James Ross pg 3
James is remembered and a Family
Dedicated to the memory of James Ross
and J. H. Townend
25 St. Johns Road Eastwood View Rotherham.
John Ross a grandson of James Ross was still residing at the above address
presumably with his family, and it is around this period James. H. Townend
met John Ross
Anna Ross 58 Yorks Thrybergh Yorks Swinton Domestic Servant
Joseph Ross 52 Yorks Thrybergh Yorkshire Bramley Cattle Man On Farm
Kate Ross 41 Yorks Rotherham Yorkshire Bramley
George Ross 8 Yorks Bramley Yorkshire Bramley
Gertrude Ross 13 Yorks Bramley Yorkshire Bramley
Henry Ross 11 Yorks Bramley Yorkshire Bramley
Kate Ross 41 Yorks Rotherham Yorkshire Bramley
1935 SELBY Yorkshire
George Ross had a visitor from Australia. His visitor was Walter Henry Ross
but known to everyone as John Ross. Walter was a great grandson of James who
whilst in England decided to look up his relatives. Walter was a midshipman
in the Navy, and the ship in which he served had once escorted the then Duke
of Gloucester from Australia to New Zealand. A visit to Thrybergh was not
undertaken at the time, but the arrival of his visitor made George think
about one day paying a visit to Thrybergh to pay his respect and hopefully
gain information about his Grandfather.
EARLY 1936 The Rectory of St. Leonard's Thrybergh.
Canon G.H.C. Bowen the Rector of Thrybergh was entertaining a friend one
evening, Councilor Mr. James. H. Townend J.P. C.C. Known to the locals
as Jimmy he owned the cobblers shop on Whinney Hill, but most of the work
was done by Sam Ash a little fella that smoked a clay pipe. Mr Townsend
lived in Arundel Villa at the back of the shop. During the conversation the
subject of James Ross came up. "Would you like to see some of the records
James kept for the Parish" enquired the Canon, "Oh yes please that would be
a privilege" replied James.
So for the first time James Townend gazed upon the records James Ross had
so meticulously kept one hundred years previously. James had possibly
never seen such beautiful writing as the calligraphy he was now looking at.
"He was actually buried near the Rectory" the Canon informed him.
"Would you like to see the grave?" "Yes indeed I would " replied James. The
two friends made their way to the grave, the inscription was still legible
and James Townend upon reading the date of death realized that the coming
August would be the centenary of the death of James Ross. As he made his way
home that night deep in thought, James. H. Townend came to a conclusion, a
celebration should be held to honour the life of a man he came to know of
all those years ago when he was a boy and was given a book to read.
In the months following the conversation in the Rectory James Townend
enlisted the help of the Canon, also Mr F. Woolhouse of the Thrybergh and
Dalton Cooperative Guild, and several local people in the arrangements for
the centenary celebration. Local descendants of the poet were contacted and
invited to the celebration plus several local dignitaries, and an invitation
to the local Villagers was extended.
AUGUST 18TH 1936
The day was here. That afternoon Canon Bowen was preparing for the
celebration when he received a visitor, the visitor introduced himself. "My
name is George Ross and I live in Selby, I'm here to see if you can help me
with some information about my Grandfather James Ross". The Canon stepped
back in amazement, this was an unbelievable coincidence, the man had no idea
regarding the celebration. Canon Bowen recovered from his surprise, informed
George of the evenings preparations and invited his visitor to stay.
Early that evening the guests arrived. Mr. George Earnest Ross, Miss
Gertrude Eva Ross great Grandchildren of James. From nearby Bramley the
Windle Family Mr. and Mrs V. Windle [ formally Miss E. Ross great
granddaughter of James] and their son Geoffrey Windle. Miss Reward of
Rotherham and Miss Gillam of Sheffield whose fathers were nephews of Rosalie
Ross one of James Ross's daughters.
Councilor Ben Walls who presided the celebration, Mr and Mrs Crossley who
were living in the "Cot o Content " which had become Thrybergh post office.
Amongst the many villagers who attended that night was Joseph Tuke.
The evening was a great success, and several items were placed on display
including a photo of James, and a framed silhouette of Anna provided by 89
year old Mrs. Whiston of Ravenfield. The descendants of James paid a visit
to the Cot o Content and the evening was drawn to its conclusion.
August 22nd 1936
The Rotherham Advertiser contained an article regarding the centenary
celebration, presumably they had been notified by James Townend and sent a
reporter to record the event. The article was well written and the Reporter
made an obvious effort to obtain all the relevant facts. I suspect he was
very much drawn to the work of James and had listened intently as the story
was revealed. It is from that article that most of the information on this
page was obtained.
