Events in the 1800s

This Foldout presents some events which took occurred in the 1800s

  • 1800 Further legislation for the Rochdale Canal

    In the 1800s, the railway – in the Great Northern Railway and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway – came to Halifax.

    There were several stations: Shaw Syke, later Halifax, North Bridge, and St Paul's Station

  • July 1800 Following a drought, Blackstone Edge reservoir was empty and the Rochdale Canal was out of action between July and October 1800

  • Wednesday, 20th January 1802 A violent wind tore the roofs off several houses, and threw down many stacks of chimneys in and around Leeds. The Mail coach was blown over near Halifax

  • Wednesday, 3rd March 1802 Bob Mill, Lower Colden burned down

    Blackshawhead corn and cotton mill was destroyed by fire

  • September 1802 The Rochdale to Lane Side section of the Rochdale Canal opened

  • 1803 The Napoleonic wars between France and various European forces began [1803-1815]

  • Saturday, 10th September 1803 Thomas Lambert of Elland lost his life

    by carriages passing over him

    at Salterhebble

  • 1804 Further legislation for the Rochdale Canal

  • Tuesday, 31st January 1804 The Longbottom cotton mill burned down

  • Friday, 21st December 1804 With the completion of the Hopwood to Piccadilly section, the Rochdale Canal – the first trans-Pennine canal route – opened through to Manchester. The first boat, the 50-ton Mayflower – a sea-going vessel – was taken across the Pennines from Hull to Liverpool.

    This was 7 years before the rival Huddersfield Narrow Canal was completed

  • Thursday, 31st January 1805 At 1:30 am, fire broke out at the woollen mill of Samuel Milne & Company at Longbottom. The fire raged with such violence that the whole was consumed in about 3 hours

  • 1806 Further legislation for the Rochdale Canal

    New Hey Road, Rastrick was built as a part of the turnpike linking Huddersfield and the town of New Hey near Rochdale

    Wharf Mill, Sowerby Bridge was damaged by fire

  • 1807 The Peninsular War [1807-1814] began

    Joseph Richardson, a manufacturer of worsted goods at Brighouse, assigned all his personal estate and effects to William Coultas, a maltster at Elland

    Further legislation for the Rochdale Canal

  • Monday, 1st June 1807 On 4 consecutive nights, there were riots in Halifax.

    On the first night [Monday 1st June 1807], a group assembled outside the White Swan Inn & Posting House, Halifax where 2 committees for Messrs Wilberforce & Lascelles were sitting. but there were no arrests.

    On Tuesday, there were larger numbers who paraded through the streets with an effigy, and broke the windows

    of several respectable gentlemen

    On Wednesday, over 60 special constables were sworn in, and military aid was fetched from Leeds.

    On Thursday, notices were distributed warning people not to be out after 9:00 pm

  • 1808 Freeman's Cut was built on the Calder & Hebble Canal

  • 1809 Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, nephew of George III, visited the district

  • 1810 There were bad harvests in 1810-1811. These – and the straits of the Napoleonic Wars – meant that, in 1812, corn was prohibitively priced

    Dam Head Mill, Shibden burned down

  • Saturday, 10th March 1810 At York Assizes, Joseph Priestley, a labourer of Halifax, was charged with killing Joseph Harrison, a weaver of Stainland

  • 1811 The Huddersfield Narrow Canal connected the Colne and Upper Calder valleys

    The Armytages auctioned off some of their land at Clifton. Those who bought land included Rev Benjamin Firth

  • 1812 Mary Greenwood, a weaver of Southowram, was accused of embezzling goods from her employers. Mrs Grasham, a pawnbroker at Halifax, and Mrs Salkeld, a shopkeeper at Halifax, were charged with taking in on pledge and purchasing the goods, and fined £20 each.

  • Friday, 21st February 1812 About 11:00 pm, M Le Tellier, a French Teacher, was stopped near Square Independent Chapel, Halifax by a tall man – about 5 ft 10 in – in a grey dress, who gave him a violent blow on the breast, and then robbed him of a silver watch, with which the villain got clear off.

    Question: Could the victim be Father Letellier?


  • 1813 Stoodley Bridge Mill, Eastwood was damaged by fire and rebuilt

  • Thursday, 1st July 1813 Joshua Milner, a beadle of Halifax also known as Joshua Goldbutton, John Sykes, an eminent engine builder of Bolton-le-Moors, and David Brothorton, the driver of the vehicle, were killed and several others injured when the Jubilee Mail Coach overturned after the reins broke and the coachman lost control of the horses coming down Haley Hill. The coach had only gone into service the day before

  • Thursday, 22nd July 1813 Lightning killed a boy on Greetland edge

  • 1814 Lees & Hebden Bridge turnpike opened

    The last occasion on which the Thames froze over. The temperature in southern England was 0°C or below for 30 days

  • January 1814 The weather in Britain was colder than January 1740

  • Friday, 21st January 1814 Death of Mr Abraham Webster, master of the Blue Coat School Hospital in Halifax

  • Saturday, 22nd January 1814 Death of Mr James Butler, worsted manufacturer at Ovenden

    James Clayton was convicted before H. W. Coulthurst DD and Michael Stocks, in the penalty of £20 for having in his possession purloined and embezzled materials belonging to the worsted and woollen manufactures

  • Sunday, 23rd January 1814 Mr Abraham Douglas, ropemaker of Halifax, to Mrs Boys, widow of the late Mr John Boys of Southowram

  • Tuesday, 1st March 1814 A number of buildings – two wool warehouses, and a large school room – in the Talbot Inn Yard, Halifax, were burned to the ground. The neighbouring assembly room also suffered damage

  • Saturday, 13th August 1814 Death of Miss Nancy Holt, aged 59, a maiden lady of the New Road, Halifax

  • 1815 The Elland & Obelisk Turnpike Road from Elland to Brighouse

    Mytholmroyd / Blackstone Edge turnpike

  • Monday, 10th April 1815 The volcano Mount Tambora in eastern Indonesia erupted, affecting the climate around the world. Dust from the eruption blocked out sunlight and reduced global temperatures by 3°C. There were colourful sunsets and temperatures fell, causing crop failures, bad harvests and famine around the world. This led to much civil unrest around the world

  • Sunday, 18th June 1815 The Battle of Waterloo which ended the Napoleonic Wars and ended the French blockades on European ports badly affected British exports

  • Monday, 26th June 1815 A great fire destroyed several thousand pounds worth of cloth and goods in the warehouse of William Moore at Brockwell, Sowerby Bridge

  • 1816 This was the year without a summer across Europe because of the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815

  • February 1817 At a time when the Habeas Corpus Act had been suspended on account of a secret report to Parliament about imminent rebellion, the Leeds Intelligencer [Monday 3rd February 1817] published an open letter headed The Halifax Declaration [1817]

  • Saturday, 14th February 1818 17 girls – aged between 9 and 18 – died in a fire at Atkinson's Mill, Colne Bridge

  • 1820 In the 1820s, there began a second phase of turnpike construction

  • January 1820 The Grand Jury at the General Quarter Sessions for the Peace at Wakefield

    returned a true bill for misdemeanour against Joseph Mitchell, against whom an indictment had been preferred for directing abusive and seditious language against the Prince Regent and the two Houses of Parliament, at a radical reform meeting held on 4th October 1819, at Skircoat Moor near Halifax, and for then and there using expressions tending to excite people to partition the estates of the great nobility; and among others, of Earl Fitzwilliam

  • Wednesday, 18th October 1820 Samuel Mallinson of Southowram married Grace Mallinson of Northowram

  • 1823 The Bradford-Huddersfield Turnpike from Wibsey Bank Foot, Bradford to Huddersfield, via Odsal Top, Bailiff Bridge, and Brighouse was built between 1823 and 1830

  • February 1823 In early February 1823, a robbery took place following a break-in at the counting house at Thorpe Mill. The lock of which had been picked and cash and banknotes were stolen from a safe. John and Walker Priestley issued flyers offering 100 guineas as a reward for information leading to the apprehension of the offenders

  • Friday, 12th September 1823 On Friday night [12th] or Saturday morning [13th], the warehouse belonging to George Holdsworth of Shibden Mill was broken into and [several] pieces stolen therefrom. Mr Holdsworth offered a reward of £10 for information leading to conviction

  • Wednesday, 3rd December 1823 Leeds and the country for many miles round was visited by a dreadful storm of wind which blew down many chimneys and several unfinished buildings. Locally, a 5-storey factory at Ovenden suffered damage

  • Friday, 19th December 1823 Fire at Paper Mill, Halifax

  • 1824 An Act of Parliament established the Salterhebble, Stainland and Sowerby Bridge Turnpike Trust, who constructed a network of roads connecting Halifax and Huddersfield via Elland and taking in districts such as Greetland and Stainland.

    See North Dean Toll Gate

    Godley Cutting was constructed 1824-1830

    Huddersfield / Low Moor turnpike

  • Wednesday, 28th July 1824 Mr Priestley of Ovenden married Ann, the only daughter of the late Mr Ambler, a woolstapler of York

  • August 1824 In August 1824, there was a serious fire in the warehouse at Thorpe Mill. Afterwards, John Priestley and his brother, Walker, issued handbills, thanking their friends and neighbours for their help in extinguishing the conflagration

  • 1825 Godley / Northowram turnpike

  • December 1825 There was panic in the banking industry following speculative investments in the imaginary country of Poyais. In England, 6 London banks closed and 60 elsewhere in the country. No banks in the Halifax district were affected

  • 1826 Leeds / Whitehall turnpike

    The turnpike from Brighouse to Denholm Gate was constructed. This is now the A644

    See William Drake

  • Thursday, 16th March 1826 Joseph Green, a manufacturer at Southowram, he married Mary Sledding of Southowram

  • Monday, 15th May 1826 At Todmorden, John Henderson, the Irish pedestrian, undertook to walk 20 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes, a feat which he performed ½ a minute within the time

  • July 1826 Several days of rain ended a drought in the north of England

  • Thursday, 18th October 1827 Bell's Life in London reported

    The late heavy rains have so much swollen the river Calder as to produce an inundation, which has done considerable mischief to mill properties in the valleys above Halifax; and where the banks were low, the adjoining fields have been completely overflown.

    At Halifax, a dye-house, in the course of erection, on the rivulet Helig, was thrown down and carried away by the flood, together with the scaffolding.

    On the same rivulet, at Dean Clough, the mill of Mr Crossley, carpet manufacturer, was discovered to be on fire, on the ground floor, but whilst the man who lives in the adjoining cottage had gone to alarm Mr Crossley, the torrent burst into the room and effectually extinguished the flames.

    The flood had reached its highest point of elevation at 6:00 on Thursday morning, at Elland Bridge, at which time the King's Mills were inundated by the Calder. The banks of which river, from thence down to Brighouse, were partially overflowed

  • 1828 The Calder & Hebble Canal reached the centre of Halifax when the Halifax to Salterhebble branch opened

  • Thursday, 17th July 1828 John Nicholl of Southowram married Hannah Chambers of Northowram

  • Monday, 1st December 1828 Fire destroyed Foster Mill, Hebden Bridge when it was occupied by a Manchester cotton manufacturer, Mr Ramsbottom. The fire was caused by a small boy who snuffed a candle and threw the snuff on the floor of the scutching room where quantities of loose cotton were lying. The fire spread rapidly. 600 people were thrown out of work and the loss was estimated at between £15,000 and £20,000

  • Wednesday, 17th December 1828 The Duke of York coach from Huddersfield to Halifax, fell against the wall at the bottom of The Ainleys. One passenger was thrown out but clung to the clothing of another passenger and escaped serious injury

  • 1829 The Rochdale Canal was a financial success

    The first regular bus service in Britain was introduced by George Shillibeer in London

    Stoodley Bridge Mill, Eastwood was burned down

  • Saturday, 10th January 1829 At James Akroyd's Brookhouse Mill, Ogden, the warehouse, 2,000 pieces of worsted cloth and quantities of wool were destroyed by fire

  • Monday, 9th February 1829 The house of Thomas Charnock of Ovenden was broken open and robbed of 16 sovereigns and a half in gold, 6 halfcrowns and other property

  • Saturday, 28th February 1829 Edmund Wrigley was tenant of Gauxholme Cotton Mill when it partly burnt down

  • March 1829 A clergyman called on a man at Elland and asked him to sign the No Popery Petition, warning that, if the Catholics won their claims, the Inquisition would be established within 6 months. The man refused, saying

    If that be the case, then I will not sign, for I have suffered too much distress on this side, that I now wish to try the other

  • Sunday, 10th May 1829 Jacob Taylor of Hipperholme, woolstapler married Miss Mary Jowett of Northcliffe, Southowram

  • Saturday, 11th July 1829 Halifax was

    visited by one of the most tremendous storms ... which has not had its parallel in the memory of man [with rain which] it would be utterly impossible to convey any idea of by words

  • Tuesday, 10th November 1829 An inquest was held into the death of a boy named Benjamin Coates whose clothes caught fire at a bonfire, by which he was burned to death

  • January 1830 During a severe storm in the early part of this year, upwards of 60 deer perished in Kirklees Park

  • Wednesday, 6th January 1830 Greenwood's Mill, Wheatley was destroyed by fire

  • Monday, 23rd August 1830 Mr I. Priestley [1769-1830] of Halifax, had gone upon a visit to Norland; after dinner, he took a ride with another gentleman over the Moor, and upon his return about five o'clock, he was seized by an apoplectic fit, and expired at seven the same evening

  • Saturday, 13th November 1830 A 16-year-old miner was killed in a fire-damp explosion at Shibden Colliery

  • Tuesday, 16th November 1830 A great flood at Todmorden

  • Saturday, 18th December 1830 A 32-year-old miner was killed when he fell down the shaft at Highfield Coal Pit, Southowram

  • Friday, 4th February 1831 22-year-old Benjamin Foster of Denholme was carrying cloth over Cock Hill to Crimsworth. He took a wrong turning and went into a bog. He walked into the night, trying to find help. His horse and dog were found alive, but he died from exposure

  • October 1831 Cholera is believed to have originated in India [1817] before spreading across Europe. It was reported in Sunderland [October 1831], having arrived from Hamburg.

    It spread on to Newcastle, Gateshead, Scotland [January], York, Leeds, Manchester, Hull, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh [February], Glasgow [March], Belfast, Dublin, and Cork [April]

    185 people died in York, including the parents of Joseph Dobson. The disease spread from there, reaching the Black Country and Devon and Cornwall by autumn 1832. About 53,000 people died

  • Saturday, 7th January 1832 Jonas Wilson was killed when he fell down the shaft at Brow Bottom Mine

  • Saturday, 14th July 1832 Miner George Pitchforth drowned whilst cleaning the water-gate at Swan Bank Colliery

  • Sunday, 19th August 1832 George Howarth, a cordwainer of Brighouse, he married Betty Ward of Southowram

  • Saturday, 29th September 1832 During a turn-out at quarries in Southowram, The Leeds Mercury reported that

    60 of the turn-out stone delvers have obtained work at advanced wages

  • Wednesday, 28th November 1832 There was a fire during the night shift at the Luddendenfoot mill of Saul & William Smith. A child worker had lit his lamp and thrown away the light before it had gone out. Saul Smith discovered the fire and smothered it before too much damage had been done

  • Saturday, 1st December 1832 Death of Samuel Walker [63] of Holywell Green

    Death of John, only son of John Wrigglesworth of Halifax, linen draper

  • Monday, 3rd December 1832 Grove Mill, Ovenden was blown down

  • Thursday, 6th December 1832 George Hartley of Soyland married Mary Gartside of Soyland

    William Burton of Warley married Elizabeth Brearley of Warley

  • Saturday, 15th December 1832 There was a fire at Mellor's Mill, Stainland

  • 1833 A steam tug sailed along the Calder & Hebble Canal to assess their suitability for regular use

  • February 1833 A 16-year-old girl working for Abraham Stansfield at Hole Bottom Mill was badly injured. Her dress was caught by an upright shaft and her back was cut and torn, her elbow, ankles and thighs were damaged, and every article of clothing was torn from her body

  • Saturday, 23rd February 1833 Mr Samuel Empsall, of Halifax, butcher, married Miss Greenwood of Hipperholme

  • Tuesday, 5th March 1833 Joshua Hoyle of Ovenden married Miss Wilson of Halifax

  • April 1833 An inquest was held at the George Hotel, Brighouse on Samuel Hirst who died 2 weeks after dislocating his arm and hand at Thornhills Pit, Brighouse

  • Friday, 19th April 1833 Thieves stole a quantity of silver plate from the premises of Christopher Ward, a maltster at Range Bank, Halifax

  • Saturday, 11th May 1833 Joseph Firth, a child, was found drowned in a well of water at Bank Top, Southowram

  • Thursday, 30th May 1833 A fire-damp explosion killed 5 miners at the Ainley Top Mine: George Batley, Edward Booth of Lindley, Thomas Crossley of Elland, John Tiffany of Lindley, and the owner, James Waterhouse

  • Tuesday, 27th August 1833 2 Todmorden men named Schofield and Hargreaves were charged with having stolen the shawls of their sweethearts at the wakes on the previous day, and pawned them for 2/6d each. They were ordered to pay the value of the shawls plus £1 penalty each, or 1 month's imprisonment

  • October 1833 The Leeds-Whitehall Road turnpike opened. The name is derived from the White Hall, Hipperholme, where it began

  • Sunday, 22nd June 1834 In June 1834, Several mill owners and manufacturers in Elland, Greetland, Stainland, Sowerby Bridge and Halifax closed their works, determined not to employ workers who were members of the Trades Union. They subsequently reopened when the men generally signed a declaration and returned to work. On 22nd June, the Unionists met on Norland Moor and agreed that their struggle was hopeless. Immediately afterwards, there was a race to the mills to gain employment

  • Sunday, 3rd August 1834 Thunder and lightning killed a man near Dulesgate, and a mother and daughter at Stoneyhead, Calderbrook

  • Saturday, 29th November 1834 It was reported that

    A great flood did considerable damage in Todmorden and neighbourhood

  • Wednesday, 24th December 1834 William Horsfall of Underbank married Miss Listerman of Todmorden at Cross Stone Church

  • Monday, 29th December 1834 Jones [Jonas?] Yates, of Southowram, married Martha Durrans of Southowram

  • Monday, 6th April 1835 Henry Cockroft, a butcher at Southowram, married Mary Ann Wilkinson of Ovenden

  • Saturday, 27th June 1835 At Halifax Magistrates' Office

  • Thursday, 20th August 1835 An earthquake was reported in the Rochdale/Todmorden area

  • Saturday, 29th August 1835 Miners Abraham Crabtree and John Priestley died after falling down the shaft at Swan Bank Colliery

  • Wednesday, 25th November 1835 James Lister was charged at Halifax Magistrates' Offices with having stolen 70 gross of hanks of yarn from Messrs Lowden of Bailiff Bridge

  • 1836 An Act of Parliament authorised the Manchester-Leeds railway

  • Wednesday, 22nd June 1836 A great flood was reported in the Hebden Bridge district

  • Friday, 29th July 1836 A great flood did considerable damage in the Todmorden district

  • 1837 Flooding at Bailiff Bridge spoiled ale at the Punch Bowl Hotel. The inundation was blamed on the state of the culverts in the road and damages of £15 13/- were claimed for the loss of 96 gallons of ale and a further 36 gallons which were being brewed at the time

  • Sunday, 7th May 1837 A man aged over 60, who was in a state of intoxication, fell into the foundations which were being dug for a new building at Cragg Vale, and died

  • Saturday, 24th June 1837

    The Bell's London Life [2nd July 1837] reported

    Two brothers, John and William Mallinson, sawyers working on the construction of a mill in Sowerby Bridge, were killed by falling from a crane, as a result of a practical joke by workmates.

    Their workmates had left them up in the air until the brothers agreed to buy them a beer. They refused and the others went away for lunch leaving them stranded. The brothers appealed to other workers to get them down, and they attempted, but, not understanding the crane mechanism, tragedy ensued


    The report was incorrect and only John was killed

  • Saturday, 1st July 1837 Civil registration of births, marriages & deaths was introduced in England and Wales

  • August 1837 Work began on the Manchester & Leeds Railway

  • Wednesday, 20th December 1837 flooding in much of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

    A record flood-level was recorded at Hebden Bridge.

    At Salterhebble

    such was the impetuosity of the flood that the canal aqueduct which crosses the Hebble near its junction with the Calder was forced open, and the traffic on the canal was impeded

    The Calder overflowed its banks in many places.

    The Perseverance coach from Manchester to Todmorden and Halifax passed through much deep water. Between Todmorden and Halifax, the horses had to swim on several occasions

  • Friday, 22nd December 1837 Water levels reached 9 feet at Hebden Bridge. The water level was so high that Black Pit Aqueduct could not allow the waters through and they eventually flowed into the canal. The Dusty Miller, Mytholmroyd was beneath 4 ft of water

  • Monday, 18th June 1838 During a thunder-storm, the electric fluid entered the roof of Mr Moore's house at Savile Green, and came out on the opposite side, doing considerable damage; it then took a direction outside the house, down the water-pipe, entered a drain at the bottom, and splintered a flag into fragments

  • Tuesday, 10th July 1838 2 brothers, John and Abraham Crossley, were killed in a mining accident at a pit in Northowram

  • Saturday, 28th July 1838 Robert Wilkinson chaired a radical meeting held in a field near Church Lane, Halifax. Also present were

  • Tuesday, 14th August 1838 The body of 4½-years-old Cyril, son of James Schofield of Todmorden, was found in the Calder below Copley Mill. The boy was last seen a week earlier, playing on some balks by the river side in North Street, Todmorden, when he slipped and fell into the river. The strength of the current carried him away

  • Friday, 31st August 1838 Hurrier Francis Taylor [11] was killed in a fire-damp explosion at Swan Bank Colliery

  • Tuesday, 23rd October 1838 Death of Mr Isaac Thwaite Jnr [27] of Hipperholme

  • 1839 The Manchester & Salford Junction Canal opened in the centre of Manchester, allowing the Rochdale Canal traffic to reach the River Irwell and on to the Mersey without using the Bridgewater Canal

    The Rebecca Riots against turnpikes and other matters took place in Wales

  • Monday, 7th January 1839 Todmorden and district was struck by a hurricane which was described as

    one of the most awful and destructive ever to have known to have occurred ... every description of building was injured by the devastating storm

    Reported events included

  • Saturday, 12th January 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Office

  • Monday, 14th January 1839 The practice of slaughtering and stealing the carcases of sheep has again been revived in the neighbourhood of Halifax. A sheep was slaughtered in a field near King Cross, and part of the carcase and skin was conveyed away

  • Thursday, 7th February 1839 An inquest before George Dyson at the New Dolphin, Northowram on the body of 11-year-old Hannah Bairstow whose clothes caught fire by a hot cinder flying from the fire, and she was burned to death returned a verdict of accidentally burned

  • Saturday, 9th February 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Office

    Men entered the house of Mr Jackson of Mile Thorn through the rear cellar window, and stole 3 dresses, 12 yards of cloth for shirting, 1 pair of spectacles costing 23/-, 7 shawls, a number of silk handkerchiefs, 1 cloak to the value of £3, 5 silver spoons, 1 table spoon, sugar tongs and a number of other articles. The thieves escaped before Mrs Jackson could catch them

  • Monday, 11th February 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Office

    An inquest before George Dyson at the Rose & Crown, Stansfield on the body of William Crowther, a cart driver aged 50, who, whilst driving his cart, was knocked down by the horse and the cart passed over him and killed him

  • Friday, 1st March 1839 Hurrier Joseph Gray [11] was killed in a roof-fall at Swan Bank Colliery

  • Monday, 1st April 1839 A group of about 70 men armed with bludgeons, came to Sowerby Bridge protesting about the Irish labourers who were working on the Leeds & Manchester Railway. The Irish men were working for lower wages, and defended themselves with shovels and mattocks, saying that the gang had no right to intimidate them. The police were called and the mob eventually left the Irish to carry on with their work. There was a similar attempt to coerce Irish workers at Brighouse which also failed

  • Saturday, 6th April 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • Saturday, 25th May 1839 As the Brighouse market car was near Hipperholme, the axle broke and the vehicle was thrown violently to the ground. The car was full and all the passengers were more or less injured. One casualty was seriously bruised and was taken up by Mr Day of Brighouse, but the gig had not gone far before it overturned, injuring the man a second time. A man took one of the horses to ride to Brighouse for a chaise, and when the horse reached the stable it dropped down dead [apart from that, how was the journey?]

