35.8 – Alice and Charles Hollinrake and their grandchildren

This husband and wife were no stranger to loss, and rest in this grave alongside four of their little grandchildren.

Alice Howorth (or Haworth) was born in 1838 to Jeremy/Jeremiah and Rachel (Barrowclough) Howorth of Knowlwood. Jeremy was the licenseholder for the Spinner’s Rest and Alice grew up in this environment. You can find out a little more about this family in her brother John’s story, but don’t read too far ahead, or you’ll get some spoilers…

The Howorths were a working family and at age 13 Alice was working in a cotton mill. Like the majority of women at that time, she never learned to read or write. That’s why she signed her marriage certificate with “her mark” in 1857 when she married Robert Scholfield at Walsden St. Peter’s. Robert was a native of Gauxholme, so proud of it he put it as his place of birth on the 1861 Census, and made a living as a bargeman. His occupation in 1861 was given as “mariner”, but with “barge” before it in tiny letters, and “(canal)” after it. Not quite a navvy, but an overlap, and maybe the distinction was simply that he was born in Todmorden rather than an offcumden economic migrant.

Alice and Robert had nine years together, and seem to have only had two children – Howorth, born in 1863 and who died in 1864, and Alice Ann, born in 1865. Robert died in April 1866 aged 31 and is buried in the private area of the graveyard, on his own, or at leas with no one else on the stone – perhaps baby Howorth is there, perhaps not. A year and a few months later Alice married again, this time to Charles Hollinrake.

Charles Hollinrake was born in Walsden in 1846 to Joseph and Charlotte (Rawson) Hollinrake of Butcher Hill. You can read more about his parents and childhood in his brother George’s story. Charles was raised in a family of weavers and unsurprisingly became a weaver himself. In 1861 he was still young but was at work, and still at Butcher Hill. Robert and Alice lived at Butcher Hill at Robert’s death (it’s even on his gravestone) so it’s likely that the families knew one another. Charles was eight years Alice’s junior at their marriage in 1867, although amusingly he halved the distance between them so it didn’t look quite as stark on the certificate. As if to make up for it later, on the 1871 Census their age gap has widened to ten years!

Charles and Alice wasted no time and within those four years had two children of their own – Susey and Ruth – as well as Alice Ann. They settled at Bridge End Buildings and would stay there for the rest of Alice’s life. That came in 1886, when she died and was buried here in this plot. Charles went on to marry the widow Sally Howorth, John’s widow to be precise, and we know the rest of his story over at her story – he would ultimately be buried here with Alice on his death in 1903, just as Sally would be later with John. But who are these little grandchildren buried here too, all aged two and under?

Ruth Hollinrake, the youngest daughter, married Abraham Edward Greenwood in November 1889. In 1891 Charles was living with them and with their one year old granddaughter Alice Ann. Alice Ann would die in January 1892 and be buried with the grandmother she’d never met. Poor Abraham and Ruth; they would have nine children together, and four (including Alice Ann) are buried here. Charles, born not long after Alice Ann’s death, would die in 1894; John, born in 1895 would die in 1896; and Jane, born in 1902, would die in 1903. Ruth’s father would then join them at the end of that same year. Even before antibiotics, this was a terrible set of bereavements to experience. Sadder still, this isn’t even the sum total of the couple’s loss. Their son Thomas Edward Greenwood died in 1904 after falling down some stone steps, aged two (his death made the papers because of needing an inquest) and their last child Elizabeth Hannah died in 1913, aged two. Even the remaining three children did not all reach adulthood – Sarah Alice, born in 1898, died in 1911.

All these other children mentioned as dying young are buried here, as well as both Abraham (who died in 1918) and Ruth (who died in 1952), but their resting places are unknown. It’s only the four buried with their grandparents whose names are memorialised.

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