S3.5 – William and Martha Jane Sutcliffe

William is the only person in this plot, as far as we know. His life was short but he packed a lot into it.

William Sutcliffe was born in 1840. His father John was a weaver, and so was William, for the first three quarters of his life. In 1871 he married Martha Jane Holt at St. John the Baptist’s in Halifax, again, with his occupation given as “weaver”.

William and Martha wasted no time, as it were, and between 1871 and 1884 they had seven children of their own. In 1877 William’s father in law, John Holt, decided he was done with the pub trade, and the license for the Weaver’s Arms at Blind Lane was provisionally transferred to William. For the last seven years of his life William would be the landlord of the pub, giving his occupation on the 1881 Census as “beer seller”.

In 1884, William died from bronchitis aged 44 years old, and the license was transferred from him to Martha. She would continue on at the Weaver’s for 33 years, handing the license over to her son in law John Fielden in 1917 when she was 76 years old.

Two of his daughters, Sarah Hannah and Clara, are buried at 11.3, and son Fred at 3.27.

Interestingly, William’s father John had died only two years before William, in the Weavers itself, while visiting. He was 63 years old and supposedly in good health otherwise, but while making conversation with some others drinking there, leaned over against the man next to him, and was dead within minutes.

Todmorden Advertiser, November 3rd 1882

As for his wife Martha; well, supposedly, she is buried at S4.5 along with the Collins family. William is here at S3.5. Much like John Stott and his wife, son, and daughter in law, we think this is another case of a gravestone being divorced from its surroundings and incorrectly marked as being located one row away from its real spot. Martha died in 1930 aged 79, living at the Rope and Anchor next to where Lidl is today, and is almost certainly buried with her husband.

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  1. Pingback:S2.9 – Herbert, John Robert, Betsy and Arnold Cunliffe, and Jack Uttley – F.O.C.C.T.

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