Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1870 & 79

Rev.James Gaskill (1800 - 1876)

 James Gaskill was a Cotton Spinner, and at the age of 23, he became the Minister of the Bible Christian Church (BCC) in Hulme, Manchester.



He was born in 1800, at Newton, near Hyde, Cheshire. His parents were Peter Gaskill (b.1777) and Elizabeth nee Fletcher (b.1772).  Peter was a founder member of the BCC, and a Farmer at Newton, Hyde, until about 1821, when he came to Manchester and set up as a Cotton Spinner. In 1829 Peter was living at Chapel Yard, Hulme, Manchester, a property owned by Joseph Brotherton. In 1839 Elizabeth died. By 1840 Peter was also a Landlord as he had acquired a number of houses in Hulme, close to the Bible Christian Church. In 1841 Peter married again to Betty Bond (b.1806) and moved to Horwich Deane, Bolton, where he died in 1857. James had three sisters, Margaret (b.1806) married George Collier in 1823, Hannah (b.1809) married John Lomas in 1829 and Sarah (b.1811) who died 1832 aged 20.



At the age of 10, James and another boy named Alfred Hardy, were appointed by Rev William Cowherd as Assistant Masters of the Grammar School and Academy of Science established by the Bible Christian Church in King Street, Salford. (This church believed that its members should not eat meat, and later helped to found the Vegetarian Society). In 1816 the Rev Cowherd died and in 1817, Joseph Brotherton became the Minister of the church (and later became Salford's first MP in 1832).



James became a close friend of Joseph Brotherton, and when the Minister of the Hulme Bible Christian Church (James Schofield) opened another chapel in Ancoats in 1823, James Gaskill was appointed Minister of the Hulme chapel. Later, money was raised to build a school room and it became known as Hulme Christ Church Institute. James became a member of the Chorlton (upon-Medlock) Board of Guardians and a Director of the Manchester Mechanics Institute. In 1847, he attended an historic conference in Ramsgate where the proposal "That a society be formed called the Vegetarian Society" was agreed. He was also associated with the Temperance and other progressive movements. James never married.



He died at his home in Egerton Terrace, Stretford Road, Hulme in 1870 and was buried in Square 32 of the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery. The Rev James Clark, Minster of the BCC in Salford (and who was his sister Margaret's son-in-law), conducted the service. His memorial read "In memory of James Gaskill of Hulme, who died on 17th August 1870, aged 70 years. He was for 50 years a faithful member of the Bible Christian Church, Salford, one of the founders of Christ Church Sunday School, Hulme, to which he was a munificent benefactor and a zealous labourer therein. Until his death he ardently supported the temperance cause and other philanthropic movements by his active endeavours and by liberal donations. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Matt.V.8."



James Gaskill left money to the UK Alliance (against the Liquor Trades) and the Manchester and Salford Temperance Union – both promoters of total abstinence, the Peace Society, Hulme Free Library, the Vegetarian Society and to the Bible Christian Church. (With thanks to Derek Antrobus for some of the detail herein).