14.24 – Henry, Ada and Arthur Spencer

There is very little information about this branch of the Spencer family available – only the official records.

Henry (Harry) Spencer was Joseph and Louisa Jane Spencer’s only son. He was born at Dobroyd on the 16th October 1879, the second of their four children. He was living with his parents and sisters at Dobroyd in both the 1881 and 1891 census, interestingly a “scholar” in 1891 and not yet working for the Fieldens in some way or another. He would later take after his father in one particular way – he worked with horses, but was a farrier rather than a coachman. He is described on the 1901 Census as a “shoeing smith”, and later a blacksmith, but shoeing is the giveaway that his concern was with horses rather than more general ironwork.

Harry married Ada Horsfall on the 29th April 1899 at Christ Church. Ada was born in 1880 to John and Mary Horsfall of 31 Stansfield Road. John was a twister-in at a cotton mill and most of the other Horsfall children were doing the same. Ada will no doubt have done the same prior to her marriage to Harry. The couple moved to White Platts Street where the Horsfalls were living at that point and settled in to start their own family, although this was not meant to be. They would have only one child, Arthur, who was born in September 1899. He was baptised at Christ Church on the 28th, but sadly died within a month and was buried at Christ Church on the 18th October.

Harry and Ada were living in Rochdale in 1901 but by 1911 had moved back to Todmorden and were living in Stansfield Road again, now at 33, just next door to Ada’s childhood home. As a farrier Harry was exempt from serving in the forces in WW1 and continued to live and work in Todmorden. In 1921 (and from at least 1916) the couple was living at 38 Garden Street, and Harry’s employer was shown to be Sam Greenlees at Der Street. In 1939 they had moved again and were living at Ashenhurst Road. Harry is shown on the register then as being incapacitated for 4 years – we would love to know what happened, but sadly whatever happened to Harry isn’t available via the British Newspaper Archive.

Harry was still living on Ashenhurst Road when he died on the 3rd November 1939. Ada died at the same address on the 12th January 1953. She left her estate to her widowed sister Annie Varley, no inconsiderable sum of money either – £1100, or £25000 today.

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