Two Men Behaving Badly

Looking at Filey

Thursday 24 January 2013

Edward Richard SHARP[E] and John KING were incomers to Filey. Edward was born in Happisburgh, Norfolk, (Harborough in the LDS1881 census), and John in Horton, a tiny Wiltshire hamlet near Devizes. In 1885, when he was about 58 years old, John acted in a way that infuriated Edward, a 21-year-old unmarried bricklayer. The younger man reacted and ended up in Court.

District Intelligence Filey


At the Bridlington Petty Sessions on Saturday, Edward Sharp, of Filey, was charged with doing willful damage to the door of a house occupied by John King, omnibus driver, Filey. Defendant, who admitted the offence, but pleaded great provocation, was ordered to pay 5s. fine, 5s. damage, and 11s. costs.

Scarborough Mercury Friday 30 January 1885

Towards the end of the following year, Edward married Sarah LANE and the couple had 7 or 8 children, though at least three died in infancy. Edward died in 1937 aged 73 and beneath the inscription that also remembers two of his daughters, Gertrude Elizabeth and Sarah, it says: –

Always thoughtful, always kind, a beautiful memory left behind.

At the 1901 Census John KING, 74 years old, was still working but as an agricultural labourer and living in Queen Street with his wife, also called Sarah. They do not appear to have had any children. John died in 1903 (Free BMD Scarborough Jun Q 9d 222) and Sarah about three years later, aged 81 (Free BMD Scarborough Sep Q 9d 254).

A guinea in 1885 is now worth between about £90 (RPI) and £450 (average earnings calculation) so Edward probably didn’t go to the pub when he got home from Brid.

That evening, in a neighbouring county, some Filey men were behaving well.


The band of Filey fishermen have [sic] been holding services in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, New Shildon, with great success. On Saturday evening a service of song was given, entitled “A Night on the Deep” assisted by the Greenbank choir from Darlington.


1873 Lebberston · Birth · I created an ID for Betsy Ann ALDEN almost three years ago, when I put the headstone of her parents on the Shared Tree. She is still childless there – but she had seven boys and two girls with William Henry BRAITHWAITE. Thomas William, Alfred and Harold Edwin married and appear to have stayed in the parish, so there is much information that could be added.

Enumerated as “Henry” in 1911 and working in Gristhorpe as a farm labourer, William Henry is a  “farmer” in 1939 at Muston Cottage Farm. He died in 1955.

Betsy had died about fifteen months earlier, aged 80.

1886 Filey · Baptism Edward and younger sister Mary Elizabeth were both baptised on this day by Arthur Nevile Cooper at St Oswald’s. On the Shared Tree ­he is cut off from his birth family and is missing his birth date. He is married to Jack Sled’s eldest daughter, Mary Ann, and they have six children, most as yet unsourced. John William, Edward’s oldest brother has a foothold elsewhere on the Shared Tree with parents William and Ann née CHAPMAN but it will take several hours’ work to bring the family together.

Edward and Mary Ann are buried in St Oswald’s churchyard.

1918 Filey · Marriage George ABBOTT was thirty-years-old when he married Alice JOHNSON in St Oswald’s church. He was 35 when he died. Fifty years would pass before they were reunited.

Sacred to the memory of GEORGE, the beloved husband of ALICE ABBOTT, who died March 23rd 1923, aged 35 years.

‘Called to higher service’

Also his wife, ALICE ABBOTT, who died 17 December 1973, aged 82 years.


1918 Scarborough · Death There are nine people called CARTWRIGHT in FG&C and the earliest, Mary, appears in the eighteenth century. Robert Gordon Cartwright was born in Scarborough in 1894. Not a good time. The powers that were sent him to die for King and Country but he appears to have made it back to Blighty in 1918 where a note in the Filey database informs us – “he died from illness contracted in France”. His address is given on FG&C as 19 Asquith Avenue, Scarborough and I expected to find a civil death registration for him. Instead, I found a CWGC recording his burial on 14 January 1918 in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. Oddly –

Additional information: served as “JEFFINSON”, Son of Fred and Amelia Cartwright, of 19, Asquith Avenue, Scarborough.

