Six Boys and a Rocket

On the night of Wednesday, 2 March 1892, the Coastguards at the Hilderthorpe Lifeboat Station called out the Volunteer Life Company and the lifeboat crew by firing two “rockets”. One of the gun-cotton detonators failed to explode and landed in the garden of William GRAY in West Street. If the new RNLI Station is on the site of the old one, the detonator didn’t fly far. You can see West Street at the top of the image above (though there seems to be little room for gardens nowadays). The Saturday Leeds Mercury reported that a boy called HUTCHINSON found the detonator on Thursday morning. He did a deal with another boy, receiving a knife in exchange. The new owner of the ordnance was one of five boys who conspired to take what was in effect a small bomb and “let it off” on Thursday evening. They placed it on a wall surrounding the Local Board’s tool-shed on Beck Hill (a short walk north of West Street) and one of the boys ignited it with a match. The explosion shook the neighbourhood and was heard all over the town. The first people who rushed to the scene found  four of the “poor little fellows” lying senseless and bleeding on the ground. The fifth, John WILLIS had been able to run to his home in nearby Boynton’s Yard. Harry LYON and Arthur ATKINSON were conveyed to their home in Grundell Terrace (Nelson Street); Fred EDMUND was taken to Dr GODFREY’s surgery, his wounds dressed and then sent home; and after his wounds had been attended to, Tom WILLIAMSON was taken to the Lloyd Cottage Hospital.

The boys injuries received further attention from two more doctors (WETWAN and THOMPSON). Arthur Atkinson, 10, and his stepbrother Harry Lyon, 8, were considered the most seriously injured – some of the charge had penetrated Arthur’s lungs. Tom Williamson’s face and jaw were “shattered” and his left hand partially destroyed. Fred Edmund, 10, received injuries to his left hand and left leg. John Willis had “received a slight fracture of the skull and injury to the left eye”.

An addendum to the newspaper report ran –

Death of One of the Sufferers

Arthur Atkinson succumbed to his injuries at five o’clock yesterday morning at the hospital. Harry Lyon and Tom Williamson are in a critical state. Willis and Edmund are progressing favourably.

One of the survivors died some weeks later.

I happened upon this sad story in pursuit of information about John Henry’s father. George Francis was the illegitimate child of one Sarah Willis – but there is a second Sarah Willis born in the same year and location, and they appear to be first cousins. I was looking for a source that would show which Sarah was George’s mother. I have a hunch, because one Sarah “disappears”. At one census George is with a woman who claims to be his aunt. At the next census he has been given her family name – MORGAN – but marries later as a Willis.

I will write more about the Morgan/Willis situation another day but will end with “the boy named Hutchinson” who, sensibly, got rid of the bomb. William Gray of West Street was a Coal Merchant and at the previous year’s census his roof was sheltering six sons and three daughters. You would think one of these children would have found the dangerous object first. But next door was Holdsworth Hutchinson, a cordwainer, wife Ann, four sons and a daughter. I suspect ten-year-old Alfred was the finder who chose not to be a keeper. (Eldest Frederick was seventeen and an Ironmonger’s Assistant and third son Harold only seven and surely too young to barter with older boys.)

I wonder how the deaths affected Alfred Holdsworth Hutchinson. In 1901 he is following his father’s trade and living with brother Frederick, who is now married to Mary and father of a four year-old son. In 1911 Alfred is living alone, still single at thirty. He marries before the end of the year though. His bride is Rose Ethel SEARBY, daughter of a Hull provision dealer and somewhat mysteriously, they tie the knot in Hartlepool. Alfred takes her to Bridlington and at the end of September 1939 the census-taker finds them here…

… in the street where Arthur Atkinson had lived for such a short time.

Path 108 · Cleveland Way

There’s Only One Harriet

The last of the TAYLOR children seriously misrepresented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree is Edmund, the seventh son of Francis and Mary nee BRAITHWAITE. He married twice and currently his first wife is Harriet Matilda WILSON.

On census night in 1871, Edmund is lodging with oldest brother Thomas in Victoria Place, Chorlton on Medlock. At the next census he is married to second wife Mary WILKINSON. Mary has yet to have a child of her own but is stepmother to Harry and Mary. The Shared Tree has Edmund and Mary marrying on 6 October 1880 and Harriet Matilda dying in April 1881.

