On the 5th of November 1852, Flamborough men John BAILEY, John MAJOR and George STEPHENSON went to sea “in pursuit of their calling”. Their fishing coble was turned over by the waves and all three drowned, “each leaving a widow to lament their bereavement”.
John Major’s body was soon recovered and laid to rest on the 7th. Jane, his widow, wasn’t a stranger to the graveyard.
On his last day, John could not have known he would become a father again. His daughter, Jane, was born the following year, in July.
Widow Jane had been a minor when she married but signed the register with a neat hand (after a false start).
In 1861 she is living in Ship Inn Yard, Flamborough, with three children – Ann (12), William (10) and Jane (7). At the same address ten years later, young Jane is absent on census night, and William, now 20, is supporting the family by fishing. He marries two years later and sets up his own household. The enumerator in 1881 finds Jane in South Dalton, about thirty miles from Flamborough, working as a housekeeper to Henry Llewellyn CHOWEN, a single man, aged 38, and a land agent. He also employs Jane ELLERBY, widow Jane’s 14-year-old granddaughter as a servant. Jane the Elder is still Henry’s housekeeper in 1891. I don’t know if she stayed in post until his death in 1900 but at census the following year she is back in Flamborough with son William, a fish merchant now and a widower. It must have been a comfortable home because William’s three unmarried sons are all working and his daughter, yet another Jane, keeps house.
The bodies of John Major’s drowned companions are not recovered for a week or more. John BAILEY is buried on 16 November and George STEPHENSON two days later.
John married Frances HUNTER in 1849 and the couple had one son before death intervened. Frances is with 10-year-old William Hunter Bailey in Mosey’s Yard, Filey in 1861 but she dies before the next census, aged 50. She is buried somewhere in St Oswald’s churchyard but her headstone has been relocated to the north wall. You can find a photo of it as a memory on the Shared Tree.
Alice COCKCROFT married George in 1850 and only had time to have one child with him, a daughter, Mary. Shortly before she buried her husband she had seen her two sisters laid to rest, Esther in August aged 17 and Hannah in September aged 26. Alice and Hannah’s husband George BIELBY, bereft and both with infant daughters to raise, moved in together. They didn’t marry and it is nobody’s business whether the arrangement ever had a romantic dimension. Six successive census enumerators from 1861 to 1911 noted Alice’s status as George’s housekeeper – and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Find Alice on the Shared Tree.
Bird 79 · Chiffchaff
26 November 1925: In newspaper reports alerting readers to the disappearance of the steam drifter Research off Flamborough Head, John Robert JENKINSON was referred to as ‘Jack Sleddie’ or ‘Jack Slade’. The Leeds Mercury explained the variant name…
…a characteristic of Filey fishermen, being that all of them and their families are known by a by name.
The Mercury’s Own Correspondent went on to say of Jack…
[he] has saved lives on several occasions at the risk of his own, jumping overboard more than once to rescue men who have been swept off by a wave.
The fear on this day was that Jack had drowned, with two of his sons, two sons in law and two distant cousins. Eight Filey Men in Lost Boat.
There was some confusion initially. The storm that caused the disappearance of Research sank the Scottish boat Ardilley, but its crew was rescued “at the last gasp” by the trawler Beryl and taken safely to Hull.
Confirmation that the fishermen on Research had perished came the next day when objects from the vessel were pulled from the sea at Hornsea. They included a couple of bits of wood, one bearing the letter ‘Y’ and the other ‘42’. Built in 1902, Research had previously been registered at Lowestoft, Peterhead and North Shields. Although a recent arrival to Scarborough, she still carried her Great Yarmouth registration mark, YH421.
Here is the Hull Daily Mail report on the 26th.
FILEY CREW MISSING
FEARED LINK WITH FLAMBOROUGH DISASTER
SCARBOROUGH, Thursday – There is no news up to this afternoon of the steam drifter, Research, which went out of Scarborough, in company with the steam drifter, Boy Hector, on Tuesday night at 11 o’clock, and ostensibly was fishing off Flamborough Head on Wednesday morning, when the fierce gale arose.
There are now grave fears that the Research was the boat that was seen to go down off Flamborough Head, but there is no confirmation as yet.
The Research, which is one of the oldest drifters sailing out of Scarborough, was manned by a Filey crew, under the charge of William Cammish, of Scarborough, as follows:
John Robert Jenkinson, better known as Jack Sleddie;
Robert and George Jenkinson (his sons);
George Cammish and William Colley (sons in law of J. R. Jenkinson);
Ted Colley, and
Ted and George Jenkinson (two brothers, younger members of the family).
The engineer is a North Shields man.
The owners of the vessel are Messrs. T. Melrose and sons Ltd, North Shields, but she is run out of Scarborough under the management of the Filey Utd. Steam Trawling Company Ltd.
