SB.2 – Hannah Craven and Samuel Farrar

A brother and sister together in the grave, keeping each other company for eternity.

Hannah Farrar was born in 1825 in the Watty area of Walsden, near Bacup Road. She was baptised at Christ Church the same year by her parents, James and Mary, who were both cotton weavers at Wadsworth Mill at Shade. She was the second oldest of six children. The youngest child, Samuel, would be born ten full years later in 1835.

The Farrars were not well off by any stretch and the children stayed living at home for a long time after those from more financially stable families would have gotten married and moved out. Economic safety in numbers was how things used to be – children moving out when they turn 18 and making their own way (either in reality or as the ideal independent child) is a very modern invention. They still had lives of their own, though, and Hannah was living one that got her into probably a bit of trouble at home; in 1852 she gave birth to a daughter, Mary Ann. Hannah was 27, a grown woman, and nowadays we wouldn’t blink twice. It wasn’t that uncommon back then though, and the large family units that remained at home with each other allowed for young children born outside of marriage to be supported while the mother continued to work.

James Farrar died in 1854 and slowly the other Farrars began to move out. While the others had been weavers like their parents, Samuel became a bookkeeper for the mill. He, Hannah, Mary Ann, and their sister Betty all stayed home to help look after their mother Mary. But Mary died sometime after 1861, and Hannah met someone: Edmund Craven.

Edmund Craven was a stonemason from Walsden who lived at Wood Bottom with his family. His first wife Hannah had also died after 1861 and he was left with four children, the youngest only having been born in 1857. He needed a wife; Hannah no longer had to look after her mother; the two met and married at York Street Wesleyan in 1870. Interestingly, Hannah’s daughter did not accompany Hannah to her new home. Mary Ann instead stayed with her uncle Samuel and aunt Betty at 2 Market Street. Did Edmund not know Mary Ann was Hannah’s daughter? Would it have mattered? Did she merely prefer to stay with her aunt and uncle? Did she not like the looks of him? The record is silent.

In 1871 Hannah was keeping house for Edmund and Samuel had become a shopman. Edmund died in 1874, not long at all after his second marriage, and was buried at Walsden St. Peter with his first Hannah. Betty died the year later in 1875 and was buried with Mary at 57.44, right at the back of the graveyard here. Our Hannah moved back in with Samuel and Mary Ann, and the three lived together until 1881 when Hannah died at the age of 56. Not 53, as it says in the burial register. Samuel was now a shopkeeper’s assistant at one of the Co-operative’s stores and Mary Ann was a weaver.

In early 1884 Mary Ann married John Jackson of Dale Street – possibly an introduction via Samuel’s work with the Co-operative? – and at first the couple stayed in Todmorden. But finally, in 1884, the last link Mary Ann had with her Farrar family was broken when Samuel died aged 48. He was buried with Hannah. Mary Ann and John moved to Littleborough, both working as cotton weavers, and they never returned.

One Comment

  1. Pingback:57.44 – Mary and Betty Farrar – F.O.C.C.T.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *