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William Butterworth and Mary Rose

This is a history of William Butterworth, born in Luddington, Northamptonshire, England in 1828 and died in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1893, and his wife, Mary Rose, born in Oundle, Northants in 1825 and died in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1896. [See their portait.]

William Butterworth was the son of John Butterworth and Sarah Abbott. When he was endowed and sealed in the Endowment House on 9 November 1874 he gave his birth date and place as 5 August 1827 in Great Gidding, Huntingdonshire, England. This is the same date and place given in the Winwick LDS Branch records. But he was christened in Luddington, Northamptonshire, which is adjacent to Great Gidding, on Christmas Day, 25 December 1828. In that record his parents are listed as residing in Alconbury, which is about seven miles southeast of Luddington and Great Gidding. His father was listed as a cottager, a rural laborer or small farmer.

William was the second of eleven children. The first two children were christened in Luddington and the remaining children were all christened in Winwick. The third, fourth, and fifth children were all christened the same day, 5 October 1835. Their order in the family was determined from the 1841 Census. An indenture of release dated about 1843 refers to 3½ acres of land at Winwick Hill in the occupation of John Butterworth, to the south of West Hamerton Road, north and east of John Butterworth's land. Reference is also made to the cottage on that land being occupied by John Rose, including 14 poles of garden. A Poll and voting list made in 1845 states that John Butterworth occupied land near the church in Winwick.  In the 1851 Census, John is listed as a farmer of 115 acres, and Joseph Lee is listed with the family as a servant and farm labourer. John Butterworth was listed in the 1861 Census as a farmer having 117 acres and employing 2 boys. Son John is listed as age 22, a horsekeeper. Daughter Martha is age 19 and a dressmaker.

John Butterworth died 11 June 1881 in Leighton Bromswold, Hunts, probably at the home of his daughter, Elizabeth Butterworth Sisman, with whom he was living when the 1881 Census was enumerated. He was buried in the Winwick Churchyard on 14 June 1881. Sarah had died 7 July 1868 in Winwick and was buried there on 10 July 1868.  Their headstone [see photo] is a pink stone, stood about 4½ feet high, just a few feet from the south wall of the church, east of the doorway, but recent reports indicate it is no longer standing. The inscription reads:

John Butterworth d. 11 June 1881 ae 84
 Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age like as a
 stalk of corn cometh in in his season.   
 Sarah wife of above d. 7 July 1868 ae 65. Her end was peace.

 
Mary Rose was born 12 July 1825 according to the Winwick Branch Records. No christening record has been found for her, though they were found for eight of her nine brothers and sisters. She was born in Oundle, Northamptonshire, a fairly large town about six miles northwest of Luddington. Her parents were John Rose and Eleanor Moseley. John Rose's occupation in the 1851 Census is given as "Agricultural labourer." He died in 1851 and Eleanor died in 1868.  

In 1829 John and Eleanor moved their family from Oundle to Winwick, which is another small town adjacent to Luddington and Great Gidding. A removal order dated 10 January 1829 stated that "John Rose and Ellen his wife and their seven children, namely William aged about eighteen years, John aged about fifteen years, Edward aged about twelve years, Henry aged about ten years, Benjamin aged about eight years, George, aged about six years, and Mary aged about three years" were being moved from Oundle to Winwick. The document continues to state that the family had "come to inhabit in the said parish of Oundle not having gained a legal settlement there, nor produced any certificate, owning them to be settled elsewhere."

This was a document produced by the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the Church of England. Eleanor Moseley's family had lived in Oundle for at least three generations. John Rose was born in Upwood, Huntingdonshire, some 15 miles as the crow flies, southwest of Oundle. He and Eleanor were married Christmas Day 1809 in Oundle. He had undoubtedly become dependent on the parish for assistance, but had not established a legal settlement there. The removal order states that "the said John Rose and Ellen his wife and their said children [are to be conveyed] from and out of your said parish of Oundle to the said parish of Winwick." It is also not known why Winwick was chosen to be the parish they were "removed" to. John would have had to prove some settlement in the parish of Winick either through an apprenticeship there or employment there, but such evidence has not as yet been found.

John and Eleanor are listed in the 1851 Census of Winwick aged 68 and 61 respectively. John is listed as an agricultural labourer. They are enumerated at the same dwelling as their son Benjamin, and next to son George. John died at the end of 1851 and was buried in the Winwick churchyard on 7 December 1851. Eleanor is listed in the 1861 Census, as Ellen, a nurse, age 75, born in Oundle, living with son Edward Rose in Winwick. She was buried 14 June 1868 in Winwick.
 
