Keighley

Sunday’s Obituary – William Henry Watkinson (1860-1932)

William Henry Watkinson is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. His parents are Thomas Watkinson and Harriet Mason. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw – my 4x great grandparents.

William was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire – his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1860.

On 5 June 1889 William married Emma Crabtree at the Baxter Congregational Church, Kidderminster, Worcestershire. They had four children:-

Gwendolen – 1890
Arthur Stanley – 4 August 1891
Hilda Muriel – 17 May 1895
Geoffrey Lionel – 20 July 1899

William was an extremely successful and distinguished university professor of engineering. He died on 14 February 1932 and an obituary was published in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer on Tuesday 16 February 1932 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

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Distinguished Northern Engineer

Professor William Henry Watkinson, a past-president of the Liverpool Engineering Society, has died at his residence in Bromborough, Cheshire, at the age of 71.
Professor Watkinson was a native of Keighley and had only an elementary school education. He worked as a half-timer in a mill and later served his apprenticeship to the practical side of engineering in a workshop in the town. Evening classes at the Keighley Institute provided the foundation of his scientific training. Following a period during which he worked in Bradford, he entered Glasgow University in 1882, becoming one of the assistants of Sir William Thomson, afterwards Lord Kelvin.
As assistant to Sir William Thomson and Professor Fleming Jenkin, he played a part in superintending the manufacture and laying of two Transatlantic cables.
He was at Glasgow University for five years, holding the Thomson Research Scholarship from 1885 to 1888 and the Whitworth Scholarship in 1886. Later he was Lecturer in Engineering at Sheffield and Professor of Engineering at Glasgow and the West of Scotland Technical College. He was Professor of Engineering at Liverpool University for 20 years, and was the inventor of superheaters and internal combustion engines.
Among his publications were papers read to the Institution of Naval Architects and other institutions.

Further reading about William is available on Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History – here.

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Black Sheep Sunday – Charles Cantwell & Edna May Cantwell (nee Buckley)

Edna May Buckley is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. Her parents are Ramsden Buckley and Emma Elliott. Our common ancestors are Thomas Buckley and Henrietta Mason – my 3x great grandparents.

Edna May was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire on 7 November 1904. She was the last of six children. In the 1911 census the family were living at 16 Hainworth Lane, Keighley.

Sometime in the second quarter of 1923 Edna May married Charles Cantwell. Charles was born on 8 August 1903 and was also from Keighley.

Before they were married Charles had been in trouble with the police more than once.

In 1918 he appeared in court along with four other young men. They were charged with stealing a cap and a pack of cards, valued at 3s 6d, from the Keighley Bowling Club on 13 December. All five pleaded guilty and Charles was fined ten shillings.

Less than three years into their marriage things were not going well. The following report is from the Leeds Mercury of 27 February 1926.

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KEIGHLEY: Red Hot Poker Attack

Alleged to have thrown hot tea over his wife, struck her with a red hot poker, blackened her eyes, and threatened her with a razor, Charles Cantwell, labourer, of Bogthorne, Oakworth, at Keighley yesterday was ordered to pay 20s a week on a separation order.

At the time of the 1939 Register in September that year Charles and Edna May are still together and living at 56 Woodhouse Grove, Keighley. Charles is working as a “scrap iron dealer”

Four and a half months later both Charles and Edna May appear in the Yorkshire Evening Post of 13 February 1940.

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CHASE & FIGHT IN THE BLACKOUT

