Black Sheep Sunday

Black Sheep Sunday – Dent Stowell (1882-1948) – part 3

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.”

This is the third and final part of the Dent Stowell trilogy.

Dent Stowell, is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2

We left the story last week with Dent having appeared before Magistrates in Burnley and committed for trial at Manchester Assizes on charges of bigamy.

There are a couple of reports in the local papers about the trial. One of them in the Lancashire Evening Post of 3 May 1933 recaps much of the story from my blog post last week. During the trial Dent handed a written statement to the judge.

Announcing his decision the judge (Mr Justice Lawrence) is reported to have commented:-

You appear, very soon after going through the ceremony with her in Carlisle, to have told the woman with whom you are now living, that you were married. Though at the time of that ceremony you did deceive her. You have now lived with her 14 years, and apparently have treated her very well. In binding you over, I have taken into account the circumstances of your past life, as you have set them out in this statement, and the way in which your real wife behaved to you.

So there we have it Dent pleaded guilty to bigamy and was bound over indefinitely.

There are still loose ends to tie up in the story.

I was curious to discover why I hadn’t found a marriage for Dent Stowell and Helen Gordon in 1918. I checked the marriage indexes again and found a marriage listed for Helen Gordon and Samuel Stowell in the March quarter of 1918. So it seems that Dent used a different name, presumably to try and avoid complications. I wonder what name Helen knew him as at the time.

Rose Ann Stowell died in 1939 – her death is recorded in the June quarter in Burnley, Lancashire. Sometime during the same quarter Dent and Helen married legally.

About nine years later Dent passed away and was buried in Burnley Cemetery on 1 April 1948.

According to some online sources it appears that after Dent’s death Helen went back to the USA in 1949, although she did visit the UK at least once in 1955.

There is a record of Helen’s death in Los Angeles, California on 11 February 1984. Also a burial on 20 February 1984 in Burnley Cemetery where she was laid to rest in the same grave plot as Dent.

Black Sheep Sunday – Dent Stowell (1882-1948) – part 2

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.”

This is the second part of a three blog post series about Dent Stowell, my 2nd cousin 3x removed. Here’s a link to part one from last week – Military Monday

So to recap we left the story when Dent had been demobbed following the end of WW1.

I was then able to find Dent in the 1939 Register, completed at the start of WW2. He is living at 1 Grove Street, Burnley, Lancashire with his wife Helen.

Now then this is where my problem starts – in 1907 he was married to Rose Ann Cairns. Now here he is living with Helen. So what has happened over the twenty years since he was demobbed.

I began by searching the available records on http://www.ancestry.co.uk and http://www.findmypast.co.uk.

I got several results. There was an entry in the UK incoming passenger lists and some newspaper articles.

Let’s start with one of the newspaper articles – they are mostly the same. This transcript is from the Burnley Express of 22 April 1933.

Burnley Express 22 Apr 1933WARTIME ROMANCE SHATTERED

ALLEGED BIGAMY SEUQEL TO                      SOLDIERS MARRIAGE

BURNLEY MOTOR DRIVER’S AMAZING COURT REVELATIONS

Remarkable allegations that during his leaves from France during the war, in which he was wounded thrice, his wife “chased him back before his time was up, told him she did not want to see him again, and wished the Germans would kill him next time out”, were made by an ex-Service man who appeared before the magistrates in the Burnley Police Court, last Wednesday, on a charge of alleged bigamy.

The accused, Dent Stowell (50), described as a motor driver, and living at 15 Tunnel Street, Burnley, was stated to have been three times wounded while serving in France during the war with the famous Scottish regiment, the Black Watch. In a statement at the close of the evidence against him, Stowell said the Burnley woman to whom he was originally married “chased him back” every time he came home on leave from France, telling him she “did not want to see him again,” and wishing the Germans “would kill him next time out.”

Committed for Trial

Stowell, who was committed to Manchester Assizes for trial, was alleged to have married Helen Gordon, at Carlisle Parish Church, on January 27th, 1918, while his wife, a Burnley woman, whom he had married at St Matthew’s Church, Burnley, on January 5th, 1907, was still alive. It was stated that there were three surviving children of the Burnley marriage, and that Stowell had four children by the other woman.

