A Family of Butcher’s The Butcher’s of Consett

Esther used her inheritance following the death of her mother to purchase a butcher’s shop for her husband Fred. It was on Newmarket Street, Consett.

Fred unfortunately was regularly drunk, and was unpredictable in his behaviour. One day enough was enough and Leslie and Bill ‘put their father out’. He was put into the Workhouse (later rescued by his sister).

Leslie was at the beginning of an apprenticeship with Consett Ironworks to become an electrician. When his father was thrown out, Esther made him give up the apprenticeship and forced him to run the butcher’s shop on Newmarket Street. He did well and became a master butcher – but it was not what he had wanted to do with his life.

The first butcher’s shop. It was on Newmarket Street, Consett. Bought by Esther for her husband Frederick.

She also bought a shop for her son Frederick William Caswell (Bill) on Watling Street, Leadgate.

Butcher’s shop on Watling Street, Leadgate. Bought by Esther for her son Frederick William (Bill) to run. In the picture he is stood with his sister May.


My mum recalls that when she went into her father Leslie’s shop on Newmarket Street, the window was on the left. But going into Uncle Bill’s the window was on the right! She also remembers how beautifully the meat was presented in the unrefridgerated window. Her father would carve the meat into pretty designs like flowers

Will of William Charlton (1829 – 1896)

THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me WILLIAM CHARLTON of the Station Hotel Ebchester in the parish of Ebchester in the County of Durham Publican and Farmer made this ………………….. day of ……………… 1892.

