THE TARRATT FAMILY
A visitor to Bushbury church on seeing no less than four memorial plates, a marble plaque and a fine Victorian stained glass window in the west wall of the south aisle, all to members of the Tarratt family, might think that this was one of Bushbury's old landed families; but this is not so. The Tarratts came to the parish about 1830 and by the 1880s had left, although one or two who died elsewhere were buried at Bushbury in later years. The family vault is on the north side of the churchyard.
In Pigot's 1829 Directory for Wolverhampton the name appears in two firms of ironmongers, Joseph Tarratt and Sons of Townwell Fold and Tarratt and Neve of the Market Place. Mundy and Tarratt of Bond Street appear in White's 1834 Directory of Staffordshire.
Joseph Tarratt and his wife Sarah were living at the Fordhouse (previously the home of Lewis Clutterbuck) in the 1830s. Sarah died in 1840 aged 79, and Joseph in 1847 aged 90. (See memorial on north wall of nave in church). Of their five children, the eldest son William, a bachelor, stayed on at the Fordhouse with his two unmarried sisters Sarah and Anne. In the 1861 census he appears as a J.P., Deputy Lieutenant of the County and a proprietor of land, railways and canals. His brother Joseph and his wife Caroline had been living at Bilbrook House, but following William's death in 1862 they moved to the Fordhouse. They are also noted as having other houses in Shropshire and Herefordshire. Joseph died in 1869 and Caroline in 1893 at Cheltenham. She donated the window in the west end of the south aisle of the church in his memory.
Of their five children, the two eldest, Joseph and Matilda, had been born in America. This younger Joseph was commissioned in the 16th Lancers in 1854 and appears in the 1856-7 Army List as `Lieutenant, retired casualty'. In some later records he is referred to as Colonel Tarratt but I have been unable to trace any further army service. He married Anne Waddington in 1860 at Cheltenham and died in Dorset in September 1893. He is buried at Cattistock with his wife who died in 1910.
His father's youngest brother, John, lived at Moseley Hall, but died in 1840 aged 40 at his other house in Cock Street, Wolverhampton. His widow Harriet lived on at Moseley Hall for about another twenty years and died in 1876 at Bushbury Lodge, Leamington.
In the 1870s the family firm of Joseph Tarratt was being managed, if not owned by, the brothers John and Joseph Ford.
Ellen, the second daughter of John Tarratt married Richard Hope Price, solicitor of Codsall, at Bushbury in 1851. A plate on the west wall of the nave of the parish church commemorates the death of their son William Hope Tomkys Price in New Mexico on August 26th 1882, aged 27.