Death in a Cinema

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When I first saw this stone about ten years ago, I wondered what sort of SCOTT parents would name their son Adolphe. Mark and Alice actually registered him as Adolphus Louis. At the age of 34, he would marry Amy Eveline ROE as Adolphe, though later census enumerators would use the name given at his birth.

Either way, the boy’s name had, I thought, a continental flavour to it and a whiff of high class. Both notions didn’t survive my discovery yesterday that Mark, at the age of fourteen, worked as a miner in the Durham coalfield. Ten years later he was a Railway Clerk in Leeds. In 1871, six months married and living with his wife and widowed mother, he gave his occupation as Tobacco Manufacturer. His business grew and in 1881 he was employing 30 men and girls. At home in Mount Preston were Amy, three daughters and “Adolphus L”., age 6.

23BlackmanLane_GSVIt isn’t possible to determine how successful Mark’s business was. Clearly, he moved out of the working class into which he was born, and for six years he was a member of the City Council. But after a period of poor health, he died suddenly in 1904 at home in Blackman Lane, and if it is the same dwelling that you can see on Google Street View, you might think he had fallen on hard times. (Hanging out her washing is the 21st-century “lady next door”, at No.25.)

Three years earlier, 27-year-old Adolphus was living at 4, Mount Preston with his father, stepmother and half-sister Hilda, his occupation Cigar Manufacturer. (His father is still manufacturing tobacco.)

In 1911, Mark’s widow has turned 23 Blackman Lane into a boarding house. Living with her is stepdaughter Alice, 38, a Librarian, and her own daughter, Hilda, 23 and without occupation. Both young women are unmarried, as is the boarder, Margaret GRIFFIN, aged 30, working for a National Children’s Orphanage.

Four miles to the south, Adolphe Louis, now a “Traveller for Cigars and Cigarettes”, occupies a small terraced house in Beeston with Amy Eveline and their year-old son Adolphe Clarence.

I have found registrations for two more sons born to Amy, in 1912 and 1916, but I can’t find a record of her death. Perhaps she divorced Adolphe and remarried.

The headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard marks the grave of “beloved wife” Elizabeth. I haven’t found the marriage but a Death Notice in The Aberdeen Press and Journal states:-

Suddenly, on the 13th September 1937, Adolphe Louis Scott, (of L. Hirst & Son, tobacco and cigar merchants), beloved husband of Elizabeth Burnett, 17, Stanmore Street, Leeds.

The house Adolphe didn’t return to from his business travels is another small terrace property, a short walk from the Vue IMAX Cinema in Kirkstall. The name of the cinema in which Adolphe breathed his last isn’t reported but it was in Carlisle, and he was watching The Mill on the Floss. He suffered a cardiac arrest and, at the risk of seeming insensitive, I wish the newspapers had told us what was onscreen at his heart-stopping moment.

MotF_DamBreaks
Screenshot, ‘The Mill on the Floss’, 1936, dir. Tim Whelan.

If it was when the mill dam burst…

Adolphe left Elizabeth a “net personalty” of £1,117, which is about £60,000 in today’s money. She was 44 and had 37 more years ahead of her. I don’t know when, why or how she moved to Filey but in 1929, aged 79, Adolphe’s stepmother, Mary Elizabeth Scott, had died somewhere in Scarborough Registration District. It isn’t much of a connection, but the only one I have found.

Elizabeth’s stone has recently fallen.

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I will put an upstanding photo of the stone as a Memory on FamilySearch Tree sometime, but there’s work to be done on the SCOTT pedigree. There is just this to go on –

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