Select Fearnley Miscellany


Here are some Fearnley stories
accounts over the years:


Fearnleys from Farnley and Fearnleys in the Peak District


Was there a connection between the Fearnleys from Farnley in north Yorkshire and those in the Goyt valley of the Derbyshire Peak District?
A Henry de
Ferneley from Farnley near Otley in Yorkshire and a Richard de Weston
Weston near Otley probably traveled together to the Peak forest in
1250, but we
cannot know if they settled there; unless perhaps that Henry was the
Henry who had been granted ten acres of Peak land between 1227 and
1233.  There is just possibly enough data
to suggest
that this Henry was the Fearnley who migrated.
The Fearnleys in the 13th century appear to have been nibbling away at
the Peak forest, making their own assarts or clearances.
This perhaps helped the growth of Fernilee
and other communities in the Goyt valley.  Some
Fearnleys who had been fined in the Peak
forest lived at Rostherne.  There is a
long but unsure structure to the family tree of about seven generations
Rostherne from about 1250 to 1340.

The Fearnleys at Oakwell Hall

In the
18th century Oakwell Hall in the parish of
Birstall in Yorkshire passed through the hands of several tenants, but
eventually bought by the lawyer Benjamin Fearnley.  His
son Fairfax Fearnley inherited his
father’s debt as well as creating much of his own.
He was quite an eccentric character with good
connections amongst the Yorkshire elite.
But eventually he had to sell the house in 1789 to help settle
some of these

sister Susannah accompanied her husband Benjamin Carlile, an artillery
officer, to the American War of Independence.
There he fought with distinction from Bunker Hill to Yorktown.  Having lost Susannah and two of his three
children to fever in Boston, Benjamin returned to Oakwell with his only
surviving child.  Some old American
sycamore stumps in the Oakwell grounds might well have been brought
there by
him as seedlings.

Carlyle, aka
Benjamin Fearnley Carlyle, was a descendant.
Schooled in the Oxford Movement, he founded in 1895 the first
Benedictine community for monks in south Wales

Edmund Fearnley and the Watford Brewery

is believed to have started a brewery on Watford High Street around the
year 1655.
Continuing under family ownership, his
brewery underwent modest expansion until 1790 when it was sold to

instigated more significant expansion of the brewery and tied estate
until his
death in 1822 when he left the brewery to a cousin, Edmund Fearnley, on
condition that he change his name to Edmund Fearnley-Whittingstall.

again continued.  However, upon Edmund’s
death in 1856, the
brewery estate become liable for debts arising from his other business
So the decision was made to lease the
brewery and tied estate to William Sedgwick, starting from 1862.  The brewery remained with the Sedgwick family
until they sold it in 1923.


Fearnleys in Oslo

Fearnleys dates back to the year 1869 when its founder,
Thomas Fearnley established a ship-broking and agency business in
as the city of Oslo was known in those days.  The
little company soon prospered and engaged
in, among others, the trade in lumber, wine, pitch and ice.

In connection with its trading activities the
company bought shares in vessels and chartered vessels. Although the
began by chartering sailing vessels, by 1880 the age of the steamship
clearly begun.  In 1881 the partnership
of Fearnley & Eger established the Christiania Steamship Company
which contracted
for two newbuildings at the Kockums shipyard in Malmø.
Over time Fearnley & Eger became a ship-owning
company and invested in more and more units. The company engaged in
both liner
and tramp activities and survived the two world wars.

In addition to these ship-owning activities,
the firm continued to engage in developing its skills in the area of
services, primarily in dry cargo ship-broking. As the tanker industry
to develop at the beginning of the 20th century, Fearnleys became
involved here.  Later on,
when the transportation of gas by sea became an important area of
Fearnleys developed a broking department which specialized in this new

The company became involved
in car carrier transportation in the 1960s, offshore and rig broking in
1970s, coinciding with the onset of the development of the Norwegian
continental shelf offshore oil fields, and energy trading and financial
services in the 1980s.

Today the Astrup
Fearnley Group is a leading, independent and global provider of
research, financial and advisory services to investors and companies
in the maritime industries.



John Fearnley and
the 1932 Arley Coal Mining Disaster

of the early volunteers of the rescue workers
John Fearnley aged
25 years, a collier of Old Road in Ashton-in-Makerfield in Lancashire,
had an
amazing escape.  He had rushed from the
Arley mine when news of the disaster spread.  When
the first volunteers retreated from a
wall of gas it was discovered that he was missing.  His
family was waiting at the pit head. He was
last seen in the early hours of Sunday morning.

the day wore on it was four o’clock when
the news came that Fearnley had been discovered alive.
A doctor
went down the pit and took a bottle of brandy and the
took Fearnley to Wigan infirmary.

appeared that he went to the scene of the explosion and was overcome by
gas and became unconscious.  He
remembered nothing more until he found he was sitting up against a pit
with the debris of the roof around him. But he
was too weak to move and it was very quiet in this region of the

saw a glimmer of lamps and his
sprits rose. He called as loudly as he could in his enfeebled state and
rescued.  At the infirmary he had little
recollection of what had happened.

Duncan Fearnley and His
Cricket Bats

Duncan Fearnley was born in 1940 in the cricket hotbed
of Pudsey in Yorkshire.   His
father was a woodwork teacher and his
grandfather a cabinet maker who had worked with the grandfather of the
cricket captain Ray Illingworth.  So it
seemed destined that this young Yorkshire cricketer would also follow a
woodworking career.

In 1955 he had just
played for England Schoolboys and hoped for a career in professional
cricket.  However, during the winter months
he needed
to supplement his income.

decided he wanted to make bats.  Within
the boundaries of Yorkshire there were many small bat-makers. Duncan was fortunate to get an apprenticeship
with Senior Counties of
and made bats whenever he could around his cricket commitments.  The first bats he made were branded Tudor Rose, but soon they became known
as Fearnley of Farsley. In the winter
months Duncan would sell these bats onto his friends to supplement his

In the early 1970’s, as his cricket
career was
phasing down, Fearnley
established his
highly successful bat-manufacturing company.
He got many of his ex-playing colleagues and opponents to use
products and built up the brand around these friends.  By the
early 1980’s
Fearnley had become the dominant brand within the market throughout the
world.  At that time it seemed that
everyone was using
or wearing its 3 wicket symbol.

the brand still operates from its Worcester base, with the factory
there producing
by hand up to 5,000 bats per year.


Return to Fearnley Main Page


Leave a Reply