Between 1871 an 1880 there is only one marriage registered in England and Wales that features our focus couple.

Free BMD Marriages

Harriet is 26 years old when she dies in the first quarter of 1879, less than six months after she gave birth to Mary. A calculated birth year of 1853 generates parents William Wilson and Harriet SPENCER in Bolton, Lancashire, but this relationship should be checked.

On the Shared Tree there are three sources attached to Harriet Matilda. The first is a Chorlton birth registration for Harriet Margaret WILSON in the September Quarter of 1844. Harriet Matilda’s birth is given as 1843 – in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire. The second source, for the marriage, is correct in naming “just Harriet”. The third source is a death registration for Harriet Matilda Taylor in the June Quarter of 1881. FamilySearch shows the registration place is Chorlton and age at death 38. The GRO Deaths Index, however, doesn’t give the registration place and has a different Volume and Page number. Free BMD Deaths agrees with the GRO in giving Volume 8c and Page 392 and helpfully specifies Chorlton Registration District.

A Harriet date of death after Edmund has married again makes further investigation rather pointless, but a quick search of Free BMD Marriages shows just one Harriet Matilda WILSON marrying between 1860 and 1881 – in Bethnal Green, London.

A “member’s tree” on Find My Past offers a variant Harriet, born in Pateley Bridge in 1855 and dying in Bramley (Leeds) in 1879. I cannot find either event supported by civil registration. So, for me, there was only one Harriet Wilson destined to be Edmund’s first helpmeet.

Path 103 · Sand Hill Lane

Church Ravine

A Sister Misplaced

In The Children of Francis & Mary (24 July), I pointed out that Sarah Butterick (child 7 on the Shared Tree) didn’t belong in the family of Francis TAYLOR and Mary BRAITHWAITE, claiming that she was illegitimate and that her father may have been a Mr. BUTTERICK.

Sarah has five sources attached to her record on the FamilySearch Shared Tree – her christening in Bridlington and four events that took place in the United States. The christening source does not name her father.

The GRO Births Index explains why.

The absence of a Mother’s Maiden Surname is usually an indication that the child is illegitimate. Confirmation is found in the Bridlington Parish Baptism Register.

A census search for unmarried Mary finds her in High Street, Bridlington, with her widowed mother Susannah, and two-year-old Sarah. Living just over a mile away is William BUTTERICK, his wife Ruth and their five-year-old daughter Mary. William is a blacksmith, ten years older than Mary Taylor. I have made the acquaintance of only one blacksmith and he was a Lothario. So, with prejudice, I accuse William of being Sarah’s biological father. Whether or not this can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, perhaps by the discovery of a bastardy order, the assertion that Sarah is the child of Francis and Mary BRAITHWAITE can no longer stand.

Landscape 121 · Martin’s Ravine

The Killing of Brother George

George TAYLOR was four years younger than his brother Thomas (Sunday’s post). In between, two other boys were born. They both made a start in life but James died aged four, and two years later Francis departed aged seven. George was probably not old enough to understand these losses but he would form an intriguing bond with Thomas.

On the FamilySearch Shared Tree, Thomas and George have one thing in common. They have, at the time of writing this, both been killed off too soon. Thomas at age 9 and George at 18. The early demise of George is puzzling because he was survived by a nine year-old widow and nine children, the first of them born eleven years after his death.

Of course, the death recorded in 1851 is ridiculous but it is plain to see.

One of the sources for George shows he was alive and kicking in 1901, retired from the joinery trade.

On Sunday, I said that in 1851 Thomas was working as a joiner in Scarborough, aged 21 and lodging with William COLLINSON, also a joiner and just nine years older. I may have been wrong to suggest William could not have been Thomas’ master because of this relatively small age gap.

Apprentices could and did lay complaints against their masters and mistresses for maltreatment or neglect of their proper training. They were not necessarily much younger than their masters and could behave much like truculent younger brothers as dutiful sons.