And so it was that the Butterworth and Rose families both lived in this relatively flat, open farmland around Winwick. It is in this same area that so many of the U.S. air bases were located during World War II. There are some low-lying, rolling-type hills, but by comparison to other areas of England, the land is more like a prairie, and very near to the fens of Huntingdonshire and Suffolk, which are very marshy and actually below sea level.  [See photo.]

William and Mary were the witnesses at the marriage of Mary's brother George Rose and Mary Hopper, who was a second cousin of William's. They were married 19 October 1846 in Great Gidding. William's signature and Mary's mark are found in the parish register.  This was two and half years before William and Mary were married in Winwick on 12 March 1849.  [We do not have a copy of the marriage entry for William and Mary.] Their first child was christened 24 August of that same year.

William and Mary and their first two children, John and Sarah Ann are enumerated in the 1851 Census of Winwick. William age 23, a farmer of nine acres, born in Great Gidding. Mary age 26 born in Oundle. John was one [although he was closer to two] and Sarah Ann seven months old at the time of the census. In the 1861 Census William is listed as an agricultural laborer, with his wife and then seven children.

Shortly before the birth of their fourth child, William and Mary heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. William was baptized on 4 May 1854 by J. B. Price and confirmed by James Pace. Mary was baptized 22 May 1854, also by J. B. Price and confirmed by James Pace. William was ordained an elder 3 December 1854 by Elder James Pace. Mary's brother, Benjamin Rose was also baptized at this time, although he appears to have stayed in England. There is a tradition among some of the Butterworth family that William was disowned by his family when he joined the church. However, he and his family remained in the Winwick area for another sixteen years before leaving for America. Whether this may have been the time it took them to save the money to go (though there were options available to the Saints who needed money, such as the Perpetual Emigration Fund), to take care of aging family members, or other reasons we do not know for sure. After their baptism into the LDS Church, no christening records are found in the Church of England for their children.

A lot happened to the family in the summer of 1868. Mary's mother was buried on 14 June. On 30 June their oldest daughter, Sarah Ann, not quite 18 years old, left from Liverpool to go to Utah. Sarah sailed on the "Minnesota" and arrived in New York on 12 July 1868. William's mother died 7 July and Mary gave birth to her tenth and last child the next day on 8 July! With brothers and sisters nearby to care for William's father, John, William and Mary finally started to make their own preparations to join their daughter in Utah.
 
On 7 September of 1870 William, Mary, and their eight children sailed from Liverpool on the ship "Idaho" with a group of 186 Saints. Also in the company were some returning missionaries, including George Romney. A Brother Robert Ruck, his daughter and son-in-law were also on the ship, Brother Ruck had reportedly been a member of the church for 30 years, having been baptized by Elder Wilford Woodruff. The company arrived in New York 21 September 1870 and in Ogden, Utah on 1 October. Although their children's ages were 17, 15, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 2, they were erroneously listed on the ship's passenger list as 17, 14, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, and infant. [Isaiah's history in the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol 4, p. 627 also erroneously gives his emigration date as 1872, though that may have been the year he arrived in Utah.]

According to the history of their daughter Ellener, "they arrived [in New York] on Sept 5, 1870. My father was ill all the way across and unable to travel further so we stayed on Long Island for 16 months. We came to Utah by train in 1871." William's obituary says they were on Long Island three years, and Mary's obituary says they were in Brooklyn "a few years." Exactly when they crossed the plains is not known, as records were not kept after the completion of the railroad in 1869.

William and Mary lived first in Weber County, in Plain City or Marriott Settlement. Their daughter, Elizabeth Jane, died there on 1 October 1874. There was a notice of this put in the Millennial Star, Volume XXXVI, 1874. "In Marriott Settlement, Weber Co., Utah, [died] October 1, 1874, Elizabeth Jane, daughter of William and Mary Butterworth, aged 18 years, 4 months and 8 days." It would seem that William and Mary must have had many friends in England who would have wanted to know this news about them.

The 1874 Directory of Salt Lake City lists a William Butterworth and a William Butterworth Jr.  They were employed as "soap boilers." As William and Mary's son-in-law, Charles Davey, was superintendent of the J. B. Maiben Soap Factory about this same time, it is likely he helped them with jobs when they first came to Salt Lake. Charles had put a great deal of money and effort into promoting his own popular black soap, but through a business maneuver that was not quite proper, he lost his share in the venture and the rights to the manufacture of his soap [Charles Davey History, Bliss Hansen.]
 
