Whilst there are
no well known "famous"
there are characters of interest, and some are listed
John Frearson of
Leicestershire, Manchester and Birmingham
was born in
Leicestershire, he later
lived and worked in Manchester and then moved
Tracking his movements and proving that the two John Frearsons were the same man was an education in Family
History and the final confirmation was found in an Archive of Socialist
papers in Amsterdam.
In Manchester he came to the attention of the
"authorities" as a socialist and seller of socialist
tracts. Some of his book stock is still preserved
as "evidence" in The National Archives.
an admirer of, and worked in the later 1830s for the cause
of, Robert Owen of New Lanark Mills fame.
In Birmingham he became a
engineer and inventor,
making patented "Hooks and Eyes" that he exhibited at the Great
Exhibition of 1851. He invented
the cross-head screw - the Frearson Head screw.
For patent reasons this
is now only well known
in UK it was
superseded by the slightly different
but now better
was an early
temperance and industrial relations campaigner, and
introduced the Saturday half-day
so that his workers
did not have to shop on the Sabbath and were more
likely to be
at work on the Monday.
He wrote socialist pamphlets, supported the co-operative
movement, spoke at their Conference and corresponded with William Morris and other
notables of the New Socialism of the 1880s.
At one time he also managed a French Giant! His wife ran a temperance hotel in Birmingham.
Whilst it was thought that his forebears gained the Frearson name
by adoption after their mother re-married a Frearson, it
is now established that this was incorrect and that he
descends from the Leicestershire L24
There are though no known male Frearson descendants.
Mark Frearson of the 7th
Mark Baguley Frearson
service in the 1840
to 1850 period as found
from his file
He served in
the "Red Dragoons" - the 7th
Dragoon Guards in
during the "War of the Axe"
in Ireland. He left
the army, possibly dispirited by the peace keeping
duties in Ireland. Having allowed the escape of a
prisoner on escort, he
was court marshalled and
demoted back to Private. During
this confinement, he
“drunk whilst on a charge of Court Marshall” and received a further three days "bread and water".
Soon afterwards he left the service. He became a vet in
Sheffield, benefiting from his experience with the
Dragoons and following in his father's footsteps.
Isaac and Joseph Frearson of Ockbrook
and his brother,
Joseph Frearson, [the 6
great grandfather of the coordinator of this
study] with three others, were sued in the 1740s by the
Rector of Ockbrook, Derbyshire, for non-payment of
After a long hearing at Lichfield Ecclesiastical
Court, the case was found "not
and all five defendants were found not guilty and
awarded their costs.
The vicar was later excommunicated.
[The documents are in Lichfield Record Office].
who later invited a preacher with Moravian connections
This resulted in a
Moravian community being set up, and
later sold his land
to the Moravian church.
The Moravian community is still in the village
today - and some of the Frearson family became members
of the Moravian community and two are buried in their
graveyard behind their
[The Moravian Archives have an abundance of
A lecture on the
Ockbrook" is available.
Joseph and Henry
Frearson of Nottingham
Joseph and Henry
Frearson were thought to be cousins, but now appear
to have been
They were both Lace Manufacturers in Nottingham and
pillars of the Baptist church.
In due course they both won seats on the first
Town Council of Nottingham
Joseph was a founding partner of the Frearson and
Vickers Lace Factory - both men were Baptists, and after
Joseph left the firm, Vickers also became a
Councillor and later Mayor of Nottingham. Joseph
died comparatively young in the 1840s.
Henry Frearson had also manufactured Lace making machines
into old age as a philanthropist. He
collected for the chapel funds and made much of his land
available for allotments for the workers who lost their
jobs as a result of mechanisation. He funded
an expedition to North East Texas by his nephew-in-law,
Dr Edward Smith, to investigate its suitability for
colonisation - again with a view to assisting his fellow
men. Dr Smith's daughter was later to marry the
first Baron Younger. His pocket watch,
made by John Foster of Liverpool,
sold on EBay. The Study was out-bid - but a
message via seller to the buyer [who found it a less
good collector's piece than hoped] enabled it to be
purchased. The watch is not in its original silver
case - but the inscription on the back plate is in good
condition reading "For H Frearson - Heanor".
First World War
As was the case
for most families in the land, a considerable number of
served, and a high proportion lost their lives in the
First World War.
They have all been studied and their family
[on the Derby 2/3 Tree]
who was wounded and found unfit for
service. His Regiment
successfully fought his discharge, and
in service, doing invaluable administrative work
his Regiment’s home base.
His Pharmaceutical College Medal
trees for many Frearson
have been established by use of
census data and other sources.
These are being further extended using contacts
via Genes Reunited and similar sites.
The Family Trees and their references are listed
on a separate page [click the link above].