Edward’s Wife

Arthur GROTE formed a close friendship with Edward BLYTH in Bengal. I don’t know if they journeyed back to England together but they took lodgings close to each other in London and must have kept in touch. A couple of years after Edward died, Arthur wrote  a memoir of his friend that was published originally in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol.xiv  (August 1875) and reprinted in Loren Eiseley’s Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X in 1979.

Arthur gives us some useful detail about ‘the Father of Indian Ornithology’ but is somewhat vague with regard to Arthur’s marriage.

In 1854 Blyth was married to Mrs. Hodges, a young widow whom he had known as Miss Sutton, and who had lately come out to join some relatives in India.

Elizabeth Mary Turner SUTTON was 13 years younger than Arthur. She was born in London and would have been seventeen when Arthur left England for the sub-continent. It is a bit of a stretch to say that Elizabeth was lately arrived in India because she married John Charles HODGES in Calcutta in December 1846. He was 26 years-old and the register says he was commander of the Brig Amity. He had been captain of the ship for at least two years.

(This was not the Amity that transported European settlers to Australia.)

In the fifth year of marriage, Elizabeth was widowed. John died on the west coast at Colaba near Bombay on 19 April 1851. Though the date is precise, I haven’t found the cause of his death at age 31. (Some sources give his birth two years earlier than the marriage register implies.)

After fourteen years, Edward’s salary at the Asia Society’s museum was barely adequate to keep his own body and soul together, but Elizabeth married him anyway. In 1855 he asked for an increase in salary and a pension “after a certain number of years’ service”. The Society pleaded poverty.

In December 1857, Blyth had the misfortune to lose his wife. His short married life had been of the happiest, and the blow fell heavily on him. His letters to his sister for the early months of 1858 are painful to read. The shock proved too much for him, and brought on a serious attack of illness; it threatened paralysis of the heart, and he seems to have been subject to partial returns of similar attacks for the rest of his life. His health too suffered much from the isolation imposed on him by his straitened means, and from want of proper exercise.

Arthur doesn’t name the sister with whom Edward corresponded but it was almost ccertainly the middle one of three, Sarah Clara.

Ten years after returning to England, Edward went to Antwerp “for a change” and on his return called on Arthur.

…[he was] feeling better, though claiming of great prostration. He seemed full of what he had seen in the Antwerp Zoological Garden, where he thought he had found another new species of Rhinoceros. This was our last interview. Though nursed by a tenderly attached sister, his weakness increased, and he died of heart disease on the 27th of December, within a day or two of his sixty-third birthday.

In 1871, Edward was living alone in rooms in Cecil Street, St Clement Danes, in a property that would be demolished with others to make space for a hotel and much later the Shell-Mex building. Arthur was a mile away in more salubrious Pall Mall lodgings. And Sarah Clara may have already settled at Regent’s Park Terrace, three miles from Cecil Street but only a few hundred yards from London Zoo.

Sarah’s home for at least ten years before her death in 1891 is partially hidden by the tree. I’d like to think she brought her brother here for his last days, and that he could hear the roars, bellowings and trumpetings of the larger mammals from his sick room window. (If you wanted to buy her house nowadays the mortgage payment would be around  £13,000 a month.)

Find Edward on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Tree 40 · Martin’s Ravine

William Farr

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William is the ninth British empiricist and the third demographer discussed by Richard Stone in his Raffaele Matteoli Foundation Lectures, though the National Portrait Gallery describes him as a statistician and epidemiologist. A couple of years after civil registration began in Britain (1837), he was appointed to the General Register Office and worked there on vital statistics until shortly before his death in 1883. He took charge of the 1851, 1861 and 1871 population censuses, wrote ‘an immense number of reports’, and in his inaugural address as president of the Statistical Society (in 1871) spoke at length about his friend Charles Babbage, designer of the Analytical Engine, perhaps the world’s first mechanical computer. When one considers William’s start in life…

He was born in a small Shropshire village to parents who were too poor to raise him. Fortune smiled when he was adopted at the age of two by Joseph PRYCE, ‘the benevolent and well-to-do squire of Dorrington’. It appears that William was largely self-taught and one has to wonder what spark kindled his interest in medicine. At the age of nineteen a chance meeting with Dr. WEBSTER a Shrewsbury physician, determined the future course of his life.

