Sunday’s Obituary – Richard Varey (1866-1953)

Richard Varey is the husband of Margaret Stamper, my 1st cousin 3x removed.

Margaret was born in Kendal, Westmorland – her birth is registered in the March quarter of 1862. She was baptised on 4 May 1862. Her parents are William Stamper and Alice Rooking. Our common ancestors are Joseph Rooking and Mary Carradice – my 3x great grandparents. Sometime in the March quarter of 1899 Margaret married Richard in Kendal.

Richard had been born on 26 August 1866 at Holme, Westmorland.

After their marriage they lived at Holme. Richard worked as a limestone quarrymen for sometime but his main occupation was as a farm labourer.

In the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Richard was a widower living at Duke Street, Holme, Westmorland. Margaret had passed away nine years earlier.

Richard died on 7 April 1953 and I recently found the following report in the Lancaster Guardian of Friday 24 April 1953 about the inquest held into his death (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Richard Varey - Lancaster Guardian 24 April 1953.png


Man 87 found by brother 81

Visiting his elder brother at Holme on Good Friday, white-haired 81-year-old Mr. Robert Varey of Clawthorpe, near Burton, found him dying with his head in the fireplace.
He told this at a Lancaster inquest on Friday on his brother, 87-year-old Richard Varey of Duke Street, Holme, who died in Lancaster Infirmary on Tuesday, April 7.
Mr. Varey said his brother was a retired farm worker. “I went round to his house at 1.45p.m.” he said. “I usually go twice a week. I went through into the kitchen where he had his meals and did his cooking.
“He was lying on the floor with his head against the boiler near the fireplace. The boiler does not hold water but it gets very hot and you can’t bide your hand near it.
“In front of the fire a chair was lying on its side and there was also a pan of porridge near the fire. I know it was my brother’s habit to sit on the chair by the fire while he made his porridge.
“It looked to me as if he had been doing that when he fell off the chair for some reason. He was still just alive when I got to him and he tried to speak but I could not make out the words. He was just about gone.”
Coroner Mr. G. F. E. Wilson recorded a verdict that death was due to a stroke and was hastened by burns to the scalp sustained in an accidental fall on a fire.

Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Musgrove (1866-1933)

Joseph Musgrove is my great grandfather. He was born on 1 December 1866 in Kendal, Westmorland, to parents Harrison Musgrove and Jane Rooking.

Joseph was the youngest of eight children. He was baptised on 21 April 1867 in Kendal. Less than a year later his father (Harrison) died on 16 April 1868. Then when Joseph was six years old his mother (Jane) died on 12 April 1873.

I guess that Joseph would have been looked after by his older siblings after the death of their parents. And in the 1881 census he is boarding with his eldest sister Agnes and her husband David Hutchinson at Albert Hill in Settle, West Yorkshire.

By the time of the next census on 5 April 1891 Joseph was back in Westmorland working as an agricultural labourer and living on a farm in Duke Street, Holme – about 10 miles south of Kendal.

Just over two years later Joseph married Elizabeth Ann Turner on 12 April 1893 at Settle Register Office.

Not sure what it is about the month of April but all the previous significant events happened in that month!!!

Anyway, Joseph and Elizabeth journeyed south to Clitheroe in Lancashire – stopping off on their way for three or four years at Horton in Ribblesdale, West Yorkshire, where Joseph worked in the limestone quarry. Their first three children were born and baptised here.

At this time the family lived at Foredale Cottages – in the photograph below you can see the cottages on the hillside below the quarry.


In the 1901 and 1911 census returns Joseph is still working as a limestone quarryman – now at the local Clitheroe quarry.

Over a period of about 20 years Joseph and Elizabeth had ten children:-

John Robert Turner Musgrove – born 2 November 1891
Thomas Musgrove – born cMarch 1894
Florrie Musgrove – born 6 January 1897
Mary Elizabeth Musgrove – born 22 August 1899
James Musgrove – born 9 April 1901
Joseph Musgrove – born cSeptember 1903
Leah Musgrove – born 28 July 1905
Isabel Musgrove – born 12 July 1906
Alice Musgrove – born 23 August 1910
Joseph Musgrove – born 23 October 1912

Sadly Joseph developed stomach cancer and he died at home on 30 September 1933. He was buried at Clitheroe Cemetery on 4 October 1933.

The archives for the Clitheroe Advertiser & Times have recently been added to the British Newspaper Archives website. I just discovered the following obituary.

Joseph Musgrove - Clitheroe Advertiser Sep 1933.png

A further death we have to record is that of Mr Joseph Musgrove, of 28 Russell Street. Mr Musgrove, who was sixty-six years of age, died on Sunday after a brief illness. Since the war Mr Musgrove had carried on business as a general dealer and was particularly well known among the farming community, his business bringing him into contact with farmers at the Clitheroe Auction Mart. A native of Kendal he had lived in Clitheroe for forty years, and for more than twenty years resided in Salford. At one period he was employed as a quarryman at Bold Venture Quarries. He leaves a widow, three sons and five daughters. The interment took place at St Mary’s Cemetery on Wednesday, the Rev S E Harper officiating.