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.

RIP

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

One Place Tragedies #2

A week or so ago I posted on the wildlife blog about the damage to the Irwell and its wildlife caused by pollution from the industry along its banks. Some, but by no means all of this was from the collieries part owned by John Ashworth of Springhill.

Bad though this is, unfortunately the damage caused by the collieries is not limited to river pollution.

Wilful damage:
The Blackburn Mail, November 15th 1826 reported what it described as 'a most gross act of mischief' when it was discovered that the rope holding the basket had been almost cut through. Fortunately this was discovered just before the men descended into the pit. Thankfully not quite a #OnePlaceTragedy. Baxenden Pit.

The Accrington Times February 22 1873 reported a fire in the engine house of Black Moss Pit, thought to be caused deliberately by an incendiary device.

Roof falls:
Rossendale Free Press October 14th 1893 described the death of John Towers, aged 26, who was crushed following a roof fall. Some of the roof props had been removed shortly before the roof fall, this was described at the inquest as 'usual'. Baxendedn Pit.

Equipment injuries:
Bacup and Rossendale Times December 5th 1874 reported the death of Richard Hindle, 17, who died after getting his leg caught in the spokes of a flywheel. Black Moor Pit.

Knocked down by wagons:
Accrington Gazette April 19th 1890 described a compound fracture to the leg of Thomas Chadwick when he was hit by wagon whilst walking along a tram line carrying a plank. Huncoat Colliery

Falling down shafts:
Accrington Times March 15th 1884 described the death of John Woods Lambert, 14, who was sitting on the wall surrounding an air shaft when the coping stones gave way, leading to his falling down the shaft. Unfortunately it appears that his body was not found for a week. Black Moss Pit.

Explosions:
Accrington Times April 31st 1870 reported the death of James Hindle, 36, who died after carrying a naked candle into a poorly ventilated area of the pit whilst looking for a spade. Railway Pit. This incident led to the manager being blamed for not appointing a fireman (a charge he refuted) and the pit underlooker being charged with neglect and fined £1. Railway Pit.

Assaults:
Accrington Times September 18th 1869 reported that the prosecution of George Tattersall, collier for assault on Christopher Kenyon, collier, was adjourned due to significant injuries to the latter man. Hole i' th' Bank Pit.

Strikes:
Accrington Times September 18th 1869 also described that colliers had taken strike action following a number of disputes with management. The management had brought in 'strangers' to work the pits. This led to various acts of intimidation by the colliers against the new men, and an assault on a random insurance agent whom the protagonist mistook for the colliery manager. Hole i' th' BankPit

Some of these reports give extra details of the events, often in a degree of technical detail.

These were all in pits managed by Ashworth Hargreaves and Co, latterly Rossendale Collieries and Baxenden Collieries. I am not aware that their safety record was particularly unusual.

One Place Tragedies #1 Eliza Tattersall

February's blog prompt for the Society of One Place Studies is #OnePlaceTragedies. I have posted this before but it bears retelling.

Transcribing the gravestones in Sion I came across a sad story:


gravestone 2 tattersall 3 200

IN
MEMORY
OF
ANN
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
JAMES TATTERSALL
OF BOOTHFOLD
WHO DIED MARCH 27
TH 1873
AGED 26 YEARS
AND OF ELIZA ANN THEIR DAUGHTER
WHO DIED MARCH 26
TH 1873
AGED 1 DAY.

As an obstetric anaesthetist this aroused my curiosity. A baby dies virtually at birth and her mother the day after. What could have gone on? Common causes of maternal mortality in C19 were puerperal sepsis and post partum haemorrhage but usually in those cases the baby survives. Eclampsia, involving high blood pressure, fits and kidney problems often caused the death of both mothers and babies so this was a possibility. Obstructed labour was a relatively uncommon cause of both maternal and infant mortality.

Speculation over, I ordered the birth certificates.
Eliza Ann Tattersall d 26th March 1873 aged 12 hours Atelectesis Pulmonium since birth.
Ann Tattersall d 27th March 1873 aged 26 years Morbus cordis, unknown, Partuition, Failure of heart's action. 36 hours.

So Eliza's death was relatively straightforward. She was born in poor condition, needed resuscitation at birth (which she probably didn't receive) and never established a regular pattern of breathing. 'Atelectesis plutonium' means 'collapsed, non-inflated lungs'.

So far so clear but why was Eliza born in poor condition? Unfortunately her mother's death certificate doesn't really help us here. 'Morbus Cordis' of unknown cause…well that could be secondary to severe infection. Alternatively primary heart failure secondary to pregnancy does occur, it is relatively uncommon but the prognosis in 1873 would have been very poor. So I will go with sepsis, but that is pretty much an educated guess.

Whatever happened that left a father who suddenly lost both his wife and child. Thomas Tattersall, licensed victualler, b ~ 1846 was the landlord of the Pack Horse Hotel, Boothfold. The couple had another daughter, Alice, b ~ 1870.

Which leads to another question. Sion was known for many years for its association with the teetotal movement and the Band of Hope - interesting therefore that a publican's family were buried there and that he is not with them…

Springhill Landmarks #2

Whilst not exactly a landmark as such, Springhill House is the most prominent building in Springhill and described by estate agents as the 'principle building' in the area. It is not the oldest - Polefield Cottage being dated 1642 - but is the largest and most obvious, being described in newspaper reports as 'handsome and commodious'.

It was probably built in the late 1830s. It is present on an OS map surveyed in 1840 and enumerated by name (thank you!) in the 1841 census. There is a conveyance between Charlotte Ann Hargreaves and John Ashworth for land in Springhill in 1834 but that may have been for other reasons.

The original house was extended in the 1850s, it is thought when the spinster lady who lived there married and the household acquired a larger number of servants. The extension is a different type of stone to the original. Part of the extension, now Lawn House, can be seen here with Springhill House to the right.



Lawn house


The driveway originally swept round a front lawn to come to the front of the house. The lawn was removed and turned into a car park in the 1960s when Springhill House was used as a Nursing Home. To the right of Springhill House is an arched passage under the first floor of the building, this would have led through to the stabling.


to back of the cot