London Daily News (14/Feb/1852) - The Inundation at Holmfirth

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.


The committee of magistrates and other inhabitants of Holmfirth, who have interested themselves in devising steps for the relief of the surviving sufferers of the appalling catastrophe of yesterday week, have keen indefatigable in their endeavours to raise and distribute funds to meet pressing wants.

Yesterday the coroner resumed the inquest adjourned from the previous Friday, at the White Hart Inn, Holmfirth. The sitting was opened at half-past 10 o’clock, and Mr. Dyson, the coroner, after calling the jurors, 17 in number, said he had great pleasure in announcing to them that they would have the assistance at their past meeting of Capt. Moody, R.E., who had been sent down by government to inspect the remaining portion of the embankment, and to watch the proceedings at the inquest.

The evidence as to the identity of homes was then proceeded with, and occupied the jury a considerable part of the day. Nearly fifty witnesses were examined, but all the facts of any interest as to the loss of the unfortunate deceased, and narrow escape of some of the witnesses, have already been published.

Besides the 71 bodies stated to have been recovered, and some few of which have had to be interred without being identified, the following fourteen persons have also perished by this appalling calamity, and are yet missing :— Joseph Marsden, aged 19, Water-street ; Joseph Dodd, aged 48, Water-street ; Mary Copeland, aged 19, Water-street ; James Metterick, aged 38, Water-street ; Mary Metterick, aged 38, Water-street ; Samuel Metterick, aged 20, Water-street ; Alfred Metterick, aged 8, Water-street ; Hamer Charlesworth, aged 6, Water-street ; Jonathan Sandford, aged 45, of Dyson’s Mill ; Richard Shackleton, aged 31, of Holmfirth; Grace Hirst Shackleton, aged 4 1/2, of Holmfirth ; Ellen Anne Hartley, aged 3, of Holmfirth ; Ann Bailey; aged 4, of Upper Bridge ; Alfred Ashall, aged 2.


Yesterday morning, returns of the property destroyed and injured by the flood were obtained and thrown together in the following shape for the use of deputations about to proceed to London, Manchester, and Leeds.

Property destroyed :— Mills, 4 ; dyehouses, 10 ; stoves, 10 ; cottages, 27 ; tradesmen’s houses, 7 ; shops, 7 ; bridges, 6 ; county bridge, 1 ; warehouses, 10 ; barns and stables, 18.

Property seriously injured :— Dyehouses and stock, 5 ; mills partially destroyed, 17 ; stoves, 3 ; cottages ditto, 139 ; tradesmen’s houses, 7 ; large shops, 44 ; public-houses, 11 ; bridges, 5 ; county bridge, 1 ; land, acres, 200 ; warehouses, 14 ; barns, 13 ; places of worship, 3 ; iron foundries, 2.

Farming stock and cattle not ascertained.

Persons thrown out of employ :— Adults, 4,986 ; children, 2,142 ; total, 7,128 — earning upon an average the sum of £3,748 per week when at work. Damage done to watercourses, mill falls, and highways, throughout five miles, immense.