Ardwick, Lancashire

Ardwick Green

In the 1840's the Manchester & Birmingham Railway arrived in Ardwick.  Shortly thereafter, by the late 19th century, Ardwick became heavily industrialized, with mills in Union Street, Limeworks alongside the Medlock, Ironworks, Boilerworks, a Sawmill, Chemical works, Brickworks and Spindleworks.


Effluent from the Brickworks and Chemical works were freely discharged into the River Cornbook, which became so heavily polluted that the locals referred to it as the "Black Brook".  This is where a branch of the Yorkshire Staveleys from Aysgarth chose to relocate, and no doubt held little resemblance to the sleepy village in Wensleydale the family had called home for more than 25 years.

We know that George Staveley of East Witton raised his family in Aysgarth, and sometime after 1833 the family left Wensleydale.  By 1841 George's family is found living in Horwich where George died in 1845.  By 1852 his wife Dorothy was living in Ardwick, Manchester, at the time of her death.  Dorothy was buried in Ardwick Cemetery in a common grave on October 23, 1852, grave 1086, and clearly not buried with her husband. 

The 1851 census returns for Ardwick were severely damaged by a flood.  As such it has been extremely difficult to locate the Staveley family in that census.  However, a recent study of the unfilmed census returns for Ardwick has resulted in a partial extract for Dorothy Staveley as follows:

1851: 4 William Street, Ardwick, Manchester, Lancashire, England

 Dorothy STAVELEY   Head   U   Female  67  (illegible)  (illegible)
 John STAVELEY   (illegible)   U  Male  38  Yorkshire...  (illegible)
 Enos STAVELEY   Son  U   Male  (illegible)  (illegible)  (illegible)
 Francis STAVELEY  Son  U  Male  23  Yorkshire...  .......t
 ... STAVELEY  Grandson    Male  (illegible)  (illegible)  (illegible)


Just prior to the 1851 census enumeration, on January 26th 1851, George and Dorothy's daughter Jane died in Ardwick:

Manchester Times (Manchester, England)

Saturday, February 1, 1851; Issue 235


On the 26th ult. at Ardwick, in the 37th year of her age, Jane, daughter of the late Mr. George Staveley, of Horwich


Jane had at least one child, Henry Staveley, born September 17, 1844, and christened at Lee Lane Chapel, in Horwich. In 1861 we find Henry living with his Uncle John (Jane's brother) in Failsworth. It is interesting to note that a few months after Henry's birth, his mother married a Hugh McFadden. Thus far no further reference to this marriage has been found.

Prior to this census extract, the following entry was thought to possibly be for George and Dorothy's son Enos:

1851: 15 Westlock Street, Ardwick, Manchester, Lancashire, England

 Thomas NEWAL  Head  M  Male  32  Appleton, Cheshire, England  Joiner
 Martha NEWAL  Wife  M  Female  31  Crowley, Cheshire, England  
 John NEWAL  Son  U  Male  12  Crowley, Cheshire, England  Scholar
 Charles NEWAL  Son  U  Male   7  Crowley, Cheshire, England  Scholar
 John Davenport  Visitor  U  Male  21  Horidge, Lancashire, England  Millwright
 Enoch STEVELY   Visitor   U   Male   25   Horidge, Lancashire, England   Clerk


It seems that Enos may have been enumerated twice in 1851. Although Enos wasn't born in Horwich, he did indeed live in there prior to moving to Ardwick.  It is possible that if Enos was indeed visiting the Newal household on census night, and his mother accidently reported him as being home.  That could result in him appearing twice in this census.  Other coincidences with this record include the fact that Enos married an Elizabeth Davenport, who was living in Horwich two years later...and Elizabeth had a brother John who was born in 1830.  The John Davenport also visiting the Newal house on Westlock Street was born around 1830.  It is thought that if the Westlock Street entry is Enos, that the John Davenport listed in the household would likely be Enos' future brother-in-law!  It is difficult to say whether the above entry could be a duplicate entry for Dorothy's son Enos, or if it's mere coincidence, but thus far a search of the 1841 and 1861 census does not show another Staveley/Stevely entry that fits with this information.

George and Dorothy's youngest son Francis married Alice DYNLEY in 1853 in Manchester.  In 1855 they had a daughter Jane Ann, but she is absent from the 1861 census (possibly deceased):

1861: 24 Green Place, Ardwick, Lancashire, England

 Francis STAVLEY   Head   M   Male   34   Aisgaf, Yorkshire, England   Labourer Print Works 
 Alice STAVLEY   Wife   M   Female   29   Ardwick, Lancashire, England   Mangle Keeper
 Ann STAVLEY   Daur   U   Female   2   Ardwick, Lancashire, England   


Francis and Alice have moved to Gorton by 1871, and by 1881 are again found residing in Ardwick:

1881: 10 Woods Court, Ardwick, Lancashire, England

 Frank STAVLEY   Head   W   Male   34   Haysgath, Yorkshire, England   Labourer Print Works 
 Frank STAVLEY   Son   U   Male  10   Gorton, Lancashire, England   Scholar
 John O'DEA  Lodger   U   Male  19  East Indies   Feriman Confectionary


Francis' wife Alice died in 1876 at the age of 41 years.  In 1891 Francis and his son Frank have moved in with daughter Ann who is living in Chorlton Upon Medlock.  Francis died in Chorlton in 1894 at the age of 66 years.

George's son Enos later moved toward Chorley, and then onward to Higher Booths.  Son William moved to Worsley, George to Wigan, John to Failsworth, Thomas to Golborne, and Francis to Gorton.

Author: Clare M. Staveley


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