Thursday, 12 August 2021

Child and Female Pallbearers in England: A Barnsley example following Jane White's mysterious death in 1870, with a deviation into the history of Cudworth

A year ago I wrote about the funeral of a seven year old girl, whose ten bearers were described in the newspaper as girl friends of the deceased. That was in 1902 in Mexborough. At the time I was quite surprised at this, remarking that we would not consider such a thing today. This morning I came across another example, this time a 15 year old girl whose coffin was accompanied by sixteen female bearers.  

From a blog called Art of Mourning: Children in Mournin

I did some online research and discovered that, in fact, in previous eras it was the accepted tradition for young friends of the deceased to attend and play a ceremonial part in the funeral of a child. The engraving above was apparently published accompanying a hymn called 'The Tolling Bell' written by John Newton, author of the rather more famous 'Amazing Grace'. I have included the date, the 1840s, in my snip. The text below the image continues noting that bearers white clothing and the white coffin itself donates innocence and purity on the part of the deceased.

Child Pallbearers

The above photo, which I find rather unnerving, is from an American blog post called Funerary Darlings: The Tradition of Child Pallbearers. Although I am not a costume expert these girls clustered around a small white coffin in white dresses, look late 19th, early 20th century to me.  Another photo on the same blog post shows some young girls in more modern clothing carrying a small white coffin, that one is dated 1938.

The report I found in the Barnsley newspapers was the result of a search for items about a pub landlord in Monk Bretton. Thomas White was the licensee at the Pheasant Inn in the 1861 and 1871 census returns, and as he is dstantly related to the OH I wanted to find out more. My first hit concerned him being fined for allowing his customers to bet for beer on games of bagatelle, but the second was a lengthy report of the inquest into the drowning of his granddaughter in the local canal. 

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 30 May 1870, p. 3.

It seemed that the girl had lived with her grandparents since she was a child, and had, claimed her grandmother, been born in their home, although I don't think that was the Pheasant Inn in 1854, and as she is listed at her parents' home in the 1861 census return, that casts some doubt on the complete truth of Ann White's statement.

Jane White was described as a tall, well built girl; the medical examiner reported that she could have passed for 25 not 15 years old. There is no mention in the reports of Jane working, but I expect she helped her grandmother about the house. Children commonly left school at the age of 12 at that time, so I expect Jane considered herself quite grown up. In several of the reports she is quoted saying on the Thursday afternoon that she was going to put her hair in papers and dress herself 'slap up' to go for a visit to her mother. Her ulterior motive seems to have been meeting up with a young man, Tom Stephenson, with whom she had been 'keeping company' for a number of years, much to her grandmother's displeasure. 

I relate this description of Jane in order to suggest that she was not, in many ways, a child, by the standards of the 1870s. That would seem to put her funeral, as an adult, in a different category to that of seven year old Ada Sokell Beckett, my earlier encounter with young pallbearers. Yet maybe the fact that she was an unmarried girl (and presumed to be innocent) caused to her to be treated at her funeral in the same way as a child. Her coffin was accompanied by a large band of young women, probably around the same age as the deceased, and the coffin (see cutting below) fitted the description of one used for a child.

Barnsley Independent, 4 June 1870, p. 2. 

Her coffin appears to come within the specification for a child, oak, which is usually a pale wood, with white handles and name plate, possibly with other metal decorations too (together known as coffin furniture). I was interested to see if any of her sixteen bearers were relatives, but most do not appear to have been. I assume they were girls from Monk Bretton about the same age as Jane. We don't know if they wore white like the girls pictured above - would working class families have been able to afford a white dress as well as work day clothes?  I will try to discover more about these girls below. 

Introduction to the case of Jane White in the West Yorkshire,
County Coroner Notebooks (from Ancestry)

Jane's death was investigated by the Coroner and his notebooks are available on the Ancestry website.  This account is very similar to that reported in the various local newspapers (and it appeared in newspapers across the country in early June as I suppose it was quite a sensational story). There are more details and precise timings in the notebooks, for example Jane was in the habit of going to her mother's at noon on Fridays and the comments about doing her hair and dressing up were made on Thursday afternoon while she and her grandmother were sitting together sewing. It seems that her grandmother last saw Jane at 10pm on Thursday night standing outside the pub. Her body was spotted in the canal at 6.30am the next day by a witness George Batty, a shepherd.  It was taken to her father's pub, the Philip Inn at Burton Bridge, where it was seen at 8am by a surgeon from Barnsley, a John Blackburn. That was also where the body was viewed by the jury the following day, just before the inquest at the Sun Inn at Monk Bretton. A post mortem was carried out on the Saturday morning and Blackburn's report was very complete, even down to noting that her uterus had not been impregnated although there was evidence of 'connexion' having taken place frequently (detail omitted from most of the newspaper reports). His conclusion was that she had suffocated due to drowning.

