Martin Farndale was born, second son of
Martin and Elizabeth Farndale of Fogga Farm near
Skelton on 19 September 1845. He was only 9 when his eldest brother, William,
died aged 11. He was 17 when his father died aged 43 and was buried in
Skelton old churchyard. He had two brothers, John born in 1848 and Matthew in
1950. After his father's death he continued to work for his father-in-law
William Taylor at Fogga. He was shown as living
there in the census returns of 1851. He had been at school in Skelton. Fogga Farm no longer exists; it was pulled down when the
railways were built. The census returns of 1861 showed him as a servant to
John Rigg of Brough House, Brotton.
He was 32 when he married Catherine Jane Lindsay
at St Cuthbert's church, Darlington on 7 July 1877. On his marriage
certificate, he is described as a miner of Brotton, son of Martin Farndale, a
farmer deceased. She is described as a spinster of Darlington, daughter of
Andrew Lindsay, a shoemaker.
about 32, about the time of his marriage
Catherine on 29 October 1875, shortly before her marriage
marriage, Martin and his new wife moved to Kilton Thorpe, but he was still a
miner. It was here that their first three children were born. It is hard to
know exactly when they moved to their next home, a small moorland farm at
Tranmire, near Ugthorpe on Whitby Road. It was
probably in 1882, because their fourth child was born there in that year. But
they were only there for a year or two before they moved to Tidkinhowe farm near Guisborough where they were to spend
the rest of their lives. It was at Tidkinhow that eight further children were
born. In 1889 their seventh child, William, died aged two. He was buried at
Skelton on 21 July 1889. Tidkinhow was a small farm, but it had large tracts
of moorland for sheep grazing. It produced most of what the family needed
while money was made from the sheep, their wool and lambs, together with a
small milk round. The house was small; a kitchen, a dining room, a sitting
room and four bedrooms. The children all went to school at Charltons, a small hamlet about a mile away towards
Guisborough. As the eldest grew up, they went away to work on neighbouring
farms or in the mines. Later, seven of the twelve were to go to western
Canada and USA to make their lives there.
Martin's two brothers lived nearby; John the
next lived at Loftus and worked on the LNER and Matthew farmed at Craggs Hall
near Brotton. There is a story that, while living at Tranmire, Martin asked
Matthew to go and take Craggs Hall for him. On his return Matthew said that
he had taken it, but for himself! Martin however always spoke highly of his
brother who helped him to get to Tidkinhow, a farm on Wharton estate.
John, who was born in 1848
Martin's brother, Matthew, who was born in 1850
Having left Charltons School, whose headmaster Mr Mat Ranson is remembered as fair and strict, most of the
family moved to Boosbeck school as they reached 11.
This was about two miles away and of course they walked taking their lunch.
Jim and Kate however went to Guisborough School.
Alfred was the youngest, born in 1897. All twelve children were born between
1877 and 1897; twelve years:
1. John born Kilton Thorpe
24 December 1877
2. Elizabeth Lindsay
(Lynn) born Kilton Thorpe 11 December 1879
3. Martin born Kilton Thorpe
8 June 1881
4. George born Tranmire
9 January 1882
5. Catherine Jane born
Tidkinhow 16 June 1884
6. James born
Tidkinhow 22 December 1885
7. William born Tidkinhow
22 June 1887 (died 19 July 1889)
8. Mary Frances born Tidkinhow
22 January 1889
9. William born Tidkinhow
29 January 1892
10. Grace Alice born Tidkinhow
21 April 1893
11. Dorothy Anne born Tidkinhow
24 May 1895
12. Alfred born Tidkinhow
5 July 1897
Anne Weatherill's diary: Guisborough 1863
This is the diary of Anne Weatherill of
Guisborough, written when she was 22 years old.
It was written in a
small notebook, measuring six inches by four inches and records her
activities between January and September 1863.
In other words it was written a few years before the Farndales moved to
She began the little diary soon after returning from a visit to London.
Back at home in Guisborough, she records attending impromptu dances and invitation
balls, she visits Redcar and stays with friends in Stockton and
Carlton-in-Cleveland. She takes part in a choir festival and lends a hand in
local festivities. A constant feature through the months is her response to
the changing seasons and the beauty of the countryside.
Anne lived in Northgate in Guisborough with her family: her father Thomas, a
prosperous brewer, landowner and businessman, her mother Margaret, her 20 year old sister Kate, and her brothers William and
Herbert, aged 18 and 14.
Friday August 14th
Mr Morgan's picnic. Mr Atkinson opened a tumulus in the moor near Tidkinhoe [Tidkinhow] and found two urns, the date at
least one thousand five hundred years before Christ
[Canon Atkinson of Danby, natural scientist and archaeologist, was much
engaged on the Skelton and Guisborough moors that summer]
Go to the website which
records Anne's diary
Catherine Jane wrote
the names, births, marriages and deaths of her children in an old family
Bible which has long since disappeared, but the remains of the first two
pages have survived.
