John Thomas is a leading son of John and Ann Boot, who was baptised on 29th March 1835 in Quarndon, Derbyshire. His father established the family firm of John Boot & Son in Hucknall Huthwaite, and would be often referred to as John senior. Sharing names presents difficulty determining when John Thomas fully took over running the company, which had extended his grandfathers trade among the areas coal mines.
A young John Thomas Boot was missing from the 1851 Hucknall-under-Huthwaite census. But at sixteen years of age, he would likely have been gaining an education elsewhere, because he returns to retake his place and further lead their family company with highly qualified professional title of Mr J T Boot F.R.G.S.I.
The 1861 census firstly reveals John Thomas heading his own household next door, following an as yet unidentified marriage to Harriette. A two year old daughter named Blanche H Isabel could give clue to a wedding date. She perhaps didn't long survive the next ten years when recognising Arthur as eldest child.
An 1864 trade directory offers Spring Cottage for both the family home and company offices headed by John Thomas. Assistants are later identified living close by at Spring Bank, although exactly where any of those past dwellings stood cannot be determined while the village slowly evolved under its ever changing title.
Hucknall Huthwaite census 1871 - District No.13 - Entry 164
John Thomas Boot - Head M35 Mining Engineer Quarndon Derbys
Harriette - wife F35 ------- Ashwick Gloucestershire
Arthur Chas John - son M09 Scholar Hucknall Notts
Annie Alice - dau F08 Scholar Hucknall Notts
Harold Jas. - son M06 Scholar Hucknall Notts
Maude Julia - dau F05 Scholar Hucknall Notts
John Thomas - son F03 Scholar Hucknall Notts
Lillian Geraldine- dau F02 ------- Hucknall Notts
Arthur Adlington - ??? M22 Clerk & ??? London
George ?????? - Serv M16 ------- Mansfield?
The 1871 census reveals a still growing family of Hucknall Huthwaite born children. Simple entry number 164 is still in close proximity to John senior with wife and son remaining neighbourly under entry 167. Census routes suggest they'd all been modestly residing among small old cottages once fronting the Peacock Hotel, cornering the future Market area in close proximity to the chapel built by his grandfather; until finally recognising The Orchards.
From Kelly's 1881 commercial directory comes our first known addressing for John Boot & Son being well housed at
The Orchards Hucknall Huthwaite. Unfortunately again the once magnificent property no longer remains, following total site demolitions personally witnessed by descendant Mrs Iris Evans around years 1960. Carefully salvaged however, and set into her garden wall in closest proximity its original front entrance is the date stone, clearly reading 1872 below initials J.T.B. Photographed here in 2006, it does at least verify year of construction also being undertaken by John Thomas Boot. According to an 1869 Morris and Co. directory, Mr Boot purchased the land which had belonged to and still contained the private family burial ground of Mr J Burrows. Now housing with status the Huthwaite family complete with stabling and carriage outbuildings, new found evidence also reveals a private school.
John Boot and son professionally helped site Huthwaite's last modern coal pit. Negotiations concerning land rights did however cause several years delay before The New Hucknall Colliery company employed Pit Manager Simeon Watson also a qualified Mining Engineer. Perhaps those lengthy troubles influenced or cost the family firm dearly, for the successful name John Boot & Son is no longer mentioned following this journal quote by William Rhodes on
27th Jan. 1879, in liquidation John Thomas Boot, Hucknall.
Respectfully named in Kelly's 1881 coverage of Hucknall Huthwaite is both an aging John senior and his son, when John Thomas helped conduct that years census. Thereafter they do keep recognition as notable residents listed among village gentry, until finally mentioned in 1891. A John Boot had been briefly listed as secretary at the Gas Works, although probably not related during time when this area was fast attracting a migrant population - plus of course the senior mineral surveyor met his death at grand age of 92 in 1893.
At some point presumably following his fathers death, John Thomas and wife Harriette then relocate their own growing family away from Hucknall Huthwaite. Leaving behind their grand Orchards addressing, its not until year 1900 before recognising a John William Hick has next claimed residence. The mystery of where they actually went can now be revealed thanks to a Mr Richard Hill, through possession of some historic Teversal / Carnarvon papers. Mr Hill found and very kindly supplied a clear copy of this letter dated 20th July 1898, written and signed by John Thomas Boot which he sent to Messrs Mellors & Basden, Nottingham.
Dear Sirs I have been informed that you are now the Countess of Carnarvon's Estate Agents - no doubt you are aware that I have and also my late Father resided at Hucknall Huthwaite for a very many years, and so connected with the Mines under Teversall, Skegby, Blackwell etc etc that Every particular as to Underground & Surface is at my finger Ends as it were - nobody has more information than myself, therefore if you require any information or assistance in Underground Surveying - or any matter connected with the Surface I should be glad to act professionally for you.
The agents cordial reply states they would keep him in mind, although already having a company dealing with such matters. But while John Boot & Sons is no longer considered to be the leading company dealing with the expanding coal fields, its the printed letter head which still proudly gives past addressing Late of The Orchards, Hucknall Huthwaite, near Mansfield, also revealing current home at Spring Field, Beeston, near Nottingham.
Mr Hill has conducted a little more research to find Mr and Mrs J T Boot listed in 1901 census, addressed at Spring Field which may have stood on or near Evelyn Street, Beeston.
And 1911 census then ties in with my chance find of these grave inscriptions, helpfully transcribed from the Derbyshire Holy Trinity Church Yard at Matlock Bath, soon after identifying Mr John Thomas Boot and wife Mrs Harriette Boot last living with youngest daughter Lillian on Church St., Matlock, Derbys.
Written 24 May 04 Revised 24 Feb 15 © by Gary Elliott