Thursday 19 October 2023


 The following is taken from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 9th April 1881 (page 6 column c) and refers to the death of one Benjamin Unwin. It was unusual for a "working man" to have an obituary published but I can only guess that it was due to the fact that Benjamin had defied the odds in contracting "grinders disease" which was all pervasive in his "calling"

"The theory that grinders are never long-lived is not borne out by the experience of Mr Benjamin Unwin, spring-knife grinder, who died a few days ago at the advanced age of 82, after a life spent in pursuit of his calling. He worked at the trade named without any intermission from his youth until a few years ago, and he never suffered from what is commonly known as the grinders' complaint. He was of a cheerful and hopeful disposition, and scrupulously temperate, which may perhaps have much to do with the manner in which he retained his health, and was unaffected by the injurious conditions of his calling. In politics he was a sincere Radical. He had a great facility for expressing his opinions, and a singularly retentive memory enabled him to recall with precision the great political events of his time."

It is also interesting to note that the obituary made a point of stressing Benjamin's temperate habits and how that may have contributed to his long life.