John Musgrove

Wedding Wednesday – Edward Musgrove and Rebecca Cockshutt

Edward Musgrove is my 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger. Our common ancestors are John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth, my 2x great grandparents.

Edward was born on 8 March 1903 in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

On the 2 November 1940 Edward married Rebecca Cockshutt at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Clitheroe. A report of the wedding was published in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times on 8 November 1940.

Edward Musgrove & Rebecca Cockshutt wedding.png

MUSGROVE-COCKSHUTT

The wedding took place on Saturday, at St. Mary’s Parish Church, of Mr. Edward Musgrove, the fifth son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Musgrove, of 66, Wilkin Street, and Miss Rebecca I. Cockshutt, daughter of Mrs. and the late Mr. G. Cockshutt, of 6, Chatburn Road, Clitheroe. The Rev. W. S. Helm, M.A., performed the ceremony.

Given away by her brother, Mr. George Cockshutt, the bride was attired in a pale blue edge-to-edge coat, a floral gown with navy accessories, and had a spray of pink carnations. The bridesmaid, Miss Hilda Gates (niece), wore a similar ensemble in a darker shade. The best man was Mr. Tom Musgrove, and the groomsman Mr. John Smalley.

A reception followed at Briggs’s cafe, the bride and bridegroom afterwards leaving for Blackpool. They are to reside at 6, Chatburn Road, Clitheroe.

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Sunday’s Obituary – Albert Musgrove (1896-1946)

Albert Musgrove is my 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger. Our common ancestors are John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth, my 2x great grandparents.

Albert was born on 16 March 1896 in Clitheroe, Lancashire. He was baptised at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Clitheroe on 12 April 1896.

Sometime in the March quarter of 1921 Albert married Ivy Hargreaves.

Albert died at the age of 49 on 25 January 1946. The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times published a brief obituary on 1 February 1946.

Albert Musgrove obituary.png

MR ALBERT MUSGROVE

After a long illness the death took place last Friday of Mr Albert Musgrove, aged 49, of 6 Pendle Road, Clitheroe. He was a native of the town. For many years he was employed at Dawson’s Bakery, his last place of work being Whiteside’s wine merchants, Clitheroe. He is survived by a widow, two daughters and a son. The interment was at St Mary’s Cemetery on Tuesday.

Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Musgrove (1864-1948)

Joseph Musgrove is my great grand uncle – in other words, brother of my great grandfather. His parents are John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth – my 2x great grandparents.

Joseph was born on 13 April 1864 in Darwen, Lancashire.

I have Joseph on all the census returns from 1871 to 1911 and in the 1939 Register. For most of these years his occupation was given as “labourer”. So I am guessing that he had a very hard working life.

On 16 May 1891Joseph married Bridget Maria Grainger at St. James Church, Clitheroe, Lancashire.

James and Bridget had eleven children between 1892 and 1911. The local paper published a story marking their golden wedding anniversary in 1941 – see blog post here.

Joseph passed away on 3 June 1948 and details of his death were published in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times on 11 June 1948.

Joseph Musgrove Obituary - CAT 11 Jun 1948.png

MR JOSEPH MUSGROVE

Mr Joseph Musgrove of 66, Wilkin Street, Clitheroe who died yesterday week in his 85th year was one of the town’s best known characters.

He was a native of Darwen, but had spent most of his life in Clitheroe and a for a long number of years was employed in the Highways Department of the Corporation, retiring in 1932. For many years he was one of town’s halberd bearers.

Mr Musgrove was keenly interested in cricket and football and in April travelled to Rochdale to watch Clitheroe Football Club’s last away match of the season.

He was a member of the Royal Castle Lodge Ancient Order of Foresters and members of the order were present at the interment on Tuesday at St Mary’s Cemetery, conducted by the Rev J T Hall.

Mr Musgrove leaves a widow, three sons and three daughters who will have general sympathy in their bereavement.

Wedding Wednesday – Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger

Joseph Musgrove is my great grand uncle (the brother of my great grandfather Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove).

Joseph was born on 13 April 1864 to parents John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth (my 2x great grandparents).

On 16 May 1891 Joseph married Bridget Maria Grainger in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Bridget had been born on 23 February 1867 in Devon.

On the 9 May 1941 the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times published an article celebrating the golden wedding anniversary of Joseph and Bridget.

