John Howarth (1852-1922)


caution !! ... this is an initial draft of a story about our great grandfather ... there are many omissions and inaccuracies ... but it is only a 'story' to pass on to our great grandchildren ... perhaps they will correct all the errors ... ? 


NB I only keep these notes on my website so I don't lose them ! 

Padiham Advertiser

 John HowarthJohn Howarth (1852-1922) was born on 5 Feb 1852 and died on 26 Feb 1922.

'There are many people in Padiham who will feel a sense of loss to know that my father, the founder of this paper, has taken his last long journey. He has lived just a week or two over his seventieth birthday and his end came peacefully. He has had his fair share of the good things of life, has had in fact, 'a good innings'. But although I tell myself these things there is no logic in grief. My father was my life long friend and for me the road ahead is lonelier now that he has gone.

How truly is our little life just 'rounded with sleep'. To the man of seventy there came recollections of his boyish pranks and to him doubtless those days seemed not too long ago.

What is life but a few short lived memories and after that 'the nothing we set out from'. There is an old thorn tree at Lower Slade where he climbed and hid as a little boy. He showed it to me once, not long ago, and smiled wistfully as we passed. It is still the same tree, not a large one, and soon it will take on again its spring dress. But it laughs with the voices of other children now and sad memories are the milestones of life.

RangitikiHe began work in a mill at 18, managed Padiham's first Coop at 25 and then left Padiham seeking adventure, met his wife and together they sailed away on an old wind jamming emigrant ship The Rangitiki to New Zealand. His was the spirit of a pioneer and in the wilds he was happy but the health of his wife came before his own ambition, she was pregnant with my sister, and he returned to found this paper and to be a pioneer of another kind.

People's rights, footpath controversies, stepping stones, enclosure of Hapton Common ... he worked for progress and in as much as he made people think twice who would otherwise not have thought at all, he must have done some good.

He was guide, philosopher and friend to me and though the hand which once had led came at last to seek mine for support. It was always the hand of a true friend.

Well he is gone, and while in the shadow of this grief I have no heart for electioneering I am nonetheless grateful to those many friends who are working on my behalf' - Harry Howarth 1922.

Harry continued his own pioneering work after his father's death -

'Blue Blood and Big Money. Some Unorthodox Observations Regarding High Finance' by Harry Howarth. Published by The Padiham Advertiser, 1923 - 53 pages.

In 1962 The London Gazette recorded the final liquidation of The Padiham Advertiser Ltd ...

Alice FaulknerJohn Howarth (1852-1922) and Alice Faulkner (1851-) were married in 1876, Alice was from Styal, Cheshire and worked as a governess and was always remembered as one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.

In 1901 census the family were at 216 Burnley Road, Padiham in their Printing business.

The children -

Annie Mary 'Rangitiki' Howarth (1877-1957) an exceptional elder daughter. 

Alice Howarth (1878-) the youngest daughter was born in 1878 in Padiham, Burnley.

Harry Howarth (1885-1956) the youngest and only son was born in 1885 in Padiham, Burnley ... a stalwart, reliable & loyal ... Harry served in the military in 1917.

Nicholas Howarth (1828-) (or Haworth as spelt in the census?) was the dad of John Howarth (1852-1922). Nicholas was born in 1828 at Altham, just west of Padiham, the son of William & Elizabeth.

In 1851 Nicholas married Ann Winsley (1826-) at St Leonard, Padiham. Ann was from New Moss, Whalley, Padiham, the daughter of John & Mary, one of seven children. Ann was working as a weaver in 1841 & in 1851, just before she married. Nicholas & Ann had two sons, Dennis was John Howarth's younger brother.

Dennis Howarth (1853-) was born in 1853 and married Jane Brinnand (1856-) from Higham, in 1876, they had five sons John (1877-), Peter (1879-), Nicholas (1882-), Charles Lee (1887-), Rennie Edward (1890-) & the youngest Thomas (1896-).

The 1871 census showed widowed Ann, 45, living with John, 19, & Dennis, 17, at Sowerby Street, Padiham. John was in the grocery business and Dennis was a cotton power loom weaver.

In 1881 Dennis & Jane were living at 55 Colne Road, Marsden with mother, Ann, 55, a retired grocer, and young sons John, 4, & Peter, 2. Dennis described his occupation as a grocer & beer retailer! Good for him!

In 1891 Dennis & Jane were still at 55 Colne Road, now with five sons, John, 14, Peter, 12, Nicholas, 9,  Charles L, 4, & Rennie, 1. The two eldest were cotton weavers and Dennis continued with his groceries.

