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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:31 am 
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The Burnley Gazette, Saturday, October 8th, 1910 (page 6)
(By R. STANSFIELD, Southport),
Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson was born on the 11th October, 1825, at a little cottage in Worsthorne, near Burnley. He is the last of a family of 21 children. His first schooling was at the Sunday school at Swinden, kept by the late Mr. Henry Todd. In those days they could not afford to buy slates and pencils. Each scholar was provided with a small board on which sand was scattered through a sieve, and they had to make or form their figures with a sharp pointed skewer.
Worsthorne National School was opened on October 31st, 1831. He entered that school when it was opened, and his name is on the 4th page of the school book in the possession of the Vicar to-day; with the accompanying remark: “Tattersall Wilkinson, the son of Robert and Nannie Wilkinson, aged 6. Knows a few of his letters.” He remained at this school until he was ten years old, and remembers, on leaving, being sent to the Moors to look after the sheep. He thus entered upon his career when he was ten years old. He remembers very well a main of cocks being fought, and bull baits, on the very spot on which a church now stands. It was on the moors where he got his first lesson in astronomy. During the appearance of Halley’s Comet, in 1835, which was then (as it was recently 75 years afterwards) a remarkable sight, his mother took him by the hand to look at it freely prophesying that dire calamity would follow in its wake, such as pestilence, famine, earthquakes, and war, a not uncommon belief in those early days of the 19th century.
He remained a shepherd until 1848, when he left the scenes of early childhood for Blackpool, where he was in business as an auctioneers and jeweler for thirty years; but always animated by a yearning desire for his native hills. He was perhaps not unmindful of those fine lines of Goldsmith’s, which are applicable in his, as in thousands of other case-lines which, although exquisitely sad and pathetic-yet which appeal to the best in every human heart. They are as follows; In all my wanderings round this world of care. In all my grief’s-and God has given me share-
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown Amid these humble bowers to lay me down; To husband out life’s taper at the close, and keep the flame from wasting, by repose; I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, Amid the swaine to show my book-learned skill, Around my fire an evening group to draw, And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; And, as a hare, whome hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from when at first it flew, I still had hopes, my long vexations past, Hare to return-and died at home at last.
If that was the idea that promoted our venerable friend, it may be said that he not only entertained the sentiment, but acted upon it-and here we find him, in his 86th year, -with a well stored mind-with an eye alert, a figure straight as an arrow, up to date in all great questions of science, politics, and the many sided phases of modern thought in all its bearing upon the remarkable condition of the world at the commencement of the 20th century. It was in 1842 when he first nursed the idea that the regions round about, ranging for miles upon miles on every hand, covering and embracing the whole of our mountainous scenery, were inhabited by pre-historic man. Since 1882, when he returned to his native mountains, he has had a large experience in bringing to light these ancient relics. How closely interested he has been in his researches over the hills of Lancashire and Yorkshire may be gleaned by a perusal of the “Memories of Hurstwood,” a work which has been accomplished by the Sage and his distinguished relative, Mr. J.F. Tattersall. In connection with the discovery of the urns at Todmorden and elsewhere he had the high honour of appearing before the members of the British Association, held at Southport, some few years ago Professor Symmonds was in the chair, and other distinguished scientists, such as Professor Boyd Dawkins, being present after which a most interesting discussion followed, and at the close the present writer was called to assist when the shorthand notes were being prepared for the permanent records of the Association. He (Mr. Wilkinson) had the opportunity of visiting the principal cities of Italy in 1892, including Milan, Rome, Turin, Piza, etc. He also went to Portugal in 1900, to view the total eclipse of the Sun, and was one of the great gathering of astronomers and scientist who met at Ovar on that momentous occasion.
Since then he has delivered lectures on history, science, and folk-lore all over East Lancashire and many parts of Yorkshire, and few men have done more to educate the working classes in this respect. On Sunday last he paid a complimentary visit to Laycock’s Restaurant, Bradford, accompanied by Mr. R. Stansfield, of Soutport, and Mr. John Bradshaw, of Burnley, and he had a remarkable reception. In going to Bradford he, of course, was going to see old friends-some of whom however have passed away “into that silent land to which, a little later, all depart.” He lectured for an hour and a half on “Rome,” and interest from beginning to end never flagged. We were all hospitably and cordially received by members of this famous Forum, and shall not forget the good feeling and fellowship extended to us during the two or three days we spent among our Bradford friends.
In the space of a short article, only the very merest fringe of Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson’s life can be touched. He has had a long and in many respects, a happy innings, and we can only hope that his 86th birthday may be followed by his 87th, and right on until he shall have attained a full cycle of years. In the meantime, all those who have known Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson’s real nature and his general character will appreciate the fact that he will have entered upon his 86th birthday on Tuesday next, the 11th of October. May he live to see many more, I feel sure, will be the sincere wish of thousands who have come under the apple of his remarkable personality.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:25 pm 
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Old Tat can be seen in the pictures on the main site at http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Photo%20Archive/Briercliffe%20People/Old%20Tat.htm


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