Sunday’s Obituary – Alfred Chadwick (1871-1874)

Alfred Chadwick is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. His parents are Benjamin Towler Chadwick and Susannah Jane Lister. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Riddeoff (my 4x great grandparents).

Alfred’s mother, Susannah, is my 1st cousin 4x removed. She was born in Burnley, Lancashire sometime in the March quarter of 1849 to parents Richard Lister and Jane Stowell.

In the 1861 census Susannah and her sister Mary Ellen were pupils at the Servants School in Casterton, near Kendal, Westmorland. Perhaps being trained for a life in service. That sort of life didn’t happen for Susannah, but I’m not sure the alternative was much better for her.

On 11 October 1868 Susannah married Benjamin Towler Chadwick at St James church, Burnley. As far as I can tell they had six children – but sadly four of them died in infancy, including Alfred.

The following article is from the Burnley Gazette of 2 January 1875 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Alfred Chadwick - Burnley Gazette 2 Jan 1875.png

A CHILD BURNED TO DEATH – An inquest was held at the Borough Hotel, Burnley, on Saturday morning, before Mr. H. U. Hargreaves, coroner, on the body of Alfred Chadwick, a boy aged 31/2 years, who died on Friday last from the effects of burns which he received on Wednesday the 23rd instant. — Susannah Jane Chadwick, wife of Benjamin Chadwick, of Piccadilly Road, said her husband was a lawyer’s clerk. The deceased was her son, and was burnt on Wednesday, the 23rd instant., about ten minutes to two o’clock. Witness had left the boy in the back kitchen, where she had lighted a fire for the use of a washerwoman, and had not been out of the place above a minute when she heard a scream; and on going to see what it was she found the boy lying on his face and his pinafore on fire. She had previously placed some clothes on a clothes “horse” in front of the fire, but they were not touched by the fire, and the boy had crept underneath. She wrapped a sheet around him immediately and put the fire out. The boy told her that his brother, who was in the kitchen with him, had given him a stick, and that he had gone underneath the “winter-hedge” and put it into the fire. The brother, who was a little older, told his mother that he did not notice the deceased to be on fire until he screamed, and then he called out to his mother. The elder brother denied having given deceased a stick. The deceased was burnt on the face, left arm, and knees, and his death occurred on Friday morning between seven and eight o’clock. — Dr. Smithwaite attended the deceased. —The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased was accidentally burned to death.

This must surely have been a terrible time for the whole family.

Susannah then died at the relatively young age of 41 on 23 May 1890 and I do wonder whether she ever got over the tragic death of Alfred.

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