Ann Earnshaw (c.1829-1911) née Cartwright

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project which aims to make content available to researchers in advance of the 175th anniversary of the 1852 Flood which will be commemorated in 2027.


Ann Cartwright was born in Holmfirth, the daughter of John Cartwright and his wife Mary, and was baptised on 31 May 1829 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.

She married clothier John Earnshaw of Cartworth Moor on 25 December 1849 at All Hallows, Kirkburton. At the time, she was living at Underbank, Wooldale. The couple had two children, although the second was born after John's death:

  1. Mary Earnshaw (1850-1914)
  2. Ann Earnshaw (1852-1933)

In 1851 they were living at Burnlee, Upperthong, and John was working as a woollen weaver.

Following the Holmfirth Flood of 1852, John was employed to recover salvage from the mill ponds. It was presumably whilst doing this that he contracted typhoid fever from which he died — probably on 18 March 1852.[1] In an odd coincidence, the Constable of Holmfirth was also named John Earnshaw and his wife Ann died of typhus fever on 19 March, aged 41.[2]

At the time of her husband's death, Ann was pregnant with her second daughter.

Ann's widowed mother, Mary, who "had a very narrow escape from drowning" when the flood waters entered her house, had been left weakened by the experience and also succumbed to the fever that killed her son-in-law, leaving Ann and her seven younger siblings orphaned.

The United Committee of Huddersfield and Holmfirth — "appointed for the collection and management of the funds for the relief of the sufferers by the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir" — had appointed a subcommittee to investigate the circumstances of those orphaned by the flood. They awarded Ann 4 shillings per week for her daughter Mary and then another 4 shillings once her next child (Ann) was born. This would have continued until each child reached the age of 16.

She married widower coal agent Edward Goldthorp of Shepley on 15 February 1855 at All Hallows, Kirkburton. He had a daughter named Emily from his first marriage to Ruth and had a further two children with Ann:

  1. Alice Goldthorp (c.1858-?)
  2. Florence Goldthorp (c.1865-?)

By 1861, they were living at Newtown, Upperthong.

Edward Goldthorp died on 7 June 1899 and was buried at St. John, Upperthong, two days later. He left an estate valued at £871 15s. 9d.

Ann Goldthorp died on 9 September 1911 and was buried at St. John, Upperthong, on 12 September.

Notes and References

  1. It is believed that John's death is referenced in "Holmfirth: Typhus Fever" in Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (20/Mar/1852) — "the head of another family died of the malady on Thursday last". If so, he died on 18 March.
  2. "Deaths" in Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (27/Mar/1852).