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The Parish of Christ Church, Walmsley
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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Walmsley Christ Church formerly known as Walmsley Chapel

Christ Church, Walmsley
Christ Church, Walmsley

Manchester Diocese, Archdeaconry of Bolton, Deanery of Walmsley Benefice - Turton Moorland Ministry (St Anne) (St James) Benefice Address - St Maxentius Rectory, Bolton Road, Bolton BL2 3EU

Christ Church, Walmsley, Bolton in the "old" county of Lancashire was consecrated in 1840 as a chapel in the township of Turton in the parish of Bolton-le-Moors. It was, however, the re-building on a new site, of an ancient chapel situated about one mile to the north on Cox Green Road; a road which was formerly the main road between Bolton and Blackburn.

This tiny chapel, whose foundations are still visible, 32 feet long by 23 feet wide and surrounded by a small graveyard, was stated by the Diocesan Church Calendar to have existed in the year 1500, but the first documentary evidence appears to be in the "Inventories of Church Goods 1552" when the following notice appears:- "Item Att Walmsley Chapel, a Chales (chalice), a Bell and other ornaments for a preste (priest).

Baines in his "History of Lancashire, 1836", states that the chapel had been rebuilt in 1771.

According to J.D. Greenhalgh in his book on "The Sayings and Doings of Parson Folds", close by the chapel were the School, the School House and the Old Cross Guns Inn. Such a group of buildings appears on the ordnance survey map for 1845-1850. Only one of these buildings exists today - a private house named Old Chapel House which stands close to the eastern end of the graveyard. The Inn was moved in 1796 to a new building on the turnpike road to Blackburn, cut two years earlier.

The old chapel was partially demolished in 1839, some of the stones being used in the building of the new church, but leaving the walls standing to a height of 2 or 3 feet.

Many gravestones and burials were also said to have been moved to the new site, but burials continued to take place in the old chapel yard up to at least 1858. Mr. Greenhalgh noted nine gravestone inscriptions in 1878 ...Four of these gravestones are still visible today (1984) in spite of the overgrown nature of the site and the tipping of rubbish.

...An interesting discovery was made when digging for the foundations of the new chapel. A pre-historic burial was found; probably of the bronze age. It consisted of a tumulus of boulders, at the centre of which was a kind of stone coffin containing a skeleton lying N.E. by S.W. A grey pottery urn of 4 to 5 inches diameter was also found along with a white flint celt or knife about 2-1/2 inches long and 1-1/2 inches broad.

The modern churchyard is extensive and has approximately 2300 monuments. ..Thanks must be given to the Rev. F.R. Cooke, Vicar of Walmsley, for his permission to carry out this project, and to all those members of The Bolton and District Family History Society who worked so hard on the project. [The project of recording the monumental inscriptions.]

List of Ministers at Walmsley

At the Old Chapel (Demolished 1839)
c. 1613   Joshua Hill
c. 1635   John Harrison
? -1644   Thomas Pyke, B.A.
1647-1648   James Smith
1648-1662   Michael Briscoe [ejected]
1671-1686   Thomas Kay (or Key)
1686-1687   Charles Sagar
1687-1748   Chapel probably served in this period by
   Curates and Lecturers of Bolton Parish Church
1748-1755   John Chisnall, M.A.,
   Curate of Walmsley & Lecturer of Bolton
1756-1820   John Folds, B.A.
   Curate of Walmsley & Lecturer of Bolton
1825-1840   Lowther Grisdale, Curate of Walmsley
At the New Chapel - Christ Church (Consecrated 1840)
1840-1847   Lowther Grisdale, Incumbent of Walmsley
1847-1859   John Richardson, Incumbent of Walmsley
1860-1877   Ralph Calvert Williams Croft, M.A.
   Incumbent of Walmsley
1877-1894   John Stott, Vicar of Walmsley
1894-1913   Walter Chetwynd Atkinson, M.A.,
   Vicar of Walmsley
1913-1928   James Odell Coleman, L.Th.
   Vicar of Walmsley
1928-1942   Robert Dundas Underwood
   Vicar of Walmsley
1942-1953   Harry Nightingale, Vicar of Walmsley
1953-1957   Charles Arthur Watling,
   Vicar of Walmsley
1957-1970   Llewellyn Percy Burnett, M.A.
   Vicar of Walmsley
1970-1980   Reginald Brian Harris, M.A.
   Vicar of Walmsley
1980 - (1984)   Frederick Ronald Cooke, M.A.
   Vicar of Walmsley

Notes on Some Interesting Gravestones

A monumental inscription reports more than just the data of a person's death - it also provides tangible evidence of the fact that he lived. The way he lived, his place in the social structure, his contribution to the community and the manner of his death, are all of interest to the family historian.

