The Bankrupt Brothers

Elizabeth Christiana VICKERMAN married Bridlington sailmaker Thomas SCRIVENER in 1809 and in the next fifteen years gave birth to at least six children. I do not know when she died but Thomas married again in January 1831 when he was 44 and Anna CALAUM 35. Henry Thomas was born at the end of November 1831 and Charles Waters in April 1834.

On Monday I mentioned the unusual bond the brothers had. I said that when William Charles Scrivener was born “maternal grandmother Elizabeth Sweet was also his aunt”. This is a true statement but it does not tell the whole story. William’s birth was registered in the June Quarter of 1867, eleven years after the widow SWEET married his uncle Henry Thomas. His father, Charles, married Elizabeth’s firstborn daughter in St Oswald’s, Filey on the 15th of May that year, when she was either near term or already a mother. Impossible to say when Elizabeth attained her grandmother to William status. She died before the year was out.

Why would a 24 year-old fellow marry a widow twenty years his senior and a mother of seven children, five still living? For love or money?

Some sources claim that Elizabeth’s first husband, William Sweet, was a solicitor but I think he was only a solicitor’s clerk. She may not have been a rich widow. In 1851, aged 20, Henry was working as a draper, but enumerated at an establishment in St Pancras that housed 55 boys and men between the ages of 13 and 47 (median age 25) – an assortment of carpet salesmen, cashiers, clerks – and drapers. I do not know what accidents or designs took him from the capital to the far north of England but in 1861, five years after marrying, he was head of a household in the parish of St Andrew, Newcastle upon Tyne, a “Mustard Manufacturer employing 2 Men”. (Elizabeth’s father in law, Samuel Sweet, had been a Mustard manufacturer.) Three of Elizabeth’s children were at home, including Jane Elizabeth, Henry’s his sister-in-law to be but described by the enumerator as his “daughter-in-law”.

The following year Henry declared himself bankrupt and, for reasons I cannot fathom, was still a bankrupt six years later.

Younger brother Charles Waters Scrivener set out on a more elevated career path. Aged 17 in 1851, he was a Student of Medicine in Hull. I have not been able to find him in the 1861 census but in 1871 he was living in Clarence Terrace, Filey (now West Avenue), an “MD Doctor”. With him were Jane, their second son Thomas, Jane’s sister Mary Elizabeth Sweet and a servant, Elizabeth FOSTER, 19. As mentioned on Monday, first son William Charles was with his grandfather on census night and it would appear that Mary was in Filey to help Jane in a time of trial. Four weeks after the census Mrs Scrivener was dead. She had given birth to three children in three years and had suffered the ignominy (maybe) of her husband’s bankruptcy.

Eighteen months after his wife’s death, Charles married again. His bride was Mary Ann WOODALL. Alas, it does not appear that her father was William Edward, Registrar of the Court.

By 1881, Charles seems to have re-established himself as one of Filey’s doctors. (In 1873 he was also Acting Assistant Surgeon of the 2nd East Riding of Yorkshire Artillery Volunteer Force.) The family of three had moved to 3 Rutland Street and with them was “June CALAM”, a single woman aged 62 described as Charles’ “sister-in-law”. I think this was Jane Ann CALAUM, daughter of Michael and Anna née BRAMBLES. Sources indicate that Charles’ mother, Anna CALAUM, was born eighteen years before Michael and Anna married. As I do not have Michael’s birth record yet, it is possible Jane and Anna were half-sisters.

Henry was a widower for just over five years. He married Jane WINN in Hartlepool in 1873 but I have not found a parish record that might have given his occupation. He had recovered remarkably from bankruptcy because in 1871 he claimed to be – a surgeon. He also told the enumerator he was 35 and had been born in Scarborough. On census night he was visiting widow Dora MORISON, 47, and her four children in Castle Eden, County Durham. Eldest son James, 17, was a Medical Student at Edinburgh University.

Henry died a Gentleman in 1879.

I have not been able to discover what he was doing at the Globe Hotel.

Brother Charles followed him to eternity about three years later and is buried in St Oswald’s churchyard, but nowhere near his first wife.

Dog 29 · Gizmo

The little fella migrated inland some time back. I hope he is keeping well.

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.

1880_MARTINgeorge1_NEWS

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.

1880_MARTINgeorge2_NEWS

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.)