A Net Loss

The yawl Admiral Hope was built in Scarborough in 1859 by Robert SKELTON. Registered as SH79, her owners are listed in Captain Syd’s database as John SETTERINGTON and Newman ELDERS, farmers from Hunmanby and Filey. The only skipper named is Castle JENKINSON.

In 1867, while fishing for herring in the North Sea, Admiral Hope’s nets were cut by a passing ship and the loss, in today’s money, amounted to about £25,000.

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Admiral Hope was broken up in December 1880 and this may have prompted Castle to give the sea shortly afterwards. The census enumerator stated his occupation as “Fisherman” on 3 April 1881 but about three weeks later Castle stood before the magistrates at Bridlington Petty Sessions as a grocer, “charged with having a pair of small scales quarter of an ounce short”. He was fined 5 shillings plus 7 shillings costs, about £56 today. He died 10 months later, aged 59. His wife Mary followed him to the grave a year later. I put a photograph of their headstone on FamilySearch Tree today.

‘Pride of Filey’

The steam drifter SH215 Pride of Filey was built in 1907 in Portnockie on the Moray Firth. Originally named Emulator and registered in Banff (BF64), she was sold to Thomas WHITEHEAD of Scarborough on 29 November 1913. Her first three skippers were Isaac ROSS, William SAYERS, and J. W. CRAWFORD. The Admiralty requisitioned her for war service between 1914, and 1918 and in 1921 she was sold to Hull and renamed Cuhona (H307). (Source: Captain Sydney Smith’s database.)

On the 25th July 1914 one of her crew, Filey man Thomas William “Crow” JENKINSON, suffered a fractured skull while fishing. The vessel returned to port immediately but Thomas died in hospital before the end of the day. He was 50 years old, survived by his wife Frances Haxby née COWLING and eight of their ten children. You can find an as yet limited version of his pedigree on FamilySearch Tree.

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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.

Yawl ‘Dorothy’

Captain Syd has Dorothy in his database, registered as SH 142, and built in Scarborough by T. W. Walker in 1883. She was 63’7 long, lute stern, weighed 44 tons and worked out of Hull initially (H1348) before being brought “home” in 1891.  Her first Scarborough owner was fisherman William MENNELL. The vessel passed through several sets of co-owners and numerous skippers, though only five of the latter are listed. She was broken up in April 1905.

In late April 1902, she brought melancholy news to Scarborough that one of the six crew, John COLLING, had died in his sleep as Dorothy sailed from the Dogger to Grimsby with her catch.

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John was 28 years old and his widow, Elizabeth Ann née WILLIS, a year younger. Betsy Jenkinson Colling was born twelve or so hours after her father died. As she grew older she would surely have been told about Thomas Cammish Willis COLLING, a younger brother who had lived for just 5 months in 1900.

Elizabeth Ann did not marry again and died in 1961 aged 86.

Betsy married Thomas Robert CRIMLISK, known as “Tommy A” (to distinguish him from Tommies B and C), and lived to the equally grand age of 85.

I put John on FST a few weeks ago and added Elizabeth Ann and the children today. John was one of 13 children and, although two siblings died as infants, two others easily passed their biblical span, four reached their eighties and three celebrated their 90th birthdays.

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In loving memory of JOHN COLLING, the beloved husband of ELIZABETH A. COLLING, who died at sea on the yawl ‘Dorothy’, April 26 1902, aged 28 years.

‘They sleep in Jesus free from pain

Our loss though great to them is gain

Beloved by all who knew them here

And to their kindred none more dear

Yet hope through Jesu’s death is given

That soon we meet with them in Heaven.’

THOMAS C. W. COLLING their beloved child who died Dec 20 1901 aged 5 months.

Also the above named ELIZABETH ANN who died Jany. 20 1961 aged 86 years.

‘In Heavenly love abiding’

Scottow · Scotter

Mark SCOTTOW was baptized this day, 1854, in Runton, Norfolk. In August 1917 Mark SCOTTER was “killed by enemy submarine”.

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The origins of surnames are often fancifully explained on websites that hope to sell you parchments but I found one today that suggested SCOTTOW derived from a village of that name in Mark’s birth county. It also pointed out that there was a village in Lincolnshire called SCOTTER.

