John Dyson (c.1841-1899)

John Dyson was a stonemason who died following an accident during the construction of Butterley Reservoir.


He was born around 1841 in Marsden, the son of stone merchant William Dyson.

He married Sarah Bottomley, daughter of John Bottomley, on 9 March 1871 at Huddersfield Parish Church. The following month, the 1871 Census lists them living at Ashton Binn, Marsden, with his occupation given "journey man stone".

The 1881 Census lists them with three children and living on Dirker Bank, Marsden, next door to John's widower father William.

Fatal Accident

By the start of 1899, the family were living at 2 Ware Hill Terrace in Marsden, and John Dyson was employed working on the construction of Butterley Reservoir.

On the afternoon of 27 January, Dyson was working with engine driver William Cowell to operating a travelling crane. They had just deposited a stone and were returning back towards the yard, when Dyson walked across in front of the crane. Without warning, he suddenly slipped on the frosty ground and lost his footing. Despite the crane only moving slowly, Cowell was unable to stop it in time to avoid running over Dyson's right foot, severely crushing it.

It remain uncertain what treatment he received or why an amputation did not take place, but Dyson eventually died on 10 February, reportedly from blood poisoning. He was buried at St. Bartholomew, Marsden, on 13 February.

The following day, an inquest into his death was held at the Railway Hotel, Marsden, with Deputy Coroner Mr. J.E. Hill presiding. Unusually, no doctor attended the inquest, possibly implying that the deceased received little medical attention following the accident.

Sarah Dyson reported that her husband had remained concious for several days after the accident, but told her nothing about it other than his foot had slipped.

The jury and the coroner agreed that no one could be blamed for the accident, and a verdict that "the deceased had died from ancidental injuries to the foot" was returned.

Probate was eventually granted on 14 December 1899, when Sarah was given a Letter of Administration. Her late husband's estate was valued at £74 10s. She continued to live on Ware Hill Terrace and was listed there on the 1911 Census aged 69, living with daughter Ann and her husband, Sam Wood, and their son, 8-year-old Dyson Wood.

Further Reading