Time and Some Places

George Thomas Brown PLACE was the eldest son of Robert, a York photographer and tobacconist, and Mary Ann BROWN. He had six younger siblings but four died as infants and Arthur Ernest was 19 when he departed this world. The youngest, Jane, married Thomas SAWYER in 1897 when she was 25-years-old. The ceremony was conducted at St John’s, York…


The census enumerator in 1891 had found George and Jane in Micklegate with their widowed father and a “general servant domestic”, Emily HORNER.

Ten years later, Jane, her husband and their first child were still in York but Robert, George and Emily were living at Rose Cottage in Filey. At some point, George and Emily “became an item” and when they married in the second quarter of 1906 Emily was at least four months pregnant. Their daughter, Mary Elinor was born on the 21st of August.

In early April 1910, Robert died at Rose Cottage and George played some part in his father’s funeral service. Local newspaper reports of the death of “a well known Filey resident”  were coy about the Place family’s arrangements. The Bridlington Free Press stated:-

He leaves a son and a daughter, both married, the daughter being Mrs. Sawyer, who with her husband resides at York. The Rev. G. T. B. Place had resided with his father.

Five weeks later, on the 12th of May, George died of pneumonia. The Leeds Mercury had this to say:-

The Rev. G. T. B. Place was a native of York, was educated at Durham University, was ordained deacon in 1885 and priest in the following year. He held curacies at Dunham, Notts., and at Long Eaton, Derbyshire, before going to Filey in 1898. He resigned the Filey post in 1902, and had since lived in private life in the town, taking occasional duty in the district. He leaves a widow and one child.

The service in the Parish Church was conducted by the Rev. E. G. Howorth, curate, and at the graveside by the Vicar of Filey (Rev. A. N. Cooper).

Emily was a widow for 29 years, dying on Christmas Eve 1939. Mary Elinor didn’t marry but seems to have been a larger-than-life character who set tongues wagging – and they wag still.

I hope she kept her parents’ grave tidy, (she died in 1985), but it is sadly neglected now. The flat stone has lost some of its letters and is difficult to decipher. The inscription remembers George and Emily and adds Non Omnis Moriar. I suspect most of us believe that we will not wholly die.

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