100 years ago today: a death in Burnley

One of at least 15 Walnes in Burnley for the 1911 census, Thomas Walne, aged 53, died on this day in 1917. His death was recorded in the Burnley Express on 31 January.

Thomas was born and married in Preston and appears there in each census until 1891, but the enumerator’s book of that year finds him out of work. Perhaps, therefore, he moved his family to Burnley permanently from Preston to find work. I say permanently because Thomas’ son Daniel was born in Preston in 1884, so the family (or at least his wife) had spent time there before.  (1891 Census; Trinity, Preston, Lancashire; ED 26; Page 16)

Walne households in Burnley tripled from just one in the 1901 census to three in 1911 as Thomas’ children grew up and left home, settling nearby.

Unlike the East Anglian Walnes, who were mostly in agriculture, many of the northern contingent were in cotton in 1911. Thomas was no exception, and the 1911 census taken on 2 April that year records him as head of a large family, working as a cotton twister.

With him was his wife of 29 years, Mary, and five of their children: Henry, Francis, Hannah, Walter and Amelia. The children at home spanned twelve years. The census tells us that seven of Thomas and Mary’s nine children were still living at that time. Francis, Hannah and Amelia are all noted as being in the cotton industry too, while Walter is recorded as an apprentice plumber and Henry a general labourer. The family also enumerated a lodger, making a total of eight people living in their five rooms at 184 Accrington Road (not including the usual exceptions – “do not count the scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom; nor warehouse, office, shop”). (1911 Census; West Ward, Burnley, Lancashire; ED 19; SN8)

Thomas was buried at Burnley Cemetery on 25 January 1917. (See Lancashire Online Parish Clerk)


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