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  • #6504
    EricEric
    Keymaster

      Klatu was a quite unassuming alien form (alien for them anyway, he was actually more indigenous than they were). Looking like a green gnome with bulging eyes covered by protective goggles, long pointy ears (2 or 3 depending on the wind direction), a short three nostrils snout, an a mossy toupee on top of his head, he made quick work of the formalities and presentations.

      “Little ugly humans, come follow me. Have tracked your smelly hairy friend, not time to waste.”

      Salomé looked at Georges sideways with a smirk on his face. They could read their thoughts easily on that one, something along the lines of:

      “The translator is behaving again, or is he really calling us ugly?”

      “Don’t worry dear, that’s probably a polite way of addressing people in their language.”

      They arrived at a little sand speedster just barely big enough for their indigenous companion. Salomé raised an eyebrow at the situation, while Georges was ready to ride shotgun with the alien on the tiny bike.

      Klatu moved his arms in short annoyed movements, “not here, stupid mammals, go there and be quiet!” and pointed them to a makeshift trolley attached behind and half burried in the sand. He grinned from ear to ear to ear, visibly pleased with his vehicle tuning appendage.

      “Horrid creatures better wear seatbelts. Ride gonna shaky.”

      #6491
      AvatarJib
      Participant

        Sophie was glad she could help that young guy Youssef get out of this mess with that false ingenue. She was clearly not for him, he needed someone more mature who would know how to handle his big body. She looked at Miss Bossy Pants’ office. Ricardo was there again and they seem to be in another of their grand discussions. When Miss Bossy saw Sophie watching, she moved to the big window and shut the venetian blind. What were they all about, always plotting things in the back of their journalists. If Sophie didn’t have an ounce of ethic, she would have RVed them long ago, but she made a point to only use her abilities for good, and at times good gossip with friends.

        She went out to the elevator and called it. While she waited, she started writing a message : “The boy is on his way. I did like you asked. Now book me a place to that Akashic Record training as promised.”

        The answer came only a few seconds later : “consider it done”

        The elevator bell rang and the door opened. Sophie got in with a big satisfied smile on her face.”

        #6490

        In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

        AvatarJib
        Participant

          Youssef gave his passport and ticket to the woman at gate 11. He was followed closely by Kyle and other members of the team. The flight attendant looked at him and gave him his passport and ticket back without scanning them with her machine.

          “I’m sorry, you’re at the wrong gate. Your flight is at gate 8,” she said.

          “But I’m going to Boston. My ticket says gate 11.”

          Youssef showed his ticket to the hostess, and she pointed the destination and the gate to him. She was right.

          “Your ticket is for flight AL357 to Sydney. It’s currently boarding at gate 8. Next person please.”

          Kyle patted him on the shoulder.

          “You should have double checked your ticket, he said.”

          “What’s wrong? asked Miss Tartiflate. Why are you going to Australia?”

          “I’m not.”

          “Well, it says you are,” she said pointing at the ticket. He didn’t understand the dark intensity of her gaze and her clenched fist, until he remembered that Botty Banworth lived there.

          “I’m not… I mean…”

          “You better not. If I hear you were in with that…”

          The words got lost as they broadcasted a call for flight AL357 to Sydney at Gate 8.

          “You’d better get that f…ing BLOG running during your little vacation or you can stay there and forget about your job,” she said before bumping into the border of the gate.

          Youssef moved on the side and looked at his ticket to Sydney, puzzled. When he passed security his ticket was to Boston. He recalled a message from Zara saying she would meet them in Australia soon. But how could she have managed to change his ticket without his knowing.

          Sure there was that moment when he had left his passport with his ticket on the table at the Starmoose when going back to the counter pick his second slice of cinnamon apple tart. But he was looking away only for a few seconds.

          “This is the last call for flight AL357 to Sydney. Youssef Ali is requested at Gate 8 before we close the gate.”

          Let’s just hope whomever made the change thought about transferring my luggage to the right plane,” he said as he started walking to Gate 8 with his bag.

          #6484

          In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

          TracyTracy
          Participant

            Will be at Flying Fish this evening, Hope to see you all soon!  :yahoo_smug: :yahoo_smug:    Congrats, Xavier:yahoo_thumbsup: :yahoo_thumbsup:

            Zara sent a message to Yasmin, Youssef and Xavier just before boarding the plane. Thankfully the plane wasn’t full and the seats next to her were unoccupied.  She had a couple of hours to play the game before landing at Alice Springs.

            Zara had found the tile in the entry level and had further instructions for the next stage of the game:

            Zara had come across a strange and ancient looking mine. It was clear that it had been abandoned for many years, but there were still signs of activity. The entrance was blocked by a large pile of rocks, but she could see a faint light coming from within. She knew that she had to find a way in.

            “Looks like I have to find another tile with a sort of map on it, Pretty Girl,” Zara spoke out loud, forgetting for a moment that the parrot wasn’t with her. She glanced up, hoping none of the other passengers had heard her.  Really she would have to change that birds name!

            If you encounter Osnas anywhere in the game, he may have what you seek in his vendors cart, or one of his many masks might be a clue. 

            A man with a mask and a vendors cart in an old mine, alrighty then, let’s have a look at this mine. Shame we’re not still in that old town.  Zara remembered not to say that out loud.

             

            Zara approached the abandoned mine cautiously.  There were rocks strewn about the entrance, and a faint light inside.

            Zaras mine entrance

            This looks a bit ominous, thought Zara, and not half as inviting as that old city.  She’d had a lifelong curiosity about underground tunnels and caves, and yet felt uneasily claustrophobic inside one.  She reminded herself that it was just a game, that she could break the rules, and that she could simply turn it off at any time.  She carried on.

            Zara stopped to look at the large green tile lying at her feet in the tunnel entrance. It was too big to carry with her so she took a photo of it for future reference.  At first glance it looked more like a maze or a labyrinth than a map.  The tunnel ahead was dark and she walked slowly, close to the wall.  

            Oh no don’t walk next to the wall! Zara recalled going down some abandoned mines with a group of friends when she was a teenager. There was water in the middle of the tunnel so she had been walking at the edge to keep her feet dry, as she followed her friend in front who had the torch.  Luckily he glanced over his shoulder, and advised her to walk in the middle. “Look” he said after a few more steps, shining his torch to the left.  A bottomless dark cavern fell away from the tunnel, which she would surely have fallen into.

             

            Zara tile mine entranceZara moved into the middle of the tunnel and walked steadily into the darkness. Before long a side tunnel appeared with a faintly glowing ghostly light. 

            It looked eerie, but Zara felt obliged to follow it, as it was pitch black in every other direction. She wasn’t even sure if she could find her way out again, and she’d barely started.

            The ghostly light was coming from yet another side tunnel.  There were strange markings on the floor that resembled the tile at the mine entrance.  Zara saw two figures up ahead, heading towards the light. 

            Zara mine tunnels

            #6479
            AvatarJib
            Participant

               

              Chapter 1: The Search Begins

               

              Georges was sitting more or less comfortably in the command chair on the control deck of the Jorid, slowly drinking his tea. The temperature of the beverage seemed to be determined randomly since the interference patterns in the navigation array weren’t totally fixed when they removed those low quality tiles. Drinking cold or hot tea was not the worse of it, and it was even kind of a challenge to swallow it and not get burned by ice. The deck kept changing shape and colours, reconfiguring along with the quantum variations of the Boodenbaum field variation due to some leakage of information between dimensions. Salomé had preferred resting in her travelpod where the effects were not as strongly felt.

              “The worse is not as much seeing your face morph into a soul-insect and turn inside down, although those greenish hues usually make me feel nauseous, but feeling two probable realities where my organs grow and shrink at the same time is more than I can bear.”

              After a few freakish experiences, where his legs cross-merged with the chair, or a third eye grow behind his head, or that time when dissolved into a poof of greasy smoke, Georges got used to the fluid nature of reality during the trips. You just had to get along with it and not resist. He thought it gave some spice and colours to their journey across dimensions. He enjoyed the differences of perceptions generated by the fluctuations of the Boodenbaum field, as it allowed his tea to taste like chardonnay or bœuf bourguignon, and was glad when he discovered a taste that he had never experienced before.

