Joseph Musgrove

Sunday’s Obituary – John Turner (1876-1926)

John Turner is my great grand uncle – he is the brother of my great grandmother Elizabeth Ann Musgrove (nee Turner). His parents are Thomas Turner (1848-1916) and Mary Jane Carradice (1854-1917) – my 2x great grandparents.

John was born in Kendal, Westmorland and his birth is registered in the March quarter of 1876. He was baptised on the 2 April 1876.

In the 1881 and 1891 census returns John is living with his parents and siblings in Settle, Yorkshire. In 1891 at the age of 14 his occupation is described as “hawker”.

John married Elizabeth Ann Gornall sometime in Q4 1900 in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

In the 1901 census John and Elizabeth are living at 50 Taylor Street, Clitheroe with his older sister Elizabeth Ann and her husband Joseph Musgrove (my great grandparents). John is working as a general labourer.

Ten years later Johns still working as a general labourer and in the 1911 census John and Elizabeth are living at 13 Grimshaw Street, Clitheroe together with five children:-

Mary Ellen – born 1901
Catherine – born 1902
Annie – born 1905
Maria – born 1906
James – born 1907

They also had two other children who died as babies – John Thomas in 1903 and Elizabeth in 1909.

John and Elizabeth went on to have four more children:-

Winifred – born 1912
Ivy – born 1913
George Henry – born 1914
Florence – born 1915

As far as I can tell Elizabeth Ann died sometime in early 1919 at the age of 37 – her death is registered in Q1 in Clitheroe. I don’t know what happened to all the children at that time – some were still very young. I can only guess that they were cared for by relatives or even entered the workhouse.

I found the following newspaper article in the Lancashire Evening Post of 18 January 1926 detailing the circumstances of John’s death. It’s sometimes difficult to know that you have the right person in newspaper articles, especially with a fairly common name as John Turner. However the report says that he was living at 2 Marlborough Street, Clitheroe. This was the address of his parents in the 1911 census – so I am confident that I have the right person.

lancashire-evening-post-18-january-1926

THE ROADSIDE DEATH AT WORSTON

The body found in the snow on the roadside at Worston on Saturday, has been identified as that of John Turner, cattle drover, aged about 50, who had been living as 2, Marlborough Street, Clitheroe. He left that address about seven o’clock on Saturday and was found at nine o’clock, it being thought that the severe cold had caused his collapse. The facts of the case were reported to the coroner, who considers an inquest unnecessary.

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.

Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Musgrove (c1791-1858)

Joseph Musgrove is my 3x great grandfather.  He was born in Kendal, Westmorland about 1791.  Joseph married Jane Dewhurst on 8 April 1833 in Blackburn, Lancashire.

I haven’t been able to find him on the 1841 census so far.  I have found Jane and their son John living with Jane’s father Lawrence Dewhurst.

On the 1851 census Joseph and Jane are living at Barrow Row, Wiswell, Lancashire (about 3 miles south of Clitheroe) and Joseph is working as a blacksmith.

I have recently found the following article from the Preston Chronicle of Saturday 11 December 1858.  Not so much an obituary – more an inquest report.

Preston Chronicle - Saturday 11 December 1858

Preston Chronicle – Saturday 11 December 1858

THE FATAL EFFECTS OF DRINK AT BILLINGTON – On Monday last, an inquest was held at the “Judge Walmsley” public-house, Billington, on the body of a blacksmith, named Joseph Musgrove.  Joseph carried on business in Billington, and was, like many men of iron, rather too fond of his beer.  On Thursday week, however, he took his beer for the last time, for within half an hour of leaving the “Judge Walmsley” he was a corpse.  So soon as he reached home, he sat down in a chair, and partook of some supper which his wife had prepared for him.  Whilst he was eating his evening meal, his wife went out, was absent between ten and twenty minutes, and then returned.  Not seeing her Joseph, however, in the chair where she had left him, she went up stairs to ascertain if he had gone to bed.  She felt on the top of the bed clothes, got hold of his trousers, but could not find him.  She then went for a light, determining to see what had become of him.  On reaching the bed-room a second time, she saw him laid partly on the floor and partly on a box.  His head was under one side of the bedstead.  On trying to lift him up she found that he was quite dead.  It is supposed that in getting into bed, he slipped, and falling on the floor, dislocated his neck.  The jury returned a verdict in accordance with these facts, namely, one of “Accidental death”.

When he died Joseph was about 67 years old.

I feel quite sad now knowing the circumstances of his death.  Having been out for a drink after what was presumably a hard day in the blacksmith forge Joseph’s life ends so tragically.

Judge Walmsley Public House

Judge Walmsley Public House

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 www.ancestry.co.uk 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.

Military Monday – James Musgrove (1894-1925)

James 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. He was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire about 1894 – the second of at least ten children – to parents Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger.

On 20 January 1915 James enlisted in the 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. His regimental number was 16718. I’m not sure how good or bad his eyesight was but there is a note in his records that two pairs of glasses were issued to him, presumably resulting from his medical at the time he enlisted.

It was a further 12 months before James embarked for France on 29 January 1916.

There is not much detail in the pages about his war service on www.ancestry.co.uk. But it appears that James became ‘unfit’ for battle on 22 January 1917 and he was transferred to the Army Service Corps. He was given a new service number – 111748.

James was eventually demobilized to the Class Z Reserve on 15 March 1919.

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.

As far as I can tell James died sometime in Q2 of 1925.

Tombstone Tuesday – Joseph and Annie Musgrove

This headstone marks the resting place of my grand uncle Joseph Musgrove and his wife Annie Simpson.

Joseph was born 23 October 1912 to parents Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Turner – my great grandparents.  He was the youngest of at least ten children.  Annie was born 26 September 1907.

Joseph and Annie married sometime in the first quarter of 1933 and the marriage was registered at Clitheroe, Lancashire.  They had two daughters plus grandchildren and great grandchildren.

As you can see from the headstone Joseph died 11 November 1989 and Annie died 26 January 2004.  They are buried at Christ Church, Chatburn, Lancashire.