On the FamilySearch Shared Tree, William springs from nowhere, without parents, though his adoption by Joseph Pryce is noted. His second marriage is given but Richard Stone says he first married a Shropshire farmer’s daughter in 1833. ‘Miss Langford’ died four years later. FamilySearch has a source for the wedding in 1833 of William Farr and Mary LANGFORD in Westbury, a village ten miles from Dorrington,. The GRO has the death registration of 27-year-old Mary Farr in St Pancras in 1838.

The births of eight children to William and Mary Elizabeth WHITTALL are registered between 1842 and 1860. There is an extra child on the Shared Tree. ‘N. C. Farr’ appears in a census transcription and has been mistaken for firstborn Mary Catherine.

William was survived by five children but the Shared Tree dosen’t offer many descendants. The total absence of William’s forebears is more than made up by Mary Elizabeth’s pedigree. Within a few generations, the names of elite families begin to appear and the promise of a long journey into the past is fulfilled. I almost reached the beginning of the Common Era on my  first run. You may be able to go beyond the time of Christ.

I wonder if the poor Shropshire Lad was fully aware of his second wife’s distinguished heritage.

Beach 108 · Dog & Ball

Filey Sands in the rain

Connections Made, Not Made and Bungled

I found the following affecting story in the South London Press of 23 June 1883 while looking for Mary Ann O’Brien née HEMINGTON.

Attempted Suicide at London Bridge

Mary Ann O’Brien, a respectable-looking young woman, described as a domestic servant, was placed at the bar before Mr. Bridge for final examination, charged with attempting to commit suicide by throwing herself into the river Thames at London Bridge.

Francis Daly, a dock labourer, said that on the evening of the 14th he was about to cross London Bridge to the City, when he saw prisoner run down the steps screaming. When she got half way down, she pulled off her bonnet, and rushed into the river, which at that time was very high water. He ran after her, and succeeded in getting hold of her clothing, and with the assistance of 94M, pulled her out, and she was taken to the workhouse.

Police-constable 94M said that when they got her out of the water she was very ill. When before his worship last week she said she had been in service in Brixton, and was removed to the Lambeth Infirmary owing to illness, and on her recovery, and returning to her situation, she found that her master’s goods had been seized and sold, among which were all her clothes, and as she was not able to enter the convalescent home without clothing, she in a fit of desperation threw herself into the river. Since the last examination he made inquiries, and believed her statement to be true.

Mr. Bridge observed that he had received a letter from the chaplain of the House of Detention, stating that the prisoner had expressed great sorrow for the crime she had committed. He asked her if she had a home to go to if he discharged her.

She replied that they would receive her in the Convent, Camberwell New-road, provided she had a cotton dress, two caps and some under-linen.

Mr. Bridge directed the office-keeper to supply her with what was necessary, and discharged her with a caution.

Prisoner thanked his worship, and said as soon as she recovered her health she would be able to procure a situation.

I hoped to trace the narrative arc this Mary Ann subsequently followed but failed miserably. I couldn’t find the chivalrous Francis DALY either. Had he been given a name rather than a number, PC 94M would, I suspect, have been a fair cop.

I have added a few people to the Hemington line so that the family now connects to George Toyn COLLEY, Charlotte WARLEY and others who have featured in recent posts. If you follow this link you should find Rosina Hemington in a pivotal position. She was a niece of “our” Mary Ann.

Extend the WARLEY line (if necessary) to reveal Charlotte’s grandfather George DOVE, a man of several FamilySearch IDs and a lot of forebears. He made the mistake of being born within a few miles of a namesake at about the same time. Both men married a Rachael/Rachel and, perhaps not surprisingly, have swapped wives on the Shared Tree. I will attempt to reunite them with their true loves over the next few days.

The Walking Parson’s Brothers

Thomas Walter Bevan COOPER received a licence to marry Mary Anne PEGLER on 27 April 1842. I have found sources indicating that they had four children – and experienced some difficulty in deciding what names to give them.

The birth and death of their first child, a girl, were registered in the same quarter of 1844, her Christian name in both instances represented by a hyphen in the GRO Index. The following year they registered the birth of a boy, Charles Alfred. He was Charles at age 6 but died as John Charles Cooper in 1910.

