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Ask Joan
Joan Leach is a local historian, a volunteer at the Heritage Centre, a founder of The Gaskell Society, and much more besides.


Hi my name is Jean, I am trying to find some information about an Issac Antrobus. He was born in 1678 and died in 1734 aged 56. He lived at Brook House Knutsford, and built Grove House Knutsford. He married Sarah Chadderton of Pilkington in the parish of Prestwich M/c in the year of 1699. He apparently built a school in 1720, and may have had connections with Mrs Gaskell, my research has come to a dead end, could you possibly throw any light on this subject, it is for my elderly neighbour who is also at a loss.
Many Thanks, Jean.

Joan answers:

Dear Jean

The Antrobus family is an interesting one and you may be able to borrow through your library loan system "Antrobus Pedigrees" by R.L.Antrobus though this must be a rare book.

I will not go into family history here but tell you about Isaac. Many of the Knutsford family were mercers and drapers but Isaac was a skinner. He also left the Church of England and became a dissenter.

His house, later called Brook house stood at the corner of Brook Street and Adams Hill. He gave land adjoining this for the building of Brook Street Chapel c. 1689.

The first trust deed of March 1694 is between Isaac, John his eldest son and Walter second son and trustees for the chapel.

He is buried under the aisle of the chapel and his Son Isaac has a brass memorial on the wall - he was a school teacher - in latin! There is a history of Brook Street Chapple which relates all this (1934 by G A PAyne)