Tag Archives: Family History

Richard R Jaco, Catherine Richards, Job and the hapless Clifton Grove

Richard Richards Jaco [spellings vary] was the youngest of the 8 known children of Peter Jacka and his wife Catherine Noell Kelynack, a fishing family living in Newlyn, Paul parish, Cornwall.  He was baptised on 1st December 1830 in the first year of the reign of King William IV.  Like his father he became a fisherman.

Although the youngest of 8 brothers and sisters – Peter, Benjamin, Jane, Honor, William, Charles Kelynack and Matilda – Peter and Benjamin would have been away often in the merchant service, and his sister Jane had married and moved away to St Just when Richard was just three years old, so there wouldn’t often have been 10 people in the house.

paulchurchsep16w

Paul Parish Church

His future bride was Catherine Richards whom he would have seen round the village all his life, and they married at Paul Parish Church on 16 April 1850 when he was 19 and she 18 [assuming they were baptised soon after their births]. She must have been quite far gone, as by late summer they were parents of their first child, Richard Richards Jacka, handily named after both his parents. Dad Richard was perhaps at sea on 30 March 1851 when the census was taken as Catherine was staying with her son at her mother’s house in the Fradgan street in Street-An-Nowan [the lower part of Newlyn]. Sadly baby Richard died in infancy.

Their second child was baptised on 5 September 1852, another Richard Richards Jacka, and followed by Susan, baptised on 6 April 1855.  Sadly Susan died in infancy too, in November 1857.  Charles was born c 1857 and baptised on 31 October 1858, and fifth and final known child Job was born in early 1860 and baptised on 17 October 1860.

Richard’s father Peter Jacko had died in 1851, living in the Fradgan, and his mother Catherine in 1856. His brother Charles had emigrated to Australia c 1853.

newlyn-fradyen1

The Fradgan, Newlyn

The 7 April 1861 census finds Richard and Catherine, with sons Richard, Charles and Job, living in the Fradgan still,  which was almost entirely fishermen’s families, with a couple of carpenters/ shipwrights and dressmakers living there too; this included his married sister Honor and her fisherman husband Samuel Plomer before they moved up round the corner to Chapel Street. His brother William and his wife Grace lived two minutes away in Foundry Lane

In December 1864 there was more grief for Richard and Catherine when oldest surviving son Richard Richards died.  Catherine herself died five months later, in May 1865, aged only 33.

In April 1871 Richard and his two surviving sons Charles and Job were living in Upper Fradgan still, although Job was recorded as John. Charles, aged 14, was working as a labourer but this is the last record I can find for him.  Richard died in 1874, aged 43.

In 1881 Job was still living in the Fradgan, living with his Uncle John and Aunt Mary Richards and was working, aged 19, as a fisherman.  However soon after that he must have joined the Merchant Navy. On January 1884 he joined the crew of the coasting ship SS Clifton Grove.

In December 1885 the crew, including Job, appeared in court in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, for not paying duty on foreign tobacco which they had bought for themselves in London; the tobacco was confiscated from the men, no penalty inflicted, and they were set at liberty.  Job was in possession of only 4oz[1].

I lost track of Job after that, although if he stayed on the Clifton Grove I saw it mentioned a few times as it seemed to literally get in a lot of scrapes.

The Shields Daily Gazette of 09 August 1887 reported that en route from Llanelly [maybe via Newport] to Rochester with coals she arrived in Portland where she needed condenser and air pump repairs[2].

Late on the evening of 23 August 1887 the Clifton Grove was involved in a fatal collision on the River Avon with a stone-carrying barge called the Sarah Ann near the Port and Pier Railway Station; one of the barge men was drowned.[3][4]

27 July 1888 the SS Clifton Grove grounded on the flat of the Eish Strand and their re-float was ‘assisted’ by salvagers – whose authority to do this was hotly contested – and who were awarded £2 in Falmouth Borough Police Court in fees to be shared amongst them rather than the salvage fees they claimed of £200[5].

The year after that, in September 1889, she grounded in Trouville [Normandy, France] but was docked and found undamaged[6].

