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Mary Street, Saltaire

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Mary, born on 30th April, 1849, was the third daughter of Caroline and Titus Salt. Her birth occurred at a time of rapid advancement for the Salt family. Not only was Salt the owner of five mills in Bradford employing 2,000 workers, he was by now Bradford’s mayor. He and his family were settled at the splendid Crow Nest estate, 6 miles SSW of the town. The planning and building of Saltaire was yet to come.

While the Bradford cholera outbreak of 1849 did not visit itself on the Salt household, the family was not immune to other common diseases of the era. In 1851 Salt was not only running his Bradford mills but was also heavily committed to the building of his gigantic new mill in Saltaire, and getting his products ready for display at the Great Exhibition in London. All was going well, but then tragedy struck the family. In April, Mary’s brother Whitlam (4) died of measles. Only five weeks later, on 14th May, Mary died of “congestion of the brain”, a 19th Century term used to describe a variety of conditions including hydrocephalus, stroke, cerebral haemorrhage and meningitis. Hers was to be the shortest life of all of the 11 children born to Titus and Caroline. Both Whitlam and Mary were initially buried in the graveyard of Bramley Lane Congregational Chapel at Lightcliffe, near Crow Nest. Several years later their bodies were exhumed, and laid to rest in the newly built family mausoleum in Saltaire Congregational Church, where they remain to this day.

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