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The Great Hurricane in Sheffield Tuesday 16 December 1873

Extracted from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 17 December 1873 by Karen Turner.

"Not since the terrible night in 1864 when the Dale Dyke Dam burst its banks has such a calamity occurred in Sheffield as that which took place yesterday morning. The gale which then swept over the town with a relentless fury which we in this country are fortunately unfamiliar and which has caused the loss of 7 lives, perhaps 3 or 4 times that number of persons are now lying more or less seriously injured; and as this was not enought there has been an immense destruction of property. Whilst all Sheffield was calmly eating its breakfast, terrible scenes were being enacted. Houses were being unroofed, trees were torn up as if they were saplings, great chimney shafts pointing their way proudly 40 or 50 yards into our cloudy sky were being toppled over like diminutive ninepins. From one end of the town to the other there is hardly a street that does not bear signs of injury; there is hardly a house which has escaped. Panes are dashed in; tiles and slates were blown about like pieces of paper; windows rattled enough almost to wake the Seven Sleepers; houses were shaken as if there were an earthquake."

"The wind began to get high soon after 1 o'clock yesterday morning. It then died away for a little time the stillness which precedes the storm and then it burst out with great fury from four o'clock, it gradually increased in violence until half-past nine. Very little damage seems to have been done till 8 but from then till nearly 10 there was a constant succession of casualties and tidings of chimneys blown down, men killed, and roofs fallen in came "fast and furious". Men were seen rushing here and there with "bated breath" for Death was stalking amongst them and his never-ceasing scythe had laid many a victim low."

Fatalities (excluding George Bower) were lying at the Dog and Partridge Inn, Trippet Lane; George Bower is stated as being in the dead-house at the Dispensary.

John BrownCutlerTrippet Lane
John AsterCutlerNewcastle Street
William EvansCutlerSpring Street
John CrookesSpring knife cutlerOrchard Lane
Thomas PaulesCutlerSnow Lane
George BowerCutlerWater Street

List of injured at the General Infirmary

John Bradbury, blacksmith of Newhall Scalp wound and contusions Found buried in the ruins at Crucible Steel Foundry, Newhall
Mark Rolley, fettler who lived at Rotherham Dead on admission Killed at Crucible Steel Foundry, Newhall, inquest opened on 16/12/1873 at the Infirmary and adjourned to 30th inst
Henry Sidebottom, 2217 Bramwell StreetExtensive scalp wound, was working out of doors somewhere and pallisades fell on him
James Craig, 42No1 Court, house No. 2, Lee CroftScalp wound sustained at Messrs Thos Firth and Sons, Norfolk Works, Saville Street
John Winter, 2588 Birch Road, AttercliffeScalp wound sustained at Messrs Thos Firth and Sons, Norfolk Works, Saville Street
Charles Walshaw, 36Birley House, Wadsley BridgeInjury to ankle by falling off a ladder at Wadsley
Robert Hawksworth, 42HilltopHad his arm broken by being blown off a stack at Hilltop.

At the Public Hospital and Dispensary:

F Shaw, 4Broad LaneInjury to head from fall of a house
William Shaw, 11As above, living at same houseInjuries to the head
S Matthews, 14Pitt StreetScalp wound
J Hodgson, 24Club Garden WalkDislocation of shoulder from the fall of a cart shed
J Greaves, 18Cambridge StreetInjury to head and arm
A Bradley, 25Broad LaneInjury to hand and arms
Patrick Gantley, 64Willey StreetInjury to shoulder
William Hodgson, 73Mount Pleasant, HighfieldFractures to arms
William Broad, 43Club GardensInjury to back from the falling of a wall
Edward Mason, 36Canning StreetScalp wound
J McWomack, 29Scotland StreetBruises and contusions
H Copley, 13Daisy WalkInjury to hand
Dennis Manning, 23Water LaneInjury to hand and fingers
William Liddle, 55Green LaneInjury to right eye
A Anley, 54Bennett LaneInjury to shoulder
M A Johnson, 2Broomspring LaneSlight injuries

