my internet has been down and I've only just read your replies. It's a fascinating family tree. Well done mateys!! T.S :D
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:36 am

http://warmemorials.myfastforum.org/sutra6247.php
of my mate Dave :lol: :lol:
local roads Markfield , malvern. ibstock ,mildmay
have connections in Leicesfer
home of his wife
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:53 pm

Thats a fabulous collection of articles and pictures which capture the sentiments of the times very well. I assume that the WH Parry mentioned was against the war.

It looks as if the plaque has been moved from its original setting?
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:07 pm

I want to repeat my thanks to Lily, Bob, TH and Dave.

I agree the Ascrofts are a really colourful family, with heroes and rogues, rich and poor.

I knew my grandmother Edith May Ascroft ( a daughter of the Mayor) fairly well, she only died in 1981. She had been a widow for 63 years poor thing. She was very well spoken (genteel even) and played the piano beautifully; she knew Greek, Latin, French and German. When she marriedmy grandfather EH Woods he took her to Canada where he worked as a timber broker for Montague Meyer. They lived in a log cabin and had to trade with the Indians.

He went into the RFC and rose to sergeant, in fact he was a buyer of wood for the planes. He caught the Spanish Flu and died on Christmas Day 1918, when my mother was 2 months old.

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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:10 pm

Lily: thanks for offer of help with the family.

Id be interested to know if there are any Ascroft relatives of Alderman Peter Ascroft still living around Bootle?
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:09 am

Hi again H I will have a look at the siblings to your line and see what we can find. BTW in the back of my mind the name Ascroft kept ringing bells with me I looked up my own family tree and sure enough there are Ascrofts included by marriage to my Wilcockson rellies, furthest back on them is an Edward Ascroft an attorney, all seem to have been based in West Derby not so far from Bootle small world eh?????
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:13 am

Teens please jump in on this one, Jan and Bob too, need to trace the children of Peter coming forward marriages etc I know there are lots of Ascrofts still around but we can only post info that's in the public domain (for recent times) thanks guys :D
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby Elaine Goulding » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:36 am

For goodness sake, hurry up everyone, I cannot wait for the next installment of this family! What an interesting story!!!!!
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:19 am

Hi Henry great family history :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
40 BREEZE HILL looks like ww2 bomb damage
as Peter Herbert Ascroft lived there 1938
looking after 1949 Peter lived
23 St Albans road bootle
no job discription
will look later
http://boards.ancestry.co.uk/localities.britisles.england.lan.general/41566/mb.ashx
http://boards.ancestry.co.uk/localities.britisles.england.lan.general/41566.1/mb.ashx
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:42 pm

William Smith. tailor 51 litherland road 1881
Elizebeth Smith milloner 51 litherland road
the numbers changed 1900
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:42 pm

Alderman Peter Ascroft's eldest son Thomas Henry ("Harry") was a right piece of work. Born 1876 his father put him in charge of collecting the rent for 700 houses. He was obviously lazy and fell ill; but not so ill he couldn't make a pass at the maid, Nellie Foley. 1901 was the year his father was mayor; it was also the year Nellie gave birth to Harry's son. Harry knew that his father would be furious and scandal was the last thing he needed in his year as Mayor. So to hide it from his father, first Nellie moved to work as maid in one of his sister's houses, and then she moved out altogether. Harry gave her money each week and promised to marry her. She told her mother who put on the pressure. Eventually he agreed to increase payments and also to marry her but only under an assumed name so his parents wouldn't find out.

So in december 1901, at Chorwell Registry office, Nellie Foley was married to "Harry Trevor". It seems his idea was to do an Eliza Doolittle and gentrify her before presenting her as his wife to his parents, for he sent her for elocution classes to a finishing school in Southport.

Any how by and by her mother encouraged her to ask for more cash and when she demandeda house Harry refused. She responded by referring to herself everywhere as "Mrs Ascroft". Presumably Harry's father got to hear of it and Harry must have told him " It wasn't me". If so, his parents must have said, Nellie must be stopped! So in 1905 Harry brought a case against Nellie for the little known offence of "jactitation of marriage", meaning pretending to be married when you aren't. Harry claimed he hadn't married her and that this Harry Trevor was someone else.

