I don’t have the figures to prove it, but I have long thought that farmers and their offspring marry late. Later than around age 23 for women and 25 for men, that is.
In 1851, William SMITH was farming 160 acres just outside Hunmanby. The census declares he employed 4 indoor and 4 outside servants. His household comprised wife Sarah née POOL, three unmarried daughters between the ages of 34 and 38, his only son Robert, 30, his 70-year-old unmarried sister Ann, four farm labourers, a shepherd and one female house servant.
William was 27 when he married Sarah. Robert, their only son, waited until his 46th year before making an honest woman of Zillah Agar SUGGIT and farming in Filey at Church Cliff.
Three of Robert’s five sisters married and the last to tie the knot was Mary when she was 56 years old. Her husband, Matthew STAINTHORPE, was nine years older. The church register indicates that neither had been married before.
Matthew was some sort of gentleman. About six months after the wedding a census enumerator gave his occupation thus: –
Ten years earlier, he had been a butler to Grace Trumbull at Hunmanby Hall, a large country house with a live-in staff of eleven, eight of them unmarried women. Male companionship for Matthew was provided by a groom and a page, aged 24 and 16.
In 1861, possibly no more than a five-minute walk from the Hall, Mary, a Farmer’s Assistant, was living at Rose Cottage with her 19-year-old niece, Elizabeth HOOPER.
After the wedding in 1870, Matthew moved into Rose Cottage with Mary, but he had to share the property with sister in law, Sarah SMITH, 61. He didn’t quite make it to the 1881 census when the enumerator found Mary at Howe Farm, just outside Hunmanby, with sister Sarah and a servant, Anna POOL, possibly a relative.
Mary was a wife for just over nine years and a widow for 22. She died aged 89 in the summer of 1902.
One William SMITH married Jane NEWTON in Bridlington on 1 June 1765. They had two daughters, Jane born in 1766 in Bridlington and Harriet taking her first breath 22 years later in Scarborough. This is what Filey Genealogy & Connectionssuggests.
It would appear that I made some changes on FST a while ago that agreed on Harriet being their child but I didn’t add baby Jane, even though she “fits” better, born a year after the marriage of her parents.
Harriet’s mother heads one of the households in Roe’s Buildings, Filey, in 1841. Her age, however, is given as “80”, making her four years old in 1765. The first major British census was somewhat cavalier when noting ages but in 1849 a local newspaper had the following death notice:-
The civil registration agrees that Jane was 91 when she died.
I have looked in vain for another William Smith who married a Jane but, obviously, I must make some changes on FST.
Harriet is with her mother in Roe’s Buildings under her married name, AGAR. Her husband drowned in Plymouth Harbour in 1816. The couple is remembered on their headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard, with Michael’s sister, Zillah.
“Sleeping” next to Harriet is her sister, Sarah, wife of Jeremiah HUDSON.
In Memory of SARAH, wife of JEREMIAH HUDSON, Scarborough, Master Mariner, and daughter of WILLIAM and JANE SMITH, who departed this life 11th day of July 1844, aged 52 years.
Sarah is also resident at Roe’s Buildings in 1841, her age given as 45. I thought Sarah must be a widow too but further research found her husband enumerated seven miles away in Scarborough, living alone in Sand Side. He was a sailor and the separation may have been one of convenience. I’m perhaps being charitable because a few months after Sarah’s death his first child with Jane BROADRICK was born in London. I’ll write more about Jeremiah another time but there is a post on the first Looking at Filey blog, Fisherman Smacked, that might serve to introduce him, though it contains some errors of fact and interpretation. He is on FST with his second wife and their brood but two appearances with Sarah only give the marriage.
The fourth elderly lady at Roe’s buildings was widow Elizabeth BROWN. Three years older than Jane, she may have been her sister. That could be a clue to Jane’s identity – but I haven’t found Elizabeth’s marriage yet. Elizabeth is resting eternally next to Michael Agar and Harriet.
In memory of ELIZABETH BROWN of Scarborough, widow, who died 17th November 1843, aged 85 years.
The “deal” that was so good for the Eurocrats has been dismissed in the UK parliament. Terrific, but Dr Stevehas more confidence than I have that Brexit will happen this year. Styx(‘ware F-bombs) gives some reasons why wanting to remain in the EU makes little sense.
The grave of James Jackson SMITH (Saturday’s post) is just to the right of the surprisingly leafy tree that hides the east window of the church in Today’s Image. I have added some more information and sources to his pedigree on FamilySearch Tree and penned a rudimentary Life Sketch. I failed to find him in a couple of censuses and the sketch attempts to make a case for his two marriages. His first marriage, to Elizabeth Harriet CULPIN, gives his two sons a much longer branch than any of his own thus far – to John Culpin (1565 – 1593), a Yorkshireman.
