The Great Sheffield Flood  -  Photo Gallery

-  Flood related Artefacts and Survivors (2) -


Believed to be Mrs. Kirk with the pets she saved from the flood'Mrs. Kirk lived with her husband, Thomas, and family in the village of Damflask. At the time the flood occured, all the occupants in her house had heeded a warning and got out--bar one. The exception, a navvy who lodged with them, was known officially as Henry Burkinshaw, but familiarly as 'Sheffield Harry'. Despite screams from the women and shouts from the men, he refused to budge from his bed. He worked at the Agden reservoir [not far from the Dale Dyke Dam] and had to be up early, he said, so he needed a good night's rest. What was more, he reportedly added, he had been employed on the Dale Dyke embankment and it was his considered opinion that 'there isn't water enough in Yorkshire to burst that dam'. He wasn't going to move for anything and turned over to go back to sleep. 'Sheffield Harry' did not survive the night. Mrs Kirk almost paid for her own rashness when she went back into the house to collect her cat, a rescue act which cost her no more than a sopping nightdress. It appears she had the luck of the foolish.' (CDDD)

'The body of "Sheffield Harry" was found next morning, about half a mile below, in a frightfully mutilated state.' (GFAS)

'The Great Eastern' - painting found on the wall of a flooded house on Bridge Street

Items Found In the Flood

These nutcrackers were 'found by Mrs. Buckley after the flood'.
The cigarette case (?) has been etched with the inscription:

This painting of the 'Great Eastern' was found hanging on the wall of a flooded house on Bridge Street - not far from Sheffield centre. (The note on the right reads: Yr. 1864 As it hung on the wall on the night of the Sheffield flood at 43, Bridge St.)
MARCH 12 1864

Three more items 'found after the flood'

1) A small bible

2) A doll's basket

3) A Child's Battledore of ashwood (a bat used to strike a shuttlecock, although these items were sometimes used as baking utensils) - reputedly found in the Malin Bridge/Hillsborough area the day after the flood .

More Items Found in the Flood

FOUND, a few Days ago, in the neighbourhood of the Wicker, a
GOLD CHAIN and LOCKET. The Owner may have the same on
giving a correct description and paying the Expenses of Advertising.
--- Apply to Mr. HENRY H. EARL, Iron Merchant, Orchard street.
THE REV. E. R. TAYLOR is prepared to make Arrangements
to RECEIVE all those CHILDREN who have been left ORPHANS by
the late CATASTROPHE. They will be Fed, Clothed, and Educated.
Orphan House, Cherry Tree Hill, Sheffield.

Snuff box - engraved CA - found in victim's pocket, and lock of hair from a victim

'Found in the ruins after the flood.'

ABOVE: A razor 'found in the ruins after the flood.'

ABOVE LEFT:This lock of hair was taken from a flood victim. The snuff box was 'found in the pocket of a man who died in the Sheffield flood'. It is engraved with the initials 'CA': there were two male flood victims with these initials, Charles Armitage and Christopher Argulus (or Arculus). Curiously, the former is listed as being only 12 years of age, and the latter a mere 9 years of age! Possibly the box belonged to one of the few 'un-recorded' victims (because, in some cases, entire families were wiped out, not all the discovered bodies were identified).


The Peace family (of Owlerton)About half way between Owlerton and Hillfoot Bridge - close to where the River Loxley joins the River Don - was Peace's Silver Rolling Mills. Both the Mill, and Peace's home - a little below the Mill - were extensively flooded. The family had a narrow escape, but much of their household furniture was damaged.

Samuel Harrison writes:

'A little lower down, the silver rolling mill of Mr. Peace was flooded and a great part of it destroyed. A large quantity of silver was swept out of the building, and some of it has never been recovered. When the flood came, five persons, named Matthew Gould, Henry Wragg, John Slack, Feargus Saxton, and a boy named Joseph Lidster, were at work in the Mill. Slack happened to go out to the dam head, and saw the water coming in a foaming and seething torrent. He immediately told the other men, and then went to Mr. Peace's house, which is just below, to give the inmates warning.'

Another incident recorded by Harrison, that has some relation to Peace's Mill reads as follows:

'Near the Hillsbro' Bridge, in a toll house, a small building, lived the toll collector, named Thomas Winter, aged 70. The house was swept away, and Winter, who was its sole occupant, was drowned. His body was found near Peace's rolling mill, some distance further down the river, and was identified by a son, who resided at Chesterfield. When post time at morning arrived, a letter came for him from his daughter, but the poor fellow was no more.'

had, Free of Charge on application at the HIGHWAY OFFICE YARD,
Bower spring; and at the HIGHWAY OFFICE, Nursery street, Wicker.
By order of the Health Committee.
R. CHAPMAN, Chief Sanitary Inspector. Council Hall, 18th March, 1864.
CARTS and HORSES Wanted, to Clear the Streets &c. -- Apply to
Mr. Jackson, Chief Constable, Town Hall, Sheffield. 18th. March 1864.
Mrs. RYAN acknowledges with thankfulness the receipt of a Package
of Women's and Children's CLOTHING, sent by the Ladies of the St.
Margaret's Needlework Society, Westminster, for distribution among
the sufferers of the Flood. -- 6, Gell street, Sheffield, March 19, 1864.
100 Women's Shifts, 20 Night Gowns, 18 Women's Night Jackets, 18
Girls' Night Gowns, 12 Boys' Blouses, 6 Boys' Shirts, and 12 small ditto.
All Persons willing to contribute CLOTHING, even if considerably Worn,
particularly CHILDREN'S CLOTHES, will confer a great favour on the Relief
Committee by making up PACKAGES, and Sending them to the TOWN
at the earliest moment, directed to the "CLOTHING COMMITTEE."
    Signed. THOMAS A. SORBY, Chairman.

Copyright © 2001 Michael Armitage

   Flood Artefacts (1) Flood Artefacts (2)   The Aftermath   
    Main Page     The Flood (Picture Index Page)
7 - September - 01   
Mick Armitage (e-mail)