Malin Bridge, site of where the bridge c

Ann Pearson

One Victim of the Great Sheffield Flood

11th / 12th March 1864

Malin Bridge, site of where the bridge c

BACKGROUND:

The Great Sheffield Flood occurred close to Midnight on the 11th March 1864, on a dark, wind-swept Friday night.  The dam was recently built, but a crack in the wall opened up to release a tsunami of water onto the unsuspecting people of Sheffield, many of whom were asleep in their beds.  The water crashed down towards Low Bradfield, through the Loxley valley, Hillsborough, and on to Sheffield, reaching as far as Rotherham.  The story has been told many times before, so I don’t want to cover ground that has already been covered, but this article focuses on just one of its hundreds of victims, a lady called Ann Pearson, and the family she was lodging with.  She was no relation to my own family of Pearsons, who had moved from Bradwell in Derbyshire to Stocksbridge in around 1860. 

 

Ann’s story is far from clear, but that was unfortunately the case for many of the victims.  The number of those believed to have died varies, with many people remaining unidentified.  Some of the dead were taken to public houses, which were pressed into service as make-shift mortuaries.  Others were taken to the Sheffield Workhouse and laid out on straw ready to be identified by grieving relatives and friends.  Many bodies were retrieved within a few days, in many locations, sometimes far from home.  One body was found in a tree.  Thirteen bodies were found at Rotherham, three at Mexborough, seven at Kilnhirst and several at Doncaster, 27 miles from the reservoir.  In the two days following the flood, at least 156 bodies were recovered.  After that, and for a long time, the bodies were found separately, or in twos and threes.  Some people were found six weeks to two months after the flood, and even then, there were supposed to be more than twenty bodies still unrecovered.

 

Understandably, there was chaos in the days and weeks following the disaster.  Some bodies were never found, and some were initially mis-identified, which was often because of the injuries they had sustained.  Others who had survived died a short while after, and some who were thought dead were later found alive.  The newspapers were not always accurate in their recording of the victims, and the Coroner’s inquest was rather rushed, so that bodies could be buried as soon as possible.

 

And so it is no surprise that finding out more about Ann Pearson has been difficult.  There was only one person on the official list with the surname of Pearson, and that was Ann.  She had been a lodger in the house of George Barrett [1] and his wife and child.  The death certificate notes that she was 60 years old [born c1804].  A list of the dead, compiled by the Chief Constable and printed in Harrison’s book, gives her age as 47 [born c1817]. However, as the rest of the entry for Ann is inaccurate, the age given for her may also be wrong.  I think she was actually 50 years old when she died.

 

In 1864, Samuel Harrison wrote an account of the flood.  This book was re-published in 1898 as “The Great Sheffield Flood: It’s History Re-told.”  Ann’s name appears in the official list of the dead and missing printed in this book, which had been drawn up by Mr. John Jackson, the Chief Constable of Sheffield.  The total number of dead shown at that time was 240 people.  Harrison’s list says that Ann was 47 years old, of Hillsborough [sic], and that she was found on the 12th May, in Sheffield (two months later) and was buried at Sheffield.  This information was wrong.  Karen Lightowler, who has done a great deal of research into the victims of the flood, has seen the original list compiled by the Chief Constable.  Ann Pearson’s body was found on the 12th March, not the 12th May.  The previous entry on the list was for Jonathan Ibbotson of Hillsborough, and his body was not found until May.  Ann Pearson was then dittoed, but he omitted to add March.  There are other errors on the list, names being spelt incorrectly for example.

 

Ann’s death certificate reads: Died 12th March 1864, “found exposed in the township of Sheffield,” Ann Pearson, female, 60 years.  Cause of death: “and came to her death by downing.”  Death certificate issued by the Coroner for Yorkshire, J. Webster, and registered 22nd June 1864, Registrar: Crawshaw (the latter is on my family tree). “Found exposed” was common wording on the death certificates issued after the flood; it simply meant that the body was literally found exposed after being dumped by the flood waters.

 

The Coroner had decided that a few of the bodies would be identified in order to facilitate their burial, after which the inquest would be adjourned for a week or ten days, so that he and the Chief Constable could have the opportunity to investigate the matter.  He thought that it would not be necessary to hold inquests for all the cases, because the facts would be the same. 