Lynn was the first to
marry. She was working at Tancred Grange and on 22 August 1903 she married
the owner, George Barker. She was 24. She was to have six children and her descendents were still living at Tancred in 1982. Two
days after, she was married, her mother wrote to her. This letter survives:
"Tidkinhowe, Aug 24 1903
My Dear Daughter
I received your letter and was glad to hear you arrived all right. I hope you
and your husband are enjoying yourselves and that you are having fine
weather. It is raining here today. John will take your luggage and leave it
at Darlington tomorrow as he is going back to Newcastle. I posted all the
boxes on Saturday night that were addressed and I
will send the others to you with the cake. I gave the postman 2/6 this
morning and he was very pleased. We have to wish you
much joy & happiness for him. You must write after you get home and let
me know if you get the luggage all right. I now conclude with kind regards to
I remain your affect mother
C J Farndale"
(Lynn and her husband were clearly spending their honeymoon at the Cockburn
Hotel, Edinburgh as is shown by the address on the envelope)
Meanwhile life at Tidkinhowe continued. Weekly
shopping expeditions by pony and trap to Guisborough to buy groceries were
followed by elder members of the family going out on Saturdays in
Guisborough. They went for lots of walks and met neighbours. There were horse drawn and later motor buses and from time to
time a 'break' would take them on an outing to a sow somewhere. John was
working down the mines, Lynn was married, Martin was a bit delicate as a boy
and spent much time at home helping his father. George was working on a local
farm. Kate was at home and James was a butcher. His younger brother, William,
was an apprentice butcher at Saltburn and Mary soon went away to learn
confectionary. Grace, Dorothy and Alfred were at home.
Catherine Jane frequently wrote to her children when they were away. She
often visited members of her family at Bishop Auckland. There are two
postcards written to Grace, one from Bishop Auckland (25 Sep 1906) simply
saying "Will be at Bishop Auckland Wednesday by train" and the
other from Etherley Schools where Catherine Jane
had been (6 Mar 1905), saying "This is where I went to school a long
time since. I hope you are keeping well."
But life was not easy and it was becoming more difficult
to make a living, let alone realise ambitions. Martin was the first to want
to spread his wings. Many young men in the district were going abroad and
there was great pressure to colonise the western provinces of Canada. He was,
however, concerned at the effect on his mother on leaving and this concern is
clearly reflected in two letters written from SS Tunisian after he had left
without saying goodbye. Clearly this was done to avoid the worry and concern
of his departure. He left Liverpool on Thursday 16 June 1905.
16th 1905, Friday morning
Just a few more lines. I left Liverpool on
Thursday night for Canada on SS Tunisian. I have had a good night's sleep. I
have booked second class on board and is very comfortable. We are passing by
the north of Ireland this [ ]. The ship makes a call
here to take on more passengers. This letter will be sent on from here. I
shall not be able to post any more letters till I land at yond side. I am
enjoying the trip well so far. I hope mother will not fret is she get to know
before I write. I will send a letter to her as soon as we land. I am going to
do best . I am going a long way up the country. I am
to Calgary in Alberta. It is chiefly cattle farming there. There is several more young men on ship that are going out from there can
catch. But I have not meet any lady that is my way
yet. You must try and cheer mother up. There is nothing for her to trouble
about. I am as safe here as riding on the railways in England. I shall be
about other 7 days on the water. I will send a few letters off before I start
my land journey. I have not time write more. I want to up on deck. We are
just about to land at Londonderry I believe.
I must leave hoping you are all well.
And five days later:
"Letter cannot be posted for England till
we land so you will know if you get this that I landed all right.
Wednesday June 21st 1905
I shall soon get my sea trip over now. Land was
sighted today Newfoundland I believe. Every
body is beginning to lighten up now. But it will be Saturday
morning before we land at Montreal.
I have enjoyed voyage up to now. I had one day
sea sick. It was awful. I don't want that any more. We have had few very cold
days. It is always cold n this part of the Ocean. We saw a great iceberg this
morning. It was a great sight. This is a great rock of ice. So you must know we were passing through a cold front.
This is a big vessel about two hundred yards long I should think. Every body seem quite happy.
There is a smoke room and a music room. And the best of everything to eat.
Third class seems to be rough quarters. But they are in another part of the
ship. There will be about eight hundred passengers on board all together.
Some men pulling long faces when the vessel left Liverpool. I never thought
anything about it. But I was like the rest. I watched England till it
disappeared out of sight. I hope mother will not trouble about me. I will be
all right. I thought it was my best thing to do. I had nothing to start in
business with in England. I shall be able to get about £50 per year and board
with the farmers out here. If I can stand the climate. And I can settle. I
shall be able to start farming for my self in about
All letters are to be posted tonight on board so
that they will get away as soon as we land. They don't [ ]
to a few hours when they land. So all has to be
First and Second class are having a Grand On
Board tonight. We shall be quite lively.
