Sidney Hartley (c.1811-1852)

Sidney Hartley was a carding engineer who perished in the Holmfirth Flood of 1852, along with several members of his family.


He was born around 1811 in Fulstone, near Holmfirth, the son of weaver Abraham Hartley and his wife Anna.

He married Mary Ann Lodge on 17 March 1833. They had eight known children:

At the time of the 1841 Census, the family were residing at Ivy Nook, Wooldale, along with Sidney's father, 75-year-old Abraham. Sidney's occupation was recorded as "woollen engineer".

The 1851 Census listed the family residing at Mill Hill, Wooldale, Holmfirth, along with an apprentice woollen carder, 16-year-old Henry Dearnley of Wooldale. By time point, Sidney was working for Messrs. Nathan Thewlis and Co.


David Hartley described the events of 5 February 1852:

When we were in bed early in the morning we heard a noise as if the slates were falling off the house. I got up and cleared away a number of slates so that I was able to get out on to the thack. I then pulled up my sister Ann beside me ; after that I managed to get John, my brother, up and also the apprentice boy. I tried long and hard to pull brother James up but had to give up the attempt or we would both have been dragged down together. While we were standing on the roof we saw many persons with their heads a little above the water struggling and crying for help. We could see into the chamber where my mother was lying but it was impossible to reach her, the water had risen so high. We saw her look towards us and heard her say farewell and then she was swept away.

The body of Sidney Hartley was taken to the Crown Hotel, Holmfirth, where it was formally identified by his son David.

All five members of the Hartley family who died in the flood were buried on Sunday 8 February at New Mill Church.

Sidney and his wife were members of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows and their family was awarded £10 10s. and £5 5s. respectively to help cover the costs of the family's funeral.

Hannah Hartley was looked after by an uncle and aunt in Armitage Bridge, but they requested that she be placed in an orphan asylum.[8]

Notes and References

  1. Married Martha Webster in 1853.
  2. Born 19 January 1836. Baptised 15 April 1838 at Christ Church, New Mill.
  3. Born 28 November 1837.
  4. Born 11 August 1839.
  5. Married Joseph Pickles in 1863 at Dewsbury Parish Church. Died 24 April 1897, aged 56, in Batley.
  6. Born 17 November 1848.
  7. Born 23 October 1849.
  8. "The Holmfirth Flood" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/May/1852).

Sidney Hartley (c.1811-1852)


Drowned | People | Victims of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852
This page was last modified on 23 January 2016 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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