The Widow Precious

Elizabeth BEAN was born in Newland, near Drax, in 1817. She married John PRECIOUS, of Selby, in February 1841 and, as far as I have been able to determine, bore him just one child, Annie. The girl died in March 1856, just thirteen years old. Five years earlier, the census caught the small family visiting farmer Timothy KNOWLES and wife Sarah in East Retford, Nottinghamshire. John, described as a Spirit Merchant in 1841, was now an “Independent Gentleman”. Five years after the death of his only child, he was a schoolmaster, enumerated at the school in Hensall, near Pontefract.

In the early 1860s, something happened to turn John from a pedagogue to someone who supplied footwear to Filey folk. In October 1865, one of his workmen at the “shoe warehouse” in John Street stole three pairs of shoes. Richard BENTLEY, 40, was taken into custody, charged, found guilty and sentenced to three months in jail. Before he was released, his employer died. The body of John Precious was taken for burial in Selby but his widow stayed in Filey and kept the business going for another fifteen years or so. In 1868 she advertised her wares as follows:-

PRECIOUS, 4,   John  Street,   “Begs  most  respectfully   to  inform   the Inhabitants and Visitors of Filey that a first-class stock of FRENCH and ENGLISH boots and shoes are always on hand, which for beauty, style and elegance cannot be surpassed. A visit to this Emporium of Fashion will be esteemed a favour.”

 

And in March 1878:-

E. PRECIOUS, 4, JOHN STREET, NEW FILEY, keeps a first-class Stock of French and English BOOTS and SHOES, and Berlin and other Fancy Wools, are always on hand, which for Style and Elegance cannot be surpassed.

This morning, the sun shone upon Lilly’s Sandcastle, 4 John Street. (I’m assuming that there hasn’t been a renumbering of the street’s properties.)

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At the 1871 Census, Elizabeth was living here with her “grandson”, George BEAN, aged 14 and described as an “assistant teacher”. He would later get a real job, and in May 1892 drown from the fishing boat Unity.

In 1881 Elizabeth shared 4 John Street with her “granddaughter”, Elizabeth BEAN, age 15 –  the eldest of George’s four sisters.

There is much work still to be done on the BEAN pedigree but, as it stands today, Elizabeth was not related by blood to these young people.

Widow Precious decided to relinquish the John Street business in March 1882. An auction notice in the Scarborough Mercury described some of the house contents:-

BEDROOMS.-Iron and wood Tudor and French bedsteads and hangings, prime feather beds, bolsters and pillows, mattresses, palliasses, blankets, sheets, counterpanes, cane-seated chairs, carpets, washstands, dressing tables, mahogany chests of drawers, and other chamber requisites.

SITTING-ROOM.-Drawing-room suite in green rep (walnut frames), very handsome marble-top walnut chiffoner, plate-glass back and panels; splendid inlaid walnut whatnot, mahogany loo centre table, mantel glass, carpet and hearthrug, fender and fire-irons, pictures, &c.

BACK SITTING-ROOM and KITCHEN, &c.-Couch, arm chair, rocking chairs, tables, kitchen utensils, and all the pots, pans, and other articles too numerous to mention.

Elizabeth moved a short distance to the Crescent and experienced some aggravation. In 1885 she introduced a Mr. Haxby, probably Frederick (1830 – 1910), to Judge BEDWELL at Scarborough County Court. The reporter for the local paper described the case thus:-

PRECIOUS v. HAXBY.-This was an action brought by the plaintiff, Mrs. Elizabeth Precious, The Crescent, Filey to recover damages from the defendant, Mr. Haxby, joiner, of Filey, for damage done to her property which she holds as tenant under a two years lease, granted by Messrs. Rowntree and Sons, of Scarborough, the then owners of the property.-Mr. Richardson, of Bridlington, represented the plaintiff, and Mr. Royle the defendant. It was stated by Mr. Richardson that the property in question was subsequently conveyed to the defendant. The property was situated in the Crescent at Filey, and was rented at £75. The defendant and his men came one day, and in spite of all remonstrances of the plaintiff pulled down a wall, which act, it was alleged, interfered with the privacy of the house. The defendant had several times asked the plaintiff if she would have the wall down, but she, said that on no account would she consent to it-Mr. Royle raised the question of jurisdiction, and the case was ousted, being struck out of the list.

