Tempora mutantur?

Vicar of Filey at Bridlington Priory Church.

The Rev. A. N. Cooper, M.A., vicar of Filey, preached the sermon at the men’s ser­vice at the Priory Church, Bridlington, on Sunday afternoon. Over four hundred men attended. The Borough Band played selec­tions in the church, and the Bridlington orchestra accompanied the singing. The lesson of the day was read by Mr Major Lawson, and Mr Rial was the soloist, sing­ing “Thou’rt passing hence.”

The Rev. A. N. Cooper preached from the text “The Lord was not in the earthquake,” and remarked they had lived to a time when the greatest earthquake in history had oc­curred if they measured it by the number of lives lost. At Lisbon 60,000 people perished; in Sicily two centuries ago perhaps 60,000 perished. At Messina, no less than 150,000 were supposed to have been destroyed. Was there no lesson for them in such wonderful phenomena? Everything in nature had a lesson for them. The wind – it was like the spirit of God; they never could tell where it would not be found. Scientists explained that beneath the earth there was boiling lava, and water poured into the Lava would create steam which at length would have to find escape, and it escapes up through the earth. The lesson for them was that there were some things which could not go on. The Italians were accounting for the earthquake by recalling that at Messina on Christmas Eve some men who had been playing at cards and had lost, came from the place they had been playing in, in a bad temper. And like other men in a temper, they vented it upon the first thing they met with. A procession was passing along the street, with a crucifix borne at its head, and the gamblers rushed at the crucifix and trampled it underfoot, and spat upon it. The Italians blamed those men for the earthquake. The answer was not given correctly, but very often the boy who answered his teacher wrongly knew most about the subject. The Italians seemed to recognise there were some things in the earth that could not go on. Five years ago Russia was at war with Japan; and they had heard that while the Russian officers were in­dulging in all kinds of luxury, grand pianos following them about from camp to camp, the soldiers’ shoes were made of brown paper, and of other enormities. One felt that that could not go on. When more than a hundred years ago in France, the people learned that Napoleon lived upon champagne and turtles, and paid no taxes, the poor people who paid the taxes lived upon boiled grass. That kind of thing could not go on, and sure enough, the revolution came on, which after all was only another form of earthquake. Near­er home they saw the same thing. He had noticed that women seemed to stick all the closer to the men who used them badly. That was not the spirit of the thing that made an earthquake. Careless­ness in the home sometimes produced an earthquake-carelessness and neglect; so did extravagance. A domestic earthquake must follow if men and women were spending thirteen pence for every shilling they received. Idleness, too, produced earthquakes sometimes as when a man neglected his work by ceasing to be punctual and the sooner they rooted out such characteristics the sooner would they get rid of the causes of earthquakes in their lives.

The Scarborough Mercury Friday 12 February 1909


Birth Added A headstone photo as a Memory on the Shared Tree.

Baptism Frances WATKINSON married twice and her second husband, William POWLEY, is the grandfather of Walter above. Work is needed on the Powley pedigree to enable the connection to be traced on the Shared Tree.

Marriage  William STORY is the father in law of Elizabeth STEER (see last Monday’s Anniversaries). I put a photo of his headstone on the Shared Tree some years ago but the link to it has been broken by a subsequent merge (or ID swap). William has five duplicate IDs and his wife Elizabeth has nine! If I had more time…

Death  Thomas HAXBY has a limited pedigree. Kath put this brief note on FG&C –

Before going into Silver Birches, his address was  Burlington House, Bridlington. His nearest relative was George Haxby (brother) of 118 Worthing Street Hull. He was admitted into Birches on 14h August 1970 & transferred into hospital on 30 Jan 1971 where he died on the 19th February 1971.  (E.Riding Register that was held at Silver Birches).  Notes from Parish records show different date of death

Burial  Jane NELLIST was born in Ugglebarnby near Whitby. Her family on the Shared Tree goes back to the 16th century, with a clear preference for Danby. There is one PRUDENCE stone in St Oswald’s churchyard and it almost certainly remembers her husband’s people. But although she is buried here, I can’t find the exact location of her last resting place.

Abstract 91 · Hunmanby Sands


William, the fourth child of Filey Draper and Postmaster William STORY, died at the age of 17 in the Crimea, a year or so after the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. I have been unable to find any information about the part he played in what is sometimes referred to as “the first modern war”. Given his youth, I’m not surprised he is seemingly lost in the mists. I’m left imagining his path crossing one, or maybe both, of our Victorian wonder nurses, blessed Florence and irrepressible Mary. (Find their underwhelming pedigrees on FST here and here.)

Young William was one of about 25,000 British combatants who died in that conflict and as the preponderance succumbed to disease and neglect we can assume our Filey lad did too. Sevastopol fell in September 1855, the Russians retreated and several months of mopping up operations by the winning side ensued. The Treaty of Paris brought the war to an end on 30 March 1856.


I have put a photograph of the headstone on FST as a “Memory”,