the year 1811 James was given the post of Village School Master at
Thrybergh. In mutual agreement John Fullerton the owner of Thrybergh Hall
and Dr. Milner of the Church decided that James was the ideal person for the
post. This decision was proved to be a beneficial choice for not only John
Fullerton, the good Dr. Milner, and the children of Thrybergh at the time,
but was the founding of a future legacy for the people of Thrybergh. John
Fullerton was two years younger than James and had not been in residence
very long at Thrybergh.
The School was small by any standards, and at the time there possibly may
have been only 20 or 30 Pupils, who came from Thrybergh, nearby Hooton
Roberts, Dalton, Ravenfield, and perhaps even further afield. Schooling back
then was not a popular or compulsory item, and not all Children attended a
School, as is evident on the census records of the 1800's.What is evident in
his writings was the fact that James absolutely loved his new surroundings,
and the people he now mixed with. Though he may have wrote some of his
poetry prior to his arrival in Thrybergh, my guess is that most of it was
produced during his first few years as The School Master there. James
quickly established a firm working relationship with Dr. Milner and they
became friends, James also established a firm but understanding relationship
with his pupils.
The cottage James and Anna lived in near the School is still there in the
Village, it quickly became a haven of relaxation for James and he fondly
named it the " COT O CONTENT"
The cottage is on School Lane and from its position the Ross family could
observe who ever passed through the Village
James took on many roles in his life at Thrybergh, he recorded events, and
even a early census of the Parish. [ Compulsory Census started in 1841] This
is where James used another one of his talents, he wrote the records in
calligraphy and those records are today part of that heritage of Thrybergh
mentioned earlier. James earned extra money by teaching privately, and also
by helping survey the area. Sometimes taking some of his pupils with him as
an extra activity.
James had nine children, two of whom died young, which still left nine
mouths to feed in the household, and often when the family was going through
hard times Dr. Milner would help them out. In 1814 James and Anna had a son
whom they named George. At present we also know that they had a daughter
Anna found admirers in her work in Lord and Lady Fitzwilliam who lived at
Wentworth a nearby village. The Fitzwilliam's were very notable in England
and the family home a residence is still is the largest house in England.
Anna painted dresses for the Lady Fitzwilliam, and pictures for the Lord
Fitzwilliam. It is possible the drawings in the book Wild Warbling's by
James Ross were actually drawn by Anna.
James had noticed the stone crosses in Thrybergh, and also learned of the
local legend the local Mothers would relate to their children concerning one
of the crosses. James perceived by the engravings upon the cross that it was
Saxon in origin. Using the storyline of the local legend, James constructed
a poem which he titled Sir Leonard's Cross.
The summer days are long in England and nightfall in midsummer would be as
late as ten thirty p.m. This of course is the finest time of year for
outdoor activity between the harsh winters. During those bright summer
evenings James and Anna could often be found sitting out under the nearby
Poplar Trees, Anna would sing and play the Harpsichord whilst perhaps James
listened and wrote down some of the poetry found in his book. They would
have gone for evening strolls with the children perhaps down the fields to
the river Don, or toward Ravenfield, the choice of direction was multiple.
Sometimes meeting others out for an evening stroll. Being somewhat of a
botanist and a lover of animals James would have delighted in his
surroundings and the songs of the birds. Thrybergh reservoir had not been
constructed at this time, and there would have been a continuation of the
stream that flows down from nearby Silverwood, flowing through what is now
the reservoir. James would have crossed the stream and possibly taken
advantage of the view from the hill at Ravenfield.
The presence of James as Schoolmaster resulted in an increase in the size of
the classes, which was a tribute to his teaching skills. Reading between the
lines of his poem THE SCHOOL we can perceive that James not only knew how to
control boys, but had the soundness of mind to realize that boys sometimes
need a release from monotony. So when the children one day rebelled and
locked him out of the classroom, refusing to let him in until he promised
them a day off, James made a sensible decision. Much to the children's
delight James agreed to the terms, probably making himself the most popular
School Master the area has ever known. James it seemed had a sense of
humour, and he had seen the funny side of the situation.
In 1813 a daughter Emily was born to James and Hannah she was Christened on
the 23rd of May 1813 at Thrybergh. The following year their son George
was born and Christened at Thrybergh on the 4th of December 1814 .
How James came to
have his work published is not known, but we can surmise that he either
pursued the matter himself, or as I believe, he was encouraged by those who
had read his work prior to that publication. It is also possible that with
Anna's connection with the Fitzwilliam's that his work was read at the house
in Wentworth by many a noble person.
During this time
Thrybergh had a somewhat notable figure staying with the Fullertons and that
was Sir Walter Scott who was writing a Novel, that novel was to become one
of the great English classics " IVANHOE". The story of the knight was based
upon the nearby Conisbrough Castle hence Sir Walters presence in the Village.
So perhaps our Bard James also had encouragement from Sir Walter himself.
In 1817 the 48 page
collection of the poetry of James Ross titled WILD WARBLING'S was printed by
T. Crookes, Albion-office, Rotherham.
The book was given a favorable review in December of that year by the
Northern Star monthly tabloid that was launched also in that year.
