Mary Shackleton (c.1816-1858)

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.


She was born in the Holmfirth area, the daughter of James Shackleton and his wife Anne (née Dyson).

By 1828, James was the innkeeper of the Waggon and Horses Inn, Holmfirth.

On 8 May 1845, she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter Ann. According to the baptismal record, Ann's father was Jonas Hoyle.

At the time of the 1851 Census, she was living with her widowed father James at Mill Hill, Holmfirth, on the opposite side of the road to the White Hart Inn.

On the night of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852, flood waters partially destroyed James' house. The landlord of the White Hart, William Dyson, assisted with helping the Shackletons evacuate from their home and later gave the following statement to the Huddersfield Chronicle:[1]

Mrs. Dyson awoke me about one o’clock, and said the water was coming into the house. I immediately jumped out of bed, ran down to a back door on the second floor, intending by that means to let my family out by the back door, which is on a level with the ground behind, though chamber high. At the same moment the water burst in the door, and I with difficulty escaped with my life. The water completely filled the lower rooms, washed down the bread creel, which was affixed to the kitchen ceiling, and swept down everything before it. As soon as I had secured my own family, I ran across the stream in the street to Mr. James Shackleton’s, one side of whose house had fallen. I said, ‘Where are you all?’ and a voice cried out ‘We are here.’ I passed the children over to Jonathan Roebuck, and succeeded in carrying Miss Shackleton on my back, in her night dress, into my own house in safety.

It is believed Mary married widower cotton mill manager Robert Slinn in August 1855 at Sheffield but died aged 46 on 28 December 1858.

Notes and References

  1. "Mr. William Dyson's Statement" in Huddersfield Chronicle (14/Feb/1852).