Sunday’s Obituary

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.

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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.

Sunday’s Obituary – Hartley Greenwood (1878-1932)

Hartley Greenwood is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Town Greenwood and Sarah Buckley. Our common ancestors are Thomas Buckley and Henrietta Mason (my 3x great grandparents).

Hartley was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire sometime in the June quarter of 1878.

On Christmas Eve 1902 Hartley married Rosetta Green at St. Peter’s church, Keighley. One of the witnesses was Hartley’s sister, Mary Alice.

I haven’t been able to find Hartley and Rosetta on the 1911 census.

So the next time I come across them is a newspaper report in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer of Saturday 21 May 1932. This is a report of an inquest (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

Hartley Greenwood - Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer 21 May 1932.png

FATAL BLOOD CLOT

Keighley Man’s Bus Journey with Broken Leg

At the adjourned inquest yesterday on Hartley Greenwood (53), textile fitter, of Aspley Street, Keighley, who died in hospital on March 30, P.C. Heaton, of the Bradford City Police, stated that on March 23 he saw Greenwood sitting on the causeway. Greenwood said he had been accidentally kicked by another man while boarding a tramcar, and could not stand. Witness took him to the Bradford Royal Infirmary, and, after he had received treatment, put him on a bus for Keighley. Greenwood, added witness, said he would be all right if he were put on the bus. There was no mention of Greenwood’s leg being broke.
The widow, Rosetta Greenwood, said in her opinion her husband should have been brought by ambulance from Bradford, adding: “I don’t think it is right to send a man out like that with a broken leg. He looked terrible when brought home from the bus stand.”
Dr. J. Prentice said he saw Greenwood, at his home, the same night. He was satisfied that Greenwood’s left leg was broken, and the next day ordered his removal to the Keighley hospital. If there was a great deal of swelling it was very difficult to tell if a bone was broken. In his opinion, however, the movement from Bradford would not cause the blood clot, which was set up by the fracture, and which was the cause of death.
A verdict in accordance with medical evidence was returned, the jury adding a rider that in their opinion Greenwood should have been sent home from Bradford in the ambulance, and should not have been allowed to travel by bus.

Hartley was buried on 2 April 1932 at St. John’s church, Ingrow with Hainworth, Keighley.

In the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Rosetta is living with Hartley’s sister, Selina Elizabeth, at Prospect Place, Keighley.

About two years later Rosetta married Henry Hensman sometime in the September quarter of 1941. Henry was recently widowed and was about nine years older than Rosetta.

They were married for about 22 years before Henry died on 10 February 1963. Rosetta lived for another five years, passing away on 10 June 1968.

Sunday’s Obituary – Martha Owen (nee Brockhouse) 1793-1865

Martha Brockhouse is my wife’s 3x great grandmother. Her parents are William Brockhouse and Sarah Turner.

Martha was born about 1793 in Sandbach, Cheshire – according to the entries in the census returns. As yet I haven’t been able to find a corresponding baptism record.

On the 23 August 1812 Martha married James Owen in Sandbach.

As far as I can tell James and Martha had at least nine children between 1814 and 1840 – including Daniel Owen (1814-1864) – my wife’s 2x great grandfather.

In the 1841 census James and Martha were living at Back Street in Sandbach. James was working as a “nailor”. I found a death record for James registered in Congleton, Cheshire in the March quarter of 1844.

In the census returns for 1851 and 1861 Martha was a widow still living in Sandbach. In 1861 she was with her son Thomas and his family.

I recently found the following inquest report in the Warrington Guardian of 22 July 1865 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Martha Owen (Brockhouse) - Warrington Guardian 22 Jul 1865.png

INQUEST AT SANDBACH – An inquest was held on Thursday, before W.R. Dunstan, Esq., at the Wheat Sheaf, Sandbach, touching the death of Martha Owen, aged 72 years. – John Owen, of 30 Union Street, Sandbach, and employed as striker at the Crewe works, said the deceased was the widow of James Owen, of Sandbach, whitesmith. She was placed in the Arclid Workhouse, as she had had strokes and was helpless. Witness contributed to her support. On Sunday morning last she came from Bradwell in a cart to spend the day at his house. On Saturday she had walked from Arclid to Bradwell, by way of Sandbach, three miles, and had dropped down in the road from exhaustion. She was 72 years of age. At dinner on Sunday she had eaten two or three potatoes and a little bit of roasted mutton. She asked for more, but before she began to eat the second “helping” she suddenly set her teeth together, and made a strange noise: she dropped her knife and motioned to witness to take her from the table. She wished to be taken into the yard, but became worse, and they took her into the house. She died just after they had got her on a chair, and within seven minutes of her being first attacked. Mr. Latham, surgeon, was sent for on the first attack, but he was out. Mr. Twemlow was sent for, and came after the death had occurred. – Verdict: “Died suddenly by the visitation of God from natural causes.”

