Ann Gawthrop

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 – Ernest Wallbank (1886-1944)

Ernest Wallbank is the husband of my 2nd cousin 2x removed, Sarah Ruston. Sarah’s parents are William Ruston and Ann Gawthrop. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley, my 3x great grandparents.

Ernest was born on 19 November 1886 at Earby, Yorkshire. He married Sarah Rushton sometime in the June quarter of 1908 – the marriage is registered in Skipton, Yorkshire.

Ernest and Sarah had two children – William and Annie.

In the 1911 census Ernest’s occupation is “farmer” and the family are living at Lower Clough Farm near Colne, Lancashire. By the time of the 1939 Register the family are at Higher Clough Farm near Colne and Ernest is a “dairy farmer”.

Ernest passed away on 2 January 1944 – his death was reported in the Barnoldswick & Earby Times on 14 January.

Ernest Wallbank - Barnoldswick & Earby Times 14 Jan 1944.png

Death of Mr Ernest Wallbank.

The funeral took place at Colne Cemetery on Thursday afternoon of last week of Mr Ernest Wallbank, of Higher Clough Farm, near Black Lane Ends, whose death occurred on the 2nd inst., at the age of 58 years. Much regret has been expressed at his passing and sympathy with his widow and the one son and daughter who survive him. Mr Wallbank was well known and highly esteemed, particularly in farming circles. He had many friends in Colne, where he had an extensive milk round. The Rev R A Jones officiated at a service at the house and also at Colne Cemetery. Floral tributes were received from the following: “In loving memory of a dear husband and father,” from his sorrowing wife and daughter; “In loving memory of a dear father,” Willie and Florence; “To dear grandad,” his two little pets, June and Eileen; Linda and John Thomas; Sister Libby; Jim and Mary; Mary, Winnie and Mary; All at Lingah (Crosshills); All at Piked Hedge and Harold; Mrs Rushton and Edith; Mr and Mrs J Driver and family; Linda, Norman and Doreen; Dick and Rennie; All at Hall Hill Farm; Mr and Mrs Crabtree and Allen; Mr and Mrs F Mellin and Mary; Mr and Mrs T Marsh; Mr and Mrs George Cowling, Keith and Elsie; Mr and Mrs S Proctor; Mr and Mrs R Smith and Mr and Mrs J Emmott; The neighbours and friends. Mr R Wood, Skelton Street, Colne, carried out the arrangements.

In his will Ernest left effects totalling £3401 0s 1d to his wife Sarah and son William.

On this day … 1st September

1798 … Martha Emmott and David Snowden married at St. Andrew’s church, Kildwick, West Yorkshire.

1856 … William Robert Stowell died in Burnley, Lancashire.  He is my great grand uncle.

1860 … Ann Gawthrop and John Riley married in Colne, Lancashire.  Ann is my 2nd great grand aunt.

1966 … Mary Espley (nee Fox) died in Stockport, Cheshire.  She is my wife’s 3rd cousin 1x removed.