D. Family Tree
E. Of Steam Hammers
F. Further Reading
Worthington Coat of Arms
Standish Church, Lancaster, England.
About this Page
This article describes the genealogy of my immediate family
Family NameWorthington village, Leicestershire, England is the original locality of the family. The modern version of the name can be derived from three words:
1. 'Worth' derived from the Saxon/Old English name Wurth.
2. 'ing' in the middle of a name usually comes from 'inga', which meant 'belonging to' or 'the people of'.
3. 'ton' Middle English, from Old English tun 'enclosure/farm/village', from Proto-Germanic tunan 'fence'
My surname thus means: The people of the Wurth family farm/village. When William the Conqueror did an account of England in 1086 the name was Normanised to 'Worthington'. The family name originally appears spelled 'Werditone' in the Domesday book of 1086, the record of William the Conquerers possessions in England.
Domesday Book reference: http://domesdaymap.co.uk/place/SK4020/worthington/
also see the ABC TV series/book 'The Adventure of English'
My first name (Robert) is also of Norman derivation:
'Hreod Beraht' means 'Bright Fame'. It first appeared in England during the Norman invasion.
Coat of ArmsArgent- three shakeforks, sable, two and one; crest a goat passant, argent, holding in his mouth an oak branch proper (or vert) , fructed, or; which, translated, means a silver shield with three black, triple-tined stable forks, one below and two above; the crest, a side view of a silver goat, holding in it's mouth a green leafed oak branch with golden acorns.
Family MottoVirtute Dignus Avorum (In virtue worthy of ones ancestors).
The motto and the coat of arms may be seen in Chorley Church, Winslow Parish, Cheshire, England.
AncestorsWorthington de Worthington, in the reign of Henry III, (1236-1237), was the progenitor of all the Worthingtons of Lancashire.
Most of the armorial bearings of the Worthington families were derived from historic usage, but there is an exception in a coat and crest granted by Christopher Barker, who was Garter King of Arms from 1536 to 1550. No Christian name was recorded, but on the coat was written "Worthington Le Eundum" meaning Worthington of the same place.
Presumably Richard Worthington, who was lord of the manor of Worthington during the period, visited the College in London to make sure that the arms which he and his ancestors were already using were properly authorised, and to protect the family from the possibility of others taking the same arms.
The Worthingtons of Worthington had already been using arms for half a century, for Richard's grandfather, Hugh, was described as an armiger in 1464. The coat of arms of this family was Argent three dungforks sable, and their crest A goat statant argent browsing at a clump of nettles vert.
The family may have selected these devices to symbolise a type of pastoral life with which they had long been associated, but the dung forks were a pun on the word "worthing" which was dialect for manure.
Origin of the Worthington TownshipTwenty miles northeast of Liverpool in Leyland hundred, parish of Standish, county of Lancaster, England is the township of Worthington. The Worthington family had been established in the area since the time of the Plantagenets. Another town of Worthington is found in Leicestershire near Burton Upon Trent. It was named 'Werditone' in the Domesday Book, a census of England created for William the Conquerer in 1086.
County StandishThe Worthington family resided at Worthington in Standish, Lancashire from about 1150, shortly after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Their landholdings in the area were extensive and their country seat, Worthington Hall, was built in 1577. At that time the village of Worthington was entirely rural and comprised a handful of cottages. By 1215 the first mention is made of the Coppull Family, perhaps related to the Worthingtons, possibly the origin of the township Coppull-with-Worthington.
Other PropertiesIn addition to the manor of Adlington, one Thomas Clayton bought the adjoining manor of Worthington from Edward Worthington and his wife, Jane, in 1690. The properties of Adlington and Worthington were passed by descent to members of the Clayton family, most notable among whom were Richard Clayton who became Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland from 1765 until his death in 1770. By this time, Crawshaw Hall, Adlington, and Bottom of Common End all effectively belonged to the Worthington family.
