She was the first child of Dr William Smithson CORTIS and Mary Jane née GREEN, baptised on the 5th of January 1846 in St Oswald’s Church, Filey. Her mother died when she was twelve and the household at census in 1861 shows signs of an extended family pulling together. Jane’s aunt Isabella Maria BOWES (her mother’s sister) was in residence with her second son Richard Taylor Bowes. The old salt, Richard Cortis, hale and hearty at 74, was visiting from Hull. Jane’s younger sister Alice Weddell Cortis was away on census night but her brothers were home – William Richard, 14, who became an MP in the Australian Parliament and would be tried for murder, and Herbert Liddell, 4, whose destiny was to cycle twenty miles in an hour before anyone else did. Three servants, all Lincolnshire born, completed the household in John Street.
It was in Lincolnshire that Jane found a husband. John Would PARKER was a farmer of 600 acres, employing 18 labourers and 6 boys in 1871. He was fifteen years older than Jane, in his mid forties when they married in St Mary’s Church, Newington (London) in 1876. They settled on the farm in Ludborough but were not blessed with children. They had dogs instead.
This photograph isn’t dated but was taken at Ludborough, I guess around 1890.
The enumerator in 1891 found the couple at “Lindens, Turnpike” near Louth. John was still farming, but possibly not 600 acres. He died towards the end of 1893, aged 63. John’s spinster sister, Sarah Elizabeth, had lived with the couple for many years but she died a few months later. With all her surviving birth family scattered to the ends of the earth, Jane set off for Australia. Her father died in Manly on 15 September 1906 and she breathed her last in that place, 19 May 1911.
It isn’t certain that this is Jane Maria but the photographer was Willey of Louth, a town only six or seven miles from Ludborough. The wee dog could be significant.
This is Jane and she seems to have an engagement ring and wedding band, so maybe the photo was taken in 1876, after her marriage and before she returned to Lincolnshire with her husband.
Jane seems to have filled out somewhat but John still looks youthful, though his mutton chops are greying. The photograph may have been taken while on their honeymoon (and Jane’s extra pounds are merely a fashion accessory).
The uncertainty about the identity of Jane in the second photograph seems justified if close attention is paid to the eyes, ears and nose of the lady with a whip. The features are noticeably different, though the overall shape of the face is similar.
What does it matter? I just hope that John and Jane’s seventeen years of marriage brought them much happiness. She was a widow for a year longer than that, and most of that time was spent in a foreign land. I wonder what her life was like in Australia.
Six sons of Richard CORTIS and Jane SMITHSON reached adulthood. Five crossed the Atlantic and ended their days in the United States after experiencing mixed fortunes. From information received and uncovered thus far, it appears that the first young man to Go West was Richard John in 1856. He had married Jane Hannah MAPLES in Hull in 1850 and they sailed from Liverpool with two infant boys. When they were caught by the 1860 US census they had been joined by Harold Graeme (aged 6 months) – and RJ’s brother Samuel Smithson. I don’t know for sure if the other three brothers had made the crossing by this time but eight years ago I was offered a reason for them all leaving home.
Here is a post from Looking at Filey, 6 May 2012 – in full, errors included but footnoted. (The archived Looking at Filey has still not been made available again at The British Library. The web links should still “work”.)
Photographer unknown, no date1, courtesy Elizabeth Kennard
Richard John2 CORTIS senior, born about 1788, was a master mariner and later a shipping agent. He also owned the Minerva public house hard by the River Humber. (Recent photos here, here, and here.) With Jane SMITHSON he had at least ten children. I had found eight of them on FamilySearch but Elizabeth supplied two more – Henrietta, who died in infancy, and Joseph who was killed in Tennessee during the American Civil War. Seven Hull born children made it to adulthood but none breathed their last by the Humber. Six3 died in the United States and one in Australia. Elizabeth asked me what happened in Hull around the 1850s that prompted a whole brood to fly a long way from the nest. Despite being a Hull lad, I didn’t have a clue and so asked a man I hoped would know. Peter Churchexplained that 1849 was a cholera epidemic year and some of the city’s water came from Spring Head in Anlaby along an open channel which passed Spring Bank cemetery where 700 cholera victims were buried. Minerva opened in 1851 and Richard John CORTIS senior was responsible for “masterminding the trans-migrants passing through Hull from mainland Europe to America”. I reckon he was therefore in a good position to advise his children to seek a healthier life across the Atlantic and to facilitate their journeys.
