Jane Pickup (1855-1923)

There is a lot of confusion about Jane Pickup and her family; this is hardly surprising because there are lots of Pickups and Hamers and Tricketts in the Newchurch-in-Rossendale area. I go into this more with James Pickup, Jane's father.

Here is a photograph of Jane when she is about 52 years old. This is the only photo of her that I have.

Our Jane is the seventh of 10 children born to James Pickup and Ann (nee Tricket). She was born on 14th March 1855 at Bankses, Newchurch, her father's occupation was power loom weaver. Her mother, Ann, registered the birth and signed with a mark, suggesting she could not read or write. Here is a 1908 map of the area, I have underlined Bankses in red; Jane's future husband, John Edwin, was born opposite in Piercy.

In 1861 Jane is 6 and lives with her parents, James, who is 33 years old, and Ann, who is the same age as her husband. Jane's older brother John is 10, James is 8, and her younger brother, Samuel, is 3. They live in Bridleway, Newchurch, which is southeast of Bankses. Jane's father clearly has ambition because he is now a now a cotton waste dealer.

But James, like many others who worked in the cotton mills, probably wasn't expecting the cotton famine which hit Lancashire in 1862-64. As a result of the American Civil War, southern ports were blockaded by the north; gradually the cotton used in the mills in Lancashire became scarce. Factories were forced to close down and those who worked in the cotton mills became unemployed. Families responded in different ways to the cotton famine: some emigrated abroad, some moved to nearby places where there was other work, some had to rely on the soup kitchens and handouts from the various local relief committees whilst others took work where they could find it.

Here is a link to accounts of the famine by the Lancashire poet and author, Edwin Waugh, it is worth taking a look at the section on Wandering Minstrels, as this talks about the Larks of Dean, a group of working people from the Rossendale area who played musical instruments and sang.

This was clearly an important time for the Pickup family as both James and Ann had, by 1871 become bread bakers. They had also moved to Turnpike, just down the road from Bridleway. The cotton mills are back in operation as Jane, who is now 16, is a cotton weaver; her brother James, now 18 is also a bread baker, whilst thirteen-year-old Samuel is still a scholar.

On 21st October 1880, Jane, at 24 years of age, marries John Edwin Hamer, who is 23. The marriage certificate tells us that John Edwin's father is Edmund (deceased) who was a grocer. Jane's father is James Pickup who was now a drysalter. Drysalters were dealers in a range of chemical products, including glue, varnish, dye and colourings. They might supply salt or chemicals for preserving food and sometimes also sold pickles, dried meat or related items.

John Edwin lived at Baltic, Waterfoot and Jane at Wood Leigh Mount, Waterfoot, which is identified at the bottom of the map. They were married at Bethesda Chapel, Siss Clough, Newchurch and their witnesses were Samuel Pickup, Jane's brother, and his wife, Susy E. Pickup. Bethesda no longer exists but it was in Bridge Street, just off Burnley Road, opposite Turnpike.

Bethesda United Methodist Church is unique as it came into existance because of a split at a Wesleyan conference which agreed that Methodist churches could no longer teach reading and writing at sunday schools (they could only teach religious scriptures). Those who set up the new Bethesda wanted to continue to teach reading and writing at sunday school. I'm guessing this was pretty important to the Pickups and the Hamers who had both gone from working in the cotton mills to becoming trades-people; I assume this is where they learnt to read and write but they would also need to be able to do maths; this needs further investigation.

Rossendale; Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society

In 1881 Jane and John Edwin are living at 7 Baltic Buildings, Waterfoot. There are two Baltic Buildings now but then there was only the one on the right-hand side of Burnley Road East, opposite and higher than Trickett's Arcade. Next door on one side are the Holt family who are teachers and dealers in musical instruments; on the other side are the Lemmon family who are grocers and drapers. Jane and John Edwin are also grocers. Here is an older image of Baltic Buildings followed by one taken in 1973:

Thanks to Pete Fisher for photographs.

In 1891 they are still at the same address with the same neighbours only now they have four children: Ernest, John, Cuthbert and Gladys.

By 1901 they appear to have moved next door to no. 11 Burnley Road, which is still Baltic Buildings. John is 44 and is a grocer shopkeeper; Jane is 46; Ernest is 19 and a grocer's assistant; John is 17 and a draper's assistant; Cuthbert is 16 and an apprentice baker/ confectioner; Gladys is 10 and Jane 4.

No. 5 was a boot and shoe shop run by Jane and Susannah Pickup, ages 50 and 57 respectively; both are spinsters. No. 9 was probably part of the grocers as the head of the Lemmon family was a grocer's manager (but his daughter is a draper shop keeper). The Holts are now at no. 13 and they run a piano shop: the head, George and his son Richard made pianos whilst the daughters, Elizabeth and Alice were both music teachers.

Here is a family photo taken in about 1907. Jane Hamer (nee Pickup) is sitting at the front on the left. Her daugher, Jane is between her mother and father, John Edwin Hamer. To his right is their daugher Gladys. On the back row are, left to right, their sons Cuthbert, John and Ernest.

By 1911, Jane and John Edwin live at 9 and 11 Burnley Road; John Edwin is a grocer and a draper. Number 13 is still a piano shop. Their sons John and Cuthbert have flown the nest but Jane, Ernest and Gladys are still at home. Ernest is a grocer's assistant; Gladys is a dressmaker.

Jane dies on 23rd August 1928 aged 68. She is buried with her husband and those children who died in infancy (Harold, Violet, Arundell and George)in Rawtenstall cemetery in a double grave (Unc 136-137) but there is no headstone. There is also an Edith Hamer died 1908, who is likely to be the child of John Hamer and his wife, Edith (nee Taylor - Lancashire births, 1908).