Mr E S Smith, of the Town Clerk’s Department, appearing for the prosecution, said the alleged bigamy was a “war story.” The Burnley marriage was witnessed by William Gilbert and his wife, Anastasia Gilbert, then residing at Fielden Street, Burnley. After the marriage the couple went to live at the home of the husband’s sister, Mrs Brotherton, St. Matthew Street. Afterwards they lived at various Burnley addresses, and ultimately at 2 Zion Street, where Mrs Stowell resided. Prisoner at the outbreak of war was a reservist in the Black Watch Regiment, and he was sent to Perth, Scotland, to join up there. He was drafted to France, and in October, 1914, came home wounded for the first time. He lived with his wife at Burnley while at home then, and also on coming home on leave on several occasions. He was again wounded more than once, and on the last occasion was transferred, after recovery, to the Mechanical Transport Section, and stationed in London. After the Armistice he returned to his wife in Burnley, and later was again with his regiment. Then, owing to his being missing from his depot, his wife’s Army allowance was stopped for a time. He returned to his regiment , and his wife again received her payments.

Sailed for Canada

About Easter, 1919 (Mr Smith continued), Mrs Stowell had a letter from him, stating that he was expecting his discharge from the Army. But he did not return home, and she found that he had sailed for Canada. It was discovered that prior to his coming home for the last time to his wife in Burnley he had gone through a form of marriage at Carlisle, the ceremony taking place at the Parish Church there on January 27th, 1918. He was then fully aware that his lawful wife was alive.

Mrs Rose Ann Stowell, of 2 Zion Street, Burnley, stated that she was living there with her son. She spoke to having married accused at St Matthews Church, Burnley, on the date alleged, and she identified a certificate produced as being that of the marriage. Her maiden name was Cairns. They first lived with her husband’s sister at 76 St. Matthew Street. There were three children of the marriage alive, the youngest being now 21. They lived together happily until the commencement of the war, when he was sent to Perth to join his regiment, the Black Watch. He afterwards went to France and was wounded three times, on each occasion coming to their home in Burnley, and being transferred after his last wound to London. He came home on Armistice night and stayed two or three days. About Christmas that year her allowance was stopped by the Army authorities owing to accused’s absence for a time from his regiment. During that period, however, she received letters from him through his depot, though he was not there.

Husband’s Allegations

About Easter, 1919 (witness went on), she received a letter from prisoner stating that he was expecting to be discharged. He did not, however come home.

Have you seen him since? – Not till now.
Did you know where he had gone? – He had gone to Canada.
How did you know that? – He wrote to me for about 12 months.

Witness denied a suggestion by prisoner that the last time he was home from the Army she was running about public houses.

Prisoner: Didn’t you tell me to get back to my regiment and say that you didn’t want to see me any more alive? – and didn’t I say, “You never will see me again”? – as you never have done.

Witness: That is not the case.

Witness agreed that prisoner sent money to her and the children for the first 12 months after he went to Canada.

Prisoner: Didn’t I ask you if you would send the children to me, I would book their passages? – Yes

You would not let them come? – Why should I? They were my children.

Witness denied that she went drinking with the money prisoner sent her. She also denied a suggestion by the prisoner that she was living with a man.

Mrs Ann Anastasia Gilbert, widow, 224 Lowerhouse Lane, stated that she was present along with her husband, now dead, as a witness at prisoner’s marriage in St Matthew’s Church in 1907. On March 3rd this year she accompanied a detective officer to the Superintendent Registrar’s Office, Nicholas Street, and identified the original entry of the marriage, a copy of which was now produced.

Met in 1917

Helen Gordon, whom prisoner was alleged to have bigamously married, stated that she was now living with Stowell at 15 Tunnel Street, Burnley. She had four children, of whom he was the father.

In 1917 (winess proceeded) she was working on munitions at Carlisle, and in June of that year she met Stowell. He was then a soldier in the Black Watch, and he told he was a single man of Scottish nationality.

Did he ask yo to keep company with him? – Yes.

They went through the form of marriage at Carlisle Parish Church on January 27th, 1918. (Witness identified a certificate produced.)

Stowell afterwards went to France, and she (witness) joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and was sent to London. There she was joined later by Stowell on his being stationed in London.

