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DIARY OF UNUSUAL EVENTS

IN TODMORDEN AND WALSDEN

 

 

13th April 1792

Lightning at Sourhall, Todmorden, killed two girls. They were Grace and Sally, daughters of Robert and Mary Ogden.

 

2nd August 1819

George Bentley of Bridgeroyd and his son Jonas were killed when blasting stone in a Todmorden quarry.

 

28th June 1822

Bell Parkin, the corn miller at Travis Mill, was killed after falling from his horse near Firwood, Walsden, when returning from Manchester market. It was thought an assailant had struck him from behind.

 

13th July 1824

The rules and regulations for the new burial ground were decided. All graves were to be 6ft. in length and 3ft. wide. Gravestones also to be 6ft. in length and 3ft. wide, and to be laid down in parallel lines. For any funeral of a person from outside the township, an additional 2 shillings and 6 pence to be charged.

 

26th April 1833

William Dearden of Calf Holes, Walsden, threw a half penny down his throat.

 

3rd August 1834

There was a dreadful thunder and lightning storm, which killed a young man near Dulesgate on the common, and a mother and her daughter at Stoneyhead in Calderbrook.

 

23rd January 1836

James Howorth of Scout, Walsden, the son of Martha Simpson of Newbridge, also Walsden, was run over below Inchfield Fold by a cart belonging to Samuel Fielden. He was severely wounded.

6th January 1839

There was a hurricane in Todmorden, which was one of the most destructive ever known. It blew down a mill chimney belonging to Messrs Firth & Howarth on Roomfield Lane, landing on the works of the Lord Brothers. Windows were broken, trees were uprooted and most of the buildings were damaged in one way or another.

 

7th May 1839

James Greenwood of Stonehouse, Walsden, was bled for the ninth time. He has pleurisy.

 

January 1840

Thomas Law, the son of John and Mally Law of Bottomley, had three fingers severed at the second joint by the scutching machine at Waterstalls Mill. His fingers were buried in Sally Dawson's coffin at Todmorden the following Sunday.

 

23rd August 1840

John Dawson, late of Bottomley, was knocked down by James Nash's car that Sunday night at Todmorden. The wheel ran over his head and he died on the morning of the 29th August.

4th August 1842

All over the cotton town districts of East Lancashire, including Todmorden, the factory workers showed their disapproval with their working conditions by stopping the factories from running. They drew the plugs from the steam boilers. This was known as the "Plug Plot".

 

10th May 1844

Abraham Dawson wheeled a barrow to Manchester and back from Todmorden in 9 hours 15 minutes for a wager of £20. He made the barrow himself. He started from Stansfield Road end and went to the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

 

26th May 1847

Flour was selling at 4 shillings & sixpence for a 16lb. bag at Knowltop, Walsden.

 

26th November 1848

Stephen Gledhill of Swineshead Clough was married at Walsden Church. In the procession were 9 asses, 2 horses and a carriage. After the wedding they went to Littleborough and later to Samuel Mitchell's, the White Lion Inn, at Wadsworth Mill.

 

15th June 1850

John Newell of Strines Barn fell off Thomas Bottomley's cart at Littleborough station and was badly hurt. He died the following day.

 

7th April 1851

Susannah Barrett of Shade, Todmorden, fell on to the fire. Her nose was burnt off and her eyes were burnt out. She died the following morning.

 

30th August 1851

The Todmorden Turnpike road was being rolled with a large iron roller. A child got its head stuck underneath the roller and was killed.

 

24th February 1855

Joseph Dawson's child, of Longfield in Langfield, was killed when a barn door fell on it.

 

6th June 1855

Zachariah Holden of Stoodley Edge hung himself in his petty. (Toilet) He was the son of John Holden, a notorious forger who was transported for life with his eldest son for uttering a number of forged £5 notes. Zachariah and two other brothers and a sister were also involved in the forgery but were acquitted.

 

21st August 1855

Joseph Crowther's child, of Newbridge, was killed when a cart belonging to Abraham Scholfield of Knowltop ran over its head.

 

25th December 1855

Theophilus Wilkinson, known as Old Offy, died aged 74. He was born on New Year's day 1781, christened on the New Year's day following and was buried on New Year's Day 1856 at Eastwood Chapel. He lived in the Withens and was universally known throughout the neighbourhood. He was a tall, gaunt-looking raw-boned man, for the main part simple and half witted in his observations, but occasionally giving forth a spark of rude mother wit, perhaps appearing more brilliant by the contrast. To his ordinary occupation as a farmer he united the strange business of cat dealer.

 

13th June 1859

Edmund Holt of Higher Townhouse fell from a chimney at Green Vale Mill. He died on the 17th . He was better known as Ned O'Dolly's.

 

12th May 1860

James Holden of Grove was killed in Summit Tunnel. He was running out of the way of one train and got in the way of another on the rails.

 

5th August 1860

A pointer dog belonging to William Suthers of Birks Hall, Walsden, ate between 5 and 6 pounds of roast beef.

 

23rd July 1860

A man was taken in to custody for damaging a cow belonging to Martha Dawson of Warland. He was tried and sentenced to 2 months imprisonment.

11th June 1864

The death of Mrs. Sally Holt, widow of the late Edmund Holt of Hullet, Shore, near Todmorden. She died at Vale and was interred at the Shore Baptist Chapel aged 82 years. Mr. And Mrs. Holt had 12 children. At the time of her death she had 103 grandchildren and 76 great grand children.

