Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1857 & 1869

David Balfour (1799 - 1861)

 David Balfour was an Engineer and for many years he was Foremen of Fitters at Peel, Williams and Peel Company's Soho Foundry, Pollard Street, Ancoats, Manchester.


He was born in 1799 in Haigh, Wigan, Lancashire. His father was Robert Balfour of Wigan who was an Agent to a coal mine, and who died in 1833 in Standish, Wigan. His mother was Betty Bimson of Billinge, Wigan, and they were married on 25 August 1793 at St Aidan's Church, Billinge.


Very little is known about David in his early years, but it would appear that he was married about 1819. His wife was named Ann (?) who was born in Standish, Wigan in 1799. (The records for Standish Parish Church were destroyed). Their children were Margaret (born 1820 at Standish, married 1844 to James Knowles), Cicily (born 1823 at Standish, married 1845 to Aaron Edge who died in 1874 and then she remarried in 1891 to Peter Cliff), Elizabeth (born 1825 at Haigh, married 1863 to James Bell), Edwin (born 1826 in Wigan, married Jane Frances (?) born 1831 in Londonderry, Ireland), and Harriet (born 1829 in Wigan, married 1855 to William Bell and remarried in 1863 to Thomas Dunn).


In 1841 the family lived at Clare Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, In 1849 the Manchester Rates records show they lived at 11 Fairfield Street, Manchester. In 1861 they were at 65 Fairfield Street, Manchester, where both David and Ann were aged 62, Elizabeth was aged 36 and unmarried, and two of Cicily's children were present – Edwin Edge aged 9 and Thomas Edge aged 5. Sadly only 3 months later on 8th July 1861, David Balfour died at Fairfield Street, aged 62 and was buried at Weaste Cemetery in grave number B18/CE/2995.


David had spent many years as Foremen of Fitters at the Soho Foundry of Peel, Williams and Peel in Ancoats, Manchester. The Company was founded in 1798 by George Peel who was a cousin of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel and it became the biggest engineering firm in Manchester up to the 1830s. In 1839 they began manufacturing railway locomotives which were trialled on the Liverpool – Manchester Line. In 1861 they were described as steam engine makers, iron and brass founders, engineers, millwrights, boiler, gasometer and hydraulic press makers. In 1862 they were awarded a medal for their machines at the Great London Exposition.


The 1871 census shows David's widow Ann lived at Chapel St, Ardwick, Manchester. Also in the house were her daughter Cicily Edge and husband Aaron and three Edge children: Edwin aged 18, Thomas Henry aged 15, and Sarah Ann age 11. Also her daughter Harriet Dunn with husband Thomas. On 20th August 1879, Ann Balfour died of bronchitis, aged 79 and was re-united with her husband David at Weaste Cemetery.


David and Ann's son Edwin was also an Engineer and Millwright. He was married about 1850 to Jane Frances (?) born in Londondery, Ireland. They had three children Edwin (born 1853 in Boston, Lincolnshire), Jane Frances (born 1857 in Boston) and David (born 1860 in Manchester). Edwin died in 1901 in Gorton, Manchester, aged 75.