A Letter to the Editor

In 1859, fifteen years after he had seen first wife Sarah laid to rest in Filey churchyard, Jeremiah Hudson sent a flurry of letters to The Scarborough Mercury on the subject of the Harbour of Refuge, proposed for this part of the coast. Filey folk were most enthusiastic about having the facility built at their village but Jeremiah was convinced it was the worst of sites. Scarborough was safer, but the people didn’t want it, thinking that the convicts who would build it might frighten the summer visitors away. Bridlington (Burlington) was a better location still but there didn’t seem to be too much support there for the idea either. The fight for the Harbour at Filey would go on for several decades before steam overwhelmed sail and sudden storms became less of a threat to the lives of all who sailed up and down the coast.

Jeremiah had a way with words and clearly enjoyed poking fun at Filonians, but three letters about the Harbour (to make sense of it) is a bit much for a blog post. So here is a short and vaguely topical letter about France, where the present day Little Napoleon is gassing and shooting his subjects. (It is all right to foment violent and “regime changing” rebellion in Libya and Syria but on home soil, this activity must be brutally suppressed.)

Jeremiah writes from 68 North Marine Road, his home with second wife Jane Broadrick and seven of their nine children (at the 1861 census).

14 May 1859


Sir, We are all hard up. The London “Times” is now feeding us on Stock-fish from the seat of war. How different this from the palmy days of that great organ. when we read in his paper from “Our own Correspondent,” at Alma, the English and French had had a brush with the Russians, then followed in detail in apple-pie order, the slain and wounded, &c.; or what the polite world calls a graphic account of the whole engagement. And now we read about the Po or the Ticino, or something else, and then we are left to ourselves the barren conjecture which of the twain is to strike the first knockdown blow – the French or the Austrians. I must confess this great organ is most unpolitely dealt with by the Emperor of the French.

Now, whoever reads the “Times” (I mean Englishmen not educated in Billingsgate) must allow that he has always been liberal in abusing the Emperor of the French, and not always very courteous to the French nation. But since the year came in, this great organ, the “Times” newspaper, has been most profuse in his invectives against the Emperor of the French and barely civil to the French nation: whether this organ of mischief in the above particulars, has any particular party to serve at the expense of the welfare of England, is best known to himself – but this I can tell him, – if the “Times” newspaper and all red-hot Quakers were shipped off to Russia for a year, England would be no loser by the change.

Let every Englishman of age and experience, who loves peace, ask himself how it is that there should be such a change between the two countries. A short time ago, we had France a powerful ally, with whom we could keep all the world in order, with us heart and soul; but now, France is neither with us nor against us – but as it were in the balance. How can this country expect anything else when the “Times” is for ever pouring forth his vials of wrath against the Emperor of the French? Surely his organ of abuse must see that the Emperor of the French treats him as he would the greatest quack doctor the sun ever shone upon – and that is beneath his notice. I wilt say no more, for I feel vexed.


The 17.4 million Britons who are currently vexed are being seriously let down by organs like The Times and their on-screen equivalents. Yesterday, I mentioned the mainstream’s reluctance to give representatives of UKIP a voice. We have Russia to thank for bringing some balance at this potentially dangerous moment in the Disunited Kingdom’s history. The Duran continues its insightful coverage of Brexit and, earlier this morning, shared a video of Nigel Farage’s speech yesterday to the bain of 17.4 million lives – the unelected bureaucrats in the European Parliament

The Smiths

One William SMITH married Jane NEWTON in Bridlington on 1 June 1765. They had two daughters, Jane born in 1766 in Bridlington and Harriet taking her first breath 22 years later in Scarborough. This is what Filey Genealogy & Connections suggests.

FamilySearch offers a similar story.

It would appear that I made some changes on FST a while ago that agreed on Harriet being their child but I didn’t add baby Jane, even though she “fits” better, born a year after the marriage of her parents.

Harriet’s mother heads one of the households in Roe’s Buildings, Filey, in 1841. Her age, however, is given as “80”, making her four years old in 1765. The first major British census was somewhat cavalier when noting ages but in 1849 a local newspaper had the following death notice:-


The civil registration agrees that Jane was 91 when she died.

I have looked in vain for another William Smith who married a Jane but, obviously, I must make some changes on FST.

Harriet is with her mother in Roe’s Buildings under her married name, AGAR. Her husband drowned in Plymouth Harbour in 1816. The couple is remembered on their headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard, with Michael’s sister, Zillah.


“Sleeping” next to Harriet is her sister, Sarah, wife of Jeremiah HUDSON.


In Memory of SARAH, wife of JEREMIAH HUDSON, Scarborough, Master Mariner, and daughter of WILLIAM and JANE SMITH, who departed this life 11th day of July 1844, aged 52 years.

Sarah is also resident at Roe’s Buildings in 1841, her age given as 45. I thought Sarah must be a widow too but further research found her husband enumerated seven miles away in Scarborough, living alone in Sand Side. He was a sailor and the separation may have been one of convenience. I’m perhaps being charitable because a few months after  Sarah’s death his first child with Jane BROADRICK was born in London. I’ll write more about Jeremiah another time but there is a post on the first Looking at Filey blog, Fisherman Smacked, that might serve to introduce him, though it contains some errors of fact and interpretation. He is on FST with his second wife and their brood but two appearances with Sarah only give the marriage.

The fourth elderly lady at Roe’s buildings was widow Elizabeth BROWN. Three years older than Jane, she may have been her sister. That could be a clue to Jane’s identity – but I haven’t found Elizabeth’s marriage yet. Elizabeth is resting eternally next to Michael Agar and Harriet.


In memory of ELIZABETH BROWN of Scarborough, widow, who died 17th November 1843, aged 85 years.


The “deal” that was so good for the Eurocrats has been dismissed in the UK parliament.  Terrific, but Dr Steve has more confidence than I have that Brexit will happen this year. Styx (‘ware F-bombs) gives some reasons why wanting to remain in the EU makes little sense.