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Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)



JOHN BUCK was the son of William Buck, solicitor, of the village of Gargrave, which lies north-west of Skipton in Yorkshire. His mother, Elizabeth Taylor, was a widow when she married. We do not know her maiden name, nor whom and where she married.

The status of John’s family is evident in the Gargrave baptismal register.

Baptism. Gargrave.[1]
1752 Dec 14. Jno  son of Mr William and Elizabeth Buck of Gargrave.

Only men of high social standing were given the title ‘Mr’.

There were a number of Buck families in this area. Some were farmers, but a number of them were attorneys or doctors.

John appears to be the eldest child. He had a brother William born three years later. The fact that there were no more children baptised for this couple in Gargrave may mean that John’s mother died not long after this second child was born. We have not found her burial, then or later.

This was a family in which the men typically took up the profession of law or medicine. After education in London, John became a well-known doctor in the Lancashire town of Colne, between Burnley and Skipton.  He set up practice there in 1777, at the age of 25.

Although Colne is in Lancashire and Gargrave in Yorkshire, they are less than 10 miles apart.

The following story is from the Colne Times, Saturday 9th March 1878 (held at Colne Library)…

‘Interesting Local Centenary –

The year just past was the centenary of the professional residence of the family of Buck in Colne. The first Dr. Buck who was educated in London settled in this town as a medical practitioner in the Year 1777 and died in January 1818 leaving two sons George and John both of whom were brought up in the profession. The former settled in Cumberland whilst the other continued the practice up to his death in1866. He left two sons, Mr. H. Buck who practices in Burnley and Colne and Mr. Edward Buck so well known in the latter place. The gentleman who established the practice here was the son of William Buck Esq. who was a Solicitor in Gargrave over a century ago.
The other branches of the Buck family have either been doctors or lawyers. Anthony Buck Esq. of Burnley was a solicitor who was succeeded by his nephew Anthony Buck Creeke Esq. now Town Clerk of Burnley. Another branch W. Buck Esq. of Settle is also a solicitor and has a son who is a medical practitioner in that town…’

The one missing detail in the story is the name of George and John’s father, who must have trained as a medical practitioner in London in the 1770s. However, his death date matches that of the surgeon John Buck of Colne. His age at death confirms that he is the son of William and Elizabeth.

John Buck did his apprenticeship with Thomas Shann, surgeon of Tadcaster, Yorkshire.
Entry in Inland Revenue Apprenticeship Tax Records (PRO Kew) Vol. 2 Folio 6:
1768 John Buck to Thomas Shann of Tadcaster, Yorkshire, Surgeon & c. prem: paid £30.

The Shann family seem to have been a very well respected family in the area.

It was there that John met and married Sarah Bean.


SARAH BEAN. Her age at death shows her to have been born in 1753-4. This matches the following baptism.

Baptism. Tadcaster.
1754 Sarah daughter of John Bean

This could make her the daughter of John Bean and Elizabeth Robinson, who married in 1743, or of John Bean and Ann Renoldson, who married in 1753.

The first John Bean was the son of Ralph Bean, and the second of Ralph Bean jnr. So the second John was the nephew of the first.

She was known familiarly as Sally.

John appears to  have found his bride during his apprenticeship in Tadcaster.

The couple married there on 14 Dec 1773. John Buck signed the register, but Sarah Bean made her mark +. John had been in Tadcaster long enough for this to be given as his parish.

The witnesses were Leonard ?Postis and William Beane.

It seems surprising that a doctor’s wife could not sign her own name.

Eventually John set up his practice in Colne, but the first baptism for a child there is in 1778. In 1776 there is was a son John born to John and Sarah Buck in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. Knaresborough is 13 miles from Tadcaster and this may be where John and Sarah first made their home. Little John died two months later.[1]


We have the following baptisms at St Bartholomew, Colne for children of John and Sarah Buck.[2]
George 5 Feb 1778
 Sally  24 Feb 1780.  Sally died in 1782 and was buried in Gargrave as Sarah.
Betty  9 Oct 1781. In all other records Betty is Elizabeth.
Mary 5 Nov 1783
Sarah  8 Jun 1785 (parents John and Sally)
Martha  18 May 1788. Martha was also buried in Gargrave, before she was 2.
Ann  22 Aug 1789

The subsequent baptisms show the date of birth as well as of baptism, and the father’s occupation.

