People on board
Edward Makin was born in Radcliffe, Bury, Lancashire in 1848 to Edward Makin and Martha Wood, the fifth of their seven children. Edward Snr. was a Shoemaker, described in the 1861 census as ‘Cordwainer and Clogger’. In the 1871 census Edward Jnr. then aged twenty-two, and his seventeen year old brother Henry, both gave their occupation as ‘Clogger’, while the females in the family were ‘Cotton Weavers’. At this period Radcliffe was an important mill town with cotton mills, bleachworks and a road, canal and railway network.
In June 1879 Edward Makin married Martha Sager, whose widowed mother had died in 1877. In the 1881 census Martha’s younger sister Elizabeth was living in the Makin household and this arrangement continued in the coming decades. By this stage Edward Makin had moved up in the world. On his marriage certificate he declared he was a ‘Warehouse Man’, but in 1881 he was a ‘Shirting Manufacturer’, the beginning of his life as a Cotton Manufacturer. The 1891 directories for Manchester and Salford, and Bolton show Edward Makin Junior & Co. listed as Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers.
During this time Edward and Martha had three sons, Edward William in 1882, James Langley in 1884 and Ernest in 1889. His father died in 1887, aged seventy-five. The family lived on Ainsworth Road in Radcliffe where Edward owned the Moorside Mill, as well as the Garden Mill and later, Arlington Mills in Salford. In 1902 he set up the Barmak Company in Dublin using machinery that he had patented, and spent hops from the Guinness Brewery, to make animal bedding. He then branched out into an animal food company, named Makbar, using the same resources.
In the 1901 census the two eldest sons, then aged eighteen and sixteen, were Apprentices to the Cotton Trade’. Elizabeth Sager was listed as ‘Housekeeper Domestic’; in the 1891 census she was simply ‘Servant’. In 1907 Martha Makin née Sager died, aged sixty. She was described in her obituary in the Bury Times as “a kindly disposed lady, a zealous church worker, actively associated with Smyrna Street United Methodist Church”. Five ministers took part in the service, no doubt in part due to Edward Makin’s standing in the community. The following year he married his sister-in-law Elizabeth Sager.
Edward Makin frequently travelled to Dublin, probably both from Liverpool and Holyhead. In September 1917 he and his son Edward were in Dublin because of a trade dispute with his employees in the Barmak Company, which the Lord Mayor successfully settled. Edward was known to the crews of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. and following the sinking of RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918 one of the surviving crew said that they had been speaking together a short time before the first explosion. The Manchester Evening News reported on the 11th that “no message had been received by the family”. Edward Makin’s body was never recovered.