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Otho Dudson

Dudson family grave (between the two table tombs of the Clegg family)

The Dudson slab located in the D2 Section of St Mary's churchyard is covered in the names of nine members of three generations of the Dudson Family.

The first name to be chiseled into the stone was that of Amelia, who died in 1842. She was the seventh daughter of Otho Dudson of Little Heaton. Otho himself died in 1845 and his name appears at the head of the stone, with the additional information that he was from Broughton, but formerly of Lands End.

Lands End on the Great Heaton tithe map(1839)

Lands End resided in the township of Great Heaton, in the Parish of Prestwich.The 1841 census shows several families at Lands End. Four families listed their occupations as Block Printers, and four as Bleachers and Diers,alongside some agricultural labourers. The Dudsons were one of the Bleacher families listed.

Lands End (1842)

The census listed Otho (b:1779) and his wife Sarah (b:1788), along with their children Mary, Otho Jr. (b:1815), John, Caroline and Richard (b:1831).

[Otho Dudson & Sarah Lowe's marriage in 1807 was reported in The Athenaeum, Volume 2.Nov. 1807. The Athenaeum was a society for the "advancement and diffusion of knowledge" and had a club house in what is now the Manchester Art Gallery Extension]

Research by Middleton Archaeological Society, identifies that Otho Dudson bought Lands End from Otho Hulme in 1808. The pair had been partners up until April that year, when they declared the partnership bankrupt.

[Otho Hulme (b:1756) founded Otho Hulme & Sons, Calico Printers, and was grand father to Otho Hulme of Barnfield

Partnership declared bankrupt

Prior to this period the Mill was a fulling mill, using natural substances (such as human urine)to thicken and waterproof the cotton produce from local Mills. Alongside this industry the cotton would also get bleached by whitsters.

A whitster, or whitner, removed the impurities such as seeds shell and waxes from cloth by dipping and stiring the cloth in large containers of alkali, a mix of potash and lime (bowking). Once bleached, the cloth could then be dyed, but first would be laid out, or hung up on tenter frames (secured with tenter hooks) to dry in communal or private bleching crofts. This practice lead to names that live on today, such as Whittaker.As chemical replacements for natural substances (such as urine) were discovered the Whitsters became Bleachers, and machinery was introduce to the industry.

The Bleaching Ground,Max Liebermann

[1811 saw Otho donate to the Salford Auxiliary Bible Society to the tune of 1£1s.]
[1814 John Brierley stole two pieces of cotton from the drying house at Lands End, and pleaded guilty]
[1818 Trade directory shows Otho Dudson was an Inn Keeper at the Blue Boar, Lands End]
[1819 saw otho Dudson of Greta Heaton beign granted a gamigng license]
[1828 Trade directory shows a William Dudson is an inn keeper at the Black Bull, Rhodes, just up the road from Otho at Lands End]

Lands End 1926 (Britain from Above)

Otho adapted Lands End to a bleach works using the recent discovery of chlorine, and installed a steam engine to drive the machinery. He tamed the meander of the River Irk to supply his engine.
[Otho also had a larger Mill on the Medlock - MASoc]

Lands End today, the white cottage from 1926 (and earlier)remains, but has since been extended

Otho's grave slab

In 1837 Otho was appointed to the Grand Jury of the Salford Sessions, and that same year his daughter Elizabeth married Joseph Clegg. Three years later though in 1840,, Otho again declared bankruptcy. This time bankruptcy meant the Mill at Land's End, was immediately put up for let (with it's 12 horse steam engine and all fittings), and the family house with all contents down to the carpets & toilet glasses went up for sale.

Otho's house & contents

The family had to relocate and Otho then died in 1845, Elizabeth's husband Joseph Clegg also died the year after. So the census of 1851, shows both widows, Sarah and her daughter Elizabeth ("Proprietor of Houses") were living in Besses O'th'Barn (two doors down from Besses Tavern). Sarah was listed as an Annuitant, so Otho had managed to secure her future wealth. Two other Dudson daughters were in residence too, they all lived on present day Clegg Street. The Clegg family grave stone (next to that of the Dudson's, shows that Elizabeth also adopted Amelia, his wife's neice, and daughter of Richard & Mary Dudson.

Joseph, James and John Clegg – three brothers who were manufacturers of cotton products at Besses o' th' Barn, founded Besses o' th' Barn Band – for a time known as Clegg's Reed Band, after they had converted from string instruments. They met in a room called the mangle room, attached to the old barn at Besses which was pulled down in the 1880s.

Young Otho (aged 21 b:1816) was lodging in Manchester with his brother John W Dudson, a comission agent aged 28 (b:1823). Otho died in 1857 and appears on the stone at St Mary's, the third son Richard died in 1860, also at St Mary's leaving the second son John, who moved to Toxteth in Liverpool.

By 1861, the widows, Sarah Dudson(aged 75) and Elizabeth Clegg (Head, aged 42)were now living at Thorncliffe, one of the new villas on Vine Street in Broughton with fine views over Manchester and Salford (which still stands today). Along with them lived sisters Mary Ann, Harriette, Maria Simpson (widow) Caroline, and nieces Amelia and Margaret.

Thorncliffe, Vine Street

Thorncliffe today

In 1863 Sarah died, and was buried with her husband at St Mary's. Mary & Harriet died in 1877 & 1879 respectively. The only male line remaining was John who had moved to Toxteth, working as a warehouseman. He fathered two sons, the first of which he named Otho Hulme Dudson, who became a house painter in Toxteth, Liverpool.

Dudson Family Tree

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