Brief Wives

For hundreds of years, women who married inshore fishermen woke each day wondering if they would be a widow by nightfall.

Charles Dickens wrote about one Filey woman who lost her husband to the sea and searched for his body for three months (see A Loving Wife).

Available sources indicate that Elizabeth SPYVEE was 51 years-old when she married Richard RICHARDSON, so the suggestion that they had a child in their four years and eight months together has to be queried.

Born in 1816, Mary ROBINSON may have known Elizabeth, or at least have heard her story. Mary married Richard Anderson CAMMISH in September 1843 when she was 26 years old. Her headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard tells us that he left home one June morning and didn’t return.

Sacred to the memory of MARY CAMMISH, who died on 28th Nov 1882, in the 66th year of her age. She was for 35 years bathing attendant at Filey.

Her husband RICHARD ANDERSON CAMMISH, to whom she was married only 9 months, was drowned at sea and his body never recovered.

This stone was erected by the subscriptions of visitors and residents of Filey as a mark of respect for one who was in every way worthy of it.

In this instance, “written in stone” doesn’t mean that all facts presented are true. The marriage ended after just 155 days.

Richard was skipper of Jerome, a two-masted lugger built in Scarborough by Thomas SMITH in 1838 and purchased in July that year by Jerome VASSALI, a jeweller. An account of the sudden storm can be found at the Scarborough Maritime History website. (Scroll down to the seventh paragraph.)

The two recovered bodies were taken to Filey and buried at St Oswald’s on the 27th. John COWLING junior and Thomas WISEMAN have footholds on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but neither has a memorial in the churchyard.

Widow Mary chose not to marry again and appears to have been self-reliant. I doubt bathing attendants were well-paid but maybe the Vassali family helped out. Roman Catholic immigrants from Switzerland, they appear to have established branches in several Yorkshire towns. Their families are not easy to assemble. A Jerome Vassali aged 38 is a jeweller and master jet manufacturer employing 12 men in Scarborough in 1861 but I haven’t been able to establish who his parents are yet. If he is the son of shipowner Jerome his mother was born Jane ANDERSON and may therefore be related by blood to Richard Anderson Cammish. Captain Syd’s database indicates that Richard’s predecessor as skipper of Jerome was John FELL. A fisherman with that name married Richard’s sister Mary in 1830 and died in 1841 aged 33. Perhaps the respect afforded his widow derived more from a connection to the relatively wealthy “foreigners” than from her service as a bathing attendant.

Beach 131 · Reighton Sands

Scoured out

“Wilf”

William Henry CASS was not a stranger to me. I wrote about him almost ten years ago on the first Looking at Filey blog, but somehow missed his connection to the Reighton Tragedy. You will find reference to his attempted rescue of the girls at the Norwood College website. Explore further while you are there and you may happen upon the LaF posts – scroll to the ninth item on the Record of Changes. Make sure you also check out the photographs of Wilf and Ruth here.

There has been some recent PRUDAMES activity on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but there is an amount of tidying up to be done. For some unaccountable reason, Ruth’s Uncle Francis Prudames was given a long life, a wife and many children, when in reality he died in his second year. Before removing  Francis and his sisters Ann and Mary from their unbelievable mother I took this screenshot.

I have left Hannah with the seven questionable children, the first four born before she reached the age of ten, but poor Ann ARCHER is out there somewhere, husbandless. I should, perhaps, feel some remorse at being the agent of her abandonment.

Ruth’s grandfather Samuel was born 111 years after the Hannah Kilborn’s husband. You can find him on the Shared Tree here.

Sunrise 50 · Coble Landing

Mixed Marriages

Registered at birth as Hester Frances, Esther SHERGOLD is the grandmother of Vena Beatrice SMALL, wife of Corporal Robert HARRISON (Saturday’s post). The area around Wilton in Wiltshire was a hotbed of Shergolds in the 19th century.

In 1861 Hester is seven years old and described in the census as “daughter of Housekeeper”. Her widowed mother, Ann, has two other children with her in the household of John TRIGLE, an agricultural labourer and a widower.

The GRO Births Index entry for Tom Shergold (1846) gives his mother’s maiden surname as THORN; for younger sister Sarah Ann (1851) it is THORNE. Hester’s mother is not named in the GRO Index. This is usually an indication that the child is illegitimate.

The search for Ann’s dead husband brought these two marriages –

John Trigle had three motherless children in the house kept by Ann Shergold in 1861 and the Births Index affirms that his wife’s maiden name was Everett.

The first sight I had of Emanuel Shergold was on the FamilySearch Tree.

This Emanuel died in 1859, Charlotte fifteen years later. “Just Jane” in the screenshot is Charlotte’s daughter by an unknown father, born before marriage to Emanuel and, I suspect, unwisely married off to stepbrother James because she is described in the 1851 census (HO107 Piece 1848 f.115 p.15) as Emanuel’s “daughter in law”.

The Emanuel who married Ann in 1846 died towards the end of the following year, when his son Tom was about a year old.

