A Man Who Had Money

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photo by Humphrey Bolton, CC BY-SA 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons 

The family fortune was made in the West Riding textile industry. The profits bought a number of landed estates. William Aykroyd created the first milch cow, Bradford Dyeing and Finishing, in 1835 and one of his sons, William Henry, bought Grantley Hall ninety years later. Five years before that purchase, W.H. was made a baronet in the 1920 Birthday Honours. He died in 1947 aged 81 and one might assume he’d had a life of privileged comfort.  Not quite.

 

On Wednesday 18th August 1909, driving through Filey in his 35 horsepower motor car, he knocked two young boys off their bicycle. Twelve-year-old Henry SAVILE was badly injured and died the following day. His five-year-old brother, Arthur, suffered a fractured arm, gashed forehead and bruises but soon recovered.

I wrote about this event in Looking at Filey, quoting at length from newspaper reports. Death of a Boy makes rather grim reading but in researching this follow-up, triggered by the anniversary, I felt even more distressed by what had taken place.

It WAS an accident. A strong wind was blowing, carrying away the sound of the car’s horn, but Henry made a fatal decision to cut across the road to take advantage of smooth asphalt at the other side. He didn’t hear the engine or the warning hoot and realized too late that the motor was upon him. The boys’ aunt was riding a bicycle behind them and seems not to have expected Henry’s maneuver, nor to have realized the danger the vehicle posed. The coroner’s inquest apportioned no blame to the driver of the car. There was some public sympathy to spare for W. H. Aykroyd who had been “greatly distressed by the occurrence”. Not as much as the father of the boys, of course. Robert Arthur Savile wrote a letter to the newspaper five days after the tragedy that included this paragraph, with its reference to the driver’s position as a magistrate:-

Mr. Aykroyd informs me he is a gentleman and has plenty of money, but I could not accept money from him. What I want is my boy and that he cannot give. The only approach to compensation he can make is to set an example to others by giving up the speed fad, and spending what money he can spare in doing his utmost to avoid further accidents by putting into force the laws which are already made. Is it not time that laws were put into force for the rich as well as the poor?

Robert, who worked as a farmer and a butcher, was enumerated by the 1939 Register in Hunmanby, a widower since 1915 and looked after by a housekeeper. He died in 1943 aged 69. What would he have made of today’s rich-getting-richer world?

I remarked in the old post that Henry’s grave was somewhat neglected. At the beginning of this year, it was tidied and the soil around the base cleared away. Anyone passing can now see how he died.

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The Savile’s are not on FST (yet) but Kath has Robert and Ada with their children on Filey Genealogy & Connections. Sir William Henry is on the World Tree but he’s poor in sources.

If It Wasn’t for Bad Luck…

In the space of just over a year (1889/90) Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON saw his first three children die. A few months after burying the third his fishing boat was involved in a collision off St. Abbs Head and he drowned. He may or may not have known that his wife, Annie Elizabeth, was pregnant with their fourth child. Not surprisingly, she called the boy Robert Jenkinson.

In 1901 Annie and her son were living in Queen Street, with her father Jonah RICKABY and brother Denton. Ten years later the widow was an inmate at the Scarborough Workhouse in Dean Road, 46 years old, her occupation given as Domestic Servant. Robert was still living in Queen Street with Jonah and Denton, following his grandfather’s trade of Bootmaker/Dealer.

At the beginning of 1912 Jonah died – and at the end of the year Annie Elizabeth was released from her life of sadness and loss.

Her surviving son’s last job before he went to war was Verger at St. John’s Church in Filey. A hundred years ago he was with the 10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. He was killed by a bomb, dropped at night from an aero plane on the unlit camp at Thieushouk, north-east France.

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This satellite view shows the farm on which the bomb fell. It is now the Vannobel Jean Horse Riding School. Less than a mile to the north is the Bertenacre Military Cemetery where Robert lies with the 37 comrades who died with him in the explosion. Their names are listed here.

The War Diary of the 10th Battalion is available online and reveals the relative worth of human life and grass.

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Robert Jenkinson is remembered in Filey Churchyard with his grandparents William WATKINSON and Mary nee JENKINSON.