In 1822 there was a Mary Crookes , listed as a printer at Westgate
James and Anna had a son Edwin born 1817 who was Christened on the 4th
January 1818 at Thrybergh. Later that year their daughter Elizabeth was
Christened on the 20th December 1818 at Thrybergh, . In 1820 James and Anna
had a son who was Christened Charles on the 20th August at Thrybergh, they
also had a son Christened Edmund on the 7th September 1828 at Thrybergh.
son of the Bard married Olive Steer on the 20 December 1830
Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
In which year Anna Ross died is not known at
present, however we do know that the family had a tragic loss when their son George died at the age of 16 in 1830
There was a Joseph Ross, listed as a cart owner, at Westgate Rotherham.
Also listed in this year is a Hy Ross. Beer Houses at Quarry hill ,
Rotherham. These could have a connection to James.
James Ross Jnr and
Harriet had a son Christened George on the 1st January 1837 at Thrybergh.
John Ross was born at Thrybergh and was Christened on the 20th January 1839
at St. Leonards Church Thrybergh.
James Ross the son of our poet is living in Thrybergh as a painter with his
wife Harriet and son James. His son John age 2 is next door with the
James was also the census enumerator of that year.
James Ross appeared in The Poets of Yorkshire with the poem Thrybergh Park
Publisher: Groombridge and Sons Author(s): William Cartwright Newsam
Publication Date: 1845
The annals of Yorkshire - Page 360
by Henry Schroeder - 1852
Poets of Yorkshire.
Ross, James, the worthy schoolmaster of the pleasant village of
Thrybergh, situate between Rotherham and Doncaster, published, in 1817, a
small volume, entitled, " Wild Warblings."—Poets of Yorkshire.
By this census year the descendants of James our poet were found as below.
John Ross the grandson of James Ross our poet listed on census
John Ross Head M Male 42 Thrybergh, York, England House Decorator (Painter)
Sarah ROSS Wife M Female 41 West End, York, England House Decorator
Dwelling 25 St Johns Rd
Census Place Rotherham, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4673 / 22 Page Number 38
Sarah Ann Ross Head U Female 69 Swinton, York, England Retired
Emily ROSS Sister U Female 67 Thrybergh, York, England
Charles C. ROSS Nephew U Male 16 Dalton, York, England
Census Place Whiston, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4674 / 63 Page
Sarah Spencer Head W Female 81 Rotherham, York, England
Joseph Ross Nephew U Male 32 Thrybergh, York, England Traction
Census Place Bramley In Rotherham, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4684 / 52 Page
James ROSS Head M Male 50 Wentworth, York, England
Mary ROSS Wife M Female 45 Greasbrough, York, England
Joseph ROSS Son U Male 23 Greasbrough, York, England
Charlotte ROSS Daur Female 15 Greasbrough, York, England
Sarah Jane ROSS Daur Female 10 Greasbrough, York, England
Fred ROSS Son Male 8 Greasbrough, York, England Scholar
Ebenezer ROSS Son Male 6 Greasbrough, York, England
Esther THOMPSON Lodger U Female 76 Greasbrough, York, England
Willoughby THOMPSON Relative U Male 17 Chapel Town, York,
England Hurrier In Coal (Miner)
Martha THOMPSON Relative Female 11 Grange Lane, York, England
William THOMPSON Relative Male 14 Grange Lane, York, England
Coal Screener (Miner)
Olive THOMPSON Relative Female 10 Kimberworth, York, England
Dwelling No 32 Church Street
Census Place Greasbrough, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4680 / 93 Page
James ROSS Head W Male 70 Swinton, York, England House
Annie ROSS Daur U Female 37 Thrybergh, York, England House
Charles Ernest ROSS Son U Male 35 Thrybergh, York, England
Dwelling 10 Charles St
Census Place Swinton In Rotherham, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4682 / 110 Page
Charles ROSS Head M Male 58 Thrybergh, York, England Nurseryman
Employing 4 Men 1 Boy
Sarah ROSS Wife M Female 53 Cliffe, York, England
Rose Hannah ROSS Daughter U Female 19 Selby, York, England
Alfred ROSS Son U Male 21 Selby, York, England Ventriloquist
George ROSS Son U Male 13 Selby, York, England Scholar
Jane NAPPY Niece U Female 17 Cliffe Common, York, England
General Servant Domestic
James K. BURTON Boarder U Male 31 Cliffe, York, England
Job CRAGGS Boarder U Male 67 Selby, York, England General
Dwelling 14 Market Place
Census Place Selby, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4706 / 90 Page
Found on census
A Robert Ross born 1844 at Belton Lincolnshire moved to Dalton prior to
1876 may have moved back to Belton prior to 1876 and the returned to Dalton
prior to 1891 listed in 1891 as a Shepherd, employed living at 69,Aldwarke
Elizabeth Ross Wife M born 1836 at Belton Lincolnshire
Alice Ross Dau born 1876 at Dalton Yorkshire
Gertrude Ross Dau born 1878 at Belton Lincolnshire
Page 14 Folio 10 RG12/384
It is not known if the above Robert Ross was related to James.
James Ross 3