Drinkwater Family


Name is fairly common in south-west Lancashire; Burke's Landed Gentry mentions one, unrelated, Drinkwater of Irwell but give no lineage before start of 18th Century. Earliest mention in Liverpool is George Drinkwater, a broker in Liverpool, born 1713 married Alice Hinton* (1718-1767) at St George's, Castle Street on 20 April 1740; he died 7 March 1795 and is buried along with many of the family (indicated *) in St James Cemetery Liverpool (see www.stjamescemetery.co.uk for an excellent website devoted to this yard.).

Sir George Drinkwater

Family Grave Marker

Grave Plot - Sir George Drinkwater


In 1790 Gore's directory indicated as 'Gent' living at Everton. Known children (all christened at St George's) are:

Elizabeth 20 Jul 1742,
George*, 10 May 1745, died 1756
John, 21 Jul 1747, died 1833; probably the John Drinkwater, broker of 23 Water street in 1790 & 1796
Ellen 19 Sept 1750,
Alice, 9 Nov 1752,
James, 23 May 1755.

The family were supposedly traders who also owned sugar plantations in West Indies until a local agent ruined business by absconding with money.

It was George's youngest child James who married Ellinor Leece, only child of William Leece, on 18 Oct 1777 who gave rise to the Liverpool-Manx family. William Leece took James into partnership - they had a linen warehouse in Liverpool and also ran trading vessels between Liverpool and the Island, James was styled Capt James in 1790 directory. William had risen from being the second son of a small scale Manx farmer to being a relatively wealthy merchant and the rise in the Drinkwater fortunes appears to start with this liaison.

Their children (all baptised at St Nicholas's) were:

Elizabeth born 13 Jul 1779 (bap 3 Aug),
George*, born 25 Oct 1780 (bap 19 Nov), died unmarried 1850 - later Sir George.
William Leece, born 27 Feb 1782 (bap 21 Mar),
John*, born 27 Jan 1784 (bap 19 Feb), died 1869
Margaret, born 9 Apl 1787 (bap 3 May), married Peter Bourne (probably son of Cornelius Bourne, merchant)

The second son, William Leece, moved to the Island, being noted, in 1823 as Merchant on North Quay and living at Leece-lodge, Braddan. He was also a M.H.K. from c.1815. He also bought the Calf of Man for £6,000 (Train quotes £3,000) and developed it extensively. Died by 1836.

John married Elizabeth* Gandy, however no christening for her nor marriage record can be located, though one entry in IGI gives birth date of 30 Mar 1784 and death 27 April 1873 which would fit in with other known facts. The Obituary notice for Sir William Leece Drinkwater states she was daughter of Mr James Gandy, of Kendal. John was also responsible for commissioning and publishing the first large scale of the Island in 1826

Known children are;

William Leece, bap 29 April 1812,
George*, bap 19 April 1815, died 1839
Gandy bap 18 Feb 1817,
John*, bap 23 Jan 1820, died 1833
Peter Bourne, born 22 Sept 1822 (bap 4 Nov), attended KWC 1833-1838, married Frances Georgina Goldie-Taubman, described as J.P. of Torquay, though previously first broker to IoM bank, and based in Liverpool, died 20 Aug 1903.
Elizabeth, bap 13 Oct 1827,
Ellen Leece, bap 22 Jan 1830

Several members of the family were Lord Mayors of Liverpool: James Drinkwater was Mayor 1810, Peter Bourne in 1825 and Sir George Drinkwater was Mayor 1829 (it was during his term of office that the Liverpool/Manchester railway opened).

Sir George died unmarried but bought Kirby, Braddan; brother John inherited Kirby on his death.

 Manx Note Book  Immigrant families


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2002