William Illingworth

William Illingworth was born in Northgate, Halifax [4th January 1801], the son of Mr Illingworth.

He was orphaned at an early age.

In 1809, he was taken into charge by his uncle William Illingworth, of Ovenden Wood, a manufacturer of shalloons. He was initiated into the art of weaving, and managed the affairs of his ageing uncle.

He was educated at dame school and night school.

His uncle died [1818] and he went to reside with his aunt Mrs Richard Whitworth. He worked for his uncle Richard, riding to Wakefield to buy wool.

When Richard died [1826] in order to support his 3 orphaned children, his brother Robert Whitworth offered to carry on the business and go into partnership with William with an addition to capital of around £10,000 and established what became known as Robert Whitworth & Company.

In October 1843, William retired from the partnership.

He subsequently went into business for himself at Croft Mills, Gaol Lane, using room and power facilities when necessary.

He went into partnership with James Rothery. The mill was damaged by fire on 22nd April 1853. He sustained a loss of around £5,000. James Rothery continued as a partner until his death in May 1858.

After Rothery's death, William went into partnership with William Huntriss as William Illingworth & Company. The partnership ended in 1872 For the last 6 years of this term, William gave his services to the firm and would have no remuneration, in order that he might absent himself when he pleased, and take a little more recreation.

He was a Protestant and a Nonconformist. Formerly, he went to Square Chapel, but in February 1865, he was baptised and became a member and supporter of Pellon Lane Baptist Chapel.

On 30th July 1867, he gave a house in Hampden Place as a residence for the minister of the Chapel. The cost of the house was about £500. He gave £150 for the rebuilding of the Chapel. He put £1,000 in trust, and the income was given annually to the poor of the Chapel.

He contributed £100 to the Crossley Orphanage.

He was on the management committee for the Piece Hall [for about 40 years] and held the office until the building was taken over by the Corporation.

On 23rd October 1825, he married Elizabeth Eastwood [1803-1870] in Halifax.

Elizabeth was the daughter of John Eastwood


  1. Samuel
  2. Sarah [1830-1908] who married John Ebenezer Whitewood
  3. William

William died at St James's Road, Halifax [27th October 1879] (aged 78)

Members of the family were buried at Lister Lane Cemetery [Plot 355]

This & associated entries use material contributed by Glynn Helliwell & Michael Steele

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 22:00 / 2nd April 2024 / 5925

Page Ref: X62

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