In 1901 they were now at 208 Colne Road, a bigger house no doubt to shelter five growing sons! The four eldest were weaving and dad was now resting as a retired grocer ...

By 1911 Dennis & Jane were with the two youngest Charles Lee, 24, a plumber, & Rennie Edward, 21, a worker dresser. They had moved to more suitable accommodation at 5 Chapel Street, Brierfield ... just up the road ... most families didn't move far from their roots in those days ...

Voyage of the RangitikiJohn Howarth was an exception ...

With unusual foresight & diligence John kept a meticulous dairy of his journey to New Zealand on the 'Rangitiki' which he published himself when he returned to Padiham. 'A Voyage Round the World', was intended for the interest of his family, but a facsimile of this inspiring document is available for everyone at the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand. This epic narrative is seriously fascinating not only for family & friends but also for all students of history & all folk interested in pioneering, seafaring under sail or the ancient immigrant flow to New Zealand. Good effort!


Originally Padiham was a wool and worsted town, Burnley had 2,000 inhabitants in 1790 but by 1900 there were over 87,000. By the end of the 19th century, Burnley spun 700,000 spindles of cotton and wove fabric on some 62,000 looms. The towns around Burnley also expanded at the same astonishing pace ... from 1800 Padiham was the place to be! There were mills everywhere - Jubilee Mill, Holme Mill, Levant Mill, Green Lane Mill, Greenbridge Mill, Green Bank Works, Orchard Mill and Britannia Mill, amongst others.

I wonder which mill employed Dennis and the young Howarths? With their ingrained Howarth spirit it's a safe bet that they were active in the Padiham Operative Weavers, who were renowned for their forthright nature and independent spirit ...

And, perhaps, it was Dennis Howarth's cottage in Sowerby Street which was pulled down to make way for a famous building ...

Padiham Weavers InstituteThe Burney Express reported on Friday 21 November 2008 -
The staple industry of Padiham for well over 100 years was cotton spinning and weaving.
From the early 1840s 'King Cotton' ruled the roost, almost every person in town was employed in the Padiham mills or knew someone who was. The damp climate made it ideal for cotton spinning and weaving, the cotton thread did not dry out and break.
But the weavers' lot was not easy.
In 1859, there was a six-month long weavers' strike which brought six of Padiham's mills to a standstill and then the cotton famine hit them between 1861 and 1865 and created great distress. During the American Civil War the ports were blockaded, preventing cotton getting through to the Lancashire mills. Manufacturers failed, mills were closed down and the operatives were thrown out of work.
There were disputes and strikes as the weavers tried to improve their lot. In 1859, the Padiham power loom weavers went on strike.
Around 1854 a body of men risked everything, including their own jobs, to try to better the working conditions of the weavers. They first met in a lowly cottage in Back Lane in the present day West Street area of town.
In time they were able to form the Padiham Weavers Association and moved from the cottage in Back Lane to a house in Gawthorpe Street, and later in the 1890s to premises in St Leonard's Street.
It was soon obvious though that the association would need purpose built accommodation to further its cause. With this in mind the committee was able to buy four old cottages in Sowerby Street in 1903 for £750 with the intention of pulling them down and building a new Weavers Institute. The cost of pulling the cottages down and erection of the new building was £1,200 – plus the cost of furniture and a new billiard table which was expected to cost a further £200.
The new building was opened on April 30th, 1904, there were two entrances, one at each end of the building. The ground floor was divided into two sections, one for the staff and the other for use of the members, and containing a spacious entrance hall, secretary's office, committee room, conversation room, reading room and billiard room, with the usual conveniences located at the Ribble Street end.
The upper floor was to be the assembly room with seating for 250 persons with a platform at one end and two retiring rooms. The whole of this room was fitted with a barrel vaulted ceiling with rich ornamental plasterwork and windows glazed with coloured lead lights. The walls of the entrance hall, the toilets and the staircase were lined with coloured tiles, and the floor laid out with Terrazzo marble.
The new institute was built to a design by Burnley architects Hitchon and Pritchard – the masonry work was done by Padiham builder Daniel Helm.
This fine building served the Padiham weavers for more than 60 years and it finally closed down around the mid to late 1960s. This was the dying days of King Cotton as mills closed down, or were converted to other uses ...

John Howarth & Co ?It seems the Howarth's move into shop keeping was a good call. Independent spirits could not save cotton, Padiham cotton was destined to boom & bust whereas shop keeping went on from strength to strength ... cake shops, betting shops, petrol shops, furnishing shops ...

This splendid photograph is a mystery. It certainly includes John Howarth, 3rd from the right back row. But who are the others.

Would it not be wonderful if the others could be identified?