Joseph and Bridget Musgrove Golden Wedding.png

FAMILY OF ELEVEN

REARED ON £1 A WEEK

GOLDEN WEDDING MEMORIES OF MR. & MRS. J. MUSGROVE

An insight into conditions of life which obtained fifty or more years ago was given in an interview by Mr and Mrs Joseph Musgrove, of 66 Wilkin Street, Clitheroe, who will celebrate their golden wedding on Monday next. They were married on May 12, 1891, at St James’s Church, by the curate, the Rev Mr Ince.

STARTED WORK WHEN SIX!

Seventy-seven years of age and a native of Darwen, Mr Musgrove came to Clitheroe at the age of six and a half years, and started work in the spinning room at Messrs Dewhurst’s Salford Bridge Mills on attaining his eighth year. He was employed full time at eleven. When sixteen, he went to the print works at Barrow, but left there in 1896 to enter the employ of Clitheroe Corporation highways department, continuing for thirty years, except for a break of six years during which he worked as a mason’s labourer.

All his life, Mr Musgrove has taken a keen interest in both football and cricket, rarely missing a match either at Shaw Bridge or at Chatburn Road. For fifty-six years he has been identified with Court “Royal Castle” (No. 8549) of the Ancient Order of Foresters, and still holds the post of senior door beadle. For eleven years he was one of the borough’s halberdiers. “We had to buy our own top hats and white gloves in those days,” he said, adding: “There were none o’these fancy cloaks and three-cornered hats!”

SIXPENCE A WEEK!

Mrs Musgrove, whose maiden name was Miss Bridget Maria Grainger – she is a sister of the late Mr Luke Grainger, formerly of West View – was born seventy-four years ago near Taunton, Somerset, and came to Clitheroe at the age of sixteen. She learnt to weave at Salford Bridge Mill, where Mr Musgrove learnt spinning, but she had not had charge of two looms long when the mill closed down, and she was accordingly out of work for some time.

“Of course, I had been working for years before I came to Clitheroe,” she said. “Maybe you won’t believe me when I tell you that when eight years old, my wage was sixpence a week.”

Mrs Musgrove added the information that this remuneration was for looking after the smaller children of a well-to-do family, who also provided her with meals. “They regarded the sixpence as spending money, but my mother had to clothe me out of it,” she added.

Speaking of old times, Mrs Musgrove said: “Yes, they were hard, I can’t say I would like to live them over again – not under the same conditions, at any rate.” She went on to say that it was a big problem to bring up a family of eleven on £1 a week. “I can’t tell you how we managed, but we did. It was a hard struggle, but we were fortunate in having good health.”

SUPREME SACRIFICE

Of a family of eleven children, seven – three daughters and four sons survive. Of four sons who served in the last Great War, two made the supreme sacrifice.

All their married life Mr and Mrs Musgrove have been associated with St Mary’s Parish Church. Mrs Musgrove being one of the oldest and a founder member of the Mothers’ Union. Their golden wedding anniversary will be celebrated quietly at home, with just a few relatives and neighbours for tea. “Lord Woolton won’t let us do much more.” Mrs Musgrove said with a laugh.

In conjunction with their many friends, we wish them health and many more years of happiness together.

Military Monday – Henry John Grainger Musgrove (1892-1917)

Henry John Grainger Musgrove is my 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger. Our common ancestors are John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth, my 2x great grandparents.

Henry was the first of ten children by Joseph and Bridget. He was born on 9 April 1892 and baptised at St. James church, Clitheroe, Lancashire on 29 May 1892.

In the 1911 census Henry’s occupation was given as “baker”.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any remaining records of Henry’s military service. However I know from the newspaper article below that he enlisted with the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment on 11 December 1915. His service number was 21851 and at the time of his death on 24 June 1917 he was serving with the 7th Battalion.

The following article appeared in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times on 29 June 1917.

Henry J G Musgrove - CAT 29 June 1917

HOW PRIVATE H. MUSGROVE MET HIS DEATH

“It is my sad duty to write and inform you that I buried your son, yesterday (the 24th inst.). He was killed whilst with a working party, the previous night, and as our battalion is close at hand, Captain Kendall asked me to take charge of the burial. I expect the Authorities will inform you in due course, of the place of burial, and that they will erect a cross over his grave. Captain Kendall spoke in the very highest terms of your son’s bravery and usefulness as a soldier, and his death is much lamented by all his comrades. He has given his life for the greatest of all causes, and he now sleeps in an honoured grave, fondly remembered by all who knew him. May God bless and comfort you and all sorrowing relatives.”

