The BurnsidesHome / Characters / The Burnsides
Over time members of the Burnside family replaced buildings and offered many generous gifts to Plumtree village in general and the church in particular, culminating in the construction of the Burnside Memorial Hall in 1921.
The history of the Burnside family in Plumtree could be said to have begun with two brothers, William Elliott Stanford and John Stanford. However their good fortune started earlier with their great-uncle William Elliott who amassed a fortune as a succesful dye magnate. William died without issue and his estate was passed on to the Stanfords, and later the Burnsides, via the offspring of his siblings.
Click on a coloured box in the family tree below to find out more about the key people in the history of the Burnsides and Plumtree.
Note: To avoid confusion, the family tree shows the birth surnames of those people who had to change their names as a condition of their inheritance.
Original research by Phil Carruthers
William Elliott [1705 - 1792]
In 18th Century Nottingham, William Elliott amassed a fortune as a successful dye magnate and property developer. Black hosiery was high fashion for the middle classes for many years and, at his premises in Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham, he developed a technique to produce a superior black for men's stockings. He subsequently developed new methods of bleaching linen and cotton.
He moved on to invest in three silk mills in Nottingham and cotton mills on the Arkwright model in the Leen Valley (Bulwell to Papplewick).
William Elliott was married but never fathered any surviving children. This meant that, on his death, the future of his estate would depend on the offspring of his siblings. Noteworthy among these were:
- His brother, Godfrey Elliott (1696-1764), who married Elizabeth Kippax in 1720; they had a daughter, Ann Elliott (1729-1790) and eight other children
- His sister, Sarah Elliott (1699-????), who married John Stanford in 1723; they had a son, William Stanford (1729-1796) and other children
Thus Ann Elliott and William Stanford were first cousins; however in 1751 they married and had four children:
- Penelope Stanford (born 1752)
- William Elliott Stanford (born 1756)
- John Stanford (born 1757)
- Ann Stanford (born 1765)
In 1786 Ann Stanford married mill owner John Burnside
In 1788 William Elliott Stanford married Frances Beaumont
In 1791, a year before his death, William Elliott made his will. Since he was childless, the will stipulated that:
- The bulk of his estate would pass to his nephew, William Stanford (the son of William Elliott’s sister, Sarah, and her husband John Stanford) “…during the term of his natural life”.
- William Stanford would have to adopt the surname ‘Elliott’
- William Stanford should not “…at any time during his natural life intermarry again…”. Specifically, Elizabeth Taylor, one of William Elliott’s nieces was cited as receiving £1000 if she married someone other than William Stanford or if she didn’t marry at all.
- On the death of William Stanford the estate would pass jointly to his two sons William Elliott Stanford and John Stanford on condition that they too changed their surname from Stanford to Elliott.
- If William Elliott Stanford and John Stanford both died without issue, then the inheritance would pass to “…the use and behoof of Ann Burnside (daughter of my said Nephew William Stanford) and the Issue Male of her body lawfully issuing”. Fortunately, Ann and her husband, mill owner John Burnside had a son, William Stanford Burnside.
William Elliott died on 27th September 1792, aged 87, at his house at Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire. His body was interred at St Peter's church, Radford.
William Stanford [1729 - 1796]
William, was born in 1729 in Nottingham, the son of John and Sarah Stanford (née Elliott). He married his cousin Ann Elliott on 4th October 1751 and they had four children: Penelope, William Elliott, John and Ann.
He started work as a "stocking trimmer and dyer" apprenticed to his uncle, William Elliott, and later was a "silk merchant" with premises in Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham. In 1775 he bought land in Castle Gate, Nottingham, where he built Stanford House.
William Stanford inherited the bulk of the estate following the death of his uncle (William Elliot) in 1792, on condition that he adopted the surname ‘Elliott’, which he did on 11th December 1792, becoming "William Elliott". He died four years later in 1796 at Stanford House.
William Elliott Stanford [1756 - 1844]
Born in 1756 in Nottingham, the elder son of William and Ann Stanford (née Elliott).
He married Frances Beaumont in St Nicholas's church, Nottingham, on 14th May 1788; they had no children.
On the death of his father in 1796, the entire fortune inherited from his great-uncle (William Elliott) passed jointly to William Elliott Stanford and his brother, John Stanford. This was on condition (from their great-uncle’s will) that they adopted the surname ‘Elliott’. This they did on 10th December 1796 becoming "William Elliott Elliott" and "John Elliott".
The brothers bought Gedling House from Thomas Smith in 1803. In around 1806 they bought the manor of Plumtree from Sir Lionel Copley.