  • Monday, 27th May 1839 During the night of the 27th/28th, some persons broke into the mill of Mr Noble of Brighouse and carried away 3 packs of tops

  • Saturday, 1st June 1839 Inquest before George Dyson on the body of William Cocker [18] a driver of the Manchester & Leeds Railway who was killed the previous day when a waggon ran over him

    At Halifax Magistrates' Office

  • Tuesday, 4th June 1839 Inquest before George Dyson on the body of Thomas Harris [47] a weaver who was found dead on the previous Sunday in Pellon Lane. He had been unwell for some time and was supposed to have died in a fit

  • Tuesday, 11th June 1839 An earthquake was reported in the Rochdale/Todmorden area

  • Tuesday, 18th June 1839 Inquest at the Royal Oak, Barkisland, before George Dyson, on the body of a baby boy, about 1 year old, found in a quarry at Barkisland on Sunday, 16th June 1839. In the absence of evidence on the identity of the child or cause of death, a verdict of Found dead was recorded

  • Saturday, 3rd August 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Court:

  • Monday, 5th August 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Court:

  • Tuesday, 6th August 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Court:

  • Thursday, 19th September 1839 There was a fire at Clay House Mill, Greetland

  • Saturday, 21st September 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Court:

  • Saturday, 28th September 1839 At Halifax Magistrates' Court:

  • October 1839 At the West Riding Sessions:

  • Friday, 4th October 1839 The Manchester to Littleborough railway line opened

  • Tuesday, 10th December 1839 A train making an experimental run through the Summit Tunnel crashed at a speed of 30 m.p.h at Rochdale. There were no injuries

  • 1840 The coming of the railway marked the start of the decline in use of the canals

  • Tuesday, 21st January 1840 Marriages:

  • Tuesday, 24th March 1840 A fire broke out in the rooms of the Radical Association in Jail Lane, Halifax. The building was owned by Rev John Barling was completely destroyed. Tenants of the building included a workshop occupied by Mr Scowby and a shop owned by Mr Rogerson. Newspaper accounts told that

    there are reports in which blame is attached to the Radicals

  • Monday, 18th May 1840 Hurrier Charles Cheatham [10] was killed in a fire-damp explosion at Highfield Colliery

  • Wednesday, 20th May 1840 William Smith [11], a driver, fell and was run over by a wagon on the Manchester-Leeds Railway at Elland. He died 2 days later

  • Friday, 22nd May 1840 Joseph Holt [15], a driver, fell and was run over by a wagon on the Manchester-Leeds Railway at Elland

  • Thursday, 11th June 1840 William Sheard [30] was killed and 5 others were badly burned in a fire-damp explosion at Swan Bank Colliery when a miner used a candle instead of the safety lamp. Joseph Sheard [15] died 4 days later

  • Saturday, 1st August 1840 An experiment trip was made prior to the opening of the Manchester & Leeds Railway. A team of 10 carriages drawn by 8 horses started at Hebden Bridge and passed through Sowerby Bridge, Elland and on to Bradley Wood. At every village

    it was greeted with the warmest acclamation of immense multitudes assembled to witness the spectacle

  • Friday, 25th September 1840 Joseph Roberts [30] and James Morrison [25] were killed by a fall of earth in the railway tunnel at Rodwell End

  • October 1840 The Hebden Bridge to Normanton section of the Manchester-Leeds Railway opened

  • Saturday, 3rd October 1840 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • Monday, 5th October 1840 The first train arrived at Hebden Bridge Station

    The first train passed through Brighouse for Bradford Station

    The Manchester & Leeds Railway line opened – see North Dean Railway Bridge

  • Wednesday, 9th December 1840 There was a fire at Barstow's Mill, Bridge Street, Halifax

  • 1841 When the Manchester & Leeds Railway opened, the Rochdale Canal company had to reduce tolls to retain business

    Manchester-Leeds Railway line completed. The first trans-Pennine railway followed the route of the Rochdale Canal and bypassing Halifax

    The Summit Tunnel and the first trans-Pennine railway – the Manchester-Leeds Railway – was opened

  • Saturday, 6th February 1841 At Halifax Magistrates' Court:

  • Tuesday, 9th February 1841 An inquest at the George Inn, Brighouse on the body of Thomas Denison [41] who was found dead in bed returned the verdict that he died by the visitation of God

    An inquest at the Hare & Hounds, Stansfield on the body of Jane Spencer [3] who burned to death when her night dress caught fire returned the verdict accidentally burned

  • Friday, 26th February 1841 Jonathan Sutcliffe [40] was killed in a fire-damp explosion at Swan Bank Colliery

  • Monday, 1st March 1841 The Manchester-Leeds Railway line via Brighouse opened. The line bypassed Halifax

  • Friday, 2nd April 1841 2 young men working at Robert Eastburn's Green Mount Works, Pellon Lane were killed when a steam engine boiler exploded and brick work was thrown down. They were scalded in the explosion and died a few hours later

  • Sunday, 4th April 1841 Joseph Pilling [32], Samuel Laycock [25] and David Laycock [24] threw stones at the house of George Carver, keeper of the [which?] Brighouse toll-bar, waking him. They tried to force their way in, and only left when Carver gave them 9d. At their trial, the jury found Pilling guilty, and the other 2 men not guilty

  • Saturday, 4th December 1841 A most alarming fire broke out at Illingworth Church. Around 8:30 pm, a message arrived in Halifax for engines.

    One belonging to the Leeds & Yorkshire Insurance Company was immediately despatched to the spot.

    There was some delay in sending other engines belonging to the town on account of non-payment for their services at several recent fires which resulted in orders being given that the firemen reserve their service to the town alone. As a result of instructions from the constables, the engines were obliged to depart.

    The fire raged for some hours but was subdued by the exertions of the firemen and the inhabitants.

    The fire was caused by an overheated flue on the stove which was warming the church for services on the following day. The stove was positioned immediately beneath the west gallery. The organ was badly damaged, the west gallery and many pews were damaged The whole of the damage to the organ, pews, books &c was estimated at £200.

    Much of the interior was redesigned afterwards. A new organ was inaugurated on 7th November 1843

  • 1842 One child was burned to death, and a man and his two children were badly burned at Ainley Top Mine

  • August 1842 The Plug Riots – aka The General Strike of 1842 – caused considerable unrest throughout Britain, and put many people out of work

  • Tuesday, 16th August 1842 There was a disturbance by Chartists at Salterhebble Hill

  • Wednesday, 17th August 1842 There was considerable unrest in Halifax with rumours of the military having been overpowered by rioters. The rumours were untrue, although there had been confrontations with some loss of life amongst the rioters. Reports quote deaths of between 3 and 12 people

  • Wednesday, 14th September 1842 Master Robertshaw [13] was killed in a roof-fall at Shibden Hall Colliery

  • October 1842 Because of drought, traffic on the Rochdale Canal was stopped between Manchester and Sowerby Bridge

    Because of a drought and the consequent shortage of water, the Rochdale Canal was closed between Sowerby Bridge and Manchester

  • Monday, 21st November 1842 Robert Atkinson [24] stabbed and wounded George Woodcock at Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse with intent to main and disable him. At the Yorkshire Spring Assizes in March 1843, he was found guilty

  • Saturday, 24th December 1842 On Christmas Eve, Sarah Ellen Garside unnaccountably left her parents' home at Cote Hill, never to be seen again. Her body was found in the Calder at Salterhebble on 19th February 1843.

    A Sarah Ellen, daughter of Mary and Joseph Garside was baptised on 5th August 1821 at Halifax

  • 1843 Kershaw Mill, Heptonstall was destroyed by fire

    Marshaw Bridge Mill, Cragg Vale burned down

  • January 1843 About 3:00_am on 5th or 12th of January, Spa Well Mill, Elland, belonging to Charles Pitchforth, was discovered to be on fire. Before the engine arrived, the interior was completely destroyed and only the bare walls were left standing. The engine house, the press shop belonging to John Garside and some adjoining cottages were saved. The mill was insured by the Leeds & York Insurance Company. It is not known how the fire started

  • Tuesday, 3rd January 1843 Joshua Turner, a mechanic with J. & J. Baldwin & Partners Limited at Bailey Hall, had been repairing a boiler through the night. He accidentally fell through a trap door and landed on his head. He was taken to the Infirmary where he died about 9 o'clock. A verdict of accidental death was returned at the Inquest

  • Wednesday, 22nd February 1843 The damaged engine of a luggage train was disconnected and was being taken from Elland to Brighouse when the rest of the train crashed into and destroyed the tender. There were no casualties

    A train collided with a stationary engine on the line between Brighouse Station and Elland Station. There were no injuries

  • Friday, 10th March 1843 An earthquake was reported in the Rochdale/Todmorden area

  • September 1843

    The Halifax Guardian [Saturday 16th September 1843] reported

    Fire broke out in the pile of warehouses of James Akroyd & Sons at Bowling Dyke, Halifax. The alarm was raised by a private watchman on the Halifax side of the brook, and the alarm (which we may add is fortunately a very rare one in Halifax) was speedily communicated to the town's watchmen, who lost no time in rousing the firemen. In about a quarter of an hour from the fire being first noticed, the small town's fire engine raced to the spot. Soon afterwards, the Royal Exchange and Leeds & Yorkshire engines arrived. The military (part of the 32nd) stationed in the town were shortly on the spot.

    Damages were said to be between £10,000 and £12,000


  • Friday, 1st September 1843 An accident at James Clay's Hollins Mill, Sowerby Bridge when Harriet Bates [10] went to the mill to tell a local widow that her tea was ready. The child was caught in a machine known as the dule. The woman – who had only been working 2 days at the mill – tried to rescue her but both were dragged into the teeth of the machine and killed. It was said that the dule was not sufficiently guarded or boxed in

  • Friday, 24th November 1843 John Smith, a Halifax grocer, married Helen, 3rd daughter of Zechariah Noble, a Cleckheaton woolsorter, at Halifax Parish Church

    Death of Sabina [33], wife of John Highley of Harrison Road, Halifax

  • Saturday, 25th November 1843 John Howarth married Miss Hannah Keighley, both of Halifax at Harrison Road Chapel

  • December 1843 There was a typhus epidemic in Heptonstall Slack – see Dr Robert Howard

  • Tuesday, 19th December 1843 T. W. Mackrill, upholsterer of Halifax, married Martha Spencer of Skircoat

  • Wednesday, 20th December 1843 Henry Hebblethwaite, grocer, married Jane, daughter of Isaac Turner, farmer, all of Northowram

    Death of Martha [30], daughter of Charles Molineux of Halifax

  • Thursday, 21st December 1843 Marriages:

  • 1844 Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers established

    The Divi was introduced in the Co-operative Movement

  • Saturday, 6th April 1844 Benjamin Craven (aged 13), a hurrier working at the Quarry House Colliery, Northowram, was killed by a portion of the roof falling upon him. It took some time to dig away the materials that had fallen upon him, and when discovered he was quite dead

  • Tuesday, 2nd July 1844 A link line of the Manchester-Leeds Railway opened from North Dean to Shaw Syke, Halifax

  • Monday, 15th July 1844 Jacob Haley, Abraham Haley and John Smith were sentenced for 18 months with hard labour for robbery at Hipperholme

  • Monday, 28th October 1844 Miss Elizabeth Butterworth of Hipperholme married Mr William Sugden, a maltster of Cleckheaton, at Halifax Parish Church

  • Thursday, 30th January 1845 John Godson [30], a guard on the Manchester and Leeds Railway, was killed on the line at Todmorden. At the inquest, Robert Abraham, the stoker, and William Barry, the engine driver, said that they left the Rochdale station with a luggage train towards Leeds. When they were a short distance from the Bott Lee tunnel, Godson unhooked some of the waggons; and, when within about 20 yards of the tunnel, he was seen to fall off the waggon onto the line. He died almost immediately.

    An inquest was held at the White Hart, Todmorden

  • March 1845 Cold March with 27 degrees of frost recorded in parts of the district

  • Saturday, 22nd March 1845 Men employed by Mr Thompson, the contractor for the Halifax branch of the Manchester & Leeds Railway, were carrying out the customary repairs to the line. They were pulling a truck-load of rails with the aid of 2 horses, when an unscheduled train – carrying only a man and 4 boys – from Halifax to Elland emerged from Salterhebble Tunnel. The workmen managed to pull the horses out of the way and no-one was harmed

  • Monday, 30th June 1845 Between 1845-1849, services were introduced from Todmorden to Colne and Burnley

  • Wednesday, 11th March 1846 About 5:20 pm, an explosion at the iron foundry of Bethel Hanson, killed Hanson and Dan Taylor, his bookkeeper.

    Being dissatisfied with the speed of the engine, and finding found fault with the lad who was attending the boiler, Hanson had fired-up himself. The boiler – 9 ft long and 3 ft 6 in in diameter – exploded. It was torn from its seating and was blown through the house of Mr Pollard, which stood next to the foundry, across Grove Street and against the houses which stood opposite. Several children were injured and taken to Halifax Infirmary.

    The inquest decided that Hanson had been responsible for the boiler which exploded because of the insufficient flow of water At the inquest, it was stated that the explosion was caused by

    want of water in the boiler

    and that Hanson, who had responsibility for the boiler, would have been charged with manslaughter had he survived the accident

  • December 1846 One of the worst winters in living memory

  • Monday, 21st December 1846 The fireman jumped off a train, which had been stopped by a boulder on the line at Luddendenfoot, and broke one of his legs

  • 1847 A great storm damaged the Church of St Thomas à Becket, Heptonstall

  • Saturday, 2nd January 1847 Shortly after midnight, Joseph Park was killed when he slipped and fell whilst walking across the rails. A pilot engine, the Harrogate, ran over him

  • Saturday, 27th March 1847 David Hartley, son of King David Hartley, was killed at Eastwood Station

  • April 1847 John Richmond [1785-1847] was injured by a sudden fall of stone and shale as he was working at the town's delph. He died from a compound fracture of the right leg and other injuries

  • Saturday, 22nd May 1847 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • Tuesday, 25th May 1847 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • Wednesday, 26th May 1847 There was an inquest at the Dusty Miller, Mytholmroyd on the body of John Clayton who was found drowned on the previous day in the goit adjoining Mr Fielding's mill there

    At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • Thursday, 1st July 1847 Akroyd's Bowling Dyke mills burned down

  • Thursday, 8th July 1847 John Ashworth was killed by lightning at Mount Skip. James Greenwood was also struck but he recovered

  • Thursday, 16th September 1847 The express mail train from Manchester to Leeds was derailed by a broken rail as it approached Sowerby Bridge station, throwing the last carriage off the line. 2 passengers – Louis Gillard, of the Electric Telegraph Company of Wakefield and William Roper Weston, the surveyor-general for the Board of Customs – were killed. Several others, including Mr T. Moon, Mr Weston's secretary, were injured.

    One of the passengers who escaped injury was Captain Ellis or Ellice, a government inspector of railways. He was in the same carriage as Mr Moon.

    At the inquest held at The Royal, Sowerby Bridge, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death, adding that they recommended a luggage or break van at the end of an express train as a security for the passenger carriages.

    In December 1848, Mrs Gillard, the widow, sued the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company for compensation for loss of her husband. The jury found for Mrs Gillard and awarded £750 damages

  • Saturday, 4th December 1847 After heavy rain, the Calder flooded at Todmorden. Houses were under 3 to 4 feet of water and cellar dwellings were inundated

  • Sunday, 5th December 1847 A Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway train arrived at Littleborough Station without breaksman or signal lamp which had been left at Eastwood. The driver, William Bates, was lying drunk and incapable on the footplate, and the engine was being driven by James Heaton, fireman of the Hebden Bridge pilot engine, who was also in a state of intoxication. The fireman, Oliver, also much in liquor, had fallen off or been pushed off near Summit Tunnel. Bates was committed for 2 months, Heaton was discharged as he was not on duty at the time, and Oliver ran off

  • Monday, 24th January 1848 The California Gold Rush was sparked by the discovery of gold at Coloma, California

  • Saturday, 22nd April 1848 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • October 1848 Cholera was reported in Hull, having arrived from Hamburg. It spread on to Edinburgh, London, Gravesend, Plymouth, Sunderland, Glasgow, and Dumfries.

    The heaviest toll was in the industrial and mining areas of Staffordshire, Lancashire, Durham, Yorkshire and Northumberland. 53,293 people died in England

  • Saturday, 9th December 1848 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

    At Halifax Police Court:

  • Friday, 15th December 1848 Inquest before George Dyson at the Golden Lion, Langfield, Todmorden on the body of Edward Bramley [7] who was found drowned in the Calder near Royal Bridge. There was no evidence of how he had drowned

  • Saturday, 23rd December 1848 William Crawthra [24] was killed falling down the shaft at Swan Bank Colliery

  • 1849 Outbreaks of scarlatina were recorded in Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Ripponden and Sowerby

    A branch line of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway was opened from Todmorden to Burnley via Cliviger and Copy Pit. This was a single-track line. A second track was installed in 1860

  • Sunday, 21st January 1849 Horse-drawn cabs were introduced to Halifax

  • Wednesday, 21st March 1849 At St Bartholomew's Church, Manchester, S. D. Fryer, oldest son of the late S. Fryer of Rastrick, married Lucy, youngest daughter of J. Hall of Manchester

  • Wednesday, 4th April 1849 W. J. Sleath of Bacup married Eliza, only daughter of John Shaw of Holywell Green at Providence Chapel, Stainland

  • Saturday, 26th May 1849 9 young men – including James Wilson, Joseph Rothera, Charles Howarth, Wilkinson Priestley, James Kershaw, Joseph Sutcliffe, William Brearley, and James Bolton - were brought up before Halifax Magistrates charged with Sabbath breaking when they were gaming, paying pitch and toss on Sunday. They were all convicted and fined 12/4d each.

  • Monday, 16th July 1849 Benjamin Stott and John Wilson were charged with assaulting and robbing Joseph Tatham at Halifax. Stott was transported for 7 year, Wilson was acquitted

  • Thursday, 9th August 1849 A thunderstorm did great damage at Todmorden, Altrincham and Holmfirth

  • September 1849 A severe epidemic of cholera across Britain in August and September.

    There were 2 cases of Asiatic Cholera in Halifax: Joseph Norminton of Halifax, and an un-named man who was a manager at Atkinson's Silk Mill, Boothtown. Both men had returned from a cheap trip to Liverpool and the Isle of Man.

    There were 2 other deaths in Shelf

  • Sunday, 4th November 1849 Martin Mill, Wadsworth was destroyed when the mill dam burst

  • 1850 Halifax connected to Sowerby Bridge and Low Moor

  • Saturday, 16th February 1850 John Shaw & Sons gave a dinner and tea to all their 500 workers to celebrate the opening of a new power-loom shed – measuring 150 ft by 75 feet – at their mill at Stainland. A band of music and a party of glee singers were hired for the occasion

    Question: Any ideas which Stainland Mill this would be?


  • Thursday, 21st February 1850 High winds caused considerable damage in Halifax. Windows were broken at Wesley's Chapel and at other premises in the town. The chimney at Hall & Clarkson's Savile Mill was blown down. Part of the roof of a new mill in Old Lane was blown off. The passenger shed at Sowerby Bridge was blown down

    A boy was injured as he was swinging on a gate at Akroyd's Copley Mill. The wind caught the gate, threw it against a wall, cutting off one of the boy's ears and bruising his head

    so fearfully, that in a moment or two, it was swollen to twice its ordinary size

    The boy's family lived in Copley model village

  • Saturday, 4th May 1850 A hen belonging to an innkeeper at Hipperholme, which had been missing for 17 days, was found alive and trapped in a large brewing pan. She had laid 3 eggs but could have received no sustenance during her confinement

  • Wednesday, 7th August 1850 The railway line through Hipperholme opened

  • Wednesday, 21st August 1850 At the Halifax Brewster sessions, a number of local innkeepers, including Adam Battinson of the Duke William, Halifax, James Farrar of the Mitre, Halifax, Mary Foster of the Lamb, Halifax, and Samuel Speight of the Lamb's Head, Halifax

    had subjected themselves to the lash of the law for knowingly permitting prostitutes and those of notorious character to be drinking in their houses, contrary to the spirit of their licences

    and were each fined £2 plus costs. Mrs Margaret Hobson of the Fountain, Halifax was fined £1 plus costs

  • Tuesday, 24th September 1850 Inquest before George Dyson at the New Dolphin, Northowram on the body of Elizabeth Rawson [18 months] who died from injuries to the head and the brain after being run over by the wheel of a waggon, belonging to Thomas Wood, as she was playing in the road

  • Wednesday, 25th September 1850 The 4-year-old daughter of John Wade, a druggist and chemist at Todmorden, drowned when she was playing by the side of the canal and fell in. She was immediately rescued but efforts to resuscitate her failed

  • Thursday, 28th November 1850 Several workers – mostly young girls – were killed and 17 others injured when a boiler exploded at Firth's Lilly Lane Mill, Halifax – see Explosion at Lilly Lane Mill

  • March 1851 There were many incidences of forged Bank of England notes in the Rochdale, Todmorden, Bacup and Littleborough districts. Lancashire police apprehended

    2 of the utterers who are moving in a respectable sphere of life, being flannel manufacturers at Rochdale

    Of those charged, John Whittles was found in possession of more than 35 £5 notes and 4 £10 notes, and Joshua Butterworth had used 4 £5 notes and 1 £10 note

  • Friday, 11th April 1851 An unnamed man drowned in the canal below the Punch Bowl at Todmorden. His hat was found on the side of the canal, together with a letter with his name and address on, and a penny, which was assumed to be for the cost of posting the letter

  • Friday, 23rd May 1851 At the West Riding Spring Intermediate Sessions at Bradford:

  • June 1851 A heavy thunderstorm and hailstorm caused much damage in Lancashire, including Todmorden

  • Sunday, 29th June 1851 2 brothers from Clifton by the name of Killburn, one aged 19 and the other 21, were drowned at Cooper Bridge. About 4:00_pm, they were walking near the railway arches at Cooper Bridge when the elder took his clothes off to bathe. He wasn't a swimmer and got out of his depth. His younger brother jumped in to help him and got hold of his before they both sank. Their bodies were taken to the Black Bull, Clifton

  • Thursday, 21st August 1851 Fire completely gutted Wilson's Bobbin Mill, Cornholme. Fielden's Niagara engine was one of those that attended the fire. Newspapers reported that a dwelling house and some buildings connected with the mill were saved, and that this was the third time that the premises had been burned

  • 1852 Beacon Hill tunnel was constructed [1846-1849] for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company and opened in 1852

  • January 1852 There was a national dispute between engineers and masters, and many companies - such as Lord Brothers Limited - closed their workshops and discharged workers

  • Wednesday, 4th February 1852 After several days of heavy rain, the Bilberry Dam reservoir at Holmfirth burst causing catastrophic damage. Around 100 people were killed, and 4 mills, numerous factories, houses, bridges, churches were destroyed. An estimated 4,986 adults were thrown out of work, and 2142. With an estimated contribution of over £1,700, Halifax was one of many towns who collected money for the relief of the survivors

    The Halifax Guardian [Saturday 4th February 1852] reported

    The Shopkeepers' Gunpowder Stores

    The Mayor of Halifax said that a deputation were present who wished to present a memorial.

    Mr Robson, a solicitor, said the memorial which they had to present had been signed by 82 inhabitants of property in Old Market, Halifax, and he begged the Town Clerk to be so kind as to read it. The Town Clerk then read the memorial that

    • Messrs Turner
    • F. Mann – (possibly) Frederick Mann
    • H. Stott
    • J. Watson

    were four dealers in gunpowder in the immediate neighbourhood of the memorialists' premises; and that having legal authority to keep 200 lbs each of gunpowder constantly exposed to risk; at least 800 lbs might be exploded at any time within a space of about 50 yards from a given point.

    It was urged that an alteration of the law should be obtained compelling dealers in powder to keep their stocks safe in a suitable separate building.

    There followed a very lengthy discussion, after which the Mayor said that shortly there would be another meeting of the council, and in the meantime the matter might safely be left in the hands of the committee, to which it had been referred.

