Elizabeth’s life started with the tragedy of her mother’s death, just a few days after her birth. Elizabeth was sent to Walkden for the first few years of her life and then returned to Roe Green, north of Salford and Manchester, when her father remarried. Both places were on the estate of the Duke of Bridgewater.
All the family lived in Lumber Lane, Roe Green. Close in every way, Elizabeth was clearly fond of Mary Clarke, her grandmother, regularly returning to visit her once she had left home to work. The Clarke home was the centre both of meetings for religious worship and Radicals debating issues of the day, including the increasing price of bread as wages decreased.
In Roe Green today there is evidence of the impact of Elizabeth’s family on the religion of this village.
Preaching Stone: this stone was for the preacher to stand on. Rev Joseph Wolstenholme will have regularly stood here to deliver his sermon, whatever the weather. Mary Clarke played a key role in raising funds to build the Independent Methodist church.
Cricket fans alert: as this plaque on the church shows, it was the place where three famous cricketers were baptised. The Tydesley brothers were born in the Victorian era and then Michael Vaughan in the 1970s.
Roe Green – plaque to Richard Clarke
Home sweet home: Elizabeth no doubt spent hours at her grandparents’ home. Today this is marked with a plaque to acknowledge the work of her grandfather and great grandfather.
RHS Bridgewater – possibly a building Elizabeth saw.
And what of the area today? RHS Bridgewater covers a large area now showing off the kitchen garden and traditional glasshouses in all their glory. In addition, there are beautiful gardens, meadows, woodlands and even a few pigs.
Thanks to all of you who have bought my book. If you haven’t yet, then I do hope you do. Also, please share with folks who will be interested and who plan talks for groups. All profits from book sales and talks go to women’s charities.
As always, your comments are welcome. Mary