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Arms supplied herein are purely in association to the surname.

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This homesite is being produced by Edwin Stanley Dearlove

Telford, England.

E Mail

26 March 2000 15:57:10


Although this homesite has been entitled the "Yorkshire Family of the Dearloves's" it is hoped that with time it will grow to encompass all the worldwide family which bears the name. However to start I have concentrated on the information which I have to hand here in England.

The surname Dearlove was a nickname or an expression of affection. The name was found in Yorkshire, England, six centuries ago, and it has been represented there since that time. Perhaps this would be an ideal opportunity to expand on the origin of surnames.

Surnames, having a derivation from nicknames, form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspects of the person concerned, or to their character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals or birds. In the middle ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The aquisition of surnames in Europe has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to aquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureacracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a Lord and his vassals the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one person from another. However as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another.

Now we come to the surname Dearlove. The first mention we have found to date is in the York Public Library where there is a reference in the Surname reference section of the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, dated 1275. At this time it was spelt as Dernlof. There is also a further entry spelt Dernelof in the Wakefield County Rolls in 1379. Dernelof survives today as Dearlove which has usually been interpreted as a straight forward complimentary name similar to Truelove.

My first entry on the family trees which I have produced is Johannes Derlof 1379 (Poll Tax in Yorkshire) but we then have a missing section until 1585, which still needs to be investigated, then we have a clear line right down to today. This line starts with Richard Dearlove 1585 and continues down to my grandchild and my siblings grandchildren.

The family trees I have created are all produced using Microsoft Excell and unfortunatelydue to their sheer size it is not possible to show them on this site. However if anyone wishes to have a copy of them please e.mail me on the address above and I am willing to send them to you as an attachment to an e.mail.

I would like now to inform you of an important period of our history, during which time the Dearlove family were an important part of the musical heritage of Yorkshire.


In November 1952 an article appeared in the Yorkshire Illustrated magazine which was written by a reporter called Charles Reynard. In this article he relates the story of the Dearlove family down two hundred years of music making. I would not want to intrude on his skills in journalism by trying to re-wright the story so I shall produce it here in its original form.


One of the most remarkable musical families in England today is that of the Dearloves of Yorkshire. For two hundred years every member of it has played some form of instrument and the majority have been professional players. Their name is known in every theatre and in every orchestra in the country. They have been linked with the entertainment world in all its aspects, from cinemas to circuses, and from band waggonettes to broadcasting, and they owe it all to Mark Dearlove, a proffesor of music, and a maker of violins, who was born about 1771.

Yet if a family story had any proof, and were to be believed, the Dearloves owe it all to William the Conquerer! The story that has been handed down the years , and the one they regard as a joke which they love to tell in their more pontifical moments, is that when King William came over in 1066 he brought with him among his army, a number of trumpeters. One of them, so it is said, was named de Louvre, and from this, say the family, it is not a far cry to Dearlove.

It is , however, Mark Dearlove, who kept a music shop in Boar Lane, Leeds, who is regarded as the head of the family. Little is known of him except that he had four children, including two of the name Mark, one who died as a child, and the other born many years later. This Christian name Mark runs like a thread through the family, and has usually been given to the eldest son, sometimes with the additional name of William.

The son of the original Mark, is always spoken of as "Mark William", and it was he who became one of Englands noted violin makers. When the Great Exhibitionof 1851 was proposed, he conceived the idea of making a quartet of miniture scale models for display there, comprising a violin, a viola, a cello and a bass fiddle, each with its respective miniture case. They were greatly admired as the work of a craftsman, and shortly afterwards they were taken to Australia by one of Mark Williams sons. Two of the tiny instruments are still in existence- the violin, modelled on a Strad, which measures no more than five inches long, and the double bass which is fourteen inches. The hair used for the violin bow is said to have been made from the hair given by Mrs Mark William and the instrument could actually be played. Even the coffin-shaped case has its own craftsmanship, for around the tiny lock, is a delicate inlay of mother of pearl. They were returned to this country for display at the Festival of Britain, through the instrumentality of Jack Dearlove, a great grandson of the maker, who had seen the Great Exhibition certificates in England, and suggested that the minitures should be traced. Eventually they were found in the possession of Walter George Dearlove in Brisbane, a member of the family unknown to the present generation, and are now in the Leeds City Museum.