The odd one out was William Smithson CORTIS who was enumerated in Queen Street Filey in 1851 with a wife, three children and three servants. Ten years later he was a widower in a mixed John Street household containing three of his children, a widowed sister in law and nephew (on his wife’s side), a pupil in his medical practice, four servants – and his old dad, 74 year old “Richard, formerly Master Mariner.”
The Cortis presence in Filey comes to an end at some time during the next ten years, before 1869 probably because the old master mariner dies in Hull that year, his age given as 83. Two of his Filey born grandsons made their way to Australia and William Smithson went out there too, dying in Manly in 1906.
I wonder if any letters passed between Filey and the United States. Was the man on the horse (above) aware of his older brother’s passing in Australia, four years before his own death?
Elizabeth has told me that Richard John Junior worked as a shipping agent for the White Star Line and did well enough for himself to have four servants and a coachman in the house. The photograph was taken in Brooklyn, New York City, which is not, as Elizabeth writes, “a noted pastoral green, horse riding area any longer”. (William GEDNEY pictured Brooklyn as I imagine it.)
Date about 1895.
I do not think Richard senior had a middle name.
Five brothers and, perhaps, sister Jane.
Elizabeth’s photograph came with the following information attached.
Richard J Cortis 1823-1910, an Englishman who with his wife Jane (Maples) came to NY City permanently about the middle of the 1850s. He was the father of Jessie V. Cortis (1865-1937) who married Wm. Kennard in 1889. The maternal grandfather of Wm. Cortis Kennard (1893-1975) and the great grandfather of Richard Cortis Kennard (1920- 2001.
R J Cortis always kept a horse or two in Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY and this picture taken about 1895 shows him on his horse “Rex” at the Cortis home, 66 Lennox Road, Flatbush, which the Kennard family and R J Cortis left in 1908 for 1722 Albemarle Rd, a home built by Wm M Kennard.
I mentioned on Tuesday that Elizabeth CORTIS 2 [K2BK-F63] had a full complement of siblings on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. That ten children at least were born to master mariner and hotel keeper Richard and Jane nee SMITHSON is confirmed in a brief newspaper notice.
I had forgotten about the twins.
The youngest Cortis child on the Shared Tree as I write this post is Thomas Thackrah. He was about 18 months old when his mother died.
Jane would have given birth to the twins towards the end of April. A simple search for christenings brought nothing so I looked through the Holy Trinity register from late April to September. Still nothing. I found them in the Holy Trinity Burials registers at Find My Past.
I don’t know who entered the world first but Ann departed after nine weeks in the vale of tears. Harriet stayed for seven months.
(Harriet’s entry is at the bottom of the register page – I have added the header in Photoshop, so this is not a facsimile of the original document.)
Betsey still had a sister and seven brothers. Jane was the only one of Richard’s children enumerated with him at The Minerva Hotel in 1851. She was 25 years-old and single but married Philip HORSLEY, a Doncaster farmer, three weeks later. I couldn’t find records of children, their whereabouts at subsequent censuses or records of their deaths. It is an easy assumption to make that they emigrated – either blazing a trail to North America or following the Cortis brothers Richard John, Joseph, Samuel Smithson, John Charles and Thomas Thackrah to New York City and destinations beyond. Joseph gave his life for the Union but the others may all have married and made it to the Twentieth Century. Betsey’s eldest brother William Smithson, and those of his children who reached adulthood, “went the other way” to Australia. More about the adventurers another day.
