Family Misfortunes

Something pushed William HUNT from his birthplace in deepest Lincolnshire and across the Humber; and then perhaps he was pulled a little further north to Scarborough. He married Jane Elizabeth ROBINSON there in 1869. She had also moved north from her birthplace in Hull, but only about forty miles, a third of the distance William had travelled from Wainfleet.

The census enumerator in 1871 found them in Hoxton Road, a narrow street of terraced houses not far from Scarborough Prison and the Workhouse. William, 23, was working as a plumber and glazier; Jane Elizabeth, 28, had William Henry, approaching his first birthday, to care for.

A second boy, Charles, was born in Scarborough shortly after the census but the family then moved a few miles south to Filey, where first daughter Martha Ann arrived on 24 August 1872. She was followed by brothers John Robinson and Alfred late in 1873 and 1874.

When the census was taken in 1881, the Hunt household contained five children, but John Robinson and Alfred’s places had been taken by Jane Davison and John Alfred Harold. The missing boys had died within days of each other in January 1875. I couldn’t find a cause but suspect one caught a childhood disease, perhaps scarlet fever, and gave it to the other. The worried parents baptized Alfred at the Ebenezer Chapel on the thirteenth. John Robinson died a day or two later and was buried on the sixteenth. Alfred followed him to the grave on the twentieth, after just 9 weeks of life.

A year after the 1881 census a third Hunt child was taken in the most distressing of circumstances. Newspapers couldn’t agree on where the coroner’s inquest was held but were otherwise on the same page.

On the same day, the Scarborough Mercury, offered this:-

DEATH FROM AN OVERDOSE OF SWEET NITRE

On Saturday last an inquest was held at the Crown Hotel, Filey, before Mr. J. M. Jennings, on the body of Martha Ann Hunt, aged nine years, who died very suddenly on Friday. The mother said that she only gave her daughter two small spoonfuls of sweet nitre. She had purchased one ounce and the remainder was in the bottle. The medical officer said that there was about six drachms left and that two drachms had been given to the child. The jury returned a verdict that deceased “Died from an overdose of sweet nitre incautiously administered by its mother.”

The verdict must have put a terrible burden of guilt upon Jane Elizabeth. New England Popular Medicine (1848), accessible on Google Books, says: –

…The dose is from one to two drachms. A tea-spoonful may be given, every two hours, in a severe fever, in water or in any other simple liquid. The sweet nitre relieves spasms and nervous strangury.

The book also states: –

There is hardly a medicine in more common use than the sweet spirit or spirits of nitre, nor one which is more deservedly popular.

A hundred years or so after Martha Ann’s death, the American FDA banned the over-the-counter sale of sweet spirit because its use had become associated with fatal methemoglobinemia.

The loss of three children was more than enough to persuade the parents to move away from Filey. FamilySearch offers evidence that the Hunt family crossed the Atlantic aboard the City of Chester in 1888. Two of the children married in the United States and the Shared Tree shows that William and Jane Elizabeth had at least five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Sadly, they endured another loss in America. Firstborn William Henry died in New York at the age of twenty-one. The span of the parents’ lives – and details of their forebears – have yet to be determined.

Mark of Man 50 · Crab Pot

Filey Brigg

A Dying Fall

Francis CHAPMAN married Ann SAWDEN in 1848, in Burton Fleming. Seven children were born to them between 1852 and 1865. For much of that time, Francis worked as a labourer on farms around Gristhorpe, in Filey parish. Ann died in 1879 when her youngest daughter, Hannah, was fourteen years old. Two years later, Francis was enumerated in Gristhorpe, sharing a house with another agricultural labourer, Francis FORDON, a man half his age who hailed from Ann’s village, Wold Newton.

The fortunes of Francis seem to have picked up thereafter and in 1891 he tells the census enumerator that he is a farmer. He shares a bigger house in Gristhorpe with daughter Hannah, now married to William HOOD, and three grandsons, the youngest called Francis Chapman Hood.

In 1901 Francis, given age 76, heads a household on Reighton Moor. He is nominally a farmer still, but the Hood family is with him and son in law William, 36, is the “farm manager”. Grandsons William and Francis, 17 and 13, are horse keepers on the farm.

At the beginning of December 1903, there is a curious accident.

1903_CHAPMANfrancis_DEATH

Francis had lingered for nine days after the fall. His body was taken to Filey to be buried with Ann. Over a century of weather has had little effect on their stone but it has had to suffer the indignity of a more recent memorial being set up against it.

D136_CHAPMANann_20180811_fst

Francis, Ann and their children are on the Shared Tree. I have put the stone on their page as a memory. You may read their memorial verses in the description.

