James Young (1767-1842) | HEATHER'S HISTORICAL SOCIETY

HEATHER'S HISTORICAL SOCIETY was launched in 2020 and is a site dedicated to the historical and genealogical information and documentation that I have collected over more than fifty years.  



James Young (1767-1842)

Meadowcroft, Westoe Village
(Courtesy of South Tyneside Libraries)

James Young, mariner and ship owner was leased Meadowcroft in 1819 when the executors of the estate of Jane Wright transferred the lease to him following her death on the 15 Aug 1818 aged 96. She inherited the house from her husband Luke Wright when he died on the 15 December 1805 aged 75 years. Both were buried in St Hilda's Churchyard and according to the records, Luke was also a ship owner. Luke married Jane Liddell at St Hilda's Church in 1768 when he was aged 38 and she was 46.

James Young was part of a South Shields shipping dynasty; the brother of Cuthbert Young (1765-1835), manager then owner of the West Docks, one of the most significant South Shields ship owners and ship builders in the early 19th century whilst Cuthbert's son James Young (1808-1886) who lived in Ogle Terrrace amassed an even larger shipping portfolio. On his death, his wealth contributed to the development of Cleadon Park as his daughter Margaret Young (1834-1904) married Charles William Anderson (1830-1906). Ownership of the West Docks passed to the Wright family. Mary Young (1777-1860), sister of James and Cuthbert Young married William Wright at St Hilda's Church in 1799. It was their son Leonard Wright (1800-1864) who developed Wright's Biscuit factory on the land, which had belonged to his paternal grandparents Hannah Burdon and Leonard Wright.

Elizabeth Roseby, the mother of James Young died in 1841 at the West Docks living to the incredible age of 104 yrs and 4 months. She was widowed for almost 59 years; her husband George Young dying in 1782 leaving her as a sole parent for seven children ranging in ages from 3 to 17yrs. Three sons including James Young were Master Mariners and ship-owners whilst her eldest son Cuthbert Young, a shipwright managed ship yards renting then purchasing the West Docks in 1818 as well as having an extensive shipping portfolio. The family lived mostly in East and West Holborn, the area to which James Young eventually returned.

James Young (1767-1842) was born in Tanfield, County Durham and Christened there on the 5th April 1767 son of Elizabeth Roseby and George Young. The origins of the Young family are in Ryton where George Young, the son of Margaret Jopling and Cuthbert Young (1703-) was born in 1732. He was Christened at Ryton, County Durham 4th November 1733. His siblings were Cuthbert Young (1734-); Thomas Young (1737-); Ralph Young (1740-) and William Young (1744-)

George Young (1732-1782) married Elizabeth Roseby (1737-1841) in Ryton in 1763. She was the daughter of Matthew Roseby (-1764) and was born in Tanfield in 1737. Of their ten children, five were born in Tanfield: Margaret Young (1764-); Cuthbert Young (1765-1835); James Young (1767-1842) George Young (-1768); Matthew Young (1769-1805); and five in South Shields. William Young (1772-1829); Ann Young (1774-1783); Mary Young (1777-1860), wife of William Wright; Elizabeth Young (1777-1860); George Young (1779-1842). Based on the birth of his children, Elizabeth and George Young settled in South Shields between 1769 and 1772 when James Young was a small boy. George Young died in South Shields in December 1782.


Leonard Wright (1736-1809) married Hannah Burdon (1740-1818) of Monkton at Heworth in 1761.
George Young (1732-1782) married Elizabeth Roseby (1737-1841) at the Church of the Holy Cross, Ryton on 4th April 1763.
Cuthbert Young (1765-1835) married Elizabeth Robson (1769-1846) of Ryton at St Hilda's Church on the 1st Feb 1789.
Matthew Young (1769-1805) married Isabella Smith (17-1793) at St Hilda's Church 1st Oct 1792.
William Young (1772-1829) married before 1795.
Mary Young (1777-1860) married William Wright (1772-1857) at St Hilda's Church 24 Dec 1799. He was the son of Hannah Burdon (1730-1818) & Leonard Wright (1736-1809).
James Young (1767-1842) married Selena Mary Hobbs (1768-1810) in Kings Worthy, Hampshire on the 7th May 1800.
George Young (1779-1842) married Rose Wyett Rider (1778-1845) at Eling, St Mary, Totton, Hampshire, 10th September 1804.
James Young (1767-1842) married secondly, Ann Laverick (1771-1848) at St Hilda's Church in 1823.
Selena Mary Young (1803-1892) married John Toshach (1789-1869) at St Hilda's Church on 18 Mar 1826.
Sophia Rachael Young (1804-1883) married John Lowery (1790-1847) at St Hilda's Church on 1841.
Sophia Rachael Young (1804-1883) married secondly, Bostock Toller Whinney (1796-1860) at St Hilda's Church 27 Feb 1851.

