Author: mike

Black Sheep Sunday – Martha Espley (1839-1908)

Black Sheep Sunday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Black Sheep Sunday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor with a “shaded past.”

Martha Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 3x removed. She was born about 1839 to parents John Espley and Sarah Johnson. Martha’s grandparents, James Espley and Martha Silvester, are my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

As far as I can tell Martha had three children “out of wedlock”:-

John Espley – born 12 December 1859
Charles Espley – born 15 March 1862
Samuel Espley – born about June 1870

Shortly after Charles was born Martha found herself in court on a charge of “attempted child murder”.

Below are two extracts from the Chester Chronicle of 9 August 1862.

The first is part of the address to the grand jury at Chester Crown Court on Monday 4 August by Mr Justice Channell.

Chester Chronicle - 9 August 1862 [1].png

There was another case upon the calendar in which a woman was charged with attempting to murder her child, of about three weeks old; the case was a very short one; it appeared that the mother had been delivered at the Workhouse, and left of her own accord, taking the child with her, and on the day in question she must have tied up the child’s mouth with a bandage in a way which the prosecution suggested was intended to produce death by suffocation. The woman’s account was that she was in distress, and she proposed to go to the adjoining village to get some refreshment either by begging or some way or another, intending to return to the child, but she denied the charge of attempting to murder it. It might be that the woman bound the bandage round the child’s mouth for the purpose of preventing it from crying, and not to produce the effect which the prosecution attributed to it. A necessary ingredient in the case was whether the intention existed of murdering the child, and if they found that this did not exist, they should ignore the bill. He did not invite them to do so, but merely mentioned it for their consideration. His Lordship referred to an Act of Parliament which made it a misdemeanour to expose any child under two years of age.

This second extract reports on the verdict of the jury.

Chester Chronicle - 9 August 1862.png

CHARGE OF ATTEMPTED CHILD MURDER

Martha Espley, 22, was charged with attempting to murder a male child of the age of three weeks, of which she was the mother, by fastening a bandage round its mouth and nose, and throwing it into a field and deserting it, at Buglawton, on the 3rd April.

Counsel for the prosecution, Mr Swetenham; for the prisoner, Mr Brandt.

The jury, after a brief consultation, returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

The image below is from the Criminal Register showing that Martha was acquitted.

Criminal Registers 1791-1892.png

Martha subsequently married Samuel Hazeldine sometime in the September quarter of 1875. They had at least five children together over the next ten years.

Martha died, at the age of about 69 in the last months of 1908.

Sunday’s Obituary – Edith Bailey (nee Harker 1879-1952

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Sunday’s Obituary, post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Edith Harker is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. She was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire, on 21 July 1879 to parents James Harker and Dinah Dawson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

I have been able to find Edith in all the census returns from 1881 to 1911 and on the 1939 Register.

In the first census after leaving school (1901 census) she is described as a “baker”. At that time she would be working for her mother who ran a bakery and confectionery business at 121 Keighley Road, Cowling.

Edith married John Bailey sometime in the June quarter of 1908.

In the 1911 census John’s occupation is given as “butcher”. By the time of the 1939 Register John and Edith had taken over the bakery and confectionery business from Edith’s parents.

Edith passed away on 4 January 1952 and her obituary can be found in the Barnoldswick & Earby Times of 11 January 1952.

Barnoldswick & Earby Times 11 January 1952 - Edith HarkerDeath of Mrs Edith Bailey.