Keith Wrightson, Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain, 1470 – 1750 p.66

Not only did George follow the same trade as Thomas, he did so initially in the same place. On 7 April 1861 Thomas was living at 5 Queen Street, Rusholme, Lancashire with wife Barbara and three young daughters. Seven weeks later, in Barrow on Humber, Lincolnshire, George married Sarah Ann BOLLEN. The marriage register gives his place of residence as Rusholme.

George took his bride to Lancashire and spent the rest of his life in a small area of Manchester – Chorlton on Medlock, Hulme,Moss Side and Rusholme.  Thomas didn’t stray from the Chorlton Registration District either. I haven’t mapped their addresses but I suspect they lived within a mile or two of each other for thirty years or more.

Thomas died in 1896, aged 66. George died in the decade following the 1901 census because in 1911 Sarah Ann is a widow, living at 77 Derby Street, Moss Side with two unmarried daughters and granddaughter, Nellie ODEN.

A search of the Chorlton death register reveals two men in their mid-seventies who might be “our” George. A burial record for one names his brother as “Watts TAYLOR” so the other becomes favourite. Fortunately, there is a probate record for him.

The “real price” of George’s effects at 2017 values is almost £30,000. Sarah Ann’s widowhood lasted nine years and in that time the value of the pound dropped significantly.

It isn’t clear how many of George and Sarah’s children were still alive at the end of the First World War. The Shared Tree has them bringing nine children into the world – and their names and dates seem to be correct. Sarah wasn’t required declare the number of  her children on the 1911 census form but she offers six, of whom three had died. She may have misunderstood the question put to married couples; perhaps six of the nine were still living. However many there were, they had to share about £6,000 at 2017 values.

Beach 111 · Muston Sands

Old normal-like

Thomas Given Life

As a fledgling family historian I found the advice to “kill off your ancestors” somewhat disconcerting. It has to be done, of course, but with caution. Thomas, the first child of Francis TAYLOR and Mary BRAITHWAITE (Friday’s post) was dispatched without good reason.

On the Shared Tree this death registration has been taken from FamilySearch Sources and attached to Thomas, who was christened in October 1829.

The GRO Index shows that this poor child would not celebrate a single birthday.

As it happens, “our” Thomas is found by the 1841 census enumerator with his parents, three brothers and sister Ann in Bridlington. (Ann’s fate was to be married off to the wrong chap on the Shared Tree.)

When the next enumerator called on this Taylor family there are four children at home. Thomas and George have flown the nest; their places taken by Edmund and a second James, born 1842 and 1848. Francis II has died, aged two.

Thomas left home to learn a trade. On census night 1851 he is in Scarborough working as a joiner. A disparate household is headed by William COLLINSON, also a joiner but only 30 years old and so unlikely to have been Thomas’ master. But there is a third joiner in the household, Jonah WARD, 24, plus a visiting tailor from Nafferton and two young girls, Rachel and Ann MARSHEL from Flixton, also visitors.

Thomas was difficult to find in 1861, for several reasons. A Find My Past transcriber has him as “James”, aged 61 and born in “Rudgwick”. And he has crossed the Pennines, married Barbara PARKER in Manchester (1854) and fathered three daughters.

Barbara, a Scot from Kirkcowan, “Wigtownshire”, gives birth to three more daughters and one son, Francis. At each of the four censuses from 1861 to 1891 the family has a different address in Chorlton but are clearly settled and close-knit. In 1891, three unmarried children are with their parents in Boston Street, Hulme (Chorlton Registration District). Mary Jane, 34, is a dressmaker, Agnes, 23, a milliner, and Francis, 25, an agent (unspecified).

Thomas died on 15 June 1896 and Barbara on 19 December the following year, both aged 66. Thomas’ last address is given as Salisbury Road, Urmston and Barbara’s 31 Victoria Road, Heaton Chapel, but they are together in Ardwick Cemetery, Grave Number 3547A.

Better than being bumped off as a kid, eh Thomas?

Path 100 · Above Mile Haven

Near Primrose Valley

The Children of Francis & Mary

In A Bad Marriage on Tuesday I argued that Ann, sixth child of Francis TAYLOR and Mary BRAITHWAITE (variant spellings), had married William CLARK and not Richard MARSHALL. A closer investigation of the family has revealed other corrections that need to be made.

