Herbert Greenhalgh

Photo:Stanton Mill

Stanton Mill

Denis Hill

A Gentleman Employer

By Denis Hill

Thousands of our Mansfield forbears would have worked for Herbert John Greenhalgh, his father before him, or one of his children after him. Herbert was born in 1819 at Nottingham to Richard and Sarah Greenhalgh. Richard brought his family to Mansfield in the early 1830s where he leased Stanton Mill on Bath Lane . He and his family took up residence only a short walk away on Windmill Lane .  

In the 1840s Richard further leased Field Mill. Herbert married Emma Anne Leavers of Nottingham in 1848 and set up residence at Bath Vale House, Bath Lane , Mansfield whilst the main family residence was Carr Bank.  Although there appears to be no evidence of Herbert indulging in formal Further Education he was a first class scholar and had a good knowledge of many and varied subjects which he had gained locally at the Grove House Academy .  

His wife gave birth to five children; all sons. Richard, the father, died in 1860 and Herbert took over the control of the Mills although his older brother Ernest became the major share holder.  In the next decade the family added ‘Little Matlock Mill’ on Sheepbridge Lane to the list of their Mansfield holdings.  

The mills were originally powered by water from the river Maun with Field Mill having possibly the largest water wheel in the country. It was 40 feet in diameter, 10 feet wide and possessing 124 buckets. The mills were either cotton doubling or thread manufacturing. The majority of the finished product had a ready market in the immediate vicinity. Before the purchase of Little Matlock Mill, Herbert is listed on the 1861 census as employing 382 people (59 men, 221 women, 82 girls and 20 boys).  

Herbert was by all accounts a true gentleman, being a kind and considerate employer. Upon the occasion of his silver wedding anniversary over 500 sat down to dinner. The employees presented him and his wife with an illuminated address which, according to “The Advertiser” “expressed gratitude and admiration for Mr Greenhalgh’s large hearted generosity and kindly consideration and a hope that their relationship as employer and employed and the good feeling which had hitherto existed might continue.”  

Herbert was a keen sportsman although he didn’t excel at any particular sport. He was however a prominent member of the Mansfield Game Association. With his sporting interest he encouraged his employees to join his Field Mill football club. After a while he had established a team, under his own name which played in the local league. Later the team became known as the Sherwood Rangers and in 1894 they merged with another local team, which in turn became the forerunner of the current Mansfield Town Football Club. Four of his own sons actually played football for Notts County and Ernest Harwood not only excelled at athletics but he played for England in the first ever England verse Scotland football match.

He involved himself very much in the community and undertook many public offices which he filled gracefully and diligently including: Being a member of the board of improvement commissioners (forerunner of the Borough council). He served at one time as the chairman at the Mansfield Board of Guardians where he always ensured the generous treatment of the poor. At the time at his death he sat on four committees including the Poultry Society where he served as vice-president.


Being a keen gardener he became a member of the Horticultural society and allowed the society to hold their annual show immediately in front at his home which towards the latter end of his life had become Carr Bank.

He died at the age of 77 in 1897 at the family home. The local news papers said that the cold weather had induced an attack of’ asthma and bronchitis; with further complications affecting his heart. He is recorded as dieing of Cardiac Syncope on the 16th March. The Advertiser starts its obituary by saying “Readers will join with us in regret at the somewhat sudden death of a respected old townsman.” Those last few words sum up his life and character.

This article was originally written for the Chad in 1992, who have given their permission for its reproduction on this website.

This page was added on 04/01/2010.
Comments about this page

Just a question. Can I ask you: have you got a contemporary source for referring to EH Greenhalgh as Ernest? I know his forenames were Ernest Harwood, and Harwood Greenhalgh sounds unlikely to us, but it wouldn't have seemed so odd at the time. Anything you can tell me would be very welcome. Thanks for your time. All the best, Cris

By Cris Freddi
On 28/04/2010

Harwood seems to have been used with Greenhalgh a number of times in this family. I have a large pastel dated 1857 of Harwood & Alfred Greenhalgh roughly 10 years old done at Carr Bank at the desire of James Greenhalgh. My great aunt was Edith Harwood Greenhalgh (died about 1965) & her sister (my grandmother) was born Ethel Greenhalgh. I'm ashamed to say when clearing the latters house in the 60's I let go to a charity shop the old Greenhalgh family bible with handwritten family tree in the flyleaf going back to 1600's - also many Molyneaux's on it. If anyone knows its whereabouts, I would love a copy of the flyleaf.

