Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

William Hampson (1780 - 1894)

William Hampson claimed to be Queen Victoria's oldest subject. Just before he died in on 9th January 1894 he claimed to be 115 years old, having been born in November 1780. However his age recorded in Salford Burial book was 113 years. His date of birth had been recorded in the family bible, but that had been burnt in a house fire when he lived at Dantzig Street. He indicated that he was baptised in Manchester Collegiate Church (now Manchester Cathedral), but the only baptism recorded between 1778 and 1789 was on 19th September 1784, which may not be him.

The Manchester Guardian of 28th December 1893, whilst referring to William Hampson's great age records: "some eight or nine days ago, he met with an accident. According to his own statement, he was alighting from a tramcar, when he was knocked down by a passing cab and severely injured in his back. He was picked up and either on that day or shortly afterwards, removed in a cab to the home of some friends in Foundry Street, off Oldham Road, Manchester. He explained that his memory was not as good as it used to be, but he was expected to be at the old folks party in Salford, at which the place of honour was always accorded to him by reason of his great age.

William died on 9th January 1894. A newspaper obituary reads, "The death is announced from Manchester of William Hampson, formerly of Salford, who claimed to be the Queen's oldest subject. His age could never be ascertained with certainty, but the old man maintained that he saw his 115th New Year's Day on 1st January 1894. Shortly before Christmas, Hampson met with a street accident which confined him to bed, and it is believed, hastened his end. Hampson used to say that when he was a boy he heard John Wesley preach at the *Trinity Church, Salford in 1790. His wife died fifty-five years ago and his two sons were killed in the Crimean War. Four of his uncles were in the Battle of Waterloo. When a young man he enlisted, but his father paid the smart money amounting to £30 and secured his release. His birthplace was in Salford and he had, at the time of his death, no living relations, as far as is known. For many years he was dependent on the charity of friends."

*The Cheshire observer of 2nd December 1893 refers to John Wesley's visit to Salford in 1790 as "he distinctly remembers, as a boy, seeing John Wesley and hearing him preach at the Salford Cross in Greengate, (Salford). After preaching, Wesley walked on to examine the then partly raised edifice of Gravel Lane Chapel." Also it says "William insists occasionally on tempting the dangers of those streets in Salford which he has sturdily paced for more than a century."

The remains of William Hampson were interred in a common grave in the Church of England portion of Weaste Cemetery on Saturday afternoon 13th January 1894, in the presence of many members of the inhabitants of Salford and Manchester. An impressive service was read by the Rector of Christ Church, Salford, the Rev. Fergus Hill. The coffin bore the following inscription "William Hampson, died 9th January 1894 aged 113 years.