Thomas (Sully) Hogarth of Blackpool
by David Binns

I am David Binns, a descendant of Thomas Hogarth of Blackpool, who was my great grandfather.  There are other living Hogarth descendants around the UK who are also descended from Thomas, although none in these pages that I have spotted.  Recently I have made a certain amount of progress, but as you well know there are many untouched leads to follow up and only a limited amount of time and money available for research!

In the meantime, I have decided to share the information gathered so far, in the hope that someone can contact me with information that will help with my particular links with the Hogarths.  Initially, there is a 'bullet point' account of Thomas Hogarth and his whereabouts during his life, including close family details.  Below that is the 'long version' of the search details.

Thomas Hogarth and family in South Wales, 1907

Thomas Hogarth and his family, in South Wales, just prior to his wife's death in 1907.  The picture shows Thomas (stood in the centre) and his wife Mary seated (centre).  The children (L-R) are Mary (known as Polly) and Alice at the back.  At the front are Florence, Albert, Richard and William.  All are Hogarths.


(In this first section I have listed dates and key incidents in the life of my great-granddad, Thomas Hogarth to those who knew him (Thomas Sully at birth, the son of Frances Louisa Sully - his father unknown).  After this, follows a section containing additional background information and further details of his life, his relatives and the people he knew.)

12-Aug-1866  Born in Marton, Blackpool - illegitimate son of Frances Louisa Sully who was a "French governess" - his father was believed to be son of a well-to-do family of architects/hotel builders in Blackpool.  It is believed she lived/worked at the house.  Click [ here ] to view Thomas' birth certificate.

9-Feb-1867  Birth belatedly registered by his mother who is resident in Lytham.  He is named Thomas Sully - taking her surname.

1867  We believe he is given up by his mother to live with Hogarth family. Our family believe Hogarths are from Salford but no evidence of this. Could be co-incidence but later in 1867 a Frances Louisa Sully is married in Clifton, Bristol - never heard of again and no FL Sully by time of 1881 census!

1871 Census  We discover a Thomas Sully, aged 4 years, living at Blowing Sands, on the boundary between Marton and Lytham (on the current site of Blackpool Airport).  He is listed as a "boarder" and scholar.  Head of the house is Anne Hogarth born in Staining - aged 66 (Farmer's widow) and her son James Hogarth born in Marton - aged 30.  Click [ here ] to view the census page.

1871-1881  Most likely between these dates he is adopted by members of the Hogarth family and re-named Thomas Hogarth.  The legal document was called a "Ward in Chancery" although details are not known - we don't know which Hogarths actually adopted him.

14-Aug-1888  Marries Mary Ann Owens from Newtown, Montgomeryshire at Blackpool Parish Church.  Thomas by then is a butcher.  His father is recorded as Thomas Hogarth (a contractor) - deceased.  We know nothing of this man.  Both are shown as residents of Blackpool.  Click [ here ] to view their marriage certificate.

1890  Birth of first child, Alice, in Reddish, Manchester.

1891 Census  We know they are living at Chorlton on Medlock in Manchester (exact details not yet known).

1892  Birth of second child, Mary Jane (known as Polly), exact date and birthplace unknown.

1-Sep-1893  Birth of third child, Richard James, in Blackpool (details from his Army records).

1894  Birth of fourth child, William (Willie), at Susannah Place, Treharris near Pontypridd (exact date not yet known).

14-Sep-1896  Birth of my grandma, Florence, in Treharris.

10-Nov-1901  Birth of sixth child, Albert, in Treharris.

1907  Death of his wife Mary from TB in 1907.  Thomas walks out on young family leaving them to cope alone.  Where did Thomas go?  Possibly Manchester or Blackpool where he had other friends and family.

1910'ish.  A guess - he has built up a butchers' business, which was later sold.

1913'ish.  He returned to South Wales with a large jar of sovereigns from the sale of his butcher's shop.  Enjoying an active social life with his friends in South Wales, the proceeds would soon dwindle.

