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.

Who is Mr. Reed?

The Crimlisk/Siddle survey of the St Oswald churchyard places a stone remembering Thomas MOSEY and his unfortunate son in Area H. My digitization of the typescript runs as follows:-


To the Memory of THOMAS MOSEY, who died Jan 15th 1826, aged 49 yrs

‘In life much respected and in death much lamented’

JOHN, son of the above, who was drowned in The River Thames, Feb 5th 1819,

aged 17 years, and was interred at Mr. Reed’s Chapel                   Road, London.

The East Yorkshire Family History Society version of the Monumental Inscriptions differs slightly and inconsequentially with regard to punctuation – except where Mr. Reed is referenced.


…interred at Mr. Reed’s Chapel Road. London.

Mind the gap! I don’t have the Crimlisk typescript to hand but my guess is that the name of the road – the address of the Chapel – is missing, unreadable. The Mosey stone has since disappeared.

Some relocated and ‘H’ stones against the north wall, photographed this afternoon

The Reverend Andrew REED founded a school in London in 1813 and its current incarnation in Sandy Lane, Cobham, is an impressive institution. Just the sort of place to which a shipowner might send his child. Alas, Reverend Reed’s founding aim was

…to provide relief to destitute orphans, ‘to rescue them from the walks of vice and profligacy…

His first Orphan Asylum was a house in Shoreditch, so perhaps there isn’t a connection here to young Mosey. Tantalisingly, though, Rev. Reed became minister of New Road Chapel in 1811 following his training. It was later known as the Wycliffe Chapel and he remained in the post there until he was 74 years old (1861).

I couldn’t find a newspaper account of John’s drowning, and he doesn’t have a place yet on FamilySearch Tree. He is the third child of 15 on FG&C. All the children are given a Scarborough birthplace but there is a strong family connection to Filey. Rather touchingly, John was a first cousin once removed to Thomas Henry SUGGIT who died in 1862, aged 14, in a fall from the Carr Naze cliffs. (See LaF Redux post ‘About a Boy’, 6 October.) I hope to connect them on FST before too long.