bayes family





Samuel Fielden, eldest son of Joshua who founded the Fielden Empire, was first the manager of the family owned Lumbutts Mill and then the sole owner, buying it from the family about 1813. He was a frequent visitor to the mill, enjoying a social life in the village, and walking there and back from his home at Waterside along the narrow lanes. He never married, but found the young girls of the village good company. One of his lady-friends was Hannah Uttley, and before long, she gave birth to his son, Thomas Fielden Uttley. He was baptised in 1817 at St. Paul's Church, Cross Stone, and brought up by his mother in Lumbutts. Hannah's relationship with Samuel was open and known by all. In 1825, Samuel was on his way home one day when he stopped to talk to a friend who was repairing a stonewall at the roadside. Giving his friend a demonstration of stone cutting, he collapsed and died. His brothers then supported young Thomas as though he were a legitimate son, finding him managerial employment in later years.


Meanwhile, William Bayes arrived in Todmorden, possibly from Northamptonshire. He was a cordwainer, or shoemaker, by trade. In 1826, a year after Samuel's untimely death, Hannah Uttley married William Bayes at Halifax Parish Church. They settled in Lumbutts in a cottage on the main lane through the village. William became involved in the internal wrangling of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel along the road in the neighbouring village of Mankinholes and was amongst those who wished to leave the chapel to build a new Free Church at Lumbutts. The first meeting about the new church was held in his home in 1836, and from then on he was actively involved in the Lumbutts Chapel, and became the village schoolmaster.


William, Hannah and Thomas were soon to be joined by John (1827), Isaac (1829), Alfred Walter (1832) and Albert Benjamin (1835). Isaac and John died young and are buried in the grounds of Mankinholes Chapel. Alfred followed his father, becoming a schoolmaster at Lumbutts, but art was his passion. He was talented enough to leave the green hills behind and migrate to London where he could study properly. William died aged 51 in 1851, and Hannah died a few years later aged 66. They are buried at Mankinholes with their sons.


Alfred married a distant cousin of his half brother. She was Emily Ann Fielden, daughter of James Fielden, a grocer and bookseller of Todmorden, and Susan Sutcliffe. Alfred and Emily lived in a small flat in Kentish Town, and as the children arrived, they moved to larger premises and finally to an upmarket residence on Fellows Road in West Hampstead where he had his own studio. The children, Emmeline (1868), Walter (1869), Gilbert (1872) and Jessie (1876), all became renowned artists in the footsteps of their father.


The story of the Bayes family is beautifully described in the 'Bayes Saga', written by Jessie Bayes. The work is unfinished as she was still writing when she died in 1970 aged about 93. The manuscript was transcribed and loving typed out by her nephew, Alexander Bayes, who gave a copy to each of Jessie's great nieces and nephews. Her story begins in Lumbutts and ends in Todmorden, covering her childhood, through Victorian London, France and America, Queen Victoria's funeral, the First World War and Great Depression. One of Jessie's great nieces, Clare Ash, has generously shared this Saga with us, together with family photographs. The Saga can be read by clicking the following link, but please note, the story is the copyright of Jessie Bayes.