A Filey Shepherd

There were several farms in and around Filey in the 19th century but I don’t think any raised sheep. When Filey Fields Farm went under the hammer in the early 1930s the byres, sheds, and pens were for cattle only. So, any young Filey man wanting to work with sheep had to leave the town.

Robert CAPPLEMAN was born into a fishing family. Two brothers, Thomas and “Jack Wraxer”, negotiated the dangers of this dangerous occupation, as did the father, John Pockley CAPPLEMAN. Robert’s youngest brother, Stephenson, died a soldier in South Africa (see the post Three Soldiers, 30 May).

Robert began his working life as a fisherman. The 1881 census captures him aged 14 following in his dad’s wake. Ten years later he was a servant on Greenhills Farm near Pickering and the following year he married Mary Hannah BERRIMAN from East Lutton. The couple had five children in the first twelve years of married life, as they moved from farm to farm on the Yorkshire Wolds. The last two children, though, were born in Beswick, in 1902 and 1904. Thirty-five years later, Robert was recorded in the 1939 Register in Beswick, aged 72, and still working as a shepherd. His death was registered in December Quarter 1952 in Holderness District, which includes Beswick within its boundaries.

By chance, my bed-time Kindle reading at the moment is Wild Life in a Southern County. I have a copy of the book, picked up at Winchester Market for 25 pence in 1978, about a hundred years after it was published. In Chapter V, Richard Jefferies has this to say about shepherds:-

If any labourers deserve to be paid well, it is the shepherds: upon their knowledge and fidelity the principal profit of a whole season depends on so many farms. On the bleak hills in lambing time the greatest care is necessary; and the fold, situated in a hollow if possible, with the down rising on the east or north, is built as it werer of straw walls, thick and warm, which the sheep soon make hollow inside, and this have a cave in which to nestle.

The shepherd has a distinct individuality, and is generally a much more observant man in his own sphere than the ordinary labourer. He knows every single field in the whole parish, what kind of weather best suits its soil, and can tell you without going within sight of a given farm pretty much what condition it will be found in. Knowledge of this character may seem trivial to those whose days are passed indoors; yet it is something to recollect all the endless fields in several square miles of country. As a student remembers for years the type and paper, the breadth of the margin – can see, as it were, before his eyes the bevel of the binding and hear again the rustle of the stiff leaves of some tall volume which he found in a forgotten corner of a library, and bent over with such delight, heedless of dust and “silverfish” and the gathered odour of years – so the shepherd recalls his books, the fields; for he, in the nature of things, has to linger over them and study every letter: sheep are slow.

When the hedges are grubbed and the grass grows where the hawthorn flowered, still the shepherd can point out to you where the trees stood – here an oak and here an ash. On the hills he has often little to do but ponder deeply, sitting on the turf of the slope, while the sheep graze in the hollow, waiting for hours as they eat their way. Therefore by degrees a habit of observation grows upon him – always in reference to his charge: and if he walks across the parish off duty he still cannot choose but notice how the crops are coming on, and where there is most “keep”. The shepherd has been the last of all to abandon the old custom of long service. While the labourers are restless,there may still be found not a few instances of shepherds whose whole lives have been spent upon one farm. Thus, from the habit of observation and the lapse of years, they often become local authorities; and when a dispute of boundaries or water rights or right of way arises, the question is frequently finally decided by the evidence of such a man.

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St Margaret’s, Beswick, 20 June 2017

Robert’s pedigree on FST is a work in progress. On FG&C he has a “guesswork wife” but his ancestors may be usefully compared with those on the World Tree.

Today’s Image

Two days after the patriotic beach scene was recorded, England was beaten 2 – 1 by Italy in the first group match of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. A few days later, Uruguay defeated our lads by the same score. I remember nothing about the third match. A goalless draw with Costa Rica meant an ignominious exit by England in the group stage. National pride this year is at the feet of a relatively young bunch of multi-millionaires. They should do better than the faded “golden generation” last time out. I just hope our traveling supporters have a good time in Russia and come home with a different narrative about the Federation than the shameful one peddled by the United Kingdom regime these past few years.

Three Soldiers

For three young men with Filey connections, a 30th of May would be their last day.

SpionKopSAStephenson Warcup CAPPLEMAN was born in the town in 1872 and, at the age of 28, found himself in “Zululand” with the King’s Royal Rifles. I’m speculating that he was on Spion Kop and at Ladysmith in January but the inscription on the family headstone in St Oswald’s places him at Vryheid at the end of May. Like so many other British soldiers in the Boer War, he succumbed to the enteric fever. (Regimental history online.)

