Lunatics at Large

On the 7th August 1880, the unfortunate George MARTIN appeared before the Bridlington Petty Sessions. This insignificant event passed me by on Tuesday so I made a note to update the story next year. This morning the Radio Five Live breakfast news informed me that “America” was intending to impose more sanctions on Russia for poisoning the Skripals. And yesterday several social media companies in the vicinity of San Francisco wiped Alex Jones’ Info Wars from their platforms. News of other hideous events appeared during the day. They all seemed to be connected.

I wrote a brief post about poor George in Looking at Filey a few years ago. Here is the syndicated news report that also appeared in The Scarborough Mercury.

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I added the following comment:-

The only likely young George MARTIN I could find was George J., aged 20 in 1881, a jet worker living with his widowed aunt at Pier, Whitby (RG114834 f95). I hope this was the wanderer because the record suggests he had three things going for him – a roof over his head, a wage coming in and family to care for him – enough to keep the demons at bay, perhaps. I wonder what became of him.

With access to more sources, I looked again and found evidence to support my hunch. Two months earlier a Whitby jet worker of the same name had appeared before a Scarborough court.

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I think there is just enough here to proceed on the assumption that these disturbed Georges are one and the same – and that he was with his Aunt in Whitby when the census enumerator came to call the following year.

I did some more detective work but failed to discover what became of George. I found out, though, that tragedy attended his birth. He was just a few days old, at most a month or so, when a terrific storm hit the northeast coast of England. Many vessels were driven on shore and wrecked. A lot of sailors lost their lives. The Whitby lifeboat went out at least five times and rescued a number of men before a particularly nasty combination of waves, rebounding from the stricken vessel Merchant of Maldon, turned the lifeboat over. Only one of the crew survived. Of the twelve that drowned…

Six of the bodies, viz., Isaac Dobson, Matthew Laidley, Wm. Walker, Wm, Storr, Wm. Tyneman, and George Martin, were recovered on the same day. The majority of these twelve men had saved the crews of five vessels that day; and these brave fellows, especially the Storrs and the Laidleys, had on many occasions within the last twenty years heroically and devotedly risked their lives for the preservation of others; and it mattered not how tempestuous the storm, or how heavy the sea, if they saw their fellow creatures in imminent danger, they would make intrepid and strenuous exertions to save them.

This Yorkshire Gazette account of 16 February notes those left behind included “Geo. Martin, aged 25, wife and infant”, and says, “It may also be remarked that George Martin’s brother and Christopher Collins’s brother were drowned by the upsetting of a coble on February 4th, 1842.”

When the 1861 Census was taken a few weeks later, on the 7th of April, infant George James was with his mother Jane at the home in Cragg, Whitby, of her older sister Ann, and husband Mark WINN. Ten years later Jane and George were enumerated at Pier, Whitby. And, as noted earlier, in 1881 widow Ann Winn, aged 60, is recorded at Pier with George James and niece Ellen NORTON, aged 12. Sources indicate that Jane had remarried and was living nearby, at Cragg, with husband William LEWIS and 24-year-old stepson, Henry – a police constable! (You couldn’t make it up.)

The WILTON girls, Ann and Jane, can be found on FamilySearch Tree, and Mark WINN too, but they are as yet “unconnected”. I couldn’t find the Georges Martin but they may be on the World Tree somewhere.

The bravery of those Whitby fishermen and sailors, who risked their lives to save others, is in marked contrast to the behavior of “men” nowadays. A couple of news reports today say a Saudi led airstrike on Yemen has killed fifty people, most of them children in a school bus, and a report just released tells us that monks and teachers at Ampleforth and Downside schools have been sexually abusing children for over 40 years.

It seems unlikely that America will impose sanctions on the Saudis for slaughtering innocents. Perhaps it will be argued that International Law hasn’t been broken.

Unless I have missed something, there has been no evidence presented yet to prove that Russia tried to kill the Skripals with Novichok. The regimes in the United States, UK, some EU countries, Arab States, Israel – lunatics all and, terrifyingly, at large. (Many of their misdeeds are, of course, not reported at all.)

The Unfortunate Apprentice

On the night of Sunday, 10th January 1892, a gale blew the Whitby brig Lancet towards the Filey rocks. The Master, Lewis, ordered the anchors to be cast and these held the vessel until early morning when distress flags brought out the Filey Lifeboat, Hollon the Second. It took about six hours for the Filey volunteers to rescue seven of Lancet’s crew of eight. A newspaper reported that “one boy was drowned while launching the ship’s boat in an effort to get ashore”. Another report named the deceased as Henry COOR, who hailed from London and was “within eight months of completing his apprenticeship”. Henry’s body was transported by wave and tide about three miles and was found at Reighton the next day, the 12th. Several newspapers repeated the macabre and possibly misguided observation that “the poor fellow had evidently been alive when washed ashore, as his hands were full of gravel”. It is hard to imagine him surviving 24 hours in the winter sea.

