Five years ago I wrote a post about one Robert COLLEY, up before the magistrates at Bridlington Petty Sessions charged with cruelty to a horse. I couldn’t identify the miscreant with confidence back then but I did find the attending RSPCA officer in the recently taken 1881 Census. I checked on Samuel CRAIGIE again today and discovered he came to a rather sad end.
He became an Inspector with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after serving in the British Army. I don’t know how long he was a soldier, service number 365, but he must have spent many hours on a horse. His attestation date was 10th November 1864 and at the 1871 Census he was enumerated at the Cavalry Barracks, Spital Road, New Windsor. When discharged he was a Corporal Major in the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards – the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer in the Household Cavalry. He must have known great despair when he witnessed, time and again, the terrible cruelty his fellow humans inflicted on their animals in “civvy street”.
I couldn’t find him in 1891 but ten years later he was working as a check taker in a Music Hall, aged 56. (He collected tickets from patrons entering the auditorium and perhaps showed them to their seats.) His wife Ellen Agnes was helping to make ends meet by working as a needlewoman. About thirty months later she found herself a widow.
Samuel is on FamilySearch Tree, the second child (and second Samuel) of Andrew Craigie and Susan Lamb, born in Coupar Angus on the 1st June 1844. He had 5 brothers and four sisters but I failed to find any children he may have had with Ellen Agnes. I have struggled to find this lady in the records. I suspect she was a widow when she married Samuel and she may have been reluctant to give her true age to census enumerators. The death of an Ellen Agnes Craigie registered in Nottingham in 1916 has her age as 78, eight years older than the Ellen of the 1901 Census.