Fenton Mangnall was born on 30 April 1829 in Prestwich, Lancashire. The 1841 Census suggests that he was the son of William (JM109) and Ann Mangnall. In 1841 he was 13 years old and presumably was a scholar though the census doesn’t show this.

On the 28 April 1847 Fenton was a witness at the wedding of his brother William to Ann Henrick at St Philip’s Church in Salford along with his oldest sister Mary (HM111).

The 1851 Census documents are damaged and so far it looks as if data about Fenton has been lost.

Whellan & Co’s 1852 Manchester & District Directory shows that Fenton was merchant at “St Peter’s sq”

Fenton married Martha J Clarke in 1853 at St John’s, Broughton (RoM Salford 1853 Q3 8d 1) but Martha died in 1857 (RoD Salford 1857 Q2 8d 15). Fenton and Martha had two daughters,

  • Anne who was baptised in December 1854 and died 11 January 1855 aged 3 months;
  • Helen (FM178) who was baptised on the 20th December 1856, both at St Philip’s Church in Salford.

At this time the family were living at 7 Mount Pleasant Square in Salford and Fenton is recorded as a “Merchant Clerk”.

Martha was born on the 24 May 1829 and died 1 June 1857 aged 28 (Martha Josephine Mangnall Salford 1857 Q2 8d 15), she was buried at St Mary the Virgin, Eccles. Martha’s death may have provided Fenton with a reason for being baptised himself at St Philip’s Church in Salford on the 21st November 1858. Interestingly, the occupation of father was recorded as Merchant’s Clerk and this was then deleted to record Bleacher (William’s occupaton) in it’s place.

On the 11th January 1859 the London Gazette recorded that Fenton was one of the executors of the will of John Andrew who had been a partner with Edwin Townend “carrying on business as Worsted Spinners and Commission Agents, at the city of Manchester, under the firm of Andrew and Company”. Fenton was involved in witnessing the dissolution of this company due to John’s death.

The London Gazette for 24th February 1860 records that on the 11th February Fenton was promoted from ensign to Lieutenant in the 6th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers. The volunteer units were raised in Manchester during 1859 and 1860 and there is an interesting article online about it’s early history.

According to the IGI Fenton (aged 31 and a widower) married Eliza Graves (GM143) on 12th April 1860 at Manchester Cathedral (also see Registry of Marriages Manchester Q2 8d 174). Fenton was described as a Gentleman, living in Broughton. Eliza was born about 1834 in Manchester according to the 1881 Census. They had the following children:-

  • Reginald (FM176) born 1861 in Broughton, Manchester;
  • Mabel (FM177) born 1863 in Broughton, Manchester;
  • Edward (FM175) born 1864 in Broughton, Manchester;
  • Garner (Gardner) born 28 July 1866, died 13 October 1866, buried at St Mary the Virgin, Eccles;
  • Lucy (FM179) born 24 August 1867 in Styal, Cheshire, died 12 November 1932, buried at St Mary the Virgin, Eccles;
  • Sidney (FM180) born 1872 in Styal, Cheshire;
  • Fenton (FM181) born 21 October 1873 in Styal, Cheshire, died in Chorlton on 4 March 1883 (Q1 8c 554) aged 9, buried at St Mary the Virgin, Eccles;
  • Mary (EM113) born 31 December 1874 in Styal, Cheshire, died 1906, buried at St Mary the Virgin, Eccles;
  • Norman (EM112) b.c.1879 in Wilmslow (probably Styal), Cheshire.

The 1861 Census shows that Fenton and Eliza were living at Nelson Street in Broughton, Salford. Fenton is described as a “Merchant Cotton Spinner”. Eliza must have been expecting Reginald who was born later that year. They had a servant, Mary Mathews, from Ireland. The baptisims of Reginald (12 April 1862), Mabel (11 June 1863) and Edward (19 July 1865) all show that the family were living at Nelson Street and record Fenton as a merchant.

On 5th March 1863 Fenton was promoted to Captain in the 6th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers and this was recorded in the London Gazette on the 17 March 1863.

Slater’s Directory 1869 for Lancashire records Fenton as a member of the exchange operating from 91 Mosley st.

The 1871 Census shows that Fenton and Eliza were living at Wood End in Styal, Cheshire with Reginald, Mabel, Edward and Lucy. Fenton is described as a “Cotton Merchant and East India Merchant”.

