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Denton, John Punshon

Cliff Terrace Hartlepool
United Kingdom
28/9/1800
30/11/1871

John Punshon Denton was born on 28th September 1800 at Bishopwearmouth to parents Barbara (nee Punshon) and Richard Copeland Denton. He was in partnership with Frederick Allhusen as commission-merchants in Sunderland. The partnership was dissolved in 1827. John married Caroline Ord (eldest daughter of Robert Ord) on 1st December 1831 St Michaels Church at Bishopwearmouth. He established a shipbuilding yard in 1839 and went into partnership with William Gray in 1863. Further information on his shipbuilding can be found under ‘Denton’s Shipyard’. John was elected Mayor of Hartlepool in October 1849.

The couple had eleven children in nineteen years: Mary Ann Ord baptised 1st December 1834 died 1864; Caroline Ord baptised 26th September 1836 d. 1836; Julia Punshon baptised 16th September 1837; Richard Copeland born 15th February 1839 d. November 1921; John Punshon born May 1842 d. 24th April 1888 (Burma); Robert Ord born 1843 d. 21st August 1883; Caroline Ord born 1844 died 1921; Evelyn Rosa born 1846 died 1921; Emily born 1849 married Henry Hind d. September 1891; Errington Ord born 1851 d. 1865; Eva born 1853 married William Armstrong d. September 1882.

Errington Ord Denton drowned in a boating accident in Halfway Reach in February 1865 along with nine other cadets of the training ship Worcester.

John died aged 71 on 30th November 1871 at Norton House, Norton leaving effects of under £90,000. His widow, Caroline, died 13th September 1899 leaving effects of £5,656.

Newcastle Journal – Saturday 02 December 1871:

‘Death of Mr John Punshon Denton, J.P., of Hartlepool.—We regret, to announce death on Thursday evening of Mr John Punsbon Denton, J. P., of Norton House, the head of the eminent iron shipbuilding firm Denton, Gray, and Co., of West Hartlepool. For several months past, Mr Denton had been in gradually failing health, and on Thursday evening he expired at his residence at Norton, in the seventy-first year of his age. In early life Mr Denton was a captain in the merchant service, and upon leaving the sea, 40 years ago, he obtained the post of Lloyd's surveyor at Sunderland, which he held until 1839 when he removed Hartlepool and established himself as a ship builder. In 1863 Mr William Gray, of that place, became his partner, and under their joint auspices, the nucleus of the existing extensive business was formed. Deceased was a Port and Harbour and Pilotage Commissioner for many years, and under the old Corporation, once Mayor and alderman of Hartlepool, where he resided up to a year and half ago. In politics, he was a consistent and moderate Conservative, and took an active part in several county, as well as in the only borough election which the Hartlepools have witnessed, and on which occasion he was proposer of the successful candidate—Mr Ralph Ward Jackson, M.P. For a number of years he had been upon the Commission of Peace for the county of Durham, and was a most energetic, painstaking magistrate. Mr Denton married, early in life, the amiable lady who now survives him, and by whom he has had a numerous family, of whom two sons (both newly married) and three daughters are now alive.’


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