The above letter, signed by the Rev. R. Kelso, Chaplain to the Royal Irish Rifles, has been received by Mr. Musgrove, Wilkin Street, and refers to his son, Private Hy. Musgrove, King’s Royal Lancaster Regt., who was 25 years of age, and enlisted on the 11th December, 1915. Deceased was well known throughout the district, being formerly in the employ of Mr. Dawson, Shaw Bridge. At the time he joined the Army, however, he was engaged as a baker for the Billington and Whalley Co-operative Society. He had been in France 13 months.

A couple of weeks later the following article was published in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times on 13 July 1917

Henry J G Musgrove - CAT 13 July 1917.png

PRIVATE HENRY J. G. MUSGROVE

Official confirmation of the death in action of Private Henry J. G. Musgrove, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regt., was received on Friday last. He was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Musgrove, 66, Wilkin Street, a single man aged 25, and was, formerly employed by the Billington and Whalley Co-operative Society. He joined the forces in December, 1915, and went to France the following April. The circumstances under which he met death are given by his C.O. in a letter which is appended. Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, who are to be commiserated with in their great loss, have two other sons in France, and one in training.

The first intimation of Private Musgrove’s untimely end came from Captain Pobert Kelso, Chaplain to the 13th Royal Irish Rifles: “It is my sad duty to wrote and inform you that I buried your son, yesterday (the 24th inst.). He was killed whilst with a working party, the previous night, ands our battalion is close at hand, Captain Kendall asked me to take charge of the burial. I expect the Authorities will inform you in due course, of the place of burial, and that they will erect a cross over his grave. Captain Kendall spoke in the very highest terms of your son’s bravery and usefulness as a soldier, and his death is much lamented by all his comrades. He has given his life for the greatest of all causes, and he now sleeps in an honoured grave, fondly remembered by all who knew him. May God bless and comfort you and all sorrowing relatives.”

Captain Kendall, writing on the 2nd inst., said: “It is with the deepest regret that I write to tell you, in case you have not already heard from other sources, of the death in action of your son, No. 21,851 Private Musgrove, of this regiment. He was killed while working in a trench at night, which work was part of the general operations in the Messines ridge. A shell landed in the midst of his party, causing immediate death to him and one of his comrades. I cannot tell you how sorry I am to lose him from my company, as he had many times proved himself a brave and valuable man. On one occasion, a few days before his death, he had volunteered to carry ammunition through heavy fire, and, altogether, was one of the men whom we could least afford to lose. I can only hope that the fact that he died a noble death, and also the fact that we miss him very much out here, may help to lighten your great sorrow.”

Private Musgrove had been connected with St. Mary’s Sunday School from childhood, and a hymn was sung to his memory and reference made to his death, on Sunday last. A memorial service, conducted by the Vicar, was held in the Church on Wednesday night.

Henry is buried at Wytschaete Military Cemetery in Belgium.

The following information is taken from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website.

Wytschaete (now Wijtschate) was taken by the Germans early in November 1914. It was recovered by Commonwealth forces during the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917, but fell into German hands once more on 16 April 1918. The village was recovered for the last time on 28 September. The cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated positions surrounding Wytschaete and the following small battlefield cemeteries:- REST AND BE THANKFUL FARM, KEMMEL: 23 UK burials (13 of them 2nd Suffolks), mostly of 1915. R.E. (BEAVER) FARM, KEMMEL: 18 Royal Engineer and four Canadian Engineer burials of 1915-1917. The CEMETERY NEAR ROSSIGNOL ESTAMINET, KEMMEL: 18 UK burials (11 of the 1st Wiltshire Regiment), of January-April 1915. SOMER FARM CEMETERY No.2, WYTSCHAETE: 13 UK burials made by IXth Corps in June 1917. GORDON CEMETERY, KEMMEL: 19 UK burials (14 of them 1st Gordon Highlanders) of January-May 1915. There are now 1,002 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 673 of the burials are unidentified, but there are special memorials to 16 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate casualties known to have been buried at the Cemetery near Rossignol Estaminet, RE (Beaver) Farm and Rest and be Thankful Farm, whose graves could not be found on concentration. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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Wytschaete Military Cemetery

The article published in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times on 19 July 1917 refers to three other brothers of Henry – at that time two were already in France and the other was in training.

These brothers were James, Albert and Tom. I am very happy to say that all three survived the war.

The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times published another article about the family on 19 October 1917.

