button to main menu  Gents Mag 1850 part 2 p.43

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Gentleman's Magazine 1850 part 2 p.43

  Wordsworth Family

Wordsworth Genealogy


(IN illustration of the following very acceptable communication from the historian of Hallamshire, we may remind our readers, that in our biography of the poet Wordsworth, contained in our last number (p.668), allusion is made to an old press or armoire made in the year 1525 at the expense of an ancestor of the poet, one William Wordsworth of Peniston. Carved upon that same oak press is an inscription which furnishes a pedigree of the family for several generations anterior to the William of 1525. This singular relic of family history was formerly in the possession of the late Mr. Beaumont, but as we stated, upon the authority of a recent Yorkshire newspaper, it was restored by him to the Wordsworth family about ten years ago.)
June 10.
THE old oak press or armoire, with the genealogical inscription of the family of Wordsworth, of which you speak at p.668, is a very singular and perhaps unique work of its kind. The inscription may be rendered thus:
"This work was made in the year 1525, at the expense of William Wordesworth, son of William, son of John, son of William, son of Nicholas, husband of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Proctor (or the proctor), of Peniston, on whose soul may God have mercy."
It seems to shew what brought the Wordsworths to Peniston, in Yorkshire, where the family existed for several centuries in different branches, where this singular work was executed, and where it remained till towards the close of the eighteenth century. They were in all their generations, and in all their branches, leading people in the parish affairs; and those of the family who removed from Peniston and were settled in neighbouring parishes, or in towns at no great distance, as at Sheffield and Doncaster, maintained a highly respectable social position. Their descendants attained a distinction far in advance of those who remained at Peniston, who seem, indeed, not to have been so fortunate as their ancestors and more distant relatives.
Of the branches of the family which had become planted in the neighbourhood of the parish of Peniston, the Wordsworths of Sheffield became ultimately represented by the families of two ladies who married Sir Charles Kent, Bart. and Mr. Verelst, the governor of Bengal. The Wordsworths of Falthwaite, in the adjoining parish of Silkston, produced the late Master of Trinity, and his brother William Wordsworth, whose name would give a distinction and lustre to any family however otherwise illustrious it might be.
The information which you have gathered from a recent Yorkshire paper respecting the possession of the oak press by the late Mr. Wordsworth is perfectly correct, and perhaps you may think a short account of the manner in which he became possessed of it not unworthy a place in your Miscellany. I am able to give it, having myself had something to do in the transaction.
In the autumn of 1831, when spending week or ten days in the lake-country, I had an introduction to Mr. Wordsworth, which was the first opportunity I enjoyed of conversing with this remarkable man. In the course of one of our conversations I happened
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