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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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The following advertisement was taken from "Eddowes's Journal" dated Wednesday July 21st 1847.


Anyone living in Great Britain and many abroad will of heard of Lea and Perrins "WORCESTER SAUCE" a product for which an advertisement also appeared in the same newspaper but on the opposite page. For those of you who have not heard of Worcester Sauce, the product is still on sale and quite popular today having been in production since 1837. We do not know how long John had been making and selling his Shropshire Sauce but I suspect Worcester Sauce came on the scene and he thought that’s a good idea I will have a bit of that. Obviously he was doing quite well as he had businesses in both Shrewsbury and London at this time.


John was born in 1804 married Mary Legh in 1834 and they had eleven children between 1836 and 1850 including two sets of twins! (some of whom emigrated to Australia and Canada). He named one of the children Hoeskyn, the only person to have this name since Hoeskyn who heads the family and who was alive in 1345. He was clearly aware of his illustrious ancestry.

A large family but it seems he was successful at this time. Things were not to last just three years later he was declared bankrupt.......

1850 Bankruptcy:

John Muckleston, Junior, of Shrewsbury, Grocer. Jan 25, Feb 20 at 12 O'clock at the Birmingham District Court of Bankruptcy. Solictors: Messers Brittan & Sons Britsol and Mr Wright Birmingham. Assignee Mr Whitmore Birmingham.

His father (a wealthy shoemaker), was ill and wrote his will a few days before he died in March 1850, he divided his estate in 6 lots, as he had six children, he left one sixth to each child except for John's share which he bequeathed to be shared amongst John's children instead. Whether he knew of John's difficulties we may never know but it was a shrewd move which would have avoided any inheritance going towards the bankruptcy.


Therefore we know who won the "Battle of the Sauces". It would be interesting to find a copy of the label used on this bottle, unless of course someone has a bottle at the back of the larder?

At the time of the 1851 census John was working as a tea dealer and was living in Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. By 1861 the census had his occupation as “proprietor of house” the family was living in London at this time at 23 Attwell Road, Camberwell, London, as a previous bankrupt he clearly had turned around the family fortunes.

We have been unable to find John and Mary on the 1871 census. Eldest son Robert was in Canada where he remained, daughter Emma Charlotte was working as a dressmaker for a family on the Isle of Wight, Hoeskyn was working as an Ironmongers assistant in Hackney in London, and Samuel was in the army. Where the other six children, believed to be living, were at this time we do not know.

Most reappear for the 1881 census and John is now a widower and living with his daughter Margaret Maria and her husband George Ladyman who worked as a builders clerk, at Boughton in Salford, Lancashire. His occupation was given as retired from the grocery trade.  

There is a death recorded for a Mary Muckleston in the Pancras area of London in 1878 she was 66 so the age would fit John's wife.


The current recipe for Shropshire Sauce is as follows:-

(not necessarily the same as the one our ancestor made)


  2 oz. Butter,       1 carrot peeled and chopped,           2 shallots peeled and chopped,

   1 stick of celery wiped trimmed and chopped,     2 mushrooms wiped and sliced,

2 level tablespoons flour mixed with a pinch each of mustard powder and ground nutmeg,

                        Salt and Black pepper,        1 pint lamb stock,

     3 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig thyme, 1 small sprig rosemary and a curl of lemon rind,

                                   tied together with a piece of kitchen string.

                        ¼ pint port (cheapest brand),     2 teaspoons lemon juice,

                                     4 heaped tablespoons redcurrant jelly.


Melt the butter in a saucepan and lightly fry the vegetables until the butter is absorbed. Stir in the floor and seasoning and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock, then add the bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Add the port and lemon juice and simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni and sieve the sauce. Just before serving, stir in the redcurrant jelly and heat though thoroughly. Serve in a sauce boat.