VAIN SEARCH ON THE ROCKS
Nothing to trace the identity of the steam drifter which was sunk off Flamborough Head in Wednesday’s storm is yet available (wires the “Mail” Flamborough correspondent).
Searchers have been on the rocks all night, but nothing has been found.
A party of Filey fishermen have just visited Flamborough to gain a description of the craft, as a Filey crew – skipper Jenkinson, his two sons and another six members of the crew are missing.
The reporter got a couple of the crew names wrong. There wasn’t a George Cammish or William Colley aboard. Other newspapers published mangled family names. The most accurate in the first couple of days was a Shields newspaper but they named the only man who wasn’t from Filey as “engineer Southern”, a married man with five children.
Three headstones in St Oswald’s churchyard bear the steam drifter’s name.
Joseph Edward COLLEY was the Mate on Research and not related to the Jenkinsons. Named in some reports as skipper, William Cappleman CAMMISH is remembered on his mother’s stone. She had died nine years earlier. Not surprisingly, the grave of Jane Baxter Crimlisk, Jack Sled’s daughter, remembers most of the drowned fishermen.
In loving memory of JANE B. CRIMLISK, born 1885, died Sep 20 1931.
Also of her husband GEORGE J. CRIMLISK, born 1885, and her father and brothers, JOHN R. JENKINSON born 1862, ROBERT JENKINSON born 1890, GEORGE F.B. JENKINSON born 1897, WILLIAM C. CAMMISH born 1895, all drowned in the ‘Research’ disaster, Nov 25 1925.
JAMES H.N. JENKINSON, born 1892, lost at sea 1911
‘Loved in life, treasured
Also of FANNY ELIZABETH, widow of JOHN ROBERT JENKINSON, died March 27 1939, aged 75.
‘She suffered much, but murmured not’
Also of LILLIAN her daughter, widow of WM. C. CAMMISH, died Aug 6th 1949, aged 54.
‘Reunited in Heavenly love’
MATTHEW JENKINSON, died in infancy.
This man, photographed in a group outside the Ebenezer Chapel between 1910 and 1913, is named as “J. Sled” in an album kindly loaned to me some years ago by Ann Wilkie (WILLIS). He would have been about 50-years-old. Photographer: Rev Stanwell.)
Research is constantly remembered on Filey Promenade.
Sarah was the middle child of five born in Flamborough to Tanton CHADWICK and Mary STEPHENSON. When she was eight years old, her father left home one day to fish and didn’t return.
BRIDLINGTON: – On Monday, the body of Tanton Chadwick, one of the fishermen who was missing from Flamborough in the late gale, was washed ashore at Filey bay, near the lighthouse.
Yorkshire Gazette, 18 October 1851.
Tanton was buried in Flamborough St Oswald’s churchyard the following day.
Ten years later Sarah was working in Driffield as a housemaid to Anna Stephenson, a grocer/draper recently widowed (at just 24) and possibly a relative. I don’t know how Sarah met fisherman William SAYERS, but she married him at Filey St Oswald’s in November 1865.
In January 1877, while pregnant with her fifth child, Sarah received news that two of her brothers had drowned.
Baby Susannah would die on the fourth anniversary of the deaths of her uncles. She was old enough to have been excited about welcoming a baby brother into the world. The birth of Thomas was registered in the same quarter as Susannah’s death, but he lived for just nineteen months.
The gales of early March 1883 took the lives of four Filey men, one of them Sarah’s husband.
(Horatio WILKINSON and George SCOTTER were the other two fishermen lost on 6 March.)
William’s headstone in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard has a fine carving depicting a yawl.
Denison (SH88) survived the beaching at Spurn. Built in Rye in 1859, it had a long working life before being wrecked at Saltburn on 4 August 1904.
In 1911, widow Sarah was living in Hope Street with her son William, byname “Ginger Billy”, daughter in law Elizabeth née JAMES and six grandchildren. She had ten more years ahead of her, dying at Seadale in November 1921, aged 78.
I did a few hours of research into the Chadwick family of Flamborough before discovering they were well represented on the Shared Tree.
It isn’t a simple matter to marry Sarah off to William. As the son of yesterday’s fisherman, the union might raise the ghost of the shoemaker. I have messaged a contributor to the pedigree of William Benjamin SAYER and maybe the “issues” will soon be resolved. I will add a photo of William and Sarah’s headstone to FST as soon as I can.
Some mornings I set out on my sea of data to see where the breezes take me. The storm of March 1883 blew up and I think it will take a few days to figure the human consequences. I have been this way before. Last year I introduced the son of the skipper of the yawl Integrity – Jacky Windy – and suggested readers go to the old Looking at Filey blog for an account of the Storm. When I provided the link to the British Library Web Archive back then it worked. About a month ago I discovered that the functionality had been compromised. Quite why the British Library summarily ended “Open Access” remains a mystery. I was promised a licence to give REDUX readers access to old stuff, but it hasn’t reached me yet. I’ll give it a few more days.
