Leeds Intelligencer (27/Mar/1852) - Holmfirth: The Flood

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project and its content is believed to be in the Public Domain.
The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



Two only of the eighty-two victims to the deluge of the 5th ult. now remain to be discovered. For the recovery of one of these — James Metterick, of Hinchliff Mill — a reward of £5 is still pending. As yet, however, the body has not turned up. Skulls and other portions of deceased individuals continue to be found in the watercourse; but these are, doubtless, parts of what were washed out of the grave yards of Holmbridge church and the Holmfirth Wesleyan chapel: truly an appalling number! An unpleasant incident occurred, during the week, to the committee at Holmfirth, which is deserving of notice. Amongst the number of those drowned by the flood was a person calling himself Ashall, who managed a leather-dealer's establishment, at Holmfirth, for Mr. Crawshaw, of Huddersfield. This man, with his presumed wife, and two children, perished, the house they inhabited being also swept entirely away. Now, however, his true wife has presented herself at Holmfirth, and pleads for relief from the contribution fund, as well as the transfer of her late husband's watch, which was picked up after the deluge. The statement of the woman, which is duly confirmed, is that the name of her deceased husband was not Ashall, but Spencer; that be left her at Bacup, with two children, seven years ago, eloping with the now-sacrificed young woman, to whom she was cousin; that she knew not what had become of the guilty pair until the newspaper reports suggested her suspicion; and that subsequent inquiries had unfolded the whole romantic, though melancholy, truth! Parties from a distance still continue to visit "the valley of death" daily, though seven weeks have elapsed since the catastrophe occurred. On Monday, a cheap trip started from Hull to the scene of disaster, returning in the evening of the same day. The excursionists though were not very numerous; hence great disappointment to the local innkeepers and those new-fledged eating-house proprietors now abounding in the neighbourhood; all of whom had provided largely for the anticipated hunger and thirst of the "foreigners".

Last Thursday evening, a public meeting of the inhabitants was held at Harley, Staffordshire, to devise the best means of aiding the Holmfirth sufferers. The Rev. J. Macfarlane, and Mr. Harry Booth, solicitor, were present as a deputation from Holmfirth.