Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1857 & 1869

William Drinkwater (1791 - 1867)

 William Drinkwater owned the Salford Woollen Mills in Deal Street, Salford and gave evidence to the Factory Inquiry Commission in 1841. He also lived at Monks Hall, Eccles for about six years, where he died in 1867.

According to his gravestone he was born in 1791, although there is no record of this in "Find My Past." (There are records showing 1790 births in both Knutsford, Cheshire and Flixton, Lancashire). In 1821 William married Elizabeth Hewitt in Manchester. Elizabeth was born in 1798. They had a son John born 22nd April 1822 and baptised on 19th July 1822 in Manchester. Sadly, Elizabeth died in 1836 in Manchester aged 38 and was interred in the Dissenters Rusholme Road Cemetery, Manchester. (John became an Estate Agent/Auctioneer, married Mary Ann Williamson from Surrey in 1848, and died in 1891 aged 69. Both are interred at Weaste Cemetery).

In 1838 William married again to Emma Margaret Robinson in Salford by Registrar. She was born in 1814 and was 23 years younger than William. There is no 1841 census return, but Lancashire BMD records the birth of their children: Charles Herbert (b. 1841 in Broughton), Mary Emma (b 1842 in Salford Greengate), Arthur Wairstall (b 1845 in Salford Regent Road), and Alfred (b 1847 in Salford Regent Road). The 1851 census shows that the family lived at Talavaria Place, Broughton, Salford and shows William as a Woollen Manufacturer, aged 59.

The 1861 census shows their address as 7 Broughton Terrace, Broughton and that William was born in Bedworth, Cheshire, (this could be Budworth) and aged 69. In 1863 Herbert married Julie Hoffman in Salford by Registrar. In 1865 Mary married Gerald Thomas Tully at St Mary the Virgin Church in Eccles, giving her address as Monks Hall, Eccles. Gerald was the youngest son of Commander Kivas Tully RN.

William owned Salford Woollen Mills in Deal Street Salford. His evidence to the 1841 Factory Inquiry Commission, (relative to the state of mills, general conditions and the treatment of children and factory workers), showed that the mill manufactured woollen cord exclusively. The building was erected in about 1783 as a cotton mill and became his woollen mill in about 1812. It was powered by one 16 horsepower engine and all hazardous parts of the machinery and equipment were boxed off. There were washing facilities, but the workers seldom washed themselves at the mill. He had previously employed children from the age of seven and a half, but now no children under nine. He said that children were "best adapted" for piecing work (taking the pieces of wool from the carding machine and taking them to the Jenny which draws out the thread). All employees including children work 12 hours per day.

William Drinkwater died on 22nd April 1867 at his residence, Monks Hall Eccles, at the age of 75 years. He was buried at Weaste Cemetery. By 1871 his widow Emma and his son Alfred had moved to Ash Bank, Half Edge Lane, Eccles. But Emma was to live only another four years as she died on 24th February 1875, aged 61. She was reunited with William at Weaste Cemetery.