this is a slightly uprated message I posted on genforum Stretch in relation to a post from Mary K. GEORGE in 2000. There seems no info' on this site about this very important fmily of clockmakers.
My post below.
I have a deep interest in the history of the Leek and Moorlands area of Staffordshire in the decades around the time of the Quaker flowering, partly through descent from William Yardley's (1632 - 1693) brother. The family - possibly nine children - of John and Ellin (nee Furnival) Stretch had moved to Harper's Yate (Gate) just outside Leek town. It is now the village of Rudyard , next to the lake. John's will of Leek is probated in 1689, and Ellin later remarries widower Simon Buxton; he dies 1703. They send her daughters to New Jersey in 1702, presumably to their brothers already there. Uncle Samuel Stretch is already known for his superb Lantern Clocks in the area by 1670, but I do not presently know if he had family. Peter Stretch (born 1670), and family arrived in Philadelphia in mid 1703.
Their brother James marries Esther HALLOWFIELD (officially recorded as Fallowfield) on 25th of 12th month 1691 (Feb. 1692?) in the Leek Meeting. It is probably their brother William Stretch who dies in neighbouring Horton parish in 1717. In July 1706 Samuel Stretch is part of a quaker group from the Leek area who establish a Quaker meeting house in Wolverhampton. There are Stretch families in the area to this day.
The sister of the above John Stretch had married Hugh Lownes or Lowndes, but moved to Philadelphia as a widow. It seems this Hugh was the one from just over the ridge in Astbury parish, Cheshire, which was five miles from Leek.
Hope this adds to history.
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