In June 2015 I was contacted by a reader of this site who asked me if I could furnish her with any details surrounding the death of her fathers cousin David Ingle. After a bit of research we were able to establish the exact causes of his death. This information was posted to my blog. She also mentioned that her aunt had met her death in tragic circumstances, and supplied me with the information that led to the article on Doris Hill.

In March 2016 the same researcher came across an article that I first posted many years ago - it was the only time Queen Victoria visited Sheffield in all of her 64 year reign. The main purpose of the visit was to officially open Sheffield's new Town Hall. But it also formed part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  

"I was reading one of your older articles the other day, about Queen Victoria's visit to Sheffield, and I have a story which might interest you. 

It concerns my great-grandad's cousin, Eliza Ann Boldock. Eliza was a granddaughter of William Boldock, who ran Boldock's fishmongers in Attercliffe (the company which still exists today, in Woodseats, Sheffield).

I have attached two newspaper pages which give details of what happened to Eliza - she went to collect her medal from school, which all the children were receiving to commemorate the Queen's visit, but sadly she never returned home. Instead, she was found drowned in the canal - she was just eleven years old. She is buried in Tinsley Park cemetery."

This is the report that appeared in Lloyds Weekly News dated Sunday 23rd May 1897

The Yorkshire Evening Press dated Monday 24th May 1897 gave this rather perfunctory report which was repeated in quite few regional papers. 

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Monday 24th May 1897 added a bit more information about the tragedy

It was just an accident. From the first report it looks as though Eliza may have been in the canal for sometime - the attempts that were made to resuscitate her at the side of the canal proved to be fruitless. It is a rather sobering thought but her lifeless was then taken back to her home in Coleridge Road to await an inquest  

As you would expect there is very little information about the family prior to Eliza's tragic death. Eliza appears only in the 1891 Census as the five year old daughter of Abner and Emma Boldock. They were living in Swan Street in the Attercliffe district of Sheffield

1891 Census

First name(s) Eliza A
Last name Boldock
Birth year 1886
Birth date 10 Feb 1886
Event year 1891
School name Carbrook Temporary Board School (Bright Street) (Girls)
Town Sheffield
County Yorkshire
Country England
Parent name(s) Abner
Book type Admissions
Archive reference CA682_43
Folio / page no. -
Archive Sheffield Archives
Record set National School Admission Registers & Log-books 1870-1914

Below is an image of the original medal that was to be issued to Eliza that day to mark the visit of Queen Victoria to Sheffield. Eliza never received her medal 



The following is a newspaper cutting dated Monday 24th May 1897 that reported on the days events and included a "Message From Her Majesty". A brief mention is made of Eliza's fate at the foot of the report 



1911 Census

By 1911 Abner and Emma had ten children but only six were alive. They had lost four children which makes you stop and think. 

Eliza was buried in Sheffield's Tinsley Park Cemetery on Tuesday 25th May 1897, four days after her death.

There is a sad postscript to Eliza's death

"One of my Boldock cousins sent me some very sad information on what became of Abner Boldock, Eliza's father.....  the story in brief is that Abner's body was found in a pond at Skelton's Quarry, Normanton Hill, in May 1942. He went missing and was found drowned, just as Eliza was - and the sad thing is, it was almost exactly 45 years to the day that Eliza had died, at the end of May 1897.

It would seem that Abner had chosen to end his life in the same manner that Eliza had died, suggesting that he had never properly recovered from her death and suffered from guilt for the rest of his life. How terribly tragic is that!

The other factor that could have prayed on Abner's mind is that he lost his daughter Clara the month before he disappeared. Clara whose married name was Mincher was just 50 years old at the time of her death.  

DATE 20 MAY 1942
PLACE Pond, Skeltons Quarry, Normanton Hill
ADDRESS 457a Richmond Road, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
CAUSE Asphyxia due to Drowning - Open Verdict
NOTE Dead Body found 24th May 1942 in Pond, Skeltons Quarry, Normanton Hill
Certificate received from Alan P Lockwood, Deputy Coroner for City of Sheffield

Inquest held 22nd May 1942

Small piece in Sheffield Newspaper reads: 

The body of Abner Boldock, aged 79 of Richmond Road, Sheffield, who had been missing since last Sunday, has been recovered from a pond at Skelton's Quarry, Normanton Hill".