James Young (1767-1842) married Selena Mary Hobbs (1768-1810) in Kings Worthy, Hampshire on the 7 May 1800. According to the Hampshire Marriage License allegations of the Bishop of Winchester, 1689-1837, James was born in South Shields and at the time of his marriage he was aged 29 and a Master Mariner. The baptism record for his second child, Sophia Rachael Young born on the 2 June 1804 in South Shields gives James's birthplace as that of Tanfield, with that of his wife Selena as King's Worthy.


The birth/christening information for each of them is as follows:

  1. Selena Mary Young (1803-1892) christened on the 5 Mar 1803 at Abbots-Ann, Hampshire. Her parentage was given as that of James and Selena Young
  2. Sophia Rachael Young (1804-1883) was born on the 2 June 1804 in South Shields. Her father's name is given as James Young and his birthplace as Tanfield, Hampshire and her mother's name as Selena Hobbs and her birthplace was given as Kingsworthy, Hampshire. Sophia in all the census returns gave her birthplace as that of her mother.
  3. Robert Hobbs Young (1806-1806) was born in 1806 in South Shields. There is no record of his christening but there is of his death and burial; he died on the 5 May 1806 and was interred in St Hilda's Churchyard two days later on the 7 May (2).
  4. James Hobbs Young (1808-1834) was born on the 21 May 1808 in South Shields and christened at St Hilda's Church. His father's name is given as James Young and his birthplace as Tanfield, Hampshire and his mother's name as Selena Hobbs and her birthplace was stated to be Kingsworthy, Hampshire.

Based on the information relating to the birth of the four children, the family probably settled in South Shields between Mar 1803 and May 1804.


There are numerous records relating to master mariners and ship-owners with their residency ascribed to South Shields in Dictionary of Tyne Sailing Ships (1830-1930) by Richard E Keys. However, most of them are associated with James Young (1805-1888). There is one record, which can be connected to James Young (1783-1842): -

Robert and Ann (1814-1854) James Young was the captain of the ship commencing the 28 July 1824 and stated to be the owner in 1835.

Ships owned or part-owned & registered at Newcastle upon Tyne 1786-1804:
Samuel: Registered at Newcastle upon Tyne only in 1799. Owned by Anthony Hood, Esq., Newcastle upon Tyne; Alexander King, Gentleman, Newcastle upon Tyne; Cuthbert Young, Shipwright, South Shields; James Young, Mariner, South Shields
Neptune was registered at Newcastle Custom House in 1803/1804 owned in partnership by brothers James Young, Cuthbert Young & George Young together with Benjamin Hobbs of Redbridge, Hampshire, brother in law of James Young. James Young was master of this ship in 1803 &1804 as also was his brother George Young & John Holliday Garritt (Neil W Richardson, 2002)
He may have owned other ships registered elsewhere.

Master of Ships registered at Newcastle upon Tyne 1786-1804:
Nautilus (1796); Samuel (1799); Neptune (1803 & 1804); Aurora (1803); Bellisarius (1804)
Master Mariners for the year 1799 James Young (part-owner) & William Young, brothers of Cuthbert Young - Edward James Young, Westoe sole owner in 1822;
Masters: William Aaron (1794-1842); 1828 William Shepherd; 1833 Leonard Wright; 1834 William Kirkby. 16 April 1835 during gale off Gt Yarmouth ship collided with the Caroline of Chichester. Ship salvaged. Floundered off Bawdsey 1845. Two crew drowned.


The executors of the estate of Jane Wright transferred the lease to James Young in 1819 following her death in 1818. There is no obvious connection between Jane Wright & James Young. Luke Wright who died on the 15 December 1805 aged 75 years bequeathed the house to Jane (Liddell) Wright, his wife. Luke married Jane Liddell (1720-at St Hilda's Church on the 12th December 1768.

Luke Wright (1831-1805) was a ship-owner, so described in the burial records for St Hilda's Churchyard so this may be the connecting factor. Luke Wright was the son of Esther and Matthew Wright. Luke Wright (1831-1805) was born at Bishopwearmouth on the 18th October 1731 and christened there on the 27th October 1731. His parents were Esther Wright and Mathew Wright and his siblings were Elizabeth Wright (1734-); Esther Wright (1736-); Margaret Wright (1738-); Matthew Wright (1750-). Jane (Liddell) Wright did reference all apart from Margaret Wright in her will.

Amy Flagg assumed that James Young occupied the house from 1829 onwards. However, in the 1841 census record and his burial record, Meadowcroft is not stated as his place of residence. Grew croft, the address given for him in 1841 was in Laygate, an area of the town where it was he resided prior to 1829, according to the extract (3).

