Historical Review of the Township of Padfield.

This article is based on an account of a lecture given by Robert Hamnett to the members of the Padfield Working Men’s Club, the meeting being presided over by Mr. Joe Platt, the president of the club.
It was originally published in the Glossop Advertiser of 19th February 1904.
Illustrations are from my personal collection.

Mr. Hamnett said that the Padfield township was part of the Manor of Glossop, and as he had, in previous lectures, given them Glossop's early history, it would therefore not be necessary for him to deal with it. He would, therefore begin at the commencement of the 18th century. At that period the occupation of the period was farming, hand-loom spinning, and weaving. The inhabitants did not often remove, but remained in their native place. There was no inducement for them to do otherwise. It was, therefore, not surprising to find families living on farms which had been previously occupied by their ancestors for hundreds of years. The behaviour of the people was such that a village constable and the church wardens were quite sufficient to keep the peace. In those days these duties were taken in turn by the principal farmers, and were obliged to be performed whether the duty was congenial to them or not. Fortunately, there had been preserved some of the old vestry minute books, and from these books they learned who had taken their part in the government of the Parish of Glossop, and they found that Padfield people had not been wanting or failing in their duties in the past.
They had a list of the churchwardens from 1701, and amongst them they found the following: 1703, James Braddock; 1705, William Hadfield; 1709, John Garlick; 1711, John Creswick; 1712, John Hadfield, junior, all of Padfield; 1717, Benjamin Fielding, Waterside; 1721, William Hollingworth, Torside; 1726, Robert Hollingworth; 1730, Joseph Garlick; 1731, Edward Moorhouse; 1733, George Hadfield, all of Padfield; 1740, Joseph Dernly, Deepclough; 1743, William Sykes; 1745, John Sykes, both of Torside; 1753, Thomas Hadfield O'Cross, Padfield; 1756, Robert Hadfield, Padfield; 1759, John Hadfield, Deepclough; 1763, Thomas Braddock, Padfield; 1764, John Garlick, Little Padfield; 1768, William Creswick, Padfield; 1781, Nathaniel Barber, Deepclough; 1800, George Syddall. Padfield; and 1802, Robert Lees, Padfield. The lecturer (continuing) said : You see by this list that, considering there are seven other townships, Padfield furnished a large proportion of churchwardens. The explanation is that Padfield being the largest township, it contained the largest farms and some of the wealthiest people.

Padfield from Redgate
Padfield from Redgate

The improvements in spinning, and weaving led to the establishment of the factory system, and as there were not sufficient people in this neighbourhood who understood the management of the looms and jennies, we got a large influx of Yorkshire people, hence we got the name “Yorkshire Row” given to a street in Glossop, and a row of houses in Station Road called also by that name. These people were a rough lot, and being strangers were more difficult to deal with. This led to stricter means being taken to preserve the peace and collect the Poor Rates.
A select vestry was formed, consisting of two representatives from each township, whose duties were to assist the assistant overseer to collect the rates, to watch poachers, and collect fines from them when caught poaching, which was termed "hanging a hare," to assist in the balloting for the militia, and many other things. In 1795 and other years Mr. Thos. Frost, of Deepclough, was the assistant overseer. Mr, Joshua Platt and Mr. George Platt also served for some years. The years when these Padfield gentlemen served on the select vestry gives us a good idea of the period when they were thought of sufficient importance to he elected, and include practically all of any note: 1772, Wm. Sykes, Torside: 1796 Thos. Barber; 1801-17, Thomas Frost; 1806, Abraham Clarke; 1808-31, Joshua Roberts; 1802-21, Robert Lees; 1809-10, James Braddock; 1810-1, Thomas Hadfield; 1811-9, George Syddall; 1817-27, William Barber; 1822-3, John Sidebottom; 1825-37, John Goddard; 1826-37, George Platt; 1826, George Hadfield; 1830, James Sidebottom; 1835, John Barber.