Tom Stephenson's sister Augusta was also a witness, and her remarks were also omitted from many of the newspaper reports - she said that she had met Jane outside the Pheasant Inn at 10pm on Thursday and Jane had asked her to take a message to Tom. The family sat up all night waiting for him to return from his meeting with Jane, but he did not come home until 5.30am when his clothes wet through. Tom himself gave a long and detailed account of how he and Jane had spent the evening and night, fooling around on the edge of the canal - he said Jane had initially appeared tipsy although that had worn off by morning after they had spent the night together in a field. He said that he left her about 250 yards from her father's house at Burton Bridge, and that she had commented that she needed to get home before her grandfather got down (came down from bed?) and that she would 'catch it' for staying out. Tom passed her grandfather as he was making his way home but no words were exchanged. Apparently the young couple had promised, on Friday morning, to 'stick' to each other and not 'go' with anyone else. 

Tom Stephenson was born in 1851 and his sister Augusta in 1855. Their mother was a single woman named Selina Stephenson, who eventually married in 1873 to a much younger man called George Chapman. Tom and Augusta were born in Monk Bretton, then Selina moved to Bolton in Calverly near Bradford where, in 1861, she claimed to be a widow and had another child, Caroline (although other records say Caroline was also born in Monk Bretton). The family had obviously returned to Monk Bretton at some point before Jane's death. In the Coroner's report Tom said that he had known Jane for seven or eight years (so they met in 1862/63). The Stephenson family were still living in Monk Bretton in April 1871at the time of the census. Augusta married in 1872 and stayed locally, her mother in 1873 as I have said, but Tom left Barnsley and appears to have married and settled in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. Caroline married in 1879, aged 21, and also stayed in Barnsley. 

Tom's irregular parentage may have been a contribution to the dislike Jane's grandmother apparently had for him. However Tom claimed in his evidence that they had been 'going together' for two or three years, so since Jane was about 13 years old and he was 16, so it does seem that their relationship was well established and no evidence was provided at the inquest to suggest anything had happened to come between them.

The description of Tom's behaviour at Jane's burial is quite poignant. According to the Barnsley Independent report on 4 June 1870, p. 2 (note Stevenson rather than Stephenson):

During the reading of the prayers, Stevenson stood close to the clergyman, nervously grasping a handkerchief in one hand, while in the other he held a few flowers. When all was over, and nothing remained but to "bury the dead out of their sight," Stevenson very quietly approached the head of the grave, and gently dropped the flowers on the coffin lid. He remained there for some time, evidently unconsious of the presence of the vast crowd around him. Several times while looking in the grave he muttered to himself and sorrowfully shook his head. He was at last persuaded by a neighbour to leave.

The verdict of the inquest jury was simply, 'Found Drowned', but I can imagine a number of other scenarios based on this evidence. It does seems unlikely that Jane committed suicide as Tom claimed she was happy with him, she was not pregnant, she had sobered up, so it was unlikely she had fallen into the canal by accident, though not impossible I suppose. To my mind that only leaves foul play - but the surgeon had found no evidence of violence. Quite the mystery.

Before I look into the pallbearers I'll give some factual background to Jane herself for the purposes of comparison of her life and situation to that of the girls who accompanied her coffin:

Jane White was born in the third quarter (July, August, September) 1854 to George White and his wife Ann (nee Hobson). She was baptised on 11 March 1855 at St Mary's church in Barnsley Town centre. As baptisms at St Paul's in Monk Bretton began in 1839 I suggest that the family was not living in Monk Bretton in 1855 or they would have used that church. Her parents were married on 14 May 1854 at Silkstone and it doesn't require much counting on your fingers to work out that Jane was well on the way by that time. Indeed, that might be the reason for the delay in her baptism, to allow a more respectable period to elapse between wedding day and the baptism.  Sadly on both marriage and baptism records 'abode' is recorded simply as Barnsley. 

