Sunday’s Obituary – John Musgrove (c1833-1884)

John Musgrove is my 2x great grandfather. He was born c1833 to parents Joseph Musgrove and Jane Dewhurst.

On 6 October 1855 John married Catherine Ainsworth at the Parish Church in Blackburn, Lancashire. They had at least 5 children:-

Susannah – born 2 August 1856 – died 1 February 1869
George – born 20 August 1857 – died 20 August 1857
Thomas Ainsworth – born 12 December 1860 – died 16 April 1928
Joseph – born 13 April 1864 – died 3 June 1948
James – born 5 August 1868 – died 23 November 1868

I have found John on the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1881 census returns. His occupation varied over the years and he was described as a crofter, a carter and a general labourer. In the 1871 census Catherine is living at 18 Ellen Street, Over Darwen, Lancashire and I assume that John was away from home at the time of the census.

On the 2 December 1858 tragedy struck the family when John’s father, Joseph Musgrove, died as the result of a fall at home. Here’s a blog post about his death – Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Musgrove

Ever since I started my interest in genealogy and researching my family history my mother has regularly told me of a story about a suicide by hanging somewhere in the past. So I was aware that at some point I may find the evidence.

Back in August this year I finally got round to ordering a copy of John Musgrove’s death certificate. And now I have the confirmation of the family story – cause of death was “suicide by hanging – unsound mind”.

John Musgrove - Death Certificate

According to the death certificate John died at Railway Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire, on 17 September 1884. An inquest was held by the Deputy Coroner J C Anderson on the same date.

The family story was that John returned home one night and the door was locked. Whether he had been drinking, whether John and Catherine had argued, I guess I will never know. Catherine refused to let him in and John replied that he might as well kill himself. If the story is to be believed then Catherine threw him a rope.

Despite my best efforts I have not been able to find any record of the inquest. I have tried Clitheroe library and been to Blackburn library to search the newspaper archives. I’ve also spoken with the Blackburn Coroners Office.  There is a death notice in the local Blackburn paper but no report of the inquest. I discovered during this search that inquest records/reports were considered to be the property of the coroner and were most likely destroyed when the coroner retired.

So sadly it seems I will never learn any more about the tragic events of Wednesday 17 September 1884.

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,_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.

Military Monday – Tom Musgrove (1898-1969)

Tom Musgrove is my 1st cousin 2x removed – he is my maternal grandfather’s cousin. Our common ancestors are my 2x great grandparents John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth. Tom was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire about 1898 to parents Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger. He was the fourth of at least ten children.

On 13 May 1916 Tom went to Blackburn and enlisted in the 4th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. He was 18 years 9 months old. The medical report written at the time of his enlistment describes him as having ‘bow legs’.

Tom remained at ‘home’ until 28 February 1917. He embarked the following day from Southampton to Le Havre, France.

During the period May to June 1918 Tom appears to have been ‘surplus’ and transferred between Battalions. He was also granted 4 days leave to England in August.

The next significant piece of information from Tom’s service record on is that he was admitted to hospital on 6 April 1919 – I can’t make out what the record says – see below. Anyway whatever it was he had an operation and was subsequently discharged after 62 days on 6 June 1919.

He was finally demobilized on 4 December 1919 to the Class Z Reserve.

Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities. Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

Tom married Rhoda Kear in Q4 1921. I haven’t been able to find a record of any children. He died sometime in Q3 1969 in Clitheroe.

The street where they lived – Whalley Road, Clitheroe

This is a photograph of 102 Whalley Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire.  It was the home of my granddad and nannie – Fred and Florrie Musgrove.  Although they lived in other houses in Clitheroe this is the only one I ever knew.

I don’t know if the photograph gives an accurate impression of size.  There are four floors – a cellar with two rooms and a door leading to the back garden; ground floor with a front parlour, living room and kitchen; first floor with two bedrooms; and second floor with a further two bedrooms.

The house always seemed to have a warm and cozy feel.  I remember my granddad sitting in his armchair next to the coal fire.  My mother recalls the front bedroom on the first floor also having a fireplace and coal fire but doesn’t think any of the other bedrooms had fireplaces.

Whenever I think of Fred and Florrie I remember them at 102 Whalley Road.  However the original address was 26 Russell Street – the name changed sometime in the 1930’s.

The house was built probably early 19th century.  The block of numbers from 90-110 are now Grade II listed buildings – they were listed in September 1976.  The listing text on the British Listed Buildings website comments briefly on number 102 – the doorway to No. 102 has plain pilasters, cornice and entablature.

Looking back at the census returns I can see who lived at 26 Russell Street:-

• 1911 – William James Heyes, a cotton weaver, his wife and six children plus two of his wife’s sisters

• 1901 – Richard Bridge, a fire beater at the paper works, his wife and their ten children

• 1891 – James Hargreaves, a block cutter in the print works, his wife and five grandchildren

• 1881 – Mary Dewhurst, working at the paper mill, and her sister Ann

• 1871 – Mary Dewhurst, working at the paper mill, and her sister Ann.  Also Thomas Hargreaves, a plasterer and slater, and his wife and son

• 1861 – Thomas Dewhurst, a machine calico printer, and his two daughters Mary and Ann

• 1851 – Thomas Dewhurst, a machine printer, five children, three grandchildren and a son-in-law

These houses are now probably close on 200 years old and will no doubt be standing for many more years.

Sunday Snap – Dad and his dumper

This is a photograph of my dad, Graham Dawson, taken sometime in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  It is taken at one of two locations and I can’t be sure which one it is.

My dad met my mother (Alice Musgrove) when he lived and worked in Clitheroe, Lancashire.  He was employed for a time at the local quarry where he was a “dumper” driver.  My mother tells the story that my dad named his “dumper” Alice – I’m sure that must have been out of some sort of affection for her (my mother that is).

The other possibility is that the photograph was taken when he worked at the Barnbow site in Leeds.  I don’t know what his job was but I understand that he drove a “dumper” there as well.

Barnbow was originally built as a munitions factory during the First World War – this is quite apt as we have just been to see a preview showing of the film War Horse which is set during WW1.

On this day … 13th July

1818 … Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley were married at St. Andrew’s church in Kildwick, West Yorkshire.  They are my 3x great grandoarents.

1934 … Ruth Bentley was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire to parents Albert Bentley and Ruth Halstead.  She is my 2nd cousin.

Tombstone Tuesday – Ruth Bentley (1906-1977)

This is the gravestone of Ruth Bentley, she is my 1st cousin 1x removed.

Ruth was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire on 26th January 1906 to parents Robert Halstead and Ellen Musgrove.  She married Albert Bentley sometime in the third quarter of 1933 and the marriage is recorded in the Clitheroe registration district.

The grave is in Clitheore cemetery.