The wife of John Asher, Elizabeth Darlington, is not able to be traced through newspaper articles, so I have far less information on her life.

Elizabeth Darlington was born in Haslington, Cheshire on 25 October 1843.  She was the daughter of Matthew Darlington and Elizabeth Mallam, one of nine children including five boys.  Her father was a shoemaker.  In the 1851 census she, and five siblings, lived with Matthew and Elizabeth in Haslington but there is no address given.

Haslington is a small village to the east of Crewe.  It was first mentioned, as Hesinglinton, in 1256 (possibly meaning “enclosure among hazel trees”).  In 1851 the population stood at 1153.  Apparently, Haslington was pillaged by royalist troops during the Civil War, around 1643.

In 1861, Elizabeth, at age 18, was a servant at Haslington Hall, in the employ of Joseph Woolf (1799-1865) and his sister, Ann.  Joseph was a farmer of 500 acres employing 12 labourers and three boys (as well as the house staff).


Haslington Hall

Interestingly, another servant, Esther Plant, went on to marry Elizabeth’s brother, Thomas.

A pouch belonging to Joseph Woolf went on sale recently.


Fascinating.  I wonder if it was sold and who bought it.

Elizabeth was pregnant when she married John Asher, a postal clerk, on 5 September 1864 at Haslington.  They married in the district’s chapel, which I assume is St Matthew’s in Haslington, or was it St Bertoline in Barthomley, which apparently also served Haslington.  Since the former became the district church for Haslington in 1860, I’ll assume it was that one.  Not a particularly attractive church in my opinion.


The couple moved to Worcester, where John had been living and working.  Sadly, Elizabeth’s firstborn, a girl named Elizabeth, died shortly after being born (three months after the wedding).  The couple were living in Claines in Worcestershire when Elizabeth gave birth to twin boys on 20 August 1869.  Claines is a small village just to the north of Worcester.  They lived there until 1872 when John was promoted to a position in Northampton and moved to 19 Somerset Street in Northampton.

Elizabeth fell pregnant again in 1883 at the age of 40, some 14 years after the birth of the twins.  Sadly, the boy, named Frank, died shortly after the birth.


Rhyl Advertiser, 9 June 1883

The family moved to Rhyl, North Wales, when John was made postmaster there.  The family contributed to community activities in Rhyl, including music and acting for the sons.

John got another promotion in 1890, replacing the postmaster in Camarthen, so Elizabeth, of course, joined him.  Her sons stayed on in Rhyl.  John married Amy Vaughan, fellow entertainer and daughter of a bathing machine proprietor, in 1894.  William married Kate Powell in 1892.

John’s health was failing so he retired in 1903 and the couple returned to Rhyl.  By this time, William and his wife had moved to Shrewsbury.

I have no more information on Elizabeth’s life.  She died on 7 January 1927 in Rhyl, age 83.



Sources: wikipedia; findmypast;; Welsh newspapers online; family archives