 

Once identified, bodies were passed on to the relatives for interment.  The bodies of the poor, and those who remained unidentified, were interred by the Board of Guardians at the expense of the Union in the Sheffield General Cemetery.  The bodies were not all buried in one particular part of the cemetery, but in separate graves according to circumstances, with all the decencies and solemnities of private burials.

 

Ann was buried in the General Cemetery in Sheffield on the 15th March 1864.  No headstones remain in this area.  She was merely recorded as “Mrs. Pearson,” and no age was stated.  Someone obviously knew her well enough to identify her, but no relative ever claimed compensation for the loss of her life.

 

According to the Chief Constable, the flood was responsible for the deaths of 240 people, but many more people died in the aftermath as a direct result of effects suffered that night.  Karen Lightowler has analysed the compensation claims lodged against the Water Company and found numerous “Loss of Life” claims that were placed for people who were not included on the official list of deaths. The fact the Inundation Commissioners, who were engaged to arbitrate the claims, agreed to settle many of these additional “Loss of Life” claims would imply they were satisfied the deaths occurred as a result of the flood. It would also appear from the claims that the Commissioners often considered the lives of women and children as “worthless,” so it seems likely that countless more lives were lost but no claim was ever lodged, or award made. Some people were so badly injured that, although they survived the initial flood, they later died of their injuries, while others succumbed to diseases contracted after being immersed in the foul waters of the flood, such as William Barson, who contracted rheumatic fever, dying ten months later leaving a wife and six children. Many others died after contracting the “great fever” that swept through the district after the water supply became infected, including Robert and Sarah Oliver and George Laycock. Countless other people were injured and probably scarred for life such as Joel Midwood who required surgery to remove a nail from his foot, but he was the lucky one because the remainder of his family drowned. 

[1] Spelt variously as Barrett, Barratt, Barrott etc.  I have tried to use the spelling as it was written on the records but sometimes autocorrect has had a hand!

Death certificate.jpg

Ann Pearson's death certificate.

Died 12th March 1864, “found exposed in the township of Sheffield,” Ann Pearson, female, 60 years.  Cause of death: “and came to her death by downing.”  Death certificate issued by the Coroner for Yorkshire, J. Webster, and registered 22nd June 1864, Registrar: Crawshaw.  By strange coincidence, this copy certificate was issued for me on the 11th March 2004.

SO – WHO WAS ANN PEARSON?

For many years, Ann’s identity has remained a mystery.  Karen came up with various theories as to who she was, and I offered to test them out.  She had already made a good start on trying to identify Ann, and I went over her research and was able to add to it.  We started off by finding all the likely Ann Pearsons on the 1861 census for Sheffield, and then eliminating them by tracing them in the 1871 census or by finding their deaths.  After a few false starts, I narrowed it down to one lady who could not be found in any records after 1864. Karen and I are 99.9% sure that we now know who “Ann Pearson” was.

The one and only Ann Pearson that we couldn’t trace further forward from the 1861 census was living at Toad Hole, Southey, “wife” of John Pearson, a blacksmith.  Despite our best efforts, we could not find a marriage for this couple, and we checked marriage indexes, parish registers, online sources, and so on.  Every marriage we found turned out, with further research, not to be them.  According to this census, Ann was 47 years old and had been born in Manchester c1814.  

Ann's maiden name was Walsh or Welsh, and we think she was baptised at Manchester parish church in 1813.  At some point she moved to Sheffield and married Isaac Dronfield in 1834.  Isaac died in 1844 and when the 1851 census was taken, the widowed Ann was living at Blue Boy Yard, Moorfields (in the Shalesmoor/Netherthorpe area), with two of her children Margaret and William.  By 1861 she was with John Pearson.

John had been born at Stannington in about 1800.  In 1824 he married Hannah Barker and they had at least six children.  When the 1841 census was taken, the family were living at Owlerton.  After Hannah's death in 1847, John married again to a widow called Frances (Fanny) Hodgkinson, nee Gregory.

