Whitworth Family History
John Whitworth - Peninsular War Hero

John Whitworth was born in Mossley, Lancashire and baptised at St George's Church Mossley on 30 September 1785, the son of James Whitworth of Luzley, clockmaker and Lydia his wife. He died at 83 Booth Street, Mosley Street Manchester on 2 August 1848 and was buried in the family grave in Mossley St George's church yard on 6 August 1848. His death certificate gives his occupation as House Servant and Pensioner 7th Royal Fusiliers.
The church building was replaced in the 1880s but the large memorial tablet shown here and dedicated to John Whitworth is still in the church yard. The tablet contains details of his war service together with a poem written by his only surviving son Thomas.

monument in Mossley churchyard

My aunts and uncles told me that this John Whitworth was one of our ancestors and I have copies of two newspaper articles about him which belonged to my Uncle Frank. These contain details of his military career, his court martial for sounding the advance instead of the retreat, the unusual circumstances in which he met his future wife, Mlle Mornay, in Paris and the meeting with the Duke of Wellington at the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway.
Another newspaper clipping, reproduced here, shows that the same story was known in other branches of my Whitworth family who were all descended from the marriage of William Whitworth and Martha Shaw. Margaret King is descended from their son Adam.

John Whitworth's Army Record at the PRO confirms his length of service but there is no mention of the court martial.

The research which I have done indicates that there were several Whitworth families in and around Mossley at that time and I cannot find a direct link. My best guess at the origins of John Whitworth is available here. I have also published a page of data on the other Whitworth families in Saddleworth, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne, Hurst and Mottram.
I have been unable to find any trace of John Whitworth's marriage or any descendants. I would love to hear from any one who can help to solve this puzzle. Please contact me if you have any further information.


Updated: 10 February 2007