    The motion was carried and the deputation withdrew


  • Thursday, 3rd June 1852 John Crossley Jnr of Hebden Bridge married Susanna, eldest daughter of Richard Sutcliffe of Lumb Bank at Heptonstall Church

  • Sunday, 22nd August 1852 The son of Mr Marshall, one of Fielden's grooms at Dobroyd, was injured as he fell whilst riding a horse at Langfield, and was dragged a short distance. He was bruised and unconscious but alive

  • Friday, 19th November 1852 2 mills burned down in Elland

  • Thursday, 16th December 1852 The Redmires Reservoir at Todmorden began to leak and many families living below the dam moved out of the area until it was found to be safe. The families' concern was coloured by the bursting of the Bilberry Dam reservoir at Holmfirth on 4th February 1852

  • 1853 The Crimean War began

  • Saturday, 22nd January 1853 40-year-old John Jagger was killed by the fall of shale and rubbish whilst undermining at Westercroft Quarry

  • February 1853 Robert Sutcliffe was killed by a fall of clay at the Howcans Pottery

  • Saturday, 9th April 1853 On Monday 11th April 1853, an Inquest was held at Halifax Infirmary, on the body of Edward Douglas, aged 27 years, who died from injuries received at Sowerby Bridge Railway station. He was a porter and pointsman, and as he was walking on the line of railway on Saturday last, he was thrown to the ground by a train of carriages which were shunting, and was mortally wounded. He was removed to Huddersfield Infirmary and died the following day

  • Thursday, 21st April 1853 An accident at Binns Coal Pits, Ashgrove belonging to Holt & Company, Southowram resulted in the death of Thomas Holgate (aged 40). Holgate and another man were busily engaged in sinking a shaft from the hard bed to the soft bed. Shortly before, they had let off a blast and Holgate had descended to see the result. Shortly after, he signalled the man at the top to draw him up but when near the top he fell backward off the rope to the bottom of the pit. The man tried to catch him but did not succeed.

    The body was taken to the Ashgrove Inn. Inquest verdict: Accidental death

  • Friday, 22nd April 1853 Croft Mills, Halifax was completely destroyed by fire.

    The Manchester Times of 27th April 1853 reported

    Destruction of a factory by fire: The large 5-storey Croft Mill in Gaol Lane was completely destroyed by fire. Owned by Leyland & Highley cardmakers and partially occupied by them. Part was let to Mr Illingworth and Mr Joseph Wood, worsted spinners

  • Saturday, 2nd July 1853 At Halifax Magistrates' Office:

  • September 1853 A cholera epidemic began in the Newcastle area, having arrived from the Baltic ports, and spread southwards. Between 1853-1856, there were 20,079 deaths in England and Wales, of which 10,738 occurred in London

  • Sunday, 25th September 1853 William Balmforth was returning home by train when he crossed the line at Brighouse Railway Station and was caught by the engine and killed on the spot

  • Tuesday, 4th October 1853 The Lee Bridge mills of Whitworth & Company were badly damaged by fire

  • Wednesday, 14th December 1853 Fire destroyed Foster Mill, Hebden Bridge

  • 1854 Many troops in the Crimean War died of cholera

  • Wednesday, 4th January 1854 A snowstorm in the Upper Calder Valley brought the railways to a standstill. The shortage of coal closed many mills and factories

  • Friday, 10th February 1854 William Shepherd's Booth Wood Mill, Rishworth partially burnt down after fire broke out at 1 o'clock with paper which had been placed in the drying kiln. Shepherd's son was sent to Halifax to raise the alarm, and fire engines were sent from Leeds, Halifax, Bradford and Keighley, and arrived at 3 o'clock. The fire was extinguished soon afterwards. The property was not insured, though damage was thought not to exceed a few hundred pounds

  • Friday, 24th February 1854 As it was in the course of construction, Mount Zion United Free Methodist Church, Cornholme was almost blown down in a gale. Damages were estimated at £60

  • Wednesday, 29th March 1854 3 men were killed at a stone quarry near Hipperholme Railway Station. The men were working under a ledge of stone and earth, weighing around 25 tons, when it collapsed, killing them all in a matter of minutes

  • Friday, 31st March 1854 The railway line from Halifax to Bradford and Leeds via Brighouse opened

  • Saturday, 1st April 1854 3 men were killed in an accident at an unidentified quarry (owned by the railway company) in Hipperholme.

    The Halifax Courier [Saturday 4th April 1854] reported the event

  • Thursday, 1st June 1854 John Barker about 17 years old, was a leader of coals, and kept a mule for that purpose.

    On Thursday the mule got into a field on the side where the land at Brookfoot, alongside the road leading from Southowram to Brighouse, is much higher than the road, and the deceased went in to fetch it out.

    After having secured the animal, and got it out of the pasture, on climbing over the wall, the lad's foot slipped and he fell into the road where he was run over on the head by a passing cart.

    An official enquiry at the Malt Shovel Inn recorded a verdict of Accidental Death

  • Monday, 31st July 1854 Halifax to Low Moor railway – which began in August 1852 – opened

  • August 1854 An old woman, aged 95, was lately carried to her long home from the village of Bailiffe Bridge, and followed by 9 of her own children, whose united ages amounted to 533 years; her oldest child being 70, and her youngest 46 years old

  • Saturday, 11th November 1854

    The Halifax Courier [Saturday 18th November 1854] reported

    Fatal Railway Accident.

    An official inquiry into the death of William Clay age 39 was instituted at the Blucher Inn, Halifax.

    The deceased was a parcel porter at Walsden and his wife and family resided at Hipperholme and he was in the habit of going home every fortnight.

    Last Saturday, he came to Halifax, and witnesses gave evidence of seeing him in the town. William Garforth who lived at the White Bear Inn, Cow Green said the deceased had been in there and had two pennyworth of gin, and was rather worse for liquor at 11 o'clock. PC Gaukroger said the deceased had been in the Turks Head just before nine and it appears he then went to the Boars Head having two pennyworth of either gin or rum in each place. He then met his nephew Henry Clay in Horton Street and they arranged to meet later to go home together to Hipperholme but deceased did not turn up.

    The deceased had been in the habit of walking home through Beacon Hill tunnel as it was a much shorter distance than by the turnpike road. He had previously worked at Halifax station and generally called at the station and borrowed a lamp to take with him through the tunnel, but last Saturday he appeared to have got on the line by the siding and to have walked forward without a light.

    When deceased did not arrive home his aunt asked Henry to walk through the tunnel to meet him as there were no trains passing at that time. The deceased's son (age 15) said he would go in search of his father if witnesses desired not to do so. They both walked down the line and saw several sleepers which at first they took to be men. They were within one hundred yards of the mouth of the tunnel before they found deceased's body.

    Some of the jurors remarked that the railway company were blameable for allowing people to pass through the tunnel.

    A Superintendent of Lancashire & Yorkshire railway said the deceased had no business to walk upon the line and it was his custom to summon anyone doing so. Two engines passed through the tunnel at the time and it was assumed that the goods train knocked him down and in trying to clear himself the Great Northern engine, which ran so lightly he would probably not hear it until it was a few yards from him probably hit him.

    Verdict – Accidental death.

    Deceased had a wife and seven children


  • Thursday, 16th November 1854 Four men were killed & others were seriously injured in a boiler explosion at William Balmforth's Marshall Hall Mill, Elland

  • Monday, 11th December 1854 Patrick Burke of Pineberry Hill, Southowram Bank was killed after falling down the shaft at Highfield Colliery, owned by Holt & Holmes.

    The Halifax Courier [Saturday, 16th December 1854] reported the accident

    On Monday last, a youth named Patrick Burke was killed at High Field House Colliery.

    The pit shaft is an enormous depth of 180 yards. The hard bed is about 25 yards above the lower bed. The deceased was a hurrier in the hard bed.

    The coals are raised in corves by the usual machinery, one corve ascending as the other descends. The deceased was about to leave his work for the day at 12 o'clock. It is supposed he was getting into the corve when the machine was set in motion and the unfortunate deceased was precipitated to the bottom. He was taken out dead and removed to the Cock & Bottle Inn where an inquest was held.

    Verdict: Accidental death


  • 1855 The canal company resisted take-over bids from railway companies but leased the Rochdale Canal for a period of 45 years to a consortium of railway companies of which the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway was the biggest shareholder

  • Monday, 1st January 1855 A destructive wind at Halifax

  • Friday, 19th January 1855 John Sharpe was killed by a roof-fall at Bradshaw Lane Colliery

  • February 1855 The weather in Britain was colder than February 1740

  • Saturday, 21st April 1855 Thomas Holgate was suffocated by powder smoke at Binns Bottom Mine

  • Tuesday, 15th May 1855 Hurrier Kershaw Barker [10] was killed in a roof-fall at Dam Head Colliery

  • Monday, 23rd July 1855 At the Yorkshire Assizes, George Harrison [32] was charged with

    having on the 25th March 1855 burglariously entered the premises of Thomas Hanson at Hipperholme

    He was liberated on this offence, but was then charged with

    having on the 22nd April 1855 sacrilegiously entered the church at Shelf and stolen the clergyman's surplice and other items

    After a hot, sultry period, a severe storm flooded many parts of the district.

    Two people – Wooler Jenkinson & an unidentified person - were drowned in the swollen rivers.

    In Halifax, part of North Bridge collapsed under the water rushing down into the Hebble

  • August 1855 There was flooding in Todmorden following

    a severe and lengthy thunderstorm ... vivid flashes of lightning were quickly succeeded by loud claps of thunder ... the rain poured down in torrents filling the different brooks which wind their way through the valley

    A wall of water 15 ft high inundated Todmorden National School and other property in the district

  • Sunday, 19th August 1855 A train with 50 or more carriages, travelling from Blackpool towards Todmorden, stopped in the Summit Tunnel for the engine to take on water. A goods train ran into it, smashing 2 carriages and damaging others. A man from Heptonstall had his thigh fractured, some passengers were thrown across the line, and several others much bruised

  • Saturday, 6th October 1855 William Lord [28], a collier of Portsmouth, Todmorden, died from injuries received at the Bankwell Colliery. He was working with a lighted candle in his hand when the gas caught fire and an explosion took place

  • Friday, 26th October 1855 Todmorden was

    visited by one of the largest floods within the recollection of the oldest inhabitants

  • January 1856 Isaac Midgley of Southowram was badly injured whilst picking wool off a carding machine at J. & J. Baldwin's. He became entangled in the machinery and suffered lacerations to his knees, ankles and elbows

    Charles Stead [aged 66] died from injuries caused by his falling from the top of Godley Cutting. At the Inquest at Shelf, the jury recommended that a quick-set hedge be planted at the top of the cutting

  • Thursday, 21st February 1856 Hurrier George Harwood [14] was killed when he fell down the shaft at Limed House Colliery

  • Tuesday, 18th March 1856 An engine

    strayed off the line between Halifax and Copley

    Several men worked for 6 hours to replace the engine on the rails

  • Wednesday, 19th March 1856 During the night of the 19th/20th, tools were stolen from a house being built by Joseph Mann at New Bank, Halifax. The door had been broken open and several tools and implements had been stolen

  • Monday, 21st April 1856 An 11-year-old girl, employed washing silk at Airey & Greenwood's mill in Brighouse, got herself entangled in the machinery and lost all the fingers off her right hand

  • Tuesday, 22nd April 1856 Joseph Sutcliffe was killed in a roof-fall at Bradshaw Lane Colliery

  • Tuesday, 24th June 1856 Sarah Jane, daughter of William Aspinall, was badly injured at Clayton & Lockwood's mill when she was throwing a machine out of gear when her arm became entangled and severed from her body. Dr Farrar was called and sent her to Huddersfield Infirmary

  • Sunday, 24th August 1856 John Howarth set fire to hay and a barn at the Howcans Earthenware Works

  • Wednesday, 3rd September 1856 Sidney Haigh, son of a farmer at Chapel Lane, Southowram, was carrying a scythe as he rode home on horseback. The scythe was caught by a clothes-line across Chapel Lane and the blade was pressed against the horse's neck. The horse screamed and Haigh led it home where it was put to death

  • Friday, 5th September 1856 Higgin Mill, Luddendenfoot burned down

  • Monday, 20th October 1856 The 7:00 pm Halifax & Huddersfield Omnibus coach overturned as it descended Shaw Hill, Halifax. There were 7 passengers outside and 4 inside, some of whom were slightly injured, though several escaped unhurt. John Oates [6] – travelling with his mother Martha – was trapped beneath the vehicle and died from his injuries on the following day.

    See John Hope

  • Monday, 3rd November 1856 Death of John Mason Holroyde [32] of Stainland

    Death of J. M. Holroyde Esq of Stainland aged 32

  • Saturday, 8th November 1856 There were a number of daring and brutal attacks in the Ovenden area. Two cases were heard by the West Riding Magistrates on Saturday, 8th November 1856,

    Mrs Charlotte Hooson and her husband were walking home from Halifax to Ovenden around 11:00 pm when a group of 4 or 5 men attacked her. 2 of the men, Mitchell and Hoyle, were charged with indecent assault.

    In another incident which took place during the day, Timothy Gibson, Charles Cockroft and Greenwood Ogden were charged with highway robbery at Ovenden after they had attacked James Kershaw, a potato dealer of Halifax. The men made off with 6d.

    The Chairman of the Bench, Colonel Pollard, said that he knew that several gentlemen who lived in the neighbourhood carried revolvers and were prepared to shoot any highway robbers

  • Thursday, 13th November 1856 The neighbourhood of Halifax has become infested with a gang of thieves.

    Great numbers of the inhabitants are providing themselves with weapons of various descriptions for self-defence

  • December 1856 Following several incidents of highway robberies accompanied by violence, 4 men – Young White, Charles Cockroft, Thomas Maude, and Timothy Gibson - were charged with housebreaking in Halifax and Ovenden.

    Maude and Cockroft were seen near the house of John Greenwood, a dyer from Shibden Dale, from which a shawl and other apparel were stolen. White later gave the shawl to the wife of John Jagger, a Halifax innkeeper.

    By removing slates from the roof, White and Jagger broke into the parsonage at Copley whilst Rev James Hope and his family were away.

    White broke into the counting house of Stocks Brewery and stole a pistol. He was assisted by Jagger who made keys for the locks

  • Tuesday, 2nd December 1856 4 local men – Young White, Thomas Maude, Timothy Gibson and Charles Cockroft – were charged with a series of daring burglaries and highway robberies in and around Halifax

  • Wednesday, 3rd December 1856 Thomas Wilson was killed in a roof-fall at Hollins Hey Mine

  • Sunday, 7th December 1856 Following a storm 2 days earlier, a thaw of snow, and heavy rainfall, a massive landslide occurred at Stump Cross. Several thousand tons of earth rolled down the hillside. No one was injured

  • 1857 Fire at Thomas Blackburn's Phoenix Mill, Brighouse

    Low Moor to Leeds

  • February 1857 In the early morning, the brake van and wagons of a goods train ran away from Halifax goods yard, passed through Copley station at high speed, and crashed into a stationary goods train

  • Tuesday, 3rd February 1857 4 men were killed at Whitwood Colliery near Bailiffe Bridge. Between 4:00 and 5:00 pm, blasting was going on to extend the pit, and the men were watching a fuse burn down the shaft when it exploded prematurely, decapitating 3 men and fatally wounding the 4th

  • Thursday, 19th February 1857 187 men were killed in a colliery explosion at Lund Hill

  • April 1857 Eliza Riley, a clean-looking woman from Range Bank, Halifax, was charge with stealing a pound of butter and a piece of bacon from the shop of Joseph Clark, grocer in Orange Street. Clark had suspected Riley for some time. She would go into the shop early in the morning when only the shop boy was present, and then ask him for something and ask him for something which necessitated his going into the top room. Clark had marked a pound of butter (by sticking a pen into it)  and cut a special piece of bacon which Riley subsequently stole. Riley pleaded guilty, saying it was

    poverty and temptation which induced her to steal

    She was imprisoned for a month

  • Tuesday, 7th April 1857 2 men, furnished with more money than wit, had gone to the Lamb Inn, Halifax and bought drinks for a number of girls there and for themselves. The men went into the back of the inn and returned later, one minus £70 which he had hidden in his hat for safety, and the other minus£6. The thieves have not been discovered

  • Sunday, 10th May 1857 The Indian Mutiny began

  • Saturday, 30th May 1857 Property in Ann Street, Halifax, owned by Henry Blackburn, a grocer, collapsed. For some weeks, workers had been demolishing some of the old building, and constructing new buildings in their place. It was proposed to join the old and new sections. At lunchtime, a great section of the old, including warehouse contents, fell into the cellars of the newer section. No-one was injured

  • Wednesday, 24th June 1857 Benjamin Micklethwaite (aged 59) was killed in a roof fall at Clifton Colliery

  • Saturday, 25th July 1857 At West Riding Magistrates' Court:

  • August 1857 Booth Wood Mill, Rishworth was badly damaged by floods in the Ryburn Valley. The machine room was a foot deep in water. The drying room was built on 2 massive pillars and fell into the stream

  • Thursday, 6th August 1857 A child drowned when Hebden water rose

  • Thursday, 13th August 1857 The Calder flooded and caused great damage in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.

    The loss of property by the flood at Ripponden, was estimated at not less than £10,000.

    Water collected to such a depth on the railway at Walsden that the fire of the engine of a train was put out and the train stranded for over 5 hours

  • Saturday, 15th August 1857 Floods at Walsden were so deep that they put out the fire of a Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway train, stopping the train for upwards of 5 hours

  • Tuesday, 22nd September 1857 The following letter was received by a Halifax resident and published in the Halifax Courier

    Novemder 31st 1857

    Dear dorter hi have taken this opertunity to rite those fu lions to you hoping to fing you in good helth as it leves hus at present i Wos very sorry to hear that you Wos hill that if you had stoped at – we coud of comed over to sea you for i ham in constent Wark in a dickyard at presand – so Wor at pusent from you efexoned ferther and muthar

  • 1858 Ripponden Mill burned down

  • Tuesday, 12th January 1858 Sarah Jackson, who lived in a house at the bottom of Gibbet Street, Halifax, suffocated in her bedroom after her dwelling had been filled with gas escaping from the mains in the street. Mr Bedford and his son, who also occupied the house, were found almost lifeless, but were revived.

    While a crowd was gathering in front of the house, a 3-year-old-child James or Samuel Tasker, was run over by a cart and killed

  • Wednesday, 27th January 1858 Charles Smith, a lad of Southowram, was injured at Shaw & Moores mill, Walterclough, after his hand was accidentally drawn into a fanning machine. It was feared that his hand would have to be amputated to the wrist

  • Saturday, 3rd April 1858 A terrific storm of thunder, lightning and hail, accompanied by a very strong wind passed over Todmorden about 11:00 am

  • Wednesday, 14th April 1858 Thomas Howgate of Blaithroyd, Southowram Bank, a miner, had contracted to sink a pit at Binns Bottom.

    The Halifax Courier [28th April 1858] reported

    He and two of his men were working there and had just fired a blast. The deceased went down the shaft which was about 5 yards deep to see what execution had been done. After a few minutes finding that the vapours were too strong for him, he gave the signal to be drawn up again. He had almost got to the top when he became insensible, lost hold of the rope, and fell backwards. One of his men immediately went down but the deceased was quite dead.

    His remains were taken to the Ash Grove Inn.

    Verdict: Accidental death


  • May 1858 Hansom cabs were introduced to Halifax

  • Wednesday, 9th June 1858 There was a fire at Thornhill Briggs Mill, Brighouse occupied by Michael Waller & Sons. The Brighouse engine and the Huddersfield engine were unable to save the building and the roof and all the floors fell in. Damage was estimated at £5,000

  • Wednesday, 23rd June 1858 The Stainland mill of Joseph and Henry Nicholls was completely destroyed by fire. The mill was on short-time and had stopped at 4:00 pm. Smoke was spotted at 5:15 pm and the fire spread quickly. The engine and some of the stock were saved. Damage was estimated at not much less than £10,000

  • July 1858 The Great Stink when the river Thames in London – flowing with industrial waste and human sewage – produced a pervasive & repulsive stench

  • Monday, 2nd August 1858 A gas-holder at Whitworth's mill at Luddendenfoot fell as it was being lined. One worker, Meadowcroft, was cut and bruised, another, Midgley hung on the scaffolding until rescued

  • Saturday, 14th August 1858 Isaac Hitchen, a joiner at Skircoat Green, married Martha Ann Rushworth, of Hipperholme, at Trinity Road Baptist Church, Halifax

    Joseph Longbottom, a gardener of Skircoat Green, married Esther Jowett, of Hipperholme, at Trinity Road Baptist Church, Halifax

  • Saturday, 28th August 1858 Joseph Jackson of Lower Fold, Bull Green, and William Smith of Grove Street, Halifax, were brought up in the Fraudulent Trustees Act. Smith had been sent to Ovenden to fetch a pig for Haigh Hill of Mount Pleasant, Halifax. He did not return and was found to have sold the carcase and used the money to buy drinks which Smith and Jackson were found to be drinking at a beershop in Halifax

  • Sunday, 19th September 1858 The barn of Henry Hargreaves at Winterburn Hill, Warley burned to the ground with the loss of large quantities of hay and grain and 4 fine cows. It was thought to be the work of an incendiary. Losses were £65 for the cows, £160 for the hay and wheat, and £150 to £200 for the building

  • Friday, 24th September 1858 William Robertshaw [19] of Freedom Street, Mount Pleasant, Halifax, an overlooker at Crossley's Carpets, died after he was caught in machinery and his body was broken to pieces

  • October 1858 At West Riding Magistrates' Court, Halifax, a number of local companies – Titus Gaukroger & Son, Benjamin Platt & Sons, and Robert Whitworth & Company - were charged with working their employees too late in the evening. After judgements were passed and the fines were imposed, reports say

    that the working people did not appear satisfied with the manner in which the cases had been settled

  • November 1858

  • Wednesday, 10th November 1858 A fire at Crossley's Dean Clough Mills destroyed much stock and caused around £750 damage

  • Wednesday, 17th November 1858 Bottomley's Mill, Ripponden burned down

  • Wednesday, 5th January 1859 Robert Nicholson, a stone mason, died from injuries received when a block of stone weighing 1 ton fell on his leg as he was involved in constructing a grotto in the grounds of Tom Holdsworth, Spring Hall, Halifax

  • Monday, 24th January 1859 3 people were seriously injured in when a boiler exploded at the White Swan Hotel, Halifax. The Hotel was newly-built and the boilers which heated the building had been altered, after it was found that they did not work satisfactorily

  • February 1859 Halifax stone-masons went on strike over disagreements with the employers. At the beginning of winter, when unable to work a full day, the men agreed to a reduction of 3/- per week, on the understanding that this should continue until the days became longer. Now the men are able to work the regular number of hours, the masters refused to return to the former rates of pay. The masters also refused to sign an agreement for the regulation of trade prepared by the masons

    See Messrs Beauland

  • Friday, 4th February 1859 Shibden Mill – owned by Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker and worked by Job Oldfield at the time – burned down.

    About 100 hands were put out of work. Oldfield estimated his losses at £4,000

  • Thursday, 19th May 1859 Whilst in a state of intoxication, Joseph Kershaw lay down on the railway line at Hipperholme. He was run over by a train, his body was cut in two, and the limbs and entrails were scattered about

  • Monday, 23rd May 1859 Nicholson's joiner's shop in Myrtle Street, Todmorden burned down

  • Saturday, 28th May 1859 Garrick Gayon, a young man living at Northgate, Halifax and working for John Holdsworth's was badly injured after being caught in machinery at Shaw Lodge Mills

    Benjamin Benn, a boy working for John Crossley's, was badly injured after his right thigh was caught between cog wheels whilst attending a wool-combing machine

  • Tuesday, 5th July 1859 James Wetherill [76] and Abraham Crossley [54] were killed as they were demolishing a fireplace in the joiner's shop at Holden & Company of Todmorden. As they removed a large stone of the fireplace, the end of the building collapsed, bringing part of 2 floors with it, They were heard to cry out for help, but they were dead when the debris was removed half-an-hour later

  • Saturday, 16th July 1859 Lars Peter Nicholie Ernst was charged with burglary at Manor Heath, Halifax – the home of John Crossley – and Thomas Walton was charged with receiving property stolen from the house. Ernst was sentenced to 10 years' penal servitude and Walton to 2 months' imprisonment

  • Tuesday, 26th July 1859 3 people – William Sutcliffe, Reuben Breaks of Odsal, and a boy from Bailiff Bridge – were seriously burned in a fire-damp explosion at the Seventeens Pit, Hartshead

  • Sunday, 7th August 1859 There was continuous rain on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Calder flooded – rising by 1 ft in 10 minutes – and caused great damage in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. Newspaper reports describe 2 crevasses – one in the Calder and one in the canal – which contributed to the damage in Todmorden.