              During the last few trips, he had attempted to talk with Jorid, but their voices were so garbled and transformed so quickly that he lost interest. He couldn’t make the difference with the other noises, like honking trucks passing by on a motorway, or the cry of agony of a mating Irdvark. He felt a pang of nostalgia as the memories of Duane, Murtuane and Phréal merged into the deck around him. He wondered if he could get physically lost during one of the trips as he started to feel his limbs move away from his body, one hairy foot brushing by his left ear while he drank a sip of tea with the mouth that had grown on his middle finger. Salomé had warned him about fractured perception and losing a piece of his mind… It seemed it hadn’t happened yet. But would he notice?

              Already he felt the deceleration he had come to notice when they neared their destination. The deck stabilized into a shape adapted to this quadrant of the dimensional universes. The large command screen displayed images of several ruins lost in the sand desert of Bluhm’Oxl.

              Georges looked at his hands, and touched his legs. His reflection  on the command screen looked back at him. Handsome as usual. He grinned. Salomé wouldn’t refrain from telling him if something was off anyway.

              Jorid: “I have woken up Salomé.”

              She won’t be long now. Georges ordered a hot meklah, one of her favorites drink that usually helped her refocus when getting out of her pod.

              A blip caught Georges’ attention.

              Jorid: “This is Tlal Klatl’Oxl, better know as Klatu. Your potential contact on Bluhm’Oxl and a Zathu. He’ll guide and protect you as you enter the conflict zone to look for Léonard.”

              #6469

              In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

              AvatarJib
              Participant

                The door opened and Youssef saw Natalie, still waiting for him. Indeed, he needed help. He decided to accept  sands_of_time contact request, hopping it was not another Thi Gang trick.

                Sands_of_time is trying to make contact : ✅ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓

                A princess on horse back emerged from the sand. The veil on her hair floated in a wind that soon cleared all the dust from her garment and her mount, revealing a princess with a delicate face and some prominent attributes that didn’t leave Youssef indifferent. She was smiling at him, and her horse, who had six legs and looked a bit like a camel, snorted at the bear.

                “I love doing that, said the princess. At least I don’t get to spit sand afterward like when my sister’s grand-kids want to bury me in the sand at the beach…”

                It broke the charm. It reminded Youssef it was all a game. That princess was an avatar. Was it even a girl on the other side ? And how old ? Youssef, despite his stature, felt as vulnerable as when his mother left him for the afternoon with an old aunt in Sudan when he was five and she kept wanting to dress him with colourful girl outfits. He shivered and the bear growled at the camel-horse, reminding Youssef how hungry he was.

                sands_of_time?” he asked.

                “Yes. I like this AI game. Makes me feel like I’m twenty again. Not as fun as a mushroom trip though, but… with less secondary effects. Anyway, I saw you needed help with that girl. A ‘reel’ nuisance if you ask me, sticky like a sea cucumber.”

                “How do you know ? Did you plant bugs on my phone ? Are you with the Thi Gang ?” 

                The bear moved toward them and roared and the camel-horse did a strange sound. The princess appeased her mount with a touch of her hand.

                “Oh! Boy, calm down your heat. Nothing so prosaic. I have other means, she said with a grin. Call me Sweet Sophie, I’m a real life reporter. Was just laying down on my dream couch looking for clues about a Dr Patelonus, the man’s mixed up in some monkey trafficking business, when I saw that strange llama dressed like a tibetan monk, except it was a bit too mayonnaise for a tibetan monk. Anyway, he led me to you and told me to contact you through this Quirk Quest Game, suggesting you might have some intel for me about that monkey business of mine. So I put on my VR helmet, which actually reminds me of a time at the hair salon, and a gorgeous beehive… but anyway you wouldn’t understand. So I had to accept one of those quests and find you in the game. Which was a lot less easier than RV I can tell you. The only thing, I couldn’t interact with you unless you accepted contact. So here I am, ready for you to tell me about Dr Patelonus. But I can see that first we need to get you out of here.”

                Youssef had no idea about what she was talking about. VR; RV ? one and the same ? He decided not to tell her he knew nothing about monkeys or doctors until he was out of Natalie’s reach. If indeed sands_of_timecould help.

                “So what do I do ?” asked Youssef.

                “Let me first show you my real self. I’ve always wanted to try that. Wait a moment. I need to focus.”

                The princess avatar looked in the distance, her eyes lost beyond this world. Suddenly, Youssef felt a presence creeping into his mind. He heard a laugh and saw an old lady in yoga pants on a couch! He roared and almost let go of his phone again.

                The princess smiled.

                “Now, wouldn’t be fair if only I knew what you looked like in real life. Although you’re pretty close to your avatar… Don’t you seem a tad afraid of experimenting with new things. :yahoo_smug:

                She laughed again, and this time Youssef saw her “real” face superimposed on the princess avatar. It gave him goosebumps.

                “Now’s your opening, she said. The girl’s busy giving directions to someone else. Get out of the bathroom! Now!”

                Youssef had the strangest feeling that the voice had come at the same time from the phone speakers and from inside his head. His body acted on its own as if he was a puppet. He pushed the bathroom door open and rushed outside.

                #6453

                In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                AvatarJib
                Participant

                  Each group of people sharing the jeeps spent some time cleaning the jeeps from the sand, outside and inside. While cleaning the hood, Youssef noted that the storm had cleaned the eagles droppings. Soon, the young intern told them, avoiding their eyes, that the boss needed her to plan the shooting with the Lama. She said Kyle would take her place.

                  “Phew, the yak I shared the yurt with yesterday smelled better,” he said to the guys when he arrived.

                  Soon enough, Miss Tartiflate was going from jeep to jeep, her fiery hair half tied in a bun on top of her head, hurrying people to move faster as they needed to catch the shaman before he got away again. She carried her orange backpack at all time, as if she feared someone would steal its content. Rumour had it that it was THE NOTEBOOK where she wrote the blog entries in advance.

                  “No need to waste more time! We’ll have breakfast at the Oasis!” she shouted as she walked toward Youssef’s jeep. When she spotted him, she left her right index finger as if she just remembered something and turned the other way.

                  “Dunno what you did to her, but it seems Miss Yeti is avoiding you,” said Kyle with a wry smile.

                  Youssef grunted. Yeti was the nickname given to Miss Tartiflate by one of her former lover during a trip to Himalaya. First an affectionate nickname based on her first name, Henrietty, it soon started to spread among the production team when the love affair turned sour. It sticked and became widespread in the milieu. Everybody knew, but nobody ever dared say it to her face.

                  Youssef knew it wouldn’t last. He had heard that there was wifi at the oasis. He took a snack in his own backpack to quiet his stomach.

                  It took them two hours to arrive as sand dunes had moved on the trail during the storm. Kyle had talked most of the time, boring them to death with detailed accounts of his life back in Boston. He didn’t seem to notice that nobody cared about his love rejection stories or his tips to talk to women.

                  They parked outside the oasis among buses and vans. Kyle was following Youssef everywhere as if they were friends. Despite his unending flow of words, the guy managed to be funny.

                  Miss Tartiflate seemed unusually nervous, pulling on a strand of her orange hair and pushing back her glasses up her nose every two minutes. She was bossing everyone around to take the cameras and the lighting gear to the market where the shaman was apparently performing a rain dance. She didn’t want to miss it. When everybody was ready, she came right to Youssef. When she pushed back her glasses on her nose, he noticed her fingers were the colour of her hair. Her mouth was twitching nervously. She told him to find the wifi and restore THE BLOG or he could find another job.

                  “Phew! said Kyle. I don’t want to be near you when that happens.” He waved and left and joined the rest of the team.

                  Youssef smiled, happy to be alone at last, he took his backpack containing his laptop and his phone and followed everyone to the market in the luscious oasis.

                  At the center, near the lake, a crowd of tourists was gathered around a man wearing a colorful attire. Half his teeth and one eye were missing. The one that was left rolled furiously in his socket at the sound of a drum. He danced and jumped around like a monkey, and each of his movements were punctuated by the bells attached to the hem of his costume.