And yes, dear reader, John Trigle married his housekeeper in 1864. In 1881 they are enumerated in Church Street, Stapleford. John, 58, works the fields and Ann takes in laundry. The 1891 census indicates that Ann has ceased work but John labours on at the given age of only 66.

Ann’s youngest child made her way to London and in 1880 (as Esther) married Gilbert SMALL, a policeman, in Camberwell. They had eleven children. Second daughter Lydia Vina (or Vena) did not offer her maiden name when registering the birth of Viena Beatrice Small in the first quarter of 1905, or give the father’s name when the child was baptised (as Vena Beatrick in transcription) at Charlton Near Dover, Kent (19 January).

“Beatrice V Small” married Robert Harrison in Scarborough in 1931 and in 1950, three years after Robert’s death, “Vena B” married Cyril HARDWICK in Filey St Oswald’s. This stone marks her grave in the churchyard…

In loving memory of VENA BEATRICE, dearly loved wife of CYRIL HARDWICK

and a dear mother, fell asleep 16th March 1976 aged 71.

‘Gone from our home

but not from our hearts’

Flight of Fancy 30 · Sand Trees

Google alt text: a close up of a person’s hair

Men in Drink

Gathering notes and sources together for Wiki Tree  “profile people” is time-consuming. Writing their biographies likewise.

Charles Waters SCRIVENER, surgeon, was visited with a variety of misfortunes in the late sixties and early seventies of the 19th century. His second child died not long after her birth in 1868, he declared himself bankrupt the following year and in April 1871 his wife Jane died. Six months before that, in the process of getting a valuation on a watch from Nathaniel (aka William) COOPER, he was assaulted in the Refreshment Room at Filey Station by a drunken carriage proprietor. John RICHARDSON believed the surgeon had a monetary debt to repay.

The debt in today’s money is about £290 and John’s fine plus costs a little over a third of that. I’m sure I have seen John in court before but his pedigree contains some solid citizens in Filey Genealogy & Connections. His representation on FamilySearch is minimal. He married twice but neither spouse is recorded on the Shared Tree.

Watchmaker Cooper has three footholds the Shared Tree, twice as Nathaniel, once as William – the pages generated by his own christening and those of his two daughters.

 Charles’ friend, William THORALD, may be the Reverend William THOROLD who is buried in Manor Road Cemetery, Scarborough. He has a brief biography on the Yorkshire Chess History website and it is interesting to note that “William was accused by his congregation in Weeton of being a drunkard, and was removed from active pastoral care”.

I hope to put Charles on Wiki Tree tomorrow.

Townscape 66 · Scarborough Spa

Elizabeth Resurrected

It seems that most of Filey was disconnected from the Internet for several hours yesterday. With a couple of hours of my online “working day” remaining, I thought I would write a brief post on the anniversary of Michael AGAR’s death. (The newspaper publication date erroneously gives the impression that the event took place on Christmas Day.)

William was the oldest of the children but he would follow his father’s calling – and drown before the age of thirty. Elizabeth, his wife, died with him.

In memory of WILLIAM AGAR, Master Mariner aged 28 years, and ELIZABETH his wife aged 27 years, who were lost on their passage from London to Shields during a severe gale on the 7th of January 1839.

I put this photograph on FamilySearch as a memory over three years ago. Elizabeth CHEW had two existing IDs back then and I chose the one generated by a marriage source to represent her on the Shared Tree. The other ID linked to her christening record and parents Robert and Elizabeth nee COOK.

Yesterday, I discovered that both of these IDs had been merged. “My Elizabeth” had been taken from her husband.

It gets worse. The gravestone memory is currently linked to an Elizabeth Chew who rose from a watery grave, married again and had a child. Look here.

And this is the Tree View –

Searching the GRO Births Index for a minute or two reveals Ann Elizabeth’s mother to be Elizabeth GREAVES. Investing a bit more time will gather up Ann Elizabeth’s eight siblings, all registered in Knaresborough. Then check in Free BMD Marriages –

I went a few extra yards to discover this William Agar was a farmer at Hopperton, near Knaresborough. He died aged 48 on 12 September 1855 and a newspaper notice said he was “highly respected”.

William and Elizabeth’s memorial stone stands at the head of an empty grave. Their bodies were not recovered. I haven’t found a definitive account of their ship’s disappearance, or discovered how many other souls were lost from it. Initially, I thought they were passengers but tantalizing circumstantial evidence points to the vessel being owned by William. Perhaps he had taken Elizabeth down to the capital to see the sights. The Shipping and Mercantile Gazette of 19 February 1839 records several casualties of the gale on 7 January, including Fama,under Captain RUSSELL, which went ashore on Spurn Point. Her cargo had to be unloaded and she did not reach Hull until 18 February, “with loss of foremast, bowsprit etc”. And in the Hull Packet of 22 February –

I will try to do right by William and Elizabeth.

Beach 123 · Filey Sands at Arndale