7.41 and 14.18 – Samuel, Mary Ann and Annie Crossley, and Enoch Sandow

We’ve found a lot (a LOT) of displaced sidestones and even headstones in the graveyard, and at first glance these two burial plots seemed to be a similar situation. The Crossleys are buried at 7.41 according to the lost sexton’s book, and Enoch Sandow is buried at 14.18. However, two sidestones with Mary Ann and Annie’s names on them are at 14.18, and a small plot marker engraved with “E.S.” is propped up against the headstone at 14.19.

Mary Ann Crossley was born Mary Ann Sandow. She’s Enoch’s sister. So maybe this isn’t a case of accidentally displaced stones. But if not, then why did they get deliberately moved?

Enoch Sandow Sr. and Martha (Francis) Sandow, who are buried at 47.50, were Cornish economic migrants who came to Todmorden along with six of their children at some point between 1871 and 1873. The entire family worked in the copper and tin mines – in 1871 all bar the youngest of their children lists “mine girl” or “mine boy” as their occupation – and the increased competition from mines in other countries meant they and quite a few other families came to this area looking for better paid and less unsafe work. There could also have been health issues spurring them on – Enoch Sr. died in 1873 of bronchial phthsis (aka tuberculosis). The Sandow children remained in Todmorden, with one sister Caroline marrying Charles Glasse (you can read some of her story here).

Enoch Jr. was born in 1857 and Mary Ann was the next child along in 1859. When they got to Todmorden, Enoch was the first to marry, to Sarah Jane Butterworth in March 1879. They lived with Sarah’s mother Eliza at Fox Bank, Meadow Bottom, and Enoch worked as a cotton weaver. It seems as though the couple never had children of their own, although an interesting small piece in the Todmorden District News in 1892 indicates the marriage might not have been a very happy one. Sarah had moved to Stockport and was saying that another man was the father of her child.

January 22nd 1892

In 1891 Enoch was living with his widowed mother, sister Tabitha, and (married) Mary Ann and her daughter Annie at Derby Street. Sarah is living in Stockport, as we can see, and the marriage appears from this point to be permanently over as Sarah never appears living with Enoch again. But Mary Ann is married…so where was Samuel Crossley? Let’s go backwards a little.

Mary Ann married in June 1880…but it wasn’t to Samuel. We make these assumptions don’t we? Surely the Samuel buried in the same plot (supposedly) as Mary Ann and Annie is going to be her husband, especially given that he would have been born in 1857, so the same age as Mary Ann. But no; the civil marriage index gives Mary Ann as marrying Greenwood Crossley, an iron and tin plate worker. Samuel was presumably some relation of some sort, given that both Greenwood and Samuel’s fathers were both publicans, and Mary Ann was his second wife (he had been widowed three years earlier, and involved in an embarrassing for all parties lawsuit with his former father in law, confectioner John Land).

Was Greenwood charming? Was he interesting? Was he exciting? Annie was born in September 1880, only three months after they married. If so, he was maybe a little too much of a wild card. Mary Ann was as unlucky in marriage as her brother Enoch. Greenwood had already been in the news in 1878 as the accused in a bastardy case so Annie’s premarital conception seems in character for him. In January 1881 the little family lived together at Mill Street. By March, Greenwood was letting everyone know that he was nothing to do with Mary Ann. What had happened?

What had happened was that Mary Ann had accused him of assault and left him. She accused him of beating her when she tried to ask for money for household expenses and when she refused to give him back jewellery that he had given to her before their marriage. She also said that she hadn’t even been able to buy proper baby clothes for Mary Ann until she was 4 months old because he kept her short of money, and impled that he was a heavy gambler. He said she was a bother and that she spent more than he could earn and that he had never hit her. They reunited within the month, but she refused to withdraw the charge, saying that even though they were living together again that he still didn’t give her enough money to feed both herself and Annie. He said again that it was all lies. Interestingly, from day one, Greenwood was asking the court for a separation order – in fact, the story about the assault ran for the first time in the same issue of the Todmorden Advertiser as the above “I will no longer be responsible” notice. For him, at least, the marriage was clearly over.

In fact, it was so over, that Greenwood ran away. He reappeared in 1886 in New Zealand, going by George Greenwood Crossley, and he remarried bigamously. And that’s how Mary Ann and Annie ended up living with Enoch.

Mary Ann and Annie went into the fustian and clothing cutting trade, and after Enoch died in 1903 they continued to stick together. In 1911 they were still living at Derby Street. Annie was unmarried. Mary Ann still, somewhat sadly to the researcher, listed herself as married. Did she know where Greenwood had gone? Did she think he might come back? Did she know better and had had quite enough of this marriage nonsense? By 1939, she had become unwell and was a patient at Stansfield View. Annie was living on her own at East Street.

Mary Ann died in May 1939, and Annie in July 1940. And they were both buried…well, presumably with Mary Ann’s something? in law Samuel. Was that a case of the Crossleys feeling sorry for them both? Or was that a clerical error and they’re actually buried with Enoch? Did surviving members of the Sandow family decide for some reason that the two of them ought to be remembered alongside Enoch, or not want Enoch to be in an almost-unmarked grave?

Since Samuel is technically (probably) buried with two of the people discussed above, we shouldn’t forget about him. His father Samuel Sr. was a publican, much like Greenwood’s father Abraham. Samuel followed in the same footsteps and became the landlord of the Mason’s Arms at Gauxholme. He married Lydia Mason in 1898 and took over the license of the Mason’s when his father died a few years later in 1901.

We would LOVE to hear from any family members who might have more information about the twists and turns in this story or who has an explanation of why the stones have been moved around. Ideally the Crossley stones would be sited with their “owners”, but if there’s a deeper story here, we want to respect it. Let us know.


  1. Pingback:14.20 – Charles and Herbert Glasse – F.O.C.C.T.

  2. Pingback:53.53 – John, George, Mary, Millicent and John Land, and Hannah Elizabeth Crossley – F.O.C.C.T.

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