Sunday’s Obituary

Sunday’s Obituary – William Riley (1860-1929)

William Riley is my 1st cousin 3x removed. His parents are John Riley and Ann Gawthrop. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley (my 3x great grandparents).

William was born in Colne, Lancashire sometime in the last quarter of 1860. He was the first child of John and Ann Riley and he had three younger sisters – Ann, Mary and Margaret.

In the 1861 census the family are living at Garth Holme, Colne.

William’s father, John, died in 1866 at the age of 26. So by the time of the next census in 1871 Ann was a widow with four young children. She was working as a worsted weaver. These would have been really difficult times for Ann and the children.

Not surprisingly, sometime in the June quarter of 1873 Ann married John Hodgson and they had three children. John, Ann and the seven children are together in the 1881 census at Belle Vue, Great & Little Marsden, Lancashire.

In the 1881 census William is listed as a warp dresser – an occupation he would keep until his death.

Just over three years later on the 6 November 1884 William married Ellen Fletcher at St John the Evangelist church Great Marsden. Over the next 16 years they had six children – but sadly two of the first three died in infancy.

At some point around the start of the 20th century William became active in the newly formed Labour Party. He was first elected as an unopposed candidate to Nelson Town Council on Tuesday 10 November 1903 – see report from the Burnley Gazette of 14 November 1903 below (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

William Riley - Burnley Gazette 14 Nov 1903.png

On Tuesday, another Labour candidate was given a walk-over at Nelson. The vacancy was in Central Ward, and was caused by the elevation of Councillor Reed to the Aldermanic Bench. It was thought that Mr. S. Davies (C), a former member of the Council, would have contested the ward, but, beaten before by the Labour element, he was evidently not inclined to come forward again. The unopposed candidate was Mr. William Riley, warp-dresser. There must be four or five warp-dressers on the Council now.

William remained active in the local community until his death on 11 August 1929.

The Burnley Express published the following obituary on Wednesday 14 August 1929 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

William Riley - Burnley Express 14 Aug 1929.png

NELSON ALDERMAN’S DEATH

A GREAT HOSPITAL ORGANSIER

By the death of Alderman William Riley, who died at his home, 93 Clayton Street, last Sunday night, Nelson has sustained the loss of one of its best public workers and a gentleman who had earned general respect. He will be long remembered as the first salaried organising secretary of the Reedyford Hospital, a position to which he was appointed in March, 1920, and his duties were to organise the raising of funds for the maintenance of the hospital, which came into vogue during the war, when most useful service was rendered to the wounded soldiers who were temporarily accommodated there. At the time of his appointment there were practically no funds available, and Alderman Riley at once initiated schemes with the object of raising money. He worked out a weekly voluntary contributory scheme for the mills and workshops, with the result that when he resigned early in September of last year, as the result of failing health, there were no fewer than 8000 contributors. The fact that the work people’s contributions were so well maintained during the long period of trade depression was a tribute to his persistent energy and resourcefulness. His position necessitated tact as well as dogged perseverance, but Alderman Riley succeeded admirably in surmounting all difficulties, and, on his resignation, he fully deserved the expression of gratitude for his lengthy and valuable service.

Alderman Riley, who was 68 years of age, had also had extensive service on the Nelson Town Council, of which he originally became a member in the Labour interest in 1903. After ten intervening years he was again elected as a representative of Southfield Ward, retaining his position as a councillor until 1927, when he was promoted to the Aldermanic Bench. As a public representative, he was ever a zealous and conscientious worker, and at the time of his death he was a member of the General Purposes, Finance, Gas, Water, and Baths, Watch, Parks, and Free Library, and Electricity, Light Railway, and Omnibuses Committees. 

He was formerly a warp dresser, and was a member of the committee of the Nelson and District Warp Dressers’ Association. He was connected with the Baptist cause at Carr Road Church, with which he had a long association.

I think that is a fitting tribute to someone who gave many years to public service.

Sunday’s Obituary – Walter Fletcher (1883-1952)

Walter Fletcher was the husband of Jane Musgrove – my 1st cousin 2x removed.

I have previously written about their marriage here and Jane’s obituary here.

Walter was born on 8 August 1883. He lived in Clitheroe, Lancashire all his life. He was active in many areas of community life as reflected in the obituary below from the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times of 15 February 1952 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Walter Fletcher - CAT 15 February 1952.png

