Ann MACAULAY was the daughter of Thomas MACAULAY(1327) (1750-1801) and Ann FIRTH(1328) (1735-1795), and it appears was the younger of only two children. She was baptised on 12 May 1781 at Scalby, near Scarborough, in Yorkshire1 . Her older brother, Abraham Firth MACAULAY, had also been baptised there, in 1775.

Scalby is just north of Scarborough, near the coast. The parish church is dedicated to St. Laurence, and is said to be ancient.

In her younger days she was reported to have planted the mulberry tree in the grounds of the Clough House2. A miniature portrait (undated) of Anne is included in a paper on Slead Hall3, and is reproduced below.

Ann Ashworth

She was only 14 years old when her mother died in September 1795, and 19 or 20 when her father died in 1801.

Ann was described as of Clough House [Huddersfield] when she was married as a minor, at about the age of 20, on 26 December 1801 at Huddersfield St Peter's4. She was married by licence [dated 24 Dec 1801] to Richard Johnson Daventry ASHWORTH of Middle Temple, London.

Marriage Register entry

Their marriage was reportedly announced in the Halifax Journal of January 2, 1803 - but this must actually have been January 18025. 2 Jan 1802 was a Saturday, and the previous Saturday would have been 26 Dec 1801.

The report was transcribed thus:

On Saturday last, at Huddersfield, R.J.D. Ashworth Esq., of the Middle Temple, London, to Miss Macaulay, of Clough House, near the former place.

Richard and Ann had obviously known each other for a while, as in 1799, both acted as witnesses to the marriage of Richard's sister Agnes ASHWORTH in Elland 6. Richard's marriage to Ann was obviously advantageous to him, as Ann was eventually to bring wealth, in the form of land and property, to the marriage.

In 1802 pastel portraits of Richard and his wife Ann measuring 62 x 47 inches were drawn by John RUSSELL7 (1745-1806).

Anne Ashworth by Russell

In 1810, when she was aged 29, Ann inherited property in trust for the term of her life under the will of her maternal aunt Sarah NICHOLLS (née FIRTH)8. This property comprised half of the cottages, farms, lands etc., in Lightcliffe, Elland, Bradshaw, Ovenden, Batley, Silkstone, Cawthorne, Huddersfield, Halifax Bradley and Skircoat; half of Clough House and its lands; half of Clough House water mill and two closes of land in Birkely/Birkby Lane, then in the possession of Abraham Firth MACAULAY (Ann ASHWORTH'S brother); and also it included all her aunt's property or shares of it, including Strangstye Wood; in Birkby, Fartown, North Crosland, Dewsbury, Stainland, Barkisland, Ripponden, and Elland, together with all her enclosures in lieu of common land. The trustees named in her aunt's will - that is, Thomas THOMPSON who died 15 July 1817, and Abraham THOMPSON who died 14 April 1822, both died bachelors and intestate (without leaving a will), leaving James THOMPSON, gentleman of Batley, their brother and surviving heir at law9.

Ann and Richard had, so far as is known, at least ten children, and the list appears to be:

The claim in the printed pedigree of the MACAULAY family that they had seven children - four sons and three daughters - is wrong, as it is based only on the number who were surviving at the time that Ann ASHWORTH wrote her last will in Feb 185810, whereas four of her children died before her.

Ann's husband Richard ASHWORTH died, aged 56, on 05 Aug 1828 at his house, Strawberry Hill. After her husband's death, Ann ASHWORTH moved about a great deal, and lived at the following places:

Ann ASHWORTH was living at Blacon Point near Chester, when she wrote her first known will in 1832. Her husband and her eldest son had died by then, but the rest of her children were still alive. Her trustee and distant relative, James THOMPSON, died a bachelor and intestate in 13 September 1839 leaving his nephew John GREENWOOD Junior as his heir at law. James THOMPSON had been born in about 1762 and had a brother Edward THOMPSON born in about 1765, who lived in Little Holbeck in 185011.

