Founding families

The Society for One Place Studies holds a shared endeavour every year in which members work in parallel on the same topic and share ideas and resources in doing so. The theme for 2019 is 'founding families' i.e. those families which were instrumental in establishing your place or its early development.

For Springhill the obvious place to start is with the tenants of Deadwenclough when the area emerged from Forest law in 1507. These were Jurden Brugge, James Crawsha, William Holt and Thomas Crawsha, of whom more later.

However these men weren't the first to live in the area and a document of 1295/6 (cited in Shaw, Royal Forests of Lancashire) lists the vaccary keepers for Rossendale as Henry of the Estock, John of Pycoppe, John son of Odousa, Robert of Couhoppe, Richard of Dunnockshae, Richard of Bencrofte, Thomas of the Estok, Henry of Houghton, William of Dynley, Alan of Rocliff and William son of Andrew.

Not much to go on there then.

Of these, Henry of the Estock is named as 'Sub-Insturator for Rossendale'. He was also the tenant of the pinfold in Dedwenclough (one of two in Rossendale) in 1324. Elsewhere he is recorded as Henry of the Stocks so his name may indicate his profession rather than his origin.

Pycoppe may be related to Pickup Bank on the moor east of Blackburn. Couhoppe is Cowpe, now a village south of the Irwell near what is now Waterfoot. Dunnockshaw is between Rossendale and Burnley, Houghton near Bolton and Rocliff not far from Rochdale. Bencrofte and Dynley I don't know.

I don't think I've much chance with john son of Odousa and even less with William son of Andrew.

By 1305/6 the vaccary tenants were William on Dynlay, John of Cleges, Richard of Dunnockschae, Henry of the Stocks, Alan Franceys, Haney of Berdeshul, Thomas of the Stockes, Henry of Dynley, William Cronschage, Henry of the Reved and Robert of Couhope.

There had obviously been a degree of movement in the 7 years between the two lists, with five of the tenants being the same and six being new. Henry of Dynley and William of Dynley may have been brothers, or father and son, or…

We will remember then

Springhill, like many areas, saw man serve in WW1 and some of these men did not return:
Harry Dawson,
James Driver
Harry Hart
Thomas Harvey
Wellington Pilkington
William Plaice
Joseph Taylor
Fred Taylor

Harry Hart was the brother of John Hart who bought the Springhill estate in 1923.

In 2018, to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice, Rossendale, in common with many other areas, ran a scheme whereby poppies could be affixed to lampposts and dedicated to individuals or groups of servicemen. A number of these were fixed in Springhill or vicinity.



The following poppies are in the wider Higher Cloughfold area :

In memory of Jim Barnes, sponsored by Pam Barnes
Sponsored by Sion Baptist x3
Sponsored by Ruth Spencer, in memory of James Spencer
Sponsored by Andrew, Joan and Fudge Ainsworth. Dedicated to the soldiers, dogs and horses who never came home.
In memory of George and Nellie Livesey, sponsored by Steven Ireland
Sponsored by Jane Yates, dedicated to Melvyn Poole
In memory of Roger Jones, battle of the Somme, sponsored by Clarence Jones machinery Co Ltd
Sponsored by the Dempsy family, lest we forget
Sponsored by Steve and Sandy Kerfoot, in memory of Richard Henry Kerfoot

Whatever the weather


Springhill, like many places in the UK, is currently experiencing sub-zero temperatures and a few inches of snow and, whilst not particularly severe compared with other places, has left one resident at least somewhat exposed.

Mac 670


Thankfully severe weather events are relatively rare in the Springhill area but a flood in 1911 caused a lot of damage. As ever the local press report it graphically, as this extract from the Rossendale Echo demonstrates:
'Tremendous storms were experienced in Rossendale on Saturday and Sunday and it is almost miraculous that there was no loss of life. Ominous clouds began to gather about 7 o’clock on Saturday night and soon after rain came down in torrents and soon the streets were like rivers. On Sunday noon there was another great storm.
...
In Cloughfold district a great amount of damage was done and on Saturday evening an alarming incident occurred. It was rumoured that a man had been killed on the railway but it appears that the driver of the train from Bacup to Manchester due at Cloughfold at 10.40 pm, FELT THE TRAIN JUMP near Highfield crossing and a subsequent inspection of the line proved that a large quantity of debris had been brought down the line by the storm. What the consequences would have been had the train left the track is too fearful to contemplate. On Sunday the storm was again very severe at Cloughfold. At the top of Hareholme Lane a goit burst and the water ran down the street past the corner of what was formerly the Friendship Inn into Bacup Road like a raging torrent carrying all before it. People in the street barricaded their doors as well as they could but in many cases it ran in at one door and out the other and both husbands and wives had a very busy time with brooms endeavouring to keep it out... soon Bacup Road was like a river and pedestrians had much difficulty getting across...at Higher Cloughfold tons of debris was brought from the hill and deposited near Sion Baptist Chapel.... '
(Rossendale Echo 17 May 1911)

The ‘tons of debris’ is shown in this photograph of Edge Lane:

flood edge lane

Bridging the Gap pt 4: Richard of Meadow Head

Of the two Bridge families enumerated at Meadowhead in 1841, Richard also had nonconformist tendencies although he appears to have been something of a spiritual gypsy.

