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.

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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.

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I checked the christening source.

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“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.

 

A Filey Shepherd

There were several farms in and around Filey in the 19th century but I don’t think any raised sheep. When Filey Fields Farm went under the hammer in the early 1930s the byres, sheds, and pens were for cattle only. So, any young Filey man wanting to work with sheep had to leave the town.

Robert CAPPLEMAN was born into a fishing family. Two brothers, Thomas and “Jack Wraxer”, negotiated the dangers of this dangerous occupation, as did the father, John Pockley CAPPLEMAN. Robert’s youngest brother, Stephenson, died a soldier in South Africa (see the post Three Soldiers, 30 May).

Robert began his working life as a fisherman. The 1881 census captures him aged 14 following in his dad’s wake. Ten years later he was a servant on Greenhills Farm near Pickering and the following year he married Mary Hannah BERRIMAN from East Lutton. The couple had five children in the first twelve years of married life, as they moved from farm to farm on the Yorkshire Wolds. The last two children, though, were born in Beswick, in 1902 and 1904. Thirty-five years later, Robert was recorded in the 1939 Register in Beswick, aged 72, and still working as a shepherd. His death was registered in December Quarter 1952 in Holderness District, which includes Beswick within its boundaries.

By chance, my bed-time Kindle reading at the moment is Wild Life in a Southern County. I have a copy of the book, picked up at Winchester Market for 25 pence in 1978, about a hundred years after it was published. In Chapter V, Richard Jefferies has this to say about shepherds:-

If any labourers deserve to be paid well, it is the shepherds: upon their knowledge and fidelity the principal profit of a whole season depends on so many farms. On the bleak hills in lambing time the greatest care is necessary; and the fold, situated in a hollow if possible, with the down rising on the east or north, is built as it werer of straw walls, thick and warm, which the sheep soon make hollow inside, and this have a cave in which to nestle.

The shepherd has a distinct individuality, and is generally a much more observant man in his own sphere than the ordinary labourer. He knows every single field in the whole parish, what kind of weather best suits its soil, and can tell you without going within sight of a given farm pretty much what condition it will be found in. Knowledge of this character may seem trivial to those whose days are passed indoors; yet it is something to recollect all the endless fields in several square miles of country. As a student remembers for years the type and paper, the breadth of the margin – can see, as it were, before his eyes the bevel of the binding and hear again the rustle of the stiff leaves of some tall volume which he found in a forgotten corner of a library, and bent over with such delight, heedless of dust and “silverfish” and the gathered odour of years – so the shepherd recalls his books, the fields; for he, in the nature of things, has to linger over them and study every letter: sheep are slow.

When the hedges are grubbed and the grass grows where the hawthorn flowered, still the shepherd can point out to you where the trees stood – here an oak and here an ash. On the hills he has often little to do but ponder deeply, sitting on the turf of the slope, while the sheep graze in the hollow, waiting for hours as they eat their way. Therefore by degrees a habit of observation grows upon him – always in reference to his charge: and if he walks across the parish off duty he still cannot choose but notice how the crops are coming on, and where there is most “keep”. The shepherd has been the last of all to abandon the old custom of long service. While the labourers are restless,there may still be found not a few instances of shepherds whose whole lives have been spent upon one farm. Thus, from the habit of observation and the lapse of years, they often become local authorities; and when a dispute of boundaries or water rights or right of way arises, the question is frequently finally decided by the evidence of such a man.

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St Margaret’s, Beswick, 20 June 2017

Robert’s pedigree on FST is a work in progress. On FG&C he has a “guesswork wife” but his ancestors may be usefully compared with those on the World Tree.

Today’s Image

Two days after the patriotic beach scene was recorded, England was beaten 2 – 1 by Italy in the first group match of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. A few days later, Uruguay defeated our lads by the same score. I remember nothing about the third match. A goalless draw with Costa Rica meant an ignominious exit by England in the group stage. National pride this year is at the feet of a relatively young bunch of multi-millionaires. They should do better than the faded “golden generation” last time out. I just hope our traveling supporters have a good time in Russia and come home with a different narrative about the Federation than the shameful one peddled by the United Kingdom regime these past few years.