Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

Henry Lightbown (1819 - 1899)

Henry Lightbown was one of the UK's principal designer/producer of reasonably priced wallpaper of the Victorian era. He ran a large printing establishment known as Hayfield Mill located south of Pendleton Town Hall, on the site of the future Salford Market, and he lived at Weaste Hall on Weaste Lane, Pendlton.

He was born on 24th April 1819 in Darwen, Lancashire. He was the son of John Lightbown (born 1791 in Darwen) who had a small farm where he also did hand-loom weaving. His mother was Esther (nee Duckworth) Lightbown, who sadly died when Henry was 13 years old. In 1840, Henry was aged 21 and engaged by Messrs Potter and Co of Darwen, in their paper staining works.

On 4th July 1843, Henry married Ann Aspinall, youngest daughter of the late James Aspinall of Blackburn, Lancashire, at the Ebenezer Congregational Chapel in Darwen. Their six daughters were: Elizabeth Alice (born 1844 in Darwen and married John Burnett in 1869); Agnes Eleanor (born 1845 in Darwen and married William Sugden in 1874); Esther (born 1848 in Darwen and married Walter Richard Craine Goulden in 1880); Sarah (born 1851 in Hulme, Manchester); Annie Milton (born 1853 in Salford and during WW1 served as Quartermaster at Fairhope Hospital, Eccles Old Road); and Edith Margaret (born 1860 in Salford and married Henry J C Godfrey in 1891).

In spring 1847, the Lightbown family moved to Manchester, and Henry and his brother-in-law William Aspinall opened a warehouse on High Street selling Potter's wallpapers. Henry and Anne lived on Chorlton Road and became involved with the Zion Congregational Church on Stretford Road. Later they were to take a role in the Congregational Church on Broad Street, Salford, where Henry was elected Deacon on 6th June 1859. Their home in Salford was Weaste Hall on Weaste Lane, Pendleton.

In 1851, Henry and William started producing their own wallpapers at premises on Cross Lane, Pendleton. The business flourished and they built a prestigious mill just south of Pendleton Town Hall called Hayfield Mill. They produced "sanitaries" (i.e. washable wallpapers suitable for hospitals), stipples and new patterns every season. The company became one of the foremost producers of reasonably priced wallpapers in the country. William Aspinall died in 1865, but Henry carried on until his death in 1899, when the company was sold to The Wall Paper Manufacturers Ltd.

Henry Lightbown was involved in local politics as a leading Liberal. Although he was elected as a Salford Councillor in 1869 for a three year term, his favourite role was chairman of the elections committee for Seedley Ward. He was Chairman of the Constituency Liberal election committee when the Liberals regained the seat from the Conservatives in 1880, electing Benjamin Armitage. Henry received many tributes for his dedicated work.

Henry Lightbown died on 16th August 1899, aged 80 and was buried in a vault in A3 Dissenters plot at Weaste Cemetery. His wife Ann died in 1908, aged 86 and was reunited with Henry. A grade II listed memorial was erected on the grave.