Notable Burials 2


Sergeant Major Robert Henry Butcher (1841-1900)
Sergeant Major Robert Henry Butcher of the Somerset Light Infantry (13th Regiment of Foot) was born  on 15th September 1841, the son of Barracks Sergeant John Butcher and his wife, Elizabeth.  He was  baptised in Santa Maria on 6th September 1842.  He joined the Army in 1864 and fought in the Zulu Campaign 1877-1879.  Robert Henry married Mary Ann Halpin .  He died of heart disease at his home in Cheetham Hill  and was buried in Consecrated 130a on 27th Sept 1900.  The grave is located on the left hand side of the Church Public Section behind the wire fence at the rear of the cemetery and a surviving gravestone is very unlikely.  His widow, Mary Ann, married William Wheatley in 1916 and they are buried in St Joseph’s RC Cemetery, Moston.

 Sergeant Major Robert Henry Butcher
With the kind permission of
F & R Soanes

Elijah Dixon (1790-1876)
Elijah Dixon, known as “the Father of English Reformers”, was born on 23rd October 1790 in Kirkburton, near Huddersfield where his ancestors were involved in the woollen industry for many years.  He moved with his family to Manchester where he found work in the textile industry as a piecer and spinner.  He married Martha Dyson at St John’s Church, Manchester on 21st January 1813.   Elijah Dixon became prominent in the 19th century reform movement in Lancashire and his activism led to his arrest and detention for high treason.  He was involved in the Blanketeers’ March in 1817 and was present at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819.  In his later life he became a successful and wealthy timber, slate and tile manufacturer and was also the head of the firm, Dixon Son & Evans, match makers.                He died at his home in New Moston on 26th July 1876 and was buried  29th July 1876, with his late wife, Martha, who was buried 7th June 1873 at Manchester General Cemetery   NC 4077.  A gravestone was been located but unfortunately the inscribed memorial has long gone.  Crowds lined the route from his residence at Vine House, New Moston to Harpurhey to watch the funeral procession.  As well as relatives and friends, there were around 70 employees from Dixon, Son & Evans, representatives from the Reform Union, the Liberal Association, the United Kingdom Alliance and several temperance societies.


©Mr & Mrs Rowlands & K Cunningham

Elijah Dixon (1790-1876)

With the kind permission of

Mr & Mrs Rowlands and K Cunningham.

Digital restoration

by Rootschatter,



Stephen Thomas Norris Cooper (circa 1785-1843)

(with thanks to Rootschatter, BarbaraH, for her research assistance)

Stephen Thomas Norris Cooper died on 13th September 1843 and was buried in Manchester General Cemetery        (Non Conformist 4098) on 17th September 1843.  He was 59 years old when he died.  He was an ivory and box rule maker and conducted his business from Miller Street, Manchester.  His death was recorded in Axon’s Annals of Manchester when he was credited with being the first to introduce rule making to Manchester.   According to the 1841 census where Stephen and his family are recorded as living in Miller Street, Manchester he was born within in the county of Lancashire however this may be incorrect as the evidence tends to point to him being born in the London area and moving to Manchester in the early 1820’s.  His marriage to Sarah Norton on 3rd September 1809 took place at Christchurch, Greyfriars (also known as Christchurch, Newgate Street), which was situated opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, London.   Today the ruins now form part of a public garden.  After her husband’s death in 1843, Sarah Cooper, formerly Norton, continued to run the business.  The MGCTP have located the grave and there is a flat tombstone in existence today however Stephen’s name does not appear on the inscription although he is buried in the grave.  The grave also contains the remains of two of his sons, Stephen Thomas Norton Cooper and Henry William Cooper, his daughter-in-law, Jane Cooper, and his grandchildren,  Benjamin Stephen Cooper. Stephen Oswald Cooper and Catherine Cooper.