Robert’s mother is “Amelia Mrs Cartwright” in FG&C. I now find her maiden surname is ABBOTT. Her husband, Fred, died in 1949 and probate went to “Ruth Amelia Cartwright, spinster”.

I have not found the family on the Shared Tree.

1921 Filey · Burial Sophia’s father, Thomas ROANTREE, was born in Etton but worked the Filey Mill in Common Right Lane, (where Ashley Court is now). The headstone remembering Sophia and her husband, Jenkinson HAXBY, can be seen on the Shared Tree.

Measure of Man 70 · Hope Street

The Miller’s Daughter

Thomas ROANTREE seems to have wandered East Yorkshire grinding corn, judging by the birthplaces ascribed to his many children. He did, however, stay long enough in Filey to be caught by a census enumerator. The family home in Common Right Road (“Lane” in the census) is easily picked out on a map printed in 1851. (Now West Road, with Ashley Court built on the site of the Mill.)

Sophia was a middle child and married Jenkinson HAXBY, a fisherman, in 1853. They were together for over fifty years but were not blessed with children of their own. The 1881 census transcription claims they had a daughter, also called Sophia, but this young woman was Jenkinson’s niece. Sophia’s niece, Emma ROWNTREE, lived with the couple for many years – she was not a “visitor”. Later censuses indicate she was their housekeeper and at their deaths inherited the property in Carlton Road. Emma was a child of Sophia’s elder brother Thomas Dickinson ROWNTREE who died young. The enumerator’s book reveals his confusion. (Jenkinson was enumerated that year in Grimsby, where he was staying with timber merchant Samuel ELLIS and family.)

Without responsibilities to a large family, Jenkinson had time to throw himself into community life – with gusto, purpose and success. Responding to his death in 1908, The Scarborough Mercury offered two observations: –


The late Mr. Jenkinson Haxby, of Filey, had made himself a name far beyond the bounds of the little town in which he was born and lived all his life. He was the leader for many years of a band of men known as the Filey Fishermen, who went from place to place holding services. They were attached to the Primitive Methodist body, and their breezy utterances were looked forward to in many places as a relief from the ordinary pulpit supply. The special line of religious teaching which they took is the one which is coming more and more into vogue. Jenkinson Haxby and his fellow fishermen had not much learning and were not able to dwell on the ancient side of religion and “the wonders of old time.” They specially spoke of their own experiences in the present, and what religion had done for them. Various circumstances are likely to bring this side uppermost, among others the teaching of the higher critics shows that the story of the past has been covered with many accretions, and even falsities, so that one scarcely knows truth from legend. But when dealing with the present, one is soon able to sift the chaff from the wheat.


Never was a larger funeral seen in Filey than when, last Tuesday, Mr. Jenkinson Haxby was [laid to rest]. The whole available population of [Filey] seemed present, and the Churchmen and dissenters vied in doing honour to his memory. The address at the grave was given by a Primitive Methodist, Rev. F. E. Heape. In the course of this he said he had known many disasters happen to the place, such as shipwrecks, loss of men, loss of gear, accidents to children, and the like, but the worst disaster he had ever known had been the death of Jenkinson Haxby. This sounds great praise, and some might think it exaggeration, but who can estimate the value of really good men! Before a naval battle, the Greeks were recounting the ships and men possessed by the enemy, and compared them with their own few, and looked desponding. “How many do you reckon me worth?” asked their admiral. The question was not necessarily a boastful one, for the event proved that one capable man in command was worth more than twenty ships, including the crews. So the loss of a good man of the pronounced type of Jenkinson Haxby may be greater in the long run than twenty ordinary disasters.

Sophia lived as a widow for twelve more years at No. 6 Carlton Road.

photographed this afternoon

I think it unlikely that Sophia was aware that many of her kin had dwelt in castles – Alnwick, Bamburgh and Leicester, to name just three. If the FamilySearch Shared Tree can be relied upon, she had forebears in a number of great English families – Percy, Neville, Mortimer and more. Harry Hotspur was a kinsman, John of Gaunt too, and Æthelred the Unready was a royal ancestor. You will find others if you start here and wander through time.

Tree 52 · Glen Gardens