Eleanora Atherton

14th Feb 1782 - 12th Sep 1870

Claimant or beneficiary


Awarded with Joseph Feilden (q.v.) half the compensation for Spring Vale Pen in St James and Green Park in Trelawny, for which Atherton and her brother-in-law Richard Willis (q.v.) claimed  as owners-in-fee. The other moiety was paid to William Harrison (q.v.), an erstwhile partner of William Peatt Litt (q.v.), the slave-trader.

  1. Born 14/02/1782, elder of the two surviving daughters of Henry Atherton (1740-1816) barrister and Ann Byrom (1751-1826), herself the daughter of Edward Byrom of Manchester (1724-1773) and Eleanora Halstead. Co-heir of Henry Atherton and Edward Byrom, and heir of her aunt Eleanora Byrom and uncle William Atherton of Jamaica. She settled in Manchester and divided each year between the Byrom family home at 23 Quay Street and their country home at Kersal Cell Salford. She also owned property in London, Cheshire, Lancashire and Jamaica. 'A prolific but unostentatious philanthropist', with estimated gifts of £100,000 1838-70. Funded the building of Holy Trinity Church Hulme for £18,000 in 1841 and St Paul's Church, Kersal, Salford in 1841-43, where she is buried. She erected almshouses in Prescot in memory of her sister Mrs Willis at a cost of £10,000. Supported the Chetham Society in Manchester. She was a well-known figure in Manchester, often being seen being carried around in a sedan chair. Died 12/09/1870.   
  2. The will of Eleanora Atherton late of Kersal Cell Kersal near Manchester and of [23] Quay Street in Manchester and of Great James Street who died 12/09/1870 at Manchester proved 03/10/1870, effects under £400,000.


T71/873 St James claim no. 393A-C; T71/874 Trelawny claim no. 539A-C.

  1. Joyce F. Goodman, ‘Atherton, Eleanora (1782–1870)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004), http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/56094 [accessed 12/09/2012]; Marjorie Cruickshank, Children and Industry: Child Health and Welfare in North-west Textile Towns During the Nineteenth Century (Manchester, 1981), p. 79; Anthea & Neil Darlington, St Paul's Church, Kersal Churchyard Trail: http://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/regions/St_Pauls_Churchyard-rev4.pdf

  2. National Probate Calendar 1870; William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? 1860- (Volumes 3 and 4, manuscripts in preparation), reference 1870/3.

We are grateful to Peter Corbally for his help compiling this entry.

Further Information

Wealth at death
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (2)

£3,466 8s 8d
£10,172 17s 9d

Legacies Summary

Physical (2)

Holy Trinity Church, Hulme [Built] 
description →
Holy Trinity Church, Hulme, funded with £18,000 from Eleonora Atherton in 1841, completed in...
St Paul's Church, Kersal [Built] 
description →
St Paul's Church Kersal, built 1851/2 for Col. William Clowes and Miss Atherton of Kersal...
notes →
Paul Hindle, Salford Through Time...

Relationships (13)

Niece → Uncle
Niece → Uncle
Niece → Uncle
Daughter → Father
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins
Sister-in-law → Brother-in-law

Addresses (3)

12 Great James Street, Bedford Row, London, Middlesex, London, England
23 Quay Street, Manchester, Lancashire, North-west England, England
Kersal Cell, Kersal, Salford, Cheshire, North-west England, England