On 21 February 1891 it was reported about the SS Clifton Grove that on Thursday [12th February] “A Dangerous Reef in the Solway – The master of the SS Clifton Grove, bound from Llanelly to Workington, reports that whilst proceeding up the Solway Firth on Thursday morning at seven o’clock, engines dead slow, tide six hours ebb, his vessel suddenly took the ground on Mossbay Bank, a dangerous ridge of rocks running north and south of the Firth for a considerable distance, and remained stranded one hour and a half, the vessel making a quantity of water. This reef is very dangerous and misleading to mariners; more especially on very high spring tides, when the tide ebbs for a considerable distance, thereby leaving very little water on the ridge. It is suggested that a buoy should be fixed to indicate the position of the reef, which should also be marked on the chart with the correct soundings at high and low water during spring and neap tides.” [7]

On 27 and 28 February the Board of Trade held an inquiry “into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British Steamship “CLIFTON GROVE,” of Bristol, on or near Moss Bay Patch, near Workington, on or about the 12th February 1891.” And found “the stranding was caused by the negligent navigation of Mr. Edward Morgans, the master of the “Clifton Grove,” in that he allowed the vessel to proceed in thick weather in close proximity to the land without taking proper means to ascertain from time to time the exact position of the vessel, by taking soundings and by verifying the distance she had run. The Court finds the master in default, and suspend his certificate, No. 97,914, for six calendar months from this date. The Court also finds the managing owner, Mr. W. H. Butler, to blame, for the undermanning of the ship.”[8]

In October 1895 it was reported that the “Clifton Grove of Bristol, bound for Chatham with a cargo of coals has been detained in the entrance channel in consequence of something having gone wrong with the propeller. The steamer dried on the mud, effected repairs and proceeded to her destination on yesterday morning’s tide.” [9]

Despite searching several sites I have no idea where Job ended up, but I hope he had more luck than the SS Clifton Grove.

Words and photos © Lynne Black
First published 17 April 2017 at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/richard-r-jaco/

[1] Gloucester Citizen 11 December 1885, P4, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000325%2f18851211%2f018

[2] The Shields Daily Gazette 09 August 1887, P4, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000287%2f18870809%2f058

[3] Cardiff Times 27 August 1887, P5, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000921%2f18870827%2f086

[4] Western Daily Press 24 August 1887, P5, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000264%2f18870824%2f019

[5] Cornishman 09 August 1888, P5, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000331%2f18880809%2f052

[6] Shields Daily Gazette 26 September 1889, P4, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000287%2f18890926%2f035

[7] Carlisle Express and Examiner 21 February 1891, P5, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0001875%2f18910221%2f083

[8] Wreck Report for Clifton Grove, PortCities, http://www.plimsoll.org/resources/SCCLibraries/WreckReports/15967.asp?view=text

[9] South Wales Daily News 12 October 1895 , P7, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000919%2f18951012%2f160

Photo of boat entering Newlyn Harbour

William Jacka and Grace Cotton, play, school, secrets and the asylum

newlynoldharbour01_sep16

Newlyn Old Harbour

William, baptised on 4 August 1819, was the fifth of Peter and Catherine Jaco’s eight children and, like his father and his two elder brothers, would make his living on the sea.

They grew up in the fishing community of Street-An-Nowan, Newlyn, in early 19th century Cornwall.  By the time he was born, eldest brother Peter was 12, and all would have spent their youth around the harbour, playing on the sand and swimming, then later helping the older boys and men by bringing the catch from the ships to the shore.  When William was 6 his brother Peter joined the Merchant Navy, and by the time William was 16 his brother Benjamin was Mate on a schooner.  His eldest sister Jane married a miner and moved away when William was 15, Peter married in April 1838 and William, aged 19, was witness at his wedding in Paul Parish Church.

The first census William was recorded on was the 1841 one, when he was 21 and living at home with his parents in the Fradgan [street area] within Street-An-Nowan.  His sister Honor married when he was 23, but she stayed locally, also living in the Fradgan.

In March 1848, when William was 28, he married local girl Grace Cotton and she must have been blooming as they had their first son William 4-5 months later, who was baptised that autumn, again in Paul Parish Church.  Grace was the daughter of fisherman Charles Cotton and Deborah Pendar, but Deborah must have been widowed when Grace was still young because at the age of 5 Grace was admitted to Penzance Dispensary and noted as a widow’s child.  When Grace met William she had been working as a servant.

Photo of Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Newlyn

Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel with hall, Newlyn, Cornwall

Their second son was born two years later and named John Cotton Jacca.  Unlike his elder brother he was baptised a Methodist, at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel just at the top of the road.

At the time of the 1851 census it appears William was away fishing on the Abner and Grace and baby William at home had her mother Deborah living with them.  I don’t know why baby John Cotton wasn’t recorded; maybe he was asleep in a crib and they forgot about him!

The year after that their next known child was a daughter: Mary.  Mary was born by late summer 1854 and was and was baptised on 8 November of that year, this time in the new Newlyn St Peter church just along the Coombe river in Street-An-Nowan. Perhaps Mary was a sickly baby, for she had died by the time she was 4 months old and was buried on 17 November 1854 in the new grounds up at Paul Cemetery.