The death occurred last Friday at her home, of Mrs Edith Bailey, 14 Green Street, Cowling. Aged 72 years, and the widow of the late Mr John Bailey, Mrs Bailey was a well known and very highly esteemed Cowling lady. She was the younger daughter of the late Mr and Mrs James Harker, and for 31 years along with her husband conducted the business of bakers and confectioners, Keighley Road, Cowling, which business was founded by her parents 54 years ago. Mr and Mrs Bailey retired from the business seven years ago, and Mr Bailey died five years ago. Of a very kindly and generous disposition, Mrs Bailey was popular amongst a large host of friends, and throughout her business life was renowned for her cheerful manner. Except for a few years in Keighley she had resided in Cowling all her life. Mrs Bailey has been a lifelong Methodist worker, and prior to her marriage was actively associated with the Ickornshaw Methodist Church, where she was a member of the Choir. After her marriage to Mr John Bailey, she linked up her interests with the Methodist cause at the Bar Methodist Church, where her husband was Choirmaster for many years, and both Mr and Mrs Bailey gave many years loyal service to the Church. Right up to the time of her death Mrs Bailey was a loyal worshipper and member of the Cowling Methodist Church. She was also a keen Liberal worker for the Cowling Women’s Liberal Association. The funeral took place on Tuesday, when services at the home and at the Church were conducted by the Rev F Blundred, who paid a sincere tribute to Mrs Bailey’s noble character, saying that the Church fellowship would be considerably the poorer for her passing. There were many floral tributes, and the many friends present at the Church was an indication of the great respect and esteem in which Mrs Bailey was held. Mr James E Fort played appropriate music at the organ.

Sunday’s Obituary – Martin Gawthrop (1892-1951)

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Sunday’s Obituary, post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Martin Gawthrop is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Fred Gawthrop and Margaret Ann Slater. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley (my 3x great grandparents).

Martin was born on 4 March 1892 and his birth is registered at Burnley, Lancashire.

He first appears in the 1901 census living with his parents in Embsay, near Skipton, Yorkshire. Ten years later the 1911 census shows the family living at 7 Sawley Street, Skipton. Martin is working as a “cotton warp dresser”.

Early in 1912 Martin married Isabella Brierley. The marriage is registered in Skipton in Q1.

Martin and Isabella had four children:-

Harold – born 3 July 1912
Martin – born 1916
Irene – born 1924
Vera – born 1925

The family are still living in Skipton at the time of the 1939 Register at the outbreak of WW2 and Martin continues to work as a “warp dresser”.

Sadly Isabella died before the end of 1943 at the age of 51 – her death is registered in Q4 at Keighley, West Yorkshire

Martin then remarried about a year later to Sarah Hannah Cooper – this marriage is registered in Skipton in the December quarter 1944.

The following article from the Barnoldswick & Early Times of 13 July 1951 reports on Martin’s death.

barnoldswick-earby-times-13-july-1951

Mr Martin Gawthrop

We regret to report the death of Mr Martin Gawthrop, of 58 Emmott Lane, Laneshawbridge, which occurred on July 7th. Mr Gawthrop was 59. The interment took place at Skipton Cemetery on Tuesday, the Rev W E Burkitt officiating.

Floral tokens were sent by the following:- Mrs M Gawthrop; Mr and Mrs H Gawthrop; Mr and Mrs Lynch; Mr and Mrs Cooper; Mr and Mrs Hodgson; Mr and Mrs Whitaker and Mr Barker; Mr and Mrs Swales and family; Mr and Mrs Varley and Mrs Dobson.

The undertakers were Colne Co-operative Society.

Sarah lived for nearly four more years and eventually passed away at the age of 65 on 23 February 1955 in the Reedyford Hospital, Nelson, Lancashire.

Sunday’s Obituary – Elizabeth Ann Gawthrop (nee Ratcliffe) 1886- 1946

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Sunday’s Obituary, post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Elizabeth Ann Ratcliffe married Johnnie Gawthrop (my 2nd cousin 2x removed) sometime in the September quarter of 1908, the marriage was registered at Burnley, Lancashire.

Elizabeth was born on 28 December 1886 at Foulridge, Lancashire.

In the 1911 census Elizabeth and Johnnie were living at 8 Robinson Street, Foulridge, Colne, Lancashire. Her occupation was “cotton weaver”.

On her 27th birthday in 1913 Elizabeth gave birth to her son, Clifford.

