Hannah Shackleton (1843-1852)

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.

Hannah Shackleton was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.

Biography

She was born on 17 July 1843, the daughter of joiner Richard Shackleton and his wife Tamar (née Green), and was baptised on 30 March 1845 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.

By 1851, the family were living at Mill Hill in Holmfirth.

Death

With the exception of her older sister (who resided with Tamar's parents), the Shackleton family was killed in the early hours of 5 February 1852 when the Bilberry Reservoir burst its embankment.

The Huddersfield Chronicle reported on the destruction at Holmfirth Mill (Mill Hill):[1]

Immediately adjoining four cottages are swept down, and twelve lives lost. In the first house, occupied by Mr. Firth Thewlis, the family are all saved, as also the family in the second house, tenanted by Mr. John Tate ; but in the third house, occupied by Mr. Sidney Hartley, his wife, and family of nine persons, the whole of the inmates are lost, excepting four sons, who escaped on a portion of the roof left standing. The fourth house, occupied by Mr. Richard Shackleton, has suffered serious damage, and Mr. Shackleton, his wife, and three children are all drowned.

Hannah's body was found by John Crosland of Holmbridge and taken to the Rose and Crown Inn, Holmfirth. It was reported that her "head was completely covered with wreck" and that she "had on two pairs of stockings". At the inquest, her body was also identified by John Brook of Underhill.

Together with Tamar and James, she was buried on Monday 9 February at St. John's Church, Upperthong. The Loyal "Yorkshireman" Lodge No. 204 of the Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity) who met at the White Hart Inn in Holmfirth provided £5 towards the burial costs.

The family's gravestone is inscribed with the following:[2]

In Memory Of

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS,
HUSBAND, WIFE AND CHILDREN,
WHO RESIDED AT MILL HILL, HOLMFIRTH,
all of whom were Drowned in the Flood
caused by the
BURSTING OF THE BILBERRY RESERVOIR
on Thursday Morning,
the Fifth Day of February, 1852.

RICHARD SHACKLETON,
Aged 31 years;
He was found at Ferry Bridge
on Saturday, February 28th.

TAMER SHACKLETON,
Aged 33 Years;
found Feb 5th at Thongsbridge.

HANNAH SHACKLETON,
Aged 8 Years;
found Feb 5th near Thongsbridge.

GRACE HIRST SHACKLETON,
Aged 4 Years;
found Feb 20th, near Thongsbridge.

JAMES SHACKLETON,
Aged 1 Year;
found Feb 5th near Thongsbridge.

ALSO Ann Shackleton Niece of the
above, who died May 25th 1863,
aged 18 Years.

ERECTED BY JAMES SHACKLETON,
FATHER OF THE ABOVE NAMED RICHARD SHACKLETON.

Notes and References

  1. "Awful Catastrophe and Fearful Loss of Life at Holmfirth" in Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Feb/1852).
  2. Inscription copied from a photograph taken by Elizabeth Lockwood.