In 1855 William’s father Peter died, and the following year his mother Catherine also died.

In 1856 William and Grace had a second daughter, whom they also called Mary.  Mary wasn’t baptised until she was 2 years old in 1858, again in Newlyn St Peter’s parish church.

William and Grace’s children were possibly the first generation to go to school during the week, although attending school wasn’t obligatory until the 1870 Education Act.  However prior to 1854 when a Wesleyan Day School was built in Newlyn, children attending school had to head up the hill to Paul Churchtown where a school had stood on the Green across from the church since 1825.  That National School at Paul was the one pictured in Elizabeth Forbes’ painting School Is Out which was completed in 1889.   [Incidentally a lady called Mrs Enid Hall who lived across from my Granny in Newlyn always proudly told us the boy crying in the photo was her father, although I have seen that same model claimed by other Newlyn familes!]

In May 1860 Grace’s mother Deborah died and was buried in Paul parish.

By the April 1861 census the family had moved house within Street-An-Nowan and were living on Foundry Lane, where they stayed for several years, and where they were living when their son Richard was born; he was baptised in April 1865 in St Peter’s Church. Richard was deaf from childhood, and was to live with his parents and work as a tailor.

The 1871 census found the family living in Strick’s Court, which I believe was near the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Street-An-Nowan.  In 1876 the first of their children to marry, John Cotton Jacka, married fisherman’s daughter Elizabeth Strick but I think the name was just coincidence.  John and Elizabeth had their first child, Mary Jane Jaco, in 1877 and Elsie in February 1882, followed eventually by John (1884), Grace (1890) and William (1892).

Their daughters and grand-daughters went into shop-work.  John, the elder of their two sons, decided to make his fortunate in the USA.  He emigrated to the US on 3 June 1914 on the White Star Line’s Oceanic after booking via a Penzance agent called Messrs Ludlow and Sons.

1914jun11_cornishtelegraph_johnjackaemig

Cornish Telegraph, 11 June 1914, from BNA on FMP

The Cornishman’s Cornish Folk in New York: Letter from Sid Blake feature reports names of those passing though Blake’s Cornish Arms Hotel which was found at 443 West 23rd Street.  On 25 June his column reported “John Jacka, from Newlyn, to Detroit’ had stayed there.  However John ended up in Akron, Summit County, Ohio, USA, where his dream came to an end when he caught Spanish Flu and died on 30 October 1918; he was buried in Glendale Cemetery and his headstone is pictured on Find-A-Grave.  I can’t identify the story of youngest child William who perhaps also emigrated or died in infancy.

By 1881 William and Grace were living in Orchard Place [where my own family lived many decades later] with William, Mary and Richard still at home with them.

Their net-maker daughter Mary Jacka married in 1882; her husband was fisherman William Batten.

William Jnr [William and Grace’s son] married Lavinia Hall in late 1883. Lavinia’s parents, farmer/ agricultural labourer William and Ann Hall, had lived close to Land’s End in St Leven and Sennen parishes and she was the third daughter in large family.  Her story was a bit confusing at first, but after following all the census records through the decades the truth emerged.

In the 1871 census 30-year-old Lavinia had a 7-year-old brother listed called Frederick, although ‘their father’ was 70 and widowed; this was a pretence continued in the 1881 census despite William Hall’s death in the years between.  In the 1891 census, with Frederick listed as head of the family, he refers to Lavinia as his mother and William Jaco as his step-father.  Also in that 1891 census Lavinia had shaved some years off her age, appearing only 6 rather than the actual 12 years older than her husband.

Frederick had married Mary and was working as a cabinet maker although later he became a trader of glass and china.  He moved by 1911 to Torpoint, which is just the Cornish side of the Tamar, across from Plymouth in Devon.  There he continued as a dealer with his wife and two of his daughters assisting in the business. By that time Frederick and Mary had had nine children, of whom 6 were still alive.  Perhaps a clue to his mystery father was the fact that Frederick called his son Phillip Scadden Hall – there were many Scaddens in West Penwith.  The other five surviving children were all girls: Ethel, Lillian, Florence, Violet and Marion.

Lavinia died in 1900.  William died many years later in 1925, in the Penzance area.

Grace Jacka died in spring 1888, aged 64, and was buried in Paul Cemetery on 22 April.

In 1891 William was living with his daughter Mary and son-in-law William Batten.  William’s youngest (deaf) child Richard, who was working as a tailor, was also in the household and they were living in Florence Terrace, Tolcarne.  That is just over the small river Combe from Street-An-Nowan, and is another area which housed many of my extended family over the decades of the 19th century. William had retired from fishing by then and lived on until 1893, when he was buried on 15 March in Paul.