  1. I APPOINT my wife Charlton and my friend                                             to be the Executors of this my Will and Trustees for the purposes hereinafter expressed and I constitute my wife for her life and the Trustees or Trustee for the time being of this my Will afterwards to be the guardian and guardians of my children during their respective minorities.
  2. I DEVISE APPOINT AND BEQUEATH all the real and personal estate of which I can dispose unto and to the use of the Trustees hereinafter expressed and which real and personal estate is hereinafter referred to as “the trust premises”.
  3. In the first place my Trustees shall pay funeral and testamentary expenses and all my debts and also to pay all such sums of money and expenses as they my Trustees shall desire it necessary or expedient to pay or incur in the management of the trust premises or otherwise in the execution of the trusts and powers of this my Will.
  4. SUBJECT and without prejudice to the last preceding clause the trust premises shall be held upon trust to permit my wife as from my decease to have an enjoy during her life she continuing my widow and as to real estate without impeachment of waste the same premises or the net annual income thereof howsoever the premises maybe constituted and whether terminable or otherwise and whether yielding more or less than the ordinary rate of interest or income so long that she maintain thereout in such a manner as she shall think proper my son William until he attains the age of twenty one years and my daughter Esther until she shall whether under or above that age be married and also my sister in law Mary Richardson for the remainder of her life or until she shall be married.
  5. From and after the decease or second marriage of my said wife whichever shall first happen the trust premises shall subject to the trusts aforesaid by held UPON TRUST for my said son William and my said daughter Esther in equal shares until my said son shall have attained the age of twenty one years or dying under that age shall leave issue surviving or until my said daughter shall have attained that age or be previously married and for their heirs executors administrators and assigns of such child or respective children And in the case of my said daughters share shall be for her separate use and benefit and free from marital interference or control.
  6. PROVIDED ALWAYS and I direct that in case either of my said children shall die in my lifetime leaving issue at my decease and which issue being male shall live to attain the age of twenty one years or dying under that age shall leave issue surviving or being issue female shall live to attain that age or be previously married then and in such case the share to which each child so dying would if he or she had survived me and had attained the age of twenty one years have become entitled aforesaid of and in the trust premises shall be held upon trust for his or her issue if more than one for them equally and for their respective heirs administrators and assigns but so nevertheless that such issue in their several degrees shall take only after the decease and by representation of their respective parents.
  7. PROVIDED ALWAYS and in addition to the statutory power of maintenance I am empower my Trustees to raise and advance and apply any sum or sums of money not exceeding together the full and reasonable value of one moiety of the expectant share for the being time of each or any child or grandchild of mine under the trusts aforesaid of and in the trust premises either in possession or reversion but not exceeding in the whole one hundred pounds in the case of any child or grandchild for the placing or putting of him or her in or any profession, business or employment or for his or her instruction therein or on his or her marriage or otherwise for his or her benefit or advancement in the world and whether such child or grandchildren shall have attained a vested interest in his or her share or not but so that during the widowhood of my wife such advance shall not be made without her consent in writing.
  8. PROVIDED ALSO and I hereby expressly empower my Trustees at their discretion to carry on and continue to carry on during so long as they shall think proper my business of a publican and farmer or any other business in which I may be engaged at my death whether solely or jointly with any other person or persons and from time to time to increase or diminish or concur in increasing or diminishing any such business or my capital therein or diminishing any such business or my capital therein or otherwise to deal with and manage the same as they in their absolute discretion shall think proper with full power for my Trustees to sell discontinue wind up or otherwise realise if and when they shall think proper any such business or my share and interest therein and to transfer the same business or share and interest free from any lien or charge giving credit with or without security for any money payable to them under any such realization. I EXPRESSLY DIRECT that it shall be incumbent on my Trustees to interfere in the management of any business hereinbefore authorized to be carried on or to give any more time or attention thereto than they shall think proper and that they shall not be answerable for any loss which may arise by reason of any neglect or omission on their part or for any other loss and especially that they shall not be bound to examine the accounts nor shall they be responsible for any wrongful or other act of any partner manager or other person and that the whole of the trust premises shall be a fund to indemnify my Trustees against any loss which they or any of them may incur sustain or be put into by reason or in consequence of their carrying on any such business or otherwise in relation thereto.
  9. PROVIDED ALSO and without prejudice to the provisions herein before contained concerning business I further direct that it shall be lawful for my Trustees at their sole discretion to continue all or any part of the trust premises whether consisting of real or personal estate. In the state or investments in or upon which the same shall be at the time of my decease whether in possession or reversion and however limited doubtful or hazardous the description or nature of the property or investment maybe or otherwise at the like sole discretion without the consent of any other person to sell and dispose of or call in or realise the same and layout and invest the monies to be thereby produced and all other monies to be from time to time received by them under the trusts or powers herein contained in their names in or upon any securities for the time being authorised by law or upon the bonds debentures or other securities of any Municipal Corporation in Great Britain or of any Railway or other company in Great Britain incorporated by special Act of Parliament or Charter or of any incorporated or unincorporated Building Society in Great Britain or in the purchase of any stock or shares in any such Railway or other Company or Building Society as aforesaid or in the stock of any Municipal Corporation in Great Britain or in the purchase of any freehold or copyhold or customary hereditaments of inheritance situate or arising in England or Wales but not in any other mode of investment.
  10. I empower my Trustees to do the following things in relation to the said premises and as to property of which I shall have only an undivided share or a limited or partial interest either separately or in concurrence with all or any of the other persons interested namely sell in fee simple or for a less estate renew leases purchases the reversion in fee simple of any premises held on lease enfranchise copyholds make exchanges and partitions complete purchases raise money by way of mortgage insure against damage by fire make repairs and improvements grant leases. make and accept surrenders, reduce rents or otherwise vary the terms and conditions of leases and tenancies, make allowances to tenant and others, pay calls, subscriptions and monies payable in respect of stock ors shares Companies or Building Societies compounded for or allow time for the payment of or absolute to abandon and realise arrears of rent or other debts satisfy of settle demands, whether supported by legal evidence and whether barred by any statutory or other limitation or not refer matters to arbitration and generally to comprise settle and determine accounts and disputes in such manner and on such terms as my Trustees shall deem expedient AND I ALSO empower my Trustees to employ such manager or manageress agents collectors of debts and other persons in and about the management of the trust premises as they shall think proper and to pay them such salaries and remunerations as they shall think fit and generally I give my Trustees power to do or cause to be done all such acts and things relating to the management of the trust premises as they shall in their discretion think fit.
  11. I HEREBY nominate and empower my wife during widowhood and from and after her decease or second marriage them the surviving or continuing Trustee or Trustees for the time being of this my Will or any of them or if there be no such trustee then any retiring or disclaiming trustee or trustees or the executor or executors administrator or administrators or anyone or more of the executors or administrators of any trustee who shall die either in my lifetime or after my decease to exercise the statutory power of appointing a new trustee or new trustees of this my Will given by the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act 1881 or by and other the statutory provision in that behalf for the time being in force AND I DIRECT that every new trustee shall be an executor of this my will and every retiring trustee shall cease to be such executor.
  12. I DIRECT that in case my wife shall marry again she shall be deemed incapable to act as a trustee or executor of this my Will and shall accordingly on such marriage cease to be such trustee and executor and shall on immediately before such marriage release of assure her estate and interest as such trustee in the trust premises to my other trustees or trustee solely unless a new trustee or trustees shall be appointed in which case the trust property shall be vested in such other trustees or trustee and such new trustee or trustees jointly or in such new trustee or trustees solely as the case may require.
  13. IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that the (executors and) trustees or trustee for the time being may in their or his uncontrolled discretion instead of acting personally employ and pay a Solicitor or any other person to transact any business or do any act of whatever nature required to be done in the premises including the receipt and payment of money and that any executor or trustee hereunder being a solicitors or other person engaged in any profession or business may be so employed or act and shall be entitled to charge and by paid all professional or other charges for any business or act done by him or his firm in connection with the trust including acts which and executor or) a trustee could have done personally.
  14. I REVOKE all former and other Wills by me heretofore made
  15. IN WITNESS whereof I the said WILLIAM SHARLTON have to this my Will set my hand this

