Joseph Dodd (1807-1852)

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.

Joseph Dodd was an engineer who perished in the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


He was born on 30 March 1807 in Leeds, the son of joiner Thomas Dodd of Lady Lane, and was baptised on 26 April 1807 at St. Peter, Leeds.

He married Hannah Hirst on 3 July 1842 at All Hallows, Almondbury — at the time, they were both living in Lockwood. They had two known children:

At the time of the 1851 Census, the family was residing on Water Street, Hinchliffe Mill. His immediate neighbours were Mary Marsden and Jonathan Crosland.

At the time of his death, he was described as "low in stature, very thin, large nose, sandy hair and whiskers, bald on the top of the head".[3]


Joseph Dodd and his family were killed in the early hours of 5 February when the Bilberry Reservoir burst its embankment.

Charles Battye of Bottom's Mill testified at the inquest that he had visited the reservoir on the afternoon of 4 February. He returned to Holmfirth and called at Dodd's house to warn him that the water was only two feet from the top of the embankment. He left and told Joseph to look after himself, and he reportedly replied, "Nevermind, Charles."[4]

His body was eventually recovered from the river at Horbury Bridge on Saturday 28 February and he was buried on 3 March at the Hinchliffe Mill Wesleyan Chapel. The other members of his family had been buried there on 8 February.

Notes and References

  1. Born 23 November 1844 and baptised 25 December 1844 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  2. Born 28 August 1850 and baptised 6 October 1850 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  3. "Bodies Missing up to Thursday" in Huddersfield Chronicle (14/Feb/1852).
  4. Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Feb/1852).