Mary’s story didn’t end happily: in the 1890s she developed a mental illness and was moved to Bodmin Lunatic Asylum 50 miles away [which I believe is Cornwall Lunatic Asylum / St Lawrence’s Lunatic Asylum].  There she lived out the rest of her days until she died on 7 April 1906.  In the 1901 census she had been listed as a pauper patient and a lunatic.  I don’t know why she was listed as a pauper as at that time her drift fisherman husband William Batten was living with his mother in Street-An-Nowan, but all the evidence points to that being Mary Batten nee Jacka.

In 1909 her widower William remarried; his second wife was Catherine Treleven and they lived together in 1911 in Newlyn, with William still fishing.

William and Grace’s youngest child, tailor Richard, had died in spring 1908; their line was carried on through their son John Cotton Jaco.

Census, BM&D info acquired from: Ancestry, FindMyPast including access to the British Newspaper Archive, Cornwall FHS, Cornwall Online Parish Clerks, West Penwith Resources.

Words and photos © Lynne Black
First published 25 February 2017: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/william-jacka/.

Jane Jacco later Casley – moving from fish to tin

Photo of altar of Paul Parish Church

Paul Parish Church

Jane Jacca [Jaco, Jacka] was the third child and first daughter of Newlyn fisherman Peter Jacco and his wife Catherine Noall Kelynack’s eight children.   Baptised on 15 August 1813 in Paul Parish Church, she may have assumed as a girl that her future husband would be a fisherman like her father, brothers and a future brother-in-law.

However it was a miner she settled down with.  Martin Casley and his family lived and worked in St Just in Penwith, a west-coast Cornish town approx. 7 miles west from Newlyn with the legend that it was named after the 6th century saint Justus[1] , although there was reported evidence of ancient peoples and mining[2].

‘The land is bleak, and to a great extent barren.  The rocks are chiefly granite and slate; but they include rich lodes of tin and copper, – contain iron, bismuth, hornblende, tale, garnet, opal, and many other minerals’[3]

St Just is the most westerly town in mainland Britain and one of the oldest mining parishes in Cornwall, until the collapse of the industry at the end of the 19th century saw miners scattering around Britain and overseas.[4]

They married on 12 January 1834 and moved to St Just where Martin, the first of their nine children, was born later that year and baptised in St Just Parish Church on 17 December. He was followed by Richard who was baptised on 19 June 1836. Their third son, named Peter after Jane’s father, was born at the end of 1837 but died in infancy and was buried on 24 September 1839.

Jane would already have been pregnant with her fourth child at that time, and he was baptised Peter Jaco Casley in May 1840.  They were living on Green Lane, in the south part of St Just called Carrallack near Carn Bosavern, the area to which their children were to live in or return to for decades.

stjustmine_flickrccattrib_andymaguire

St Just Mine, by Andy Maguire (andymag), Flickr Creative Commons license

Their next child and only daughter Mary Jane was born c1842, next son George was baptised on 26 March 1844, William was born c 1847 and Thomas was born c 1849.  By 1851 the family was living in Bosavern in St Just and had seven children at home.  Oldest son Martin was working as a 16-year-old tapper miner and so was his 13-year-old brother Richard; the younger children were all at school.  Jane and Martin’s final known and ninth child John was born c 1852.

In 1856 Jane’s fisherman father Peter died from an effusion of the brain, and the following year her mother Catherine also died.

In June 1860 their second son, Richard (a tin tapper) and his bride [and possibly cousin] Jane Casley called banns in St Just Parish Church.  They married there on 4 July 1860.

In 1861 Jane and Martin were still living in Bosavern [Row] but it may be that their son Peter emigrated that year, as in April 1861 the census finds him lodging in Liverpool with [possible] cousin James Casley, and three other men, John Curnow, Arcles Warren and Able Stephens, all marked as tin miners from St Just.  Hints that he ended up in Canada have so far proved to be mis-transcriptions, maybe some day new records will be available and the gaps can be filled in.

In early 1867 their son Thomas died.  He was just 18 and had been working as a tin worker since he was 12. He was buried in the Wesleyan Burial grounds; the first indication that the family may have converted to Wesleyan Methodism; there was a chapel in St Just which seated 2,000 people[5].

In April 1871 Jane and Martin were living again in Carrallack, St Just with Martin, Mary, George William and John home with them.  However further tragedy struck the family in 1873 when eldest son Martin died, aged 38. He was buried on 31 August again in the Wesleyan Burial grounds.