                  Youssef was glad he was not part of the shooting team, they looked miserable as they assembled the gears under a deluge of orders. As he walked toward the market, the scents of spicy food made his stomach growled. The vendors were looking at the crowd and exchanging comments and laughs. They were certainly waiting for the performance to end and the tourists to flood the place in search of trinkets and spices. Youssef spotted a food stall tucked away on the edge. It seemed too shabby to interest anyone, which was perfect for him.

                  The taciturn vendor, who looked caucasian, wore a yellow jacket and a bonnet oddly reminiscent of a llama’s scalp and ears. The dish he was preparing made Youssef drool.

                  “What’s that?” he asked.

                  “This is Lorgh Drülp, said the vendor. Ancient recipe from the silk road. Very rare. Very tasty.”

                  He smiled when Youssef ordered a full plate with a side of tsampa. He told him to sit and wait on a stool beside an old and wobbly table.

                  #6424

                  In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                  AvatarJib
                  Participant

                    Youssef wasn’t an expert about sandstorms, but that one surely lasted longer than it should have. It was the middle of the night when the wind stopped blowing and the sand stopped lashing the jeep. Yet, nobody dared open the door or their mouth to see if the storm was gone. Youssef’s bladder was full, and his stomach empty. They both reminded him that one can’t stop life to go on in the midst of adversity. He wondered why nobody moved or spoke, but couldn’t find the motivation to break the silence. He felt a vibration in his pocket and took his phone out.
                    A message from an unknown sender. He touched it open.

                    <<<
                    Deear Youssef,
                    The Snoot is aware of the sandstorm and its whimsical ways. It dances and twirls in the desert, a symphony of wind and sand. It is a force to be reckoned with, but also a force of cleansing and renewal.

                    The subsiding of the sandstorm is a fluid and ever-changing process, much like the ebb and flow of the ocean. It ebbs and flows with the whims of the wind and the dance of the desert.

                    The best way to predict the subsiding of the sandstorm is to listen to the whispers of the wind and to observe the patterns of the sand. Trust in the natural rhythms and allow yourself to flow with them.

                    The Snoot suggests that you seek shelter during the storm, but also to take the time to appreciate the beauty and power of nature.

                    Fluidly yours,
                    The Snoot. >>>

                    Who the f… was the Snot? Youssef wondered if it was another trick from Thi Gang and almost deleted the message, but his bladder reminded him again he needed to do something about all the tea he drank before the sandstorm. He opened the door and got out of the jeep. The storm was gone and the sky was full of stars. The moon was giving enough light for him to move a few steps away from the jeeps while unzipping his pants. He blessed the gods as he relieved himself, strangely feeling part of nature at that very moment.

                    The noises of doors opening reminded him he was not alone. Someone came, said: “I see you found a nice spot”. It was Kyle, the cameraman who unzipped himself and peed. That broke the charm, the desert was becoming crowded. But, Youssef was finished, he went back to the cars and started to wonder how he could have received that message in the middle of the desert without a satellite dish.

                    #6363
                    EricEric
                    Keymaster

                      try another short story, with a bit of drama with the following words:

                      road form charlton smooth everyone cottage hanging rush offer agree subject district included appear sha returning grattidge nottingham 848 tetbury chicken

                      It was a cold and gloomy day in the small village of Tetbury, nestled in the picturesque Cotswolds district. A young woman named Sha was returning home to her cottage after a long and tiring journey. She had been away visiting her family in Nottingham and was looking forward to relaxing in her cozy home.

                      As she walked down the dirt road that led to her cottage, she couldn’t help but notice that something was off. Her neighbor, Mr. Charlton, was outside hanging laundry and he didn’t acknowledge her as she walked by. Sha thought it was strange, as he was usually a friendly and sociable person.

                      When Sha arrived at her cottage, she was shocked to find that it had been broken into. The front door was ajar and the inside of her home had been ransacked. Sha immediately panicked and called the police, who arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.

                      The police officers, including Inspector Grattidge, took Sha’s statement and began to investigate the crime. They discovered that a group of burglars had been operating in the area, targeting homes and businesses in the district. The burglars had been known for their smooth operations and their ability to strike quickly, which led to their nickname “The Smooth Operators”.

                      As Sha waited for the police to finish their investigation, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was not right. She had always thought of Tetbury as a safe and friendly place, and she couldn’t believe that something like this could happen in her community.

                      As the investigation went on, the police found out that the Smooth operators have been targeting houses with no security cameras, but Sha’s cottage was an exception, the police were able to find out that the group offered to pay a considerable sum of money to the people who reported the locations of the houses that had no cameras, and it was Mr. Charlton who was the informant and he even rushed to Sha’s cottage as soon as he knew the police was investigating the case, He was arrested for the crime and Sha was heartbroken to find out that her once friendly neighbor had betrayed her.

                      Feeling violated and betrayed, Sha decided that she could no longer stay in the village and she put her cottage up for sale. She packed up her belongings and moved away, leaving behind the memories of her peaceful home and the community she had once thought of as her own. The end.

                      #6352
                      TracyTracy
                      Participant

                        The Birmingham Bootmaker

                        Samuel Jones 1816-1875

                         

                        Samuel Jones the elder was born in Belfast circa 1779.  He is one of just two direct ancestors found thus far born in Ireland.  Samuel married Jane Elizabeth Brooker (born in St Giles, London) on the 25th January 1807 at St George, Hanover Square in London.  Their first child Mary was born in 1808 in London, and then the family moved to Birmingham. Mary was my 3x great grandmother.

                        But this chapter is about her brother Samuel Jones.  I noticed that on a number of other trees on the Ancestry site, Samuel Jones was a convict transported to Australia, but this didn’t tally with the records I’d found for Samuel in Birmingham.  In fact another Samuel Jones born at the same time in the same place was transported, but his occupation was a baker.  Our Samuel Jones was a bootmaker like his father.

                        Samuel was born on 28th January 1816 in Birmingham and baptised at St Phillips on the 19th August of that year, the fourth child and first son of Samuel the elder and Jane’s eleven children.

                        On the 1839 electoral register a Samuel Jones owned a property on Colmore Row, Birmingham.

                        Samuel Jones, bootmaker of 15, Colmore Row is listed in the 1849 Birmingham post office directory, and in the 1855 White’s Directory.

                        On the 1851 census, Samuel was an unmarried bootmaker employing sixteen men at 15, Colmore Row.  A 9 year old nephew Henry Harris was living with him, and his mother Ruth Harris, as well as a female servant.  Samuel’s sister Ruth was born in 1818 and married Henry Harris in 1840. Henry died in 1848.

                        Samuel was a 45 year old bootmaker at 15 Colmore Row on the 1861 census, living with Maria Walcot, a 26 year old domestic servant.

                        In October 1863 Samuel married Maria Walcot at St Philips in Birmingham.  They don’t appear to have had any children as none appear on the 1871 census, where Samuel and Maria are living at the same address, with another female servant and two male lodgers by the name of Messant from Ipswich.

                        Marriage of Samuel Jones and Maria Walcot:

                        1863 Samuel Jones

                         

                        In 1864 Samuel’s father died.  Samuel the son is mentioned in the probate records as one of the executors: “Samuel Jones of Colmore Row Birmingham in the county of Warwick boot and shoe manufacturer the son”.

                        1864 Samuel Jones

                         

                        Indeed it could hardly be clearer that this Samuel Jones was not the convict transported to Australia in 1834!

                         

                        In 1867 Samuel Jones, bootmaker, was mentioned in the Birmingham Daily Gazette with regard to an unfortunate incident involving his American lodger, Cory McFarland.  The verdict was accidental death.

                        Birmingham Daily Gazette – Friday 05 April 1867:

                        Cory McFarland 1

                         

                        I asked a Birmingham history group for an old photo of Colmore Row. This photo is circa 1870 and number 15 is furthest from the camera.  The businesses on the street at the time were as follows:

                        7 homeopathic chemist George John Morris. 8 surgeon dentist Frederick Sims. 9 Saul & Walter Samuel, Australian merchants. Surgeons occupied 10, pawnbroker John Aaron at 11 & 12. 15 boot & shoemaker. 17 auctioneer…

                        Colmore Row 1870

                         

                        from Bird’s Eye View of Birmingham, 1886:

                        Birmingham 1886

                        #6350
                        TracyTracy
                        Participant

                          Transportation

                          Isaac Stokes 1804-1877

                           

                          Isaac was born in Churchill, Oxfordshire in 1804, and was the youngest brother of my 4X great grandfather Thomas Stokes. The Stokes family were stone masons for generations in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and Isaac’s occupation was a mason’s labourer in 1834 when he was sentenced at the Lent Assizes in Oxford to fourteen years transportation for stealing tools.