Ancestry has re-designed the surname distribution maps it freely provides online.

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Taken at face value, this map shows a Norfolk heartland and zero Scotters in Lincolnshire, so if one accepts the morphing of Mark’s surname in his lifetime, the Scottow theory looks good.

Mark was part of the Norfolk Scottow/Scotter diaspora to the Yorkshire coast and the above map doesn’t register the seven Scotter families in Filey in 1891. If you read the small print, though, you will see that Yorkshire has 42% of Scotter families in England and Wales in that census year. We need a more accurate map.

SCOTTOW is ranked =206 in Filey surnames with 23 males and 6 females.

SCOTTER is ranked =25 with 93 males and 85 females.

These are “unique individuals” in Kath’s Filey Genealogy & Connections database, not people counted several times in census returns.

I counted the birth registrations in the districts containing Scottow, Norfolk and Scotter, Lincolnshire in three decades, 1851-60, 1871-80 and 1901-1910, and in Scarborough Registration District.

There were no Scottows or Scotters registered in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire over those 30 years.

Thirteen Scottow births were registered in Erpingham, Norfolk in the first decade and none in the last.  There was one Scottow birth in Scarborough between 1851 and 1860 and three in the last decade.

For Scotter the count for the three decades in Erpingham was 5, 8 and 4.

For Scarborough, it was 4, 23 and 22.

This is a rather sketchy statistical analysis but it seems to confirm the growing acceptance of Scotter over the “original” Scottow – and the migration of Norfolk fisher families to the Yorkshire coast.

In 2011, David Scotter wrote three articles about the diaspora for Looking at Filey. You can learn more about Mark here.

Mark on FST.

‘Lucy’ Weathers the Storm

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Information supplied by Captain Syd informs us that Lucy was a 61-foot yawl with a lute stern built in Scarborough in 1878. Her first owner was William JENKINSON of Filey, almost certainly the father of Richard, named above. What eventually became of the vessel isn’t noted.

William JENKINSON is on FamilySearch Tree. Richard has a “guesswork wife” in Filey Genealogy & Connections and it appears that FST isn’t sure about her identity either. But the childless couple has a fine stone in the churchyard. I’ll try to confirm that Mary  Ann was a CRAWFORD when time permits.

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Challenger SH97 was a little smaller than Lucy, and older, built at Whitby in 1857. In 1889 her owners were Richard Williamson HARRISON and Thomas Storry HARRISON, both decorators of West Square, Scarborough. Richard Williamson became sole owner less than two months before Thomas Cammish WILLIS was drowned.

Thomas was alone at Challenger’s helm, about 32 miles east of Flamborough Head, when a huge wave broke over the vessel and swept him overboard. His seven or eight crewmates were presumably unaware of his disappearance for a short time but they would have been unable to save him had they realized immediately he had gone. Thomas left a widow and six children.

Ann KIRBY is another FG&C guesswork wife but I believe Kath chose well. She doesn’t give us the parents but FST has placed Ann as a child with the wrong family.

Two young KIRBY men from the Driffield area, apparently brothers Robert and William, married two COWLING women from Filey, Rachel and Margaret. The two Kirby-Cowling partnerships were near neighbours in Little Kelk when the 1861 Census was taken and paterfamilias Robert Kirby senior lived close by. Unluckily for confirmation purposes, Ann, aged 13, was enumerated that year in Queen Street, Filey, described as the niece of John JENKINSON and his wife Ann, née COWLING. Ann was sister to a Rachel and Margaret but FG&C has the latter marrying Thomas HUNTER.

I’m convinced William, and not Robert junior, was Ann’s father. I haven’t found a marriage record yet but the GRO Online Index and Census records combine to show he had five other children with Margaret COWLING, and the last was named  John Cowling KIRBY, which seems to be a clincher.

Ann and her sister Mary are only enumerated together with William and Margaret in 1851. Mary didn’t marry and she was living with Ann and Thomas Cammish WILLIS in 1891, and with widow Ann and unmarried son David WILLIS in 1911.

All this, of course, is by the by. A man died before his time and six children lost their dad. The eldest, Elizabeth Ann, was then 19 and the youngest, Frances Mary, just three.

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In Loving Memory of our dear mother and father, ANN WILLIS, wife of

THOMAS C. WILLIS, who died May 4 1917, aged 69 years.