 

27th July 1864

At the Manchester Assizes, before Mr. Baron Pigott, William Sutcliffe was charged with having married Betty Howarth at Todmorden on 31 st March 1862 when his wife, Dorothy Sutcliffe, was still alive. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

 

 

27th January 1865

Thomas Midgley, whilst under a religious mania, killed his wife, Mary Ann, by cutting her throat with a pocketknife at Hanging Ditch, Todmorden. He was acquitted of murder on the ground of insanity at the following Leeds Assizes and was ordered to be confined during Her Majesty's pleasure.

 

27th July 1868

A thief entered the house of Thomas Holt at Springside, Portsmouth, and stole 15 shillings from 3 purses and from the pockets of some clothing. There were 5 people in the house at the time. On the same night, the house of Abraham Sutcliffe of Bowed Row, Robinwood, was broken in to. A search had been made for money but none had been found. The thief helped himself to a piece of cold pie and a slice or two of bread on which he had spread some lard.

 

12th April 1869

Thomas Speak, Robert Woodhead, and Thomas Calvert, all from the neighbourhood of Knowlwood in Walsden, were convicted at the Salford Quarter Sessions of passing base coins at Todmorden. They were sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

 

16th July 1869

Ashton Greenwood of Brown Birks died from the effects of a kick in the abdomen. At the inquest a verdict of manslaughter was given against William Stansfield for the fatal blow he delivered at the Ram Inn at Holmes Chapel on the 12th July.

 

17th March 1871

The Todmorden Magistrates committed Richard Scaunce, a tailor, to trial at the Liverpool Assizes on a charge of bigamy. He was later sentenced to 3 months hard labour.

 

12th August 1870

William Hirst, farmer of Langfield, was tried at the Leeds Assizes on a charge of feloniously wounding his son William junior with intent to murder. The jury found the prisoner not guilty on the grounds of insanity and he was ordered to be confined for the rest of his life.

 

1st October 1870

A grand knur and spell match took place at Roomfield Lane, Todmorden. There were over 1,000 spectators. The 72 entrants were handicapped according to their abilities.

 

12th January 1872

Profane swearing and the use of obscene language had become so prevalent in the streets of Todmorden that the magistrates issued notices that future offenders would be liable to a fine or imprisonment.

 

6th October 1874

Michael Allen, a sheep dealer from Dublin, made a murderous attack on Thomas Law of Smales, Walsden, by partially cutting his throat in a railway carriage while travelling between Littleborough and Walsden. He was tried at Manchester Assizes on Wednesday 2nd December and was sentenced to one month's imprisonment

 

8th April 1876

A dead chick was found on the canal bank near Gauxholme. It had four perfectly formed legs and feet.

 

11th April 1877

James Dawson Uttley, (31), James Dixon (27) and John Holt (34) were indicted for having stolen the sum of 4 shillings from the person of William Snowden at Rochdale on the 11th. April and using personal violence at the time. Uttley was sentenced to 12 years penal servitude and five years police supervision, Dixon was sentenced to five years penal servitude and Holt to seven years penal servitude.

 

6th October 1886

At the British Dairy Show held at the Agricultural Hall in London, Abraham Stansfield of Rodwell Head, Todmorden, was awarded 1st . prize of £15 for a cow against 28 other competitors, a 1st prize of £8 for the best cross-bred heifer, also 2 champion cups given by the Lord mayor.

 

10th November 1886

A horse and trap driven by Mr. Dan Crabtree of Eastwood knocked down Thomas Bentley, aged 10, of 47, Lob Mill. The offside wheel passed over the boy's head causing his death the following morning. The inquest jury brought in a verdict of accidental death.

 

13th January 1887

Walter Wood, aged 9, the son of John William Wood, a miller of Hallroyd, died from hydrophobia having been bitten by a stray dog about 7 weeks previously.

 

20th January 1887

Lawrence Mansergh, a cab driver of Hanging Ditch, was charged at Todmorden Petty Sessions with wife starvation and attempted murder. He was committed to Leeds Assizes. He was sentenced to two years hard labour. Whilst serving his sentence in Armley Jail, Leeds, Lawrence Mansergh tried to stop another prisoner from murdering fellow inmate James Edward Taylor. He was unsuccessful despite a great struggle. Mary Mansergh died on 5th January 1890 in the workhouse.

 

23rd March 1887

Beatrice Halstead, aged 3, of Hanging Ditch, died after being scratched by a cat.

 

22nd December 1892

At the White Hart Hotel Mr. J. Gledhill auctioned the following properties:

Shop & house at 10, York St. bought by Mr. S. E. Herbert the occupier for £960 Shop & house at 12 York St. bought by James Fielden of Roomfield Lane for £740

Shop & house at 14,York St. bought by Messrs. Salter & Salter the tenants for £576

2nd March 1896

In the case of an alleged starvation at Castle Street, an inquest was held at the Rose and Crown Inn at which the following verdict was agreed: “We the jurors say that Herbert Crabtree aged 9 weeks, son of Joseph and Jane Crabtree, died on 28th February 1896, and that his death was either caused or hastened by the gross and wilful neglect of the said Jane Crabtree, against whom we unanimously return a verdict of manslaughter.”

22nd August 1896

A cat belonging to Mr. J. Smith of Whiteplatts in Todmorden gave birth to a living kitten that had one head, two bodies, two tails and seven legs. The kitten only lived a few hours.

 

 

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