Stephenson is on FST but the system has given him the wrong mother. FG&C seems to be more reliable.

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In loving memory of JOHN P. CAPPLEMAN, who died Feb 26th 1899, aged 57 years.

Also SUSANNA his wife, who died May 24th 1898, aged 60 years.

‘Kind thoughts shall ever linger

Round the graves where they are laid’

Also STEPHENSON W. CAPPLEMAN their son, late King’s R. Rifles, died of enteric fever at Vryheid, South Africa, May 30 1900 aged 28 years.

‘Oh how hard not a friend of his own to be near

To hear his last sigh or to watch his last tear

No parting, no farewell, no fond word of love

To cheer his last moments or point him above’

Richard Haxby PEARSON was born in Chapel Street, Filey in 1895. He has a quite extensive pedigree on FG&C but has yet to be linked to scattered forebears on FST. In the Great War, he served with the second-line 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and died before he was sent to France in July 1916. I have not found his service records online and he has a civil death registration. I photographed the modest cross in a grey, damp churchyard this afternoon, with the following inscription (in part):-

In loving memory of RICHARD HAXBY PEARSON, the beloved son of FRANK AND MARY PEARSON, died May 30 1916, aged 20 years.

‘Too dearly loved to be forgotten

Died for his country’

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Harry GRANT completes the trio.

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“With pride we remember son of above” has to be set alongside Harry’s very sparse Index entry at CWGC, given that both parents “fell asleep” in the 1950s.

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The family isn’t recorded on FG&C and initial research suggests that Harry was one of three children born to Tom TOWNEND during Hannah COULSON’s first marriage. On the 1911 Census return, he is given as Sam’s son but named as Harry TOWNEND. His birth was registered, as Henry, in Holbeck in the summer of 1899.  Samuel had two natural children in 1911, James (2) and Edna (newborn). Edna would almost make her century.

Even if you have only a short-term memory, the date of Harry’s death may remind you of George DOUGLAS. The 1st Lincolnshires took part in the Third Battle of the Aisne and  Harry GRANT is remembered on the Soissons Memorial. I wonder if Harry met George and swapped Filey reminiscences.

Yawl ‘Trio’

SH76 Trio was built by Robert SKELTON in Scarborough in 1859. Her first owners were three of the TINDALL family, Alexander, William and James; shipbuilder, sailmaker, and banker respectively. The last change of ownership noted by Captain Syd was in 1881, four Scarborough fishermen, Robert ALLEN senior & junior, James and John ALLEN, took possession. At some point thereafter Thomas Avery JOHNSON became skipper and he was aboard with two of his sons in 1895 when a gale blew up in the North Sea, off Spurn Point. The crew on a passing  Hull boat saw three of Trio’s fishermen washed overboard by a huge wave but could do nothing to effect a rescue.

The six men on board Trio were all from Filey and a pall fell over the town when news of her difficulties was received.

British Armed Forces and Overseas Deaths and Burials (The National Archives) gives 14 May as the date of the men’s demise. Five are remembered on headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard. Two are recorded as having been lost in the gale of 16 and 17 May, and the three JOHNSONs as having drowned on the 16th.

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Matthew Crawford CAPPLEMAN
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Francis CAMMISH
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Thomas Avery, Francis Cappleman, and William JOHNSON

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Cappleman, M (Wiggy) 1891‘Matty Wiggy’ CAPPLEMAN played for the Filey Red Stars FC and was photographed with the team in 1891 when he was 18-years-old. The insurance money from the benefit clubs was supplemented by local fund-raising events. The following was noted in The Scarborough Mercury on Friday 30th August 1895.

Dr. Spark, the Leeds City Organist, gave a very charming recital at Filey Church on Monday for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the fishermen lost in the Trio. The collection realized between £5 and £6. The programme was com­posed of some of the choicest illustrations of the gems of Silas, Tours, Mendelssohn, and Gounod, and Dr. Spark gave two or three of his own com­positions, which were very much appreciated. “The Vesper Hymn” and the finale introducing national themes by Purcell, Arne, and Dr. Bull afforded the veteran musician an opportunity of showing his wonderful skill as an executant and of displaying the passion and dramatic instinct which have always characterized his playing.

There were only two of the lost six on FamilySearch Tree when I looked a few days ago and in the process of gathering in the others I ran into some difficulties. I had hoped to point you to more complete pedigrees!

Francis Cappleman JOHNSON

Matthew Crawford CAPPLEMAN

Robert EDMOND was the member of the crew without a remembrance in the churchyard – and he isn’t represented yet on FST. Find him on Filey Genealogy & Connections.