Henry’s age isn’t given and I couldn’t find a “boy” with his name in London birth registers. Henry Thomas COOR, born in Bethnal Green, would have been 21 in January 1892. Old for a boy, and perhaps for an apprentice seaman, but a curious fact suggests it was indeed he who drowned in Filey Bay. His mother’s maiden name was registered as McCLARENCE. In the June Quarter of 1892 in Bethnal Green, a boy was born to Mrs. COOR née McCLARENLL (sic) and given the name Henry.

The names COOR and McCLARENCE bamboozled most registrars and their clerks. I couldn’t return the young man to his folks today with certainty. I think his father was William and his mother Maria – but she seems to have died aged 24 when Henry the First was two-years-old. It isn’t impossible that Henry the Second’s mother was Emma McCLARENCE, wife of  James COOR and a younger sister of Maria, but it’s quite a stretch.

I just hope the unfortunate apprentice will take his place on the FamilySearch Tree some day.

St Kitts and “Crusoe”

On this day in 1828, almost four months after she had attended her parents’ wedding (incognito), Mary Elizabeth SKERRY returned to the church of St Mary the Virgin in Whitby to be baptized. Mary would be followed by two brothers who have had brief mentions previously in LaFredux – Thomas who was lost from the SS Mexican and Robert who married Naomi STOCKDALE.

In 1858 Mary married  Robert DOBSON who had a couple of grocer’s shops in Filey. He also sold Wines and Spirits and towards the end of his working life running a lodging house, St Kitts on the Foreshore Road. The cream brick property is Holiday Apartments now – I photographed it this afternoon. (The traffic cones are there because the road is still closed at Crescent Hill, where the new granite (?) setts are being slowly laid.)

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The Dobsons were still there in 1901, though perhaps no longer taking guests; Robert is described as a Retired Grocer. Ten years on their road has been renamed The Beach (its current name) and they have almost certainly downsized to a house they chose to call Crusoe.

In 1911 Robert gives his age as 76 and Mary, 83. Sometime in the next couple of years, they crossed the Pennines to end their days with their surviving son, Robert Edwin, and his wife, Edith Florence née RUSHTON. The younger Dobsons were childless and their address in 1911 was 42, Vaughan Road, Liscard in the Birkenhead District where Mary’s death was registered in 1914. Robert senior appears to have lived on for a further nine years, his death registered in Liverpool in the summer of 1923, aged 87.

In one of those odd coincidences, the elder Robert Dobson created something of a stir in Filey by publicly criticizing the way the Local Board “did business” – four years before ‘Hoodwink’ wrote his critical letter to The Scarborough Mercury, (Friday’s post). Within a year or two Robert was elected to the Board and clearly made an attempt to improve matters – obviously without much success.  He does, however, come across in newspaper reports as a man of principle who spoke the truth and expected others to do the same. He was, in other words, not really cut out to be a politician.

SKERRYs are sketchy on Filey Genealogy & Connections; a bit more fleshed out on FamilySearch Tree.

Weather Eye, August

Laf REDUX has completed its first meteorological season so I can offer Summer graphs for the Yorkshire coast; data from the INORTHYO14 PWS. (I noticed this morning that Filey now has a Weather Underground personal weather station reporting. It could be interesting to compare its numbers with those from 30 miles up the coast.)

June this year flamed for the first few days and then settled into a pattern of seemingly cooler days than their equivalents last year. It was no thanks to August that the summer ended 0.32ºC warmer than last year.

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So, August was just under a degree centigrade cooler than last year. (The rather pointless trend line indicates it became ever so slightly warmer as time passed.) The month was 1.19ºC warmer than the 1979-2000 baseline average and the Summer 2.04 ºC above baseline, a figure that should ring a bell. (But the Yorkshire coast isn’t the globe so perhaps there is nothing to be concerned about.)

The Summer was markedly wetter than last year with 62.6 mm more rain falling on Whitby. August 2017 had a dampness about it that didn’t go well with the cooler temperatures and yet it ended up a couple of mils drier than last year. It seems almost obscene to talk about these pitiful amounts when Harvey has brought such misery to Texas (and Nashville as I write this). And nobody in its path can be looking forward to meeting Irma.

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The wettest day of the summer doesn’t really need highlighting, June 28th saw 27.4mm fall. It wasn’t nearly enough. The meteorological year to date is drier by 177mm compared to last year, and 0.7ºC warmer heading into Autumn.

 

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Irma’s position on 6th September as projected by the GFS model, screenshot Ventusky