William Smithson CORTIS, firstborn son of Richard (Thursday’s post) and Jane SMITHSON, married Mary Jane GREEN in Wintringham in June 1843 when he was 23 years-old. Their first child, Jane Maria, was born in Filey about eighteen months later. I don’t know what accidents or designs brought him to this small and undistinguished town but he didn’t just look after the health of its people – he saw a bigger picture. He took a deep interest in the history of the area and, perhaps not surprisingly for the son of a master mariner, did all he could to better the lot of local fishermen and all who sailed the dangerous waters off the Yorkshire coast.
In Scarborough Town Hall in November 1857 he read a paper about the recent discovery of Roman artifacts on “Car-Naese” and in the same year began to campaign for the building of a Harbour of Refuge in Filey Bay. This appeared in the Scarborough Mercury on 22 October 1859: –
The Cortis Testimonial.
It will be in the recollection of most of our readers, that during the inquiry before the Royal Commission appointed to obtain evidence as to the best site for a National Harbour of Refuge, on the North East Coast of England, Dr. W. S. Cortis, of Filey, displayed considerable talent and persevering energy during a period of eighteen months, in searching out and obtaining information to lay before the Commissioners relative to the advantages possessed by Filey Bay for such a Harbour. Dr. Cortis had also during the sitting of the Parliamentary Committee on Harbours of Refuge in 1857-8, rendered much service by developing the merits of Filey Bay, and, in consequence, rendered himself deserving the esteem of a large circle of friends and those who are intimately concerned in the Shipping interest. To shew their gratitude for this persevering labour, on the part of a private individual, a public meeting was called at Foord’s Hotel, Filey, some time back, when a number of gentlemen were appointed to receive subscriptions for the purpose of presenting Dr. Cortis with a suitable Testimonial. The committee for carrying out this object, have so far succeeded as to be enabled to purchase a very handsome and richly chased silver breakfast service, consisting of kettle and stand, with lamp, a coffee-pot, tea-pot, sugar-basin, and cream ewer, all en suite, and which are to be presented by the inhabitants of Filey to the worthy Doctor, on Friday next, the 28th instant. The testimonial bears the following somewhat lengthy but appropriate inscription:-“Presented with-guineas, to W. S. Cortis, Esq., M.D., by the inhabitants of Filey and the neighbourhood, as a testimonial of their appreciation of the services which he rendered to the maritime interests of the coasts, and to the cause of humanity, in advancing the claims of Filey Bay as the site of a National Harbour of Refuge, by the able manner in which he searched out evidence and laid it before the parliamentary committee, by the clear and lucid way in which he developed its advantages before her Majesty’s commissioners, and by the talent, energy, and perseverance with which he conducted the whole case.
The blank left in the inscription will, we believe, be filled up with the amount of money intended to be given with the Testimonial-the sum, we understand, will be between 159 and 200 guineas. A large number of merchants, and shipowners, in Hull, have also testified their appreciation of Dr. Cortis’s labours in bringing to a successful issue a question of such vast importance; they have therefore purchased a large massive salver, twenty inches in diameter, to be presented at the same time, on which is a faithful and well executed engraving of the beautiful Bay of Filey, shewing the long projection of rocks, called the “Brig,” as well as the handsome buildings which characterise the improvements on the South Cliffs. Under the view is the following inscription:-“Presented to William S. Cortis, Esq., M.D., Filey, by his friends in Hull, as a token of their recognition of the services rendered by him to the commerce of the east coast of England, by his indefatigable advocacy of the formation of a National Harbour of Refuge in Filey Bay. October, 1859.”
The whole of these exquisite pieces of workmanship have been entrusted to the skill of Messrs. Jacobs and Lucas, silversmiths, of Hull, and are now being exhibited at Mr. Suggitt’s, grocer, Filey, previous to the presentation. We understand that a public dinner will be given after the presentation, at five o’clock.