Jane's family were living on Low Street in Monk Bretton by the time the census was taken on 7 April 1861 and her grandparents were in the Pheasant Inn in 1861 and 1871. We know that Jane was living with her grandparents at the time of her death, but also that she regularly visited her mother, so there was no disagreement or break up in their family. I thought that in 1871 Jane's parents would still in the Philip Inn at Burton Bridge as noted in the reports of her death, but there is no address against their census listing and her father is recorded as a Bleacher (but that doesn't mean he or his wife couldn't have been running a beerhouse on the side). The family were recorded in the Cudworth census returns three households beyond Providence Place and two households before the Post Office. The direction in which the enumerator walked to collect the census schedules is further evidenced by the fourth entry beyond the Post Office being the Star Inn. I had a look at the old maps online and I suggest the enumerator walked downhill from the Methodist Chapel to the Star.  I actually live opposite and slightly below the Star in Cudworth myself and am familiar with the geography, but on the 1892/3 maps there was, as yet, no sign of housing on the other side of the road or beyond than the Star until you reached the railway bridge at the foot of the hill.

1893 map of part of Cudworth from Old Maps

In the map snip above you can see the Star Inn at the bottom, with not even the beginnings of Bloemfontein Street on the opposite side of the main road (the name is a clue ... it was built after the Boer War, 1899-1902).  The Post Office is a hundred yards or so higher up the main road, and I suggest that Providence Place was the short row of terraced houses which curves right off the road, just above the Post Office.  The next side road up is Bow Street - called that, we assume, because it curves roughly around and comes out again opposite the chapel. I know there was also a Wright's Yard and a Guest's Yard in the same area, all just off the main Barnsley Road. None of the maps available online are of a large enough scale to name the individual terraces and yards. Very few of these houses still stand. I noticed, on a walk up to the Methodist Chapel earlier this week, that two of the houses in the terrace across from the Methodist Chapel have a name and date stone - Gladstone Cottages A.D. 1893, probably the two that lie at a slight angle to the road, so that terrace was built later the period I am interested in. Cudworth was still a very small village in 1871 with a population of 657 people according to the census summary books.

Compare the map above to this snip from the 1931 map of the same part of Cudworth. Look how much Cudworth has filled out! The population in 1931 was 9377 people, more than 14x the number in 1871.

1931 map snip of Cudworth from Old Maps

The Miners' Welfare Ground has been laid out and was officially opened in 1932, Bloemfontein Street has appeared, Prospect Street has been named just above the Star and Bow Street clearly bends around to meet the street above the little row I think might be Providence Place. On this map, it looks as if it might consist of back to back houses although they could be little gardens fronting onto the narrow street. The Post Office has moved across the main road and slightly higher up. All the far side of Barnsley Road is now filled with houses and shops.

How did this compare to where Jane's parents had lived in 1870?

1893 map snip of Burton Bridge from Old Maps

The cluster of housing in Cudworth described above is about a mile from Burton Bridge, which is down the main road past the Star, past the Cudworth railway bridge (removed only recently) along Burton Road (the area known as Klondyke) and the modern Fire Station and over the railway bridge shown on the right in the snip above. So Jane's parents were not running the Philip Inn anymore. The main features at Burton Bridge in 1893 were a large mill complex, the canal and two railway lines with a spur leading to the mill. I can only see one drinking establishment at Burton Bridge on the 1893 map above, the Bridge Inn, (now the Old Bridge Inn as there is no longer a bridge or a canal there).  I have found Burton Bridge in the 1871 census and the only public house or inn was the Bridge Inn run by Thomas and Mary Kenyon. There was no drinking establishment recorded in Burton Bridge in the 1861 census or the 1851 census. It appears that either the Philip Inn was a very short lived establishment or it was renamed the Bridge Inn.

All of Jane's six younger siblings are at home with her parents in Cudworth in 1871, four brothers and two very young sisters. This is relevant, I'll come back to it later. 

Jane White's Sixteen Female Pallbearers

This is what I could discover about Jane's bearers. I searched for them in the 1861 and 1871 census returns assuming they all lived in Monk Bretton or nearby. If I could not find them that way I tried looking at baptisms in the area and marriage records for girls by those names. I have given estimates for their ages at the funeral in 1870 based on the census information. My assumption was that they would all be unmarried girls close to Jane's age (15, almost 16 at the time of her death).