William Elliott Elliott was a prominent figure in Plumtree and in the wider county, donating to various charitable causes, serving as Overseer of the Poor for the parish of St Nicholas, Nottingham, and he became High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1801.
He was also responsible for the construction of several buildings in Plumtree, including Townend Cottages (on Main Road), Plumtree Cottage, Japonica Cottage (on Church Hill), the school (1840) and the Griffin Inn, formerly called The Plough (1843).
William Elliott Elliott died on the 18th January 1844, aged 88, at Gedling House.
Since William Elliott Elliott had no children, and his brother John never married, under the terms of William Elliott's will, the inheritance passed to the male line of his sister Ann Stanford. She had married John Burnside in 1786, and they had two sons: William Stanford Burnside and [Revd] John Burnside.
John Stanford [1757 - 1823]
Born in 1757 in Nottingham, the younger son of William and Ann Stanford (nee Elliott).
On the death of his father in 1796, the entire fortune inherited from his great-uncle (William Elliott) passed jointly to William Elliott Stanford and his brother, John. This was on condition (from their great-uncle’s will) that they adopted the surname ‘Elliott’. This they did on 10th December 1796 becoming "William Elliott Elliott" and "John Elliott".
The brothers bought Gedling House from Thomas Smith in 1803. In around 1806 they bought the manor of Plumtree from Sir Lionel Copley.
John Elliott became a colonel in the Nottingham Voluntary Infirmary, a regiment created in 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars. He also served as a Justice of the Peace for the county of Nottinghamshire. Partly because of these activities, and because he died twenty years before his brother, he did not play a prominent part in the management of the estate.
John Elliott died on the 10th June 1823, age 66, at Gedling House.
Since John Elliott never married, and his brother William had no children, under the terms of William Elliott's will, the inheritance passed to the male line of his sister Ann Stanford. She had married John Burnside in 1786, they had two sons, William Stanford Burnside and Revd John Burnside.
William Stanford Burnside [1791 -1870]
William was born on 15th February 1791, the elder son of John and Ann Burnside (née Stanford).
On 3rd June 1816 he married Mary Gillett at St Mary & All Saints church, Chesterfield. The couple had two sons, John Elliott Burnside (born in February 1817) and William Burnside (born in December 1817).
William Stanford Burnside trained as a barrister and, until he inherited, he lived in Aspley Hall on the Wollaton estate.
When William Elliott Elliott died in 1844, William Stanford Burnside inherited Gedling House and the manor of Plumtree.
As Lord of the manor, he oversaw the rebuilding of the Rectory as well as Flawford Farm.
William Stanford Burnside died on 22nd May 1870, aged 79, at Gedling House. On his death, the inheritance passed to his eldest son John Elliott Burnside.
Revd John Burnside [1792 - 1864]
John was born on 7th October 1792, the younger son of John and Ann Burnside (née Stanford).
He married Henrietta Anne Julia Thompson in about 1819. They had seven children:
- Anne Adelaide (1820 - 1904) - married Hon. Henry Lewis Noel in 1892
- Julia Georgiana (1821-1887) - married her cousin, John Elliott Burnside, in 1844
- John Henry (1822 - 1822)
- William Henry (1824 - 1824)
- Katherine (1825 - 1845)
- Frances Emily (1829 - 1875)
- Mary (1831 - 1888) - married Revd the Hon. William Byron in 1878
John was awarded the living of Plumtree by his uncle William Elliott Elliott and was Rector of Plumtree church from 1816 to 1864 (the first Burnside to be Rector).
He died on 23rd December 1864, aged 72, and his remains are interred in the chancel of Plumtree church.
John Burnside was a popular figure within the village. His obituary in the Nottinghamshire Guardian described him as having "a large circle of family connections and acquaintances, and [taking] a lively interest in all public matters which affected the common good of the community". He was succeeded as Rector by his nephew, William Burnside.
John Elliott Burnside [1816 - 1904]
John was born on 14th February 1817 in Chesterfield, the elder son of William Stanford and Mary Burnside (née Gillett).
He married his cousin Julia Georgiana Burnside (the daughter of Revd John Burnside) in Plumtree church on July 3rd 1844. They had one child, William Elliott Burnside (born in 1845).
Together with his brother, Revd William Burnside, John was responsible for the refurbishment of St Mary's church, Plumtree.
He died on 3rd March 1904, aged 88, at Gedling House and was buried in Gedling churchyard. On his death, the Plumtree estate passed to his son William Elliott Burnside. However, Gedling House was inherited by Walter Hugh Rawnsley (his first cousin once removed), the grandson of Catherine Elizabeth Burnside.
