A Woman of Deeping

The clerk at St James’ Church in Market Deeping gave her the name Lavina Jane.

Her first name is “Lavinah” on the monument in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Just because a name or date is carved in stone, (or set with letters cast in lead), it doesn’t mean the information is correct, but I think Lavinah is the form she preferred. It is offered in other sources, though some latter day transcriber/digitizers who can’t believe their eyes have gone for “Lavinia”. What does it matter? The three versions all spring from the same Latin root. In Roman mythology, Lavinia is the last wife of Aeneas. Her name means “Woman of Rome”.

A local newspaperannounced that the marriage of “Lavina Jane” to Alfred SAWDEN, a Liverpool chemist, had taken place at the Bishop Street Chapel, Leicester on 8 September 1880. We know from Thursday’s post that Alfred had been born in Sherburn in Hartford Lythe and so, roughly calculated, his journey to the altar had been one of at least 210 crow-flown miles. Lavinah had not travelled as far. It is about 35 aerial miles from Deeping St James to Leicester but, for a fair comparison, one must add double the distance from Leicester to Uttoxeter, giving a total of 105 miles. In the 1871 Census, “Lavinah Jane Hainsworth” is listed as a 27-year-old servant in the household of Edwin Peter MINORS, a Uttoxeter Silk Mercer and Draper. Lavinah was working for him as a “Milliner Assistant”.

As is always the case, I would like to know the circumstances of her first meeting with Alfred.

After the Leicester wedding, the couple set up home in Lark Lane, Toxteth Park, and they owned a property there to the end of their lives. They do not appear to have had children but in 1891 Harry Edward, Alfred’s youngest brother, is in residence, working as an apprentice pharmacist. (The enumerator has changed Alfred’s given name to Andrew. RG12 2940 f98 p8.) Ten years later Alfred’s assistant is Percy W. BOUGHEN (RG13 3441 f110 p6).

Alfred died at 28 Lark Lane in February 1910, aged 58. By this time, the Sawdens had purchased a second home in Filey and Arthur was brought to St Oswald’s for burial. Probate was granted to Lavinah and her brother in law Arthur Jabez.

The current value of Alfred’s effects is about one and a quarter million pounds.

Lavinah died six years later at the Filey house, leaving effects valued now at around £109,000 for her nephew to deal with.

To the ever dear memory of ALFRED SAWDEN, died February 9th 1910, aged 58 years.

Also LAVINAH JANE, wife of ALFRED SAWDEN, died January 5th 1916, aged 73 years

‘The memory of the just is blessed’

I searched newspapers for reports of Arthur and Lavinah’s exploits but didn’t find anything noteworthy. There was however, this sad event in 1885.

Tree 55 · Church Ravine

“A close up of a tree.” Google gets it right this time. (I think it is a beech.)

Abstract 61 · Three Tuns Wall

The Google image recognition algorithm (?) declares this to be “a close up of a tree”. Reminds me of the BBC’s mantra that President Trump is declaring the recent election fraudulent “without presenting evidence”. (What’s all that gushing from the fire hose then?) I think the organization is relying on Brits believing a lie if it is repeated often enough. Possibly because this strategy seems to be working for the UK regime with regard to the flu.

Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.

Niccolò Machiavelli

Choose your saviour carefully.

Alfred Misplaced

Alfred SAWDEN was not a blood relative of James KNAGGS or Sophia MARSHALL (Tuesday’s post) but he was born into their extended family. The year before he arrived on the planet, his uncle William married James’ elder sister Jane. This connection isn’t yet apparent on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Alfred was christened in Sherburn, Yorkshire, on 5 April 1851. A source is attached to his FamilySearch page.

No such event took place that day in Sherburn in Elmet, but don’t take my word for it. If you are able to access the Yorkshire Baptisms database at Find My Past a search will give you this –

Fifty miles away, in the other Yorkshire Sherburn, the vicar of St Hilda’s baptized Alfred.

The East Riding Sherburn is also known as Sherburn in Hartford Lythe, though it seems the longer name was not attached to church records until the 1880s.

The 1851 Census had been taken a week before the christening. Out of curiosity, I checked out the vicar’s household.

A wife, a son, nine lodgers and three servants. Interesting enough already, but one of the servants is Fanny Knaggs – the younger sister of James and Jane.

Fanny, 18, had eleven years to live. She married William BARKER in 1856, gave birth to daughters Emily and Mary Jane, and died on 29 May 1862. She was laid to rest in St Oswald’s churchyard next to her sister in law, Sophia Knaggs.