He was born in October 1802 (to John and Ellin Bridge of Chapel) and baptised over a year later in November 1803 at St Mary and All Saints C of E at Goodshaw. Goodshaw is about 2 miles over the moor (or 3 along the hillside) from Chapel Hill. The Goodshaw parish registers don't state whether he was 'of this chapelry' or not. A delayed baptism may have indicated a degree of ambivalence towards baptism on the part of his parents, certainly there is no hint in the register of the family having 'saved up' children for a joint baptism in Nov 1803 although I haven't yet searched the entire register - another job to do.

He married Susan Lord in the parish church at Haslingden (St James). They are described of being 'of this chapelry' although Richard was 'of Meadowhead' and Susan of 'Heightside, Higher Booths'. Heightside is along the hillside between Chapel Hill and Goodshaw and it is surprising that they were in the Haslingden Chapelry when both Goodshaw and Newchurch St Nicholas are nearer.

At some stage they must have embraced nonconformity as five of their seven children were registered at Sion Baptist Church, Cloughfold, on the register surrendered by the pastor there at the commencement of civil registration in 1837. One of these children died age 9 and was buried in the Friends' burial ground in Chapel Hill. Richard himself was buried there in 1844 although there is no evidence of their ever having been Friends and he is noted to have been a non-member. It is unclear why he chose to be buried there rather than in the graveyard at Sion. Perhaps it being literally feet from his home may have been a factor.

This doesn't get me much further in Bridging the Gap to C17 but does suggest that there may have been a relationship between George at Chapel Hill and Richard at Meadowhead, as they both decided to dedicate their children in the Baptist chapel. Alternatively they may have just both been neighbours who influenced each other. Either way, Richard and an interesting spiritual journey.

Bridging the Gap pt 3: Bridges in Chapel Hill

The 1841 census enumerates Abel/John Bridge as resident with his family in Chapel Hill. We know from the nonconformist returns at the start of civil registration (R4 998) that he was there at least between 1824 and 1837. He may well have been there in 1821 when his eldest daughter was born and remained there until the 1841 census.

The 1841 census also enumerates 14 other families containing a Bridge member within 2 miles of Chapel Hill, with another shedload in the few miles just beyond. Most striking however are the two Bridge families enumerated at Meadow Head Farm, the next one along the hill to Chapel Hill.

HO 107/506/13/22/16
Meadow Head
Lower Booths
Richard
Bridge

35

1806

Yes

Woollen Weaver
Susan
Bridge

35

1806

Yes


James

Bridge

14

1827

Yes

Woollen Weaver
Anne
Bridge

12

1829

Yes


Abel

Bridge

7

1834

Yes


Susan

Bridge

3

1838

Yes


Jane

Hamer

2

1839

Yes







(born in county?)


HO 107/506/13/23/18
Meadow Head
Lower Booths
John
Bridge

35

1806

Yes

Woollen Weaver
Margaret
Bridge

35

1806

Yes


George

Bridge

5

1836

Yes


James

Bridge

2

1839

Yes


Abel

Bridge
1 M

1841


Yes


John

Taylor

15

1826


Woollen Weaver

Margaret
Taylor

13

1828


Woollen Spinner

Richard
Taylor

11

1830


Woollen Piecer


The rounding in the 1841 census gives approximate dates of birth but Abel/John is rounded to1796 and both John and Richard are rounded to 1806 so there could be a 15 year difference here.

The 1851 census gives John Bridge's dob as 1803 and also confirms that the Taylor children were his step children. It also gives another son, Siddall Bridge, b 1849. I wonder if there were any between Abel and Siddall who didn't survive?
John was still at Meadowhead. [HO 107/2249/246/133/2].

Richard Bridge had died before 1851 and Susan was living in Musbury approx 3 miles away, close to Haslingden where she was born. [HO107/2249/339/429/21] Helpfully her son James was living in the same street and gave his place of birth as Meadowhead [HO107/2249/339/429/20].

So we have three Bridge families in adjacent farms:
John/Abel b ~ 1796
John b 1803
Richard b ~ 1806

So how were they related?