The later Worthington TownshipIn the late 1770s, in common with many other Lancashire villages, textiles manufacturing and servicing was introduced to the village, on the site of the Worthington Mill, the original of which dated from around 1348. Initially a small dye works, later became a paper mill, and then more recently a textile mill - it closed down as recently as 1998. The old Hall of Worthington in Lancashire, where the family lived for seven hundred years, was pulled down less than fifty years ago. The later Hall is still standing and is nowadays a working farm.
Between the 1790's and the 1800's Thomas Cheek Hewes [1,2,3] (1768-1832) built mill machinery including water wheels and spinning machinery in Manchester, England. In the late 1790's he began installing Boulton and Watt steam engines and worked in 1816-17 with draughtsman William Fairbairn  (1789-1874). In 1818 he was listed as a Machine Maker of Manchester. Henry Wren joined the company in 1812 and became a partner in 1821. The company of Hewes and Wren was incorporated in 1825.
William Bennett  (1788-1866) and John Bennett  (1792-1864) were brothers both associated with the early days of steam. After the death of Hewes in 1832, William Bennett was made a partner in the firm, with a company name change to Wren and Bennett, Millwrights, Machine Makers and Engineers. John Bennett was employed as the clerk at Boulton and Watt  in Birmingham.
James Nasmyth [8,9] (1808-1890), a Scottish engineer, had an early career of planing cast iron inking tables for printing machines made by Wren and Bennett. Between 1838 and 1842 he developed the Steam Hammer, as first used by Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the paddle shaft of the Steamer 'Great Britain'. In 1842 William Bennett provided timely information and funding for patenting the Steam Hammer after the discovery of an unlicensed French copy at the Le Creusot Steel Works.
William Bennett married James Nasmyth's sister Mary 'Ann' Gibson Nasmyth (1798-1874) in 1838. John Bennett married Emily Anne Lowe (1801-1867) of Birmingham on 22nd June 1819. Convicted of embezzling Boulton and Watts on 2nd August 1827, he was transported as a convict with a 14 year sentence to Sydney in 1828. His wife emigrated to Australia with their four children in 1831, after which another five children were Australian born.
Augustus Arnold (1832-1897) was the stage builder for the famous English Pablo Fanques Circus , which specialised in equestrian and tightrope acts. A benefit was performed in 1843 for a Mr Kite, a circus equestrian who died in an accident with his horse. John Lennon of the Beatles discovered the playbill for this performance in an antique shop, and wrote the song 'Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite'  on the Sergeant Peppers album.
Augustus Arnold emigrated to Bombala, NSW around 1845 and married Louisa 'Lucy' Bennett (1837-1913), the youngest daughter of John Bennett, in 1855. The Arnolds' son Arthur (1871-1958) married Annie Lavinia Neath (1873-1954) in 1898 at Bega, and became a bootmaker in Wentworthville, NSW. Their daughter Amy Lavinia Arnold (1899-1984) married Norman 'Jack' Worthington (1896-1972), who worked in the signalling division of the New South Wales Government Railways. I affectionately remember both as my paternal grandparents.
Augustus & Lucy Arnold grave, Bombala, NSW.
A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland. Edited by A. W. Skempton. pp320.
If you have access to Ancestry.com.au look up the 'Kingsmill and Others' Family tree to see all the connections.
The Worthington Families of Medieval England, by Philip Michael Worthington, B.Sc(Eng.), C.Eng., F.I.C.E., F.R.S.A., C.B.I.M., M.I.M.C., Published by Phillimore & Co. Ltd. Shopwyke Hall, Chichester, Sussex, England, 1985 - ISBN 0 85033 587 6.
More information of the Worthington Family can be found on Edward Worthington's website at: http://www.worthington.moonfruit.com.
My sister has a web site with further information on some of the relatives listed in the family tree above. She has done a lot of work, especially with contacts in England - I don't know how she does it. Have a look at: http://www.users.on.net/~lamingtonchild/
Please email me at the address on the Home Page. I can supply a much enlarged chart in Gedcom (filename.ged) format. If you have any inquiries or would like to add information to this chart, I will be pleased to accept further information.