Penny Farthing Thoughts

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George Toyn COLLEY is a first cousin once removed to Anne Elizabeth GRAINGER (Wednesday’s post), and the only one of George Colley and Sarah TOYN’s children to live longer than five weeks.

The photograph, kindly supplied by Alan Hardcastle, (George Toyn’s great-grandson), is undated but was probably taken in Wandsworth or Lambeth in the mid to late 1880s. Reaching the age of 21 in 1883, George had received a bequest from his father and used the money to start a bicycle business in London. High wheelers were all the rage in that decade but, as you can easily imagine, were somewhat dangerous to ride in competitive races. The introduction of “safety bicycles” in the 90s saw the penny-farthing go out of fashion.

George apprenticed in Beverley as a bricklayer. The 1881 census caught him there aged 19, living with cousin Robert PAPE. Ten years later he is a married man in Wandsworth with two infant children – and working as a bricklayer. His bicycle business had failed.

Considering his reasons for leaving a steady trade to speculate in a new-fangled and fast-moving business (sorry, couldn’t resist), I thought of Filey’s World Champion racing cyclist, Herbert Liddell CORTIS. He was “at his zenith” in the years 1878 to 1880, riding in 128 races, winning over half, and amassing trophies valued at £1500 (about £140,000 today). On the 2nd of August 1882, aged 25, he had his last race, breaking several distance records on the way to becoming the first man to ride twenty miles in an hour.

Did Herbert’s renown encourage the Filey born bricklayer to sell bicycles? For a short time, the Colley and Cortis families had been near neighbours in Filey, the one at Cliff Terrace and later 6 North Street, the other on the corner of North and John Streets. George was only three when his father died, and four when he was orphaned. Soon after, the Papes in Beverley took him in as one of their own. Herbert was five years older and the two may never have met but news of the champ would surely have reached George by the early 80s, and perhaps influenced his move to London and the career change.

George reached his majority on 17 August 1883. Two weeks earlier, and the day after his Final Race, Herbert had married Mary BRUCE. Four days after George’s 21st, Herbert and Mary set sail for Australia on the Carlisle Castle. Herbert died just over three years later in Carcoar, New South Wales.

George Toyn married on 26 December 1885 and had four children with Charlotte WARLEY. The “Spanish ‘flu” took Charlotte in 1918 and George died in Croydon in July 1940.

You can find George and Herbert on the Shared Tree. Herbert has a blue plaque on the Evron Centre wall in Filey.

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The Bradshaws

Anne Elizabeth GRAINGER, a granddaughter of William COLLEY and Elizabeth WHITING, married Thomas BRADSHAW at St Mary’s Beverley in January 1867.

In the spring of 1871 Thomas, 28, was head of a small household at Upton Grange, near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, described as a farmer of 48 acres employing one man. There were no children, and none had been registered in the first four years of marriage. Thomas’ sister Anne, 23, was with them, and also farm servant George HEAD, 32.

Thomas was from a Derbyshire farming family and he returned to his roots at some time in the next decade. At the 1881 census, he was with Anne Elizabeth at Busky Fields, near Brampton, Chesterfield. The couple remained childless and Thomas appears to be somewhat diminished in fortune, listed as an agricultural labourer. The house was shared with two of his uncles, retired bachelor farmers John and Thomas Bradshaw, aged 68 and 66. If this seems a rather dismal arrangement, it was soon to become less happy.

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Thomas died the following Spring, aged 40. His mother, Ann DICKEN, had died when he was just ten years old but his father made it into the 20th century, dying aged 87 in 1905. At the 1901 census, he was living at Busky Fields with unmarried housekeeper Ann ASH, 73, and “companion” Barbara GOODWIN, 36.

Rolling back the years to 1851 finds Joseph’s father, also Joseph, farming at Frith Hall. A widower aged 65, he heads a household that includes grandson (our) Thomas Bradshaw, and two brothers, John and Thomas  – the uncles mentioned above. Frith Hall Farm is a Listed Building of great age and you can see plans online for the replacement of the roof of a cruck frame barn. I couldn’t find any good photographs of the farmhouse – and the duck pond looks rather sad. Wondering if the status of the farm buildings indicated earlier family fortunes I did a little more research. Our Thomas is currently poorly represented on the Shared Tree but some sources give his father Joseph the middle name Hibbert. Joseph Hibbert Bradshaw’s grandfather Thomas, born in Eyam in 1751, married Sarah HIBBERT. A quick look in FamilySearch sources didn’t immediately offer PIDs for either person but other Bradshaws and Hibberts from the plague village have a rich pedigree, well-sourced and illustrated, going back almost to the Conquest with the De APPLEBYs and forward to several 21st-century families in Utah and California. I hope someone will be able to connect the main subjects of this post to this pedigree sometime.

The Strange Metamorphosis of William Grainger

The re-structured family of William COLLEY and Elizabeth WHITING (“Beeford Elizabeth”) currently shows the couple with just three children. There is an eight-year gap between George and Maria so there may have been more.

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The three children reached adulthood. Ann married blacksmith William BLENKIN(G), George had at least ten children with Jane WALLIS/WALLACE, and Maria married William GRAINGER. Some handwritten sources show his name spelt “Granger” with an insertion mark and the “i” above as if he’d noticed the mistake and demanded a correction. He is a man of mystery, to me at least.

Family lore says he was a schoolmaster and the church marriage register supports this.