There was a connection between Fanny Hodgkinson and Ann Dronfield, so the women knew each other.  Fanny was living at Blue Boys in 1851, and when she married John Pearson in 1850, Ann Dronfield was one of the witnesses.  They had only been married just over two years when Fanny died in January 1853.  By 1861 twice-widowed John was living with Ann Dronfield, who, it seems, took his name but did not marry him.  John Pearson of Toad Hole was buried at Ecclesfield parish church on the 15th December 1862 aged 62 [born c1800].  Unfortunately, he didn’t leave a will, which might have helped to prove a few things.  There is no trace of Ann in 1871 and we are pretty sure that after John died, she went to lodge with the Barrett family (we cannot find a connection between her and them) and was killed in the flood in 1864.  No claim was ever made for the loss of Ann's life, because her adult children would not have been allowed to claim and John had died.  We are pretty sure that if John was not Ann’s legal husband, the Inundation Commissioners would have thrown out his claim. [2]

And so, unless anything else turns up, Karen and I are pretty sure that we have solved the mystery of “Ann Pearson.”  Conflicting accounts of her age have complicated the search.  The Ann we have identified would have been 50 in March 1864 and not 60.  The death certificate said 60, but it’s a possibility that someone wrote 50 and it was read as 60.  Or the alternative age given by Harrison really was 48, and 50 was a rough guess.  Perhaps no one really knew her age.  The list of dead and missing contains many errors, one of which was one Sarah Ann Spooner, who was recorded as being 70 years of age, and never identified, but she was actually a 7-year-old girl, who was buried with other members of her family at Stannington.  

We didn't want to bend the facts to fit the theory, so Karen and I have tried to disprove this theory, but haven't been able to do so. 

 

[2] In all claims for loss of life, the party for whose benefit the claim is made is defined as “being Wife or Husband of the deceased person or his or her parent or child…” Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Flood Claims Archive, www2.shu.ac.uk/sfc.  I don’t think adult children could claim for the loss of a parent.

Blue Boy Street Crown Inn 1937
Blue Boy Street Crown Inn 1937

Picture Sheffield u00618

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Blue Boy Street Court no. 1
Blue Boy Street Court no. 1

Picture Sheffield

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Blue Boy Street no 7 in Court 1 1938
Blue Boy Street no 7 in Court 1 1938

Picture Sheffield u00621

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Blue Boy Street rear of 2-12 1937
Blue Boy Street rear of 2-12 1937

Picture Sheffield u00619

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THE FLOOD AT MALIN BRIDGE

​After the death of John Pearson in 1862, Ann went to live at Malin Bridge, where she lodged with the Barrett family.  They lived in a row of cottages that was known as “Bower’s Buildings.”  This row of houses can be found on the 1861 census, taken three years earlier.  Some of the row’s inhabitants in 1861 died in the flood - the Crappers, Ann Etchells (infant school teacher – she probably ran a dame school), Ann Mount (shop keeper), Charlotte Taylor, William and Caroline Sellars, George and Harriot Jepson (incorrectly spelt later as Jevisson).  The Barretts were not there in 1861; when the census was taken George Barrett and his wife Emma were living at the Old Barracks Building on Penistone Road.  George had married Emma Staniforth in 1860, and their son William was born in 1862 when they were living at Cupola.  They could only have been at Malin Bridge a year or two before they died.

 

There were twelve houses at Bower’s Buildings.  From the Flood Claims Register we know that at least three and perhaps six of the twelve cottages were also shops, and we also find that at least six of the cottages and two shops were leased from the Governors of the Sheffield Free Grammar School of James, King of England. [3]  Four of the twelve cottages and two shops were leased to John Loxley, a joiner and builder, who sublet them.

 

Malin Bridge experienced the full fury of the flood and suffered to an appalling extent.  It was a fairly densely-populated area standing at the confluence of the Rivelin and the Loxley Rivers, about 5 miles downhill from Dale Dike. “After overwhelming Malin Bridge, the volume of water seems to have divided into two powerful streams, one of which swept away a row of houses [Bower’s Buildings] with the whole of their occupants.” [4]

 

A WHOLE ROW OF HOUSES SWEPT AWAY AT MALIN BRIDGE – EXTRAORDINARY INCIDENTS.