MR WALTER FLETCHER

Clitheroe lost one of its best known personalities by the sudden death on Saturday of Mr Walter Fletcher, of 7 Chester Avenue. Mr Fletcher was among spectators at the football match at Shaw Bridge when he collapsed and died whilst the crowd stood in silence in memory of King George.
Mr Fletcher, who was 68, was a native of Clitheroe, and until his retirement two years ago had been wages clerk at Jubilee Mill for more than 40 years.
He was a prominent figure in local music circles, and in the early days of the cinema he acted as pianist for the silent films, drawing on a remarkable memory to match his music to the action. He was also a concert and dance band pianist, prominent in many social events for a long period.
In addition to his musical talents, Mr Fletcher was also an artist of some repute, a clever cartoonist and with pleasing water colours to his credit. He often designed stage settings and painted the scenery required for local amateur shows.
Mr Fletcher was keenly interested in sport. Bowls provided his favourite pastime, and he was at one time captain of the bowling team of Clitheroe Cricket, Bowling and Tennis Club, in which he took a great interest. His membership of the Clitheroe Sports (Fishing) Club reflected a keen interest in angling, and he was also one of Clitheroe Football Club’s best known supporters, rarely, if ever, missing a home match.
For many years he was a member of Clitheroe Conservative Club and of the R.A.O.B., and during the war he held the rank of inspector in the Clitheroe branch of the Special Constabulary.
A widower, Mr Fletcher leaves three married daughters, who will have sympathy in their bereavement.
Directors and members of the staff of Jubilee Mill and representatives of the R.A.O.B. were among those attending the funeral at St. Mary’s Cemetery on Wednesday. The Rev. C J Guildford officiated.

Sunday’s Obituary – Esther Ann Salt (nee Espley) 1866-1935

Esther Ann Espley is my wife’s 3rd cousin 2x removed. Her parents are John Espley and Emma Gibson. Their common ancestor is John Aspley – my wife’s 4x great grandfather.

Esther was born on 12 December 1866 – her birth is registered in Leek, Staffordshire. Esther’s mother Emma Gibson came from Spalding in Lincolnshire. So eighteen months after Esther’s birth the family travelled over 100 miles to Lincolnshire where Esther was baptised at a small village called Cowbit – about three miles from Spalding – on 14 June 1868.

Just over twenty years later, on 17 July 1888 Esther married Alfred Salt at Saints Philip & James, Milton, Staffordshire. Over the next 22 years Alfred and Esther had 11 children.

Esther passed away on Friday 24 May 1935. Details of her funeral were published in the Tamworth Herald on Saturday 1 June 1935 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Esther Ann Salt (nee Espley) - Tamworth Herald 1 June 1935.png

FUNERAL – The funeral took place in the Amington Cemetery on Wednesday, the Rev. H. Chamberlain officiating, of Mrs. Alfred Salt, who passed away on Friday, at School Lane, Amington, aged 68 years. She was highly respected, having resided in Amington for over 35 years. The chief mourners were: Mr. Alfred Salt (widower); Messrs. John William Salt, Alfred Salt, Albert Salt, Joseph Salt, Frederick George Salt (sons); Mesdames J. Smith, S. Chappell, A.W. Chappell, Mrs. G. Hill (daughters); Mr. and Mrs. A. Allcock (brother and sister-iin-law); Mrs. L. Kelsey (sister-in-law, Hanley); Messrs. J. Smith, S. Chappell, G. Hill (sons-in-law); Mrs J. W. Salt (daughter-in-law); and Mr. W. Kelsea (nephew, of Hanley). There was a large number of beautiful floral tributes from the family, the neighbours, and the Amington Liberal Workingmen’s Club, of which Mr. Alfred Salt, jun., is the secretary. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. H. Starkey, of Tamworth.

Sunday’s Obituary – Charles Neville (1877-1955)

Charles Neville (often spelt as Nevill in official records) is the husband of my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed, Sarah Jane Espley.

Sarah’s parents are Henry Espley and Ellen Hannah Clewley. The link with Sarah is from my wife’s 3x great grandparents James Espley and Martha Silvester.

Charles was born on 1 June 1877 in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He married Sarah Jane sometime in the fourth quarter of 1897 in Lichfield.

Charles passed away on 17 September 1955. The Lichfield Mercury carried his obituary on Friday 23 September 1955 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Charles Neville - Lichfield Mercury 25 September 1955.png

Former Member of Bower Committee

LICHFIELD DEATH OF MR. C. NEVILLE

A native of the city Mr. Charles Neville (78), 137 Sandford Street, Lichfield died on Saturday.
Mr. Neville was born in Beacon Street, but at an early age his parents moved to Sandford Street where he had resided ever since. A painter and journeyman, Mr. Neville had been employed by Lichfield City Council and after retiring four years ago he obtained a situation on the maintenance staff of the Wiltell Works in St. John Street.
Mr. Neville was a keen supporter of local football and was trainer for the Lichfield Phoenix club when they played on a ground at Gaia Fields. He had also served in a similar capacity with Lichfield United, whose ground was at the Barn Field in St. John Street. His interest in the sport never waned and up to the time of his death he followed the St. Chad’s club going to most of the away matches. For many years he was a member of the Greenhill Bower committee and rendered good service particularly with the decoration of tableaux.
Mr. Neville is survived by his wife, four daughters and five sons. The funeral took place at Christ Church on Wednesday, the vicar (Rev. G. H. Maydew), officiating.