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Born in 1821, the son of Francis, he is “impannelled” on the Grand Jury at the General Quarter Sessions for the Eastern Division of Yorkshire, held in the Spring of 1844, as “Mr William Grainger, of Beverley, Schoolmaster”. His first child, Anne Elizabeth, was then about six months old.

The births of three more children were registered to a Grainger/Colley duo; Maria (1845), William Henry (1847) and Ellen (1849). I haven’t found any baptism sources that give the father’s occupation.

The census enumerator finds the family incomplete in 1851 at Albert Terrace, Beverley. The two older children are with their parents but William Henry is with his Aunt, Ann Blenking, in Bridlington and Ellen eluded my search. Father William’s occupation is given as “Butler and Proprietor of Houses”. It is a surprising career change, but even more startling is that he has aged terribly. Maria’s given age is 28 and William’s 44. His birthplace is given as Warter. Subsequent censuses agree with the revised birth year of 1807 but give his place of birth as “Holm(e)” or Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, a village about twelve miles from Warter. Searches for a William Grainger of this age and place of origin suggest his father was William and not Francis as stated in the marriage register.

I tried but failed to find a convincing 1841 census record for William Graingers aged around 34 or twenty.

Maria dies in 1852, aged 30, and is buried in Beverley. William the Butler marries Mary SMALLEY, a 40-year-old Lincolnshire woman in 1859. At the census in 1861, Mary is at home with her “daughter” Helen, aged 11. The girl’s name is not a mangling by the enumerator. She will be Helen, rather than Ellen, to the end of her days. On this census night, William is with his employer, Mary HARVEY, 68.

Ten years later the Grainger household in St Mary’s Terrace, Beverley, comprises father William, stepmother Mary, daughter Helen and 54-year-old boarder, Elizabeth TURNER. (Elizabeth will stay with the family until 1881, at least).

Helen is one of several children over ten baptised in April 1866 at the church of St Mary and St Nicholas in Beverley, though her entry has “Xtened only” by it.

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Death came to the Graingers in threes in the early 1880s. William departed in September 1882; Anne Elizabeth, his first child, died just a couple of weeks later (in Derbyshire as Mrs Bradshaw). William’s second wife, Mary, followed in the first quarter of 1883.

Helen lived on at St Mary’s Terrace and married from there in 1890. She was forty, her husband a 56-year-old widower, Robert Smith PARNELL.

William’s age at death is given as 75, consistent with all but the one record saying he was born in or about 1807. As most readily available sources make sense of his life-journey, the real mystery man is the young schoolmaster he may never have been.

Three Score and Ten

John Cammish CRAIK was baptized at St Oswald’s, Filey this day 1853. He was the first and last child of James Craik and Rachel CAMMISH – because his father died before the marriage was three years old.

When the 1861 census was taken, John C was 8 years old and described as a Lodger in the household of retired mariner John RUDDOCK and his wife Mary Ann née RICHARDSON. (John will appear centre stage in a post some day, simply because he went to the Arctic twice with Captain PARRY.)  John C’s mother was a few doors away in Queen Street with her widowed father, Thomas CAMMISH, and a 17-year-old servant, Sarah JAMESON. The Ruddocks had a servant too, Mary CAMMISH, aged 50 and, as far as I can tell, a distant cousin of Rachel’s. It is impossible to ascertain who the poor boy looked to for love and guidance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the next census, 1871, John C was a “servant” to Christopher RICHARDSON, Innkeeper at the T’Oard Ship (sometimes T’Awd Ship) in Queen Street. John Ruddock had departed this life and his widow Mary was in residence at the Inn and, again, young John’s mother was living a few yards up the street with her father. Another source states that John C Craik was working as an ostler at the Inn so it isn’t a stretch to find him in the 1881 census described as a “farm servant” but living in the household of fisherman Castle JENKINSON. That Mary Ann Ruddock, now 83 years old, was there too suggests that it was she, rather than Rachel, who had been a mother to him.  (Rachel had died in 1878 aged just 47.)

The Craik name now disappears from Filey. It was introduced to the town by John C’s grandfather John, born 1799 in Langton, Berwick, Scotland, a customs officer and later coast guard. He died in 1854, followed by his son James, John C’s father, in 1855. The two men are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard and the headstone also remembers wife and mother Eleanor née CROW.

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John C had three sisters and a bunch of nephews and nieces in and around Filey but the census of 1891 finds him, age 37, working as a labourer in Walkington, near Beverley. Cue the X Files theme music, not because Gillian Anderson caused a stir some years ago by visiting the village but because of its infamous institution. John C was just one of many who slept there on the night of Sunday, April 5th. Sadly, it seems then to have swallowed him up. In 1901 he is a “patient” without occupation in the Broadgate Mental Asylum and still there ten years later, a “general labourer but above able to do work”.

He endured for another 12 years or so, his death registered in Beverley in the first quarter of 1924. So, he made his three score and ten but spent half of his life in the asylum. I wonder if his sisters, brothers in law, nephews and nieces ever visited him there.

Filey Genealogy & Connections deprives John C of his  Aunt Isabella, mistakenly making her the daughter of a William CRAIK – but correctly hitching her to station master Richard Richardson HARRISON. You can follow Rachel’s CAMMISH line back four generations.

FST needs some work done! Scots John is on the World Tree but not yet connected to his unfortunate grandson. I’ll try to remedy the situation in the next few days.