Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1870 & 79

Mary Josephine Kate Mounslow Tarbuck (1870 - 1871)

 This is the sad story about Mary Jo Tarbuck who died aged about five weeks old. She caused a sensation whilst she was being buried, as her murmurs were heard and she was rescued from the coffin. However she was so week that she died within a day.

Mary Jo was born in November 1870. She was the daughter of Joseph Tarbuck (born 1824) and Mary Ann (nee Marshall) Tarbuck (born 1829) who were married in 1868 at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, by Registrar. Thomas had been married before to Sarah Spofforth in 1860 at All Souls Church, Ancoats, Manchester. He was then aged 35, an Ironmonger who lived at 209 Every Street, Ancoats, Manchester. But Sarah died on 27th October 1868 and was buried at Weaste Cemetery, aged 41.

An Inquest heard that when Mary Jo was born she was very delicate and was attended to by a neighbour Rebecca Butterworth for a week. Two weeks later Mary Jo's mother called again for Mrs Butterworth to procure a Nurse and she arranged for her daughter Mary Ann Pennington to look after Mary Jo for a shilling per day. She fed Mary Jo a mixture of milk, bread and sugar. Soon after Mary Jo became restless. Mrs Pennington remembered that she had previously used laudanum for her toothache and although the bottle was now empty, she rinsed it with warm water and gave it to Mary Jo.

During this time, Mary Jo's father, Joseph Tarbuck, died on 28th December 1870 and arrangements were made for his funeral and interment at Weaste Cemetery on Saturday 31st December. Also on this day Mary Jo's condition worsened and she became lifeless. Mrs Butterworth called the doctor and Mr Thomas Cooke, Surgeon, came to the house at 12 noon and found "no pulsation in the wrists and respiration was very unequal." He left the house under the impression that Mary Jo could not live very long. He was sure that she was not suffering from any narcotic. At about one o'clock Mary Jo's breathing ceased and Mrs Butterworth was of the opinion that Mary Jo had died. She decided to wash Mary Jo and dressed her in clean clothes and took her to her mother. She obtained a certificate of death from the Doctor and a burial order from the local Registrar. It was then agreed that Mary Jo would be placed with her father in his coffin, just in time before the cortege left for Salford.

At Weaste Cemetery, when murmurs were head from the coffin, the funeral was halted and Mary Jo was rescued. Mary Jo was taken to Salford Town Hall and Mr George Hamilton, Surgeon was called. At the Inquest he said that he saw a very cold, pale and pulseless infant. His first impression was that the child was labouring from exposure to the cold. The restoratives he applied were having no effect and Mary Jo gradually sank and died on Sunday afternoon (1st January 1871). His post mortem examination the following day revealed that the brain was healthy and there was no sign of congestion, but he found a little effusion at the base of the brain. In his opinion the cause of death was debility. The Inquest Jury recorded death from natural causes, but expressed their disapprobation of the indecent haste manifested by Mrs Butterworth to have the child buried, and the conduct of Mrs Pennington in administering Laudanum.

Mary Jo was interred in grave A9/RC/104 at Weaste Cemetery on 4th January 1871.