Abraham Stansfield


Abraham Stansfield was born at Hugeon Croft near Shore, Todmorden, the son of Luke Stansfield.

He was a handloom weaver and wrote poetry to support his family; a botanist; editor of the Todmorden Comet [1840]; a gardener [1841]; a gardener employing 6 men [1851]; a nursery man and gardener and employs 13 men [1861]; a nurseryman and gardener [1871]; Chairman of the Aged Folks' Tea Party Society.

He wrote several poems, books and articles. In 1866, Abraham and John Nowell started to write a book entitled The Flora of Todmorden, to which was added a list of The Birds of Todmorden compiled by Walter Greaves. The book was completed, edited and published about 1908/1911 – when both authors were dead – by Abraham Stansfield jnr of Higher Broughton, Manchester.

He became the gardener for Thomas Ramsbotham

He went into business as a market gardener, first in a field adjoining Centre Vale. In 1844, he started work as a nurseryman at Vale Garden.

He went to live in Platts House with his family and turned the land into a vegetable garden. This became known as Vale Nurseries, Wellington Road.

He, his sons, and John Nowell founded the Todmorden Botanical Society.

He was interested in ferns, and his catalogue of 1858 says:

The bright colours of flowers are admired by the least intellectual but the beauty of form and texture of ferns requires a higher degree of mental perception and a more cultivated intellect for its proper appreciation. Hence we regard the growing taste for the cultivation of ferns as proof of mental advancement

In the 1870s, he established A. Stansfield & Son, Vale Nursery, Todmorden.

In 1821, he married (1) Mary [1801-1842].


  1. John
  2. Anne
  3. Thomas
  4. Luke
  5. Jane
  6. Mary [1834-1855]
  7. Abraham
  8. Elizabeth [1842-1843]

By 1851, he had married (2) Alice [1807-1885].

The family lived at

He died at Vale Cottage.

He was buried at Christ Church, Todmorden

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 13:03 / 24th May 2021 / 5439

Page Ref: WW_52

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