. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . . Strawberry Fayre Sunday 23rd June . . . . . . .

Griffin Family

Three generations of the Griffin family worked Hough Mill for around 50-80 years, depending on the date the mill was built:

  • John Griffin (grandfather) 1758-1833
  • John Griffin (father) 1792-1874
  • John Griffin (son) 1826-1917, Edwin Griffin 1838-1918

John Griffin (grandfather) 1758-1833

John Griffin 1758-1833

John’s granddaughter Jane Griffin was baptised at St John’s Church, Whitwick on the 19th October 1823.  The baptism register gives the occupation of John Griffin (father) as a miller.  As John Griffin (father) worked with his own father as a miller, we can be confident that John Griffin (grandfather) was a miller in 1823.  The question is how long beforehand was John Griffin (grandfather) a miller.

John married Mary Blastock in Packington on the 14th November 1782.  They had four daughters and a son all of whom were provided for in his will of 1832.

Children of John Griffin and Mary Blastock

  • Ann Griffin 1785-1874 – Married Samuel Gilbert at St John’s, Whitwick in 1810.  They had four daughters.
  • Sarah Griffin 1787-1870 – Married John Kirby, a miller, at St John’s, Whitwick in 1813.  They had three sons.
  • Mary Griffin 1790-1851 – Married John Timms, a miller, at St John’s Whitwick in 1822.  They did not have any children.
  • John Griffin 1792-1874 – Married Susannah Jesson at Belton.  They had seven children, two of whom died in infancy.
  • Elizabeth Griffin 1794-? – Married William Knight, a pot seller, in 1818 at St John’s, Whitwick.  To be researched.


Will of John Griffin 1832

John prospered as a miller as he was able to provide for all of his children in his will:

  • Ann Griffin – Little Arms Close, also the house and appurtenances with the garden adjoining in the occupation of John Scolles at Thringstone.
  • Sarah Griffin – Great Heath Close and Shoulder of Mutton Close.
  • Mary Griffin – Two closes called the Arms Nine Acres with the House or Barn upon the same.
  • John Griffin – House, garden and appurtenances, Home Close, Smock and Post Mills.
  • Elizabeth Griffin – Two Houses, Gardens Homesteads and appurtenances belonging and the Little Heath Close.


Baptism of Jane Griffin at St John's, Whitwick in 1823. Father John Griffin, miller - copyright Records Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland

John Griffin (father) 1792-1874

Aged 40 or so when his father died the second John Griffin would have grown up assisting his father in his milling activities. The 1823 Whitwick baptism register entry for Jane Griffin records John’s occupation as a miller. John and his son Edwin were millers in 1871. John died on Christmas Day 1874 by which time Edwin was working as a gardener at Pleasington, Lancashire.

John married Susannah Jesson at Belton in 1819 and they had seven children, of whom two died when infants. In 1861 Susannah was a bonnet maker, an occupation that she could have carried out at home. Susannah died and was buried in St George’s churchyard on the 3rd September 1877.

Children of John Griffin and Susannah Jesson

Jane, John, Mary and Thomas all married a spouse from Castle Donington.  Did Jane’s marriage introduce them into a new social circle or was there some other connection?  Theories and information welcome.

  • Jane Griffin 1823-1872 – Jane was a milliner in 1851.  She married Castle Donington basket maker Herbert Moll on the 27th November 1851 in Whitwick.  They lived in a large white house in Nottingham Road where he ran his business, with Moll’s Row behind it for his workers.  The houses are still there opposite the Co-op shop.  They did not have children.
  • John Griffin 1825-1825 – John was baptised on the 1st May 1825 and buried on the 9th October 1825.  His name lived on when it was given to his younger brother, a common practice.
  • John Griffin 1826-1917 – John followed the family milling tradition until at least his 1862 marriage in Derby to Sarah Anne Moll of Castle Donington.  More details below.
  • Mary Ann Griffin 1828-1901 – Mary Ann was a bonnet maker in 1851, the following year she married John Walton Hull, a cabinet maker from Castle Donington, in Derby.  By 1861 she was back with her milling family, a widow with a seven year old daughter.  In 1872 Mary married widower John Tugby, at various times a spar ornament manufacturer and landlord of the New Inn, Peggs Green.  John died in 1877 and included a piece of land 1,100 square yards with a frontage of 43 yards on the Ashby and Loughborough Turnpike Road in Mary Ann’s inheritance.  Did this become Olga Terrace on the corner of Tugby’s Lane?
  • Thomas Griffin 1831-1908 – Although Thomas would have grown up helping his father in the mill, by 1851 he was apprenticed to a farmer and butcher in Anstey.  In 1853 he married Eunice Lacey Draper who in 1851 was living at Apes Gate in Castle Donington where her father was a baker.  Thomas was a butcher, then farmer, at Apes Gate in 1861 and 1871.  By 1881 his son Richard was an ale and porter dealer at Apes Gate, Thomas having moved to nearby St Ann;s Lane where he was a grazier.  By 1901 he was in Clapgun Street.
  • William Griffin 1834-1835 – W.illiam was baptised at St George’s Church in Swannington on the 4th December 1834.  Sadly he was buried in the churchyard on the 29th June 1835.
  • Edwin Griffin 1838-1918 – Edwin was the last of the Griffin millers being recorded as such on the 1871 census.  He then had a varied career as a gardener, shopkeeper and farmer in Lancashire, Caernarvonshire and Thringstone.  Read more below.