  • Mary Wilkinson - could be Mary L Wilkinson aged 18 (in 1870) and recorded as working in the Bleach Works in 1871. She is the only girl on the list who was listed working in any other job besides domestic servant.
  • Selina Hobson - there was no Selina Hobson living in Monk Bretton or Barnsley, but there was a Sarah Hobson aged 21 born in Goldthorpe or Rawmarsh living with her relatives in Monk Bretton in 1871. She was the cousin of Mary Hobson, named further down the list. This family had been in Rawmarsh in 1861, and based on the places of birth of the children had moved to Monk Bretton after 1867. Sarah would have been about 20 years old when Jane died. There was also a Sarah Selina Hobson baptised in Worsborough in 1849 according to a transcript on Ancestry, but when I checked that on the original records on Find My Past she turned out to be Sarah Selina Watson (how on earth did someone transcribe Watson as Hobson?)
  • Emma Winscot  - there was an Emma Winscott in Monk Bretton in 1861, when she was an unemployed servant. By 1870 she would have been 26 years old, however as she had married (as Emma Wainscot aged 24 from Monk Bretton) to an older widowed man in May 1868, this cannot be the right girl unless she gave her maiden name to the newspaper reporter? In their family in 1881 is an Mary Anne Wilcock who was baptised on 7 July 1869 at Monk Bretton, perfectly reasonable timing after their marriage, but also with the family in 1881 was Anne Wilcock one year older who was baptised on the same day. Why the similar names? Why the delay in baptising Anne, who must have been born shortly after their marriage (allowing for the conception of Mary Anne in September or October 1868)? I suggest that Emma Winscot was expecting Anne when she married - I have come across the phenomenon of a pregnant girl being married to an older man, especially a widower with children, before.
  • Emma Smith - there was a girl by this name in Monk Bretton in 1871 when she was a domestic servant, she would have been 20 in 1870. 

  • Sarah Ann Oxley - there was a seven year old by this name in Monk Bretton in 1861, so she would have been 16 in 1870. Quite close in age to Jane White and she lived right next door to the Pheasant Inn, so very likely to be a friend. She might be a domestic servant in Worsborough in 1871 although the birth places in the census returns don't match. This girl marries in Royston in 1884 giving her address as Monk Bretton.
  • Emma Slater - who was also an unemployed servant (was there a glut of servant girls in 1871 or was the occupation only just beginning to be recorded in the census returns?) would have been 21 years old in 1870.  In 1861 her family lived in Pheasant Fold which was a group of six dwellings adjacent to the Pheasant Inn. 
1893 map of part of Monk Bretton showing the Pheasant Inn (from Old Maps)

[Monk Bretton changed very little between the 1890s and the 1930s, but none of the maps available online are large enough in scale to name the various closes and terraces. The 1962 map is a larger scale but by then most of the older houses have been cleared for council bungalows and neat new terraces.]

