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John Longley 1814 to 1873

John Longley 1814 to 1873

John Longley (1814-1873) m Elizabeth Demaine (1819-1895) on 24th May 1838

Polite note: This page is the text from a document that I maintain, in which there are many images. I have published the words of the document, along with other documents, such that it might prove useful to others. If you get in touch, and we can share research, I’ll happily share images.

This post is part of my broader research into the Longleys of Leeds.  

John was born in Coach Lane, Leeds on the 17th of December 1814, the youngest son of Thomas Longley and Sarah Longley.

On the 24th of May 1838, John marries Elizabeth Demaine at St Peters, Parish Church, Leeds.

Transcript: On Thursday last, at our parish church, Mr. John Longley, bricklayer, to Miss Elizabeth Demaine, both of this town.

In 1839 the birth certificate of Elizabeth Longley shows John and Elizabeth living at Bread Street, and John is a Bricklayer.

In December 1839, John is riding home with his father in law George Demaine, when an accident kills George and badly injures John:

Transcript: Melancholy event. We regret to have to record a melancholy and fatal accident which occurred on Sunday last, and which terminated the life of Mr George Demaine, livery stable keeper, of this town. Mr Demaine, accompanied by his son-in-law, Mr John Longley, bricklayer, went on Sunday afternoon, in a gig, to Thorner, about six or seven miles from Leeds, to visit his father. They left that place, on their return to Leeds, at half-past four in the afternoon, and the mare which Mr Demaine drive, from some cause started off at full speed. He endeavoured to pull her in with all his strength, but failing to accomplish his object, requested Mr Longley to assist him. The latter took one of the reins, and both attempted to check the speed of the animal, but without effect. She continued her course, and when within a short distance from the turn which leads into York road, the vehicle came in contact with a large stone in the road, which caused the mare to fall, and Mr Demaine and his companion were thrown out with great violence. The head of the former came in contact with a sharp cornered stone, and the blow deprived him of life. Mr Longley also received several very serious bruises, which rendered him insensible. A person named Swinden, residing at Aberford, passed the place shortly afterwards, and found the unfortunate party bleeding profusely. They were removed with as little delay as possible to Morrick Hall, the residence of Mr Gray, where Dr Scatcherd, of Thorner, happened to be. He immediately directed his attention to Mr Demaine, but medical skill was of no avail, as he died in a few minutes. Mr Longley then received all proper treatment, and he is now in a fair way of recovery. An inquest was held on the body of Mr Demaine on Tuesday last, by Mr Jewison and a verdict of “Accidental Death” returned. The deceased was one of the most respected livery stable keepers in this part of the country, and enjoyed the respect of a numerous circle of friends. His remains were interred at Thorner on Thursday morning.

In March 1841, the birth certificate of George Demaine Longley shows them living at Byron Street.

In 1841 the census shows John living, or least lodging, in Carr Street in Scarborough, his trade listed as a Bricklayer. Carr Street, which no longer appears to exist, was close to the seafront and the next census street is Leading Post Street. Historical records describe a single road to the sea named in portion as Carr Street, Leading Post Street and Merchants Row. In the 1960’s this road was merged with Bland’s Cliff and named Eastborough. Looking at the map of present day Scarborough, and taking into account that the entry for John and William is immediately next to that of Leading Post Street, it is possible that they were boarding at the Golden Last public house, which dates back at least as far as the 1860’s. His brother William is with him, suggesting that they were working together on a construction project, or just on a lads seaside trip. The family home at this time is Byron Street where Elizabeth is living with their children Elizabeth (1839) and George Demaine Longley (1841). They have a female servant, Hannah Hudson who is aged 13 as well as their niece Hannah Longley aged 9 (1832) – the daughter of William and Elizabeth (nee Munday) Longley.
Between 1841 and 1850 John and Elizabeth busy themselves having a further 5 children, these being Sarah Jane (Abt. 1842 (I can find no birth record)), Maria (1845), Thomas (1845), John William (1847) and finally Eliza Ann in 1850.

By 1843, John and Elizabeth have moved to St Peter’s Square – a well to do part of Leeds with impressive houses.