In April, 1919, on his being discharged from the Army, Stowell (witness continued) sailed for Canada. She did not accompany him then, but went about three months afterwards. They lived in Canada about nine months, and then went to Detroit, United States, remaining there till January 26th, this year. She was with prisoner all that time. They returned to England on the instructions of the American emigration authorities, arriving in England on February 9th. They lived together at 194, Scalegate Road, Carlisle, till they came to Burnley.

“Drinking and Fighting”

Detective Sergeant Pullen said a warrant was issued for Stowell’s arrest on April 13th. He saw him on Tuesday this week at 15 Tunnel Street, where he was residing with his sister. He told him he had a warrant for his arrest, and Stowell replied, “Sure, when will it be tried?” When charged at the police office, he replied, “I have nothing to say.”

When asked, in the usual form, if he had anything to say, Stowell, from the dock, said: “I lived with her eight years after marriage, and was parted twice in that eight years through drinking and fighting. Every time I came on leave I had to go back before my time was up. She chased me back. I thought it impossible to live with her after the war, because she was telling me she did not want to see me again in life, and wishing the Germans would kill me next time out. She told my sister she was happy with the man she was living with now, and she did not want me back, and I don’t intend to go back.”

Prisoner was asked by the chairman of the magistrates (the Mayor) if he had been living happily with the other woman. He replied that he done so for 14 years.

Stowell was, as stated, committed for trial at Manchester Assizes. He applied for, and was allowed, bail, in his surety of £10, and another of the same amount. A friend of accused came forward as surety, and he was released.

Look out for the third and final instalment next week.

Black Sheep Sunday – Sarah Dawson (nee Hopkinson) – Part 2

Four months have passed since the troubles reported in the Burnley Express on 18  August 1886. But it seems as though things came to a head again before the end of August. See part one here.

Part two of the feud between the Quinn’s and the Dawson’s in Barrowford, Lancashire, was reported in the Burnley Express of 18 December 1886

Burnley Express - 18 December 1886.png

COLNE COUNTY COURT

Monday – Before his honour Judge Gates QC

A QUARREL BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS. Charlotte Quinn, weaver, of the Park, Barrowford, sued John Dawson, Barrowford, for £12, damages for an assault committed upon her by defendant’s wife Sarah Dawson. Mr Robinson, Keighley, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr J Sutcliffe represented the defendants. Mr Robinson stated that upon the 31 August John Dawson was in the house of the mother of the plaintiff. Mrs Dawson appeared to object to him staying there, and she went to fetch him out. He went out and some disturbance took place in the street between Mrs Dawson and one of the plaintiff’s sisters. Plaintiff heard a noise and she went out of the house to ascertain the cause, but she took no part in the bother. She had been standing on the door steps a minute when Mrs Dawson rushed into the house and brought out a large four-legged wooden stool, which she threw and hit her a violent blow upon the side of her face. She was rendered insensible by the injuries, in consequence of which she had been very ill for over a fortnight. The damages were for loss of work, doctors’ bills etc. Mr Sutcliffe stated that the row arose in consequence of the Quinns harbouring Mrs Dawson’s husband. He admitted that Mrs Dawson had thrown the stool, but it did not strike the plaintiff who stumbled and fell over a parapet. His honour said the only question to decide was whether the stool thrown by the defendant struck the plaintiff or not, and upon that he did not think there could be any doubt. He would therefore give a verdict for £5 5s.

So ended an “Annus Horribilis” for John and Sarah – which started badly with John’s accident at work back in February.

As far as I know there were no other incidents involving the Dawson family and the Quinn family – at least none that I can find in  the newspaper archives!!

Black Sheep Sunday – Sarah Dawson (nee Hopkinson) – Part 1

John Dawson is my 1st cousin 4x removed. His parents are John Dawson and Elizabeth Benson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

John married Sarah Hopkinson sometime in the Summer of 1857 – the marriage was registered in Q3 at Skipton, Yorkshire.

posted last week about John being injured working as an “engine tenter” in February 1886 and whet your appetite for more posts.

Some six months later in the Summer of 1886 it seems as though there was a bit of marital and neighbour disharmony as reported in the Burnley Express of 11 August 1886.