This unhappy experience may have been enough to drive Elizabeth from Filey. In 1891 the enumerator found her in Bilton, just outside Hull, living with her “sister”, Ann, eight years younger and also a widow. Elizabeth defined herself as a “retired lodging housekeeper”. Ann was still working the family farm.

When Ann married James ENGLAND in 1846 she gave her last name as BOULTON, not BEAN. She was only 21 when she married and unlikely to have been a widow. I don’t have the proof yet but I became fairly sure that Ann and Elizabeth were full sisters when I discovered their father was called John Boulton Bean (Source: marriage record for John Precious and Elizabeth). He is represented on the FamilySearch Tree as the illegitimate son of Ann BEAN, a case perhaps of the family accepting the father was a Mr. BOULTON.

Elizabeth didn’t make it to the 1901 census. Thirty-five years of widowhood ended on the farm at Bilton in the September Quarter of 1900.

Duckling Update

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Spot the mother! (The boating lake in Glen Gardens this morning.)

The Beaumonts of Where?

Henry Reginald Tyrell Clare BEAUMONT was buried this day 1900 in St Oswald’s churchyard. I have been unable to link  Henry with certainty to any action in South Africa but his regiment, The Buffs, was at Spion Kop and the Relief of Kimberley. The latter event took place between the 11th and 15th February 1900, giving the poor chap time to fall ill and make his way back to England to die at the end of May. One has to wonder, though, at the time it would have taken to make that journey, and the earlier trip home to marry in 1899.

I haven’t managed to find out whether he married Rachel or Constance. I thought it would be an easy discovery to make, with a Census following only fifteen months or so later. It appears, though, to be a BEAUMONT family habit to dodge the census enumerators, even offering misleading names now and again. More confusing still, some of the birth registrations for Beaumont offspring don’t fit neatly into the available census families.

It was a help to stumble upon The Tathams of County Durham, a pedigree that included Henry’s parents. His father, Joseph Tyrrel BEAUMONT, married Hilda Gertrude TATHAM about ten years after Emily OLDROYD died. It doesn’t, however, answer most of the questions regarding the children of Joseph Tyrrel Beaumont and his father, also Joseph.

This branch of the Beaumonts seems to have rooted in the West Riding, in the Huddersfield and Mirfield areas. Emily was from Dewsbury. Joseph senior married Maria BRITAIN and her ties to Ripon may explain a Beaumont shift towards Harrogate.  Both generations, though, have handsome headstones in a Filey churchyard, even though Joseph senior seems to be the only one to have died in the town.

These Beaumonts clearly had an affection for Filey but kept a fairly low profile here. In 1871 Joseph and Maria were living on The Crescent. Ten years later, Maria was a widow and had downsized, marginally perhaps, to St Martin’s Villa, which she shared with spinster daughter Anne. Maria died in Boston Spa and Anne in Harrogate. Both are remembered on the marble cross in St Oswald’s churchyard.  I photographed it in drizzle and terrible light this afternoon so have chosen to render it rather gloomily. When the sun next shines I’ll make a photo that can be uploaded to FST. Joseph senior and Maria aren’t represented there yet and the younger Joseph doesn’t have all his children or his second wife. The soldier is here.

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Sacred to the memory of JOSEPH BEAUMONT, Esq., who died at Filey, July 23 1880, in the 70th year of his age.

R.I.P.

Also to MARIA, beloved wife of the above, who passed away June 28th 1892.

‘The Lord is my shepherd’

In loving memory of ANNE, eldest daughter of JOSEPH BEAUMONT, Esq, who entered into rest 11th November 1902.

Reverend B K Woodd

Basil Kilvington WOODD married Esther Harriett HOLLOND in Paddington, London, in April 1867 and their first child was born a year later. In1868 Basil accepted a curacy in Scarborough and three children were born during his ministry there. In 1873 the family made the short journey down the coast road so that Basil could serve as the Vicar of Filey.

Two WOODD girls were born in the town, Dorothy Eugenia in April 1875 and Edith Isabella in the summer of the following year.

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In January 1880 the family of eight was preparing to leave Filey. An account of two events reported in the 17th of January edition of The Scarborough Mercury show what this separation meant to the senior Woodds and the townsfolk.