Alfred is buried a hundred metres away. He married a woman of Deeping St James – I will write about her in a day or two.

Beach 121 · Muston Sands

The Four Wives of James Knaggs

At the end of March 1851, James was at the Pigeon Pie Inn, Sherburn, with older sister Jane and her husband, William SAWDEN. He was 25-years-old, working as a joiner and single. It would be three years before he found a wife. For reasons unknown, he crossed the Humber to Lincolnshire, wooed Sophia MARSHALL and married her in Winteringham on 15 August 1854. In early summer the following year she gave birth to William, their only child, in Filey. When the boy was five months old she died. The family is minimally represented on the FamilySearch Tree.

Sophia’s headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard has fine letter forms that have withstood 164 years of weather quite well.

A year later, James married Ann REYNOLDS in North Frodingham. There is a Scarborough birth registration in the September Quarter of 1859 that could mark the entry of daughter Anne into the world but the child then disappears from view. Mother Ann vanishes too. I cannot find a record of her death but on census night 1861 James is with his third wife, Isabella née BROWN, at 10 Pembroke Cottages, Islington.

James has given up his trade and become a Lay Missionary. His firstborn, William, is living in Winteringham with grandfather William Marshall and “step grandmother” Catherine. (Sophia’s father has married for the third time.)

In 1871 James is the Minister at Stratford Congregational Church and a widower, but young William, 15, is with him and the three children born to Isabella. Ten years later James is a widower still and now an “Independent Minister”. William is working as a grocer’s clerk and the other boy, Cornelius, has a similar position in a chemist’s shop. James’ daughter Isabella Margaret, 18, is listed as “housekeeper” and there are two other servants. Fourth child, Caroline Mary, now 14, is a boarder at Milton Mount College, Gravesend.

By 1891, James is back with the Congregationalists – and has found a fourth wife, Eliza, fourteen years his junior. If this is Eliza Mary WOOLFE, they are in the eighth year of their marriage. Margaret seems to have dropped both her first name (Isabella) and skivvying for her father. At 28 years of age she is now a “Professor of Music”.

In 1901 James is 75 and retired but his house in Hampstead rings with the voices of two native South Africans – Marjorie Knaggs, 9, and her sister Isabel, 7. I must seek out their parents.

James Knaggs is the first fellow I have happened upon who married four times. I haven’t found appropriate statistics for Victorian Britain but in 21st century America 3% of men and women have married three or more times.

I will flesh out James and Sophia’s thin pedigree on the Shared Tree when I can. Quite a few of the people mentioned above have IDs already but they are scattered all over the place. Dots to be connected – and a lot of merges to be done.

Found Object 46 · Filey Sands

A Warm Year in the North East

With just a week of Meteorological Year 2020 to go, the Mean Weekly Temperature recorded at Durham Tees Airport is running 1.07°C higher than last year.

At Week 51 in 2019 this part of England was showing a “negative warming rate” of -16 IPCC units when compared to the Paris Accord global projection of 1.04°C above Pre-Industrial at year end (rising to 1.5°C in 2040). This meteorological year, Durham Tees has warmed 31 times faster than the IPCC projection.

2020 on the Yorkshire coast has seemed unremarkable weather-wise, but 58% of Durham Tees days have been warmer than last year.

Influenza is real, and so is climate change, but only tyrants are using both as sticks with which to beat us. Submit or resist. There doesn’t seem to be a middle way.

Sunrise 47 · Filey Beacon

The Flu Has Flown

A couple of days ago the Surgery phoned to invite me in for a flu jab. I passed. Today I learned that the injection is being offered for free to the over fifties this winter. I wonder why. There doesn’t seem to be much of the old normal flu about these days.

I may be misreading this graph but it appears that the three flu types that usually afflict the UK all but disappeared in Week 17 of 2020. Nothing discernible in Week 46 – but in Week 47 last year there were a thousand specimens (whatever this means).

But hey, for those who have survived half a century – it’s free, so why not get a jab for nothing?

I received a letter today from the sadly diminished National Health Service, urging me to get the flu jab because I was “vulnerable”. I was also asked to save the NHS money by scanning the letter’s QR code on my mobile so that they could contact me digitally in future. I don’t have a mobile phone so I wonder how many “Play Big Pharma Roulette” letters the postman will bring. Whenever…

Bird 90 · Robin

Martin’s Ravine