Sheffield publican's name on headstone found in city river

A Retro columnist has been looking into the background of the family of a Sheffield man whose gravestone has been recovered from the Porter Brook.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 12:03 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 20:17 pm
Recently-discovered historic headstone, from the 19th century, returned to Sheffield General Cemetery

As reported in The Star, volunteers working with Sheaf and Porter River Trust discovered the gravestone in the water, close to the old Sheffield General Cemetery in Sharrow. It may have fallen in by accident.

The headstone was of 40-year-old Benjamin Bamford, who died on August 27, 1855.

Attempts were being made by some of the volunteers to track down his descendants.

Recently discovered historic headstone, dating back to the 19th century, returned to Sheffield General Cemetery

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The gravestone also commemorates Mr Bamford's mother Elizabeth Bamford, who outlived her son by three years, plus those with different surnames such as Maria Jane Etty Siddall, the adopted daughter of Edward and Frances Ryder who died on December 12, 1889, aged 16.

Regular Retro contributor Vin Malone wrote: “I've been intrigued by the discovery of the gravestone of Mr Benjamin Bamford in the River Porter, aka the Porter Brook.

“Sadly I can’t find much other than what's here about the Bamfords but more can be found about Edward and Frances Ryder.”

Here is what Vin discovered. In 1852 Benjamin Bamford was listed as a furniture broker of 58 Division Street. Vin said this means he was a secondhand furniture dealer.

Ye Woodman of South Street, now The Moor, can be seen on the extreme left of this picture

By 1879, watchmaker and jeweller Karl Rechard was running his business from Benjamin's shop.

Commercial directory entries from 1862 show “Ryder Edward, victualler, Woodman, 166 South street, Moor; and mark maker, Sykes's court, 321/2 Pinstone street”.

Vin said: “Like many other publicans, running a pub was left to his wife and he had a job away from the premises.

“In this entry he's a maker of marks - punch marks for marking cutlery, holloware etc.”

The Barrel Inn on London Road remains open today

Edward Ryder’s address was listed in the Sheffield Burgess Rolls, the forerunner of the electoral register, as 166 South Street, Ecclesall in 1864-65.

Whites Sheffield & District Directory of 1871 lists him as a victualler of the Woodman Inn at 166 South Street (Sheffield Moor).

The burgess rolls for 1875-6 state his house address as 97 London Road, Ecclesall.

Publicans and beerhouse keepers fined for offences against their licences include Edward, fined 40 shillings plus 8 shillings costs for the Woodman.

Vin said: “Both Edward and his wife Frances held the licence for the Barrel pub at 123 London Road. Sadly, while at the Barrel they lost a three-week-old baby boy named Edward on April 16, 1877.

“It seems safe to assume that Edward died in 1880 and 1881 was when Frances took over the licence for herself.”

In 1905, Frances Elizabeth Ryder was running a shop at 91 Boston Street, taken over in 1911 by her son. Frank.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​