Harrison Musgrove

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 6)

The final post in this series about my 2x great grandfather is from the Kendal Mercury of Saturday 29 October 1864.

Here he is charged with several other men with loitering.

The transcript is here:-

Kendal Mercury Oct 1864

John Bousfield, William Barnes, James Fisher, Thomas Jameson, John Thompson, Harrison Musgrove and James Rigg, all of Kendal, were summoned by the police for loitering in Highgate, at the bottom of All Hallows’ Lane, on Monday the 17th instant. They were dismissed with a caution, the Mayor remarking that he hoped they would not render themselves liable to be brought up again for a similar offence, as the Council was determined to put the bye-laws in force in this matter.

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 5)

On Saturday 1 August 1863 Harrison and his brother George were mentioned in the Kendal Mercury as part of a report of the Kendal Magistrates meeting.

It seems that the brothers had gone away to Carlisle leaving their wives and families to seek help from the Kendal Union. According to the newspaper article this wasn’t the first time either.

The transcript is here:-

Saturday 25 July Kendal Mercury Aug 1863

Before J J Wilson and Wm. Longmire, Esqrs.

Harrison Musgrove and G Musgrove, two sawyers, were apprehended at Carlisle on a charge of leaving their wives and families chargeable to the Kendal Union. As they had been committed before on a similar charge they were sent for two months to the House of Correction with hard labour.

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 4)

Time has moved on – almost twenty years to 1863. Harrison Musgrove had married Jane Rooking on 11 April 1853 and by now they had at least five children.

However Harrison makes the local news again in the Westmorland Gazette on Saturday 31 January 1863. This time with two other men he is accused of night poaching.

Here’s the transcript:-

THURSDAY JAN. 29 (Before W H Wakefield, W Wilson and E Harrison, Esqs.)  Westmorland Gazette Jan 1863

NIGHT POACHING AND ASSAULT

William Backhouse, Harrison Musgrove, and John Thompson, were charged with night poaching in the township of Strickland Roger, upon land belonging to MR G A Gelderd, in the occupation of Mr Anthony Barnes. Backhouse was also charged with assaulting the gamekeeper, and this charge was first entered upon.

Wm. Gardener, gamekeeper, in the service of G A Gelderd, Esq., said that on Tuesday night, 27th inst., as he was out watching he came upon Backhouse, whom he saw in a crouching position about six or eight yards off. The prisoner got up and threw a large stone at him, which hit him on the breast and stunned him for a moment. He, however, on recovering himself seized hold of the prisoner and secured him.

The stone was produced and was of formidable size.

The prisoner, who did not deny the truth of the statement, was then charged with his companions with the offence of night poaching.

The gamekeeper, Gardener, stated that on Tuesday night he heard the three men, and waited until they came to a place where they knew there was game. They then began blocking up the “smoots” where the hares run, and he saw one man setting nets and another had a dog. It was a little before twelve o’clock, but the moon was not down. Witness afterwards heard a dog run, and came upon that man (Backhouse), who then threw the stone at him, as he had stated. There were three nets set, and if he had not interrupted them there would soon have been three hares in them.

The Bench sentenced all the defendants to three months imprisonment with hard labour for night poaching, and Backhouse in addition to a month’s imprisonment for the assault.

The prisoners will also have to find securities of 10l. each, upon the termination of the imprisonment for night poaching, or will be re-committed for six months.

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 3)

Two years have gone by since Harrison Musgrove (my 2x great grandfather) last appeared in the newspaper. It’s now Saturday 2 December 1843 and Harrison and his brother William have made the news again in the Westmorland Gazette – this time for allegedly stealing milk they are described as “rogues and vagabonds” and sent to the Kendal House of Correction.

Here’s the transcript:-

CAUTION TO VENDORS OF MILK – For several mornings previous to Friday in last week, Mrs Lamb, from Natland Mill Beck, who attends every morning with milk, missed several gallons, when about Capper Lane end. It appears that Mrs Lamb has to leave her cart at that place, while she proceeds down Pepper Corn Lane, to serve some customers there. During her absence there is little doubt that the milk had been feloniously drawn from the churns, and carried off. Information was given to Police-Sergeant Hutchinson, who disguised himself on the morning of the day in question, and took his station so as to be able to watch who should approach the cart. He was not long in suspense, for a number of young scamps made their appearance as soon as Mrs Lamb had disappeared, among whom were two boys of the names of William and Harrison Musgrove, who first filled a tea-kettle with the milk, but before the officer could secure them, they threw the kettle and its contents to the ground, and made off. However, he eventually secured them and brought them before John Wakefield, Esq. at the Town Hall, who, for want of sufficient evidence to convict them of felony, committed them to the Kendal House of Correction for two months each as rogues and vagabonds.