Mary Jane married Thomas Stephens and they were living in Penzance in 1881, after having daughters Mary Jane (1874) and Elizabeth (c1876).  Thomas was originally a miner, as was his father, but perhaps as a result in the slump in the mining industry had become a grocer.  This seemed a bit implausible to me, when I first saw this suggested on Ancestry, but tracking them through to 1901 I find them living in Carrallack Terrace, and with that and other evidence I’m confident it’s ‘my’ Mary Jane.

By March 1878 youngest child John was away working in Lancashire as a miner. He married a Welsh woman called Catherine Williams in Pemberton, Lancashire, which has coal mines and stone quarries[6] which perhaps was where John was working.  There they had their first child in 1878 before moving back to her home county of Glamorgan where John continued to work as a miner, and they had four more sons there.

In early 1877 they lost their fourth son when George died; he had initially worked as a shoe maker (1861) but by April 1871 had become a miner.  He was still living in St Just, in Bosavern Terrace.  He was buried on 9 February in the Wesleyan Methodist burial ground in St Just.

Jane died in October 1879 and was buried in St Just Wesleyan burial grounds on 25 October.  Martin was living alone for the 3 April 1881 census.  He died on 25 June 1885 and his executrix was his daughter Mary Ann.

By April 1891 grocer Thomas and Mary Jane Stephens [Jane and Martin’s daughter] were back in St Just, working in Lafrowda Terrace.  By March 1901 Thomas was recorded as a retired grocer.  They had their daughter Elizabeth living with them; she was by then married to Benjamin Angwin, a miner’s son. Also in the household was Thomas and Mary Jane’s grandson Benjamin Redbers Angwin who was 4 months old.  By 1911 Elizabeth had had a daughter and another son, but her insurance salesman husband Benjamin Angwin died in October 1911; he was buried in the St Just Wesleyan burial ground.

I’d never seen the inside of a Methodist Chapel and it’s so much nicer than I expected.  There is a story about a proposed closure/re-use of the Chapel here with photos, although on its St Just Methodist Chapel Facebook group it is still promoting its prayer session as of today, 29 January 2017.

Thanks to Denize Halliwell, Susan Carey and Stephanie Dawn Smith of the Ancestry UK Facebook group for checking some Canadian posts about Peter Casley for me.

Jane Jacco is my G-G-G-G-G Aunt.

The main sites I used for tracking down records for Jane’s family story were: Ancestry.co.uk ; FindMyPast ; Cornwall Online Parish Clerks ; Cornwall Family History Society

Words and St Paul Church photo © Lynne Black,
Mine photo Andy Maguire, andymag, Creative Commons license,
St Just photo Ed Webster, Ed_Webster, Creative Commons License, cropped.
First published 29 January 2017 on starryblackness blog site: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/jane-jacco/ .

[1] Genuki: St Just-In-Penwith http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/Cornwall/StJustinPenwith which has info taken from Lake’s Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 – 1873)

[2] John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72 from Vision of Britain website, January 2017.  http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/393

[3] John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72 from Vision of Britain website, January 2017.  http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/393

[4] Genuki: St Just-In-Penwith http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/Cornwall/StJustinPenwith which has info taken from Lake’s Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 – 1873)

[5] Kelly’s Directory of Cornwall 1893 via West Penwith Resources for St Just in Penwith http://west-penwith.org.uk/just93.htm

[6] Genuki: Pemberton, http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/Pemberton which has info taken from John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)

Photo of Newlyn Beach, Cornwall

William Rowe, Cordwainer of Newlyn and Alice Daniel of Sancreed pt2

Shoemaker William Rowe of Street-an-Nowan [Newlyn], Cornwall, married Alice Daniel, a blacksmith’s daughter from neighbouring Sancreed parish, on Saturday 17 October 1812 in Paul Parish Church up above Newlyn.  See Part 1 of his story here.

Alice was expecting the first of their nine known children, Mary Ann Rowe.  They baptised Mary Ann on Sunday 17 January 1813 in Paul Church, and got on with settling in to life as a young family.

SancreedBanner

Sancreed Church exterior

On 19 January 1817 a hurricane raged which destroyed some of the foundation stones of neighbouring Penzance’s pier and injured much of its dry dock.  ‘It being a spring tide the water rose an unusual height; the green between Penzance and Newlyn was torn up, and the soil in several places washed away’ and ‘at Newlyn and Mousehole on the west, and at Marazion on the east, the effects were dreadfully felt’[1] [Some things do not change; the green between Penzance and Newlyn was torn up as recently as February 2014.]  ‘The sea rose mountains high and impelled by the wind, went up much further on land than ever remembered. The may-pole at Marazion, which had, for many years, braved the fury of the storm, was washed away, with the cliff whereon it stood.  The back premises of the Commercial Inn were through down, and a fine cow carried out to sea.’