Day of                   19      .


Signed by the said Testator as his last will in the presence of us present at the same time who in his presence and at his request and in the presence of each other hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

The will is not dated other than the year and William never signed it neither has the Testator.

It is interesting that he didn’t fill in his wife’s name – was he hedging his bets?

The will is tied in the top left corner with a piece of red ribbon




A Letter from Parker Braban

Birtley Lane, December 13th 1858

Dear Charlton

                In reply to your note I had from you I am sorry to read that you have lost your child, but children break no houses. I feel happy to hear you are both well yourselves thank God for it, with respect to the money affair, I went to Newcastle on Tuesday last and read Mr Hunter. He had wrote to London about it ten days ago and has had a reply from them a few days since and I was with him on Saturday last again, he told me it wod (sic. would) be all settled next week. I hope that we will get the affair completed. Please to name this latter to Mr William’s people so that they may be in readiness when you hear from Mr Hunter or myself. I expect my brother coming but I don’t want him to come till we all meet, thank God we are all in our usually way, hoping this will find you all with our kindest regards to you all.

Yours Truly

Parker Braban



Is this connected?

Hot off the press! My mum has now discovered this: In 1711, a certain William Charlton was involved in a quarrel with Henry Widdrington of Buteland and the latter as killed. His body was taken to the church and buried by the door of the Charlton’s pew which would require Charlton to step over the grave every time he attended church. That he was put off entering church may have been no great sacrifice SourceA William Widdrington was one of the executors of John Thirlewall’s will!

My Silver Surfing Mother has discovered his family tree just click here

Why this blog?

I am the Great Granddaughter of Esther Elizabeth Caswell (nee Charlton). I was given her chest early in 2014, its contents include photos, a diary, letters, wills plus a number of funeral cards. Some date back almost 200 years!! Its original owner was Esther Elizabeth Caswell (nee Charlton b.1876-1951) and she left if to her daughter Edith Caswell. It passed to her niece and she has very generously passed it on to me. Yesterday (4th July 2014) I visited Woodhorn archives (http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/family-history/) where I met Keith (an archivist at the centre) and he suggested that I do a blog on the contents………so it begins!

