Select Barlow Miscellany

Here are some Barlow stories and accounts over the years:

The Barlows of Barlow Hall in Chorlton (Lancashire)

Sir Robert de Barlow, knight, had founded the long-standing Barlow Catholic family in Chorlton and Barlow Hall, probably built during the reign of Edward I, was occupied by members of the family until 1785.  By a certificate from Lichfield, dated 1397, it was evidenced:
  • that Thomas de Barlow was the sole and exclusive lord of Barlow
  • that his father's name was Robert de Barlow
  • that the said Thomas had two sons, Roger and Thomas, the former of whom became lord of Barlow after the death of his father
  • and that Roger's son Roger succeeded him as Lord Barlow.
The property then passed to John, his son, and subsequently to John the younger.  In 1466 Nicholas Barlow conveyed his lands to his son Alexander.  Alexander Barlow was succeeded by his son Roger who married a daughter of Ellis Prestwich of Hulme.  When Alexander died, Ellis Prestwich seized the estate and transmitted it to his son, Ellis Barlow, so named after his maternal grandfather.  His son Alexander later inherited the lands. 

Barlow Hall was probably rebuilt or renovated by this Alexander during the time of Henry VIII.   From this time belongs the sundial bearing the motto: "Lumen me regit, vos umbra" (I am guided by the sun, you by the shade).

The original outline of the building has, to a considerable degree, been lost in the alterations and additions to which it has been subjected.  As far as can be ascertained, the house consisted of an oblong pile of buildings, comprising the great hall and entertaining-rooms, with a wing, projecting at right angles from the main structure, built in that quaint half-timbered style so characteristic of the period.

My Hornby and My Barlow Long Ago

The most famous lines of cricket were written by Francis Thompson in his poem At Lord's.

"As the run stealers flicker to and fro,
To and fro:
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago."

Thompson had been watching a match at Lord's in London, but in a nostalgic mood his mind drifted back to a game he had watched twenty years ago in Manchester when Hornby and Barlow had been batting.

Hornby and Barlow were a study in contrasts, Hornby being the strokemaker and Barlow the defensive batter (earning him the nickname "Stonewaller.")  On one occasion, they was involved in a partnership of 45 of which Hornby scored 44 and there was one extra.  However, Dick Barlow was probably the better cricketer and played more times for England.

In 1908 Dick Barlow released his autobiography, Forty Seasons of First Class Cricket, which ran to two editions and was dedicated to "my old and highly esteemed friend and colleague, A.N. Hornby, Esq."

Charles Barlow of Burton Latimer

Charles Barlow’s business premises in Burton Latimer included a butcher’s shop and slaughterhouse operated by his eldest son Frank and a grocery and drapery operated by himself and later by his son Alfred.  Charles's interests expanded to include farming, brickmaking at Croxen’s Yard, and ironstone extraction.

All the time his businesses were growing, Charles Barlow was getting involved in local government.  This started with membership of the Board of Guardians in 1881, membership of the Parish Council when it was created in 1894, and membership of the Kettering District Council.  He was also a county councillor for a total of eighteen years and county alderman for seven years.  In addition, he was chairman of the board of management of the council school, a charity trustee for 35 years, and was deeply involved in the affairs of the Baptist Church (he was a deacon for more than 25 years and Sunday school superintendent for 30 years).

All of these achievements were described in a beautifully illustrated tribute in the form of a leather-bound book which was circulated around Burton Latimer in 1914 and was signed by over 500 people.

Charles Barlow and his wife Deborah resided at The Cross in Burton Latimer where the family was to remain until the early 1960s.

Reader Feedback - Charles Barlow of Burton Latimer

Charles Barlow came originally from Rothwell in Northamptonshire, not Rothwell in the West Ridings.   He was my great great grandfather.  So I know that his father Edward, his grandfather John, and his great grendfather Samuel were all Rothwell of Northamptonshire men.  Edward, though born in some poverty, became a prolific local builder with two homes and sat on every board locally that he could.  His sons too mostly made names for themselves in the same way.

Angela Barlow (

Barlow Adventures in India

In 1806 Colonel George Barlow was appointed as an aide-de-camp to the then Governor General of India, his cousin Sir George Hilaro Barlow.   It was a position which took him to the heart of the governor's household.  Here he befriended the lively and beautiful Lady Elizabeth Barlow, fifteen years his senior.  They became inseparable and an affair ensued - leading to the birth of an illegitimate child (Frederick) in 1811 and finally a divorce in 1816. 

When the case came to the King's Bench in London, the scandal was reported in The Times and became public knowledge.  Colonel Barlow supported the former Lady Barlow and set up home with her in Kensington - where they lived together until her death in 1836.

Thirteen years later, the then 65 year old Barlow married a woman thirty years younger than himself, Elizabeth Clarke.  She later wrote memoirs of their sixteen years together of married life.  But she wrote not a word about her husband's prior affair with the Lady Barlow!

Henry Barlow in Virginia

Henry Barlow, a merchant, was undoubtedly the man of that name living in 1623 "at the plantation over against James Cittie," in Virginia.  He returned to England before 1625, served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy; and moved to Southampton. 

In 1650, Henry Barlow was living in Elizabeth City, Virginia.  In 1653 he was a beneficiary under the will of his brother Ralph and was then a resident of Lower Norfolk.  In that year also, and in 1655, he had grants of land on the southern branch of the Elizabeth river. 

His son Thomas was a factor for English merchants who had been brought to Virginia by his father about 1653.  He lived in Isle of Wight, Virginia, from 1663 and perhaps earlier.

Early Barlows in Virginia and Kentucky

Robert Barlow and most of his children were born in Virginia and moved to Kentucky around 1820.  The following are their records from the family Bible.

birth of Robert T. Barlow
marriage of Robert L. Barlow and his first wife Lena Burress
birth of William B. Barlow, their first son
birth of Mary T. Barlow
birth of Jemina C. Barlow (she died in 1805)
birth of Lucy F. Barlow
birth of Henry W. Barlow
marriage of Robert L. Barlow and his second wife Ann Blunt
birth of John P. Barlow
marriage of William B. Barlow and Barbara Lane
death of William B. Barlow
marriage of Richardson Eubank and Lucy F. Barlow
death of Robert T. Barlow

Sam Barlow and the Barlow Road

In late 1845, a bill was put forward in the Legislature of Oregon Territory to authorize Samuel K. Barlow to open a road across the Cascade Mountains. 

The road was approved and a notice in the Spectator gave further details.

"Authorization was given for two years - from January 1846 to January 1848 at the following rates: for each wagon - five dollars, for each head of horses, mules or asses, whether loose, geared or saddled - 10 cents, for each head of horned cattle, whether geared or loose - 10 cents."

As soon as the weather permitted in the spring of 1846, men and oxen started to build the road, continuing on from near Philip Foster's place up to where they had left the wagons and their plunder (as they called their goods) the previous fall. 

Sam remembered something he had neglected to mention in his application - bridges!  For here was the Sandy to cross and the Zigzag!  Not much could be done about Laurel Hill except to figure out ways to lower the wagons down the steep mountain slope, which they did because they had to.  The wagons, with their contents, finally reached their destination, and they were the vanguard of many years of emigration over the Barlow Road.

When Sam's sons William and James were tending the toll gate on the Barlow Road in 1847, they met their brides-to-be, Rachel and Rebecca Larkins, the pretty young daughters of William Larkins and his wife Rachel.  Romance also traveled the road!

The Barlow Knife

"When I was a little boy
I wanted a Barlow knife.
Now I want little Shady Grove,
To say she'll be my wife."

Being given a Barlow knife, which is to say being considered old enough to take care of one, used to be a rite of passage for young American boys.  The Barlow was perfect for whittling away a summer day, for idly carving designs on a school desk, and for playing mumbledypeg after school.   In Tom Sawyer's hand, it was a pirate's knife used to dig for treasure.  It is a knife that has made its mark on the American landscape and you can still find the names of Barlow owners, sometimes with their sweethearts' names too, carved into the barks of old trees,

Numerous members of various Barlow families have laid claim to the title of inventor of the Barlow knife.  But the first references appear to award that honor to Obadiah Barlow of Sheffield in England.  He created his version as early as 1670.  The knife came over to America through Obadiah's grandson in the next century and it was first made there by the John Russell Company of Massachusetts in 1785.   


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