There is more work to do but provisionally, from left to right:-

Thomas may have died in 1838 but he also appears aged 11 in the 1841 census.

If George died in 1851 his widow was only nine years old.

John Braithwaite Taylor married Elizabeth MORTON, not Ann CHADWICK.

Richard Marshall, hanging on in there.

Sarah Butterick Taylor was illegitimate, not part of this family. Father possibly a Mr. BUTTERICK.

Edmund’s first wife was Harriet WILSON, not Harriet Matilda WILSON.

After James II died in 1846 aged about 18 months Mary gave birth to a boy – James III.

(I have removed the questionmark against Ann NORWOOD, mother of Francis, from Tuesday’s screenshot.)

Francis and Mary have many descendants on the Shared Tree – it won’t be appropriate for me to make changes without contacting other contributors first. It may take a while before the children of Francis and Mary are all present and correct.

Landscape 119 · Filey Brigg

Calm sea, high tide

A Bad Marriage

The paternal grandmother of Thomas CLARK, Sunday’s missing soldier, is Ann TAYLOR. On the FamilySearch Shared Tree she is married to Richard MARSHALL.

Ann has three sources: christening in 1838, 1851 census and civil marriage in 1856. Richard just has the marriage source; his parents are not given. That he is apparently eight years older than Ann isn’t much of a caution, but the bride being just eighteen should give pause. In Britain in the mid-19th century, both sexes could marry legally at puberty. Fourteen for males, twelve for females. Parental permission to marry was required if the parties were below “full age” (21). Widely accepted advice was for young women to wed between the ages of 21 and 25 and the average age at marriage for both sexes  in Victorian Britain was around 25.

Hindsight (after much research) is a wonderful thing, but let us begin the search for Ann’s Mr. RIGHT by accepting her birth in Bridlington in 1838 and that she was from a good, settled family that followed social norms. A simple query of Free BMD marriages in East Yorkshire between 1859 and 1863 gives just one result.

Bingo! A likely contender for Private Clark’s grandfather.

Expanding the search two years each way adds one other East Yorkshire “hit”.

The bad marriage.

Ann’s 1851 census source confirms that her father is Francis Taylor, as shown on the Shared Tree. The father of Ann who married first is another man.

It would be interesting to know if this John Taylor was a witness at the marriage of “our” Ann to William Clark.

I think this is evidence enough to end the Shared Tree bad marriage and unite Ann with her soldier grandson. A task for tomorrow perhaps. (I should point out that William is already represented on the Shared Tree with “Anne” and one child.)

I tried to discover what happened to Richard and Ann but their trail went cold after the birth of their first child.

William Clark had eight children with his Ann and when the 1911 census was taken he is living in Bickerton near Wetherby with daughter Sarah Ann, a Farm Manager’s wife. But William, now 74, is a widower and I don’t know yet when or where Ann died. William’s life ended in the Workhouse but not, it seems, sadly.

Insect 26 · Soldier Beetles

Rhagonycha fulva, Muston Cliffs

A Worthy Man

Six days ago I took four children from their wrongful parents. Yesterday, I set about uniting them with the people who gave them life.

WELBURN_wm1692_FSTscreenfocusThe tick and crosses have to be re-evaluated. The children’s father was a William WELBURN born about 1841 but he didn’t marry a woman 27 years his senior. A record of marriage to the mother of his children eludes me but her maiden surname was quickly found in the GRO Births Index. MUSK. In the censuses, she was just Ann or Annie but registered as Ann Elizabeth by her parents, Robert and Mary Ann née HARDY. Robert was a mariner and he went where the wind blew whenever the census enumerator called, saying he was born in Beccles (Suffolk), Barnby (Norfolk) or Norwich. All three places are within a few miles of each other so he didn’t drift too far from a true course. Ann was the first of their thirteen children to be born.

The green tick indicated that a different, older William Welburn, William of the Four Wives, had married Ann Thickett on the date indicated. The FamilySearch Tree gave his mother as Jane ARTLEY, born 1817, and it wasn’t a great surprise that she is also considered to be the children’s grandmother. But she has competition.