Mary THOMPSON, the trustees' sister, who had been baptised in Batley in about 1760, had married John GREENWOOD [Senior] of Dewsbury, gentleman, on 12 November 1781 at Batley. In 1843, John GREENWOOD Esquire [Junior] who had been born in 1782, and baptised at Dewsbury, Yorkshire, was living at No 3 Elizabeth Street, Hans Place, Middlesex. He was supposed to have had two brothers and a sister. He had married in ?Margate, and had lived in Paris from 1822 to 1830 12.

On 25 September 1843 an indenture of partition was made to divide up the entire estate, the two halves of which had already been devised by the wills of Sarah NICHOLLS and Ann's brother Abraham Firth MACAULAY who had died in 1823. It had been agreed upon by Ann ASHWORTH and the trustee John GREENWOOD on one part and the MACAULAY family and their trustees on the other. A valuation had been made of the whole estate, and it was agreed that the MACAULEYS should be entitled to the property listed in the first schedule, plus a sum of 390 paid by Ann ASHWORTH. She and her children should be entitled to the property listed in the second schedule and the right of occupation. All of this property was freehold13.

In 1844, Ann ASHWORTH was very unwell and unable to attend to business; she appeared to have been suffering from mental illness. She may have been living at Green Hill, Harrow on the Hill for a while at this time 14.

Her trustee John GREENWOOD died in Paris on May 5, 1850 and was buried in the 10th arrondissement. His heiress at law was his daughter [Grace] Eliza GREENWOOD. A son Francis John GREENWOOD had died as a minor 15.

In late March 1851 when the census was taken Ann ASHWORTH was aged 70, and was living at Hooton Hall with her daughter Emily KERANS, her son-in-law Lyons KERANS, their three little children, her son Frederick and her widowed daughter Harriet HAUGHTON 16. The household had seven servants. Up until a few years before then her estate accounts were in the hands of agents who had supposedly left her affairs in a lamentable state of confusion. Her accounts were in the greatest disorder and the property was neglected. Mr MITCHELL was her agent in the early 1840s; followed by Mr WADSWORTH, a solicitor, of Mill Bridge near Leeds from 1841 to 1847. He was also the Trustees' solicitor, and both of these agents were appointed by the trustee - from 1839 this was John GREENWOOD.

About 1848, the receivership was placed in the hands of Lyons KERANS - hardly a wise move, as this son-in-law seemed to live way beyond his means, and was often in debt. He was a qualified surgeon, but it is not sure that he ever worked in that field; he appeared to prefer the life of a leisured gentleman. In July 1852, Ann ASHWORTH successfully applied to Chancery to have solicitor Robert BAXTER of Doncaster appointed as new trustee of Sarah NICHOLLS' will and of the partition indenture, in the place of John GREENWOOD Esquire, who had died, and his heiress Grace Eliza GREENWOOD, who was then living in France, and who was obviously not a suitable choice. Thus the property in the second schedule held in trust for Ann ASHWORTH was vested in Robert BAXTER.

Ann ASHWORTH was still living with her daughter Emily and son-in-law Lyons KERANS in 1856-8 at the Newsome family's Bramwith Hall, South Bramwith (in the parish of Kirk Bramwith near Doncaster). Her estate was not well managed and was heavily mortgaged by the late 1850s. This was done to pay the family allowances, to pay an outstanding debt due to Mr WADSWORTH, her previous solicitor, and to cover pressing debts accumulated by her son-in-law Lyons KERANS 17. There did not seem to be enough money coming in as rents to pay the allowances which were paid quarterly to all her children or grandchildren (where their parent was dead). In February 1858 Ann ASHWORTH wrote another will. She and the KERANS appear to have been living well beyond their means for a number of years by then.

