52 residents #31 James Ormerod

There are said to be four graves in Rossendale on private land. At least two, and possibly all four of these have links to my area.

The first is that of Richard Ashworth, one time pastor of Sion Baptist church who was buried at his request in the garden of Carr House, Hall Carr in 1751 after 52 years in the pastorate.

The second is that of James Ormerod and is in Higher Cloughfold, to the south of the east end of Patrick Crescent.

Beneath Are deposited the earthly Remains of JAMES ORMEROD INNKEEPER who departed This Life the 9th Day of NovR 1817, in the 57th Year of his Age Dear, loving faithful Partner now farewell With whom it was my Happiness to dwell With whom I was united Heart with Heart From whom it is so painful thus to part Yet shall the gracious Hand that thee took hence By Love divine thy Absence recompense Prepare me for the bliss thou hast & then Eternity unite us both again When we this good Man’s Life explore We cannot but allow, Whate’er this Place might be before ‘Tis consecrated now.
Local legend has it that his burial at this site was due to suicide debarring him from the local parish churchyard. Possible, but I have been unable to verify this.

The site is Grade II listed and
British Listed Buildings link the four burials:
Thomas Haworth, d 1800, is one of the four (bur Orchard House, Crawshawbooth)
Thomas Haworth's son in law witnessed the will of James Ormerod, whose grave is described above.
Thomas Haworth was trustee of James Haworth, d 1772, the third of the four (buried Edge End Farm, Constable Lee)
Another of James Haworth's trustees was Richard Ashworth jnr, son of Richard Ashworth snr, the onetime pastor of Sion and the fourth of these private burials (Bur Carr House, Hall Carr)
For good measure, James Ormerod was trustee for the will of James Haworth jnr, son of the James Haworth who was the third of these four.

Got that?

This leads the people at English Heritage to speculate that all four were involved in the same Baptist congregation. Whilst they discuss the Baptist chapel at Goodshaw, if this is true it is more likely to be Sion with Richard Ashworth snr's pastorate there. There are gravestones in Sion dating from before this period so burial there was an option.

Well this is interesting. I haven't (yet!) obtained the wills in question or verified that the James Ormerod in the wills is the same as that in the burial. All the names involved - Ashworth, Ormerod and Haworth - are pretty common locally and untangling them all is some undertaking. More playtime!

But this James Ormerod is plainly described as an Innkeeper. Now Sion at that time was a Strict Baptist church and the temperance movement was strong in Rossendale (reflecting in part the strength of non-conformity, including the Methodists). It would be interesting if there were nonconformist Innkeepers of sufficient piety to prefer burial on private ground.

Except…Sion graveyard also includes the burial stones of the family of Thomas Tattersall, Innkeeper, dated 1873. Of whom more later. But there does appear to have been Innkeepers active in the congregation, at least by this date.