People of Note
Ebenezer Elliott the Corn Law Rhymer, was born at New Foundry,Masbrough on 17th March, 1781 where his father was an employee of Clay & Co., he had previously been a commercial clerk in the Walker's Iron Works. His father, from his eccentricities and ultra religious views, was named 'Devil Elliott'.
Robert Elliott, his grandfather, a whitesmith of Newcastle-upon-Tyne had given to his son Ebenezer Senior, what was then considered-a first-class commercial education, and got him apprenticed to Landell & Chambers, wholesale ironmongers.
Ebenezer Elliott was one of eleven children, only eight reached adulthood. He described his mother's life as ' ... a disease, a tale of pain, terminated by death - one long sigh...'
He is recorded as saying 'From her I have derived my nervous irritability, my bashful awkwardness, my miserable proneness to anticipate evil, that makes existence all catastrophe'.
He attended a dame's school, kept by Nanny Sykes, before going to the Hollis School , then presided over by Joseph Ramsbotham.
His father later became nominal proprietor of the Foundry, Clay & Co., when the partners sold him their shares on credit.
Between the ages of 16 and 38, he worked in the family business until it failed, leaving him bankrupt. The partnership between Ebenezer Eliiott the Elder, Giles Elliott, and Ebenezer Elliott the Younger, was dissolved in April 1811. Elliott later moved to Sheffield, where he became a successful iron dealer.
During this period, Elliott was very interested in politics, and his poems reflect this. He set up the Anti-Corn Law League in Sheffield, and wrote a series of strongly worded rhymes and poems which were then spoken at the thousands of anti-corn law meetings all across the country.
Elliott's work came to the attention of Robert Southey and William Wordsworth, who lifted him out of obscurity and made him well-known nationally.
His first publication, The Vernal Walk, written in his 17th year, showed to what extent the scenery of his native country had impressed itself on his mind.
He contributed to the New Monthly Magazine,Tait's Magazine, and many other periodicals. The last edition of his poems appeared in one volume in 1849.
In 1805/6 he married in Rotherham to Frances (Fanny) Gartside, who brought a small fortune to the marriage.Children:
- b.1807 Ebenezer
- b.1809 Benjamin Garber
- b.1811 Henry
- b.1812 William
- b.1814 Charles
- b.1819 Edwin
- b.1819 Frances Green
- b.1821 Fanny Ann
- b.1823 John Gartside
- b.1825 Norah
Elliott left his villa near Sheffield, and retired to Hargate Hill, near Great Houghton. Hargate Hill was about eight miles from Barnsley, and three from Darfield Station.
Elliott was recorded as stating: 'I chose this place for its beauty, which, as is usual in affairs of the heart, is invisible to all but the enamoured. Rising early one morning, I took a beautiful walk of eighteen miles, through parks, wild lanes, and footpaths; reached the place, liked it, and returning the same day, resolved to buy it, supposing the cottage upon it to be worth £60, I gave £180 for the land, say £18 per acre. It was wild land, having been a wood, and fox cover, called on the maps Argilt hill, or wood. I have laid out upon it about a thousand guineas.'
His brother Giles ELLIOTT marr. 1811 Rotherham Amelia EMERSON
Just before his death his daughter Fanny married John Watkins - his first major biographer.
A bronze statue, by Burnard of London, subscribed for by the working men of Sheffield, was erected at a cost of £600 in Sheffield market-place in 1854, to the memory of Elliott. Landor wrote a fine ode on the occasion. The statue was afterwards removed to Weston Park.