Hiram Bell Shearer

The Shearer family were all tradesmen: William was an inn-keeper, his brother Harry a plasterer and his son Hiram was a butcher. From 1887 till 1911 Hiram’s profession was recorded as such and in 1893 he had his own entry in Kelly’s Directory, the Yellow Pages of its day:

“Shearer Hiram, butcher, 25 North street, Stott hill”

Something was not quite right in 1891, when he was working as a billiard marker – usually a boy’s job – and Maria was taking in lodgers. Their eldest child Norah was at her grandfather’s. She could have been just visiting or perhaps they were lending a hand by looking after her for a while. Maybe money was tight temporarily.

By 1893 all seemed to be back on track and Hiram would continue in his own trade till 1911. At that point perhaps steady wages and less responsibility were an attractive prospect. He became a wool-comber in one of Bradford’s flourishing mills, and the family settled down at King Charles Square, from where their girls, Lily and my Grandma Florence, were married in 1911 and 1912.

Hiram and his family had seemed never to stay in one place for long. In the 24 years between their marriage in 1887 and their daughter Lily’s marriage in 1911, Hiram and his wife lived at six different addresses in Bradford. And these are only the ones I can identify: from 1896 to 1911 I have lost track of them altogether.

There is very little to be gleaned from the 1901 census when I can only find three of the family staying with their grandfather William. Aunt Nora aged 13, Grandma aged 11 and Uncle Willie aged 8 – what a handful! The Shearers were the branch of the family I knew best and one day all of their stories will be told…

Father of Florence, son of Mary Bell and acknowledged as the son of William Shearer

Possibly born in 1868 in Preston, Lancashire and baptised Hiram Smith Bell: the story of his birth is here. Surnames he used are “Shearer”, “Bell-Shearer” and “Bell Shearer”

Married Maria Clark on 8 March 1887

Died in September 1933 and buried in Undercliffe Cemetery

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