Nat Gould

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John Wright 1752-1840

John Wright
Born: 1752
Died: 1840 Bradbourne
Elizabeth Adams 1761-1844
Elizabeth Wright 1785-1794
William Wright 1788-1792
John Wright 1791-
Sarah Wright 1793-1841
Ellen Wright died 1794
William Wright 1796-1882
Thomas Wright 1798-1798
Elizabeth Wright 1799-1876
Mary Wright 1803-1845
Millicent Wright 1805-1826

John Wright was born in 1752 (1) into a family said to have been resident for some generations in Bradbourne, Derbyshire (2).
However he was not baptised there, and the places of his birth and baptism are unknown.

Alstonefield church

Alstonefield church

He married Elizabeth Adams at Alstonefield in Staffordshire on 23 October 1783. She was born in 1761 at Narrowdale in Alstonefield parish, and baptised at Alstonefield church on 29 September 1761. She was the daughter of Ralph Adams 1722-1784 and his wife nee Elizabeth Wood.

In 1785 John and Elizabeth Wright were living at Alstonefield in Staffordshire when their daughter Elizabeth Wright 1785-1794 was baptised. They were at Crowdecote in Derbyshire in about 1791 when their son John Wright was born and in 1792 when their son William Wright 1788-1792 was buried. However by 1798 they were living at Bradbourne when their infant son Thomas Wright was buried at Alstonefield.

John Wright was injured in a hunting accident in the early 1820s, and was attended by newly qualified William Cantrell 1800-1876, who had hired two rooms in the Red Lion inn at nearby Kniveton in Derbyshire. In May 1825 the young doctor married his daughter Millicent Wright (3).

In 1839 he was again treated by William Cantrell 1800-1876, by then in practice at Wirksworth in Derbyshire, who restored his eyesight in that year (4).

John and Elizabeth Wright had the following children:

Elizabeth Wright. She was born in 1785 and baptised at Alstonefield on 24 November 1785. She died on 29 December 1794 aged nine years, and was buried at Alstonefield where there is a gravestone inscribed to her memory and also those of her brothers William Wright 1788-1792 and Thomas Wright 1798-1798.

William Wright. He was born in 1788 and died on 14 September 1792 aged four years. He was buried at Alstonefield where there is a gravestone inscribed to his memory and those of his sister Elizabeth Wright 1785-1794 and brother Thomas Wright 1798-1798.

John Wright. He was born in 1791 at Crowdecote.

Sarah Wright. She was born in 1793 (5). She was married at Bradbourne by licence on 9 December 1813 to John Buxton of Bradbourne. She died in 1841 aged 48 years, and was buried on 2 September 1841 at Bradbourne.

Ellen Wright. She died in 1794 and was buried at Alstonefield on 29 December 1794.

William Wright 1796-1882. He was born on 16 April 1796 and baptised at Bradbourne on 6 June 1796. He married Elizabeth Gould 1802-1843, and had ten children including Mary Wright 1827-1897, the mother of Nat Gould.

Thomas Wright. He was born in 1798 and died on 31 August 1798 aged five weeks. He was buried at Alstonefield on 3 September 1798 where there is a gravestone inscribed to his memory and those of his sister Elizabeth Wright 1785-1794 and brother William Wright 1788-1792.

Elizabeth Wright 1799-1876. She was born on 29 August 1799 and baptised at Bradbourne on 18 November 1799. On 1 May 1823 she was married by licence at Bradbourne to William Hobbs 1791-1863 of Manchester. He was born at Bristol and was a cotton merchant and manufacturer. She died in Manchester in 1876 aged 76 years.

Mary Wright. She was born in 1803 and was unmarried. In 1841 she was living at Bradbourne with her married sister Elizabeth Hobbs and her husband, and her widowed mother Elizabeth Wright. She died in 1845 at Duffield in Derbyshire, and was buried at Bradbourne on 7 February 1845 aged 42 years.

Millicent Wright. She was born on 21 April 1805 and baptised at Bradbourne on 17 November 1805. On 19 May 1825 she was married by licence at Bradbourne to William Cantrell, who became a surgeon at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. They lived at Wirksworth and had a son William Cantrell who died on 21 March 1826 aged only five days. His mother Millicent Cantrell died eight days later on 29 March 1826, and was buried at Kniveton in Derbyshire on 3 April 1826 (6).

Their father John Wright died in 1840 aged 87 years, and was buried at Bradbourne on 22 July 1840.
His wife Elizabeth Wright died in 1844 aged 82 years, and was buried at Bradbourne on 25 March 1844.


(1) He was 87 years old in 1839 : Derby Mercury 13 March 1839.
(2) Nat Gould wrote in Magic of Sport (page 36) that "the Wrights of Bradbourne - my mother was Mary Wright - have lived in the village for three generations, if not more". Three generations seems to be correct. John Wright was not recorded as baptised at Bradbourne, and may have been of a family living at Alstonefield in Staffordshire.
The only earlier Wrights recorded in the Bradbourne registers are Anne Wright (buried there on 19 October 1677); Elizabeth Wright (buried on 20 May 1695); and Anthony Wright (buried on 15 June 1695), his wife Mary (buried on 26 July 1689), and their children John (baptised on 18 September 1680) and Avice (baptised there on 3 June 1685).
(3) Winster Local History Group Newsletter 33 (February 2006): information of Mrs Cynthia Carmichael of Liverpool, great-great-granddaughter of William Cantrell 1800-1876.
(4) "Restoration of Sight at the Age of 87.- Mr. Wright, of Bradbourne, in this county, had been gradually losing his sight for several years, and became quite blind at the age of 86, at which time he was operated on by Mr. Cantrell, of Wirksworth, and he can now by God's blessing see to read the smallest print. This case, the particulars of which have been communicated by Mr. Wright himself, proves that the paragraph we inserted a few weeks ago was incorrect in stating that 84 was the greatest age at which sight had been restored.- Mr. W. further states, that he suffered little or no pain, at or after the operation." Derby Mercury 13 March 1839.
(5) Her baptism has not been found in the Bradbourne register. However her year of birth can be calculated from the record that she was aged 48 when she was buried on 2 September 1841. So she was aged twenty when she was married on 9 December 1813, and the register indeed states that she was then a "minor".
(6) In the Kniveton parish register she is recorded as "Melicent" and as aged 23 years. However the Bradbourne register records her name as Millicent and her birth on 21 April 1805. Also the Kniveton register records the burial of her son William Cantrell as taking place on 24 March 1826 and his age as being seven days.