William Henry Dorman
William Henry Dorman was born in 1803 at Chelmsford Essex. He came to Stafford in 1830, when he was appointed Minister at the Zion Congregational Church in Martin Street. He married one of the Congregation in 1832. Selina Augusta Robinson was the daughter of William Robinson, a prominent civil engineer. The following year, the first son was born, and took the same Christian names as his father. William’s sister Joanna Dorman moved to Stafford to live with the family. She eventually married Edwin Bostock, who was involved with the development of Stafford’s Shoe industry.
In 1835, the family moved to Islington, where Rev’d William Dorman took up a more important position. However, he eventually transferred to the Plymouth Brethren. By 1840 the Dorman family were living at Tostock Old Hall (Nr Stowmarket Suffolk). William and Selina went on to have four more children. In 1845, he became Minister of the local Brethren Congregation in Reading.
William Jnr began his engineering career as apprentice to the Royal Mail Steamship Co. in Southampton. This was followed by a spell as Draughtsman at a Thameside Marine engine manufacturer. He eventually became an Engineering Consultant, based in Westminster. His knowledge of metallurgy and heat treatment of metals became important in his future career.
Around 1862, William Jnr married Eliza Littlewood, and moved to Sweden. Here he worked equipping a silver mine for Mr Bostock.
The couple start a family there, with George E and John Ehrenfried born in 1865 & 6.
A daughter, Katherine Selina, was born in Sweden before the family return to Staffordshire.
William Snr died at Stafford in September 1876, followed 3 years later by Emma,
his second wife. By 1881, the Dorman family were living at no 19 Eastgate Street.
After Katherine came Mabel Winifred (age 12, born Rickerscote), Jane S (age 11)
and Lucy M Dorman (age 10). The 2 youngest girls were born at Stone.
John E Dorman began as a draughtsman at his father’s Company in 1882. However in 1887, he moved to the USA in order to gain experience in production engineering methods.
By 1891, the family had moved to No 27, ‘The Cedars’, Newport Road. Around this time, George E Dorman had moved to USA. John returned from USA in 1898, and was appointed Works Manager at Foregate St, on a salary of £6 per week.
Katherine Dorman had married in September 1892 to another Dorman Director, Horace Lingwood. They went on to have 3 children, Philip, Joan and Christopher.
By 1901, William had moved into ‘Green Hall’ Lichfield Road. This property had once been the residence of his uncle Edwin Bostock. The youngest daughter Lucy was also on the Company payroll at 12/6 per week.
Another Dorman/Bostock marriage took place in June 1911. The location was Holy Trinity Church Berkswich, and the couple were John E Dorman and Madeline Louise Bostock. Born in 1884, Madeline went on to become one of the first female dentists in the country. She practised in Stafford from 1908 to 1942. The couple went on to have 5 sons, the first born in August 1912.
The 5 are detailed as follows, with information from the obituary of John Dorman following his death in 1957 :-
Sir Maurice Henry Dorman KCMG: Went on to become Governor of Malta.
Dr Hilary Dorman MC: Practiced in Birmingham
Major Stephen Dorman: Killed in action in Tobruk.
Richard Bostock Dorman: Entered the Diplomatic Service, with the War Office.
Michael C S Dorman: became Senior Classical Master at Sandroyd School.
Another Bostock sibling was Geoffrey Rowley Bostock, who married Vera Lough James. She was the daughter of William Ingram James, who had been Dorman’s partner in the 1897 Company. Vera’s brother, Ivor Lough James, had been a director of the Dorman Company. Ivor had married the daughter of Henry Bamford, a Director at the Leighton Iron Works.
William retired in 1911, devoting his time to supporting the local Brethren Community. Another local employer involved with the Brethren was timber merchant Henry Venables. After his death on January 29th 1926, the funeral was held at the Mission Room in Stafford, being attended by members of the Dorman, Bostock, Venables and Lingwood families.
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