Samuel Harrison wrote: “On the left hand site of the river, facing downwards, stood a row of twelve cottages and two shops, the whole of which were washed away so completely that no one would have imagined the site had ever been occupied by human dwellings.  Among the families drowned here were Joseph Crapper, shoemaker, his wife, and a child; Mrs. Etchell, a widow, who kept a school; Joseph Goddard, his wife, and two or three children; William Sellars and wife; Henry Jevisson [Jepson], his wife, and son; George Barrett, shoemaker, his wife, child, and a lodger named Ann Pearson.” [5]

Within a distance of only a few hundred yards more than twenty houses were destroyed, and no less than one hundred and two lives were lost including all the members of five families.  It might at first be supposed that the flood, having travelled some four or five miles, would have lost something of its volume, but the opposite was true.  The flood poured down the valley, getting faster and faster, and its volume was actually increased, because it picked up the water from numerous dams along the river (where the water wheels were situated).  Those who saw the flood coming said that it was “indescribable” and that the noise resembled “a thousand steam engines letting off their steam simultaneously.”  The flood powered through the village, lifting up the houses, turning them over and then rolling across the ruins.  It was truly terrifying. 

 

Harrison continued: “The two bridges that crossed the rivers were completely swept away; the rocks were torn up; whole rows of cottages were demolished; grinding wheels and workshops were destroyed; and the land on which houses stood was transformed into a vast quagmire of mud, interspersed with stones, trees, wrecks of houses, machinery, furniture, barrels, mattresses, and every conceivable article scattered about in the wildest confusion.” [6]

 

Peter Machan wrote: “Not everyone in Malin Bridge was yet asleep.  The night watchman, on his usual round, seeing a light from Ann Mount’s small corner shop at the end of the row of twelve cottages beside the river, opened the door.  “All’s well, Mrs. Mount, I assume?”  “Yes, everything’s fine thank you.  I’m going to lock up now, and then I’m for my bed.  It’s been a long day.”  “Aye, and it looks like being a long, cold night as well,” joked the watchman.  He was just about to wish the shopkeeper good night when he became conscious of a growing thundering noise.  “What’s that coming?” he said as Mrs. Mount came to join him at the door, never wishing to miss an event.  “I think there’s been a flood.  Get inside quickly and lock your door securely.  Quick as you can!”  With that he left Mrs. Mount to secure her door and ran up the hill towards The Yew Tree Inn.  As he ran the water was already beginning to foam around his heels.  Had he been told later that he had stood transfixed for an hour watching the destruction of the village, the watchman wouldn’t have been surprised, since time appeared to stand still, and the moving scene before him to unfold in slow motion.  In fact the whole, terrible event was over in the space of little more than a few dreadful minutes.  Even the terrifying din of the roaring water now faded from his consciousness as he became fully aware of the full horror of the spectacle before him, which was to be for ever imprinted on his mind’s eye.  At first he couldn’t quite understand what his eyes could make out in the dark.  Rather than water, the flood which now swooped onto the sleeping village appeared more like a foaming avalanche, the dirty white froth crashing over and over towards the first of the dwellings.  It was as the great wave broke over the Tricket’s farmhouse that he fully realised what he was seeing.  For a moment he had the impression that the stone house, lights still shining from its upper windows, was floating on the create of the wave but the lights were quickly extinguished as it crumbled below the black water, drowning all ten of the occupants….”

 

“…The wave swept round the bend, breaking over the cornmill and the row of twelve cottages, which the watchman knew as Bower’s Buildings, which stood beside the river, and in which he had so recently been conversing with the shopkeeper, Mrs. Mount.  The torrent crashed through the flimsy building tearing it apart, and the heartrending cries and screams of voices well known to him called out to the helpless watchman.  The schoolmistress, Mrs. Etchell, the family of Joseph Crapper, the shoemaker, the Goddard family and the Jevissons [Jepsons], the Watsons and the shopkeeper, Edward Price, together with his two day old baby and the rest of the family and their lodgers and relations, and, of course, Ann Mount herself were all now thrown into the swirling flood, crying out helplessly or being dragged down under the blackness.  William Watson hung onto his wife and children for a little while until they were swept apart and he was flung against the debris which had collected against the side of the Widdowson’s house.  He clung onto the timber, shouting for help, and was relieved to see the bedroom window above him open and strong arms reach down to pull him to pull him to safety.” [7]  I have marked in bold the names of those who were living here when the 1861 census was taken.  William Watson was Ann Mount’s brother, and he lived in the house adjoining hers.

