Charles Earnshaw (1816-1852)

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.

Charles Earnshaw was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


He was born on 11 February 1816, the son of Joshua Earnshaw and his wife Hannah (née Earnshaw), and was baptised on 23 March 1816 at Holmfirth Wesleyan Chapel.

At the time of the 1851 Census, he was residing on Water Street with his parents. His mother died a few weeks later and was buried on 2 July 1851 at St. David's Church, Holmbridge.

Also residing in the Earnshaw residence in the 1851 Census was Ann Earnshaw Beaumont (aged 12) who was named as the granddaughter of Joshua Earnshaw. She may have been the illegitimate daughter of Charles and a woman named Ann Beaumont — if so, Ann chose to leave Charles' name off the girl's birth certificate.


Together with his father and also Ann Earnshaw Beaumont, Charles Earnshaw was killed when a flood devastated the properties on Water Street in the early hours of 5 February 1852.

Charles' body was found soon afterwards by John Earnshaw of Newtown (Holmfirth) at about 1:40am "in a house belonging to Betty Turner, under the office of Mr. Kidd, of Newtown".[1] The body was taken to the Crown Hotel where it was formally identified by Charles' uncle Emery Earnshaw.[2]

John Earnshaw, residing at Holmfirth, stated that he found the body of Charles Earnshaw, aged 30, shortly before two o'clock on Thursday morning, in a house occupied by Betty Turner, situated under Mr. Kidd's office. The woman and the rest of the occupants managed to escape. At the period he referred to, the water had, in a great measure, subsided, so that he found himself in no danger.
   —"Adjourned Inquest: Friday" in Halifax Guardian (14/Feb/1852)

He was buried on Monday 9 February at St. David, Holmbridge, in the same plot as some of the members of Jonathan Crosland's family.

Notes and References

  1. "The Inquest" in Leeds Intelligencer (14/Feb/1852).
  2. The 1851 Census lists Emery Earnshaw (1805-1877) as a joiner residing at Brown Hill Late, Cartworth, and he was Joshua Earnshaw's younger half-brother. The Leeds Intelligencer (14/Feb/1852) misnamed the person who identified the bodies as "Henry Earnshaw".