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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:27 pm
Posts: 13
I have been making enquiries about John Catlow. A hint came through on Ancestry which is registry type for Bishops Transcripts. I wanted to know if this was the John Catlow on my tree and enquired at Colne Library if there was a local paper for the year of 1806, which there isn’t.

John Catlow died at Flass, Flass was the workhouse outside of the main town. It was one of 2 workhouses in the area and is situated in the rural village of Laneshawbridge which is still part of the parish of Colne. There is no information as to how he died, apart from stating it was an accidental death.

There is a burial at St. Bartholomew, but the year is 1805 which we think is a misprint and should be 30 August 1806. As there is no grave number I made another enquiry to see if he would have been in a private grave with other family members which would help me. Or, was he in a public grave, this is the reply I received and if it has not been discussed previously, I thought it might be of interest to other members:-

He is buried at St Bartholomew, we know that from the burial register. I have checked the monumental inscriptions register for St Bartholomew's and he is not listed. If he was listed as being at Flass, that would indicate strongly that he has been put into a paupers grave maybe without any headstone. Another interesting angle is that according to the Annals of Colne written in 1878, pre that date of publication a strange occurrence happened. There was shortage of ground due to the fact of a growing population and high mortality rate, and to solve this the local board together with the church wardens agreed to digging up previous graves and removing the bodies. This was secretly done in the night, and the author of the annals could not be sure of this fact but was gossip of the town. In 1988 workmen discovered quite by accident a charnel or bone house crammed with bodied to the east of the church. Later upon more research it has been quite true they had removed bodies to make way for new burials. I remember this discovery and it quite shocked the town and member of the local and family history, as most people believed it to be heresay with any proof. My point is no one can prove really who is in the ground due to this. All we can go off are headstone to be sure that at one time they were buried in the ground. It would be very hard for you to locate him even. The public cemetery was in use from 1870 onwards.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:04 pm
Posts: 172
Many thanks to GrannyJanny for your interesting information about St Bartholomew's churchyard. Your post rekindled some personal memories of Colne Parish Church (where I was baptised and confirmed many years ago) and also encouraged me to look out a few additional local history references to the churchyard. I don't have a copy of the 'Annals of Colne' and hadn't previously heard about the gossip relating to the night-time removal of bodies, which may or may not have been based on fact!

Gravestones would definitely have had to be moved and bones disturbed on at least two occasions in the 19th century.

1) As described on page 99 of 'The History of Colne' (edited by Dorothy Harrison, and published in 1988 by the Pendle Heritage Centre):
"The growth in Colne's population and possibly a greater dedication by its ministers led to further 19th century alterations. An organ and choir gallery were added in 1833, blocking the Tower arch. These were removed in 1857 and a new Northern aisle was created with an organ chamber. Austin and Paley removed this Northern aisle in 1889 and created a double one."
2) When Church Street (the main road through Colne) was widened by about 9ft in about 1890, as described in the caption to a photograph of the larger churchyard taken soon after 1866 (on page 4 of 'Colne as it Was', a book of photographs selected and introduced by Wilfred Spencer, and published in 1971 by Hendon Publishing Company.) Interestingly, this photograph shows all the gravestones to the front of the church lying flat.

I assume that the very wide 'path' comprised of flattened gravestones in front of the church, which I remember from my childhood, was constructed soon after the road was widened. One of the gravestones, which I discovered in the 1990s, is that of one of my 3x great grandfathers, James Holt (died 1845) and his two wives, Martha (died 1820, from whom I am descended) and Judith (died 1849). As GrannyJanny has written, all we can be sure of is that at one time these ancestors were somewhere in the churchyard.

Interestingly, when my husband and I looked around the graveyard in the 1990s he also found relatives who had been buried there (despite coming originally from Yorkshire). They were Franklands, stonemasons engaged in the building of the Leeds Liverpool canal. This Frankland gravestone had also been moved and was found standing erect behind the church, against the western boundary wall.

Dorothy Harrison's book (on page 100) also casts further light on the old charnel house:
"Repairs to the museum recently revealed the old charnel house, buried behind it in 1830, to remove temptation from the Grammar School boys (they had been helping themselves to thigh and skull bones with which they played skittles to the scandal of the neighbourhood)."
I think it is probably safe to assume that the Colne Parish Church charnel house dated from medieval times, when it was very common to bury bodies only temporarily and then remove the bones from the ground after some years for permanent storage in a charnel house or the church crypt.

I had found out previously that one of my great great grandfathers, Edward Midgley, was buried in Colne Cemetery in 1867, causing me to check when the cemetery opened. Apparently it was in 1860 not 1870.
This bit of research led me to a website that I had previously not discovered: CEMSEARCH-uk. For a payment of £2 or £6, depending on the query, they will email a printout of the inscriptions of all the graves for a particular surname in a particular Lancashire cemetery. The service was extremely efficient and prompt (less than half an hour in my case). Should anyone need it, you can also get a free 14-day trial to Ancestry.co.uk by following a link from their website.

Ruth


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:27 pm
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I would like to know if anyone has any information about Flass. I have not come across this before.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
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Location: Staffordshire
Ruth, I stumbled on Cemsearch many years ago and bought a surname report from them. Following a hard drive failure a few years later I lost it and so I attempted to buy the same report again. Their record keeping is fantastic. I didn't tell them what I had done but they could see from their own records that I had bought the same report previously and emailed it to me free of charge. Cracking impressive customer service

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:02 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Germany
Ruth wrote:
I don't have a copy of the 'Annals of Colne'[...]Ruth


There are copies on archive.org:

https://archive.org/search.php?query=annals%20of%20colne

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:04 pm
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Thanks to the Lancashireman for the online link for 'Annals of Colne'. I'd never thought to look for it online and will check it out as soon as I have a bit of time to spare!

I've just notice your location is Germany. Someone else on the forum was surprised by my North London location - but a contributor from Germany is even more impressive!

Best wishes
Ruth


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:02 pm
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Location: Germany
Ruth wrote:
...but a contributor from Germany is even more impressive!


Ah'm just dairn't road, relatively speaking. There's at least one regular here who's from New Zealand :)

Seriously though - archive.org is a really useful place for old and obscure books. There are even some parish register transcripts there. You have to search by title though - the content isn't indexed

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