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The East Yorkshire Family History Society transcription (entry 826) reads:-

In loving memory of WILLIAM WATKINSON, the beloved husband of MARY WATKINSON, died April 6th 1911, aged 71 years. “His end was peace.” Also of the above MARY WATKINSON, died Jan 1st 1926 aged 80 years. At rest. Also ROBERT J. WATKINSON, his grandson, Verger of St John’s Church of this town. Died in his country’s cause, Aug. 18th 1917 aged 26 years.

Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON senior is represented on FamilySearch Tree (minimally) but you will have to look on Genealogies to see Robert junior in the context of several generations. I have created a LaF Wiki page for the soldier and over the next day or two I’ll expand his family on FST.

Van Man

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photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Graham Featherstone

The newspaper report I transcribed in PC Plod (Looking at Filey 27 July 2012) began:-

On Wednesday at the Borough Police Court, Benjamin Storry, Filey Laundry, Filey, was summoned for not having proper control over a horse and van, he being at a distance from the horse, in Newborough, on July 27th.

So this photo could with some confidence be dated circa 1909, and the van and horse identified as victims with Ben of the egregious PC Lyons.

In 1911 the census enumerator gave Ben’s occupation as general labourer. Graham, who has kindly allowed me to copy and share the photograph, tells me his great grandfather was very unhappy to have been falsely accused and the experience was a factor in him deciding to give up the Laundry job – and volunteer to fight for King and Country on the Western Front.

Ellen of Greenacres

On quiet days I dip into the On This Day files generated from Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections database. From the seventy or so daily hatch, match and scratch results I pick my fancy. PEACH is an unfamiliar Filey name. It doesn’t feature in the StOswald’s Monumental Inscriptions so, yesterday, I was intrigued by the burial of Archibald Philip in the churchyard in 1869 and decided to investigate.

Here is a screenshot of Kath’s record in Roots Magic. (You can view the pedigree fragment in FamilySearch Genealogies here.)

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The exclams indicate that the parents were 1,672 years old when they married. They were noted as being of Full Age in the St Oswald’s Church Register and, yes, Ellen did appear to have been born a GRANT. Her father, Samuel, is described as a Labourer – the same occupation as Charles’ father, Henry. It is Ellen’s second marriage and Kath has her former husband as “Mr. Greenacre”; no children.

Given that Charles and Ellen married at the end of a Census year I thought it would be easy to find them in their separate households eight months earlier. Ellen, 32, was living in Quay Street, Scarborough with three children – Sarah Ann, 6, Charles Albert, 4, and Richard S., age 1. Charles, an unmarried fisherman, may have been away at sea on Census night. I couldn’t find him – and failed to find him, for sure, anywhere. I traced back and happened upon just one Charles PEACH with a father called Henry – in 1861, 17 years old and working as an agricultural labourer in Wistow, Huntingdonshire.

What we do know, sadly, is that his children with Ellen had short lives. Archibald Philip lived just four months (the GRO Online Index erroneously gives 4 years) and his sister Betsey Eliza Hannah a year. (Wistow Charles’ mother was called Betsey.)

Ellen GRAND married her Mr. Greenacre in the spring of 1864, the event is registered in Erpingham, Norfolk but probably taking place in Plumstead by Holt where Benjamin Richard was baptized. His father wasn’t named in the church register.

The couple moved to Yorkshire soon after the wedding and their first child, Sarah Ann, was born in Hull the following year. When Ellen was carrying their third child her husband died. Two years later she married Charles and gave birth to the two short-lived Peaches. The parents then seem to vanish and I haven’t been able to “kill them off” as we amateur genealogists are advised to do as a priority.

It was much easier to follow the progress of the Greenacre children. Sarah Ann stayed in the Scarborough area, married and had four children. She died aged 90 in 1955. Richard Samuel worked as a groom in Scarborough (1891) before moving across the Pennines to earn his living as a coachman in domestic service. He probably met his wife at Trafford Hall, Wimbolds – Floretta Hart was working there as a Kitchenmaid in 1891 – before they settled to raise a large family in the Wigan area. Fancy, a Greenacre marrying a Flora/Floretta – and calling one of their daughters Florice. Perfick. Well, not quite. Their son, Charles Albert died of wounds in Flanders in the summer of 1918.

I amassed so many children and sources during today that I decided to put them on FST.

This is how Ellen and Benjamin Richard presented themselves first thing this morning.

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