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Todwick Village

The Reverend Richard Inman of Todwick, Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Inmans of Garsdale, Yorkshire: The Origins and Family

The first Inman on my father's side is supposed to have come to Garsdale about 1710 & bought Low House. He is described as John or James Inman of the Lodge in Parish of Horton.

Thus wrote Barbara Inman on the 5th of February 1883, when living at No. 3 Oxford Parade, Cheltenham, England. Having carefully made a copy of her great grandfather's manuscript (that is, the manuscript of her great- grandfather on her maternal side), Barbara Inman, daughter of the late Reverend Richard Inman of Todwick Rectory in Yorkshire, then devoted the above few words to her father's family.

On their mother's side, Barbara and her siblings also had Inman ancestry. Their mother, Deborah Inman, was descended from a well-documented Nidderdale family; well-documented perhaps for the simple reason that Deborah's grandmother, Deborah BAYLES, the wife of Michael INMAN, could trace her ancestry back to King Edward lll and beyond. Having copied the details of this illustrious maternal descent, Barbara Inman must have had some misgivings that so little was known concerning the origins of her father.

Parish Register entries certainly confirm that members of the Inman family dwelt in the Yorkshire dale known as Garsdale from the early 18th century. In their book "The Yorkshire Dales", first published in 1956, authors Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby noted

At Garsdale Foot was born James Inman, who devoted a distinguished life to navigation and naval matters. The Inmans were also connected with Low House, a charm-ing old building, which still contains an oak court cup-board carved with their initials.

The earliest monumental inscriptions in the Churchyard at Garsdale specifically mention the Inman family's association with Low House. William Inman of Low House lies buried there aged 58 years, the year of his death no longer legible; however the details of his widow Elizabeth show that she died 14th April 1795 aged 79 years. Beside her lies the body of their son William who died in 1828 aged 83 years.

Parish register entries show that William, son of William (and Elizabeth) had been baptised at Garsdale 21st April 1745. His siblings, all baptised at Garsdale, were James in 1736, Thomas 1737, John 1739, Dorothy 1742, Richard 1747, and Margaret 1749. Some of the descendants of this family remained living in the dale well into the 20th century.

However one grandchild of William and Elizabeth Inman found fame miles away from his birthplace. James Inman, mentioned by Hartley and Ingilby in their book on the Yorkshire Dales, was a younger son of Richard Inman of Garsdale Foot, and was born there in 1776. Educated at Sedbergh School, he attended Cambridge University, from where he graduated, B.A. 1800, and M.A. 1805. He gained a B. D. in 1815, and D. D. in 1820. Ordained in 1811 he held no parochial preferment but acted as Chaplain to the prison ships in Portsmouth harbour. It had been his intention to take up mission work in Syria, but on account of war he was detained in Malta, and there studied Arabic. After several adventurous years at sea, James Inman returned to England to become the First Principal of the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth. At his suggestion, the School of Naval Architecture was established, and to him was largely due the improvement in ship-building during the first half of the 19th century. He was the author of several works related to naval matters, navigation, mathematics and ship-building. He died on 7th February 1859.

But it is on John Inman, baptised 9th February 1739 at Garsdale, that we must focus, for on 14th June 1778, this John Inman presented his own son for baptism at Garsdale, naming him Richard. Details concerning Richard's mother, and any further information on both parents is lacking. Perhaps they left the dale soon after baby Richard's birth, for there is no evidence of any further children being born to them at Garsdale.

Unlike his first cousin James Inman - whose attendance at Sedbergh School and Cambridge University was followed by a distinguished career - Richard, son of John, appears to have had no university education. The next notice we have of him is during the early years of the new century when he was employed as a curate in the country parish of Hauxwell in Swaledale. By the year 1808 he was master of the school at Bedale.; and in this year he also married, his bride Deborah Inman being the daughter of Whaley Charles Inman, yeoman of Bedale, and his wife Mary nee OLIVER. It has always been stated that there was no blood relationship between bride and groom, and this fact would seem to be correct.

In 1808 Rev. Richard Inman was admitted to the Church of Holy Trinity in King's Court, at York. His home, however, continued to be in the market town of Bedale. It was there that the first six of his fourteen children were baptised. By 1816 the family had moved to York where daughter Barbara - the later scribe of the family - was baptised in the church of St Saviour on the 12th November 1816. Preferment to the Rectory at Todwick near Sheffield came at the close of that year, and in this parish the Reverend Richard Inman was to remain, completing, by the year of his death, fifty years there as Rector.

Details of the births of all their children were kept by Richard and Deborah in the old family bible:

William Charles Inman born Sept. 19th 1809 5 o'clock a.m.

Mary Inman born Decr. 15- 1810 at halfpast one p.m.

Martha Inman born May 10th 1812 at 10 minutes before seven a.m.

Elizabeth Inman born July 1st 1813 ten minutes before 5p.m.

A little boy, intended to be called Mathew, but which died before the delivery, born 19 Sepr. 1814

Frances Inman born 26 Sepr. 1815 half past nine a.m. Frances died about six months old.The above were all born and registered at Bedale in the North Riding of the County of York.

Barbara Inman born 27th Octr. 1816 half past 9 p.m. in St Saviour Gate, York.

Richard Inman born 24th of Novr. 1817, half past one p.m. at Todwick rectory in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Thomas Inman born 11th of Novr. 1818 at 3 o'clock p.m.

Charlotte Catherine Inman born 7th December 1819, 1 o'clock a.m.

