Hannah Maria Hoyle (1849-?) née Cartwright

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.

Hannah Maria Cartwright was one of the eleven 1852 Flood Orphans.


Hannah Maria Cartwright was born on 13 June 1849, the youngest daughter of clothier John Cartwright and his wife Mary, and was baptised on 5 August 1849 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.

In 1851, she was living with her widowed mother and siblings at Newtown, Holmfirth.

During the early hours of 5 February 1852, the failure of the Bilberry Reservoir embankment caused a torrent of water to flood down the Holme Valley. The Cartwright's home was flooded and widow Mary "had a very narrow escape from drowning" — she later died from typhoid fever, which she likely caught from from her son-in-law John Earnshaw.

The United Committee of Huddersfield and Holmfirth — "appointed for the collection and management of the funds for the relief of the sufferers by the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir" — had appointed a subcommittee to investigate the circumstances of those orphaned by the flood. Hannah Maria was awarded 5s per week until she reached the age of 16.

By 1861, she was living with her sister Emma at the house of her married sister Betty and her husband wool slubber Martin Hoyle. She was still living with the Hoyles in 1871, by which time her brother Johnson had moved in.

At the time of the 1881 Census, she was working as a burler and boarding at a property at Bradley Mills, Huddersfield.

After her sister Betty died, she married her widowed brother-in-law Martin Hoyle (aged 54) on 26 October 1885 at St. John, Kirkburton. This was an unlawful marriage under the Marriage Act 1835 which disallowed widowers from marrying their dead wife's sisters.

It seems likely Martin died in 1888, aged 57. It is uncertain what happened to Harrah Maria after that.[1]

Notes and References

  1. The are local marriages recorded for "Hannah Maria Hoyle"s in Q4 1890 and Q2 1898 although neither can be confidently attributed to her.