Two years after his death in September 1858, Martha Kenworthy remarried. Her new husband was Matthias Forshaw, a school master; they were married at St. Albans Catholic church, Blackburn. They had a daughter named Margaret. In December 1858 Brookhouse Lodge was put up for sale. It was described as a “Desirable Residence with building land.” It was advertised as being about 7.5 acres and contained; coach house, gardens, pleasure grounds, stocked with choice fruit trees. The house was bought in 1859 by the Sisters of Notre Dame they then began to turn it into a boarding and day school for girls which opened in 1862.
Martha and Matthias meanwhile removed to Clayton le Woods, living on his father’s farm.
In 1859 an action was brought by the bankers Brooks and Co. against the Forshaws to recover the balance due on a promissory note for £400. The bank won and the Forshaws had to pay.
Matthias Forshaw died at Clayton Green on 22 November 1864, and Martha died on the 15th of June 1868. She left in her will under £450.
Some Information about Brookhouse Mill:
Brookhouse Mill was established in 1828. By 1833 the firm was run by W.H. Hornby, John Newsham, and William Kenworthy. Newsham left the partnership in July 1839. Brookhouse was a spinning mill until 1830 when power loom weaving started, probable by James Bullough. Many improvements made to both the weaving and spinning process by William Kenworthy and James Bullough. By 1885 there were 76,316 mule spindles and 1,289 looms; the work force was in excess of 1,400 throughout the nineteenth century. W.H. Hornby went into voluntary liquidation in 1927-28 when Hornby’s Blackburn Mills Ltd was formed. The mill finished spinning and weaving in 1932.
The above was taken from “Industrial Heritage, Part one, the textile industry” pages18, 19
Some Inventions by Kenworthy.
As well as being in partnership with Hornby at Brookhouse Mills, Kenworthy also spent time in improving weaving and spinning machines both with James Bullough and on his own account.
1834 Kenworthy patented a method of stopping a loom when the weft broke by means of a “vibrating fly reed.” This method, however, was not a success.
1839 Kenworthy and Hornby patented a sizing machine. This was a far superior and cheaper method for of sizing and preparing warps.
1841 January Kenworthy and Bullough patented various improvements for the power loom
1841 July Kenworthy and Bullough patented further improvements to the power loom.
1849 February Kenworthy suggested a construction for a whistle to enable the guard of a train to communicate with the driver.
Although improvements in the power loom were meant to make life easier for the weavers it was not always appreciated by the workers as the letter below, addressed to the manufacturers of Blackburn shows. It should be noted that the “outlay” mentioned was made by the weaver, who had to pay to use the newly patented improvements.
The Drunkard's Friend, the Temperance Queen – call her what you will this woman Elizabeth Ann Lewis embraced the people of Blackburn for forty years. She devoted her life to help and persuade so many unfortunate people to forsake alcohol and thus improve and better their lot for themselves and also their families. It seems she not only had great courage but also a great love for these people which enabled her to go out, time and time again, into their homes to ask them to sign the pledge of temperance. She then kept visiting to help them keep strong and was rewarded by many successes. She had no blame or criticism for any failures but simply kept trying to persuade in a motherly fashion. In fact she asked to be called mother and did not hold back in her affection for many of the most unfortunate. People with no hope, no clothes, no furniture, were able to turn their lives around with her help and became her ardent supporters. She was religious but did not push any particular religion on anyone – she was happy for them to return to the church of their youth as so many did and, as a result, she had the support of the churches in Blackburn. She became a wonderful and inspiring speaker but her work probably started at the Blue Ribbon Mission in 1882 when 19,000 pledges were taken in just three weeks. She followed this up by visiting many of these people over the next seven months but came to realise a full time missionary could make this more successful and so employed a Mr Kilshaw to help with this work, paying his wages herself.