Boards of Guardians were now established and the select vestry done away with. The members of the select vestry must have been a strong spoken lot, and in the habit of using very vigorous language. Here is a resolution passed Nov. 6th, 1809, to check swearing “It is this day agreed that if any of the Committee appointed for the present year do swear an oath in the Committee Room or in any other Room the Committee may adjourn into before the Business of the day be finished, he or they will be fined the sum of one shilling, which said sum or sums given and disposed of in and for such purposes as the Committee may direct or think proper, and should anyone refuse to pay the said forfeit he or they shall be turned out of he Committee, and another person shall be forthwith selected to serve in this room, and should any of the Ley Payers come into the room intoxicated, or promote any quarrel in the Vestry Room, such person or persons shall be turned out of the room by the Committee.”
The evil did not entirely cease, but again became prevalent, which led to another resolution:- “June 27th, 1833. Ordered if any vestryman swear in the Vestry Room during the time of meeting, that he shall be fined according to Act of Parliament.” The members of the Vestry were mainly cotton masters and arranged how they must be taxed in the following manner:- “May 1st, 1817. At a meeting, held this day for the purpose of assessing cotton mills to the Rate of the Poor within the Townships of Glossop, it is mutually agreed that every person occupying a Cotton Mill shall from this day be charged after the rate of six shillings and sixpence for each thousand spindles he may from time time make use of for and towards every assessment made after the Rate of one shilling in the £. It is also mutually agreed, that every person who makes use of throstle spindles, for every 200 to be charged as 750 mule spindles, and for every lathe turned for hire to be charged as and in proportion to 100 mule spindles.”
By payment of 6s. per annum it was possible to escape serving in the Militia, as there were always men willing to serve for a sum of money. We have the following entry relating to Padfield: “1819. William Barber received 30s. from Henry Lees, Samuel Broadbent, George Hadfield, John Hadfield, and John Harrop, who were persons liable to serve in the old militia.”

The Giving of Relief.
Very great care was taken that no one had relief who was able to work, and had become poor through improvidence or idleness. Their method of dealing with such cases was as follows: “Oct. 17th, 1833. Ordered that John Roberts be allowed the sum of two shillings and sixpence as temporary relief, and that if he does not obtain employment between [now] and the next meeting that he be sent to the treadmill.”
The first meeting of the Board of Guardians was held on the 6th Dec. 1837, and the following Padfield gentlemen were present: John Goddard, William Platt, James Sidebottom, and Henry Lees.
Special constables for each township were supplied with a constable's staff and a pair of handcuffs, which they ought to have returned to the the Head Borough on their term of office expiring. This was not always done, many of the staffs being retained as souvenirs of the time when they were in office. The result was a deficiency of stock, which was replenished by an order: “Ordered that the Head Constable procure necessary truncheons and handcuffs for the use of head boroughs and assistant constables, who are not provided therewith. That he keep account of the same and a list of the names of the officers to whom they are delivered, and upon the determination of their legal term of service collect in the same for the purpose of delivering them into the hands of their successors in office when appointed in the Duke of Norfolk’s Court Leet.”
Feb. 17th, 1843. A motion was made and seconded that fifteen shillings be deducted from Joseph Higginbotham’s bid, being a charge for ten new constable’s staves and that he be referred to John Hadfield, of Cowbrook.

The opening of the Sheffield, Ashton under Lyne, and Manchester Railway was an event of great importance to the parish, and it added over £3,000 to the rateable value and found employment for [indistinct text] persons. The greatest length of line is in Padfield township, the lengths being as follows:- Padfield, 5 miles, 79¾ chains; Dinting, 1 mile, 4¾ chains; Charlesworth, 78 chains; Hadfield, 41½ chains; Glossop, 19 chains.

