- Margaret Thomas
The Horrible Death of My Ancestor
The story in my family was that my great grandfather Patrick Ryan died in an industrial accident at a chemical works. It was hard to start tracing him as all I knew is that he had been born in Ireland and come over to work here in the 1870's. He had married Agnes Douglas who was born in Scotland but in 1871 was living in St. Helen's with her parents. The only census I found him on was the 1881 with my grandfather Thomas in the house.
1881 census Eccelston
The spelling of the name was Ryne! The family was living in Eccelston near St. Helen's, Lancashire and Patrick was working as a labourer.
As I could now place the family I looked for the marriage of Patrick and Agnes. I had Agnes' birth in Glasgow as 16 October 1857. When I finally found their marriage after broadening my dates several times it was a great surprise. They were married on 6 October 1872 making Agnes only 14 years old, although they both said they were of full age which would be at least 21. I can only presume they did not have the consent of Agnes' parents. They proceeded to have 5 children including my grandfather Thomas in 1879.
Patrick died on 23 October 1886. His death certificate recorded that he had fallen into a vat of caustic at his workplace and that there had been an inquest. To find out more I looked at the local paper for this date and found an article relating the horrible death that had befallen my great grandfather. He had fallen into a pan of caustic whilst trying to pour it. It had taken sometime to pull him out and he died a short while later. The inquest found that the firm, Lockwood and Leith Chemical works, was not negligent in its safety measures but blamed the men for taking risks.