Also of the above THOMAS C. WILLIS who was lost at sea,

February 22 1893, aged 47 years.

‘Be ye also ready’

Also, MARY KIRBY, sister of the above, died September 30 1927, aged 78 years.

Also of DAVID WILLIS, their son, died 12 Sep 1944 aged 61.

‘In Heavenly love abiding’

A Loving Wife

Extract from Household Words, Charles Dickens

The sea-side churchyard is a strange witness of the perilous life of the mariner and the fisherman. It is only by a walk in it that we acquire a clear conception of the real nature of that mode of livelihood which such hundreds of thousands, all round these islands, embrace, as a choice or a necessity. We resort to pleasant places in the summer time, and see the great ocean glittering and rolling in playful majesty, and our hearts leap at the sublime spectacle.

We see white sails gleaming on its bosom, and steamers trailing their long clouds of smoke after them, as they busily walk the waters, bearing joyous passengers to many a new scene. We meet the hardy blue-cloth sons of ocean, on the beach and the cliff; see them pushing off their boats for a day’s fishing, or coming in in the early morning with their well-laden yawls and cobbles, and the sea and its people assume to us a holiday sort of aspect, in which the labour, the watching, the long endurance of cold, the peril and the death are concealed in the picturesque of the scenery, and the frank and calm bearing of the actors themselves.

What a different thing is even a fisherman’s life when contemplated as a whole; when we take in the winter and the storm to complete the picture of his existence! But, as few of us can do this in reality, if we wish to know the actualities of a sea-faring life, we may get a very fair idea of them in any seaside churchyard.

We lately took a survey of two such on the Yorkshire coast, and the notes which we there and then jotted down will afford some notion of the strange and touching records of such a place. Our first visit was to the churchyard of Filey, a mere village, well known to thousands of summer tourists for the noble extent of its sands, and the stern magnificence of its so-called bridge, or promontory of savage rocks running far into the sea, on which you may walk, at low-water; but which, with the advancing tide, becomes savagely grand, from the fury with which the ocean breaks over it.

In tempestuous weather this bridge is truly a bridge of sighs to mariners, and many a noble ship has been dashed to pieces upon it.

One of the first headstones which catches your eye in the little quiet churchyard of Filey bears witness to the terrors of the bridge. – “In memory of Richard Richardson, who was unfortunately drowned December 27th, 1799, aged forty-eight years :-

“By sudden wind and boisterous sea
The Lord did take my life from me;

But He to shore my body brought –
Found by my wife, who for it sought.
And here it rests in mother clay,
Until the Resurrection day.

“Also of Elizabeth, wife of the above, who died January 19th, 1833, aged eighty-nine.”

This fisherman was lost on the bridge, and his wife sought his body on the bridge for eleven weeks. She was possessed with an immoveable persuasion that there some day she should find him. All through that winter, from day to day, till late in March, she followed the receding tide, and with an earnest eye explored every ledge and crevice of the rocks, every inch of the wild chaos of huge stones that storms had hurled upon the bridge, and every wilderness of slippery and tangling sea-weed.

It was in vain that her neighbours told her that it was hopeless; that they assured her that she would get her death from cold; every day the solitary watcher might be seen, reckless of wind, or storm, or frost; and, at length, she did find the corpse of her husband, and saw it consigned to “mother clay.” She must have had a frame as hardy as her will and strong as her affections, for she survived this strange vigil of conjugal love thirty-four years, and to the age of nearly ninety.

The complete article can be read on the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre website.

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The photograph is difficult to read but you can just make out the word “Child” at the base of the stone. In a note to Richard’s record in Filey Genealogy & Connections, Kath writes:-

He had been drowned from his coble at Christmas.  The story goes that his widow searched the Brigg for his body for 13 weeks in a terribly depressed state until she found him 13 weeks later.  Her baby was apparently neglected and left to the family but it too is supposed to have died.

I have found no record of a baby Richardson being buried around that time.

Two RICHARDSON children were baptized at St Oswald’s in the four years between Richard’s marriage to Elizabeth and his death but both Ann and Marianne were the children of John and Mary (maiden surname not known).

Elizabeth, Richard, and his parents are on the FamilySearch Tree.