There are very few Padfield people who know or think of what an important factor to the prosperity of Padfield the Padfield Brook has been. Yet had it not been for that brooklet Padfield would have been probably much like what Simmondley or Chunal is to day. There would have been no cotton mills in its borders. When the water wheel was adopted as a motive power for mills, all the streams of water that were constant in their flow became of importance. Small mills were built on the banks of the Padfield Brook, and the population rapidly increased. Mr. William Hadfield, a roller turner, of Padfield, built Cowbrook Mill, Glossop, in 1801. The Barbers before that period had, however, built a mill in Padfield. It was not quite finished, so in 1803 Mr. Abraham Clarke, a machine maker of Hadfield, obtained a lease of it, finished it, and made the reservoir. Mr. Clarke was the son of Abraham Clarke, husbandman, of Hadfield, and Nanny, daughter of Thomas Hadfield, slater, of Glossop. He had two daughters. Sarah married John Shepley, farmer, of Lakeside, and Mary married Robert Wagstaff, butcher, of Glossop. Mr. Clarke died Dec. 4th, 1815, at the age of 34, and the business was carried on by his executors, his two sons-in-law. The mill was unfortunately burned down in 1823, but was rebuilt, Mr. Robert Hadfield, mason, of Padfield, being the contractor. It was leased to Mr. William Barber, and was worked by the Barbers until 1844, when it came into the possession of Mr. William Platt, and from him to Councillor E. Platt.

Old Families.
The Barbers are a very old Padfield family. Mr. Wm. Barber died July 25th, 1845 aged 68; he had [three in text] four sons, named Robert, John, Thomas, Edward, who for many years worked Shepley Mills, Glossop. A daughter married Dr. Jones, of Hadfield. At one time the building of a Rush-Cart was looked upon as a notable feat. Mr. Robert Lees, a native of Alt Hill, near Ashton was an authority on all old English sports and games, and about 1790 he came to Padfield on some business in connection with the making of the rush-cart. He came into the company of Sarah, one of the daughters of Mr. Barber, and eventually married her. They had issue: Henry, born April 7th, 1794, who married on Oct. 8th, 1823, Elizabeth Stead, of Walkley, near Sheffield, their son, Robert John Lees, emigrated to Australia. Henry built Woolley Bridge Mills. His wife died Dec. 13th, 1828, but he survived her until July 24th, 1870. Mary Lees, born July 21st, 1796, 1 married; Oct. 4th, 1832, John Rusby, surgeon, of Glossop. Their son Rev. W. H. L. Rusby is a clerk in holy orders at Felton Pencomb: Mrs. Rusby died Jan. 21st, 1878. John, the second son, married Hannah Booth, and both died in 1836, leaving two sons: Thomas Booth Lees and James Lees, both deceased. Edward, the third son, died a bachelor on the 1st May, 1841, aged 35. Samuel, the youngest., married Eliza, daughter of John Wood, cotton master, Glossop. One of their daughters married a Murgatroyd, and they have a numerous family, Mrs. T. H. Sidebottom being one of them. See The Barber Family of Hilltop and Padfield..

The Mills.
Mr. Robert Lees built the Padfield Brook Mill in 1793, and Lees Row in 1821 (see The Lees Family of Padfield and Woolley Bridge Mills). Padfield Brook Mill was worked by the Lees for a great number of years, being finally sold by the trustees to Mr. Thomas Platt on the 23rd August, 1865. The Braddocks had a cotton mill in Padfield, which James Braddock was working in 1811. In 1816 his widow, Hannah, assigned it to her son John and Mr. Thomas Ellison, of Glossop, as joint tenants. In 1822 Mr. Ellison left it, and John Braddock occupied it, but in 1823 conveyed it to Mr. William Barber. In 1839 Mr. Barber being in difficulties, the Bank of Manchester got possession of it, but in 1843 Mr. Barber regained possession of it. In 1851 Mr. Samuel Lees bought it. In 1855 Mr. Samuel Lees let it to Mr. John Kelsall, and in 1856 it was the Padfield Mill Co. In 1859 John Charles Fisher, John Conlan Fisher, and James Charles Fisher were connected with it. The Fishers failed in 1863. The Braddocks also built in 1815 another mill, which was so small, being only 14 yards square, three storeys high, with an attic, that it got nicknamed "Mouse Nest Mill." Widow Braddock occupied it until 1824, when George Platt had it for 11 years. It was then occupied by John and James Braddock. It was sold by auction in 1838, and bought by the Lees. In 1840 Mr. Abraham Broadbent left the "Thread Mill," Glossop, and came to it. He was the proprietor for 20 years. Mr. A. Broadbent was a clever man. He made bobbins, hat tips, and doubled yarn for hand-loom weavers. He used to carry his work to Huddersfield every week, walking it there and back. He died June 18th, 1861, aged 72. He left a son Samuel and a daughter, Mary Warhurst. One daughter, Alice Moxon, had predeceased him. Mr. Josiah Warhurst in 1860 took over the business, but was not successful. It was eventually sold to Mr. Charles Collier, who converted it into a corn mill.

