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BirthMale; About 1761
Death1 Oct 1806, age 44; Bollington/Rainow, Cheshire UK
Death MemoAccidental death (see notes) [74],[75]
OccupationPartner in Rainow mill, Ingersley Vale, Bollington.


Married, 1782
BirthFemale; About 1762
Death17 Nov 1831, age about 69
OccupationLife of public service (see note below)
MotherNot recorded
Marriage 22 Aug 1782, Stockport, Cheshire UK
Marriage MemoBy Banns
Children (5):William (1783 - 1826)
Nancy (1785 - )
Mary (Died as infant) (1789 - )
Charles (Died in infancy) (1803 - 1805)

Notes for William WATTS

His cotton mill, Rainow mill, was on the Rainow side of the parish boundary with other mills on either side, hence the reason we can't tell whether he died in Bollington or Rainow. He was in partnership with Lawrence Plant Wagstaff, and together they converted Rainow mill from a paper mill in 1801. Many of the men in the Watts family were mechanics or machine makers, and his skill in this direction is reflected in his memorial (below). His brother-in-law, William Richardson, was also the local mill wright. [71]

William WATTS death made national news; "... having occasion to look at the water wheel of a neighbouring mill, the wheel caught him, and he was literally crushed to atoms". [74],[75]

From a memorial to the family in Christ Church, Macclesfield: 'Also sacred to the memory of William WATTS of Rainow ... who died on the first day of October 1806 in the 45th year of his age. In William Watts Mechanism lost a chief disciple, religion an ornament, paternal and conjugal duty and affection an exemplare, virtue a guardian, and humanity a friend. [71]

There may be some doubt about William's date of birth - the records show 1754, but that doesn't add up to dying in 1806 and being 44. DoB would be about 1761. Likewise for Jane, c.1762. [71]

Notes for Jane RICHARDSON

From a memorial to the family in Christ Church, Macclesfield: 'Jane wife of the above named William Watts who died much lamented and respected by all who knew her on the 17th day of November 1831 aged 69 years. She was endowed with great knowledge in physic and was in the hands of God of great use to many thousands, her eminent public services are recorded in the annals and live in the memory of a grateful country.' [71]

There may be some doubt about Jane's date of birth - the records show 1754, but considering her husband's DoB, she would be about 1762. [71]

Family notes for William WATTS and Jane RICHARDSON

The bride was only 20! A license was normally required for under 21s.


71.  Email, Ruth Genda, 20 September 2012
74.  Book, Article by Tom Swailes, 2012, Landscape History Discoveries in the North West, University of Chester, Ed. Sharon M Varey & Graeme J White
75.  Periodical, L (July-Dec 1806), 411, The European Magazine and London Review, Domestic Intelligence, concerning a fatal accident to William Watts

Person record last updated: 27 October 2021

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