APPROX 1955 THRYBERGH
The young boy walked in the cobblers shop which was at the bottom of Oldgate
Lane, known locally as Whinney Hill. The boy was accompanied by his mother.
He had been there a couple of times before and rather liked the old cobbler
who seemed very polite and nice. The boy and his Mother were there to
collect a pair of shoes that had been left there a few days previously. "
How much is it Mr. Townend" enquired the boys Mother. " Just give me what
you have" replied the cobbler as he had done a thousand times before. The
boy's Mother paid, picked up the shoes thanked Mr Townend, and they left
the shop, as they were walking home from the shop Margaret Doxey remarked to
her son John " He has always been a nice man"
I was not to remember Mr. James H. Townend again until the year 2002.
2002 Sydney Australia.
My thoughts had turned to Thrybergh the village I left in 1969, and I
suppose the old saying "You know you are getting old when you start looking
back" would best describe why I was reminiscing. With memories in mind I
decided to look on the internet and see what I could find regarding
Thrybergh. To my disappointment there wasn't much at all about the place I
grew up in, nor the neighbouring Villages of Ravenfield and Dalton.
I had already
built websites concerning genealogy and History, and thought why not build a
site based on the three Villages, because there must be others like me who
would find it of interest. So the site was started and gradually gained
interest, but nothing prepared me for what followed, I was totally astounded
just prior to Christmas, when I received the email below from a Lady here in
Interest: Surname: Ross - in particular "James Ross"
Born approx 1766 - Died: 18 Aug 1836 married 1808 in Swinton to Anna Shaw.
In fact as far as I know he was married 3 times. - Anna was his second wife.
I am currently researching my family and I understand there was a James Ross
who was the village school master for 25 years and was known as "Bard of
Thrybergh" - I have a photocopy of I think is a newspaper clipping featuring
a gathering of six descendants at the centenary of his death, he was also a
poet, I have no dates of when this article was in the paper and the copy I
have is not very clear. If anyone has any details in relation to this
person or his descendants I would appreciate it if they could contact me".
THE ROSS FAMILY
2003 Sydney Australia
Children of James
Earlier this year I was contacted by Paul and Elizabeth Ross of Australia
who had discovered this website whilst browsing the web. Paul being a direct
descendant of our Bard, decided to undertake his family research, and in a
short period of time has produced an excellent story of the family as known
so far. On some of the James Ross story I have a statement " Needs to be
verified " Paul has verified some of what I found, corrected faults in some
of the family details found by me and also printed in the Rotherham
He has also produced a very informative background of the Ross family in
Australia which makes for some very interesting reading. You can visit the
Ross Family website here.
As a point of interest Paul discovered his second cousin Heather Palmer [ to
whom we all are grateful ] via this site
2006 Sydney Australia
The Ross Family Bible
If one page on this site gives me the most amazement then the story of James
Ross is an outright winner. Just when I thought all was quiet regarding
James I received the following email from DAVID PERRIN
This email by coincidence was received one day after I was contacted by Paul
Ross who informs me that he has already gained a lot more information in the
last twelve months on the descendants of James our poet, but has also been
reunited with several lost relatives.
James Ross is my wife's, Jennifer Cavill Perrin nee Turner, 3rd great
granduncle. You may also be interested to know that we have in our
possession the Ross Family Bible. It consist of two volumes, published in
1683, in a sued like binding which, regrettably, is showing it age. On a
page in the second volume is a record of the births of various Ross
children, including James Ross. It appears to me that the tradition was
instigated by the father of James Ross, James Ross snr., and his wife Sarah,
who we believe to be Sarah Harrop. The inscriptions written in a fine hand
are as follows;-
George the son of James and Sarah Ross was born Nov.. 23rd 1774
James the son of James and Sarah Ross was born May the 31st 1776
John the son of James and Sarah Ross was born Nov.. 19th 1778
Ann the daughter of James and Sarah Ross was born March the 28th 1780
Thos the son of James and Sarah Ross was born July the 31st 1782
Sarah the daughter of James and Sarah Ross was born March the 28th 1783
Charlotte the daughter of James and Sarah Ross was born February 28th 1785
Mary the daughter of James and Sarah Ross was born November.. 6th 1786
Amelia the daughter of James and Sarah Ross was born Novr... 15th 1788
Harriot the daughter of James and Sarah Ross was born June the 24th 1790
Henry the son of James and Sarah Ross was born June 24th 1792 (a birthday
present for hs sister???)
Charles the son pf James and Sarah Ross was born July 21st 1794.
Beneath this is written -
James Ross snr. Baptised July 28th 1751 attested by R. Ogden Minister 1791
Sarah Ross snr. Born Nov. 30th 1753.
