Squire Clark (or sometimes Clerk) was the son of a clothier in Yeadon, between Leeds and Bradford. Where England’s highest airport now stands was then moors where sheep would roam at will for most of the year, being brought back to the farms for shearing. The wool would be washed, carded, spun and woven into cloth in the village.
He was baptised in the parish church at Guiseley and married Mary Sugdin nearly forty years later at the same church. This seems a little late in life, but he may have been married before. This marriage record only gives the names of the parties: later records would tell us if they were widowed or single at the time of marriage.
Evidently Squire and Mary moved to Bradford just a few miles away. At the time of their marriage the city had not yet become the centre of the wool industry, but Squire was able to find work in the new mills. The birth records of their six children all give Squire’s occupation as “comber” or “woolcomber”, and his residence as “Bradford”.
I have found a record of the death of Squire Clark, a widower aged 75, in 1832. The date of birth is near enough and the name is unusual enough to be our Squire Clark. However, the burial was at St Mark’s church, Woodhouse, Leeds, and the deceased had lived at “New Huddersfield”. This seems to have been around Woodhouse Moor, now part of the campus of Leeds University.
It may be that he was only visiting Leeds and contracted cholera there. Presumably the priority would be to bury patients as quickly as possible and near to the place they died, rather than carry the infection elsewhere. This is pure speculation as the death record doesn’t give a cause of death. More research might be in order on this one!
Baptised on 15 May 1758 at Guiseley, Yorkshire
Married Mary Sugdin on 20 November 1797
Buried 28 August 1832 (possibly)