Charles Balshaw, 1812-1869.


Ormskirk Lancs, from 1851 census. Not in Cheshire (1841 census).

Probably christened 4th September 1812, Ormskirk, son of Ralph Balshaw and Betty (from IGI) and therefore probably the cousin of Thomas Balshaw, the other other printer in Altrincham.


Clearly in business in Altrincham by 1837, as he printed a poster announcing the Bowdon Wakes Races in that year, (ref. Bygone Altrincham.)

In 1847 he published "The Britannia Almanac".

Printer living in King St 1841, not born in Cheshire. Auctioneer, living at 174? High St from 1851 census. Letterpress and copper plate printer living at 12 High Street, Altrincham, in 1858 (Britannia Printing Office) from History of Altrincham 1858. Also paper hanger, auctioneer and appraiser, book seller and book binder, and circulating library containing upwards of 2,500 volumes. Auctioneer, age 48, living at 12 High St from 1861 census.

Mayor of Altrincham 1861 and 1863.

Chairman of the Altrincham Union, 1867-9. (Ref. Ingham.)

Assistant bailiff to the Crown Court, 1858.  He must have become High Bailiff later, as we know that his son Henry succeeded him in that office.

Printed the Strangers Guide to Altrincham from about 1840.


Elizabeth Rowbotham, 16/7/1835, by banns, both signed.

Children: Mary Balshaw, 1836; Henry Balshaw, 1838, (c.f. Henry Balshaw, b. 1836); Harriet Balshaw, 1840; Martha Balshaw b. 31st July 1843, died 5th August 1866. Martha's birth cert. shows that Elizabeth's maiden name was Rowbotham.

Mary and Harriet  married brothers.  Mary married James Rose Willacy, Jun qtr 1862, and Harriet married Thomas Willacy, Dec qtr 1862. Martha married a Metcalf (see inscription below) but died on August 5th 1866, aged 23.  Her widower and the two Willacy brothers all attended the funeral of her father, Charles, in 1869.  Harriet died in the Jun qtr of 1902, age 61, in Toxteth Park.  James Rose died 1885, Dec qtr, age 52, in Prescot.


14th January 1869, age 56. Mar qtr 1869, Altrincham 8a 122. Have copy of will.  Effects under £5,000 (a not inconsiderable amount of money).  No leaseholds.

A gravestone at St Mary's, Bowdon carries the following inscription:

In loving memory of my husband Henry Balshaw who died 20th March, 1895 aged 56 years
Oh for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still
In memory of Martha Metcalf daughter of Charles & Elizabeth Balshaw of Altrincham who died August 5th, 1866 aged 23 years.
Also the above Charles Balshaw who died 14 January, 1869 aged 55 years.
Also Elizabeth wife of the above who died August 23rd, 1885 aged 73.

Northwich and Winsford Guardian (which was clearly a sister edition of the Altrincham and Bowdon Guardian), January 16th 1869, p 4. Deaths. January 14th at his residence, Altrincham, aged 55 years, Mr Charles Balshaw.  Friends will please accept this intimation.

Northwich and Winsford Guardian, January 23rd 1869. Funeral of the late Mr Charles Balshaw of Altrincham. Mourners included two of his brothers, Mr E Balshaw and Mr R Balshaw; three sons-in-law, Mr J Willacy, Mr T Willacy and Mr Metcalfe; a cousin, Mr John Balshaw; a grandson, Mr Charles Balshaw Willacy; and the Rev John Kingsley.


Other notes John Balshaw, nephew, a Printer's apprentice, age 16, born in Liverpool, appears on the 1851 census return.

As yet we are not certain of the family connections between Charles and Thomas Balshaw. Thomas and Charles were both born in Ormskirk. There are likely candidates on the IGI, and is very likely that they were first cousins. There is a suggestion of a family disagreement from one of Charles' advertisements (in the late 1840s) which states "Please observe the address, Charles Balshaw, King St, having no connection with any other House."

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