Generation - Sarah Ann Harrison
Sarah Ann Harrison, mother of George Horner,
was born in May 1838 at 97, Newmarket Street, Skipton and baptized
on 3 June 1838. She was the eldest
daughter of Thomas Harrison and Margaret Scott. Her father Thomas
Harrison was a tailor and the family lived in a house that had probably
been in the hands of Thomas’s ancestors for generations.
In June 1841,
Sarah Ann, aged three, lived in Newmarket Street with her parents
and her younger sister Jane, aged one. She was probably too young to remember her brother
Joseph who had died in 1839 aged two. Her father Thomas was a Tailor, but he did not
have his own business and may have worked for a larger firm, probably
near Newmarket Street. Margaret did not
work and cared for Sarah Ann and her sister at home. However, Sarah
Ann’s maternal grandparents also lived in Newmarket Street, a few
doors away from her family home and were on hand if needed. Thomas Harrison may have earned enough as a
Tailor to support his family.
Harrison married Margaret Scott
In 1851 Sarah Ann’s cousin, John Bramley,
had joined the Harrison family. John was only two years old in 1851
and was cared for by Sarah’s mother Margaret Harrison. Margaret Harrison’s sister Mary
Scott had married George Bramley in 1845. They had two children before Mary Bramley died
in 1850. In
1851, George Bramley lived at number 7 Back of the Becks, a widower
and a twister-in in a Cotton factory. He lived near his father John
Bramley, weaver, at the Back of the Becks, uncle to Elizabeth
Horner nee Bramley, and great uncle to Thomas Horner. It is possible that the Harrisons and Horners
knew each other through the Bramley connection.
grandfather John Scott, and her Aunt Sarah Scott still lived close
by in Newmarket Street. John Scott worked as a Labourer, and his
daughter Sarah as a weaver. Sarah Scott probably worked in Isaac Dewhurst’s
Cotton Mill on Newmarket Street.
Last days at Home
In April 1861, Sarah Ann was preparing
for her marriage to Thomas Harrison in May and was still living
at home with her parents on Newmarket Street. Sarah Ann, aged twenty-two, and her sister Jane,
aged twenty-one, both worked as
Cotton Power Loom Weavers in Dewhurst’s Cotton Mill. Their Aunt
Sarah Scott, who still lived in Newmarket Street, was also a Cotton
Power Loom Weaver. Sarah Ann and Jane may have followed Sarah Scott
into the factory. Dewhurst’s was the first Mill to introduce Power
Looms into Skipton in 1829. Initially a Worsted factory, Dewhursts
started to produce Cotton when the mills were rebuilt after being
burnt in 1831.
Sarah Ann’s brothers Edward, aged
nineteen and James aged fifteen, were Whitesmiths and ‘Bele hangers’
and did not work in the Cotton Factory. Sarah’s cousin James Bramley had moved out of
the Harrison household and was living with his grandfather John
and his aunt Sarah Scott who still lived in Newmarket Street. In
1861 Sarah Scott, aged thirty-three, continued to work as a cotton
power Loom worker in Dewhurst’s Mill, but John Scott, aged sixty-seven,
had changed his occupation and now worked as a servant, a groom.
cannot have been easy for Sarah Ann, as in addition to working in
Dewhurst’s Mill she also had a two year old daughter Elizabeth Ann
to care for. This may have been the reason why James Bramley
had moved to live with his grandfather, to make room for the baby.
Sarah Ann’s mother Margaret Harrison probably stayed at home and
looked after Elizabeth Ann when Sarah was in the cotton Mill, as
she had no occupation in 1861. It is doubtful whether Sarah’s future
husband Thomas Horner was the father of Elizabeth Ann. Elizabeth
Ann spent her childhood in the care of her grandparents at Newmarket
Street and did not join Sarah Ann’s married households.
Marriage to Thomas Horner
Sarah Ann married Thomas Horner in Skipton Parish
Church on 28 May 1861. Sarah Ann’s brother Edward Harrison was one
of the witnesses to the marriage. Sarah Ann and Thomas soon started to build a
home together at 89 Millfields, Skipton, and their first son James
Horner was born about a year later in 1862. Five years later Harrison
Horner was born in 1867, and their youngest son George was born
on 3 August 1869. Sarah Ann probably remained at home to take
care of the children, although the gaps between their ages may mean
that she worked in the factory when her children were weaned.
Brother Edward Harrison
brother Edward married Jane Henry in October 1862. Edward and Jane soon started a family, the first
son James Henry Harrison being born in 1863, followed by Mary Ann
Harrison in 1868. Edward did not live in Skipton in 1871, but
his son James Henry was living with Edward’s mother Margaret Harrison.
