A TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY OF THE VALLEY AND HILL FARMS PERSONAL NOTES OF THE PEOPLE HABITS AND CUSTOMS OF THE DISTRICT WRITTEN AS A HANBOOK OF CORNHOLME BY JOHN TRAVIS (Reprinted from the "Todmorden Advertiser." TODMORDEN: Fredk. Lee & Co., Printers and Publishers 34 Rochdale Road 1909
"Sam at Rodins," "Sam at Rodins," so the common people who knew him well always called him but who was "Sam at Rodins," then? Well, he was chef, butler and general manager of the cuisine affairs for Christopher Rawdon Esq., cotton spinner and broker, or merchant of Charlestown Mill and Liverpool residing at Rawdon or Underbank Hall in the lower third of Stansfield township, Todmorden. The mill was burnt down about 1830, and lay derilict for many years with sign painted on the old end wall of the mill on a black ground and white letters, "This site to sell or let," apply to so-and- so.
Mr. Rawdon then removed to the Mersey port, there to conduct his cotton business. The Hall was in the hands of a caretaker for some time, probably in that of "Mr. Sam at Rodins." He made himself useful for a long time, being in great request as conductor at wedding breakfasts, dinners, and banquets. Also at club dinners and funeral entertainments where the people could afford to pay him. It was looked upon as a sure sign that such affairs would be conducted properly if Sam was there. Many who went were sure to tell saying, "for Sam at Rodins was there," as a guarantee that the matter in hand had come off properly. This man attended parties in Todmorden and district at the White Hart Inn, Golden Lion and Royal George, at Cross Stone, Station House Bottoms and all about Hebden Bridge, both at public and private entertainments until close upon 1840.
Soon after that, Old Tom, a Quaker cloth, etc., merchant of Manchester and Todmorden, woke up to the state of matters here and said, "Our Betty's lads have never had a fair chance to get on in business, but they shall have one." So he purchased the site of Charlestown Mill and the Underbank estate for a nephew, and the mill with a spacious weaving shed was re-erected and furnished with spinning machinery and handed over to see what his sister's son could make out in the business.
Two other nephews soon after that event erected a new mill in Walsden, which was furnished with the most improved machinery before 1848. Two other nephews Tom and Henry were lax. Henry died, but Tom had rather an erratic sort of life. He married and had two sons named Gilbert and Harry.
The nephews of the old uncle are all dead many years since, and we believe that there is not a male representative living out of a family of five sons - the sons of a respectable and prosperous old fustian manufacturer, once of the Far Longfield Far Langfield, Todmorden.
While Mr Rawdon was at Underbank Hall, he had a daughter, but whether she married or died we cannot say. However she had an organ of superior construction and it was on sale about 1810. A committee of the churchmen attending Todmorden Church was formed, and they decided to purchase the instrument at the price of £100 and did so. The elder John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, and other gentlemen, went round the district of Todmorden and Walsden soliciting subscriptions from the "ley- payers" for the purpose of buying the organ and other necessary expenses for its erection in St. Mary's Church and there were about as many subscribers to the fund as there are days in a year.
Data transcribed from:
The Handbook of Cornholme
Arlene W. Hinman ©2003