Harry Stokes c1799 – October 1859
Master bricklayer, pub landlord, special constable and ‘female husband’.
In 1838 Manchester bricklayer & special constable Harry Stokes was outed by his wife of 22 years as being a ‘man-woman’, a ‘female husband’. She was after a separation because of his recent drunken rages and withholding of the housekeeping.
Harry became the talk of the town; a figure of ridicule; people sung ballads about him in the street. He moved to Salford for a couple of years with his new ‘wife’ Francis Collins. Then they returned to Quay Street and ran a series of pubs. In 1859 Harry’s body was found in the River Irwell, not far from where Media City is today.
Timeline of Harry’s life, including info from trade directories, rate books etc
Newspaper stories on Harry Stokes – 1838 and 1859
Thomas Green and John Jones – Manchester’s other female husbands.
Harry’s life in pictures by Helen