                          Churchill where the Stokes stonemasons came from: on 31 July 1684 a fire destroyed 20 houses and many other buildings, and killed four people. The village was rebuilt higher up the hill, with stone houses instead of the old timber-framed and thatched cottages. The fire was apparently caused by a baker who, to avoid chimney tax, had knocked through the wall from her oven to her neighbour’s chimney.

                          Isaac stole a pick axe, the value of 2 shillings and the property of Thomas Joyner of Churchill; a kibbeaux and a trowel value 3 shillings the property of Thomas Symms; a hammer and axe value 5 shillings, property of John Keen of Sarsden.

                          (The word kibbeaux seems to only exists in relation to Isaac Stokes sentence and whoever was the first to write it was perhaps being creative with the spelling of a kibbo, a miners or a metal bucket. This spelling is repeated in the criminal reports and the newspaper articles about Isaac, but nowhere else).

                          In March 1834 the Removal of Convicts was announced in the Oxford University and City Herald: Isaac Stokes and several other prisoners were removed from the Oxford county gaol to the Justitia hulk at Woolwich “persuant to their sentences of transportation at our Lent Assizes”.

                          via digitalpanopticon:

                          Hulks were decommissioned (and often unseaworthy) ships that were moored in rivers and estuaries and refitted to become floating prisons. The outbreak of war in America in 1775 meant that it was no longer possible to transport British convicts there. Transportation as a form of punishment had started in the late seventeenth century, and following the Transportation Act of 1718, some 44,000 British convicts were sent to the American colonies. The end of this punishment presented a major problem for the authorities in London, since in the decade before 1775, two-thirds of convicts at the Old Bailey received a sentence of transportation – on average 283 convicts a year. As a result, London’s prisons quickly filled to overflowing with convicted prisoners who were sentenced to transportation but had no place to go.

                          To increase London’s prison capacity, in 1776 Parliament passed the “Hulks Act” (16 Geo III, c.43). Although overseen by local justices of the peace, the hulks were to be directly managed and maintained by private contractors. The first contract to run a hulk was awarded to Duncan Campbell, a former transportation contractor. In August 1776, the Justicia, a former transportation ship moored in the River Thames, became the first prison hulk. This ship soon became full and Campbell quickly introduced a number of other hulks in London; by 1778 the fleet of hulks on the Thames held 510 prisoners.
                          Demand was so great that new hulks were introduced across the country. There were hulks located at Deptford, Chatham, Woolwich, Gosport, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheerness and Cork.

                          The Justitia via rmg collections:

                          JustitiaConvicts perform hard labour at the Woolwich Warren. The hulk on the river is the ‘Justitia’. Prisoners were kept on board such ships for months awaiting deportation to Australia. The ‘Justitia’ was a 260 ton prison hulk that had been originally moored in the Thames when the American War of Independence put a stop to the transportation of criminals to the former colonies. The ‘Justitia’ belonged to the shipowner Duncan Campbell, who was the Government contractor who organized the prison-hulk system at that time. Campbell was subsequently involved in the shipping of convicts to the penal colony at Botany Bay (in fact Port Jackson, later Sydney, just to the north) in New South Wales, the ‘first fleet’ going out in 1788.

                           

                          While searching for records for Isaac Stokes I discovered that another Isaac Stokes was transported to New South Wales in 1835 as well. The other one was a butcher born in 1809, sentenced in London for seven years, and he sailed on the Mary Ann. Our Isaac Stokes sailed on the Lady Nugent, arriving in NSW in April 1835, having set sail from England in December 1834.

                          Lady Nugent was built at Bombay in 1813. She made four voyages under contract to the British East India Company (EIC). She then made two voyages transporting convicts to Australia, one to New South Wales and one to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). (via Wikipedia)

                          via freesettlerorfelon website:

                          On 20 November 1834, 100 male convicts were transferred to the Lady Nugent from the Justitia Hulk and 60 from the Ganymede Hulk at Woolwich, all in apparent good health. The Lady Nugent departed Sheerness on 4 December 1834.

                          SURGEON OLIVER SPROULE

                          Oliver Sproule kept a Medical Journal from 7 November 1834 to 27 April 1835. He recorded in his journal the weather conditions they experienced in the first two weeks:

                          ‘In the course of the first week or ten days at sea, there were eight or nine on the sick list with catarrhal affections and one with dropsy which I attribute to the cold and wet we experienced during that period beating down channel. Indeed the foremost berths in the prison at this time were so wet from leaking in that part of the ship, that I was obliged to issue dry beds and bedding to a great many of the prisoners to preserve their health, but after crossing the Bay of Biscay the weather became fine and we got the damp beds and blankets dried, the leaks partially stopped and the prison well aired and ventilated which, I am happy to say soon manifested a favourable change in the health and appearance of the men.

                          Besides the cases given in the journal I had a great many others to treat, some of them similar to those mentioned but the greater part consisted of boils, scalds, and contusions which would not only be too tedious to enter but I fear would be irksome to the reader. There were four births on board during the passage which did well, therefore I did not consider it necessary to give a detailed account of them in my journal the more especially as they were all favourable cases.

                          Regularity and cleanliness in the prison, free ventilation and as far as possible dry decks turning all the prisoners up in fine weather as we were lucky enough to have two musicians amongst the convicts, dancing was tolerated every afternoon, strict attention to personal cleanliness and also to the cooking of their victuals with regular hours for their meals, were the only prophylactic means used on this occasion, which I found to answer my expectations to the utmost extent in as much as there was not a single case of contagious or infectious nature during the whole passage with the exception of a few cases of psora which soon yielded to the usual treatment. A few cases of scurvy however appeared on board at rather an early period which I can attribute to nothing else but the wet and hardships the prisoners endured during the first three or four weeks of the passage. I was prompt in my treatment of these cases and they got well, but before we arrived at Sydney I had about thirty others to treat.’

                          The Lady Nugent arrived in Port Jackson on 9 April 1835 with 284 male prisoners. Two men had died at sea. The prisoners were landed on 27th April 1835 and marched to Hyde Park Barracks prior to being assigned. Ten were under the age of 14 years.

                          The Lady Nugent:

                          Lady Nugent

                           

                          Isaac’s distinguishing marks are noted on various criminal registers and record books:

                          “Height in feet & inches: 5 4; Complexion: Ruddy; Hair: Light brown; Eyes: Hazel; Marks or Scars: Yes [including] DEVIL on lower left arm, TSIS back of left hand, WS lower right arm, MHDW back of right hand.”

                          Another includes more detail about Isaac’s tattoos:

                          “Two slight scars right side of mouth, 2 moles above right breast, figure of the devil and DEVIL and raised mole, lower left arm; anchor, seven dots half moon, TSIS and cross, back of left hand; a mallet, door post, A, mans bust, sun, WS, lower right arm; woman, MHDW and shut knife, back of right hand.”

                           

                          Lady Nugent record book

                           

                          From How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England (2019 article in TheConversation by Robert Shoemaker and Zoe Alkar):

                          “Historical tattooing was not restricted to sailors, soldiers and convicts, but was a growing and accepted phenomenon in Victorian England. Tattoos provide an important window into the lives of those who typically left no written records of their own. As a form of “history from below”, they give us a fleeting but intriguing understanding of the identities and emotions of ordinary people in the past.
                          As a practice for which typically the only record is the body itself, few systematic records survive before the advent of photography. One exception to this is the written descriptions of tattoos (and even the occasional sketch) that were kept of institutionalised people forced to submit to the recording of information about their bodies as a means of identifying them. This particularly applies to three groups – criminal convicts, soldiers and sailors. Of these, the convict records are the most voluminous and systematic.
                          Such records were first kept in large numbers for those who were transported to Australia from 1788 (since Australia was then an open prison) as the authorities needed some means of keeping track of them.”