By 1881, Edward had set up his own household at 14, Westmoreland
Street, Skipton, and worked as a Whitesmith. His wife Jane continued to work as a
Woollen weaver, probably in the nearest factory. His son James Henry
aged eighteen was a Blacksmith Striker. Mary Ann aged thirteen was
still at School.
years later in 1891, Edward and his wife Jane were still living
at 14, Westmoreland Street, but Edward, aged 49, was a Blacksmith.. Their
married daughter, Mary Ann Clarkson, and three grandchildren joined
Edward and Jane in their household. Mary Ann was a cotton weaver
and she probably left the care of her two children Edith J. Clarkson,
aged two, and Fred Clarkson, aged 1, to her mother during the day. Jane
Harrison probably also cared for her other grandchild Jane L. Harrison,
probably the daughter of Jane’s son James Henry Harrison.
far away, Edward’s son James Henry Harrison had set up his
own household in 1891 at 20, Crossley Place. James, aged 29 was
a general labourer. His wife Amanda, aged 28, was born in Gargrave. James and Amanda had three children, Edward,
aged 5, Catherine, aged 2, and Harold 8 months old.
Sarah’s sister Jane married William Smith, dyer, in 1872 and
at 35 years of age became the mother of Thomas Smith in 1875.
Brother James Harrison
1868 James married Martha Hannah Smith, a dressmaker, and they set
up home together in Sun Yard, Skipton by 1871. Their eldest son Thomas Henry Harrison was only
two years old, and Martha probably balanced her dressmaking with
care for her son. James continued to work as a Whitesmith.
1871 and 1881 the family grew, Willie Harrison joining the family
in 1872, Annie Harrison in 1875, and Edward Harrison 1878. By 1881, the family had moved to 11, Coach Street,
Skipton, and James Harrison was working as a Mechanic on S-Mach
. Most of the children attended school,
except three-year-old Edward. Annie Smith, aged 19, probably Martha’s sister also lived with
Death of Thomas Horner
In 1873, Thomas Horner died and left Sarah Ann with the care
of three young boys. Her youngest son George Horner was only four
years old. Only two years later in December 1876, Sarah Ann, aged
thirty-nine, married a boatman named George Bright, aged twenty-five. Her brother Edward and her sister in law Mary
Hannah were Sarah’s witnesses.
Sarah was a full fifteen years older than George Bright, and it
is difficult to understand how her Horner in-laws would have responded
to this arrangement. Sarah Ann may have needed a male provider for
her young family, as it is difficult to see how her family would
have survived on one wage. Her eldest son James Horner was a cotton
worker and had probably been forced into working in the cotton factories
when he left school in 1874, to support his widowed mother and his
two younger brothers. He may have cared little for her new husband
who would only have been eleven years older than him.
However, the marriage may have been a happy
one. In 1881, Sarah and her three sons were living in the household
of George Bright, at 2 Commercial Street. Her middle son Harrison Horner became a boatman
and seems to have followed George Bright into the canal business.
This shows that at least Harrison was on good terms with George
Sick at Home
Ten years later, when living in her son’s
household, Sarah Ann has the surname Horner, not Bright, which was
probably an enumerator’s error. By1891, Sarah was ‘kept by her son’ James Horner
in his household at 18, Westgate. It is uncertain what had happened to George
Bright, but he had probably passed away.
Sarah Ann was fifty-three years old, and
described as a widow. Sarah Ann had no occupation, and although
she had worked in a cotton factory when she was younger, it is possible
that she was no longer able to earn a living for herself. She was
also possibly infirm and had to be cared for by her son and his
James and his wife Annie also had a lodger
Elizabeth Thompson, a ‘sick nurse’. Elizabeth may have helped to
care for Sarah Ann. Sarah Ann’s father Thomas had died before he
was fifty-four and her grandfather Edward Harrison had died aged
48. At fifty-three years of age, Sarah Ann may have
been suffering from some sort of inherited condition. In the 1891
census, we have the last written record of Sarah Ann’s life before
her death in September of that year.
Sarah Ann Harrison and Thomas Horner
probably met through family connections. Sarah Ann’s aunt Mary Scott
had married George Bramley,
a cousin to Elizabeth Horner (nee Bramley) Thomas Horner’s mother.
George Bramley’s father John Bramley was a weaver and in 1841 lived
at Back of the Becks in Skipton with his wife Margaret and his children.
Harrison married Mary Petyt
There may be another connection through Thomas Horner’s uncle Mark,
and Sarah Ann’s great-uncle William Harrison.
Thomas Horner and most of his aunts and uncles
lived in Commercial Street in 1841. There was a close family tie
between Thomas and his uncle, Mark Horner, who lived eight doors away from his parent’s house.
For a time Mark’s son Robert had lived in the same house as Thomas.
In 1841, Mark Horner and his family lived in Commercial Street next
door to a certain William Watson who also worked in the factory
as a cotton weaver.
This William Watson lived with his second
wife, Elizabeth (nee Haworth), and two sons Isaac, aged three and
William who was only a year old. A Sarah Harrison, aged 50, and her daughter Mary, aged 10, also lived in the Watson
household. These were William Watson’s relations by his first marriage.
Isaac Watson was the son of William Watson’s first marriage to Isabella
Myers, the natural daughter of Sarah Myers. This Sarah Myers had later married William Harrison,
Sarah Ann’s uncle.
The Mary Harrison, aged ten, living in
the household of William Watson in Commercial Street in 1841, was
therefore Sarah Ann Harrison’s cousin. Doubtless Sarah Ann’s family
in Newmarket Street would have maintained contact with the Harrison’s
in Commercial Street, and Sarah Ann would have had occasion to visit