This page assembles links and material relating to the Simpsons of Grayrigg 
and their descendent and  family history.

Its editor, Ben Simpson, has written a family history:
front cover The Generations In Between
Drawing on the work of his late brother and with input from many other sources, Ben has written a family history. It culminates in a revealingly candid insight into the career of his father, who served as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for a decade, until his death in service, in 1968.

Meticulously researched; a cultural history of photos, letters and memories...
Carmen Bugan, poet and writer; former Wolfson Creative Arts Fellow.

A fascinating moral tale about the importance of family…
stories of lives that have contributed to the development of our nation…

- Peter Neyroud, criminologist and policeman.

Available from  http://www.simpson-heritage.uk/





Joseph Mark Simpson (1939 - 2012)
  • Career: British South Africa Police, Hong Kong Police,
  • Places: Lincoln, Cambridge, Northumberland, Surrey, Southern Rhodesia, Hong Kong,  Kent
  • Married: (1972) Martine Balanche 
                    (2004) Claire Mills 

Ben Simpson  MBE JP (1942 - ) [Brother]
  • Career: Farmer, Contractor, Wolfson College Oxford, Thames Valley Police Authority, Community work, Neighbourhood Return Project
  • Places: Cambridge, Northumberland, Surrey, London, Patagonia, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire
  • Married: (1976) Georgie Burns (later Revd) 

Sir Joseph Simpson KBE, (1909 - 1968)
  • Career: Chief Constable, Northumberland Constabulary, Surrey Constabulary, Commissioner  of Metropoliton Police.
  • Places: Dawley, Manchester, London, Lincolnshire, Cambridge, Northumberland, Surrey, London.
  • Siblings: Agnes Dorothea Grace (1904 - 1995), Josephine ('Jophie') Mary (1905 - 1986), and Arthur Richard. (1912 - 1984).
Married  (1936)
Elisabeth May Bowler (1910 - 1970)
  • Career: Soprano, 1938 German tour, Foxhanger Labradors.
  • Siblings: Henry ('Harry') Percy Bowler


Joseph Simpson (1875 - 1952);
  • Career: Engineer; Director and Chairman, The Horshay Steel Works, Dawley. Adamson & Co, Hyde, Cheshire
  • Places: Dawley, Cheshire, Surrey, Oxford
  • Siblings: Agnes Alderson (1871 - 1950), Harrison Alderson (1873 - 1954),  Sarah Mildred (1874 - ?), Emma Beatrice ('Bea') (1876 - 1977), Arthur (1877 - 1899), Anne ('Annie') Wilberforce (1881 - 1967).
Married  (1903)
Dorothy ('Dora') Ann Mary Maw (1874 -1950).
Daughter of Arthur Maw of Maw & Co & Jackfield Tiles, Coalbrookdale;
Severn House (now Valley Hotel), Ironbridge,
Joseph Simpson (1835 - 1901).

  • Career: Charity Worker among poor of London, inherited Brewery, Partner (with George) in Cotton Spinning Mills, Antislavery & Freedmen activist, JP (Derbyshire & Staffordshire), Poor Law Guardian.
  • Connections: North America, RMS  Persia, Assassination of President Lincoln, Quaker, Friends Meeting House(s).
  • Places: Newton Heath, Manchester, 36 Cannon St London,  Eccles, Burlington NJ, Mayfield near Ashbourne.
  • Siblings: George (1837 - 1926), Alfred (1839 - ?), Margaret Harrison (1841 - 1920), William (1845 - 1914), Frederick (1847 - 1931), Hannah (1849 - ?), Henry Charles (1851 - 1934), Sarah Agnes (1853 - ?).
Married (1870)
Agnes Alderson (1839 - 1925)
in Burlington , New Jersey.
Buried, with her husband and son Arthur in Mayfield churchyard.
George Simpson (1809 - 1862).  
Career: Brewer; Quaker
Places: Heversham, Cumbria; Newton Heath, Manchester.
Siblings: Thomas (1806 - 1807), Elizabeth (1813 - ?), Mary (1815 - 1836), Hannah (1817 - ?), Agnes (1819 - ?), Thomas (1821 - ?), Joseph (1823 - ?), John (1826 - 1896), William (1828 - 1892), Benjamin (1831 - 1831).
Married  (1834)
Sarah Harrison (1809 - 1892)
Bolton and Southport, Lancs.
Sister of Daniel and Smith Harrison, founders of Harrisons & Crosfield, Tea Merchants.
Joseph Simpson (1781 - 1857)
Farmer; Disowned Quaker.
Places: Castlebank, Grayrigg, Kendal; Southport, Lancashire.
Siblings: Martin (1775 - 1832), Hannah (1777 - 1777),  Rachel (1778 - 184?) (twin), Hannah (1778 - ?) (twin), Elizabeth (1783 - ?), Agnes (1786 - 1844), Ann (1788 - 1853),
Married
Hannah Robinson (1785 - 1872)
Kendal
  Thomas Simpson (1734/5 -  1820)
Castlebank, Grayrigg, Kendal
Yeoman
Siblings: Isaac (1727 - ?1735), Elizabeth (1728 - ?1750), John (1730/1 - 1750/1), Rachel (1732/2 - ?), Martin (1736 - ?1766), Robert (1738 - ?1752), Ann (1739/40 - 1794), Rebecca (1742 - 1769), Mary (1743 - 1822), Sarah (1745 - 1750/1), Jacob (1747/8 - ?), Agnes (1752 - 1828), Sarah (1754 - 1769).
Married (1774)
Elizabeth Atkinson (1745 - 1774)
Sedbergh, Kendal
 
