My Mistake

When the little girl who had a baptismal anniversary yesterday came of age, I married her to Mr Wrong. He had the lightest of footprints on the FamilySearch Shared Tree so I invested several hours in building up his family. He looked good until death when I was perplexed at a three-year discrepancy in his given age in two departure sources. By that stage, I had made some injudicious changes to the Shared Tree and the attempts to cover my blushes took a couple of hours more. I don’t think I have made full restitution yet, which is as good a reason as any not to offer yesterday’s anniversary grid. But I’ll do a mea culpa post soon. Mr Right’s family has two headstones in Filey churchyard and a third that is now “missing” – so there is no hiding place for me.

Clearly, though, I have buckled under the pressure of attempting six anniversary people each day. I will try a different approach.

Today, Filey Genealogy & Connections served up a list of 88 anniversary people. Here they are in alphabetical order, with the six I chose to remember highlighted.

Isabella CRAIK and Harold BROWN (in red text) have already appeared in Anniversaries.

Here are today’s chosen in a simpler grid.

Walter FISHER, a photographer, is the son of a more illustrious father, but the family is not well represented on the Shared Tree and I haven’t had time to give him an ID. Three of the six have headstones in Filey churchyard and I uploaded photographs of the TAYLOR and FRANKISH stones today. (The grave identifiers will be in red if photos have yet to be uploaded.)

I have information about  Silas and William that I hoped to post today but I am running out of time. I will add an update or two in the next few days.

Russian Soldiers in Ukraine.

This came up in my YT recommendations today. Make of it what you will.

Beach  162 · Hunmanby Gap

Update 25 March

Extract from A Cup of Sorrow, posted in Looking at Filey, 28 March 2012


c. 1894, photographer unknown, courtesy Keith D. Taylor

The youngest of the [Taylor] brothers, and not yet born when the family portrait above was made, Silas was the first to be killed on 3rd February 1917. Dan Eaton says he went to France in June 1916 and fought in the Somme Offensive. The battle went on for three and a half months, but Silas made it through unscathed. The 2nd Batallion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was still in the Somme region a couple of months later, but I haven’t been able to find any actions they were involved in during the first two months of 1917. Silas rests in Auchonvillers Military Cemetery where burials ceased after the withdrawal of the German forces at the end of February 1917. A comrade of Silas’, Private Arthur HOULDER, was killed a week later, on 10th February, and he is buried at Ten Tree Alley Cemetery, just over two miles to the north-east of Auchonvillers.  It does, therefore, seem reasonable to assume that Silas died close to where he is buried.

The brothers, separated on Flanders’ Fields, are together on the Filey Memorial, though there is no indication that they are related. Many a casual viewer of their names must have feared that they were and spared a thought for the parents, imagining their cup of sorrow.

Captain William Cammish

Edited re-post of ‘Jabez’, Looking at Filey, 23 March 2011

The Scarborough Mercury of 6th November 1880 was heavy with the news of lives lost and damage done by the ‘great storm’. If that wasn’t enough for the readers to take in, the editor chose to append an article on ‘Heavy Storms Along the Coast in the Past’ that featured disasters from ten years between 1821 and 1871. It concluded with a paragraph headed ‘Graveyard Tales from the Sea’ which began: –

The storms and shipwrecks which from time to time take place on our coast are a source of reflection to all who have the welfare of their fellow-men at heart, and more especially those who “do business on the mighty deep.” Amongst our sailors and fishermen there are to be found “brave hearts everywhere.”  In the old churchyard on the hill there are many records of those who have found a watery grave, and it is only by visiting those receptacles of the dead, and taking note of the inscriptions, that a faint idea may be formed of the eventualities of a sea-faring life. A short time ago we had a stroll through the graveyard at Filey, and were struck by the numerous mementoes of those who had perished at sea. 