Photo of Newlyn, Old Harbour, at low tide

Newlyn, Old Harbour, low tide

‘The greatest sufferers are the poor fisherman of Newlyn and Mousehole; the boats which were hauled up beyond high water mark, being dashed to pieces.  Many of the boats for the mackerel and ling fishery were fitted up: the loss to the poor fisherman will be almost irreparable, as the season will soon commence and they cannot provide new boats. At Street-Nowan [SIC] near Newlyn, many houses have been washed down.’[2] Street-an-Nowan, the lower part of Newlyn, is likely to have been the area in which William, Alice and baby Mary lived so they must have been terrified.

In 1811 Prince George had become Prince Regent and I’ve found a couple of intriguing references to his domestic situation and the reaction of the people of Newlyn; they seem to have favoured his wife, the colourful and popular Caroline of Brunswick.

On 28 Jan 1817 the Prince Regent was on his way to open Parliament when there was an assassination attempt.[3] On 2 August 1817 the Royal Cornwall Gazette published a letter to him with a long list of names of men across the area, swearing loyalty to him and repeating “assurances of our loyal and unalterable Attachment; and to express our Indignation at, and Abhorrence of, the late treasonable Attack on the Sacred Person of your Royal Highness…..”

However William and Alice’s would have been busy following the birth of their second child: their first son John Rowe was born in Newlyn and baptised 24 August 1817 in Paul Church.

On Tuesday 7 July there was a shocking event in Newlyn reported widely and “witnessed by several hundreds of spectators.  At Newlyn, near Penzance, a swarm of bees suddenly alighted on a boy’s head, and remained there for a considerable time.  The boy, almost terrified to death, was required to smoke tobacco, to preserve him from being injured.  In the mean time a hive was procured and held over his head for some time; when by degrees the bees all entered it, without inflicting the least injury on the boy.”

Later that year, in November 1817, there was mourning in the country when Princess Charlotte, popular only child of the Prince Regent and Princess Caroline died in labour, giving birth to a stillborn son.

William and Alice’s second daughter, Grace Daniel Rowe, was born on Tuesday 7 December 1819 in Newlyn.  She was the only family member to be baptised a Wesleyan Methodist; the baptism took place on 7 January 1821. This was the first time William’s trade was recorded: he was a shoemaker.

At that time the road from Penzance to Newlyn, hurricanes permitting, “was over a level green about a mile in length, passing through the village of Street-an-Nowan, which contains about 300 inhabitants; in it there is a respectable meeting-house belonging to the Methodists, where divine service is regularly performed; there is also in this village a Sunday School for poor children.”[4]

In November 1820 [now] Queen Caroline was found innocent of charges of infidelity brought against her by her husband, [now] King George IV and Newlyn erupted in joy:  “Last night’s mail having announced the joyful tidings of the Queen’s victory over her vile accusers, this morning was ushered in by the display of flags of almost every description at the mast heads of the different vessels in this port, and on poles in many parts of the town and the neighbouring villages of Newlyn and Mousehole.  Subscriptions have been entered into for defraying the expenses of bonfires, tar barrels, &c and at this moment there may be seen on the opposite hill, over Newlyn, a quantity of tar barrels, reflecting their vivid flames in the mirror of water below, whilst on the rocks, near the shore, bonfires innumerable blaze up and enliven the scene.
“Long live Queen Caroline,” – “Queen Caroline for ever,” – may be seen on almost every hat, and in every varied form and colour, whilst parties, preceded by music, parade the streets, and rend the air by their acclamations of “Long live Queen Caroline.”  A requisition has been made to the Mayor, to illuminate the town on Wednesday night, and several large dinner parties have already formed at the hotel, and the respectable Inns, to celebrate the glorious 10th of November, in a manner that may not be unworthy the great victory that day obtained by her most gracious Majesty Queen Caroline.”[5]
Queen Caroline died in August following year; she had been denied entry to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation held the month before on 19 July 1821.

Please see my next post for the next part of William and Alice’s story: William and Alice Rowe: shoemaking, family, storms and wrestling in 19C Cornwall pt3
Words and photos © Lynne Black, 7 August 2016

[1] The History of Mount’s Bay, comprising Saint Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Penzance, Mousehole and &c &cm 1820, pp48-50, Internet Archive

[2] Exeter Flying Post – Thursday 30 January 1817, P4, Col 3, via BNA

[3] Archontology.org  http://www.archontology.org/nations/uk/king_uk/george4.php

[4] The History of Mount’s Bay, comprising Saint Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Penzance, Mousehole and &c &cm 1820, P63, Internet Archive

[5] Morning Chronicle – Friday 17 November 1820, P3, Col 3, Accessed via BNA

 

 

Photo of Newlyn Harbour from Newlyn Beach, Cornwall

William Rowe 1793 pt1: Boyhood in a poor Cornish fishing town

photo of Paul Church

Paul Church

William Rowe was born c1793 in Newlyn, Paul Parish, in the West Penwith area of Cornwall.  He was the second son of labourer James Rowe and his wife Patience (nee Rodda).[1]  William was baptised aged 2-3 on 29 Mar 1795 in Paul Parish Church[2].  His was the first generation to be born in Paul Parish; his parents were from St Buryan parish.