Dr. SPARK, a Devon man, makes a couple of appearances on FST – but as an only child without a mother. At the 1881 Census, he was living in Eccleshill, Bradford, with wife Elizabeth and son Thomas, age 23 and a law student. William Spark died in Leeds less than two years after his Filey recital.

[S. S.] Wesley’s articled pupil from his Exeter days, William Spark (1823-97) went with him to Leeds where he became Organist of St. George’s and then, after designing the Town Hall organ, Borough Organist from 1859 to 1897. His brother Frederick was a guiding light of the Leeds Triennial Festival and William played at each Festival between 1874 and 1886. Grove’s Dictionary dismisses his compositions as “numerous but unimportant”. Unimportant or not, they were nevertheless widely performed. His oratorio Immanuel figured in the Leeds Festival of 1877 and Spark’s recitals in and around Doncaster in the 1870s and 1880s (he appeared in the town as early as February 1853, conducting thirty voices of his own Leeds Madrigal and Motet Society) included his Concertstuck, a Fantasie and (several times) Variations and Fugue on Jerusalem the Golden, also solo songs and excerpts from Immanuel. Spark’s Yorkshire Exhibition March was written in 1875 for the grand organ in the Exhibition building. He wrote and lectured tirelessly, his lecture subjects in Doncaster at that same period including “The Vocal Music of the Victorian Era“, “The Minstrelsy of Old England“, “National Ballad Music of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales” and “Glees and Partsongs“, the illustrations for the latter talk including at least one of his own compositions. He edited books of music by others for organists to play.

Source.

William Cammish, 13

John and Richard CAMMISH, who drowned from Unity in 1892, were aged 7 and 9 when their older brother was lost.

William was one of two boys on SH95 Zillah & Rachel, a yawl built in Scarborough, fishing on the Dogger, this day 1865.

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Grave D345, St Oswald’s, Filey.

Also of WILLIAM, son of the above, who was drowned at sea, May 9th 1865, aged 13 years.

‘He must slumber in the deep

His body there will rest

Till summoned with his soul

To bloom and be forever blest.’

William on FamilySearch Tree.

An Accident Revisited

John William Sumpton SAYER’s death was briefly reported in newspapers around the country under headings such as “Man Killed on Beach” and “Run Over by a Fishing Boat”. In not many more than fifty words it was explained that fishing boats in Filey were, in 1939, pulled down to the sea “on two wheels”. John had taken a boat to the sea’s edge when two men following with another coble shouted for him to get out of the way. “Sayers appeared to stumble and before the men could stop, one of the wheels went over his head.” He was killed instantly.

Trivial accounts like this are so unfair – in seeming to imply that the person who died brought on their own demise. John was 62-years-old, a husband and father of two girls, then in their thirties. He deserved better.

He is not, as yet, on the FamilySearch Tree but he has one of the more extensive pedigrees on Filey Genealogy & Connections.Kath Wilkie has attached a note to his record that gives the sad event some context – and the stricken man a measure of dignity that the newspapers denied him.

Severe weather conditions: raining cats & dogs – dark @ 6.30am on Weds. 18 Jan 1939. Had been helping to launch cobles, but had left his oilskins under a fishbox on Coble Landing.  Went off to get them after 3 cobles had been launched so that he wasn’t drenched to the skin. Put his oilskins on and bent his head against the wind and rain.  He couldn’t see because it was so dark, but he knew the way anyway – he’d done it often enough.  He didn’t hear them bringing the ‘JOAN MARY’ down, because of the wind, rain and the sea – and the others couldn’t see him either.   He was knocked down – but nobody saw – and the wheel ran over his head and he was dragged up to 20 yards before they realised what had happened. One of them ran to get Dr Vincent, but he was dead.  The verdict was ‘accidental death’, but the coroner recommended that they use a light when launching the cobles in the dark to avoid any such further accidents.  The inquest was held at the Police Station on Thursday evening.  He had a traditional Filey Fisherman’s funeral with a short service at home (85 Queen Street) and then on to Ebenezer Chapel. He was buried in St Oswald’s.   The two men who were launching the Joan Mary were Thomas & Robert Cammish, both of Queen St (49 & 70) – plus others.

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The tall house is No.85 Queen Street, photographed this afternoon. John’s grave has a kerb rather than a headstone and the inscriptions on such are often obscured by vegetation.

