Another Man’s Wife


I initially warmed to the Reverend William when I discovered he’d been baptised at Mappleton Church, a mile or so north of his birthplace in Cowden. My parents had a caravan (of sorts) on the Mill Field at Mappleton and, when on holiday there, I walked past the church several times a day on the way to and from the beach. It seems neat that he should end his days in Filey, as I am likely to do.

I also learned that his grandfather had been one of William CLOWES’ first converts in my hometown, Hull in the 1820s. I attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Stoneferry as a child and, as a young man, went up to Mow Cop one wild, windy night after I learned of the early Ranters’ Meetings there.

I was surprised to find William had married three times – and taken aback when I looked for him on FamilySearch Tree and saw him hitched to a fourth woman, Elizabeth Ann ALSTON.

William’s birth family seemed to be all present and correct and at the time of the 1901 census, he was living only eight miles away from Elizabeth Ann and the cotton spinning William Moore.

“Our” William was in Wigan, mourning the death of his first wife Annie Elizabeth COWAN about six months earlier.  The other William and Elizabeth Ann were childless in Chorley.

Here is a newspaper report of the wedding of William and Annie Elizabeth just five years earlier.


Ten years later the Reverend was staying with his younger brother, James, in Hull. With him were second wife Margaret FISHER and their surviving child, William Henry, aged three. Margaret died about 18 months later, in West Derby – where William married Catherine NICHOLSON in the second quarter of 1916. They moved to Filey in 1919 and each died aged 78, William in 1944 and Catherine in 1955. Their last home, “Hillston”, was in Belle Vue Crescent.

There are photographs of William and Catherine, and more information, here.

Frederick II and Prince Eugene

William LORRIMAN and Sarah BUCKLE named their third son Frederick but the little chap only just reached his first birthday. So, four years later, they named their fifth son Frederick. At the turn of the century, Fred faced a portrait studio’s camera and sent a number of the resulting cartes-de-visite to relatives, of which at least one survives.

Photographer unknown, courtesy Brenda Pritchard

As a young man, he seems to have chosen to become a career sailor in the Royal Navy, retiring, owing to ill-health, near the end of the First World War. One of the sources offering information about his service says he died “of disease”. There is no indication that he succumbed to the Influenza Pandemic, which didn’t really get a hold in continental Europe until shortly after his death. Fred is buried in Gillingham, not far from the family home in Chatham.

Grave of Frederick Lorriman_s

Frederick’s final posting had been to HMS Prince Eugene, a Lord Clive Class Monitor launched in 1915.

Mary Rebecca married again about nine years after Fred’s death, when their daughter Ivy would have been 19, and died aged 72 in 1953.

Find Fred on FamilySearch Tree.



A Child, Poisoned

Listmaking duties yesterday brought this family unit to my attention. Thanks to the kindness of a LORRIMANdescendants, I was already familiar with some of the people and sensed immediately that there was something amiss with the picture presented by FamilySearch Tree.

FST_LorrimanBuckleThe FST system wasn’t concerned that “Sarah Duckells” was 48 years old when she gave birth to Harry and one research suggestion was to look for a missing child between Frederick and Sarah A. Hardly any of the many sources available online have been co-opted to build this family.  Just two or three of them, well-chosen, would transform the family. Father William, for instance, married Sarah BUCKLE in the summer of 1859 and died twenty years later, not long after the birth of Frederick.. Sarah’s maiden surname is given as Buckle for each of her eight children in the GRO Index. (Missing from the family, left, is Charles, born in the third quarter of 1874.) The 1891 census places the family in Albion Place, Filey and clearly indicates that Sarah A, Annie and Harry are grandchildren of widow Sarah. She told the enumerator they had been born in Filey but a careful search of the GRO Births Index indicates that the girls are sisters, born in York, to Sarah Buckle’s son William LORRIMAN and Sarah Ann ROBSON. I haven’t been able to find a birth registration for Harry (or Henry) so, until evidence to the contrary is discovered, will consider him to be the brother of the two girls.

Sarah Ann ROBSON married William LORRIMAN in York, in early June 1883. The birth of their first child, Sarah Ann, was registered the following quarter. Young Sarah joined a half-brother, George Arthur ROBSON, who had been accepted by William as his own.

Towards the end of April 1884, when he was three years old, George took advantage of his mother’s fleeting absence (to talk to a neighbour) and drank the contents of a medicine bottle she had left in the middle of the kitchen table. It isn’t clear from a local newspaper report of the coroner’s inquest what ailed the mother. The bottle, however, contained strychnine in the smallest of concentrations – but enough to kill a toddler. Little George staggered into the backyard, fell over and damaged a leg. It was thought initially that this was his only injury but he began to spasm. Someone ran for a doctor who arrived quickly, sensed the damage was internal and gave the lad emetics. These did not help, so the doctor dashed back to the surgery to get something that would control the spasms. When he returned, the child was dead.