Meadowcroft remained in the Toshach family and was leased to Thomas Henry Mason, the husband of Mary Hannah Toshach who was the niece of Dr John Toshach and eventually to Mary herself who died in the house in 1946. Following her death, the property was conveyed to their son, Clifford D Mason who died in 1963. It is suggested that the house had remained with the Young family over several generations. This was, however, not the case as Mary Hannah Toshach was not a descendant of James Young.


I have been unable to determine whether or not Jane Liddell had been married previously as if so, Liddell would not have been her maiden name.

A Jane Liddell was born 1720 in Whickham, daughter of Jane Atkinson (1685-) and George Liddle.(1682-). Thomas Liddell born Blaydon Staithes 1743, her nephew married Jane Wright (1745-) born Heworth, daughter of Dorothy Simpson (1713-) and Henry Wright (1709-) married in Sunderland 1734. Other than Jane Wright, their children included Leonard Wright (1736-1809) who married Hannah Burdon (1740-1818) of Monkton at Heworth in 1761. Both Leonard Wright and Hannah Burdon were buried at St Hilda's. William Wright (17), their son married Mary Young daughter of Elizabeth and George Young, sister of James Young. This leads to the prosperous and significant Wright family of South Shields. At the time of her death, Hannah lived in Johnstone Street providing a link to Wright's Biscuit Factory.

William Wright and James Young were both mariners and ship owners registered consecutively as Freemasons in South Shields in 1818. William Wright and Cuthbert Young were both managers/agents of shipyards. They worked for William Wallis before Cuthbert Young managed and subsequently purchased the West Docks.


I have investigated a possible connection between Matthew Wright, father of Luke Wright who resided in Sunderland at about the same time as Henry Wright (1709-) finding no connection to date.


Sophia married after the death of her father, a widower, John Lowery (1790-1847), a butcher and ship owner in 1842. He had one child, Isabella Lowery (1823-1895), who was born to him and his first wife Margaret Carnes (1784-1841) in 1823. In 1845, Isabella married Thomas Forrest (1823-18) also a butcher with premises at 55 West Holborn. John Lowery died in 1847 & he was buried in St Hilda's Churchyard on 17 Feb 1847 aged 51 yrs; his address is given as West Holborn.

Following his death, Sophia married Bostock Toller Whinney (1796-1860) in 1850. He was a ship-owner and it was his third marriage. According to the 1851 census, they lived at 27 East King Street, South Shields. Bostock died in 1860 and his interred in Grave 106 in Westoe Cemetery.

At the time of the 1861 census, Sophia resided with her sister, Selena and Selena's husband John Toshach at 7 Dean Street, South Shields; in 1881 she lived at 32 Winchester Street, with her widowed sister. Sophia died on the 10 August 1883 and was interred in the same grave as Bostock Whinney. It is likely that she was childless.


Selena married John Toshach at St Hilda's Church on 18 Mar 1826. John was the son of Dr Charles Toshach, a non-conformist minister who also had a connection with Westoe Village having sold land in 1810 to facilitate the building of Chapel House in the village (4).

Selena and John Toshach had eleven children, some of whom, together with their parents are interred in Westoe Cemetery in Grave 88. Selena died on the 29 October 1892 aged 89 years. At the time of her death, and prior to this according to the 1881 and 1891 censuses, her place of residence was registered as 32 Winchester Street. Winchester Street was considered to be a prestigious address in the late 19th century although of a lower status than Westoe Village. The probate record states that her estate was worth ‚£2,478. (A copy of Selena's probate could provide information about her beneficiaries and the ownership of Meadowcroft).


No further information about James Hobbs Young has been elicited other than that he died at age 25yrs on the 26 January 1834 and according to the family monumental inscription was interred in St Hilda's Churchyard in the same grave as his parents. However, there is no record of his actual burial in the records of burials in the churchyard.


1. James Young Died 23 January 1842 at Willow Cottage, South Shields.
Buried in St Hilda's Churchyard
YOUNG: In Memory of / Selena Young, Wife of James Young, Ship Owner, / of South Shields, who died the 17th of January 1810, aged 42 Years
My sudden change,
Is the Lord's doing; Therefore do not Grieve,
At His Right Hand;
There is pleasure, fore ever more.
Also one Child, who died in Infancy. / James Son of James and Selena Young. Who died Jany 26 / 1834 Aged 25 Years / James Young Esq. / died the 23rd day of January 1842, aged 75 Years.

