Roe family of Macclesfield

Charles Roe (1715-1781) son of the Rev. Thomas Roe (1670-1723), vicar of Castleton, Derbys, was one of Macclesfield's first industrial entrepreneurs, developing both the town's silk trade and its copper smelting works. His second wife, Mary Stockdale, had been a Methodist in London before her marriage. Under the influence of his wife, his niece Hester Ann Roe (Mrs Rogers) and the Rev. David Simpson, six of his children became Methodists, much against his will and he disinherited his sons Robert, Charles II and Joseph.

Robert Roe went to Brasenose College, Oxford, hoping to be ordained. But having joined the Methodists in 1777, the college refused to authorise the testimonial he needed for ordination. Having attending a Methodist meeting with his sister Mary and cousin Hester, his father refused to allow him into the house. Charles II subsequently ceased to be a Methodist and became a prosperous alderman in the town; Joseph was elected mayor in 1791.

  • Gail Malmgreen, Silk Town: Industry and Culture in Macclesfield (Hull, 1985)