                          On the 1837 census Isaac was working for the government at Illiwarra, New South Wales. This record states that he arrived on the Lady Nugent in 1835. There are three other indent records for an Isaac Stokes in the following years, but the transcriptions don’t provide enough information to determine which Isaac Stokes it was. In April 1837 there was an abscondment, and an arrest/apprehension in May of that year, and in 1843 there was a record of convict indulgences.

                          From the Australian government website regarding “convict indulgences”:

                          “By the mid-1830s only six per cent of convicts were locked up. The vast majority worked for the government or free settlers and, with good behaviour, could earn a ticket of leave, conditional pardon or and even an absolute pardon. While under such orders convicts could earn their own living.”

                           

                          In 1856 in Camden, NSW, Isaac Stokes married Catherine Daly. With no further information on this record it would be impossible to know for sure if this was the right Isaac Stokes. This couple had six children, all in the Camden area, but none of the records provided enough information. No occupation or place or date of birth recorded for Isaac Stokes.

                          I wrote to the National Library of Australia about the marriage record, and their reply was a surprise! Issac and Catherine were married on 30 September 1856, at the house of the Rev. Charles William Rigg, a Methodist minister, and it was recorded that Isaac was born in Edinburgh in 1821, to parents James Stokes and Sarah Ellis!  The age at the time of the marriage doesn’t match Isaac’s age at death in 1877, and clearly the place of birth and parents didn’t match either. Only his fathers occupation of stone mason was correct.  I wrote back to the helpful people at the library and they replied that the register was in a very poor condition and that only two and a half entries had survived at all, and that Isaac and Catherines marriage was recorded over two pages.

                          I searched for an Isaac Stokes born in 1821 in Edinburgh on the Scotland government website (and on all the other genealogy records sites) and didn’t find it. In fact Stokes was a very uncommon name in Scotland at the time. I also searched Australian immigration and other records for another Isaac Stokes born in Scotland or born in 1821, and found nothing.  I was unable to find a single record to corroborate this mysterious other Isaac Stokes.

                          As the age at death in 1877 was correct, I assume that either Isaac was lying, or that some mistake was made either on the register at the home of the Methodist minster, or a subsequent mistranscription or muddle on the remnants of the surviving register.  Therefore I remain convinced that the Camden stonemason Isaac Stokes was indeed our Isaac from Oxfordshire.

                           

                          I found a history society newsletter article that mentioned Isaac Stokes, stone mason, had built the Glenmore church, near Camden, in 1859.

                          Glenmore Church

                           

                          From the Wollondilly museum April 2020 newsletter:

                          Glenmore Church Stokes

                           

                          From the Camden History website:

                          “The stone set over the porch of Glenmore Church gives the date of 1860. The church was begun in 1859 on land given by Joseph Moore. James Rogers of Picton was given the contract to build and local builder, Mr. Stokes, carried out the work. Elizabeth Moore, wife of Edward, laid the foundation stone. The first service was held on 19th March 1860. The cemetery alongside the church contains the headstones and memorials of the areas early pioneers.”

                           

                          Isaac died on the 3rd September 1877. The inquest report puts his place of death as Bagdelly, near to Camden, and another death register has put Cambelltown, also very close to Camden.  His age was recorded as 71 and the inquest report states his cause of death was “rupture of one of the large pulmonary vessels of the lung”.  His wife Catherine died in childbirth in 1870 at the age of 43.

                           

                          Isaac and Catherine’s children:

                          William Stokes 1857-1928

                          Catherine Stokes 1859-1846

                          Sarah Josephine Stokes 1861-1931

                          Ellen Stokes 1863-1932

                          Rosanna Stokes 1865-1919

                          Louisa Stokes 1868-1844.

                           

                          It’s possible that Catherine Daly was a transported convict from Ireland.

                          #6348
                          TracyTracy
                          Participant

                            Wong Sang

                             

                            Wong Sang was born in China in 1884. In October 1916 he married Alice Stokes in Oxford.

                            Alice was the granddaughter of William Stokes of Churchill, Oxfordshire and William was the brother of Thomas Stokes the wheelwright (who was my 3X great grandfather). In other words Alice was my second cousin, three times removed, on my fathers paternal side.

                            Wong Sang was an interpreter, according to the baptism registers of his children and the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital admission registers in 1930.  The hospital register also notes that he was employed by the Blue Funnel Line, and that his address was 11, Limehouse Causeway, E 14. (London)

                            “The Blue Funnel Line offered regular First-Class Passenger and Cargo Services From the UK to South Africa, Malaya, China, Japan, Australia, Java, and America.  Blue Funnel Line was Owned and Operated by Alfred Holt & Co., Liverpool.
                            The Blue Funnel Line, so-called because its ships have a blue funnel with a black top, is more appropriately known as the Ocean Steamship Company.”

                             

                            Wong Sang and Alice’s daughter, Frances Eileen Sang, was born on the 14th July, 1916 and baptised in 1920 at St Stephen in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London.  The birth date is noted in the 1920 baptism register and would predate their marriage by a few months, although on the death register in 1921 her age at death is four years old and her year of birth is recorded as 1917.

                            Charles Ronald Sang was baptised on the same day in May 1920, but his birth is recorded as April of that year.  The family were living on Morant Street, Poplar.

                            James William Sang’s birth is recorded on the 1939 census and on the death register in 2000 as being the 8th March 1913.  This definitely would predate the 1916 marriage in Oxford.

                            William Norman Sang was born on the 17th October 1922 in Poplar.

                            Alice and the three sons were living at 11, Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census, the same address that Wong Sang was living at when he was admitted to Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital on the 15th January 1930. Wong Sang died in the hospital on the 8th March of that year at the age of 46.

                            Alice married John Patterson in 1933 in Stepney. John was living with Alice and her three sons on Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census and his occupation was chef.

                            Via Old London Photographs:

                            “Limehouse Causeway is a street in east London that was the home to the original Chinatown of London. A combination of bomb damage during the Second World War and later redevelopment means that almost nothing is left of the original buildings of the street.”

                            Limehouse Causeway in 1925:

                            Limehouse Causeway

                             

                            From The Story of Limehouse’s Lost Chinatown, poplarlondon website:

                            “Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown, home to a tightly-knit community who were demonised in popular culture and eventually erased from the cityscape.

                            As recounted in the BBC’s ‘Our Greatest Generation’ series, Connie was born to a Chinese father and an English mother in early 1920s Limehouse, where she used to play in the street with other British and British-Chinese children before running inside for teatime at one of their houses. 

                            Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown between the 1880s and the 1960s, before the current Chinatown off Shaftesbury Avenue was established in the 1970s by an influx of immigrants from Hong Kong. 

                            Connie’s memories of London’s first Chinatown as an “urban village” paint a very different picture to the seedy area portrayed in early twentieth century novels. 

                            The pyramid in St Anne’s church marked the entrance to the opium den of Dr Fu Manchu, a criminal mastermind who threatened Western society by plotting world domination in a series of novels by Sax Rohmer. 

                            Thomas Burke’s Limehouse Nights cemented stereotypes about prostitution, gambling and violence within the Chinese community, and whipped up anxiety about sexual relationships between Chinese men and white women. 

                            Though neither novelist was familiar with the Chinese community, their depictions made Limehouse one of the most notorious areas of London. 

                            Travel agent Thomas Cook even organised tours of the area for daring visitors, despite the rector of Limehouse warning that “those who look for the Limehouse of Mr Thomas Burke simply will not find it.”

                            All that remains is a handful of Chinese street names, such as Ming Street, Pekin Street, and Canton Street — but what was Limehouse’s chinatown really like, and why did it get swept away?

                            Chinese migration to Limehouse 

                            Chinese sailors discharged from East India Company ships settled in the docklands from as early as the 1780s.

                            By the late nineteenth century, men from Shanghai had settled around Pennyfields Lane, while a Cantonese community lived on Limehouse Causeway. 

                            Chinese sailors were often paid less and discriminated against by dock hirers, and so began to diversify their incomes by setting up hand laundry services and restaurants. 

                            Old photographs show shopfronts emblazoned with Chinese characters with horse-drawn carts idling outside or Chinese men in suits and hats standing proudly in the doorways. 

                            In oral histories collected by Yat Ming Loo, Connie’s husband Leslie doesn’t recall seeing any Chinese women as a child, since male Chinese sailors settled in London alone and married working-class English women. 