  • Saturday, 10th September 1859 At the West Riding Court House:

  • December 1859 There was heavy flooding in many parts of Yorkshire.

    Many local mills were damaged.

    A wooden bridge at Luddendenfoot was washed away.

    Matilda Clegg [8] was blown into a mill-dam at Shibden and drowned

  • 1860 In the 1860s, Parliament decided that all future roads should be paid for out of council rates, initiating the system we have today. Turnpike trusts began to wind up and they had almost all gone by the 1890s. Most roads around Halifax were toll-free by the 1870s

  • Friday, 27th April 1860 Temple Mill, Rishworth burned down

  • Saturday, 12th May 1860 James Holden of Grove was killed in the Summit Tunnel as he was running out of the way of one train and ran into the path of another

  • Thursday, 7th June 1860 Albert Mills, Elland were burned to the ground. The damage was estimated at £10,000. Joseph Smithies & Son Limited rebuilt the mill

  • Saturday, 28th July 1860 A passenger train of 7 carriages en route from Manchester to Scarborough ran into a goods train standing at Hebden Bridge station. All the passengers were shaken and 20 to 30 injured. A Miss Milne of Rochdale had to stay overnight in Hebden Bridge to recover

  • Tuesday, 7th August 1860 Halifax masons went on strike for a 9-hour working day

  • Monday, 20th August 1860 James Kershaw [aged about 55], a butter and yeast dealer at Mytholmroyd, was boarding a train for Brighouse as it was arriving. His left leg was caught between the footboard and the platform and cut open from ankle to knee. He was taken to Halifax Infirmary where he was considered to be in a dying state

  • Tuesday, 6th November 1860 There was notable flooding in Todmorden when the rivers swelled to a great height

  • December 1860 For 13 weeks in the winter of 1860/1861, the Calder & Hebble Navigation froze between Sowerby Bridge & Brighouse. The ice between Brooke's Mill and Ganny Lock was 9 ins thick, between Ganny Lock and Brookfoot Lock it was 12 ins thick, and above there it was 12 ins to 13 ins thick. John Milnes cleared the route with an ice-breaking barge

  • Saturday, 1st December 1860 Fire broke out at the premises of Messrs Firth, joiners and builders, Gibbet Street, Halifax. The premises were in a great measure gutted. The buildings damage – which was insured – was estimated to be about £100, other damage was stated to be about £70

  • Monday, 10th December 1860 Fire – caused by overheating of a shaft in the shafting box – broke out at the Stainland mill of J. Firth & Brothers. Damage was estimated at £1,000, most of the damage being done by the water used to put out the fire

  • Monday, 7th January 1861 There was an explosion at John Dyson Hutchinson's Albert Mill, Halifax.

    The mill comprised a 5-storey building (which housed the engine), the boiler shed and a 2-storey building.

    The 40 horse-power boiler exploded, and pieces of the boiler, large flagstones and ashes were blown around the area. One piece of the boiler was thrown over the 5-storey mill, landing on a cottage 50 yards away. The windows and roofs of many houses, within a distance of 100 yards, were broken by bricks and stone.

    The 5-storey building and the engine were scarcely damaged, but the 2-storey building was demolished, the floors and the roof falling in.

    The foreman, James Cordingley, who was standing in the yard at the time, was scalded from head to foot, sustained cuts to the head and several ribs were fractured. He was taken to the Halifax Infirmary, but died later.

    Damage was estimated at over £1,000

  • Wednesday, 3rd April 1861 Around 10:30 am, the engine of a luggage train from Sowerby Bridge to Leeds left the line and dragged the tender, transit van and 3 trucks loaded with iron. All then overturned. The driver, stoker and guard were slightly injured and the line was blocked for several hours

  • Friday, 12th April 1861 The American Civil War [1861-1865] began

  • Thursday, 25th April 1861 Roger Brandwood was killed in a roof-fall at Shaw Lane Colliery

  • Tuesday, 30th April 1861 At the AGM of the Art Union of London, T. Lord of Todmorden was entitled to select a work of art to the value of £20, and G. Howarth of Todmorden was entitled to select a work of art to the value of £10

  • Saturday, 18th May 1861 Tom Bean, a currier at Hipperholme, married Susey Ann Waddington of Brighouse, at Square Congregational Church, Halifax

  • Monday, 20th May 1861 John Lucas, a cabinet maker of Northowram, married Mary Settle of Halifax, at Trinity Road Chapel, Halifax

  • Saturday, 1st June 1861 A boy called Sutcliffe of Ovenden, was taking his father's breakfast to Heginbottom's mill when he met 2 other boys, brothers also called Sutcliffe but no relation. One was aged 14 and the other 10. They resumed an earlier quarrel and began to fight. The first boy was kicked and fell insensible and died a few hours later

  • Friday, 12th July 1861 There was a great flood. Hipperholme Station was blocked with mud

  • August 1861 A cholera epidemic in Brighouse

  • Tuesday, 20th August 1861 James Barraclough [aged 14] was crushed to death when he fell 5 storeys down the sack-tackle at John Holdsworth & Company Limited

  • Sunday, 8th September 1861 The whole of the Upper Calder Valley suffered

    one of the greatest floods ever experienced

    and at Todmorden, the water rose 18 inches higher than any previous flood

  • Tuesday, 1st October 1861 At 10:00 pm, a luggage train from Manchester arrived at Hebden Bridge with some of the waggons detached and following 100 yards behind. When the train stopped and the waggons collided, 16 of these were derailed, scattering cotton onto the lines. The line was blocked throughout the night as workmen cleared the obstruction

  • Saturday, 7th December 1861 Mr Baldwin, the guard of a coal train, was crushed to death after he fell between the buffers of the train at Hebden Bridge Station

  • 1862 The cotton famine which resulted from the American Civil War caused much distress and hardship in the district

  • Friday, 21st March 1862 In the evening, a man and woman in mourning clothes sought lodgings in Salford, Todmorden. They were unsuccessful, and next morning the woman, aged about 45, was found drowned in the Rochdale Canal near Neddy Bridge. The man, Joseph Leach, a brush-maker of Ashton-under-Lyne, was charged with her murder. He said that he had met the woman, who said she had come from Halifax and was travelling to Burnley where her children were living

  • Thursday, 24th July 1862 The cotton mill of Navey's Mill, Soyland was entirely destroyed by fire

  • Saturday, 26th July 1862 About 7:00 am, the body of Thomas Chambers, a boot and shoe maker of Common Wood Head, Hipperholme, was found in the lake at Shibden Park. He had been depressed for some time, and there had been family disagreements on the previous day

  • August 1862 There was a smallpox epidemic in Brighouse

  • Wednesday, 13th August 1862 Around noon, a group of lads, employed by James Akroyd at Copley, were bathing in the Calder near the factory. Frederick Ogden [14] was carried away by the river and his body was found 3 hours later

  • November 1862

    The Liverpool Daily Post [Saturday 29th November 1862] reported that Box Tree Mill, Wheatley has been completely destroyed by fire. Damage estimated to amount to £20,000

    The Launceston Weekly News & Cornwall & Devon Advertiser [Saturday 6th December 1862] reported that a terrible fire broke out at Box Tree Mills, Wheatley, which was a five storey building the property of Messrs William Appleyard & Son, in the occupation of Messrs Crossley, Jackson & others. Damage estimated at £20,000

  • Tuesday, 18th November 1862 Wood Mill, Todmorden, occupied by Thompson & Sons, was destroyed by fire. Only a small section which was used to store grain was undamaged. Damage was estimated at £20,000

  • December 1862 A gentleman well known in Halifax vouches for the accuracy of the following statement:

    A Halifax lady is the owner of some cottage property in Lancashire, which, if ordinary times, yields her £400 per annum. In May last, she collected her rents and received £197 out of the total amount. Last month (November), she again visited Lancashire for the purpose of collecting her rents, and received £1 0/6d! which she more than spent upon her starving tenants

  • January 1863 The newspapers carried reports of contributions in aid of Lancashire Distress, a central relief fund

    for alleged refusal to work

    A Hebden Bridge relief committee was reported as donating, with President James Hoyle of Boston Hill and Secretary James Sutcliffe

  • Friday, 2nd January 1863 William Hoyle fell into the beck at West Vale and was carried away by the current. His body had not been found by the 9th January

  • Tuesday, 27th January 1863 The worsted mill of John Ingham at Stump Cross was completely destroyed by fire. The damage – amounting to £6,000 or £7,000 – was covered by insurance

  • Saturday, 21st February 1863 A notice in the Halifax Guardian announced

    Public Notice: FOUND, a REVOLVER, in Ovenden.
    The Owner may have it by giving a fine description and paying expenses.
    If not claimed within seven days it will be sold: Apply: The Guardian Office, Halifax

  • Tuesday, 19th May 1863 There was a fire in the drying room of Gosport Mills, Stainland owned by Edward Sykes & Sons Limited The fire was put out by the workers. Damage was estimated at £120

  • Monday, 1st June 1863 On 1st, 2nd, and 3rd June, in a cricket match between the All-England Eleven v. 22 of Halifax and district, the local team won by 54. The scores were Halifax: first innings 188, second innings 95. All-England: first innings 152, second innings 77

  • Saturday, 13th June 1863 John Scarisbrick [53], a drayman with Messrs Carver, carriers, was killed when he fell beneath the wheels of his dray in Broad Street, Halifax

  • Tuesday, 16th June 1863 Fire causing £10,000 damage destroyed Gates End Mill, Cragg Vale

  • Monday, 3rd August 1863 The Prince of Wales – later Edward VII – opened Halifax Town Hall. This was the first Royal visit to the district.

    This is discussed in the Foldout on the visit of Edward VII

  • Wednesday, 5th August 1863 The West End cotton mills, Sowerby Bridge, occupied by John Radcliffe & Sons, were destroyed by fire. The damage being about £20,000

  • Monday, 10th August 1863 A boiler exploded at the dye works of Thomas Crossley & Sons at Halifax, killing the fireman, Peter Kaye. There were 4 boilers at the works, one of which was 21 years old and had been patched on several occasions. It was only safe to be worked a 20 lb psi, but the engine tenter, John Murgatroyd, had set the valve to 41 lb psi. At the subsequent trial, Murgatroyd was acquitted

  • Tuesday, 3rd November 1863 A boiler exploded at the Woodhouse Mill, Todmorden of Richard Ingham & Sons, killing Sarah Greenwood [28], a dyer and frame tenter, and injuring 6 others. The mill had been idle for almost a week when the boilers were restarted.

    The inquest recorded a verdict of manslaughter against the owners, Richard Ingham & Sons and John Arthur Ingham

  • Wednesday, 18th November 1863 Brookfoot Mill, Brighouse – occupied by Brook, Hadfield & Company – burned down causing an estimated £15,000 damage. The fire was discovered by a policeman between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning, and, in about an hour, the entire mill was gutted by the fire

  • Thursday, 3rd December 1863 A mill in the course of construction at Bridge End, Elland, was blown down during a very high wind, which did considerable damage in the district generally

  • 1864 The West Coast of New Zealand Gold Rush was triggered in when 2 Maori prospectors discovered gold at Bruce Bay and the Grey River on the West Coast of the New Zealand's South Island

    A 14 year-old boy was killed at Walsden Station. At the Winter Assizes in Liverpool on 14th December 1864, the court heard that the boy was carrying a sack of flour on a road which crosses the line. The station-master told him to wait as they were shunting a train. When this had been done, the station-master said

    Now, my boy, if you're going to cross, cross quick

    As he did, an express train came out of the tunnel and killed him. The boy's father was awarded £40

    There was an epidemic of scarlatina in Brighouse

  • Friday, 8th January 1864 Fire at Holme Mill, Stainland, then occupied by Messrs Whittel and others, caused damage estimated at £700

  • Sunday, 10th January 1864 About 15 minutes before some 60 children were due to arrive, Mrs Ann Smith, wife of the chapel keeper of the Wesleyan Reform Preaching Room, Skircoat Green, was badly burned and the room damaged when a hot-water boiler exploded. The windows of the school room were blown out, the boiler was dislodged, and a stove was blown through the door into the yard. It was thought that water freezing in the supply pipe caused the explosion

  • Thursday, 28th January 1864 The Rev Amos Blackburn was killed by a locomotive engine at Mutterhole crossing, Eastwood

  • Sunday, 13th March 1864 The body of Adam Bray was taken out of the canal at Brighouse. He was last seen leaving the Bridge Tavern, Brighouse on 27th February 1864

  • Friday, 25th March 1864 Fire broke out at the Mechanics' Hall, Halifax after an escape of gas took fire. Drapery & woodwork caught fire. A painting of the Crucifixion by Henry Courtney Selous - valued at £7,000 – was saved when the blaze was tackled

  • Saturday, 26th March 1864 Maria Horsfall [35] was found dead in bed at Southowram. The inquest at the Cock & Bottle found that she died from natural causes

  • Wednesday, 6th April 1864 Fire caused an estimated damage of £1500 to the warehouse of Brian Booth Cowgill in Sowerby Bridge

  • Saturday, 23rd April 1864 John Heaton, manufacturing chemist of Cleckheaton, was killed near the Halifax station by falling off a locomotive engine

  • Monday, 9th May 1864 A cart driven by William Hannett and belonging to F. B. Crossley & Company was delivering carboys of sulphuric acid to Binns wire works at Bowling Dyke, Halifax. As the cart was descending the hill, the strappings on the harness broke, the axle broke and a wheel came off, scattering and smashing the carboys, as the cart got to the Blue Ball. Two children playing nearby were covered in acid and taken to the Infirmary

  • Thursday, 26th May 1864 Ellistones Mill, West Vale – aka Outram's Mill – was burned down. The fire broke out around 7:00 am in the dule room on the bottom floor occupied by Benjamin Outram. The fire spread very quickly and 3 or 4 workers were in danger of losing their lives. Damage was estimated at about £8000

  • Thursday, 16th June 1864 Slade Lane Mill, Rastrick, owned by William Gooder & Company and let to W. Garside & Company burned down. Damage was estimated at between £5,000 & £6,000

    The Albert Mills, Rastrick Whitely, Garsed & Company burned down. The damage was estimated at between £5,000 and £6,000

    An inquest was held at Cragg Vale Inn on the bodies of brothers – Alfred Sutcliffe [22 years] and Barker Sutcliffe [25] – who were found drowned in Turvin Clough where they had been bathing

  • Monday, 4th July 1864 A three days' cricket match opened at Halifax between the All England Australian Eleven and 22 of Halifax and district. At the first innings the All England scored 58, and the Halifax and district 96. The second innings: All England 127, Halifax and district 92, and came out victorious with 7 wickets to fall

  • Sunday, 24th July 1864 A wager was laid at Skircoat when a certain gardener bet that another gardener could not, as was affirmed, collect in his garden and deliver the same day, 1000 quarts of strawberries. £2 was the amount of the wager, which was won. Upwards of 50 people were engaged in collecting the fruit

  • Saturday, 3rd September 1864 There was a collision at the Halifax Railway Station when a Great Northern train ran into a Lancashire & Yorkshire train. 3 carriages were broken, one nearly to pieces. No-one was seriously injured

    The Manchester Courier & Lancashire General Advertiser [Monday 5th September 1864] reported

    Serious Railway Accident in Halifax.

    A terrible accident occurred at Halifax Railway Station but fortunately it was unattended by loss of life or limb.

    A train arrived from Leeds returning to Low Moor and awaits the arrival of the Manchester train in order to convey passengers to Leeds. This train, on Saturday, was little more than half an hour late.

    Just at the moment the Leeds train was crossing the points midway between Beacon Hill tunnel and the station the Great Northern train from London came dashing out of the tunnel and caught the last three carriages of the outgoing train.

    The seventh carriage had one side smashed in and part of the floor torn away, but the main force of the collision came against the eighth coach which was completely cut from the iron framework and cast to one side.

    Although broken almost to matchwood none of the passengers sustained a fractured limb.

    One poor woman, with two children, narrowly escaped being crushed to death by being thrown out of the carriage, and one man who was enveloped in broken timber, lost a leg of mutton, which caused him more concern than the terrible shaking he received.

    It seems the driver of the Great Northern train did not respect the signals, no less than three of which, from the centre of the tunnel to the station, were turned against him


  • Wednesday, 14th September 1864 A serious railway accident occurred on the Leeds, Bradford & Halifax Junction Railway at Laisterdyke, Bradford.

    The injured included

  • Monday, 26th September 1864 A rather severe earthquake was felt in the North of England around 12:30 am.

    At Halifax, the earthquake was felt, especially along the range of hills along which Southowram Bank, Charlestown, Haley Hill, and Boothtown are situated. Numbers of persons affirmed that they felt the shock, and even heard a low subdued rumbling noise. Pliny Barrett states that he was reading at the time, that the chair rocked beneath him, that the chairs arranged on the side of the house rattled against the wall, and he heard distinctly a noise as of thunder at a distance. Another person living in Range Bank, who was going upstairs to bed, returned into the room below, took up a coal-rake, searched the house, supposing that thieves had entered, and even went out of door in his shirt in continuation of the search. The same apprehensions appear to have been entertained by other people in different parts of the town. The night porters at the railway station felt the earthquake, and several private watchers assert that they were cognisant of it. The police were very definite in their account of the earthquake. One of them, who was standing against a wall in Southowram Bank, and looking upon the town, says he felt the wall rock, and heard a rumbling noise. Clocks were stopped by the tremor

  • Saturday, 15th October 1864 Lower Lumb Mill of Heale, Booth & Company burned down. The fire was discovered just after 2:00 am by a resident, John Mitchell, who immediately gave the alarm. The flames spread so rapidly that nothing could be saved from the stock. The machinery, stock, and walls were destroyed. The estimated damage to the machinery and stock was between £6,000 and £7,000, and to the building £3,000. The cause was unknown

  • Thursday, 20th October 1864 Sarah Dawson [7] was killed by an express train at the level-crossing at Walsden Railway Station

  • Wednesday, 26th October 1864 Around 11:00 pm, a fire broke out in the stove room at Townsend's Mill, Hebden Bridge. Much of the main building of the mill was gutted. The outbuildings, where the dyeing and sizing were carried on, were undamaged. Damage was estimated at £3,000

  • Thursday, 27th October 1864 Hebble End Dye Works, Erringden burned down

  • Saturday, 19th November 1864 A fire broke out in the dule room of James Clay & Sons works at Hollins Mills, Sowerby Bridge. The mill in which the fire started was destroyed. The damage was stated to be about £2000

  • Monday, 21st November 1864 Between 11:00 pm and midnight, a fire was discovered in the carding room at Dog Lane Mill, Stainland which was occupied by William Booth and others. The fire spread quickly and the entire building was destroyed within 2 hours. The cause was not known. The damage was estimated at £6,400

  • 1865 Hanging Lee Mill, Ripponden burned down

  • Saturday, 11th February 1865 The Halifax Omnibus Company was formed. A tram service from King Cross to Boothtown started later that year

  • Monday, 3rd April 1865 Operative joiners of Halifax went on strike because of a reduction of the weekly hours of labour from 57½ to 52½

  • Wednesday, 10th May 1865 Halifax Omnibus & Cab Company Limited began a horse-drawn omnibus service from King Cross to Boothtown

    James Sedgwick, a corn miller employed by Mr Thompson at Luddendenfoot was caught and carried round a shaft. His legs and an arm were much lacerated and broken. He died 2 weeks later

  • Wednesday, 24th May 1865 Corn miller, James Sedgwick, a miller with Mr Thompson at Luddendenfoot, died from injuries received 2 weeks' earlier after he was caught and carried round a shaft at the mill

  • Sunday, 3rd September 1865 Pitchforth's Mill, Elland was destroyed by fire with an estimated loss of £9000 due to the destruction of cotton and machinery alone

  • Monday, 9th October 1865 Fire broke out in the cotton warehouse of John Stott, cotton spinner at Brighouse, causing considerable damage

  • Wednesday, 15th November 1865 11 people were injured in an accident at North Dean Station

  • 1866 Sparks from the steam trains on the Leeds & Manchester Railway caused fires in the North Dean Woods, causing an estimated £240 worth of damage

    Victoria Mills, West Vale burned down

    A cholera epidemic began at Hull and Grimsby, having been brought by immigrants from Europe who passed through on their way to America. This spread to Liverpool and Southampton, whence people embarked for the Atlantic crossing. 14,378 died in England and Wales

    The Great Flood in Hebden Bridge and Brighouse

  • January 1866 There were strong winds in the region, and, by a great fall of rain at Halifax, a number of houses on the Southowram side of Clark Bridge, were flooded. The rise of the water was sudden, and in some instances the occupants had to escape by the chamber window.

    The ale cellars at the Red Lion Inn were filled with water, and the rooms on the first floor to the height of 2 or 3 feet

  • Thursday, 15th March 1866 About 4:00 am, part of the wall which supported Corporation Street, Halifax collapsed, and hundreds of tons of rubbish fell on the foundations of a new warehouse which John Crossley & Sons were building near the wall. A day or two earlier, large cracks had been seen in the road, and the base of the wall was observed to project more than usual

  • Saturday, 17th March 1866 At the West Riding Court House, William Smith, a youth, was imprisoned for 1 month for stealing a pair of boots, the property of Mrs Wainhouse of Hipperholme, and then taking the boots to a pawnbroker in Bradford

  • Friday, 11th May 1866 In the early morning, a fire broke out in the attic of Thorpe Mill, Sowerby Bridge. The building was 6 storeys in height, including basement and attic. The 4th storey and attic were occupied by Mr Sutcliffe. The entire mill was destroyed, and Sutcliffe, who had valuable machinery and more than £600 worth of wool in the mill, was uninsured. Rawson had insured the building and his machinery and stock with the Scottish Union Fire Office. The total loss was several thousands of pounds

  • Saturday, 19th May 1866 Death at Hipperholme of Nelson Hudson [10], youngest son of M. D. Hudson of Hornsea

  • Sunday, 20th May 1866 At 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, Police Constable Sykes discovered 4 Clifton men – John Lister, a sawyer, John Perry, a labourer, William Clayton, a beerseller, and Thomas Day, a shoemaker - gambling in a wood at Clifton.

    PC Sykes, observed the men through a prospect glass, before arresting them.

    Fairless Barber, the lawyer for the defendants, argued that they were not playing cards, but merely looking at stereoscopic views. The men were found guilty and ordered to pay 20s 4d each

  • Saturday, 11th August 1866 William Varley [40] of Swineshead, a carter for Buckley & Ashworth, Gauxholme, was run over by his cart near the Mason's Arms Inn. He had just returned with a small pleasure party from Hollingworth Lake. He died on the following Monday night

  • Friday, 17th August 1866 Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick [aged 12] was setting bobbins at Jonathan Stott's cotton mill when her clothes were caught by the mule and she was crushed to death

  • Monday, 20th August 1866 The Victoria Mill, West Vale – owned by the Victoria Mills Company – was destroyed by fire.

    The 6-storey mill was occupied by several firms at the time:

    The fire, which broke out while the work-people were in the mill, caused an estimated £15,000 damage. It was believed to have been caused by friction of a strap. Newspaper reports said that there was a scarcity of water at the time, and, had there been only 2 pails of water on hand when the fire was discovered, there would have been no difficulty in checking the flames

    The introduction of machinery for the scouring of stone at Halifax, led to a strike. The mason's committee – the Union – withdrew the men at the establishment where the machine was used, and refused to refer the dispute to arbitration

  • Friday, 31st August 1866 2 boys – Henry Sharp [13] of Foundry Street, Halifax and North Smith [10] of Boothtown – were arrested for stealing a horse from Joseph Hargreaves, a grocer at Haley Hill, on 24th August. The boys had stolen a horse from a field in Southowram on the same day, and sold it for 5/- at Wyke

  • Monday, 3rd September 1866 A fossil trilobite was found at Shibden in the coal shale of the Halifax coal bed, which overlies the millstone grit. This was the first instance of a trilobite being found in this measure, or, indeed, higher than the mountain limestone

  • Monday, 1st October 1866 Lamplighters in Halifax had their wages raised from 18/- to 19/- per week.

