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last updated 20 June 2014



The Shibden Mill Inn (near Halifax)







Christchurch, Todmorden





In memory of William Dixon, who died May10th 1841 aged 70 years .

Also   Mary, his wife who died Feb.20th 1847 aged 71 years .

Also William Dixon, son of the above, who died 14th February 1887 aged 72 years

Also of Susan, his wife , who died December 23rd 1893 aged 82 years .


William Dixon Snr & Mary (Hepworth) - 4xGrts

William Dixon & Susan (Sutcliffe) - 3xGrts


By the March 1851 Census, William & Susan's third child Maria, b 1837, had left school to be a power loom weaver (cotton) in the Brooksmeeting Mill further north which her father managed.  On 29 December 1851 she married John Fletcher and then gave birth to 15 children over the next 33 years.



Midge Hole




John Sutcliffe (1786-1863 (77)) - Adrian's 4xGreat Grandfather - was proprietor of one or both of the Midge Hole Mills in the earlier 1800s - He told the Factory Commissioners in 1833 that children employed at his mill had "very easy work" and that too much was made of the subject of corporal punishment, as "no mills that I worked in had a tenth of the corporal punishment inflicted as is found in the best schools of the land".



Heptonstall - on the other side of the Hebden Beck to Midge Hole and Wadsworth




A litter of worn wordless grave slabs sits between the old now roofless St Thomas parish church and the newer one (behind the camera).

And please Heptonstallians it's Thomas Becket NOT Thomas Becket.



Brooksmeeting, Coldwell, Shaw, and Oxenhope




Shaw Lane winds away past the Brooksmeeting Mill and Coldwell towards Oxenhope



St Michael & All Angels, Haworth - Fletcher Family Graves



It was a beautiful late morning for our visit to Haworth.  One glimpse of the huge church cemetery confirmed the hopelessness of any serious attempt to find up to 5 graves of direct ancestors who we knew had been buried here.  There was no grave listing or map in the church, and there had been no response to two email enquiries sent to them.  So Adrian decided on a restful pub lunch followed by a random churchyard wander in the sun through a much bigger litter of slabs and gravestones than those at Heptonstall ....



On the way I popped in to a gift shop to get a postcard of the old church and got talking to the owner, Margaret, a long term local resident from a long term local ancestry.  The subject of graves came up and Margaret, bless her, mentioned that the Haworth Visitor Information Centre had a complete map and listing of all the grave inscriptions.  OMG.  Off to Jan at the Information Centre, and 20 minutes later we had transcriptions of the slabs of 4 Fletcher graves, plus their rough locations.  Off to zone C of the cemetery ...




Blue means Fletchers - C79 turned out to be an 1842 grave not of obvious interest.  C196 (coloured Red) is the upright gravestone (C196) of Robert Greenwood bu Jan 14 1819 which we eventually used as a local marker after a lot of wasted effort!




Looking down from around grave C133 on the area (centre of photo) of the buried Fletcher slabs




after a frustrating hour scraping and brushing the mainly flat inscribed slabs, we worked out roughly where ours were, and that they had pretty certainly sunk beneath the surface.  The first tentative trowel prod hit the corner of a slab (above) - one of ours? - sadly not - it belonged to Jane Pearson, wife of a Bridgehouse dyer, who had died aged 47 in 1777 - "Afflictions sore she often bore / Physicians were in vain / Till God did please by death to seize / and eas'd her of her pain" - it was c212 and we were one column to the left of success ......


Back to trowel prodding ... another slab hit .... presumably C213 - Adrian's 6xGrt Gmother Betty Fletcher (bu 1836), but no ... it turned out to be the bottom of C192 with, inter alia, 5xGrt grandfather James Fletcher (bu 1795). 



Looking up the slope just after it started to rain some digging time later.  Our first clear (C212) is on the left.  C213 is still buried middle front.  Front right, partially covered, is C214 (Pighills / Fletcher).   The cleared area of slab in the centre (detail below) is the left side of C192.  C191 is heavily buried to the right of C192.




The idea was to get a shovel somehow and return the next day, but driving rain made it seem a not so clever idea!  So it remains for someone to go back on a sunny day with a Sexton's Spade ....... meantime many many thanks to Margaret and Jan. 




Transcripts of the inscriptions on our Fletcher grave group - source: Haworth Visitor Information Centre



C-192 partially excavated (centre of photo).


Here lieth the body of

Betty (?6xgrt) the wife of James

Fletcher who departed

this life the 22nd day of

March 1776 in the 73rd

     Year of her Age.

James Fletcher (5xgrt) aged 49*

1795 Mary Fletcher

Aged 15 1813 John Fletcher

Aged 24 1832

Susey Gill Aged 33 1837





Here lieth the Body

of Mary the Wi(fe of)

Elias Fletcher of ........

House who departed ......

Life the 13th Day of .......

ary 1782  in the 53

     of her age.

Sarah Fletcher (5xgrt) Aged

42 1790*.  Mary Fletcher

aged 2 1812.  Sarah

Fletcher aged 6

1813  James Fletcher

Aged 29 1816

Thomas Fletcher (4xgrt) died

April 23rd 1851, aged 82 Years

Grace Fletcher (4xgrt) died Novr 16

     1855 aged 88 years.



*Husband and wife


Sunk quite a bit.  In bottom LH corner yellow type words were dug out / cleared to confirm identity of slab.


Used for burials in 1776, 1795, 1832 and 1837.



Sunk quite a bit and possibly missing some of right hand side.  Not excavated - out of time and tools - need a good sexton's spade!


Used for burials in 1782, 1790, 1812 (baby), 1813, 1816 (child), then 1851 and 1855 (Thomas & Grace).




The parish record entry for the burial of Sarah Fletcher on June 24 1789.  She is buried in C191 (burial year wrongly engraved on slab as 1790).




The parish record entry for the burial of James Fletcher on January 10 1795.  Even though he was Sarah's husband, he was buried next door in C192.





Betty Fletcher

Aged 30 1810

Mary Fletcher (3xgrt)

Aged 35 1836





In memory of

Sally the daughter

of John and Mary Pickells

of Shaw who died Septr 24th

           1795, aged 6 years.

Also of the abovenamed

John Pickles who died March 22nd

1845, in the 86th year of his age

Also of Mary relict of the above

named John Pickles who died Sep

29th 1849 in the 79th year of her Age.



Sunk.  Not cleared (yet) / two Fletcher women buried in 1810 and 1836.


Betty was dau of James & Sarah, sister of Mary (buried in next grave C214).


Mary Fletcher (Rushworth) (3xgrt) bu Sept 1836 was  Thomas Fletcher's wife.  Thomas, "the last woolcomber standing",  lived on for another 47 years in Coldwell until his death in 1883 aged 84.  Burial place not known yet.



Surface level.  Just needs a rigorous brush to reveal all.  Surname was probably Pighills which was quite common around Shaw (/Far Oxenhope) - in which case Mary was born Fletcher, ch here 1771, dau of James and Sarah.






Adrian Fletcher's main website



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Bellatrovata is the original "on the road" site for Adrian (aka Adriano and Dom Paradox) Fletcher's European explorations.  Material relating to explorations in Italy (including Tuscany, Rome and Venice), Spain, France and Britain between 2004 and 2006 has now been transferred to Adrian's main web site - Paradoxplace - and Bellatrovata has been spring cleaned in preparation for the next road trips in England (Autumn 2009) and  Northern Italy and Burgundy (May 2010).



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