Dr Hill, who supplied the medicine, had not given the mother special instructions about the danger the liquid would pose to a child. It contained eight doses, of which Sarah Ann had taken three. One dose would have been enough to kill George.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death by poisoning”, and the Coroner, at their request, impressed upon Mr Hill the desirability of cautioning patients, particularly when young children are about, to whom he prescribed medicine that contained poisonous ingredients.

Yorkshire Gazette, 3 May 1884

Learn how strychnine was once thought to be good for you (in very small doses) here.

I don’t know what became of George’s half-brother, Harry. Sarah Ann, pictured below, married James MILNER in Tadcaster in 1905 and bore him four children. James died young and Sarah raised the children mostly on her own.

Photo courtesy of Rose Toye

Annie married Alfred Henry Pritchard, an Essex man, in 1912. They raised their small family in Canada.


Annie and Alfred with children Gladys, William and baby Frederick (known by the family as James and the father of Brenda Pritchard, who donated the photo to Looking at Filey).

Annie and Alfred are buried in the small town of Kars, Ontario.

Pritchard Gravestone

I will add to the World Tree as soon as I can. Meanwhile, find “Sarah DUCKELLS” here.

Hannah Gets Her Fingers Burned

I made a list of daily tasks a few days ago to encourage me to keep the churchyard project moving. Work on the headstones is eating into story research time so there are a couple of tasks that may provide some research-lite opportunities.

Find one News Story OR a portrait photo among the donations to the old Looking at Filey blog.

Another task is to put one headstone photograph on FamilySearch Tree each day.

The “memory” posted today recalls David GOUNDRILL (1869 – 1941), his wife Mary née SCALES and their daughter Hannah Margaret.


The Goundrill family was not well represented on FST but boosting its presence was fairly straightforward. Mary’s forebears were numerous but included dozens who, as far as I could tell, were not related to her at all. The FST “system” was the main culprit but there is no excuse allowing infant males to sire children or women to keep producing offspring for 90 years or more.

Hannah Margaret didn’t marry and died in 1970 aged 65. Her life was not without incident.


About four years later Hannah was living with her parents in Mariner’s Terrace, working as a “Ships Chandlers Secretary” (source: 1939 Register).

The man responsible for Hannah’s terrifying and perhaps embarrassing experience, ‘Laffy’ junior, was probably Thomas JENKINSON, born 1894. He isn’t on the World Tree yet but you can find ‘Laffy’ senior here.

Hannah on FST.

Nathan the Indefatigable

Nathan was the eighth of nine children born in Filey to John Chinery STOCKDALE and Mary WHITTLES. I mentioned his older sister, Rachel, a servant at St Nicholas House, a couple of days ago.

In 1861, aged 20, Nathan’s occupation was given as Cordwainer, his father’s trade. Shortly afterwards, he left the family home in Queen Street, Filey and moved to York, where he married Mary Ann HARDACRE at the end of 1864. I don’t know how long he continued making shoes for a living but in 1877 he was one of 179 applicants for the job of school attendance officer in the town. He was appointed, together with Thomas THORNTON, on a salary of £80 per annum, (about £6,500 now).

At the census four years later he was still in the post but in 1891 he described himself as an insurance agent. At the age of 60, in 1901, he was working as a School Board Officer.

Nathan’s day work with children stretched into many evenings. A newspaper report in 1883, about the York Temperance Society Sale of Work at the Victoria Hall, mentions a concert given by the Templar Choir…

…under the conductorship of Mr. Nathan Stockdale, and the performance of the juvenile songsters was much appreciated by the visitors.

Nathan was a longstanding member of the “Good Intent” Lodge of the National Independent Order of Oddfellows, Pride of York District, and down the years put his musical interests and expertise to good use. An October 1896 description of a concert in the Good Templars’ Hall, St Saviourgate, says …

The hall was filled with an appreciative audience, and the handsome lodge banner was conspicuously hung at the end of the hall. Bro. Nathan Stockdale, the hard-working secretary, had organized a creditable display of local talent…

Reporting on an N.I.O.O.F concert two years earlier the Yorkshire Gazette’s scribe had concluded…

The whole arrangements reflected the greatest credit on the indefatigable secretary, Mr Nathan Stockdale, and “Good Intent” owes him a deep debt of gratitude for all the arduous work he has done for the benefit and extension of the club.

Nathan died in York in September 1908, at the age of 68. I’m not absolutely sure, but I think he was brought back to Filey for burial next to other Stockdales. There’s a handsome gravestone in St Oswald’s churchyard (photographed this afternoon)…


Find Nathan with parents and siblings on FamilySearch Tree.

Random Connections

I made an attempt to find Herbert SIDNEY, painter, on the FamilySearch Tree without immediate success.  So I turned instead to another of his subjects, John Woodall WOODALL, a Scarborian.

29_20180929WoodhallHousel2_6mWhen I took the photo of a Scarborough wave on Saturday, I had no idea that the former Woodall residence was in the frame. The family sold St Nicholas House to the Corporation in 1898 and it still functions as the Town Hall.

