47.50 – Enoch, Martha and Tabitha Sandow

This grave is technically on the private side of the fence, but we aren’t sure if the new fence is precisely located – the TAS transcript placed this grave as the first public one in its town. Either way, Enoch and Martha were the eldest Sandows to come to Todmorden and their children almost all stayed here, so we may as well tell you about them before directing you to their offspring.

Enoch Sandow was born in 1817 in Chacewater, Cornwall, and later moved to Kenwyn. His father John was a coal dealer and Enoch became, like 25% of all other Cornish people (men and women) in those days, a miner. He can be found listed as a copper miner for most of his life with tin making an appearance near the end. He married Martha Francis in October 1839 and they had nine children in total.

Unusually for a miner in those days, not only did Enoch survive past the age of 40, but all his children also survived mine work. And they did all work in the mines – money was tight and it was the main occupation. However, Cornish mineral mining was beginning to face some serious pressures, mainly cheaper imports from South Africa and America. People began to leave the danger and falling wages of the mines and move away from Cornwall altogether. During what became known as the “Great Migration”, which spanned nearly 100 years, over 500,000 people left Cornwall for other corners of the UK. It has been surprising in some ways to see how many people are buried at Christ Church who were born in Cornwall, but it shoudn’t be. Some retrained into other industries but Todmorden has had coal and tin mining happening in the vicinity for hundreds of years and so might not have seemed like the most unlikely place for miners to resettle…

Enoch died in August 1873 from tuberculosis, not long after almost the entire family had upped sticks and come to Todmorden. His death seems to have actually occurred in Dalton-in-Furness, the GRO have helpfully not cropped the image properly when scanning, so we can’t see the full name of the informant which might help us work out why he was there. First name Joseph, last name is anyone’s guess.

Dalton-in-Furness did have a fair bit of iron mining happening, so perhaps he was visiting a friend or family member. He died above ground which was what mattered.

Martha settled at 31 Derby Street, an address which would later house two of her children, Enoch and Mary Ann. In 1881 it was her, Tabitha, youngest son William, and 4 year old grandson William (his mother was her daughter Martha who had married William Tasker and was presumably travelling with him at the time). In 1891 Tabitha was still there and Enoch and Mary Ann, and Mary Ann’s daughter Annie, had moved in. Martha died in December 1896 and was buried with her husband.

Tabitha is typical of many young women who didn’t marry and ended up cohabiting with a parent or sibling for the rest of their life. Without independent means, this was often the best a spinster could do. It seems as though the Sandows owned 31 Derby Street and that the house was left to Tabitha, since in 1900 she appears on the Sowerby electoral register with this address listed as her qualifying property for county and parochial elections. She died in June 1900 and was buried with her parents.

Enoch and Martha’s daughter Caroline married Charles Glasse and their son and daughter Enoch and Mary Ann supported each other after their marriages failed. Martha, as we mentioned, married William Tasker and moved to Goole. William married Mary Hannah Stansfield and died in 191, but his burial location is unknown. John and Elizabeth, the two oldest children, had both married in Cornwall and stayed there.

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