In December 1858, when they were living at Fulwood Park in Aigburth, Liverpool, they were in financial difficulties, and Ann ASHWORTH had given Mr BAXTER, the family solicitor in Doncaster, an authority to dispose of her furniture, probably to pay outstanding debts. However, on 13th December, Ann ASHWORTH signed a letter addressed to Messrs Duncan, Squary and Blackmore (auctioneers?), and probably written by her son-in-law KERANS or her daughter Emily KERANS, cancelling this authority 18.

On 15th December, Ann ASHWORTH signed another letter addressed to Mr BAXTER, (and probably written by one of the KERANS) expressing surprise at the contents of his letter, in which he stated that he was taking back a cheque for 50 which Ann had given to her daughter Mrs KERANS. She also claimed to have changed her mind about the prudence of selling her furniture by sheriff's sale - in the first place she wrote that it would be a great sacrifice, and in the second place, she stated that at her age it would seem very inconsistent to turn her out into lodgings in winter, and would be wicked in those advising it and trying to compel her to such a course. She claimed to have authorised Mrs KERANS to pay Mr BELCHER his rent out of the monies she had from her rents, which was only 100, and now claimed that Mr BAXTER was indebted to her 50 for the current rent day. She therefore required Mr BAXTER to send her the rest of the money both in December and in February, as she did not choose to be compelled to leave Fulwood Park until the fine weather19.

However, in January 1859, Ann ASHWORTH and the KERANS did go ahead and sell their furniture in a three day sale without informing Mr BAXTER they were doing so. Jan WOOD imagines they wished to pocket the proceeds themselves. Messrs Duncan, Squary and Blackmore of Liverpool wrote to Mr BAXTER on 18 January, enclosing a catalogue of the third day's sale.

Ann ASHWORTH and the KERANS next moved to Victoria Terrace, Beaumaris, Anglesey in North Wales, and finally to Vron Heulog, Penmaenmaur, Carnarvon, Wales. At the time of the 1861 census20, when Ann was 80, they were at Victoria Terrace, Beaumaris, and were managing with just four servants. Also in 1861 Ann ASHWORTH was compelled to sell a part of the Clough House estates. The purchaser was Mr Abraham HIRST of Hollen Edge, Elland, who apparently divided the old house into two dwellings 21.

Death certificate

Ann ASHWORTH née MACAULAY died of old age on 8 July 1863, at Vron Heulog, Penmaenmaur in Carnarvon, Wales. Oddly, her death was registered in the name of Sarah Ann ASHWORTH. The informant was Lyons Ashworth KERANS of the same address22. He was one of her grandsons, the son of her daughter Emily KERANS and her son-in-law Lyons KERANS. He later emigrated to the United States and has descendants there 23. Ann was buried on 17 Jul 1863 beside her husband at Lightcliffe, near Halifax24. The burial was conducted by the Rev. T. A. STOWELL, one of her grandsons.

Vault cover slab at Lightcliffe

I think the above photograph of the slab at Lightcliffe must have been taken by the late Michael ASHWORTH and sent to me around 2004. I have only just stumbled on it again on my old laptop!

Burial registry entry

It took 4 years for her son William Evans ASHWORTH of Southport, Lancashire, gentleman, the surviving executor, to have her will proved at the Principal Registry. It was proved on 27 September 1867, and her effects were valued at under £45025. This did not include the value of her real estate, some of which was sold off after her death.


