Yesterday I was finding out about my great-great grandmother Elizabeth Buckley. I was in a bit of a rush as she was in my On This Day Project and I wanted to publish the post exactly on October 5th. However, there is more to write about her workplace, Marshall Mill.
Seven families lived at Marshall Mill in 1851 which was 45 individuals altogether. Of these, seventeen actually worked at the Mill. There were other employees who lived in the immediate vicinity. Of 155 individuals living in neighbouring properties 64 were employed at the Mill.
The residents of the Marshall Mill cottages provide a snapshot of the range of jobs that had to be done.
As well as my ancestor, Elizabeth Buckley, Hannah Sethney (22 years) and Hannah Firth (21 years) were employed as Worsted Rulers. I am guessing that this job was something to do with ensuring the correct weight or thickness of the yarn. Achieving consistency would presumably have been important to ensure the quality of the worsted fabric. Yarn weight is measured by wrapping round a ruler and counting the wraps per inch; was this what Elizabeth and the two Hannahs had to do?
Elizabeth's sister, Fanny Ann, worked as a Worsted Rover along with Emma Longfield aged 18 years. Wikipedia explains that:
A roving is a long and narrow bundle of fiber. Rovings are produced during the process of making spun yarn from wool fleece, raw cotton, or other fibres. Their main use is as fibre prepared for spinning, but they may also be used for specialised kinds of knitting or other textile arts.
After carding, the fibres lie roughly parallel in smooth bundles. These are drawn out, by hand or machine, and slightly twisted to form lengths suitable for spinning. These unspun strands of fibre are the rovings. Roving can also mean a roll of these strands, the strands in general (as a mass noun), or the process of creating them.
The Worsted Machine Makers were Benjamin Longfield (50 years), Thomas Longfield (24 years) and Thomas Sethney (32 years).
Mary Clarkson (aged 21 years) and Alice Ackroyd (22 years) were Worsted Drawers and their overlooker was Richard Ackroyd (aged 42 years and Alice's father). The Worsted Drawer was a Weaver.
Abraham Clayton, aged 47 years, was a Wool Comber and Amelia Firth (22 years) was a Bobbin Winder. Another of Elizabeth's sisters, Rebecca aged 16 years, was employed as a Worsted Spinner along with Mary Ackroyd (14 years).
I mentioned Elizabeth's eight year old sister, Mary Ann, who worked half time as a Worsted Spinner and attended school for the remainder of the day. She wasn't the only child working at Marshall Mill. Amelia Newsom (aged 11 years) and Elizabeth Firth (12 years) also worked half time as Worsted Spinners attending school for the rest of the day. And Ann Newsome, only 12 years old, was employed half time as a Power Loom Weaver. I can't imagine that after working like that the girls would have learned much at school (even if they actually attended).
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