William Munro and Graves Bulmer rest eternally in St Oswald’s churchyard, about a hundred paces from each other. In life, for a short time, they were near neighbours. In October 1834 a notice in a local newspaper gave advanced notice of an Auction of properties in Filey to be held early the following year.
Also, two other MESSUAGES or DWELLING-HOUSES, one of them newly erected, and now in the occupation of Mr. Wm Dunn, and the other occupied by Mr. Munro, Surgeon.
Also, a neat STONE COTTAGE, with the Barn and Out-buildings adjoining, in the occupation of Graves Bulmer. Also the BATH-HOUSE, fitted up with Hot and Cold Baths, and a piece of Building Ground in the Town Street.
A note in William’s record in Filey Genealogy &Connections states:-
1823: a warm bath may be procured by applying at the house of Mr Munro, surgeon, who is possessed of a portable one, manufactured out of tin on an improved construction, which can be either lent out, or persons may be accommodated with it at Mr M’s house.
(The date “1823” must be treated with suspicion. A 17-year-old surgeon?)
At the 1841 Census, four Munro men were living in Main Street, Filey. William is first named, age 35, occupation Surgeon. Donald, 65, is a Grocer; John, 20, a Confectioner; Donald, 25, an Engineer. Also enumerated are a Surgeon’s Assistant, two female servants and a boy, 10, also a servant. William’s wife, Agnes, had died the previous year but his mother (and the elder Donald’s wife) was still living but enumerated elsewhere.
In 1851, Donald senior is living alone in Murray Street, Filey, age given as 74 and described as a widower and “Out Pensioner of Chelsea and Bath Keeper”. I don’t know what happened to the younger Donald or John, but the deaths of William, his mother, and wife are recorded on this headstone.
Erected to the memory of WILLIAM MUNRO, Late Surgeon at this place, who departed this life on 27th July 1841, aged 36 years.
Also of [blank] his Wife, who departed this life on the 25th Dec. 1840, aged 40 years.
Also of JANET, Wife of Donald Munro and Mother of the above, who died the 22nd December 1843.
The East Yorkshire Family History Society’s transcription gives the name of William’s wife as “—ES” but the first three letters of Agnes can, just about, be recognized. The GRO Death Index entry offers confirmation.
|Name:||Age at Death (in years):|
|GRO Reference: 1840 D Quarter in SCARBROUGH Volume 24 Page 306|
William’s father died in the June quarter of 1861, probably in Filey because his death was registered in Scarborough District, but I can’t find him in the census, taken that year on 7 April.
I’ve mentioned the Munro ethnicity – and don’t have the slightest idea what brought the family to Filey. I turned to FamilySearch, hoping to find William’s origins. I searched for him in Scotland with a birth year between 1804 and 1806 and 15 Williams of that ilk were returned. Only one had a mother called Janet.
I checked the christening source.
“Daniel” is a caution. But wait!
And on Find My Past there is a transcription from Scottish Marriages 1561 – 1910 recording the union of Donald MUNRO and Janet SHEPHERD at Canongate, Edinburgh, 28 May 1803. These pieces of evidence suggest that “Daniel” on the christening record is a transcription error.
I haven’t found a cause of William’s early death but he clearly made an impression on the people of the area. On 11 March 1878, under the challenging title Monuments of Negligence at Filey, a gentleman began his letter to the editor of The Scarborough Mercury thus:-
Sir,-Through seeing in your paper for some weeks past sundry notices relative to the ancient town of Filey, I was induced to visit the place, and would fain call back to memory the names of men such as Dr. Munro, Dr. Cortis, Mr. Suggitt, and many others who were ever alive to the necessity of enhancing the interests of this romantic spot, and by them a spirit of enterprise was manifested in attending to the wants of a growing population.
Tomorrow I’ll tell what I know about Neighbour BULMER.