William and Mary settled in the East Millcreek area of Salt Lake County, at least before 1880, as they are listed in the 1880 Census with Edmund Peter, Rebecca, Naomi, and Isaiah. William's occupation is listed as farmer, with Edmund and Isaiah's occupations listed as "works on farm." One of the homes they lived in was at 2350 East 33rd South. [See picture.]  According to a history of Isabelle Butterworth, William and Mary's property was given to their daughter, Naomi B. Woodruff, but it is unclear whether this was land in Weber County, or the land in Salt Lake County.

The family was very musical. Sarah Ann was said in her obituary to have taken "an active part . . . in musical productions, including '[H.M.S.] Pinafore' and 'Pirates of Penzance.'" Isaiah sang and played drums and accordion, and the sisters, the "Butterworth Sisters," were said to have sung in the Salt Lake Valley, their voices blending wonderfully together.

The family were also very hard-working, industrious, and independent with a very strong work ethic. They tried to be self-sufficient and liked nice things around them in their homes.

They took all their children to the Logan Temple on 19 May 1886 and were sealed together as a family by N. C. Edlefsen, two of the children also acting as proxy for the two children who had passed away. [The only one not present that day was the oldest son, John Rose Butterworth, who was sealed to his parents on 25 Feb 1927 in the Salt Lake Temple, after his death.] This must have been a wonderful day for the family. Mary also stood proxy with her son William James as her parents, John Rose and Eleanor Moseley were also sealed that day. William and Mary were faithful Latter-day Saints from their baptism to the ends of their lives. One son, William James, was a patriarch, and a son-in-law, Asahel Woodruff, was also a bishop, a patriarch, and a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple. Their son Isaiah, served in a bishopric in Clinton, Utah, and as bishop in Thayne, Wyoming and son-in-law Harrison Sperry also served as a bishop and a patriarch. Harrison Sperry also served a term in the Utah penitentiary in 1887 during the polygamy troubles.
 
A wonderful source which has given us a good idea of what Mary Rose Butterworth was like, are the Relief Society meeting minutes from the East Millcreek Ward. Mary was a "Teacher," which was like a visiting teacher, only there were only a few of them, 8-10, in the ward. In this capacity she was often called upon in meetings to bear her testimony and make other remarks. At one point, evidently in the absence of the presidency, she presided at the meeting. She bore her testimony about the importance of attending meetings, teaching the youth, being happy, and working. A full transcript of the entries from 1882-1896 is available.  Some selected quotes are included here.

She often spoke about the importance of attending one's meetings. "I feel well paid for coming to meeting and pay my little donation, 25 or 10 [cents] as the case may be. I have only missed twice in coming to meeting." "I feel well and do enjoy to come to meeting. . . . I myself feel that my spirit needs feeding as well as my body and when I stay from meeting I feel I have lost something. Sisters, I sometimes think the time will come and not long past when we shall wish we had made better use of our time for I feel we shall not always have such a good chance for generally after a calm comes a storm." "I do enjoy my meetings but I never leave home before going on my knees to ask the Lord to bless us and give us a good spirit and sisters I do pray that the Lord will bless us all and help us to overcome all evil." "I do feel sorry when I see our meeting not better attended. I am sorry to see the people so backward in our ward. They are so cold and indifferent it seems meetings are not thought anything of but if it was a dance I guess the place would be over full." "Last fast day I was very sick and felt I could not go out. But I prayed to the Lord for strength to go to meeting and I tell you I was benefitted by so doing." "I am glad to meet with you today as I always am for it seems to me it puts fresh life in me for I feel it's good to meet together." "It grieves me at times to hear what a lot of names called on the roll and so few attend." "I said their [the sisters who do not come] once in a while would place them a credit mark upon the book and that would show their willingness. I always feel that my spirit needs feeding just as much as my body and when I miss any meeting the spirit is not fed."

In referring to children and youth she said: "I feel sorrowful many times when I see how lightly they heed the counsel of their parents. When I see any young person in the way of their duty it rejoices my heart." "We are living in a great day. Let us do our duty and let us encourage the rising generations. We know not what they have to carry off. Don't let them go astray but give them all the good counsel we can."

She talked about resisting temptation: "Let us endeavor each day to be found doing his will. We have a monitor within our own bosom that will admonish us when we go astray. If we listen to the small voice we will not be left to ourselves. But His holy spirit will ever be with us in the hour of temptation and trial." She watched the Salt Lake Temple being built, and may have attended the dedication. She commented a couple of times about temple work: "It is good to think what a work we can do for our dead and redeem them and the eyes of the Lord are over us continually that we may not fall by the way." "Let us not forget the dead. Do all we can to set them free from bondage."