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In Loving Memory of my dear husband JOHN W.S. SAYERS

accidentally killed 18th Jan 1939 aged 62

Also of his dear wife ELIZABETH ANN died 27th Nov 1964 aged 87

‘Reunited            In God’s keeping’

John was a grandfather of William Johnson COLLING, one of the “Langleecrag Cousins” (see 15th November’s post). His somewhat unusual middle-name “Sumpton” had come to him from at least as far back as the late 17th century. His fourth great-grandfather, Henry SUMPTON, was born around 1685.

This post was written before I checked out Looking at Filey. I wrote about this accident on 18 January 2011.

I have created a page on the LaF Wiki for John and Elizabeth Ann’s Monumental Inscription record.

The Bradleys Burn

For most of my life,I have disliked my family name. Now that I know I’m not an ELSOM it doesn’t seem to pain me as much. It is only the name I have an issue with, not my folks to whom it is attached. They’re all good people. I’m OK with being a HESSEY, courtesy of the guy who ravished my 2 times great grandma, but sometimes as I wander among gravestones I see names I would like to try on for size. An old favourite, noticed on one of my first visits to St Oswald’s churchyard, is Bradley BURN. Sounds cool!?

Yesterday’s list of local anniversaries turned up Wilfred BURN, baptized in Bridlington in 1838 so I felt compelled to investigate. He proved to be the third child of a Bradley BURN born in 1806 who married Mary ORMOND in 1831. Wilfred was only three years old when his mother died and thirteen when he became an orphan. He married Eliza NEEDHAM and their four children in Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections were all born in Atwick, a place I have never set eyes upon though it is only 20 miles south of here by crow.

Wilfred’s older sister, Rebecca, married the Atwick Miller and had seven children. Her husband Robert BELL approved the name Thomas Bradley for their second child. Rebecca’s other younger brother was a Thomas Bradley too. He married Ann CAPPLEMAN in 1860 and the couple had just one child, a boy, before Thomas died. They named him Bradley and he is the one buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. I went this morning to photograph the headstone that remembers him and his wife Annie née JAMES.

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The stone is in the process of slowly falling over backward and the inscription is somewhat worn. It reads: –

In loving memory of ANNIE, wife of BRADLEY BURN, who died Oct. 8th, 1910 aged 45 years.

‘The memory of the just is blessed

& his servant shall see his face.’

Also, in loving memory of BRADLEY, husband of the above, died June 27th, 1927 aged 64.

‘At rest.’

Sixty-four seems to have been a good age for the Burns and most of the women they married. “Not long-livers”, my mother would have said.

I spent much of yesterday and this morning researching the families and getting totally wrapped up – even though nothing really remarkable seems to have happened to them.

Bradley junior did have the unpleasant experience of being a witness to the death of a workmate and near neighbour in March 1898. He was one of a gang of labourers tasked with taking down a building attached to the Station Hotel on Church Street. A wall collapsed unexpectedly and crushed the life out of George Featherstone  BAXTER,  aged 37. I will write about this unhappy accident when its anniversary comes round but here is an extract from the Bridlington Free Press report.

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Bradley BURN born 1862 FG&C | FST

Thomas Cappleman 1866 – 1890

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“Filey Tom” drowned from the coble Ellen in South Bay, Scarborough 127 years ago. Marie Belfitt wrote about the tragedy in 1988– Jack BELL, the coble’s owner, also lost his life – and I am going to share her account here in full with the kind permission of The Scarborough News. In seeking contact details at the newspaper to request permission I learned that Marie died aged 82 in March so I would like this post to be a remembrance of her too.

From The Scarborough Leader 11 August 1988

Fatal trip to collect gravel

It happened in Scarborough

By Marie Belfitt

IN THE days of sail and oar Scarborough’s coble fishermen had a risky occupation. Yet fishing with long lines and potting for crabs and lobsters were not as hazardous as their secondary occupation-that of fetching gravel from Carnelian Bay.

The enterprise was not a lucrative one but it was a means of making a living in times of hardship when loeal fishing was in the doldrums.

Most of the gravel was used for making and repairing Scarborough’s roads and it was also in demand for large construction works in the town-the building of Valley Bridge (1864-65) and the Aquarium 1875-77), for instance.

The gravel was thrown from the cobles onto the slipway at the junction of the West Pier and Sandside, then shovelled onto carts and taken to the Corporation’s weighbridge by Corporation workmen.

During the second half of the 19th century the price of gravel averaged 2/6d (12½p) a ton. A coble generally carried about three tons of gravel, so two men and a coble could earn 7/6d (37½p) a trip.

A coble loaded with gravel might have less than a foot of freeboard between gunwales and water, so a reasonably calm sea was necessary for the trips. Any waves that washed into the coble would soak the gravel and cause the coble to ride even lower in the sea.

