I collected some more information about the Moores of Cowden today and discovered why William and Catherine had called their house in Filey ‘Hilston’.

In the 1939 Register their address is given as 9 Belle Vue Crescent and, until it may be proven otherwise, I’ll assume that this is ‘Hilston’. People who followed Catherine into the house after 1955 had no emotional ties to the name and, presumably, removed any signs of it.


William’s father farmed his fifteen Cowden acres for many years and then moved the family six miles or so down the coast to Hilston. The address on the 1891 census return offers ‘Primrose Hill’ but I can’t find a map of large enough scale to identify the farm. Below is a Google Earth satellite view, with a smidgen of boulder clay cliff and beach top right. (The sea may have been half a mile further from the hamlet, maybe more, in the 19th century.)


The household consisted of Richard and Annie, sons James, Henry and Charles, daughter Lavinia and two grandchildren, Georgina, 9, and Earnest, 1. ( I haven’t yet found who the parents of the little ones are.)

Hilston is about 35 miles south of Filey. Perhaps William and Catherine visited a few times and liked it well enough to encourage daily recollections of the place and its people.

Another name “rang a bell” today, while I was looking at another Filey MOORE family. John Moore, seven years older than William but not related to him by blood, was a fisherman and Kath has a note on him in Filey Genealogy & Connections ­– “1881, crewman on the William Clowes.” After Johnny OXTOBY brought God and Jesus Christ to Filey the sober fishermen gave many of their boats names with religious connotations. William Clowes was a 6o-foot yawl built in Whitby in 1860. She was bought in 1880/81 by Samuel TOWSE, grocer, and William FREEMAN, fisherman, both of Filey, re-registered in Scarborough as SH104 and broken up in 1900 or 1905. (Captain Syd is ambivalent about the date.)

Dave Price offers a short biography of the evangelist and missionary William Clowes who connects these two unrelated Moore families.

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