Preston Herald

Sunday’s Obituary – Susannah Musgrove (1856-1869)

Susannah Musgrove is my great grand aunt – a sister of my great grandfather Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove.

Susannah was born on 2 August 1856 at Over Darwen, Lancashire. She was the first of five children born to my 2x great grandparents John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth.

I had known for a long time that Susannah died young at the age of 12. However I have only just found a newspaper article with details of the circumstances of her death. This report is from the Preston Herald of 6 February 1869.

Susannah Musgrove - Preston Herald 6 February 1869.png

A GIRL KILLED AT THE BELGRAVE PAPER STAINING WORKS

On Monday afternoon a fatal accident happened to a girl named Susannah Musgrove, aged 12 years, daughter of Mr John Musgrove, who was employed as a short time tearer in connection with the block printing department. It appears that she had been to school on Monday afternoon, and on returning called at the print shop to see if her master was there, and was seen playing about in the room on the second floor. About 5.40pm a man named Joseph Riding had occasion to use the hoist, which is in one corner of the room, and used for the purpose of raising goods from one room to another. As the hoist did not descend lower than the second floor, the man Riding went to see what was the cause. On getting there he found the deceased laid down on her belly on the floor, with her head underneath the hoist. The hoist was at once raised, but the unfortunate girl was dead. She must have been in the act of looking down the hoist way into the lower room, and therefore could not see the hoist when descending. An inquest will be held on the body.

You know sometimes you just wonder how much tragedy one family can have.

Susannah’s grandfather, Joseph Musgrove (my 3x great grandfather) died in 1858 as the result of a fall at home when he dislocated his neck. I blogged about this here.

John Musgrove, Susannah’s father, committed suicide in 1884 – see blog post here.

Of the five children that were born to John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth only two survived to adulthood – Thomas and Joseph.

Susannah died as the result of the accident. Her brother George died on the day he was born 20 August 1857. And another brother, James, died at three months old in 1868.

So sad.

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Sunday’s Obituary – Hamlet Cocker (1855-1911)

Hamlet Cocker was born sometime in the fourth quarter of 1855. He was baptised on 29 November that year at Royton, near Oldham, in Lancashire.

Hamlet married Grace Greenwood sometime in the second quarter of 1882, the marriage is registered in Oldham. And Grace is my 1st cousin 3x removed. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley, my 3x great grandparents.

I have the family in the census returns of 1891, 1901 and 1911 living at 317 Rochdale Road, Royton. Hamlet’s occupation is described as “cotton mill manager”. They had three children – Hannah, Amy Gertrude and Maude. Sadly Amy died in infancy less than a year old in 1885.

Grace was the next member of the family to pass away – she died at the relatively young age of 51 on 29 February 1908.

Incredibly tragedy struck the family again three and a half years later when Hamlet died on 6 August 1911 in “curious circumstances”. His death was reported in the Preston Herald on 9 August 1911.

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DIRECTOR FOUND DROWNED

A SINGULAR FATALITY

Mr Hamlet Cocker, the managing director and salesman of the Woodstock Spinning Company, Royton Junction, and a director of many other cotton companies, was found drowned in curious circumstances. The No. 1 mill of the Woodstock Company was being extended, and Mr Cocker’s body was found in a hole, containing 16 inches of water, in the ground where the work was going on. There was no suggestion of suicide.

At the inquest Mr Cocker’s daughter said that he left home on Sunday morning to visit Woodstock Mill. Mr Granville Tither, the cashier and secretary at the mill, said he concluded that Mr Cocker had been looking to see if the rain had done any damage to the work of extension. The hole was three yards square and two yards deep. He thought that Mr Cocker was seized with dizziness and fell in. He saw him in a fit of dizziness about two years ago at the mill. A police sergeant said he considered that if Mr Cocker had been conscious when he fell in he could have got out of the hole.

The Deputy Coroner said that Mr Cocker was obviously drowned. There was nothing to suggest that he had fallen from any part of the building and there was no suggestion that he had committed suicide.

The jury returned a verdict of found drowned.

In his will Hamlet left effects totalling £8770 3s to his unmarried daughters, Hannah and Maude.

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