In fact many Scarborough cobles were sunk when ferrying gravel from Carnelian (now known as Cornelian) Bay. Sometimes their occupants were drowned, as was the case when the Ellen sank, in 1890.

The inquest was held at the Town Hall, Castle Road, on Friday evening, 25 July, when Dr Scarth stated that the men’s death had been caused by drowning.

Race Adamson identified the bodies and told the jury that the Ellen was a sound coble which had not been overloaded. In his opinion it had been swamped with water because it had sailed into “the north-west stupe.”

It was a short inquest and the jury, faced with such practical  evidence,  could not do otherwise than return a verdict of “Accidentally Drowned”. Jack Bell’s funeral, attended by most of Scarborough’s fishing community, took place at Dean Road Cemetery the next day (26 July)

Early start

At about 4.30am on Thursday 24 July 1890 two Scarborough cobles set off to fetch gravel from Carnelian Bay. One coble, the Ellen, was occupied by its owner John (Jack) Bell, aged 27, of 1 Binnington’s Yard, Longwestgate, and his mate Thomas (Filey Tom) Cappleman, aged 24, of 6 Overton Terrace.

The other coble (name unknown) was occupied by owner Race Adamson of 2 Overton Terrace, and his mate, Robert Cammish of 1 Oxley’s Yard,

They rowed their cobles into Carnelian Bay just north of  Knipe Point, where there was a safe channel through the treacherous rocks and anchored several yards from the beach.

Cappleman and Cammish waded ashore and raked together a large heap of gravel near the water’s edge. Then Bell and Adamson rowed the cobles inland and the four men grafted hard to shovel them full of gravel.

Despite a lively breeze the sea was fairly calm, and the two cobles had an uneventful journey home. Then, about 300 yards from the East Pier, the Ellen encountered an extremely choppy sea.

Waves splashed into the coble at an alarming rate and it began to founder. Tom Cappleman yelled “We’re going down!” and within minutes the coble and its crew had disappeared from sight. Weighed down by their heavy seaboots, which might have been trapped in the gravel, the men did not surface.

Race Adamson’s coble was about 50 yards from the Ellen-too far away for him and Bob Cammish to give any assistance-and then their boat also began to ship water and was lucky to enter the Harbour safely.

By mid-day several local fishermen armed with grappling irons were out in cobles dragging the area where the Ellen had disappeared. Led by George Sellers of 28 Quay Street, they worked all afternoon, finding Tom Capple-man’s body about 5.30 pm some 400 yards from the East Pier. An hour later Jack Bell’s body was found in the same area.

Tom’s pedigree on Filey Genealogy & Connections is quite extensive. His forebears to second great grandparents are mostly gathered in and one line goes back to his seventh great grandfather John CAMMISH (born 1581).

The FamilySearch Tree isn’t as complete in the three generations before Tom but takes the POCKLEY/POCKLAY line back to Matthew (LQRN-CTR), born about 1663 in Flamborough. It doesn’t have Tom’s wife Betsy Ann ADAMSON (1865-1910) whereas FG&C notes her second marriage to Fred CAMPION in 1897.

Tom and Betsy married on 16 September 1888 and their daughter Hilda Mary’s birth was registered in the December Quarter of the following year. At the 1891 Census Hilda was with her mother and great grandmother Mary ANDERSON in Potter Lane, Scarborough; ten years later with Betsy, stepfather Fred CAMPION and her 2 year old cousin Richard ADAMSON in King Street, Scarborough. In 1911 she was 21 years old, single, a milliner working on her own account and head of a three person household in Longwestgate. She was looking after her widowed grandfather Race ADAMSON, who had been with her father when he died, and unmarried granduncle Thomas ANDERSON, both still working as fishermen aged 69 and 67 respectively.

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‘Anchor in Jesus’

In Loving Memory of TOM CAPPLEMAN (of Filey) the beloved husband

of BETSY ANN CAPPLEMAN who was drowned in the South Bay, Scarborough,

July 24th 1890 in his 24th year

‘Be ye also ready for in such an hour as

ye think not the son of man cometh’

Also BETSY ANN the beloved wife of FRED CAMPION

who died Nov 19th 1910 aged 45 years

‘Peace perfect peace’

Widow of TOM CAPPLEMAN

Inscription Sources: G752 St Oswald’s, Filey (Crimlisk Survey 1977) and No.894 page 130 (East Yorkshire Family History Society, Filey St Oswald’s Monumental Inscriptions Part One).