  • November 1866 A newly married woman & three children aged 16, 14, & 11 attempting to cross the wooden bridge over the Ryburn in the early morning. The bridge broke in centre, & all drowned.

    The metal Pretoria Bridge footbridge, was built by Ripponden Urban District Council [early 1900s]

  • Friday, 16th November 1866 There was one of the most disastrous floods that had visited the district within living memory.

    In the three great valleys of the West Riding – those of the Aire, the Calder, and the Wharfe – the loss of property was enormous.

    There was particularly severe flooding at Todmorden with half the town being entirely inundated. The 3 highways into the town were impassable.

    At Ripponden, 4 people – Mrs Elizabeth Bottomley, Charlotte Anne Kershaw [aged 16], Mary Jane Kershaw [aged 15] and Alfred Kershaw [aged 11], the children of James Kershaw, – were on their way to work when they were washed away and drowned whilst crossing

    a ricketty temporary bridge

    at Treadmill between Soyland and Barkisland. Their bodies were found later.

    Whitworth's mill and sheds at Longbottom, Luddendenfoot were under water and much damage caused to the machinery.

    The wooden bridge over the Calder at Luddendenfoot – the only river crossing between Sowerby Bridge and Cooper House Mills – was swept away.

    Slitheroe Bridge, Rishworth was washed away.

    A house in Saddleworth Road, West Vale has a crudely-carved stone inscribed

    Great Flood Nov: 16 1866

  • Thursday, 22nd November 1866 There was a small fire at Brookfoot Mill, Brighouse, caused by friction in the machinery. It was quickly extinguished by the workers, resulting in £120 damage

  • Saturday, 8th December 1866 The Rose Fire Brigade and the Elland Unity Fire Brigade tackled a fire on the 4th storey of the Elland mill of Sanders & Bottomley. The fire is believed to have started from the heating of a shaft. Damage was estimated at £1,500

  • January 1867 The steeple of a church at Ripponden was struck by lightning which melted part of the works of the clock and set the chimes playing. This attracted the attention of people who found that the electric fluid had ignited gas at the meter

  • Sunday, 13th January 1867 Burglars broke into the house of Mrs Robinson, a grocer at Hipperholme, and took the keys from the pocket of a dress in the bedroom, then stole silver cutlery, a quantity of bacon, and some clothing

  • Saturday, 19th January 1867 Joseph Shaw, a carter with Sugden & Son at Brighouse, was charged with embezzling 24 empty flour sacks, the property of his employer

  • Monday, 28th January 1867 A strong gale of wind blew in many parts of the West Riding. At Halifax, the new inland bonding warehouse, in course of construction by Halifax Corporation, was blown down

  • February 1867 Cattle plague was reported on the farm of Mr Sutcliffe at Warley. His farm suffered a severe outbreak in 1866

  • Friday, 15th February 1867 About 2:15 am, fire broke out in the 3rd storey of Sutcliffe's Mill, Shay Lane. The fire spread rapidly and the workers on the night shift had difficulty escaping. The mill, with about 5,000 spindles, were completely destroyed. The damage was estimated at around £4,500.

    The Leeds Mercury [16th February 1867] reported the event

  • Sunday, 10th March 1867 The vestry and orchestra at Mount Zion Methodist Church, Cornholme were destroyed by fire. A mechanic from Lawrence Wilson & Sons tackled the fire with a patent extinguisher from the bobbin works, but without success. The fire engine from Wilson's came, but the hose broke. Damage was estimated at £200

  • Tuesday, 19th March 1867 James Saville [1827-1867], a stone barer at Aspinall's Quarries, Hove Edge, received serious head injuries by a fall of earth. He was taken to Halifax Infirmary where he died 20 minutes later

    James Saville (age 40) a stone barer working at Aspinall's quarries near Halifax, was seriously injured by a fall of earth. He was removed to Halifax Infirmary where he died about 20 minutes later

  • Thursday, 18th April 1867 Part of Brookfoot Mill, Brighouse – owned by Samuel Leppington and occupied by Woodhouse Brothers – was destroyed by fire

  • Tuesday, 30th April 1867 Fire destroyed the Cote Hill bobbin mill occupied by A. Munday. The damage was estimated at about £3000

  • Friday, 17th May 1867 Greenup's Mill at Sowerby Bridge was gutted by fire.

    At the time, the mill was owned by Mr T. Nicholl and run by William Bates & Son, machine makers and millwrights, & by Charles Scholefield, woollen manufacturer

    The mill stopped work at 6:00 pm and fire broke out at 7:30 pm in the second floor timber-drying room. By 8:30 pm, the mill was completely gutted and most of the roof had fallen in.

    The damage was estimated at £7000 to £8000. William Bates & Son suffered losses of £3000 to £4000, Charles Scholefield was not insured at all

  • Monday, 20th May 1867 Vale Bobbin Works burned down

  • Thursday, 13th June 1867 There was a rock collapse at Long Wall Quarry, Elland here when the face of the rock collapsed and 7,000 to 8,000 tons of rock fell to the bottom of the quarry. The noise and shock were felt across of wide area. No-one was injured

  • Monday, 29th July 1867 There were disturbances between the English and the Irish at Charlestown, Halifax. John Charles was fined 13/6d for breaking the windows of Sarah Cruckwell, and William Greenwood was fined the same sum for a like offence, but a charge was dismissed for an assault upon Mary Haley.

  • Saturday, 10th August 1867 An inquest was held at the Cross Keys Inn, Siddal on Frank Jones, a journeyman painter from Blackburn, whose body had been found in Mary Lane, Southowram on the previous day. He had been looking for work and was lodging with Sarah Gill at Southowram Bank. There were no marks on the body and the post mortem revealed heart disease and the early stages of consumption.

    Verdict: Found Dead

  • Tuesday, 20th August 1867 An inquest was held at the Pack Horse, Southowram, into the death of John Wood, a cart driver employed by Barber's, card makers of Southowram.

    He was going to the Southowram Hard Bed coal pit to fetch coals for his employer, and, whilst riding on the cart in Law Lane, and being the worse for liquor, he lost his balance and fell into the road and was run over by the cart wheel.

    Shortly afterwards, he was found helpless but sensible by pit foreman, Joseph Hebblethwaite, but died half and hour later.

    Verdict: Accidental Death

  • Tuesday, 10th September 1867 In the evening, a 60 ft length of iron railings enclosing a raised area outside the Old King Cross Inn, Halifax collapsed under the weight of spectators watching a donkey race after the rush-bearing procession. About 10 or 12 people were injured. One boy suffered a fractured leg and died a few days afterwards

  • Friday, 13th September 1867 A gentleman, a member of the Cliviger Colliery Company, was travelling by train with around £400 in banknotes in his pocket-book. He placed the pocket-book on the seat whilst he read his papers. When he got off the train at Luddendenfoot, he realised that he had left his money on the train. He telegraphed the railway stations at Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, Bradford, Huddersfield and Wakefield.

    Later, Mr Johnson, a surgeon at Harrison Road, Halifax, was travelling on the train to Leeds when he saw

    a sailor-looking man with the pocket-book at his side

    The man got off the train without the book and Mr Johnson asked him about the book, but the man eventually left without it. The pocket-book was subsequently returned to Halifax and its owner

  • Thursday, 31st October 1867 Uriah Fletcher of Great Horton was injured by a fall of earth whilst working at the Hipperholme quarry of Bentley & Shepherd. He died at home that evening, leaving a wife and child

  • Thursday, 14th November 1867 Fire caused an estimated £1,000 damage at Mitchell's Mill, Elland

  • Friday, 6th December 1867 More than 30 skulls were found during excavations in Sowerby Street, Sowerby Bridge

  • Wednesday, 11th December 1867 Because of a depression in trade, quarry-masters in the district reduced their men's wages by 4d per day [about 7½], and paid the men by the hour instead of by the day. Strikes followed. A meeting of quarry owners was held at the Brown Cow Inn, Bradford, and it was decided to retain the amended rates

  • 1868 There was a fire at Kebroyd Mills, Triangle. The mill was rebuilt

    Smoking compartments were introduced on trains

    There were many floods locally

    Fire at Jonathan Stott's cotton mill, Brighouse caused damage estimated at £25,000

  • Friday, 3rd January 1868 Edward Worsnop died after being crushed when a large quantity of stones and earth fell on him at Naylor & Goodyear's quarry in Southowram

  • Saturday, 11th January 1868 During a case of equity, which came before Halifax County Court, it was revealed that the father of the applicant from Fixby had three wives and thirty children

  • Sunday, 9th February 1868 The 71-feet-high chimney of Robinson's Brick Works, Elland was blown down, and the roof of a grocer's shop was carried away

  • Saturday, 15th February 1868 During construction of the new 7-storey Lee Bank Mill, Halifax being built for W. H. Rawson & Company, the 120 ft mill chimney began to oscillate and collapsed, causing considerable damage to 2 adjacent mills. George Foster, a mason, was severely injured and died shortly afterwards. Mr Walker, a manager W. H. Rawson & Company was slightly injured. A slip in the foundations was believed to have led to the incident

  • Tuesday, 25th February 1868 Winters Mill, Stansfield was struck by lightning, and much damage done

  • Wednesday, 11th March 1868

    The Halifax Guardian [14th March 1868] reported an illegal organised fight at Cromwell Bottom

    Pugilism by Moonlight.

    On Wednesday night there was a gathering of at least 100 men and boys in a wood a little beyond Cromwell Bottom. There, by the light of the moon, amidst much stillness, a ring was formed, and all preparations for a set to, the rural police being in happy ignorance of the whole affair.

    Before 11 o'clock, two men had tossed for positions, and the battle began, betting being carried on extensively. The first hour passed, and the fellows were still milling each other unmolested and at the end of an hour and forty minutes one received a blow under his ribs and he fainted, and so the battle ended and both were led away.

    The sum fought for was £25 a side, but who the men were, and where they came from was kept silent


    The Halifax Guardian [14th March 1868] reported

    The New Gas Holder

    The works for the erection of a new gas holder in the fields below Stoney Royd Cemetery have been commenced. Though it may be a great benefit to the town it will completely spoil the picturesque beauty of the cemetery and its surroundings


  • Thursday, 26th March 1868 Just after 6 am, a fire was discovered in the bottom room of Dene Mill at Kebroyd Mills, Triangle. The Mill was 5 storeys high and about 40 yards long, and was owned by George Hadwen and occupied by Mr Lees a cotton manufacturer of Oldham.

    A message was sent to Mr Isaac Swaine of Halifax, agent for the Liverpool & London and the Globe fire office, for the engine under his care, which was despatched with all speed to the scene of the fire, but, with the engine having 5 miles to travel, the fire had got complete mastery over the building by the time it arrived. Shortly afterwards, the West Vale (Greetland) engine came up but were too late

    The damage was estimated at between £8,000 and £10,000.

    The Mill was rebuilt

  • Saturday, 25th April 1868 Richard Blackburn [42] of Wakefield, a goods guard at Todmorden Railway Station, was killed

  • Thursday, 30th April 1868 A fire at a mill in Bailey Hall Road, Halifax – occupied by Thomas Crossley & Sons – destroyed property valued at £1,000.

    The fire was detected about 1:00 am by Pollard a watchman employed by Crossley's.

    Thomas Walshaw went to the scene and was walking along the roof of a shed, when he fell through a sky-light into a dyer's vat, and was drowned

  • Saturday, 20th June 1868 One man was killed and 6 wounded when a boiler exploded at the Woodman Works of Joseph, John & Edward Kitson in Elland

  • Thursday, 9th July 1868 A steam-boiler burst at Worrall's dye-works, Midgehole. Several workers were severely injured. The boiler and engine houses were destroyed, and the fragments were scattered a great distance

  • Wednesday, 22nd July 1868 There was a death from Asiatic cholera in Brighouse

  • Monday, 3rd August 1868 Tolls were abolished on the Leeds-Elland Turnpike

  • Thursday, 20th August 1868 Garden Street Mill, Halifax

    A fire gutted the New Bank Mills / Garden Street Mill, Halifax of John Crossley & Sons. The building was used principally in the cotton, flax and woollen businesses. The damage was estimated at £5,000

  • Monday, 19th October 1868 George Priestley, a miner at Howcans, was robbed of £18 at the Market Tavern, Halifax

  • Thursday, 12th November 1868 Jonathan Stott's Mill Royd Mill, Brighouse was damaged by fire which rapidly consumed a great portion of the building. The fire engines available were unable to control the flames. Damage was estimated at around £20,000

  • Wednesday, 25th November 1868 J. Worthington of Hanley, Staffordshire, married Mary, daughter of the late E. Ramsden of Halifax at Halifax Parish Church

  • 1869 Halifax single-track railway line increased to two tracks

  • Saturday, 30th January 1869 Cases of hydrophobia were recorded in many parts of the West Riding. Several men in Halifax who had been bitten by dogs some months before, were reported to have died from the disease.

    Because of this canine madness, the Mayor of Halifax issued an order prohibiting dogs to be at large in the streets until April 20th

  • Friday, 12th February 1869 Joseph Baron was injured at Scout Quarry and died on 2nd March 1869

  • Monday, 15th March 1869 Earth tremors were felt at Rochdale, Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge, and other places in the Upper Calder Valley and west Lancashire

  • Tuesday, 13th April 1869 Abraham Webster, a weaver at the works of Ashworth Brothers, was fitting a new window, when his clothing was caught by a shaft. He was spun round, all his clothes were torn from his body, and he fell to the ground dead

  • Wednesday, 14th April 1869 3 houses at Cross Stone were struck by lightning during a violent thunderstorm.

    Mrs Barker, who lived in one of the houses, had the soles nearly torn from her shoes, one stocking and one foot being badly burned. She was also struck deaf and paralysed and was unable to walk. Most of the windows in house were blown out, and some of the slates were thrown a distance of 20 yards by the force of the strike. The occupant of another house was struck blind, but recovered shortly afterwards

  • Saturday, 1st May 1869 Fire broke out at Burrwood Mill, Stainland, causing £300 damage. Arson was suspected as a number of healds were found tied together between the looms

  • Thursday, 13th May 1869 David Greenwood, a warp dresser of Roper Green, Ovenden was arrested on suspicion of having set fire to the boiler house at Jumples Mills, Wheatley. As Mr Hanson, who occupied a part of the mill, was returning home, he saw the boiler-house illuminated. He went to investigate and discovered the place was on fire and Greenwood was coming out. When arrested by PC Hustler, Greenwood was found to have a bunch of keys which opened almost every door in the mill

  • Saturday, 15th May 1869 Miss Selina Porter, sister-in-law of the Rev C. J. Bushell, was killed as she was crossing the line at North Dean Station

  • Tuesday, 18th May 1869 A thunderstorm of great violence visited Halifax around 2:00 pm.

    A chimney under construction at Samuel Whitley's mill near to the Halifax Union Workhouse, Gibbet Street, was shattered after being struck by lightning. Only 44 yards of the proposed 63 yards had been completed.

    Ripeth, the 6-year-old son of Benjamin Hargreaves, a coal miner from Norwood Green, was killed when the outhouse in which he and a brother and sister were sheltering collapsed after being struck by lightning

  • June 1869 2 pigs owned by Thomas Mitchell of Hebden Bridge were bitten by a mad dog. The dog was shot. The pig which was most severely bitten subsequently showed signs of hydrophobia and was shot and buried by Mitchell. In August, the second pig showed symptoms and behaved like a ferocious tiger and barked like a dog. It jumped wildly and knocked one of its eyes out. It was eventually shot

  • Monday, 28th June 1869 A party of 5 from Todmorden – Ellen Brooks [24], Miss Fielding, Miss Gibson, Mr Woods, and a youth – drove to Hollingworth Lake. Mary Ann Holt, of Todmorden, joined them as they went for a drive around the lake. As the vehicle stopped to pay the toll, the horses went backwards and threw the drag and the party into the lake. Miss Holt and Miss Brooks, and one of the horses, drowned

  • Saturday, 24th July 1869 A fire was discovered in the 3rd storey of Brigg Royd Mill, West Vale. Alarm was raised by a man called John Howe. The fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of a heap of shoddy and was soon brought under control by the West Vale Fire Brigade. Damage was very slight, amounting to about £1

  • Saturday, 28th August 1869 Record temperatures of 90° Fahrenheit [32° Celsius] recorded locally. The following day, the temperature was recorded as 48° Fahrenheit [8° Celsius]

  • Thursday, 23rd September 1869 2 goods trains collided at White Platts Junction, Todmorden. A driver and a guard were injured

  • Sunday, 28th November 1869 Fire destroyed several of the farm buildings of James Hebblethwaite at Bankfield Farm, Bank Top, Southowram. Large quantities of hay, straw and corn were destroyed. Two cows suffocated and a third, running into the fire, burned to death. The damage amounted to several hundred pounds.

    The Halifax Guardian of 4th December 1869, reported

    Destructive Fire at Farm. On Sunday evening last. Fire at Bankfield Farm, Bank Top, Southowram, property of James Lister, Esq., of Shibden Hall. Laithe was on fire, four horses and four cows were got out. In another mistal were four more cows, three got out but the fourth, a very valuable animal, rushed through a small doorway into the laithe full of hay and was burned to death. A messenger was sent to Halifax for engines and that of the Liverpool, London & Globe was soon on the spot. The cause was unknown but it was suspected that a vivid flash of lightning, which took place at half past five that evening, could have been the cause of the fire

  • Saturday, 11th December 1869 There was flooding in the Calder and its tributaries. A boy, Samuel Thomas Townsend, fell into the river at Hebden Bridge. On 15th January 1870, his was one of 2 bodies taken out of the Calder at Cooper Bridge. Both boys were buried at Bradley Churchyard

  • Saturday, 18th December 1869 There was flooding in the Calder and its tributaries. A 9-year-old boy, Samuel Pearson, fell into the Hebble near to Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax. On 15th January 1870, his was one of 2 bodies taken out of the Calder at Cooper Bridge. Both boys were buried at Bradley Churchyard

  • 1870 The Great Depression lasted from 1870 to 1914. During this period, many workers left England for a more promising life in the US and the British Colonies

  • Tuesday, 15th March 1870 In the early morning, a fire, was discovered at Bankfield House by 2 children who were sleeping there. The fire started in the roof of the servants' wing, progressed with alarming rapidity, and destroyed much of the new servants' wing. Several of the rooms were gutted, and considerable damage was done to the furniture by water. The lowest estimated damage was £100. The cause of the fire was unknown

  • Monday, 18th April 1870 On Easter Monday, Stott's Mill, Luddendenfoot was burned down in a fire which was discovered in the spinning room after the workpeople had gone to lunch. The damage was estimated at £3,000. Nearby Denholme Cottages were not affected

  • Thursday, 5th May 1870 William Rawson died from rabies. This was one of a number of cases reported in the Halifax district over a period of 2 years

  • Thursday, 12th May 1870 There was an accident at Four Lane End Colliery owned by John Cawthra. 2 of Cawthra's sons, Thomas [26] and Alfred [15], both employed as hurriers, were being lowered down the shaft when the rope broke. The cage and its occupants fell about 150 ft to the bottom and were killed instantly. A third brother, who was working in the pit, had the task of assisting in bringing the bodies to the surface. Mrs Cawthra, the boys' mother had a dream which foretold the accident and asked them not to go to the pit that morning, but the sons ignored the warning

  • Monday, 30th May 1870 The Bradford Observer [Tuesday 31st May 1870] reported

    Yesterday morning, a fearful accident occurred in Bentley & Shepherd stone mine at Hipperholme.

    Four men

    descended a shaft – about 30 yards deep – to start work.

    On arriving at the bottom, they went to the workings, but had not gone far when a tremendous fall of earth & stones fell from the roof. Holmes, who went first, partially escaped the fall, being shielded to some extent by a piece of wood he carried. Hainsworth and Woodhead were completely buried in the debris, but Crockett, seeing the danger in time, turned round, and escaped with slight injuries.

    Assistance was rendered by other quarrymen and one, Richard Barraclough, displayed great intrepidity by climbing over the mass and rescuing Holmes.

    The bodies of the other two unfortunate men, had not been recovered when our reporter left but there can be little doubt that life will be extinct.

    The mine had been considered to be one of the safest in the district


  • Saturday, 2nd July 1870 Great excitement was caused in Halifax by the report that an accident had occurred to an excursion train which had left Halifax for Lincoln at noon with. The rumour was founded on a telegram which had been received in Halifax from Lincoln, asking for a doctor, wine and bandages to be sent immediately. This had been a hoax as all 100 persons returned home safe a few minutes after the appointed hour. The railway authorities are trying to discover the author of this cruel hoax, who richly deserves punishment

  • Saturday, 9th July 1870 The rain

    poured down without abatement

    resulting in floods in Todmorden, the Burnley Valley and Bacup which caused an estimated £35,000 damage and claimed 3 lives at Ratten Clough.

    4-year-old Betsy Goodall and her 2-year-old sister Sarah were victims of the flood.

    Parts of Todmorden were under 6 ft of water.

    The Todmorden Flood Relief Fund was established on 11th July.

    The flood was said to have been more disastrous to the district than any since that caused by the bursting of the Holmfirth reservoir on 4th February 1852

  • Sunday, 31st July 1870 A fire was discovered in the duling room at Victoria Mills, West Vale, owned by the West Vale Stoving Company. Spontaneous combustion of a quantity of cotton and woollen blend was the cause. The fire was extinguished in about an hour. The damage was about £200

  • Monday, 22nd August 1870 A fire broke out during the morning at Dam Head Mill, Shibden, and completely destroyed the building and its contents

  • Friday, 21st October 1870 The down main line train from Manchester collided with the Bradford-Huddersfield train near the Brighouse Station. The gasometer in one of the compartments burst, and the gas exploded, illuminating the whole district for a short time.

    A passenger, Oates Mitchell [1848-1870] from Burnley and working as a tape sizer at Brighouse, was killed, and several others were injured, including

    A number of people were injured by falls as they rushed to see the cause of the blaze in Lillands Lane

  • Wednesday, 14th December 1870 Samuel Garside was crushed to death when a piece of timber was blown down by the wind as he was erecting a gantry for the railway line from North Dean to Stainland

  • 1871 In the 1st quarter of 1871, there were 11,511 deaths in the West Riding: 39 smallpox, 671 scarlet fever, 443 fever, 173 whooping cough, 171 diarrhoea, 110 measles, and 72 diphtheria

    West, Horsfall & West were tenants of Gauxholme Cotton Mill when it partly burnt down

    A serious epidemic of smallpox and typhus broke out in Halifax in 1871-1872

  • Friday, 13th January 1871 A fire was discovered at the cotton mill at Barkisland which was run by Bottomley Brothers. Damage was estimated at £5,700

  • Saturday, 25th February 1871 James Corney [aged 24] was drinking in a beerhouse at Highroad Well. He remarked that he knew as much about Ireland as any of 3 Irishmen with whom he was drinking. This led to a quarrel and one of the Irishmen drew a knife and stabbed Corney in the chest. The Irishmen got away. Corney survived, thanks to his thick clothing

  • March 1871 4 earth tremors were recorded over a period of 3 days

  • Friday, 21st April 1871 Part of the Kensington Wool Preparing Works of David Smith & Company Limited was destroyed by fire which broke out in the drying room about 8:00 pm. The fire spread to the remainder of the building before it was extinguished around 11:00 pm. Damage was estimated at about £900 and was not insured

  • Monday, 19th June 1871

    The Bedford Observer [Monday 20th June 1871]

    Cotton Mill Destroyed by Fire

    Yesterday morning a most disastrous fire took place at Salterhebble Mill situated at the bottom of Salterhebble Hill, Halifax. The Mill – owned by Samuel Shepherd – burned down with an estimated damage of £20,000.

    The fire broke out just before 9 o'clock soon after the hands returned from breakfast and the first case was to ensure they all got out safely.