Sarah Inman born 31st of October 1820, eight o'clock a.m.

James Inman born 21st Sepr 1822, 20 minutes after eight o'clock a.m.

Anne Inman born 6th October 1823 - 20 minutes past 4 p.m.

John Inman born 8th April 1826.

It is perhaps not really surprising to learn that just nine days after the birth of John, her 14th child, Deborah Inman herself died at the age of forty-one. Baby John's baptismal entry in Todwick Church registers on 18th April 1826, was followed just three days later by the burial entry for his mother.

The Rectory at Todwick must surely have been a commodious dwelling. As well as housing the Rector and his large family, it was also home to Deborah's widowed father Whaley Charles Inman, and occasional home to her bachelor brothers Thomas, Charles, Robert and Richard, and her unmarried sister Frances. Just two months after Deborah's death in 1826, her father Whaley Charles also died at the Todwick Rectory; a memorial tablet high on the chancel wall in the church records his death, and also those of his sons Charles (1833), Robert (1820) and Richard (1831). A second tablet to Deborah's eldest brother Thomas was erected in 1865 "in grateful and affectionate remembrance" by his sister Frances "and his nieces Mary, Martha, Barbara, Charlotte Catherine and Annie".

The third and main memorial tablet in the chancel is to the Reverend Inman himself, and some of the members of his immediate family:
















And what of the remaining members of the Todwick family?

William Charles, the eldest son, had the benefit of a University education. He graduated B.A. from Cambridge in 1835, went on to take Holy Orders, and served several curacies before being presented to the Rectory of Great Gonerby in Lincolnshire, in 1846. He died there twenty years later, and just two months after his father. He never married.

The second surviving son was Richard Inman. He married Mary Ann HARRISON and is known to have had two children, Herbert and Marion. At some unknown date this family moved to Manitoba in Canada. Herbert married and left descendants who have only recently learned some details concerning their Yorkshire origins.

Thomas Inman, the third son to survive, also graduated B.A. from Cambridge.

He was ordained deacon in 1849 and priest in 1850 . After he had served in several different parishes as a curate, he became Vicar of Appleton Wiske in Yorkshire, 1870-73. Reverend Thomas Inman married in 1850 Lavinia Louisa BURTON. He died 12 January 1894.

Mary Inman, the eldest daughter, was said to be a real beauty. She became the wife of a clergyman, the Reverend Henry Austin ORAM; she died the 1st March 1892, leaving many descendants.

Her sister Martha Inman married yet another clergyman, a curate at Todwick the Reverend Thomas GAWTHROP. Martha Gawthrop was alive in 1899, and mentioned in the will of her sister Barbara Inman, dated 10th July that year.

And Anne Inman, the youngest daughter of the family, married 7 September 1854, the Reverend Anthony Ambrose EDWARDS, Vicar of All Saints Church, Leeds. Anne died 29th December 1905.

At the time of the old rector's death in 1866, two of his daughters remained unmarried. By 1881 Charlotte Catherine had left Todwick and was living in Cheltenham at the home of her widowed cousin Emma SETON.

Of Charlotte's sister Barbara Inman, rather more is known. By the time of the 1881 Census, Barbara had made her home with her widowed sister Annie EDWARDS at 6 Spencer Avenue, Potter Newton in the Leeds district. But by January 1883, Barbara too had gone south to live in Cheltenham, and here she remained right through to the turn of the century and beyond. She died at 3 Oxford Parade, Cheltenham on 23rd July 1912, at the advanced age of ninety-five.

Her will dated 10th July 1899, together with four later codicils, was proved in London, her effects amounting to £3388 5s 9d. To her nearest relatives, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins, Barbara Inman had bequeathed many family mementos - 'an oil portrait of my Uncle Christopher' was left to niece Kate Inman Smythe; 'the portrait of my grandfather, Whaley Charles Inman', and 'my gold seal with the Inman crest' were to go to Herbert Inman in far-away Manitoba; sister Annie was to have 'the old family clock', and Martha the 'two pictures of Todwick Rectory and Church.' Piano, music stool, engravings, alabaster figures, gold chains, watches, ornaments - all were itemised in Barbara's will. But by the time of her death many of the intended recipients had also died.

The last surviving child of Richard and Deborah Inman, Barbara had taken a keen interest in her family's history. In 1883 she had made copies of the information in the manuscript books of her maternal great-grandfather, Michael Inman, and distributed these copies amongst the younger generations of the family.

I was fortunate to be shown one of Barbara Inman's family history copies in 1995 when I visited Mr Reginald Darcy Hunter at his home in Leeds. He also proudly showed me the old family bible in which were carefully recorded the names and birthdates of all the Reverend Richard Inman's children, as detailed previously.

Yet another of Barbara's family history copies has since surfaced in an antique shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada. And from the brief family notes that have been added to it, there can be no doubt that this particular record had once belonged to Richard Inman, the son who left Todwick last century to make his home in Canada. Descendants of Richard Inman Junior have retained several photographs of their English ancestors - among them is one of the Reverend Richard Inman, Rector of Todwick, born in Garsdale in 1778, and died at Todwick, near Sheffield in 1866.

And so it is thanks to his daughter Barbara Inman, that these records have survived today. And but for those few extra words that Barbara wrote in reference to her father's family, we might never have known of the Todwick Inman family's link with Garsdale.

This information was sent by Nancy R. C. McLaughlin


91 Major Hornbrook Road, Mt Pleasant, Christchurch, New Zealand