Joan. Two Knutsford queries, please.
1) According to her birth-certificate, my mother was born on 24
Feb. 1901 at 'The White Tower Drury Lane Knutsford', where her father,
William (James) Harbottle, was given as 'Engineer at Steam Laundry'.
This was presumably Watt's, and the tower must have been very new
at that date. Indeed, my grandfather may have been involved in setting
up the laundry steam-engine. I have Goodchild, Ikin & Leach's
'Looking at Knutsford', which has photographs of the laundry at
pp.26-7. But which is the white tower, and does it still stand?
And are there any surviving laundry records?
2) A mere elusive question. My mother was given the name 'Furniss'
on her birth cert., and was known throughout long life as 'Furness'.
Why she was so named was always a mystery to her. None of her 5
brothers and sisters (all Manchester-born) was given an unusual
name. My wife has noticed the photograph, also on p.26, of the Old
Vicarage. Its caption mentions 'Margaret Furnes', who died in 1716.
We wonder if nearly 200 years later the name was in local circulation
in some way, and for some reason my grandfather decided to use it
as a Christian name for his daughter. He must have known about the
Old Vicarage, which I take to be near the laundry. But he was a
Baptist, not an Anglican.
Thanks for your help. Donald Read