    The Salterhebble branch of the Halifax Fire Brigade were soon on the spot but found on attaching their hose to the mains that the supply of water was totally inadequate and it was not until later that the full force was turned on. In addition to the Corporation's fire brigade, that of the Liverpool, London & Globe Insurance Company from Halifax, and one from West Vale, and the local Sowerby Bridge Local board were present. The mill was a comparatively new one, having been erected during the Cotton Co-operative Company mania, just before the outbreak of the American war, by Skircoat Cotton Manufacturing Company Limited on the site of the extensive wharfages and warehouses of the Canal Compny which were destroyed by fire about forty years ago. The building was insured but both owners and tenants will be heavy losers on account of the time that elapsed before the mill can re-erected. About 100 hands are out of employment and the total loss is estimated at £20,000


  • Monday, 26th June 1871 About 4:00 pm, 7 day-trippers to Saltburn went out to sea in a small pleasure boat. The sea was rough and one of the group – a young man called Kershaw from Halifax – was brought ashore dead, 2 young men were missing, and the remaining 4 were rescued in an almost dying state

    John Kershaw [21] of Ovenden, John Dean [18] a cabinet-maker of Foundry Street, and W. Allen [17] a cabinet-maker of Cross Hills were drowned. in a boating accident at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The Coroner's inquest returned a verdict that they accidentally drowned, and that the accident was due to the mistaken judgement of the men in charge of the boat

  • Saturday, 23rd December 1871 A Public Notice in the local press announced

    WE, the MECHANICS, employed by Messrs JOHN HOLDSWORTH & Co, beg to tender our sincere thanks to our employers for the liberal manner in which they have met us with regard to the agitation in the Iron trade, and hope, by strict attention to business, to merit in future their favour as theretofore.


  • Saturday, 6th January 1872 Samuel Crabtree, of Robinwood Terrace, a night-watchman at the Todmorden Railway Station, was killed by a goods train

  • Saturday, 3rd February 1872 The Shay Lane Mill of the Ovenden Worsted Spinning Company Limited was completely destroyed by fire.

    The fire was discovered around 23:30 on the Friday night. It looked like the fire would be speedily extinguished but a pipe connected with the fire-engine burst and it was some time before the fire-fighting could be resumed. Then it was discovered that there was insufficient pressure to reach the flames.

    At 1:00 am an engine from Queensbury arrived, and messages were sent to Halifax, and the Liverpool, London & Globe Company engine was despatched, arriving at 2:15 am.

    The building was entirely gutted.

    The loss was estimated at £15,000

  • Sunday, 25th February 1872 Fire broke out at the West Vale mill of Speak & Normanton. Local fire brigades were soon at the scene and damage was not very extensive

  • Thursday, 9th May 1872 Hurrier George Woodhead [10] was killed when he was run over by corves at Swan Bank Colliery

  • Tuesday, 18th June 1872 There was thunderstorm over most of northern England

  • Saturday, 13th July 1872 Serious local floods hit Brighouse and district

  • Saturday, 20th July 1872 A torrent of rain fell last Saturday morning and the resulting flood was something approaching that of 1866.

    Many buildings were flooded to a depth of 3 feet.

    Considerable damage was done to Richard Kershaw's Victoria Mills, Brighouse where several operatives were trapped in the upper rooms, escaping by means of horse-drawn wagons. Water was up to the horses' bellies

  • August 1872 The engineers, machinists and mechanics of Halifax were on strike for an increase of 2/- a week on their wages. The employers were advertising to fill the vacancies

  • Tuesday, 6th August 1872 Two men were killed and another very seriously injured at the Inland Bonding Warehouse, Halifax

  • October 1872 William Rawnsley and Francis Pinder, both under 12 years of age, were charged with breaking into a house at Barkisland – knowing that the key was left under a stone – and stealing 2 silver watches worth a total of £8. Both pleaded guilty and were ordered to receive 12 lashes each with a birch

  • Thursday, 7th November 1872 Between 4:00 and 5:00 pm, fire broke out in the top room at John Firth's Regulator Mill, Sowerby Bridge. The workers escaped without having time to stop the jennies. The Sowerby Bridge fire brigade poured a copious supply of water into the burning room, and the flames were extinguished in little over half an hour. The damage inflicted by the fire and the water was great

  • Monday, 11th November 1872 10 people were killed and several others injured at the Marsden Brothers' Lilly Lane Mill, Halifax when one of the mill's 2 dams burst after work to extend the mill had weakened the embankment. There was a 15 ft to 18 ft breach in the bank and large quantities of stones and earth were carried down the incline. Considerable water damage was done to silk stored in railway arches, and to other property. Many nearby houses were flooded

  • Saturday, 16th November 1872 The flooring of a passage leading into the Oddfellows' Hall, Halifax, gave way under a sudden rush, and about 100 boys fell into a vault beneath. 11 boys were seriously injured

  • 1873 Pecket Well Shed was damaged by fire

    Calder Bridge Mill, Brighouse damaged by fire

  • Tuesday, 7th January 1873 Part of a train was derailed at Todmorden Station when a cow which was being unshipped at the station got on to the line. The cow was killed, but no-one was injured

  • Tuesday, 14th January 1873 A fire-damp explosion occurred at the Flatt's Pit of the Low Moor Iron Company at Clifton

  • Tuesday, 4th February 1873 Fire broke out at the West Vale mill which Horsfall & Halliday occupied as tenants of John Maude. A worker was lighting the gas when a spark ignited some waste cotton. The automatic system released a jet of steam into the room and, with the help of the West Vale Fire Brigade, the fire was soon extinguished. Damage was estimated at about £1,000

  • Friday, 21st February 1873 About 8:00 am, fire broke out in the 2nd floor scutching room at Atlas Mill, Brighouse. The cause was one of the machines striking fire. 2 men – James Nicholson and Thomas Bottomley, employees at Ormerod & Hirst's mill – tackled the fire with fire extincteurs and stopped the large quantity of cotton being affected. The Royal Insurance Volunteer Fire Brigade's manual engine and the Brighouse Subscription Fire Escape turned out, as did the hose apparatus from Sugden's spinners and from Sugden's millers

  • Tuesday, 11th March 1873 Fire broke out in the spinning room at Gosport Mills, Stainland owned by Edward Sykes & Sons Limited. It was thought that cotton had been ignited by an overheated shaft. A messenger had to be sent to West Vale for the fire engine. The entire premises were damage, estimated at £10,000

  • Wednesday, 26th March 1873 A deputation representing between 4,000 and 5,000 of the inhabitants of Halifax, had an interview with His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's forces, and Mr Cardwell, and submitted objections to the establishment of a military centre in Halifax or adjacent to it.

    On 1st April 1873, the town learned that a military centre was to be established

  • Tuesday, 1st April 1873 On 26th March 1873, a large deputation submitted objections to the establishment of a military centre in Halifax.

    On 1st April 1873, a telegram was received in Halifax from Colonel Akroyd stating that the War Office had decided to form a military centre in the town

  • Friday, 9th May 1873 A fire at cotton spinners Edwards & Ramsden's Prospect Mills, Sowerby Bridge, injured many workers; some fell and others suffered friction burns whilst attempting to slide down a chain to escape from the burning building The building was destroyed. The loss was estimated at £55,000

  • Tuesday, 3rd June 1873 On Thursday 5th June 1873, newspapers reported thunderstorms in the district

    During the great thunderstorm on Tuesday at Warley, Halifax, lightning struck a mistal belonging to Joshua Hoyle, and two young men – one of them was Mr Hoyle's son James – were struck down by the electric fluid. Hoyle was burned from head to foot.

    In the same neighbourhood a young man named James Balmforth, was standing with his sweetheart in the porch of her house when he was struck by lightning and remains unconscious


    A thunderstorm in the evening caused a number of serious accidents from lightning at Warley.

    At Mr Hoyle's farm, about 9:25 pm, James Hoyle and a second man were in the cow shed milking the cows, when a flash of lightning struck and knocked both of them down. James was burned all over his body, leaving his skin red and charred, and his clothing and boots were torn to pieces.

    A cow standing near the door was killed instantaneously.

    A nearby cottage was struck and the floors, roof, chimney, and part of the wall were knocked down, and the windows and furniture shattered. A man and 2 women in the house at the time received no injury.

    About 60 yards from Mr Hoyle's was the house of William Binns, a delver. During the storm, Binns, James Bamforth, and a young woman were standing in the porch, when the lightning knocked them down. Bamforth was not burnt, but the doctor who was called to see him was of opinion that

    he would be a lunatic for life as the shock had quite turned his brain

  • Friday, 4th July 1873 In the early hours, residents of houses in the vicinity of the Robin Hood, Brighouse were awakened by an explosion caused by the burst of a 14 inch water main which had recently been installed near the pub. The houses were damaged by the water and several yards of the road were blown up to a depth of 3 ft

  • Wednesday, 13th August 1873 A fire at the works of John Wilcock & Sons caused estimated damage of about £10,000

  • Monday, 18th August 1873 An outbreak of fever at Brighouse assumed serious proportions, with 3 deaths and 31 other cases, of whom 29 had been supplied by a farmer at Southowram. Cases in Church Street, Brighouse appeared to be most numerous. The farmer and his family were unaffected, and his cows were healthy, but the sanitary state of the farm was described as very objectionable

  • Saturday, 6th September 1873 Samuel Appleyard died after being caught in the shaft of a charcoal-grinding machine at the works of Pickering & Yardley

  • Tuesday, 16th September 1873 As the foundation stone was being laid for St Matthew's Church, Lightcliffe, a timber guy and the cast-iron supports of the crane broke as the stone was being lowered, causing the stone to fall down on to a platform packed with spectators – see St Matthew's Lightcliffe: Stone-laying accident [1873]

  • Friday, 10th October 1873 Slitheroe Bridge, Rishworth was destroyed by floods

  • Wednesday, 29th October 1873 The Company's Mill on Stainland Road, West Vale – occupied by Mr Lumb, Mr Hirst and others was burned down when a fire broke out as workmen were examining the gearing in the top room. Very little of the mill was saved

  • Thursday, 4th December 1873 About 10:00 am, a gas explosion set off a fierce fire which completely destroyed Cunliffe-Lister's Wellington Mills Lower Wade Street, Halifax.

    This is described in the Foldout entitled The Fire at Wellington Mills : 1873

  • Monday, 15th December 1873 A new boiler which had just been installed was being tested but burst with terrible and fatal effect at a small grinding mill at the Spa Well Works of Alfred Crowther, a rag puller and rag grinder at Elland.

    The victims were

    Three of the injured were being treated by Mr Gambles when a spark from his candle set fire to the cotton wadding in which they were wrapped.

    Others injured by the explosion were

    The boiler was old and had been used for agricultural purposes, and it was found to be corroded. Before Crowther had bought it from Mr Atkinson of Lincolnshire, for £40, it had been sold as scrap iron on 3 previous occasions for £5, then £8, and then £18

  • Tuesday, 16th December 1873 A strong gale blew down the new 120-ft tall brick chimney of Bedworth & Sons, killing James Fidler [16] and seriously injuring John Fielding, Charles Wrigley and Abraham Darley

  • Tuesday, 17th February 1874 Shrove Tuesday. In the course of an hour, fire entirely gutted Jonathan Stott's Mill Royd Mill, Brighouse. The walls fell and blocked up the turnpike road and a considerable length of canal. The damage was estimated at between £50,000 and £70,000

  • Wednesday, 29th April 1874 A fire occurred in the mill of Cyrus Brook & Company in Victoria Street East, Halifax. The damage was estimated at £3,000

  • Monday, 15th June 1874 The 9:45 express passenger train from Bradford to Manchester collided with a coal train in Beacon Hill Tunnel. The driver of the express neglected the signal which was against him and saw the coal train as he emerged from the tunnel. He blew his whistle but it was too late. 7 people – including the guard – were injured

  • Monday, 17th August 1874 The first section of the railway connecting Halifax and Ovenden was opened as far as North Bridge. It was part of a proposed line from Halifax to Bradford. The line began 10 years ago as a private venture, but this fell through and the Great Northern Railway Company and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company subsequently took up the scheme

  • Friday, 28th August 1874 Mary, daughter of Frank Rayner of Gooder Lane, Rastrick, was knocked down and trampled by the horses drawing a wagon belonging to Brook & Booth. A verdict of accidental death was returned and exonerated the driver

  • October 1874 32 people died in a smallpox epidemic in Todmorden.

    See Lindsay Taplin

  • Thursday, 5th November 1874 A number of young men were celebrating Bonfire Night near to Swan Bank, Halifax. They acquired an old cannon and loaded it with a heavy charge of gunpowder and brimstone, and rammed this down very hard. Whilst they were doing this, the cannon suddenly went off, injuring Thomas Barker, Benjamin Clegg, Harry Farrar, Arthur Fielding, John Lewis Foster, John William Kershaw, Arthur King, Alfred Morton, Henry Naylor, Charles Smith, Charles Stephens, Fred Thompson, and Abraham Whitworth

  • Wednesday, 11th November 1874 Isabella Bowker [aged 12] of West Vale, a worker at John Maude's mill, was struck on the head and face, thumped in her side, and kicked on the knee by her overlooker, Robert Akroyd, after she did something which displeased him. She was in a precarious condition because of her injuries. Akroyd was taken into custody

  • Tuesday, 8th December 1874 Buildings in Cobden were flooded to a depth of 4 or 5 ft

  • Monday, 14th December 1874 John Bottomley, a waste dealer of Halifax, was charged

    for that [he] on [14th December 1874] at West Vale, unlawfully did profanely curse one profane curse, in these words, to wit "G- D-" (five times repeatedly), you being under the degree of a gentleman, to wit, a waste dealer

    Sir Henry Edwards cautioned Bottomley against a repetition of so degrading an offence, and fined him 5/- plus costs

  • 1875 Local floods

    Wellington Mills, Elland burned down

  • Thursday, 21st January 1875 3 boilers exploded at Lord Brothers' Mill, Todmorden and fragments of the boilers, red-hot cinders, and other debris were scattered around the district. 6 people were killed and a further 6 died later. Amos Marland was among those injured.

    It is still regarded as one of the town's worst industrial disasters.

    At the inquest, it was revealed that 17 months earlier, the results of an inspection advised that the boilers should be replaced, but the manager, Edmund Woodhead, had them repaired instead

  • Saturday, 30th January 1875 A small boiler exploded at Hartley & Sugden Limited, Atlas Boiler Works. Workmen Henry Riley and Enoch Booth were badly injured

  • Friday, 30th April 1875 A fire at Bankfoot Mill, Hebden Bridge, rented by Messrs Robinson, caused damaged estimated at around £350

  • July 1875 Many streets and houses were flooded at Todmorden. The Calder embankment gave way at Crossbrook [?] and several streets were inundated

  • Saturday, 3rd July 1875 Miss Ann Nield of Cornholme married Mr William Stansfield of Blackpool at the United Methodist Free Church, Blackpool

  • Tuesday, 13th July 1875 A steamboat, laden with grain, travelled from Liverpool to Sowerby Bridge on the Rochdale Canal. This was its maiden voyage and it was the first time that a steamer had been used on the canal

  • Saturday, 31st July 1875 The body of Henry Maud [aged 28], a worsted spinner of West Vale, was found on the roof of the last train from Huddersfield to Bradford. In his pockets, were found a ticket for the journey from Huddersfield to Elland, 17/6d in cash, and a gold watch guard. His forehead was severely fractured and his face was lacerated. He was last seen by his brother at Huddersfield, shortly before the train departed, and it is supposed that he travelled on the outside of the carriage. His hat was found at Bradley and it is thought that he had come into contact with the bridge there

  • Monday, 9th August 1875 The Birmingham Daily Post [11th August 1975] reported

    At St Anne's, Lancashire, a 15 year old boy made a half mile swim to three people in distress.

    Mr Bernard Gallagher of Bramall and his son were in the sea up to their necks in water. Near them, was Raymond Lang of Salford who had been swept out by the tide on an inflatable mattress.

    St Anne's Coastguard, Bob Turner, spotted them and appealed to sunbathers for a volunteer to swim out to tell them help was arriving. Into the sea went Michael John Taylor (age 15) of Cross Platts, Southowram, Halifax.

    Lytham-St Anne's lifeboat secretary said

    They owe their lives to this Halifax youngster, they could easily have drowned


  • Saturday, 16th October 1875 Monkman White was killed at Booth Wood Paper Mill, Rishworth

  • Sunday, 26th December 1875 Around 8:5 pm, Mr and Mrs William Mills of Portland Street, Range Bank were travelling on the train between Leeds and Halifax, when their son Joshua [8] jumped up to see the lights near the crossing after the train had left Hipperholme. As he leaned against the door, it flew open and the child fell out of the train. They could not stop the train until it reached Halifax, where the station-master, Mr Garside, and a detective, Mr Linkinson, went back on the engine to the scene. The boy was unhurt and ran to meet the rescue party when he saw their lights

  • 1876 Ripponden Mill burned down. Sparks from the fire set fire to the belfry at St Bartholomew's Church

  • Thursday, 27th January 1876 The mill of J. & J. Farrar at South Lane, Elland was destroyed by fire within a couple of hours when the water pressure prevented the Elland Fire Brigade and Greetland & West Vale Fire Brigade from reaching the seat of the fire. Damage was estimated at £10,000

  • March 1876 John Kimberley, a labourer of Drayton, brought an action against Savile Brinton Crossley for violent assault. Crossley had been out riding and had jumped over a hurdle belonging to a farmer, Mr Bishop, for whom Kimberley worked. Kimberley had been instructed to take the names of anyone jumping over the hurdles, and when he asked Crossley, he was hit by Crossley's whip. Crossley then unloosed one of his stirrups and struck Kimberley on the arm and head with the strap, causing blood to flow. Crossley was fined damages of £25.

    Fire destroyed Rooley Lane Wesleyan Chapel, Sowerby

  • Saturday, 11th March 1876 Sowerby Old Wesleyan Chapel [built in 1787] and Sowerby Sunday School [of 1807] burned down. The loss was estimated at between £3,000 and £4,000

  • Sunday, 19th March 1876 The woollen mill of John Smithies at Elland, was completely destroyed by fire. The estimated damage was £10,000

  • Wednesday, 22nd March 1876 One man was crushed to death and 4 others were badly injured as they tried to escape from the luggage van of a train which derailed as it was entering Halifax Station

  • Monday, 1st May 1876 A passenger train from Brighouse crashed into the rear of a stationary goods train – carrying ballast – which was taking in water at Halifax station. 21 passengers were injured, some seriously so [or none seriously so?]. It was alleged that the 2 trains should have been running on separate lines

  • Monday, 26th June 1876 William Pearson [32], a tailor of Mechanic Street, Todmorden, was drowned in the Shade pool of the Rochdale canal. His young daughter was also taken out almost lifeless, but was restored

  • Monday, 10th July 1876 Several excursion trains passed from Yorkshire through the Burnley valley. From one of there trains, some person wantonly fired a pistol at houses near the line at Cornholme. The charge of the pistol, a piece of iron about the size of a quarter-ounce weight, passed through a window by a woman's head and into an inner room, where it came into contact with a wall, removing a piece of the plaster. From the same train, a pistol was discharged at a bobbin mill at Cornholme

  • Tuesday, 5th September 1876 Runaway goods train travelling from Beacon Hill Tunnel crashed into the rear of a stationary, empty, passenger train at Halifax station. The signalman was able to divert the train off the main line. Both trains – and a part of the station – were damaged. There were no casualties

  • Thursday, 12th October 1876 Fire broke out at Elland Corn Mill just after midnight. PC Gracey discovered the fire. 3 of the top rooms were ablaze. The fire brigade were quickly on the scene but the mill was completely destroyed and their efforts were concentrated on a neighbouring cotton mill. Damage to the mill was estimated at £4,500 and to the stock at £5,000

  • Friday, 3rd November 1876 About 5:40 pm, a fire caused about £3,000 damage at Shepherd & Sutcliffe's mill, Stansfield Road, Todmorden. On 8th December, one person was almost killed when a wall damaged by the fire collapsed

  • 1877 Whitwell Mill, Elland burned down

  • Monday, 19th February 1877 Patrick Kelly was killed at Camm Brothers' Grange Hall Quarry, Brighouse

  • Wednesday, 11th April 1877 Whitworth's Boy Mill at Luddendenfoot was damaged by a fire which broke out at 1:00 am

  • Thursday, 14th June 1877 George Haigh was an engine tenter at Gomersall & Bentley's quarry at Lightcliffe.

    Three workers – Hoyle, Gomersall and Sykes – were loading a wagon at the quarry. As Haigh was walking past them, a quantity of stones fell, knocking the 3 men forward, against the deceased, crushing him and injuring him severely.

    Brandy was given to him, and he was transferred to the Infirmary where he died on Monday morning [19th June 1877].

    A verdict of accidental death was returned

  • Saturday, 30th June 1877 Jen Holroyd, a cart driver from West Vale, left his horse and spring cart in Cross Church Street about 2:15 pm without anyone having control over it. At 2:30 pm, Holroyd was brought into the police station in a state of intoxication. PC J. Horsfall charged him with the offence. Holroyd was fined 10/- plus 10/- costs

  • Sunday, 15th July 1877 Dangerously high floods in Todmorden

  • October 1877 Parts of Cobden were under water for 9 days

  • Friday, 16th November 1877 Edward Tristam [aged 10] of Lindwell, a piecer at Horsfall & Halliday in West Vale, was cleaning under a mule when he was caught by the head. He died within a few minutes

  • 1878 Part of Mill Royd Mill, Brighouse burned down

  • Thursday, 14th February 1878 Fire broke out in the premises of John & William Henry Briggs at Bank Bottom Mill, Elland. The fire was caused by a carding engine striking fire and igniting the loose material in the air. Messrs Briggs sustained a loss of around £400 and Joseph Smithies, who owned the mill, lost a similar amount in worsted machinery and stock

  • Monday, 18th February 1878 Fire at Bridge Royd Dye Works, Todmorden caused damage estimated at £2,500

  • Saturday, 30th March 1878 Stansfield Mitchell, a labourer known as Stan o' Cock's, was found near the boiler at Vale Mills with his clothes on fire. He died on the Wednesday following at Blackshawhead Poorhouse

  • Thursday, 25th April 1878 Richard Wilson [aged 39] of Bradford Road, Brighouse, a goods porter at Brighouse Station, was caught between the buffers of a waggon he was loading. He died the following morning

  • May 1878 There were strikes and lock-outs in the textile industry. At Todmorden, manufacturers warned of a 10% reduction in wages. The weavers of Maden & Hoyle at Derdale Mill, Todmorden were on strike and about 400 picketed the gates to stop anyone going to work at the mill. Employees of Shepherd & Sutcliffe and of Helliwell & Sons were also mentioned in newspaper reports as being on strike.

    In March 1879, cotton manufacturers and iron founders also had their wages reduced

  • Monday, 15th July 1878 The Rishworth branch line opened for goods trains

  • Monday, 5th August 1878 The Rishworth branch line opened for passenger trains

  • Monday, 28th October 1878

    The Leeds Times [2nd November 1878] reported

    On 28th October 1878, fire broke out in the preparing room at Clay Pits Mills, Halifax.

