Watts Balmforth (1826-1904)

Watts Balmforth was a radical liberal and advocate of temperance who lived most of his life in Lockwood.


He was born in Slaithwaite in 1826, the son of weaver Richard Balmforth and his wife Amelia (née Ramsden).

According to local historian Alan Brooke, Watts first worked in Longroyd Bridge before moving from Manchester Road to Rashcliffe, Lockwood, where he worked as a machine knife grinder at the Engine Bridge Machine Works at Folly Hall. Watts was a keen vegetarian and supporter of social reformer Richard Owen, naming one of his own sons "Owen". He was a committee member of the West Riding Secular Union.[1]

He married Nanny Moorhouse on 10 August 1851 at All Hallows, Almondbury. They had seven known children:

Watts Balmforth died on 26 January 1904 at a nursing home on Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield. His probate record listed effects to the value of £1,501 8s. 6d.

Census Returns

year residence age description
1841 Yews, Lockwood 15 Living with his widowed mother and siblings.
1851 Yews, Lockwood 25 Working as a woollen cloth finisher and living with his widowed mother and siblings.
1861 Dale Street, Lockwood 35 Working as a knife grinder and living with his wife and children.
1871 Rashcliffe, Lockwood 44 Working as a mechanic and living with his wife and children.
1891 93 Rashcliffe Hill Road, Lockwood 64 Retired knife grinder living with his wife, son Rasmden, and grandson Earnest Kaye (aged 11).
1901 93 Rashcliffe Hill Road, Lockwood 75 Living on his own means with his wife.

Notes and References

  1. Underground Histories: Thornton's Temperance Hotel
  2. Worked as a cloth dresser.
  3. Born 17 February 1852 and baptised 16 November 1870 at Buxton Road Wesleyan Methodist Church. Married William Kaye on 5 June 1872 and lived in Barnsley and Moldgreen.
  4. Died 25 September 1854, reported in the Huddersfield Chronicle (30/Sep/1854).
  5. Married Henry Hinchliffe.
  6. Died May 1889 and buried 22 May at Emmanuel Church, Lockwood.

Watts Balmforth (1826-1904)


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This page was last modified on 16 November 2017 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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