Tamar Shackleton (1818-1852) née Green
Tamar Shackleton was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.
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:
- Ann Shackleton Green (1840-1922)
- Hannah Shackleton (1843-1852)
- Grace Hirst Shackleton (1847-1852)
- James Shackleton (1851-1852)
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):
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.
The family's gravestone is inscribed with the following:
In Memory Of
THE FOLLOWING PERSONS,
HUSBAND, WIFE AND CHILDREN,
WHO RESIDED AT MILL HILL, HOLMFIRTH,
all of whom were Drowned in the Flood
caused by the
BURSTING OF THE BILBERRY RESERVOIR
on Thursday Morning,
the Fifth Day of February, 1852.
Aged 31 years;
He was found at Ferry Bridge
on Saturday, February 28th.
Aged 33 Years;
found Feb 5th at Thongsbridge.
Aged 8 Years;
found Feb 5th near Thongsbridge.
GRACE HIRST SHACKLETON,
Aged 4 Years;
found Feb 20th, near Thongsbridge.
Aged 1 Year;
found Feb 5th near Thongsbridge.
ALSO Ann Shackleton Niece of the
above, who died May 25th 1863,
aged 18 Years.
FATHER OF THE ABOVE NAMED RICHARD SHACKLETON.
Notes and References
- 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, and appears to be the spelling she used when signing the marriage register. The spelling "Tamer" appears in the burial register and is also used on her gravestone.
- Born 17 July 1843 and baptised 30 March 1845 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
- Born 20 June 1847 and baptised 11 July 1847 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
- Born 7 January 1851 and baptised 16 February 1851 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
- "Awful Catastrophe and Fearful Loss of Life at Holmfirth" in Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Feb/1852).
- Inscription copied from a photograph taken by Elizabeth Lockwood.