In the 1881 census Blackburn's population was 129,000, with 255 Public Houses, 208 beer shops, 106 shops with beer licences and 35 shops with wine, spirit and sweet licences, 1 for every 34 houses or 117 inhabitants. Public records show 892 arrests – forty years later this dropped to 107 even with an increase in population of 25,000. Licences were reduced from 604 to 313 and hours reduced to 11.00am to 3.00pm and 6.00pm to 10.00pm.
She persuaded people to think for themselves – “Right doing always brings reward just as wrongdoing brings punishment“ She supported the young people and was very keen to educate them in domestic health and sexual subjects – it was a sin to send them out into the world unarmed and uninformed in these matters. She knew that if the mother was a drunkard that the whole family suffered and as alcohol was easily available without having to go into low dives she tried to approach Mr Gladstone at his home to ask him to intervene with regard to women and grocer's licences. He declined to meet Mrs. Lewis but Mrs Gladstone invited her to their home and discussed the problem with her. However Mrs. Gladstone agreed with her husband that it was better for women to go into grocer's shops than public houses – she did however become a subscriber to the mission.
Blackburn was not only a centre for the textile industry but also boasted several large breweries. The publicans were of course opposed to the work of Mrs. Lewis as often meetings were held outside their premises. This dislike of theTemperance Movement lead to an event which caused a great deal of unhappiness for Mrs. Lewis. Whilst she was attending a conference in Blackpool with her missionary Mr. Kilshaw, several publicans on holiday saw them and on returning to Blackburn spread malicious rumours to try and damage her reputation and put a stop to her work. At that time in 1881 for women only, unless the slander would cause financial loss there could be no case. Only her good name was at stake but undaunted Mrs. Lewis went to London to consult her father's old friend Samuel Pope, Recorder for Bolton and Hon Secretary for the United Kingdom Alliance. He could only confirm her solicitor's opinion but knowing the law was so unjust for women would consult with a Mr. Gully QC. They eventually proceeded on the premise that she being responsible for the missionary's wages was likely to suffer pecuniary loss through the slanderous statements. Finally in April 1890 the case was heard in Liverpool and won. Mr Gully was determined to get an amendment to the law and introduced a bill with this clause – “from and after the passing of this act, the false and malicious speaking and publishing of words which impute un-chastity to an unmarried woman or adultery to a married woman shall be actionable without proof of special damage". This Slander of Women Act 1891 is now an accomplished fact and every woman is indebted to her for the increased measure of justice they can expect. The strain of this case left a mark on her health.
Mr. Lewis supported his wife in all her work and in 1891 built a large hall for 600 people over his work's premises – it was named Lees Hall after Dr. Lees a great figure in the Temperance Movement. Later in 1897 a drinking fountain made of Aberdeen granite was erected to the memory of Dr. Lees. Mrs. Lewis also erected a fountain near Corporation Park in memory of her parents.
Mrs. Lewis insisted on being impartial in all political matters and could not be persuaded to promote any party. 1893 was the tenth anniversary of the mission and in this time 24 licences had been revoked. Although they tried to analyse the number of pledges and successes it was not possible to be accurate. It had to be sufficient to show that of 500 cases the households had made huge gains in their prosperity and the physical and moral benefits were countless.
The issue of fermented wine was an ongoing problem for the Temperance Society and some clergy did not use this for communion. Mrs. Lewis discussed this in 1902 with the Vicar of Blackburn pointing out that after all the hard work of helping men and women to abstain they could not take communion or if they did it was likely they would relapse. The Vicar remained unconvinced and asked if she believed in moderation to which she replied “certainly I do my Lord but if it takes six glasses to make a man drunk can you tell me which glass it is that makes him drunk?" The Vicar felt it was dangerous to urge people to make an irrevocable lifelong pledge against a thing not in itself sinful. People signed and broke it again and again which he felt was demoralising but Mrs. Lewis allowed people to sign over and over again as she saw that they were really sorry and so many after two or three attempts kept firm.
