Blowman v. Wiseman

Walter BLOWMAN married Alice MOODY in the summer of 1908 and a year later summoned his mother-in-law to court. On the 9th July, a week after their appearance, The Scarborough Mercury reported:-

The story of a family squabble was unfold­ed at the Policecourt on Friday, when Walter Blowman, labourer, Church-hill, Filey, summoned his mother-in-law, Sarah Moody, for doing damage to a door lock, to the ex­tent of 2s. by breaking it open. He also sum­moned her for assaulting him, and John Moody, his father-in-law, he summoned for a like offence. Fines and costs amounting to 17s. 6d. were imposed, and a cross summons against Blowman by Sarah Moody for assault was dismissed. The magistrates on the Bench were: Mr. A. T. Clay (presiding), Councillor Maley, Mr. A. V. Machin, and the Hon. N. de Y. Bateson.

This unseemly episode didn’t ruin his marriage. He went on to have at least seven children with Alice and died at a ripe old age in 1966. (Sadly he didn’t hang on long enough to see England win the World Cup.)

Sarah Elizabeth Moody, nee WISEMAN, entered court as a 44 year old mother of ten children, seven of them girls. In checking on the families in Filey Genealogy & Connections and FamilySearch Tree ­it seems the Moodys and Blowmans may have daughtered out. Sarah Elizabeth’s father, Robert, has two IDs on FST one for each of his daughters by second wife Sarah BAYES (MGZ9-7KV & LD49-4Z6]. He had three children with his first wife, Ann WILLIS, and some of their descendants may still be living in Filey.

Robert also accepted as his own the son born to Sarah BAYES and her first husband William BROWN. The available records suggest that the start of Robert and Sarah’s relationship was perhaps unconventional. I may be misinterpreting but it appears that Robert’s first wife died in 1850 but he describes himself at the 1851 Census as “married”. With him are his daughters Susannah and Catherine and natural son William WISEMAN, (PRO Ref HO107 2368 f34 p33). Also in the household is Housekeeper Sarah BROWN, 24, her status “married” and described as a “Labourer’s wife”. The deaths of three William BROWNs would be registered in Scarborough in the next two years and Robert and Sarah married in 1854. I haven’t traced William Senior and Junior in 1851 but ten years later the WISEMAN household consisted of Robert, Sarah, young William BROWN (“son in law”) and Robert’s eight year old niece Fanny SCALES, (PRO Ref RG09 3615 f25 p3). (William WISEMAN was elsewhere on census night 1861, perhaps away fishing; he drowned in the Storm of 1880.) The next four censuses would find William BROWN at home with his parents, still single in 1901 and working as a Carter.

You will find young William on FST with the ID LKCF-9ZH. He is shown as having married Elizabeth HEWITT with whom he had a son, John Charles BROWN, born 24th August 1873 in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada.

There are quite a few references in the local Filey papers to a W. Brown who, over a number of years, gained a reputation as a breeder of racing pigeons. This may have been our bachelor boy.

A month after The Filey Mercury reported on the Blowman/Wiseman squabble it informed its readers:-

Apropos of the Filey Homing Society one of its most successful  competitors has been Mr. W. Brown, and in view of this, it is interesting to  read  what a representative of “The Homing Pigeon,” who has inspected his lofts, has to say about them. He begins “Having heard of the prowess in the pigeon racing world of Mr. W. Brown,  Upcliffe Lofts, Filey, I took the opportunity to give the fancier  a  call. . . . . The inmates of the lofts numbered ten pairs of old birds, five of which have flown Rennes and one Dol, and some of the others the intermediate stages. The youngsters numbered twenty in all, all flown Banbury and Didcott, 184 miles. The stock really emanates from the loft of the late Mr. A. March (Sunderland) blended with a pair from Mr. King, Boston. .  .  . “Mr. Brown,” he continues, “is a member of the Filey Homing Society, and the Hull and East Riding Homing, Society, and if I may append the results of the season just finished, it will give fanciers a slight idea of the quality housed at Upcliffe. In the  Filey Society’s old bird races Mr Brown wins: 1st Cottingham, 3rd Gainsborough, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Market Harborough; 1st and 3rd Bournemouth. Young birds: 1st Cottingham, 1st Newark, 2nd and 3rd Nottingham, 1st Market Harborough, 1st, 2nd and 4th  Banbury; 1st, 3rd and 4th, Didcot;  also four firsts, two seconds, and four third prizes in the Hull and East Riding Homing Society, which is splendid testimony to the quality of Mr. Brown’s birds.”

A final curiosity: Walter BLOWMAN had brought his mother-in law to a court where Councillor Nicholas MALEY was officiating. Nicholas is the only MALEY in Filey Genealogy & Connections and was a notable citizen of the town. Two of Walter’s children with Alice, Walter Jnr (1911) and Alice Muriel (1914) were born at home in Maley’s Yard.


Today’s Image (previous post) shows the start/finish marker of two National Trails – The Cleveland Way and the Wolds Way. If you fancy a stroll along the cliffs that will put you (almost) in the picture go here. The fifth of the six Google Path Views points you in the right direction.

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