Christopher Foster (1871-1935)

Christopher Foster was born at 1 Moorend, Kettlewell on 26th April, 1871. Here is a modern day photograph of Moorend. It is now used as an outward bound centre.

Christopher was the fifth out of eleven children; his father was another Christopher Foster (b. 1841) and his mother, Elizabeth Foster (nee Sutton).

In the 1881 census Christopher, aged 9 and his younger brother Richard, aged 8, are both living with their father, Christopher, a farmer of 40 acres, at Wheatsheaf Hill, Edgeworth, Lancashire. Elizabeth, and the other children: Jane E, Robert, Margaret, Betsy, Annie and Emily, are living in Hazlehurst, an area in Ramsbottom. Also living there is Elizabeth's sister, Ann Sutton, age 23. Ann is a cotton weaver like Jane, Robert and Margaret.

Wheatsheaf is interesting as it was in this same area that the second National Children's Home was established in 1872, at the Wheatsheaf Inn, with 80 acres of land at Edgworth.

Wheatsheaf Hill Farm Barn, Plantation Road, Edgworth, was the subject of an Archaeological Building Survey by J.M. Trippier in 2009, which is where the following Ordinance Survey 25" Lancashire Sheet 79:10, 1893, was reproduced:

Trippier's report talks about the Warburton family living at Wheatsheaf Hill Farm Barn in the 1881 census and makes no reference to the Fosters - it is possible they were living in the small building just below the farm.

Wheatsheaf Hill Farm is now The Wellbeing Farm. According to their website, the farm was owned by the Whitehead family since 1871, so my ancestor would have been a tenant farmer when he was there.

By 1891 Christopher was living with his parents and younger siblings Richard, 18, labourer, Annie, 15, grocer's assistant, Emma 10, and Beatrice 5, at 209 Bolton Road, Ramsbottom. Here is a photograph of 209 Bolton Road West, Ramsbottom, which was for sale in 2011; I'm not sure whether this is the same house or not. In the 1891 census Christopher's occupation is listed as a 'sawyer' i.e. wood sawyer.

A year later, on 29th August 1892, Christopher married Betsy Leeming Taylor at St Thomas' church in Bury. Christopher was a bachelor and his occupation was a labourer, he lived at 247 Bolton Road, Ramsbottom. His wife, Betsy Leeming Taylor, was also 21 years old and a spinster and lived at 11 Myrtle Street, Bury. The witnesses were James Mawderley and Alice Ann Taylor, Betsy's sister. Christopher's father was also called Christopher and was also a labourer; Betsy's father was called Robert and was a fireman.

In 1901 Christopher and Betsy lived with their three children, Margaret, 7, Christopher, 5, and Henry 4, all of whom had been born in Ramsbottom, at Further Meadows Farm.

By 1911 the family had moved to Uglow farm, Edgeworth,Turton near Bolton. Their youngest son, Henry, now aged 13 years, was the only child still living at home.

Uglow Farm was for sale in 2011; here is the description: Located at the head of this long valley with extensive views over Edgworth, Belmont and on towards Bolton is this period, semi detached farmhouse enjoying a secluded position and wonderful views from its location at the head of this long and private driveway. The original building is thought to date from 1725. Here is a view from the farm:

Christopher Foster died age 64, on 29th August, 1935 at 13 Greenfield Street, Rawtenstall, and is buried in Rawtenstall cemetery, alongside his wife, Betsy, his son Christopher and his wife, Doris.