Frederick William Caswell

This photograph from the chest is of Esther’s eldest son. He was named Frederick William Caswell (b. 04.11.1903, Pleasant View, Lanchester, Durham). He was called William (or Bill) day to day. I guess that it would have been confusing to have two Fredericks in the household (Esther’s husband was Frederick Caswell).



Wit and Folley in Amaizement

This is a genius piece of work, I have shared it on the ‘Roots Chat Forum‘ and had some great suggestions as to what it is, huge thank you to Andrew Tarr and Millipede for their input. Essentially you make it to be whatever you want it to be! The words in normal text are the actual lines of the poem, the bits in italics is where you add words, probably the ones in the larger font. It is probably a ‘Skill and Judgement’ exercise. It is all rather confusing, but undoubtedly brilliant and as one forum user said ‘No doubt it can be made as saucy as one wants’!

This is my first attempt at it (using just the large font words)!

Wit and Folley in Amaizement

Had both wit and a friend of whom I thought great store
Lent my money  to my friend and took his word therefore
Asked my friend of my money and nothing but word I got
Lost my friend and my money for sue him I would not 

But at length, with wit came my friend which pleaded me wonderous well
Got my money but my wit away quite from me fell.
But if I had money and a friend  as I had once before
Would keep my friend and my money and play the foul no more


Update 3rd May 2020

Holding the paper up to the light I have just spotted a really interesting watermark on the paper.

The Blessing of Mary Elisabeth Telford

In the chest is the blessing of Mary Elisabeth who was born on May 18th 1852. The blessing took place on May 28th 1882 and was conducted by Elder A.M. Harmon who was the Pastoral Charge of the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Hull and Carlisle Conferences for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. He originally came from the Great Salt Valley (Information on Elder A.E. Harmon was found here:  https://archive.org/stream/halfyearlyreport00newc/halfyearlyreport00newc_djvu.txt).

Blessing of Mary Elisabeth Telford (p1)
Blessing of Mary Elisabeth Telford (p1)

Blessing of Mary Elisabeth Telford (p2)
Blessing of Mary Elisabeth Telford (p2)

A transcription of the blessing is as follows (spellings as originally written):

Mary Elisabeth daughter of Robert and Hannah Telford, born May 18th 1852 in South Shields County of Durham and was blessed May 26th 1882 by Elder A.M. Harmon as follows.

Mary Elisabeth

                In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I take you up in my arms, according to the pattern shown by our Lord and Saviour and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood bless you because thy parents desire it. I pray God my Heavenly Father through Jesus his Son to bless the(e) with  health and strength and with a long life may she grow up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and become a pattern of piety to those with whom able may associate.

Grant Heavenly Father to perserve her from all the snares of the wicked one from all the plagues of the last days, from pain disease and death and may she grow up in the Faith of Christ . be gathered to the Mountains of Ephraim and there be an ornament of Society, and be numbered with the Daughters of Zion. And as much as she is trained up in a right manner and in faithfulness by her  parents she shall receive all those blessings upon thy head to be realised through the faith of thyself and parents. The destroying angel shall pass by thee and not have power to lay his Iron grasp until thy work is done upon the earth and thou shalt be perserved by the power of the Great God and your name is

Mary Elizabeth


Currently I do not know why this is in the chest, or if there is any relation to the Charlton/Caswell families. It is a bit of a mystery!

An IOU from 1895

Within the chest is an IOU signed by Robert Charlton who is borrowing money from William Charlton.

The transcription is:


July 18th 1895

I promise to pay to William Charlton of Broomhill on demand the sum of Eighteen Pounds with Interest at Five% pr anuam

Signed Robert Charlton

I think that the ‘Robert Charlton’ who is borrowing the money is probably William’s younger brother who was born at Blackhall Hill, Durham in 1837.

I wonder if the fact that it still exists means that it was never paid back?