Builders, property owners and farmers
The most notable member of the Sheldon family was Stephen Sheldon, born 1777. Sheldon Place, off Queen Street was named after him, indeed, he is believed to have built it. He built many houses in ‘Old’ Bollington and owned many of them, letting them out. His Will, below, notes that he lived in Queen Street and lists houses in Queen Street, Gnathole (those around and including the Vale Inn in Adlington Road), and implies that there are other properties elsewhere all belonging to him at the time of his death in 1844. Note that in 1844 Bollington was still a part of Prestbury parish, even though St John’s church had been erected by 1834.
The Sheldon family lived at various times in many of the houses in Sugar Lane (actually in Adlington parish), and continue to do so as I write (2017).
The Will of Stephen Sheldon (b.1771 – d.1844)
The last Will and Testament of me Stephen Sheldon senior, Yeoman, of Queen Street Bollington in the parish of Prestbury.
I do hereby appoint James Harrop farmer of Beestall in Bollington, my son John Sheldon, farmer of Sugar Lane in Adlington and Thomas Beard, joiner of Church Street Bollington giving them the power to compound all debts and settle all claims and to allow to each other all necessary expenses incurred at my funeral and of executing my will and also to retain and allow to each other 5% on all debts collected by them, and I direct my above named executors to sell all those cottages or dwelling houses belonging to me situate in what is commonly called the Gnat Hole in Bollington, all those cottages or dwelling houses belonging to me situate in Queen Street Bollington and also all the residue of my property whatsoever and wheresoever situate.
And I will and bequeath to the surviving children of my deceased daughter Mary Harrison, to my sons David Sheldon, farmer of Bollington. Stephen Sheldon cotton dealer of Rainow and John Sheldon, farmer of Sugar Lane in Adlington – to James the surviving son of my deceased daughter Ann, wife of John Hallam – to the surviving children of my deceased daughter Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Beard – to my sons James Sheldon (at present resident in America) – Adam Sheldon labourer of Rainow – Joseph Sheldon labourer of Rainow and to my daughter Charlotte wife of William Middleton each and all an equal share in the proceeds arising from the sale of my property hereintofore mentioned save only and except that William Harrison, son of my deceased daughter Mary, shall receive only £5 as his share of the property the remaining portion being equally divided between Stephen and Hannah, brother and sister of the said William Harrison, and also I direct that as my two sons David Sheldon farmer and Stephen Sheldon cotton dealer have in times past received from me diverse sums of money over and above what has fallen to the lot of my other children, there shall be deducted from my son David’s share of my property the sum of ten pounds sterling and from my son Stephen’s share the sum of twenty pounds sterling, which sums shall be equally divided amongst all my children and of giving to each one tenth part.
And I direct my executors to sell all my property [details omitted but including household furniture etc.] and divide the proceeds arising from sale amongst my children in the names above specified within 12 calendar months after my decease.
And also it is my desire, that, previous to the said sale, Hannah daughter of Mary Harrison deceased do reside in the house at present occupied by me, free of charge, and that upon her quitting the said house, all property belonging to her as stated in an inventory taken of the same, shall be restored to her, and I hereby revoke all other wills.
Signed 27th November 1844 by Stephen Sheldon
Charles Perkin of Bollington, innkeeper
Jabez Thomas Rathbone of Bollington, schoolmaster
I am very much indebted to Anne Taylor who has researched much information on the history of the Sheldon family and I hope to add more of it here in due course.