James Teare

James Teare (1804-1868)

James Teare was born in the Isle of Man.  After a basic education he was apprenticed to a bootmaker and continued in this trade when he arrived in Preston, Lancashire in 1823.  Already a dedicated Wesleyan,  in 1832 when  the Preston General Temperance Society was formed he embraced the new doctrine.  In June 1832, in Preston, he declared that total abstincence from all intoxiating drinks was the only remedy for the prevailing intemperance in the community and in August he was one of seven who signed the first teetotal pledge.  Following this he travelled around England and Scotland promoting the temperance movement.  It was said that he travelled over 2,000 miles and addressed 8,000 meetings. Heralded as the "Father of Teetotalism", James Teare died at the Trevalyn Hotel in Manchester on 16 March 1868.  He was buried in Manchester General Cemetery on 20 March 1868 following a funeral service held in the Cemetery Chapel, conducted by the Rev W Caine.  We are uncertain as to whether his tombstone has survived however it was inscribed with the following words: “As a pioneer of the movement, he proclaimed the principles of total abstinence in every county of England, in many parts of Wales and Scotland, in the Channel Islands, and in the Isle of Man, of which he was a native.”



Salis Schwabe (1800-1853)

The Schwabe Vault


Salis Schwabe (1800-1853)
The Schwabe Vault is the largest burial vault in the Cemetery.  Although no inscriptions have survived the vault stands out and is easy to locate. However it is in a very poor state, the iron railings have rusted and decayed and the vault has become overgrown with ivy.

Salis Schwabe, (1800-1853), calico printer and philanthropist, was born in 1800 as Salomon ben Elias Schwabe in Oldenburg, Northern Germany.  In his late teens he went to Glasgow where he set up his business as a manufacturer and exporter of cotton.  In the early 1830’s he moved to Manchester where he established the Schwabe Calico Printing Works at Rhodes, which he subsequently developed to become the largest calico printing work in Britain, famously boasting the tallest factory chimney in the industrial north and employing a labour force of 750.  In 1837 he married his younger cousin, Julia Schwabe and in  the 1840’s moved with his wife and young family to Crumpsall House, a Georgian mansion in Manchester’s northern suburbs.  They travelled extensively and kept homes in Paris and Glyn Garth, Anglesey.  Salis was devoted to Unitarian Christianity, having converted from Judaism whilst living in Scotland, and worshipped at the Upper Brook Street Chapel.

Salis Schwabe contributed, personally and financially, to many causes including the education of the working classes, the improvement of Manchester Royal Infirmary, the establishment of model lodging houses and the setting up of a juvenile reformatory.  He was also involved in the removal of mentally ill patients from the MRI and was involved in the setting up of Cheadle Hulme Lunatic Asylum where he was the treasurer for the remainder of his lifetime.  He was also a generous patron of the arts in Manchester and in politics he was an active Liberalist.

Salis Schwabe died at his home on Anglesey on 23rd July 1853 of scarlet fever and his funeral at Manchester General Cemetery was a lavish occasion.  There was a procession from Crumpsall House to the cemetery including “black clad” workers from the Rhodes works, prominent members of the local German and Jewish communities, the Lord Mayor, the Bishop of Manchester as well as Liberal notables.  Many shops closed en-route as a mark of respect and his obituary said he was a great man who was deeply respected and well liked by all classes.  His body was enclosed in three coffins: an oak shell, lead and an outer coffin of oak covered with a black cloth.  Upon the lid was a brass plate with the words "Salis Schwabe, died July 23rd 1853, aged 53 years".

Professor James Buck (circa 1802-1865)
James Buck, better known as Professor Buck, died at his home in Hornby Street, Strangeways on 16th January 1865, aged 63 years.  He was buried in Manchester General Cemetery on the 21st January 1865.  Professor Buck was a conjurer and magician who toured the country and who according press reports was much celebrated being described as “second to none in the magical art” and who “performs his illusions  with remarkable dexterity”.   His performances were patronised by “numerous and genteel audiences”.  He was also a Freemason.  He was buried in the Church Public Section situated at the back of the Cemetery (behind the wire fence).  There is no official record of this burial because the Church of England Burial Registers prior to 1886 have been lost.  However, in the 1960’s the graves in this area were indexed and because of the existence of this index we know James Buck was buried in grave NN353.  Unfortunately we have no way of knowing the exact location of this grave but do know there was once a gravestone with a very simple inscription – his name, date of death and age.  His funeral was officiated by the Reverend J L Figgins, a Church of England minister who was also a Provincial Grand Officer with the Freemasons. He was an invalid when he died and he left a young family unprovided for so a relief fund was set up by the Manchester Mechanics Institute.


