A Caring Husband?

1834 Filey · Baptism  A census return tells us that Elizabeth Ann STAMFORD was born in Hull, but she was baptised in Filey. She married a Norfolk-born sailor, Richard BORRETT, in Beverley in 1854. Filey Genealogy & Connections shows that their firstborn, Mary Elizabeth, reached adulthood and married, but their next two girls, Susannah and Ann Eliza, did not reach their first birthday.

Elizabeth Ann died aged only 27. In checking the burial register, I noticed that John Borrett, an infant, was laid to rest a few days later. The boy’s birth was registered, but the GRO Index gives the mother’s maiden surname as HEATH. I was already feeling sorry for Richard for the loss of two girls and his wife in the space of three years. To also lose a son would seem to be more than any man could endure.

I looked to the newspapers in the hope of finding the cause of Elizabeth Ann’s early death and found only this –

Records show that Richard married Isabella Hunter CAMBRIDGE in Hartlepool in 1867, and “Captain Borrett” expired at 54 Scarborough Street, Hartlepool on 19 November 1888. He was 54 years old.

1881 Filey · Birth  I chose Edwin Percy because he was one of five children born to Joseph CRABTREE of Leeds and Emily TINDALL from Muston. There is not much information in Filey Genealogy & Connections about the family but it notes that Edwin was baptised privately at the Wesleyan chapel on 28 July, when he was four months old. This seems rather ominous and it is no surprise to see his death registered in the September Quarter of 1881.

The family continued to grow. Following Edith’s birth in Filey in 1883, Joseph Harrison arrived during a brief sojourn in Sunderland. The family moved back south and four more children were born in Scarborough. Mother Emily is found in the 1939 Register – in Tindall Street, Scarborough – with daughter Lilian and son in law Thomas MORLEY. She is “incapacitated” and died at the beginning of 1940, aged 87.

At first glance, only the parents are to be found on the Shared Tree. I have added Edwin.

1888 Filey · Death  See Storms and Skerrys. (The Storm pedigree at Rootsweb may not load.)

Happiness, Now

Bird 114 · Woody

Two Brigs called ‘Felicity’

courtesy Hartlepool Library Service

I don’t know the details of this Felicity’s unhappy end but almost twenty years later a brig of the same name, but with a different home port, sailed from Hartlepool and came to grief at Filey.



On Sunday afternoon last, the brig “Felicity,” of Lynn, from Hartlepool, with coals came on shore on Filey Sands, opposite the town, during the heavy gales of wind which had been blowing on this coast from the eastward. The lifeboat of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, stationed at this place, was immediately manned by fourteen men and launched before the vessel took the ground; the boat then succeeded in taking off her crew, consisting of seven men, who were in half-an-hour afterwards landed safely on the beach. The gallant crew of the lifeboat will be paid £14 by the Lifeboat Institution, for their valuable services. This lifeboat station is one of the most complete on the coast.   The lifeboat coxswain and his crew were thoroughly conversant with the qualities of this lifeboat, which has been repeatedly instrumental in saving the lives of poor shipwrecked sailors.

The Scarborough Mercury, Saturday 20 November 1858

This un-named Filey lifeboat was built by Skelton of Scarborough and bought by public subscription a year or so before the RNLI was formed in 1824. It served this stretch of coast for almost forty years, requiring crews of tremendous courage as well as strength. All knew the boat could not be righted if it capsized.

The Institution took over the running of the Filey Station around 1852 and about three years after the Felicity rescue the local committee put in a request for a new boat. The joyful public inauguration of Hollon took place on 26 November 1863.