WELNURNwm40_FSTscreenshot

All but Jane Artley have been generated by “the system” from christening sources and can be discarded because I found Jane LAYCOCK properly represented elsewhere on the Shared Tree. I have been unable to connect Jane Artley to either the Welburns or the Musks. She was the right age to marry John TEMPLE in Scarborough in 1850.

In addition to the four children given to the wrong William and Ann, the rightful parents had two more boys. Ernest, the youngest child, was about 21 months old when William went out fishing in Bridlington Bay and didn’t return home. A squall sprang up and upset the coble Straggler. Two others in the boat managed to grab hold of a short mast and an oar and made it to shore. William is reported to have said to Richard PURVIS, “I am done for” as the waves closed over him. The Driffield Times omits this poignant detail.

1878_WELBURNwm_drowned2

The widow isn’t named in the newspaper reports I have seen. The week after her loss, the takings from a concert in the Victoria Rooms were handed to Purvis and Wilson. Annie didn’t marry again and seems to have worked as a charwoman into her old age. On census night 1901, aged 59, she was sheltering six of her GILMOUR grandchildren. She died on 3 June 1907 and left her effects to William and Ernest. I can’t explain how a char amasses about £50,000 in today’s money.

1907_WELBURNanneliz_probate

Beach 106 · Speeton Sands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tailor, Soldier, Sailor…

… Cutler, Sadler, Bricklayer – and Beggarman!

The COLLEY who had twelve children with Elizabeth WHITING, three of them before his sixteenth birthday, was a  Bill of several trades and the master of just one at best. But he could multi-task in different parts of Yorkshire (at the same time); could die and be reborn. On the FamilySearch Shared Tree, he is unbelievable.

Seemingly the first child to arrive, little William Colley, was christened in Doncaster in June 1813, the son of a soldier. Two months earlier, his brother John had been blessed in Ecclesfield, where William senior worked as a cutler.

George, next on the list, is a mistake, christened in Hull but perhaps born in Leeds. His father isn’t William anyway, it’s George.

Back to Doncaster for Mary Ann, where dad is William again and a “sadler”. Three years later in the same place, a second John appears, and father William has re-enlisted. Maybe sadler is a spelling mistake.

Between the Donny kids, Mary Ann and John Two, Rosanna shows up in Ecclesfield, the cutler’s daughter. She is christened just 6 months before her younger brother John.

Next comes the only real child of the real Elizabeth Whiting, Maria. Eighteen years-old in 1841, she is a dressmaker, living with her parents in Skipsea.

Henry is something of a puzzle. On the Shared Tree, he is born in Doncaster but his single source shows him in the 1861 census as a 38-year-old boarder, working as a waterman. The only Henry Colley I could find born in Doncaster in 1823 was illegitimate, his putative father named as Thomas JINKINSON (sic).

Walter is next, born in Bridlington, his father a sailor.

The last three children are a tailor’s children all born in Scawton, though John the Third has a Gravesend christening source attached to him.

The Scawton Colleys were the easiest to trace through the censuses. Their mother, Elizabeth Somebody, gives Bridlington as her birthplace in 1851 and 1861. In 1841 she is with her husband and sons Lawrence and John in Scawton. (At the same time, remember, Elizabeth Whiting is in Skipsea with her William, Maria and a relative, Robert PAPE, 14.)

So, the Tailor of Scawton found his bride Elizabeth on the Yorkshire Coast and their first child was born in the area known as the Quay, though his christening entry raises the spectre of another spelling mistake (or trap for transcribers).

1822_COLLEYwmbaxter_Bap

But in 1841, as mentioned above, the Tailor and his Bridlington born wife were in Scawton with two of the three boys. Not far away at Rye House Farm, an agricultural labourer called William Colley, calculated birth year 1822, is living-in with other farm servants, working for Farmer Ann WIND, 76.

On 30 November 1819 in Bridlington, a William Colley married Elizabeth JARMAN. Her christening record gives “JARMAINE”. She lived to the grand age of 85. There are records for the burials of the couple at St Mary, Scawton, in 1877. William died in February, aged 78, and Elizabeth in June. Their calculated dates of birth and death closely match those given in the Shared Tree, where so much else is wrong.