The effort to make the harbour of refuge a reality continued for many years and ultimately failed, but reprint copies of William’s book, Losses of Ships and Lives on the North-East Coast of England, and How to Prevent Them can still be purchased online.
William is remembered on the stone marking the grave of his wife and their infant son Henry Liddell in St Oswald’s churchyard.
Also, WILLIAM S. CORTIS M.D., husband of the above, died at Manly N.S.W., 15 Sep. 1906, aged 86 years.
Mary Jane died in the summer of 1858 aged 36. Four years later William married Susanna HEWSON in Louth, Lincolnshire. In 1878 their names appear on the Victoria Inward Passenger List of the vessel Hankow, their final destination Sydney.
The Will of Dr Cortis can be found online and the codicil caught my eye.
It is dated 1901 and I need to go back to my notes to see if there are reasons for William Richard losing the silver. (He outlived his father by just over two years.)
Measure of Man 42 ·Evron Centre
I wonder what William Smithson would have made of SARS-CoV-2. I think he would have lined up with the good doctors.
On 17 November 1867, ship’s surgeon Andrew ALEXANDER assisted in the birth of Maud Marian Grey, daughter of William Hales SWEET and Elizabeth née EVANS. All sources I have seen agree that Maud was born on Brunel’s “ship that changed the world”, SS Great Britain. Some say, though, that the vessel was passing the Cape of Good Hope at the time. One census enumerator writes “Good Hope” in his book but this is rubbed out and “Horn” substituted. Transcribers give Maud’s birthplace variously as Chile or South Africa.
SS Great Britain was on its 29th Voyage and after leaving Melbourne, where Maud was most likely conceived, the captain set an eastbound course.
Maud’s father was the son of John Hales SWEET and Mary Ann GOFF. After much searching over the last couple of days, I am still unable to explain John Hales’ second family. There seems to be little doubt that there was only one John Hales and two “wives” called Mary Ann but I have been unable to find a marriage record for his union with Mary Ann PULLAN, nor birth registrations for thei seven children. It is as if he had something to hide. Perhaps if he had been other than a man of the cloth…
Marriage in March 1840 to Miss Goff is clear enough and there are registrations or family notices in newspapers for their four children. The last of these, Charles Henry, was born in Hunslet, Leeds, on 3 September 1845. Mary Ann Pullan’s first child with John, Amy Adela Selina, was born later that year, on 7 December. Miss Pullan was a Leeds girl, about eight years younger than Mary Ann the First.
The former Miss GOFF didn’t die until 1882. If John didn’t divorce her, might the Church have “turned a blind eye” to his second family? The first Mary Ann considered herself still married to John. In 1871 she was living with William, Elizabeth and grandchildren “Cape Horn” Maud and Charles Iberson. She told the enumerator she was married and living on “income derived from funds”. Ten years later she declared sherself a “clergyman’s widow”. There is a sad reference to Maud’s father on this census page – William Hales SWEET “rambles very much at times”. He would die in a lunatic asylum in 1883. His mother had breathed her last the year before in a different asylum.
Our sea-born child married in 1890 and had several children with Frederick William CRISP. She died in 1945 in Hastings, aged 78. Find her on the FamilySearch Tree, born in the wrong part of the world, still single and with a dubious bunch of great aunts and great uncles.
The estimated death toll for all animals in the Australian bushfires has doubled in just a few days to over a billion. I was a sucker for the story of wombats encouraging other species of critter into their safe, deep burrows. Proof, if any was needed, that dumb animals are superior to wise apes (aka clever morons). Learning just now that the yarn is not true doesn’t change my opinion one whit.
The argument over how much human activity has contributed to global warming may never end. There seems little doubt that human agency is responsible for much of the destruction caused by bushfires in Australia. Arson and inadequate clearance of combustible materials in vulnerable areas of a drought-stricken country come readily to mind. The rapidity of the burning, the apocalyptic fierceness of the flames (with random explosions), and the melting of vehicles while tree branches above remain unburned – all open up the possibility that psychopaths are involved, with their direct energy weapons, and accelerants dropped by planes engaged in weather modification. A tin foil hat is not required to at least look into such possibilities yourself.
