John Bell (1839-1877)

John Bell was an excavator who died of a suspected heart attack during the construction of the confluence works at Brow Grains, Meltham.


He was born in 1839, the son of labourer and gamekeeper Robert Bell and his wife Fanny. He was baptised along with five of his siblings on 2 September 1850 at Christ Church, Woodhouse.

At the time of the 1851 Census, he was a 12-year-old patient at the Huddersfield Infirmary.

In 1861, he was living with his parents in Fartown.

On the afternoon of 11 January 1877, he was working on the construction of the sluice gates and weir at Brow Grains, Meltham, alongside John Chapman and Charles Barber. It was reported that around 4pm, he suddenly collapsed and died. Dr. Hesslegrave[1] attended and was of the opinion that the death was "the result of heart disease".[2]

John Bell was buried on 14 January at St. Bartholomew in Meltham.

Notes and References

  1. Named as "Dr. Hazlegrave" in the newspaper reports.
  2. "Meltham: Sudden Death" in Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jan/1877).