Select Dyson Miscellany

Here are some Dyson stories and accounts over the years:

Dysons in Linthwaite and Its Environs

The first Dyson of Linthwaite appears to have been Dyonisia, the wife of Peter Mallesheved (moles head). She had two children, John Dyson and Agnes Dyedaughter.  John joined his mother in cattle raids that were recorded in Wakefield court rolls. 

Later poll tax records of 1379 showed the names of Johannes Dison and Dionisia (wife of Thomas Dison). There was a John Dyson recorded there in 1492 and Edward Dyson in 1545.  These Dysons were said to have been resident at the Old House, called The Kitchen, attached to Linthwaite Hall but nearer to Slaithwaite, which apparently remained in Dyson hands through the 19th century.  

The Dyson name had spread by the 1400's beyond Linthwaite to Huddersfield and Sowerby.  Dysons lived at Swift Place in Sowerby from the early 1500's.  The first in this line appears to have been a Christopher Dyson.  George Dyson was churchwarden at Christ church in Sowerby Bridge in the late 1700's.

Eli Dyson's Misadventures in Halifax

Eli Dyson of Willow Hall operated paper mills in Halifax.  However, in 1766 he had become insolvent and was forced to assign over his mills and all his other properties to his chief creditor John Edwards.  Edwards had Eli imprisoned in York castle for debt.   Eli's son Daniel temporarily saved the situation by eloping with Edwards' only daughter Sarah and marrying her in Scotland.

Eli's younger brother Jeremiah was a merchant who lived and died in Portugal.  There is a possible line through James Dyson of this family to the George Dyson who departed London for Australia in 1852 to prospect in the Victorian goldfields.

Dysons in the 1881 Census

The following were the leading towns and villages with Dysons in the 1881 census.

Lindley cum Quarmby


Sir Frank Dyson, Astronomer Royal

Frank's father, the Rev. Watson Dyson, had been born in Stalybridge on the outskirts of Manchester in 1837 and became a Baptist minister.  Frank himself was born in Leicestershire but considered himself a Yorkshireman as he grew up in Halifax where they lived on Lewis Street.  His father was organist and choirmaster at the North Parade Baptist church. 

At Halifax Frank won a scholarship to Bradford Grammar School and later he studied mathematics at Cambridge University.  In 1924, as Astronomer Royal at Greenwich and with the help of the BBC, he introduced the Greenwich "six pips" time signal.  He had a crater on the moon named after him, and also an asteroid.  He was one of the first to take on board and accept the principles of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. 

He died on a sea trip to Australia in 1938, four years after retiring from Greenwich, and was buried at sea.

George and Jane Dyson in Australia

George Dyson had come to Australia at the age of fifteen in 1852 to prospect in the Victorian goldfields.  Like many others of his time, he worked unsuccessfully at various diggings and moved around a lot.  In 1862 he met and married Jane Mayall in Geelong.  She was the daughter of a successful cotton millowner in Lancashire and had been used to a life of refinement.  However, her father Ambrose, who had brought his family to Australia, did not take well to the roughness of the country and committed suicide. . 

George became a dry goods hawker and they eventually settled in Melbourne.  George and Jane had eleven children, of whom eight survived to adulthood.  Although the children received little formal education, Jane fostered their literary and artistic talents.  Three of their offspring became famous.- Ted a poet, Ambrose an artist, and Will a political cartoonist.

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