Shirt Sleeve Weather

It didn’t feel that warm. Thin-blooded ancients like me kept their fleeces on, but very small children removed most of their clothes for the serious work of building castles on the sand. And there were games of cricket.

This afternoon in Aberdeenshire, Aboyne recorded Scotland’s highest February temperature since 1897; 18.3°C. Filey peaked at 15.5°C at about 2 o’clock, while on this day 2010, (when Today’s Image was made), the maximum in Whitby was 2.3°C.

Where would we be without global dimming? The skies above Glen Gardens reminded me of the phenomenon.

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These are commercial trails, made by jetliners from Munich, Amsterdam and Wroclaw, (Easyjet, KLM and Ryanair Sun), all heading for Edinburgh. Not wilful geo-engineering.

Neighbours · 1

WilliamGravesWilliam Munro and Graves Bulmer rest eternally in St Oswald’s churchyard, about a hundred paces from each other. In life, for a short time, they were near neighbours. In October 1834 a notice in a local newspaper gave advanced notice of an Auction of properties in Filey to be held early the following year.

 

Also, two other MESSUAGES or DWELLING-HOUSES, one of them newly erected, and now in the occupation of Mr. Wm Dunn, and the other occupied by Mr. Munro, Surgeon.

Also, a neat STONE COTTAGE, with the Barn and Out-buildings adjoining, in the occupation of Graves Bulmer. Also the BATH-HOUSE, fitted up with Hot and Cold Baths, and a piece of Building Ground in the Town Street.

A note in William’s record in Filey Genealogy &Connections states:-

1823:  a warm bath may be procured by applying at the house of Mr Munro, surgeon, who is possessed of a portable one, manufactured out of tin on an improved construction, which can be either lent out, or persons may be accommodated with it at Mr M’s house.

(The date “1823” must be treated with suspicion. A 17-year-old surgeon?)

At the 1841 Census, four Munro men were living in Main Street, Filey. William is first named, age 35, occupation Surgeon. Donald, 65, is a Grocer; John, 20, a Confectioner; Donald, 25, an Engineer. Also enumerated are a Surgeon’s Assistant, two female servants and a boy, 10, also a servant. William’s wife, Agnes, had died the previous year but his mother (and the elder Donald’s wife) was still living but enumerated elsewhere.

In 1851, Donald senior is living alone in Murray Street, Filey, age given as 74 and described as a widower and “Out Pensioner of Chelsea and Bath Keeper”. I don’t know what happened to the younger Donald or John, but the deaths of William, his mother, and wife are recorded on this headstone.

A10_MUNROwm_20170503_fst

Erected to the memory of WILLIAM MUNRO, Late Surgeon at this place, who departed this life on 27th July 1841, aged 36 years.

Also of [blank] his Wife, who departed this life on the 25th Dec. 1840, aged 40 years.

Also of JANET, Wife of Donald Munro and Mother of the above, who died the 22nd December 1843.

The East Yorkshire Family History Society’s transcription gives the name of William’s wife as “—ES” but the first three letters of Agnes can, just about, be recognized. The GRO Death Index entry offers confirmation.

Name: Age at Death (in years): 
MUNRO, AGNES 41
GRO Reference: 1840  D Quarter in SCARBROUGH  Volume 24  Page 306

William’s father died in the June quarter of 1861, probably in Filey because his death was registered in Scarborough District, but I can’t find him in the census, taken that year on 7 April.

I’ve mentioned the Munro ethnicity – and don’t have the slightest idea what brought the family to Filey. I turned to FamilySearch, hoping to find William’s origins. I searched for him in Scotland with a birth year between 1804 and 1806 and 15 Williams of that ilk were returned. Only one had a mother called Janet.

MUNROwm_20181211_FST

I checked the christening source.

1805_MUNROwm_chr_FST

“Daniel” is a caution. But wait!

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1843_MUNROjanet_BURIAL

And on Find My Past there is a transcription from Scottish Marriages 1561 – 1910 recording the union of Donald MUNRO and Janet SHEPHERD at Canongate, Edinburgh, 28 May 1803. These pieces of evidence suggest that “Daniel” on the christening record is a transcription error.

I haven’t found a cause of William’s early death but he clearly made an impression on the people of the area. On 11 March 1878, under the challenging title Monuments of Negligence at Filey, a gentleman began his letter to the editor of The Scarborough Mercury thus:-

Sir,-Through seeing in your paper for some weeks past sundry notices relative to the ancient town of Filey, I was induced to visit the place, and would fain call back to memory the names of men such as Dr. Munro, Dr. Cortis, Mr. Suggitt, and many others who were ever alive to the necessity of enhancing the interests of this romantic spot, and by them a spirit of enterprise was manifested in attending to the wants of a growing population.

‘Sinus Salutaris’

Tomorrow I’ll tell what I know about Neighbour BULMER.

 

Sleigh Ride to Mount Pleasant

I have been led astray the last three days – on a long and circuitous journey taking in Middle England, Scotland, Holland, and India, with a fanciful spin round Amen Corner on the way.

There are countless places in the English speaking world that have areas called Mount Pleasant – see how many there are in and around Swansea – but I fetched up just 20 miles north of Filey, in Robin Hood’s Bay.

