Rishton's Oldest Inhabitants

Cutting from a local newspaper (possibly the "Blackburn Times") around 1923 , contributed by John Martinson

Emma Eagles (1844-1928) married William Thomas Greaves (1843-1915) of Tingewick in 1865. They had five children baptised in Tingewick before moving to Rishton, Lancashire in search of work.

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The oldest lady and gentleman who attended the recent old folks' treat at Rishton were Mrs. Emma Greaves and Mr. Mark Tomlinson. Neither was born in the township, but their combinded years of residence in Rishton are close upon a hundred

Seen this week by a "Blackburn Times" representative, Mrs. Emma Greaves, of 10 Spring-street, Rishton, appeared, despite her blindness, to have no serious grumble at the way events had turned during her 83 years of life. It was in 1874 that she came to reside in Rishton. "I like it very well; it is a healthly little place." she commented. Her maiden name was Eagles, and she was born at Newton-Purcell, Buckingham, but moved to Preston Bissett when very young. At six years of age working days began, and as a girl Mrs Greaves took up the art of lace-making.

"You did not get much pay, but you had what you earned." was her summary of the money-making possibilities. While in Rishton the elderly lady has utilised her skill as a lace click to enlarge maker to good purpose. Scarcity of work in their home county decided Mrs. Greaves and her late husband, Mr William Thomas Greaves, to try their fortunes in Lancashire, and now Mrs. Greaves, who resides with her daughter, has two brothers and two sisters - a couple of them are septuagenarians - living near her in Rishton.

A fall three years ago, when she broke her arm, has been followed by loss of sight, but otherwise Mrs Greaves' health is quite good considering her years. The usual query as to the reason for her longevity met with the reply met with the reply: "I couldn't say. Plain living, I think."

At 73 years of age she travelled alone to see her daughter in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and still has happy memories of the trip. She added, "I could sail all my life if they would let me. I'd go again tomorrow if I had the chance, just for the sail." She expressed a preference for the old country.

Five of her 10 children are still living, three in Rishton and two in America. There are also 14 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Page updated Feb 18 by SKF