Other people mentioned in the article

Charles Cash, labourerTown Well yard, Church StreetNo injuries, chimney through roof into bedroom
Mrs Greenhill266 Ecclesall RoadHouse unroofed and uninhabitable, very valuable furniture destroyed, some jewellery missing
Mr Naylor, Heeley Post Master Gust of wind took him off his legs in Oak Street and then threw him down - fracture of the hip
Mr Eberlin, Pork Butcher,Sheffield MoorRoof of cart shed in Alexandra Road, Heeley lifted clean away and taken to top of a house near where it knocked down the chimney stack
Mr SmithCherrytree Road, SharrowLarge tree broken off at the trunk and carried across the road
Mr CardwellNunnery Farm, Sheffield ParkStack of straw blown down and partly carried away
Emma ShawBroad LaneInjury to head etc
John Shaw, edge tool forger11 Broad LaneDwelling house totally demolished
Sarah Bower, 2675 Spring StreetScalp wound and compound dislocation of left ankle
Mary Ann Bower, 3128 Water StreetCompound fracture of lower jaw, wounds on face etc
G H Hardwick, 27Trippet LaneInjury to the spine and fracture of left arm
Wm Bower28 Water StreetLacerated wound on right side
J Bocking, 37164 Portobello StreetCrushed abdomen and wound on the face
Henry Bocking, 14164 Portobello StreetCrushed hand and bruised head
Wiliam Noble, 46PortobelloScalp wound
John Noble, 23128 PortobelloScalp wound; thigh and other parts of the body injured
Thomas Clarke, lamp-lighterYard in Portobello areaFall of chimney damaged house
Mr William Robinson, landlordNorfolk Hotel, Mowbray StreetPortion of the hotel blown down, suffered fractured skull and scalp wounds
Mr Edward Learoyd, Secretary of the Pharmaceutical SocietyLandsdowne Road (dwelling-house connected with branch shop owned by Mr W V Radley)Chimney pots fell on to house
William Whitehead, engine tenter Messrs Matthewman and Sons, cutlery manufacturers, Milton Street Averted disaster in putting out a fire
Mr Freckingham, mortar millsWilley Street, WickerChimney fell through the mortar mill roof
Thomas Walker, worker Messrs Cooper and Son, Clog Manufacturers, West Bar. Injured by falling beams caused by falling chimney
Mr J Blyde, heavy steel toy manufacturerHallcar Works, Spital HillChimney fell on adjacent file cutters' workshop
Samuel Hattersley, striker at Messrs Thos Firth and Sons, Norfolk Works, Saville Street Slight injuries
William Kirby
John Thurston, engineman
John Broad, cutler
William Broad, cutler
William Marks
 Present at the Trippet Lane disaster when 6 men were killed when 40ft high chimney fell destroying 8 cutlery workshops
Ralph Kendall, labourer in the fettlers' shop of The Crucible Steel Foundry, Newhall Road, owned Mr Robert Hadfield, of Ashdell Road, Broomhill Warned his workmates of danger
Mr Wright, plumberHighfield Police StationA block of six shops in course of construction by Mr Wright were partially unroofed and part fell into the Police Station yard and into the rooms
Inspector and Mrs Bradbury, Escaped without injury when masonry fell into bedroom whilst he was in bed
Mr J C Wing, cutlery managerSharrow LaneEscaped injury through falling masonry
Mr W Shaw, woollen draper of High StreetSharrow Laneditto
Mrs M WellsSharrow Laneditto
Mr Geo WolstenholmePriory Terrace, facing Sharrow Laneditto
Mr Slagg, occupier of farmSheffield ParkStacks stripped of covering
Mr Wigfull occupier of farmSheffield ParkStacks stripped of covering
Mr ButcherLees Hall, NortonStacks, house and outbuilding have greatly suffered
Mr George SampsonBeauchief AbbeyOat stack weighing 20-30 tons was lifted from its brandreth and carried about the yard.
Mr M Wilkinson, farmerMyrtle HillStacks disappeared
Mr DarlowWalkleyA row of his houses much damaged
Mrs GarrettRawson Springs, King James Street, WalkleyChimney came down and carried the roof with it. She was much annoyed as she had just "cleaned down" for Christmas.
Mrs Ann Hawe, an elderly woman and mother of the person who attends to the Methodist New Connexion ChapelWalkleyBlown off her feet and narrowly escaped being hit by a large falling stone from the Chapel's chimney.
Mrs AllenCromwell StreetNarrow escape from falling masonry
Mr Chadwick, druggistOpposite the new Board School in WalkleyNarrow escape from falling masonry
Mr Councillor SearleBirkendaleMuch damage to house
Mr and Mrs Hibbert, attend to the house of Mr Wigan Burton Road, adjoining the breweryBurton RoadMiraculous escape from falling masonry
Mr Ratlidge of South Sea Hotel, BroomhillTapton HillWheatstack blow about in all directions
Mr Moses Ellis, workshop owner, workshop used by Mr Pitt of WaingateAlbert RoadTop storey of workshop carried into a field at the back
Mr and Mrs HearnshaweWoodhill, GrimesthorpeNarrow escape from falling masonry
Mr VeallQueen's terraceDamage to chimney stack
Mr BassettRanmoorChimney stack fell through roof
Mr Wilson, SurgeonGlossop RoadSlates and tiles lost
Mr Haigh, bus proprietorGlossop RoadSlates and tiles lost
Mr ArdenGlossop RoadGarden wall hurled down
Mrs RodgersEgerton House, Glossop RoadWall and pallisading fell down
Mr J DysonThe Woodlands, PitsmoorChimney stack fell through roof
Mr TaylorBuckingham RoadDebris fell into bedroom, bedroom floor collapsed into room below and ruined the furniture, no-one hurt

n.b. There is much more detail of damage to property - I have just extracted the parts that mention named individuals. Karen Turner, 22 November 1999

Data transcribed from:
Sheffield and Rotherham Independent.
dated 17 December 1873
Transcribed by
Karen Turner ©2000