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SMITHYHOLME MILL

Walsden

Map Ref. SD 930227

 

Known occupiers

1794

HOLT Richard

1796, 1797 & 1803

UTTLEY Samuel

1804-1821

LAW Thomas & Robert

1832-1872

FIELDEN Bros.

1873-1881

BOOTH James

1890

STEPHENSON Thomas

1893

Dilapidated

1894-1896

SCHOLFIELD Dan
 
 
Smithyholme Mill began life as a woollen mill. It is in Walsden, almost opposite to GAUXHOLME STONES and a short distance downhill from Lawhey Farm, sitting neatly between Rochdale Road and the river, on the bank of the canal.
 

In about 1804, entrepreneur brothers Robert, Thomas and Samuel Law, the oldest three sons of Samuel and Sarah Law of SQUARE, took over the lease of the mill and turned it in to a cotton carding and spinning mill.

   
Thomas Law lived at Henshaw Barn with his wife Alice (Jackson), but moved to Woodbottom during the summer of 1804. Thomas was the market man. He went on horseback to Manchester as often as necessary to arrange the best deals he could, buying raw cotton and selling the finished pieces. He was known as Tummy, and was a proficient trader. By 1814 the family was living at DEANROYD FARM in Walsden.

Henshaw Barn

   

Square by kind permission of Roger Birch

Samuel, the youngest brother, lived at SQUARE in Walsden with his wife Nancy (Ingham). He later moved to Lawhey Farm close to the mill. Samuel split his time between his farm and the mill. It is clear from the account book that he collected large amounts of warps and wefts from the mill, probably to disperse amongst his family and friends.

   
Robert Law, the oldest of the three brothers, seems to have been the main man of the partnership. He moved his family to live at the mill almost immediately they took on the lease. His wife, Betty (Crossley), opened a shop at the mill selling groceries, mostly to family members to begin with, no doubt to supplement the income of the mill until the cotton business could be established. On 19th October 1804, the account book shows the following entries:
   

 

8lbs apples Ely Crossley Knowlwood 1s.1d.
quarter stone of apples Mally Law Square 6d.
1 stone apples Samuel Law Square 2s.1d.
25lbs 6ozs cheese Samuel Law Square 13s.
6lbs 8ozs treacle Samuel Law Square 1s.9d.
2 stone flour Samuel Law Square 7s.1d.
1 stone apples Samuel Law jnr Square 2s.1d.
30lbs treacle Samuel Law jnr Square 8s.1d
25lbs 8ozs cheese Samuel Law jnr Square 13s.4d.
half a load turnips Samuel Law jnr Square 3s.
3 stone flour Samuel Law jnr Square 10s.8d.
quarter stone of apples Samuel Law Stones 6d.
1 stone treacle Susan Crossley Stones 4s.10d.
1 stone turnips Susan Crossley Stones 6d.
25lbs cheese Susan Crossley Stones 13s.6d.
1 stone apples Thomas Law Woodbottom 2s.1d.
1 quarter butter Thomas Law Woodbottom 3s.9d.
21lbs treacle Thomas Law Woodbottom 5s.8d.
16lbs turnips Thomas Law Woodbottom 6d.
6lbs cheese Thomas Law Woodbottom 3s.1d.
1 stone apples William Dawson Knowlwood 2s.1d.
4lbs treacle William Dawson Knowlwood 1s.2d.
16lbs flour William Dawson Knowlwood 3s.7d.
 

The mill would have required a handful of employees to scutch, card and spin the cotton, but the weaving was done outside by dozens of small farmers and their families and labourers. Weavers would visit the mill to collect warps and wefts to take to their own home. Together with their wives and children, they would weave as many pieces, or cuts, as they could. The finished pieces would be taken to the mill and the weavers would receive a payment depending on how many pieces they returned. They would then return home with more warps and wefts.

JAMES LAW, a younger brother, was an overlooker at the mill, despite being a trained clogger. He also took warps and wefts home for his wife to weave. James stayed until 1819 when he left for a new pioneering life in Canada.

The four brothers-in-law of Robert, Thomas and Samuel didn't escape. James Greenwood of Knowlwood, married to oldest sister Elizabeth; James Crossley of Bottomley, husband of sister Sally; Andrew Heyworth of Square, married to sister Mally; and William Dawson of Knowlwood, husband of youngest sister Hannah, were all involved in hand weaving using the warps and wefts from Smithyholme. Similarly, youngest brother Abraham Law, a clogger by trade, also did a bit of hand weaving at home. Samuel Law senior, father of the above siblings and also a clogger, played his part in the business by collecting large quantities of warps and wefts for distributing to hand weavers.