The people buried at Walmsley represent a wide cross-section of Lancashire society, both rural and urban. Mill-workers and mill- owners, shopkeepers and farmers, lawyers, doctors and clergy-men, craftsmen and children - all are to be found amongst the inscriptions recorded here.

The graves which are most immediately noticeable are usually those which commemorate eminent and wealthy industrialists. Perhaps the most eye-catching of them all is the Holden vault.

John HOLDEN was born 25th January, 1862 in Halliwell, the son and grandson of operative cotton spinners. While attending St Paul's School, Astley Bridge, he became a 'half-timer' at HESKETH's Mill, which stood where the Asda Store is today. Later he attended evening classes on various aspects of the cotton industry at Bolton Church Institute, and took charge of HESKETH's Horwich factory while he was still a young man.

In 1885 he married Emma CAWKSWELL at St Paul's Church, Astley Bridge, and subsequently they had eight children.

About 1895 he was appointed manager at Firs Mill in Leigh, rising to Managing Director and becoming an influential figure in the textile industry in South Lancashire. For several years he lived in Leigh and was twice Mayor of that town. In 1919 he received a baronetcy in recognition of his services to the cotton industry.

John bought a large estate in the Sharples area including Sharples Hall. A romantic story is told about John and Emma going carol-singing at Ollerton during their courting days, when John said he would buy the house for them one day if she would marry him. Eventually he was able to keep his ambitious promise.

On the 13th April, 1920 Emma, Lady Holden, cut the first sod on the site of the proposed "largest cotton concern in the world". It was a six-storey building, powered mainly by electricity and lacking the tall chimneys so characteristic of other mills. It was never actually finished, as, soon after Sir John's death, the cotton industry slumped and never fully recovered. The mill is still standing on Blackburn Road but is now occupied by a mail-order firm.

At the same time as the mill was being built the architects were designing a vault for the Holden family at Walmsley churchyard, from where the copper dome of the mill can be seen. Built of Scottish granite and lined with white Sicilian marble the vault cost £4,884-16-4 in 1922.

Sir John was in poor health for some time, and died at Sharples Hall, 4th May 1926. His was the first interment in the vault, and was attended by some 600 people in spite of the general strike which was almost paralysing the country at that time.

"Upon the coffin of Jacobean Oak reposed the dead Baronet's court hat and sword and the bearers were the chauffeurs and gardeners from Sharples Hall. As the coffin was placed on its last resting place the vault was covered with a profusion of floral beauty - more than 120 wreaths surrounding the carved stone columns". --B.E.N. 13 May 1926.

Close by this vault, though of a less opulent nature, is the obelisk in memory of Jeremiah MARSDEN. According to his obituary, Jeremiah was that real Victorian hero, a self-made man achieving wealth and public esteem by his own hard work and devotion to duty.

Born in 1819 the son of a weaver and grandson of a blacksmith he was duly apprenticed to an ironfounder and later became owner of Britannia Ironworks in Goodwin Street and Folds Road. In 1857 he became a Conservative Town Councillor for East Ward, and was made an Alderman in 1871. He held the office of Mayor of Bolton for two successive years 1873-75. In December 1874 a silver cradle was presented to Jeremiah and his second wife (formerly Annie WHITAKER) to commemorate the birth of their daughter during their Mayoralty.

The list of local government organisations which benefited from his expertise is impressive - Streets, Gas, Sewage and Watch committees, Poor Law Guardians and finally the Bolton Improvement Act of 1877. it was in connection with this Act that he visited London with a deputation of Bolton dignitaries to give evidence to a House of Commons Committee. During this visit he was taken ill and died.

He had been a lifelong member of the Methodist New Connection at Ebenezer Chapel, Rose Hill Sunday School and St George's Road Chapel, yet he was buried at Walmsley Church at a "comparatively private funeral" at his family's request.

Perhaps an indication of Jeremiah's own tastes can be found in the simplicity of the tombstone which stands alongside his memorial, on the same grave, and which was erected by Jeremiah himself in memory of his first wife and their son.