I now finish. Hoping you are all well. And
remain your affectionate Bro.
Martin was 24 years old. These are interesting
letters, for they start a whole branch of the Farndale family, still living
north of Calgary.
George followed his elder brother to Canada
fairly soon afterwards and already Kate wanted to go to look after them, but
they all knew that their mother was ailing. Jim also wanted to go, but did not want to leave. Gradually Catherine Jane
weakened until on 14 July 1911 she died at Tidkinhowe.
Her death certificate shows that her husband, Martin, was with her and that
she actually died of fibroid pathesis,
cardiac failure, but she almost certainly had TB. Alfred later remembered his
distress at her funeral in Boosbeck and being
comforted by his nearest brother William on the way back. There is no doubt
that her untimely death at the age of 56 was a great blow to the family. She
is remembered by them all with the greatest affection. Her life had been hard but she had clearly cared for them all. She is
remembered also as kind, intelligent, firm and determined. There was now a
great gap at Tidkinhowe
and the family had to do their best to fill her place.
Soon after their mother's death William and Kate
followed their two elder brothers to Canada. James had already sailed on 31
March 1911. There is a long diary of his voyage [once this is transcribed
this will be a link to the diary]. Their stories are told elsewhere. Kate and
George were never to return to England, but Martin did twice and William as a
soldier. Jim returned as a soldier and visited again in the 1950s.
The war came in 1914 and three members of the
family joined three armies! William joined the Canadian army and was wounded
in France. Alfred joined the British army and James the American army.
Tragically William died of his wounds in 1919 and Alfred did not get home
from India until 1920.
By the end of the war, the family were well
scattered. John was still working locally; Lynn was still at Tancred Grange
near Scorton; Martin was still a bachelor in Canada, as was George, both in
Alberta. Kate had married William Kinsay and was
living near her brother in Alberta. James had married Edna Adams and was
living in San Antonio, Texas; William was dead and
Mary was working in Leeds. Grace, Dorothy and Alfred were at home, but Alfred
spent much time at Scorton with his eldest sister Lynn since her husband had
died in 1919. Martin, in 1920, was 75 and still living at Tidkinhowe.
Grace went away to a job as matron at Monmouth
High School for girls and there met Miss 'Peggy' Baker. Together they left
the school in 1924 and went poultry farming first at Scorton and then at
Leeming Bar. Peggy was later to marry Alfred and had many trips to Tidkinhowe and met Martin. There is a letter from Martin
to his daughter Grace, mentioning Peggy, undated, but must have been about
1927 just before he died:
I am doing well. Not much time to write. Father
wishes you a very happy new year & Peggy write her. Quite well myself.
Wanting to get up and abscond from here. ... from your ? father"
Martin died on 17 January 1928 at Tidkinhow and his
youngest son Alfred was with him. He died of pneumonia. He was buried on
Friday21 January at 1.30 pm at Boosbeck alongside
his wife, Catherine Jane where their memorial still stands. He made his will
the day before he died naming his eldest daughter Lynn as his Executrix and
he left what he had to his sons John and Alfred and his daughters Grace and
Martin is universally remembered by everyone as
a straight, honest and intelligent man who was always totally involved and
interested in world events. He was a quite,
rather silent man, of high principles and high standards. It was about him
that people said "His word is his Bond" and this was chosen,
because of him, by his grandson Martin as the motto for the first Farndale
coat of arms, some 54 years after his death.
On Martin's death, Dorothy married Alfred Ross
and went to live at Skelton. Alfred married Peggy Baker and went to join his
brothers and sister in Canada in 1928. Two weeks later Grace followed leaving
only John, now married to Elsie at Tidkinhow. John had no family and gave up
Tidkinhow after his wife's death in 19??.
There is no doubt that, in their own ways, all
members of the family followed closely the example set by their parents. The
austere correctness and honesty of their father and the warmth and
intelligence of their mother are characteristics commented on by many people
in many places who have known the children of this remarkable family.
From this particular family
of twelve, only a few boys bearing the Farndale name remain. Two sons were
born in America, of James. One of these sons, Gordon, had a son, Mark. Two
sons were born of Alfred in Canada, Martin and Geoff. Martin had a son
Richard, who in turn had a son, James. Geoff had a son, Nigel, who in turn
had two sons, Alfred and Samuel.
Now there are no more Farndales at Tidkinhow,
but it remains a revered name in family conversations; a small, remote farm,
on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, ancient by its name, mentioned in
1575 and interpreted as the pet name for Tydi's
mound, the word how being old Saxon English.
The boys of Tidkinhow in about 1910.
John, James, Alfred, William, George and inset Martin
The girls of Tidkinhow with the Barker children in about 1910
Willie Barker Dorothy
Farndale Margaret Barker Grace Farndale