By Sally Bhimani
On 21/05/2010

I would like to know was the mill owned by a person in 1944 by the name of Kenneth William Radford. Because I believe it was left to someone close to me. I cannot find any info on this and would love to find out.

By Ricci Divito
On 02/06/2010

I was very interested to see the comment posted by Sally Bhimani on 21 May. Ethel Greenhalgh and Edith Sarah too I believe to be the illegitimate children of Ernest Harwood Greenhalgh. The mother Ann Wilson gave birth to Ethel in 1873 and I am unable to find a marriage for her. Later in 1888 Ethel Sarah was born and census' show clearly that Ernest Harwood was a single man and not married to Ann Wilson. Pity about the Bible. Ethel Sarah lived with one of my ancestors James Henry Blake and Ellen Wilson and was left a life interest in the Will. would love to hear from Sally if she reads this.

By Marilyn Blake
On 10/09/2010

Follow-up question for Sally Bhimani. The pastel of the two boys: is it captioned 'Harwood Greenhalgh'? Could he be EH Greenhalgh...? All the best, Cris

By Cris Freddi
On 01/11/2010

In reply to Cris Freddi, yes, he is just referred to as Harwood Greenhalgh on the reverse of the painting. As Harwood did not form part of the name of the other 4 sons, it is clearly Ernest Harwood. I wondered what your interest is in this? Also, he was married on 12th June 1874 to Annie Wilson, after the birth of their first child, but before the birth of two subsequent children (one of which died young). Despite this, census records do not indicate they lived in the same house.

By Sally Bhimani
On 01/05/2011

I'm the main historian for the England national football team, Sally. Thanks for the reply: it confirms what various Censuses say. All the best, Cris Freddi

By Cris Freddi
On 25/06/2011

The Greenhalgh's football team was not the forerunner of the current Mansfield Town.

By Paul Taylor
On 01/12/2011

While researching Herbert's son John Herbert, I discovered that he followed his father to Jesus College Cambridge, so yes, Herbert did have a good further education

By Carlton Hobbs
On 11/10/2014

I see no one has any information on the mill once belonging to a Kenneth William Radford around 1944. It then somehow managed to get into the hands of man called Ronald Jarvis. Can anyone enter a conversation on this subject ? Many thanks. Riccj

By ricci divito
On 27/11/2014

My grandfather was the youngest brother of Ernest Harwood Greenhalgh. I wonder if Sally Bhimani's  grandmother was Ethel Gaut?

By John Greenhalgh
On 11/05/2015

In reply to John Greenhalgh, yes, my grandmother was Ethel Gaut & I also knew well her sister, Edith Harwood Greenhalgh, who never married.

By Sally Bhimani nee Gaut
On 13/09/2015

[Re the comment above] Just maybe a coincidence, My sister Alice's first boyfriend was named William (Bill) Gaut. This was at the beginning of WW2. Bill Gaut was reported missing, believed killed in action. Hearing nothing for five years,  Alice met another young man who came home from North Africa wounded, and discharged from any further action.  Alice and the young man married. Low and behold, Bill, after the war ended, came home. We never heard from Bill again. With a sir name so unusual as Gaut, Just wondered if there was any connection.

By alan curtis
On 15/09/2015

Re Alan Curtis' query, I think it unlikely. My paternal grandfather (who died before I was born) was Ernest Gaut who only  had one child. They would be WW1 generation. However, I understand Ernest Gaut was one of 4 or 5 boys, so Bill was possibly one of their children.

By Sally Bhimani
On 24/09/2015

Re Sally Bhimani. I've been researching the players of the 1872 England Football XI of 1872 and was wondering if you had any family photos of your grandfather Ernest Harwood Greenhalgh? I believe that your grandfather was in fact Thomas Gaut who married Ethet Greenhalgh and that you are the daughter of his son Roger?

By David Rice
On 04/07/2016

Re Mr Rice's query, Ernest Greenhalgh was my great-grandfather & my father was Roger Greenhalgh Gaut. The only 2 football related photos I can find are both poor quality - one is a sepia photo which I suspect may be the Greenhalgh's mill team - 11 capped players plus 2 bowler hatted men. The other is only a faded newspaper cutting of 'the first Notts County team to play before a 'gate' against a London side.

By Sally Bhimani
On 29/08/2016

I have in my possession a medal, of 1886. regarding Greenhalgh,s f c.  on the back name   G Sadler, probably a player. What I've read up so far, looks like Ernest Harwood  issued it... could anyone enlighten me please?. be most grateful.

By eileen blake
On 30/11/2016

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