    A portion of the building was completely wrecked, and a loss sustained of over £1,000. The premises belonged to Mr James Midgley, woollen spinner, and were jointly occupied by the owner, Mr Samuel Empsall and Mr Lewis Smith


  • December 1878 After the record temperatures of 1740, the only other known instance in Britain of two successive months with mean temperatures below 0° C were in December 1878 and January 1879

  • Friday, 20th December 1878 John Bastow [46] was killed in a fire damp explosion at Quarry House Colliery

  • Thursday, 30th January 1879 Fire at the Bridge Royd Dye Works, Todmorden of Dan Crabtree & Sons caused damage estimated at £400

  • February 1879 There was a depression in the leather trade which led to many failures, such as Marshall Charlesworth

  • Thursday, 6th February 1879 A serious fire destroyed the gallery, the organ and the roof at Pellon Lane Particular Baptist Church

  • Thursday, 27th February 1879 Albert Mill, Hebden Bridge was destroyed by fire

  • March 1879 Following the wages reductions of May 1878, cotton manufacturers and iron founders also announced reductions in 1879

  • Saturday, 22nd March 1879 About 11:00 pm, fire broke out on the top storey of the Spa Well premises of the Elland Bottling Company, where hay and straw were kept. The fire spread rapidly and the building was gutted. The Elland and West Vale Fire Brigades prevented the fire spreading to cottages adjacent to the building. Much bottled ale – which was stored in the basement – was believed to have been lost. Damage was estimated at £5,000

  • Friday, 28th March 1879 Death of Mr J. Turner aged 73 at Lydgate, Northowram

  • Tuesday, 22nd April 1879 Job Atkinson [26] was killed in a roof-fall at Dam Head Colliery

  • Saturday, 17th May 1879 Flooding in Todmorden after a heavy thunderstorm

  • Tuesday, 12th August 1879 Levi Longbottom, a delver at Stubbing Quarry, Hipperholme died when he fell 60 ft into the Quarry. He sustained wounds to his shoulder and died the following day

  • Thursday, 9th October 1879 6 people – John Pritchard [partner], Alfred Thornton [finishing manager, married with 4 children], David Pickles [fireman, married with 1 child], Fred Simms [cart driver, single], Thomas Whitehead, and Christopher Willocks [married with no children] - were killed and others – George Hanson - were injured in an explosion which occurred at 9:30 am at the West Croft Works of Balme & Pritchard. The boiler – one of 4 – was thrown 34 yards by the explosion. The bodies of the dead were recovered several hours later. 2 horses were scalded and had to be put down

  • Thursday, 6th November 1879 Fire at Jonathan Barker & Sons Millwood works: Phoenix Ironworks, Todmorden. Fielden's fire engine attended

  • Monday, 1st December 1879 A passenger service opened between Halifax and Bradford. This 7¾ mile line offered an alternative route between the 2 towns, and served several districts previously without a rail service

  • 1880 By 1880, the railways had reached most parts of the district

  • Saturday, 3rd January 1880 A fire destroyed the Lock Hill, Sowerby Bridge works of Wood Brothers and John Woods & Son. Newspaper reports of the fire said that

    it is feared that a girl named Mary Broadbent has lost her life

    It was estimated that Wood Brothers losses were around £15,500 and those of John Woods & Son were around £35,000

  • Sunday, 4th January 1880 Grove Mills, Brighouse burned down

  • Friday, 27th February 1880 The old cotton mill at Ripponden, the property of Ripponden Commercial Company Limited, was destroyed by fire which broke out on the fourth storey. The mill was 32 yards long and 15½ yards wide. All the workpeople got out, but all hopes of saving the building were abandoned and the building was a complete wreck in about 40 minutes.

    The damage is estimated at about £10,000.

    About 80 persons will be out of work

  • Friday, 2nd July 1880 Abraham Firth [23] was killed when he fell down the shaft at New Hall Mine

  • Saturday, 24th July 1880 Mrs Martha Ann Rothera was killed as she crossed the line at Holmfield Railway Station. She was hit by the 5:28 pm express train from Bradford to Halifax. Seeing that she was in danger, a porter, Charles Clark, ran to help her but he too was struck and killed. Reports said that Mrs Rothera was carried forward by the engine and cut to pieces

  • Thursday, 23rd December 1880 There was serious flooding in the Upper Calder Valley.

    Luddendenfoot Bridge / Currer Bridge was washed away in a flood. In 1882, it was rebuilt.

    There was much damage at Longbottom Mill, Luddendenfoot after water flooded the weaving sheds and force a wall out of one mill.

    At 4:45 pm, 2 mill workers, William Crabtree and Howard Sykes, spotted a crack in the stonework of Boy Bridge over the Calder at Luddendenfoot. They went to investigate and felt the structure shake. They ran off just before the bridge fell down and the road to the railway station was destroyed.

    The Hole in the Wall, Hebden Bridge was 4 ft under water, and the Dusty Miller, Mytholmroyd was almost 4 ft under water.

    A wall at Wadsworth Mill, Todmorden was broken down by the water

  • 1881 The Sudan Campaign [1881-1899]

    The Ryburn Valley branch railway line passed through the Scar Head Tunnel

  • Saturday, 1st January 1881 Heavy rains caused a landslide above the railway line between Todmorden and Dobroyd

  • Thursday, 13th January 1881 8 men were injured, 2 of whom died, at the Lane Head Quarry of O. & S. Cliffe.

    The men fell 60 ft as they were being raised to the surface and the chain broke.

    Those involved were James Heap [27], Oliver Ingham [34], William Irving [30], Samuel Mitchell [27], Edward Pye [36], Thomas Ripley [27], William Smith [40], and Dan Sugden [40]. Heap and another man died.

    It was found that a link in the chain had not been welded properly.

    The following month, Cliffe's were fined £5 for using a single-link chain – which was prohibited by law

  • March 1881 Wyke Viaduct was opened

  • Friday, 18th March 1881 Levi Harwood's Brearley Mill, Midgley was entirely gutted by fire. It was supposed that some hard substance got into one of the engines and ignited the fly. The flames spread with great rapidity and the roof quickly fell in. The damage was estimated at £12,000

  • Sunday, 15th May 1881 William Gibson, a foreman plate-layer of Blind Lane, Todmorden, was killed on the railway line opposite Copperas House mill by a Manchester express train

  • Wednesday, 18th May 1881 About 100 workers came out of strike after Firth & Company announced proposals to reduce the wages of a number of their employees. About 70 of these workers came to an agreement with the management, but the remainder were discharged from the service of the firm

  • Tuesday, 5th July 1881 From about 8:00 pm, a thunderstorm

    of almost unprecedented severity and duration

    passed over the Upper Calder Valley. There was great destruction of property. 3 lives were lost in Bacup. At Burnley, 1,800 distinct flashes of lightning were counted in 1 hour

  • Sunday, 10th July 1881 Fire broke out at Albion Mill, Elland, belonging to Robert Kaye & Sons. It was believed that an object had got into the teasing equipment and started a fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and caused damage estimated at £50

  • Thursday, 4th August 1881 Ely Hanson [aged 55], a railway shunter of West Vale, was killed at North Dean Station. He was passing between two waggons to couple them and one of the waggons was shunted against the other. Thomas Mann was stationmaster at West Vale Station and a witness to the accident. Hanson died on the way to the Halifax Infirmary

  • Wednesday, 7th September 1881 James Lees, a greengrocer at West Vale was loading potatoes on to his dray at West Vale Station when the horse took fright. A boy named Priestley ran to stop the horse, but he was knocked down and the dray ran over him, killing him instantly. Lees was also injured

  • Friday, 30th September 1881 At Halifax Borough Court...

    Benjamin Brearley, a labourer, was fined £1 plus 14/6d, or 14 days in prison, for loitering at Halifax Station on 22nd September

    William Burrows, an earthenware dealer of Darley Street, was fined £5 8/6d, or 2 months in prison, for furious driving in Commercial Road on 16th September. A child was knocked down and its thigh broken, and the Court ordered that £5 of the fine was to go to the child's parents

    John William Midgley, a milk hawker of Southowram, was fined 5 8/6d for furious driving in Charles Street on 27th September. A child was knocked down by the horse, but was little hurt

  • Tuesday, 11th October 1881 Grove Mills, Ovenden, occupied by J. N. Priestley & Company and Carter & Company, were entirely destroyed by fire. The cause of the fire was unknown. The damage of about £11,000 was mainly to Messrs Priestley's property. Both firms were insured

  • Saturday, 26th November 1881 John Kenworthy, Sarah Ann his wife and Jane his daughter, drowned in Booth Dean Beck after calling at the Derby Bar, Rishworth.

    John had called to deliver a parcel to the daughter of Mrs Harrison, the landlady of the Inn. Mrs Harrison suggested that the party stay the night, on account of the bad weather, but Kenworthy left.

    Their cart turned over while passing over the Beck at the Temple Crossing, near Temple Mill, on their way home.

    On Sunday morning Jane's body was found below the crossing, John's body was found in the dam of the paper mill, and Sarah Ann's body was found at Rishworth Mill, opposite Mr Wheelwright's premises. The horse survived and was found standing in the water.

    It was a stormy night, and witnesses who passed earlier said that the water was about 3 ft deep.

    The Inquest returned a verdict of Accidental death and recommended that a bridge for horses & vehicles be placed over the Beck near Temple Mill

  • Wednesday, 15th March 1882 T. Conway was killed in a fire-damp explosion at Sunny Bank Mine

  • Monday, 3rd April 1882 John Whiteley's cotton spinners at Stones Mill, Ripponden burned down.

    It was thought that the fire was caused by overheating of machinery soon after the engine started.

    Damage was estimated at between £15,000 and £20,000, and was covered by insurance

  • Tuesday, 9th May 1882 The Irish Riots broke out in Brighouse, sparked by the assassination Frederick Cavendish

  • Saturday, 3rd June 1882

    The Leeds Times [3rd June 1882]

    A destructive mill fire broke out at Lee Bank Mills, Halifax, occupied by Messrs Bowman Bros, cotton spinners and doublers. The premises consist of an old mill at the north end, stretching north and south across the Ovenden valley. The Corporation Fire Brigade and the Holmfield Steam fire brigade were soon on the spot. The firemen played till evening when all danger was passed. The damage is about £10,000 covered by insurance. The building is owned by Mr W. H. Rawson

  • Monday, 12th June 1882 Two workers – James Brown & Tom Taylor – were killed when a crane collapsed at Stubbins Quarry, Hove Edge.

    The Leeds Times [Saturday 17th June 1882] reported

    Fatal Accident at Hipperholme Quarry

    On Monday at Stubbins Quarry, Broad Oak, Hipperholme, a sad accident occurred and two lives lost. The quarry is owned and worked by Luke H. Goodyear, stone merchant of Hipperholme.

    The signal boy was near the engine box, and a stone was being moved from the quarry, a distance of forty yards, when the guy pin, three inches in diameter, broke, and the jib fell down into the quarry.

    James Brown, the boy, was knocked down and so severely injured that he died.

    Tom Taylor, aged about 19, the engine tenter, was in the box when the accident occurred and he fell with the engine.

    A heavy piece of wood caught him by the neck with fatal consequences.

    At the inquest on Taylor, the jury returned a verdict

    the deceased died through injuries received by falling down Stubbins Quarry caused by the accidental breakage of the guy pin which held the steam crane'


  • Thursday, 15th June 1882 There was an explosion at Sunny Bank Mine, Southowram in which 17 year-old Thomas Conway was killed

  • Friday, 23rd June 1882 A band of Salvation Army members marching from Queensbury to Brighouse was attacked by what appeared to be an organised group of about 3,000 roughs drawn from the mining and quarrying villages. The Army was driven out of Brighouse, but they were protected by the police until they boarded a train at Lightcliffe

  • September 1882 About 400 spinners, employed by William & Alfred Camm, went on strike rather than have a 10% reduction in their wages

  • Thursday, 23rd November 1882 Onecliffe Mill, West Vale – owned by David Fox – was completely gutted by fire. The damage was reported to be £24,000

  • Friday, 1st December 1882 Fire at Crabtree Brothers' Finishing Works, Crow Nest, Hebden Bridge caused damage estimated at £200

  • Tuesday, 5th December 1882 Gertrude Fielden [13], daughter of William Fielden of Todmorden, was killed at Todmorden Station. She was a pupil-teacher at Eastwood Board School and was boarding the train whilst it was moving. She slipped between the platform and the carriages. Her right arm was cut off, her head injured, and she died within a few minutes

  • Wednesday, 6th December 1882 About 10:00 pm, fire broke out in several places at the 6-storey Barkisland Mills. 2 workers had to jump out of the window of the top floor on to the roof of a 3-storey section. Robert Jagger was killed when a wall fell on him as he was trying to stop the spread of the flames. Snow prevented the steam engine of the West Vale Fire Brigade from getting the fire. Damage was estimated at £25,000

  • Saturday, 16th December 1882 During a storm, workers at Steanor Bottom Chemical Works, Walsden were having problems with the stills there. At about 11.30 am, one of the stills suddenly exploded, killing Thomas Stansfield [28], the foreman and analyst, and Thomas Ogden [19]. Another workman, Thomas Taylor, was badly burned and was taken to Rochdale Infirmary. A fourth man was burned and was treated at home. Damage to the works was about £200

  • Thursday, 28th December 1882 The 255 ft tall chimney at Sir Henry William Ripley's mill at West Bowling, Bradford, blew down in a storm, and the 4,000 tons of brickwork killed 46 women and children. The chimney was built in 1862, and was said to be leaning and in need of repairs at the time of the accident

  • 1883 Huddersfield tramway system – the first municipal tramway undertaking in Britain – opened. It was electrified around 1900. The tramway system closed in 1940

  • January 1883 Bad weather across Britain. Many cotton mills were damaged by flooding in Todmorden, and hundreds of workers had to be laid off

  • July 1883 Dyers at Pickle Bridge went on strike over a wages disputes of 25%

  • Sunday, 26th August 1883 The eruption of the volcano Krakatoa – which lies between Sumatra and Java – caused several weeks' of red sunsets in Britain

  • Saturday, 8th September 1883 Fire at Pendleton Mills, Elland.

    The Brighouse Newspapers [15th September 1883] reported

    Pendleton Mill, Elland was destroyed by fire on Saturday 8th in the morning, roof fell in and mill gutted, engines and boiler house destroyed.

    Mill owned by John & Joseph Farrar card makers, and Farrar & Company, cotton spinners (who are relatives), are tenants in the top two rooms.

    Four rooms are occupied by Messrs. Bottomley Brothers whose Barkisland Works burnt down last year.

    Six storey mill with engine house and boiler house.

    Mill contained 20,000 spindles.

    Damage £30,000.

    The engine also provided power to adjoining premises which are also now stopped


  • Sunday, 11th November 1883 There was a disastrous storm during which Bailiff Bridge Station was blown down

  • Saturday, 8th December 1883 The Branxholme Mill, Bailiff Bridge of Ellis Stott & Sons was badly damaged by fire. The engine house was destroyed, though the scutch room, dwelling house and a newly-built mill were saved. The gasometer was exhausted to avoid explosion. Damage was estimated at £5000. About 100 workers were thrown out of employment. The cause of the fire was unknown

  • Tuesday, 11th December 1883 Gales and storms swept across Britain. Much of Clifton Road Station, Brighouse was blown away

  • Friday, 28th December 1883 68-year-old Robert Jefferson was working at Flatt's Pit, Clifton. Around 6:00 am, he had to pass over a gantry which was unprotected. His sight had become defective and he was found seriously injured on the waggon road below. He died without having spoken on the evening of the following day

  • 1884 Fire at Lord Brothers' Canal Street Works, Todmorden

  • February 1884 John Aspinall & Sons were sued by H. Thompson, a manufacturer of Norton Towers, for injuries sustained by his daughter who was thrown from a phæton when one of Aspinall's carts ran into the vehicle. A Miss Hellewell who was also in the phæton subsequently died. The Jury returned a verdict for £400

  • Tuesday, 1st April 1884 A new branch of the Great Northern Railway line from Bradford and Halifax to Keighley via Thornton was opened for traffic

  • Thursday, 8th May 1884 An express train from Manchester to Normanton was thrown off the rails at Milner Royd Junction when a bale of goods fell from a wagon. A dozen trucks were much damaged and the line was blocked for several hours

  • Saturday, 14th June 1884 Jack Bridge Mill, Heptonstall was destroyed by fire. The cause was friction in one of the mills.

    The Leeds Times [Saturday 21st June 1884] reported

    Jack Bridge Mill

    The property of the Cobden Cotton & Commercial Company, near Hebden Bridge was destroyed by fire on Saturday. The damage was estimated at £12,000


  • Wednesday, 2nd July 1884 The works of B. G. Smith & Sons burned down in one of the largest fires in the district.

    The wall of a workshop fell down, destroying 8 cottages and their contents, though the occupants escaped injury. Stannary Congregational Church, Halifax and a pawnshop caught fire.

    The damage amounted to £6,000.

    At this time, there was no permanent fire brigade in Halifax, but the seriousness of this fire led to steps being taken to form one. George B. Collins was in charge of the task a became superintendent of the fire brigade

  • August 1884 A widow living in Southowram Bank bought, for a groat, a fish off a hawker named Charles Ingham who also resided in Southowram Bank. She was rejoiced over a lucky bargain for, on opening it, she found a sovereign dated 1872

  • Monday, 26th January 1885 The Hare Street Mill occupied by Kirkman & Crowther was destroyed by fire. Damage was estimated at £12,000

  • March 1885 Cotton spinners in West Vale and Greetland were working only 4 days a week. The short time movement was general in the Halifax district

  • Saturday, 14th March 1885 Abraham Blagborough [aged 47] was killed at North Dean Station. He was repairing a coal wagon when some other trucks were being shunted and bumped into the coal wagon. Blagborough was knocked off and run over. He died almost immediately

  • May 1885 Cases of smallpox were reported in Rastrick. Some of these were initially reported as chicken pox.

    4 patients were admitted to Halifax Smallpox Hospital. One patient developed into malignant or black pox.

    2 patients from Brighouse were also admitted

    The Brighouse News [23rd May 1885] reported

    An accident happened at Longroyds Stone Quarry No.2, Rastrick owned by Messrs Bentley & Kaye.

    A miner, Henry Knapton (35) was going along this passage where Joseph Bentley (one of the partners) was working with five other men. When Knapton arrived at the place where the others were working, a large piece of roof fell, knocking down a large beam which was placed to hold up the roof, and deceased was struck in the chest and knocked down.

    He leaves a wife and seven children.

    At the inquest John Barker said that some wooden bars, which had been set on the orders of the deceased, appeared to be perfectly safe. Mr Bentley had seen the bars after they were set and said they could not be better. The bars were 17 feet long and 14 inches diameter.

    A Joseph Bentley of Bentley & Smith, Stone dealers, said that he was in the mine but did not know the deceased was there. The other men had lights but the deceased must not have had one.

    Sarah Knapton of Lillands Lane said the deceased was her husband. Before he died, the deceased told her that a gallance end fell and the dirt struck him. Mr Knapton had previously been injured a short time previously by the falling of a cage.

    The Jury were of the opinion that the accident was entirely unpreventable and no blame attached to anybody.

    Verdict: Accidental death


  • August 1885 There were many reported cases of cholera in Europe. In England, a case of Asiatic Cholera, imported from Marseilles by the victim, a sailor, was reported in Bristol

  • Sunday, 20th December 1885 Fire broke out in the dule room at Albion Mill, Elland, belonging to Robert Kaye & Sons. It was believed that an object had got into the teasing equipment and started a fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and caused damage estimated at £150

  • 1886 John Marsh & Company established a horse-omnibus service in Halifax and Sowerby Bridge

    A destructive fire caused heavy damage at Leopold Wire Works, Brighouse

  • Monday, 25th January 1886 Severe snow storms caused drifts 7ft / 8ft deep in parts of the district

  • Saturday, 27th February 1886 Around 2:45 pm, a fire – caused by sparks from a furnace in the next room – was discovered in the pattern shop at Lord Brothers' Canal Street Works, Todmorden. It caused damage costing several thousands of pounds, and destroyed a great many patterns for the firm's machinery

  • Sunday, 28th February 1886 A fire caused around £200 damage at the Crispin Inn, Halifax

  • Monday, 5th April 1886 A cab carrying 3 people on their way to a funeral stopped on the line at Bradley Wood level crossing whilst the driver opened the second gate. The Huddersfield to Halifax express smashed the vehicle to pieces and killed Mrs Mary Ann Preston [60], a widow, seriously injured her sister, Mrs Elizabeth Whittle [60], and severely injured the third male passenger. The horse and drivers escaped unharmed

  • August 1886 David Gaunt, a tailor [47], pleaded guilty at Leeds to several crimes, including burglary at the house of John Scarborough at Halifax on 24th June, and stealing therefrom a quantity of electro-plated and other goods. He was sentenced to 7 years' penal servitude

  • Monday, 30th August 1886 Fire broke out at the new Salterhebble Cotton Company Mill owned by the Salterhebble Cotton Spinning Company destroying the top floor and the roof. The fire was caused by friction in one of the headstock on the second room from the bottom. Workers fled the scene. Fire brigades had the fire under control by 8:00 pm. Damage was estimated at £5,000

  • Tuesday, 5th October 1886 At Halifax, Herbert Booth and 3 other members of the Salvation Army were ordered to pay £3 8/- plus costs for cruelly ill-treating a horse – which was described as lame, aged and not fit for work – during a visit of the Salvation lifeguards on 21st September. The charges were brought by the RSPCA

  • Wednesday, 10th November 1886 Fred Stott was killed in a boiler explosion at the Firth House Mills occupied by T. H. Bracken & Company Limited

  • Tuesday, 16th November 1886 A disastrous flood was reported in the Hebden Bridge district. The road at Midgehole collapsed. Victoria Bridge was badly damaged

  • Thursday, 25th November 1886 The Upper George Hotel, Halifax was damaged by fire

    The Leeds Times [Saturday 27th November 1886] reported

    On Thursday morning, a fire broke out in the vaults of the Upper George Hotel, Halifax owned by Messrs Robert (sic) Ramsden & Son [?], brewers, occupied by Mr James Dodd.

    The flames were spread by the hoist into the dining room on the first floor and smoke filled the second floor and attic where Mr & Mrs Dodd, their four children, two domestics and the barman were sleeping. They were aroused and got out with difficulty.

    George Turner, the barman, was partially overcome by smoke.

    The loss was estimated to be £700 to £800. Mr Dodd and Messrs Ramsden were insured


  • 1887 There was a great drought

  • Wednesday, 3rd August 1887 James Auty was killed by a roof fall at Flatts Pit coal mine in Clifton

  • Sunday, 18th September 1887 Arthur Farnell was killed when the cart in which he, his brother William Farnell, Turner White and James Farrar were travelling through Ovenden, ran away

  • October 1887 The annual death rate in Halifax from scarlet fever was published as 2.5, and from whooping-cough as 1.3

  • Wednesday, 7th December 1887 An alarming fire broke out at the Hangingroyd Dyeing & Finishing Works of J. Thomas & Company in Hebden Bridge. The damage was estimated to be about £400. The outbreak was more serious because of the other firms adjoining

  • Tuesday, 20th December 1887 3 gas explosions at the Halifax Corporation Gas Works were caused by a leaked. A cottage was set on fire and all the windows blown out, and 2 women occupants were found insensible. Part of the town was left in darkness when the gas was turned off

  • Monday, 9th January 1888 At about 12:40 pm, during a dense fog, a collision occurred on the main up-line at Dobroyd, when 3 waggons broke from their couplings near Portsmouth Station and ran towards Todmorden and into the rear of a goods train

    smashing the guard's van and 3 of the waggons. Their contents – chiefly eggs, butter and bacon – flew in all directions

  • Wednesday, 11th January 1888 An outbreak of smallpox in the Eastwood district.

    In Sheffield, around 3,000 people were attacked by the disease

  • Monday, 20th February 1888 A great snowstorm in which railway trains were blocked and other traffic much interfered with

  • Friday, 16th March 1888 A fire at the shop of Edmunds & Hookway in Halifax caused damage estimated at almost £20,000

  • Tuesday, 27th March 1888 A little after 11:00 pm, Wilson's Bobbin Mill, Cornholme burned down with an estimated damage of £20,000 and throwing 400 workers out of employment. The fire lasted over 6 hours

  • Tuesday, 24th April 1888 An empty passenger ran into the back of a luggage train which was standing on the up-line. The guard's van was tilted, and the passenger engine disabled. No-one was injured

  • Thursday, 17th May 1888 Dyson Mallinson's Foster Mill, Hebden Bridge was gutted by fire. Damage was estimated at £15,000. The mill was rebuilt by Redman Brothers

  • Friday, 2nd November 1888 There were 9 cases of typhoid fever in Sourhall Hospital, Todmorden. Henry Wilkinson [39] of Lydgate, and Benjamin Swire [20] of Shade, died

  • Sunday, 25th November 1888 Fire broke out in the 2-storey drying shed belonging to Edmund Outram at Ellistones Mill, West Vale. Outram's daughter spotted the blaze and raised the alarm. Large crowd gathered to watch the blaze. The West Vale Fire Brigade were called but they failed to prevent the place from being burned out. The loss of machinery, stock and buildings was estimated at nearly £5,000. 200 men were thrown out of work. The loss was partly covered by insurance

  • Thursday, 6th December 1888 Around 10:45 pm, fire broke out in a yarn warehouse of Michael Waller & Sons at Thornhill Briggs Mill, Brighouse. The Victoria Mills Fire Brigade and the Rosemary Mills Fire Brigade attended the fire. Damage to the building and stock was estimated at £1,800

  • Sunday, 16th December 1888 The body of Harry Nettleton [aged 13] son of widow Sarah Nettleton of Lightcliffe Road, Brighouse, was taken from the Calder at Brookfoot. The Inquest returned a verdict of

    found drowned, having probably accidentally fallen from or over the wall in the yard at Brookfoot Mill on the 12th December

  • March 1889 Bales of goods fell from a train in Beacon Hill Tunnel and some of the trucks were derailed. They damaged the rails and caused great damage to the platform at Halifax Station. Traffic was diverted via Cleckheaton and Mirfield

  • Sunday, 7th April 1889 Fire broke out in the drying room at of John Smith, Sons & Mortimer's Badger Hill Mills, Rastrick. The blaze was brought under control by a fire engine kept on the premises. Damage was estimated at £1,500

  • June 1889 There was a strike in the small-wire drawing trade in Halifax, Brighouse and Cleckheaton. The men were told that, if they returned to work, they would receive the same wages as paid by Frederick Smith & Company, and Patchett & Sons. They protested that these rates were lower than those paid by other masters

    Thomas Atkinson was killed at Hipperholme railway station when he was loading a truck with clay and jumped from the truck on to the main railway line. The buffer of an engine coming from Bradford caught him on the head

  • Sunday, 2nd June 1889 A hailstorm at 4:40 pm caused damage in the Calder Valley, the unusually large hailstones broke many windows in the district

  • Saturday, 20th July 1889 HRH Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, came to Halifax to present the colours to 3rd and 4th Battalions (Militia) of the Duke of Wellington West Riding Regiment. The ceremony took place at camp which had been pitched on Halifax Racecourse

  • Wednesday, 24th July 1889 Ziba Hemingway – who was deaf & dumb – was working at Great Acre Quarry, Southowram. He was fastening a chain round a stone, weighing about 3 tons, and he was reaching under the stone for the chain when the huge block of stone gave way catching him on the head. He died minutes later

  • Thursday, 24th October 1889 R. Holroyd [40] was killed by a roof-fall at Calder Clay Mine

  • 1890 The High Level Railway was inaugurated

  • March 1890 Iron workers were on strike in Halifax

  • Saturday, 7th June 1890 John O'Toole [aged 21], a dyer's labourer of New Bank died after falling into a vat of boiling water at Ward's Dye Works, Halifax

  • Monday, 25th August 1890 There were cholera outbreaks in Britain, France, Spain and South Africa. Cases were reported at Greetland. Edward Haigh was taken ill after visiting West Vale on Saturday, 23rd August 1890 and died a few days later.