Indecision by the parents in 1848 condemned the next boy to an official welcome as a hyphen. He would rise above the inauspicious start by becoming an Alderman and later Mayor of London, a knight, and a Baronet two years before his death in 1922.

The child who later wandered around Europe, when he was not tending his Filey flock, also began life as a hyphen in 1850, just Arthur at the census a year later, and acquiring the middle name ‘Nevile’ sometime after that.

Of the three brothers, John Charles had the shortest life. In his twenties, he suffered an attack of rheumatic fever ‘which left him with a weak heart’. He was able to work as a commercial clerk in the Insurance firm of James Hartley, Cooper & Co., but retired in his mid-fifties. He didn’t marry but neither did he shut himself away from society.

…when in London [he] had attended St Michael’s Church, Star Street, Paddington, where he taught a large class of boys. To start the boys in life, to befriend them in their trouble, to watch over them in their temptations, was the work to which he devoted nearly every spare moment from his busy life. The boys thus helped by him were numerous enough to form a club of their own.

Driffield Times, 12 February 1910

A cold spell in January 1910 initiated an attack of bronchitis that he couldn’t shake off. He died at the end of that month in Worthing, aged 64. His body was brought to Filey for burial in his mother’s grave. Chief mourners were brothers Arthur Nevile and Edward Ernest, accompanied by their wives, but also present were some of the Old Boys from St Michael’s, and servants from Alderman Cooper’s mansion at Berrydown Court, Hampshire.

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Edward Ernest would claim his education began at a dame’s school run by Horatia Nelson. (See the postscript at the end of Horatia Nelson: Who Was My Mother?) Whatever, he was clearly a bright lad, following his older brother into Insurance but rising to a significantly higher position than John Charles to accrue a fortune worth £28 million today. His interests away from money-making saw him become Chairman of the Royal Academy of Music and Vice-President of the Royal College of Organists. He sang in the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir for many years. He was elected an Alderman in 1909, was Lord Mayor of London in 1912-13, knighted in 1913 and created a baronet in 1920.

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An oil painting by J Riviere of Sir Edward Ernest Cooper, Governor, Almoner and Vice-Chairman of Council. Photo credit: Christ’s Hospital Foundation.

Find Ernest Edward on FamilySearch.

A Comedian

1934_PEARSONmaude_flower containerMany years may have passed since flowers were placed in this marble container. Names on three sides remember Frank, Thomas C. and Maude PEARSON.

Maude, a first cousin three times removed to Wrightson Pearson but not blood-related to John of the Three Wives, (go figure), married a WILKINS from Essex. A recent additional stone remembers Ray, who died in 2006. Maude died eight years ago.

None of these St Oswald’s churchyard people has places on the FamilySearch Tree yet, so I set about putting their jigsaw pieces together. I found some of them in the nation’s capital.

Raymond Parker Wilkins was the son of Gerald Douglas Wilkins and Sabina UMPLEBY and grandson of Frederick Robinson Wilkins and Hannah Elizabeth GOLLEDGE.

In 1901, Gerald was three years old, living with his parents at 7 Cormont Road, Lambeth. Visiting the family and snared by the enumerator were Richard and Elsie DOUGLAS. Within minutes of wondering if Gerald’s middle name came from the Douglas family, I discovered Elsie was a Golledge. She was 28 years old and an actress. Her husband was the same age and an actor, but also a comedian. Elsie must have thought she needed a classier moniker for the stage and when she applied for the marriage licence…

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The registrar would have none of it – the civil marriage record has her as Elsie. They married in 1894 and registered the births of two daughters in ’95 and ’96. The girls were not guests of the Wilkins family and I found no trace of any of them after 1901, until 1960 when the older girl died aged 65. Her death is registered in her birth name, but she had married one Arnold WALKER as a 19-year-old. Both life events occurred in Salford, Lancashire, where her father was born.

Salford may not seem the most romantic place to enter the world or leave it, but Richard Douglas was one of at least eleven children. He was the first to be Salford-born but his older siblings took their first breaths in Ireland, South Africa or Japan. (Their father was a bandsman in the army and their grandfather a sergeant in the same regiment.)