FAREWELL SERMONS

On Sunday the Rev. B. K. Woodd preached two farewell sermons to his parishioners in the parish church. Towards the conclusion of the morning sermon he said his time in that parish was fast drawing to a close, and he prayed that God’s blessing might remain amongst them. In the evening the church was crowded to overflowing, and at the end of the sermon the vicar said:-My dear parishoners and friends, I beg to call your attention to the close of my ministry here to-night. Such a time cannot be referred to without a certain amount of feeling. I have not sought the new living I am going to, neither have I had any selfish motives in accepting it. If my preaching in this parish has been the means of sowing good seeds I hope they will take root and bear fruit. Many sermons have been preached within these grand old walls, that have stood for 700 years. God grant that many have been blessed by them. I go forward with this consolation, that I have tried to do my duty, and trust that you will follow me with your prayers to carry out my mission of love for which Jesus died. I trust that God’s blessing may rest with you, brightening your paths, and filling you with His heavenly love and grace until this life is over.

A few days later…

NATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL

A meeting was held in the School-room, on Friday evening, chiefly composed of the Sunday-school children, their parents and friends. The Rev. B. K. Woodd, the late vicar, said when he came to Filey six years ago there was no Sunday-school, but he was glad to say that so far his efforts, assisted by his wife, who had gone all over the parish seeking up the children, had been crowned with success, and he hoped that the good work they had begun would be carried forward by his successor, and that all children would attend school as usual. He thanked the many friends who had so ably assisted in the school, for if it had not been for their kind assistance his efforts would have been to no avail. Recitations, scripture passages, songs, &c., were then given by the children in capital style. Mrs. Woodd then distributed prizes to the children, according to merit, for attendance, behaviour, and intelligence. The Benediction was then pronounced by Mr. Woodd, whereupon Mr. R. Cammish ascended the platform accompanied by Mr. Harrison, and uncovered a beautiful encased clock with elaborate ornaments and also a silver ink-stand, which he said had been subscribed for by the parishioners of Filey, as a token of their esteem for the vicar and his wife. Mr. Harrison then made the presentation, remarking that during the six years Mr. Woodd had officiated at Filey he had made most praiseworthy progress in the arrangements at the church and all local matters that he had to do with. Mr. Woodd responded, saying that they had acknowledged their humble services far more than they deserved. He and his family would ever remember the kindness they had been shown to them during their short stay among them, and would value their handsome gifts as long as they lived…

A journey of about 70 miles due west took the WOODDs to Harrogate and Reverend Basil’s new living. His time as Vicar of Bilton was short. He buried his firstborn, Agnes Esther, in the churchyard of St John the Evangelist in June 1882. She was 14 years old. Two years later, ill-health forced his early retirement and the family made a longer journey, about 280 miles, to St Leonard’s on Sea, Sussex. In the summer of 1885, nine years after the birth of Edith Isabella in Filey, a sister, Gertrude Frances, made her appearance. I hope she was a great joy to her ailing father. He died aged just 43 before her first birthday.

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The Filey-born WOODD girls had very different life experiences. The elder, Dorothy Eugenia, married in 1900, had three children and died aged 84 in 1959. Edith Isabella remained single and died, aged just 30, in February 1907.

Six months later, Gertrude Frances married Thomas Walter BREEDS.

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Photographer: H. Walter Barnett, Knightsbridge, n.d.

This portrait, undated, was possibly made in her late teens. She was 22 when she married, 23 when she gave birth to her first child – and 25 when she died. Michael FRASER-ALLEN, who kindly gave me permission to share the photograph, is Gertrude’s grandson and he has put his family on Wiki Tree. I suggest you look first at the portrait of Reverend Basil and navigate to the pedigree from there.

There is a similarly extensive pedigree of the WOODDs on the FamilySearch Tree.

Note: I have taken the liberty of adjusting the tones of Gertrude’s portrait so that the image is closer in appearance to the original. Henry Walter BARNETT is, by the way, “arguably Australia’s first world-class portrait photographer”. The first subject in the collection of his photographs held by the National Portrait Gallery is Mark TWAIN. The photographer isn’t represented on FST but, not surprisingly, the writer is there – with 7th-century Y-line forebears.