Jam o' Jonathan's.


Jam o' Jonathan's was the source of a Glossop legend documented by Robert Hamnett, in one of his newspaper articles, as follows: A strange funeral that was long remembered, and caused a sensation at the time, was the funeral of Jam o' Jonathan's. He was called James Wood, and was the son of Jonathan Wood. James Wood died July 15th, 1850 aged 78. He was a property owner and an infidel. He ordered that the mourners attending his funeral were to have as much drink as they wanted. The funeral procession was to stop at Mrs Ellen Hadfield's, the Willow Grove Inn (see Hadfields of Willow Grove), where the coffin lid was to be taken off and the corpse must have as much ale as the body would hold, which was done. A tun dish was obtained, placed in his mouth and ale poured down. The mourners on arrival at the Church were so intoxicated, that the parson, the Rev A T G Manson, refused to inter the corpse owing to the mourners want of reverence. The corpse was left and buried next day, but no mourners attended.
It is unclear how “Jam” ordered that this be done as he left no will. He was actually interred by the Rev John Stone, Manson's curate, who performed most of the burials at the time. The parish register gives his age as 77. There was no undue delay between his death and burial.

In another series of articles Hamnett published a slightly different version:
Jam o' Jonathan's funeral took place on the 15th of July 1850, at the Parish Church, Glossop. James was the son of Jonathan Wood, and was fond of his beer. He owned some houses, and was fairly well to do. During his last sickness he made arrangements that all who came to his funeral was to have a pint of beer at every public house between his residence and his place of burial, and this becoming known, nearly all his pot-house companions turned up to pay their last respects to him and to have a few cheap pints. Everything was carried out as he had desired, but when the funeral got to a beerhouse called the "Willow Grove," between Smithy Bar and Wimberry Hill, someone suggested, so it is said, that they should “let the corpse sup”. The coffin lid was unscrewed, a tun dish forced in its mouth, and some ale poured in. The lid was again put on, and the jovial crew staggered off to the church, but on arriving there their behaviour was so unseemly that the Vicar stopped the service, and told them to, come again tomorrow when they were sober. This they did not do and the corpse had to be buried without mourners, and the parson deprived himself of his burial fee. Such is the story, often told, and generally believed, of Jam o' Jonathan's funeral.

Generation One.

Jonathan Wood of Padfield was born about 1711. He and his wife Sarah, born about 1723, had two children who can be identified:
     Betty Wood, baptised 27 February 1746.
     Jonathan Wood, born about 1754.
Sarah died, aged 63, on 17 May and was buried on 19 May 1786 at Glossop Parish Church. Jonathan Wood died, aged 80, on 28 December and was buried on 30 December 1791 at Glossop Parish Church.

Generation Two.

Betty Wood was baptised on 27 February 1746 in Glossop Parish Church. She married William Newton of Padfield, born about 1750, son of George and Ellen Newton (see The descendants of George Newton of Padfield).

Jonathan Wood of Padfield was born about 1754. He married Mary Garlick, baptised 12 April 1749 in Tintwistle Independent church, daughter of John Garlick (see The Garlick family of Padfield) on 2 July 1772 in Glossop Parish Church. Missing parish registers mean that we only have available records of four children (including twin daughters in 1783):
     James Wood.
     Ann Wood born about 1781.
     Martha Wood, born 19 May and baptised 21 May 1783 in Glossop Parish Church. She married John Wood on 22 November 1807. In the 1841 census they were living at Waterside, John a 52 year old cotton spinner, Martha aged 58. Martha died aged 63 and was buried on 17 May 1846 at Glossop Parish Church.
     Elizabeth Wood, born 19 May and baptised 21 May 1783 in Glossop Parish Church, died 2 January and buried 4 January 1784 at Glossop Parish Church.
Jonathan Wood died, aged 32, on 12 May and was buried on 14 May 1786 at Glossop Parish Church.

Generation Three.

James Wood (the famous Jam o' Jonathan's) was baptised on 4 July 1773 in Glossop. He was a carpenter, of Padfield (Deepclough in John's baptism record of1818). He married Ellen Hadfield (born Mary Ellen Lawton, daughter of Jarvise Lawton of Cellar Houses, Hollingworth) the widow of John Hadfield (see A Hadfield family of Deepclough) on 25 June 1817 in Glossop. They had two children:
     James Wood Hadfield, baptised 21 Sep 1814 in Glossop (illegitimate son of Ellin Hadfield of Deepclough, widow), buried 25 Aug 1822 in Glossop (age 8, of Deepclough).
     John Wood, baptised 19 April 1818 in Glossop, buried 25 April 1818 in Glossop (infant of Deepclough).
At the census of 1841 James and Ellen are recorded separately (two sheets apart) in Padfield. James was a carpenter aged 65 living in the house of George Platt. Ellen was recorded with several other women (surnames Hadfield, Rolley and Rutter) aged 69.
Ellen Wood of Padfield died, aged 71, and was buried on 8 June 1844 in Glossop.
James Wood of Padfield died, aged 77, on 15 July and was buried on 17 July 1850 in Glossop. He was a widower without child or parent when he died.

Ann Wood was born about 1781 in Padfield. As the only surviving relative of James she was granted administration of his estate. She married Ralph Booth, born about 1767 in Hattersley, on 9 November 1800 in Glossop. They had a son, also called Ralph Booth, born 1 January and baptised 19 February 1805 in Top Chapel, Charlesworth.



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Last updated: 23 June 2019