Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Musgrove (c1791-1858)

Joseph Musgrove is my 3x great grandfather.  He was born in Kendal, Westmorland about 1791.  Joseph married Jane Dewhurst on 8 April 1833 in Blackburn, Lancashire.

I haven’t been able to find him on the 1841 census so far.  I have found Jane and their son John living with Jane’s father Lawrence Dewhurst.

On the 1851 census Joseph and Jane are living at Barrow Row, Wiswell, Lancashire (about 3 miles south of Clitheroe) and Joseph is working as a blacksmith.

I have recently found the following article from the Preston Chronicle of Saturday 11 December 1858.  Not so much an obituary – more an inquest report.

Preston Chronicle - Saturday 11 December 1858

Preston Chronicle – Saturday 11 December 1858

THE FATAL EFFECTS OF DRINK AT BILLINGTON – On Monday last, an inquest was held at the “Judge Walmsley” public-house, Billington, on the body of a blacksmith, named Joseph Musgrove.  Joseph carried on business in Billington, and was, like many men of iron, rather too fond of his beer.  On Thursday week, however, he took his beer for the last time, for within half an hour of leaving the “Judge Walmsley” he was a corpse.  So soon as he reached home, he sat down in a chair, and partook of some supper which his wife had prepared for him.  Whilst he was eating his evening meal, his wife went out, was absent between ten and twenty minutes, and then returned.  Not seeing her Joseph, however, in the chair where she had left him, she went up stairs to ascertain if he had gone to bed.  She felt on the top of the bed clothes, got hold of his trousers, but could not find him.  She then went for a light, determining to see what had become of him.  On reaching the bed-room a second time, she saw him laid partly on the floor and partly on a box.  His head was under one side of the bedstead.  On trying to lift him up she found that he was quite dead.  It is supposed that in getting into bed, he slipped, and falling on the floor, dislocated his neck.  The jury returned a verdict in accordance with these facts, namely, one of “Accidental death”.

When he died Joseph was about 67 years old.

I feel quite sad now knowing the circumstances of his death.  Having been out for a drink after what was presumably a hard day in the blacksmith forge Joseph’s life ends so tragically.

Judge Walmsley Public House

Judge Walmsley Public House

Friday’s Faces from the Past – “Would Be” Flapper Girl

Unknown Woman

Here’s one of many photographs in my collection of people that I do not know.  Most of the photographs were inherited from my grandparents or belong to my parents.

This particular photograph is undated and there is nothing written on the back of the image to give me any clue.  It is printed on a post card and bears the name of Vales Studio, 72 Church Bank, Bradford.

So what can I tell from the image?

Well going by her hairstyle and dress I think it is probably 1920’s.

It looks to me as though the young woman is trying to keep up with fashion in what is probably a home made “flapper” style dress.  I think the dress is home made because the hem does not look very professionally finished – if you can see what I mean.

I also think that she doesn’t look very relaxed and perhaps wants to scoot behind the curtain as soon as she can!!

The street where they lived – Brownlow Street, Clitheroe

My granddad, Frederick Ainsworth Stowell Musgrove was born in Citheroe on 1st February 1898.

He lived at 62 Moor Lane and then at 32 Salford.  I can’t find any photographs / images on the Internet of either of these houses.  I suspect that they were demolished sometime ago.

At the time of his marriage to Florrie Musgrove (no relation before they married) he was living at 11 Brownlow Street, Clitheroe.Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 16.52.07

The earliest reference I can find to Brownlow Street in the Clitheroe census is for 1891. There are entries in earlier census returns for some streets in the same area.  So either I haven’t searched properly or Brownlow Street was built between 1881-1891 or perhaps it had another name before it became Brownlow Street.

Researching the history of Clitheroe I discovered that John Cust was elected as MP for the town in 1802.  He was the eldest son of the 1st Baron Brownlow.

John Cust was MP for Clitheroe until 1807 when he succeeded to his father’s title and he later became 1st Earl Brownlow in 1815.

Here’s a brief biography from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cust,_1st_Earl_Brownlow

I imagine that Brownlow Street was named after John Cust.

Looking at the census returns I can see who lived at 11 Brownlow Street from 1891 to 1911

1891 – Tipping Lord (63) a cotton weaver from Grindleton, Yorkshire.  He was living with his Eleanor (63) and two sons Edward (22) and James (20)

1901 – James Lord (30) was now head of the house.  He was employed as a life insurance agent.  He was living with his wife Annie (30) and their daughter Eleanor (3)

1911 – William Henry Mitchell (43) a cotton weaver from Clitheroe.  He was living with his wife Alice (42) and four children Harry (19), Mary Ellen (14), Reginald (10) and William (7).