CAT 19 October 1917.png

There are some pleasant incidents even in France, amid all the horrors and suffering entailed by the carnage of war. One such happened last Friday, when brothers Tom and Jim Musgrove (sons of Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, Wilkin Street), met for the first time in two years. Each has since written to his parents saying how well the other looked, and what a pleasure it was to meet after such a long interval. Jim, who is attached to the Lancs. Fusiliers, has been at the front two years, and Tom, who was on his way to the Blue Cross hospital with a horse when the unexpected meeting took place, has been out with the East Lancs. nine months. Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove lost a son, henry, in action, and a fourth son, Albert, is a driver in the R.F.A., and is also across the Channel.

John Musgrove (c1833-1884)

This is an update to a blog post I published on 1 November 2015.

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 (my great grandfather)
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 2015 I finally got round to ordering a copy of John Musgrove’s death certificate. And finally had 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 Anderton 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 in the Autumn of 2015 I wasn’t able to find any record of the inquest. I tried Clitheroe library and visited Blackburn library to search the newspaper archives. I also spoke 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.

Yesterday I went to Skipton library to search the newspaper archives of the Craven Herald in connection with another relative. As a long shot I decided to try the Craven Herald, a weekly paper, to see if there was any reference to John Musgrove back in 1884.

BINGO!!!

I was very fortunate to find two articles about John’s suicide. The first is from 20 September 1884 – three days after John’s death. The second is from 27 September 1884 and reports on the Coroner’s inquest.

Craven Herald – 20 September 1884

SUICIDE – At six o’clock on Wednesday morning John Musgrove, labourer, fifty two years of age, was found hanging on a gate in Railway Road, Clitheroe, quite dead. John O’Donnell, mason, found the body as he was going to his work, and immediately gave information to the police. Deceased, who lived in Water Street, Clitheroe, had been drinking hard for some weeks, and has had domestic trouble during the last few days.

Craven Herald – 27 September 1884

SUICIDE THROUGH DRINK – An inquest was held last week, before Mr J E Anderton, deputy coroner, touching the death of a labourer named John Musgrove, aged 52 years. Deceased was found hanging by his neck from a gate in a bye-road leading from Railway Road to the Gasworks, dead. A clothes line was fastened about his neck and tied to the top bar of the gate. His shoulders were resting against the lower part of the gate and his legs and the lower part of his body were on the ground. A man named John O’Donnell found the body as he was going to his work, and immediately gave information to the police. Deceased is known to have been drinking hard for some weeks, and has been in a low way during the last few years. “Deceased committed suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind” was the verdict of the jury.

Another lesson for would-be genealogists is to always be on the look out for new records being added to online resources. I check the newspaper archives on Find My Past regularly. I had previously been unable to find any mention of John’s death – until this morning as I’m writing this blog post. Now I’ve found an article from the Preston Herald of 20th September 1884!

Preston Herald - 20 September 1884.png

Preston Herald – 20 September 1884

SUICIDE BY HANGING – At six o’clock on Wednesday morning John Musgrove, labourer, aged 52 years, was found hanging by his neck from a gate in a bye-road leading from Railway Road to the Gasworks, dead. A clothes line was fastened about his neck and tied to the top bar of the gate. His shoulders were resting against the lower part of the gate and his legs and the lower part of his body were on the ground. A man named John O’Donnell found the body as he was going to his work, and immediately gave information to the police. Deceased is known to have been drinking hard for some weeks, and has been in a low way during the last few years. The inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon, before Mr J E Anderton, deputy coroner for the district. Joseph Musgrove, son of the deceased, identified the body as that of his father. John O’Donnell deposed to the finding of the body by him at six o’clock that morning in the position and place described above. PC Halliday said that from information he received he proceeded to the place mentioned by the last witness, and there found the body of John Musgrove. He cut the cord and conveyed him home. PC Benson said that he saw the deceased alive on Tuesday at twelve at noon. Musgrove accosted him in King Street, and said that he had been to the police office to try to get locked up, but there was no one in. Witness told him to go home and go to bed and he would feel better. He (deceased) was drunk at the time. The verdict of the jury was that deceased committed suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind.

So there we have it. A bit more of the picture to a very desperate end to John’s life has now been painted. It appears that John had possibly been depressed for some years and couldn’t go on any longer.

I’m left wondering what it must have been like for John in those final days and hours.  What must Catherine have gone through before and after wards – perhaps not understanding what was happening to her husband as he descended into despair. They had both shared the grief of losing three of their five children – one aged 12 and two as babies. John’s father had died in a tragic accident – although this was 26 years earlier maybe that trauma stuck with John, who knows.

Catherine died three years and two days later on 19 September 1887.

I feel quite sad now.

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.