In 1845, the voters register (below) nicely shows the 3 brothers, their property interests and their locations. Also, for the first time, it seems to suggest that 59 St Peter’s Square is located next to St Peter’s Court, but this needs proving:

Transcript: John Longley, Peter’s Court, St Peter’s Square, Leeds. Freehold houses and tenements. 59 St Peter’s Square, and 1 (St?) Peter’s Court

St Peter’s Court (or is it Peter’s Court) is listed on as being accessed via St Peter’s Street.

The 1846 voters registers shows all three brothers, but William now has an interest in Government Street – an address that has cropped up elsewhere:

Transcript: John Longley, Peter’s Court, St Peter’s Square, Leeds. Freehold houses and tenements. 59 St Peter’s Square, and 1 Peter’s Court. (Also note No 1 Government Street).

The 1848 voters register shows them again, but William is now listed at Park Street:

Transcript: John Longley, Peter’s Court, St Peter’s Square, Leeds. Freehold houses and tenements. 59 St Peter’s Square, and No 1 Peter’s Court.

1849 voters register:

Transcript: John Longley, Peter’s Court, St Peter’s Square, Leeds. Freehold houses and tenements. 59 St Peter’s Square, and No 1 Peter’s Court.

The 1850 voters register shows John living in St Peter’s Square, as we know, but it also shows him as having a financial interest in a property on the Armley Road:

Transcript: John Longley, St Peter’s Square, Share of freehold houses and tenements, Armley Road, occupied by Johnson, Littlewood and others.

But there is a second entry for 1850 in the voters register:


In 1851, John and Elizabeth are living at 59 St Peters Square with only 6 of their children – George Demaine having died in 1843. Elizabeth’s mother, Bridget, is visiting and they have a servant – Susannah Kitson.  John is listed simply as a “Builder”.

1851 voters register:

There are two entries for John Longley, and I need to understand why. Are they both the same person? Which one is “mine” if there are two? Nelson Street (which I’ve seen elsewhere) appears now.

1852 voters register:

Same question as the previous register.

And another 1852 voters register entry:

The 1853 voters register records the year in which John and Elizabeth move out to Woodhouse Lane:

And a second 1853 voters register entry:

1854 voters register:

1855 voters register:

Transcript: James is now at Grafton Street. There are two Williams. Are they both mine? I don’t think that they can be, and my money is on Park Street, given the financial interest in St Peter’s Square.

1855 again, this time for Wortley:


In 1856 he still has the property interest in Wortley:


In 1857 he still has the property interest in Wortley:


1858 Wortley:


1859 Wortley:


1860 Wortley:

In 1861, not much has changed. John (Builder) and Elizabeth are living at Woodhouse Lane with 5 of their children. It’s not clear why they have moved out to Woodhouse Lane, though it may simply have been more space. Eliza Ann had passed away in January 1852, aged 1 year and 3 months.

1861 shows exactly the same

In the 1862 voters register, things change slightly, either due to a change in the way things are recorded, or because things have actually changed. He is now recorded not as having a share, but as owning the freehold:

In 1862, the situation in Wortley is un-changed.


In 1863, the situation in Wortley is un-changed.


In 1864, the situation in Wortley is un-changed.



He still has the property on Armley Road, Wortley in 1866.

1869 voters register:

William is now living at Brickfield Cottage, Armley Hall, Wortley.

He still has the property on Armley Road, Wortley in 1869.

1870 voters register:


He still has the property on Armley Road, Wortley in 1871.

By 1871, John’s fortunes, or at least the way he describes his occupation on the census, have looked up. Still living at Woodhouse Lane, he is now listed as a “Master Builder employing 10 men and 1 boy”. By this point, only Maria remains at home, and they have a servant Ann Anderton. The property next to John in the census is “Hopewell House”.

On October 3rd 1871 The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer runs an advert for building land for sale, contact John Longley of 70 Woodhouse Lane. Is John closing the business down, due to ill health?

Transcript: To be sold, 2765 yards of building land in the very best part of Potternewton Hall Estate, Chapeltown, Leeds. Apply John Longley, 70 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.
1872 voters register:

So, this is interesting, and not straightforward. The “two Williams” with interests in Park Street and St Peter’s Square are now in York and Bradford.
I know that William Longley with the interest in 59 St Peter’s Square is John’s brother, as the 1871 census shows William and his second wife (Mary) living at Heworth Lodge, Monk, York.
The second William is William Longley (b1840) – the son of William Longley – who goes on to form part of Jackson and Longley (architects) based at 2 Kirkgate, Bradford in 1871.

