Nathaniel Harriman (1858-1936)

Nathaniel Harriman was born in Loughborough in 1858 to parents Nathaniel and Ellen; both parents were born just over the county border in Nottinghamshire; his father in East Leake and his mother in Sutton Bonington. At the age of 3[1], he was living with his parents, four sisters (three older, one younger) and one elder brother in Bridge Street, adjacent to Limehurst House; at the time his father was a porter to one of the town’s seven wine merchants[2].

His father died in 1867, aged 36 and by 1871[3] the family were living at No. 7, Conery Court, off Conery Passage and almost opposite Thomas Messenger’s Sparrow Hill wood storage facility. Aged 13, he was working as a winder in a cotton factory, possibly the same factory as his two older sisters (Ellen, aged 19 and Sarah, 18) who were both frame hands.

Nathaniel Harriman married Annie Murphy (1859-1942), on 31st January 1879, at All Saint’s Church, Loughborough. Annie Murphy was born in Sheffield in 1859, probably to parents John and Mary. Her mother and elder brother, Frederick, were both born in Loughborough. John and Mary married in Loughborough in 1851. By 1871, it appears that Annie, then aged 12 and at school, was in Loughborough, lodging with Mark and Charlotte Woolley and their two sons.

Two years after their marriage[4], they were lodging, together with Nathaniel, their 1-year-old son, at No. 18, Buckthorn Square with Jane Murphy, a presumed relation of his wife. Nathaniel was now working as a blacksmith and his wife as a merino hosiery machine worker. It is reported that Nathaniel Harriman started working for the firm in 1881[5] and it is possible that he was first employed as a blacksmith, going onto become a hot-water fitter. Living next door, at the time, was John Hill, also a blacksmith, who was also probably working for the firm at the time.

Within the year, they had moved three doors away to No. 21, Buckhorn Square[6] before moving onto No. 31, Canal Bank, Bridge Street. By 1891[7], he was working as an engine fitter, not a recognisably obvious occupation at the firm, although one used by William Brooks in 1871 (see above); his wife, Annie, was now a hosiery linker and Nathaniel, aged 11, was an errand boy. There were four younger children, Arthur, aged 9, Annie, 6, Ellen, 3 and Edith, 10-months.

By 1898[8], they had moved to No. 93, Paget Street and in 1901[9], still in Paget Street, Nathaniel was describing himself as a “hot-water heating apparatus fitter”, whilst his wife had stopped working. Seven of their children were living at home; Nathaniel, 21, an elastic web machine fitter, Annie, 16, Nellie, 14, a cotton winder, Edith, 10, William 8, Dorothy, 6 and Millicent, 2. Not staying in Paget Street for more than about 5 years; in 1902/3[10they made their last house move to No. 63, Station Street, just a few streets away.


No. 93, Paget Street, Loughborough

In 1911[11], Nathaniel was still describing himself as a hot-water fitter, with five of their children still living at home; Mary Annie, 27 and Dorothy, 16, both hosiery winders; Edith May, 20, a hosiery marker; Millicent, aged 12; William, 18, an apprentice joiner with the firm.



No. 63, Station Street, Loughborough

Nathaniel died on 23rd March 1936, aged 78, whilst still living at No. 63, Station Street[12].



  1. 1861 Census Return.
  2. Slater’s Directory of Leicestershire – 1862.
  3. Census Return.
  4. 1881 Census Return.
  5. A Century of Progress – a History of Messenger & Company, Limited. 1858-1958 (Unpublished).
  6. Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1882.
  7. Census Return.
  8. Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1898.
  9. Census Return.
  10. Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory for 1902 and 1903.
  11. Census Return.
  12. The Loughborough Monitor and News, 26th March 1936.