A fellow member of the Astley Bridge Local Board, who also died away from Bolton at a fairly young age, was Thomas THWAITES (Oct 1882). He was the owner of Waters Meetings Bleachworks at Astley Bridge and Sharples.

"During the past year or so a magnificent stone mansion, one of the finest residential structures in this neighborhood, has been in progress for him at Sharples. It is approaching completion and was named Watermillock House." Unfortunately, Thomas did not survive to inhabit his new house, which is currently in use as an Old People's Home.

Thomas THWAITES funeral reflected the respect in which he was held in the area. Flags were flown at half mast on local mills and bleach works and nearly all the shops and houses along the funeral route had closed blinds. The children of Eden's Orphanage, St Paul's School and G.G. Williams' boarding school lined the footpaths near St Paul's church.

The coffin of oak, richly panelled and polished, and embellished with brass handles and mouldings, travelled in a hearse drawn by four black horses. In the procession walked thirty-two of his workpeople, (each one is named in the Bolton Chronicle) accompanying numerous coaches and carriages.

Another local building which became an Old People's Home was The Holmes at Dunscar. This was formerly the residence of George SLATER, son of the founder of Slater's Bleachworks at Dunscar Bridge. George was 87 years old when he died, having been born in 1783. While he was a young man he enlisted in the Bolton Light Horse Volunteers during the Napoleonic Wars when Britain was threatened by invasion by the French. The Muster Roll of 12th June, 1805 includes Corporal George SLATER, aged 22. The Corps disbanded in 1816 and George was the last surviving member.

An employee at Slater's bleachworks, Thomas GRAY, occupies a nearby grave whose stone was erected by Joseph SLATER. At the time of the 1841 census Thomas aged 70 lived in Dunscar Lane with his family, but as a young soldier he had travelled widely. In 1797 as a member of the Lancashire Fencibles, a volunteer militia enrolled in times of crisis, he had helped to quell a rebellion in Ireland, which country was in sympathy with the French cause, opposing Britain. In 1801 he served in the 22nd Light Dragoons helping to force the French surrender of Egypt, and received a decoration for his efforts. War continued in Europe between France and England, and Thomas was involved in fighting in Belgium and in Spain. America also declared war on Britain in 1812 and Thomas served in America from 1813 to 1815.

Many servicemen who died in battle in various parts of the world are honoured at Walmsley. The memorial tablet naming those who lost their lives in World Wars 1 and 2 can be found in Section 'H', but some are individually commemorated on their family gravestones. Among these are two brothers: George HALL, Sergeant, Loyal North Lanes Regiment who was killed in France in 1916, and Trooper Sidney HALL, 5th Lancers, who died of wounds received in France in 1918 a few weeks before the Armistice was signed. In World War Two, Lieutenant William Alfred CLARK, 1st battalion the Loyal Regiment was killed in action in Tunisia. The most recent casualty is John David STROUD, aged 20, killed in action on H.M.S. Glamorgan off the Falkland Islands, 1982.

The death of young people and children always seems particularly poignant. The children of Walmsley parish, although they lived in a relatively healthy country area, were nevertheless subject to the virulent diseases of childhood, such as a measles epidemic in 1883 which caused many deaths. A few years earlier Elizabeth ROTHWELL, William ROTHWELL, and James KAY aged between 6 and 12 years were the victims of a particularly violent disease. Bolton Chonicle, Saturday February 12th 1876 reported:

"Ten days ago the pleasant little village (Eagley) in our neighborhood with its five hundred inhabitants was suddenly dismayed by the outbreak of an epidemic which spread with such rapidity that ere the week had closed one fifth of their number had been attacked and laid on beds of sickness. The strongest had been stricken down in a few hours, and men and women who had gone to their work suffering, as they thought, from nothing worse than a cold, returned labouring under symptoms which betokened disease of an alarming nature. Mr. ROBINSON, Surgeon, Medical Officer of Health for the Turton local board within whose limits Eagley is included, diagnosed the outbreak as one of typhoid fever of a peculiar type".

The source of the infection was traced to Mrs KERSHAW's farm at Toppings (also known as Hardman's Farm and recently demolished). The man employed by Mrs Kershaw to look after the cattle confessed that he had been in the habit of washing the milk cans with water from a tub filled by a small rivulet. Unknown to him, recent storms had carried severe pollution into this water-course which was found to be "little better than average sewage".

