Filey for Health

George Lewis BATLEY was living with his parents in the spring of 1871 and working as a “solicitor, articled clerk”, aged 17. His father, Joseph, was undoubtedly giving him every encouragement and useful instruction from his lofty position as “solicitor, Town Clerk of Huddersfield”.

Ten years later George was still living at Vernon House, with his parents, seven siblings, maternal grandmother, Hannah TOWNEND, and four domestic servants. He was now established as a solicitor.

He married Julia Pearson CROSLAND early the following year, 1882, and when the next census was taken was head of a large household in Gledholt Road, Huddersfield. With him, his wife and their two children were Uncle John and Aunt Mary BATLEY and four servants.

The census sometimes records disabilities and illnesses but all seems to be well with the Batleys in 1891.

On 19 August 1893, the Huddersfield Chronicle reported…

The announcement in Monday morning’s Daily Chronicle, recording the death of Mr. George Lewis Batley, will be perused with  regret by our readers. For some time the deceased gentleman has been in failing health, and during the last few months he has resided at Filey, where he died on Friday week, at the early age of 39. Mr. Batley was the eldest son of the late Mr. Joseph Batley, the first Town Clerk of Huddersfield. He served his articles with his father, under whom he received a sound legal training, and after admission as a solicitor he became a member of the firm of Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley, of which his father was at one time a senior partner. He acted as a deputy town clerk on several occasions, and during the interregnum between his father’s death and the appointment of a successor he performed the duties of this responsible office. Both in advocacy and conveyancing Mr. Lewis Batley stood high in repute as a lawyer…

I haven’t been able to find a likeness of George online but after his father’s death a public subscription raised the money for a portrait of Joseph in oils, painted from photographs by Herbert SIDNEY (1858-1923). At a ceremony in the Town Hall, the Mayor presented the Batley Memorial Portrait to George, who gave fulsome thanks and then begged that it be taken back to be put on public display. The Mayor then declared their business was not complete because he had a second, smaller portrait of Joseph executed by Mr. Sidney that George accepted for the family.

Image: Kirklees Museums and Galleries

While searching online for material that might present George in less formal settings I happened upon something I found “romantic”.

I mentioned above that George resided in Gledholt Road, Huddersfield. His wife’s family had lived in Gledholt for many years. Her father, Thomas Pearson CROSLAND, M.P. died in 1868 and at the 1881 census, the family home in Gledholt Lane was headed by eldest daughter Ada Pearson and four of his other children, including unmarried Julia, aged 24. When the enumerator called, Julia may have been planning her marriage the following year. A snippet from a local newspaper tantalises with the possibility that it may not have been a whirlwind romance.

For a number of years, the Huddersfield “volunteers” mustered annually on the Rifle Field, Greenhead Road, less than half a mile from the Crosland place. After the young men had impressed the civilian populace with their military expertise, the day would end with a banquet. The newspaper listed those from the upper classes who attended and I noticed George and Julia in the 1876 gathering.


(This is just a slice of a much longer report.)

George’s children were aged ten and five when the attempt to restore his health in Filey failed. His widow waited ten years before marrying again. Frederick George OLDMAN was fifteen years her junior, a clerk in holy orders. I haven’t attempted to discover more but have placed him on the FamilySearch Tree. Click on the inverted caret to switch to George Lewis and find his headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard as a “Memory”.

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