William Musgrove

Black Sheep Sunday – Harriot Musgrove (c1795-1866)

Harriot Musgrove is my 3x great grandmother.  She was born Harriot Francis in Kendal, Westmorland sometime around 1795.  Harriot married William Musgrove on 30 October 1815 in Kendal.

Harriot has been one of the census “missing person” mysteries I’ve been trying clear up.  I have found her on the 1841 and 1851 census returns together with her husband William.  However on the 1861 census William is on his own.

I know that Harriot died in 1866 so she must be there somewhere – right?

Anyway I got my breakthrough this week.

As I was trawling through the newspaper archives on Find My Past I discovered the following article in the Kendal Mercury of 9 February 1861.

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 15.31.30Harriet Musgrove, wife of Wm. Musgrove, sawyer, resident in Capper, and a very ill-favoured creature, was charged with stealing, on the 23d of January last, a sheet, the property of Mrs Ward.  The sheet had been put out to dry on the drying ground near the Church Yard Dub, and was missed the same morning, and she did not see it again till last Saturday.  Sergeant Hoggarth apprehended prisoner in her own house on Sunday, and on charging her with the theft, she said she had bought the article of a traveller, and gave a shilling for it.  Prisoner elected to have the case settled by the Magistrates, under the summary jurisdiction act, and was sentenced to 2 months’ imprisonment in the House of Correction.

Mr Hibberd, Inspector of Police, stated that they had recently had complaints without number of articles being stolen while out to dry.

There was another charge against the same prisoner of stealing a child’s petticoat and a cotton apron, the property of Isabella Esmondhalgh.  Prisoner had sold the articles to a man of the name of Wm. Leather, who had given her 7d. for them.  They had been laid out to dry last Saturday, and were missed on going to the mangle.  Prisoner was committed for another month on this charge.

Eleanor Hopkinson, a daughter of the prisoner in the above cases, was charged with stealing a petticoat, the property of Sarah Bryans.  Prosecutor, who is a widow, stated that she missed the article in question along with some others, on the Tuesday fortnight previous, and it appeared that prisoner had offered then to pawn at Mr Willison’s.  Prisoner asserted that the petticoat was her own, and she had had it four years, and worked it up at Preston.  Having chosen to submit her case to the decision of the Magistrates, she was committed to the House of Correction for three months.

So there it is – in the 1861 census, which was taken on 7 April, Harriot must still be in the House of Correction in Kendal along with her daughter Eleanor Hopkinson.

There were 14 enumeration districts in the Kendal 1861 census.  I searched them in number order and there it was in the next to last district – the House of Correction.  All the prisoners were just identified by initials – but there they are on consecutive lines – HM and EH – Harriot Musgrove and Eleanor Hopkinson.

Job well done!!

Kendal 1861 Census

Kendal 1861 Census

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 3)

Two years have gone by since Harrison Musgrove (my 2x great grandfather) last appeared in the newspaper. It’s now Saturday 2 December 1843 and Harrison and his brother William have made the news again in the Westmorland Gazette – this time for allegedly stealing milk they are described as “rogues and vagabonds” and sent to the Kendal House of Correction.

Here’s the transcript:-

CAUTION TO VENDORS OF MILK – For several mornings previous to Friday in last week, Mrs Lamb, from Natland Mill Beck, who attends every morning with milk, missed several gallons, when about Capper Lane end. It appears that Mrs Lamb has to leave her cart at that place, while she proceeds down Pepper Corn Lane, to serve some customers there. During her absence there is little doubt that the milk had been feloniously drawn from the churns, and carried off. Information was given to Police-Sergeant Hutchinson, who disguised himself on the morning of the day in question, and took his station so as to be able to watch who should approach the cart. He was not long in suspense, for a number of young scamps made their appearance as soon as Mrs Lamb had disappeared, among whom were two boys of the names of William and Harrison Musgrove, who first filled a tea-kettle with the milk, but before the officer could secure them, they threw the kettle and its contents to the ground, and made off. However, he eventually secured them and brought them before John Wakefield, Esq. at the Town Hall, who, for want of sufficient evidence to convict them of felony, committed them to the Kendal House of Correction for two months each as rogues and vagabonds.

Westmorland Gazette Dec 1843

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 2)

Well I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what happened to Harrison, his brother William and their friend James Thompson since Part 1 last week.

Thompson decided to plead not guilty and a report of his trial is in the Kendal Mercury of Saturday 23 October 1841.

To cut a long story short William Musgrove was called as a witness. He stated:-

“When I went away, Thompson was standing at the window, and that was the last I saw of him. What happened after that I did not see. I positively swear that when I went home, I left Thompson standing at the window. I was not to have part of the ginger bread. I knew where they were going. I was watching for nothing. When I was watching, I knew they were going to steal. If they had got anything, I was not to have any. I went from the bottom of Hallow Lane to the other side of the street. I don’t know my brother will get off easier if Thompson is brought in. I know he will get easier off if Thompson is to blame.”

The jury were instructed to consider how reliable William Musgrove’s evidence was. Perhaps he was trying to put more blame on Thompson when actually it was he and Harrison who were the real culprits.

In the end the jury found Thompson not guilty.

Harrison pleaded guilty – after all he was caught red handed by Mr Court with “three biscuits under his coat, and ginger bread and sugar in his hand”.

The report of Harrison’s conviction is in the Kendal Mercury of Saturday 30 October 1841. The transcript is as follows:-

Harrison Musgrove, who pleaded guilty of stealing from the shop of Mr Court, confectioner, Kendal, was sentenced to three days imprisonment, and to be, during that time, once privately whipped. The court remarked that he appeared to be Kendal Mercury Oct 1841only nine years of age, and that he had commenced a course which, if persevered in, would send him out of the country. It was lamentable to see so young a boy begin an evil course, and it was very questionable whether his parents had done their duty in bringing him up as they ought.

Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 1)

I have recently started using the British Newspaper archive on Find My Past. I decided to begin with my ancestors from Kendal and surrounding areas as I have some family names that might be fairly easy to trace if they appear in the local papers.

As I suspected I found some stories pretty quickly.

In fact my 2x great grandfather, Harrison Musgrove, appears several times during a period of over twenty years.

So for my first foray into “black sheep’ territory I have decided to serialise Harrison Musgrove’s exploits over the next few weeks.

The first story comes from the Kendal Mercury on Saturday 11 September 1841 and is transcribed below:-

Police Office, Wednesday – (Before John Wakefield, Esquire). – Three boys, named Harrison Musgrove, William Musgrove, and James Thompson, were placed at the Bar by PC’s Hodgson and Brunskill, charged with stealing from the shop of Mr Court, confectioner, Highgate, a quantity of biscuits, loaf sugar, etc. It appeared that Thompson, who is the eldest, opened the shop door and let in Harrison Musgrove, who was without shoes, whilst he himself watched through the window ready to sound a retreat should Mr Court come into the shop, and William Musgrove waited on the other side of the street to give the signal should any policeman make his appearance. Unluckily for the young thieves Mr Court stepped into the shop and caught Harrison behind the counter; the others fled, but were subsequently taken. Harrison Musgrove and Thompson were committed for trial at the sessions, and William Musgrove admitted as evidence.

Well it seems to me that poor Harrison was badly let down here on three counts.

  • Firstly – James Thompson didn’t do a very good job as a “look out” and failed to sound  the retreat quickly enough.
  • Secondly – the other two accomplices scarpered at the first sign of trouble.
  • Thirdly – his brother William (about six years older) is going to give evidence as a witness.

Next week – a report of the trial. Guilty or not guilty – punishment or no punishment. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Kendal Mercury Sep 1841