John WOODALL (1801 – 1879) married Mary Eleanor WOODALL, which explains why they gave their firstborn two helpings of the family name.

I found young John on FST as a single man. This seemed an unlikely state for a wealthy banker. The Sidney portrait reveals a fine looking fellow in what would prove to be his last year or two.

Photo credit: Scarborough Museums Trust

I was surprised by the uniform and regalia but the 1901 census explains – giving his occupation as “Retired Banker, JP, and Hon Lt RNR” (Royal Navy Reserve). The salty side of his life took him beyond the defence of the realm (or expansion of empire), encompassing a serious concern with the fishing industry. He must have been one of the first men of some power and influence to question the dangers that trawlers posed to the nation’s food stocks. He was, in this respect at least, ahead of his time and would be bitterly disappointed with what has been done to our oceans.

An article by Paul and Anne and Paul Bayliss reproduced on the Scarborough Maritime Heritage website gives more details of his activities at sea.

He may have retired from public life in 1892 because of ill health but John was hale and hearty enough to woo the Widow COWPLAND and marry her in 1896. Louisa Catherine née CALVERT was about 13 years his junior and gave him two adult step-children, aged 29 and 17. The terms of John’s will suggest that he loved his wife and admired her children.


If £800 a year makes you think Louisa had to scrape by – it is about £80,000 in today’s loot. (Various historic  money value calculators may give different amounts.)

Find John W W on FamilySearch Tree.

In 1871, one of the ten servants living in at St Nicholas House was Rachel STOCKDALE, a 38-year-old single woman born in Filey. Her parents and some siblings are on FST but disconnected from each other. I’ll try to unite them over the next few days.

Filey for Health

George Lewis BATLEY was living with his parents in the spring of 1871 and working as a “solicitor, articled clerk”, aged 17. His father, Joseph, was undoubtedly giving him every encouragement and useful instruction from his lofty position as “solicitor, Town Clerk of Huddersfield”.

Ten years later George was still living at Vernon House, with parents, seven siblings, maternal grandmother, Hannah TOWNEND, and four domestic servants. He was now established as a solicitor.

He married Julia Pearson CROSLAND early the following year, 1882, and when the next census was taken was head of a large household in Gledholt Road, Huddersfield. With him, his wife and their two children were Uncle John and Aunt Mary BATLEY and four servants.

The census sometimes records disabilities and illnesses but all seems to be well with the Batleys in 1891.

On 19 August 1893, the Huddersfield Chronicle reported…

The announcement in Monday morning’s Daily Chronicle, recording the death of Mr. George Lewis Batley, will be perused with  regret by our readers. For some time the deceased gentleman has been in failing health, and during the last few months he has resided at Filey, where he died on Friday week, at the early age of 39. Mr. Batley was the eldest son of the late Mr. Joseph Batley, the first Town Clerk of Huddersfield. He served his articles with his father, under whom he received a sound legal training, and after admission as a solicitor he became a member of the firm of Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley, of which his father was at one time a senior partner. He acted as a deputy town clerk on several occasions, and during the interregnum between his father’s death and the appointment of a successor he performed the duties of this responsible office. Both in advocacy and conveyancing Mr. Lewis Batley stood high in repute as a lawyer…

I haven’t been able to find a likeness of George online but after his father’s death a public subscription raised the money for a portrait of Joseph in oils, painted from photographs by Herbert SIDNEY (1858-1923). At a ceremony in the Town Hall, the Mayor presented the Batley Memorial Portrait to George, who gave fulsome thanks and then begged that it be taken back to be put on public display. The Mayor then declared their business was not complete because he had a second, smaller portrait of Joseph executed by Mr. Sidney that George accepted for the family.

Image: Kirklees Museums and Galleries

While searching online for material that might present George in less formal settings I happened upon something I found “romantic”.

I mentioned above that George resided in Gledholt Road, Huddersfield. His wife’s family had lived in Gledholt for many years. Her father, Thomas Pearson CROSLAND, M.P. died in 1868 and at the 1881 census, the family home in Gledholt Lane was headed by eldest daughter Ada Pearson and four of his other children, including unmarried Julia, aged 24. When the enumerator called, Julia may have been planning her marriage the following year. A snippet from a local newspaper tantalises with the possibility that it may not have been a whirlwind romance.

For a number of years, the Huddersfield “volunteers” mustered annually on the Rifle Field, Greenhead Road, less than half a mile from the Crosland place. After the young men had impressed the civilian populace with their military expertise, the day would end with a banquet. The newspaper listed those from the upper classes who attended and I noticed George and Julia in the 1876 gathering.


(This is just a slice of a much longer report.)

George’s children were aged ten and five when the attempt to restore his health in Filey failed. His widow waited ten years before marrying again. Frederick George OLDMAN was fifteen years her junior, a clerk in holy orders. I haven’t attempted to discover more about but have placed him on the FamilySearch Tree. Click on the inverted caret to switch to George Lewis and find his headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard as a “Memory”.