Hannah Bailey (1824-1852) née Crookes

Hannah Bailey (née Crookes) was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852, together with two of her children.


Hannah Crookes was born on 22 May 1824 in Sheffield, the daughter of silversmith Thomas Crookes and his wife Mary, and was baptised on 20 June 1824 at Sheffield Cathedral.

She married tailor Aner Bailey (1812-1895)[1] (sometimes given as Anor), son of Abraham and Martha Bailey, on 24 October 1843 in Sheffield. They seemingly had two children:

In the aftermath of the flood, a number of newspaper articles reported that the body of a newly-born baby had been found, with some linking it to the Bailey family. However, at the inquest, Aner Bailey made no reference to the baby or to his wife having recently been pregnant. It remains uncertain if the baby was an invention of the press or if the body was one of the other infants who perished in the flood, such as 3 month old George Hartley.

The 1851 Census lists the couple living at Upperbridge, Upperthong, with Aner's mother shopkeeper, widow Martha Bailey (aged 73).[2]


Hannah and her daughters died in the early hours of 5 February 1852 when a devastating flood swept through the area.

The bodies of Hannah and one of her daughters — presumably Martha, although not specifically named in newspaper reports — were found by J. M. Woodhead and taken to the Rose and Crown, Thonsbridge, where they were identified by Aner Bailey.[3]

Ann Bailey was initially reported amongst the names of those still missing and it seems that her body had not been recovered when the inquest began, as it was reported that Aner "believed the eldest of his children had been buried in the New Churchyard at Victoria Bridge", which implies he thought that someone else had already buried Ann's body at the Holmfirth Wesleyan Chapel on Victoria Street.

The body of a young girl was initially identified to the inquest as Ellen Ann Hartley by one of her surviving sisters, due to the distinctive "cowlick" hair. However, newspaper reports then stated that an "Abraham Bailey" had then identified the body as his daughter Ann and taken it for burial — this is presumably a misreporting of "Aner Bailey".

If the newspaper descriptions of Ellen Ann Hartley ("light-coloured hair, very much turned up in front") and Ann Bailey ("thick and dark hair about 2½ inches long ; a little scorbutic eruption on one eye") are accurate, it raises the distinct possibility Aner had claimed the body of Ellen Ann Hartley.

Aner buried his wife and daughter Martha at Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth, on 9 February, but then buried the child he had identified as Ann separately at St. John the Evangelist, Upperthong, on the same day.

Following his wife's death, Aner Bailey moved to Cartworth, Holmfirth, and he died in July 1895, aged 83. He was buried at St. John the Evangelist, Upperthong, on 26 July. The Chronicle noted that Aner had never remarried, and had become a recluse.

The ruins of Aner Bailey's house, which was next to the bridge in Holmfirth known as Upperbridge, "a portion of which had been carried away by the great flood", collapsed in the early hours of Wednesday 1 September 1852 with a "loud and terrific noise resembling a hurricane."[4]

Notes and References

  1. Born 08 April 1812 and baptised 03 June 1812 at Lane Chapel, Upperthong. Died 24 July 1895, leaving effects worth £1,203 18s. 8d. Buried 26 July at St. John, Upperthong.
  2. Aner's mother, Martha Bailey died in 1835, aged 75.
  3. The Chronicle mistakenly reported that the bodies had been identified by "Ann Bailey".
  4. "Falling of a Building" in Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (04/Sep/1852).

Hannah Bailey (1824-1852) née Crookes


Drowned | People | Victims of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852
This page was last modified on 15 April 2016 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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