Thomas Staniforth & Co. Sickle works at Hackenthorpe.
Luke Staniforth's Grave in Eckington Cemetery
Luke Staniforth was born on June 30th, 1818, and was baptised August 23rd, 1818 to George Staniforth and Rebecca Stevenson.
Luke's father was a Collier and based on Census records it is evident that he took after him in his early years.
It seems very likely, that this is the same Luke Staniforth that was involved in a court case which saw him almost convicted of murder, we have a page dedicated to the trial here.
On the 1851 Census Luke is still living with his family, at this stage he is 32, and his brothers Mark Staniforth and Robert Staniforth are still in the household, they are all working as Coal Miners.
On the 1861 Census, Luke is living on his own, by this stage he is 41 and still unmarried. He has a housekeeper named Bessey Sherlock, born in 1842, her birthplace states Eckington. There is also another young boy in the household named Oliver Sherlock, he is labelled 'Grandson' however this surely is not correct/
On the 1871 Census, Luke, now in his early 50s, has married his housekeeper. He is now working as a Butcher, and his wife Bessey is described as a Butcher's Wife.
There are also children with them on the 1871 Census, Olive Staniforth, born 1861, Luke Staniforth born 1862, Rebecca Staniforth, born 1866 and John Staniforth born 1870.
On the 1881 Census Luke is described as being a Master Butcher, and his address is given as Queen Street, Hill Side in Mosborough, his wife Beaey now aged 41 has changed her birthplace from Eckington to Ireland. As there is no record of her birth in Eckington, it seems likely that she was indeed from Ireland, as in future Census records, she records Sligo as her birthplace. Luke amd John are the only two sons present at this time, and Luke is working as a Butcher's Salesman.
On the 1891 Census, Luke, is described as a Butcher aged 72, living at 9 Hillside with his wife, 'Beazy' who states her birthplace as Sligo, Ireland, and son Luke, now aged 29, he is now however working as a Coal Miner.
On the 1901 Census, Luke is now aged 72, and still working as a Butcher at Hillside, his son Luke is now described as 'Butcher's Son'. He is now widowed as Bridget "Beazey" was buried on June 8th 1893.
Luke Staniforth's Memorial Card
Luke Staniforth passes away on September 28, 1904, his son Luke carries on his business, on the 1911 Census Luke is a Butcher at 18 Hill Side, Mosbro, he also has an assistant, Thomas Plant born in 1871 Mosborough.
I was fortunate enough to find a living relative of Luke's living in the United States, she provided me with a poem she found in the poession of Luke's grandaughter:
In memory of Luke Staniforth
(Butcher) Mosbro, died September 28, 1904
Old Luke who was as hard as bricks,
Has dropped his knife at 86, and finished his life span.
His was a busy butcher’s life
He faced the world through storm and strife
He feared not any man.
He was of famous ancient stock
Unpolished like a butcher’s block and firm and strong and square.
He had some white within his eye
Bamboozle him, few dared to try they guessed a tartar there.
I see him now, mid-market throng,
With walking stick, full four feet long, and smock of royal blue.
Intent on buying beast and sheep
With judgment right, not half asleep, as well the dealer knew.
I see him by his market stall, with busty voice I hear him call
“This way for quality.”
The people liked to hear him shout, this ruddy man, both tall and stout, had business in his eye.
He had his faults, but who has not,
Let all his failings be forgot, now that his course he’s run.
With all his faults, he still was great.
We give him his proper rate
A lion hearted man.
Luke's son continued his father's business until his death on July 24th, 1919