KEIGHLEY CONSTABLE COMMENDED

Gaol for Man who Stole from Cafe

Charles Cantwell (34), general dealer, Woodhouse Grove, Keighley, was sent to prison for a total of six months when he was charged at Keighley today with stealing knives and forks from Ramsden’s Cafe, and with assaulting Police constable Lodge in the execution of his duty.
His wife, Edna M Cantwell, who was also charged with the theft, was fined £1 in this case, and a further £1 on a charge of obstructing the police.
Richard A Robinson (28), hairdresser, Linnet Street, Keighley, was jointly charged with the theft, but the case against him was dismissed.
Defendants pleaded not guilty.
The Mayor asked that the work of Police constable Lodge in the case be brought to the notice of the proper authority.
Superintendent Atkinson said that about10.30pm on February 1 the defendants went to the cafe and had supper. When they left, a waitress missed three knives and forks, a sugar basin, and a bottle of tomato ketchup from the table. Police constable Lodge saw defendants leave the cafe. Hearing something rattling in Charles Cantwell’s pocket the officer asked him what he had there. Cantwell ran down High Street towards the cross.
Giving chase the officer caught Cantwell in Church Street, where, it was alleged, Cantwell took a bottle of ketchup from his raincoat pocket, struck the constable on the left arm with it, and then threw it away. There was a struggle and both fell. When they got up Cantwell took something else from his pocket and threw it away and the constable heard the sound of breaking crockery. Cantwell then struck and kicked the constable, causing him to lose his hold.
Again Cantwell bolted and again the constable caught him, this time in Low Street. There was another struggle and Mrs Cantwell pulled the constable’s cape over his head and tried to free her husband.
Eventually the constable managed to blow his whistle and it was not until then that Cantwell gave up struggling. The wife, it is alleged, was obstructing the constable all the way. Later a broken sugar basin, Cantwell’s hat, a fork, and a bottle of tomato ketchup were found in the street.
Police constable Lodge said Cantwell had some drink, but he was not drunk.
Answering Mr H Wall (Turner and Wall, Keighley), witness said it was possible that Cantwell might have got rid of the other forks during the chase.

Somebody’s “Joke”

Charles Cantwell told the bench that he was drunk at the time of the alleged offence. He put his raincoat over a chair in the cafe, but he put nothing into the pockets. He suggested that someone might have put the things in his pocket as a joke.
“As far as assaulting the officer goes, it was him that assaulted me,” added defendant.
Robinson said he had no knowledge of anything having been taken. He did not take anything.
Mrs Cantwell had nothing to say.

That is the last newspaper article I have been able to find about either Charles or Edna May. Perhaps six months in prison was the turning point and they had a trouble free existence after that.

Charles died on 22 January 1980 and left a will valued at £9641.

Edna May died on 1 May 1980 and she left a will valued at £15155.

Military Monday – Flather Heap (1897-1962)

Flather Heap is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. His parents are John Starkie Heap and Martha Elizabeth Forrest. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw, my 4x great grandparents.

Flather was born on 1 May 1897 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. He was the youngest of four children.

When the First World War came Flather enlisted for service on 13 November 1915 – he was immediately assigned to the army reserve with a service number of 141238.

He waited a further six moths before being mobilised on 11 May 1916 as a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery. He was posted to No.1 Depot in Newcastle upon Tyne for training and as part of a home based defence unit.

Eventually on 3 January 1917 Flather was posted to France as part of the Expeditionary Force.

On 31 July 1917 Flather was appointed as Acting Bombadier (equivalent to the rank of Corporal) with the 177th Brigade. The promotion was made substantive on 11 November 1917.

On the 8 August 1917 he was wounded in action but I have no other information as to the extent of his injuries. I can also see from his record that he was hospitalised in May 1918 after being “gassed”.

Flather survived the war and was finally demobilised on 8 February 1919.

He returned home to Keighley where he married Clara Bancroft on 28 May 1922.

In the 1939 Register Flather and Clara are living at 2 Morning Street, Keighley. He is working as a “weaving overlooker”.

Clara passed away in 1958 and Flather lived for a further four years before passing toward the end of 1962.

Tombstone Tuesday – James and Mary Ann Paley

James Paley and Mary Ann Paley (nee Spink) are my 2x great grandparents. They’ve only had very brief mentions in my blog up until now. So having recently found their gravestone at St Peter’s church in Rylstone, North Yorkshire it’s time to write about them.

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James Paley

James was born c1828 to parents William Paley and Mary Blackey. He was baptised on 23 March 1828 at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire.

James Paley - Baptism.jpg

As far as I have been able to establish James was the third of at least six children – his siblings were:-

Thomas – baptised 20 June 1824
Mary – baptised 25 December 1825
William – baptised 11 April 1830
Francis – baptised 1 February 1835
John – baptised 2 May 1841

I have James on the 1841 census at Threshfield, Yorkshire and in 1851 at Drebley (about 5 miles from his home) living and working as a “farm labourer”

Mary Ann Spink

Mary Ann was born 20 June 1832 to parents John Spink and Sophia Shuttleworth Kitching. She was baptised 4 days later at Conistone, Yorkshire.

