Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

Hannah Eastwood Hunter (1843 - 1896)

Hannah Eastwood Hunter was the wife of the Engineer for Salford Gas Works Samuel Hunter, who was gaoled for perjury and forgery in 1888.


She was born Hannah Eastwood Dyson in 1843 in Thurgoland, near Penistone, Yorkshire and baptised on 21st May 1843 at Wortley Church nearby. Her parents were Christopher and Matilda Dyson. She married Samuel Hunter in about 1863. Samuel was also born in 1843 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. He began his working life as an errand boy and was eventually appointed to a post at Huddersfield Gas Works. Thereafter he progressed to Louth, (south of Grimsby in Lincolnshire) and then Rochdale Gas Works. He was appointed Chief Engineer of Salford Gasworks in 1875. The couple lived at 13, Seedley Mount, Pendleton in 1881 and then moved to Beech House on Bolton Road. Hannah and Samuel's children were: Henry A. (born 1864 in Huddersfield), Florence G. (born 1867 in Huddersfield and married John G. Newbigging in 1888 by registrar in Salford), Annie G. (born 1869 in Huddersfield and married Frederick W Bold in 1891 by registrar in Salford), Lily Maud (born 1870 and died 22nd October 1870 aged 7 months and was buried in Louth), Walter D. (born 1871 in Rochdale and married Annie Hughes in 1905 at St Mary's Parish Church, Eccles), Edith Evelyn (born 1873 in Rochdale and died 1884 in Pendleton aged 11) and Mabel E. (born 1879, Pendleton).


The 1881 census reveals that Hannah, Samuel, Florence (age 14) and Annie (aged 12) spent the night at the Prospect Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Whereas Henry (aged 16), Walter (aged 9), Edith (aged 7) and Mabel (aged 1) were at home at 13 Seedley Mount. Also at home was Hannah's niece, Annie M. Dyson, aged 18 of Prestone, York, as well as the servants.


The sorry tale about Samuel Hunter started in 1878, when a newly elected Councillor, James Mandley, asked questions about the management of the gas works and in particular the awarding of contacts for the supply of coal. The Council closed ranks and refused to co-operate. It was rumoured that Samuel was being bribed by coal suppliers. In 1887, the Council finally brought an action for libel against a coal supplier. Although the allegations were withdrawn, Samuel Hunter was put on trial in March 1888 charged with perjury and issuing forged authority for the payment of monies. The court wanted to question Hunter's lifestyle as he was worth £100,000, yet on an annual salary of £810. Those who were expecting him to name names were disappointed. He pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 5 years hard labour and sent to Portland Prison. The Council wanted to recover lost revenue from Hunter and at the same time did not want to create too much embarrassing publicity. Hunter offered to pay back £20,000, but in the end the Council settled for a payment of £10,000. The Town Clerk organised a petition to the Home Secretary for Hunter's release and it was signed by the overwhelming majority of Councillors! The appeal was refused. Hunter was finally released in 1892 after serving 3 years and 4 months.


Hannah died four years later, in February 1896 in Nuneaton at the age of 52. She was buried with her two daughters in plot A4 of the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery on 7th February. Rev J.G. Skemp performed the burial service.