1915  Based at Lords Cricket Ground, St. Johns Wood, London (Private Thomas Hogarth - Supplies Divison) - see letter from his son Richard, who was also in the army.

1918  His son, Richard, is killed in Egypt, prior to the Armistice.

1920's  At some stage lived with his son Albert and wife Hilda in S Wales. (Hilda recalled this time to her family).

31-Jul-1925  Postcard to Thomas from "Kathie"? in Paris - c/o 110 Maine Road, Moss Side, Manchester.

1931  Letter from Hilda - addressed to Thomas in Salford, Manchester.

1933/4'ish  Lives for a while at Little Poulton with his daughter, Florence and husband Arthur Craine (also my mum Freda Craine).

1934  Letter from "Mary Cahill" addressed to "Tom" at 149 Ordsall Lane, Salford 5.

1936  Lives for a while at Prudy Hill, Poulton-le-Fylde with his daughter Florence Craine and her family.

1936  After being taken ill at home (with stomach problems?), Thomas dies in Blackpool Victoria Hospital, aged 69 years.




Based upon family details passed down from my grandma (Florence Craine née Hogarth) and her sister-in-law (Hilda Hogarth) we know my great granddad was Thomas Hogarth.

He was named Hogarth after being adopted by the Hogarth family (Ward of Chancery).

He was born and named as Thomas Sully on 12th August 1866, in Marton (now part of Blackpool) and his birth was registered by his mother who was Frances Louisa Sully.  We have obtained a copy of his birth certificate which confirms that his mother registered his birth on the 9th February 1867, 6 months after the birth (which seems a little strange to me).

According to the information passed down by the family, his father was supposedly the son of a "well-to-do" family who lived in a big house in Blackpool, whose Head was an "architect / hotel builder" which would have been at the time of major development in the resort.  We had always assumed that the name "Sully" belonged to his natural father, but the Birth certificate proves this to be wrong.

His mother was named Frances Louisa Sully and the limited information we have about her has been passed down through the family.  She was known to be a "French governess", whatever that title means.  Evidently, she worked at the house where Thomas' father lived and his birth presumably came about as a result of their liaison.

We only know that she gave up her child for adoption and as far as we know Thomas had no further contact with his mother ever again (although we don't know this for sure).

When we started to research our Hogarth ancestry, we checked census records for 1871 and started looking for our Thomas Hogarth who would be approximately 4 to 5 years of age by then.  What we found was slightly surprising, but interesting nonetheless.  See below:

R99-3149 - 4221 folio 022
- 1871  At 143 Blowing Sands (under Poulton le Fylde refs)
- Anne Hogarth (Head) Widow / age 66 (born Staining) / Farmer of 3 acres
- James Hogarth (Son) Unmarried / aged 30 / born Marton / Farmer's son
- Thomas Sully (Boarder) / age 4 / scholar / Born Bispham

The address at Blowing Sands is no longer there, but I can confirm from old maps that it was situated almost on the site of Squires Gate, Blackpool Airport, which is on the boundary between Blackpool and Lytham (incidentally, the place of residence of Frances Louisa Sully when she registered Thomas' birth in 1867.  He couldn't have moved very far in those first 4 to 5 years, one would imagine.  Blowing Sands is shown in the 1881 census as Bispham Hawes (Bispham with Norbreck).  Although Thomas' birth certificate shows Marton and 1871 census showns Bispham Hawes, these are one and the same place from what I can gather.

Thomas was still, at this stage, registered as "Sully" and living with the Hogarths.  We do not yet have any details regarding the "Ward of Chancery" documentation and, to be honest, don't really know where to start looking. But obviously he had not been officially adopted at this stage.  Just what connection the above mentioned Hogarths had with Frances Louisa Sully is unknown.  Were they neighbours?  Did one of the Hogarth family work at the same place as Frances, or did they know the family of the boy's natural father?  Either way it is unlikely that Frances or Thomas' father was in a position to be able to bring up the child, hence he was given up by his mother.  The information regarding the "well to do" family and hotel builders has been passed down by word of mouth from Thomas' close family.

