25 March 2016

Samuel Laycock: Layton Cemetery, Blackpool #2


'SAMUEL LAYCOCK,
BORN JANUARY 17TH 1826,
PASSED TO THE HIGHER LIFE
DECEMBER 15TH 1893.
THOU ART NOT IDLE: IN THY HIGHER SPHERE
THY SPIRIT BENDS ITSELF TO LOVING TASKS,
AND STRENGTH TO PERFECT WHAT IT DREAMED OF HERE
IS ALL THE CROWN AND GLORY THAT IT ASKS
ALSO OF HIS BELOVED WIFE
ELIZA,
WHO DIED FEBRUARY 27TH 1917.
IN HER 82ND YEAR.'

Unlike Spencer T. Hall's grave, Samuel Laycock's mentions nothing of the literary interest that he is, or anything of his life for that matter. Laycock was born in Marsden near Huddersfield, now in West Yorkshire, and was the son of John, a hand loom weaver. Samuel began his working life in a mill at the age of nine, and continued as a mill worker of different statuses until the American Civil War (1861–1864) caused him to be unemployed. He wrote dialect poetry about life in the mills, his earlier publications being Lancashire Rhymes; or Homely Pictures of the People (1864) and Lancashire Songs (1866). Laycock worked as a librarian at the Mechanics Institute in Stalybridge from 1865 to 1971, and later moved to Blackpool due to poor health. Eliza was his third wife, and the future novelist Arthur Laycock was one of their children.

Many thanks to The Friends of Layton Cemetery for their amazingly enthusiastic help with all our grave enquiries.

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