By the time of the 1939 Register at the start of WW2 the family were living at 22 Skipton Old Road, Foulridge, Colne, Lancashire. The whole family, Johnnie, Elizabeth and Clifford gave their occupations as “cotton weaver”.

The following article appears in the Barnoldswick & Early Times of 31 May 1946

FuneralBarnoldswick & Earby Times - 31 May 1946.png of Mrs Gawthrop

The funeral took place at Foulridge Church on May 18th of Mrs Elizabeth Ann Gawthop, wife of Mr Johnnie Gawthrop, of 22 Skipton Old Road, Foulridge, who passed away on the 16th inst., at the age of 59 years. She is survived by her husband and one son, the latter having been recently demobbed after serving in the Forces for five years and a half, part of which has been spent in Germany. The deceased lady was well known and much esteemed. She was connected with the Foulridge Church. The Rev Llew P Burnett officiated throughout at the funeral. Floral tributes were sent by the following:- “Love’s last gift,” her sorrowing Husband and Son; Mrs Bowden and family; Mr and Mrs Hird and Elsie; all at Breeze House and Celia: David and Sarah and Niece Mary; Mr and Mrs J Hall; Lizzie, Maggie and Wilfred; all at Winewall; the employees of J H and F Roberts, Ltd., Foulridge; Mary Sarah, Mary, Albert and Eric; Mr and Mrs Kneller and Joyce; Sarah Alice and Willie; Mr and Mrs Starford; Evelyn, Millicent and Edna; Mr and Mrs Walker and family; Tom and Betty; Mr and Mrs J Hook senior. Mr W R Yates, Hill Top, Foulridge, carried out the arrangements.

Sunday’s Obituary – Margaret Ann Gerrey (nee Stowell) 1871-1931

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Sunday’s Obituary, post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Margaret Ann Stowell is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. Her parents are Thomas Stowell and Ann Wroe. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Riddeoff, my 4x great grandparents.

Margaret was born in 1871 – her birth is registered in the September quarter in Burnley, Lancashire.

I have Margaret in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns. Her occupation after leaving school was as a “cotton weaver”.

On the 16 May 1891 Margaret married John Gerrey at Holy Trinity church, Habergham Eaves near Burnley. The witnesses at the marriage were Margaret’s sister and brother in law, Mary and Richard Brotherton. John Gerrey was from Cornwall and by 1911, together with their daughter May, the family had moved over 350 miles to live in St Austell, Cornwall.

John died in 1927 at the age of 60.

I haven’t been able to find any information about the daughter May – she appears in the 1911 census but as yet I haven’t found a birth record or a marriage or a death record.

Just recently I came across the following obituary notice for Margaret in the Burnley Express of 19 September 1931.

Burnley Express 19 September 1931LATE MRS MARGARET ANN GERREY – Last Thursday the funeral took place from the home of her sister, 54 Albion Street, of the late Mrs Margaret Ann Gerrey. Mrs Gerrey was a native of Burnley, and had resided in the Top o’ t’ Town district prior to her departure to Cornwall, where she resided for 24 years. Her late husband will be remembered by many as an employee at Burnley Bank Top Station. Mrs Gerrey was for many years connected with St John’s Church, Gannow. The Rev F Jones, of St Matthew’s, offered prayers at the home prior to the cortege leaving for the Burnley Cemetery. The mourners were:- Mr and Mrs Brotherton, Mr and Mrs Byrne, Mr and Mrs Sharples, Mrs Skinner, Mrs Halsall, Mr and Miss Roberts, and Mrs Black. Floral tributes were sent by:- Sorrowing sister and Dick; sister Martha and family; nieces Lily, May and Mary; Ivy and Stewart; Arthur and Lena; Annie, Jim and children; Edna, Jack and baby; Mr and Mrs Ogden and family; Lucy and Georgina; Mr and Mrs Ingham and Fanny; Mr and Mrs Swindlehurst; Mrs Black; and Lily and Fred. The Co-operative Society, Ltd carried out the arrangements.