The William CAMMISH who drowned on 12th March 1851 is mentioned but not this William [memorialised in Filey churchyard]: –

In Loving Memory of WILLIAM CAMMISH, Master Mariner, born 1811, lost his life in the ship ‘Jabez’ on a voyage to Palermo, March 23 1868

‘For so it seemeth Good in my sight’

Jabez hadn’t featured in the newspaper’s litany of historic disasters and it would be reasonable to assume the ship went down off another coast, perhaps one in the Mediterranean.

I don’t have any information about the ancestors of this William CAMMISH. He appears in the 1851 Filey census in Mosey’s Yard with his wife Ann (WILLIS) and two children, Elizabeth, 11, and Thomas Robert, 5. In 1861 William must have been away at sea because Ann is at home with Elizabeth and a second daughter, Mary Ann. (Thomas Robert is away from Filey too, perhaps with his father.) William’s three children marry but ‘Tom Bob’ has a daughter with Ann Healand CLARK [see LaF REDUX Anniversaries 16 February] and so this male CAMMISH line ends.

Elizabeth married William Robert HEWITT at St Oswald’s in May 1863 and a few years ago their great-grandson, Brian HEWITT, wrote a piece for the booklet Filey, The Home of the Crimlisk Fisher Archive that throws light on the last voyage of William CAMMISH and Jabez.

Brian explains that Jabez, a ‘Snow type’ brig of 222 tons, was built in Scarborough in 1832 by T. SLEDMAN and tells us the ship was lost off the Isle of Anglesey. The online history of Penmon lifeboat gives this account: –

What proved to be the last service by this lifeboat, came on the 23rd March 1868. She was launched when the brig Jabez of Scarborough stranded on the Dutchman Bank in heavy seas and a north-westerly gale. After a tremendous struggle, the lifeboat got alongside and rescued 5 of the brig’s crew, her Master refusing to leave. As the lifeboat pulled clear of the vessel, she was hit by an enormous wave and was capsized. She quickly righted herself and the lifeboatmen and the crew from the brig, scrambled back on board. Another 3 men were then picked up by the lifeboat from the brig’s own boat and all were landed at Penmon.

Later, the Master of the Jabez was drowned as he tried to get ashore on his own in a small dinghy.

I doubt Jabez began its final voyage from Scarborough. Sailing from the North Yorkshire coast to Sicily via North Wales doesn’t seem sensible. And when you search for Dutchman Bank in Google Maps and get this result, you suspect that William surely intended to sail around Anglesey but was blown by the gale into the treacherous northern mouth of the Menai Straits…

Brian HEWITT writes: –

As a child I often saw at my aunt’s a large oil painting of a seaman, in a gilt frame, telescope under his arm, which was said to be of ‘Captain Cammish’. It is now in the care of my cousin, in Warwickshire, and he let me photograph it.

It is a fine portrait and Brian’s photograph is nicely reproduced in the booklet…You can see the portrait online here. [Navigate to the List of Family names and click on William Cammish b. 1811.] You’ll also find some information about William’s forebears that I couldn’t give you at the beginning of this post!

Thomas Robert and his second wife Emma are also remembered on William’s substantial red granite monument. Sadly the symbolically broken column has toppled and the base is out of kilter. On a bright sunny day, William and Ann’s inscription is in shadow and almost impossible to read in the mirrored stone, let alone photograph successfully. I doubt anyone just passing would notice the romance of Jabez and ‘on a voyage to Palermo’.


It appears that William CAMMISH had been shipwrecked at least once before – on 6th September 1856. He was captain of Aurora and the ship’s log is in Scarborough Library. Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre has a brief description of its contents. William’s son Thomas Robert and daughter Elizabeth appear to have used the log as a notebook and their drafts of ‘love letters’ bring an unexpected dimension to this story. There is a curious reference to the death of William’s wife but the census records – and the gravestone – show that Ann survived him. He was 24 and Ann about nineteen when they married and there are no indications that she was a second wife.

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