And the location of the rather unusual house?

Was it in New Zealand?

Or Padiham? 


Annie Mary RangitikiAnnie Mary 'Rangitiki' Howarth (1877-1957) was the eldest daughter of John Howarth (1852-1922) , born at sea on the 'Rangitiki' sailing ship returning from New Zealand in 1877 ... at Latitude 2 47 S, Longitude 32 21 W ... !

Annie was baptised 21 June 1877 when the family returned to Padiham, Burnley.

In 1904 Annie Mary married John William Thorpe (1876-1928). John William born 8 June 1876, died 28 April 1928 in Fylde, Lancashire. It seemed Annie Mary had made a smart decision because John William introduced some powerful genes from the Thorpe clan ... 

 Annie Mary Rangitiki Howarth (1877-1956) & John William Thorpe (1877-1928) produced three girls of considerable consequence -

Doris (1906-) married Bernard Cackett (-) a renowned hockey player who served with excellence in the Rhodesian Police Force. Children John & Geoff.

Bessie (1907-) married Cliff Ogden (-) a golfer. Children Michael & Alan.

Alice (1909-2007) born 1 Dec 1909, baptised 12 Jan 1910, married Norman Cyril Jackson (1906-2001) a motorcyclist and lifelong oarsman and aficionado of rowing. Children Colin Norman, Carole Margaret & Valerie Helen.

Enter the Thorpes of Clay Cross, Chesterfield. The Thorpes were an interesting bunch.

John William Thorpe (1877-1928) was the source of the Telford genes which found their way into the Jackson then Birchall clan.

John William's dad was a miner from the pits of Clay Cross who had married a 'Telford'?

Thorpe Cox MarriageJohn Thorpe (1849-1904) was born in Chesterfield, son of William Thorpe (1821-) and Elizabeth Hardy (1824-) ... Will & Liz were married 8 Nov 1824 Alfreton, Derbyshire. 

1851 census - there was John just 1 year old at 171 Office Row with dad William Thorpe (1822-) a coal miner aged 29 from Heanor, Ripley, Derbyshire, mum Elizabeth (1826-) aged 25 from Ripley, Derbyshire and the kids - Sarah (1843-) aged 8, Jane (1845-) aged 6 and James (1847-) aged 4, all born in Codnor, Ripley, Derbyshire and John (1849-) born in Clay Cross.

John Thorpe (1849-1904)  
married Sarah Ann Cox (1849-) Daughter of William Cox (1807-), Labourer, 21 Sept 1875 ... John a 26 year old miner, Sarah Ann a 26 year old servant girl from Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Witnesses were William Cox (Sarah Ann's dad) and Sarah Walker.

This was a propitious marriage ... Sarah Ann Cox was a filly with an unusual pedigree - 

Alice Thorpe (1909-2007) told enthralling yarns about her family history and suggested that Sarah Ann's mum was a cousin of the Thomas Telford ... and no one doubted the words of Alice. We even wrote them down on our grotty Birchall Tree wallpaper -

'John Thorpe married Sarah Ann Cox whose mother was a girl cousin of Thomas Telford'

 Thomas Telford (1757-1834) went to London in 1782 and at some stage other members of his family also left and, according to the Thorpe family gossip, the Telford genes ended up in Lincolnshire in the heart of Sarah Ann. No doubt the genes left Dumfries and went where the jobs were, the urban trek always accompanied industrialisation. Telford himself wrote about emigration from the Highlands in the  Scots Magazine in 1803. Here was a great engineer messing in politics. The Caledonian Canal was built in 1822 ... the railways came in 1840 ... great happenings were happening.

Telford genes were inherited by all the children of John Thorpe & Sarah Ann Cox -

John William (1877-1928) born 8 June 1876 married Annie Mary 'Rangitiki' Howarth. Died 10 April 1928 in Fylde.  

Mary Elizabeth (1879-1882) born 24 Oct 1879 died 7 Oct 1882 in Chesterfield?    

Hardy (1881-1908) born 8 Dec 1881 died 19 May 1908 in Burnley.    

Annie (1883-) born 23 March 1883 married Stephen Simpson (-) in 1907 see 1911 census and their 2 year old daughter Gladys (1909-).

James Frederick (1887-) 25 May 1887 was single & driving trams in Burnley in the 1911 census.   

Alice Lucy (1891-1981) born 2 March 1891 married Wilfred Rawson (-) in 1914 in Burnley. See 1911 census when she was a 20 year old Cotton Weaver. Children Muriel Rawson (1921-). Died Dec 1981 in Torbay Devon.

