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Jonathan Otley of Grasmere
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Visit Jonathan Otley's web site, with 6 pages about him, written after we visited in 2000.

Otleys have lived in the parish of Grasmere for over two centuries.
Early Register references transcribed by Jonathan Otley are
1662 marriage of George Otley and Agnes Harrison, 21st of June
1662 Christeneing of Michael otley, sonne of Edward of Greemyre, Novr 24
1732 Jane, wife of Edward Otley of Great Langdale, was buried 10 Sept
1732 Barbary, wife of John Otley, was buried 3 Dec
1762 banns of marriage were published between Jonathan Otley, Basket Maker, and Jane Satterthwaite, Widow, on the 28th March, 4th and 11 of April 1762 by me, John Wilson, Curate.
The aforesaid Jonathan Otley and Jane Satterthwaite, both of this parish, were married the 25th April 1762 by a Certificate to Langdale by Richard Steele, Curate there, in the presence of Christopher Grigg (brother of Jane) and Edward Otley (brother of Jonathan)

1763 Chris: March 3rd, Edward the son of Jonathan Otley of Loughrigg fold.
1766 Chris: Feb 11, Jonathan, the son of Jonathan Otley of Nook House, Loughrigg
1768 Chris: Nov 22, Jane, daughter of Jonathan Otley of Nook House in Loughrigg
1792 Burials: April 26, Jonathan Otley of Scroggs, Loughrigg
1794 Married: Mr Robert Rigg of Lamplugh in the County of Cumberland, Schoolmaster, and Jane Otley of the parish of Grasmere, Sprinster, were married in this church by Licence this 1st day of Nov, 1794 by me, Edward Rowlandson Curate in the presence of Robert Newton, and Sarah Newton, signed by Robert Rigg and Jane Otley.
1808 Burial March 12, Jane Otley, of Scroggs in Loughrigg

As both Jonathan Otley and his brother Edward, who was in the army, died unmarried, the name of Otley is now extinct. His only sister Jane died in 1851 aged 82.

Children of Jonathan Otley and Jane Satterthwaite nee Grigge
1. Edward Otley 3 March 1763
2. Jonathan Otley born 19 Jan 1766 - 7 Dec 1856, Christening: 11 Feb 1766 Grasmere, Westmorland, England
3. Jane Otley Christened 22 Nov 1768 - 1851

Kendal Jane Otley married 1 Nov 1794 to Robert Rigg
1. Jane Rigg chr 28 March 1797 at Kendall,
2. Daughter who married Wilson

From his school days till his 25th year, Jonathan dwelt with his father at Scroggs, working with him in the making of wood-sieves, baskets, etc. He also cleaned all the clocks and watches in the neighbourhood, and showed himself very skillful in engraving upon copper-plates, seals and coins. Connected with this is a story which relates to this part of his life. Jonathan was in love with a young woman named Ann Youdale, and he engraved their names on a silver coin. But unfortunately the village blacksmith (Mr Bowness) was also a suitor for the maiden's hand. Some years after, on his niece (Mrs Wilson) enquiring of Jonathan how it was that his name and that of Ann Youdale were engraved on the same coin, he replied "Oh, the blacksmith beat me".
Jane Rigg married 1830 to William Atkinson, a gardener
Lived at Bowness, Westmoreland, England
1. William Atkinson 6 April 1831 - 26 July 1900 went to Australia, married Sophia Thomas, and had 9 children, with 17 grandchildren
2. Jonathan Otley Atkinson 1 June 1832 - 22 July 1895, known as Otley Atkinson, Dentist, died childless
3. Bridget Atkinson 1840 - 23 Jan 1903 aged 63, died unmarried and I assume childless.