Maritime Monday – Ernest William Espley (1904-1976)

Maritime Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Post about anything to do with the sea: ancestors who were sailors, shipwrights, fishermen, or coastguards including images, records and links.

Ernest William Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Ernest Wilson Little (aka Edward Espley) and Annie Edith Hutchings.

Ernest was born on 4 December 1904 in Salford, Lancashire.

In the 1911 census Ernest is with his mother and grandparents, Richard Booth Espley and Matilda Espley (nee Little) at 7 Lynton Avenue, Irlam, Lancashire.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1931 Ernest married Marjorie Halksworth and they had one daughter. Sadly Marjorie died early in 1934 at the young age of 27.

Ernest married again, in the September quarter of 1937, to Beatrice May Pye. They went on to have two children. Beatrice passed away in 2004 at the age of 97.

Ernest had a long career in the Merchant Navy eventually becoming a ship’s master.

On the 8th/9th December 1929 Ernest was third mate on the steam ship Manchester Regiment when they were involved in a rescue in mid-Atlantic. As a result of his gallantry Ernest was awarded the Lloyd’s silver medal.

Here is an article from the Dundee Courier of 31 December 1929.

Dundee Courier - 31 December 1929.png

MEDALS FOR SEA BRAVERY

The committee of Lloyds have advised the Imperial Merchant Service Guild that they have had under consideration the Guild’s report and others regarding the rescue of the crew of the steamer Volumnia by the steamer Manchester Regiment on 9th December.

The committee, as an acknowledgment of the gallant conduct and able seamanship displayed, have conferred Lloyd’s silver medal on  Captain Philip Linton, Manchester Regiment; Second Officer William Henry Downing; and Third Officer Ernest William Espley.

The bronze medal has been awarded to Boatswain Bromage and Able Seamen Stringer, Manins, Chidlow, and Kearns, also Mr Ziegler, a passenger.

You can find more information about the sea gallantry medal here – sea gallantry medal

Below is an extract from the above link about the rescue in December 1929.

Screenshot 2017-03-11 17.09.05.png

Rescue in Mid-Atlantic

On the 8th December 1929, the British ss Volumnia of Glasgow was in distress in very bad weather in the Atlantic Ocean; in response to distress signals the ss Manchester Regiment went to her assistance, and, having approached, waited for a lull in the storm before attempting a rescue. Shortly after 9 o’clock, despite the very dangerous sea running, the Master of the Manchester Regiment decided to attempt a rescue, and a boat was launched, in charge of the Second Mate, Mr Downing, with a crew consisting of Mr Espley, Third Mate, Bromage, Manin, Stringer, Kearns, Chidlow and Mr Ziegler. Very great difficulty was experienced in keeping the boat afloat, but by skilful manoeuvring Mr Downing, though badly injured in the hand in the launching of the boat, made two trips to the Volumnia and the entire forty-five members of the crew of that vessel were eventually taken off. The rescuing boat was badly damaged and abandoned (30.1.30)

In honour of the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy there is a poem called “Heroes” written by David Partridge – see it in full at BBC WW2 People’s War

These are the first two lines – very apt for this post.

Don’t speak to me of heroes until you’ve heard the tale                                                                  Of Britain’s merchant seamen who sailed through storm and gale                                              by David Partridge

 

Madness Monday – Watson Emmott Dawson (1877-1944)

Madness Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Madness Monday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who either suffered some form of mental illness or an ancestor who might be hard to locate and drives you mad.

Watson Emmott Dawson is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.

Watson was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire, on 24 June 1887 to parents Thomas Dawson and Jane Emmott.

I have written about Watson before – Military Monday and Madness Monday. He also gets a brief mention in Tombstone Tuesday and Sunday’s Obituary.

I recently came across these articles in the Burnley Express of 23 January 1915 and the Burnley News of 17 February 1915.

