41.34 – Mary, Agnes and Elizabeth Wilson

Three children, ages 3 to 17, all dead within 19 months of each other.

No news to us in the graveyard.

These three sisters were the eldest and two youngest daughters of Matthew Wilson and his wife Elizabeth (nee Scholfield). Matthew was born in Dumfries, Scotland in 1793. He married Elizabeth in Haslingden in 1817. They must have moved to Todmorden shortly after their marriage as their eldest son, who was born in 1818, was born in Todmorden. Matthew was a grocer.

In the 1841 census the family were living in Sutcliffe Buildings (which we think were in the White Hart Fold area – but we’re open to corrections!) but by 1851 they’d moved to Haslingden. Elizabeth died in Whitworth in 1852 and Matthew in 1869 – both are buried at Christ Church but we don’t know where. In this part of the graveyard there’s no surviving sexton’s book, so if someone isn’t mentioned on a stone we have no proof where they lie. It’s possible that at least Elizabeth is buried at St. Mary’s, as her burial registry entry doesn’t specify “new ground” like others at that time who were buried at Christ Church would be; but it would be strange for her to NOT be buried with her three children. Truly a mystery.

There is only an obituary for one of the sisters, Agnes; it was published in The Leeds Times on the 6th October 1838 and reads “On Thursday week, much and deservedly respected by many young friends, Miss Agnes Wilson, aged 17, eldest daughter of Mr Matthew Wilson, grocer.”

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