Joshua Earnshaw (c.1780-1852)

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.

Joshua Earnshaw was the oldest victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


He was born in the Township of Cartworth, the son of Luke Earnshaw of Kiln House Bank and his wife Sarah (née Roberts), and was baptised on 14 February 1780 at Holmfirth Congregational Chapel by the Rev. Robert Galland.[1]

He married Hannah Earnshaw on 7 September 1806 at All Hallows, Almondbury. The couple had seven known children:

At the time of the 1851 Census, he was residing on Water Street with his wife Hannah, their son Charles, and their grandchildren Joshua Crosland, Mary Crosland and Ann Earnshaw Beaumont. Hannah died a few weeks later and was buried on 2 July 1851 at St. David's Church, Holmbridge.


Together with the other surviving residents listed in his household in the 1851 Census, Joshua Earnshaw was killed when a flood devastated the properties on Water Street in the early hours of 5 February 1852.

His body was found by Joseph Turner on the "Wooldale side of the river, about 300 [sic][9] yards from Thongsbridge" and was taken to the Royal Oak, Thongsbridge, where it was identified by Joshua's half-brother Emery Earnshaw.[10]

He was buried on Monday 9 February at St. David, Holmbridge.

Notes and References

  1. Luke Earnshaw married Sarah Roberts on 21 June 1779 at All Hallows, Kirkburton. Their daughter Barbara was born later on in 1780. After Sarah’s death in June 1788, Luke married Hannah Beever on 5 July 1790.
  2. Born 15 March 1807 and baptised 11 April 1807 at Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth. Probably the Rebecca Earnshaw who died aged 4 and was buried on 16 June 1811 at All Hallows, Almondbury.
  3. Born 3 August 1809 and baptised 27 August 1809 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth. She died giving birth to Ruth Crosland in November 1851.
  4. Born 12 February 1814 and baptised at Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth. Likely died aged 32 and was buried on 4 October 1846 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  5. Born 11 February 1816 and baptised 23 March 1816 at Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth.
  6. Born 9 January 1821 and baptised on 14 March 1821.
  7. Born 18 February 1823 and baptised 30 March 1823 at Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth. Died in December 1831, aged 8. Buried 12 December at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  8. Born 25 September 1827 and baptised 12 December 1827 at Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth. Died December 1827 and buried on 19 December at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  9. The Halifax Guardian reported the distance as "about 30 yards" which seems more likely.
  10. In 1851, Emery Earnshaw was a 46-year-old carpenter and joiner residing on Brownhill Lane, Cartworth, Holmfirth. He was Joshua's half-brother from Luke's second marriage.