 

[3] Information from Mick Drewry, Inundation, p49

[4] The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent of 14th March 1864

[5] Harrison, S. The Great Sheffield Flood: It’s History Re-told, reprint of the original edition, with original wood engravings, the one shilling edition, published by Sheffield: Independent Press, Limited, 1898.  Page 23.

[6] Harrison, op.cit, p39

[7] From The Dramatic Story of The Sheffield Flood by Peter Machan (1999)

Malin Bridge
Malin Bridge

The site of where the bridge crossed the rivers Loxley and Rivelin Photo: Caloe and Sons

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Malin Bridge
Malin Bridge

H Dudley, Views of the Great Sheffield Flood no. 1

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Malin Bridge
Malin Bridge

The site of Malin Bridge as seen from the Yew Tree Inn. A whole row of houses here was swept away, and around 100 lives lost Photo: Caloe and Sons

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Below: particulars of Claim no. 5972 for loss of property.

Name of Claimant: The Governors of the Goods possessions and revenues of the Free Grammar School of James King of England within the Town of Sheffield in the County of York, and John Loxley.

Description of Claimant: Joiner and Builder (John Loxley)

Address of Claimant: The Governors of the Goods possessions and revenues of the Free Grammar School of James King of England within the Town of Sheffield in the County of York: Clerks Office, 8 Paradise Square, Sheffield.  John Loxley: Owlerton.

Nature of Claimant’s Interest: Owners in Fee subject to the term hereinafter mentioned which expired 29th September 1864. Lessee for a term of 14 Years from 29th September 1850.

 

The property consisted of 4 Houses, Shops, and outbuildings, gardens and a close of Land called The Meadow situate at Malin Bridge and in the respective occupations of Joseph Crapper, Ann Mount, Charlotte Taylor, Ann Etchells, Price, Sellars, Armitage, Simpson and Bradshaw; the buildings and Fences were entirely swept away, nearly all the tenants drowned, and the land covered with wreck and otherwise rendered useless for the purposes of cultivation.  The claim was for £505 and included unrecoverable rents and arrears, gas fitting in the butchers shop, gates, posts, fencing, restoring water supply, four houses, shop, butchers shop, stable and gardens destroyed, and professional fees.  Almost the whole amount was awarded. [1]

 

[1] https://www2.shu.ac.uk/sfca/claimDetails.cfm?claim=7-5972

Claim 5972 property at Malin Bridge.jpg

CONFUSION OVER THE DEAD:

There was confusion all around, and it is not surprising, given the scale of the flood.  As far as anyone knew, the Barretts had a lodger called Ann Pearson, and it’s doubtful that anyone knew her age.  Lists were hand-written and copied out, mistakes were made, and guesses became thought of as facts.  Newspapers frequently got things wrong, especially names. 

 

The Sheffield Independent of the 19th March 1864 carried a list of the missing from Malin Bridge which included George Barrett, his wife, child, and their lodger Ann Pearson.  On the same page there was also a list of the bodies that had been identified, one of whom was a Mrs. Pearson, aged 60.  This is the same age as appears on her death certificate.  No claim was ever made on the lives of the Barretts or Ann.

 

According to Harrison’s list of the dead, the bodies of George Barratt (28) and young William (2) were never identified.  The body of his wife Emma (26) was found in Sheffield.  She was buried at Wardsend cemetery.  George was actually 24, Emma was 21 and William was 1 year and 11 months.  We have already seen that Ann Pearson’s entry was wrong too.

 

George Barrott had been born at Wadsley Bottom in about 1839, the son of Benjamin and Mary.  Benjamin was a cordwainer (shoemaker) and George followed him into the trade.  In 1860 he married Emma Staniforth at Moorfields church and their son William was born in 1862.  Emma was born c1842 the daughter of William Staniforth.  A fellow resident of Bower’s Buildings was Joseph Crapper, also a shoemaker.  He was married to Elizabeth Staniforth, but her father’s name was Thomas and I have found no obvious relationship between the two women.

