Enoch William Sankey was born in Croft in February 1856 to Enoch and Eliza Sankey (nee Dootson).
He grew up at Heath Farm with his parents and his older half-brother, Reginald Owen.
In 1872 he set up business at Heath Farm, with £500 cash from his mother. He then received around £6 – 7,000 in capital from his father’s estate, as well as the General Elliot Hotel, a cottage and more land.
He married Mary Ann Millner on September 13th 1881, at Christ Church in Croft. They had eight children together, Annie, Gwendoline, Ernest , Sydney, Dorothy, Margaret, Lilian and Charles.
In 1892 Enoch purchased Heath Farm and it’s land, as well as Eaves Brow Farm, Croft and Cross Lane Farm, Culcheth for £7038. He also acquired New Hay Farm for £4200.
He continued in business as a farmer and was “one of the best known horse dealers in the North of England”. He was a member of the Southworth with Croft School Board for a number of years.
He carried out extensive business across the country and made large profits.
Enoch lived an extravagant life involving frequent travelling abroad, motor cars and racing trips and was a well-known and much liked gentleman.
In 1911 his unsecured debts were £12878 and his free assets just £900. He was subject to a bankruptcy hearing in July 1912 at Warrington, which ran through to October.
He stayed at Heath Farm after bankruptcy and even continued in horse dealing, as he was summoned to court for a contravention of the Defence of the Realm Act in 1918 after selling a horse without a licence earlier that year.
There is little information available after 1918, but it seems that the family moved to Sale as he passed away there on 2nd November 1928 and was cremated at Manchester Crematorium.
A huge thank you to Bryan Gladstone, who sent me the below image and inspired me to look into Enoch's story. Brian is the grandson of Ernest Sankey, Enoch's son.
The Sankey Family at Heath Farm
LEFT TO RIGHT
BACK ROW: SIDNEY, ENOCH, ANNIE, REGINALD OWEN (ENOCH'S HALF BROTHER), ANNIE OWEN (DAUGHTER OF REGINALD), THOMAS PARK (SON-IN-LAW OF REGINALD)
FRONT ROW: ERNEST, REGINALD SANKEY OWEN (SON OF REGINALD), FANNY LEES (DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF REGINALD), MARY ANN (HOLDING MARGARET), GWENDOLINE, LILIAN, DOROTHY