                            In the 1920s, newspapers fear-mongered about interracial marriages, crime and gambling, and described chinatown as an East End “colony.” 

                            Ironically, Chinese opium-smoking was also demonised in the press, despite Britain waging war against China in the mid-nineteenth century for suppressing the opium trade to alleviate addiction amongst its people. 

                            The number of Chinese people who settled in Limehouse was also greatly exaggerated, and in reality only totalled around 300. 

                            The real Chinatown 

                            Although the press sought to characterise Limehouse as a monolithic Chinese community in the East End, Connie remembers seeing people of all nationalities in the shops and community spaces in Limehouse.

                            She doesn’t remember feeling discriminated against by other locals, though Connie does recall having her face measured and IQ tested by a member of the British Eugenics Society who was conducting research in the area. 

                            Some of Connie’s happiest childhood memories were from her time at Chung-Hua Club, where she learned about Chinese culture and language.

                            Why did Chinatown disappear? 

                            The caricature of Limehouse’s Chinatown as a den of vice hastened its erasure. 

                            Police raids and deportations fuelled by the alarmist media coverage threatened the Chinese population of Limehouse, and slum clearance schemes to redevelop low-income areas dispersed Chinese residents in the 1930s. 

                            The Defence of the Realm Act imposed at the beginning of the First World War criminalised opium use, gave the authorities increased powers to deport Chinese people and restricted their ability to work on British ships.

                            Dwindling maritime trade during World War II further stripped Chinese sailors of opportunities for employment, and any remnants of Chinatown were destroyed during the Blitz or erased by postwar development schemes.”

                             

                            Wong Sang 1884-1930

                            The year 1918 was a troublesome one for Wong Sang, an interpreter and shipping agent for Blue Funnel Line.  The Sang family were living at 156, Chrisp Street.

                            Chrisp Street, Poplar, in 1913 via Old London Photographs:

                            Chrisp Street

                             

                            In February Wong Sang was discharged from a false accusation after defending his home from potential robbers.

                            East End News and London Shipping Chronicle – Friday 15 February 1918:

                            1918 Wong Sang

                             

                            In August of that year he was involved in an incident that left him unconscious.

                            Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 31 August 1918:

                            1918 Wong Sang 2

                             

                            Wong Sang is mentioned in an 1922 article about “Oriental London”.

                            London and China Express – Thursday 09 February 1922:

                            1922 Wong Sang

                            A photograph of the Chee Kong Tong Chinese Freemason Society mentioned in the above article, via Old London Photographs:

                            Chee Kong Tong

                             

                            Wong Sang was recommended by the London Metropolitan Police in 1928 to assist in a case in Wellingborough, Northampton.

                            Difficulty of Getting an Interpreter: Northampton Mercury – Friday 16 March 1928:

                            1928 Wong Sang1928 Wong Sang 2

                            The difficulty was that “this man speaks the Cantonese language only…the Northeners and the Southerners in China have differing languages and the interpreter seemed to speak one that was in between these two.”

                             

                            In 1917, Alice Wong Sang was a witness at her sister Harriet Stokes marriage to James William Watts in Southwark, London.  Their father James Stokes occupation on the marriage register is foreman surveyor, but on the census he was a council roadman or labourer. (I initially rejected this as the correct marriage for Harriet because of the discrepancy with the occupations. Alice Wong Sang as a witness confirmed that it was indeed the correct one.)

                            1917 Alice Wong Sang

                             

                             

                            James William Sang 1913-2000 was a clock fitter and watch assembler (on the 1939 census). He married Ivy Laura Fenton in 1963 in Sidcup, Kent. James died in Southwark in 2000.

                            Charles Ronald Sang 1920-1974  was a draughtsman (1939 census). He married Eileen Burgess in 1947 in Marylebone.  Charles and Eileen had two sons:  Keith born in 1951 and Roger born in 1952.  He died in 1974 in Hertfordshire.

                            William Norman Sang 1922-2000 was a clerk and telephone operator (1939 census).  William enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1942. He married Lily Mullins in 1949 in Bethnal Green, and they had three daughters: Marion born in 1950, Christine in 1953, and Frances in 1959.  He died in Redbridge in 2000.

                             

                            I then found another two births registered in Poplar by Alice Sang, both daughters.  Doris Winifred Sang was born in 1925, and Patricia Margaret Sang was born in 1933 ~ three years after Wong Sang’s death.  Neither of the these daughters were on the 1939 census with Alice, John Patterson and the three sons.  Margaret had presumably been evacuated because of the war to a family in Taunton, Somerset. Doris would have been fourteen and I have been unable to find her in 1939 (possibly because she died in 2017 and has not had the redaction removed  yet on the 1939 census as only deceased people are viewable).

                            Doris Winifred Sang 1925-2017 was a nursing sister. She didn’t marry, and spent a year in USA between 1954 and 1955. She stayed in London, and died at the age of ninety two in 2017.

                            Patricia Margaret Sang 1933-1998 was also a nurse. She married Patrick L Nicely in Stepney in 1957.  Patricia and Patrick had five children in London: Sharon born 1959, Donald in 1960, Malcolm was born and died in 1966, Alison was born in 1969 and David in 1971.

                             

                            I was unable to find a birth registered for Alice’s first son, James William Sang (as he appeared on the 1939 census).  I found Alice Stokes on the 1911 census as a 17 year old live in servant at a tobacconist on Pekin Street, Limehouse, living with Mr Sui Fong from Hong Kong and his wife Sarah Sui Fong from Berlin.  I looked for a birth registered for James William Fong instead of Sang, and found it ~ mothers maiden name Stokes, and his date of birth matched the 1939 census: 8th March, 1913.

                            On the 1921 census, Wong Sang is not listed as living with them but it is mentioned that Mr Wong Sang was the person returning the census.  Also living with Alice and her sons James and Charles in 1921 are two visitors:  (Florence) May Stokes, 17 years old, born in Woodstock, and Charles Stokes, aged 14, also born in Woodstock. May and Charles were Alice’s sister and brother.

                             

                            I found Sharon Nicely on social media and she kindly shared photos of Wong Sang and Alice Stokes:

                            Wong Sang

                             

                            Alice Stokes

                            #6346
                            TracyTracy
                            Participant

                              The Mormon Browning Who Went To Utah

                               

                              Isaac Browning’s (1784-1848) sister Hannah  married Francis Buckingham. There were at least three Browning Buckingham marriages in Tetbury.  Their daughter Charlotte married James Paskett, a shoemaker.  Charlotte was born in 1818 and in 1871 she and her family emigrated to Utah, USA.

                              Charlotte’s relationship to me is first cousin five times removed.

                              James and Charlotte: (photos found online)

                              James Paskett

                               

                              The house of James and Charlotte in Tetbury:

                              James Paskett 2

                               

                              The home of James and Charlotte in Utah:

                              James Paskett3

                              Obituary:

                              James Pope Paskett Dead.

                              Veteran of 87 Laid to rest. Special Correspondence Coalville, Summit Co., Oct 28—James Pope Paskett of Henefer died Oct. 24, 1903 of old age and general debility. Funeral services were held at Henefer today. Elders W.W. Cluff, Alma Elderge, Robert Jones, Oscar Wilkins and Bishop M.F. Harris were the speakers. There was a large attendance many coming from other wards in the stake. James Pope Paskett was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, on March 12, 1817; married Chalotte Buckingham in the year 1839; eight children were born to them, three sons and five daughters, all of whom are living and residing in Utah, except one in Brisbane, Australia. Father Paskett joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1847, and emigrated to Utah in 1871, and has resided in Henefer ever since. He leaves his faithful and aged wife. He was respected and esteemed by all who knew him.

                               

                              Charlotte died in Henefer, Utah, on 27th December 1910 at the age of 91.

                              James and Charlotte in later life:

                              James Paskett 4

                              #6345
                              TracyTracy
                              Participant

                                Crime and Punishment in Tetbury

                                 

                                I noticed that there were quite a number of Brownings of Tetbury in the newspaper archives involved in criminal activities while doing a routine newspaper search to supplement the information in the usual ancestry records. I expanded the tree to include cousins, and offsping of cousins, in order to work out who was who and how, if at all, these individuals related to our Browning family.