Apropos my little canary…
Beyond the current heatwave, the overall warming trend has disrupted snakes’ breeding cycles, meaning there could potentially be more snakes, acting more aggressively, because they were charged up by the heat.
“So the likelihood of a venomous snake coming into a dwelling to escape the heat is probably a lot more than it used to be,” Mr Modra said.
University of Queensland snake expert Professor Bryan Fry agrees, saying snakes are the “scaly canaries in the coal mine” warning of deeper problems in the ecosystem.
“Snake encounters will go up with this extreme weather as snakes are trying to escape the heat,” Professor Fry said.
Source: Climate Change in Australia (second article from TVNZ), Seemorerocks
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.
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 Lodgefor 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.
There are 13 people born BRADLEY in Filey Genealogy & Connections but none are Samuel, Jack or Geoffrey. The family remembered in Filey churchyard is not yet represented on the FamilySearch Tree. Geoffrey’s name does, however, appear on the War Memorial in Murray Street – and on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hillin London.
The official record and the family headstone say he died on the 11th July but he lived for about two hours of the twelfth day. Two torpedoes from U-582 struck the SS Port Hunter at 01.47 hours, west-southwest of Madeira. Explosions ripped the vessel apart and she sank in a couple of minutes. Three men who were sleeping on deck were blown into the sea and rescued a few hours later. Sixty-eight crew members, 14 gunners and five passengers were lost “presumed drowned”. (Some would have been killed in the explosions.)
Geoffrey was an apprentice in the Merchant Navy, 17 years old. The master of Port Hunter was John Bentham BRADLEY. I have spent some time gathering Geoffrey’s forebears but, so far, haven’t discovered that they are related.
Geoffrey’s birth was registered in Scarborough but his father was a Lincolnshire lad. His mother, Hannah, was a SMITH and has so far evaded capture. She was Samuel’s second wife. He first married Lusianna ROBINSON in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1888. I found eight children in Boston born to a Bradley/Robinson couple in the GRO Online Index but the 1911 transcription on Find My Past states they had 7 children in 23 years of marriage, one of whom had died.
Lusianna (various spellings) died in late 1917, aged 50. Samuel married Hannah Elizabeth SMITH in the summer of 1919, in Boston. Jack was born two years later and Geoffrey in the last quarter of 1925.
I have some information for about thirty of Geoffrey’s ancestors. FamilySearch has records for most of them but I have found just three on the World Tree thus far. It’s a start.
Wharton SMITH was baptized at St. Oswald’s, Filey on this day 1879. The eighth child of Robert Smith and Zillah Agar SUGGIT he went to South Africa and became a farmer. Robert had moved from Hunmanby to farm at Church Cliff and when he died in 1890 his second son, Tom, became “master”. In 1897 Tom employed a “quiet steady lad” of about twenty called Edwin JOHNSON as a foreman. He worked well until harvest time the following year and one day refused to work as instructed. He asked to be paid off, went to Scarborough, bought a revolver and the next evening returned to Church Cliff and fired a shot at farm labourer Matthew Milner who, he claimed, had taken his job. As this “shooting incident” began to unfold Wharton confronted the gunman who said to him, “You needn’t be frightened; it’s not you I’m going to hurt.” Wharton, who was described in newspaper reports as a draper, ran to fetch the police. He returned with P.C. WILES who asked Johnson, “What is the matter?” Edwin, said, “What do you want? It is all right,” lifted his arm, put the barrel to his own head and pulled the trigger.
FamilySearch Treesuggests that Edwin died about 1900 but a couple of records I have found today suggest he lived to the age of 91. He carried the bullet around in his head all that time but kept the sight in one eye that enabled him to work as an agricultural labourer for most of his life. The judge, convinced he would go blind, passed a merciful sentence at trial, binding him over in the sum of £10 to be of good behavior and to “come up for judgment if called upon”.
Wharton, two years younger than the unfortunate Edwin, isn’t readily found on FST. I gave his father a wife a few weeks ago and will put the children on the Tree tomorrow. Before he departed for South Africa, Wharton was photographed at the Studio of E. STEAD in Aberdeen Walk, rather neatly turned out as you would expect of a draper’s assistant. He married Christine DREYER and three children were born in SA, all with Agar as a middle name. The Agar/Smith/Suggits are well represented on FG&Cand I have a number of photographs kindly donated to LaF by James Suggit and anonymous family members via Kath (Gomersall) Wilkie which I will share in the coming months. Below is a picture of Wharton in his later years.
Update 28 August
I added the children of Robert SMITH and Zillah Agar SUGGIT to FamilySearch tree today, plus the photo of young Wharton and a photo of the headstone remembering Robert, his wife and three of their daughters. The FST ‘system’ offered a hint which proved to be a record of Wharton’s death in Bloemfontein in 1975.
This morning I photographed Church Cliff House, formerly the Smith’s home, and made it ‘Today’s Image’.