Sunday’s Obituary – John Espley (1869-1945)

John Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Booth Espley and Christiana Boyle. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley – my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

John was born on 5 May 1869 in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

In the 1891 census John was with his uncle & aunt Frederick Espley and Frances Espley in Biddulph, Staffordshire. He was working as an iron turner. By the time of the following census in 1901 John was living in Burnley, Lancashire working as a builders labourer.

On 7 December 1901 John married Sarah Booth at St Matthew the Apostle church, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire.

Sarah was a young widow of 25. Her maiden name was Sarah Baines Turner. She had married Samuel Booth in the first quarter of 1897 in Burnley. Samuel died three years later. This left Sarah on her own with three children under three years old – Betty, Jane and Samuel.

By the time of the 1911 census John and Sarah had six children of their own but sadly two died in infancy. By now John was working in the water department of the Burnley Borough Council.

John was a conscientious employee for the water department and eventually retired from there in 1934. The Burnley Express of Saturday 5 May 1934 reported on his retirement (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

John Espley - Burnley Express 5 May 1934.png

THIRTY-THREE YEARS WITH WATER DEPARTMENT

After completing 33 years service with the Burnley Corporation Water Department, Mr. John Espley, of 14 Hawk Street, enters into a well-earned retirement today. Mr. Espley, who is 65 years of age, has served under three managers, and for over 20 years has been a foreman with the department.
He holds the proud record of never having been late for 32 years. One day, when he had been with the department about 12 months, he arrived five minutes late and was sent home for three days. He has never been late since! Mr. Espley is interested in gardening, with which he occupies much of his spare time.

John’s retirement lasted for eleven years before he died on 4 June 1945. He was buried three days later in Burnley cemetery.

The Burnley Express reported on his death on Saturday 9 June 1945.

John Espley - Burnley Express 9 June 1945.png

MR. JOHN ESPLEY

The death of Mr. John Espley (76) took place at his home, 81 Albert Street, Burnley, on Monday, after a short illness. Mr. Espley, a well-known Fulledge resident, was employed by the Burnley Corporation Water Department for about 33 years, being a foreman for about 20 years. He retired about 11 years ago. The funeral took place at the Burnley Cemetery on Thursday, preceded by a service in the Latter Day Saints’ Chapel, Rosegrove, with which he was connected. Elder John R. Moore and Elder W. Duckworth officiated. Arrangements: Mr. Joseph Harling, 29 Yorkshire Street.

Sarah lived for a further 13 months – she was buried on 29 July 1946 in Burnley Cemetery.

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.

Sunday’s Obituary – Dorothy Pickles (nee Hutchinson) 1864-1942

Dorothy Pickles (nee Hutchinson) is the wife of Frederick Pickles – my 2nd cousin 3x removed.

Frederick was born on 2 January 1863 in Cowling, West Yorkshire, to parents John Pickles and Elizabeth Dawson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson (my 4x great grandparents).

Frederick Pickles and Dorothy Hutchinson married on 6 November 1886 at Holy Trinity church, Cowling. They had two children:-

Norman Edward – born 21 December 1891
Edith May – born 4 November 1895

In the 1911 census Dorothy was described as a “baker and confectioner”. She carried on this business for many years.

Frederick died on 3 August 1918 at the age of 55. He was buried at Holy Trinity, Cowling five days later.

Dorothy lived for a further 24 years until her death on 24 August 1942. She too was buried at Holy Trinity, on 27 August 1942.

The Barnoldswick and Earby Times reported Dorothy’s passing on Friday 28 August 1942 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

Death of Mrs. Dorothy Pickles
Much regret has been expressed in the village at the death, which took place suddenly on Monday morning, of Mrs Dorothy Pickles, of Queen Street, Cowling. The deceased lady was 77 years of age, and she had carried on business as a baker and confectioner in Queen Street Dining Rooms for many years. On Monday morning she was following her usual business when she collapsed and died. She was a member of the well-known Cowling family of Hutchinson, who had occupied Fold Farm, Cowling, for many years. She was one of eleven children, and the eldest of seven daughters. Actively interested in the Methodist cause throughout her life, she was associated with the Walton Street Methodist Church. She was also an advocate of the Liberal cause and was a member of the Women’s Liberal Association. Her late husband, Mr. Fred Pickles, who died 24 years ago, was a well-known musician, being an organist and a pianist of some repute. The funeral took place yesterday and the Rev. S. P. Hadley conducted a service at the house and the Rev. E. Betenson performed the last rites at the Cowling Parish Church, where the interment took place. Mrs. Pickles is survived by one son and one daughter, these being Mr. Norman Pickles, of Sutton, and Mrs. Harry Dracup, of Keighley.

In her will Dorothy left effects totalling £1261 3s 2d to her son Norman Edward Pickles and to her daughter Edith May Dracup and her son-in-law Harry Dracup.