A Branch from Cumberland and Anglesey

Written by Jill Coulthard, wife of Captain John M. Coulthard, Master Mariner



This is the only photograph we have of Annie, taken in later life.

Annie was understandably distraught when Robert died.   Apart from the practical considerations it seems from all the evidence that theirs had remained a real love match.

She was now a widow at the age of 46, living in a strange city with seven children ranging from eighteen to three years old and with one boy still at boarding school.   Jack had been two days short of his thirteenth birthday when his father died.    It seems that Bob had only recently left school and no doubt the others of appropriate age were being educated nearby.

According to Marjorie Armitage, the granddaughter of both Robert Coulthard and J.D. Newton, the Newton family did much to try and comfort Annie and see to her affairs at this sad time.    She also had her brothers Grice and James living nearby and her brothers William and John not far away in Anglesey.   However despite their efforts, they obviously could be no emotional substitute for her husband's support and company.

Annie moved the family from the city to the Cheshire bank where they lived at Montague House, Oxton not far from Chetwynd House which was the Newton family home and on the same side of the Mersey as her brothers Grice and James.  

As soon as his father died Bob, for an unexplained reason, left J.D. Newton's Dale Line employ and became articled for five years to William Gardner & Co, Premier Bankers where he remained until 1885.   Whilst in their employ he played Rugby Football for Birkenhead Park and was also a volunteer with the 1st Company of the Cheshire Regiment.


JACK          PATTY          BOB

FRED         KATE         PERCY         LIZZIE


On 17 November 1880, Robert Coulthard's cousin and Trustee, Joseph Robinson Fox, died at *St. Bees aged only 41.   This would have had repercussions throughout the wider family as of course his widow Bridget was sister to J.D. Newton's wife Mary Jane.    It may also have served to loosen any remaining ties Annie had with Robert's Cumberland relations.    *Since writing the above I have learned that, surprisingly, J. R. Fox actually died in Arcachon, south-west France.   I have been unable to find any further details so have no idea what he was doing there either for business or pleasure or how he met his death.   It is very frustrating as we have visited Arcachon, a very pleasant holiday resort on a bay, on a couple of occasions but have no immediate plans for going back.    There is no record of his burial at St. Bees so he may have been buried out there.  

In April 1881 Annie, with all her children excepting Kate, was living at 17 Fairview Road, Oxton.   The name of the house, if any, is not given on the census but may well be the Montague House mentioned earlier.   Her father was living with them and had perhaps moved down to Liverpool with them as he then had no immediate family left in Cumberland.   He died there the following year aged 82.     Kate at this time was back in Cumberland staying with friends at Hardheads, St. John Beckermet near to Egremont.    

She must have been a frequent visitor or made extended stays as a scrapbook of Edith Mary Postlethwaite whose family lived at The Hall, Waberthwaite near to Langley Park, Annie's parents home from which she was married, records that in 1883 "An Evening Grand Concert and Ball was given in Hycemoor School, Bootle in aid of the funds of the School and Cricket Club .... some first class vocalists ....... Miss Coulthard, Liverpool ..... pianoforte duet Misses Caddy and Postlethwaite ...nicely rendered "Ehren on the Rhine" Miss Coulthard.   At the conclusion of the programme the room was cleared for dancing, which was kept up with vigour until about four o'clock next morning.   Raised 17."   Kate is known to have had a lovely singing voice.

In June 1881 Jack Coulthard, aged 14, was at Ashford House School, Birkenhead when he gained a prize for distinction in English.    Ashford House was a Day School so presumably he had been transferred from the Clairmont Boarding School when the family moved from Cumberland or after his father died and his mother had moved to the Birkenhead side.

Nothing more is heard of the family until 1885 when Bob, then aged about 21, left Gardner's Bank for a spell in America.   He sailed from Liverpool on the "Adriatic" to New York, a crossing of ten days.   From there he went to Niagara, St. Louis and Chicago and then to Canada where he went onto a 30,000 acre farm as a Teamster.    After getting the crops in, three or four teamsters, including himself, joined up and helped to subdue the Red Rebellion of 1885.    


This latter, also known as the North-West Rebellion was a throwback to an earlier confrontation between the British Authorities and a group of mixed race and native Americans.    No doubt the British thought it a patriotic duty to join in the fray on their side.    Bob was away for three months and then returned to the farm for another year, making a total of two years.   He then came back via north of the Great Lakes by train, spent a week in Quebec then sailed on the "Sardinia" to Liverpool.

Bob went home to Montague House for six months and played football for Birkenhead Park, twice in London.   He then went to Stanney Hall in Cheshire, near where Ellesmere Port is today in order to learn farming.     This was the home of William Parker, brother of Mary Jane and Bridget, who was married to Jane Mossop, Bob's father's second cousin.

During the time Bob was away a further tragedy hit the family when J.D. Newton's wife died in late 1885 aged only 39.    J.D. had adored Mary Jane and after her death apparently lost any further interest in life.    He was only 45 years old and was left with five children ranging from 13 to 5 years old including Wilfred aged 9 who was mentally retarded and remained childlike but much loved throughout his life.      J.D. and Mary Jane had excitedly bought a beautiful holiday home, Hazel Mount at Duddon Bridge in Cumberland but whether the children were sent there or later after J.D.'s own death I do not know.   

