William Hill recounted his own life story, beginning 10th March 1829 when born at Alfreton. The only child of Samuel and Martha Hill, before his unknown father met an untimely death under wheels of a stone cart at Wessington. A young widow with nine month old infant must have found some relational support, at least until seeking relocation into Hucknall-under-Huthwaite. William recalls being 11 years old when brought to live here with uncle Stemson. Adopted and apprenticed by her wed sister Mary and husband James, Martha soon gained chance to remarry. Her second son took his fathers name Robert Wright, forging what eventually became Hill's last remaining relational link with a younger half brother.
The Stemsons would later move into these larger premises sited on east corner the market area called Ellispool. This ultimately became their nephews wedded home. But William recalls firstly assisting his uncle by brewing from the yard he claimed served them as The Travellers Rest.
James main occupation was a framesmith. Through teenage training William recounts finding plenty of work in connection with framework knitting machines, on which majority of local working stockinger families still greatly depended. And by the 1851 census the Stemson household contains two working nephews. William aged 19, senior to his framesmith apprenticed 15 year old step brother Robert.
William Hill wed Rose Anne Boot at Swanwick Baptist Chapel on 28th November 1853. Their honeymoon in Matlock followed courtesy of his family possessing the Boathouse Hotel. Attending Rose as bridesmaid, Mrs Paulina Birkhead was her younger sister parented by the Mining Engineer John and Ann Boot.
The Boot family had moved around various locations before settling in Hucknall Huthwaite. Rose Anne was born at Chesterfield, on May 6th 1832. Lastly relocating from Skegby, Rose became a teacher, probably at the Sunday School founded by her grandfather who'd built the first Huthwaite chapel. That stood cornering the Market area in close proximity the housing occupied by Stemson, plus an adjoining property where the married couples first set up home. William later purchased the very same house where he'd formerly lived.
It was from taking early role of postmaster that Mr William Hill individually achieved community respect. The unconfirmed year of opening predates first found entry in White's 1862 directory. From his Market Street address, as shown here much later, he established the first Hucknall Huthwaite Post Office.
Himself admitting lightness of the load, which made a typical week in 1870 consisting thirty letters, one book, three cards and two newspapers. Duty did nonetheless, require two daily walks through all weathers into Blackwell. And having handed over a mail sack to a chap from Alfreton, box collections, stamping and house delivery were all a part the job title.
Time was still found to continue past regular profession of Master Framesmith and fathering a family. After handing over the post office duties to a Mr Lowe, 1871 census lists the Hill household with all children born Hucknall Huthwaite:
265 Hucknall District 13
William Hill Head 39 Master Framesmith
Rose Anne Wife 37
John Eleazer Son 14 Apprentice to Hosiery
Paulina Anne Dau 10 Scholars
Samuel ????? Son 7
William Alfred Son 5
Thomas Son 3
The stockinger cottage industry eventually centered workers into several local factories. Finding fewer home framework machines to repair, Mr Hill continued as a blacksmith from his own yard. He is also found acknowledged for relaying the graves of his wifes grandparents into the Blackwell Churchyard. Eleazor Boot was laid to rest aside his wife Rose Hannah in their Huthwaite chapel yard. That plot of land could then be sold off following 1890 opening of a newly built Wesleyan Church
Huthwaite Cemetery still proudly displays this headstone, reading clearly the full transcription. Erected in memory of their daughters early death,
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
WHO DIED MAY 15th 1899
AGED 39 YEARS
"THY WILL BE DONE"
DIED OCT 10th 1924,
AGED 93 YEARS
WIFE OF ABOVE
DIED DEC 22nd 1916,
AGED 83 YEARS before finally rejoined by mother and father after managing to share sixty two years marriage.
Family obviously helped celebrate the couples diamond wedding. Marked by, and in reference from 1913 press coverage, can forgive any reported ambiguities after long life. But when recognising this rare event as first known among Huthwaite, who could imagine they'd actually started a family trend which would eventually claim, then even surpass an already amazing recognised world record.
Written 19 Apr 09 Revised 02 Jan 13 © by Gary Elliott