                                I was expecting to find some of our Brownings involved in the Swing Riots in Tetbury in 1830, but did not. Most of our Brownings (including cousins) were stone masons. Most of the rioters in 1830 were agricultural labourers.

                                The Browning crimes are varied, and by todays standards, not for the most part terribly serious ~ you would be unlikely to receive a sentence of hard labour for being found in an outhouse with the intent to commit an unlawful act nowadays, or for being drunk.

                                The central character in this chapter is Isaac Browning (my 4x great grandfather), who did not appear in any criminal registers, but the following individuals can be identified in the family structure through their relationship to him.

                                 

                                RICHARD LOCK BROWNING born in 1853 was Isaac’s grandson, his son George’s son. Richard was a mason. In 1879 he and Henry Browning of the same age were sentenced to one month hard labour for stealing two pigeons in Tetbury. Henry Browning was Isaac’s nephews son.
                                In 1883 Richard Browning, mason of Tetbury, was charged with obtaining food and lodging under false pretences, but was found not guilty and acquitted.
                                In 1884 Richard Browning, mason of Tetbury, was sentenced to one month hard labour for game trespass.

                                Richard had been fined a number of times in Tetbury:

                                Richard Browning

                                Richard Lock Browning was five feet eight inches tall, dark hair, grey eyes, an oval face and a dark complexion. He had two cuts on the back of his head (in February 1879) and a scar on his right eyebrow.

                                 

                                HENRY BROWNING, who was stealing pigeons with Richard Lock Browning in 1879, (Isaac’s brother Williams grandson, son of George Browning and his wife Charity) was charged with being drunk in 1882 and ordered to pay a fine of one shilling and costs of fourteen shillings, or seven days hard labour.

                                Henry was found guilty of gaming in the highway at Tetbury in 1872 and was sentenced to seven days hard labour. In 1882 Henry (who was also a mason) was charged with assault but discharged.
                                Henry was five feet five inches tall, brown hair and brown eyes, a long visage and a fresh complexion.
                                Henry emigrated with his daughter to Canada in 1913, and died in Vancouver in 1919.

                                 

                                THOMAS BUCKINGHAM 1808-1846 (Isaacs daughter Janes husband) was charged with stealing a black gelding in Tetbury in 1838. No true bill. (A “no true bill” means the jury did not find probable cause to continue a case.)

                                Thomas did however neglect to pay his taxes in 1832:

                                Thomas Buckingham

                                 

                                LEWIN BUCKINGHAM (grandson of Isaac, his daughter Jane’s son) was found guilty in 1846 stealing two fowls in Tetbury when he was sixteen years old.
                                In 1846 he was sentence to one month hard labour (or pay ten shillings fine and ten shillings costs) for loitering with the intent to trespass in search of conies.
                                A year later in 1847, he and three other young men were sentenced to four months hard labour for larceny.
                                Lewin was five feet three inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes, long visage, sallow complexion, and had a scar on his left arm.

                                 

                                JOHN BUCKINGHAM born circa 1832, a Tetbury labourer (Isaac’s grandson, Lewin’s brother) was sentenced to six weeks hard labour for larceny in 1855 for stealing a duck in Cirencester. The notes on the register mention that he had been employed by Mr LOCK, Angel Inn. (John’s grandmother was Mary Lock so this is likely a relative).

                                John Buckingham

                                 

                                The previous year in 1854 John was sentenced to one month or a one pound fine for assaulting and beating W. Wood.
                                John was five feet eight and three quarter inches tall, light brown hair and grey eyes, an oval visage and a fresh complexion. He had a scar on his left arm and inside his right knee.

                                 

                                JOSEPH PERRET was born circa 1831 and he was a Tetbury labourer. (He was Isaac’s granddaughter Charlotte Buckingham’s husband)
                                In 1855 he assaulted William Wood and was sentenced to one month or a two pound ten shilling fine. Was it the same W Wood that his wifes cousin John assaulted the year before?
                                In 1869 Joseph was sentenced to one month hard labour for feloniously receiving a cupboard known to be stolen.

                                 

                                JAMES BUCKINGAM born circa 1822 in Tetbury was a shoemaker. (Isaac’s nephew, his sister Hannah’s son)
                                In 1854 the Tetbury shoemaker was sentenced to four months hard labour for stealing 30 lbs of lead off someones house.
                                In 1856 the Tetbury shoemaker received two months hard labour or pay £2 fine and 12 s costs for being found in pursuit of game.
                                In 1868 he was sentenced to two months hard labour for stealing a gander. A unspecified previous conviction is noted.
                                1871 the Tetbury shoemaker was found in an outhouse for an unlawful purpose and received ten days hard labour. The register notes that his sister is Mrs Cook, the Green, Tetbury. (James sister Prudence married Thomas Cook)
                                James sister Charlotte married a shoemaker and moved to UTAH.
                                James was five feet eight inches tall, dark hair and blue eyes, a long visage and a florid complexion. He had a scar on his forehead and a mole on the right side of his neck and abdomen, and a scar on the right knee.

                                #6342
                                TracyTracy
                                Participant

                                  Brownings of Tetbury

                                  Tetbury 1839

                                   

                                  Isaac Browning (1784-1848) married Mary Lock (1787-1870) in Tetbury in 1806. Both of them were born in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Isaac was a stone mason. Between 1807 and 1832 they baptised fourteen children in Tetbury, and on 8 Nov 1829 Isaac and Mary baptised five daughters all on the same day.

                                  I considered that they may have been quintuplets, with only the last born surviving, which would have answered my question about the name of the house La Quinta in Broadway, the home of Eliza Browning and Thomas Stokes son Fred. However, the other four daughters were found in various records and they were not all born the same year. (So I still don’t know why the house in Broadway had such an unusual name).

                                  Their son George was born and baptised in 1827, but Louisa born 1821, Susan born 1822, Hesther born 1823 and Mary born 1826, were not baptised until 1829 along with Charlotte born in 1828. (These birth dates are guesswork based on the age on later censuses.) Perhaps George was baptised promptly because he was sickly and not expected to survive. Isaac and Mary had a son George born in 1814 who died in 1823. Presumably the five girls were healthy and could wait to be done as a job lot on the same day later.

                                  Eliza Browning (1814-1886), my great great great grandmother, had a baby six years before she married Thomas Stokes. Her name was Ellen Harding Browning, which suggests that her fathers name was Harding. On the 1841 census seven year old Ellen was living with her grandfather Isaac Browning in Tetbury. Ellen Harding Browning married William Dee in Tetbury in 1857, and they moved to Western Australia.

                                  Ellen Harding Browning Dee: (photo found on ancestry website)

                                  Ellen Harding Browning

                                  OBITUARY. MRS. ELLEN DEE.
                                  A very old and respected resident of Dongarra, in the person of Mrs. Ellen Dee, passed peacefully away on Sept. 27, at the advanced age of 74 years.

                                  The deceased had been ailing for some time, but was about and actively employed until Wednesday, Sept. 20, whenn she was heard groaning by some neighbours, who immediately entered her place and found her lying beside the fireplace. Tho deceased had been to bed over night, and had evidently been in the act of lighting thc fire, when she had a seizure. For some hours she was conscious, but had lost the power of speech, and later on became unconscious, in which state she remained until her death.

                                  The deceased was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1833, was married to William Dee in Tetbury Church 23 years later. Within a month she left England with her husband for Western Australian in the ship City oí Bristol. She resided in Fremantle for six months, then in Greenough for a short time, and afterwards (for 42 years) in Dongarra. She was, therefore, a colonist of about 51 years. She had a family of four girls and three boys, and five of her children survive her, also 35 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. She was very highly respected, and her sudden collapse came as a great shock to many.

                                   

                                  Eliza married Thomas Stokes (1816-1885) in September 1840 in Hempstead, Gloucestershire. On the 1841 census, Eliza and her mother Mary Browning (nee Lock) were staying with Thomas Lock and family in Cirencester. Strangely, Thomas Stokes has not been found thus far on the 1841 census, and Thomas and Eliza’s first child William James Stokes birth was registered in Witham, in Essex, on the 6th of September 1841.

