The Herring House

Edmund CRAWFORD was 32 years old in 1851 and working as a fisherman. The red granite stone marking his grave in St Oswald’s churchyard tells anyone who passes that he died a man of substance.


In 1861 he was a fishmonger, at the next two censuses a fish merchant and in 1885, a year before his death, he owned a herring house. That summer, an awful event took place there.


I wrote briefly about this in 2017 (Two Graces) and at greater length in Looking at Filey. Disappointingly, the British Library still hasn’t restored the old LaF so I will re-post the story on REDUX in the next few days.

Frank GRICE (not Grace) died of “natural causes” in jail, before completing his two-year sentence. Mary Lizzie died three years later, aged thirteen. I put her on the Shared Tree earlier today and while checking some information in the course of writing this post I happened upon something quite grotesque. You will see in Two Graces that I was upset that Mary Lizzie’s headstone was moved close to the grave of her abuser. I have just noticed that Frank’s older brother, George William, named his firstborn child Horatio Wilkinson Grice less than six months after the assault. Mary Lizzie’s father, Horatio Wilkinson, had drowned from the yawl Integrity in 1883. George was married to a third cousin of Mary Lizzie’s mother, Mary née WILLIS. But why…?

Metal 12 · Coble Landing


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