  • Emily Wilson - probably the six year old butcher's daughter in Monk Bretton in 1861, so 15 by the time of Jane's death. She may be a servant at the parsonage in Dodworth in 1871 though again the places of birth given in 1861 and 1871 don't match. Did the householders not bother to ask their servants where they were born before they filled in their returns, or did the girls just not understand the question? "Where are you from?" could be open to wide interpretation.
  • Susannah Balmforth - no results for this girl in 1861 or 1871, but I did find a girl by that name in 1851 in Monk Bretton. She was enumerated as Bamforth in '61 and '71. She would have been 22 years old at the time of the funeral and a servant in the household of an Attorney's Clerk in Barnsley town centre.
  • Mary Helliwell - although there are two girls by this name in Monk Bretton in 1871 one is closer in age to Jane White. The daughter of a widow from Wakefield, who was a recipient of the Oak's Relief Fund (so her husband had died in the 1866 disaster) this Mary Helliwell was a domestic servant in 1871 and would have been 16 at the time of Jane's funeral. Given the surgeon's comments on Jane's sexual conduct it is worth noting that in the Helliwell household there was a one year old grandchild Kate Helliwell, apparently illegitimate, and born in Monk Bretton. Mary had an older sister Charlotte, who was 23 in 1871, so quite a bit older than Jane. Charlotte married in 1876 still claiming to be 23 years old, probably because her husband, Alfred Richings was only 21. Having an illegitimate child in the 1870s was apparently not a completely insurmountable problem - Charlotte's husband appears to have taken Kate into his home according to the 1881 census return. Sadly Kate turns up in Wakefield Prison for vagrancy with prostitution in 1886 aged just 16 after Alfred divorced Charlotte for 'divers cases' of adultery in 1883/4. I can only hope Mary learnt from her sister's example and had a less complicated life, sadly I cannot trace her further as her name is quite common in the Barnsley area.
  • Charlotte Bury - no results for this girl in 1861 or 1871. The broad searches didn't help on Ancestry so I tried Find My Past instead. Got a hit on a 22 year old Charlotte Berry in 1871 in Monk Bretton, unfortunately it turned out to be a mis-transcription. Charlotte was actually the wife and mother and 45 years old in 1871. She doesn't fit the profile of the other pallbearers. There are two daughters, Eliza aged 22 and Elizabeth aged 19 who might fit the bill if the names got mixed up?
  • Eliza Edson - found an Eliza Eadson in 1861 who would have been 21 at the time of Jane's funeral. But I can't find her or her family in 1871 on Ancestry. Find My Past helpfully pointed to the 1851 census for the family, also in Monk Bretton, I hadn't spotted that Eliza's father Francis (b. 1812/13 in Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate) was widowed by 1861. I assume the family had split up by 1871 after the children were old enough to work. Going back to Ancestry for a wider search I found Eliza Edson in a public online tree - apparently she had married in December 1870 and moved to Doncaster and then Bradford. One of her brothers died in December 1866 .... that was suspicious. I was not surprised to see, on checking his burial record, that he was killed in the Oaks Colliery Disaster. Referring to an online list of the men killed in the disaster,  apparently five (yes, five!!) Edsons died in the disaster. More about the Edsons and the Oaks Colliery can be found at the end of this post.
  • Martha Wroe - this was probably the daughter of John Wroe, Hand Loom Weaver, in Monk Bretton in 1851, 61 and 71 (although his name is spelt Roe in 1851 and Row in 1861). She would have been 20 years old at Jane's funeral. Martha was herself listed as a Hand Loom Weaver in 1871, but married the following year at Monk Bretton giving no occupation and stating that her father (unnamed) was dead. Hand loom weaving was on the decline as machine looms became more widely used.
  • Martha Ann Barraclough - no relation despite Jane White's grandmother's maiden name being Barraclough. Martha was born in Leeds in 1856, but the family were in Monk Bretton by 1861. She would have been 15 when Jane died, and was recorded as a domestic servant in 1871.
  • Mary Hobson - there was no-one by this name in Monk Bretton in 1861 or 1871 according to Ancestry. There was only one Hobson family in Monk Bretton in 1871 and they had been living in Rawmarsh near Rotherham in 1861.  At that time a daughter called Mary, aged 8 years, born in Sheffield, was listed in their family. The Hobson family moved to Monk Bretton between census returns giving ample time for Mary to have met Jane. She would have been 17 at the time of Jane's death. She may be a Linen Weaver boarding in Barnsley town centre in 1871. This is the same family mentioned above who had a niece, Sarah Hobson, living with them in Monk Brettton in 1871.
  • Phoebe Gaunt - there was no family named Gaunt living in Monk Bretton in 1861 or 1871. The closest I can find is Phebe Gaunt who was a domestic servant in Dodworth in 1861, aged 13, making her 22 when Jane died. If this is the same girl who married in Dodworth in 1873 there is no evidence that her family had ever lived in Monk Bretton. I suppose she may have known one of the other girls through their domestic work and been a friend of Jane's at one remove.
  • Helen Hammerton - Ancestry lists several Hammerton families in 1861 or 1871, all in Barnsley town centre, but none of them have a daughter called Helen. However Find My Past found an Ellen Hammerton aged 8 in 1861 born in Worsborough, who was a domestic servant in the centre of Barnsley aged 18 in 1871. She would have been about 17 years old when Jane died. Again this may have been a girl who knew a girl who knew Jane ... I don't know why she didn't come up on my search of Ancestry the first time, as once I knew her father's name I found her on there straightaway in 1861 in Worsborough. It is possible that Ancestry's algorithms don't include Worsborough in searches for Barnsley?

After considering all the above I conclude that the young women who acted as pallbearers at the funeral of Jane White in 1870 were young women with a wider spread of ages than I had expected. From Jane's age (15) and up to seven years older. None of the sixteen were appear to have been related to Jane. Most had left home by 1871 to take up posts as servants. Of those who were at home, some were recorded on the 1871 census as unemployed domestic servants suggesting they were between positions. Monk Bretton was a small village in 1871, and most girls moved into Barnsley town centre for positions. If I have found the correct girls they didn't all come from Monk Bretton originally - some may have been connections of families who did live there, or the search to find a sufficiently 'respectable' number of pallbearers may have stretched far beyond Monk Bretton with a message for suitable young women sent out via a network of domestic servants. 