Jonathan Otley was recognised as the Kendall Watchmaker. He was the local expert on geology, constructed the first maps of the area. He corresponded as an equal with many scientists of the period 1810 to 1850, including Mr Dalton the world-famed chemist in 1812 and later with Professor Adam Sedgwick of Trinity College, Cambridge.
In 1841 he was boarding at Mrs Richardson's then to 18 Oct 1852 with Richard Burgess, both in Keswick.
OTLEY Jon watch/clock mkr/surveyor/author"Guide to the Lakes" Keswick(1829)
OTLEY Jon Keswick (1847)
OTLEY Jon St John's St Keswick (1855)
Sources are
(1829) - The Principal Inhabitants of Cumberland and Westmorland 1829 - Roland Grigg
(1847) - The Principal Inhabitants of Cumberland 1847 - Roland Grigg
(1855) - Harriett Martineau's Directory of the Lake District 1855 - Edited by Roland Grigg

Found at Eskdale in William Green's Lakeland Guide, 1818-19, who was an artist based in Ambleside
In enlarged and green type, the comment half way down the page is found
Volume 2, page 317- contains a description of a walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head in September 1816, by Green with Jonathan Otley, guided, at least initially, by their host Thomas Tyson. Otley, who lived at Keswick, was an important figure in the "opening-up" of the Lakes, providing among other things the improved map which accompanied Green's Guide.
On the 7th of June, 1815, Mr Otley, with Mr Edward Birkett, guide and fisherman, left Keswick at five in the morning, and having breakfasted at Rosthwaite, journied to Seathwaite, from which they then ascended to Sty Head, and Sprinkling Tarns, gaining the High Man by the way just described. From the High Man Mr Otley and I descended, and at the end of half a mile, winding among and over large stones, came to Mickle Door. The footing at this door is grassy, and its middle a sharp ridge, from which, through immense rocks, is an opening on the south west to wastdale head; and on the south east over the heads of Eskdale, and Seathwaite, to the Coniston mountains, on either hand grand, romantic, and awfully interesting.
The Crags on the south west, though seeming frightfully to oppose all passage, have been ascended as the readiest way to the top of Scafell, and amongst other adventurers by Mr Thomas Tyson, of Wastdale Head, and Mr Towers, of Toes: but Messrs. Otley, and Birkett, contented themselves by proceeding for some distance, in the direction of Eskdale, to a deep fissure, through which they scrambled to the top of Scafell, and thence descended to Wasdale Head, a decent days march for a man like Birkett, then 66 years of age. ...
From Mickle Door we passed steeply down hill, towards Eskdale, on the way taken to Scafell the year before by the two guides. In front we had an extraordinary prospect of the Coniston mountains, which with an appropriate foreground of rock; arranged the whole into a superb and masterly composition. This part of the journey was steep and varied, sometimes grassy, but frequently over rough Crags, having the vast and ponderous rocks of Scafell on the right, and the base of the lowest of the Pikes here, called Broad Crag on the left.
As we proceeded Eskdale opened on the eye, and exhibited besides others, its mighty and storm beaten barriers, Ill Crag, Great End, and Bow Fell. At the foot of this declivity is the road from Borrowdale, by Sty Head, and Sprinkling Tarns, and Esk Haws, to Eskdale. Towards this latter place, the track is for some time in a tolerably straight line, and on an easy fall to steeper ground, whence in circuitous windings it is lowered to a picturesque flat, on which it is half a mile to Toes.
Toes is a capital farm house, erected by Mr John Towers, father of Mr Thomas Towers, the present proprietor... The grounds rising from Toes are agreeably spread over with wood... Toes is the highest house in Eskdale on the western side of the river Esk - (with about 2000 sheep,a large holding)
It was a mild and pleasant evening when we arrived at Toes, where we were kindly received; but the following morning was dark and wet, and the craggy steeps the objects of our anxious gaze, were wrapped in impenetrable gloom, notwithstanding which, in hopes of change, we determined to return to Ambleside..."

Jonathan up the steps
Jonathan's plaque
Jonathan Otley 19 Jan 1766 - 7 Dec 1856, brother of Jane, geologist, map maker, watch mender, meteorologist who invented rain gauge, and correspondent with the notable scientists of his times, has a memorial plaque near the site of his shop known as 'Jonathan up the steps'.
In 1979 the 3 children, descendants of Jane Otley, learn about their 5 greats Uncle Jonathan. They enjoyed his display in the museum at Carlisle, and the 500 year old cat in a trunk.


Elizabeth Janson's web contributions
began 1st Nov, 1998.
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