The Headmaster of Eagley School reported in his log book Monday 7th February, 1876 "There is now, and has been nearly a week, raging an illness owing to drinking milk in a poisonous state. There are about a hundred persons seriously ill, many of whom are kept away from school on pretence of fearing contagion should any of the scholars be poisoned ......Miss HOWARTH our Certificated Mistress is one of those affected and consequently forced to be absent from school."

Monday, February 14th "Two more deaths have occurred, one of them James KAY in the second standard."

Monday, February 21st "Miss HOWARTH continues in a precarious state. Two more scholars are dead from the same cause - Elizabeth ROTHWELL aged 12 in the fourth standard and her little brother William aged 6 in the Infants School. These are cousins to James KAY."

The following week "On Friday last at 11 pm Miss Anne HOWARTH, Certificated mistress in our upper school, died of the milk poison, and on Monday the 28th was buried at Walmsley Church."

Another young woman who suffered an even more sudden and dramatic death was Elizabeth Ann HOLT who died November 10th 1890 aged 21 years. Elizabeth's short life is well documented - she lived with her widowed mother and sister at 352, Darwen Road, she was auburn haired and blue eyed, she was a teacher at Belmont School and a Sunday School teacher at Eagley; she was also the victim of a gruesome murder.

Every Monday, Lizzie walked along Longworth Road to Belmont where she lodged until the following Friday. On Monday 10th November she failed to arrive at school and it was reasonably assumed she had stayed at home because of illness; her mother equally reasonably, assumed that she was safe in Belmont, so it was not until after she failed to arrive home the following weekend that her disappearance was discovered.

Her sister Sarah Ann set out to make enquiries, and a lad from Longworth Hall Farm remembered seeing a broken umbrella along the roadside. Two men went to search the area and finding evidence that something had been dragged off the road and down a hillside they discovered Lizzie's partially buried body near a small copse of oak trees, her belongings scattered around her.

After police examination, the body was taken to her mother's house on a farm cart, watched by the unsuspected murderer. According to Allen CLARKE, 15,000 people gathered in and around Walmsley churchyard at the funeral, including the man who had caused her death.

Several farmers remembered seeing Lizzie walking along Longworth Road; they also remembered seeing Thomas MC DONALD following her. He lived with his aunt at 244, Blackburn Road, Egerton and he had previous convictions for assaulting young women.

He eventually confessed to following the young teacher, in order to ask why she had told lies about him by accusing him of following her on previous occasions. She struck out at him with her umbrella and he lost his temper. He knocked her down, stabbed her three times with his penknife, cut her throat and attempted unsuccessfully to rape her. For this horrific deed he was hanged at Liverpool, December 30th, 1890.

Not far from the unfortunate Lizzie's grave can be found a dignified pair of identical plinths commemorating HAWORTH and ARMISTEAD families. Adam Lomax HAWORTH was christened at Walmsley Old Chapel, 16th August, 1789 the son of Edmund and Alice HAWORTH and great-grandson of the Adam LOMAX whose gravestone is still visible at Walmsley Old Chapel.

Adam Lomax HAWORTH commenced practice as an Attorney in Bolton in 1812 and retired in 1851; amongst his many duties was the supervision of the returns for the first Parliamentary Elections for the Borough of Bolton. He had offices in the town centre, and his residence was Higher Dunscar which was demolished to make way for the modern houses of the same name. He was one of the leading lawyers in the town and was described as "the father of the legal profession in Bolton." The same article in Bolton Chronicle referred to his reputation for "strict integrity as a legal practitioner, and his fair and honourable dealing towards all was as a private gentleman". His death took place in Lytham. His daughter Jane married another solicitor Robert ARMISTEAD. They lived first at Halliwell Cottage and later at Higher Dunscar.

Two more long-standing stalwarts of the Walmsley congregation were John KAY, who died in 1881 and Edmund HOLT, who died in 1841; these two men between them held the position of parish clerk for 99 years, the period covering the major developments of the Industrial Revolution.

The people mainly responsible for the industrial development of Egerton were the ASHWORTHS, whose senior member represented is Edmund. He was born in 1800, the third son of a family who had long associations with the textile industry. He was brought up in the Quaker faith and traditions; his children were baptised as Quakers though they did not attend meetings. Edmund resigned from the Society of Friends in 1876 and joined the Church of England.

He and his eldest brother, Henry, bought a partially-built mill on Egerton land in the Township of Turton in 1826. They completed the mill, furnishing it with the latest modern machinery, yet including an enormous water wheel. This made the mill a tourist attraction for industrialists and politicians.

