John Espley

Sunday’s Obituary – Esther Ann Salt (nee Espley) 1866-1935

Esther Ann Espley is my wife’s 3rd cousin 2x removed. Her parents are John Espley and Emma Gibson. Their common ancestor is John Aspley – my wife’s 4x great grandfather.

Esther was born on 12 December 1866 – her birth is registered in Leek, Staffordshire. Esther’s mother Emma Gibson came from Spalding in Lincolnshire. So eighteen months after Esther’s birth the family travelled over 100 miles to Lincolnshire where Esther was baptised at a small village called Cowbit – about three miles from Spalding – on 14 June 1868.

Just over twenty years later, on 17 July 1888 Esther married Alfred Salt at Saints Philip & James, Milton, Staffordshire. Over the next 22 years Alfred and Esther had 11 children.

Esther passed away on Friday 24 May 1935. Details of her funeral were published in the Tamworth Herald on Saturday 1 June 1935 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Esther Ann Salt (nee Espley) - Tamworth Herald 1 June 1935.png

FUNERAL – The funeral took place in the Amington Cemetery on Wednesday, the Rev. H. Chamberlain officiating, of Mrs. Alfred Salt, who passed away on Friday, at School Lane, Amington, aged 68 years. She was highly respected, having resided in Amington for over 35 years. The chief mourners were: Mr. Alfred Salt (widower); Messrs. John William Salt, Alfred Salt, Albert Salt, Joseph Salt, Frederick George Salt (sons); Mesdames J. Smith, S. Chappell, A.W. Chappell, Mrs. G. Hill (daughters); Mr. and Mrs. A. Allcock (brother and sister-iin-law); Mrs. L. Kelsey (sister-in-law, Hanley); Messrs. J. Smith, S. Chappell, G. Hill (sons-in-law); Mrs J. W. Salt (daughter-in-law); and Mr. W. Kelsea (nephew, of Hanley). There was a large number of beautiful floral tributes from the family, the neighbours, and the Amington Liberal Workingmen’s Club, of which Mr. Alfred Salt, jun., is the secretary. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. H. Starkey, of Tamworth.

Black Sheep Sunday – Elizabeth Espley (nee Stanier)

Elizabeth Stanier is the wife of my wife’s 3rd cousin 2x removed, Joseph Espley.

Joseph was born sometime in the September quarter of 1881 in Leek, Staffordshire. His parents are John Espley and Emma Gibson. The common ancestor of John and my wife is John Aspley – my wife’s 4x great grandfather.

Joseph married Elizabeth Stanier sometime in the December quarter of 1907 – the marriage is registered at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. There were four children born over the next five years:-

May – 1908
Joseph – 1909
Reginald Joseph – 1911
Doris – 1912

In the 1911 census the family are living at Percy Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent and Joseph is working as a “tailor marker”.

In the summer of 1925 Joseph died – his death is registered in the third quarter of that year.

Three years later Elizabeth found herself in the Hanley Stipendiary Court as reported in the Staffordshire Advertiser on 8 September 1928 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Elizabeth Espley (nee Stanier) - Staffordshire Advertiser 8 Septemer 1928.png

At Hanley Stipendiary Court, on Monday, Elizabeth Espley, a widow, residing in Anchor Road, Longton, was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment on a summons for knowingly making a false representation for the purpose of obtaining an additional allowance under the Widows and Orphans’ Pension Act. Defendant did not appear, but a solicitor, who prosecuted on behalf of the Ministry of Health, stated that she signed a declaration that her daughter, Doris, aged 16, was still attending a day school, whereas the girl had left school. As a result of the untrue statement defendant had wrongfully obtained the sum of £13 5s.

Elizabeth didn’t remarry and she died in early 1955 – her death is registered in the March quarter in Stoke-on-Trent.

Sunday’s Obituary – John Espley (1869-1945)

John Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Booth Espley and Christiana Boyle. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley – my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

John was born on 5 May 1869 in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

In the 1891 census John was with his uncle & aunt Frederick Espley and Frances Espley in Biddulph, Staffordshire. He was working as an iron turner. By the time of the following census in 1901 John was living in Burnley, Lancashire working as a builders labourer.

On 7 December 1901 John married Sarah Booth at St Matthew the Apostle church, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire.

Sarah was a young widow of 25. Her maiden name was Sarah Baines Turner. She had married Samuel Booth in the first quarter of 1897 in Burnley. Samuel died three years later. This left Sarah on her own with three children under three years old – Betty, Jane and Samuel.

By the time of the 1911 census John and Sarah had six children of their own but sadly two died in infancy. By now John was working in the water department of the Burnley Borough Council.

John was a conscientious employee for the water department and eventually retired from there in 1934. The Burnley Express of Saturday 5 May 1934 reported on his retirement (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

John Espley - Burnley Express 5 May 1934.png

THIRTY-THREE YEARS WITH WATER DEPARTMENT

After completing 33 years service with the Burnley Corporation Water Department, Mr. John Espley, of 14 Hawk Street, enters into a well-earned retirement today. Mr. Espley, who is 65 years of age, has served under three managers, and for over 20 years has been a foreman with the department.
He holds the proud record of never having been late for 32 years. One day, when he had been with the department about 12 months, he arrived five minutes late and was sent home for three days. He has never been late since! Mr. Espley is interested in gardening, with which he occupies much of his spare time.

John’s retirement lasted for eleven years before he died on 4 June 1945. He was buried three days later in Burnley cemetery.

The Burnley Express reported on his death on Saturday 9 June 1945.

John Espley - Burnley Express 9 June 1945.png

MR. JOHN ESPLEY

The death of Mr. John Espley (76) took place at his home, 81 Albert Street, Burnley, on Monday, after a short illness. Mr. Espley, a well-known Fulledge resident, was employed by the Burnley Corporation Water Department for about 33 years, being a foreman for about 20 years. He retired about 11 years ago. The funeral took place at the Burnley Cemetery on Thursday, preceded by a service in the Latter Day Saints’ Chapel, Rosegrove, with which he was connected. Elder John R. Moore and Elder W. Duckworth officiated. Arrangements: Mr. Joseph Harling, 29 Yorkshire Street.

Sarah lived for a further 13 months – she was buried on 29 July 1946 in Burnley Cemetery.

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 – 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.

Military Monday – John Espley (1883-1938)

John Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Daniel Tilstone Espley and Jane Roe. The common ancestors of my wife and John are James Espley and Martha Silvester, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

John was born in 1883 in Stockport, Cheshire and his birth is registered in Q1.

John enlisted for service on 22 November 1915 at the age of 32 years and 10 months. His military service number was 550125 and he was assigned to the Army Reserve.

It appears from the records I have been able to find on http://www.ancestry.co.uk that John did not face active service in France.

John was eventually mobilised on 18 April 1917. There is a letter from the War Office dated 14 April 1917 posting him to the Inland Waterway & Docks Section of The Royal Engineers.

Although I can’t find details of the promotion in the records available on http://www.ancestry.co.uk it appears that John achieved the rank of sergeant major.

He was demobilised on 28 April 1919.

After the war John married Florence Stead in 1920 in Stockport. He died on 23 September 1938.