One Place Women #2 women philanthropists

My second foray into one-place women considers two women of Springhill and associated area who were active philanthropists, either in their lifetime or via their estate.

The first of these is Mary Ann Ashworth of Springhill House. She inherited land and associated income from her mother and further land/income from her father, plus his share in the profits of a number of coal mines. Five years after her father's death she married Charles Patrick, entering a settlement in anticipation of marriage prior to this to ensure her interests in her assets were protected.

She always maintained an interest in the land left to her by her mother and its associated community, known as Edgeside and about a mile from Springhill. As that community grew over time she endowed land and finance for a school and laid the foundation stone in 1872 'with full masonic ceremonial'. The school opened in 1873 and was further licensed for Anglican worship in 1876. She later identified land for a church and parsonage but died (in 1883) before their completion in 1885. Her husband willed that a stained glass window be installed in the church in their memory, this was done in 1903, some nine years after his death.

The second lady is Bathsheba Davenport who lived near Springhill. She died in 1893, a spinster aged 75, and left money in her will to establish a charity for the benefit of 'such blind persons' who are 'deserving objects' in the judgement of her Trustees and who are members of or attend any of the chapels and churches in Cloughfold, Mill End, Newchurch and Waterfoot. Such individuals were paid five shillings per week for life or the period of their blindness. The Trust ceased in 2007 and I don't know if it ever paid out.

Two very different women who almost certainly knew each other and probably worshipped at the same church. One inherited money and standing in the community, the other worked to obtain it. One entered legal settlements to protect her interests prior to marriage, the other remained unmarried and thus had control of her own assets. One donated or left money (and land) for tangible charitable purposes, the other established a charity. One gave during her lifetime, the other may have done so but we just don't know. They both used their wills to direct their philanthropy.

One Place Women #1 Lydia Trillo

At the start of March's One Place Women blogging prompts, I was saddened to read of the death of Lydia Jane Patterson, nee Trillo.

Lydia was born in 1950, the second daughter of Ernest and Nora Trillo. Her family lived for a while at the Red Lion Hotel in Higher Cloughfold, just across the road from Springhill. She attended Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, leaving in 1968 and was house captain for her house, Brook. On leaving BRGS Lydia initially trained as a teacher and taught in Keighley, St Helens and Southport. She then retrained in computer sciences at Cheltenham and Gloucester College, working in a number of places in the Gloucester area including GCHQ before becoming Senior Lecturer in Computing and IT at Wolverhampton University. She then pursued her computing career in Orange County, California, where she died on 14 February 2021.

Lydia married William Patterson in 1977 in the Hyndburn and Rossendale RD.


(Some of this material is taken from Lydia's obituary in the Rossendale Free Press, 26/2/21.)

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