Nat Gould

His life and books

William Wright 1796-1882

William Wright was born in Bradbourne on 16 April 1796, the son of John Wright 1752-1840 a farmer and his wife née Elizabeth Adams 1761-1844. William Wright was baptised at Bradbourne on 6 June 1796.

In 1823 he married Elizabeth Gould of Hanson Grange at Thorpe in Derbyshire. She was the great-granddaughter of William Gould 1677-1772 of Pilsbury Grange and his wife née Anne Morewood 1679-1749.

William Wright took on the tenancy of Hanson Grange when it was sold following the death of the last Gould owner in 1878, but after a few years he moved back to Bradbourne. His wife Elizabeth Wright died in 1843. and was buried at Bradbourne on 4 July 1843. They had the following children:

Ann Wright 1824-1910
William Wright 1826-1904
Mary Wright 1827-1897
John Wright 1829-1885
Thomas Wright 1831-1838
Ellen Wright 1834-1904
George Wright 1836-1921
Sarah Wright 1839-1907
Eliza Wright 1840-1936
Frank Wright 1842-1913

In 1858 he married Alice (maiden surname unknown) born in 1830 at Hognaston in Derbyshire. They moved to Brook Park, Buckley Road in Soughton, a village in Flintshire (now Clwyd) in north Wales between Northop and Mold, where they were farming when the 1861 Census was taken. In the following year they were there when his daughter Ellen Wright 1834-1904 was married to Gilbert Gould 1821-1891 (1). However he later returned to Bradbourne and Nat Gould went farming there with him a few years later (2).

By 1871 William Wright was again a widower. He had retired from farming in Bradbourne and was living in a cottage at Mayfield, “a pretty little house on the high-way” according to Nat Gould (3).

Nat himself was then living with his grandfather’s son Will Wright, who had taken over the family farm in Bradbourne. He found any excuse to gallop a grey horse called Bob “a rattling good sort, a free goer, and never tired”. During those years there occurred the dangerous incident that Nat also recounts:

“Once, when I was mounting him at Mayfield, where my grandfather was living with my mother, he was almost the death of the old man. He had come on to the road to see me mount, and no sooner was I on the grey’s back than he lashed out, and just missed him by a hair’s breadth.”

Grandfather William Wright merely said “Mind you don’t break your neck, and his too, on your way home” (4). What Mary Gould thought can well be imagined.

During the 1880s old William Wright left Mayfield to be cared for in Tamworth House, a boarding house in Duffield, where he died towards the end of 1882.


(1) The report of his daughter's wedding in the Derby Mercury dated 27 August 1862 reads: "On the 20th inst., at Northop, Flintshire, by the Rev. Evan Jenkins, Mr. Gilbert Gould, of Pilsbury Grange, Hartington, Derbyshire, to Ellen, third daughter of Mr. Wright, Brook Park, Flint. late of Bradbourne, Derbyshire."
(2) The Magic of Sport pages 32 to 64.
(3) The Magic of Sport page 87. Nat Gould also says (page 51) that his mother Mary Gould lived with her father there. But in the 1871 Census William Wright was living alone at Mayfield and Mary Gould was in Manchester with her husband Nathaniel Gould (who lived until 1874), while by 1881 she was a widow living in Newark with Nat. So Mary Gould must have lived with her father at Mayfield after she was widowed and before moving to Newark, that is between 1874 and 1877.
(4) The Magic of Sport page 51.