|George & Maria Bancroft|
I was recently given a large cardboard box of items, which had originally been deposited at a local solicitors, on behalf of an Emma May Bancroft, who died in 1970, an unmarried lady, who was the last surviving member of her particular line...and what an interesting assortment of papers, letter and photographs it turned out to be!
Emma May's father George, turns out to be a very interesting and rather "well-to-do" person of some note in the area. He, together with his three brothers, Abel, William and John Thomas, all ran tailoring business's in the area and he was, amongst other things a Grand Master of the local Masonic Lodge as well as a substantial property owner who at the time of his death in 1915 had at least eight houses and some land in and around the local area of Crossroads nr Keighley
The collection, as well as having the usual collection of photos, letter and personal items also had many rent books recording the weekly rent collected from his various properties both by him and later his daughters.
George was born in 1860 at Brow Top nr Haworth, the fourth of seven children of Abraham and Martha Bancroft [nee Sutcliffe] and married Maria Wood at St John's Church, Ingrow, Keighley on 18th June 1895.
They went on to have two daughters, Emma May in 1896 and Hilda in 1900, neither of whom were ever married.
A rather non-descript exercise book in the collection hold a nice secret....amongst dozens of recipes is one for Maria's Wedding Cake, or "Bride Cake", as it was know then. Her recipe is shown below with that special ingredient...."1 shilling worth of brandy" !
|Bride Cake Recipe|
The following picture shows George in full Grand-Master masonic attire, but it is not clear exactly when he took on this role. It is is thought that it was between 1900 and 1915, when he was probably seen as an important businessman in the local area. The Masonic Lodge is still there at Mill Hey Haworth, close to where he was living and running his tailoring business at the time and he, no doubt, was able to get lots of business from his lodge connections.