A Shaggy Dog Story

CHAPMAN, M (Shaggy) 1891A 1909 newspaper account of the sinking of Lina, (Tuesday’s post), informed readers that the skipper, Mortimer CHAPMAN, was “a few years ago, a famous footballer”. Here he is about 1891 when he played for Filey Red Stars. Several Filey amateurs did go on to professional Football League clubs and perhaps Mortimer was one of them.

His granddaughter, Jane GARTON, spoke about him when interviewed for the Heritage Lottery funded project Exploring Filey’s Past about twelve years ago.

My grandfather was a real Filey character. His nickname was ‘Old Shaggy’…He used to sit in the Memorial Gardens but he always had an old sou’ wester on and never took it off. He never took it off when he went to bed and he was buried in it. But he used to talk to people [and] they all used to talk to him…Old Shaggy, how he got his name, it was something to do with a dog and he used to say to this dog, “shake it shaggy” and then my granddad got the name Shaggy.

He was photographed on the Coble Landing in the late 1940s with eight other fishermen and a couple of children. Can you pick him out?

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Photographer unknown, courtesy Martin Douglas.

Morton, the sixth child of Thomas CHAPMAN and Mary JENKINSON, was baptized on the first of March 1815 but he died in January the following year. He was followed on the 29th  December 1816 by the first of five Mortimer CHAPMANs recorded in Filey Genealogy & Connections. The Chapman pedigree on FG&C doesn’t go back beyond Thomas and Mary so I don’t know if there were earlier Mortimers in the line. (The name seems to have Norman origins and is linked to a couple of places, one in France and the other in the Holy Land. Choose between its resulting meanings – ‘still water’ or dead sea’.)

Only Mortimer born 1844 is on FamilySearch Tree at the moment. He is Shaggy’s uncle. I’ll connect them on FST as soon as I can.

Two Graces

Francis GRACE, a young man of 17 years, sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl in Filey 132 years ago. I wrote about the sad, short life of Mary Lizzie WILKINSON in Looking at Filey, speculating on what happened to Francis. I was unable to find a Grace family in the town but noted the death of Francis Grace, 19, in Hull two years later, adding “I haven’t been able to confirm that this was Mary Lizzie’s attacker, breathing his last in Hull Jail perhaps.”

Here are two newspaper reports.

1885_AssaultOnLizzie1

1887_GRACEfrank1_DEATH

Mary Lizzie died about three years later, aged 13. Victim and victimizer are buried seven rows apart in Area D of St Oswald’s churchyard, though the young girl’s stone has been relocated and now stands against the north wall.

At some point during today’s research I remembered Baby Boomers, a June post here on Redux. Sure enough, Francis had been registered at birth as a GRACE, his mother’s maiden surname BOWMAN. All of his siblings had been given GRICE. Francis was the odd one out –a dis-grace you might say.

W._G._Grace,_cricketer,_by_Herbert_Rose_BarraudWhen searching for a newspaper account of his death in 1887 there were 33 hits, the one you see above and 32 reports of cricket matches in which the fine fellow pictured left played. William Gilbert GRACE is on FST as himself. Francis, rather surprisingly given his contrary given name at the beginning and end of his life, is on the World Tree correctly as a Grice.

Today’s Image only coincidentally celebrates the start this weekend of the English Premier League season. I saw the ball yesterday evening, bobbing in the high tide wavelets at Children’s Corner and was surprised to see it cast on the sands at Coble Landing this morning. To think, if you can kick one of these about really well you can become a millionaire in no time. W.G. must be spinning in his grave.

Photo of W. G. Grace by Herbert Rose Barraud (1845-1896) via Wikimedia Commons

Update 15 August

I went to the churchyard on my early walk to see how far away Frank and Mary Lizzie are from each other. They are at opposite ends of their respective rows, a crow-flown distance of about 90 feet. The poor girl’s grave is now undefined and unmarked, near a bench and William and Mary SIMPSON’s broken headstone. If you have followed the link above to Looking at Filey you will have seen how lovely Mary Lizzie’s stone is, with its rose carving. In its relocated position it is just fourteen feet from Frank’s grave. His remembrance catches the early morning sunlight; hers is in the wall’s shadow.

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