The 1881 Census shows that Fenton was a Cotton Merchant and Manufacturer living at Carlton Road, Church Croft, Moss Side, Manchester with his wife Eliza and four of their children – Reginald, Mabel, Edward and Norman. They also had a nurse, a cook, a waitress and a housemaid. Sidney and Mary were staying with their Aunt Fanny at 5 Scovell Street, Broughton in Salford.

Fenton and his family had moved to 4 Avenue Terrace, Moor Park in Preston by the time of the 1891 Census. Fenton was now 62 years old and the census describes him as a Cotton Spinner but I am sure this should have read merchant! Reginald, Mabel, Lucy, Sidney, Mary and Norman are living with them. Reginald was a “Salesman to Cotton Spinner” working for his dad.

Fenton Mangnall died in Preston on the 3rd June 1892 (Q2 8e 397) aged 64 and he was buried at St Mary’s in Eccles on the 8th June, there was a grave stone with an inscription but this has since been removed.. In his will he left £6069 18s 10d. This was a substantial amount of money in those days! The London Gazette of 11 November 1892 notified creditors, etc of probate.

Fenton’s career

The earliest reference I can find to Fenton’s career is in the Whellan & Co’s 1852 Manchester & District Directory which shows that Fenton was a “Merchants and Others Attending the Exchange” and that he was based in St Peter’s Square.

In 1860 a ship called the Denbigh was ordered by Robert Gardner of Manchester, but registered in the name of Fenton Mangnall. On the 29th September 1861 Robert Gardner, John Carpenter and John Reid took a ten year lease on “Warehouses 35, 37 & 39 Dickenson St, the cellars under them and under an adjoining warehouse at the corner of Mosley St and the top room of the latter warehouse”. Presumably, the corner of Mosley Street was no.91. The 1863 directory tells us that Robert Gardner had a company described as “Robert Gardner & Co, merchants, spinners and manufacturers, 91 Mosley St, mill at Preston”. Robert died on the 24th July 1866, aged 84, and there is no mention of any ships in his will.

Initially the Denbigh ran between Liverpool and the Welsh coastal town of Rhyl. In 1863 the Denbigh was sold to the European Trading Company and fitted out as a blockade runner in the American Civil War. Further details of the Denbigh and it’s exciting career can be found on the Denbigh Project web site where there is an image of the original certificate of registry with Fenton’s name on it (not very clear!) and my transcription.

Fenton also appears to have owned another ship, the Lion, which was also used between Liverpool and the Rhyl.

The 1863 directory lists “Mangnall, Fenton, merchant (R Gardner & Co) 1 Nelson St, Camp St, Lower Broughton”. The same entry occurs in 1865

Slater’s 1869 Directory for Lancashire lists Fenton under Members of Exchange based at 91 Mosley Street.

The 1871/2 Manchester Directory lists Fenton Mangnall, cotton spinner & manufacturer (R Gardner & Co) Wood End, Styal near Handforth.

On 16th November 1872 there was a new counterpart lease between the trustees to Robert Gardner’s will, Evan Makinson of Preston and Fenton Mangnall and John Barlow Mason, both of Manchester, merchants and partners under the name of Robt Gardner & Co. The “Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers’ Directory” of 1887 which covers. Page 149. PRESTON, Bamber Bridge, Garstang, Kirkham, Leyland, Longridge, Penwortham, Ribchester and Walton-le-Dale, on page 149 has the following about Robert Gardner & Co.::

Robert Gardner & Co was apparently a partnership between John Barlow Mason and Fenton by 1890 and on the 15 July 1890 Fenton and John “dissolved by mutual consent” the partnership.

NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership
heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned,
Fenton Mangnall and John Barlow Mason, as Cotton
Spinners, Manufacturers, and Merchants, at Kay-street
Mills, Preston, and at Manchester, under the style of
Robert Gardner and Co., has been this day dissolved by
mutual consent.—As witness our hands this 15th day of
July, 1890.
(London Gazette 18 July 1890 Vol 26701 Page 4002)

The Cheshire 1874 Directory & Gazetteer of Cheshire and Stalybridge has a Fenton Mangnall, esq. living in Styal (page 884).

Many thanks to Andrew Bowcock for supplying much useful information about Fenton, Robert Gardner, the Denbigh and the Lion.

[Last updated 12 April 2016]