Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

1892-1894, James Marsden Ashurst, Chairman Hindley Local Board


Chairman, Hindley Local Board       1892 – 1894

b James Marsden, 16 Dec 1841   Bapt 29 Dec 1842 Wigan All Saints                 Mother: Ann Marsden (m John Ashurst 18 Aug 1845 Wigan All Saints)

m1 27 Apr 1865 Alice Ann Baynes, Pemberton St John’s                                                                                       Children: Alice Maud (1867), Annie Jane (1871), Kate (1873)

m2 21 Dec 1878 Jane Williams, Hindley St Peter’s                                                       Children: John (1879), James (1880), Dora (1882)  

m3 7 Sept 1899 Mrs Susannah Gerrard, Liverpool St Luke’s

d 12 April 1916, Carlton, Barrett Rd, Birkdale, aged 74, Colliery agent (ret)                                                                           Burial 15 Apr 1916, Birkdale St John’s / Birkdale Cemetery

James was born 16 Dec 1841 in Hallgate, Wigan to Ann Marsden, daughter of tailor George Marsden. She went on to marry John Ashurst in August 1845, when their marriage record described John as a collier and Ann as a reeler. In the textile industry, the reeler operated the machine that wound yarn onto the bobbin.

In the 1851 census, John and Ann were living at 96 Blundell’s Smithy in Pemberton, James, aged 9, was now called James Ashurst, and he had a five year old sister, Alice.

By the time of the 1861 census James, 19, was still living with his parents in Winstanley Road, Pemberton. John was an underviewer in a coal mine and James an underviewer’s assistant. The underviewer was the responsible manager of a colliery in the absence of the “viewer” or colliery manager, responsible for all underground and generally all surface arrangements.

On 27th April 1865 at St John’s Church, Pemberton, James Marsden Ashurst, 24, publican, bachelor of Lamberhead Green, son of John Ashurst, underlooker in coal mine married Alice Ann Baynes, 22, daughter of Jeffrey Baynes, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Trade directories of 1865 and 1869 name James Ashurst as landlord of the Red Lion in Lamberhead Green.

James and Alice had three daughters, but Alice died in 1876 aged 34 and was buried at St John’s Church, Pemberton on 26th Dec 1876. The family abode was Low Green Cottage, Hindley.

James remarried on 21st Dec 1878 at Hindley St Peter’s, and his new spouse was Jane Williams. By the 1881 census, James was a colliery agent living in Stoney Lane, Hindley with wife Jane, the three children of his first marriage, plus two infant boys of his second marriage. Jane died in 1891 and was buried 15 April 1891 at Pemberton St John’s. The family abode was Carlton Villas, Hindley.

In his business, James Marsden Ashurst was the Liverpool agent for Messrs Crompton and Shawcross, Scowcroft and Co., and other local colliery companies. Consequently he was extremely well-known in commercial circles.

He also figured actively in political and church matters, and for many years engaged himself in local government. He was a member of the Local Board, for which he served as chair from 1892 – 1894, as well as the District Council that followed. During his chairmanship, he presided over the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Local Board; was actively involved in the transitional arrangements to change from Local Board to District Council, including the division of Hindley into wards; and opposed the Wigan Corporation Bill of 1893, which he saw as unfair to the ratepayers of Hindley. He retired from the Council in 1896 and was presented with several gifts as a mark of their appreciation and regard, including a handsome canteen of cutlery, a Malacca cane, an umbrella and a box of pipes.

James held many public appointments, including governor of the Hindley and Abram Grammar School, trustee of the Duckenfield Trust and the Hindley Chapel Trust and, for twenty years, correspondent manager for the Low Green School. He was also a leading Conservative in Hindley, presiding over the Conservative Club. He was a director of the Club Buildings Co. and frequently presided at Conservative gatherings.

His Masonic career was long and important. He was initiated in the Hesketh Lodge, Croston during the 1870s and in 1883 became the Worshipful Master of the Antiquity Lodge, Wigan. Seven years later, he became one of the founders of the Corinthian Lodge, Hindley, and was the second Worshipful Master in 1891. In the West Lancashire Province, he was Grand Sword Bearer and was also a member of the Royal Arch Masons.

On 7 Sept 1899, James married Mrs Susannah Gerrard at fashionable St Luke’s Church, Bold Street, Liverpool. They stayed at Carlton Villas, Hindley for the first few years of their marriage, but later moved c1904 to Barrett Road, Birkdale, where they named the house “Carlton”. James died there on 12th April 1916, aged 74, having relinquished his business interests just five years earlier. He was buried in Birkdale Cemetery three days later.

Sources :         Ancestry ; Lancashire Online Parish Clerks ; Lancs BMD ; Wigan Observer ;

Slater’s Directory of Lancashire, 1865