It was truly a family concern.

In one week in September 1816, 33 different people attended the mill to collect payment or more warps and wefts. Many of these attended more than once a week. Below is a table showing who attended and how much they collected and were paid. The warps and wefts were weighed in pounds and ounces.

 
date
staff no.
name
address
weft
warp
£ s. d.
20 Sep 1816
10
Abraham Law
Deanroyd
8-0
 
     
20 Sep 1816
37
Thomas Lord
Knowl
 
5-9
1 0 0
20 Sep 1816
46
Andrew Howarth
Roughstone
 
5-9
  15 6
20 Sep 1816
47
Daniel Howarth
Swineshead
 
5-8
     
20 Sep 1816
60
William Haigh
Stones
14-10
 
     
20 Sep 1816
61
James Law
Wadsworth Mill
 
9-14
     
20 Sep 1816
70
John Milne
Weatshaw
14-8
5-9
1 0 0
20 Sep 1816
71
Abraham Haigh
Calfhey
 
5-8
3 0 0
20 Sep 1816
73
James Greenwood
Woodbottom
 
 
1 0 0
21 Sep 1816
6
John Butterworth
Rosenfield
12-0
 
     
21 Sep 1816
18
Mally Whitaker
Stoneybrink
 
 
1 1 0
21 Sep 1816
23
Paul Greenwood
Woodbottom
 
 
  7 0
21 Sep 1816
27
Edmund Crossley
Toad Hole
14-0
 
1 0 0
21 Sep 1816
38
Thomas Law
Deanroyd
12-0
5-15
     
21 Sep 1816
44
John Mitchell
Calflee Cote
12-0
 
  3 0
21 Sep 1816
50
John Stansfield
Height Houses
16-0
 
  6 0
21 Sep 1816
51
James Crossley
Bottomley
 
5-13
     
21 Sep 1816
52
James Jackson
Deanroyd
9-3
 
  9 0
21 Sep 1816
61
James Law
Wadsworth Mill
10-0
 
  5 0
21 Sep 1816
63
Samuel Law
Square
25-10
 
     
21 Sep 1816
64
Ralph Taylor
Holmes
 
 
  2 0
21 Sep 1816
65
William Milne
Weatshaw
12-0
 
  11 0
21 Sep 1816
67
Samuel Law
Lawhey
 
 
1 1 0
23 Sep 1816
16
James Law
Lawhey
 
 
4 18 8
23 Sep 1816
37
Thomas Lord
Knowl
 
 
1 0 0
23 Sep 1816
39
John Farrer
 
11-0
 
     
23 Sep 1816
66
John Lord
Butcherhill
14-0
 
     
23 Sep 1816
67
Samuel Law
Lawhey
12-0
5-8
2 2 0
24 Sep 1816
6
Betty Crossley
Gatebottom
10-6
 
     
24 Sep 1816
16
James Law
Lawhey
 
 
1 1 0
24 Sep 1816
26
James Greenwood
Woodbottom
 
 
  1 6
24 Sep 1816
31
Edmund Mitchell
Gatebottom
14-0
18-8
     
24 Sep 1816
32
Enoch Greenwood
Swineshead
 
9-4
     
24 Sep 1816
57
Sally Butterworth
Woodbottom
12-0
 
     
24 Sep 1816
61
James Law
Wadsworth Mill
 
9-6
     
24 Sep 1816
71
Abraham Haigh
Calfhey
26-0
 
     
24 Sep 1816
72
John Jackson
Square
8-0
5-9
  10 0
25 Sep 1816
39
John Farrer
 
 
5-11
     
25 Sep 1816
46
Andrew Howarth
Roughstone
4-0
 
  2 0
25 Sep 1816
50
John Stansfield
Height Houses
8-0
5-11
     
25 Sep 1816
60
William Haigh
Stones
 
 
1 0 0
25 Sep 1816
61
James Law
Wadsworth Mill
9-0
 
     
25 Sep 1816
63
Samuel Law
Square
 
5-10
     
25 Sep 1816
64
Ralph Taylor
Holmes
 
 
  5 0
26 Sep 1816
1
Lawrence Simpson
Gauxholme
 
 
  14 8
26 Sep 1816
3
Abraham Ashworth
Clough
 
 
3 0 0
26 Sep 1816
9
Timothy Bentley
 
 
 