In order to provide housing for their work force, the brothers expanded the existing village close by the mill, building dwellings which were of a high quality and with all modern conveniences. Many of these are still in use today [1984]. Although in their other mill- village of Bank Top no inns or beer houses were permitted, Egerton already had several such establishments. These remained in business but were visited regularly by the village constables to ensure good conduct. A similarly tight control was exercised by the ASHWORTHS over housekeeping standards in the workers' houses, following an outbreak of cholera around 1830 due to inadequate hygiene.

Edmund and his family lived at Egerton Hall adjacent to the mill. He and his wife Charlotte (formerly CHRISTY) had nine children, some of whom died quite young and lie in the family vault at Walmsley. Two of the sons migrated to other areas, Charles to Fairfields, Manchester and Mark to Australia.

In 1837 Edmund was invited to become a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party in Bolton, but declined as all the other members of his family opposed the idea. Nevertheless he took a strong interest, and participated actively, in local administration rather than politics. He was one of the famous group of men who gathered at a tea-party at Silverwell House to formulate a petition for Bolton's charter of Incorporation as a Borough, the first town to do so under the 1837 Act.

During the late 1830's and early 1840's the textile industry suffered a severe slump and many Lancashire workers were destitute and starving, as the local mills closed down. The ASHWORTH mills continued to function, albeit at a loss. The high cost of corn and bread contributed to the hardship of the workers and mill-owners alike, so Henry and Edmund ASHWORTH joined the Anti-Corn Law League, along with Richard COEDEN [COPDEN?] and John BRIGHT (honored in Egerton Street-names.) The brothers were less in sympathy with the workers in the matter of the Ten Hours Act and the formation of Trades Unions, which threatened to interfere with the running of the business and reduce profits; but when real distress was apparent as in the Cotton Famine of the 1860's Edmund was the originator and administrator of the Cotton Districts Relief Fund. When the emergency was over the money remaining in the fund was donated to the Buxton Hospital and Southport Convalescent Hospital, where workers could have care and rest for three weeks while recovering from illness.

Edmund was a magistrate for thirty-four years, and as part of this role he was Chairman of the Building Committee for the new prison at Strangeways. With his knowledge of the inmates of Victorian prisons, he advocated a period of "moral training and industrial occupation" for juvenile delinquents rather than imprisonment. He was strongly in favor of education for all, and in addition to providing schools, libraries and reading rooms attached to his own mill, he also financially assisted schools of all denominations and the Bolton Mechanics Institute.

His energies seemed boundless: at the age of 72 he became Chairman of the Local Board for the newly formed Turton Urban District, and continued in that post for eight years. From 1874 to 1877 he was President of the Manchester Chamber of Trade, and continued to attend its meetings up to a few days before his death which took place at his retirement home in Southport.

His body was returned to Bolton by train and transferred to Egerton Hall by hearse. On the day of the funeral the whole village seemed to close its shutters, and even the public houses ceased trading as a mark of respect to a lifelong advocate of Temperance.

The funeral procession proceeded on foot along the private path from Hall to Church. The coffin was carried by four game- keepers dressed in dark green livery, assisted by eight other employees from various trades (all are named in the obituaries in Bolton Chronicle). The "sacred edifice" of Walmsley Church was crowded, and the service and sermon were reported in detail in newspaper articles. The vault is now covered by simple memorial stones surrounded by a low iron railing.

One of ASHWORTH's employees was Joseph STEVENS, of Buckinghamshire who died in 1849, having "strayed" far from his birthplace. The STEVENS family were paupers recommended by the Overseers of the Poor for Great Bledlow, Buckinghamshire for 'honesty and sobriety' when workers were being sought by the ASHWORTH brothers, for their cotton mills. So the entire STEVENS family was relocated in Egerton and employment found for them in and around the factory in 1835. They were welcomed by the local people while trade was booming and work was plentiful, but when trade was slack the villager's attitudes hardened. However, at the time of the 1841 census, Joseph STEVENS, a labourer, his wife Martha and their eight children were living in Bedford Row, Egerton. When Joseph died, Henry ASHWORTH Junior declared that he was 'a very honest, worthy man." Many of Joseph's children settled in this area and married into local families.

Two of them are buried in the same grave as Joseph and Martha, and a third, Thomas, is buried in a KAY family grave, having married Jane daughter of Richard KAY.

