Amos Tyas (1833-1914)

Amos Tyas was a farmer and manufacturer of Kirkheaton.


He was born on 3 May 1833, the son of weaver John Tyas of Cockley Hill, Kirkheaton, and his wife Sarah. He was baptised on 14 July 1833 at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton.

He married Elizabeth Lee, the daughter of mason Abraham Lee of Norland, on 26 November 1854 in Elland. The couple had five known children:

In the mid-1860s, he had formed a partnership with Joseph Smith of Marsh and they had purchased land in Shop Lane, Kirkhearton, from the Senior family, which included "a house and a garden, warehouse, press shop, store and reeling room, cart shed, stable and yard" along with "a dyehouse, with two closes of land."[6] However, it seems the pair then sold it on to Hefford Ainley and William Henry Lord in 1869, who expanded the business.

In February 1869, Tyas was summoned to Huddersfield Police Court to "show cause why he should not contribute to the support of his father and mother, John and Sarah Tyas." The relieving officer, Mr. Mellor, "stated that Tyas had consented to an order for the payment of 1s. 6d. per week, and that there were other members of the family who had agreed to pay their share."[7]

By 1871, Tyas had moved to nearby Stafford Hill and was listed in the census as a "manufacturer employing 3 boys and 3 girls."

Unfortunately the business was failing by October 1873 and in February the following year, "fancy woollen manufacturer" Amos Tyas filed a petition for the liquidation of his affairs at the Huddersfield County Court. The declared liabilities were estimated at £800.[8] A meeting of the creditors was held on 16 March and Tyas' liabilities were calculated at £714 8s. 2d. with assets of £60, although Tyas was expecting to receive some additional assets relating to the improvements he had made to his business premises.[9]

An auction of the debtor's "household furniture and effects" was held on 15 April.[10] On the same day, a case was heard at the County Court as to the accuracy of Tyas' statements regarding his affairs and assets.[11]

On the evening of 12 January 1880, Tyas was walking with a friend named Wilson along Wakefield Road in Lepton. The pair were unfamiliar with the area, but had been given directions to turn off Wakefield Road onto Makin Lane. In the gloom of the evening at around 8:30pm, they reached the junction but were unaware that there was a sudden drop from the pavement onto the lane, which was normally avoided by walking a little further on, and Wilson tumbled over. He called out "Take care, there's something wrong," but Tyas had already stepped over the edge and fell four feet, breaking his leg and sustaining other lesser injuries.

After recovering from his injuries, Tyas initiated an action in October 1880 against the Lepton Field Co-operative Society, who owned the land at the corner where he had fallen, with a claim of £50 for personal injuries. In their defence, it was argued that by cutting across the corner of the junction, Wilson and Tyas had trespassed onto the Society's property and therefore they could not be liable for the injury — this was accepted by the Judge.[12]

In October 1894, he was fined 6 shillings for allowing a horse to stray on the highway at Kirkheaton.[13]

He was nominated for the Kirkheaton District Council in December 1894, but failed to secure enough votes.[14]

A violent thunder storm passed over the district in late June 1895, flooding the low-lying areas. Afterwards, a cow valued at £20 belong to Tyas was found dead in a field by North Hill. It was reported that the animal had been struck by lightning whilst grazing.[15]

Elizabeth Tyas died on 20 February 1909, aged 79, and was buried on 24 February at St. John the Baptist.

Mary Elizabeth Tyas continued to live at home and looked after her father in his final years.

Amos Tyas died aged 81 and was buried on 3 November 1914 at St. John the Baptist.

Census Returns

year address details
1841 Gidroyd, Kirkheaton aged 10, living with parents and siblings
1851 Gidroyd, Kirkheaton cloth finisher (17) living with his parents and siblings
1861 31 Shop Lane, Kirkheaton fancy woollen and cloth manufacturer (27), living with his wife (31) and their children Abraham Lee (3) and Ada (2)
1871 Stafford Hill, Kirkheaton manufacturer employing 3 boys and 3 girls (37), living with his wife (42) and their children Abraham Lee (13), Emily (8) and Mary Elizabeth (7), and their servant Ellen Cliffe (18)
1881 Stafford Hill, Kirkheaton woollen manufacturer and farmer of 16 acres (47), living with his wife (50) and their children railway clerk Abraham Lee (23), teacher Emily (18), teacher Mary Elizabeth (17) and Frederick (8)
1891 Stafford Hill, Kirkheaton farmer (57), living with his wife (62), their children Mary Elizabeth (27) and Frederick (18), and their servant Eliza A. Naylor (14)
1901 Stafford Hill, Kirkheaton farmer (72), living with his wife (67) and spinster daughter Mary Elizabeth (37)
1911 Stafford Hill, Kirkheaton retired farmer (77), living with his spinster daughter Mary Elizabeth (47)

Notes and References

  1. Born 21 April 1875 and baptised 31 May 1831 at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton.
  2. Born 9 June 1859.
  3. Born 19 April 1862 and baptised 27 May 1873 at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton. Married 12 October 1883 to railway clerk (later a wool merchant) Tom Blackburn Sykes.
  4. Born 16 February 1864 and baptised 18 May 1864 at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton. Buried 18 April 1938 at St. John the Baptist.
  5. Born 8 May 1872 and baptised 9 August 1872 at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton. Married Mary Elizabeth Edwardes.
  6. Huddersfield Mills: A Textile Heritage (2004) by Vivien Teasdale, page 83.
  7. "Kirkheaton: Enforced Contribution to the Support of Parents" in Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Feb/1869).
  8. "Local News: Failure" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Feb/1874).
  9. Bradford Observer (17/Mar/1874) and "Meetings of the Creditors" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (17/Mar/1874).
  10. "Sales by Auction" in Huddersfield Chronicle (11/Apr/1874).
  11. "The Liquidation of the Affairs of Amos Tyas, Manufacturer, Kirkheaton" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (16/Apr/1874).
  12. "Tyas v. Lepton Field Co-operative Society" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (19/Oct/1880).
  13. "County Police Court: A Horse that Strayed" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (03/Oct/1894).
  14. "The New District Councils" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (17/Dec/1894).
  15. "Kirkheaton: The Storm" in Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Jun/1895).