Intrigued by the rather quick remarriage of Thomas Matthew EDWARDS, following the too early death of Elizabeth Alice STORY, I went in search of Ann NICHOL. She was 36 years old when she married Thomas in 1882 and I found soon enough that her maiden surname was possibly SLEIGH. I fired up the LDS 1881 British Census – I have my family’s heartland counties in a FileMaker database – and searched for Ann. Imagine my surprise…

1881_NICOLL&SLEIGH_s

Well Road doesn’t exist anymore in Bridlington unless it is masquerading as Well Lane, but I was really pleased to see the widow Nicoll next door to her parents. Young Ann had also had a son with George NICOLL, given name Linwood, his grandmother’s maiden surname. I haven’t found a record of his death but he would have been ten years old in 1881. All four Nicoll children were born in Forfarshire/Angus, Scotland.

George NICOLL, a Scotsman, had married Ann SLEIGH in Kings Norton, Worcestershire in 1866. He took his young bride home and died aged 49 in Forfar, in 1878. Ann returned to England with the three girls, met widower Thomas EDWARDS and his young son Walter William, joined forces and moved from Bridlington with her parents to her mother’s hometown, Pocklington. Young Ann’s marriage lasted no time at all. Thomas died in 1884.

I don’t know what happened to the boy EDWARDS over the next twenty years but in 1891 Ann and two of the girls were living in The Balk, Pocklington, and her parents not far away in Percy Road. Lily had gone up to Scotland on a visit.

As chance had it, Pocklington’s GP was Dr. Alexander Ferrier Angus FAIRWEATHER, born in Holland to the Reverend Robert of that ilk who, for four years, led the Scottish Church in Rotterdam.

FAIRWEATHERdelfshaven

Dr. Alexander’s eldest son Robert, also a medical man, born in Balfron (Stirling), married Lily NICOLL in Pocklington in 1893. Death cut that marriage short too. I haven’t established when or where the younger Robert FAIRWEATHER died – best fit is Tynemouth in 1897, aged 32 – but at the 1901 Census widow Lily was working as a school matron in London.

Lily’s grandmother, Ann née LINWOOD, died in Pocklington shortly after the 1891 census was taken, and John SLEIGH followed her to the next world five years later. In 1901 Ann EDWARDS was settling into Mount Pleasant, Robin Hood’s Bay, with unmarried daughters Annie and Bessie, (now going by “Nita” and “Bettie”). This section of the village today has three stretches of road designated Mount Pleasant North, South and East and there is little chance of identifying the Edwards house. But this image from the Francis Frith Company will give an idea of what it was like then. Not so distinguished now. (Photo: Google Street View.)

RobinHoodsBayMtPleasant_GoogleSV

At the 1911 Census, Ann and daughters Lily and Bessie (once again) are together at Mount Pleasant. I don’t know what happened to Annie but I did catch up with William Walter EDWARDS, now a cashier at a paper mill in Tamworth, married to Mary Frances née RANFORD, with a daughter Alicia Clare, 7, and son Raymund Walter, 5. Both children were born in the area from which their step-grandmother had hailed.

North of the border, the FAIRWEATHERs had celebrated their triumphs and endured some tragedies. Dr. Alexander’s older brother, John Bisset, born in Rotterdam, died aged 60 after a swift and sad decline, his health possibly affected by 13 years spent on a coffee plantation in India. His sister, Isabella Guthrie married a soldier and gave birth to her third child on the sub-continent – and died aged 27 when the wee lad was just two years old.

And what of Amen Corner? The mother in law of the first Alexander Ferrier Angus was Margaret LOW  of Stonehaven and he agreed to his second child being christened Margaret Eliza Low FAIRWEATHER.  If you are of a certain age (and British) you will understand why I was triggered.

Most of the folk mentioned in this post can be found on FamilySearch.

A Man Who Loved Horses

Five years ago I wrote a post about one Robert COLLEY, up before the magistrates at Bridlington Petty Sessions charged with cruelty to a horse. I couldn’t identify the miscreant with confidence back then but I did find the attending RSPCA officer in the recently taken 1881 Census. I checked on Samuel CRAIGIE again today and discovered he came to a rather sad end.

He became an Inspector with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after serving in the British Army. I don’t know how long he was a soldier, service number 365, but he must have spent many hours on a horse. His attestation date was 10th November 1864 and at the 1871 Census he was enumerated at the Cavalry Barracks, Spital Road, New Windsor. When discharged he was a Corporal Major in the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards – the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer in the Household Cavalry.  He must have known great despair when he witnessed, time and again, the terrible cruelty his fellow humans inflicted on their animals in “civvy street”.

I couldn’t find him in 1891 but ten years later he was working as a check taker in a Music Hall, aged 56. (He collected tickets from patrons entering the auditorium and perhaps showed them to their seats.) His wife Ellen Agnes was helping to make ends meet by working as a needlewoman. About thirty months later she found herself a widow.

1903_CRAIGIEsam_death_NEWS

Samuel is on FamilySearch Tree, the second child (and second Samuel) of Andrew Craigie and Susan Lamb, born in Coupar Angus on the 1st June 1844. He had 5 brothers and four sisters but I failed to find any children he may have had with Ellen Agnes. I have struggled to find this lady in the records. I suspect she was a widow when she married Samuel and she may have been reluctant to give her true age to census enumerators. The death of an Ellen Agnes Craigie registered in Nottingham in 1916 has her age as 78, eight years older than the Ellen of the 1901 Census.