Denton St Lawrence
Denton St Lawrence – © Tameside Image Archive
Joseph Cooke was born on 28 September 1803 at Denton, Lancashire, the son of Samuel and Sally Cooke, and was baptised at Denton St Lawrence. He married Ann Cowsill at Manchester Cathedral in 1826 and they had seven children, the eldest being Mary in 1827 who died in infancy aged four. Joseph variously described himself as a cordwainer and a shoe maker, which is essentially the same thing, and his name appears in various trade directories at Lowes Fold, Haughton where he lived for around thirty years.

Joseph's eldest son, Samuel, followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a show maker (pardon the pun). He moved to Glossop in the early 1850s, possibly to work for George Shaw, a shoe maker employing one man in 1851. In any event, he married George's widow, Betty Cooper, and the couple remained in Glossop and had three children, Mary Jane, Elizabeth and Joseph. All three lived in the High Street area of Glossop, although they had each married outside the area. Only Elizabeth appears to have been childless, her husband, John Jepson, being in the workhouse infirmary in 1901.

Joseph's daughter, Mary, and her husband, Thomas Smith, lived with him after they married in 1860. By 1881, Joseph was at 167 Stockport Road, Haughton, where Thomas was the head of the household. Thomas had been born in Hyde and had a varied working career, describing himself as a cotton weaver in 1861, a banks man at a coal pit in 1871, a hat proofer in 1881 and a hatter in 1891. Joseph died in 1883, the cause of death 'decay of nature' or old age.

Catherine Street, Hyde
Catherine Street, Hyde – © Tameside Image Archive

The most prolific of Joseph's children was the youngest, John. He and his wife, Frances Elizabeth (Fanny) had at least ten children over almost 20 years, from Mary Ellen in 1863 to Clara in 1882. The couple lived mostly on Two Trees Lane in Haughton, as did their children, apart from Robert, who moved to Hyde, like his uncle of the same name.

Robert Cooke and Margaret Chatterton
Joseph's middle child was Robert Cooke who was born about 1836 and was baptised in February that year at St Lawrence. By the time of the 1851 census, Robert was working in the cotton industry as a piecer. I haven't been able to find him in the 1861 census, although the suspicion is that he may have been in Heaton Norris where he had married Margaret Chatterton in 1857. By 1871, the couple were living at 11 Catherine Street, Hyde, where they were to remain for virtually the rest of their lives, only moving to 118 George Street in the early 1890s where Margaret died in 1892 and Robert in 1896.

Robert graduated to become a cotton spinner and he and Margaret had three children — Emily, Joseph and Frank. Joseph was also a spinner and he married Hannah Hadley in 1896. They had two children, Ethel and Maggie, born at their home on Walker Lane, Hyde. He was a member of Back-lane Working Men's Club where the flags were flown at half-mast when he died in 1936.

Less is known of Frank. He was born about 1876 at Catherine Street and was also a cotton spinner. He married Sarah Wilson in 1895 at Hyde St George and they had two children, Evelyn and Albert, the former baptised at St George and the latter at St Thomas the Apostle. To date, I have no record of Frank's death.

Which brings me to Robert's eldest child, Emily Cooke, who was born in June 1864. She married Jesse Walker in 1883 at All Saints, Marple. He was to become the first registrar at Hyde Cemetery which opened in 1894. They lived at the lodge and were there when Emily reported her father's death in 1896. There is more information on the Walker/Howarth page.

Jesse and Emily had three children, Lena, Robert and Annie, although Annie died in infancy aged two. Lena married Edward Molesdale in 1917. Both were descendants of Edward Chatterton, Lena his gg-granddaughter through her grandmother, Margaret Chatterton, and Edward his great-grandson through his grandmother, Sarah Chatterton, making them second cousins once removed. There is more information on the Chatterton page.

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