Hilda Charlotte HANKES was eighty-six years old when she died in Scarborough in 1962. The available public records don’t give any clues to the reasons why she did not marry. They do, however, indicate that she was something of a catch. Age 24 at the 1901 Census, she was “living on [her] own means”.
The HANKES money was made in salt. Her father, William, was described as a Salt Dealer in 1861 and a Salt Merchant in 1871. In 1881, though, he was a “Retired Farmer” and only 44 years of age. He seems to have filled his days of early retirement by joining several Filey Societies and serving on a number of committees. At the Filey Horticultural and Horse Show in August 1881 he was a Steward in the Foals and Leapers Department with Messrs Robson, Scrivener, Haworth, Birch and Maley. In May 1882 he proposed the vote of thanks to Captain RIDDELL who had given a lecture on the Afghan War at the Spa Saloon, in aid of the Church Schools. In August that year he was Honorary Secretary of the local committee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and in March 1883 was elected chairman for that year’s Filey Show. At the end of the year he was a prime mover in reviving cricket in Filey. The sport had been dormant for years “for want of a suitable field” but as Honorary Secretary of the new club William helped to secure land in one of the best parts of town, watched the creation of the pitch and must have looked forward to many a summer afternoon, playing the game perhaps or watching. He may have enjoyed a match or two but died in September 1884, when he was just 48 and his only child eight years old.
Hilda’s mother, Caroline Mary nee FREUND, was well provided for but she also died relatively young, in 1898. Hilda found herself an orphan at twenty-two. She seems, however, to have been a young woman of intellectual as well as material substance. In Edwardian Filey she features many times in the local newpapers. Her appearances in “theatrical entertainments” were often in partnership with a Mrs Horsfield, “two very clever exponents of the historic art” one newspaper report proclaimed. Occasionally these performances were given for good causes and in January 1909, “as a result of the recent theatricals at Filey”, Hilda gave £6 11s to the Rev A. N. COOPER “for the soup kitchen”. The following month she was in the company that performed “A Sensational Case” in aid of the Free Breakfast Fund. Towards the end of the year she was one of a group of people who procured for St John’s Church “a small, portable American organ” for use at daily services, classes and meetings held in the large vestry. It would appear that Hilda was settling in for a long but fulfilled spinsterhood. It was not all play acting, though. In October 1909 the Scarborough Mercury reported on the Quarterly Council Meeting in Cardiff of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, noting that H. C. Hankes was Hon Sec of the Filey W.S.S.
The Scarborough Evening News of 22nd July 1901 reported on another of Hilda’s interests.
Last Saturday afternoon [20th] some of the members of the Filey Field Naturalists Club made an excursion to the cliffs at Bempton. Their visit was well timed, as the cliff-climbers having ceased work the week before, the birds were very tame, and allowed the members to get quite near to them without betraying any alarm. The ledges and crevices of the cliffs were full of sea-birds; indeed, in many places it was quite impossible for even one more to find a resting-place, and the visitors spent a long time observing them from different points of vantage, and gained much information about the different kinds of birds and their habits, etc. The weather was brilliantly fine, and a most enjoyable afternoon was spent. The secretary is Miss Hilda Hankes, Upcliffe House, Filey, who will be glad to receive the names of those wishing to join. A programme of the excursions proposed for the next few weeks will soon be issued.
I don’t have the evidence but I suspect Hilda’s love of “the natural world” sustained her throughout her long and husband-less life. There may be people reading this who remember her.
A bit of an update
Hilda’s mother was one of the FREUNDs I wrote about last month. Caroline Mary is on FST (M9HG-NQY) but only tied to the record of her first marriage to Newman ELDERS. He died in 1869 and Caroline Mary married William HANKES two years later. Hilda had a half sister, Mary Freund ELDERS, born 1867 in Reighton. Neither girl appears to be represented on FST.
Yesterday I photographed the Celtic Cross that marks the grave of Hilda and her mother but I prefer the pictures I made five years ago. Here’s looking at the Cross from both sides then.
D8 Celtic cross
In Loving Memory of CAROLINE MARY HANKES
born December 27th 1840 died August 22nd 1898
HILDA CHARLOTTE HANKES daughter, born July 9th 1876, died Sept 10th 1962
Hilda went to live with her half-sister after their mother died. Mary Freund ELDERS married Robert William SMITH in 1892 and at the 1901 Census they were living at 7 Murray Street with their 6 year old daughter Mildred Mary, Hilda and two servants. The arrangement must have suited because ten years later Hilda was with them at 14 Southdene and still “living on her own means”. (Mildred was absent on that Census night, possibly away at school.) Over the next 25 years or so Hilda must have become restless – or perhaps her own means had run out – because at the Register taken at the start of the Second World War she was working as a librarian, 63 years old – and still living with Robert William, Mary and Mildred, at 21 Southdene. (The Public Library was situated at the other end of the street, a couple of minutes walk away.)