Betty Earnshaw (c.1827-1852) née Mettrick

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 1827, the daughter of James Mettrick and his wife Mary.

She married her neighbour Enos Earnshaw[1], 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. It seems extremely likely he was the Englishman Enos Earnshaw who fought in the U.S. Civil War on the side of the Union, having enlisted with the 2nd Regiment of the California Infantry on 5 October 1861. Enos was soon promoted to a Full Corporal in November 1861 and eventually discharged on 4 May 1866 at Presidio, San Francisco. By 1870, Enos 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. 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.[2]

It seems the 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.

Notes and References

  1. Enos Earnshaw was born on 9 January 1821, the son of Joshua and Hannah Earnshaw, and was baptised on 14 March 1821.
  2. Leeds Intelligencer (14/Feb/1852).

Betty Earnshaw (c.1827-1852) née Mettrick


Drowned | People | Victims of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852
This page was last modified on 29 May 2016 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

Search Huddersfield Exposed