Mark William married three times and had fourteen children, by the first two of his wives. It is a remarkable fact that every one of those children, except two who died in infancy, became a skilled musician, an actor, or an instrument maker. They were obviously born with a musical ear, and from early childhood appeared to have an aptitude for playing some form of musical instrument. It can well be assumed that the elder children seeing violins scattered about their fathers workshop, and hearing indiscriminate scrapings by those who were learning a difficult art should develop an urge to try their hand. No doubt they picked up an instrument and found, instinctively no serious difficulty in playing it.

One of the sons Richard made a speciality of the flute. He must have possessed a full measure of confidence in his ability to play it, for it is recorded that on one occasion at the Leeds Musical Festival he firmly declined to play second flute to the celebrated de Jong, and the contretemps was only overcome by each taking a turn at playing solo flute. Another son was John Thomas and it was through him, more than any of the others, that the family became so widely known. He too was a flautist and because of his extraordinary skill on the piccolo he was known as the "human nightingale". He was born in 1846 and from early life was interested in music. He married Harriet Bushell of Beeston, near Leeds who presented him with eight sons and three daughters, and in their time all the sons except one, who died young, became professional musicians. With such a combination of musical accomplishments the proud father felt that he ought to make the fullest use of them, and he set up in business advertising that he could supply orchestras for all kinds of functions throghout Yorkshire. The result was that the name of Dearlove became synonymous with music. He even hired a special horse drawn waggonette which carried the members of the family band to their engagements. One of his ventures was the Harrogate Promenade Family Band in which every artist was a Dearlove. He was also associated with the noted theatrical family of the Newells.

His eldest son, also names John Thomas, carried on the family tradition, and for more than thirty years was the musical director of the Harrogate Grand Opera House. He also provided the Harrogate Military Band, of which he was musical director, and which at one time comprised his brothers playing violin, cello, bass, clarinet, flute and cornet, with his wife playing the piano. In the children of the other sons and daughters of the large John Thomas senior family, there was still that remarkable urge to play, aided no doubt by much parental encouragement. With instruments of one kind or another always around, and conversations touching largely on musical matters, it was only natural that the youngsters should feel drawn to music. There was too, something in the attitude that "if Dad could play so could I" and first essays on violin or clarinet were watched with pride. They were all concious that the Dearloves had quavers and semi-quavers in their blood and it seemed impossible for them to resist the call. Practically all these great-great grand children of the original Mark play some form of musical instrument, though not all are interested in it professionally.

The eldest son of John Thomas II, likewise a John Thomas, but better known as Jack, is secretary of the Musicians Union, and another Jack, son of William Henry, has his own band and does a considerable amount of broadcasting. They are all proud of the wonderful record held by their parents, and so too is the next generation. They are, however, not concerned with music as a profession, although there is an inherent desire to be associated with it and most of them play as amateurs. They are turning to other vocations realizing that the day of the professional musician is waning.


I would now like to comment on the above final paragraph. It was assumed in 1952 that the tradition of music in the Dearlove family was on the wane, however I do not think this to be entirely true. I myself had a career in the Army as a musician in a Military Band and actually studied at the Military School of Music Knellar Hall at which time there were two distant cousins of mine employed as Proffessors of music there. Also having trawled the internet for many hours in search of the name Dearlove and discovered that the name is very wide spread worldwide it is interesting to note that quite often the sites I visit have some sort of musical connection. So while it is perhaps safe to assume that the traditional image of a Dearlove sitting and playing in an orchestra is perhaps now long gone, many Dearloves are now involved in the more up to date modern musical scene.



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