Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1857 & 1869

John William Edge (1803 - 1864)

 John William Edge was a craftsman Gun-maker in Manchester, and provided the local gentry with sporting pistols, shotguns, rifles and crossbows. He was a man of varied scientific attainments and a member of the Manchester Mechanics Institute, becoming its Chairman in 1863.

He was born in 1904 in Hulme, Manchester and baptised in Hulme on 1st April 1804. His father was John Edge who was a Cheese Factor and his mother was Mary Edge. It would appear that John's mother died young as there is a record of Mr John Edge, cheese-factor marrying Miss Mary Ann Hazlehurst at Manchester Collegiate Church on 20th November 1825. There is also a record of a death of a Mary Edge who died in 1817 in Hulme and being buried on 4th May 1817 at the Church of Christ, Hulme. This could be John William's mother.

On 16th March 1829 John William Edge married Ann Sparrow at St Peter's Church, Chester, but sadly Ann died eight years later on 30th May 1837 after a long and severe illness. The following year on 8th January 1838, John married Ann's younger sister Margaret Sparrow at St Peter's Church, Chester. In 1851 they lived at 24 Ridge Field, Hulme; in 1855 at Russell Street, Stretford New Road, Hulme; and in 1861 they lived at 41/43 Percy Street, Hulme.

John was a maker of sports guns for the gentry. He developed his skills working then managing the gun department at Whitworth's, Manchester. When he formed his own gun-making business, he occupied premises in King Street. Then in 1832 he moved to 60 Bridge Street, in 1847 to 7 John Dalton Street, and by 1863 he was at St Mary's Gate Manchester. John also supplied gun powder, shot, caps and wadding, etc. and bought and sold other makers sports guns. He also used to organise and take part in pigeon shooting competitions and later partridge shoots, and was an excellent shot using his own guns.

John William Edge died in Hulme on 10th July 1864 aged 60 years. The Manchester Courier of 15th July 1864 reported "The Late Mr J W Edge. This gentleman was well known throughout the country for the excellence of the rifles and other small arms manufactured by him, and for which he obtained much celebrity during the last forty years. He was formerly manager of the gun department at Mr Whitworth's works, and by his skill and ingenuity in inventing and adopting various improvements, contributed very largely to the success of the work turned out by that establishment. He was a man of varied scientific attainments; but it was chiefly in connection with the Manchester Mechanics Institute that he will be remembered in this city. A member almost from its foundation, his services were ever at the command of the directors, by whom he had lately been appointed Chairman. The funeral (on 14th July) took place at the Salford Cemetery and was well attended by the board members of the Mechanics Institute.

John's widow Margaret died at Hulme in November 1870 aged 59 and was re-united with her husband on 22nd November at grave AA10/CE/2002 of Weaste Cemetery.