‘Baltic’ and ‘Noran’

In a Filey Genealogy & Connections note, Kath says that George Whiteley BOYNTON acquired his by-name following his experience of fighting in the Crimean War. Little more than a boy, he was seemingly a combatant in a distant theatre of that conflict – the Baltic Sea. When the Anglo-French fleet attacked Kronstadt in 1854 he would have been just twelve years old, and a few weeks short of his 14th birthday at the war’s end. He gave his occupation as “Mariner” when he married Ann SAYERS in 1864.

Richard Duke ROBINSON, known locally as ‘Noran’ or ‘Dickie Noran’ (for a reason unknown to me), was 47 years younger than George. He made a useful prop for the older man when they were photographed on a quayside with five other fishermen.

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This undated photo was kindly donated to the Looking at Filey blog by Suzanne Pollard and several names were usefully provided. If you reckon ‘Noran’ to be about 14, that would make ‘Baltic’ sixty-one years old, and the year 1903 or thereabouts.

At the 1911 census, George is still working at age 69, but as a general labourer, and living at 4 Spring Road, Filey, with Ann. The couple had six children, two of them failing to reach the first birthday. Three married and two of the boys would acquire distinctive by-names of their own – ‘Boysher’ and ‘Rammy’. More about them some other time.

I have a vague memory of hearing an amusing story about Dickie Noran. I’ll chase it up and, if recovered, share it here.

It appears that George acquired a lasting taste for violence in the eponymous northern sea. Married four years and with third child Annie’s appearance imminent…

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In November 1877, the Scarborough Mercury reported: –

Fighting at Brid Station

At the Bridlington Petty Sessions on Saturday, before Lieut-Col Prickett and Mr C. Mortlock, George Boynton, of Filey, fisherman, was summoned for wilfully interfering with the comfort of the passengers at the Bridlington Railway Station on 13th ult. Inspector Craig of the North Eastern Railway appeared for the company. George Knaggs, porter, stated that defendant and a number of other fishermen were on the platform arguing about a boat, when defendant struck one of the others and a fight ensued. Defendant was turned out of the station but returned and renewed the disturbance. Fined £1 including costs.

George and Ann’s last child was born about three years later and if you think young Frank’s by-name, ‘Rammy’, has violent connotations, you’d be right. But it seems to have been confined to the football field.

George was eighty when he died in 1922 and Ann 86 when reunited with him four years later.

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Find them on the Shared Tree. George’s mother, Elizabeth SUTTON, is not on FST yet. I’m struggling to determine which of several Boynton men called Francis she married.

The Baltic Connection

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This is one of my favourite stones, with its dove flying from clouds on rays of light. And yet… It tells just a little of the sad story of this WILLIAMSON family. The inscription notes the father’s death in 1810 at 57, a reasonable “innings” in those days. But his youngest son died at 12 and the third of four children, John, drowned in the Baltic Sea, aged 19, in 1808.  Firstborn William drowned 10 years later, closer to home in South Bay, Scarborough. One of his sons would drown in Filey Bay in 1858, aged 50.

The only daughter of Francis and Ann CAMMISH, married “awd Marky” BAXTER and they brought six children into the world. She died aged 49 and Mark lived on for thirty more years.

But back to John. Filey Genealogy & Connections says he was a fisherman but the Baltic, as far as I’m aware, is beyond the normal range for a yawl, let alone a Filey coble. The war with France had a way to go and I’m wondering if John was pressed into the Royal Navy.

Last month I wrote about the Battle of Flamborough Head, which ended with Captain Pearson surrendering ignominiously to John Paul Jones,  but successfully ensuring the safety of the Baltic convoy under his protection. Roll on twenty years and the Royal Navy is in the Baltic Sea safeguarding its trade routes, thwarting Napoleon’s efforts to cut Britain off from the continent.

If you are not convinced by this scenario, I offer you another Filey fisherman, George Whiteley BOYNTON, who was given the byname “Baltic”. As a teenager, he sailed that sea when it was a theatre of the Crimean War.

I haven’t found “Baltic” on FamilySearch Tree but his parents are there, and his wife, Ann SAYERS.

This WILLIAMSON male line on Filey Genealogy & Connections ends with a grandfather going back in time but brother William leads the way to the mid-twentieth century. (William was baptized in 1779, four days before the Baltic fleet dodged Bonhomme Richard’s cannonballs.) The pedigree is not yet as extensive on FamilySearch Tree.