Until fairly recently I was unaware of the existence of these additions, it
was whilst skimming through the volume that a came upon the text adjacent to
the Gospel according to St. Matthew. At first I could not understand why
this particular place had been chosen to record the birth of the children.
That is until I read the opening verse of the Gospel.
" 2. Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac, begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Judas and
his brethren. " At which point the appropriateness of the location became
It is not clear how or more pertinently why! this Bible passed out of the
hands of James Ross and his children. From what I have discovered James
sister Harriot either took possession of the Bible or more likely inherited
on the death of her parents.
Harriot married George Cavill of Wickersley in 1814, and they continued the
tradition of entering family events in the Bible. The first name on the
front page however is James Ross but father or son I do not know.
At some stage the Bible passed on from the Cavill's to the Turner's with the
marriage of Charlotte Cavill to George Turner, also of Wickersley. in 1849.
Their son was the Rev. George W. Turner a Primitive Methodist Minister. I
believe it was he who penned various letters to the local newspapers
regarding James Ross. However it is more likely his nephew also named George
W. Turner who wrote concerning the existence of the Bible in his family
possession. He was also married to a Cavill, Mary Helen the great grand
niece of James Ross. George and Mary are my wife's grand parents.
I am sure there is more that I could tell you but I will leave it there for
My gratitude on behalf of everyone to David for filling in another chapter
in the story of James Ross and his family
I received this email which could mean yet another link to the family of
James, and hopefully can be verified in the near future.
My mother told me of my cousin's family search which resulted in leading her
to Charles Henry Ross born 15/5/1855 in Selby Yorkshire, who was a brother
to Alfred Ross the ventriloquist. If there is substance to this search,
there may be a link between these two to James Ross. So Australia has
another tree that settled in Warwick and Cairns Qld, to move to Brisbane and
through my mum to Sydney and me to Melbourne with others to Canberra.
Regards Sandra Redwood
A further member of the Ross family here in
Australia, who originates from the Selby branch of the Ross family writes:
I found your email address on the Thrybergh website after finding the family
history of Paul Ross. I've also been in contact with Heather Palmer.
I am Brad Ross (Bradley Edward Ross) the great, great, great grandson of
James Ross, the Bard of Thrybergh.
Until recently I only knew my family ancestry on the Ross line back to
Charles in Selby. Thanks to the phenomenal work of you and Paul Ross and
Heather Palmer and others, I now know all the way back to Joshua Ross b.
1682 in Rotherham who was the great grandfather of James the Bard (his
father James Snr, his grandfather Richard, and his great grandfather
My father was Norman Svendsen Ross, his father was William Alfred Ross
(Later called William Joseph Ross), his father was Charles Ross (married to
Catherine Kelly), and his father was Charles Ross (married to Sarah Nappey
or Nappy) from Selby, and his father was James Ross the Bard of Thrybergh
(married to Anna Shaw).
I suspect the Ross line originally came from Scotland, and am interested to
know if anyone has gone back before Joshua Ross, tracing James the Bard's
ancestry back perhaps to Scottish roots, maybe the Ross or KinRoss area of
I've had a read of your site some months ago, so forgive me for not
remembering as much detail as I'd like. Such as are you living in Australia?
I'm on the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane in Australia.
Anyhow thanks for your amazing legacy. I will definitely be going to
Thrybergh and Selby in the next few years. Already I just love the place.
If you have any information or contacts that aren't on your website let me
know and I'll continue on this amazing journey.
Brad , Kim, Will and Jack Ross
Brad Ross firstname.lastname@example.org
I must confess I had never heard of James Ross, and I suppose there would
not be anyone in Thrybergh who had, except for those closely associated with
St. Leonards Church. I pondered for awhile and wondered why the work of
James was never mentioned in the local Schools, why was THE BARD OF
THRYBERGH seemingly forgotten.
Heather then provided me with a copy of the newspaper article and also the
pages from the Wild Warblings. So with information generously supplied by
Heather, Paul Ross and David Perrin, a little local knowledge, a little
research, and a little imagination the story of James was put together. On
these web pages hopefully we can create a renewed interest in the work of
this man James Ross.
One thing is certain and that is Heather
Palmer in sharing her family has given us all the wonderful story of James
Ross, and in doing so reunited his descendents via this site. Our thanks to
Copyright John Doxey
Heather Palmer, Paul
Ross , David Perrin, Sandra Redwood, Brad Ross,
1861, 1881, 1891, 1901
Samuel J. Russell,
Historical Notes of Wesleyan Methodism in Rotherham Circuit (1910), pp.8-
Genuki Parish Records.
photo's courtesy of Jonathan Dabs and Danny and Ann Cassidy.
The poems of
Click photo to visit the Ross family site