Oh! Beggarman. At the 1851 census, William senior of Scawton is described as a “Pauper”. Elizabeth too. But ten years later he is tailoring again, ripe old age beckoning.

Curiously, if you examine all the sources given for fantasy William and his impossible offspring, you’ll find quite a few that support the narrative arcs I’ve tried to briefly describe.

There are too many descendants of the erroneous couple for me to set things straight on the Shared Tree. I’ll leave it to “family”. I will, though, attempt to make correct the misrepresentations of the St Oswald’s churchyard Colleys.

Here is a photograph of one of them, donated to Looking at Filey by David Dickson.

dd_COLLEY_BARWICKhannahe
Hannah Eleanor Barwick e COLLEY

 

 

 

The Colley Brothers?

Kath has a note in Filey Genealogy & Connections about John and George COLLEY.

1861; [John] In 5 The Crescent, was he George Colley’s brother (bricklayer) who was the s. of John Colley. 1851; a visitor living with Richard & Jane Ferguson in Back Rd. a bricklayer. did he come to Filey to help with the development of New Filey? 1871: a builder living with family on the Crescent.

Crescent_No5_20191222

No.5 The Crescent is a substantial property for a brickie and those making up Cliff Terrace were not shabby either. The distance from the black door above to Wrays (photo in Saturday’s post) is about 120 yards. Not far, but not proof of a blood relationship.

Turn the clock back 20 years. John and George are living in Bridlington. John, 16, is a bricklayer’s apprentice, living with his father, stepmother, three brothers and a sister in Church Green. George, given age 30, a journeyman bricklayer, is in Pinfold Street with his first wife Ann. They share the dwelling with another couple, John and Bridget AGAR, and their newborn son Thomas. It is a three-minute walk from Church Green to Pinfold Street. George and John’s proximity in two towns and their shared occupation surely makes them “family”.

Living at 5 The Crescent in 1861 with John, his wife Grace and their two infant boys is John’s father, also John, who headed the Church Green household in 1841. It is he who is George’s brother.

I am not the only one who has been struggling to untangle Colleys. When George was five years old, his eldest brother William married Elizabeth WHITING in Skipsea. I have so far found three of their children, but on the FamilySearch Shared Tree they have been given twelve.

BadColley_FSTscreen1

The marriage of William and Elizabeth is right, and Elizabeth’s dates of birth and death and her parents may be correct. But William was born in 1788, died in 1845 and has the wrong parents here. Only Maria in the list of twelve children rightly belongs to William and Elizabeth. (They also have a Skipsea born and christened George and Ann, their firstborn, who is missing from the list.) All the others belong to someone else.

This outlandish family is, however, well documented. One of them has twenty sources attached. But a close reading of the christenings reveals the family to be itinerants. Chronologically, the children were blessed in Doncaster, Ecclesfield, Hull, Doncaster, Ecclesfield, Doncaster, Skipsea, Bridlington, Scawton (x3) and Gravesend. Yeah, right.

If I seem a bit peeved, it gets worse. Looking for Ann in the FamilySearch Sources returns her as the top hit, but clicking on the tree icon brings up the Mary Ann born in Doncaster three years later (No.4 on the above list). This is very annoying.

BadColley_FSTscreen2

I made a lot of progress with the Real Colleys today – because I had a lot of help. In a dusty folder on a back-up hard drive, I found a Colley Family “story” sent to me seven or eight years ago, in response to a post written for the original Looking at Filey blog. I hope to right most of the Colley wrongs on FST over the next week or two.

Also in the letter Charlotte Brontë wrote to Ellen Nussey (Saturday’s post):-

Filey seems to me much altered; more lodging-houses – some of them very handsome – have been built; the sea has all its old grandeur.

The first observation echoes Kath’s note about there being plenty of work for brickies in “New Filey”. The second gives me an excuse to link to the First Man in Filey. Adam tries out a new camera on the path to Filey Brigg, on Carr Naze, at Bempton Cliffs and Selwicks Bay.

Charlotte wanted to go on the Brigg in 1852.

One day I set out with intent to trudge to Filey Bridge, but was frightened back by two cows. I mean to try again some morning.

I wonder what she would make of digital cameras.