Elijah Ridings  (1802-1872)
Elijah Ridings was one of the earliest writers in the Lancashire dialect.  He was described in his obituary as “the Manchester Poet and Politician in the humble live”.  He was the tenth of 15 children and was born in Failsworth.  His parents were silk weavers and his older siblings were also employed on the silk looms.  Elijah was removed from school at an early age to wind bobbins for his brothers and sisters.  He was involved in the political reform movement and attended Peterloo in 1818.. where he narrowly escaped injury. He was a member of the literary group which met at The Sun Inn on Long Millgate known as “Poet’s Corner” along with Robert Rose and John Bolton Rogerson and also owned a book stall on Withy Grove.  He was the author of “The Village Muse” band “Streams from an Old Fountain”.

Elijah Ridings died on 18 Oct 1872 and his tombstone, which has very recently been located, thanks to Rootschatter and MGCTP volunteer, BarbaraH, is inscribed with the following:-

“My evening star, my evening star,
Enthroned within thy ebon car,
That smiles on me and lonely things,
While my wrapt spirit heavenward springs,
Look down, look down, when I am gone.
With that mild ray that on me shone;
Look down on my dear children twain,
When I no mote with them remain;
And may they keep the path of right.
True as thy constant rule of light;
And when my spirit flies afar,
Shine on my grave, my evening star.”


T  Swindells in “Manchester Streets and Manchester Men”  said of him, “Although poor, he nobly did his duty as a citizen and as such is worthy of remembrance by Manchester men.”

The recording and mapping of gravestones in the Church sections for burials prior to 1886 are particularly important as the burial registers haven't survived so the information collated by the MGCTP team will be the only evidence of available of these burials.



Thomas Worthington (1810-1884)
Thomas Worthington, Alderman of Manchester,  was born on 26th July 1810.  He was, it was believed, educated for the medical profession but commenced business as a calico merchant in Mosley Street.  He was subsequently appointed registrar of births and deaths for the St George’s District, Rochdale Road.  He first entered the City Council in 1851 and continued to sit until 1860.  He was elected again in 1863 and remained a council member until  his death.  He was chosen as Alderman in 1874.  He was a Liberal but never an active politician and was a member of Worsley Road Congregational Church.  Thomas Worthington died on 23rd January 1884 at his home in Swinton and his remains were interred at Manchester General Cemetery on the 26th.  The funeral procession left his home in Worsley Road, Swinton and called at Manchester Town Hall where the cortege was joined by 12 carriages.  The Town Hall flag was flown at half mast as a mark of respect.

NC 3747 (Worthington Inscription).jpg


NC 3747 (Worthington Vault).jpg


Joseph Steinthal (ca1824-1877)
The inscription reads:  “In Memory of Joseph Steinthal, for 26 years the Minister of the German Church, who died Dec 10th 1877, aged 52 years”.
The German Evangelical Church in Manchester was established in about 1854 when a back room  in Back Mayes Street, Miller Street was rented by Mr Robert Gardener and the Rev Joseph Steinthal, who was installed as the Pastor.   The church was much needed by the German  working class  population living in Manchester as  they were unable to attend English  church services due to the language barrier.  The congregation soon became established and outgrew these premises and the church then moved to John Dalton Street.  Eventually in 1874 a purpose built church was opened in Park Street, Cheetham Hill.  The new church also included a Sunday school which was recorded as doing much good as it withdrew German children from the streets and prepared them for respectable modes of livelihood.

