37.9 – Ann, John, Amelia and Peter Davies, and Margaret Little

This story is only going to focus on Peter for now – other research on his family may follow.

Peter Davies (1790-1876) married Hannah Jackson in 1812 – her headstone can be found at St. Mary’s. Peter’s occupation was a sawyer, like his father before him (also called Peter) and his son (also called Peter, who is at Christ Church at 36.33). Hannah died in 1845 and their daughter Sally, who is buried with her, died in 1847. For whatever reason that plot must have been full, hence Peter and his son, daughter, granddaughter, and daughter in law being buried here.

Hannah and Sally Davies at St. Mary’s

This obituary of Peter’s from 1876 is quite the story!

“The Late Peter Davies.- In the list of deaths published in our issue a fortnight ago was the name of Peter Davies, who was perhaps one of the best-known men in Todmorden. He was born at Preston in the year 1790. His father removed to this town about the year 1800, and Peter was engaged along with his father and two brothers in the construction of the Rochdale Canal. An incident which occurred to him when he was 22 years old must be our apology for mentioning him in these columns.

It was during the time of the French war that Peter and his brother John, hearing of the arrival of their uncle, who was a captain in the Naval service, at Liverpool, walked to that town to see him. They had not been in the town long before they were seized and bound by a press-gang, who were glad to get hold of such strong, hale fellows. They were locked up for the night along with other victims, and in the morning their uncle, who had been sent for to inspect and pick his men, found, much to his chagrin, but no doubt to the delight of the two brothers, that his nephews were among the lot he had to inspect. But he had them sent home at once, and no doubt the lads were glad to show their backs to their uncle, under the circumstances.”

The obituary goes on to mention Peter’s well-known strength and powers of endurance, and the fact that he still worked in a saw-mill with lumber at the age of 82. We all only wish…

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