3 1 10
26 Sep 1816
10
Abraham Law
Deanroyd
 
 
1 0 0
26 Sep 1816
14
Edmund Crossley
Fold
 
 
3 4 0
26 Sep 1816
16
James Law
Lawhey
 
 
  3 8
26 Sep 1816
17
Mally Marshall
Knowlwood
 
 
1 0 0
26 Sep 1816
18
Mally Whitaker
Stoneybrink
 
 
  5 6
26 Sep 1816
23
John Howarth
Horsepasture
 
 
  14 0
26 Sep 1816
24
William Butterworth
Roughtop
8-14
 
     
26 Sep 1816
24
Edmund Howard
Butcherhill
 
 
1 1 0
26 Sep 1816
25
William Dawson
Bar House
 
 
1 5 6
26 Sep 1816
28
James Greenwood
Gauxholme
 
 
2 2 2
26 Sep 1816
28
Thomas Clegg
Gauxholme
1-0
 
     
26 Sep 1816
47
Daniel Howarth
Swineshead
4-0
 
1 0 0
26 Sep 1816
52
James Jackson
Deanroyd
9-0
 
     
26 Sep 1816
54
Samuel Greenwood
 
 
5-11
     
26 Sep 1816
63
Samuel Law
Square
 
5-10
     
26 Sep 1816
67
Samuel Law
Lawhey
 
5-10
     
26 Sep 1816
73
James Greenwood
Woodbottom
4-0
5-7
     
26 Sep 1816
73
James Greenwood
Woodbottom
 
5-10
     
   

In 1819, the Fielden brothers of Waterside Mill bought the land on which the mill stood, together with some cottages and farmland, for £2,300. The Law brothers, who were experts in the spinning side of cotton manufacture, wanted to expand into the weaving side. To do this they needed larger premises and on 6th February 1820 they were celebrating the opening of their new purpose-built mill at RAMSDEN WOOD.

The Fieldens enlarged Smithyholme for their own use, adding a steam engine and manager's house. The brothers equipped the mill for preparation of the raw cotton and throstle spinning for warps. All the warps were sent to their main mill at Waterside for weaving. In 1832, the mill had a value of £1,770 plus a further £1,335 for machinery. It had a small 4 horsepower water engine and a small steam engine. By 1856 the mill employed 14 children under the age of 13, 27 women and 9 men. They continued to use Smithyholme as an "out mill" until 1872 when the lease was sold.

James Booth took on the lease, moving to Smithyholme from 11, York Place in Todmorden. He was a joiner and builder, employing 17 men in 1871. He converted the mill into a joiners and builders shop and saw mill when he removed from Dale Street to make way for the extensions to the Co-op store in Todmorden. When he died, the mill was left empty for a considerable time.

   
 

After that time, the mill was occupied by a variety of tenants, and from time to time was left empty and dilapidated. It is currently in use as a Residential Care Home for the elderly.

 

Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group

 

HAS 195A p.5

Smithyholme Woollen Mill, owner Richard Horsfall, occupier Richard Holt, supported bill for Rochdale Canal 1794.

Land Tax Assessments 1796, 1797, 1803

Smithyholme Mill, occupied by Samuel Uttley, owned by James Hardman. Tax 4s.5d.  (4s.2d. in 1803)

Cromptons 1811 spindle enquiry

Smithyholme, 1296 mule spindles (6x18doz.)

Walsden Rates Book 1860-71

Owned and occupied by Fielden Bros. mill and power, Smithyholme, rateable value £107.14s.4d.

1866 – rateable value £79.6s.0d.

1867 onwards – two-thirds empty

Walsden Rate Book 1873-81

Occupier James Booth, owner Joshua Fielden’s executors, mill and power, Smithyholme, rateable value £80.6s.0d.

1880 – rateable value £115.15s.0d.

1881 – rateable value £93.10s.0d.

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Almanac

28th May 1878

Mr. Booth’s joinery works, Smithyholme Mill, hit by lightening. Damage £100 to roof and adjoining buildings

Walsden Rates Book 1890

Occupier Thomas Stephenson, owner executors of Joshua Fielden; house, saw mill and power, rateable value £93.10s.0d.

Walsden Rates Book 1893

Dilapidated, owner executors of Joshua Fielden; house, saw mill and power.

“Views and Reviews” 1896

Mr. D. Scholfield, cotton warp bleacher and sizer, Smithyholme Bleach Works, Walsden. Premises on right bank of Rochdale Canal, large 2 floor building.

Walsden Rates Book 1894

Occupier Dan Scholfield, owner Joshua Fielden MP; bleaching works and power, Smithyholme, rateable value £41.5s.0d.

 

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