In 1881 census John Thorpe & Sarah Ann both 31 years old, were at 98 Bridge Street, Clay Cross with a son John William (1877-) aged 4 and a daughter Mary E (1880-) aged 1.

In 1891 census both 41 years old and out of the pits and into the city. Now living at 68 Higher Chatham Street, Chatham upon Medlock, All Saints, Manchester. John born in Chesterfield, a Furniture Dealer, Sarah Ann born in Moulton, Lincolnshire, with John William (1877-) Errand Boy, Hardy (1881-), Annie (1884-) Scholar, James Frederick (1888-) all born in Chesterfield & Alice Lucy (1891-) born in Manchester. Where as Mary E?

In 1901 census both 51 years old and now moved to Burnley St Catherines 'Living on own means'. Confirmed John born in Clay Cross and Sarah Ann born in Holbeach. Children John William (1877-) Conductor for Transport Company, Annie (1884-) Dressmaker, James Frederick (1888-) Errand Boy & Alice Lucy (1891-).

In 1911 census James Frederick now 23 was now Driver of Electric Cars and staying with John William's family and young Alice at 6 Ivan Street Burnley.

Sarah Ann Thorpe neé Cox (1849-1910) died in Burnley in 1910 aged 60.

John Thorpe (1849-1904) died in Burnley in 1904 aged 54.

But how did the Telford genes reach the fair & lovely Sarah Ann Cox?

Enter the Coxs & Bloods of Lincolnshire

Sarah Ann Cox (1849-1910) was born in Spalding, Lincolnshire, daughter of 'Blood'. And the key transcription ... identified the link to mum Mary Blood (1809-99).

Spalding to Moulton to Holbeach was not much more than 4 miles down the A151 High Road.

OR baptised 12 Feb 1847 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, daughter of William & Elizabeth. Spalding to Sleaford 25 miles?  
married James Harvey 12 July 1874 Sleaford but daughter of Joseph Cox? 

William Cox (1807-91) was Sarah Ann's dad, an agricultural labourer from Borough Fen near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire or Northamptonshire as in the 1861 census, just a couple of miles from Crowland.  

William Cox (1807-91) married Mary Blood (1809-99) 24 July 1834 Crowland ... original ... witnesses were William Walthorne & James Hill

John Blood & Alice AllenMary Cox neé Blood (1809-99), was Sarah Ann's mum, baptised 15 Jan 1809 in Crowland, Lincolnshire. Daughter of John & Alice.

A precious frayed remnant from Rev Moore Scribo Rector, Spalding confirmed the birth of Mary, Daughter of John & Alice Blood!

'In the 5th of Geo 3rd an act passed to ascertain the progressive Population of Great Britain in the following Years and these were found in this Parish - 1800-1820'

John Blood (1770-1840) son of Robert & Susanna, baptised 5 July 1770 Crowland ... (421980) ...
married Alice Allen (1775-) 5 June 1797 in Crowland where Alice was born, Rector Scribo did the honours. Witnesses were Thomas Jackson and Sheb Beckwith.

The Blood family featured in 1826 White's Directory of Crowland ... Abraham Blood was at the George Inn, William Blood was carrying to Peterborough and Spalding, John Blood was farming ... and Bloods were auctioneers and painters ... Jacksons were also around ...  

John Blood & Alice Allen's children -

John & Alice Children

In 1841 65 year old Alice Blood was in North Street, Crowland, on her own with 71 year old Prudence Harker. John Blood died in 1840.

William Cox & Mary Blood's children -

Elizabeth (1837-) 

John (1839-)

Alice (1841-) named after Mary's mum Alice Allen? married Charles Fields (1832-)

William (1843-)

Sarah Ann (1849-1910) married John Thorpe (1849-1904) 1875.

George Ed (1853-85) aged 32.

The census traced the William Cox & Mary Blood family movements - 

 1841 census - William Cox & Mary both 30 years old, both born in the county, William an Agricultural Labourer, living at Poets Corner, Moulton with children Elizabeth (1837-) aged 4 John (1839-) aged 2 & Alice (1841-) just 6 months.

1851 census - still at Poets Corner, Moulton, Spalding, Lincolnshire with Elizabeth (1837-) nurse maid, John (1839-) farmers boy, Alice (1841-) scholar and now William (1843-) scholar & Sarah Ann (1849-) just 1 year old.

1861 they were at 94 Holbeach Bank, Holbeach, now with young George Edward (1853-) born in Fleet & Elizabeth was now dressmaking. William aged 54 confirmed born 1807. Mary aged 52 confirmed born 1809.

