By the time of the 1851 Census he was 8 years old and living with his parents and his brothers and sisters William (GM076), Nancy (GM078), Betsy (GM150), John (GM151) and Rachel (FM193) at Boardmans.
James became a coal miner like his older brother, William. He married Alice Greenwood (GM022) on 7th May 1868 (DYM) when he was aged 25. They were married at the Parish Church in Burnley. Details of the certificate are shown below:
1868 Marriage solemnized at Holy Trinity Church in the Parish of H.T.Habergham Eaves in the County of Lancaster
Name and surname
Rank or Profession
Residence at the Time of Marriage
Father’s Name and Surname
Rank or Profession
Married in the Church of the Holy Trinity according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church
by certificate by me, Edward B Trotter
This Marriage was
solemnized between us
James Magnall X
in the presence of us
John Magnall X
Rachel Magnall X
The 1871 Census shows that they had moved to the Burnley area with the rest of the family and they were living with Alice’s father, James Greenwood (HG001), and her older brother Jonathan, at Back Lane in Habergham Eaves with their first two children, Joseph and Margaret.
On 29 June 1873 their daughter Mary Alice was baptised at Holy Trinity, Habergham Eaves and James is recorded as being a miner with the family living at Gannow Lane. Mary Alice died aged 1 year 3 months and was buried in Burnley Cemetery, the family recorded as still living at Gannow Lane.
James’ son James Thomas was born on 20 June 1876 and his baptismal record at Holy Trinity on 23 July 1876 show the family living at Coal Clough Lane and that James is working as a fireman. A fireman at a coal mine was an underground official who had supervision of a district and the men working in it, they were designated as the competent person directly responsible for the safety of their district and inspection of its roadways and the role developed as an amalgamation of several earlier roles: in early mining a “fireman” was originally responsible for testing for firedamp. This role carried responsibility, was a post awarded to experienced miners along with a bigger wage packet.
Somewhere between July 1871 and 1881, James Greenwood became the publican of the Gretna Green Inn at Four Lane Ends – it’s address appears to have been 297 Coal Clough Lane which is on the junction between Coal Clough Lane and Cog Lane where many other members of the Magnall family lived. Between July 1876 and Aug 1878 James Magnall gave up coal mining and became a servant under his father-in-law. The 1881 Census shows that James and Alice had four living children:- Joseph (FM040), Margaret (FM041), James Thomas (EM026) and Sarah Jane (EM027).
Gretna Green Hotel in Burnley – demolished late 2011 / early 2012 to make way for new housing
The 1891 Census shows that James is now 48 years old and is a retired grocer! The family are living at 151 Cog Lane which is just round the corner from the Gretna Green Inn. He and Alice have Alice’s father and seven children living with them:- Joseph (FM040), Margaret (FM041), James Thomas (EM026), Sarah Jane (EM027), Greenwood (EM186), Alice Ann (EM219) and Percy (EM190).
At the time of the 1901 Census James was 58 years old and is described as a retired grocer living at 279 Cog Lane. He is living with his wife and children Sarah Jane (EM027), Greenwood (EM186) and Alice Annie (EM219).
James and Alice had at least 13 children, several who died at a very early age. The ones we know of are:-
Joseph (FM040) born 31st Oct 1868 (VRI & RoB Burnley 1868 Q4 8e 189 & birth certificate), christened 29th November 1868 (VRI), died 25th December 1931;
Margaret (FM041) born 26th Jun 1870 (VRI & RoB Burnley 1870 Q3 8e 191 & birth certificate), christened 7th August 1870 (VRI), died 10th Mar 1949;
Rachel (FM088) born 17th December 1871 (VRI & RoB Burnley 1872 Q1 V.8e p.201), christened 4th Feb 1872 (VRI), died 29th July 1872 (RoD Burnley 1872 Q3 V.8e p.125 age 0), buried in Burnley Cemetery 1st August 1872;
Mary Alice (FM091) b.4th June 1873 (VRI & RoB Burnley 1873 Q2 8e 243), christened 19th June 1873 (VRI) and died 1st November 1874 (RoD Burnley 1874 Q4 8e 156 age 1);