Betty Earnshaw (c.1826-1852) née Mettrick

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.

Betty Earnshaw (née Mettrick) was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852, along with her son Abel, and other members of her family.


Betty Metterick was born around 1826, the daughter of James Mettrick and his first wife Mary, and was baptised on 26 November 1826.

She married her neighbour Enos Earnshaw on 30 April 1843 at All Hallows, Kirkburton. They had one known child:

Enos Earnshaw travelled to New York aboard the Elizabeth Denison in July 1846 and seemingly never returned. By 1870, he had apparently remarried and was a yarn dresser residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The 1851 Census lists Betty and Abel residing on Water Street, Hinchliffe Mill, with her father James. In total, there were 14 people living in the property, 9 of whom perished in the Holmfirth Flood the following year.


Betty Earnshaw died in the early hours of 5 February 1852, along with her son, when a devastating flood killed many of the residents of Water Street.

Her naked body was found by James Clegg in the River Calder at Mirfield later on the same day as the flood and taken to the Ship Inn, Mirfield. A local coroner, Mr. Lee, held an inquest with a verdict of "found drowned". A short while later, a relative arrived and identified the body.[1]

It seems her surviving relatives were not able to afford to transport Betty's body back to Holmfirth and she was buried on 7 February at St. Mary's Church in Mirfield.[2]

Notes and References

  1. Leeds Intelligencer (14/Feb/1852).
  2. Leeds Mercury (14/Feb/1852)