Sydney Airport is one of my monitored weather stations. For my sins, I listen to BBC News and have been brainwashed into thinking that the bushfires are worse in Australia this year because it is hotter. Well, it isn’t hotter in Sydney. It is true that there has been a drop in temperature in the last week, and if this is a nationwide thing it may give the firefighters some respite.
Summer in Sydney, so far, looks a bit like this.
The week to week rise and fall this year is crazily like that of 2018/19 (2019 for simplicity). It is, however, half a degree centigrade cooler at the end of Week 6 this year. It isn’t just heatwaves fueling the fires then.
Here is another perspective.
2012 was the coolest summer of the Ten Years from 2009 to 2018, and 2017 the warmest. At Week 6, Sydney is 0.31°C above the 10 Year Average. It follows that it was 0.81 degrees warmer than average last year.
So, Sydney is currently 1.31°C above Pre-Industrial whilst Durham Tees in Northern England is 2.56 degrees above P-I and 0.91°C warmer than at the same time last year.
…into the current Meteorological Year, how much is the temperature rising at the Ten Stations?
The Northern Hemisphere has experienced warming that the IPCC isn’t expecting until 2095 – at 2.96°C above Pre-Industrial. Fortunately, the South is bang on the 1.06 degrees the IPCC projected at the end of the year. So in two weeks, the mini Globe has only warmed 38 times as quickly as the IPCC imagined.
The main driver of warmth in The Ten is Koltsovo. In Week 2 it was 4.51°C warmer than at the same time last year, 6.23 degrees above P-I and with a Warming Rate of x238. Eighteen hundred kilometres to the west, Moscow is having a similar experience.
Obviously, all the stations will have weeks of relatively low temperatures in the coming months (north and south) and who knows, by the end of the Met Year they will as a group be close to the IPCC Projection. They may even go below the projected 1.06 degrees. In some graphs I have seen online, the Grand Solar Minimum, the Maunder feel-alike, is expected to take up residence in 2020.
The mythical Sam Carana, at Arctic News, is nonetheless doubling down on his gloomy prognostications of human extinction by 2026. He makes a case for us all departing this life in the coming calendar year.
Extinction and “Global Warming is a hoax” are clearly poles apart. Speaking of which, the GFS 10 Day forecast on Climate Reanalyzer has the Arctic at 2.3°C warmer than expected today but falling to -0.6 a week from now. The Antarctic hovers around 1.6 to 2.0 degrees warmer for the coming 10 days and the World stays mostly within a range of +0.3 to +0.6 (14 to 28 times warmer than the IPCC bargains for.
Here are Week Two graphics for the Ten Stations in Two Hemispheres, plus Durham Tees.
Gathering the data and constructing the graphs takes me away from the main task of putting headstone photos on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, so I won’t be doing weather posts every week. I’ll perhaps do an update after each completed month, with an occasional Week Graph if it illustrates something extreme or unexpected. In the media in Week 2 much was made of the heatwave expected in New South Wales that would intensify the bushfires. Notice above that Sydney is roughly in the middle of the green Goldilocks zone. The daily high peaked at 108°F yesterday but fell to 79 degrees (26.11°C) today. Records in Oz may be broken again as summer progresses. Across the Tasman, Wellington was the only one of the southern five in the red. The New Zealand capital may not cool down any time soon.
I wrote yesterday that this was the warmest of my ten stations. It was actually the coldest – but I had its temperature anomaly in mind. On six days last month, the average temperature was over 10°C above the Pre-Industrial baseline. It is also the station with the greatest fluctuations of temperature from one day to the next.
Here’s a graph of Sydney data (Kingsford Smith station) for comparison.