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Frederick Earnshaw [e.1.6.7]

Frederick Earnshaw was the seventh child of Robert Earnshaw and Ann Richardson born October 29th 1881 at Seaham, Co. Durham.

Frederick lived with his parents at Grange Terrace, Ryhope in 1891 and left school at 14 years of age and joined the timber importing firm Thompson Timber Merchants, Hendon.

By 1901 the family were living at Stockton Terrace, Ryhope and Frederick was a clerk at Thompsons. His future wife, Mary Emily Stainsby (born July 22nd, 1884 Linthorpe, Middlesbrough), was teaching around this time at Hendon Road Scool. They apparently confirmed ‘date’ times on the back of a blackboard which faced the street which Fred must have passed on his way to and from work.

Frederick and Mary Emily married on August 10th, 1909, at St Paul’s, Ryhope. At the time of the wedding Frederick was a commercial clerk of 23 Stockton Terr, Grangetown & Mary Emily was a teacher living at 17 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown. Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas & Jennie Stainsby (Mary’s brother & sister), Ethel E Wright (friend of the Earnshaw & Stainsby families), & George William Earnshaw (Frederick’s brother).

In 1911 Fred & Mary Emily were living at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown with their son William, aged 10 months. Fred was still working as a commercial clerk with Thompson's timber merchants.

Fred & Mary Emily lived for most of their married life at 25 Leechmere Rd (later renumbered as 53), Grangetown, a relatively new development between Sunderland & Ryhope. Indeed Mary Emily’s father, William Stainsby, (a builder) had much to do with the building of a number of houses in Grangetown, including those in Leechmere Rd where they lived.

Fred and Mary Emily were devoted Christians. Until 1920 there was no church at Grangetown, the nearest church being St Pauls, Ryhope. To provide a local church, the parishioners made weekly contributions (6d per week) and Fred was their treasurer. St Aidans church, Grangetown was eventually built and Fred continued to act as treasurer until the 1940s. Fred & Mary Emily both sang in the church choir, he had a fine tenor voice & often sang solos. Fred was also a church warden & a keen chess player, & played for the Grangetown Institute.

Fred & Emily used to enjoy walking – the tall Herbie Hamilton on rt was Fred’s close friend & a policeman, centre is Mary Emily & on her right is Fred & on her left is her friend Lizzy Mole (Mould?)

Fred’s career at Thompsons progressed and he became the firm’s purchaser of standing timber in Scandinavia, & his main job was assessing woodland for the timber yield. Fred became a sales representative around 1929 and as such he was one of the earliest motorists. The cars supplied for him were usually Wolsey or Morris Cowley, large, huge-bonneted cars, with running boards, walnut fascia and smelled delightfully of leather. The only other car in Grangetown around 1930 was owned by Jim Bradley, who owned a grocer’s shop on Ryhope Rd. In the 1930s public transport was by train (distant journeys) tram or omnibus. Horse-drawn carts still provided most local goods transport whilst heavier loads were sent by train or steam tractor.

The Sunderland Echo of April 3rd, 1939 reported that Fred was retiring after 25 years of service as People’s Warden & Treasurer at St Aidan’s Church.  To mark the occasion he was presented with a gold watch & Mary Emily was given a fountain pen.  At the ceremony Fred recalled how the church had only consisted of the hall where the presentation took place & men sat on one side & women on the other.  He was thankful those days were gone.  Striking tributes were paid to the work Fred had done for the church

The 1939 register shows Fred & Mary Emily still living at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown with 3 children still at home.  Fred was described as a commercial traveler in timber.

Fred & Mary Emily raised a family of 5 sons and 3 daughters – see below.

Left: 3 fairies c1925: Joan (spring), Ada (summer), Freda (autumn)

Right: 3 adult fairies! lt-rt Ada Freda Joan

Left: Earnshaw family Sept 1936. Back: Ada, Alan, Fred, Joan, Freda. Seated: Ken, Eric, Mary Emily. Right: Family growing up, lt-rt: Denys, Ken, Freda, Mary E, Eric, Fred

In 1954 Fred suffered a severe stroke which destroyed his speech and left him bed-ridden. Mary Emily tried to nurse him but her heart condition proved fatal and she died August 8th, 1954, aged 70, at 53 Leechmere Rd leaving Fred to be nursed at home by the family. Administration of her estate was granted September 6th, 1954 to son Eric, a school teacher, & her effects were £810.10s.5d.

Fred died December 3rd 1956, aged 75, at the General Hospital, Sunderland, and is buried at St Aidans cemetery, Grangetown alongside Mary Emily and son William. Administration of his estate was granted to son Alan, a master builder, & his effects were £2,847.2s.11d.

The children of Frederick Earnshaw and Mary Emily Stainsby were:

e. William Earnshaw born May 19th, 1910 at 26 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened June 16th, 1910 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died June1929
e. Freda Mary Earnshaw born December 23rd, 1913 at Leechmere Rd, Grangetown; died October 4th, 1979 at Havelock Hospital, Sunderland
e. Alan Earnshaw born May 10th, 1917 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened May 29th at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died Oct-December 1996, South Shields
e. Joan Earnshaw born June 22nd, 1918 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened July 9th, 1918 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died October 15th, 2007 at Southampton
e. Ada Earnshaw born August 28th 1920 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown, & christened September 28th, 1920 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died 2013 in Wiltshire
e. Eric Earnshaw born January 5th, 1924 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened January 29th, 1924 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown
e. Kenneth Earnshaw born September 7th, 1926 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened September 28th, 1926 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown, died April 2006 at Middlesbrough
e. Denys Earnshaw born April 13th, 1929 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened May 6th, 1929 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died 1993 in Africa


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