She liked to be happy and expressed that often: "I like to be jolly. I do not think the Gospel of Christ requires us to be sad or sorrowful countenance. But on the other hand when we are filled with the spirit of God our hearts are full of joy and thanksgiving. Our faces beaming with smiles we have a kind word for all and we want to be doing good to one another." "I feel this is a day of rejoicing for the counsel we have from time to time ought to make us the happiest people upon the face of the earth." "Let us be cheerful and not look too long at the troubles that come to us. They are for our good and benefit." "We should not be cast down but be thankful and acknowledge the hand of God in all things."

Mary often spoke about work, and one of her favorite phrases appears to have been, "We must be up and doing."   "We must be up and doing if we expect to be saved in the kingdom of God." "Sisters, don't let our time go to waste for time once wasted can never be recalled." "I desire to be up and doing, God being my helper. I cannot see how we can stand except we are up and going."  "I know there are none so weak that they can do no good. We are all necessary in the great work of the last days." "We do lots of good. It looks little to us, but I often wonder how does the Lord look at these things. Maybe better than we think." "We need to be up and doing while the day lasts." "I rejoice in the work of the last days and long to be engaged in active labor." "I desire to serve the Lord for outside this church there is nothing worth living for." And many times she spoke of her desire to live righteously: "I do want to be faithful. I know I have my faults and failings but I have a desire to try to overcome them this is my prayer." "I do desire to be humble all the days of my life and I ask and entrust in your faith and prayers." "It is my desire to be humble before the Lord and live as good as possible and I hope to endure to the end. This is my prayer."

She constantly bore her testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: " I rise to bear my testimony to the truth of the everlasting Gospel. I would not be here today but it was for the sake of the Gospel. . . . What a great blessing it is to be a Latter-day Saint and to be a good Latter-day Saint I know and can bear witness to the power of healing. My little boy had his shoulder broken and I called the elders in and they administered to him and he was healed. My desire is to live faithful."  "In my experience in the early days of my embracing the Gospel of Christ I have seen the powers of God made manifest. And I can testify of many miracles done through his power." "I . . . acknowledge the hand of God and his mercy towards me for I do think I would be a most miserable body were it not for my children and my religion." "Why I know I am blessed for I know the Lord blesses me always. For often times when I stand on my feet to speak I feel as a blank and I talk until I wonder what am I saying. The Lord will fill our mouths if we will only try. Then at other times I have found even money in my house more than once and who could have put it there but the Lord." "I think we should be thankful that we were kept back in the spirit world to come forth in this generation."

In what would be her last Relief Society meeting on 2 September 1896 she said: "I think many times how glad I am the Lord spared me to come forth in these days. I desire to live humble and prayerful all the days of my life. My Sisters, let us try not to hurt one another's feelings for we as Latter-day Saints ought to be very careful in what we do or say. May this be our desire." At the next meeting, the Relief Society President, Ann Eliza Neff said: "One faithful member has been taken from us. One who was always found in discharge of her duties, one who was firm and faithful, but has gone to rest to receive the blessings that are in store for her."
 
William died 19 August 1893, at the relatively young age of 64, of cancer of the stomach and typhoid. The "Deseret News" printed his obituary on Tuesday, August 22. [The Salt Lake City Cemetery Records give his burial date as 19 August and his death date as 20 August. Obviously these are not correct.] His funeral was held on Monday, 21 August in the East Mill Creek meeting house at 11 o'clock in the morning. Speakers included President Wilford Woodruff, and George Q. Cannon. Also Angus M. Cannon, president of the Salt Lake Stake, and John Neff, bishop of the East Mill Creek Ward. The caliber of brethren who spoke at his funeral affirm his strength of testimony and example. His obituary said he taught "more by example than precept, unselfish almost to a fault, his greatest happiness being derived from administering to the wants of others both here and in England where his door was ever open to the traveling Elders."

Mary died in her home on 21 September 1896, age 71. Her obituary  was in the "Deseret News" on Tuesday, 22 September 1896. It stated that she was "a Latter-day Saint in all the term implies--a devoted wife, a loving mother, charitable to a fault, beloved by all who knew her." William and Mary are both buried in City Cemetery, Plot J-22-13-5-2. Their daughter, Sarah Ann, is also buried in the same plot.