Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1870 & 79

Capt. Thomas Henry Mitchell (1801 - 1872)

 Thomas Henry Mitchell was a soldier in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps before becoming Governor of New Bailey Prison, Salford and Strangeways Prison, Manchester.

He was born in 1801 in Colchester, Essex. It is not certain when Thomas enlisted in the army, but there is an enlistment record for a Thomas Henry Mitchell for 6th May 1816 in Colchester. (If this is the correct record he would have been 15 years of age).

On 12th November 1820, Thomas married Ann Evans at St Anne's Church, Soho, London. She was born in 1801 in Llanfair, Montgomeryshire. The Kings Royal Rifle Corps were posted to Malta and on 22nd June 1835, the records show that the couple had a daughter Catherine Elizabeth who was baptised on 12th September 1935.

Also in 1835, Thomas was made a Second Lieutenant and then promoted to Lieutenant on 29th December 1840. There appears to be no record of when he was promoted to Captain, but in 1848 he became Governor of the New Bailey Prison, Salford. The 1851 census shows individual records for Thomas and Ann, who were living in the Governor's house at the prison and were both 50 years old.

The 1861 census shows that the couple were still living at the prison and 18 other persons were on duty that night. On 18th January 1863, Thomas's wife Ann died aged 61 and was buried at Weaste Cemetery. Two years later, on 24th October 1865, Catherine Elizabeth married Henry Francis George Webster. There are two entries for the marriage in Lancashire BMD, one at Manchester Cathedral and one by Salford Registrar.

The 1860s were a busy time at the New Bailey Prison as six public hangings took place. The first one was on 25th August 1866 when teenager James Burrows, murdered John Brennan of Hopwood on 21st May. Then on 23rd November 1867, three Irish "rebels" named William Philip Allen, Michael Larkin and Michael O'Brien were executed for the murder of Police Sergeant Charles Brett whilst in the process of rescuing two other Irish rebels. They became known as the Manchester Martyrs and are now generally recognised as being innocent of the crime. The last public hangings were held on 4th April 1868, when Timothy Faherty who had murdered Mary Hamner, a young Droylsden woman, and Miles Weatherhill, who had murdered June Smith and severely injured Rev Anthony Plow and Louisa Plow, were executed.

Also in 1868, prisoners were transferred from New Bailey to the new Strangeways Prison. The transfer began on 25th June and was completed by 4th July. The New Bailey Prison was demolished to become a railway goods yard and Captain Thomas Henry Mitchell became the first Governor of Strangeways Prison.

The 1871 census shows Thomas Henry Mitchell as Governor of Strangeways at the age of 70. However, the following year he died on 17th August 1872 at the age of 71 and was buried with his wife in plot AA10 grave 2169 at Weaste Cemetery.