John Hartley HODSON (1867-1939)

John Hartley HODSON was the youngest son of Matthew HODSON, a Cotton Spinner and Wesleyan preacher, and Margaret HARTLEY. John was born in 1867, Blackburn, Lancashire1. In the 1871 Census the family are recorded at living on Lord Street, Eccleston, Lancashire where his father, Matthew was working as a Cotton Spinner and his mother, Margaret, as a Cotton Weaver.

The family moved to Wigan whilst John was a boy and in the 1881 Census, John’s occupation is recorded an ‘Apprentice to a Tea Dealer’, living at 46 Corporation Street, Wigan, with his father, Matthew (a Draper’s Porter) and his oldest sister Elizabeth Alice (a Factory Worker), sister Betsy (an Upholsterer).

John’s sister, Betsy, married William Robert Deakin in 1885 and a couple of years later, John went into partnership with William Robert DEAKIN (1862-1943) and William’s father, Samuel Pownall DEAKIN (1839-1929), forming Deakin & Hodson, a marmalade and preserves manufacturers and yeast importers. The business was based at Henhurst Bridge Mill, Chapel Lane, Wigan. The Deakin & Hodson partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 31 December 1890.

In the 1891 Census, John is recorded as living at 46 Corporation Street, Wigan, with is parents and sister, Elizabeth Alice Hodson:

  • Matthew Hodson, 61, Grocer
  • Margaret Hodson, 55
  • Elizabeth Alice Hodson, 33, Baker
  • John Hartley Hodson, 24, Yeast Merchant

In 1898, John married Sarah Ellen BASHFORTH (b. Barnsley, Yorkshire) at Wigan Registry Office2.

In the 1901 Census, John and his family are recorded as living at 152 Chapel Lane:

  • John Hartley Hodson, 34, Yeast Merchant
  • Sarah Ellen Hodson, 23
  • Matthew Hodson, 71, widowed father
  • Elizabeth Alice Hodson, 43, sister, Housekeeper
  • Kate Burton, 14, Servant – General Domestic Duties

John and Sarah spent most of their married life living near Henhurst Bridge, Chapel Lane, Wigan. John continued to trade as a Yeast Merchant[4] and was a prominent figure in business circles. He was a member of Wigan Rotary Club and of Standishgate Methodist Church choir. John also sang in the Wigan Harmonic Male Voice Choir and the Wigan Philharmonic Society from its inception.

The 1910 Register of Electors for Poolstock Wadr, Wigan, record that John also owned 150 Chapel Lane and 1 and 2 Pipe Shop Yard off Chapel Lane.

In the 1911 Census, John and his family are recorded as living at 152 Chapel Lane:

  • John Hartley Hodson, 44, Yeast Merchant
  • Sarah Ellen Hodson, 33, Assisting in Business
  • Elizabeth Alice Hodson, 53, sister, Housekeeper
  • Cyril Bashforth, 27, brother-in-law, Yeast Salesman
  • Florence Morris, 21, Domestic Servant
  • Frances Martha Morris, 15, Visitor, Scholar

John died on Wednesday 25 January 1939 at his home 1 Falkland Road, Southport, and his death was announced in the Wigan Observer on Saturday 28 January 19393.

John’s funeral took place on Saturday 28 January 1939 at Southbank Methodist Church, Southport, conducted by Rev. E.C. Tanton. The service included the hymns, ‘O love of God how strong and true’ and ‘The King of Love my Shepherd is’. The organist, Mr R. Edmondson Moreton played ‘O rest in the Lord’ and Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’3. The chief mourners were:

Also present at the church were: 

  • Mr T. Santus (representing the Wigan Harmonic Male Voice Choir)
  • Mr & Mrs W. Hall (Wigan)
  • Mr T.H. Walker (secretary Wigan Rotary Club)
  • Miss Darbyshire
  • Miss E. Allen
  • William Robert Deakin
  • Mr Russell Johnson
  • Mr Richard Carr
  • Mr J.H. Leatherbarrow (LPMA)
  • Mr & Mrs Walter Gregson
  • Mr Boon
  • Mr & Mrs J.R. Slater
  • Miss Marshall
  • Mrs Dennison
  • Mr J.H. Marlow (representing Messrs. Trackranen Bros. Ltd)
  • Mr W. Gomersall (representing The United Yeast Co. Ltd, Manchester)

John was interred at Liverpool Road Cemetery, Birkdale. His grave was decorated with spring flowers and Rev. Tanton performed the last rites3.

Parents of John Hartley HODSON

Matthew HODSON
Margaret HARTLEY

Siblings of John Hartley HODSON

Elizabeth Alice HODSON
Betsy HODSON m. William Robert DEAKIN
John Wesley HODSON


  1. Source: Register of Births April, May, June, 1867, Blackburn, Vol 8e page 317.
  2. Source: Register of Marriages January, February, March, 1898, Wigan, Vol 8c page 181.
  3. Source: Wigan Observer, 1939.
  4. Source: 1901 Census.