Tamar Shackleton (1818-1852) née Green

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.

Tamar Shackleton was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


Tamar[1] Green was born on 19 October 1818, the daughter of overlooker John Green and his wife Hannah (née Lee), and was baptised on 22 November 1818 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.

She married joiner Richard Shackleton, son of innkeeper James Shackleton and his wife Ann (née Dyson), on 19 July 1841 at All Hallows, Kirkburton. Prior to the marriage, she had given birth to a daughter to Richard who was then raised by Tamar's parents. In total, the couple had four children:

By 1851, the family were living at Mill Hill in Holmfirth, where their immediate neighbours were engineer Sidney Hartley (aged 40) and dyer John Roberts (51). Living nearby was Richard's father James (then a retired innkeeper aged 62), together with Richard's sister Mary (35) and her daughter Ann (5).


With the exception of their first daughter, the entire family was killed in the early hours of 5 February 1852 when the Bilberry Reservoir burst its embankment.

The Huddersfield Chronicle reported on the destruction at Holmfirth Mill (Mill Hill):[5]

Immediately adjoining four cottages are swept down, and twelve lives lost. In the first house, occupied by Mr. Firth Thewlis, the family are all saved, as also the family in the second house, tenanted by Mr. John Tate ; but in the third house, occupied by Mr. Sidney Hartley, his wife, and family of nine persons, the whole of the inmates are lost, excepting four sons, who escaped on a portion of the roof left standing. The fourth house, occupied by Mr. Richard Shackleton, has suffered serious damage, and Mr. Shackleton, his wife, and three children are all drowned.

Tamar's naked body was found near Thongsbridge by John Hinchliffe and taken to the Royal Oak Inn where it was identified by John Brook.

Together with Hannah and James, she was buried on Monday 9 February at St. John's Church, Upperthong. The Loyal "Yorkshireman" Lodge No. 204 of the Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity) who met at the White Hart Inn in Holmfirth provided £5 towards the burial costs.

The bodies of Grace Hirst and Richard were not found until 20 February and 28 February respectively. Both were then buried at Upperthong.

Tamar's first daughter, Ann, was left an orphan and continued to live with her maternal grandparents until she married in 1862.

Notes and References

  1. Her first name is spelled "Tamor" and "Tamer" in some of the newspaper reports of the Holmfirth Flood. The spelling "Tamar" was used on her baptismal and marriage records.
  2. Born 17 July 1843 and baptised 30 March 1845 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  3. Born 20 June 1847 and baptised 11 July 1847 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  4. Born 7 January 1851 and baptised 16 February 1851 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  5. "Awful Catastrophe and Fearful Loss of Life at Holmfirth" in Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Feb/1852).