Ellen Wood (c.1830-1852)

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.

Ellen Wood was a housemaid who perished in the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


She was born around 1830 in Shepley, the daughter of weaver Matthew Wood and his wife Bathsheba (née Hirst), who were married on 25 December 1823 at Kirkburton.

The 1841 Census lists her living with her parents and siblings at High Moor House, Shepley. Matthew died prior to the 1851 Census[1], which listed Bathsheba as a widow residing at Bankside, Shelley.

By 1851, Ellen was working as the housekeeper for Jonathan Sandford at Dyson's Mill, Holmfirth.


Along with Jonathan Sandford and his two daughters, Ellen Wood was killed by the devastating flood that swept down the valley in the early hours of 5 February 1852.

Her naked body was found in Mr. Dyson's gig-house, near the mill dam, at around 7am on the day of the flood by John Maite[2] and taken to the White Hart Inn in Holmfirth, where it was formally identified by her widowed mother, Bethsheba.

At the inquest when the bodies were formally identified, it was reported that Bethsheba "appeared to labour under great mental anguish".[3]

No burial record was located for Ellen during research.[4]

Bethsheba remarried on 21 July 1856 to widower weaver George Tyne at All Hallows, Kirkburton. She died in August 1868 and was buried on 26 August at St. Paul, Shepley,

Notes and References

  1. He is possibly the Matthew Wood whose death was recorded in Q4 Huddersfield,
  2. Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (14/Feb/1852).
  3. "The Fatal Flood at Holmfirth" in Halifax Guardian (14/Feb/1852).
  4. Bethsheba was buried at St. Paul, Shepley following her death in 1868. However, there is no burial record for Ellen at that church. Bethsheba is listed in Shelley township (Kirkburton parish) in 1851 census but there was no church there at that time nor is there a burial record for Ellen at Kirkburton.