John Foster

John Foster was born in Clayton, the son of a colliery owner who farmed at Thornton near Bradford.

He was educated at Brookhouse School, Ovenden.

He was a weaver [1841].

He was founder of John Foster & Son Limited.

He went into business, buying yarn and putting-out to an estimated 700 handloom weavers from a warehouse behind his home.

In 1827, he built Prospect House at the Queensbury cross-roads and carried out his business there.

In 1828, he rented Cannon Mill for spinning.

In 1834, he acquired from his father-in-law, Abram Briggs, land known as Black Myres / Black Dyke.

In 1835, he started to build Black Dike Mills.

In 1835, he was one of the subscribers to the Halifax Dispensary, giving 1. guinea.

He played the French horn and founded the Black Dike Mills Band in 1835

In 1837, he began experimenting with alpaca yarn.

In 1842, he acquired Black Dykes Farm.

In 1857, he was granted armorial bearings with the Latin motto


In 1819, he married Ruth Briggs.

Ruth was the daughter of Abram Briggs


  1. William
  2. Sarah Briggs [1823-1894] who married Colonel Henry  Sagar Hirst CB, DL, of Low House, Clayton
  3. Samuel Briggs [1825-1853]
  4. Jonas
  5. Abraham
  6. Martha Ann / Mary Ann [1830-1896] who  married (1) [1853] Michael Stocks Hirst & (2) [1862]  Major George Bankart of Bradford
  7. John
  8. Ruth [1834-1879] who married Frederick William  Anderton of Bolton Royd, Manningham
  9. Hannah [12th December 1836-13th April 1917] who married  Colonel George Stansfeld
  10. Jane [1839-1915] who married Sydney Perfect  Norris
  11. Alfred [1840] who died in infancy
  12. Alfred

The family lived at

He bought and renovated Hornby Castle, Lancashire [1870s], and retired there.

He died at Prospect House [1879]

See Church of the Holy Trinity, Queensbury

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:24 / 24th May 2021 / 5581

Page Ref: X2043

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