The court found for Nellie and she was granted "conjugal rights". What happened to Nellie and the kid I don't know.

Harry appeared in court again in1918 for draft dodging. He died in his 50s in 1932.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:05 pm

Wonder what happened to the baby???
Peter Ascroft , and klondyke bill .William Jones made donations to bootle tec
to train apprences . the pair must have been the biggest landlords in bootle
there must be some relations ,i wonder where all the propertys ended up
who got the dosh :lol: :lol: :lol:
looks like flash harry lived up to his name :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby HvonBlumenthal » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:19 pm

Bob,

I do know what happened to the dosh. Peter left his estate on trust for his grandchildren, with his 10? surviving children enjoying the rent for life.

This wasnt as great for the 10 children as it sounds as the rents were protected, the houses needed repairs and they were not allowed to sell them as the next generation were the heirs. At first it gave a fair income, my grandmother educated her cildren privately and had a nice house in Oxford. But after that the cost of living rose but the rents didn't. For decades my grandmother got no income from her 70 or so houses at all, as the upkeep ate up the rent.

My mother was one of the grandchildren so inherited 1/30 of the estate (about 20 houses) when her mother died in 1981. By that time the houses were not in good nick and she sold them off at knock-down rates. I remember one of the most expensive went for 14 grand. She spent some of the money on my education, bless her but it wasnt a fortune. There was nothing left when my mother died in 2010, she owned a small flat in Italy and nothing else.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby BOBHAMO » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Henry after the war the housing stock was basic in bootle
ww2 took its toll on bootle with hundreds of homes demolished
and many damaged though i was born after the war like a lot of are posters
they can remember the state of the houses and well in to the fiftys they where still getting repaired
as you have stated the rents where hardly covering the cost of the upkeep
at least the memory of Peter and his family have given a great topic on the history of bootle
and will be saved on macks great site :lol: :lol: :lol:
thanks again Henry
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:28 pm

Hi Henry what an interesting history, well it would seem that Nellie (Ellen Foley) gave birth to not a son but a daughter in Chorlton in 1901 she was named and registered as Constance Ascroft and in 1911 she was living with her grandparents the Foleys


Constance Ascroft
Age in 1911:
9
Estimated birth year:
abt 1902
Relation to Head:
Granddaughter
Gender:
Female
Birth Place:
Manchester, Lancashire, England
Civil Parish:
Lancashire
Country:
England
Street address:
14 Glamis Road Tue Brook Lpool
Marital Status:
Single
Occupation:
School
Household Members:
Name
Age
Joseph Samuel Foley
62
Jane Foley
61
Ellen Ascroft
32
William Ellis Foley
26
James Foley
24
Jane Rigby
31
Constance Ascroft
9


Constance was Christened the same year
Constance Ascroft
Gender:
Female
Birth Date:
16 Jun 1901
Baptism Date:
5 Jul 1911
Baptism Place:
St. Margaret's, Anfield, Lancashire, England
Father:
Thomas Henry Ascroft
Mother:
Ellen
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:51 pm

A little bit more on Constance ::

It seems that Nellie and Constance emigrated to Canada in 1914 as they show up on the 1921 Canadian census in Calgary, either Nellie(Ellen) was divorced (yet to find out), however she is shown as the wife of Albert Prime who is listed as step father to Constance Ascroft (a clerk). Albert Prime is showing as arriving in Canada originally in 1907.
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Re: Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle 1900

Postby lily8 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:12 am

Just a bit on 'Flash Harry' there are surviving WW1 records for him and indeed he was fined 3 pounds for an offence, I can try and copy the records if you want them?, but serve he did, the records list a marriage in London to a Phyllis (sic) Golding. Will check back later on his siblings, cheers.
Last edited by lily8 on Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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