Letter received from Office of H M Coroner, The Medico-Legal Centre, Watery Street, Sheffield S3 7ET:

26 February 2008
Abner Boldock (deceased) 

Thank you for your recent email requesting information on your Great Grandfather's death.
Coroners are only required to retain records for fifteen years. Regrettably limitations of space mean that we do not keep very much beyond that and we do have nothing of substance beyond the twenty year mark. If I explain that we are dealing with some 4000 cases each year you may appreciate that there would be a very significant amount of storage space involved if we were to keep papers beyond the time required by law.
The only record that we have of Abner Boldock's death is in our 1942 register. This records that the case of Abner Boldock was reported to the coroner. A post-mortem was performed and an inquest was held returning an open verdict - death from drowning.
I am sorry that I cannot assist further.

Yours sincerely

C P Dorries
H M Coroner

Boldock Burials in Sheffield's Tinsley Park Cemetery

BOLDOCK Abner 26 May 1942 79 hawker 457a Richmond Rd Sheffield QC85c
BOLDOCK Charles 19 Oct 1934 62 retired 58 Burlywood Rd Totley Rise Sheffield C114c
BOLDOCK Charles William 21 Oct 1911 1m son of Joseph 30 March St Darnall ZA74nc
BOLDOCK Edith 13 Mar 1946 66 widow 40 March St Sheffield NC88c
BOLDOCK Eliza Ann 25 May 1897 11 daughter of Abner 3 Coleridge Rd Attercliffe FB158nc
BOLDOCK Ernest 21 Jan 1897 2 son of Abner 3 Coleridge Rd Attercliffe LB42nc
BOLDOCK Fred 13 Jun 1915 34 fishmonger 94 Attercliffe Common Attercliffe D143c
BOLDOCK Frederick 24 Aug 1915 10m son of Joseph 18 Canal Side Darnall O64c
BOLDOCK H. 24 Apr 1899 8m son of Chas 551 Attercliffe Rd Attercliffe C114c
BOLDOCK Hannah 18 Nov 1944 76 widow 41 Rosedale Gardens Sheffield C114c
BOLDOCK Henry 31 Aug 1922 65 labourer 2 Smilter Lane Sheffield D98c
BOLDOCK Herbert 10 Jan 1884 1 infant 6 Alma Square Attercliffe D51c
BOLDOCK Herbert 15 May 1946 81 labourer 14 Leigh St Sheffield XA28gp
BOLDOCK Jessie 10 Feb 1971 48 housewife 329 Hall Rd Sheffield EA21c
BOLDOCK Joseph 24 Nov 1925 52 general hawker 2 Smilter Lane / 81 Clipston R Sheffield D98c
BOLDOCK Jospeh 12 Mar 1931 52 hammer driver 40 March St Sheffield NC88c
BOLDOCK Mary Elizabeth 20 Sep 1934 76 widow 40 March St/2 Herries Rd Sheffield D98c
BOLDOCK Percy 23 Aug 1919 1d son of Wm Hy 74 Coleridge Rd Darnall NB67nc
BOLDOCK Stuart 17 Apr 1919 13 son of Charles 551 Attercliffe Rd Attercliffe C114c
BOLDOCK William 17 Sep 1919 59 labourer 64 Coleridge Rd Attercliffe D117c
BOLDOCK William Henry 9 Dec 1952 67 retired 74 Coleridge Rd Sheffield D117c

In November 2020 I received a map that showed where Skeltons Quarry was on Normanton Hill, Sheffield


I also received additional information about the family


"Attached is a photo of his son, also called Abner, whose occupation is shown as Pneumatic Steel Billet Chipper in the 1939 National Register. Abner Snr was living with Abner Jnr on Richmond Road, at the time of his tragic death. Also attached are are  Abner Jnr's WW1 medal card, and the details of his marriage, .

Abner Snr and Emma did have ten children of whom four died, but I've now realised that Eliza Ann wasn't their first child. Their first child was called Clara, born in 1884, who was brought up by her grandparents. Eliza Ann was born in 1886, then they had Charles and Florence (twins) in 1888, who both lived only a few short months. 

Baldock, Florence (~, age 4 months). Died at Attercliffe; Buried on February 24, 1889 in ~ ground; Grave Number ~, Section OC of Christ Church Cemetery, Attercliffe. Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 41

Boldock, Charles (~, age 5 months).Died at Attercliffe; Buried on March 24, 1889 in ~ ground; Grave Number ~, Section OC of Christ Church Cemetery, Attercliffe. Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 43

Herbert, Florence, Ernest, Minnie, Abner Jnr and Harry followed. Of those, they lost Ernest aged just two, in 1897 - the same year Eliza Ann drowned. A sad tale indeed." 


1911 UK Census

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Monday 24th May 1897

Lloyds Weekly News dated Sunday 23rd May 1897

The Yorkshire Evening Press dated Monday 24th May 1897

Sheffield Indexers

This page was last updated on 13/11/20 16:42

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