Throstle Piecer

Edward Baines. The History of Cotton Manufacture

Ann Gaskell was born about 1827, in Disley, Cheshire, England. She married William Bence on September 3, 1848 at Saint James, Didsbury, Lancashire, England. Their first child Peter Gaskell Bence was born in 1849. A daughter Ellen died in infancy in 1852.

In the 1851 English Census, William is listed as a “Power loom weaver” and Ann is listed as a “throstle piecer”.

Ann died in 1853 in Heaton Norris, Lancashire, England, at the age of 26. In 1854, William Bence immigrated to Fall River, Massachusetts with his son Peter and his second wife, Sarah Jane Hudson.

throstle, n.

  1. A thrush; esp. the song-thrush or mavis, Turdus musicus.
  1. A spinning-machine for cotton, wool, etc., a modification of that originally called a water-frame; differing from a mule in having a continuous action, the processes of drawing, twisting, and winding being carried on simultaneously. As to the reason of the name see quot. 1877.

1877   E. H. Knight Pract. Dict. Mech. (at cited word), The throstle derived its name from the singing or humming which it occasioned.

piecer, n.

  1. a person whose occupation is the joining together of pieces or threads, as in textile work.


Edward Baines. The History of Cotton Manufacture (1835). (accessed: 22-jun-2015).

throstle. Oxford Unabridged Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2015. (accessed: 22-jun-2015).

piecer. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. (accessed: June 21, 2015).