In 1905 there was great excitement in the rumour that a woman had married a couple at Park Road Congregational Church. This of course was Mrs. Lewis who had gone to the wedding to act as a witness but in the absence of the vicar, (the vicar was away, his colleague also then went away and the final minister was late.) had been asked to perform the ceremony by the bride. Mrs. Lewis had no doubts about the couple marrying having known them for a number of years and was happy to do so with the permission of the stand-in vicar who eventually arrived. It was reported in London and all the papers being the first time a woman had performed a wedding ceremony. The absent vicar was not happy but the family were extremely pleased. Mrs. Lewis held as strong a view on marriage as she did on temperance and advised young people on the many aspects of married life.
In 1908 the Suffragette Movement was gaining importance and Mrs Lewis expressed great sympathy with them. She argued that “taxation without representation is tyranny" adding the slogan “I am opposed to all tyranny and object as a woman to be classed for voting purposes with lunatics and criminals". She was positive that if women had the vote they would use it on the side of temperance. The leaders of the movement came to Blackburn and were allowed the free use of Lees Hall. Mrs. Lewis did attend some of the meetings in London but would not promote the movement as her mission in life was personal not political.
Another first for women came in 1909 when she was permitted to address the prisoners of Lancaster gaol. The Governor's wife had finally persuaded the powers that be that the prisoners would be helped by Mrs. Lewis and it was so. Many signed the pledge and she visited all the women in their cells. Mrs. Lewis was deeply moved by this and showed her love to these unfortunate people.
The King and Queen visited Blackburn in 1913 and many were presented to their Majesties. The last name on the list was Mrs. Lewis, and on approaching the platform outside the town hall, the crowd gave a great cheer showing the respect and affection in which she was held.
Mrs. Lewis worked tirelessly for forty years for the benefit of the people of Blackburn. She was disappointed that the town did not become teetotal but earned the respect of Lords, Ladies, prominent business men, the mayors and councillors, the Churches and most of all, the ordinary folk of Blackburn. She died in 1925 and her memorial inscription reads as follows:
“In loving memory of Elizabeth Ann Lewis, The Drunkard's Friend. Born at Market Drayton March 10th 1848 died March 14th, 1924". On the back in raised capitals –
“Inasmuch this stone was erected by loving admirers in all parts of the world to The Drunkard's Friend who devoted over forty years of her life to spreading the blessings of teetotalism and training the young to walk in wisdom's way.
She went about doing good"
Photograph of Elizabeth Ann Lewis as a young girl
taken along with her Parents and Brothers. Date c 1856.
Elizabeth is standing behind her parents.
Two examples of letters sent to Mrs. Lewis
The first one was from
First Page of Letter from Elizabeth Ann Greenwood
Transcription of letter from Elizabeth Ann Greenwood.
Number 1332 Name Elizabeth Ann Greenwood
H.M. Preston Prison
April 2nd 1903
To Mrs Lewis
I Trust you will pardon me writing from prison but as the saying is those that are sick require a Doctor and those that are well need none. Dear friend, I know you are happy, if you are doing good, what I request is that I shall not be trespassing on good nature. My case is this, I have fallen into this trouble through that cursed drink, like many more. Dear Friends I have been here several times through drink, and I am waiting for the Preston quarter sessions which commence next week, April 8th for felony. What I desire from you Mrs Lewis if you would grant me your favour, is that you would come and see men and speak for me at the trial, I told the chaplain this morning my intentions of writing to you and he strongly advised me to do so. I will take the pledge for life, I feel I want to be good but drink puts an evil, false, daring bold spirit in everyone that abuse it. Dear Friend you will be able to remember John Armstrong Broker of Bank Top, Blackburn, it was a happy day for him when he met you, he had got as low as possible with drink, now I dare say it is 15 years since he touched it, so I am going to take a sample from that, and think that it is never to late to mend. I feel confident, Mrs Lewis, that if you would take the case in hand that I should go free, for the last time I was sentenced was in 1896 so it gives me a better chance, with the exception of a fine of 2s 6d and costs for being drunk 12 months last New Years Day. It is simply this, having been laid up for a long time with Rheumatic at Darwen and Doctors attending, then an outpatient at the infirmary, I was ordered to drink plenty of whiskey, the result was I got I could eat very little with the effects of drink, it seems to turn my brain, so I have taken a vow that I will have no more whatever my ailment may be. For in drink I am not responsible for my actions, I was house-keeping in Darwen and [had] everything that was necessary, so I had no need to take anything. Mrs Lewis, if you case to call at my parent's house, it is 18 Roebuck Street off Bank Top, Blackburn.