Westmorland Gazette Dec 1843

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 2)

Well I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what happened to Harrison, his brother William and their friend James Thompson since Part 1 last week.

Thompson decided to plead not guilty and a report of his trial is in the Kendal Mercury of Saturday 23 October 1841.

To cut a long story short William Musgrove was called as a witness. He stated:-

“When I went away, Thompson was standing at the window, and that was the last I saw of him. What happened after that I did not see. I positively swear that when I went home, I left Thompson standing at the window. I was not to have part of the ginger bread. I knew where they were going. I was watching for nothing. When I was watching, I knew they were going to steal. If they had got anything, I was not to have any. I went from the bottom of Hallow Lane to the other side of the street. I don’t know my brother will get off easier if Thompson is brought in. I know he will get easier off if Thompson is to blame.”

The jury were instructed to consider how reliable William Musgrove’s evidence was. Perhaps he was trying to put more blame on Thompson when actually it was he and Harrison who were the real culprits.

In the end the jury found Thompson not guilty.

Harrison pleaded guilty – after all he was caught red handed by Mr Court with “three biscuits under his coat, and ginger bread and sugar in his hand”.

The report of Harrison’s conviction is in the Kendal Mercury of Saturday 30 October 1841. The transcript is as follows:-

Harrison Musgrove, who pleaded guilty of stealing from the shop of Mr Court, confectioner, Kendal, was sentenced to three days imprisonment, and to be, during that time, once privately whipped. The court remarked that he appeared to be Kendal Mercury Oct 1841only nine years of age, and that he had commenced a course which, if persevered in, would send him out of the country. It was lamentable to see so young a boy begin an evil course, and it was very questionable whether his parents had done their duty in bringing him up as they ought.

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 1)

I have recently started using the British Newspaper archive on Find My Past. I decided to begin with my ancestors from Kendal and surrounding areas as I have some family names that might be fairly easy to trace if they appear in the local papers.

As I suspected I found some stories pretty quickly.

In fact my 2x great grandfather, Harrison Musgrove, appears several times during a period of over twenty years.

So for my first foray into “black sheep’ territory I have decided to serialise Harrison Musgrove’s exploits over the next few weeks.

The first story comes from the Kendal Mercury on Saturday 11 September 1841 and is transcribed below:-

Police Office, Wednesday – (Before John Wakefield, Esquire). – Three boys, named Harrison Musgrove, William Musgrove, and James Thompson, were placed at the Bar by PC’s Hodgson and Brunskill, charged with stealing from the shop of Mr Court, confectioner, Highgate, a quantity of biscuits, loaf sugar, etc. It appeared that Thompson, who is the eldest, opened the shop door and let in Harrison Musgrove, who was without shoes, whilst he himself watched through the window ready to sound a retreat should Mr Court come into the shop, and William Musgrove waited on the other side of the street to give the signal should any policeman make his appearance. Unluckily for the young thieves Mr Court stepped into the shop and caught Harrison behind the counter; the others fled, but were subsequently taken. Harrison Musgrove and Thompson were committed for trial at the sessions, and William Musgrove admitted as evidence.

Well it seems to me that poor Harrison was badly let down here on three counts.

  • Firstly – James Thompson didn’t do a very good job as a “look out” and failed to sound  the retreat quickly enough.
  • Secondly – the other two accomplices scarpered at the first sign of trouble.
  • Thirdly – his brother William (about six years older) is going to give evidence as a witness.

Next week – a report of the trial. Guilty or not guilty – punishment or no punishment. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Kendal Mercury Sep 1841

On this day … 16th April

1816 … Edward Bentley was born at Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire.  He is the maternal grandfather of my wife’s 4th cousin 1x removed.  His parents were David Bentley and Dorothy Gill

1857 … James Dawson was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire.  His parents were John Dawson and Ellen Gawthrop.  He is my great grandfather

1868 … Harrison Musgrove died in Kendal, Westmoreland.  His parents were William Musgrove and Harriot Francis.  He is my 2x great grandfather

1928 … Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove died in Clitheroe, Lancashire.  His parents were John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth.  He is my great grandfather