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Mary Ann was the first of at least seven children – her siblings were:-

Ellen – baptised 19 March 1834
James – baptised 1 May 1836
Joseph – born 11 March 1838 and baptised 15 March 1838
Sophia – baptised 8 September 1839
John – baptised 5 June 1841 and died early 1842
John – baptised 6 August 1843

I have Mary Ann in the 1841 census at home and in 1851 living and working in Keighley, West Yorkshire as a “servant”.

And that is where I thought I was going to move on and tell you about James and Mary Ann after they married. However, sometimes when you look at the records afresh you spot things you might have previously missed.

Searching the “Spink” baptisms in Conistone for this blog post I noticed one for Annie Elizabeth Spink on 18 June 1852. The baptism record shows the mother as Mary Anne Spink (spinster). Could it be that my Mary Ann became pregnant while living in Keighley and returned home to have her baby?

Annie Elizabeth Spink - Baptism.png

Looking again at the 1861 census for John and Sophia Spink (Mary Ann’s parents) there is Ann Elizabeth Spink listed as “granddaughter”. I’m sure that I would have spotted that before but for some reason didn’t try to find out who the parents were – well now I know!! More research required about Annie Elizabeth I think.

Ok – back to James and Mary Ann. They married on 11 April 1857 at Conistone.

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Over the next eighteen years they had at least ten children:-

John – born 1857 and died 1858
Ellen – born 2 December 1858 (my great grandmother)
Mary – born 2 December 1858
Sophia – baptised 25 August 1861
James – born 20 January 1864
Margaret Ann – baptised 22 October 1865
William Thomas – born 21 October 1867
Martha Jane – born 24 January 1870
Betsy – born 19 December 1871
Francis – born and died 1875

I have James and Mary Ann on all the census returns from 1861 to 1901. James is variously described as a farmer, road contractor or general labourer. For all of their married life they lived in the village of Hetton in the Yorkshire Dales.

James died of bronchitis on 16 April 1903 – five days after their 47th wedding anniversary. He was 75 years of age.

Mary Ann lived for a further four months and died of angina on 18 August 1903 at the age of 71. In her will she left effects valued at £451 6s 2d to her son James.

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Mining Disaster – James Ernest Gawthrop (1887-1928)

I was recently trawling through the newspaper archives on Find My Past and came across the article below from the Leeds Intelligencer of 17 January 1928.

Leeds Intelligencer 7 January 1928

Leeds Intelligencer
7 January 1928

I soon realised that this looked suspiciously like my relative James Ernest Gawthrop, my 2nd cousin 3x removed. His parents were Thomas Gawthrop and Christiana Hey. Our common ancestors were John Gawthrop and Sarah Brown, my 4x great grandparents.

I already had a bit of information about James – I know for example that he was born in 1887 – his birth is registered in Q3 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. As far as I can tell James was the youngest of nine children.

In the 1901 census, at the age of 13 James was working as a “worsted spinner and doffer”.

Sometime in the summer of 1909 James married Annie Morris in Halifax.

In the 1911 census James and Annie are living in Keighley with their son Benjamin (born in 1910) and James is employed as a “mohair warehouseman”.

They had two more children – Nellie in 1912 and Lewis in 1914. I assume that James served in WW1 but I can’t find any remaining military records for him on either Ancestry or Find My Past.

I already knew that James died in 1928 and his death was registered in Q1 in Hemsworth, Yorkshire. This is supported by the newspaper article in terms of date and location.

However there is one obvious discrepancy – the newspaper report says that “Gawthrop leaves a widow and eight children”. That clearly doesn’t agree with the information I already had. So what’s going on? I decided to do a bit more digging.

I found a death record for Annie Gawthrop registered in Keighley in Q2 of 1914. That was the same quarter that the birth of Lewis was registered. Had Annie died in child birth? That’s certainly a possibility.

Next I found another marriage for James E Gawthrop – this time to Maud M Morris registered in Q2 1919 in Halifax. OK, same surname as Annie and same location as the marriage to Annie. Is this just a coincidence? A bit more digging required I think.

