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

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!