  Martin Simpson (1703 - 1780)
Yeoman
Castlebank and Beckhouses, Grayrigg, Kendal
Siblings: Ann (1700 - ?), John (1705 - 1792).
Married 
Rachel Morland (? - 1753)
Kendal
 
  Isaacke Simpson (1670 - 1749)
Grayrigg, Kendal
Siblings: Robert (1671 - ?1689)
Married
Rebecca Moore (1699 - 1737)
b Grayrigg, Kendal
 
  Martin Simpson (? - 1709)
Yeoman
Siblings: William (? - ?).
Married
Ann Wilson (?1630 - 1718)
Shap, Grayrigg
 
  Robert Simpson (? - ?1685)
Yeoman of Castlebank
Married
Isabel (? - ?1684)
 
Further Details
  • Anne Simpson was Leader of Mayfield Guides (photo in Memories of Mayfield) in 1918.  She married Captain Haughton Ealdred Okeover at the age of 41, in 1922.  Capt Okeover was High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1925 and lived at Okeover Hall, a few miles from Mayfield.  He died in 1955.
  • Anne later moved to Holme House, Whimple, Devon, where she lived with her unmarried siblings, Harrison Alderson Simpson (d 1954) and Beatrice Wilberforce Simpson, until her  (Anne's) death in 1967.
  • Bea Simpson went to Russia when she was 18 (in 1894) for a year, staying with a fur trader.  She later went to live in Devon, with her brother Harrison and sister Anne  after the death of Capt Okeover.  After Anne's death, Holme house was sold, and Bea went to live in Winchelsea, with her neice, (Lady) Josephine Shaw, who was married to Sir John Shaw.
  • Joseph Simpson (1835-1901);
  • Visit to North America in 1865: 
    • In September 2013, BS donated the original 10-sided manuscript letter of 1865 together with a transcription by JMS to The Bodleian Library, Oxford.
    • BS donated a near-pristine copy of Amice Lee's book 'In their Several Generations' to the Bodleian Library at the same time.  The book records the wider family history, about the Wood, Botham and Harrison, Howitt and Alderson branches of the family, covering the period 1671 - 1888.  It includes extracts of Joseph Simpson's letter of 1865 and its background.
    • An online copy of 'In Their Several Generations' by Amice Macdonell Lee is available courtesy of familysearch.org.
    • Links to sites about Ellis Yarnall's  Reminiscences and to U.Penn's Yarnall Collection may also be of interest.
  • Other Letters:  
    • The Bodleian Library, Oxford hold 18 letters (in their anti-slavery collection) written by JS between 1865 & 1899.  Content is mostly concerned with fund-raising for the welfare and education of Freedmen and includes a letter of introduction in respect of 'a coloured gentleman, Booker T Washington', to Sir Fowell Buxton.  
    • Further correspondence is recorded in the Garrison Family Papers
    • A Pamphlet (pdf) authored by JS, later published, "to T H Tuke, on Freedmen & Freedmens' Associations" is held in the Archives at Friends House Library, London. (1865: ref Tract Box 155).  In his 1865 letter JS states "... I will write to T H Tuke on this matter tonight...".
  • Massachusetts Historical Society Portraits 1850-1890 show a contemporary photographic portrait of Joseph Simpson. 
  • A heart condition, caused by rheumatic fever at the age of 18 or 19 led him to visit Italy in 1857, Egypt in 1860 and Australia and New Zealand in 1882 in the hope of gaining strength (Ackworth Old Scholars Association Report 1902).  It is quite likely that some of his overseas travels were also engaged in identifying and/or obtaining alternative supplies of cotton.
  • He died suddenly on 2nd October 1901 at Sunnyside, Upper Mayfield (now demolished), where he had lived since his marriage.
  • In 1902 a brass plaque and three Memorial bells were installed in Mayield Parish Church, as a tribute to him, although a committed Quaker.
  • He was buried in the graveyard at the Parish Church, where the graves of his wife and children can also be found.
  • A copy of JS's Obituary in the 'Annual Monitor' of 1903 is available online. 

  • George Simpson (1837 - 1926)
  • Brother of Joseph Simpson (1835 - 1901); Partner in Cotton Mills of Simpson Brothers.  He was sworn in as a Special Constable in 1863; see Distress in the Cotton Districts.
  • In 1881 he was living at Mayfield House with his wife Sophia (nee Burtt) and their 5 children.  He moved to Hazelbrow, Duffield some time before 1891, where he lived till his death on 9th January 1926.
  • Their children were Charles Burtt (b 1867), Edith (b 1868), Marion (b 1870), George (1871 - 1949), Florence Sophie (1876 - 1947), Chrystabel (b & d 1885).  They are all buried in Mayfield Churchyard.
  • He built Field Head, Upper Mayfield, for his son George (1871 - 1949) when the latter, who never married, was 26.
George aged 21
  • Joseph Simpson (1781 - 1857)  
  • On 25th January 1844 Joseph wrote to his son George Simpson from Holmehouse, Southport, Lancashire.
  • pdf file showing both sides of the letter
  • Transcript of the letter (word docx)
  • He was buried at Kendal Quaker burial ground, Stramongate where a stone tablet marks his grave.
  • Anne Simpson, formerly Osburne, née Wilson (c. 1630-1718), Ministering Friend
  • A Brief Testimony (transcript)