James Ward (1806-1858)

James Ward was born on 29 Nov 1806 at Dogshaw to Richard Ward and Jane Bury; he was the third of 6 children.

James was baptised on 20th January 1807 at Lower Chapel Independent by H.W.T.

After quite a bit of digging it looks like Dogshaw was up Bury Fold, which would make sense as James and two of his siblings were born at Dogshaw whilst the census has him living with his family in Bury Fold several years later. Doghaw Clough was a colliery.

The earliest coal drift at Dogshaw colliery dates from 1834. In about 1850 a new drift was driven into the lower mountain seam below Duckshaw Farm. In 1859 a link between the colliery to an older tramway was made to transport the coal to Darwen Mill. In 1862 there were 50 colliers working the mine which closed in the early 1870's. Dogshaw Clough, also called Duckshaw Clough is just above Lord's Hall. Duckshaw Road goes above Bury Fold.

On 13th August 1831 James married Elizabeth Grimshaw at St Mary the Virgin, which is now Blackburn Cathedral. He was a weaver. Their witnesses were Joseph Fairbrother and Thomas Walsh and they were married by Richard Burnet.

This image was provided by Gordon Hartley for use in the Cotton Town digitisation project.

James and Elizabeth had eleven children that we know of:

Richard (1833-1906) was born on 16th August 1833 and was baptised at Lower Chapel Independent, Over Darwen, on 27 August 1833 by Samuel Nichols.

Jane (1834-1910) was born on 21st December 1834 and baptised by Samuel Nichols on 8th December 1835.

Hannah (1838-1842)

John (1840-1898)

William (1843-1862)

Ann (1846-1892)

James (1847-1920)

Mary (1849-1849)

Mary (1850-1921)

Elizabeth (1853-1917)

Alice (1856-1915) was born on 19th October 1856 and baptised at Lower Chapel Independent, Over Darwen.

It is highly likely they were all baptised at Lower Chapel Independent but for some reason there are no baptisms recorded from 1838 to 1852. However, the births can be found on Lancashire BDMs.

In the 1841 census the family are living in Bury Fold; James is 30 and a labourer, Elizabeth is 25, Richard 7, Hannah 3, Jane 5, John 1.

In 1851 they are still living in Bury Fold but James is now 42 and a quarryman; Elizabeth is 38, Richard is 17 and a spinner, Jane is 15 and a power loom weaver, John is 11 and a spinner, William is 8, Ann 5, James 3, Mary 1. Hannah is no longer there as she died in 1842.

Perhaps James worked at Thorny Height Quarry, which is on the moors not too far from Bury Fold, above Hillside Avenue, which out of interest, is where his son, James Ward (1847-1920) was living with his daughter and her family in 1910.

James senior dies in 1858, aged 51 years, leaving behind his widow, Elizabeth and their 9 children. To find out more about what happened to Elizabeth and their children see Elizabeth Grimshaw.