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William Tipping

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William Tipping.
Lamp presented to William Tipping.
Inscriptions from the Tipping Lamp. Details below.
2018. Plaque at 148 Albemarle Terrace, Ashton.

William Tipping (1811-1905)

1891 Directory (Ashton-under-Lyne): Listed as Cotton spinner and manufacturers. More details

Details from Tipping Lamp presented to William Tipping and retained in the family (2009). '1811-1901. A token of esteem for our Old Master of his 90th birthday. Presented to Wm Tipping Esq. J.P. by the workspeople of Hurst Mount Mills. March 11th 1901.'

Had a son William Tipping, junior


1905 Obituary [1]

Ashton has lost its eldest townsman in the death of Mr. Wm. Tipping J.P., which took place at his home, Albemarle Terrace, in the early hours of Saturday morning. Flags were immediately hoisted half-mast over the Town Hall, The Warrington Club and the Hurst Mount Mills, of which he was former proprietor. He had long since passed the allotted span, having attained the ripe old age of 94 years, and had he been spared would have celebrated his 95th birthday in March next.

A remarkable old man was he - strong, vigorous and robust, and methodical in his habits. Walking was his favourite recreation, and to this he attributed his longevity. In his retirement he took his daily constitutionals, and in spite of his years covered long distances. Some three years ago whilst at Blackpool he walked ten miles in one day without a halt, and afterwards ate a hearty dinner. At the age of 92 he walked over Hartshead Pike, round by Wilshaw Wood, Waterloo, and to the house of his grandson, Mr. W. A. Yoxall, in Oldham road. As his physical powers waned, however, his walks became shorter and less frequent, and on one occasion some 18 months ago he was rather exhausted at the end of one of his constitutionals. His condition, however, gave no cause for anxiety until about five weeks ago, when a rapid decline was noticed, and his growing feebleness became apparent. Indeed, a week ago last Friday the members of the family were called to the bedside. He rallied, however, and it seemed as if the care and attention of the nurse and others ministering to his needs, and the skilful efforts of his medical attendant, Dr. Bleasdale, would result in his recovery. Two days before his death he sat in his old armchair smoking his pipe, and when felicitously asked how he felt he replied, with a touch of his accustomed good humour, “Oh, I’m first-rate”. He died in his chair about 5.30 on Saturday morning, in the presence of the nurse, his end being peaceful and tranquil, a quiet relapse into the last long sleep.

Sympathetic references were made by Alderman William Hamer, presiding over a bench of magistrates at the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday morning. Alderman Hamer said before they commenced the usual business of the court he wished to make a reference to the loss the bench had sustained by the death of Mr. William Tipping. He had been a magistrate of the borough for many years, and he believed he sat punctually from the time of his appointment on that rota. Those who had had the pleasure of sitting with him had noticed the careful attention he always devoted to business, yet always tempering his justice with mercy. Those connected officially with the court had, with the bench, always found in Mr. Tipping an upright English gentleman. Probably he was the oldest citizen in that town – he believed he was in his 95th year – and it was only right thus to express the loss the Ashton Borough Bench had sustained. Mr. George Booth, deputy-clerk, said Mr. Booth had requested him to convey his sense of loss at the death of Mr. Tipping.

He was appointed magistrate 30 years ago at a time of life when most men thought of retiring, and, as the chairman had said, had always tried to do his duty to the utmost of his ability, and had always tempered justice with mercy.

His father, when a mere lad, came to Ashton from Warrington, which was his native town. On the maternal side Mr. Tipping was related to the Ashworth’s of Rochdale. He was carefully instructed in the rudiments of learning by “Old Mr. Wright” who at that time conducted a popular educational establishment in Ashton.

The young scholar was barely nine years old when he had to embark upon the real sea of life. He entered Mr. John Stockford’s mill as a little piecer. This mill stood upon the present site of the Avenue. From here he went to Mr. John Kenworthy’s mill, in Stamford street, whence he entered the warehouse of “The Old Shop”. Here, in the course of five or six years, he acquired all the practical and theoretical knowledge of a mill which came within his reach.

His next move was to Messrs. Thomas Mason and Sons, where he stayed for a full quarter of a century, occupying the various positions of book-keeper, cashier and manager.

After faithfully serving Messrs. Mason for five and twenty years he rented Hurst Mount mills, and began business for himself. When he left Messrs. Masons mill he was presented with an illuminated address and a handsome timepiece as a tribute to his worth.

The mill which he had taken prospered under his management to so great an extent that he was enabled to buy up the freehold of the land whereon it stood, as well as the mill itself.

