Sad Times and Unfortunate Happenings in the Family

It is recalled in the family that Henry Rose turned out to be the clever businessman, while his brother David was the driving force behind the business. It is unlikely that David had much of an education, he seems to have been a man who knew where he was going, and only befriended people who could further his cause. Woe betide anyone who got in his way, even close relatives.

In 1865 Annie York came to work for the family as a cook. At the time David junior was away at school. On his return at the end of term, he fell in love with Annie, and they soon decided to marry. The young couple walked to Birmingham with Annie’s brother and caught a train to Kenilworth, where they got married. At the time David was under age, being just seventeen years old, and must have forged his father’s signature on the marriage certificate. When his father discovered what had happened he was furious, and had his son arrested for stealing his brother's boots. He locked David junior in his room and had him stripped of his clothes so that he couldn't escape. He tried to write and see Annie, and so in 1868 his father sent him to join an expedition to South America that included his cousin William, known as Amazon Bill (son of David senior’s brother Henry).

They travelled to Brazil along with a group of people from Wednesbury, but the conditions there were poor, and they were plagued with yellow fever. While they were away it was discovered that William’s wife was pregnant, and so they only stayed for a year before returning home. While they were away, David Rose senior had been sued by Annie’s father for her upkeep. Being crafty, he had his son declared bankrupt, but still had to pay 25 shillings a week for 180 weeks. From then on it seems that David junior had nothing to do with his father. He became an office clerk, and lived in Dudley Street, Bilston. By 1881 Annie York was working as a servant in Yorkshire. She never remarried, and died in 1909 at the age of 66.

A letter exists from David senior’s daughter Elizabeth, which was sent from Lime House finishing school in Walsall. At the time she was feeling homesick, and asked if her parents could possibly take a very pleasant drive in the direction of Lime House when they were out one day. She asked if they could bring some stamps, and her gardening tools. Elizabeth never married, she did some of her father’s paperwork, and looked after him until his death. She died at the young age of forty three from heart disease. At the time she was living at 10 High Street, Moxley.

David and Zebiah’s Eldest Son

Their eldest son, Henry Fullwood Rose went into partnership with his father, and two of his brothers, William, and Arthur. In 1883 when the iron trade was in recession he left the business, dissolved his partnership and moved to Bath, where his wife Emily had been born. By 1891 they were living at 18 Grosvenor Place, Bath, from where they moved to houses in nearby Pulteney Road, ending up 93 Sydney Place, Bath in a fine Georgian town house which is now Grade 1 listed. They also had a holiday retreat at Burnham-on-Sea, called Hope House.

Captain Leopold Mclaglen. From his book ‘Police Jiu-Jitsu’ published in 1922.

Henry and Emily had two children. Their daughter, Gladys, born in 1881 married Captain Sydney Temple Leopold Mclaglen, known as Leo. After their marriage in 1905 they had a daughter, Pheobe Gladys Mclaglen who was born in 1906.

Leo was a colourful character with a huge personality, but could be overbearing and eccentric. After serving with the Mounted Infantry in the South African War, he worked as a doorman in a Milwaukee movie theatre and began to fight in broadsword contests.

He also appeared in the vaudeville circuit in Texas with the Romano Brothers troupe. He was Jiu Jitsu champion of the world and wrote the book ‘Police Jiu-Jitsu’ published in 1922. His brother was the well known Hollywood movie star Victor Mclaglen who appeared in many films.

Unfortunately Leo left Gladys, and later turned up one day on a motorbike to see his daughter, and took her away without her mother’s permission.

Henry and Emily’s other child, Ronald Henry Ivan Rose was born in 1890 and married Alma Clear in 1915. Ronald studied at Magdalen College, Oxford but enlisted into the army when war broke out. He became a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion on 10th September 1914, but sadly was killed in action in the Battle of Arras on 28th April, 1917. They had a son in 1916, Ronald Henry Fullwood Rose who became a journalist after also studying at Magdalen College.

Henry Fullwood Rose died on 7th January, 1918. He left £4,830-12s to his wife Emily, who died in 1944 at the age of 85.

David and Zebiah’s Youngest Son

Their youngest son, Arthur Thomas Frederick Rose ran the sand quarry near David's works. In 1882 he married Emily Stokes, in Dudley. Her father, a solicitor, and his family lived at Ednam House, Dudley which is now occupied by Dudley social services. By 1891 Arthur and Emily were living in a large house on the corner of Oaks Crescent, off Merridale Road, Wolverhampton.

Unfortunately they fell on hard times after the closure of the family’s ironworks at Moxley, and by 1901 were living in a smaller house in Russell Street, Dudley. They had two sons, the Reverend Joseph Claud Rose, a Clerk, and Arthur C. Rose, who was born in Dudley in 1890, and became a famous pantomime dame.

Arthur Rose senior continued to run his sand quarry for a while, but by 1911 the family had moved to Garston, Liverpool where he was working as an inspecting engineer. He died in 1927 and left £235-8s to his widow Emily, and his son Joseph.

Their second son, Arthur C. Rose, became known as Clarkson Rose, and had an extremely successful career on the stage.

He made his first appearance in1905 at the Mechanics Institute, Dudley, with the billing "A. C. Rose - Comedian" and later formed his own concert party.

