Restored

I wrote a post about Annie WHITAKER at the beginning of last year (Mrs Nicholson Does Good). Her daughter Maude married the Vicar of Filey, Arthur Nevile COOPER in 1891. A local story has it that Maude faced competition from an older woman for Arthur’s affections. Elinor CLARKE, the town’s wealthiest resident, is said to have built Northcliffe House (Today’s Image) in the hope that it would tempt the vicar into matrimony.

It was perhaps Maude’s youth that won the cleric’s heart – she was almost 20 years his junior and 27 years younger than her rival.

I photographed the couple’s grave in May 2017.

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Arthur had been Vicar of Filey for over fifty years. The next time I saw the church open for visitors I went in to express my sadness and disappointment at the neglect of his last resting place. Rev Paul went into action immediately and did some initial “groundwork”, but the task was too big for him. Last week I noticed someone putting finishing touches to the raised headstone. I went over to thank him for his efforts and received a guided tour to other stones he has restored to something like their former glory. As an employee of the Probation Service, Paul has managed his community service labour force and limited funding for materials to work wonders at Dean Road in Scarborough – and now at Filey.

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I have added some information to the Cooper/Nicholson tree today.

Elinor’s pedigree is somewhat neglected on FamilySearch. No photographs of her have surfaced yet but here is a portrait of the vicar at 62, taken by the Rev STANWELL and kindly made available to the Looking at Filey blog by Ann Wilkie (WILLIS).

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Mrs. Nicholson Does Good

District Intelligence: Filey

School Treat

[Last] Saturday afternoon the children of the Church day and Sunday schools had their annual treat. A substantial tea was provided, and in the evening prizes were distributed to about three hundred. They were given by Mrs. Nicholson, of the Crescent, who last week gave a tea to twenty-nine little girls, whom she teaches sewing. She also has provided a soup kitchen in Hope-street, and distributes soup to the poor twice a week.

Scarborough Mercury, 14 January 1882

Annie NICHOLSON was 34 years old in 1882, a mother of three girls and engaged in the kind of good works you might expect from an older woman whose children have flown the nest. But she’d met her husband at the age of thirteen (perhaps earlier) and buried him at 29 so perhaps she was old beyond her years. (She would die in 1902, aged 54.)

For the second half of her life, she lived at 11, The Crescent, Filey – the photograph below was taken this morning, her front door just visible in the twin portico.

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Her husband, Walter NICHOLSON, was the fifth of thirteen children born to the wealthy and ennobled Leeds Magistrate and Landed Proprietor, William Nicholson NICHOLSON, and Martha née RHODES. (William had changed his birth name, from William Nicholson PHILIPS, so that he could inherit the Nicholson estate at Roundhay Park.)

Walter led a busy and financially rewarding life as a manufacturer and farmer yet still found time to be a Guardian for the Wharfedale Union. He left Annie well provided for when he died aged 37, in 1877. No. 11 The Crescent had five servants in 1881, 3 in 1891, and 4 in 1901.

Annie WHITAKER was born in Liverpool in 1848 but the Census snapshot of 1861 captures her visiting the home of William FISON in Burley in Wharfedale. He was a manufacturer who employed over 400 workers. Another visitor that Census night was 21-year-old Walter NICHOLSON. The couple must have made a great impression on each other, and married seven years later at St George’s church in Everton.

The Nicholsons of Roundhay Park are well represented on the FamilySearch Tree – and two of Walter’s brothers threaten to draw attention from the dutiful Annie. The colourful story of Rhodes Tudor and Albert Henry can be found in this PDF. It complements the NICHOLSON and Nga (Wha Wha) RITAKA pedigrees on FST.

When I first looked at his pedigree, this morning, Walter was lacking a wife. Annie was on the Tree with her parents so I united her with her six siblings, joined her unto Walter and gave them their three girls. The youngest, Maude, married the 40-year-old vicar of Filey when she was just 21. Arthur Nevile COOPER is still talked about today as “The Walking Parson”. (He would leave his Filey flock untended for months on end to ramble across Europe, once to Rome, another time to Florence.)  For all his elevated position in the community and long life, I couldn’t find him on FST. He has a presence now but there’s work to be done to give him some forebears.