Nettlefold Family - Moor Pool History

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1870 onward

The Nettlefold Family

Somewhat confusingly there was another John Sutton Nettlefold. It is believed that the first John Sutton Nettlefolds father married a Sanderson, widow of Coxe, and that he was an ironmonger in Holborn, who died on March 18th 1827 aged 70. It seems probable that John Sutton inherited his business. In 1819 he married Martha Chamberlain, the eldest child of Joseph Chamberlain and Martha Statham Strutt, who married in 1792.

John Sutton Nettlefold seems to have had few relations. He had one brother, Sam, who died in 1847 at the age of 64 and two sisters—Anne who married in 1807 Henry Rooke who lived in the New Forest and, after gambling away his estate according to the custom of the times, took a very small house at Weybridge and Betsy who married in 1839 a rascally foreigner (Damiani) and lived at one time at Clifton.

Sometime after 1848 John and his wife Martha moved into a larger house, The Grove, Highgate, and remained there to their deaths in 186. It was from this house that Martha Sanderson Nettlefold was married to Charles Steer I in 1848. They had wonderful gatherings of the family at Christmas and May Wyman (née Steer) seems to have been with them frequently and never tired of talking of them. Suffice it to say that from these reports and from his travel diaries, John Sutton, who must have been a remarkably able and kindly man and whose memory was certainly revered by all his daughters. Edward J. Nettlefold moved into The Grove, Highgate, on the latter’s death. He had married Frances, one of two Wyman cousins who used to come to stay with his father and mother, and their first home was near Charles and Martha Steer. The marriage was a very happy one but it is known that she resented the time he spent in nursing Charles’ business for his two fatherless boys. After his death Frances moved her large family up to Birmingham, her eldest son having already gone into the Nettlefold business. She took Hallfield in Edgbaston, a large house where she lived in great state. Her stern expression and severe manner daunted the Steer children, but underneath them was the kindest of hearts.

Joseph Nettlefold married a pretty and very charming employee at the King’s Norton works. He lived in a large house “Highbury” at King’s Heath where he and Mary, the souls of hospitality, insisted on giving the wedding breakfast for Charles and Emily Steer. He was accustomed to drive to the works in his carriage and pair, but one snowy winter he astonished the neighbourhood by using a very magnificent sleigh for the purpose. To make sure that the works were guarded at nights the watchman had to fire a gun from the entrance at 10pm when Joseph stood at his front door to hear the report. Fearing that after his death his wife and three daughters might become victimised by fortune hunters, he left them only a modest sufficiency, and the bulk of his fortune to his brother Edward’s family to be distributed amongst twelve of them. In addition to the house at King’s Heath he had a property in Scotland, Alleyne, her visits to which were some of the very bright spots in May Wyman’s girlhood and early married life, and she treasured pictures of the house and a shooting party held there. It must have been a curious establishment and she had many funny stories about it. The only visitor who could really shoot seems to have been Henry Wyman, and they loved to get him there so that they could kill a few birds.

Frederick Nettlefold, the youngest of the three brothers, married Mary Warren, a little “Dresden china” lady. After the death of his father and eldest brother he managed the old original ironmongery business in Holborn with his nephews Oswald Nettlefold and Arnold Steer. Arnold began behind the counter tying up parcels, etc. In the next generation Oswald’s son, and daughter Nancy, carried on the business and moved into a large office in the Euston Road near the station. Frederick, he and Mary lived in a large house at Streatham where he had a very good collection of Cox’s paintings in his billiard room. He acquired a large interest in Courtaulds in its early days. When visiting at Putney, Elsa was taken by her two aunts to see him.

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