Burnley Express - 11 August 1886.png

Sarah Quinn, of Barrowford, was summoned for assaulting Sarah Dawson, wife of John Dawson, of Barrowford. There was a cross summons charging Dawson with assaulting Quinn. Mr Robinson appeared for Quinn, and Mr M Stuttard represented Dawson. Mrs Dawson stated that on the 31st ult. she saw her husband coming up the street in drink. He went to Quinn’s house, and she followed, and asked him to go home, but he refused. Mrs Quinn, sen., and her daughters followed her home, and defendant hit her on the eye, and pushed the door in her face. By Mr Robinson: She did not strike her husband. She did not call Sarah Quinn a foul name, nor slap her face. She threw a stool in self defence at the family, but it did not strike either of them. Elizabeth Smith spoke to seeing the Quinn family surrounding Mrs Dawson’s house, and saw Sarah Quinn strike Mrs Dawson on the face. She did not see the stool strike any of the girls. Both cases were dismissed.

Perhaps a satisfactory end to a domestic dispute you might be forgiven for thinking. However this is not the last you will hear about “the stool”. Part two of the saga continues next week.

Black Sheep Sunday – Fred Gostelow (1863-1921)

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.”

Fred Gostelow is my wife’s great grand uncle – brother of her great grandmother Sarah Ann Gostelow.

Fred was born in 1863 to parents Samuel Gostelow and Emma Padley, my wife’s 2x great grandparents. His birth is registered in Q4 at Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

In the 1881 census Fred is working as a farm servant and living and working at Brick Kilns Farm, Broughton, Lincolnshire.

In 1887 Fred married Alice Stuffins sometime in the June quarter – the marriage is registered at Caistor, Lincolnshire.

It was during this period that Fred got in to trouble and found himself the subject of report in the Lincolnshire Chronicle of 8 July 1887.

Lincolnshire Chronicle - 8 July 1887.png

Blyborough – At the Lindsey Quarter Sessions at Lincoln, on Friday, before Sir C H J Anderson and other Magistrates, Fred Gostelow, farm servant, aged 23, was indicted for stealing a purse, a £5 bank note, and three sovereigns, the property of Albert Scott, at Blyborough, on the 14th May. The jury found the prisoner guilty and recommended him to mercy on account of his previous good character. The Court, taking into consideration the recommendation of the jury, sentenced the prisoner to two calendar months’ imprisonment with hard labour, a sentence which the Chairman described as very lenient.

So not the perfect start to married life.

Fred and Alice had five children:-

Ethel – born 20 March 1888
Walter – born 1 January 1890
William – born 11 December 1892
Wilfred – born & died about March 1896
Cyril – born about March 1897 – died in WW1

Between 1891 and 1911 the family lived in Barnetby, Lincolnshire.

Fred passed away towards the end of 1921 – his death is registered in the December quarter.

Alice remarried at the age of 58 in 1924 to Joseph K Smith. I haven’t located a death registration yet for her.

Black Sheep Sunday – George Astin (1835-1867)

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.”

George Astin is my 2nd great grand uncle – brother of my 2x great grandmother Ann Astin. He was born in Burnley, Lancashire, about 1835 to parents Robert Astin and Nancy Dyson, my 3x great grandparents.

George died at the young age of 32 and was buried on 5 November 1867 in Burnley Cemetery.

Trawling the newspaper archives I came across the following article in the Burnley Advertiser of 7 October 1865.

Burnley Advertiser 7 October 1865 - George Astin.png

A REBELLIOUS SON – George Astin, who did not appear, was summoned for an assault upon his father, Robert Astin. The complainant said that on the Wednesday before, his son struck him twice, once on the shoulder and once on the body. The assault was in Gas Street, and the father was struck because he would not let his son break the window out. They had had a good deal of trouble with him the last three years. He kept leaving his work and going drinking. He was not drunk when he struck the blows, but he had had some drink. Complainant wanted protection from him. Fined 10s and costs; in default to be committed to prison for one month, with hard labour.

I can’t help wonder what was the cause of George’s rebellious behaviour.

Sadly, two years later he was dead and buried. Did Robert and George ever mend their relationship?

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.