Integrity, a 33-ton yawl with a lute stern, was built by William SMITH in Scarborough in 1857. She went to Hull and was registered as H1207. Henry WYRILL bought her in 1881 and brought her back to Scarborough, registering her as SH159. Nicholas CAMMISH skippered initially but it was the unfortunate Joseph WINSHIP who went down with her and four crew in the ’83 March storm. It could have been a tragedy for two other families. Yawls sometimes took along a cook, and a boy whose main utility, it seems, was to take the blame for anything that went wrong.)
A syndicated news item named the drowned fishermen.
“R. Wilkinson” was Horatio, a native of Sussex. (His first name was mangled into “Corattro” by a transcriber of the 1881 census.) Today, I’ll just give the link to George SCOTTER on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. The newspaper was correct in stating he had six children. There are currently nine on FST. Two died before their father drowned and one, Robert born 1877, is a cuckoo in the nest.
In loving memory of ELIZABETH SCOTTER, who died December 9th, 1899, aged 50 years.
‘God calls on me I must attend
Death takes me from my bosom friends
He hath released me from my pain
In Heaven oh may we meet again’
Also, of GEORGE SCOTTER husband of the above, who was lost at sea March 6th, 1883, aged 37 years.
‘He’s gone the one we loved so dear
To his eternal rest
He’s gone to Heaven, we have no fear
To be forever blest’
Alice COCKCROFT was one of the three widows left to “lament their bereavement” following the deaths of their husbands in November 1852. She was well practised in lamentation.
On the 29th August that year, her younger sister Esther had been laid to rest, aged 17. Ten days later, her elder sister Hannah was buried.
Alice’s daughter Mary was about 9 months old at this time and her niece, Sarah Ann BIELBY, had recently celebrated her first birthday. There may not have been much discussion before the bereft man and woman, each with an infant to raise, chose to live together. (They would be inseparable for about fifty years.)
The 1861 census found Alice keeping house for George Bielby and Sarah Ann in Foxroyd Yard, Flamborough. (Mary was with grandmother Sarah Cockroft in South Street.) Ten years later the two girls, now 19, were in Front Street, Flamborough, with their “single parents”.
Mary Stephenson flew the unusual but practical nest first, in 1874, to marry William Joseph GARDINER. The couple moved to Hull and lived in Terry Street for about forty years – without the “blessing” of children.
Sarah Ann married Richard Acklam BAYES in September 1876 and had four children, three girls and a boy who would play cricket for Yorkshire.
George William Bayes, as an amateur in a summer sport, would almost certainly not have given up his job as a fish buyer, or his home in Flamborough. In 1933 he made a short film of fishermen at North Landing and “the climmers” on the headland. You can watch it here. George William was not related by blood to George Stephenson but it would be surprising if he hadn’t been told stories about his “granduncle”.
I have made some connections on the FamilySearchTree that help to form a picture of the future denied to George Stephenson. I am unable to present his forebears because there are problems to be resolved.
I have found Flamborough Fishing Families to be a reliable online resource but in this instance, it doesn’t agree with FST.
FFF indicates that George’s parents are George and Mary née CHADWICK. I think this is correct.
FST marries George, son of George and Mary, to a “Mrs Stephenson”, with daughters born in 1857 and 1862. I think Mrs S is Jane DANBY, of North Frodingham. She married George there and they raised their family in Roos. Just to confuse matters further, FFF has the George who went to Roos marrying “Elizabeth”.
Of the three men who drowned in 1852, two families (Bailey and Major) have representatives buried or remembered in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard. If I find Flamborough Stephenson connections to Filey I may return to the difficulties with George senior and junior.
William Hunter BAILEY was two years old when his father failed to return home.
John BAILEY was 28-years old, George STEPHENSON 27 and John MAJOR 35. Their bodies must have been recovered because their deaths were registered locally, but I have only found a burial record for John Major.
William and his mother moved the few miles to Filey, where Frances died in August 1870. A few months later William married Elizabeth CRAWFORD. At the 1871 census, the couple was enumerated in Mosey’s Yard and ten years later in Providence Place, having been joined by two children, John William and Sarah Ann.
William, undaunted by his father’s fate, worked as a fisherman. Like his dad, he didn’t make old bones but I have been unable to find the cause of his death at age 34.
His headstone in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard has been moved from his grave to the north wall.
In remembrance of FRANCES, wife of JOHN BAILEY, who died Aug 14th 1870, aged 51 years.
