52 residents in 52 weeks #13 John Hart

Week 13, a quarter of the way through the year, brings us to John Hart

John Hart bought the Springhill estate from Mrs Turner’s Trust on her death in 1923. He lived in Polefield Cottage and soon began to break up the estate, selling portions to other residents.

John Hart died in 1947, naming his wife Sarah Louisa (nee Murgatroyd) as sole Executrix, sole Trustee and main beneficiary. He willed that the properties be sold with the proceeds (apart from three personal bequests to various family members and friends) to be invested at Sarah Louisa’s absolute discretion with the income to be used for her own use absolutely.

She did not do this and continued to live in Polefield until her death in 1951. She also made a small number of personal bequests and willed that the remainder of her ‘property real and personal’ be treated as the residuary estate of her husband. Most of the Springhill houses had been sold off by that time so there may have been only Polefield and The Cottage left.

Her 3 executors were given £50 each for sorting this out.

As she made this will less that six months after her husband’s death, she obviously had no intention of carrying out his wishes.

John Hart willed that after the death of Sarah Louisa that there be a number of small bequests then the residue be divided equally between nineteen relatives and friends whom he helpfully listed together with (for the most part) addresses and relationships. One of the fixed bequests (of £50) was to the Peace Pledge Union, raising the possibility that he may have been a conscientious objector in WW1 - another avenue for study sometime.

After her death, Polefield was sold to the Trustees of Sion Baptist Church for use as a manse.

Sarah Louisa Hart left a bequest to her sister-in-law Sarah Evelyn Murgatroyd. Or rather, she willed that Sarah Murgatroyd’s oak table be returned to her….

Evelyn Murgatroyd lived next door to Polefield at The Cottage with her husband Harry, Sarah Hat’s brother. I remember Mrs Murgatroyd clearly (and Harry vaguely) from my childhood and teenage years. She always referred to her husband as ‘Mr Murgatroyd’ I also remember that she had a beautiful life-size Victorian porcelain baby doll in a wooden cot - an absolute delight which she was kind enough to allow me to play with. I do hope it is still in the family.

[As ever, the issues not directly related to the topic often catch the eye and the article in the Lancashire Evening Post 20 Feb 1934 in which a case at Preston Crown Court seemed to hang on the nationality of a cow is just begging for further attention]


hope the tree doesn't blow down...

… as it seems to be holding up the garage roof.



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nationality of a cow

Not my place but can’t resist….

Lancashire Evening Post 20 Feb 1934

nationality of a cow

52 residents in 52 weeks #12 Harry Hart

Private, 52219, 19 Btn King's Liverpool Regiment. d 23/06/1917 aged 23. Commemorated I B 5 Perth Cemetery China Wall, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He formerly served in the Manchester Regiment (3443), I haven’t been able to find when he transferred. He was awarded the British and Victory medals posthumously.

His death notice in the Manchester Evening News (16 July 1917) says 'of Higher Cloughfold'. The ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ register has his death as ‘France and Flanders’ which narrows it down a bit…

He was the son of the late James and Maria Hart and on the 1911 census is enumerated at 199 Bacup Road Cloughfold, single, 1 brother and 1 sister at home. At that time he was a cotton spinner but later became the assistant librarian at Rawtenstall library. He was the librarian at Burnley Mechanics Institute on enrolment.

Cotton Spinner - Librarian - Soldier. All before he was 23

My mother, another Springhill resident, was also assistant librarian at Rawtenstall Library 50 years later. Rawtenstall Library is a Carnegie Library opened in 1906 with an official opening in 1907 attended by Carnegie himself.

He is the third serviceman covered in this series and between them they served in 4 different regiments with no overlap. Of the 8 local casualties of WW1, three were in the East Lancs and two in the Loyal North Lancashire.



52 residents in 52 weeks #11 Charlotte Anne Hargreaves

How far can the tentacles of a one-place study into a small hamlet stretch? How tenuous does a link have to be to count?

In 1834 John Ashworth bought the land on which Springhill now stands from the Rev William Thursby, Eleanor Mary his wife and Charlotte Ann Hargreaves. Eleanor Mary Thursby and Charlotte Anne Hargreaves were the daughters of John Hargreaves and Charlotte Anne Ormerod. Charlotte Anne Ormerod was the heiress of the Ormerod family of Ormerod nr Burnley. John Hargreaves’ ancestry and estate are described in the Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland 1825 pp 685-686 . They were armigerous, with their arms being allowed in 1623, so fairly early.

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Ormerod House c 1811

The settlement prior to Charlotte Anne’s marriage in 1835 also describes the surrender into Trust of ‘Clough Fold farm’ but this is not otherwise described. This surrender also describes the surrender of ‘tenements in Habergham Eaves and the Colliery’. Whilst it helpfully doesn’t specify which colliery, Habergham Eaves (where they may have been a colliery) and Gambleside (where there definitely was a colliery) are very close to Ormerod. Now Gambleside was owned by Ashworth Hargreaves Co - the Ashworth being the one who bought the land from Charlotte Anne. John Ashworth’s wife was Betty Ormerod and there are hints in his obituary that he was linked with the Ormerod family from Whitewell Bottom, almost certainly an offshoot of the Burnley Ormerods. It is tempting to speculate that there was a familial link between John Ashworth and Charlotte Anne Hargreaves via her mother, this remains unproven (or, indeed, un-searched for!).

Charlotte Anne Hargreaves married James Yorke Scarlett in 1835. As he came from Middlesex, I wonder how they met - he was billeted at Burnley Barracks but that seems unlikely. There was no issue.

Scarlett rose to Lt-General and was commander of the charge of the heavy brigade at the battle of Balaclava. He was MP for Guildford (Cons) from 1837-1841 without any apparent connection with the town and stood unsuccessfully for Burnley in 1868. He is recorded in the Country Families of the United Kingdom1860, pg 886-887.

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Charlotte Anne Scarlett nee Hargreaves died 9 Feb 1888 leaving (after two revisions) £627,738 15s 6d (Probate Calendar). A tidy sum, that 6d must have made all the difference.

From Springhill to Balaclava? Pushing it a bit…