Peter Young.jpg

Peter Young (1815-1896)
The inscription reads “Also Peter Young, fell asleep in Jesus July 17th 1896, in his 81st year. For 70 years connected with Bennett Street Sunday School”.  Bennett Street Sunday School was founded in 1801 by David Stott .   When it first opened it  was located in Gun Street and Primrose Street .   In 1808 it moved to George Leigh Street, Ancoats.  In 1818 a new building was erected in Bennett Street  and on the 13th December that year the children marched from George Leigh Street, to their new school.  Originally the Sunday School was connected with St Clement’s and St Luke’s and then from 1823 with St Clement’s only.  Following a disagreement in 1824 between the Trustees and the Reverend William Nunn of St Clement’s, the school separated from St Clements and became attached to St Paul’s.  The School was the most important Sunday School in Manchester and remained in existence until 1966.  The building was demolished in 1970 and the Trust wound up in 1975.


David Dyson (1823-1856)
The inscription reads :-

“Sacred to the Memory of David Dyson, Naturalist, who died December 10th 1856, aged 33 years”
David Dyson was born in Oldham in 1823.  He was a weaver in his early years with a passion for collecting insects.  He was also interested in ornithology and conchology.  At the age of 20 he travelled to the North America, funded by his own savings and some additional funds provided by his older brother.  He toured America and across the Alleghany Mountains as far as St Louis funding his tour by selling parts of this collection to museums along the way.  He returned to England within a year with a collection of 18,000 specimens of insects, birds, shells and plants.  He undertook a second trip to Central America landing a Belize and spending time in Honduras.  Illnesses contracted from the deadly swamps undermined his constitution however it was sun stroke that caused his immediate return to England.  He undertook a further trip on behalf of the British Museum, this time to Venezuela, accompanied by his brother Amos.    In 1850 he published a book “The land and fresh water shells of the districts around Manchester”.  He died aged only 33 years (of ulceration of the larynx) at his brother, John’s, house in Rusholme and left behind him a very rare and extensive collection of specimens.

Henry Lennard (1825-1868)
The inscription reads:-

"Sacred to the memory of Henry Lennard who died March 12th 1868, aged 44 years.  Erected by the Carpenters & Joiners Societies of Manchester & Salford District as a tribute to untiring energy and quenchless zeal on their behalf"
Unfortunately there don't seem to be any surviving records to tell us what Henry Lennard did.  From the census we know he was born in Lythe, Yorkshire and came to Manchester with his wife, Ann, between 1841 and 1851 where he worked as a joiner until his death in 1868. 

If you are reading this and are able to provide more information, please contact us and let us know.

Henry Lennard.JPG




John Howarth.jpg




John Howarth (1824-1893)
The inscription reads “ ..... Also John Howarth, father of the above, 42 years in the Manchester City Mission, who died Dec 27th 1893, age 69 years ...”
Manchester City Mission was founded on 25th April 1837 and remains in operation today.  Its aim was to gather together a group of Christian men from the Manchester area to form an evangelical organisation the purpose of which was to to unite all Christians within the city with the aim of proclaiming the good news.  Missionaries were engaged to visit families, who at the height of the Industrial Revolution, were living in overcrowded conditions and abject poverty, to present the Gospel and offer spiritual guidance and material support.  Today the MCM has several projects including a drop-inn centre and a night shelter as well as reaching out to schools, care and retirement homes and prisons.


Frederick Ernest Nosworthy (1854-1874)
The inscription reads:-

"Also Frederick Ernest Nosworthy, aged 20 years, who was lost in the wreck of the "British Admiral", near Melbourne, June 1874"
The iron full-rigged ship, British Admiral, sailed from Liverpool on her maiden voyage for Melbourne on 7th  January 1874.  Under the command of Captain Taylor, she carried 38 crew, 49 passengers and a valuable general cargo.  Frederick Nosworthy was a saloon passenger.  On the 17th January she encountered heavy gales and was forced to return back into Liverpool for repairs.  The ship finally resumed her passage on 23rd February but after a boisterous voyage she was lost after running on to the reef about two miles offshore between Currie Harbour and the Ettrick River.  She was immediately swept by heavy seas and many of those on deck were washed overboard with others struggling below decks.  Most of the lifeboats were swept away or lost whilst being launched.  79 lives were lost and there were just nine survivors.  An enquiry into the wreck exonerated Captain Taylor and his crew from all blame for the disaster.  It is thought the chronometers had been damaged during the passage resulting in inaccurate calculations of the ship's position immediately prior to the wreck.

