Burnley Express

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.

Travel Tuesday – Luther Espley (1915-1989)

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

Do you have images, quotes or stories about trips your ancestors or family took during their lives? Or have to ventured out on travels to your ancestral homeland as part of your genealogy research?

Luther Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. He was born on 20 April 1915 in Burnley, Lancashire, to parents John Espley and Sarah Booth.

Luther married Edna Adelaide Currin in Burnley on 11 May 1940 and they had one son, John in 1945.

The family decided to emigrate to Los Angeles, California, in 1947 – following in the footsteps of Luther’s step-sister Jenny Booth.

Luther passed away on 11 January 1989, and Edna on 1 August 1993, both in Los Angeles.

I have just come across the following article from the Burnley Express of 8 March 1947 about their impending departure.

Burnley Express - 8 March 1947.pngGoing Where The Sun Will Shine

To seek sunshine, a better standard of living and better prospects for the future, Mr Luther Espley, his wife, Mrs Edna Espley, and their 19-months-old son, John, will leave England in three weeks’ time for California, where they will live near Los Angeles.

Mrs Espley and the baby leave this week-end for Liverpool, and the family will sail from Southampton in ss America on March 28th. In America they will join Mr Espley’s sister, who went to live there 22 years ago. Now Mrs Jeny Holden, she was well known in Burnley as a tailoress in Briercliffe Road, where she took a shop after having been employed at Primrose Bank Institution. In Burnley she will be remembered as Jenny Booth. Mrs Holden, who came to Burnley on a visit 10 years ago, is connected with the Lancashire Society of Los Angeles.

Mr Espley is at present employed in the Water Department testing office. He joined the department on leaving school. Being a local Territorial he was called up with the 52nd LAA Regiment, RA, on the outbreak of war, and served in France, being evacuated at Dunkirk. Later he served with the Eighth Army throughout the desert campaign, and was released from the Forces in December, 1945.

“During my travels,” he says, “I was attached to the American Fifth Army in Italy for a long time, and their descriptions of life in America fitted in with what I am looking for. We are going because we think living conditions are better there, and there will be better opportunities and prospects, especially for the youngster. And there’s plenty of sunshine all the year round.”

I have lots of admiration for Luther, Edna and John, especially for their adventurous spirit. I hope that they enjoyed their new life in California.

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!!

Workday Wednesday – John Dawson (Engine Tenter)

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

Here’s a way to document your ancestors’ occupations (they weren’t all farmers), transcripts of SS-5s, photos and stories of ancestors at work, announcements of retirements, etc.

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 is registered in Q3 at Skipton, Yorkshire.

John’s main occupation as described in the census returns for 1871, 1881 and 1891 is “engine tenter”. I have mentioned John in an earlier post here.  He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather (my 4x great grandfather – John Dawson) of looking after the machines and engines at Ickornshaw Mill in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

I must admit I hadn’t given much thought to how difficult and dangerous the job of “engine tenter” might be – that is until I came across the following article from the Burnley Express of 6 March 1886.

Burnley Express - 6 March 1886.png

ACCIDENT – On Friday week, John Dawson, engine-tenter, Barrowford, met with an accident. He and three or four other workmen were fixing a new beam-key in the engine-house at Mr Barrowclough’s mill, when suddenly the jenny chain which had been used for raising the beam broke, and the beam fell with a force of over ten tons on Dawson’s left hand, cutting off two fingers, and holding the man fast with the long finger, which had subsequently to be amputated. The accident happened in the chamber of the engine shed, and Dawson, realising his position, kept from falling below. A new chain was procured, and Dawson was released. The hand has been dressed by Dr Pim.

As it turned out 1886 would continue to be a difficult year for John – he appears in the next two instalments of Black Sheep Sunday together with his wife Sarah.

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.