1873 voters register:

He still has the property on Armley Road, Wortley in 1873.

On the 6th February 1873, John leaves us at the age of 58, with his cause of death being recorded as Hepatic Disease – a liver disease.

His address listed as 70 Woodhouse Lane. His death is certified by John William Longley, of North Street.

His probate is granted at Wakefield in the 17th of April 1873, being proved by his son John William Longley (Chemist & Druggist), his son-in-law Alfred Whitehead (Cloth Merchant) and Henry Walton Whitehead (Machine Manufacturer). The effects are “under £9,000”. If this was the value of his estate, and using a basic value of money calculator, his estate (based on 1900) would be worth over £850K in 2012 terms.

Transcript: 17 April. The will of John Longley late of Leeds in the County of York Builder who died 6 February 1873 at Leeds was proved at Wakefield by John William Longley Chemist and Druggist the son, Alfred Whitehead Cloth Merchant and Henry Walton Whitehead Machine Manufacturer all of Leeds the executors.

His probate is announced in the Leeds Intelligencer on 17th May 1873:

His will, dated 12th November 1869, is a long and rambling affair that throws up few new clues, other than the fact that he had an additional property at Blackman Lane (perpendicular to Woodhouse Lane) and that he referred to his son Thomas as “Tom”. He basically speaking divvies out units of £100 to his children and puts a sum of £600 into trust, to provide an income to Elizabeth.

Alfred Whitehead (m Elizabeth Longley, d of John Longley)

John’s will is a long and rambling affair, where in simple terms he divides his estate between Elizabeth and his remaining offspring. It tells us little about his estate – other than reference to property on Blackman Lane – a street that runs to the East of Woodhouse Lane, in Woodhouse.

By 1881, Elizabeth (widowed) is living at the home of her daughter Elizabeth and her husband Alfred Whitehead at 2 West Hillary Street in Leeds, along with her daughter Maria. There are two servants, being Harriet Priestley and a cook Louisa Pollard.

In 1891, Elizabeth is living with Elizabeth (daughter) and Alfred Whitehead, though she has now taken their family name and is recorded as – Elizabeth Whitehead (Mother-in-law).

Elizabeth leaves us in March 1895 at the age of 76. Her death is recorded at North Street in Leeds, possibly at the home of her son and chemist John William Longley, though this is unconfirmed as the census record does not show him at this address.

The children of John and Elizabeth

Elizabeth (b1839) marries Alfred Whitehead – a cloth manufacturer merchant – in 1863. They have four children and she dies in at Bryn Afon in Pool-in-Wharfedale in 1919. The Whiteheads appear reasonably well to do, and one of the brothers is a surgeon.

George Demaine (b1841) is born in 1841, but the poor mite has a short innings, and dies in 1843.

Sarah Jane (b1842) doesn’t find love in her life, and dies in 1866, aged just 24.

Maria (b1844) seemingly doesn’t find love either, and leaves us a spinster in 1889, though the 1881 census record where she’s living with her widowed mother lists her as an Annuitant. I assume that this is from her father’s will, or from her mother.

Thomas (b1846) passes away on April 15th 1871 in Christchurch, New Zealand, aged 25, as reported by the Leeds Intelligencer 13th June 1871. The reference to Woodhouse Lane ties up, as does the age and the fact that he is the eldest son, and I have a photograph of his headstone in St Barnadoes Cemetery, in Christchurch:

Transcript: Longley, April 15 at Christchurch, New Zealand, aged 25, Thomas, elder son of Mr John Longley, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. Friends will please accept this intimation.

John William Longley (b1847) fortunately (for me) finds someone to share his life with up with and gets hitched to Christiana Hodgson in 1871, becoming a chemist and druggist.  See later.

Eliza Ann (b1850) lasts about as long as George Demaine, and makes it only to 1852.

So, with seven children, four of whom die before he does, poor old John must have been wondering what he’d done wrong. With only 2 children moving into married adulthood, it is difficult to form a clear picture as to how the family is shaping up. Certainly, the children have moved on from the building/ bricklaying trade, and training as a chemist must have required intelligence and money. Did John’s success in the building trade allow us to move up in the world?