Rhodes's Top Mill
Rhodes's Top Mill

More About Mills and Masters.
The Hadfield Mills erected by Mr. Thomas Rhodes (see The Rhodes Family of Tintwistle and Mersey Bank) are now on the sites of "Mouse Nest” and Barber's Mills. Mr. George Platt (see The Platt Family of Glossop), who died May 25th, 1857, had three sons: William, Thomas, and Edward. William married Nov. 20th, 1834, Margaret, the daughter of John Goddard, Esq., of Tintwistle, who built Greenfield Cottage in Main Road. The road from Tintwistle Bridge to Brosscroft is known as Goddard's Lane. Mr. Wm. Platt died at Greenfield Cottage, Mar. 17th, 1875, aged 76. Thomas died at Padfield Brook House Feb. 14th, 1878, aged 77, and Edward died Jan. 14th, 1887, aged 83. William and Thomas, after their father had given up working "Mouse Nest" Mill, commenced business about 1834 in Mr. Thomas Thornley's Mill at Hadfield, called the Higher Mill (White Mill) also, about 1838, the Lower Mill, or Bank Bottom Mill. About 1841 the firm was William, Thomas, and Edward Platt. As I have previously stated, they had also Padfield Brook and Padfield Mills. Edward and Thomas what two of the Hadfield Ward Councillors when the Borough was incorporated. Edward was made an Alderman Aug. 11th, 1869. Thomas was a Councillor for nine years. One of the earliest to commence business as a Cotton Manufacturer in the Township of Padfield was Mr. John Turner who built Waterside House which is now enclosed on the premises of Waterside Mills. Mr. Turner had a mill on the Cheshire side and one in Padfield. In "Wheeler's Manchester Chronicle". of March 26th, 1803, we find the following account of his funeral. "Oct. the 4th, Mr. John Turner, of Waterside, near Glossop, Cotton Spinner. As a husband, a father, and a friend, no man was more sincerely respected, and as a master, his memory will long live in the hearts of the workpeople, more than three hundred of whom attended his funeral." One of his relatives, Mr. William Turner, leased the Waterside Mills in 1820 to Mr. James Sidebottom, senior, of Padfield. In 1823 the lease was transferred to John, William, and James. At this date they had 6,600 spindles and 206 looms. You all know how it was enlarged time after time, until it was the largest in the township. The Sidebottoms have met with many vicissitudes. On Oct. 6th, 1821, the mill was robbed of over £1,000, a Hattersley man being convicted of the theft. On March 10th, 1829, their Manchester warehouse was robbed of £800. See Sidebottoms of Hollingworth.