Mr Tipping also well remembered the introduction of power loom machinery at Messrs. Robert Lees and Son’s mill at Bridge Kye, Whittaker’s mill, Nathaniel and Abel Buckley’s mill, and also Heginbottom’s, Mellor’s, and Kenworthy’s. There were not many cotton mills in Ashton at that time.

In addition to the above there was Captain Smith’s mill, Old Square, also Wood and Harrop’s, where the Arcade now is, Knott’s at the bottom of Park Parade, Samuel Oldham’s where Stamford Buildings, Stamford street, were afterwards erected: Kenworthy’s on the site of the present Clarence Arcade; Nathaniel Howard’s in Old street, the site of which is now occupied by shops; Peter Lees’ mill near to Alma Bridge, turned by a water wheel; and John Chapman’s, now Hurst Mount Mills, owned by Mr. Tipping.

At one time he was a great entymologist, and loved to ramble about the hills in moonlight and at early dawn in search of rare butterflies and moths. He was also an enthusiastic gardener, and very fond of fruits and flowers. He had once two gardens at the Moss, where he put in most of his leisure time. In all this he showed his appreciation of a simple and beautiful life. For some years he was a member of the Hurst Local Board, and for two years presided over the deliberations of this body. He was also chairman of the Harper Twist Company, and in his younger days was a zealous politician. He worked very hard for Mr. Milner Gibson when that gentleman contested the borough against Mr Thomas Walton Mellor; but for years Mr. Tipping had not taken any active part in politics. He was also a special constable during the famous Murphy Riots in 1868.

He retired from the control of the Hurst Mount Mills some six or seven years ago, when the concern was made into a private limited [company]. He had lived for 40 years at Albemarle Terrace, and for some time past one of his daughters (Mrs. Ratcliffe) had resided with him. His progeny included one son, five daughters, 18 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, numbering 29 in all; and some time ago a photograph was taken of the group. Ever since his retirement the hands at the mill have sent him a birthday present annually; and on the announcement of his death on Saturday morning they sent a telegram of condolence with the family.

He attended to his magisterial duties up to the last, and always took a great delight in being present on “Bench day” as he learned his rota. His family connections were long lived – his uncle, the late Mr. George Tipping, living to be 104 years of age; and his brother, the late Mr. Joseph Tipping, who “died young” , to use his own words, lived to be 74. When Mr. Tipping was having his photograph taken at the age of 93, he remarked that he felt as young as a twenty-one year old. He had only one illness of any note throughout his life, and it was rheumatic fever when he was a young man. It was his custom to eat nothing from 4.30pm each day to his breakfast hour the following morning, and this and attention to diet and walking exercise did much, in his opinion, to lengthen his days.

At a presentation to Mr. William Knott, on his retirement from the management of the Oxford Mills, on April 5th, 1902, Mr. Tipping made a speech of a retrospective character. He said he commenced working at the Oxford Mills about the year 1838. The late Mr. Hugh Mason was then at the mill, and was the most industrious man he ever came across. When he went to his own mill he found the advantage of having been under a man like Mr. Mason. When he first went to Mason’s mill he was not seeking a situation, but was out of place, and was seeking a position as a collector for the town’s rates. Mr. Mason was a commissioner before the town was incorporated, so he went to ask for his support. There happened to be a vacancy at the mill, and he commenced working there. They made a kind of yarn which they called 58’s to 90’s, and Mr. Mason was so fond of it that he got some of it doubled, and had half a dozen pairs of stockings made from it. They were just like silk.

He married Miss Emma, daughter of Mr. Nathaniel Parry, of Hurst, by whom he had a family of five daughters and one son. One of the girls was married to Mr. Henry Lund, a former station master at Ashton; and, when he died, she was married again to Mr. Robert Miller; another daughter became Mrs. James Yoxall, mother of Mr. W. A. Yoxall of Hurst Mount Mills, and Mr. J. A. Yoxall, accountant at the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank; the third married Mr. J. Kenworthy, registrar of births and deaths under the Prestwich Board of Guardians; the fourth married Mr. J. B. Ratcliffe, formerly of Ashton and the youngest became Mrs. F. G. Plant of Romiley. The son, Mr. William Tipping, was formerly a partner of the firm of Messrs. Plant and Tipping, Oakwood Mills, Romiley, and is now retired at Cheadle.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 21st October, 1905. Ashton under Lyne Reporter No.2,365: Vol: LL: page 6 (Edited from a longer article)