William Johnson had an exciting childhood as the son of a travelling “hawker”. His father Joseph sold earthenware throughout the country. By the time William was seven, he had lived in Hingham, Canterbury, Maidstone, Bishop’s Stortford and Gravesend!
At the time of the 1881 census he had left home, which by now was Crowle in Lincolnshire. His mother died in June of that year and it looks as though the family returned to Chesterfield, his father’s birthplace.
William married and settled down in Cavendish Square. In the next five years two of his sisters also married and in the 1891 census we find both William and his sisters Emma and Elizabeth in the Square. Their sisters Mary and Ada Ruth lived on Sheffield Road nearby.
William worked first in the steel mill and later as a coalminer. Maybe as a reaction against his vagabond childhood, he remained in The Square for at least seventeen years, before moving to Old Whittington not far away.
William’s wife Florence died in 1923 and he survived her by thirteen years.
Born William Johnson on 28 September 1864 in Hingham, Norfolk
Married Florence Amelia Cameron on 28 July 1885
Died in the first quarter of 1936 at Chesterfield