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Arthur Horton (1890-1918)
The inscription reads:-
"Arthur, beloved son of John and Priscilla Horton, born April 15th 1890, died Jan 16th 1918 in Shrewsbury Prison - a Martyr for Conscience.  His end was peace"
Arthur is recorded as living in Rochdale Road in 1891, 1901 and 1911.  His father, John, was a clog manufacturer and Arthur himself was a journeyman clogger in 1911.  At the age of 25 he objected to military service on religious grounds.  He was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers).  His case was dismissed by two tribunals  and October 16th 1916 he was arrested, court-martialled and sent to prison where he remained except for two short intervals when he attended further court-martials.  He was in good health when he was arrested but during his first sentence developed a cough.  In 1917 is  was ill with colic and by December of that year was suffering from broncho-pneumonia from which he didn't recover.  His condition worsened and he died on January 16th 1918.




John F May (1825-1901)

The inscription reads “John F May, born May 11th 1825, died Sept 2nd 1901.   He was Treasurer of the Manchester and Salford Pawnbrokers Society from 1880-1899”.  The Manchester and Salford Pawnbrokers Association was founded in 1810 and is believed to the the oldest in the UK.  John F May died at the residence of his only son, William, in Higher Crumpsall and was buried in the family vault.

James Ogden Fletcher (1824-1874)
The inscription reads:-

"James Ogden Fletcher MD of Manchester who departed this life September 14th 1874, aged 50 years. Also Mary, wife of the above who died December 1st  1883, aged 51 years. A lso Henry Fletcher, son of the above, died December 31st  1878, aged 14 years. Also Isabel Fletcher died July 27th 1859, aged one month. Also Ada Fletcher died January 28th 1862, aged nine weeks. Daughters of the above"
James Fletcher was a student at Royal Manchester School of Medicine.  Around 1851 he joined the staff of the Chatham Street Medical School where he was a lecturer in anatomy, a position he left around 1857. He was surgeon to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway Company and to the Police Force for sixteen years before being appointed surgeon to Manchester City Gaol in the mid 1860s. He held this appointment until his death on September 14th 1874.

Alderman Abraham Lord JP (1834-1909)
The inscription reads: "In Loving Memory of Eliza Lord, wife of Abraham Lord of Tonge House, Middleton, who died April 23rd 1893, aged 60 years.  Also the above named Abraham Lord of Alkrington Hall, Middleton who died Sept 19th 1909, aged 75 years."
Alderman Abraham Lord JP died at his home, Alkrington Hall, Middleton on 19th September 1909, at the age of 75 years.  He was the Chairman and Managing Director of Messrs. Parker Lord & Co of Tonge Mills, Middleton and Portland Street , Manchester and was elected three times as Mayor of Middleton.  When he was re-elected in 1897 for a second consecutive year he thanked the committee for their renewal of their confidence in him and referred to Middleton being “exceedingly progressive” as they had “ sewage works on the most modern of principles and were shortly to have electric lighting for the main streets and private houses and shops”.  His funeral service was held at the Providence Church, Middleton prior to interment at Manchester General Cemetery.

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William Christopher Chew (1788-1867)

The inscription on the Chew family vault reads “In Memory of William Christopher Chew, who died 29th November 1867, in his 80th year”William Christopher Chew was baptised at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn on28th December 1788, a son of Edward and Ann Chew (nee Grime).  He married Hannah Heath on2nd July 1811 at Nantwich Parish Church, Cheshire.  William was an eminent Manchester solicitor and was acknowledged as the founder of Manchester General Cemetery.  The Chew family owned considerable land and property in Harpurhey in the early 19th century and the land for the Cemetery was bought from William Chew.  His family also took one eighth of the shares in the new Manchester General Cemetery Company.  It was also believed that it was through William Chew’s influence that John Bolton Rogerson was appointed as the Registrar.  He died at his home in Southport and was interred in the Chew family vault at Manchester General Cemetery.  His will, through which he left effects of “less than £8,000”, described him as a Gentleman, late of Highfield House, Southport.

