Holmfirth Flood of 1852 - Timeline

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.
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The following is a timeline of events relating to the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.

Notes:

  • any times of the day specified are based on contemporary reports and will sometimes be approximations
  • ages shown in parentheses are based on the person's known date of birth, the 1851 Census, burial records or on newspaper reports
  • secondary victims are shown in italics

1852

Wednesday 4 February

Thursday 5 February

1am

2am

3am

  • Eliza Matthews (12) found "under James Lee’s window, at Rocher Bottom" by James Bailey
  • Mary Ann Hartley (40) found "in the ash tree at Brockholes, near the bridge"

6am

7am

  • Ellen Wood (22) found "in Mr. Dyson’s gig-house, near the mill dam" by John Mate

8am

  • Joshua Charlesworth (16) "taken from the water at eight o’clock on Thursday morning, opposite Ribbledon Mill" by Joseph Clegg
  • Joshua Earnshaw (72) found "Wooldale side of the river, about 300 yards [below] Thongsbridge" by Joseph Turner

9am

  • Hannah Dodd (30) found at "edge of Upper Mill dam" by Thomas Haigh
  • body of an unknown girl (aged 4 or 5) was found in Victoria Street (Holmfirth) by John Shaw of Upperbridge — subsequently buried unidentified

during the morning

during the early afternoon

  • Elizabeth Hartley (3) found "washed under the floor" of "mill bottom belonging to Wimpenny & Woodhead, at Thongsbridge" by George Brook

3pm

  • Eliza Marsden (47) found "in the wreckage at Higgin Bridge" by Thomas Haigh

during the day

  • James Booth (60), wife Nancy (44) and lodger William Healey (46) found in their house at Fold Gate by Jonathan Roberts
  • Lydia Brook (28) and daughter Hannah (10) found in their house at Fold Gate by Jonathan Roberts
  • Jonathan Crosland (39) found "washed into the Victoria Mill" by John Kenyon
  • Betty Earnshaw (25) found in the River Calder at Mirfield by James Clegg
  • Joshua Earnshaw (72) found "near Thongs Bridge, about 30 yards from the river" by Joseph Turner of Hagg
  • John Hinchliffe of Thongs Bridge assisted in the recovery of the bodies of Tamar Shackleton and her son James which were found at "Lincroft"

Friday 6 February

9am

  • formal inquest begins with jury selection at the Railway Tavern after which they view the bodies (starting at Armitage Bridge and working their way back to Hincliffe Mill), taking evidence as to their finding and identification, until mid-afternoon

3pm

  • inquest jury meets at Holmfirth Town Hall where coroner George Dyson addresses them upon their duties before adjourning until Wednesday 18 February

during the day

Saturday 7 February

during the day

  • Sarah Hannah Dodd (1) found in "mill dam, below Hinchliffe Mill" by Firth Barber
  • Emily Sandford (3) found in "Holmfirth Mill dam" by Thomas Fallas
  • Lydia Greenwood (46) "found with her head inside the door of James Haigh's house, at Hollowgate" by Benjamin Roebuck
  • Charles Crosland found in the "dam of Bottoms Mill"
  • Nancy Marsden found "in the ruins of the destroyed cottages" on Water Street
  • coroner George Dyson holds inquests over 13 bodies

burials

Sunday 8 February

burials

Monday 9 February

in the morning

burials

Tuesday 10 February

10am

  • Samuel Greenwood (47) found in Holmfirth Mill (Mill Hill) "embedded in black mud" "behind a washing machine in the mill" by John Rowbottom
  • body of a "new born babe" found near Hinchliffe Mill

burials

Wednesday 11 February

burials

Friday 13 February

  • Alfred Ashall (1) found "at Stanley Ferry, two miles below Wakefield"

Saturday 14 February

8am

  • Samuel Mettrick (21) found by workmen "clearing the goit belonging to Mr. Farrar, Uppermill"

during the day

  • Mary Mettrick (37) found at Armitage Mill (possibly in the mill race?)

Sunday 15 February

burials

Monday 16 February

burials

Tuesday 17 February

burials

Friday 20 February

10am

  • Jonathan Sandford (45) found "near the tail goit of Messrs. Robinson's mill, Thongsbridge"

3pm

  • Grace Hirst Shackleton (4) found "in an upright position and buried up to her armpits in mud at Lower Mytholm Bridge dam"

Saturday 21 February

burials

Saturday 28 February

Sunday 29 February

Tuesday 2 March

burials

Wednesday 3 March

burials

Saturday 6 March

evening

Wednesday 19 March

10am

Friday 26 March

  • Ann Earnshaw, wife of Holmfirth constable John Earnshaw, dies of typhus fever

Sunday 28 March

burials

Friday 2 April

during the day

Wednesday 14 April

burials

Wednesday 21 April

during the day

Friday 2 July

Tuesday 6 July

burials


  1. Likely another name for the Ancient Order of Shepherds.