‘Farewell dear son, do thou earth’s days employ
To fit thee for our Father’s home of joy
Sleep on dear Mother and take thy rest
God took thee when he thought it best.’
Also, WILLIAM HUNTER BAILEY, son of the above and the beloved husband of ELIZABETH, died 16th Sep. 1884 aged 34 years.
I walked along the beach to Reighton this morning as a way of remembering the solar eclipse.
About ten weeks after his Christmas Day wedding, William JENKINSON sailed for the North Sea fishing ground aboard the yawl Jane and Elizabeth, skipper Bayes COWLING. Thirty miles from the coast the lines were cast from the yawl’s coble – and then a “sudden gale sprung up”. (All quotes are from a syndicated report that appeared in many local newspapers around the country.) Many other fishing boats ran for shelter but Captain Cowling, quite reasonably, chose to bring in his lines and their catch before heading for shore. Three of the crew, William Jenkinson, the skipper’s son Thomas Hunter Cowling and William SAYERS, brought in fourteen lines and then went out to haul the remaining seven.
…a fearful sudden sea rose and struck the coble, filling her with water. This caused her soon to upset, throwing the crew into the sea. Whilst they were struggling in the water, Cowling caught hold of a bowl and an oar, Jenkinson two bowls, and Sayers grabbed hold of the coble, which was bottom uppermost, and got upon it. Soon after he was joined by Jenkinson, but Cowling could not reach it. The Captain, who had seen this sad affair, at once ran the yawl towards the men, and whilst passing, Cowling seized hold of a “fender” which hung over the yawl’s side. One of the boys on board got hold of the hair of his head and held him up, whilst his father, the captain, seized a rope and life-belt, which he threw to the two on the coble. His son was then pulled in, and the yawl turned round to the rescue of [the] others, but on getting to the coble, Sayers alone was holding on nearly exhausted. A second sea had washed them off, but fortunately he had again got hold of the coble. Poor Jenkinson, on attempting to do so, fell backwards, exhausted, exclaiming, “Lord help me,” and was never seen again. Jenkinson was about 26 years of age, and has left a young widow, he having been married only three months.
There may be an official record of William’s death somewhere but, lacking his recovered body, there isn’t a civil registration. He isn’t remembered on a stone in the churchyard and he wasn’t with Jane long enough to leave a genetic inheritance.
Jane gave birth to a daughter about four years later, father unknown, and eight years after William’s death she married again and had five children with Thomas JOHNSON.
With the only evidence of his passing being a brief, if widely disseminated, news item, it isn’t too surprising that he has not yet been accurately represented on the FamilySearch Tree.
As I write this, Ann CAPPLEMAN is still William’s wife on FST. One of the blue hints by his name on the pedigree leads to his rightful marriage to Jane CAPPLEMAN. (The women are first cousins, their common ancestors being Thomas CAPPLEMAN and the Jane WEBSTER of Sunday’s post.)
Jane and Elizabeth
There are several fishing vessels with this name in Captain Smith’s database but none are yawls. There is a yawl called Jane Elizabeth, built in Scarborough in 1867 and registered SH70. The date of first ownership is annoyingly given as“7???” in my digitization of the Captain’s handwritten pages. However, the owners are “Thomas Hunter COWLING & Bayes COWLING, fishermen of Filey & Robert CAMMISH, grocer of Filey”. In Filey Genealogy & Connections, Robert has just the one child, with Jane ELDERS, baptised Jane Elizabeth in August 1861. You can find her on FST. A case, perhaps, of coincidence challenging a possible recording, transcription or digitization error!
The FamilySearch Tree system plays Guesswork Wives occasionally. It is one thing to create a person from an extracted record, and another to marry them off to some random fellow.
This wrong William JENKINSON does not, at the moment, have any sources attached to him. I hope to put him right over the next few days but it is a tangled web. Three Ann CAPPLEMANs were born in Filey between 1838 and 1841, and three Janes of that ilk between 1843 and 1846. Five William JENKINSONs appeared on the scene between 1836 and 1844. Troublemakers all! (Nobody should be blamed for mix-ups that have occurred already – or may happen with these people in the future.)
The untangling is going to be greatly helped by the St Oswald’s Monumental Inscriptions. I have three headstones already in the queue to support the changes that must be made to the above screenshot. And one of those remembered, Charles HUNTER, should have featured in the March 6th post, The Storm & Jacky Windy.
The families of most of the drowned fishermen have some representation on FST but there wasn’t enough time in the day to fill gaps and make sound connections for this post.
At the 1871 Census, Charles was a 13-year-old fisherman. At 25 he was master of the yawl Amity (SH90), and a casualty of the March ’83 storm.
The William JENKINSON of the screenshot drowned about three months after his wedding. Jane married again, had five children, and died aged 97 in 1941. I’ll write more about them in a future post.