Searching the 1891 and 1901 census returns for Halifax and things started to look a bit clearer.

Below is the 1901 census clearly showing Annie Morris (14) and Maud M Morris (10) – sisters. Interestingly there are two other siblings called Nellie and Lewis – the same names that James and Annie gave two of their children. Their other son Benjamin was probably named after James’s grandfather Benjamin Gawthrop.

Morris Census - 1901

So I am as confident as I can be that I now understand what happened here.  James married his sister-in-law.

James and Maud it seems had five children between 1919 and 1925, all registered in Barnsley, South Yorkshire:-

Margaret and Hilda – December 1919
Doreen – March 1921
Betty – March 1923
Ada – June 1925

After James died on 3 January 1928 Maud Mary married William Martin sometime in Q4 1928, this marriage is registered in Barnsley. There is a death record for Maud M Martin registered in Halifax in Q2 1957.

So without any certificates I can’t confirm any of this but it makes for an interesting story anyway.

I suspect that after Annie died in 1914 maybe James was called up for service in WW1. Perhaps Benjamin, Nellie and Lewis went to live with Annie’s parents in Halifax while James was away. When James came back home romance blossomed between him and Maud Mary. The rest as they say is history!!

Military Monday – Arthur Dawson (1879-1944)

Arthur Dawson is my 1st cousin 2x removed – our common ancestors are my 2x great grandparents John Dawson and Ellen Gawthrop.

Arthur is the brother of Prince Dawson and John Dawson – his parents are John Dawson and Elizabeth Bradley. He was born 18 July 1879 and lived at Steeton with Eastburn about three miles from Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Before I found his WW1 service records I knew that Arthur married Lily Cockshott sometime in Q2 1906 and their marriage is recorded in the Keighley registration district. They had one child – a son, Eric born in 1909.

Arthur enlisted on 30 August 1916 in Keighley and was assigned to 7th West Yorkshire Regiment. His service number is 238029. He was 37 years old. At the time of his conscription he was living at 19 School Street, Steeton with Eastburn. His trade is given as ‘mason’.

The enlistment documents also show that Arthur had previous service in the Royal Engineers.

His service papers provided confirmation of the date of marriage to Lily – 10 April 1906. They also give Eric’s date of birth as 21 October 1909 – so more information for my tree. However his service record through up a bit of surprise. There is another son shown – Alan with a date of birth of 3 March 1911.

I have the 1911 census record for Arthur, Lily and Eric – but no Alan.

I have been able to find a birth for Alan Dawson at the right time and in the right location but no trace of him in the 1911 census. So, I searched for a death and found a record for Alan Dawson who died in Leeds in 1977 with a date of birth given as 3 April 1911.

Could this be the answer to my conundrum?  Maybe 3 March 1911 was incorrect. The 1911 census was undertaken on the night of 2 April 1911. So Alan could have been born the following day and that is why he is not recorded. I’m happy with this solution and have now added Alan to my family tree.

Anyway, back to Arthur and his war service.

It seems that Arthur was at home until 3 January 1917. The following day he embarked for France, returning home again after 105 days on 18 April 1917. There is reference to him serving in the Royal Defence Corps (RDC) – the role of this regiment was to provide security and guard duties inside the United Kingdom.

Arthur was finally discharged on 23 March 1919.

Sunday Snap – Railway Posers?

This is a photograph from my own collection – yet another of the many unidentified subjects.

Across the bottom right corner is the name Bruce Johnston, Keighley.    I can find a couple of references to this firm of photographers on local family history message boards.

The chaps in the photograph are obviously in some sort of uniform.  I think that there are some clues that suggest they are railway workers.

I can read the initials MR on the cap of the man on the right of the photograph.  I suspect that this is the Midland Railway company.  The visible pocket watch chain worn by the man second left indicates to me that he is probably a railway worker.

I don’t recognise anyone in the photograph.  However my grandfather, Joseph Dawson, worked for London, Midland & Scottish Railway company and may well have worked for the predecessor the Midland Railway company.

I am really hopeless at trying to date photographs.  But if there is a connection with my grandfather I guess it would have been taken around the 1920 period and before MR became LMS.

If anyone has any other suggestion I would be happy to hear it.