Revd William Burnside [1817 - 1883]
William was born in late 1817 in Chesterfield, the younger son of William Stanford and Mary Burnside (née Gillett).
He married Frances (Fanny) Houson on 20th November 1856 in Brant Broughton, Lincolnshire. They had no children.
William was the Rector of Broxholme in Lincolnshire from 1847 to 1865. Then, after Revd John Burnside's death (his uncle), he was awarded the living of Plumtree by his father William Stanford Burnside where he was Rector from 1865 to 1883.
Together with his brother, John Elliott Burnside, William was responsible for the extensive refurbishment of St Mary's church, Plumtree.
He died on 7th April 1883, aged 65, at his wife's family home in Fulbeck, Lincolnshire. His remains are interred Plumtree churchyard.
William Elliott Burnside [1845 - 1911]
William was born in February 1845 in Ruddington, the only son of John Elliott Burnside and Julia Georgiana Burnside.
On 24th April 1892 he married Alice Mary Cross at Lutterworth parish church. The couple had no children.
In 1904 John Elliott Burnside died and the Plumtree estate passed to his son William Elliott Burnside. However, Gedling House was inherited by Walter Hugh Rawnsley (his first cousin once removed), the grandson of Catherine Elizabeth Burnside.
Although they lived mainly in Normanton William and Alice had various buildings erected in Plumtree, including the Post Office, Chestnut Farm and the Edsons workshop.
William was also a benefactor to Plumtree church, including:
- A fine church clock dedicated in 1899 in memory of his mother, Julia Georgiana Burnside
- Restoration of the church tower, completed in 1906 in memory of his father, John Elliott Burnside
- The pipe organ… in memory of his maternal aunt, Frances Emily Burnside. This was the occasion of a special service in conjunction with the 1880 Harvest Festival
In 1909 he bought the estate of Tollerton and made Tollerton Hall his primary residence.
He died on 7th February 1911, aged 65, and is buried in Plumtree churchyard. His wife, Alice Mary, survived him by 16 years.
As William Elliott Burnside had no children, the estate passed to his wife while the search began for the next in line to the Burnside family fortune.
Alice Mary Cross [1853 - 1927]
Alice was born in 1853 in Nottingham, the daughter of James and Susannah Cross (née Woollerton). Her father was a butcher.
On 21st April 1892 she married William Elliott Burnside at Lutterworth parish church. The couple had no children.
Her husband died in 1911. Following the ending of the first World War (1919), the villagers were planning a suitable commemoration and one suggestion was a village hall. However Alice Mary Burnside was insistent that she intended to build a village hall dedicated to the memory of her late husband. Alice Mary Burnside had her wish, and the Burnside Memorial Hall was opened on 25th June 1921.
As for the villagers - they settled on a the provision of a War Memorial instead.
Alice Mary died in London on 25th December 1927, and is buried in Plumtree churchyard.
As William Elliott Burnside and Alice Mary Burnside died without children, it was neccesary to create a family tree to find the next in line to the Burnside family fortune. Catherine Elizabeth Burnside, William's great-aunt, was the starting point.
Catherine Elizabeth Burnside [1794 - 1824]
Catherine was born in 1794, the younger daughter of John and Ann Burnside (née Stanford).
On 19 January 1818 she married Sir Willingham Franklin at St Nicholas's church, Nottingham. The couple had five children: Catherine Ann, Emily (died age 2), Willingham (died age 1), Willingham, and Elizabeth (died as an infant).
Sir Willingham, became a successful barrister and received a knighthood. However he died of cholera in 1824, at the age of 44, while serving as a justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature in Madras (Chennai), India.
Catherine Elizabeth died four months later, on the 22nd September 1824, aged 29, in Madras, India.
Guardianship of their two surviving children (Catherine Ann and Willingham), was passed to her brothers, William Stanford Burnside and Revd John Burnside.
- Catherine Ann Franklin married the Rev. Robert Drummond Burrell Rawnsley, rector of Halton Holegate in Lincolnshire. They had ten children.
- Willingham Franklin married Fanny Lydia Murdoch. They had four children.
As William Elliott Burnside and Alice Mary Burnside died without children, the search began for the next in line to the Burnside family fortune. Catherine Elizabeth, William's great-aunt, was the starting point. Her great-grandson, Edward Franklin Clements, (Willingham Franklin junior's grandson by his daughter Katherine Elizabeth) was chosen as heir.
What happened next will be the subject of another family tree ... coming soon.