22.21 – Richard, Ruth Ann, Bertha, Charles, Harold and Harry Howarth

This small, decaying, but striking black cross marks a sad grave indeed, although an unusual one – even though four small children are here, and their parents did not stay in Todmorden, the parents are also buried here.

Richard Newsome Howarth was born in Todmorden in 1865, and on the 1871 census shows with his parents Charles and Mary Jane, living at Queen Street in Cobden. Ruth Annie Farrar was born in 1867 in Rawtenstall.

On 29 November 1887 they married at Christ Church, and late the next year their first child Mary Jane Howarth was born. On the 1891 census they were living at “Platts House”, and Richard was a Warehouseman.

The 1890s was a very sad time for the family as all 4 children mentioned on the grave were born, and passed. Bertha was born in 1891, Charles in 1894, Harold in 1896 and Harry in 1898. Sadly all four of them passed before reaching their 2nd birthday. Only Charles made it past a year old, and Harry only three days. All four children were not included in the 2006 transcript, possibly because it is difficult to read the lead lettering at the base of the cross, and some letters have disappeared over time. Only Charles is in the sexton’s book as well. This is why recording these stones fully is important.

By 1900 the family had moved to Clayton-le-Moors, where their son Fred Howarth was born. They returned to Todmorden on 18 August 1900 for his christening at Christ Church. Two further sons were born, Ernest in 1905, and George in 1908 – also christened at Christ Church. The link to this place remained strong.

On the 1911 Census the family is together at Clayton including the daughter Mary Jane, who is now married. Richard is shown as a Coke Oven labourer. Richard and Ruth both passed in Clayton-le-Moors, but returned to Christ Church at the end to be buried with their four small children.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *