Espley One Name Study

Workday Wednesday – Warren John Bruce (1880-1964)

Warren John Bruce is the husband of my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed, Sarah Jane Espley. My wife and Sarah Jane share common ancestors in James Espley and Martha Silvester (my wife’s 3x great grandparents).

Warren was born on 5 February 1880 in Stockport, Cheshire. He started working for the Manchester Ship Canal company at the age of 14 in 1894. In the 1911 census his occupation is “chief clerk Manchester docks”.

In November 1938 Warren was promoted to Docks Manager from his position as Deputy Dock Manager. He remained in post until 1945 when he retired after 51 years service. His retirement was mentioned in the Manchester Evening News of 18 December 1945 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Warren John Bruce - Manchester Evening News 18 December 1945.png

Manchester Evening News – British Newspaper Archives

Canal Docks Manager is Retiring

After 51 years’ service with the Manchester Ship Canal Mr. Warren J Bruce is retiring as docks manager. His service with the company began in 1894 – when the Canal was opened for through traffic to Manchester. He had been docks manager since November, 1938.

His successor, Mr H Oakley Smith, who was educated at Argyle House School, Sunderland, and HMS Worcester, served with the P and O Company until 1924, when he joined Lever Brothers Traffic Dept., and went to West Africa, ultimately becoming assistant to the Nigerian Traffic Manager.

Mr. Oakley Smith, who is a member of the Institute of Transport, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Associate of the Institute of Naval Architecture, was appointed assistant docks manager with the Manchester Ship Canal in 1940.

I also know from a report in the Lancashire Evening News of 26 October 1938 that Warren’s predecessor as Docks Manager, Mr F W Way, had been with the Manchester Ship Canal company for almost 50 years.

Clearly a company at that time which inspired people to stay with them for a long time.

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Black Sheep Sunday – Warren Espley Bruce (1911-1982)

Warren Espley Bruce is my wife’s 3rd cousin 1x removed. He was born in Stockport, Cheshire on 19 June 1911 to parents Warren John Bruce and Sarah Jane Espley. Their common ancestors are James Espley and Martha Silvester, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1934 Warren married Mary Kitchen – the marriage is registered at Penrith, Cumberland.

In the 1939 Register Warren is shown as licensee at the Two Lions Hotel, Great Dockray, Penrith, Cumberland. It seems he remained there for a good number of years.

Unfortunately Warren was arrested for drunk driving in 1955 and the following report is from the Penrith Observer on 26 July 1955.

Warren Espley Bruce - Penrith Observer 26 July 1955.png

Penrith Observer from the British Newspaper Archive

Drove under influence – fined £50

A Penrith publican, Warren Espley Bruce (44), address given as the Two Lions Hotel, Great Dockray, was fined £50 and disqualified from driving for a year by Penrith Magistrates last week.

Bruce was charged with driving a car between Frenchfield Hill, Carleton and Great Dockray when under the influence of drink to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle at 7.50pm on Thursday, June 30. He pleaded guilty.

Constable Peel said he saw a car coming towards him at a very fast speed up Frenchfield Hill. He turned round and followed it to the junction of Roper Street with Victoria Road where there was a halt sign. He saw Bruce, who was the driver had a flushed face, and smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor. His speech was slurred and he refused to get out of the car, and kept switching the engine on and off.

He then shot forward over the junction, causing a lorry to stop suddenly.

Constable Peel said he followed the car into Corn Market – where Bruce slowed up as though he did know which way to turn – and into Great Dockray, where he turned into the entrance of the Two Lions Hotel.

Bruce was unsteady on his feet and caught hold of the car for support, and when asked why he had driven away replied: “I got here all right didn’t I?”

CALL FOR ASSISTANCE

Told he would be arrested, Bruce said he would not, and made as though to get into the hotel. Constable Peel said he was obliged to restrain him and take him by the arm.

Bruce was put into the police car, but got out and made back into the hotel, but witness brought him back and wirelessed for assistance. “He was not violent, but just awkward,” said Constable Peel.

Bruce refused to be examined by a doctor at the police station, and said: “The car is in the yard. I have not killed anybody, have I?”

He called the police “Gestapo” and said “I will get you for this,” witness said.

For the defence, Mr C E Arnison, Penrith, said that Bruce’s car was 6ft 4in wide and that the entrance to the Two Lions yard was only 8ft wide. That left a total of only 21 inches, 10 and half on each side. A man could drive a vehicle through a narrow entrance like that had a good measure of control. What happened afterwards was another matter.

Bruce had the right to go for trial by jury at the next Cumberland Quarter Sessions if he wished, said Mr Arnison.

The opportunity was open to Bruce, but after giving careful consideration to the matter, he had decided to take his punishment that day.

MET R.A.F. COLLEAGUE

Mr Arnison referred to “a queer set of coincidences” that came into being during the afternoon of that day. Bruce had set off to visit his father at Hawes for a few days’ holiday, and when going through Warcop saw an old R.A.F. acquaintance he had not seen for three to four years.

He filled up with petrol at Warcop where the garage was part of the Chamley Arms, and then they had a lot to drink. There was no denying that, but Bruce was “not in bad clip afterwards.”

He realised he was under the influence of drink, and instead of driving the 26 miles to Hawes, he travelled the 16 miles back to Penrith, with the result that someone must have reported him for bad driving.

“EMOTIONALLY UPSET”

Bruce, said Mr Arnison, had got worked up into an excited state, and was more emotionally upset than alcoholically upset. He had been driving for 28 years, and had had no such charges against him before.

Joseph Hall, Beckside, Warcop, said Bruce had been in the R.A.F. with him. He saw him by accident in Warcop, and they went to have a drink. He had a bottle of beer and three rums, and Bruce drank whisky. He did not think Bruce was drunk at the time.

However it seems that Warren did not want to wait for his disqualification to run its course.

According to the Penrith Observer of 31 January 1956 Warren “made a successful application to have his licence restored”.

At the hearing Magistrates were told by Mr Arnison that:

He now applied for the removal of the disqualification. His father lived alone in Nicholson Lane, and in the last few years his health had deteriorated. It would be to his advantage if his son could take him up and down in his car.

Mr Arnison said Bruce’s only hobby was golf, and if he had to rely on public transport he could hardly get up to the golf course to have a game during the day. he also had business commitments up and down the country for which a car was most useful.

The police opposed the application with Superintendent H Graham saying “Bruce was quite unfit to be in charge of a car at the time of the offence. Suspension was the most serious part of the conviction”.

So a victory of sorts for Warren in the end – but not one I would be proud to boast about.

Military Monday – Richard Henry Espley (1906-2006)

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

We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military.

Richard Henry Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 1x removed. In other words he is a nephew of her grandfather.

Richard was born on 27 December 1906 to parents Frank Espley and Florence May Phillips.

In the 1911 census Richard was living with his parents and sister, Margaret, at 25 Duke Street, Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Up until recently I didn’t have any information about Richard between 1911 and the date of his marriage to Isabella Keddie Cuthbert on 7 November 1934 at St Andrews & St Leonards, Fife, Scotland.

I now know that he joined the RAF at the age of about 18. He met Isabella while stationed at St Andrews and they went on to have three children.

In the 1939 Register the family are living at 73 Oakenhall Avenue, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

Richard was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of his valour in connection with Coastal Command during WW2.

Below is an article from the St Andrews Citizen of 30 January 1943.

St Andrews Citizen - 30 January 1943.png

 

AWARDED BEM – Pilot Officer Richard Henry Espley, whose wife is a St Andrean, has received the BEM from the hands of the King at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his valour in connection with the Coastal Command. Pilot Officer Espley is a native of Pontefract and has served 18 years in the RAF. He is 36 years of age and his wife and three children have resided in Hucknall for the past four years. Before her marriage Mrs Espley was Isabella Keddie Cuthbert daughter of Mr Alexander Cuthbert of 2 St Nicholas Street, who was in three wars, the Zulu and the Boer Wars and the Great War. Mr Cuthbert is at present undergoing treatment in DRI for internal trouble. He is 75 years of age. Mrs Espley was married eight years ago, and met her husband when he was stationed in the neighbourhood of St Andrews.

Richard died at the age of 99 in May 2006. Isabella had died 22 years earlier about May 1984.

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British Empire Medal

 

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.

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.

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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

 

Espley One Name Study – Duplicate Birth Registrations

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that genealogy is always straightforward! In my experience it is always interesting and certainly sometimes challenging.

Take my Espley One Name Study for example. In official records the name is often spelt and or transcribed incorrectly – Epsley or Aspley are regular variations.

However my most recent discovery is causing me a headache – both in terms of unravelling what has happened and also how I need to record the information.

It started when I began going through the recently launched transcript of the 1939 Register looking for Hannah Espley. I already had details of her birth registration in Q4 1885 in Stockport, Cheshire. I found her in the 1939 Register with a stated birth date of 13 November 1884 – one year difference but I wasn’t concerned about that.

I already knew that Hannah married Sampson Ardern in Q4 of 1940 in Stockport. So I wasn’t surprised to find them living together at 14 Planets Court, Stockport in the 1939 Register.

I already had four children to Sampson and Hannah in my family tree – all born before their marriage. Two of these children are on the 1939 Register at the same address as Sampson and Hannah. However alarm bells started to ring when I saw that the children had different surnames – one was Edith Espley and one was James Ardern.

So some detective work was going to be necessary. I started to check my Espley database looking for births in Stockport and found several showing mother’s name as Espley – possibly children born to an unmarried mother. I also checked the GRO registers looking for Ardern births with a mother listed as Espley.

Here is what I found:-

Name Mother Quarter & Year Place
Database Harry Ardern Espley Espley Q2 1909 Stockport
Database Alfred Espley Espley Q1 1913 Stockport
GRO Alfred Ardern Espley Q1 1913 Stockport
Database Edith A Espley Espley Q2 1916 Stockport
Database Edith A Espley Espley Q3 1920 Stockport
GRO Edith A Ardern Espley Q3 1920 Stockport
Database Sampson Espley Espley Q2 1922 Stockport
GRO Sampson Ardern Espley Q2 1922 Stockport
Database Annie Espley Espley Q1 1924 Stockport
GRO Annie Ardern Espley Q1 1924 Stockport
Database James Espley Espley Q2 1925 Stockport
GRO James Ardern Espley Q2 1925 Stockport

So apart from Harry Ardern Espley and Edith A Espley (born in 1916 and who died in Q1 1920) all the other children appear to have been registered twice. Of course, just to confirm the Espley database information is also taken from the GRO indexes.

It seems that Sampson Ardern was married on 12 November 1893 to Ann Jane Hale in Heaton Norris, Cheshire. I found him in the 1901 census with Ann and two sons – William and Thomas. Then in 1911 with Ann and two children – Willie and Mary. The 1911 census shows that Sampson and Ann had ten children but eight of them had died.

To add to the confusion the birth record for Sampson in Q3 1873 is in the name Arthern.

I am assuming that at some point after 1911 Sampson started living with Hannah Espley. I found a death record for Ann J Ardern in Q3 1940. Then in Q4 a marriage for Sampson Ardern and Hannah Espley.

So my dilemma now is really how to accurately record the information! Any and all suggestions welcome.

Certainly life events after birth registration hasn’t been consistent – as already mentioned two of the children are recorded differently in the 1939 Register. And the following illustrates the problem.

Edith married as an Espley in 1945
Sampson married as an Ardern in 1948
James married as an Ardern in 1948
Annie’s death in 1925 is registered as Ardern

If Family Tree Maker allows it I suppose I can use “Also Known As” – AKA.

So all in all quite an interesting story.

Thriller Thursday – Ernest Espley (1884-1956)

Ernest Espley is the brother of my wife’s grandfather.  He was born in 1884 in Biddulph, Staffordshire.  His parents were Frederick Espley and Frances Owen.

I have Ernest on the census returns for 1891 and 1901 in Biddulph.  In 1901 he was working as driver in a coal mine.

By 1911 Ernest had a complete change of career and location.  He was now employed as a Police Constable and living in the West Derby area of Liverpool.

1911 Census

1911 Census

A trawl through the newspaper archives on Find My Past produced the following article from the Manchester Courier on 26 August 1905.

Manchester Courier

Manchester Courier

All in a days work for a brave “bobby”.