A member of The Federation of Family History Societies
St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall


Rossendale Branch Newsletter March 2002

Programme 2002

Tonight 6th March

John Winter will talk about the History of the Postal Service.

3rd April Branch AGM & Reflections on the “Haworth” surname -  Susan Haworth

Anyone wishing to stand for any position on the Branch Committee should contact Rita Hirst by the end of March.

1st May Gloria Oates OBE will tell us about her year of Office as High Sheriff of Lancashire.

Coming Events

Wednesday 20th March at 2.0pm & Wednesday 28th March at 7.0pm

Lancashire Record Office User Consultation Meetings

The meetings will focus on: car parking problems, cataloguing priorities, standards of service. A proposal has been drawn up for obtaining extra staff to allow the office to open each week, and maintain the current level of cataloguing. Free access for all is confirmed. It has been agreed to look at the feasibility of providing a same day photocopying service.

Please come and tell us what you think. Please reserve a place tel. 01772 263027 or email

Saturday 18th May

North West Family History Conference will be held at the Woodford Community Centre, Cheshire. Booking is essential. Application forms are available from Mrs. Rita Walters, Windy Ridge, Jacksons Lane, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 5JW. John Dalton has a limited number of leaflets.

Saturday 25th May

LFHHS One Day Conference and AGM - University of Central Lancashire, Preston. - 3 good speakers.

see your February Magazine for details.

Sunday 2nd June

Hyndburn Group will have a Family History Stand at Oswaldtwistle Mills. Any assistance will be appreciated, even for only an hour or two to allow people time off.

Rossendale Ancestry:


Stephen Entwistle writes “My grandmother was Margaret Jane Entwistle nee Race. She was born in Bishop Auckland in 1856. She died at Springside, Rawtenstall on 27th February 1898 and is buried in Rawtenstall cemetery. Thanks to Michael Hiluta, I found her grave last year. Her address was registered by my grandfather, Benjamin from the same address. He is not buried in that grave. In 1881 the family were living at Habergham Eaves. My grandfather, Joseph was the youngest of the family. He was born at Hollin Bank, Musbury (1 Underbank) 23 Nov. 1887. There is no trace of the family in 1891 but I have some evidence showing that they were around Rawtenstall in the early 1900s.”


James Heyworth wrote from Adelaide, Australia about his great grandfather, James Heyworth of Crawshawbooth. James married Margaret Suart at Sunnyside Baptist Chapel in 1888. We have been able to give him information from the census returns which took him back to 1861. James’ father, also James was living at Back Street, Crawshawbooth. He was aged 42, a dyer, born in the village. His wife Sarah aged 33 was from Bradford in Yorkshire.

We have had a previous enquiry for Suart from Diane Strang so we were able to put these two in contact. Email alanstrang@hotmail.com and Email james@obsof.com


Colin Law writes from New Zealand “In 1881 my great-grandparents Edward Law and Alice Law (nee Lord?) were at 1 Plantation Street, Newchurch. A son (my grandfather) Teddy Law (census name Eddy) was 8 years old and daughter Emma was aged 5. Edward and Alice moved to Brierfield, probably about the time that Teddy married Louisa Coates of Brierfield. I would like to find out:

Did Edward and Alice have any other children?

What happened to Emma (I suspect she died young but my parents knew nothing of her)

Details of parents and any siblings of Edward and Alice. email colin@cdlaw.co.nz


Alice Birtwistle was baptised at Edenfield 1 Aug. 1830. Her parents were Richard Birtwistle, a stonemason and Isabella nee Barlow. In the 1841 census Alice was living apart from her parents with James Barlow aged 30 at Exchange Street, Edenfield. I would like to establish the relationship between this James Barlow and Isabella. I have an Isabella Barlow baptised at Haslingden 3 November 1805, dau. of Edmund and Ann Barlow of Grane.” Janet Huige email cs.huige@hccnet.nl


A recent exciting discovery, has all the elements of a chapter in an historical novel. A letter found within the pages of an old Bible, sheds new light on an old tragedy.

The Loom Riots

When 18 year old Mary Hindle married handloom weaver in St. James Parish Church Haslingden, she could have had no idea that in less than 10 years she would have seen the death of two infant children. It would have been impossible to believe that at the age of 26, she would be standing trial accused of inciting a mob to acts of violence and riotous behaviour.

It was a time when people were desperate and families were starving. The handloom weavers attributed their problems to the new power looms being installed in local factories. The solution seemed simple - destroy the power looms. In April 1826, the handloom weavers armed with makeshift weapons took matters into their own hands.

On the 25th April they turned their attention to William Turner’s Mill at Helmshore. Among those watching was Mary Hindle. She shouted encouragement and laughed “I have won my bet, I bet a shilling that the powerlooms would be destroyed within five weeks.” These few words would take her away from her husband and small daughter and everyone she knew and loved. She was tried at the Lancaster Assizes and sentenced to death. This was later commuted to transportation to Australia for life.

1827 -1841

Mary was assigned to be laundress to John Nicholson, master attendant at the Dockyard (now part of Sidney Harbour). After this it is difficult to keep track of her.

In 1838 she absconded as she was being taken to the Parametta Female Factory, which held 537 convicts. Whist at Parametta she wrote to the governor asking for a free pardon. It was refused because she was one of the machine breakers. In 1840 she was working for Thomas Ryan, Chief Clerk to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts. Sadly, in June 1840, she again absconded. Last year, Joan Reese, a researcher in New South Wales discovered Mary’s name on a list of inquests, dated August 2, 1841. Mary Hindle had taken her own life. She was buried near to the hated Parrameta prison factory.

Discovered in a Bible.

A letter from Mary Hindle has been found 161 years after her death. It was found in a Bible owned by the Chew Family. It was dated Nov. 12 1827. It reads:

Dear Husband, I have taken this opportunity of writing these few lines which I hope they will find you in good health, I am tolerably well and healthy at this time. Thank God for that. We arrived in New South Wales about 7th October, after a long and tedious voyage of about five months. We had a tolerably good passage.... I was very ill (and) was in hospital nineteen days. I was bad with my legs swelling through not having any exercise. I have found a situation in Sidney... I have a great deal of work... one day appears to be as long as a month... we are not allowed any liberty...if we stay out until 8 or 9 o’clock we get put in the WATCHOUSE and are very likely to be sent to the factory, a place where they punish women very severely. I hope God Almighty will give me health and strength to get through now that I am in a distant country. I hope my dear little Elizabeth will be taken care of and I hope she is well. I should like very much to see her again, but God knows whether that will be my lot. Please give my love to my mother and likewise to your father and mother and likewise to my brothers and sisters, I am waiting anxiously to here from you, and hope you can get my sentence mitigated or I think I shall die of despair. ....

Mary continues with a description of New South Wales and the jobs that are available. She hopes that her husband can join her.


Haslingden Roots and Rossendale Branch members are now researching the families mentioned in this story. We have discovered that Elizabeth Hindle married Rodger Chew in 1837. More details will appear in our April newsletter.

1901 Census:

Many thanks to all those branch members who are busy preparing our own index to the 1901 census. A street index has been completed for most of the Rossendale area. The name index will be in the format used previously Head of Household, plus anyone with a different surname; Relative, Employee, Lodger or Boarder, Visitor, Workhouse occupants, Pupils etc. The full name and age is given in all cases.  Once the index has been transcribed, it will need to be typed on a PC and checked. About 10 members are ready involved in this work. If you would like to volunteer your services, you can get advice from Laura or Trisha at Rawtenstall Library.