Harry Kirk was born in Loughborough in 1850 to parents Henry and Louisa Hancock and christened in All Saints’ Church on 13th February. Henry Kirk, a journeyman carpenter, was born in Nottingham around 1815 and Louisa, in Loughborough, about 1821, to parents Abraham and Mary.
In 1851, Henry, was working, like his father, as a journeyman carpenter, Louise and 1-year-old Harry were living with her parents in one of the Courts or Yards off Baxter Gate. Ten years on, the family now increased to five with the arrival of Charles, aged 7, and Herbert, 11 months, were living in Fox Yard, off Baxter Gate. In 1871, the family were living in another yard off Baxter Gate, at No. 5, Court F, with Henry still working as a joiner. Living a few doors away at No. 3, was George Henry Brooks, who was to become another of the firm’s employees. Harry, now 21, was an ironmonger’s assistant; Charles, 17, a joiner; Herbert, 10, was still at school. The following year, Harry married Ellen (Cole?) in Leicester and by 1881 they were living at No. 8, Fox Yard, two door way from his parents. By this time, they had four children, Louisa, aged 8; Charles Henry, 5, Sarah, 3; Kate, 1. Harry was now working as an iron works labourer, possible for Messenger & Co.; whilst Ellen was working in one of the town’s hosiery factories.
Harry’s mother, Louisa, died in December 1885 and his father, Henry subsequently moved in with his son and family. In 1891, the extended family, of nine, were living at No. 85, Russell Street, where Harry, aged 51, was working as a “Horticultural Fitter”. Louisa, Charles, Sarah and Kate were all working in the textile trade; Ethel, aged 8 and Florence, 5 were at school. Besides Harry’s father, a nephew, Edward Flude, aged 18 and a framework knitter was also living with them.
Around 1893, the family moved to No. 76, New King Street, where they remained for around 8 years. In 1901, their five children, Louisa, Charles, Kate, Ethel and Florence were still living at home and all engaged in the hosiery trade. The following year, they moved again, this time to No. 54, Leopold Street, staying for about five years.
In 1911, Harry, now aged 61, was still working for the firm as a fitter, together with his wife, Ellen, and daughters Kate and Florence were living at No. 3, Leopold Street, a 6-room house, just off Derby Road. In the intervening ten years, the couple had lost three of their children; Ethel died in 1901, aged 18; Charles in 1905, aged 29; Louisa in 1910, aged 36.
Ellen died, aged 77 in 1921 and Harry on 24th November 1932, whilst still living at No. 3, Leopold Street.
- Fox Yard, was probably the yard adjacent to or behind the Fox Inn/Hotel, which was approximately where The Brooklyn Inn, (Nos 17 and 18, Baxter Gate) stands today (2017). In 1873, the Fox Inn was Nos. 19 and 20, Baxter Gate (Gray’s Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1873). ↑
- The entrance to Court F, which was one of eight Courts off Baxter Gate, was approximately where the entrance between Nos 17-18 (known as The Brooklyn Bar in 2017) and Nos 19-20 exists today (2017). ↑
- In the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses, Ellen is quoted as being born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. However, in the 1911 census her place of birth is now Newchurch, Lancashire, ↑
- The Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, 12th December 1885. ↑
- Died 1894, aged 79. ↑
- Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1894. ↑
- Census Return. ↑
- Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1903. ↑
- Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1907. ↑
- The Loughborough Monitor and News, 1st December, 1932. ↑