memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for February 6, 2012

Daffodils that come before the swallows dare

When our great great-grandfather moved to Thurlstone his elder brother, William Pashley Milner, stayed on at Attercliffe Hall in Sheffield. He married in 1852 Susannah Aldam, a descendant of several distinguished Quaker families. He moved later to Meersbrook Park, a house which later became the Ruskin Museum, and finally acquired Totley Hall, a fine Elizabethan mansion on the Derbyshire side of Sheffield (now a Teachers Training College, I believe)

He was an enthusiastic gardener and a small graceful daffodil preserves his name to this day.

(I tried to grow some on the terrace of our flat in Porto; for a couple a years the little delicate flowers seemed to timidly flourish but I fear that I killed them with love)

His son William Aldam Milner was a gentleman of wealth and distinction, active in public works; he was appointed High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1911. He carried on his father’s horticultural interests, and opened his lovely gardens to the public. His wife was the sister of the notable Sheffield Cutler (or mayor) sir Samuel Roberts.

Their son Roy Denzil Milner was killed in action in 1914, a young lieutenant in the Sherwood Forresters; and the male line of this branch of the Milner family became extinct on the death of his brother William Alfred Milner.

ROY MILNER at TOTLEY HALL

Daffodils that come before the swallows dare,

And take the winds of March with beauty

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

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