So my granddad must have moved to 11 Brownlow Street sometime between 1911 and 1917 when he married.  I know that the house remained in the family until at least 1952 and was then sold.

Black Sheep Sunday – John Britliff (The Killing Field)

John Britliff is my wife’s 3x great grandfather. His name appears in records under various spellings – Britliff, Britliffe and Britcliffe. There are also numerous transcription interpretations from the census returns on both Ancestry and Find My Past. This certainly makes finding and following the family a bit tricky sometimes.

John was born about 1800 in or around Bonby, North Lincolnshire. I have his mother as Mary Britliff but have not been able to find a record of who his father might be.

On 26 November 1821 John married Sarah Rack in North Kelsey, Lincolnshire. They had at least ten children between 1824 and 1840.

In the 1841 census the family are living at North Owersby, Lincolnshire and John is working as an agricultural labourer. There are eight children at home.

Lincolnshire Chronicle Dec 1842

About twenty months later tragedy occurred as reported in the Lincolnshire Chronicle on Friday 2 December 1842.

A Wife killed by her Husband – On Sunday last, a tragical event took place at North Gullum farm, in the parish of North Owersby, near Market Rasen. A labourer of the name of John Britcliffe had some angry words with his wife, when in the moment of passion, he first beat her with a leathern belt, and then brutally kicked her on the lower part of the body. The unfortunate woman, who was far advanced in pregnancy, survived this ill-treatment but a few hours. An inquest was held on the deceased on Monday, before Mr. Marris, coroner, and a post mortem examination of the body by Mr. Smith and Mr. Hutchinson, of Caistor, surgeons, and after a long and patient investigation, the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Britcliffe has been committed under the coroner’s warrant for trial at the next assizes. A family of nine children are left to mourn the loss of both parents.

We can never know what happened between John and Sarah to cause this terrible tragedy but certainly the lives of all the family were changed for ever.

In January 1843 a report in the Lincolnshire Chronicle says that “the seven children of John Britliffe, late of North Owersby, at present a prisoner in Lincoln Castle, on a charge of manslaughter, chargeable to the parish of North Owersby, were ordered to be removed to Nettleton, being their last legal settlement”.

The children are likely to have been taken to the Caistor Workhouse.

John next appears in court on Wednesday 8 March 1843. The report of the hearing is in the Lincolnshire Chronicle of Friday 10 March 1843.

Manslaughter at North Owersby

John Britcliffe, 42, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with the manslaughter of his wife, Sarah Britcliffe. The prisoner received a good character from Mr. Brooks, a farmer at Croxby. 10 year’s transportation.

He was held in Lincoln Castle until the beginning of April 1843 when he was removed for transportation together with a number of other prisoners as the following report from the Lincoln Chronicle of Friday 7 April 1843 says.

TRANSPORTS – On Friday last, Lieut. Nicholson, governor of Lincoln castle, removed from thence the first portion of convicts sentenced to transportation at the last assizes, viz: to the Warrior hulk, Woolwich, John Nicholson, John Sims, John North, Edwd. Copeland, and John Butting for life; John Britcliffe, Leonard Boyall, and Ambrose Brown for ten years; David Dickenson and James Smith for seven years; to Pentonville model prison, William Potts and Hy. Scott.

There are various sets of records about convicts and transportation on family history and other websites. However I have not yet been able to find John Britcliffe in any of these. So  I don’t know where he was transported to – I am guessing Australia or Tasmania.

I really wanted to try and find out what happened after his transportation because eight years later John appears to be back in Lincolnshire. I have him in the 1851 census living at Hayes Farm in Redbourn and working as a shepherd.

This raises a whole host of questions for me, for example:-

  • Did he really get transported?
  • If he did get transported for 10 years how come he is back in England after 8 years?
  • Did he get a “certificate of freedom” for good behaviour after serving part of his sentence?
  • How did he afford the fare back to England?

Also in the 1851 census two of his children – Joseph (b 1840) and William (b 1839) are still at the Union Workhouse in Caistor.

The story becomes more interesting when this article about the Lindsey court sessions of 4 & 5 July appears in the Stamford Mercury on Friday 11 July 1851.

Stamford Mercury Jul 1851

John Britliff, 50, who had been three times before in custody, was brought up, having been committed as “an incorrigible rogue and vagabond” for refusing to maintain his children. It appeared that the prisoner had left his family a burthen to the parish, which had spent £250 in their maintenance; but since he had been in prison he had paid  £5, and as he now promised to do his duty to the children, he was liberated upon the promise, being warned that if he neglected to carry it out he would be liable to be committed again.

