John Hindle Dewhurst and Alice Catlow

John Hindle (Dewhurst) was born illegitimately in 1690 at Stanhill, Lancashire to Margaret Hindle of Stanhill (1668-1747). Stanhill is about a mile from the village of Church Kirk.

St James, Church Kirk

He was baptised on 8 June 1690 at St James, Church Kirk, Lancashire.

The church clerk made a note that the reputed father was John Dewhurst.

John Dewhurst was born around 1670, and was named as the ‘reputed father’ of two children with two different ladies in the same year of 1690 at Church Kirk.

John was baptised on 8 June (mother Margaret Hindle), and another child Jennett Hey (mother Elizabeth Hey) was baptised on 13 July the same year. In both records John was named the ‘reputed father’.

Interestingly, Jennett was baptised in the Wesleyan Methodist church, and Elizabeth was also from Stanhill.  I’m wondering if the two women were perhaps dairymaids, or servants on his property that he impregnated at about the same time.

Spinning Jenny 1764

The village of Stanhill was famous because Mr James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny there in 1764. Each jenny was capable of doing the work of eight spinners, making it unpopular among the working classes who broke into his house and destroyed his machines in 1768.

You can read more about his invention and the village of Stanhill here.

To make matters more confusing, John (senior) didn’t marry either of the two girls he had impregnated, but instead married Lettice Hindle (b 1671 Blackburn to Hennery Hindle) two years later on 27 Feb 1692 at St James, Church Kirk.

John and Lettice had at least five children together after their marriage (Alice 1693-1693, Elizabeth b 1694-1694, Elizabeth 1698-1698, Lettice b 1701, John b 1704).

So perhaps Margaret was left to raise her son John alone. But, there were two possible marriages in 1698 in Church Kirk for a Margaret Hindle, one of which is probably her –
Edward Leigh of Oswaldtwistle (25 April 1698) or John Feilden of Church (9 June 1698).

Back to her son John….

At the age of 27 on 2 November 1717, John married Mary Ellison of Oswaldtwistle at St James, Church Kirk.

St James church Altham

Mary was born in 1692 in Accrington, to father Thomas Ellison, and was baptised at the nearby Altham parish church on 1 May 1692.

Altham is 5 miles from Oswaldtwistle.

John and Mary had one child, a daughter Mary,  before her death in childbirth in May 1718 in Oswaldtwistle.

She was buried on 30 May 1718. The parish burial register stated she was the wife of John Hindle alias Dewhurst, so we know it was the correct Mary.

Their daughter Mary was baptised the same day that her mother Mary died. It is unknown if their daughter survived, but she is not recorded in the burial register with her mother.

The following year John married again, on 19 September 1719 at St James, Church Kirk to 26 year old Miss Alice Catlow. Alice was born in 1693, at Little Moore End, one mile from Oswaldtwistle.

The interior of St James, Church Kirk

She was baptised on 26 November 1693 at St James, Church Kirk, the daughter of John Catlow.

John and his second wife Alice had five children, all of whom who were baptised in St James, Church Kirk, and all baptised with the description “son/daughter of John Hindle alias Dewhurst” –

  1. James b 1723 Oswaldtwistle. Married Ann Hargreaves. 5 children.
  2. John b 1726 Oswaldtwistle
  3. Ottiwell b 1727 Oswaldtwistle, d 1797 Bowland. Married Jane Hartley. 8 children.
  4. Joseph b 1733 Oswaldtwistle, d 1772 Broadfield Moor. Married Ann Pickop 1755.
  5. Sarah b 1735 Oswaldtwistle, d 1736 Oswaldtwistle.

The only possible burial for Alice Dingle / Dewhurst of the right age was in April 1772 in Mangnoils, near Haslingden, Lancashire, less than four miles away from Oswaldtwistle.

This Alice was buried at St James, Church Kirk on 3 April 1772, the wife of a John Hindle, making her 79 years of age at the time of her death.

St James Church Kirk graveyard

There is a record of a John Hindle who died in December 1775 aged 85 years at Duckworth Hill in Oswaldtwistle. He was buried on 30 December 1775 at St James, Church Kirk.

This John left a will, and it appears in the Cheshire Wills and Inventories Index 1761-1780 under John Hindle, of Oswaldtwistle, yeoman. A copy of the will may confirm that this is indeed the correct burial.