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Trouble Brewing – Part 3

Trouble Brewing – Part 3

Philip Forshaw had been trading as a saddler in the Golden Lion yard but at sometime between 1841 and 1844 he took over the lease of the Golden Lion.  When the out buildings at the rear of the Old Ship Inn across the road came up for sale in October 1844, the auction was held at Forshaws’ Golden Lion. Thomas Williams was the highest bidder at the sale with his bid of £162.00.

Aughton Brewery

Aughton Brewery

The Old Ship Inn itself came up for sale in 1846 and Philip Forshaw took out a mortgage and moved into the Inn.  Philip had lost his wife and baby son in 1842 and his two daughters, Martha and Ann went away to boarding school in Litherland after their mother died.  Martha was born 1837 and Ann was born 1839. Whilst his daughters were away at school, Philip carried on adding to his business interests, taking over the Aughton Brewery in 1849. Joseph Richardson, from a well known Rainford brewing family, had built up the Aughton Brewery for some years and it also ran the White Bull and the Swan Inn, Burscough Street.  When he died in July 1848, his executors put the brewery up for sale as separate lots, selling off some of the building land around it, where villas were built quite quickly.

Forshaw took over the brewery but it would seem that he was not happy with the efficiency of the layout or the production.  To really make the success he wanted from brewing, he needed a purpose built modern brewery.  In 1851, he sold on the Aughton Brewery to Joseph Pye (later to partner with his brother-in-law Captain Edward Sudbury) and moved into the newly built Forshaw Brewery at the Bath Springs site.

The White Bull

The White Bull

By the late 1850s Philip Forshaw and his Bath Springs Brewery had become the biggest brewery in the town and not only supplied ale to many many Houses, he also owned and sub-let dozens of Houses across the county from Preston to Wigan and Southport to Liverpool.

By the time his youngest daughter Annie married in March 1857, Philip Forshaw was a wealthy and successful businessman.  Annie married William Henry Smith, who had been one of Philips Brewery Managers, but shortly after the marriage, William became a Bank Manager in Southport.

On 6th September 1859, Philip’s Eldest daughter Martha married Captain William John Chambers Martin of the 6th Royal Lancashire Militia, he had been born in Bengal, India and his father had also been in the Army.

An advert relating to the Aughton Brewery Sale from Gore's General Advertiser

An advert relating to the Aughton Brewery Sale from Gore’s General Advertiser

It was in the summer of 1859 however that Philip Forshaw suffered a stroke, which left him paralysed and incapacitated.  He had recently built some houses in Birkdale and he was unable to run his business or visit the premises around the county which he owned.  His physician was so concerned with the grave state of his patients’ health, that the doctor felt it wise to inform Philip that this may be his last few months on earth.

Being the type of man he appears to have been, this set in motion a plan to oversee the transfer of all the business to the control of his offspring, which at that time were his two married daughters.  Of course that really would have meant that the son-in-laws would be in control.  By early 1861, a couple of changes took place. Philip made an unexpected recovery, although he was still paralysed.  William J.C. Martin became Superintendant of the Police and moved into the Police Superintendant’s house on Derby Street with his wife Martha and their little boy William Arthur born Aug 1860.

Once he found that he had recovered enough to take back his empire however, Philip realised that he would have to fight to get control back through the courts.  It is unlikely that his daughters would have stood against him, but they were both married to men who were used to being in charge and this forced Philip to apply to the Chancery Court to reclaim his property and businesses.

This set in motion a sequence of events which changed the business and the family.

Martha gave birth to a baby girl, Emma Charlotte, in the summer of 1862. Her father Philip, still unwell but in control of his business, seems to have been estranged from his family.  In November 1862, his eldest daughter Martha died aged just 25.  She left two small children and a great deal of turmoil.  At the inquest on her death held at the Coroners Court in Ormskirk, adjacent to the police home where she died, the coroner, Mr C. E. Driffield, took the court before a jury, and the evidence from Martha’s Doctor revealed the cause of her untimely death.  Her father was not in court, but his nephew, John Forshaw, who was also the family solicitor, was present.

An article on Martha's death 1862 from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Monday November 10th 1862

An article on Martha’s death 1862 from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Monday November 10th 1862

Medical evidence put before the court revealed that some weeks prior to her death, Martha had received a blow to the temple by a blunt object and this caused a fracture of the skull.  A further witness, Dr Ashton, who had attended Mrs Martin after the accident, repeated two conversations he had had with Superintendant Martin, Martha’s widower, after the original injury. Martin explained that during the night the little boy, William, had been restless and needed attention.  Martha and her husband had argued over the care of the boy and Martin explained that the argument had escalated to objects being thrown across the bedroom after a brief physical struggle. As Martha was leaving the room she slipped, and hit her head on the door handle.

On her deathbed, Martha, who was struggling to speak and was very weak, was unable to answer questions put to her by two physicians as to the exact cause of the injury to her skull.  Due to any evidence to the contrary, a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

William John Chambers Martin moved to West Derby as the Superintendant of Police there. His son William Arthur grew up and went to medical school, Emma Charlotte married a Scottish businessman.   

Philip Forshaw was left with just one daughter to carry on his business but her family was growing and her life was with her bank manager husband in Southport.

Philip relied on John Baldwin,a young man who was running the brewery and who had been living at the Ship Inn for a number of years with his younger brother Philip Baldwin. Both boys were the illegitimate sons of Catherine Baldwin of Up Holland, who had brought the boys to Ormskirk in the 1850s to live at the Ship Inn.  It would not be until Philips death in 1865 and the acknowledgement in his will of his two illegitimate sons, John and Philip Baldwin,that the real Forshaw wars started.

Part 4 of the Forshaw Saga to follow.


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