1 IGI Familysearch using FHL film 919204, item 1: Bishop's transcripts for Scalby, 1600-1873.
2 As stated in the history of the Macaulay family, compiled by the late Mr G W Tomlinson, pp. 96 and 111, through Jan WOOD.
3 Slead Hall, by H Travis CLAY, Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society, 1933, pp. 169-193.
4 Marriage register, St Peter's, Huddersfield, 1801, p.23, no.67, page image. West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812, through, accessed 6 Jul 2014.
5 The Halifax Journal for the relevant period does not seem to be accessible online, so was presumably seen by the author of the history of the Macaulay family from which this quotation is drawn.
6 There are three references to this marriage between Agnes ASHWORTH and John WHITFIELD at Elland available on 1) Agnes aged 30, marriage date 17 Sep 1799, based on FHL film 1470338; 2) marriage date 21 Sep 1799, based on FHL film 990608; 3) marriage date 21 Sep 1799, based on FHL film 1542244, item 6. No page image amongst these, accessed 23 Jul 2014. A marriage on 21 Sep 1799 at St Mary's, Elland, is also listed on, which includes a list of the witnesses as Rich'd ASHWORTH, Auty(?) ATKINSON, O.H. ASHWORTH, A. MACAULAY, T. ATKINSON and Firth(?) MACAULAY.
7 Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, online: The book John Russell, R.A., by George C Williamson with an introduction by Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, London: George Bell & Sons, 1894, available as a reprint on demand, indicates on p.166 that the portraits were with the Rev. Canon T A Stowell at Chorley Rectory. They are nowadays with another descendant of Richard and Ann, and I hope to be able to include photographs at some stage.
8 Doncaster Archives, DX/BAX/S/61745, Papers relating to the appointing of a new trustee to the Ashworth estate in order to complete a sale of land to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, 1857-58, viewed by Jan WOOD.
9 See note 8 above.
10 As wrongly stated in the history of the MACAULAY family (compiled by the late Mr G W Tomlinson), p.111, and Pedigree of the Macaulays of Dumbarton, Clough House, Slead Hall, Prospect House and Thirsk, published in an unidentified local history publication.
11 Doncaster Archives, DX/BAX/S/61743, Miscellaneous papers including letters, draft accounts etc., relating to the trusteeship of the estates of Mrs Ashworth in Huddersfield, Desbury, Almondbury, Halifax, etc., 1851-52; DX/BAX/S/61745, Papers relating to the appointment of a new trustee to the Ashworth estate in order to complete a sale of land to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, 1857-58, viewed by Jan WOOD.
12 Doncaster Archives, DX/BAX/S/61743, Miscellaneous papers including letters, draft accounts etc., relating to the trusteeship of the estates of Mrs Ashworth in Huddersfield, Desbury, Almondbury, Halifax, etc., 1851-52; DX/BAX/S/61745, Papers relating to the appointment of a new trustee to the Ashworth estate in order to complete a sale of land to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway ompany, 1857-58, viewed by Jan WOOD.
13 Some comment is made on this partition of the estate in the history of the Macaulay family, p.111, viewed by JanWOOD.
14 Doncaster Archives, DX/BAX/S/61744, viewed by Jan WOOD.
15 Doncaster Archives, Baxter Archives, DX/BAX/S/61744, 61745, viewed by Jan WOOD.
16 1851 England census, Hooton Levitt, Maltby, Yorkshire, HO 107, piece 2345, folio 316, p.29, through, accessed 26 Jul 2014.
17 Doncaster Archives, Baxter Archives, DX/BAX/S/61747/3, viewed by Jan WOOD.
18 Doncaster Archives, Baxter Archives, DX/BAX collection contains letters relating to this.
19 Doncaster Archives, Baxter Archives, DX/BAX, viewed by Jan WOOD.
20 1861 Wales census, Beaumaris, RG9, piece 4346, folio 54, p.13, through, accessed 26 Jul 2014.
21 From the history of the Macaulay family, p.112, published in an unidentified local history publication, through Jan WOOD.
22 Death certificate. Her death was registered at Conway, Sep quarter 1863, vol.11b, p.343.
23 Jan WOOD has found him and his wife and family in the USA census, and has traced his descendants into the 20th century.
24 Halifax St. John burials transcriptions, St Matthew, Lightcliffe, through, accessed 8 Aug 2014. A page image of the burial register for 1862, p.178, is available on, and entry no.1421 has been extracted.
25 England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966, calendar for 1867, p.131, through, accessed 12 Aug 2014.

© John Stowell 2014             Last updated on 15 August 2014.