In 1857 John married Esther Smith at Caistor. And in the 1861 census they are living at Town Street, Waddingham, Lincolnshire. Also living with them is John’s unmarried daughter Jane Britcliffe (b1839) and her daughter Sarah C Britcliffe (b1859).

John died sometime in the September quarter of 1862 – almost twenty years after killing his wife.

There is so much more to this story that I wish I could discover.

Workday Wednesday – Israel Gawthrop (1840-1906)

Israel Gawthrop is my 2x great uncle – he is the brother of my 2x great grandmother Ellen Gawthrop and the son of Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley.

Israel was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire. His first occupations in the census returns are

1851 – farmers son employed on farm

1861 – cotton carder

1871 – cotton carder

In 1881 he is recorded as “manager of cotton mill” – and I believe this is a position he held until his death in 1906.

There are numerous references to Israel in the local newspapers of the time. I have picked the article below because I think it reflects a man who had respect for the workforce in the mill he managed and that the “hands” as they are described in the article respected him as a boss. When you imagine what working conditions must have been like in the Victorian mills of Lancashire and elsewhere then to have management and the workers all pulling together must have been good for everyone – or at least a better place to work than some.

SABDEN

TREAT AND PRESENTATION

On Saturday last, the senior employees of Jas. Suttard and Sons met at Mrs. Badger’s Commercial Hotel, to partake of a treat supplied chiefly at the expense of the firms who have replenished the mill with new machinery.

The dinner was of a most recherche character, and reflected the greatest credit upon the worthy hostess. The juvenile portion (or half-timers) did justice to a substantial tea provided for them in the Oddfellows’ Hall, where the senior portion afterwards adjourned, and participated in the subsequent proceedings.

Mr. Israel Gawthrop (manager) was elected as chairman, and Mr. James Proctor (book-keeper) as vice-chairman.

In opening the proceedings the Chairman said, – If there was one thing that affected him more than another in coming to Sabden, it was the fear of having an uncultivated lot of hands to contend with. The putting in of new machinery was Israel Gawthrop Jul 1873very trifling as compared to it. But, to his great surprise, he met with a very decent set of hands to conduct (hear, hear). When they came to have a class of hands who wanted nothing but right, and a master who wanted nothing more, it was a very easy task to stand between them; he was very glad to be able to say that, both as regarded the masters and operatives, for he had never heard any of the workpeople say “I won’t” when he asked them to do anything (hear, hear). He did not know that he ever met with a firm more urgent to get on than those under whom they worked. The masters had been very diligent in their business habits, and their concern at Sabden had required a great deal – the machinery

putting in, and all the other things to attend to – but he was very happy to tell them that it had not affected the masters, and they need not be frightened that anyone would come and say “You must stop work” (applause). They had met with some energetic and upright masters, who were worthy of a good class of hands, so he hoped they would do their best, and he was sure the masters would do the same to them (applause).

The Vice-chairman next called upon several gentlemen, who spoke in eulogistic terms of Mr. Gawthrop’s past conduct, after which – Mr. S Hartley (card-master) presented the souvenirs, which consisted of a handsome timepiece of black Parian marble, with a brass plate placed under the dial, which bore the following inscription tersely engraved: “Presented to Mr. Israel Gawthrop, manager at the Victoria Mill, Sabden, by the workpeople, as a token of respect and esteem, July 19th 1873.” There was also a beautiful work-box presented to his wife. The combined presents amounted to near £10.

In returning thanks for the testimonial Mr. Gawthrop said that so far as he was aware, he had done nothing to merit the present. His object in coming to the place was to try to collect as good a class of hands as he could, and having collected them, he had tried to do justice both to them and his masters. He hoped the good feeling that existed between them that night might be of lasting duration (hear, hear). Whenever the present stood before him it would remind him of their respect and kindness, and act as a stimulant to do what was right and just (hear, hear) – and he assured them it would be handed down to his children, hoping it would have the same effect upon them (hear, hear). In conclusion, he recapitulated his thanks, and said he would try to do justice to all parties, if he did not do right his conscience pricked him, and he accepted the present as given in that feeling (loud applause).

The rest of the evening was spent in singing, games, etc. Mr. R Laycock presided most efficiently at the piano.

Votes of thanks were given to all those who had in any degree contributed to the dinner or entertainment.

The National Anthem terminated the proceedings of the evening.

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.