……………         8 May 1791  John   John Buck Apothecary
10 Jan 1794   11 Feb 1794  Charlotte  John Buck Surgeon Apothecary
20 Jan 1793   28 April 1793  William  John Buck  Doctor Apothecary
8 Dec 1798   25 Jan 1799   Martha  John Buck  Surgeon

Although he had settled in Colne, John kept close links with Gargrave. The Gargrave burial register shows:

1782  Jan 17 Sarah Buck Daur of John & … Buck  Colne
1788  Feb. 23 William son of John & Sarah Buck Colne. We do not have a record of William’s baptism.
1790  Feb. 4 Martha of John & Sarah Buck Colne

More enigmatically, we have the marriage in Gargrave of  in 1780 of William Buck of Colne in the county of. Lancaster, Woolen draper, & Elizabeth Bulcock of Gargrave, married by licence 27 July 1780 by H: Croft. Both William and Elizabeth sign their names. The witnesses are Thomas  Watkinson and William Hartley.

It is tempting to see this as John’s younger brother William, born in Gargrave in 1755, but the groom’s age on the marriage licence is 23, making him a little too young for this.

John’s mother appears to have died before 1783, since she is not mentioned in the will of his father who died that year. There is a bequest to John’s nephew William, son of his younger brother William. The boy’s father had been made bankrupt shortly before this, and there is no legacy to him. The bulk of the estate goes to John, the elder son. It included his house in Gargrave and a number of parcels of land, and also Perceval Hall, a beautiful house in Appletreewick. We do not know what John did with the latter. It is not mentioned in his own will in 1818, but may be included in a list of unnamed estates inherited by his eldest son John. It seems more likely that he sold it. [3]

Colne was a major town in the woollen trade.


The Hole-in-the-Wall Inn, Colne
17th– 18th century  [4]

John Buck was a respected figure in the community. The Minute Book of the Bradford-Colne Trust shows the following Trustees under the Turnpike Acts for the 1790s:
John Hustler, Abraham Balme, Nathan Jowett, Thomas Hardcastle, John Buck and John  Field, Thomas Leach, the owner of West Riddlesden Hall.

Since John evidently kept up his links with Gargrave, he would have been startled by the news reported locally and in the Gentleman’s Magazine. [5]

  1. March…. at Leeds, Mr William Buck, of Bank Newton, near Gargrave, to Miss [Ellen] Hardacre of Long Preston. – In the evening of the same day, Mr John Buck, an eminent grazier, and father of the bridegroom, died suddenly, while the marriage was celebrating at his house.

The Bucks of Bank Newton were a prominent Gargrave family, and possibly related to John.

On 26 April 1806 the Lancaster Gazette has the following notice of a marriage:

“On Sunday sennight, Mr. John Folds, leather-cutter, to Miss Sarah Buck, third daughter of Mr J. Buck ; all of Colne.”


John died on 8 Jan 1818. His death was recorded in the Lancaster Gazette on Saturday 17 January. “On Thursday se’nnight, aged 65, Mr. John Buck , sen. of Colne, surgeon.

The Gentleman’s Magazine recorded it thus: “At Colne, aged 66, Mr John Buck sen. surgeon, whose life was an ornament to his profession, and to religious and civil society.”[6]
   This was a London-based magazine covering the whole country. The notice is in a section headed “Obituary: with Anecdotes of Remarkable Persons”.

John would not have been 66 until the end of that year.

True to his practice of burying his children in Gargrave, he was himself interred in Gargrave on 10 Jan 1818.

His will provides for Sarah to have the use of his house and household goods for her lifetime. His eldest son John, also a surgeon, is to take over his apothecary’s shop and all his drugs and surgical instruments. A number of smaller properties are to be sold or mortgaged and the money put into a trust. There are monetary bequests to the four children of his dead son George, to his married daughters and to his two surviving sons. After Sarah’s death, there are legacies of furniture to his children. The residuary legatee is his eldest son John. [7]


Sarah lived for another 7 years. Like John and several of her children she was buried in Gargrave.

Burial. Gargrave.
1825  Nov 28  Sarah Buck of Colne  age 71.

John and Sarah’s sons George and John both followed John’s profession as doctors. George set up a practice in Alston, Cumberland. John junior remained in Colne.

John junior had the following children baptised at St Bartholomew, Colne.

1817  31 Aug Henry   John Buck & Alice  Surgeon     
Born: 1824  5 Apr, bapt  1829  17 April   Laycock  John Buck & Alice  Surgeon 
Born: 1825  14 Sep  bapt 1827  15 Apr  Sarah Ann John Buck & Alice  Surgeon 
Born: 5 Apr 1828     17 Apr 1829 Mary Jane Buck   John Buck & Alice  Surgeon
1831  April 1   Alfred
1833 April 5  Elizabeth Alice


[1] Beverley Dwyer
[2] https://archive.org/details/parishregisterof28garg. Yorkshire Parish Register Society, Gargrave.
[3] Will of William Buck of Gargrave, Beverley Dwyer.
Genealogical information from Findmypast.
[5] pendlelodge.org
[6 The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 99.
[7] The Gentleman’s Magazine, May 1818. Vol. 123.
[8] Will of John Buck Surgeon of Colne,. Borthwick Institute.





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