A Riot.
During the "4s. 2d. or swing. turn-out," in Jan., 1831, the rioters entered Messrs. John and William Sidebottom's Mill at Mill Brook, and they smashed machinery and dragged the workpeople out, turned their jackets inside out, marked 3s. 9d. in chalk on their backs, tied them together, and with yells and execrations, drove them through Tintwistle, over the bridge to Waterside Mills. Intelligence of what had taken place had, however, reached the hands in time, and they had all fled away. The rioters, over 500 in number, disappointed of their prey, drove their Mill Brook captives to Stalybridge, and, after threatening them with death if they worked for any less than 4s. 2d. for a thousand hanks, kicked and cuffed them, and let them go. Six men were arrested and punished for this offence.

Bridge Mill fire
Bridge Mill fire

On Sept. 13th, 1854, a new mill was in course of erection when an accident occurred to some scaffolding. Abraham Hodgkinson was killed, and several others injured. Two of the masters had a narrow escape, as they had only just left the spot. On June 30th, 1868, a fire took place, 130 bales of cotton, machinery, and buildings damaged to the tune of £5,000. During a thunderstorm, May 28th, 1878, one of the mill chimneys was struck by lightning, a coping stone dislodged, four looms , smashed, and warps set on fire. But the greatest disaster that ever occurred in this district in our local history took place on June 5th, 1899, when the Bridge Mills, belonging to T. H. Sidebottom, .Esq., were burned down. £50,000 damage was done, and 1,500 people were thrown out of employment. The township has not yet recovered from the blow as the rows of empty houses testify. Another old mill that has seen many tenants was the Torside Mill, known in 1808 as the Kid Field Mill. It belonged to the Boyers, of Hadfield. You now see by the short history of the Cotton Mills in your township how important and valuable to the inhabitants has been the little stream of water called the Padfield Brook.

The Public Houses.
You have not been, like some townships, over-run with public houses. In 1846 Sarah Hadfield kept a beerhouse at the top of Main Road. Mr. Joseph Wood was the landlord of the Temple Inn, which gave the name to Temple Street. It is now the Peels Arms, and the change of name was owing to a dispute between two Oddfellows' Lodges. It was built by a Lodge of Oddfellows, who borrowed money from another one. When pressed to repay they did so, but re-christened their property after Sir Robert Peel, who was at that time the popular Minister of the day. Mr. John Siddall was the owner and occupier,of the Prince of Wales, better known formerly as “Dido, good Dog.”

It was the general rule for Cotton Masters to have farms from which they supplied their hands with milk, butter, eggs, and beef. Pays were not weekly, as they are now, but some times ran for several weeks, and at those times the workpeople got credit from the masters' farm. The Truck Act put a stop to many of the evils which the custom gave rise to.

The Principal Farmers.
The principal farmers in 1846 were:- John Crossland, Deepclough, 161 acres (see Crossland Family of Glossop); Joseph Stubbs, Vale House, 126 acres; John Turner, Tor Side, 124 acres ; Joshua Roberts, Deepclough, 118 acres ; George Frost, Deepclough, 116 acres ; Joseph Newton, Torside, 88 acres; Samuel Wagstaffe, Tor Side, 82 acres; J. W. and J. Sidebottom, Padfield, 65 acres; Thomas Higginbottom, Padfield ; 55 acres; Samuel Lees, Padfield, 43 acres; and William Barber's Exors., Padfield, 40 acres. Messrs. Sidebottom, in 1846, owned 128 out 207 houses in the Township of Padfield. The streets were not numbered or named, and went by the names of Tintwistle Bridge (Waterside), Old Street East Row, Old Street West Row (Mill Street), Facing Lodge, Facing Shed, Darwent Row, Facing Gates, Shed Row, Cross Street, Waterside and Nine Holes, the occupiers of the Nine Holes were Ralph Hargreaves, Joseph Ellis, James Tasker, John Shuttleworth, Joseph Hague, John Kelley, William Smith, James Hague, and Charles Eckersall. They were quaint dwelling houses.
The oldest person who died in Padfield was a widow, Ellen Gilbert, aged 93. She died in Platt Street, Oct. 31st, 1874.

