Broadbottom Community Association

History Project

Dynasty: the Sidebottoms and Chapmans



 John Chapman

    John Chapman

 AK Sidebottom and family at Whitegates

The links and connections between the various branches of the Sidebottom family are complex. The family came form Hollingworth and over the years different branches of the family married and intermarried and moved around the village.

BROADBOTTOM MILLS were founded by three brothers, William, Joseph and George Sidebottom, who built themselves homes at Hill End and Harewood Lodge. They were sons of a large mill-owning family based at Hollingworth, headed by John Sidebottom. John described himself as a nailer at his marriage but by 1787 had founded a cotton-spinning mill at Millbrook. Part of the family were based at and worked in Hollingworth. Worth noting is the level of intermarriage: Elizabeth Kelsall, the matriarch of the clan, was the sister of Henry Kelsall, cotton spinner, who founded Best Hill Mill with John Marsland. She signed the marriage register with a cross; her grandson, John Chapman went to Oxford.


At Hill End, George lived with his daughter Ann, born in 1809. She was illegitimate and nothing is known of her mother. In 1836 she married her cousin, John Chapman, whose mother, Mary, was another of John Sidebottom’s children. They lived with George at Hill End House. 

John Chapman was highly successful; he established considerable wealth from the development of the railway, involvement in Grimsby Docks and land ownership (he bought most of Hattersley). He and his wife supported the workers locally affected by the cotton famine in the 1860s. He extended his estate to include Harryfields when his cousin John died in 1863 and much of that estate had to be sold off. He was MP for Grimsby and High Sheriff of Cheshire.

He and Ann had nine children, only four of whom survived: Alice, George, Edward and Charles. Edward Chapman(1839-1906) was educated at Oxford and became an MP for the Hyde division in 1900. He was an influential figure locally, being involved with local politics and the building of the Anglican Church. He was married in 1863 to Elizabeth Beardoe Grundy but they had no children. Elizabeth started the Elizabeth Chapman nurse fund to buy nursing equipment for use in the home. When Edward died  in 1906.  the estate passed to his brother George John and then in 1923 to his brother Charles’s son Harold. Harold died childless in 1932 and the house was sold to a quarry owner, Edward Greenwood. The house became derelict in the 1960s.


At Harewood Lodge, Joseph Sidebottom died in 1847 and his widow in 1860.

His son John gambled away much of the fortune and had to mortgage the mill to his mother. He himself died suddenly and mysteriously in 1863, found gassed in the house and Harewood Lodge fell empty. The mill was sold after the cotton famine, so the Sidebottoms no longer had any direct link with cotton milling.

In the 1870s, a cousin, Colonel William Sidebottom and his sister Lucy, took over Harewood Lodge  and became leading figures in the village until the 1920s and 30s.


The brothers of the unfortunate John Sidebottom  were Alfred Kershaw Sidebottom, who lived at Whitegates, and Edward Kershaw Sidebottom, who lived at Chisworth. Alfred, seen with his family (right) in the 1860s looks prosperous but the end of his life, like his brother John's, was the subject of local scandal.

When Alfred Kershaw Sidebottom died in 1899 his property, including Whitegates and houses on Market Street and Olive Terrace, were auctioned. There was a dispute about the will. Two servant girls witnessed him changing it on his death bed.  AK Sidebottom’s children contested the changed will, in which he apparently left some or all of the estate to Ashton infirmary.  

 Sale notice from the Glossop Chronicle in 1899.

Important Property Sale held at the Griffin Inn on behalf of the Executors of A. K. Sidebottom.  1+ 3 Market Street plus 145 square yards land let at a gross rental of £20.16s sold to David Morris for £320. 5+7 Market Street as above, 9-17 Market Street sold to Mr Rowarth for £610.  Seven houses and confronting land on Well Row fetched £650 and was sold to Mr Ogden of Charlesworth.  Mr Sykes sold the country residence known as Whitegates to Mr Alfred Walker for £130.


The house had been built by the Marslands who owned Best Hill Mill, as was Hague Bank next door. The family's initials can still be seen over the door at Hague Bank.  They went bankrupt and Charles Chapman, the youngest son of John and Mary, rented the Hague between 1909 and 1914.

Charles had six children with his first wife Nellie. Then after her death he married her former nurse Cora Beet with whom he had a further eight children. His was the only branch of the family which did not die out, either through childlessness or infant mortality, and there are living descendents of this branch of the family.  One of Charles'  sons by his first marriage, Harold, inherited Hill End in 1923.  Cora herself lived until 1971, though she had moved away from the area. She is buried in the family vault at Mottram Church

Colonel Sidebottom c1920



 Thomas Sidebottom
 Colonel Sidebottom
 Miss Lucy Sidebottom





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