They had a summer show called "Twinkle" which was shown at seaside resorts for 40 years. He appeared in repertory in Liverpool, and took to the London stage in the West End.

‘Clarkie’, as he was known, married Malvin Askew in 1911. The marriage was probably encouraged by his father, because Malvin's father was a physician and surgeon.

Unfortunately the marriage didn't last. They had a daughter, Ruth, in 1914.

Clarkson Rose. Courtesy of Mary Harding.

The cover of Clarkson's autobiography.

In 1918 Clarkson met Olive Fox, and they formed a double act known as Fox and Rose.

She became his second wife. He wrote his autobiography, "With a Twinkle in my Eye", published in 1951.

In chapter one he describes life as a youngster, and the visits he made with his family to Goldthorn Court, and Ednam House, the grand houses where his ancestors lived.

Clarkson died on 23rd April, 1968 at Eastbourne, aged 77. He had been on stage for nearly 60 years.

David and Zebiah’s Second Son

William Napoleon Rose, a gent and ironmaster, married Lydia Gardner at King's Norton in 1868. Sadly the marriage was short-lived. She died in 1878 of scarlet fever. There is a memorial plaque to her in All Saints’ Church, Moxley. William and Lydia had five children:

Lydia Louisa Rose, born in 1870
Mary Eleanor Zebiah Rose, born in 1871
Edith Alice Lizzie Rose, born in 1872
Maria Gardner Rose, born in 1874
William David Rose, born in 1877

In 1880 William married Mary Beaman at All Saints’ Church, Moxley. She was a spinster and governess. They had three children:

Dorothy Rose, born in 1881
Hyla Frederic Rose, born in 1883
Ellen Beaman Rose, born in 1889

William worked with his father at the Albert and Victoria Ironworks, and later had his own Jubilee works. After the death of his father, and the closure of the ironworks at Moxley in 1886, he worked as an iron merchant until 10th September, 1901 when the business was dissolved by mutual consent.

William and Mary had some hard times. Their home, The Heath, was sold to William Wesson who took over the ironworks at Moxley. They moved to a modest house in Church St, Moxley, and William played his violin in local public houses to earn some money. Mary did her bit by making and selling pikelets. William died on 10th December, 1925. Mary died on 22nd August, 1932 aged 85. They are buried in the family grave at All Saints’ Church, Moxley, only a few hundred metres from their old family home.

William and Mary’s Children

Their eldest daughter Lydia became a nurse at the Cottage Hospital, Walsall, and by 1911 was matron of the Woodlands Crippled Childrens Hospital, Northfield, now known as the Woodlands Orthopaedic Hospital. She never married, and died on the 25th October, 1959 at the age of 90. She is buried with her father in the family grave at All Saints’ Church, Moxley.

Their second daughter Mary married in 1910 and went to live in Derby. Nothing is known about their third daughter, Edith, but their fourth daughter Maria also became a nurse.

She began her career as a pupil teacher, and by 1911 was working as a trained nurse for George Cadbury, the chocolate manufacturer, his wife Edith and family at Primrose Hill, Griffens Hill, Selly Oak.

Little is known about their other daughters. Dorothy died in 1912 at the age of 31, and Ellen, who never married, died in 1954 at the age of 65. They are both buried in the family’s grave at Moxley.

Their first son William became a mining surveyor, and died in Sutton Coldfield in 1959. He was 82 years old.

Their other son Hyla became an iron merchant, then enlisted in the army at the age of 33 and served in France. In 1921 he married Gertrude Beeston, and they lived at 106 Moxley Road, Darlaston.

He died in 1950 at the age of 67, and is buried in the family grave at Moxley. They had no children.

Hyla Frederic Rose. Courtesy of Mary Harding.

David and Zebiah’s Fourth Son

George Daniel Fullwood Rose.

George Daniel Fullwood Rose was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford where he gained a BA, and an MA.

He became a solicitor in the firm of Duignan & Elliot, in Walsall, and helped with his father's legal dealings. William Henry Duignan was David Rose’s friend and solicitor, and a well-known and much respected citizen of Walsall.

He was Clerk of the Peace for the Borough of Walsall for more than twenty five years, and twice served as Mayor of Walsall. As well as a being a solicitor, he was a director of the Walsall Wood Colliery Company Limited, Chairman of the Ashmore Park Colliery Company Limited, and Chairman of the Staffordshire Financial Company Limited.

He greatly enjoyed local history, amassed a fine library and became known as an antiquarian, an etymologist, and the author of three widely circulated works on the place names of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

George Daniel Fullwood Rose married William Henry Duignan’s daughter, Florence, at Walsall in 1878. At first they lived at the Rose family’s home, Goldthorn Court in Wolverhampton, then moved to Wood Green, Wednesbury.

Rushall Hall, once the home of William Henry Duignan. Courtesy of Mary Harding.


They had two children, Mary Rose, born in 1878, and Wilfred Duignan Rose, born in 1880.

George became a partner of local solicitor Joseph Smith in 1880, and was Wednesbury Town Clerk in 1882 and 1888.

Sadly George died on 15th July, 1897 as a result of cancer of the kidney.

After his death, Florence was living in Bescot Road, Walsall, where she died on 16th December, 1935.

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