Elizabeth at The Crown

St George’s flags have begun to blossom. England’s first match in the FIFA World Cup is on Monday. I noticed these on my morning walk –


20100303CrownEight years ago this building was boarded up, waiting for a developer to make some use of it. In the 18th century, it began life as The Packhorse Inn and there is a story that Blind Jack of Knaresborough stabled his horses there when he visited Filey. This Yorkshireman’s remarkable life is described in a PDF online. In the  early 1740s, “He…started transporting fish, on horseback, from the Yorkshire coast to Leeds and Manchester, but the hard work and effort involved never quite produced the hoped-for return, despite spending night after night on the road.”

The red brick stable buildings were knocked down to make way for a short terrace of houses and the derelict hotel turned into apartments.

The Packhorse Inn was renamed The Crown Hotel sometime before the 1881 Census when Elizabeth STUBBS ran the establishment. She had no live-in help except, perhaps, her two older daughters, Emily Annie and Grace Elizabeth KILBY, aged 18 and 14.

Elizabeth’s first husband, Henry John KILBY had kept The Foord’s Hotel, further down Queen Street towards the sea, before his early death at age 48 in 1874. She married William STUBBS, a farmer about twenty years her junior, just a few weeks before the 1881 Census was taken. He was enumerated on his 170 acres at Seamer with older sister Sarah, younger brother Christopher, and two farm servants. An indication that this may have been a marriage of convenience is found in St Oswald’s churchyard where she is remembered as “the beloved wife of Henry John Kilby”.


Elizabeth died aged 65 in 1895. Her young husband had departed his life six years earlier, aged 38.

Blind Jack is on FamilySearch Tree but is waiting for someone to give him parents, a wife, and children.

Elizabeth deserves to have more work done on her pedigree, too.

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