John Burd (ca1790-1848)
The inscription reads:-

"Sacred to the memory of the late John Burd Esq, Alderman of Manchester, who died at his residence, Highfield, Higher Broughton on the 18th August 1848, aged 58 years"
John Burd was born in Manchester circa 1790 and was a partner in the calico printing business, Fletcher, Burd & Wood, located on Friday Street, Manchester.  Upon the formation of Manchester Corporation in 1838, John Burd was appointed Alderman Burd.  In 1841, John Burd is record as living at Highfield House and it was there that he died in 1848.  Buried with him are his wife, Sarah Burd, and their baby granddaughter, Florence Smyth.


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Peter Jones (1811-1867)
Peter Jones was born in Halkin, Flintshire in about 1811 and moved to Manchester in the late 1820’s where he found employment as a labourer.  Soon after he formed his own business taking excavation, sewer and street forming projects working for Manchester and Salford Corporations.  The largest of his works was the Woodhead Tunnel on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway which at the time was the longest tunnel in England being three miles in length.              Peter Jones died on 1st October 1867 after a period of poor health and was buried in Manchester General Cemetery in grave Non Conformist 4818.                                                     Unfortunately the gravestone has been badly damaged.

Woodhead Tunnel circa 1953.jpg


Grave of Peter Jones NC 4818


Woodhead Tunnels ca 1953

courtesy of

Ben Brooksbank

(image used under the Creative

Commons License 


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Charles Edward Ullathorne


Charles Edward Ullathorne (1845-1904)
(researched by Rootschatter and MGCTP team member, BarbaraH)
The inscription reads “In Loving Memory of Charles Edward Ullathorne of Kingston upon Hull, born April 11th 1845 died May 2nd 1904”
Charles Edward (Charlie) Ullathorne was a cricketer who played at county level in Yorkshire in the 1860’s-1870’s.  He was born in Hull, and his obituary in the Hull Daily Mail described him as “a good batsman, but his fielding even excelled his batting in its usefulness, his speed, accuracy of throwing in, alertness and agility being famous in his day.”  Another obituary in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph stated that he lived in the Manchester area for about 10 years before his death and had been a groundsman for Eccles Cricket Club. In 1897 he had four of his children baptised at St Thomas’ Church, Red Bank, where he was recorded as a commercial traveller living at 84 Stocks Street. He died of TB and is buried with his wife Edith and three grandchildren.

Employees of Rochdale Road Tramways
The inscription reads
“In Loving Memory Of James Diamond, late Timekeeper, who died January 16th 1903, aged 32 years; Also William Kelly, late Guard, who died January 24th 1904, aged 24 years;  Also Albert William Griffin, Ticket Inspector, who died September 4th 1906, aged 53 years. Rochdale Road Tramways Employees”
Maybe these men were colleagues  or maybe they didn’t know each other at all however because they worked for Rochdale Road Tramways they were buried together and possibly the gravestone was provided by their employer.

Alfred Owen Legge (1835-1897)
Prolific author, Alfred Owen Legge was born in Fakenham, Norfolk on 15th May 1835, the son of the Reverend William and Mary Legge.  He was baptised on 26th July 1835 at the Fakenham Independent Church.  He spent his childhood in Norfolk.  In 1857  he married, Martha Smith, a widow, in London and by 1861 they had moved to Salford.   His works include: Manslaughter, The Growth of the Temporal Power of the Papacy and The Unpopular King : Richard III.  He also wrote a biography of his mother – A Life of Consecration and Sunny Manitoba which called upon his experiences of his visit to Canada.  Alfred Owen Legge was a member of the Manchester Literary Society and was also employed as a librarian at the Salford Free Library.  He died on 16th October 1897 at Sandy Lane, West Kirby and was buried on 20th October 1897, Non Conformist 5013.