John Shadrach Piercy (1801-1868)

Portrait of John Piercy: 1801-1868.John Shadrach Piercy was baptised on 9 December 1801 in the Yorkshire village of Rillington, near Malton. His father was the village schoolmaster.

Piercy moved to Retford in 1822 to take up the post of master of the National School on Chapelgate and immediately busied himself with a range of other activities: he became parish clerk for East Retford, and journalist on several local newspapers.

His History of Retford was published in the autumn of 1828, in good time for the Christmas trade! Piercy planned a revised edition but this sadly never materialised.

In the mid-1830s Piercy began to establish himself as a land-surveyor. His life was also touched by scandal in 1852 over accounting irregularities while acting as assistant overseer of the poor: he was forced to resign. He died after a long illness on 22 June 1868 and was buried in Ordsall churchyard.

Source: B J Biggs, J S Piercy, Retford historian, Transactions of the Thoroton Society, vol LXXIX, 1975, 60-71.