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Compiled from a bundle of receipts 1915-1920
'Rosemount'

Rosemount in 2011 map 1926
'Rosemount' in 2011
by kind permission of the owner
1926 map of Irchester Road - 'Rosemount' (green), Highbury - home of Arthur Mills (orange) and Strong & Fisher's factory (yellow) and Radburne & Bennett's (pink)
The ground (lemon) was the Mission Church's field used for social occasions

We have recently copied a bundle of receipts that were found still stored on the 'spike' and, although not in best condition, they have provided a wonderful resource for our commerce section, as well as an insight into the property known as 'Rosemount', the home of shoe manufacturer Mr Joseph Knight.


Mr Joseph Knight, son of Joseph and Ann, was first married in summer 1878, to Sarah Jane, daughter of David Darnell & his wife Rebecca, and they were both born in 1857. At first they lived in one of the cottages in Orchard Place and Joseph was a shoe worker at his father's factory in Victoria Road.

They had no children but they adopted a niece, Rose Annie and, later Lily. Rose was born about 1883, and by 1901 aged 18 she managed the closing department at the shoe manufactory in Victoria Road.

In 1905 Joseph built a fine new villa residence and called it ‘Rosemount’, in Irchester Road.

Joseph moved to a new modern factory in York Road which he had rebuilt, following a fire, in 1908.

Sarah Jane died in 1915 [Clark & Sanders undertook the funeral] and Joseph remarried the following year, in summer 1916 in Edmonton, London to Beatrice Maud Marion Shorley, daughter of Francis & Annie. She was born about 1877 at Wilden in Bedfordshire, and had been brought up in Rushden.

Many changes were made at Rosemount following the marriage.


'Rosemount' during WWI
from a bundle stored on a 'spike' (a traditional way to keep receipts)
G W Battersby supplied groceries
Charles Bennett supplied fuel for motor cycle (and car?)
R A Wheeler supplied meat on a monthly invoice
Lightstrung - car repairs, petrol
A Gramshaw sold a pair of silver candlesticks in 1916
Frederick Caswell papered the staircase in 1917
Harry Checksfield repaired chairs in 1916
John Clark supplied collars in 1917
W H Darnell supplied a 24" wringer in 1917 (his brother-in-law)
W J Dartnell delivered Daily News and Shoe & Leather News 1917/18
Knight & Son sold an eider quilt in 1917
William Macdonald supplied curtain poles in 1917
Charles Meller sent in an account at 'Xmas 1917'
Miss Winifred Nicholson milliner, a blouse for Mrs Knight in 1917
George Noble repaired electric bells in 1917
James Paragreen sold 2 tons of coal in 1918
Roe Bros made a dress and a costume for Mrs Knight 1917/18
Woodhead & Linnitt took some photographs in 1918
W G Wilmott laid out tennis courts, paths etc. in Nov 1919
Tom Swindall delivered coal in 1918 and 1920
Wargate Motor Engineers - Schneider car repairs in July 1920

From this bundle of invoices it seems they had bought extra piece of ground and started to stock the gardens. They laid out a tennis court and planted roses, flowers, vegetables, and an abundance of fruit trees.

Laxton Bros. Bedford Jun 1916 22doz [gems]
  2 doz vari
  4 boxes Lobelia
  2doz Verbenas
  2 doz Petunias
  ½doz Marigolds
Charles Stewart, "Dean Nurseries", Bournemouth Nov 1917 9 ornamental trees (including Malus and White Beam)
James Abbott Mar 1918 12 standard assorted apples
  6 Cox's Orange Pippin
  1 Blenheim 
  3 Damsons
  1 Dorothy Perkins rose
Laxton Brothers
(invoice badly damaged)
Dec 1919 25 roses
  2 Nectarines
  2 Peaches
  at least 3 Pears
They also supplied lots of flower and vegetable seeds (probably 1920)
Woburn Experimental Fruit Farm, Ridgmont BDF Dec 1919 6 King of the Pippin
  6 Newton Wonder Apples
  6 Bramley Seedling Apples
  6 Lanes Prince Albert Apples
  5 Gascoynes Scarlet Seedling
  6 Cellini Pippin Apples
  2 Blenheim Orange Pippin Apples
  48 Gooseberries
  24 Black Currants
Jonathan Seckington  June 1920 36 English yew trees
  King Edward seed potatoes
Thomas Perkins, N'pton Feb 1920 2 Hollies - golden
  2 Hollies - green
  2 Hollies - silver
  2 Cedars - Deodara
  2 Thuja Lobbii Semperverens
  1 Holly - common
  1 Holly - yellow berries
  1 Cupressus Fraserii
  2 Pears Pitmaston
  1 std Apple - Blenheim Orange
C Coles, W'boro
late James James[son]
May 1920 20doz Cra...el

3doz open Iri[se]s
W & J Brown, Peterboro' Jun 1920 11½dozen Roses


After the 1919 Woburn Experimental Fruit Farm order above went missing during transit Mr Neild wrote from Ridgmont, near Woburn:


It is a fortnight ago today since they left here. I hope to be able to go into Bletchley this afternoon and make personal inquiries on the spot about them, as they would be sent from here to Bletchley, then back again through here to Bedford, on to the Midland.

I will try and get on the ’phone with you this afternoon either from Bletchley or Leighton Buzzard.

Although they have been so very long on the way, I do not think that you need worry about them being injured, for they were well packed up, and last spring I sent a large bundle of trees to Cheadle Heath, near Stockport, and they were over a month on rail, and they were quite alright when delivered, and they were duly pla[nted and the] purchaser said, only a few weeks ago, that they h[ave put on new] growth, and that some of them had fruited, ............... every satisfaction, but all the same you had better be prepared to claim damages from the Railway Co. if the trees appear to have suffered through the long delay in transit.

No I had not sent you an invoice, as we only send out our accounts at the end of each quarter, but I now enclose your invoice so that you can be prepared to claim in the event of it being necessary.

Yours faithfully
W H Neild

from a bundle stored on a 'spike'
(a traditional way to keep receipts)
Laxton's seed invoice
Invoice from Charkes Stewart
Laxton's invoice
Woburn Fruit Farm invoice
Perkins' invoice
C Coles invoice
Brown's invoice
Brown's receipt

licence 1916
Game Licence No. 1 issued in 1916 to Joseph Knight

Joseph and both his wives are commemorated in Rushden Cemetery Grave C23/25.

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