 

There is a memorial in St Polycarp’s Church at Malin Bridge which lists the people who died in that area.  Included are George Barrott aged 26, Emma aged 27 and William aged 1 and Ann Pearson aged 47.  (These ages are wrong too).

 

A memorial card that was produced soon after the flood listed all those who drowned and included included “Barrett, George, wife, a child, a sister and a lodger” although this was the first mention Karen had found of a sister.  Karen found a few brief mentions of the Barrett family in the many newspaper articles printed at the time of the flood although the majority of these accounts were copied virtually word for word from one newspaper to the next.  The coverage of the flood was widespread throughout the country.

 

The body of a woman was found at the back of the Gas Works at Neepsend, on Saturday afternoon. It was identified by Geo. Barrett, boot and shoe maker, Malin bridge, as that of his wife, who was washed from her bed during the flood on the morning of the 12th inst. On Sunday the various scenes of desolation along the valley up to the dam at Bradfield were again visited by thousands of persons, the majority of them being persons who had been brought to Sheffield by the numerous cheap special trains which now run from the principal stations on the railway lines. The embankment of the reservoir itself presented quite a lively appearance, thousands of persons being assembled on the spot, and promenading in its immediate vicinity.” [1]

 

This implies that George survived the flood, despite being included on the official list of victims.  The following article shows just how much confusion there must have been at the time: “The search amongst the ruins, and the removal of debris still actively continues. On Saturday afternoon another body – that of a woman – was found at the back of the Gas Works at Neepsend.  It was identified by George Barratt, boot and shoe maker, Malin bridge, as that of his sister, who was washed from her bed during the flood on the morning of the 12th inst. On Tuesday as some workmen were employed in removing the debris at the Gas Works, at Neepsend, they came upon the body of a male child, about two years old. It was taken to the Workhouse for identification.” [2]

 

The Coroner (J. Webster, Esq.) and jury met at the Town Hall on Monday morning to sign the inquisition, and otherwise complete the inquest on those persons drowned in the inundation, whose bodies they had viewed.  The proceedings were entirely of a formal character.  On Sunday the scene of the flood was again visited by thousands, though no cheap trains were run as on the previous Sunday.  On Saturday the body of a woman was found in a ditch at Hillfoot.  It was embedded deep in debris near the railway embankment. The body was removed to the workhouse, and has since been identified as that of Emma Barratt, who, with her husband and child, was drowned at Malin Bridge. The husband and child are still missing.” [3]

 

The following article, which was printed in 1888, is probably nearer the truth: “In the next cottage [to the Jepsons] resided George Barrett, a shoemaker, his wife Emma, with a son just two years old. The three were drowned. Father and son were never identified. The wife was found, under mud and wreckage, in a garden not far away, some time after the Flood. George Barrett was a brother of Mr. Barrett, the present postmaster at Bradfield, who searched for the missing bodies for weeks into the following summer.” [4]

 

The Bradfield postmaster was called Charles, and he was George’s much older brother, born in about 1824.  The postmaster at Bradfield from 1852 to 1881 was Charles Burkinshaw, with Charles Barrott being recorded as postmaster in the above article of 1888, and on the 1891 census. [5]  When the 1891 census was taken, he was living at the Post Office at Low Bradfield, occupation “sub post-master shoe maker” with his second wife Matilda nee Helliwell, whom he had married in 1878.  She died in 1900 and from 1901-1911 the postmaster was Jonathan Gillott. [6]  The post office at this time was at High Bradfield, opposite the Old Horns Inn.

The bodies of George and his young son were not found or identified.  Harrison recorded that Emma was buried in “Sheffield” but she was actually buried at St Philips Church, Wardsend, on the 28th March 1864.  She was buried with her mother Ann Staniforth (died 1858) and her father William (died 1868), though for some reason Emma Barratt’s address was given as “Green Lane,” which is in the Shalesmoor area, further downstream than Malin Bridge.

