William Beardmore was born in 1759 in Leigh, Staffordshire. He married Mary Critchley on December 26th 1780 at Draycott. This entry from register was transcribed on November 22nd 1967 by C. W. Healey,  Rector.

Entry 107 in the Draycott-in-the-Moors marriage register started November 2nd 1754:

Banns of marriage between WILLIAM BEARDMORE & MARY CRITCHLEY were published on the 3rd, 10th & 17th of Decr. 1780.

The said WILLIAM BEARDMORE of the parish of Leigh, Farmer, and Mary Critchley of this parish, Spinster, were married in this church by banns this twenty-sixth day of December in the year One thousand seven hundred and eighty – by me J. Bill, Rector.

This marriage was solemnised between us,

WILLIAM BEARDMORE
The mark X of MARY CRITCHLEY
In the presence of WILLIAM ASTON & NEWTON IKIN

According to John Beardmore, Iron and Brass Founder of Hallfields Foundry, Hanley – in an August 12th 1905 letter to George Beardmore, Registrar of Births and Deaths, Hall Croft, Kingsley – William and Mary had thirteen children:

1 grandfather of John Beardmore – Pidduck and Beardmore Ironmongers
2 grandfather of John Beardmore – Hallfields Foundry

Olive Dale, George Beardmore of Kingsley’s niece, added the dates given above – JB only provided birth years. Most, but not all, of Olive’s dates tally with those that we were able to find in the BMD indexes.

None of William’s daughters ever married, nor did sons Daniel or James, and Solomon was only 13 when he died. We think George was married but we’ve not been able to identify his wife. William married Mary Stanier on April 24th 1810; John married Eleanor Luckcock on February 10th 1812; Francis married Deborah Malkin on May 25th 1818; Samuel married Hannah Burgess on April 28th 1834 and Thomas married Margaret but we don’t know her maiden name or the date of the wedding.

On November 15th 1905 John of Hallfields Foundry wrote to George Beardmore of Hall Croft, Kingsley again recounting the following story about his great grandfather William:

In my great grandfather’s day a man of the name Gilbert (Squire Gilbert) lived at Cotton Hall – or was brother to the man who lived there – and he came over to the North Staffs district. He was the builder of the present Clough Hall. Whether my great grandfather was in his employ I do not know, but he must have had a high opinion of him for he brought him over and put him on a small farm called the Foxholes close to Talk-o’-th’-Hill and also bought stock for my great grandfather who was a poor man at least he had not sufficient means to take the farm on his own account. This Gilbert also took a great interest in the sons of my  great grandfather and used his influence to put them apprentice to different trades: one a Builder; one a Blacksmith; one an Ironfounder, and one a Potter. The one who was the Potter got killed when about 14 years old.

The estate owned by Gilbert of course contained Coal and Iron and a Colliery and Ironworks was owned – or rather rented – by a family of Luckcocks, my grandfather John being put apprentice to these Luckcocks to learn the business of being an Ironfounder.

At the period my great grandfather came into Staffordshire he must only recently have been married for I believe all his children were born at the Foxholes Fram.

My great grandfather walked from Cotton to Talk-o’-th’-Hill and carried a small cheese with him. I believe the date of this journey could be fixed for I am told that it happened on the same day as the Great Gunpowder Explosion happened at Talk-o’-th’-Hill and my great grandfather, when about ½ way on his journey felt the concussion, but of course did not know what it was.

The Event was this, a large waggon (drawn by several horses) was passing through Talk and it is said that a spark from one of the horse’s hoofs set fire to the powder which Exploded with Terrific effect and Blew down a good number of houses some of which I’m told were never rebuilt and where the waggon stood was excavated a great hole the waggon and horses being blown to atoms.

The Explosion on Coalpit Hill, as it became known, occurred on Saturday August 4th 1781.

William was buried in Audley churchyard on June 11th 1824.