George II

Here is the third section of my exploration of the history of my old house and surroundings in Howdles Lane.  The series begins here.

In the previous post we saw how the land lay in 1882.  Little had changed by 1901 and 1915.  So the following maps give a good idea of what the area was like when the lease came up for auction in 1911.

Howdles Cottages. Ordnance Survey, revised 1900-01, published 1903 (left) and revised 1915, published 1921. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

From the Probate Calendar:

HOWDLE George (the elder) of Swing Bridge Farm Clayhanger Norton Canes Staffordshire died 12 May 1911 at Bridge-street Clayhanger Probate Lichfield 6 September to David Howdle farmer and William Bailey miner. Effects £2296 12s. 5d. Resworn £2985 11s. 9d.

This was the George Howdle born 1825.

From: Lichfield Mercury Friday 29 September 1911

The Estate of Mr. George Howdle, the Elder,



To be SOLD by AUCTION by MESSRS. WINTERTON & SON at the ANGLESEY INN, WATLING STREET, BROWNHILLS, on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER, 11, next, at 5 for 6 o’clock in the evening comprising:-

TWELVE LEASEHOLD COTTAGES and Gardens known as Howdles Row, in Howdle’s Lane, off the Watling Street, Brownhills, in lots of Four.

TWO LEASEHOLD COTTAGES and Gardens in the same lane and TWO CROFTS of TURF LAND adjoining.

From: Lichfield Mercury Friday 6 October 1911


Messrs. Winterton and Sons will sell by auction (also by order of Mr. G. Howdle, senr.), at the Anglesey Inn, Watling Street, Brownhills, on Wednesday next, at 5 for 6 o’clock in the evening property, comprising twelve leasehold cottages, in Howdles Lane, two leasehold cottages and gardens, and two crofts of turf land adjoining.
From: Lichfield Mercury Friday 13 October 1911

PROPERTY SALE. — On Monday evening last, Messrs. Winterton and Sons held a successful sale of Properties at the Station Hotel, Brownhills, being the estate of the late Mr. George Howdle, every lot being sold.

[First were some properties in Clayhanger, then:]
On Wednesday evening Messrs. Winterton submitted the remaining portion of the estate of Mr. George Howdle, the elder deceased, to the Anglesey Inn, Watling Street, when £140 was given for four leasehold cottages in Howdles Lane, known as Howdle’s Row, by Mr. Cooper. Four similar cottages adjoining sold to Mr. Smith for £138 and four to Mr. Norris for £130. The two cottages at the end of Howdles Lane realised £126 to Mr. Cooper, and two parcels of leasehold turf land were withdrawn.

I think Mr Cooper was James Cooper, who ran the Prince of Wales.

The land referred to includes Howdle’s Cottages (3 x 4 = 12 No.), another pair of cottages on the east side, and the two “crofts of turf land” leased by John “Jack” Dennis (son of great grandfather) from 1911-1948.

howdles cottages os 1882 1883
Howdles Cottages. Ordnance Survey, surveyed 1882, published 1883. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Returning to the Howdles Cottages map, the leases sold were for the “red” land in three separate parcels, respectively to Messrs Cooper, Smith and Norris.  Mr Cooper also paid for the eastern portion of “yellow land”.  The “blue” land was withdrawn and was taken up separately by John Dennis, Dad’s uncle Jack.

The transaction with Jack Dennis is recorded on page 5 of the conveyance document.


deeds 28 p5
Page 5 of the conveyance of 28 Howdles Lane to my father.

So, George Howdle’s executors were David Howdle and William Bailey.  On 21 December 1911 they entered into an agreement to transfer the lease of the land on which number 28 stands and other land, edged blue Howdles Cottages map.

Between pages 2 and 3 of the conveyance is a more detailed plan showing the plot numbers; number 28 was built on plot 8, outlined below.

deeds 28 p2a
Plot numbers of development in Howdles Lane 1959-60 – the land edged blue on the Howdles Cottages map. Bear in mind orientation is at right-angles.

Plot 8, therefore, was owned in one way or another by four generations of my Dennis family.  To some, considering that, it might seem sad that I let it go, but I am glad I moved; should have done it long ago.

Next in this series:  John I Chapter V.





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