Thomas STEVENS died in 1910 at the age of 84. He had a sand factory in Dimple where "sand was ground and much of it bought for scattering on the stone floors of the old houses."

John HASLAM was also technically a "stray" from the township of his birth. "He was not a native of Bolton" said the Journal and Guardian, "for he was born on February 27th 1878 just over the boundary in Dunscar. When he was only three months old his father died, and John was fortunate in being admitted a few years later to Chetham's Hospital, Manchester, where he was educated. Leaving the school he entered the grocery trade, and by the time he was twenty-one had established his own business. So successful was his business that when he was 45 he was able to retire, a fact which is all the more notable when it is added that in the meantime he had become recognized as a leading personality, not only in local trade circles but in national organizations.:"

He was a strong supporter of the Church of England, particularly St Paul's, Deansgate, and was an active member of the Conservative Party. In 1927 he received a knighthood for "public and political services." He became a Member of Parliament for Bolton in 1931, and died in London in 1938 during his second term in office.

The Editor of the Journal and Guardian wrote that Sir John was "as forthright in his Lancashire directness as you could desire a man to be. His impulses were so generous and obvious that you always knew where he stood and what line he would take; he had neither the instinct for, nor any respect for, the devious course or the sophisticated utterance." He loved to travel and was a member of many trade missions overseas.

The funeral service was held at St Paul's, Deansgate, which being a town centre church had no graveyard available. The service was attended by representatives of about seventy organizations with which Sir John had connections, in addition to relatives and innumerable friends including four Polish nationals.

The burial took place at Walmsley in a grave lived with laurel leaves, white lilac and sweet peas.

A shopkeeper of a rather different kind was Alfred LANGSHAW who died suddenly aged 28 years on July 25th 1866. he was a chemist, druggist and grocer with premises on Deansgate, separated from the Blue Boar Inn by Dukes Alley Entry.

One of the products which he handled in the normal course of his business was naptha, also known as coal spirit; this was a highly inflammable substance when in contact with a naked flame. There was no law to prevent its being stored close to dwellings (as there was for petroleum) and Alfred kept a 100 gallon cask of it in a shed at the back of his shop. It was delivered to him in 30 gallon drums which he stood temporarily in Dukes Alley Entry while he transferred the contents by a system of tubes into his storage tank. Just across the entry was a small cottage inhabited by John SPENCER an ex-sawyer now crippled, and his wife Ann. On the afternoon of 25th July, 1866 a large fire was burning in the cottage grate so that Mrs. SPENCER could carry out her trade as a washerwoman.

Alfred LANGSHAW was transferring naptha from a drum in Dukes Alley Entry when he was interrupted in order to bandage William CROSS's injured hand. The naptha overflowed, gas fumes spread from it into the cottage and were ignited by the domestic fire. Flames spread to the naptha running down the entry. Alfred tried to put out the fire, helped by William CROSS and some other men, but the whole barrel exploded, killing LANGSHAW, CROSS and the SPENCERS. The fire was brought under control by the fire brigade, but several people were badly burned. Alfred LANGSHAW's body was identified only by the truss he wore, his watch and pocket knife.

Many witnesses gave evidence at the inquest the following day and the jury returned a verdict of 'accidental death', though if LANGSHAW had not been killed, the coroner would have advised the jury to bring in a verdict of manslaughter against him.

Mrs LANGSHAW was left with two small sons, one aged 4 years and the other, four months. The younger child, Walter, died three months later, and was buried with his father.

In the next grave lie two of Alfred's brothers who also died in dramatic accidents. Edwin aged 13 years in 1849 had a fit while fishing in a pond at Eagley, and drowned, in spite of Alfred's attempts to save him. Walter aged 10 years was killed when he was buried alive in a sand-pit where he was playing. He was found the next day, his body still in an upright position in the sand.

This family must surely tell one of the most tragic stories in this peaceful churchyard, though there are many others of equal interest which time and space prevent us from recounting. The paupers from Goose Cote Hill, Turton's workhouse; Sigfrid BANCROFT, surgeon; Gilbert J. FRENCH, undertaker, and biographer Samuel CROMPTON; several clergymen of this church; Benjamin HICK son of the founder of HICK HARGREAVES, engineers - so many people whose lives, achievements and failures helped to create the world which we have inherited.

[Written by members of the Bolton & District Family History Society, 1984.]
FHL film #1656927, part of Item 13.

[Entered here 26 October 2004 by Lynn Ransom Burton.]

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