//, Years.
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Rev Jabez Tunnicliff




Ann Smith was born in 1808 in Wolverhampton.  The headstone states she died in 1881 aged 74  but she is not on the records for Beckett Street Cemetery


She married Jabez Tunnicliff in 1856 in Wolverhampton.  He was the founder of the Band of Hope movement and Chaplain of the unconsecrated section of the Cemetery.  

He was 47 years old at the time of his marriage and Ann Smith was 48 years old.  This was his second marriage.


This newspaper cutting from the Staffordshire Advertiser April 1856 is the only record of the marriage of Ann and Jabez.



No trace can be found of Ann Smith at Stanton on Avon, which itself seems not to exist, or of anyone called John Chastre Smith.


This entry in the 1851 census for Ann Smith born in Herefordshire may be the correct one -





If you look at the original rather than the transcription you see that this Ann Smith has a sister, married name Mary Bebb, who was born in Staunton upon Arrow, Herefordshire. The census says that Ann was born Staffordshire on the transcription but the original has ditto for Ann’s place of birth ie Staunton upon Arrow. Ann is described as Annuitant which indicates some personal income from an outside source or inheritance.  

1851 Census New Road Willenhall Wolverhampton



 Going further back - in the 1841 census Ann was living with her sister Mary Bebb and recorded as being of independent means.

Their address at the time was High Street Kington Herefordshire and Mary is running an ironmongers


The 1841 censuses do not usually show the actual place of birth only the county. So she had lived with her sister Mary for at least 10 years.

John Clarke Smith was found who fits the dates and personnel as far as the birth of Mary (the sister of Ann).


Mary’s parents' marriage



Mary’s mother




Mary’s baptismal and marriage records were found but nothing from Staunton upon Arrow for Ann junior.


Below is Mary’s baptismal record:-




Below is Mary's marriage certificate:-


Below is a record for a brother John born 1802 recorded as having died 1839 in Staunton on Arrow:- 


Below is the only record of an Ann Smith born to John and Ann Smith.  John Smith is recorded as having died in Staunton on Arrow in 1834.  Perhaps Ann had lived with her sister from that time and acted as helper/childminder etc:-



1861 Census Leeds – indicating that at the time of their marriage, 6 years earlier, Jabez had a 13-year old daughter and a 10-year old daughter living at home.  As a widower he was in need of a second wife.  Elizabeth Smith must have been the daughter of Ann’s brother John:-


Mentions of Ann Tunnicliff either in her own name or as Mrs J Tunnicliff are not forthcoming except for this one clipping. It may be Ann Tunnicliff,- Recorder Street (which has now disappeared – this information courtesy of Alun Pugh and his old maps of Leeds) is just across the road from Beckett Street Cemetery and Jabez and family were living in the Dissenter Lodge at the time of the census.


Leeds Mercury Sept 1856


Leeds Mercury 1856


Was this Mrs Tunnicliff Ann the wife of Jabez, or maybe his daughter-in-law?  It is interesting to note that the year after this Jabez is addressing the Wortley Young Men’s Christian Association on the subject of ‘The position and education of women.’


Leeds Mercury Dec 1857




Jabez Tunnicliff’s life revolved around the Temperance movement he had started, called the Band of Hope, and I should imagine that of Ann did too. He gave lectures, ran meetings and rallies, children’s outings and processions, wrote the Band of Hope children’s Annual, raised funds – all this apart from his day job of being the Registrar and at one time the Sexton too, of the Dissenter side of  Beckett Street Cemetery.


His son William Henry caused the family grave distress.


The whole family must have been affected by this scandal which was reported in the Leeds Intelligencer April 1865. William Henry appears to have been a bad lad as the grandson, Frederick in the 1861 census is his, and he was married at the time of Frederick’s birth.



Selina Hollings had been a servant in the house of Jabez Tunnicliff. William Henry had been deputed to look after the Cemetery business because of the protracted illness of his father.

Both William Henry Tunnicliff and his married sister Mrs Waite were involved in interring the child without proper procedure but as can be seen William Henry who appeared to be the father of the child was cleared of being involved in its death. At one point Mrs Waite (daughter) had said the concealment was partly to spare her father as she thought it would kill him to hear about it.




Jabez Tunnicliff did, in fact, die 2 months later in June 1865 – he had been ill for some time.

He left very little money. It could be he was paying for lawyers for his son, or doctors for himself, or was it the household costs with no income?

In the 1871 census Ann, aged 65, was living in Metcalf Buildings, Burley, near Headingley and described as a General dealer – presumably with a small shop and living with one assistant Ann Geant (sic).  (See 1871 Census below)

She died in 1881 aged 74.  Her place of burial is unknown.

Researcher, Lesley Newnham

Researchers Notes