Mary Anne Jagger (1849-1936) née Tilburn

Mary Anne Jagger was a noted local historian from Honley.

She was the first woman postmistress in England as well as the first woman to judge at the Kennel Club championship shows, becoming an authority on the St. Bernard dog breed.


Mary Ann Jagger

She was born on 19 December 1849, the daughter of Honley postmaster John Tilburn and his wife Mary (née Oldham).

She married factory manager and woollen salesman Samuel Jagger of Armitage Bridge, the son of cloth finisher Joshua Jagger, on 13 November 1879 at St. Mary's Church, Honley. They had one known child:

  • Mabel Jagger (1883-1966?)[1]

She published two novels in 1886 — "Is Love a Crime?" and Rookery Mill — which incorporated her views on topics such as women's suffrage and the treatment of dogs. However, both books received mixed reviews in the press, with the Birmingham Daily Post calling the former "a remarkably crude piece of work ... saturated with false sentiment".

In 1888, she published a six-part series of articles titled "Some Account of the Parish Church of St. Mary's, Honley" in the Huddersfield Chronicle.

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family was living in Hendon, Middlesex, where Mabel was enrolled at the North London Collegiate School. By 1911, Mary Ann was back in Honley with her daughter, residing at Lane House.

Mabel occasionally accompanied her father on his many trips across the Atlanic. On one trip to Canada in 1918, Samuel reportedly visited the Toronto Technical School, where "there are 1,500 day students and 5,000 night students, whilst 180 wounded soldiers are being taught a vocation", which apparently "was quite a revelation to the Yorkshireman."[2]

By 1905, she was a member of the Brontë Society (founded 1893) and had become a member of the society's council by 1919. She donated several items to the society, including:[3]

  • an account book by Charlotte and Anne of "their spirited excursion to London in 1848"
  • pencil drawings by Charlotte and Anne, including A Sunset Over the Sea and River Scene with Church and Bridge

Samuel Jagger died suddenly, aged 69, of a heart attack on 19 November 1925 whilst on a train to Huddersfield from Honley. He was buried on 21 November at St. Mary's.

Mary Ann Jagger died on 25 October 1936 after a short illness, and was buried at St. Mary's on 28 October. She left an estate worth nearly £16,000 to her spinster daughter, Mabel.

Mabel likely died on 19 July 1966 at St. Luke's Hospital, Bradford.


Further Reading

Notes and References

  1. Born 14 July 1883 and baptised 26 August 1883 at St. Mary's Church, Honley.
  2. "In and About: Our Colony's Example" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (26/Mar/1918).
  3. Transactions of the Brontë Society.