George did not have an easy early life. He was born in 1851 at a farmhouse called 'White Hill' at Far Oxenhope, the son of Joseph and Pricilla Bancroft. He was one of a family of eleven children, and his father at that time was a quarryman at a local stone quarry known as Deep Arse Delph...which later became known as Deep House Delph.
|Deep House Delph Quarry|
George married in 1870, at the early age of 19years to Grace Uttley, but unfortunately the marriage was not a long one because Grace died within 2 years in June 1872, at the early age of only 21 years, leaving George with a young child to care for. Fortunately he was living next door to his parents at Bradshaw Head, so I would imagine his mother took over looking after the child.
As mentioned earlier, George's occupation was a carter in a stone quarry close to where the family lived, and the job of a carter in a quarry was quite a hard and dangerous one, working outside in all conditions, manhandling large slabs of stone that had to be transported on a horse and cart to the nearest stone yard for final finishing off before being transported on to the final customer. The following picture is not of George, but of another local carter, with a stone slab that would probably have been used as an engine bed. The picture was taken on a very quiet street in central Keighley early one morning. The stone slab in the picture is typical of the kind of product made out of the rough rock grit that lies on top of the flags that were extracted from the quarry where George worked.
|Stone Carters in Keighley|
He went on to marry for a second time in 1876, to Priscilla Feather, and he have another 3 children with her, one son and 2 daughters.
After the death of George's father Joseph in 1889, he took over the running of the Dog and Gun Pub at Bradshaw Head, midway between Oxenhope and Denholme, where the 1901 census describes him as a 'Beer and Spirit Retailer'. At the time of the next census 10 years later in 1911, he had moved to Prince Street in Haworth and was now listed as a 'General Labourer'.
George died on 8th June 1931 at the age of 80 years, and was buried at the Oxenhope Methodist Graveyard.
During George's time as landlord of the Dog & Gun Pub, there was a great deal of activity in the locality with illegal gambling on Sundays. 'Pitch and Toss' took place mainly where there was a pub and a quiet place nearby, such as a quarry, well away from the long arm of the law, and although no direct reference has ever been made linking George Bancroft's time at the Dog & Gun, and Deep House Delph Quarry with this gambling, it is quite likely that there was some involvement....click here to read more details about all this!
|The Dog & Gun, Bradshaw Head....today|
[I wrote an article previously about George Bancroft's father, Joseph, who had an interesting life as a weaver....delver....farmer....publican... and finally quarrymaster!...you can read his story by clicking here