A Dying Fall

On Thursday 20th May 1909, John RAWSON, 19, fell from an upper floor of No. 3 Belle Vue Street, Filey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He was carried, grievously injured, to his sister’s house in Rutland Terrace, where he lay unconscious until dying in the early morning of the following Tuesday.

I wrote about the accident on Looking at Filey. (There is a bitter-sweet, romantic coda to the tragedy.)

Six years ago I underestimated the distance the young man fell. I now think he travelled between the two red circles in the photo above.

John’s family had a limited presence on FamilySearch Tree and the pedigree is also rather modest on Filey Genealogy & Connections.

The Crimlisks recorded in their 1977 Survey of the churchyard that G576 was a “large fallen stone, now raised”. It has fallen again, face down. The hidden inscription reads:-

In Loving Memory of JOHN, the beloved son of W. & E. RAWSON,

who died from the effects of a fall, May 25th 1909, aged 19 years.

‘Be ye also ready for in such an hour

As ye think not the son of man cometh’

Also of the above WILLIAM RAWSON, died January 14th 1912, aged 74 years

‘The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away

Blessed be the name of the Lord’

Also ELIZABETH ANN wife of the above, died February 15th 1927, aged 76 years

‘We cannot Lord the purpose see

But all is well that live by Thee’

I don’t have a photograph of John but here are his parents with one of his younger siblings.

William Rawson and Elizabeth Ann Rawson nee MaulsonV2
Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Marilyn Briggs

Crushed

Elizabeth Cook was an Essex girl, born 1826, but fifteen years later she was living in Church Street, Filey, with her widowed mother and two younger siblings. Five years later, aged 20, she married Richard LORRIMAN, a joiner. I have found four birth registrations for three girls and a boy. Eliza, Warris, and Ada Susannah reached adulthood and married but the girls left it rather late to have families and Warris registered his wife’s death in the same quarter as the birth of their first child, Richard Henry. The motherless boy was shipped from Castleford in the West Riding to Filey, where he was raised by his grandparents, Richard and Elizabeth. (Warris married again and had several children with Elizabeth NORFOLK.)

About 20 years earlier the elderly couple had lost their second child, Mary Jane, to a freak accident that must have scarred them both. The death certificate records that she was “crushed by the fall of a mangle”. She was three years old.

1853_LORRIMANmaryjane_deathcert

Richard Henry’s step-mother seems to have been happy to leave him in Filey. In 1891, aged 13, he was living with Richard and Elizabeth in Hope Street, a few doors away from where I am writing this post. Ten years later he had returned to the West Riding. He married either Eleanor COLE or Grace HIGOTT in Leeds towards the end of 1901 but when the 1911 Census was taken he was living alone in Westfield Road, Leeds, married rather than widowed, and childless. He worked as a coal merchant and died in the summer of 1921 aged 43.

Mary Jane is Mary Ann on Filey Genealogy and Connections but somewhat more connected to her few known forebears than on FamilySearch Tree. Only her baptism is recorded there – as a “Lorryman”. Several of the characters on her FG & C pedigree are scattered about the World Tree and I’ll try to bring them together in the next few days.

My thanks to Brenda Pritchard in Canada who sent me the copy of Mary Jane’s death certificate some years ago.

A Man Who Loved Horses

Five years ago I wrote a post about one Robert COLLEY, up before the magistrates at Bridlington Petty Sessions charged with cruelty to a horse. I couldn’t identify the miscreant with confidence back then but I did find the attending RSPCA officer in the recently taken 1881 Census. I checked on Samuel CRAIGIE again today and discovered he came to a rather sad end.

He became an Inspector with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after serving in the British Army. I don’t know how long he was a soldier, service number 365, but he must have spent many hours on a horse. His attestation date was 10th November 1864 and at the 1871 Census he was enumerated at the Cavalry Barracks, Spital Road, New Windsor. When discharged he was a Corporal Major in the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards – the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer in the Household Cavalry.  He must have known great despair when he witnessed, time and again, the terrible cruelty his fellow humans inflicted on their animals in “civvy street”.

I couldn’t find him in 1891 but ten years later he was working as a check taker in a Music Hall, aged 56. (He collected tickets from patrons entering the auditorium and perhaps showed them to their seats.) His wife Ellen Agnes was helping to make ends meet by working as a needlewoman. About thirty months later she found herself a widow.

1903_CRAIGIEsam_death_NEWS

Samuel is on FamilySearch Tree, the second child (and second Samuel) of Andrew Craigie and Susan Lamb, born in Coupar Angus on the 1st June 1844. He had 5 brothers and four sisters but I failed to find any children he may have had with Ellen Agnes. I have struggled to find this lady in the records. I suspect she was a widow when she married Samuel and she may have been reluctant to give her true age to census enumerators. The death of an Ellen Agnes Craigie registered in Nottingham in 1916 has her age as 78, eight years older than the Ellen of the 1901 Census.