Most of the young women married within a few years of Jane's funeral, one appears to have married just before Jane died, if so her maiden name was given to the newspaper. There does not seem to be much evidence that pre-marital sex was common amongst these girls, although one had a sister who had 'got into trouble' in this way and the girl who was married by 1870 appears to have been pregnant at her marriage. Tracing the girls and their sisters further in the historical records and looking for more information in the newspapers might change my opinion of this, as I am well aware that pre-maritial pregnancy, as long as it was swiftly followed by marriage, was not wholly condemned at the time.

I would also like to search the newspapers (if only I had the time) for other lists of female pallbearers like this - but I suppose they were only reported when the deaths were particularly newsworthy, as Jane's had been.

I had not realised that female pallbearers and the participation of young women and girls at funerals was commonplace in earlier centuries. When funerals of wealthy or well known men were covered in the local newspapers (which are those most frequently reported) women seemed to take a very background role. It appears that I must re-adjust my thinking when considering the funerals of young single women and of children. 

Thank you for reading, I hope you found it interesting.

Keep reading for more information on the Oaks Colliery connection to pallbearer Eliza Edson follows.

 Additional findings - Investigating a False Lead in a Newspaper Article

At the very end of the Barnsley Independent article reporting Jane's funeral was this little snippet.

Barnsley Independent, 4 June 1870, p.2.

I was momentarily excited when I first read this, thinking, more Oaks Colliery Disaster casualties in the OH's family! - and I rushed to find an online list of the names of the dead in 1866.  But there was not a single White amongst them. Then I remembered that Jane was the eldest child in her family, if she was 15 in 1870 there was only a small chance of her younger brothers being old enough to work down the pit four years previously, and besides, as I commented above they were still all present and correct in Cudworth in 1871. So I dropped that investigation and returned to my original topic, an investigation of female pallbearers (although I was quite disappointed not to have found another family connection to the Oaks Disaster).

Once I had done more of the research into the young women pallbearers it became clear that the paragraph may have referred to Eliza Edson's brothers.  Should it have read, "Two brothers of the deceased's bearer Eliza Edson, who lost their lives at the Oaks, were also buried on the last Sunday of May"? However the two Edsons buried on 30 May 1869 (which was the last Sunday in May that year) were NOT Eliza's brothers, but may have been her cousins. It is also possible that some of the other pallbearers had brothers who were killed. After all, there were hundreds of casualties, many from the Monk Bretton area. One girl seems to have lost her father. I wonder if that paragraph was edited to fit the available space and thus lost its intended meaning.

Summary of the Five Edson men Killed in the Oaks Colliery Disaster (base data from the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership project website).

Edson, John  [This is definitely Eliza Edson's brother]
Role:     Hurrier                 Age:     20
Born:     Monk Bretton, Yorkshire, England
Lived:     Back Lane, Monk Bretton
Buried:     23/08/1868        Burial Location:     St. Paul, Monk Bretton,

Edson, George [Son of Thomas and Ann Edson - Thomas born Pateley Bridge like Francis so this may be Eliza's cousin]
Role:     Hurrier                Age:     21
Born:     Monk Bretton, Yorkshire, England
Lived:     Back Lane, Monk Bretton
Buried:     30/05/1869        Burial Location:     St. Paul, Monk Bretton,

Edson, William [This is definitely Eliza Edson's brother]
Role:     Hurrier                Age:     25
Born:     Monk Bretton, Yorkshire, England
Lived:     Back Lane, Monk Bretton
Buried:     16/12/1866        Burial Location:     St. Paul, Monk Bretton,

Edson, William [This could be another son of Thomas and Ann Edson, see above. It was noted in the burial register that he was buried in same grave as the William Edson above]
Role:     Miner                Age:     25
Born:     Monk Bretton, Yorkshire, England
Lived:     Barnsley
Buried:     16/12/1866           Burial Location:     St. Paul, Monk Bretton,

Edson, John [Probably another son of Thomas and Ann Edson]
Role:     Miner                Age:     27
Born:     Monk Bretton, Yorkshire, England
Lived:     East Square, Monk Bretton
Buried:     30/05/1869            Burial Location:     St. Paul, Monk Bretton,

Trying to make sense of that final paragraph of the report on Jane White's funeral by researching all the Oaks Colliery connections to the female pallbearers would take another whole week's worth (at least) of research, so I will let it go for now. 

Thanks again for keeping reading!

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