The “disappearance” of Richard and Elise/Elsie might be explained by an urge to travel to distant lands.

But another mystery remains. What relation was Elsie Golledge to Hannah Elizabeth? I haven’t found Elsie’s birth registration yet. Hannah’s father, Thomas Miles Golledge, was born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Five years after he married Eliza Watkins SHEPPERD in Marylebone, a William J Golledge married Anna M DALE in Lambeth. Thomas worked as a boot machinist, William as a bootmaker. And William had also been born in Shepton Mallet. There is a gap in the arrivals of William and Anna’s children, between Eleanor Sophia and Walter Thomas, where Elsie would fit. Cousins then?

The Shared Tree, however, does offer the Golledge male line through Thomas Miles back to Stephen, born 1578, but Hannah is waiting at the altar – and Elsie doesn’t appear as a child of William Joseph Payne Golledge and Anna Maria Dale. Still a mystery.

And I wonder if the Golledge girls ever visited Filey.

My Sweetheart Adelaide

It is a fair step from Scarborough Station to the top end of Peasholm Glen, but it’s no hardship for an old taphophile. The way passes through the wonderful Dean and Manor Road cemeteries.

On the right of the path as it slopes down to the tunnel under Manor Road, on the right, is the eye-catching “music stone”.

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Above this fond farewell, the dedication:-

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A leaflet produced by The Friends of Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery tells us that Adelaide was born in France. Just “Arras” is inscribed on the stone and I wondered if she may have been an East Yorkshire girl. But no, her birthplace is given in the 1911 census as France – and she married as a mature woman in 1909, aged about 57. She is registered as Adelaide BELL so Vincent Charles White was perhaps her second or third husband. He was given only a few years to dote upon her. She died in 1915 and eighteen years would pass before they were “reunited”.

Vincent’s first wife, Mary WOOD, died the year before the sweethearts tied the knot. It isn’t clear if his first marriage produced any children. There is one birth registration, for “James Henry Traltles” WHITE in 1882 but the census in 1891 finds the couple visiting a family in Leicester, without children in tow. Ten years later Vincent and Mary are the only occupants of a house in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. (Mary is listed as “Pollie” but age and birthplace are consistent with the earlier census – and she dies as Mary.)

Vincent was a musician for most of his working life but perhaps not a very accomplished one. He seems to have wandered the land seeking work and, although offering titles like “Professor” and “bandmaster” to Victorian data gatherers he may have had to lower his sights on occasion.

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Vincent was living at 34 Green Lane, Newby when he died and a brief notice in the Leeds Mercury the following year announced the gross value of his estate to be £1,335. His “net personalty” was just £251.  But, hey, he spared no expense for his departed sweetheart.

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I haven’t yet found Vincent or Adelaide on the FamilySearch Tree. I’ll keep looking.

A Dangerous Dog

The name of the animal is long forgotten but the owners will forever be known as Filey’s most illustrious residents. In August 1901 Dame Madge Kendal and her husband were away, treading the boards when their pet decided to play with matches. The Scarborough Evening News told the story.

A fire broke out on Sunday night [25th] at The Lodge on The Crescent, Filey, occupied by Mr and Mrs Kendal. A visitor was walking in the Crescent Gardens about seven in the evening, and observed flames issuing from one of the bedroom windows of a house at the far end of The Crescent, known as South Crescent Lodge. He immediately gave the alarm. The only occupants of the house were Miss Margery Kendal and the servants, Mr and Mrs Kendal being in town fulfilling a theatrical engagement. A good supply of water was easily procurable, and the flames were extinguished before the arrival of the local fire brigade. On an examination of the room by Sergeant Smith and a constable, who were on the scene immediately after the outbreak, it was found that a dog had been playing with a box of matches in the bedroom and had caused them to become ignited. The mattress and bedding were burnt, and the carpets, dressing table, and some books were scorched. The damage is estimated at about £10. A strong wind was blowing at the time, but the prompt action of the servants and police prevented the flames from spreading to other parts of the extensive and valuable premises.

