Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

1885-1890, Israel Knowles, Chairman Ince Local Board


Chairman, Ince Local Board       1885 – 1890

b 7 Feb 1836     Bapt 11 Dec 1867, Christ Church, Ince                                                     Parents: John Knowles (engineer) and Martha Partington, m 4 Jan 1824, St Oswald’s Church, Winwick

m Ellen Naven, 3 Oct 1858, St Peter’s, Bolton                                                       Children: Thomas (1859); James Robert (1860); Martha (1862 – 1862); Margaret (1863); John Knowles (1865 – 1865); Martha (1866); Mary Alice (1867); Ellen (1868 – 1868); Jane Elizabeth (1869); Israel (1870 - 1889); Adam (1872); Nellyetta (1873 – 1873); John Darnhall (1875); Elizabeth Maud (1877); Arthur Harold (1879)

d 14 May 1909, Kinloch, 46 Hartwood Rd, Southport, aged 73

Burial Ince Cemetery, plot A144, C of E


Israel Knowles was born 7th April 1836 in Ince, the child of John Knowles and his wife Martha. In the 1841 census, the family were living at the Railway Tavern, Hindley, where John was recorded as publican and colliery underlooker. The children were Thomas (1824); Mary (1825); John (1827); Robert (1831); Adam (1832); Ellen (1833); Israel (1836).

The eldest son, Thomas (b 30 May 1824) gave his name to the Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Company, served as Mayor of Wigan 1864-5 and was M.P. for Wigan from 1874 until his death in 1883.

In the 1851 census, the family were still living at the Railway Tavern, John was recorded as publican and there was now an eighth child, James (1846). Israel’s occupation was errand boy.

It was under his brother Thomas’ direction that Israel began his association with the Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Co. and he served as general manager of the company for many years. Later he became identified with other firms, including as a director of the Wigan Waggon Company, and also as one of the proprietors of the Douglas Forge Company’s works at Scholes Bridge.

On 3 Oct 1858, Israel married Ellen Naven of Ashton, daughter of factory manager James Naven. When their first son Thomas was born in 1859, Israel was working as a fitter, and as an engine fitter by the time of son James’ birth in 1860. The 1861 census records the family living at 236 Warrington Road, Ince, while Israel worked as an engineer and foreman.

By 1871 the family were living at 1 Warrington Road (Hall of Ince), where Israel was listed as a colliery engine smith. They now had five more children, Margaret, Martha, Mary Alice and baby Israel, while 2-year old daughter Jane was staying with her mother Ellen’s parents in Darlington Street, where Grandfather Navin was manager of a cotton mill.

In the 1881 census, another four children had been born, Adam, John, Elizabeth and Arthur. The family were now living at Westwood, Ince, where Israel was described as a mining engineer.

Israel’s wife Ellen died in March 1885 aged 49, during preparations for a stay in Southport, and was buried in Ince Cemetery, Plot A143 C of E. Their son Israel died just two years later at the age of 18, and was buried in the plot next to his mother, A144.

The 1891 census lists Israel living at 21 Leyland Road, North Meols with daughters Mary and Elizabeth. By 1991 he was living at 46 Hartwood Road with daughters Margaret, Mary, Janie and Elizabeth. In both these censuses, Israel is described as living on own means.

For a long period, Israel took a prominent part in public life. He was made a Justice of the Peace for Wigan Borough in 1885 and began his association with Ince Local Board in 1876. In April 1884 he was elected chairman, but resigned his position as a member of the Board in November 1889 due to ill-health. He remained an invalid for the rest of his life.

Israel died in Southport on Friday 14th May 1909, and his coffin was brought by train from Southport to Wigan the following Monday for his funeral at St Mary’s Church, Lower Ince, where the family had worshipped for many years. He was buried in plot A144 of Ince Cemetery along with son Israel, and alongside his wife in plot A143.



Sources :         Ancestry ; Lancashire Online Parish Clerks ; Wigan Observer ; Wigan World

Lancashire BMD ;   FamilySearch