Elizabeth Partington


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Godfrey married Elizabeth Ann Ravenscroft Partington, daughter of John Partington and Mary Percival, on 1 Mar 1881 in St Georges Church, Altrincham. 


 On her birth certificate she is called Elizabeth Ann.  She was only eight years old when her mother died. Her father remarried just over one year later.

She was the eldest daughter of Mr John Partington, a member of an old Ashley family who held the Birkin Farm on the Tatton estate for a long period. The family were for many years known as members of the Tatton Troop of the Earl of Chesters Yeomanry Cavalry.

Her mother died when Elizabeth was just eight years old, shortly after the birth of a child called Sarah who also died within the month.

With six children to look after, the youngest of whom was only three years old,  it is not surprising that just over a year later in 1868 her father married again to Elizabeth Brundrett, a 46 year old spinster, the daughter of a builder from Didsbury.

Her extra middle name came from her grandmother, who remembered her specifically in her will in 1869. The Will of Elizabeth Percival (nee Ravenscroft); Elizabeth Partington (Granddaughter) to have 20. (Her other brothers & sister received a one sixth share of her estate divided between the five of them).

Just four years after her fathers remarriage, when Elizabeth was only 12 years old, he was killed. He died on the 5th of April 1872 at Ashley after a carting accident  - the death certificate gives the cause of death as "Cart accidentally upset upon his body. Spinal injuries"

According to his will his new wife Elizabeth was to run the farm with William the eldest son until the youngest child was 21. When they reached 21 the monies were to be split equally between the wife and the children but it is not known how long this lasted as by the 1881 census she had moved to Southport where her occupation was described as being “Income Derived From Houses & Property”, the oldest son William was 29, a Carter living in Duckinfield with his wife and one year old daughter who had been born there, Peter Partington was 25, a butcher in Hull, Mary was 18 and working for her sister in Stretford  and the youngest son  James was 16 and living with his step mother in Southport.

According to a family story, after her fathers death Elizabeth had tried to  start a butchers business in Altrincham with her three brothers but this was not a success.

When she married in 1881 at the age of 21 she was described as a spinster, living at Bowden without an occupation. The witnesses were James Hodgkinson and Mary Partington.

She must have tried to have another go in business as a month after her marriage, she was a Confectioner emplying her sister and they had moved to Stretford. It must have been a stressful time as she not only had her mother in law living with her but her new husband was out of work.


In 1883 Elizabeth went on a visit to Southport to stay with her step mother with her baby, John Partington, whilst Godfrey stayed at home with his mother. These are a few of her letters.

71 Sefton Street,

My dear Husband

I just drop a line to tell you that we arrived safe and found all well. Little Jack has just gone to bed and shouted Dada. Mother and Mrs Dewhurst are pleased with him. They think he is a very handsome boy and he answered people in the train and he had an orange given him which he demolished quickly.

Dear Godfrey I don't think I should bother with my dress and I think it is not necessary. Mother wants me to stay a week. You had better enquire whether a return ticket lasts more than a week. Please bring me one or two of Miss Fox's teacakes and give my love to Mother and kisses from little Jack and myself.

From your affectionate and loving old tease Lizzie.

Mother is very nice and Mrs Porter wants me to stay there.

71 Sefton Street,

My dear Husband

I received your letter last night and should have answered it at once only baby was so poorly he had a rash and he never slept at all yesterday until half past ten at night. I kept walking him about and then I gave him a hot bath and rubbed him down with zinc ointment and he is better today. If he had not I should have brought him home today because he keeps shouting Dada. It has quite upset me. I feel quite sick today and have had the Diarhoea. I suppose it is the change of air.

You must write to say when you want me home. I would not let Polly use the machine again she is so careless and I shall alter the shape of those pinafores when I come home. I think baby is best at home. I had not time to write to Mary for her 21st birthday. Well, dear old boy, I shall like to be home again. It seems so awkward when baby's poorly. I have not any news to send because I have not been out further than the garden. Uncle John is very kind to us. So I must conclude with dear love to Mother and especially to yourself and xxx from little Jack and me.

I remain, your affectionate and loving old tease,


71 Sefton Street,
May 24th 1883

My dear Husband

I thank you very much for your kind letter of this afternoon and I am so glad to say we are both quite well and little Jack is getting so strong I can hardly hold him. I don't know what I should do without the perambulator I could not carry him.

We went out last night for a walk and I bought baby a little toy and he had been out all afternoon and now he has gone to bed at half past six quite tired out and he has eaten very heartily today, he is so fond of biscuits and oranges and I believe Mrs Dewhurst would give him gold if he liked it.

The other night when he was so ill she was praying all night for him to be better she never slept at all and she says she is more thankful that he is better than if anyone had given her a thousand pounds.

Uncle John is out all day. He borrowed 2d of me today but I shan't lend him any more though he is very kind to baby.

Well my dear old man I will come home any time you want but I shall come on Monday if you can do without me until then. I am invited out to tea at Birkdale on Saturday to a friend of Mrs Dewhurst's but I don't know whether I shall go or not. I have not been to Porters again yet. I expect they will be getting vexed at me if I don't go.

Well dear Godfrey, I see they have made a failure after all at Shudehill and Mr Burn is the accountant after all he said he should like to get the job and he has got it.

I am very glad to hear things are looking up a bit. I hope and trust that trade will look up a bit with us for we need a share don't we old man.

Well I must now conclude with dearest love and lots of kisses from our little treasure and myself and Mother and Mrs Dewhurst send their kind regards and give our love to Mother.

