Ellen Crawford was the daughter of Jonathan Crawford and Mary (nee Sheard), she was born on 18 May 1844. She was baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Church on Oxford Place in Leeds on 14 July 1844.

The 1851 Census shows that she was 6 years old and living with her family at 67 Saint Mark Street in Woodhouse. Her father was described as a “Cloth Dresser”, this is someone who cut the woollen cloth after it had been in the fulling mill. I think this description may not be quite what it seems judging by his profession in later Censuses.

By the time of the 1861 Census the family had moved to 21 Grove Terrace and Ellen was 16 years old. Her father was a “Cloth Finisher employing 49 men, 7 women and 17 boys”. Ellen’s brother, John William, was 22 and also working as a cloth finisher.

Ellen married John Richard Flitch on 23 August 1866 at the Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel in Leeds. John was 23 years old, living on Roundhay Road and working as a Leather Manufacturer. Ellen was 22 and living at “Crimbles House” which I think was at 13 Camp Road. Ellen’s father, Jonathan, was a “Cloth Finisher”.

John and Ellen had the following children:

  • Rosina Mary (1867-1875)
  • Kathleen Crawford (1868-1868)
  • Florence Adelaide (1871-1956)
  • Mabel Constance (1873-1886)
  • Stanley Crawford (1875-1959)
  • Ellen Crawford (1876-1975)
  • Harold Crawford (1878-1878)
  • John Ernest Crawford (1881-1946)

The 1871 Census records that the family were now living at 7 Elmwood Place. (Elmwood Place connected to Camp Road and the area was demolished for redevelopment in the 1950s/60s.) John was 27 and described as a “Master Leather Manufr”. Rosina was 3 years old and Florence was 10 months. They had two live in servants, a general servant (Maria Butt aged 23) and a nurse maid (Isabella Best aged 16).

The 1872 White’s Directory of Leeds (page 311) shows that the Flitch family had moved to Westfield Terrace in Chapel Allerton.

The 1881 Census shows that the address was 8 Westfield Terrace in Chapel Allerton. John was 37 years old and looks to have been doing well in his business. Ellen was 36 and must have been pregnant with John Ernest Crawford. Florence (10), Mabel (7) and Stanley (6) were scholars, Ellen (4) was too young for school. They had a cook, a housemand and a nurse as servants. A few doors up from them at 14 Westfield Terrace was Ellen’s brother, James, with his family and, at no. 15 was Ellen’s father. Jonathan.

John was away from home at the time of the 1891 Census but Ellen (46), Florence (20), Ellen (14) and John (9) were at home with three servants. John’s father, John Jacob, was living at 1 Westfield Terrace and Ellen’s brother, James, was living at no. 14. No. 15 was empty as Ellen’s father had died in 1888. It is possible that John was travelling abroad in connection with his business as there is some evidence that he visited Australia and the USA.

Ellen was responsible for a memorial stone laid in the building of the “Wesleyan Methodist Sabbath School” which read “‘”Laid by Mrs. John R. Flitch in memory of her beloved parents, the late Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Crawford”. The school is now the Woodhouse Community Centre.

By the time of the 1901 Census, the family had moved to Southlands, a 15 room house just off Harrogate Road on the boundary between Moortown and Chapel Allerton. Ellen was 56 years old and Ellen (24) and John (19) were still living at home. Visiting the family was the Rev. Sutton Patterson (53), a C. of E. Clergyman who was to conduct the burial service of Ellen in 1913 and John in 1914.

John (67), Ellen (66) and daughter Ellen (34) were still living at Southlands according to the 1911 Census. John and Ellen had been married for 44 years, four of the eight children that Ellen had given birth to had died.

Elen died on 23 July 1913 and was buried in the graveyard of St Matthew’s in Chapel Allerton on 26 July.

Her gravestone (photo to follow) reads:

In loving Memory of
BORN MAY 10TH 1844

Probate reads:

FLITCH Ellen of Southlands Moor Allerton Leeds (wife of John Richard Flitch) died 23 July 1913 Administration London 17 September to the said John Richard Flitch esquire. Effects £445 16s. 8d.