Ruth Mountain (1851-1927) née Crosland

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.

Ruth Crosland was one of the 1852 Flood Orphans.


She was born on 14 November 1851, the daughter of Jonathan Crosland and his wife Sarah (née Earnshaw, also known as "Sally"), and baptised on 10 December 1851 at St. David, Holmbridge.

Sarah died three weeks after giving birth to Ruth and was buried at St. David, Holmbridge, on the same day as Ruth was baptised. Without her mother to nurse her, Ruth was placed in the care of the Ruth Nichols[1] of Longwalls, and was fortunately not in the Crosland household on the night of the 1852 Flood. Her father and siblings all perished.

In May 1852, the subcommittee appointed to look into the circumstances of all the people orphaned by the flood reported that the Nichols were a poor family and would not be able to raise Ruth. Jonathan's father Daniel Crosland instead told them that he expressly wished for another one of his sons, James Crosland of Brownhill to adopt Ruth, as they were unwilling to have her sent to an orphan asylum. It was also reported that Mrs. Nichols "cannot bear the thought of parting with the child, and seems almost to regard it as her own." The Central Relief Committee awarded Ruth financial support of 5 shillings per week until she reached the age of 16.[2]

By 1861, it appears Ruth was boarding with David and Margaret Gothorp in Thornes, near Wakefield, who were her guardians. By 1871, aged 19, she was working as a servant at the residence of solicitor William R. Wilson in Wakefield.

At the time of the flood, a local branch of the Ancient Order of Shepherds friendly society raised £88 and invested the sum on behalf of Ruth and Wilson Mettrick, as the Crosland and Mettrick families had been members. In November 1871, the Shepherds met at the Millers Arms to award the funds — which had increased to £149 12s. — in equal portions to the orphans who had both come of age. Peter Lynn from Bolton presented her with her share "wished her success and a long life, and hoped that the £70 odd, like the talents mentioned in Scripture, would, with proper use, be multiplied tenfold".[3]

She married bricklayer George Mountain (c.1850-1932) of Wakefield, son of cabinet maker Thomas Mountain, in November 1872 and they had four children:

  • Alice Mountain (1873-1884)[4]
  • Frederick Mountain (1875-1957)[5]
  • Margaret Rebecca Mountain (1877-1923)[6]
  • Charles Mountain (1882-1924)[7]

At the time of the 1921 Census, widowed Ruth (aged 69) was living at 43 York Street, Wakefield, along with her youngest son Charles.

Ruth Mountain died in 1927, aged 76.

Notes and References

  1. Born Ruth Crosland, she is believed to be a distant relative.
  2. "The Holmfirth Flood: Meeting of Delegates" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/May/1852)
  3. "Interesting Presentation at Holmfirth" in Ashton Weekly Reporter (11/Nov/1871).
  4. Alice Mountain was born 28 April 1873 and baptised 18 June 1873 at West Parade Chapel, Wakefield. Likely died in 1884 aged 11.
  5. Frederick Mountain was born 25 May 1875. He married Susan Gertrude Wailes. By the time of the 1939 Register, he was a retired clerk living on Pinderfields Road, Wakefield. He died in 1957, aged 82.
  6. Margaret Rebecca Mountain married Herbert Thomas Lancaster. She died in 1923 in Prestwich, Lancashire.
  7. Charles Mountain was listed as an unmarried law library clerk (aged 28) in the 1911 Census and was living with his parents at 43 Lower York Street in Wakefield. He likely died in Wakefield in 1924, aged 41.