Burnley Express

Burnley Express - 23 January 1915CAUGHT IN HUT – At the Colne Police Court, on Thursday, a farm labourer named Watson Dawson, of Cowling, was charged with breaking into the shooting box used as a warehouse and stealing a bottle of whisky, the property of Mr W F J Green-Emmott, JP. – Mr A Bracewell defended. – Martin Ogden, gamekeeper, said that on the 13th December he went to the shooting box and heard a noise. After waiting a few minutes he saw accused come creeping through the window. Prisoner said, “I have got a bottlee of whisky here it is.” Witness lighted a candle, and accompanied by accused, they re-entered the shooting box and found that the cupboard door had been broken, the lock having been sprung off. There was another bottle of whisky inside, and a quantity of the contents had been consumed. – Cross examined by Mr Bracewell, witness admitted that he had been on very friendly terms with accused. On the very day of the offence Dawson had his tea at his (witness’s) house. Dawson’s family had offered to make reparation for the damage done. He knew that accused had been in an institution for the mentally deficient. In his application for bail, Mr Bracewell said that Dawson was a member of a very highly respectable family. A few years ago accused had the misfortune to meet with a serious injury, and this had resulted in his having been sent to an asylum. – Dawson was committed to take his trial at the Preston Quarter Sessions, bail being allowed.

Burnley News

Burnley News - 17 February 1915THEFT AT COLNE

FARM LABOURER BOUND OVER

REMARKABLE STORY OF A PASSION FOR WANDERING

A remarkable story was told at Preston Sessions, on Monday, in a case in which Watson Dawson (27), farm labourer, pleaded guilty to stealing a bottle of whisky from a shooting hut at Colne, on December 13th.

Mr Yates, prosecuting, said accused was seen by a keeper climbing out of the window of a shooting hut on the moor. He had a bottle of whisky in his pocket.

Mr Hodgson said Dawson was the son of respectable parents, and up to six years ago had never caused them a moment’s anxiety. He was then employed in a cotton mill. He was always extremely fond of shooting, and spent much of his time on the common moor, over which there was free shooting of grouse. One day he was found lying unconscious on the moor, and it was thought that he had been sun-struck. He had to be taken to the Menstone Asylum, and the medical superintendent there said he had had a violent blow on the head. It was now believed that somebody who had shot at a bird at the same time as Dawson had quarrelled with him as to whom the bird belonged, and that in the quarrel Dawson had been struck on the head with the butt end of a gun. The result of this injury was such that his parents were advised that he must live an open-air life. They took a farm at Cowling, and defendant and the whole family worked there.

Defendant also developed a passion for wandering, and about the same time every year he wandered away with the clothing he was then wearing, and without a word of warning to anybody. He would stay away for a month or two and then come back. His parents had been warned by the medical superintendent at the asylum that he was likely to develop these wandering fits. During these journeys he had wandered away to Ireland and even to France, and apparently supported himself by casual employment. He left home early in December in his usual way, and was lost sight of until he was seen by the keeper getting out of the window of this hut on the moor, which was close to his own home, where plenty of food and shelter awaited him. The keeper, who knew defendant well, took him to his own house and gave him some tea. Dawson then left to go home, as the keeper thought, but he was not seen again until December 31st when he returned home in a bad state of health.

The Chairman said he was sorry to see defendant there in this trouble. He would be bound over to come up for judgment if called upon.

These newspaper stories provide some background to why he might have been in the West Riding Mental Hospital in 1939 (High Royds / Menston) – see Madness Monday post mentioned above.

I’ve also located Watson in the Lunacy Patients Admission Register on ancestry.co.uk. The image below shows that he was admitted to Menston on 19 August 1908 and released on 26 April 1909.

UK Lunacy Patients Admission Registers 1846-1912.png

I am now on the hunt for any patient records that may exist for the West Riding Mental Hospital. I know that some records are available at the West Yorkshire Archives just up the road from where I live. However because the records I am interested in are less than 100 years old then there will need to be a Freedom of Information request to the relevant NHS Trust. I will also need to demonstrate my relationship to Watson and my right to access the records. Does being a 1st cousin 3x removed qualify me as having a right to access the records? At the moment I don’t know the answer to that question.