I’ve found two brothers and a sister for William: James was baptised on 3 October 1790 and Ann was baptised on 23 September 1792.  However she died in infancy and was buried on 8 June 1793. Younger brother Thomas Rodda Rowe was baptised on 13 January 1802, all in Paul Parish Church.

William’s childhood years were those of the French Revolution, of war with France and the Regency. During those wars a battery was located on the road between Newlyn and Mousehole “forming a great security to the Bay, from enemy’s ships, or privateers, should any of them be induced to visit any part of it.  Adjoining to this battery stands a furnace for the purpose of making shot red hot.  During the war, this battery was governed by a small party of the royal artillery.”[3]

Times were hard in West Penwith and when he was about 7 in 1801 the family would have been hungry as a result of the high price of wheat.  It was reported in the London Courier and Evening Gazette on 20 April 1801 that in St Austell, 40 miles away, the tinners had tried forcing farmers to sell it at an affordable price by threatening to put nooses round farmers’ necks until they signed a document promising to sell it at an affordable rate; but they were taken into custody at St Mawes. In Helston the Volunteer Cavalry found it hard to keep order until most of the local farmers came forward and promised to sell wheat the following Saturday at ‘two guineas, and barley at one guinea the bushel’.

In Penzance two Newlyn men petitioned the Mayor that he reduce the prices in Newlyn; but when he chose not to listen they ‘assembled on their own authority’.  The constables and military were called out and further ‘mischief was prevented’ but the disturbances kept many country people away from selling their goods at the markets.[4]

In 1806 there was a call for designs for a bridge across the small river Coombe in Newlyn which divided the Paul and Madron parishes. The bridge was to ‘to contain in length about seventy feet and in breadth about eighteen feet ’. Designs were due to be considered at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace in January 1807 with the target for completion 6 October 1807.

In October 1809 there was a huge gale, and the ‘L’Eole, a French prize to the Surveillante and Medusa frigates, laden with salt, &c, arrived in the Mount’s Bay a few days ago, and being driven by the gale from Gwavas Lake, ran for Newlyn Pier, but got upon the rocks, where she now lies’ and it was doubtful she could be rescued as the gale still continued.

Photo of altar of Paul Parish Church

Paul Parish Church

In August 1812 a good crop of potatoes, was reported, which coupled with a good haul of pilchards and hake, ‘greatly relieved the poor in Cornwall from the pressure occasioned by the high price of corn’.[5]

So it would have been on a slightly fuller stomach that William married Alice Daniel, a blacksmith’s daughter from neighbouring Sancreed parish, on Saturday 17 October 1812 in Paul Parish Church up above Newlyn.

Their story continues here: William Rowe, Cordwainer of Newlyn and Alice Daniel of Sancreed

Words and photos © Lynne Black, 31 July 2016

 

[1] A DOB for William of c1788 DOB is indicated by his death certificate and the 1851 & 1861 censuses. However even though they match, I believe that William was the third child and not the first, given his baptism year 1795 and the fact he was stated on the 1841 census as being 50. Age at marriage isn’t indicated in the record.

[2] Paul Baptism registers accessed via Cornwall OPC website and FindMyPast

[3] The History of Mount’s Bay, comprising Saint Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Penzance, Mousehole and &c &cm 1820, pp75-76, Printed and sold by J Thomas, via Internet Archive http://archive.org/stream/historyofmountsb00penz#page/n0/mode/2up

[4] London Courier and Evening Gazette – Monday 20 April 1801, P3, Col 2, via BNA

[5] Caledonian Mercury – Saturday 09 February 1811, p2, col 1, Lloyds’ Marine List, Feb 5th

Meeting the Ancestors too early: Genealogy vs Healthy Living

exercise-posterI work with several public health researchers and colleagues who are generally healthy and sporty. I, a sedentary secretary, am not. I frequently see new public awareness films, infographics such as this one, healthy living campaigns and awareness-raising: doing X minutes of exercise per day can reduce your chances of cancer and/or diabetes and/or heart disease by 30%.  And I share the information with others and continue sitting at my desk.