I remain your affectionate and loving old woman,


71 Sefton Street, Southport
May 27th 1883

My Dear Husband,

I was pleased to receive your letter but very sorry your eyes are worse. I hope you bathe them regularly. Well old man, I intend leaving Southport by the 8 o' clock train tomorrow. You will see what time time it arrives in Manchester as we have no guide. So I will not write any more only that we are both well and enjoying ourselves. Jim is pushing baby about in his perambulator. They seem very fond of each other. Mrs Dewhurst bought baby a toy yesterday but he does not seem to care much for it.

So I will now say goodbye for the present as I hope to see you soon.

With very fond love to you from baby and myself and kind regards from Mother and from your ever affectionate and loving old woman.


This last letter is written a year later; this time the baby is Walter.


My dear husband

I have only time to write a few lines after putting the children to bed. I received your letter this evening and I have been so upset with dear little baby he keeps so poorly. I got some medicine from the chemist he had diarrhoea so bad and I can't get rid of the thrush. Mother does not think we shall rear him he looks so poorly and I have him out from morning till night and he keeps me awake half the night. I don't know what to get for him it nearly breaks my heart to think I can do him no good.

Jacky is first rate he has such an appetite and he looks so ruddy. I gave him a donkey ride today and he enjoyed it very much and he kept crying for 'conkey' again but mother thinks he is the most mischeifous boy she ever saw. She shut him up in the pantry yesterday and I am very well myself with a face like a turkey cock.

I shall wait till James comes about the money. They sent me a very pressing invitation from Hull to go with James but it was too far to take baby. John says Peters wife is a perfect little beauty and their little son is so like Jack. We went to Bottomley's to tea yesterday and enjoyed ourselves very much. They were delighted with Jack. That nail of Jack's that was black is nearly off and he keeps saying 'finder' if you touch him. I think if you sent me 6 shillings I could manage. I shall try to bring James back with me when I come. Please excuse more old boy, a great haste for the post.

I remain your loving old woman, Lizzie. Xxx from Beauties.

Send post and check to the Cambridge Hall Post Office. I wish you could come for the weekend. It would do you so much good.





Elizabeths Formal Portrait from 1910 as wife of the mayor.










In 1916 things were to take a turn for the worse. Two of the sons were away fighting in France and Elizabeth contracted throat cancer.

 She died in a nursing home in Manchester.

This must have been a blow as Godfrey and 'Lizzie' appear to have had a very happy marriage, certainly they were dearly loved by their children.


1916 obit eliz

Altrincham Guardian Obituary - December 1916


Amidst many manifestations of respect, the funeral of Mrs Bonson of Stamford New Road, Altrincham, who died the previous Tuesday, took place a the Altrincham Cemetery on Saturday. The Rev. E. S. Oliver, vicar of St George's Church, Altrincham officiated. The mourners were; Mr. Bonson, Mrs Ryder, Mr. J.P. Bonson, Miss E.G. Bonson, Mr. J.R. Bonson. Mr. G.W. Bonson, jun. Miss. L. Bonson, Mrs. Walter Bonson, Mr. A.S. Ryder, Mr G. Hodgkinson, Mr A. Hodgkinson, Mrs Pemberton and Mrs Preston. Mr. J.W. Trotter, chairman of the Altrincham Council, of which Mr Bonson is a valued member, was unavoidably absent on account of his mother's illness; and Messers Whitwham, Shield and Turner were also prevented, from attending at the graveside. The following members and officials of the Altrincham Council were present: Messers M. Pearson, J. Tadman, S. Burgess, W. Whitehead. E. Vesey, H. Kenyon, W. S. Stokoe (clerk), G.E. Turton (assistant overseer); and J. Burne, manager of the Sewage Farm. Amongst the many friends at the cemetery were Mrs. Frank Cowsill, Miss Wood, Mr. A. Pailthorpe, Mr. Walkden, Mr. J.R. Crosby, Mrs. Howard, Mrs C. E. Pennington, Mr and Mrs Batchelor, Mr. W. M. Brierley, Mr. Jack Smith. Miss Bradshaw, Lieut. A. J. Syers, Miss Moores, Mrs. Smith, Mrs Lees, Mrs Tyrrell, Mrs. Jenkinson, Miss Carroll, Mrs. Crossley, Mrs W. Priestner, Mrs. and Miss Hopkinson, Mr. George Berry, Mrs. Bailey, Miss Walkden, Mrs. Ollier, Mrs Mossop and Mr. L. B. Kendall.

Floral tributes were sent by Husband and children, "Tom and Ada," ''Maggie," Mrs. Beswick and friends, Mr. and Mrs C. Mattinson, Mr. and Mrs. F Cowsill, St. Margaret's Ladies' Hockey Club, Mr. and Mrs. Leytham, Mrs. A. Hay and family, her loving nephew J. W. Dineley, "To dear Grannie from" Rene, Timpy, Betty and Jim," Connie and Norman Juckes, "her dear brother Peter and family," Mr and Mrs. Syers and family, Mrs Crosby, Miss Hildage, Cousins Gertie and Mabel, Mr and Mrs W.M. Brierley and family, Mrs Pemberton, Mr & Mrs Jenkinson and family, Mr and Mrs Dennett, employees of Mr Bonson, St George Ladies Bowling Club, committee and members of Stamford Bowling Club, Mr and Mrs Ryder (Queens Road).

Messers G.H. Worthington and Son, Stamford New Road, Altrincham had charge of the arrangements.


Her husband did not get around to administering her will until 1923

    Elizabeth Ann Bonson of Northend, Stamford New Road, Altrincham (wife of Godfrey William Bonson) who died 5th December 1916 at 24 York Place Manchester. Admin granted 3rd january 1923 to the said Godfrey William Bonson, House Furnisher. Personal effects 128



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