I searched for other Sullys in the Fylde area and there were just a couple of entries for a 16 year old (Farm indoor servant) Robert Sully in 1871, living with the Parkinson family in Treales (near Kirkham) and also a Belfast-born 32 year old William Sully and his wife Catherine from Manchester, neither of whom appear at face value to be close family.

My dad tried checking on microfiche the marriage records for the UK, in the year following Thomas' birth and interestingly found the marriage of a Frances Louisa Sully in Clifton, Bristol.  Unfortunately, we have lost the reference and did not have time to check any cross reference to see who she married.  If she had children they would be true blood relatives of mine.  There are many Sullys in the Somerset, Gloucestershire area, going back hundreds of years and my guess is that she originated there and moved to the Blackpool area for work - possibly as a nanny, or governess, in the "big house".

After she became pregnant with Thomas, it is likely that the situation (with her job and accommodation) became untenable and that after Thomas was born she may have returned to her family in the South West and married soon after.

We have no further information regarding any of the above people until I searched the 1881 Census, for which I have the full UK records on CD ROM.  My lengthy search of these records provides more questions than answers and therefore we are left only with assumptions up until Thomas' marriage in 1888, where formal documentation is available.

Despite detailed searches, using all kinds of permutations and spellings, there is no trace in the UK of our Thomas Hogarth (or indeed Thomas Sully!), who would by 1881 have been 15 years of age.  We have checked every Hogarth and Sully entry and he is not to be found in the records.  The Anne Hogarth from the 1871 census, at Blowing Sands, is not to be found either (although she could well be dead by this stage).  I did find her son, James Hogarth, now living with his wife Maria who is from Derby, but they have no children with them.

Where is he?  He could be abroad, or more than likely he was in temporary accommodation and not recorded on the census of 1881.  He was known in later life as a bit of a "wanderer" and tended to flit around the country on a regular basis, so this is the most likely explanation, I feel.  If he had lived with Anne Hogarth and she had died shortly before the census, he could have moved anywhere.  We still do not know which of the Hogarths adopted him, although the information shown on Thomas' wedding certificate is once again interesting, but far from conclusive.  See below:

On 14th August 1888, at Blackpool Parish Church, the marriage of Thomas Hogarth and Mary Ann Owens took place.  We know this is our Thomas, because the family details passed down regarding his wife's full name and age, match up exactly.  On the certificate, Thomas recorded his father as "Thomas Hogarth" - (Contractor) deceased.  Mary's father was Richard Owens - (Farmer) also deceased.  Thomas was aged 22 and Mary was 25.  Although she had no recorded occupation at this time, Thomas is recorded as a Butcher which, once again, we know to be his trade.  Into the Twentieth century he owned a butchers shop in Bispham (Blackpool), which was apparently quite lucrative.  We know Mary Ann Owens was born in Newtown, Montgomeryshire in North Wales, in 1864'ish.  Once again, I trawled through hundreds of Mary Ann Owens in the 1881 census to find suitable matches.  The only plausible one I found, was an entry for Mary Owens born in 1864, in Carno, which is 10 miles away from Newtown.  By 1881 she is living in Lancashire, in "Chorlton on Medlock", which is in Manchester and not many miles from where Thomas and his future wife Mary Owens were to be found in 1891.  She is shown as living at 424 Stockport Road (source FHL film 1341936 PRO ref RG11 Piece 3918 Folio 70 Page 11) - she is aged 17 and working as a servant.  I have no concrete evidence that this is our Mary, but there are only a few other contenders and they were still in Montgomeryshire in 1881.  This Mary was only shown as 'Mary' (no middle name of Ann on this one).