J.D. himself died on 2 September 1889 in the Liverpool area aged only 49 but was buried at Thwaites near Hazel Mount next to some Newton relatives.    "The once smart and proud fleet of iron clippers, the 'Dale Line' was scattered, all but the last two 'Wasdale' and 'Langdale' replacements for those previously lost of that name, being sold.   Captain Kelly (J.D.'s business partner with whom he had started the Line) kept on the above named ships."    It was a sad end to a brave venture. 

Basil Lubbock in "Last of the Windjammers" remarks that 'Wasdale' No. 2 was the last ship to be built at Whitehaven with a a fitted jibboom.  She was noted for her figure-head - a bust of the "rich, eccentric and ready witted" Will Ritson, who used to declare that Wasdale was famous for the highest mountain, deepest lake, smallest church and biggest liar in Westmorland.    This was the same Will Ritson at whose inn Robert Coulthard had dined on the occasion of making arrangements for his son Bob to attend school.

J.D. left four of his friends as Trustees and Executors of his will and named a niece, Elizabeth Newton, and her fianc Matthew Jackson Allison Dickinson , later husband, who was a Solicitor in Kirkby Ireleth, Lancashire as the guardians of his children.    From the stories told to Marjorie Armitage by her mother Mary Newton, later Coulthard, it appears that the orphaned children led a most miserable existence with a succession of housekeepers at Hazel Mount.    Eventually the local clergyman stepped in to have matters rectified.

However, the initial reaction to the settlement of the children was as follows, as shown in the 1891 census.   John aged 18 was visiting his grandfather, Richard Parker, in Bootle.    He must have left for New Zealand in the ensuing years as he died in Palmerston North in 1896.    Mary aged 17 appears to be the one at boarding school in Southwell, Notts which she may or may not have been attending beforehand.   Wilfred aged 15 was being cared for at Hazel Mount by Mary Newton, a widowed aunt by marriage and her daughter Mary Jane.    This daughter was the sister of Elizabeth Newton named as Wilfred's guardian so was probably an arrangement which suited all parties.   Elizabeth herself was a visitor at Kiskin, Bootle, Cumberland with John Grice and his wife.   Co-incidentally or not, John Grice was first cousin to Annie Coulthard through her mother.    Parker and Tom aged 13 and 11 were at boarding school at Heversham,  Lancashire about thirty miles from Hazel Mount.

Before leaving the Newton family, it can be noted that by 1901 John had emigrated to New Zealand where he died, as above;  Mary had married Percy Coulthard and they had her brother Wilfred living with them in Kendal as well as her brother Tom who is known to have gone up to Cambridge where he took Law and played hockey for Clare College before emigrating to South Africa.  His children Alan Richard and John Cecil (known as Jossil) were friends of their first cousin Marjorie Armitage.;  Parker was farming at Millom, Cumberland and continued to farm "The Haws" next to Hazel Mount; 

After that digression, back to Annie and the Coulthards.....




At some time Jack also made a "gap year" visit to Canada where he was pictured as above.    The dates and details of his voyage and stay are not known.

In the spring of 1887 Bob left Stanney Hall and went to his Uncle William Brocklebank at Plas in Anglesey to farm and stayed there five years.

In January 1888 Grice Brocklebank, who was an Accountant by trade, delivered his accounts for the 1887 administration of the Coulthard family affairs to his brother William Brocklebank, one of Robert Coulthard's Trustees.   Incomings included several share dividends and interest.   Outgoings included cash, parties, purchase of shares, Pattie's clothes, dentist, Pattie going away, rent and a sum of 30 to William Parker presumably on account of Bob's farming tuition and board.   There were Balls at Oxton and Bangor which cost 50 in total.   It was noted that extra had been needed for Christmas.    It was not noted to where Patty was going but she would then have been 16 years old.

Grice adds to William "You will observe that the total exceeds 40 a month.  I have at all times exercised what I considered prudent judgment i.e. on one side trying to carry out your wishes and then on the other knowing they had certain liabilities I felt they must have a little extra now and again.".

By 1 April 1889 Annie had removed with the children to Menai Bridge.    This was some months before J.D. Newton died and it is not known whether it was by her decision or one taken for her by her brothers.     At this time Kate was 28, Bob 25 already with his uncles at Plas, Jack 22, Lizzie 20, Patty 18, Fred 14 and Percy 12.    They took the house of Bryn Aethwy.



Although it has now been divided into two, it may at that time have been all one house

In view of Grice and William's strictures on the Coulthard's finances, it is difficult to know by which windfall or other means Annie was enabled to undertake this enterprise.    She had obviously been shopping in grand style at J. B. Delany, Cabinet, Carpet and Bedding Manufacturer, Upholsterer, Decorator, House and Ship Furnisher and Undertaker of 30/32 Conway Street Birkenhead.   She also arranged for them to polish and recover furniture at the Oxton address, had a man sent down to Menai Bridge to measure the rooms, and arranged for the packing and shipment both by rail and road and subsequent unpacking and placing at the other end.    The sum total of the account was 407. 7. 2. or over ten times the amount that Grice said they were allowed each month for living expenses.

