“Lord Help Me”

About ten weeks after his Christmas Day wedding, William JENKINSON sailed for the North Sea fishing ground aboard the yawl Jane and Elizabeth, skipper Bayes COWLING. Thirty miles from the coast the lines were cast from the yawl’s coble – and then a “sudden gale sprung up”. (All quotes are from a syndicated report that appeared in many local newspapers around the country.) Many other fishing boats ran for shelter but Captain Cowling, quite reasonably, chose to bring in his lines and their catch before heading for shore. Three of the crew, William Jenkinson, the skipper’s son Thomas Hunter Cowling and William SAYERS, brought in fourteen lines and then went out to haul the remaining seven.

…a fearful sudden sea rose and struck the coble, filling her with water. This caused her soon to upset, throwing the crew into the sea. Whilst they were struggling in the water, Cowling caught hold of a bowl and an oar, Jenkinson two bowls, and Sayers grabbed hold of the coble, which was bottom uppermost, and got upon it. Soon after he was joined by Jenkinson, but Cowling could not reach it. The Captain, who had seen this sad affair, at once ran the yawl towards the men, and whilst passing, Cowling seized hold of a “fender” which hung over the yawl’s side. One of the boys on board got hold of the hair of his head and held him up, whilst his father, the captain, seized a rope and life-belt, which he threw to the two on the coble. His son was then pulled in, and the yawl turned round to the rescue of [the] others, but on getting to the coble, Sayers alone was holding on nearly exhausted. A second sea had washed them off, but fortunately he had again got hold of the coble. Poor Jenkinson, on attempting to do so, fell backwards, exhausted, exclaiming, “Lord help me,” and was never seen again. Jenkinson was about 26 years of age, and has left a young widow, he having been married only three months.

There may be an official record of William’s death somewhere but, lacking his recovered body, there isn’t a civil registration. He isn’t remembered on a stone in the churchyard and he wasn’t with Jane long enough to leave a genetic inheritance.

Jane gave birth to a daughter about four years later, father unknown, and eight years after William’s death she married again and had five children with Thomas JOHNSON.

With the only evidence of his passing being a brief, if widely disseminated, news item, it isn’t too surprising that he has not yet been accurately represented on the FamilySearch Tree.

As I write this, Ann CAPPLEMAN is still William’s wife on FST. One of the blue hints by his name on the pedigree leads to his rightful marriage to Jane CAPPLEMAN. (The women are first cousins, their common ancestors being Thomas CAPPLEMAN and the Jane WEBSTER of Sunday’s post.)

1866_JENKINSON&CAPPLEMAN_marr
England Marriages 1538-1973; page image via Find My Past

Jane and Elizabeth

There are several fishing vessels with this name in Captain Smith’s database but none are yawls. There is a yawl called Jane Elizabeth, built in Scarborough in 1867 and registered SH70. The date of first ownership is annoyingly given as“7???” in my digitization of the Captain’s handwritten pages. However, the owners are “Thomas Hunter COWLING & Bayes COWLING, fishermen of Filey & Robert CAMMISH, grocer of Filey”. In Filey Genealogy & Connections, Robert has just the one child, with Jane ELDERS, baptised Jane Elizabeth in August 1861. You can find her on FST. A case, perhaps, of coincidence challenging a possible recording, transcription or digitization error!

 

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