My mum remembers a family connection in the 1930's/40's, with the Fairclough family from Blackpool (cousin Albert Fairclough (although he certainly wasn't a first cousin to mum).  On this point, it is interesting to note that Thomas & Mary had a witness named Agnes Fairclough, who I think I have traced, with her family, to Poulton le Fylde in 1881 census.  The other witness was Edwin Sowersby, who I have traced once again with his family in the 1881 census.  Edwin's father was Thomas Sowerby who was a butcher, from Layton, Blackpool.  I wonder if Thomas Hogarth worked with/for Thomas Sowerby, who was aged 47 and may have owned his own shop - his son Edwin was aged 23 and a little younger than our Thomas.

The next reference to Thomas Hogarth (and wife Mary) is in the 1891 Census.  I have not seen the full entry, but know from a microfiche that they lived in "Reddish - Under Greater Heaton - Prestwich" which is part of Manchester.  From family notes we know that their first child, Alice Hogarth, was born in Reddish, Manchester in 1890.  Alice Hogarth's descendants are alive today and interested in family history.

Their second child, Mary Jane Hogarth (known as Polly), was born in 1892, although we are unsure of her place of birth.  Once again, she has living descendants in the UK today.

Their third child (and first son), was Richard James Hogarth (Dick) and from his Army records we know he was born in September 1893 in Blackpool.  He was to die at the end of the First World War as the armistice was signed.  Although in France a few days earlier, it is believed he died in Egypt of all places!  Mum has his Army records at her house after they were passed down from his sister (my Grandma, Florence Hogarth).

Their fourth child was William Hogarth (Willie) who was born in 1894 (approx), in Susannah Place, Treharris, South Wales, which is where the family lived after 1893.  The Hogarth family and many descendants remain in the Pontypridd area to this day.

Their fifth child was my grandma, Florence Hogarth, who was also born in Treharris, on 14th September 1896.  She lived in the area until her teens, when we know she moved back to the Blackpool area.  We have numerous letters addressed to her at various houses in the town.  She was to remain in the Fylde area for most of her life, until coming to live in a Home for the elderly close to our home in Burnley.  She died in a hospital near Burnley in December 1978.

Their sixth child together was Albert Hogarth who was also born in Treharris (not 100% sure).  His date of birth is 10th November 1901.  Treharris is a small village near to Pontypridd and close to the site of the Aberfan disaster of 1966.

The picture we have of the Hogarth family was taken in 1907 we understand, about a week before Thomas' wife Mary died of TB at the age of 43 years.  Unbelievably, but not untypical of the times, Thomas chose to walk out of the family home soon after the loss of his wife, leaving his 6 children.  It is unclear what made him do this, but it is difficult to judge him 95 years later when we do not know the circumstances.  From information passed down by the family, the eldest daughter, Alice, who was by then 17, had to make a home for the family in the wake of their mother's death and father leaving them.  We understood they lived in a little cottage with no running water so life must have been tough.  One cannot imagine where they obtained money to live on, as this was in the days before social security.  From what we gather, Richard was old enough to earn money (at 14 years old) and he walked 6 miles to work down a coal mine and then walked the 6 miles home again each day to bring in some cash.  The youngest boys Willie & Albert went to live with a lady called Mrs Willis, who is mentioned in some of the letters in later years.

The next news we have of Thomas Hogarth is when he "re-surfaces" in Blackpool which is, of course, the place of his birth.  Whether he went straight back there after Mary's death, is uncertain.  He could, I suppose, have returned to the Manchester area, or indeed anywhere!  It became clear from various family letters and anecdotal evidence that Thomas spent much of the remainder of his life flitting between family and friends in a funny shaped triangle of Blackpool, Manchester and South Wales.  Despite him abandoning his family in their hour of need, it is clear he was still much loved by his children, from the tone of their letters to each other and in later years lived with my grandma and granddad in Poulton le Fylde.  My mum, as a little girl, remembers him dressing up in dapper suit and bowler hat and setting off to work in Blackpool when he must have been in his late sixties.  She wonders now whether this was a genuine job or whether he just enjoyed the charade.  She says he had a habit of mixing up his words and names of places (e.g. when referring to "The Curve" station near Poulton, he stated "I'm off to Kerb Hill".  A school friend of mum was Renee Mison who lived at Illawalla Cottage, at Skippool.  Thomas always referred to this place as "Illawally"!