Dear friend, you will you will have seen plenty of people that have fallen that would be good if they were lifted up, but some people throw water on drowned people. I do hope that I might come off better than like. But I beg of you Dear Friend, for the sake of my aged parents, that you will, if possibly can, come to the trial and should you succeed in getting me another chance, it shall be given out on your platform. I have had many attempts to come to your meetings but I thought I should be accused with having been in prison. I have on one to be-friend me and there are four against me at the trial and being troubled with disease of the breast, if I was to get a long time I don't feel able to do it. My case is more of kleptomania than stealing. So Mrs Lewis, Please write and ease my poor spirit and say if you will come and God will bless you in the end for lifting the fallen
Yours in Sorrow
Elizabeth Ann Greenwood was born in Blackburn on the 19th April 1867
The Letter mentions Elizabeth's parents, they were Joseph Greenwood b1828 at Hoghton and Elizabeth b. 1839 at Blackburn.
her siblings were: Sarah b. 1855; Ann Ellen b.1865; James b. 1870; Alice b. 1872; Susannah b. 1874; Joseph b. 1877; Alice b. 1889.
The Family always lived in the Bank Top area of Blackburn
When Elizabeth Ann was born her father was a weaver. But he later (between 1876 and 1881) became the landlord of the Shakespeare Hotel, Bank Top. Perhaps this goes some way to why Elizabeth had a liking for drink. He was landlord in 1891 but by 1901 he had retired and living on "his own means" at 16 Roebuck Street (see letter)
Blackburn Standard 22nd April 1893
Elizabeth Ann Greenwood (24), 0F 60 Blakey-street was sent to prison for fourteen days for stealing a pair of boots from a pawn Shop in Northgate.
Blackburn Standard July 8th 1893
Elizabeth was jailed for three months for stealing nine Blouses from draper Thomas Haughton, 141 Bolton Road and stealing a dress skirt from 79 Bolton Road valued at 4s 11d and further with stealing an umbrella from a market stall.
First page of letter from Lawrence Culligan
From Laurence Culligan
8 Section; A Company; 2nd Battalion.
Crystal Palace, S.E.
October 31st 1914.
Dear Mrs Lewis,
Just a Line to let you know how one of your old mission boys is going on. Well in the first place I am in good health and secondly, though there is plenty of temptation to drink over here, I have kept firmly to the pledge I signed in Lees Hall 11 years ago and by Gods help I will keep it as long as I live, as I feel sure my parents have never regretted it and I can't see why I should be ashamed to follow in their footsteps. There are plenty of T.T. missions here but no Lees Hall or Mrs. Lewis's. We have plenty of work but I cannot go into details just now. I might here tell you we are the next lot to be sent away and I think it will be overseas. I must now close my short letter as the bugle is sounding for duty. Hoping you will say a prayer for me that I may come back by Gods help safe and sound and look into your intelligent face once more. You may make whatever use you wish of this note.
Best Love and Wishes to Mr. Lewis, Mr. Moss and yourself from L. Culligan
Remember me to the people at the mission.
Compiled by Janet Burke, Community History Volunteer.
Sources: Newscuttings held in Blackburn Library
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The following blog post regarding Mr W.E. Moss who worked closely with Mrs Lewis was sent to Cotton Town in 2018 by Chloe Pickard, a volunteer who works in the Healthy Options Library in Queensland, Australia.
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