A few months earlier the caretakers were the only occupants of the villa. Their names are given as James Jackson SMITH born Flintham, and Mary Jane Jackson SMITH born White Notley, both aged 50. James has a substantial headstone in the churchyard, all to himself, and its inscription reveals him to be a few years older than his census entry suggests.

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In loving memory of JAMES JACKSON SMITH who fell asleep Dec 9 1916, aged 74 years.

‘The Lord is my Shepherd’

James’ wife may have been older too, and her middle name was Ann, not Jane. If I seem uncertain it is because a Flintham/White Notley couple must have married in 1870 because at the 1891 Census they were enumerated in Northfleet, Kent with a son, Edward Jackson SMITH, 21. Father was working as a Foreman on the railway, the son as a tramway conductor. Disconcertingly, Mary Ann THOMPSON had married a plain James in 1870, and a Mary Ann NEWMAN married James Jackson SMITH in Chelsea in 1889. FamilySearch Tree has Miss Newman (MFVP-FBP), born 1850 in White Notley, with her parents John and Jane but as yet unmarried. Trouble ahead.

The “famous” people in this post are also problematic on FamilySearch Tree. Find them here, with just one of their children. I expect they may put in better performances elsewhere on the World Tree but, sigh, that just means a deal of merging has to be done. I hope there will be more instances of light relief, though. Today I was surprised to find that  William Hunter Grimston’s occupation is given as “Comedian” in the marriage register – the same line of work as Margaret Shafto ROBERTSON’s father. (Search online for Dame Madge KENDAL for lots of photographs. Check out Old White Lodge for some fascinating inside stories.)

A man, in disguise, who attended one of Dame Madge’s theatrical performances has a somewhat more substantial pedigree on FST.

South Crescent Villa is now The White Lodge Hotel.

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(Today’s Image of Filey Bay and Muston Sands was taken from the corner of Glen Gardens, a stone’s throw from The White Lodge.)

Corruption and Lies

I noticed several faded stickers on Scarborough lamp posts yesterday morning.

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The Borough of Scarborough incorporates Whitby, Filey, and several villages. It is widely accepted that whatever wealth finds its way into Council coffers is spent disproportionately on the old Queen of the Yorkshire Coast. There must also be some “wastage”.

Putting the corruption of the present UK government aside, it took no time at all to deliver its First Big Lie yesterday. Many people making their way to the Free Tommy Robinson march heard public announcements on the London Underground that the event had been canceled. I think a tabloid newspaper printed this “fact”.

Major news outlets misrepresented (smeared) the people attending the march, and woefully underestimated the numbers on the streets. If they wanted to alienate at least half of the UK’s population, they had a very successful day.

There were “clashes”, regrettably, but in the live streams I have watched today, I was relieved to see the police curbed their pushing and shoving of women and old men, sending very few crashing to the pavement. I noticed several officers exchanging views with “protestors” in a reasonably civilized manner. This gives me some hope.

The “few hundred” who marched in London yesterday to request Tommy’s release was more like 20,000. Their descriptions of the day will be transmitted to five or ten times that number. However “organized” this march was, the next will be better ordered, perhaps more disciplined, and much more populous. It is a movement now. Wat Tyler’s name has been invoked. The peasants are revolting.

Rather as the deep state/shadow government of the United States created the so-called Islamic State, this Conservative Government has created “Free Tommy Robinson”.  It has, thereby, made a big hole for itself. If it had any sense it would stop digging. Free Tommy now. (You know it makes sense.)

Citizens of the United Kingdom who care about their nation should begin preparations to man (and woman) the barricades. If you don’t support the brave and determined folk who turned out for Tommy yesterday – you may eventually get the ruined state you deserve. It’s a choice. The light of truth and justice or the dark of corruption and lies. The world is watching.

First For News

I have just listened to the six o’clock headlines on Radio Five Live. In London, a chap fell from his horse during the Trooping of the Colour. I hope he’s all right. (Army chap, decent sort, possibly.)

A few hundred unhappy British citizens requesting the release of an activist and reporter, kangaroo courted into an unreasonably long prison sentence can, it seems, be ignored. Move along, nothing to see here.

There are, though, several live streams and reports on YouTube. It all seems to have been rather chaotic but Geert Wilders’ speech was well received and coherently captured by Zuzanna. So, if you have ten minutes to spare…