I started going through the memorial inscriptions for Colne Parish Church that I had photographed about three years ago whilst attend Halsted Sunday I came across the following for Betty HALSTEAD, wife of John HALSTEAD who departed this life on 22 October 1803
Afflictions sore I often bore
Physicians were in vain
Till God did please by death to seize
And ease me from my pain
Then I stumbled on the entries that I had copied from Colne Cemetery monumental inscriptions and suddenly realised that when I copied the first page that I had also copied an important Halstead entry. I had copied the page because it contained the key to the meanings of what each stone was.
The inscription on headstone A1 reads:-
"Here lieth all that is mortal of Martha, wife of John HALSTEAD of Colne, departed this life December 18th, 1829 aged 60 years.
Also JOSEPH their son, who was barbarously murdered in the 44th year of his age while engaged in his duty as a Special Constable during the Riot which took place in this Town on the Evening of 10th August 1840, lraving four orphan children to lament their loss.
Above John HALSTEAD d. April 5th 1848."
Why was this entry so significant? because I had come across reports and writing of the murder of Joseph in many places over the years but had not been able to tie it to one specific person as none mentioned any of the family details and certainly not his age! as his father lived after the 1841 census it was possible to find him and now I have been able to add the rest of the family!
The trouble was that none of the reports every listed any details of his family! With the Bristish Newspaper Arcihve I found entries in over newspapers across the whole of the United Kingdom but they all seeemed to concentrate on the roits in Colne and the murder of Joseph HALSTEAD. The only piece of information that they had was that he was a Cotton Manufacturer - not even his age was given! So the gravestone was the key to unlocking the mysterious Joseph HALSTEAD.
As it turns out I actually did have Jospeh HALSTEAD in the database but only because his son Henry Smith HALSTEAD had travelled to the USA in the early 1850's, married there and had a family. As well as Henry, his sister Louisa HALSTEAD and his mother Harriet HALSTEAD went too.
John Hanson - email; Halstead@one-name.org