    Thomas Butterworth, a neighbour of Haigh, died on 25th September 1890

  • Thursday, 11th September 1890 There was a serious explosion at the works of C. Worsnop & Sons in a yard off Cheapside, Halifax.

    Of the 6 workers in the building, John Edgar Worsnop and Sarah Elizabeth Berry were killed in the explosion.

    Michael McCabe, a labourer who was working in the yard, was injured by falling debris and taken to Halifax Infirmary where he died 3 hours later.

    The building was badly damaged.

    There were no explosives on the premises, and the explosion was said to have been caused by a gas leak. A gas pipe or joint may have been damaged by

    the recent fall of an adjacent building

  • Thursday, 6th November 1890 Abraham Longbottom was killed at Pond Quarry, Brighouse as he was unloading about 3 tons of stone off a wagon. During the operation, the load collapsed. Longbottom ran away and was hit on the head and shoulders and knocked down by the chain of the crane.

    He was taken to Halifax Infirmary and died about 7:45 the following morning [7th November]

  • Wednesday, 19th November 1890 Serious local floods in the Upper Calder Valley. The graveyard at Eastwood Congregational Church was flooded and several graves were washed away

  • 1891 Stephen Lambert was killed by a rock fall at Slead Syke Quarry, Brighouse

  • January 1891 A train backed into a passenger train which was standing on the down-line at Todmorden Station. No-one was injured, but 3 or 4 passengers received shocks, several carriages were damaged, and the line was blocked for some time. The accident was due to a mistake in working the points

  • Monday, 12th January 1891 Samuel Varley of Woodend, Hebden Bridge was crushed between railway trucks at Hebden Bridge Station. He died the following day

  • Thursday, 22nd January 1891 A policeman at Eastwood was fined 1/- plus 2/6d costs for allowing a dog in his charge to have its muzzle hanging round its neck – see Rabies.

  • Friday, 23rd January 1891 Outbreak in the district of an epidemic of pink-eye, a disease horses, disrupted bus traffic

  • Tuesday, 10th February 1891 Dr Charles William Thorp presented a report on an outbreak of Russian influenza in Todmorden during January and February 1891. Many were afflicted, but only one death was reported

  • May 1891 A particularly severe influenza epidemic – in many parts of Britain. Locally, it affected Elland and other parts of the district. It was aggravated by bad weather, and many people died.

    It has been said that those who survived this epidemic became immune and went on to survive the pandemic of 1918

  • Tuesday, 5th May 1891 Around 5:00 am, fire broke out at Todmorden Station and cotton in 2 waggons was destroyed

  • Saturday, 16th May 1891 John Bewley [aged 55], a porter at Elland Railway Station for 20 years, was found lying on the tracks with both legs cut off, having evidently been run over by a train. He died the following day Halifax Infirmary

  • Thursday, 4th June 1891 There was a disastrous explosion and fire at Wilson's Bobbin Works, Cornholme as men were leaving at the end of the day. The explosion occurred in the enamelling ovens and ignited the enamelling fluid. Edward Outram [25] of Millwood, Stansfield was badly burned and taken to Burnley Hospital where he died the following morning. John Greenall was struck on the head by a falling brick. Several others were injured

    A number of coins – English, French, Canadian and Demerara – were found hidden in a wall at Nutclough, Hebden Bridge. One coin dated back to 1689

  • Saturday, 13th June 1891 James Mills [15] of Toad Carr, was crushed between a wagon and the wall at Todmorden Railway Station. He died 2 days later

  • Monday, 20th July 1891 22 men were charged at Todmorden Police Court was playing pitch-and-toss on the public highway. 3 were sentenced to 21 days in prison, and the remainder were fined 40/- plus costs, or, in default, 21 days.

  • Wednesday, 2nd September 1891 Damage estimated at £3,000 was done by a fire at Dog Lane Mill, Stainland which was owned and occupied by Benjamin Taylor & Sons. The fire broke out in the drill room when something struck fire. 4 out of the 5 storeys were damaged

  • Friday, 20th November 1891 A rabid dog caused much concern when it attacked several people in Stainland. It was seen prowling about Firth House Paper Mills. Eli Collins [aged 14], a worker at the mill, was bitten on the calf and subsequently taken to Paris to undergo the Pasteur treatment. Thomas Whiteley, a firer-up at the mill, was bitten less severely. John Fox, a mechanic, was bitten on the knee but the skin was not broken. Fox killed the animal

  • Friday, 18th December 1891 Greenwood Ashworth of Stubbin Holme, Hebden Bridge lost 3 prize birds in floods at Hebden Bridge

  • Friday, 4th March 1892 There was a dispute in the corn-milling trade and 50 men employed by Thomas Sugden & Son Limited came out on strike at Brighouse. The firm employed new workmen and there were crowds of people who threw stones and followed the new workers as they left Perseverance Mill.

    There was a similar dispute at Woodside Flour Mills, Elland between the management and workers of J. F. Milner

  • Tuesday, 8th March 1892 There was a strike of silk pressers at the mills of Ormerod Brothers Limited. Rev A. J. Sherwell arranged a meeting between the workers and senior partner Charles Jones Ormerod, and his son Charles Ormerod. The meeting ended without any settlement being achieved

  • May 1892 26 people died in a smallpox epidemic in Brighouse & Clifton.

    See Samuel Briggs, Arthur Brook, children of Patrick Leonard Burke, and When Panic Seized the Town

  • Monday, 23rd May 1892 Britain abandoned the broad-gauge railway tracks

  • June 1892 The Todmorden & District News [17th June 1892] reported the deaths of 2 men at Broad Oak Stone Mine, Hove Edge owned by Ledgard Naylor

    A singular accident resulting in the terrible death of two men occurred at the stone mine at Broad Oak, Hipperholme. The mine owned by Ledgard Naylor and has a shaft 90ft in depth. Four miners Thomas Ashton (aged 50) of Thomas Street, Claremount, Halifax, Richard Jowett (aged 38) of Lidget, Lightcliffe, Michael Riley and Alfred Pearson arrived for work and as the engineman Lawton Whiteley had not arrived, Alfred Naylor took upon himself the duty of working the engine. The men were lowered down in a box.

    The men took their places in the box, but at that moment the brake suddenly gave way or collapsed and the box dropped with a jerk. Unfortunately, it caught the side of the shaft and tilted over throwing the four men out over the pit mouth. Ashton and Jowett fell to the bottom and met with instant death. Riley clutched an iron bar which runs round the shaft and managed to prise himself up. Pearson grasped a box chain and hung by it at a distance of 8 yards from the top of the shaft. He was rescued in about 10 minutes.

    Each of the deceased leave a wife and young family.

    The cause of the accident can not be explained until the coroner's inquest


  • Wednesday, 22nd June 1892 G. Sharpe [33] was killed by a roof-fall at Shibden Hall Colliery

  • Saturday, 23rd July 1892 Halifax experienced a heat wave of extraordinary intensity.

    Two ladies were proceeding along Elland Wood Bottom when their umbrella suddenly ignited and every vestige of the cover was burnt

  • Tuesday, 13th September 1892 Grange Mill, Mytholmroyd was destroyed by fire which started when a tin roller overheated. There were no injuries

  • Friday, 16th September 1892 A weaving shed owned by James Clay at Luddendenfoot was destroyed by fire caused by overheating of the machinery. The damage was estimated at £5,000

  • Saturday, 17th September 1892 There was a strike at dyers James Davis & Sons Limited in West Vale. 5 dyers – Edward Bottomley, Timothy Clark, John Gill, Joe Priestley, and Lewis Sykes - were charged with intimidation of 2 men when they jeered, sodded and cursed Franklin Whiteley and William Hodgson who were working at the mill on the 10th September. The 5 men were each fined £1 plus 19/6d costs, or 1 month's imprisonment

  • Thursday, 3rd November 1892 A fire at Clough Mill, Walsden

  • Monday, 7th November 1892 Emily Alice Clark [aged 14] was killed at the West Vale mill of J. Speak & Company. She and another girl were cleaning a 3rd floor landing when Emily looked down the lift-shaft. The lift was descending and struck her on the back of the head, fracturing her skull

  • 1893 A fire completely destroyed Boy Mill, Luddendenfoot which was occupied by James Clay & Company Limited

    The Liverpool Overhead Railway was the first to run only on electricity

  • January 1893 Severe winter of January 1893 affected outdoors workers and quarrymen. Breakfasts were served to needy children by the Nonconformists in Brighouse

  • Monday, 16th January 1893 Outbreak of smallpox at Hipperholme. There were over 100 cases at Manchester, and others in Leeds

  • March 1893 8 cases of smallpox were reported in Sowerby Bridge. The victims had travelled to London by train to attend the Crystal Palace. One lady fell ill during the journey and on their return, the other 7 were diagnosed as having smallpox

  • Monday, 1st May 1893 Shortly after 10:30 am, fire broke out at Slater's Mill, Elland, then owned by Robert Wilson. The fire was brought under control within the house. Damage to stock and machinery was estimated at nearly £300

  • Thursday, 20th July 1893 A weavers' strike at Luddenden

  • Wednesday, 2nd August 1893 Smallpox outbreak at Mytholmroyd, Rishworth & Luddendenfoot

  • Friday, 4th August 1893 Mile Thorn Mills, Halifax, the property of Walter Walker & Company, burnt down. Damage was estimated at £40,000

  • Saturday, 30th September 1893 A. Collins [20] was killed by a roof-fall at Sunny Bank Mine

  • Monday, 9th October 1893 Around 4:00 am fire broke out in a warehouse at West Vale. The 4-storey warehouse was owned by Isaac Maude The tenants were wool manufacturers and merchants Samuel Hey and W. Dyson & Company. Considerable damage was done to the building. Samuel Hey assessed his loss at around £500 and W. Dyson & Company at £700

  • Saturday, 18th November 1893 A hurricane caused enormous damage in Halifax & district

  • Thursday, 21st December 1893 Victoria Mills, West Vale burned down. The fire was caused by friction in the cotton machinery. Tenants included James Sutcliffe & Sons Limited, Crabtree Brothers, and T. & T. Brook.

    Workers at nearby mills were put on alert.

    The house occupied by the engineman adjoined the mills and was partly destroyed. The roof of Stainland Road Methodist Chapel caught fire but was saved

    James Harrison [aged 42] a local master plumber and member of the Greetland Fire Brigade was killed when his ladder broke.

    Damage was estimated at between £20,000 and £30,000

  • 1894 The was an epidemic of whooping cough in Stainland

    A major outbreak of influenza in Yunnan Province of western China. 10,000 people died in Hong Kong. This spread to India and the west

  • January 1894 Another severe winter in January 1894 affected outdoors workers and quarrymen. Breakfasts were served to needy children by the Nonconformists in Brighouse

  • Sunday, 4th February 1894 Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge was badly damaged by fire. The fire broke out about 5:00 pm, after one of Rev Ivens's Men's Services had been held over the organ in the chancel. The organ, chancel and the roof of the nave were gutted. Thousands of people gathered in the churchyard to watch the incident. The fire brigades from Halifax and Sowerby Bridge attended. A fireman, Jonathan Coulston, was killed when he fell through a trap-door in the belfry during the fire

  • May 1894 George Percy Marshall was killed at Robinwood Mill, Todmorden

  • Saturday, 16th June 1894 Mrs Mary Jackson [40] was killed by a train as she crossed the line at Walsden Station. Her body was dreadfully mutilated

  • Tuesday, 24th July 1894 Fire broke out in the dule room at Nathaniel Brearley's James Street Mill, Elland. Damage was estimated at £50

  • Friday, 16th November 1894 There was a dispute in the dyeing trade.

    About 150 workers of Hawkesley, Wild & Company at Greetland Dye Works were on strike. New workers were recruited to fill the places of the strikers, and had to be escorted to and from work amidst much shouting and hooting. Several strikers were charged with assault

  • Saturday, 22nd December 1894 During the night of Friday 21st / Saturday 22nd, a mighty storm wrecked Upper Edge Baptist Church, Elland tearing off the roof and walls. The roof and the side walls collapsed, and the furniture was crushed.

    A new mission church at Brookfoot was demolished.

    At the same time, Hannah Martha Meadowcroft was killed by a falling chimney.

    The roof of Lands House, Rastrick was damaged.

    The roof of St James's Church, Brighouse was damaged.

    Church schools under construction at Mytholmroyd sustained serious damage and the gables were levelled.

    The front and a side wall of King Cross Wesleyan Sunday School gave way and the building became unsafe.

    The Methodist Free Church at Akroydon was partially unroofed

  • February 1895 The weather in Britain was colder than February 1740. At Braemar, Aberdeenshire, the temperature reached a record -27·2°C. This happened again in 1982

    Another severe winter in February 1895 affected outdoors workers and quarrymen. Meals were served to needy children and the unemployed by the many charitable organisations in Brighouse

  • Thursday, 23rd May 1895 A boiler explosion at the Holme Mill of John Shaw & Sons caused great damage and killed 5 female workers – see The Stainland Boiler Explosion

  • Wednesday, 26th June 1895 The district was hit by

    a cyclonic thunderstorm, phenomenal in its severity and duration, and unparalleled in the memory of man, the terrific and appalling discharge of electricity and rain continuing from 5 pm to 7 pm

    Preparations for the Yorkshire show were affected when stands were damaged

  • August 1895 The Yorkshire Show was held at Savile Park, Halifax. Bad weather disrupted the preparations

  • Wednesday, 14th August 1895 The water-driven Brighouse corn mills of Thomas Sugden & Son were destroyed by fire, when Neptune was unable to provide the necessary water pressure. Damage was estimated at £20,000. This was the worst mill fire seen in Brighouse until that date

  • Tuesday, 5th November 1895

    The Brighouse News [9th November 1895] reported

    An accident of a rather serious character happened at Hartley & Kaye's quarry on Tuesday morning Mr J. W. Whiteley, the foreman, was trying to light the cabin fire and found that the chimney was somewhat choked with soot. To clear it, he poured some powder upon it out of a can which he used for blasting purposes. This proved effectual in removing the obstruction but unfortunately a spark settled on the mouth of the can causing an explosion. He was badly burnt about the chest, arms and face.

    He was said to be progressing favourably

  • Tuesday, 31st December 1895 F. Mitchell [32] was killed by a roof-fall at Sunny Bank Mine

  • Friday, 17th January 1896 The Frostholme Mill, Cornholme of Joshua Smith Limited was badly damaged by fire. The fire originated near the economisers. 4 fire brigades were called to the fire. Damage was estimated at £30,000. Estimated figures indicate that between 500 and 1000 men were thrown out of work

  • Thursday, 30th January 1896 Shortly before daybreak, Hinchliffe Hinchliffe's Vale Mill, Cragg Vale was completely destroyed by fire. The hands began work at 6:00 am, and the fire was noticed about 7:00 am. Damage was estimated at around £9,500, of which not above half was covered by insurance

  • Wednesday, 11th March 1896 Part of Wood Bottom Dye Works, Luddendenfoot was destroyed by fire

  • Wednesday, 25th March 1896 William Speak of Watson Terrace, Sowerby Bridge, and engineer at Mitchell Brothers, Old House Mill, was severely scalded on the chest, arms and face when a steam pipe exploded as he was starting the engine for the day's work

  • Tuesday, 21st April 1896 At 6:30 am, dense smoke was seen issuing from the workrooms of William Greenwood & Sons at Victoria Mills, Brighouse. Damage was estimated at £200

  • Friday, 5th June 1896 Jonas Brook Sunderland was killed when an overhead, travelling crane fell on him at the works of Woodhouse & Mitchell

  • Saturday, 25th July 1896 The Duke and Duchess of York – later George V – visited Halifax to open the Borough Markets and the Royal Halifax Infirmary. They paid a visit to Belle Vue

    See Henry Backhouse

  • Sunday, 16th August 1896 The Klondike Gold Rush was sparked by the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-west Canada

  • Saturday, 29th August 1896 There was a disastrous fire at Woodhouse Brass & Iron Works of Joseph Blakeborough & Sons Limited which caused £7,000 damage

  • Saturday, 3rd October 1896 A platelayer named Fox from Sowerby Bridge, was run over by an express train at Walsden Station. Another platelayer named Hitchen suffered a fractured arm, and foreman platelayer, Thomas Law, suffered injuries to his feet. The men were working on the down line and saw an up train approaching but did not notice the down train which struck them

  • Thursday, 17th December 1896 Most of Britain felt an earthquake with tremors and shocks which lasted for 30 minutes at 1:26 am. This was said to be the biggest earthquake recorded in Britain. Slight shocks were recorded in Todmorden at 5:30 am, and at Sowerby Bridge

  • 1897 A national lock-out in the engineering industry ended with engineers having to accept the introduction of new machines and new wages terms. This resulted in many engineers leaving their employ and setting up business on their own.

    See Smith, Barker & Willson Limited

    The Hinchliffe family's Rudclough Mill, Erringden burned down

  • Saturday, 20th February 1897 Charles Robinson Jennings, aged 26, of Union Street, Beech, a porter at Sowerby Bridge Station, was killed by a passing train as he was about to cross the line

  • Saturday, 1st May 1897 A boiler explosion at the quarry of Joseph Thompson & Son of Southowram caused serious injuries to Thompson's son George who had only been working there for about a week. George was hurled 14 yards but Dr Farrar said no bones had been broken. The cause of the accident was said to be insufficient water in the boiler

  • Wednesday, 16th June 1897 A severe gale sprang up and played sad havoc with gardens in the district

  • Thursday, 5th August 1897 There was very hot weather over England, with thunderstorms and heavy rain in many places. Several people were killed by lightning

  • Sunday, 12th September 1897 A fire caused £3,000 damage at the Wilkin Royd Mill, belonging to Wood, Robinson & Company.

    Fire broke out in the dule room at Albion Mill, Elland, belonging to Robert Kaye & Sons. It was believed that an object had got into the teasing equipment and started a fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and caused damage estimated at £150

  • Thursday, 23rd December 1897 There was a serious fire at the Lee Bridge Mills of James Booth & Son

  • January 1898 Outbreak of typhoid at Glenfield Place, Sowerby Bridge. Mrs Chapman and her baby were taken to the cottage hospital, and Mrs Chapmen died [20th January 1898]

  • Tuesday, 4th January 1898 Scaffolding used in the construction of the Roman Catholic Church at Denholme, Luddendenfoot, collapsed. 6 men were working on the 30 ft high platform. One man clung on to the structure, and the others were thrown down and debris fell on them. E. Brear of Luddenden and Dominick Madden of Sowerby Bridge were the most seriously injured

  • Sunday, 9th January 1898 James Pickles [48], a worker at Stansfield Mill, Todmorden, was found dead, having

    received fatal injuries to his head by being probably accidentally struck by an engine or train whilst he was crossing the line at Hallroyd

  • Sunday, 20th March 1898 Richard Redman was found dead on the railway between Milner Royd Junction and Copley Station

  • Thursday, 9th June 1898 After the Halifax Corporation Tramways Act [1897], Halifax Corporation trams were officially opened on Wednesday, 9th June 1898 – see the Page on Halifax Tramways

  • Wednesday, 29th June 1898 Trams ran from Halifax to Highroad Well

  • Wednesday, 21st December 1898 Atlas Mill, Brighouse was destroyed by fire. around 7:00 am. The fire is believed to have started in a spinning room on the 2nd storey. There were 150 people working in the mill at the time. James Arthur Nuttall died from injuries suffered whilst trying to rescue people from the fire.

    Huge crowds gathered to watch the fire.

    Damage was estimated at between £25,000 and £40,000

  • 1899 Storms caused serious local floods

  • Wednesday, 11th January 1899 At 9:00 am, there was a roof collapse at Alderman John Aspinall Robinson's Rayner Road Quarry, Brighouse and one man was killed and two others injured.

    A newspaper report is shown in the Foldout

  • Tuesday, 17th January 1899 Mr Sunderland, a traveller for Ramsden's Brewery, was driving in a trap between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd when it collided with a carrier's lorry. He was thrown violently on to the road, receiving injuries to his head, and narrowly avoided being run over by the lorry

  • Friday, 20th January 1899 Route Number 1 tram service began from Halifax to Salterhebble

  • Saturday, 4th March 1899 A Liberal meeting was held at West Vale in connection with the Elland Division of Yorkshire. As T. P. Whittaker MP was speaking, a local Liberal, Jonathan Riley [aged 63], who was sitting on the platform, collapsed and died

  • Tuesday, 14th March 1899 Route Number 10 tram service began from Halifax to Godfrey Road and Skircoat Green

  • Wednesday, 29th March 1899 Route Number 8 tram service began from Halifax to North Bridge, Claremount Road and Boothtown

  • Tuesday, 6th June 1899 Route Number 6 began from Halifax Post Office to King Cross, via Free School Lane and Skircoat Moor

  • Saturday, 5th August 1899 Route Number 2 began from Cow Green to Pellon via Pellon Lane

    Route Number 10 tram service began to Illingworth. The terminus was at Illingworth Post Office

  • Friday, 11th August 1899 Jumble Hole Dye Works destroyed by fire

  • Thursday, 7th September 1899 Mr Bruce Jones of Bodlinog married Maude Mary, daughter of John Greenwood of Oakleigh, Cornholme

  • October 1899 Ernest Tidd, a porter at Brighouse Railway Station, was badly burned about the face and head when he tried to revive the furnace which heated the Station. He intended to use petrol, but the can slipped and fell into the furnace

  • Tuesday, 21st November 1899 Joseph Hutchinson, a workman at Clay Pits Quarry owned and worked by Hartley & Kaye, was knocked down & buried by a fall of earth at the quarry, and later found dead

  • Sunday, 10th December 1899 About 4:30 am, there was

    an alarming outbreak of fire

    at the Victoria Iron Foundry of Astin & Barker. The fireman responded with such promptitude that the damage did not amount to £450

  • Tuesday, 12th December 1899 Thomas Dennett [34] of Stansfield Road, Todmorden, a foreman with carting agent John Chaffer, was crushed against a wall when the waggon which he was unloading skidded. He was taken to Halifax Infirmary where he died on the 21st December

  • Friday, 15th December 1899 The Gauxholme Mill, Walsden of John Dugdale & Company was destroyed by fire. The mill was not insured and was never rebuilt

    © Malcolm Bull 2024
    Revised 10:21 / 9th March 2024 / 354980

    Page Ref: C813-1800

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