The Higson Family

Heroes and Villains


George Higson of Tildesley died 1st February 1795. He was a member of a sick club and had received one shilling a week for 17 years and a month; which, with the allowance for his wife’s funeral and his own, and additional money had in sickness, made the whole amount he had received equal to £59 18s 6d. His contributions  as a member for 48 years only amounted to £14 8s; so that he received £45 10s 6d more than his payments.


1825 - 1871

John Higson died at Lees near Oldham December 13th   1871. He was born July 25th 1825 at Whitely Farm  Gorton and was the author of  the “Gorton Historical  Recorder”, 1852, The “History of Droylsden” 1859 and  many newspaper articles on the local history of S.E.  Lancashire.  

See the Higson family of Gorton


Higsons Brewery

Daniel Higson was born around 1830 in Gorton. Details of his early life are unknown, but as a young man he was taken on as a cashier and office manager by a brewer in Cheapside, Liverpool, named Thomas Howard. In 1865 when Thomas died he left his entire personal estate and effects to Daniel and in 1888 the brewing firm was registered under the name of Daniel Higson Ltd. 

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At Bury Petty Sessions, John Higson was summoned by William Booth for assaulting him at Radcliffe. John was fined £3 and costs or a months imprisonment. During the assault, the defendant was reported to have said “I have a mind to take your life, for if I have anything to pay I have plenty of money, and if I get sent to prison I can stand on my head for six months”. I wonder if he paid the fine or did he spend the next month stood on his head?

FATAL ACCIDENT near Bolton,  Sunday 5th Dec. 1875

James Higson a collier from Deane was sliding on the frozen water of the Rumworth reservoir, when the ice gave way.  Despite his companion Henry Critchley giving the alarm, he fell into the water and was drowned.


At the Liverpool Assizes, Crown Court, Giles Higson was indicted on the charge of manslaughter for having caused the death of William Battersby at Hindley. The two were in a public house, when a dispute arose between them. The deceased struck him and when Giles returned the blow,  William fell and hit his head on a table dieing almost immediately. The jury acquitted the prisoner.


The Home Secretary awarded the Albert Medal to George Higson (amongst others), in recognition of their gallantry in the work of rescue on the occasion of the explosion at the Clifton Hall Colliery on the 18th June 1885, which took the lives of 177 miners. Albert medals of the first class were given to Thomas Worrall, underlooker, Doe and Five Quarters Mines; John Crook, manager, Agecroft Colliery. Albert Medals of the second class  to Charles Parkinson and George Higson, foremen in the Doe and Five Quarters Mines; Aaron Manley, pit carpenter, Clifton Hall Colliery; George Hindley, Blacksmith, Clifton Hall Colliery.


Colonel John Higson, V.D., M.I.C.E., F.G.S. 

Son of Peter Higson, Esq., H.M. Inspector of Mines. Born at Clifton, near Manchester, December 21st, 1843; educated at Manchester Grammar School, Owens College and under private tutors; married, 1873, Marianne, daughter of George Walker, Esq., J.P., of Swinton Park, Manchester; civil and mining engineer, Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers; Fellow of the Geological Society; has been engaged in the sinking and management of numerous large and deep collieries, and is largely interested in metalliferous mines both in England and abroad; has also had extensive experience in the development and management of slate quarries; Colonel of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Manchester Regiment; Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff for the county of Denbigh.  


Charles Ethelred Higson 1862 - 1930

Died in a Manchester nursing home on 7th November 1930, he was the son of John Higson, the well known antiquary, a teacher, churchwarden and an active member of the Conservative Club. He was also a member of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society from 1908 and a member of the council from 1915 until his death. He and his brother presented to the town of Oldham, the Leesfield Recreation Ground, in memory of another brother William, J.P. of Lees, councillor and member of the Ashton board of Guardians. Like his father before him, he contributed many articles to newspapers, mostly relating to the history of Lees and it’s neighbourhood.  

See the Higson family of Gorton.

© 2001 E Hart