Rooms mentioned were Entrance Hall, Stairs, Landings, Passage, Bathroom, Dining room, Drawing Room, Morning Room, Bedroom over Drawing Room, Bedroom over Dining Room, Bedroom over Morning Room, Bedroom over Vestibule, Bedroom over Kitchen and the Kitchen.

Each room was lavishly furnished with the best quality materials.   Floor coverings included Brussels Carpet, Mirzapore Rugs, a Camel ground real Turkey carpet with exceedingly fine colouring with Turkey rug to match and 20 square yards of best quality Linoleum.   The Entrance Hall contained a solid oak Hat, Coat and Umbrella Stand fitted with shaped bevelled silvered plate glass and two carved oak chairs upholstered and covered in green velvet finished with brass studs.

There was a Berlin black fender with massive brass rail and support together with a handsomely chased set of Fire-brasses.   The Dining Room was furnished with a 10ft by 4ft 6in oak table with patent extending screw and loose leaves together with 8 carved oak chairs whose seats and backs were upholstered in all curled hair and covered in crocodile morocco leather.  There were two large Easy Chairs en suite and a handsomely carved large size oak Sideboard with bevelled plate of glass in back, 3 drawers in frieze and cupboards, below fitted with cellarette.   There were also 2 pairs of reversible Tapestry Curtains with headings and brass curtain chains.    Roy Coulthard commented later that these items were still in use at Colton House in 1941 after 52 years service which he thought was pretty good.

Furnishings continue in the vein and include a beadwork Mantel-fall with borders of silk, a handsome silk plush mantel-fall embroidered in rich manner and draped with festoons of Liberty Silk together with a full size handsome Brass French Bedstead.

Would it not have been lovely to see it in all its glory!

Entertainment was not neglected as a cask of whisky and one of gin was also ordered direct from the distillers.   One of these was in the name of a brother-in-law as her sister Eliza Jane had made a late marriage to a John Williams in 1883.

By January 1890 Fred aged 15 and Percy aged 13 were at Friars School, Bangor, the fees being paid by their uncle William Brocklebank as Trustee of their father's will.

On 6 May 1890 a very happy event took place at St. Mary's Church, Menai Bridge when KATE married her long time sweetheart HARRY MOORE of Ullcoats, Egremont.    They had been engaged for eight years until he had sufficient money to marry and this probably accounts for Kate's prolonged stays back in Cumberland.   Harry was a Civil and Mining Engineer and they were both 29 years old. 


Annie had ordered the bridal cake from H. W. Mackereth of Ulverston which I had thought a little strange until I realised that this was where her brother George worked as a chemist for their cousin Anne Tyson's husband, Henry Whitaker Mackereth.   However Annie was charged 6.10.10 for this order.   Presumably though not recorded, George had attended the wedding and brought it with him.   Henry Whitaker had long since died but the business was in the hands of a son and it is possible that he or at least his mother also attended the wedding.




On 19 May 1890 a receipt was issued to Mrs. Coulthard from the London and North Western Railway Company for the transportation from Menai Bridge to Egremont of 5 cwt Furniture and 9 cwt Luggage.   This was presumably for Kate to take to her new home.

Kate is recorded as of medium build with beautiful golden hair.   She had a large St. Bernard dog named Hale, presumably after her birthplace.    The young couple must have been extremely happy that their enforced long wait had at last been crowned with success.

On 12 November 1890 a receipt was issued by Central Buildings, Menai Bridge to Mrs. Coulthard for 23.10.0. being a half year's rent on Bryn Aethwy.

On 22 November 1890 Annie's sister Eliza Jane died at Fir Grove, Menai Bridge aged 50.    This must have been a sad time for the remaining brothers and sister as she was the first of them to die.   She had been predeceased by her husband of six year the previous January though from remarks made by a relative it had not been an altogether satisfactory marriage.

Annie was only to spend one more Christmas in her new home and one hopes that she was surrounded by her family.   She survived her sister by little over a month and died at Bryn Aethwy on 30 December 1890 aged 57.  

On 9 January 1891 a receipt for 13.17.6 for a bill settled by William Brocklebank was issued by Rowland Jones, General Drapery Establishment, Mona House, Menai Bridge for hearse, bearers and mourning apparel.   It included a Toll gate and expenses at Llanfair.

On 13 January 1891 a receipt from Watts & Company, Compton House, Liverpool for the sum of 19.2.0. was issued.   This was for Annie's funeral which took place on 2 January at Smithdown Road Cemetery, also known as Toxteth Park Cemetery, Liverpool where Robert had been buried eleven years before.   It included a Best Hearse, 3 Broughams and Pairs, Driver's Livery, Bearers etc., Cemetery Fees, Newspaper announcement and telegram to Menai Bridge.

Her orphaned children, apart from Kate who was married, were Bob 27, Jack 23, Lizzie 22, Pattie 20, Fred 16 and Percy 14.   Their continuing story will be told in a later episode.