William Denton was born on 22 April 1813 in the Armley area of Leeds to Thomas Denton and his wife Sarah. He was baptised on the 20 June 1817 along with his brother, Thomas, at St Peter’s Church in Leeds. Their father is recorded as working as a mason.
Our next record of William is on 24 November 1833 when “William Denton of Bramley”, Delver, married “Priscilla Weldrick of Bramley” at St Peter’s Church in Leeds. William and Priscilla had the following children:
- Sarah Ann (1835- )
- Mary Ann (1837- )
- John Edwin (1843-1868)
- Thomas (1845-1901)
- Ann Elizabeth (1846- )
- Eliza (1850- )
- Emily (1853- )
William is recorded as a Delver in 1835 and a Slate Delver in 1837. A delver, in this context, is a quarry man. By 1845 Willaim was working as a Stone Merchant and by 1947 he is recorded as the owner of Gipton Wood Quarries and living at 18 Roundhay Street which is confirmed by the 1851 Census where he is recorded as 37 years old, a stone merchant living with his wife and the oldest six children.
By the time of the 1861 Census the family had a residence on the Chapeltown Road, probably near the end of Church Lane. William (47) is recorded as a “Stone Merchant & Stone Quarrier empg 134 men & 10 boys”. His two sons were also working with stone, John as a stone mason, Thomas as a quarrier (stone).
The 1871 Census shows that William’s business has improved and he was now a “Stone Quarry Owner employing 218 men & 26 boys”. The family were living at, I think, Clapham Hill in Potternewton which may have been between Union Terrace and Scott Hall Farm.
1872 directories show that William and family were living at Rutland Lodge, that he was a stone merchant and owned “Hembrigg Quarries” which was in Morley. Rutland Lodge was demolished to make way for the Rutland Lodge Medical Centre at the junction of Scott Hall Road and Potternewton Lane. It was boarded up and derelict building when we first moved to Chapel Allerton and we often walked passed it on the way to the swimming pool.
The 1881 Census confirms that William (67), Priscilla and his three unmarried youngest daughters and married daughter Mary Anne ( married to Charles Grosvenor) were still living at Rutland lodge. William is simply recorded as “Stone merch – Quarry owner”.
William died on 17 December 1886 and was buried in St Matthew’s graveyard on 20 December with an ornate gravestone.
In Loving Memory of
OF RUTLAND LODGE
BORN APRIL 22ND 1813
DIED DECEMBER 17TH 1886
WIDOW OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JULY 24 1894
AGED 83 YEARS
DENTON William. 17 February. The Will of William Denton late of Potternewton in the Borough of Leeds in the County of York Stone Merchant who died 17 December 1886 at Potternewton was proved at Wakefield by Henry Fuller of 10 St. Mark’s-terrace Leeds Official Receiver’s Clerk Charles Grosvenor of Middleton in the Parish of Rothwell in the said County Assistant Overseer and Eliza Denton of Potternewton Spinster of the Daughter the Executors.
Personal Estate £26,262 6s. 1d.