The Brothers Philliskirk

George, named after his father and grandfather, was born in 1800. Harrison, six years later, took the surname of his paternal grandmother and Davison, from 1809, would carry his mother’s family name until his death.

All three were born in Bridlington, or that part known as Bridlington Quay, and George died in the town when he was 25 years old. Davison, the youngest of the three, married first, in Bridlington in April 1832. His bride was a Filey woman, Mary JENKINSON, and a few months later Harrison also married a Filonian, Mary WYVILL, in St Oswald’s Church. This second Mary was an aunt to the brothers James and Crompton Wyvill who married Jane WATKINSON (Monday and Tuesday’s posts).

Both marriages were long but neither was blessed with children.

Davison became a master saddler but then branched into property, multi-tasking as an estate agent. It seems he saw an opportunity when “New Filey” was established in the late 1850s. In 1861 he was Secretary to the York City and County Bank, encouraging people to buy shares in the Filey Public Bath and Saloon Company.

The many improvements recently carried out in FILEY, and particularly in the Hotels and Lodging Houses, have induced a much larger number of Families to visit the place during the Season than could at one time have been anticipated, and Filey has now become one of the most fashionable Watering Places on the Yorkshire Coast.

As a further attraction, and to comply with the wishes of many of the Visitors, some of whom have been compelled to leave the place in consequence of the want of such accommodation, it has been decided to erect suitable BATHS in Filey, and for this purpose a Company has been formed and registered under the “Joint Stock Companies’ Limited Liability Acts.”

The Building, which is now in the course of erection, upon a most eligible site on the Undercliff, contains Hot, Cold, Shower and Vapour BATHS; a SALOON and READING ROOM, and a suitable Dwelling for the Manager, and will, it is expected, be completed in the month of July next.

Nearly two-thirds of the shares have already been taken, and Forms of Application for the remainder may be had on application to

Mr. DAVISON PHILLISKIRK

Filey, June, 1861; Secretary, Filey

N.B. Bathing Machines in connection with the above establishment.

This building became an important focus of resort and all year round town social life and is currently nearing the completion of refurbishment as luxury apartments. I wonder how much Ackworth House cost to build 157 years ago.

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Photographed this morning.

Harrison worked variously as a painter, plumber, glazier and decorator, employing five or six workers (“men and boys”).

Both brothers were ardent Wesleyans and trustees when the foundation stones were laid for the “new gothic chapel” in May 1876. Davison had made a substantial contribution to the cost of the building but was too ill to attend the ceremony and died about five weeks later.

Harrison lived on for another thirteen years and when his turn came he was laid to rest next to his brother.

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Photographed this morning.

There is a less tangible memorial to the esteem in which Harrison was held. Linen draper and Filey Postmaster William STORY gave two of his children the middle name Philliskirk. Ann died in infancy but George would cross the Atlantic and make it into the Canadian Dictionary of National Biography. His short life in the service of God is considered on Faded Genes.

There is work still to be done on the Shared Tree but you can find the three Philliskirk brothers here. There are photographs of George Philliskirk Story and his wife here.