Window on the West Riding – John Goodchild Collection Index Cards

Whilst in lockdown we have continued to work on the John Goodchild Project, in a rather different way but we have kept going and thought it was time to catch you all up on what’s been happening!

As our buildings are all closed during the current pandemic we are unable to safely access the collection but careful planning and homeworking has enabled us to keep our essential services and projects ticking over. It’s been a juggling act of domestic wonders, children and pets for some of us but it’s time to ask for your help!

As some of you will know, John created a huge number of index cards to his collection, they reflect his interest in the people, places, business and events of our districts and beyond and there are hundreds of thousands of these! We have begun listing the index cards not only using our powers of palaeography (John’s handwriting is miniscule and smudged at times) but also our powers of research. We’d like to try to find a bit more information out about some of the individuals and businesses on the cards and here’s where you come in!

We have some examples here of the way in which John collected and recorded the information. Some show links to archives held within his collection, some are taken from outside secondary sources and some simply tell you where else in the index cards to look! As we have no current access to the collection, we have been unable to actually research the records themselves but together we may be able to paint a bigger picture of the individual/place/business or industry.

Could you shed any more light on the story of Marmaduke Abbey? In 1838 he is described as ‘A youth. In court for throwing half a [?] brick at a small boy’. Marmaduke didn’t take the opportunity to turn his life around and between 1840 – 1841 he was in court accused of stealing a copper dyeing pan from Mr Hodgson of Wrengate and sent for trial. The following year he appeared in court for theft from Miss Hardinge of Many Gate and was remanded. Less than a month later, he appeared in court again with T Margrave for picking pockets. What happened to Marmaduke?

Marmaduke Abbey Cropped

Charles Adams was a Wine Merchant from Alverthorpe, in 1812 he signed a request for a meeting of Maltsters to petition Parliament. In 1840 he appears on the Grand Jury at Wakefield Sessions and again on the jury of the Sheriff’s Court. Married to Mary, he has a son Robert and a daughter, Mary. Charles died at his residence in Alverthorpe on 8th April 1841. Do you know anything more about Charles Adams? Where he might have traded from, where in Alverthorpe he lived or what became of his children?

Charles Adams

Is his son, Robert Adams the same Robert Adams, gentleman of Alverthorpe noted on a separate index card as having died in 1870 and here as a Sicilian Wine Merchant?

Robert Adams

John typed some of his cards (far easier to read!) but we have limited information on this one, is anyone familiar with S. Cope, a grocer of Saville Street, Wakefield? Do you know the dates this business was in operation or if S. Cope had a family?

S Cope Grocer

If you can help to fill out the background information on these people and businesses, we’d love to hear from you! Please email

John obviously felt that these individuals were a true reflection of the history of our districts and as we work our way through them, we will be posting some of them on our social media channels. Look out for further requests for your help #DiscoverJG. Happy researching and stay safe.


4 thoughts on “Window on the West Riding – John Goodchild Collection Index Cards

  1. At the Quarter Sessions in Leeds, October 1841 Marmaduke Adams (aged 19) was sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing a silk hankerchief from Joseph Perkins in Wakefield. York Herald – Saturday 30 October 1841 & Leeds Intelligencer – Saturday 23 October 1841

  2. I suggest
    In Alverthorpe Charles Adam’s widow Mary was described as ‘wine merchant’ in 1841 census; son Robert as corn miller. Mary died in Alterthorpe in 1847 aged 77 and was buried there.
    Dau Mary (b1804?) marr James Hepworth, a worsted worker of Horbury on 14 January 1825. They had several children. She died in Alverthorpe in January 1871 and was buried there.
    In 1851 census Robert, married to Jane (b Hunslet 26 December 1808) was described as farmer and cornmiller in Alverthorpe.
    In 1861 census Robert was described as corn miller and wine merchant.
    Robert was buried on 2 June 1870 at Alverthorpe aged 66. His widow died in Alverthorpe in 1 Jan 1895 and was buried there.

  3. Samuel Cope b 1854 (mother’s name was Margaretta) was a grocer’s assistant when he married in 1880, he was in business on his own account and got an off licence on Saville Street in the early 1880s and remained a grocer through to the late 1920s and retirement.
    He had various home addresses in Wakefield.
    Two daus reached adulthood; Gertrude Margaretta and Gwendoline Amy.
    He died 1 April 1944

  4. Pingback: John Goodchild Collection index cards - Wakefield Historical Society

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s