The Williams

The Kents The Fishleys Pearces The Rottenburys 50 Years A Potter
Christopher Lynch was born in Ireland, Jane Powers in Manchester, but she was almost certainly of Irish descent. They married at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Manchester and according to their wedding certificate both their fathers (James Lynch and John Powers) were tailors. Christopher was also a tailor. Jane seems to have worked as a binder before she was married, though her occupation on the wedding certificate is hard to read.

James Lynch (father of Christopher) came over to Manchester some time before 1841. He was living at 29 Cable Street with his wife (hard to read but could be Roisin?). They were both aged between 50 and 55, when the 1841 census was taken. The wife had no occupation. Christopher, then aged about 18, was already working as a tailor, as was John, 13, probably his younger brother and like Christopher born in Ireland.

The 1841 census for 29 Cable Street also mentions Mary Ann Lynch (aged between 20 and 25), almost certainly Christopher's older sister, also born in Ireland. She may be the Mary Ann Kiernan who with Patrick Kiernan witnessed Christopher Lynch and Jane Powers wedding.

Jane Powers gives her address as Hatters Lane, Manchester, but at present I have been unable to find them in the 1841 census.

Jane Lynch, named after her mother, was probably the youngest of Christopher and Jane's children. She was born on 29 November 1864, at 29 Dolefield, Manchester, when her mother would have been aged about 39. She was probably never educated, though she seems to have learnt to write her signature at least, since she signed her name when she got married.

There is not, I believe in Manchester or Salford a single free school for girls of the working classes. There are girls whose education is assisted, their parents paying a part of the expenses, and I doubt not there are a few in different schools who are paid for entirely by benevolent individuals. But these are so few as to be practically out of the calculation, when we consider the many thousands who are not receiving any education.

In a poor family with three or four children, when the income will not admit of the schooling of all, of course the boys get the preference. It is a general feeling that as the boy has to go out and wrestle for his life with the worst, education is far more necessary for him than for his sister, to whom it is looked upon rather as an accomplishment, desirable, but not indispensable.

It is evident that, in a town like Manchester, the neglected education of girls is fraught with the most disastrous consequences. Great numbers of the present mothers of families have, almost from childhood, been compelled to earn their own livelihood in mills, workshops and warehouses. Very often, when one of this class marries, she cannot read, or can read only so imperfectly that the effort is painful to her and gives her no intelligible ideas. She cannot sew, she cannot wash, she cannot cook. When she first attempts to clean up her little house, her cleaning is what an old fashioned Lancashire housewife would call 'cat-licking'. She is improvident for the simple reason she has never learnt what calculation and forethought are. She marries as other people would take a day's holiday. Her wedding is a pleasant little incident in her life and the next day she goes to her work as usual.

With the children her troubles begin. The wife's income becomes irregular or ceases; there is sickness, poverty, discontent and often quarelling. The husband comes tired to his cheerless, dirty, unfurnished home in a dingy street. Both he and his wife feel something is wrong, but neither of them know what. One blames the other and then the husband seeks refuge in a beeerhouse.

Manchester Guardian, January 16, 1864.

Christopher and Jane had moved again, to 24 Dearden Street, Hulme, Manchester, by the time the 1881 census was taken. He was 56, she 54 and they had two children living with them: William Lynch, aged 22, a warehouseman and 16-year-old Jane, a dressmaker born in Manchester.
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Dearden Street, Hulme, 1946
This was the address Samuel Thomas Williams gave when he married Jane Lynch, while Jane gave her address as 17 New Street, which is just round the corner. At that address in 1881 there was a widow called Hannah Harrison (48), born in Manchester, who had three children Robert Harrison (22), Mary Harrison (16) and Amy Harrison (8). Perhaps Mary Harrison was the Mary Jackson who was the witness for Jane Lynch when she married?

The wedding of Samuel Thomas Williams, who was born in Liverpool, and Jane Lynch, aged 17, took place at St Michael, Hulme, a Church of England Parish Church on May 21, 1882. Samuel gave his age as 19 (though he was probably 16 or 17). He said he worked as a Clerk. His witness was James Williams (brother, uncle?) and he said his father Robert Williams, a carter, was dead.

Nine years later the couple were living in a two up, two down house at 29 Arthur Street, Hulme, with children Christopher (6), James (4) and Ada (1). Samuel was working as Clerk in the Dyeworks and according to the census he was younger than his wife. He was 25 and she 26. Poor little James was suffering from 'Water on Brain', according to the 1891 census.

Edward Williams, my grandfather, was born on November 19, 1893. The family were still living at 29 Arthur Street but Samuel Thomas may have gone up in the world. At any rate he had a fancier job title. He was described as a 'Commercial Clerk'. Jane Williams, who according to family legend had bright red hair and spoke with a broad Irish accent, probably died in the early 1930s aged about 65. Edward Williams my grandfather, was a Meter repair tester. His health was never very good after the First World War. He had a struggle keeping himself on his feet to go to work.

The Kents The Fishleys The Rottenburys 50 Years A Potter