Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

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James Ross

" The Bard of Thrybergh "


Dedicated to the memory of James Ross and J. H. Townend



Approx 1900 St. Johns Road Eastwood View Rotherham


A young boy named James H. Townend  was talking to his neighbour John Ross one day, and John knowing that young J. H. loved reading, on the spur of the moment handed him a book and said " Here read this, my Granddad wrote it ". Young James. took the book and  started to read, the book contained poetry, but this poetry was not like most of the poetry he had read, no this was different. This was poetry he could completely relate to, it was poetry about the little Village up the hill, Thrybergh. The simple beauty of the verse lodged in his mind and remained there. The name of the Poet also remained in the thoughts of James. H. Townend.


Rotherham approx 1776

The Industrial Revolution was well underway, in nearby Derbyshire.  Jebediah Strutt had established the first cotton mill, the first canal building boom had started, and the Walker Foundries of Rotherham were producing weapons for the war of Independence in America.  A time that Rotherham was being introduced to the pollution created by industry.  This was then a time of constant change and upheaval, and in the midst of all this at Quarry Hill Rotherham, James Ross was born, second child of a local Mason. There would be twelve more arrivals in the Ross household. [ Taken from the I.G.I. the list below needs further verification, there is no mention of the birth of the bard of Thrybergh, and as yet we have no record of his birth. Given the number of children below, and the information I had  i..e. Family of fourteen, it is reasonable to assume that this is  the family of James Ross, and the James Ross below listed as father was the father of James Ross the Poet. Again I stress it needs to be verified ]

GEORGE ROSS Christening: 03 JAN 1775 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
JOHN ROSS Birth:  20 NOV 1778 Christening:  03 JAN 1779  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
ANN ROSS Birth:  28 MAR 1780   Christening:  15 MAY 1780  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
THOMAS ROSS Birth:  31 JUL 1781  Christening:  09 SEP 1781  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
JAMES ROSS Wife  SARAH child  
SARAH ROSS  Birth:  28 MAR 1783   Christening:  09 JUN 1783  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England 
CHARLLOTTE ROSS Birth:  28 FEB 1785   Christening:  15 MAY 1785  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
MARY ROSS   Birth:  06 NOV 1786   Christening:  05 JAN 1787  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
AMELIA ROSS Pedigree Birth:  05 NOV 1788   Christening:  25 DEC 1788  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
HARRIOTT ROSS  Birth:  24 JUN 1790   Christening:  25 JUL 1790  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England  Husband
HENRY ROSS Birth:  24 JUN 1792   Christening:  29 JUL 1792  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
Other Ross events
SARAH ROSS christened 09 NOV 1777 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
In 1785 a WILLIAM ROSS Married Sarah on the 31st July 1785  at Thrybergh.
AMELIA ROSS  Christening: 25 DEC 1788 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
JOHN ROSS Christening: 03 JAN 1779 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
JOSEPH ROSS  Christening: 03 JAN 1790 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
HANNAH ROSS Christening: 23 JAN 1791 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
BENJAMIN ROSS Christening: 08 APR 1792 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
JAMES ROSS christened 27 MAY 1792 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
LUKE ROSS  Christening: 07 JUL 1793 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
CHARLES ROSS Birth:  21 JUL 1794   Christening:  31 AUG 1794  Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
MARY ROSS Christening: 18 JAN 1795 Rotherham, Yorkshire, England

As we can see James was to grow up in a rather crowded family environment. The father of James was a follower of the Wesleyan Methodist of the time who were later to establish a Church in 1805 at Talbot Lane Rotherham. The Methodist leader at the time was a William Green, who was a Preacher and teacher for many years in Rotherham, the services were usually held in the Green's household or at a nearby school. In 1761 the Octagon Preaching House was built and this is thought to be where the Ross family worshiped.
A somewhat cultured man Mr. Ross taught James how to read, write, arithmetic, mathematics, Botany , and prayer recital, so James was well prepared for the time he went to School. At what age James started School we do not as yet know, but we do know the name of the School.


The Hollis School


The school was founded in 1702 by  Thomas Hollis a London Man, and was intended for  the poor children of Rotherham, The School was attached to the Presbyterian Chapel, and had an endowment of 20 a year, which was left  by Timothy Hollis in 1768. The Minister of the Chapel received  10 a year. The Master of the School was expected to teach 12 boys and 12 girls. Being a charity School there was no fee for the Pupils.


A later well known poet and Radical attended the School at the same time as James, and he was Ebenezer Elliott, who was born at Masbourgh Rotherham in 1781. Later listed as  a iron-master and later becoming known as  The Corn Law Rhymer, whose attack on the Corn Laws was published in 1831.Ebenezer died in 1849.

In the memoirs of Ebenezer is the following passage in which he mentions a John Ross, I wonder if it was actually James Ross, and Ebenezer wrote the wrong name.

"On my return from the land of the great pan I was sent again to the Hollis school; where as was my wont in all cases, I took the shortest ways to my object; and the easiest way to get my sums done was to let John Ross do them for me.

From the memoirs of Ebenezer Elliott 1841   Ebenezer Elliott died 1849


At the age of 15 in 1791 James began to learn the trade of his Father, but it was not something James wanted to do, and so he studied even harder in the hope of achieving a better position than a Mason. The studying paid off and James was accepted in a position as an assistant at Mr. Mayfield's academy at Loughbourgh.


Returning home to Rotherham James began teaching privately. It is in this period that James married his first wife. [ To be researched.]  before acquiring a position at The Endowed School Swinton, The School was described as a small School and possibly the endowment came from the Fitzwilliam family of nearby Wentworth. James taught there for five years.


Swinton 1808


During his time at Swinton James met  Anna the daughter of  William Shaw a Local Farmer. In the year 1808 James and Anna were married at Swinton.
In Anna, James had found his perfect partner in life, Anna was extremely intelligent, a quite remarkable artist, and  was taught to play the Harpsichord by her Father. Anna apparently possessed a fine singing voice, and was a polished orator. It is likely Anna had already come to the attention of the Fitzwilliam's of  Wentworth before she met James.
James was next to be found teaching at Greasbourgh School and was there for three years.


1810 Wath upon Dearne


A son is born to  James Ross and Ann [ Anna ]  Shaw on the 29th July 1810 he was christened James Ross at Wath Upon Dearne, Yorkshire, England [ Needs verification ]
The following year James was offered a position at a nearby Village which was Thrybergh.


James Ross 2



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This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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