 

[1] Cheltenham Chronicle 29th March 1864

[2] Huddersfield Chronicle 2nd April 1864

[3] Sheffield & Rotherham Independent 2nd April 1864

[4] Sheffield Evening Telegraph and Star 28th July 1888

[5] Also recorded in Walton, Frank: “The Sub-Office Postmarks of Sheffield” version 2, January 2021

[6] Ibid.  The author is probably getting this information from the census returns. I cannot find Charles in the UK Postal Service Appointment Books which are online at Ancestry.

St Polycarp Memorial
St Polycarp Memorial

Flood memorial in St. Polycarp’s Church, Malin Bridge remembering those who died in that area. Included are George Barrott aged 26, Emma aged 27, William aged 1 and Ann Pearson aged 47 (these ages are wrong). Photo credit: Karen Lightowler

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Barrott graves, Bradfield
Barrott graves, Bradfield

This is the gravestone of Benjamin and Mary Barrott, the parents of George who died in the flood. Both Benjamin and Mary died the year before the flood. The stone on the far right is dedicated to the Crapper family. Photo credit: Karen Lightowler

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1855 map Malin Bridge
1855 map Malin Bridge

England and Wales 6in OS map with Malin Bridge highlighted in yellow.

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1855 close-up
1855 close-up

England and Wales 6in OS map showing the probable location of Bower's Buildings. The River Rivelin in blue meets the River Loxley in green. This area is where Holme Lane now runs.

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POSTSCRIPT:

I have managed to find a connection between my Pearson family at Stocksbridge and the Barrott family that Ann Pearson was lodging with.  George Barrott had a cousin, also called George Barrott, who was a shoemaker (later a file striker) living at Oughtibridge.  Greorge was married to Thirza Gill, and in 1846 they had a daughter called Mary Ann Barrott (known as Ann).  In 1869 Ann Barrott married Aaron Pearson of Stocksbridge.  By an odd coincidence, Aaron's first wife had been Rachel Crapper, but I have not found  connection between Rachel's family and the Crapper family who lived in the same row of houses at Malin Bridge as the Barrotts.

So, my very tenuous link to the Sheffield Flood is:

My great grandfather Harold Pearson's uncle Aaron's second father-in-law George Barrott was the first cousin of George Barrott who was killed at Malin Bridge after the bursting of the Dale Dyke Dam.  See below for a very abbreviated family tree if you didn't follow all that!

Pearson Barrott tree.jpg

SOURCES:

 

Amey, Geoffrey: The Collapse of the Dale Dyke Dam 1864, Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1974

 

Drewry, Mick: Inundation: The History, the Times and the People of The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864, youbooks.co.uk, 2014.  Available from the author on ebay https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/1526639721 or mickdrewry@outlook.com

 

Harrison, Samuel: The Great Sheffield Flood: It’s History Re-told, reprint of the original edition, with original wood engravings, the one shilling edition, published by Sheffield: Independent Press, Limited, 1898. [There was also a penny edition published in the same year].

Harrison, Samuel: A Complete History of the Great Sheffield Flood, downloadable transcript 1864, republished 1974

can be seen HERE

Machan, Peter: The Dramatic Story of The Sheffield Flood, 1999.  ISBN 1-901587-05-3.  This book contains a wonderful fold-out sketch of the route of the flood from Dale Dyke towards Sheffield.  Illustrations by Eric Leslie.

 

Walton, Frank: “The Sub-Office Postmarks of Sheffield” version 2, January 2021

Sheffield Flood claims archive https://www2.shu.ac.uk/sfca/

 

Census, parish registers, death certificate

Photographs from postcards in my collection.  Many more pictures of the aftermath of the flood can be viewed at Picture Sheffield

 

Burial entry for Ann Pearson courtesy of Karen Lightowler from a copy of the transcriptions on CD for the General Cemetery, Sheffield.

 

Sign up for the Sheffield Flood Ancestry newsletters by emailing Karen Lightowler at KarenL823@aol.com

The Great Sheffield Flood.jpg
Ann family tree top.jpg
Ann family tree bottom.jpg

Family Tree for Ann "Pearson" drawn up by Karen Lightowler.