The greatest percentage of increase in the population of the Township took place in the ten years from 1821 to 1831, increasing from 499 to 1,112 persons. You have had many exciting events owing to the length of railway in the Township, and the Manchester Corporation Reservoirs being also partly in it. The Roman road from Melandra into Yorkshire passed through Padfield. In 1838 John Hyde Roberts and another person were opening out a quarry at Hooley Wood when they found a large number of Roman Coins. Unfortunately, they did not know their value, and allowed them to be lost sight of. There are some plaster casts of them at the Warrington Museum. For future reference, I give you a list of some of the occurrences during the last 60 years:-
21.12.1843 - A tailor drowned himself.
13.3.1844 - James Finney, 40, was killed by being blown down the railway embankment.
4.5.1844 - Nathaniel Longden, burnt to death.
30.8.1844 - George Lee killed by being run over by a cart.
13.10.1844 - John Goddard, Esq., 60, died.
30.8.1845 - Peel's Arms Lease obtained.
29.10.1846 - John Pemberton, 27, killed by a railway train.
7.12.1846 - An unknown man found dead.
9.7.1847 - Royal Assent given to the Manchester Waterworks
10.1847 - Manchester Waterworks commenced.
9.8.1849 -Tremendous thunderstorm: one man killed by lightning and another drowned at Woodhead.
6.4.1849 - William Cleaver, 32, killed by a railway train. He had been previously injured by falling from the Dinting Viaduct during its erection.
22.9.1849 - Robert Hall, 62, schoolmaster, died.
15.7.1850 - Jam o' Jonathan's (James Wood) strange funeral.
8.11.1850 - An unknown infant three days' old found dead.
14.6.1852 - John Powell, 40, killed by a railway train.
5.11.1852 - Ann Genders, 9, drowned at Torside.
31.1.1857 - John Hopwood, 13 months, scalded to death.
5.2.1858 - Lydia Siddall, 8, burnt to death.
14.3. 1859 - Margaret, Taylor, 3, killed by a horse.
17.7.1859 - The first burial in the Cemetery was a child, Charles Farroll, 2 months, been overlain. Two of the carriers, Benjamin Wain and Joseph Thompson, are still living.
10.1860 - Agitation for weekly instead of fortnightly pays.
15.1.1861 - John Lambert, 37, an engine driver, killed by a railway train.
6.1.1862 - Gifford Bancroft, 4, burnt to death.
16.6.1862 - Tom Owen, 6, drowned.
19.4.1864 - Padfield new road opened.
6.5.1864 - Blasting accident in a quarry: David Hurst, Samuel Pickford, William Beard, and Joseph Harwood injured.
10.8.1867 - Town Council took possession of the Town Hall Lock-ups, the second prisoner was a Padfield man.
23.9.1867 - Sale of Robert Cross, Esq.'s, furniture, at Bottoms Lodge; land required for new reservoir.
4.7.1868 - James Nicholls killed by a fall of earth at the reservoirs: 400 navvies gave one shilling each for the relief of his parents.
27.4.1869 - Padfield Mill Cotton Co.’s Mill burned down, damages £7,000
6.12.1869 - John Lees, 9, killed by a railway train.
2.6.1871 - A gamekeeper poisoned himself
12.8.1871 - John Bowden, 19, drowned whilst bathing.
23.8.1871 - Harriett A. Hewitt had an arm taken half by accident at Waterside Mills.
18.10.1874 - Betty; Poorhouse, 63, died through exposure.
11.10.1874 - Ann Fuller, 18 months, poisoned by lucifer matches.
Most of you will remember the occurrences since the last event.

Padfield about 1908
Padfield about 1908

In answer to an enquiry, Mr Hamnett said the boundaries of the Township were the Padfield Brook, the Manchester Waterworks, River Etherow, and the Moors.
A hearty vote of thanks to the lecturer was proposed by Mr B. Wain, seconded by Mr Allen Haig and carried unanimously.
Mr Hamnett, in response, said he was glad that his audience were pleased with the information which he had given them.

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Last updated: 4 October 2020