Sunday’s Obituary – Richard Varey (1866-1953)

Richard Varey is the husband of Margaret Stamper, my 1st cousin 3x removed.

Margaret was born in Kendal, Westmorland – her birth is registered in the March quarter of 1862. She was baptised on 4 May 1862. Her parents are William Stamper and Alice Rooking. Our common ancestors are Joseph Rooking and Mary Carradice – my 3x great grandparents. Sometime in the March quarter of 1899 Margaret married Richard in Kendal.

Richard had been born on 26 August 1866 at Holme, Westmorland.

After their marriage they lived at Holme. Richard worked as a limestone quarrymen for sometime but his main occupation was as a farm labourer.

In the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Richard was a widower living at Duke Street, Holme, Westmorland. Margaret had passed away nine years earlier.

Richard died on 7 April 1953 and I recently found the following report in the Lancaster Guardian of Friday 24 April 1953 about the inquest held into his death (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Richard Varey - Lancaster Guardian 24 April 1953.png

HAD STROKE, FELL ON FIRE

Man 87 found by brother 81

Visiting his elder brother at Holme on Good Friday, white-haired 81-year-old Mr. Robert Varey of Clawthorpe, near Burton, found him dying with his head in the fireplace.
He told this at a Lancaster inquest on Friday on his brother, 87-year-old Richard Varey of Duke Street, Holme, who died in Lancaster Infirmary on Tuesday, April 7.
Mr. Varey said his brother was a retired farm worker. “I went round to his house at 1.45p.m.” he said. “I usually go twice a week. I went through into the kitchen where he had his meals and did his cooking.
HEAD AGAINST BOILER
“He was lying on the floor with his head against the boiler near the fireplace. The boiler does not hold water but it gets very hot and you can’t bide your hand near it.
“In front of the fire a chair was lying on its side and there was also a pan of porridge near the fire. I know it was my brother’s habit to sit on the chair by the fire while he made his porridge.
“It looked to me as if he had been doing that when he fell off the chair for some reason. He was still just alive when I got to him and he tried to speak but I could not make out the words. He was just about gone.”
Coroner Mr. G. F. E. Wilson recorded a verdict that death was due to a stroke and was hastened by burns to the scalp sustained in an accidental fall on a fire.

Sunday’s Obituary – William Henry Watkinson (1860-1932)

William Henry Watkinson is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. His parents are Thomas Watkinson and Harriet Mason. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw – my 4x great grandparents.

William was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire – his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1860.

On 5 June 1889 William married Emma Crabtree at the Baxter Congregational Church, Kidderminster, Worcestershire. They had four children:-

Gwendolen – 1890
Arthur Stanley – 4 August 1891
Hilda Muriel – 17 May 1895
Geoffrey Lionel – 20 July 1899

William was an extremely successful and distinguished university professor of engineering. He died on 14 February 1932 and an obituary was published in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer on Tuesday 16 February 1932 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

William Henry Watkinson - Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer 16 February 1932.png

Distinguished Northern Engineer

Professor William Henry Watkinson, a past-president of the Liverpool Engineering Society, has died at his residence in Bromborough, Cheshire, at the age of 71.
Professor Watkinson was a native of Keighley and had only an elementary school education. He worked as a half-timer in a mill and later served his apprenticeship to the practical side of engineering in a workshop in the town. Evening classes at the Keighley Institute provided the foundation of his scientific training. Following a period during which he worked in Bradford, he entered Glasgow University in 1882, becoming one of the assistants of Sir William Thomson, afterwards Lord Kelvin.
As assistant to Sir William Thomson and Professor Fleming Jenkin, he played a part in superintending the manufacture and laying of two Transatlantic cables.
He was at Glasgow University for five years, holding the Thomson Research Scholarship from 1885 to 1888 and the Whitworth Scholarship in 1886. Later he was Lecturer in Engineering at Sheffield and Professor of Engineering at Glasgow and the West of Scotland Technical College. He was Professor of Engineering at Liverpool University for 20 years, and was the inventor of superheaters and internal combustion engines.
Among his publications were papers read to the Institution of Naval Architects and other institutions.

Further reading about William is available on Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History – here.