Genealogy, my winter hobby, doesn’t help at all to change this.  I tend to come down early at the weekends when the house is quiet and just spend some time searching and writing my ancestors’ stories. I don’t live near the places I am researching so can’t conveniently walk down to the archives or stroll round the cemeteries looking for graves.  And as all the information I have access to is online, it doesn’t get me healthy.

However some of the health awareness must be sinking in, as last year I bought my beloved standing desk off a colleague.  Its name is Ergotron (obviously with a name like that it’s a male desk). I have found that I get hungrier more quickly and am taking from that experience that it’s speeding up my digestive process, like removing a kink from a hose, so that’s one quick and obvious indication that I’m doing something right.  It’s not meant to be used for long periods instead of sitting, as that can lead to different ailments such as varicose veins, but instead for the user to vary between sitting and standing fairly often.

StepCountChallenge_Spr16_Trophy

Step Count Challenge trophy 2016 – oh yeah 🙂

We all die in the end, and being dead doesn’t scare me, but I would like to put off dying for a few more decades thank you very much.  So this spring when several colleagues in my work area formed teams for a walking challenge – the Step Count Challenge  run by Paths For All – I was super-keen and very organised about raising my daily walking totals.  And with dedication and good company (and good views like the photo of my local Ochil Hills) I lost half a stone in two months just by walking more.  And really got to know my colleagues a lot more, which was really nice.

I had been really ashamed prior to the start of the challenge about my almost total lack of activity at the weekends, and now this Challenge has finished I continue to make a point of going for a walk on both Saturdays and Sundays, even if only trudging round the shops. And I find that I have more energy on Mondays as a result and can usually bounce off to Zumba quite the thing.  There is a shorter version of the spring challenge this autumn and I have friends who hadn’t come across the spring one who now interested in trying it.

So I plan to keep walking and getting fitter. So much better to discover ancestors’ lives through census returns than to communicate with current family by knocking three times at a séance!

© Lynne Black, 18 July 2016

EU Referendum 2016: A twist in our timeline

Often when I’m thinking about my ancestors, preparing to tell their stories, I wonder about how they reacted to society’s changes, how they heard what was about to happen, and how they felt when it did.

Well the morning after Britain’s EuroRef vote, I know that if they’re anything like me they’ll feel dazed.  We’re at one of those key story turns in these isles’ history, 1603, 1649 and 1660, 1707, 1745, 1838, 1901, 1914, 1939 and now 2016.

After all the bile, paranoia and deceit which bubbled up in the UK, after the some politicians’ factless assertions and downright lies about the legal position and [lack of] plan for the future, after the wilful political disregard and trashing of informed expert opinion and advice, and of murder, the day after the election has arrived.  It does make me wonder why the hell we bother with election predicting and opinion polls.

This YouTube film is really interesting, I wish this had been shown instead of endless shouty debates: Professor Michael Dougan on the EU Referendum as he spelled out the anticipated timelines in the event the UK votes to Leave in a really clear way.

The Leave campaign were reported on Twitter last night as conceding, Boris Johnson was looking more rueful and tousled than usual and Nigel Farage looked grim.  I saw journalists were begging witnesses to this to phone them to report their account so that the news can be driven by 140 characters and a photo.

And now the result has been confirmed as Leave and David Cameron will be stepping down as PM in October.

So what now?

The break up of the United Kingdom I believe.  With the SNP having issued a statement about the votes cast within Scotland it is only a matter of time before IndyRef 2 is announced and the nation votes again to stay with either Europe as an equal state or be governed by millionaires in Westminster and treated as a partner they don’t respect but don’t want to lose. Well, that’s my take on it, we’ll see what happens.

Emergency laws will be re-written without normal  parliamentary process as our recent legal system is written allowing for EU law.  The UK Government had already quietly announced a bill for this Parliament during the Queen’s Speech but not yet picked up by satirists (as far as I’ve seen) chipping back at citizens’ rights, which Amnesty are flagging up.

The rights of ordinary people will be chipped away, and eventually risk being handed to the tender mercies of global corporations through the evil which is TTIP.

To quote Queen Amidala of Star Wars: “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.”

So already the shock is wearing off, without the enormity of the vast changes ahead sinking in I suspect, and my brain is clicking through various ways of coping, Plan A, Plan Chalk, Plan Cheese, Plan Random.

And at some point soon I will need to buy a TV after I’ve thrown something handy at all the smug faces which are about to parade across it.

But, like my ancestors I suspect, I would like stability, I would like a job and I would like to pay my bills. Some priorities don’t really change that much.

© Lynne Black, 24 June 2016