Mum recalls that, in later life, he had a "lady friend", although she thought that she may have lived in Manchester area?  I have read some of the letters passed down from my grandma and they refer to a "Lillian Hogarth" although I have it on good authority from Albert Hogarth's daughter (Thelma Jones) that Thomas did not re-marry.  This Lillian Hogarth could well have been a friend of Thomas, but by co-incidence had the same surname?  In letters between Thomas' sons, Willie & Richard, it is clear that they did not always see their dad on a regular basis and that on one occasion did not write for a period of 18 months.  It is apparent that they do not wish to speak ill of their father, but it is clear they were not smitten with "that Lillian Hogarth" as she is referred to.  There was mention at some stage of an "actress" although I'm not sure whether this was Lillian.

Once again from family anecdotes, it is understood that Thomas Hogarth had a butchers business of his own in Bispham, Blackpool.  This is likely to have been in the late 1900's and up to the First World War in 1914.  I wonder whether my grandma Florence moved back to Blackpool to be nearer her dad, as the letters she received were in the town at approximately the same time.  Perhaps he had contacts who provided her with work, as she came to Blackpool working as a "domestic".  Saying that, I don't know whether they even met during this period in Blackpool -- it is likely.  Although we are unaware of details that there were relatives of Thomas in the town (other Hogarths?) or possibly friends (his marriage witnesses - the Sowerbys and Faircloughs may still have been knocking around) and this would probably draw Thomas, when he decided to return to the North of England.

Anyway, he eventually sold the butchers' business and returned to South Wales with a "large jar of sovereigns" under his arm!  Unfortunately, the money dwindled, as it was apparently spent in the company of his friends, as opposed to that of his family (although this only how the family tale is told).

During wartime, we know he was stationed in London.  In 1915 (Thomas was now aged 49 years), he was in St Johns Wood, and those who are cricket followers may be interested to know that Private Thomas Hogarth was billeted at Lords Cricket Ground.  Mum has a postcard addressed to Thomas at Lords in 1915, from his son Richard.

Throughout the remainder of the war, the children have difficulty keeping in touch. Particularly since Willie & Dick are stationed abroad.  In one of the letters, they refer to him when asking "do you know of the old man's address?"

We understand he lived with Auntie Hilda (Albert's wife in Pontypridd) at some stage in the 1920's-30's.  He also lived with his daughter Florence, and my mum, for a while, in the little cottage at Farnholme in Little Poulton.  Here my granddad was employed as a chauffeur/handyman to Doctor Nuttall.

In other communications he is living at 110 Maine Road, Manchester (postcard from Kathie in Paris dated 31-Jul-1925 - although I have no indication that he was a Manchester City fan!).

Other addresses were shown in the Salford area (letter to him in 1931) - also a letter to "Tom" (26-Sep-1934), informing him of his pal "Teddy's" death. (I wonder if this was by any chance Edwin Sowerby, who was his marriage witness way back in 1888).  This was sent by Mary Cahill to 149 Ordsall Lane, Salford 5.

My mum remembers him living with them at 3 Prudy Hill, Poulton le Fylde, at the time of his death in 1936.  He was taken ill with stomach problems and died in Blackpool Victoria Hospital aged 69.

Good luck with this lot.  I would be very grateful for any feedback from readers.  I have the Hogarth website on my favourites list and check in 4 or 5 times a week - maybe I need to get out a little more often!  Still, the family history bug does get you after a while.

David Binns - Burnley, Lancashire

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