John Griffin (father) died on Christmas Day 1874.


John Griffin of Thringstone, who died December 25th 1874 in his 83rd year and Susannah his widow, who died 31st August 1877 aged 78 years - St George's, Swannington

John Griffin (son) 1826-1917

John The Miller

John followed the family tradition and was recorded as a miller in 1851 and 1861.  We don’t know what caused him to stop working as a miller, some possibilities are:

  • John Griffin (father) had inherited a smock mill (Hough Mill) and a post mill.  Perhaps the post mill had blown over or was no longer usable for some other reason.
  • He married and decided to move on.
  • There was a family disagreement.


John The Married Man

John married Sarah Anne Moll, the second alliance between the families as his sister Jane had married Sarah Anne’s brother Herbert Moll.

In 1871 John was boarding in Over Darwen, near Blackburn, Lancashire.  John was a goods porter and Sarah Anne a cotton winder.  In 1881 John was a a railway porter and they were living in Moll’s Row, Castle Donington which was owned by Sarah Anne’s brother Herbert Moll.  They were still there in 1891 when they were “living on their own means”.

Sarah Anne died in 1893.

John’s Sad Ending

It is presumed that John then had a spell as a coal miner because in 1901 he was living with his sister Mary Ann Tugby in Peggs Green.  But Mary Ann died later in the year.

By 1911 John was one of 159 inmates and 32 casuals in the Ashby Union Workhouse.  He is described as an 84 year old widower, formerly labourer (farmer) from Thringstone.  John could have ended up in the workhouse because he did not have any money or it could have been than he could no longer look after himself.  John died there and was buried at St George’s churchyard in Swannington on the 27th April 1917.

Moll's Row, Castle Donington, view from co-op car park
The Pastures, Castle Donington is the white house with Moll's Row behind it

Edwin Griffin 1838-1918

Edwin The Miller

Like his older brother John, Edwin would have grown up at the mill and learnt the trade.  The 1861 and 1871 censuses both record Edwin as a miller.

However, Edwin moved on shortly afterwards, perhaps when his father (who would have been 80 in 1872) decided to retire.  The family probably decided at that stage to lease the mill to their cousin James Kirby.

Edwin became a gardener at Pleasington, Lancashire,  a few miles away from his brother John at Over Darwen.  This was recorded on the 23rd February 1875 probate records for his father.

Edwin’s Marriage

Edwin gave his occupation as farmer when he married a widow, Ellen Sykes (nee Teall) in Derby in 1879.  Two years later Edwin was a Peggs Green shopkeeper in the next property to his sister Mary Ann Tugby.  A year later Edwin and Ellen’s only child Ellen Eliza Griffin was born.

At the 1891 census Edwin was a farmer and the next properties were the uninhabited Mill House and Cottage.  This helps corroborate the belief that the mill fell into disuse in the 1880’s.

Edwin then resumed his gardening career and in 1901 he was an undergardener at the Gloddaeth (pronounced “glothyth”) Hall Estate.  The estate being at Penrhyn, Eglwys Rhos, Caernarvonshire (two to three miles South West of Penrhyn Bay and South East of Llandudno.  They lived in the laundry building, which was handy for Ellen as she was employed as a laundress.  He was still there in 1905 when his daughter Ellen Eliza married Ernest Richard Horsley at Eglwys Rhos parish church.

Edwin retired to the St George’s Hill area of Swannington (near Mill Cottage), where in 1911 he was described as a retired gardener / old age pensioner.  Edwin died at the age of 80 and was buried in St George’s graveyard, Swannington on the 12th December 1918.