Catalogue description Howitt Family of Heanor and Nottingham

This record is held by Derbyshire Record Office

Details of GB 026 D4734
Reference: GB 026 D4734
Title: Howitt Family of Heanor and Nottingham

Papers reflecting the life, activities and thoughts of an active Quaker family living in Heanor, Derbyshire, for a century and then moving to Nottingham and elsewhere. Including the papers of Thomas Howitt, 1763-1848 (reference D4734/1); Phebe Howitt née Tantum, 1759-1840 (D4734/2); Thomas Howitt junior, 1789-1823 (D4734/3); Emanuel Howitt, 1791-1857 (D4734/4); William Howitt, 1792-1879 (D4734/5); Francis Tantum Howitt, 1796-1879 (D4734/6); Ann Howitt née Bowman, d 1847, first wife of Francis Tantum Howitt (D4734/7); Maria Howitt née Burtt, d 1895, second wife of Francis Tantum Howitt (D4734/8); Richard Howitt, 1799-1869 (D4734/9); Dr Francis (Frank) Howitt, 1836-1897 (D4734/10); Ann Howitt née Adlington, 1836-1908, wife of Frank Howitt (D4734/11); William Adlington Howitt, 1871-1957 (D4734/12); Caroline Gillett née Howitt, 1868-1953 (D4734/13); George Adlington Howitt, 1876-1963 (D4734/14) and Alfred Bakewell Howitt, 1879-1954 (D4734/15).


These papers also show family connections outside England, as well as high lighting some aspects of the work of three writers within the family, who were well known in their circle and time.


Additional material includes the papers of other families, some of whom were connected to the Howitt family through marriage (reference. D4734/16/1-21); photographs, late 19th century (D4734/16/22); title deeds for property in Heanor and Langley, c1595-1960 (D4734/17); Quaker records (D4734/18) and miscellaneous material (D4734/19).

Date: c1650-1986
Held by: Derbyshire Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Howitt family of Heanor, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

Physical description: 8.5 boxes, 1 roll, 1 parcel
Access conditions:


Immediate source of acquisition:

These records were deposited by a private individual in August 1997.

  • Heanor, Derbyshire
  • Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)
Administrative / biographical background:

The Howitt (or Hewitt) family probably originated in Killamarsh in the fifteenth century. By the early 1600s the family were established in Eastwood (Nottinghamshire), where Thomas Howitt was Rector in 1646. A century later a William Howitt had moved to Heanor. His son William (1727-1797) kept The Jolly Colliers Inn at Taghill and was agent for Heanor Colliery, as was William's son Thomas.


Thomas (1763-1848) was a prominent Quaker in Heanor. Thomas' son William (1792-1879) was, with his wife Mary, a well-known writer and translator, and another son Richard (1799-1869) was a published poet.


A strong medical connection is shown in Thomas' sons with William and Richard in business as chemists and druggists and Godfrey (1800-1873) qualifying as a doctor. He was followed as a doctor by a nephew Frank, son of Francis Tantum Howitt, and two of Frank's sons, William Adlington Howitt and Alfred Bakewell Howitt.


Two of Thomas' sons went to America - Thomas (1789-1823) who died there, and Emanuel (1791-1857) who spent a year there. Godfrey and Richard emmigrated to Australia in 1840 where Godfrey established himself successfully. Richard stayed for four years. William and his two sons also went to Australia from 1851-1854. One son, Alfred William Howitt, stayed and became a prominent traveller and geologist, the other, Herbert Charlton Howitt, drowned in 1863 whilst working in New Zealand. In the late 1880s Godfrey's great-nephew William Adlington Howitt visited his Australian relatives.

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