In 1861 Alice was a cook working with the Henry Hardy (1826-) and his farming family in Crowland, 330 acres, employing 5 men and 5 boys.

In 1866 Alice married Charles Field (1832-) an agricultural labourer in Holbeach, in 1871 they were living at Wash Way Road, Holbeach, with daughters, Sarah A (1868-) & Elizabeth (1870-).

1871 William & Mary were alone with John at 81 Beeston Row, Holbeach. Confirming

1871 George Edward (1853-) was a groom living at Keightley House Holbeach with William Crawley (1812-) and family a Farmer of 482 acres employing 12 men & 12 boys .

1881 Mary & William were at 76 Hall Gate Cottages, Holbeach, alone with their youngest George Ed (1853-) now aged 28 unmarried who followed his dad into agricultural labouring. George Edward died in 1885 aged 32.

By 1891 Mary was a widow at 33 Cemetery Road, Holbeach, with her 15 year old granddaughter Mary A Field (1876-) who had followed the family bent into dressmaking. William died in 1891.

Mary Cox neé Blood died in 1899 in Holbeach eight years after her husband William at a grand age of 90, her daughter Alice Field (1841-) registered the death.

However the Telford genes were not lost daughter Sarah Ann was marching on ...

Sometime after the 1861 census Sarah Ann (1849-1910) left home.

In the 1871 census 21 year old Sarah Ann from Moulton, Lincolnshire was dressmaking, a visitor with Stenton Cupit & family at 155 Brook Street, Long Eaton, Shardlow, Derbyshire.

At the same time in the 1871 census 22 year old coal miner John Thorpe who was living with his dad William Thorpe (1821-) aged 50, mum Elizabeth (1824-) aged 46 from Ripley, and John (-) 22, Hardy (-) 15, Catherine (-) 10, Anne L (-) 6, and Lucy (1870-) just 18 months. The family at Mantle Lane, Office Row, Clay Cross. Clay Cross, Chesterfield and Shardlow, Derbyshire via Ripley were less than 20 miles apart ... how did John Thorpe and Sarah Ann Cox meet in the 1870s? 

So there we have it Mary Blood (1809-99) ... was the girl cousin of Thomas Telford (1757-1834) that Alice Thorpe (1909-2007) had pointed us to? But there was no sign of a link to Dumfries and Telford. 

Joe Flood suggested - 

'The Crowland Lincolnshire Bloods are quite numerous, and appear to start with John Blood and Elizabeth around 1690 (or at least with three brothers John, William and Robert who were producing families in Crowland from 1730).
As with most English Bloods, they occupied the bottom of the social structure as agricultural labourers, carters or boatmen. As time went on, a few managed to get apprenticeships in the building trades, or even to buy small farms or inns. As yet I have found no English Bloods who entered professional occupations by 1851 ... but these occupations were rare and required considerable wealth and social standing.
I think probably these Crowland Bloods were an early offshoot of the Leicester or Nottingham Bloods, but we would need a DNA test to prove this'.

Mary Blood's mum & dad must provide the clues to the Telford connection?

Mary Blood (1809-99) -

dad John Blood (1770-1840) baptised 5 July 1770 Crowland, son of Robert Blood & Susanna, married Alice Allen (1775-) 5 June 1797 Crowland. Witnesses were Thomas Jackson and Sheb Beckwith. Witness Thomas Jackson could be important ... Thomas Telford's mum was Janet Jackson (1723-94) ??

dad Robert Blood (1747-) baptised 9 Dec 1747 Crowland, son of Robert & Ann Younger (-), married 5 Dec 1769 in West Elloe Deanery (included Crowland Parish).  

mum Susanna Wright (1751-) baptised 15 Oct 1751 in Caistor, Lincolnshire (way up north), Daughter of Joseph Wright (-) & Frances. OR baptised 6 Oct 1752 Alford, Lincolnshire (a bit nearer), Daughter of Robert Wright (-) & Mary (-)

mum Alice Allen (1775-) born in 1775 in Crowland, Daughter of John Allen & Sarah

dad John Allen (1746-) born 29 Nov 1746 in Crowland, son of William Allen & Mary, married 1772 Sarah Cunnington in Crowland

mum Sarah Cunnington (-) born


The Cox/Telford link remains elusive ... 'The Life of Telford' by Samuel Smiles did not reveal any Cox links. The Stamford Mercury reported some culled extracts of local interest ... but alas nothing on local relatives. Too complicated to follow? Best to look at the Thorpe/Cox family tree ...

The current state of Cox/Telford connections are very much a work in progress - Telford/Telford - Telford/Cox - Telford/Jackson ... help!


Any corrections and additional information gratefully received contact john p birchall

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