Henry Moseley and His Four Wives

Intrigued by a photo of a gravestone slowly being swallowed up by a tree for Anne MOSELEY, the fourth wife of Henry MOSELEY, I decided to find out more. What I found was a man who had suffered many tragedies in his life, with the loss of three young wives and three of his children. Sadly, the only tree Henry left behind is the one now growing through his grave.

The headstone is situated in Nottingham Road Cemetery in Derby and reads:

In memory of ANNE MOSELEY
Fourth wife of Henry Moseley
Died April 17 1865 aged 56 years

HENRY MOSELEY
36 Corn Market Derby
Died January 19 1869
Aged 65 Years

FANNY VERNON
Niece of Anne Moseley
At Rest August 28 1900
Aged 71 years


Henry MOSELEY was born 7th Jul 1803 in Leeds, Yorkshire and was a Carver, Gilder and Jeweller by trade. He was the first of six children born to parents George MOSELEY, an Inn Keeper, and Frances Jackson (George’s second wife). George ran the Saddle Inn in Briggate, Leeds up to his death in 1822 aged 49. Frances died five years later in 1827 aged 48. Henry’s uncle Robert MOSELEY was also a Carver, Gilder, Silversmith & Jeweller and was active in Derby from 1800 up to his death in 1856 aged 80. They worked in partnership from 1841-46 (as Moseley and Nephew), then Henry worked on his own (as Henry Moseley & Co.). They were also picture dealers and print publishers.

Henry married the spinster Mary YOUNG on 28th Aug 1828 at St Werburgh Church in Derby. Henry was 25 and Mary 22. They had one child together before Mary died in Mar 1832 aged just 26.

  1. Rosamond MOSELEY born 22nd Jul 1829

Henry remarried on 8th May 1834 at St Werburgh Church to Mary’s younger sister Harriet YOUNG (she was 20 and 3 months pregnant, and Henry now 30). They had two children together before Harriet died in Nov 1838 age 25, leaving Henry with a 10 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old to look after.

  1. Henry George MOSELEY born Oct 1834
  2. Mary Eliza MOSELEY born Nov 1837

Henry married for a third time to the spinster Fanny WALKER on 8th Aug 1840 in Sutton on the Hill, Derbyshire (where she was from). Fanny was age 23 and Henry 37. The 1841 census shows they were living at Corn Market, along with Henry’s sister Elizabeth (age 21) and two servants (Joseph Paynter, 17,  and Jane Campion, 15). Henry and Fanny had two children together before she died in Oct 1846 aged 30. Henry was again left widowed and looking after two young children (age 4 and 1 1/2), plus the three from his previous marriages (age 17, 12 and 8).

  1. Alfred Walker MOSELEY born May 1841
  2. Frances Jackson MOSELEY born Feb 1845

Henry married for the fourth and final time to the spinster Anne THOMPSON on 7th May 1848 at St Modwen’s Church in Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire (where she was living at the time). She was age 39 and Henry was now 45. Anne’s mother and sister were living in Derby, so perhaps this was how she come to meet Henry. They didn’t have any children together, which may have been why Anne survived longer than Henry’s first three wives.

In 1851 the entire family were living at 5 Babingdon Lane, Derby with one servant (Amelia Hicking age 22), but in 1855 tragedy struck yet again as Henry’s first two children both died. Rosamond was age 25 and Henry 20. Both deaths were registered in the 2nd quarter (Apr-Jun). And if that weren’t bad enough, just three years later in 1858 Henry’s son Alfred also died, aged 16.

In 1861, Henry, Anne and his two remaining children (Mary and Frances), were living at Babington Cottage. Anne’s niece was also living with them (Fanny VERNON age 32, who is mentioned on the gravestone) and a house servant called Sarah King (age 18).

Anne died in 1865 age 56, followed four years later by Henry in 1869 aged 65. The family had moved to 36 Corn Market before Henry’s death (as noted on his gravestone), and his daughters Mary and Frances were still living there in 1871 (along with Fanny VERNON). Mary continued her father’s trade as a Gilder Silversmith, and Frances worked as a Jeweller & Dealer. In 1881-1891 Mary, Frances and Fanny were living at 61 Friar Gate, and by 1901 had moved next door to number 62. Neither sister married or had children (nor Fanny, who died in 1900 aged 71). Mary died in 1904 aged 66 and Frances in 1931 aged 87 (still living at 62 Friar Gate). And thus, Henry’s linage comes to an end.


Henry Moseley’s Family Tree

(click to enlarge)