Selena (Hobbs) Young died on the 21st January 1810 aged 43 yrs and was buried in St Hilda's Churchyard, South Shields. The burial record also includes information about her husband, James stating that he was a Master Mariner. On the monumental stone, he is referred to as a 'Ship Owner' (2).
Anna Young died Preston, North Shields aged 77, buried St Hilda's Churchyard 28th October 1848.
James Young 1841 Census this time he was living with his wife Anna (Ann Laverick), his daughter, Sophia and John Toshach, his grandson (the child of Selena Mary Young and John Toshach) is also registered as being at the same address-Grew Cook's Building in the Rekendyke area of South Shields. James stated that he was born in County Durham.

2. Grave of George and Elizabeth Young and George Young their son and his wife Rose Wyett Rider - St Hilda's Churchyard
YOUNG. Erected / In Memory of / George and Elizabeth Young. / George died December the 1782, / aged 44 years. / Elizabeth relict of the above / died Feb 25 1841, aged 104 years / and 4 months. / George Young son to the above / died Septr 25th 1842, / Aged 63 Years. / Rose Wyet Young wife of the / above Decr 29th 1845 aged 67 years. / Much respected.

At South Shields. East Holborn, on the 24th aged 104 years & 4 months, Elizabeth, relict of Mr George Young & mother of the late Cuthbert Young, Esq. Ship Builder (Newcastle Courant: 5 March 1841)


Leonard Wright (1800-1864); Hannah Wright (1802-18); Elizabeth Wright (1804-1820); Mary Wright (1807-1809); William Wright (1810-1884); George Young Wright (1813-1888); Henry Wright (1814-1886); Jane Wright (1817-18); James Wright (1818-1843)


James Cumin Toshach (1827-1867); Charles Toshach (1828-1863); John Toshach (1830-1874); Benjamin Toshach (1832-1864); Selina Toshach (1833-1905); Sidney Toshach (1835-1836); Edward Toshach (1837-1851); Anna Toshach (1839-1917); Mary Toshach (1841-1909); Sarah Rachel Toshach (1843-1914); George Toshach (1848-1894).

I have looked for descendants of Selena Mary Young and John Toshach as well as their grandchildren (great grandchildren of Selena and James Young). There is not a link to the 20th century in South Shields. Most of their children did not marry. Only two appear to have children surviving into adulthood.

One poignant record is that of Alexander John Toshach, (1868-1942) son of John Toshach (1830-1874) who according to the 1881 census was living in a London Orphan Asylum. His father, a mariner had died in Tasmania. A daughter, Beatrice Emma Toshach (1874-1859) was in service in 1891 in Hackney, marrying the following year her employer Charles Stanley Redall (1844-1929), 30 years older. Muriel Reddall, (1793-1973) their daughter was an actress.


Tanfield, County Durham; West Holborn, South Shields; Kingsworthy, Hampshire; Meadowcroft; Westoe Village; Laygate, South Shields; Grew Cook's Building, Rekendyke, South Shields and Willow Cottage, South Shields.


Notes on Meadowcroft 2013
Substantial information about Meadowcroft was accessed relating to the original building, the subsequent fire, the Georgian house, ownership and occupancy. They are as follows:

  • 'Forbidden road over Meadowcroft' in 1372 (5)
  • 'Plan of the Township of South Shields & Westoe 1768' (6)
  • Meadowcroft-History of Westoe Village-pages 97-99
  • Chapel House -History of Westoe Village-page 91
  • 'Forbidden road over Meadowcroft' in 1372 -History of Westoe Village
  • Plan of the Township of South Shields & Westoe 1768
  • Meadowcroft-Westoe Village-Its Development through the Victorian Age-J D Smith-pages 13 & 14
  • James Young 1805-1888 -Shields Gazette 1989
  • St Hilda's Churchyard transcription of monumental stones-Tyne & Wear Archives/South Shields Libraries

Research 2018
  • Maritime Records on CD by Neil W Richardson 2002
  • Notes on the Shipbuilding in South Shields 1746-1946 by Amy Flagg 1979
  • Ship Owners and Insurance Agencies in South Tyneside 1834-5, listed in Warranties & Rules Etc. 1834 by Heather V Thomas (2015 to date -on going research
  • South Shields Free Library 20th February 1788-1802 and Exchange Subscription Room in the Town Hall South Shields 1800 -1855 by Heather V Thomas (January 2012 to date) on going research
  • The Borough of South Shields by George B Hodgson 1903
  • Internet Research: Ancestry, Findmypast, Durham Records online, Familysearch, Google etc.
  • South Tyneside Libraries/Word miscellaneous information

Additional Facts

Bostock Whinney was the maternal grandfather of Andrew Ernest Stoddart (1816-1915), famous rugby and cricket player. Andrew Stoddart (1798-1869), paternal grandfather was also the grandfather of Anne Broughton (1858-1842), mother of Amy C Flagg (1894-1965).