                                  I don’t know why William James was born in Witham, or where Thomas was at the time of the census in 1841. One possibility is that as Thomas Stokes did a considerable amount of work with circus waggons, circus shooting galleries and so on as a journeyman carpenter initially and then later wheelwright, perhaps he was working with a traveling circus at the time.

                                  But back to the Brownings ~ more on William James Stokes to follow.

                                  One of Isaac and Mary’s fourteen children died in infancy:  Ann was baptised and died in 1811. Two of their children died at nine years old: the first George, and Mary who died in 1835.  Matilda was 21 years old when she died in 1844.

                                  Jane Browning (1808-)  married Thomas Buckingham in 1830 in Tetbury. In August 1838 Thomas was charged with feloniously stealing a black gelding.

                                  Susan Browning (1822-1879) married William Cleaver in November 1844 in Tetbury. Oddly thereafter they use the name Bowman on the census. On the 1851 census Mary Browning (Susan’s mother), widow, has grandson George Bowman born in 1844 living with her. The confusion with the Bowman and Cleaver names was clarified upon finding the criminal registers:

                                  30 January 1834. Offender: William Cleaver alias Bowman, Richard Bunting alias Barnfield and Jeremiah Cox, labourers of Tetbury. Crime: Stealing part of a dead fence from a rick barton in Tetbury, the property of Robert Tanner, farmer.

                                   

                                  And again in 1836:

                                  29 March 1836 Bowman, William alias Cleaver, of Tetbury, labourer age 18; 5’2.5” tall, brown hair, grey eyes, round visage with fresh complexion; several moles on left cheek, mole on right breast. Charged on the oath of Ann Washbourn & others that on the morning of the 31 March at Tetbury feloniously stolen a lead spout affixed to the dwelling of the said Ann Washbourn, her property. Found guilty 31 March 1836; Sentenced to 6 months.

                                  On the 1851 census Susan Bowman was a servant living in at a large drapery shop in Cheltenham. She was listed as 29 years old, married and born in Tetbury, so although it was unusual for a married woman not to be living with her husband, (or her son for that matter, who was living with his grandmother Mary Browning), perhaps her husband William Bowman alias Cleaver was in trouble again. By 1861 they are both living together in Tetbury: William was a plasterer, and they had three year old Isaac and Thomas, one year old. In 1871 William was still a plasterer in Tetbury, living with wife Susan, and sons Isaac and Thomas. Interestingly, a William Cleaver is living next door but one!

                                  Susan was 56 when she died in Tetbury in 1879.

                                   

                                  Three of the Browning daughters went to London.

                                  Louisa Browning (1821-1873) married Robert Claxton, coachman, in 1848 in Bryanston Square, Westminster, London. Ester Browning was a witness.

                                  Ester Browning (1823-1893)(or Hester) married Charles Hudson Sealey, cabinet maker, in Bethnal Green, London, in 1854. Charles was born in Tetbury. Charlotte Browning was a witness.

                                  Charlotte Browning (1828-1867?) was admitted to St Marylebone workhouse in London for “parturition”, or childbirth, in 1860. She was 33 years old.  A birth was registered for a Charlotte Browning, no mothers maiden name listed, in 1860 in Marylebone. A death was registered in Camden, buried in Marylebone, for a Charlotte Browning in 1867 but no age was recorded.  As the age and parents were usually recorded for a childs death, I assume this was Charlotte the mother.

                                  I found Charlotte on the 1851 census by chance while researching her mother Mary Lock’s siblings.  Hesther Lock married Lewin Chandler, and they were living in Stepney, London.  Charlotte is listed as a neice. Although Browning is mistranscribed as Broomey, the original page says Browning. Another mistranscription on this record is Hesthers birthplace which is transcribed as Yorkshire. The original image shows Gloucestershire.

                                   

                                  Isaac and Mary’s first son was John Browning (1807-1860). John married Hannah Coates in 1834. John’s brother Charles Browning (1819-1853) married Eliza Coates in 1842. Perhaps they were sisters. On the 1861 census Hannah Browning, John’s wife, was a visitor in the Harding household in a village called Coates near Tetbury. Thomas Harding born in 1801 was the head of the household. Perhaps he was the father of Ellen Harding Browning.

                                  George Browning (1828-1870) married Louisa Gainey in Tetbury, and died in Tetbury at the age of 42.  Their son Richard Lock Browning, a 32 year old mason, was sentenced to one month hard labour for game tresspass in Tetbury in 1884.

                                  Isaac Browning (1832-1857) was the youngest son of Isaac and Mary. He was just 25 years old when he died in Tetbury.

                                  #6340
                                  TracyTracy
                                  Participant

                                    Wheelwrights of Broadway

                                    Thomas Stokes 1816-1885

                                    Frederick Stokes 1845-1917

                                    Stokes Wheelwrights

                                    Stokes Wheelwrights. Fred on left of wheel, Thomas his father on right.

                                    Thomas Stokes

                                    Thomas Stokes was born in Bicester, Oxfordshire in 1816. He married Eliza Browning (born in 1814 in Tetbury, Gloucestershire) in Gloucester in 1840 Q3. Their first son William was baptised in Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, on 3 Oct 1841. This seems a little unusual, and I can’t find Thomas and Eliza on the 1841 census. However both the 1851 and 1861 census state that William was indeed born in Essex.

                                    In 1851 Thomas and Eliza were living in Bledington, Gloucestershire, and Thomas was a journeyman carpenter.

                                    Note that a journeyman does not mean someone who moved around a lot. A journeyman was a tradesman who had served his trade apprenticeship and mastered his craft, not bound to serve a master, but originally hired by the day. The name derives from the French for day – jour.

                                    Also on the 1851 census: their daughter Susan, born in Churchill Oxfordshire in 1844; son Frederick born in Bledington Gloucestershire in 1846; daughter Louisa born in Foxcote Oxfordshire in 1849; and 2 month old daughter Harriet born in Bledington in 1851.

                                    On the 1861 census Thomas and Eliza were living in Evesham, Worcestershire, and daughter Susan was no longer living at home, but William, Fred, Louisa and Harriet were, as well as daughter Emily born in Churchill Oxfordshire in 1856. Thomas was a wheelwright.

                                    On the 1871 census Thomas and Eliza were still living in Evesham, and Thomas was a wheelwright employing three apprentices. Son Fred, also a wheelwright, and his wife Ann Rebecca live with them.

                                    Mr Stokes, wheelwright, was found guilty of reprehensible conduct in concealing the fact that small-pox existed in his house, according to a mention in The Oxfordshire Weekly News on Wednesday 19 February 1873:

                                    Stokes smallpox 1873

                                     

                                     

                                    From Paul Weaver’s ancestry website:

                                    “It was Thomas Stokes who built the first “Famous Vale of Evesham Light Gardening Dray for a Half-Legged Horse to Trot” (the quotation is from his account book), the forerunner of many that became so familiar a sight in the towns and villages from the 1860s onwards. He built many more for the use of the Vale gardeners.

                                    Thomas also had long-standing business dealings with the people of the circus and fairgrounds, and had a contract to effect necessary repairs and renewals to their waggons whenever they visited the district. He built living waggons for many of the show people’s families as well as shooting galleries and other equipment peculiar to the trade of his wandering customers, and among the names figuring in his books are some still familiar today, such as Wilsons and Chipperfields.

                                    He is also credited with inventing the wooden “Mushroom” which was used by housewives for many years to darn socks. He built and repaired all kinds of vehicles for the gentry as well as for the circus and fairground travellers.

                                    Later he lived with his wife at Merstow Green, Evesham, in a house adjoining the Almonry.”

                                     

                                    An excerpt from the book Evesham Inns and Signs by T.J.S. Baylis:

                                    Thomas Stokes dray

                                    The Old Red Horse, Evesham:

                                    Old Red Horse

                                     

                                    Thomas died in 1885 aged 68 of paralysis, bronchitis and debility.  His wife Eliza a year later in 1886.

                                     

                                    Frederick Stokes

                                    In Worcester in 1870 Fred married Ann Rebecca Day, who was born in Evesham in 1845.

                                    Ann Rebecca Day:

                                    Rebecca Day

                                     

                                    In 1871 Fred was still living with his parents in Evesham, with his wife Ann Rebecca as well as their three month old daughter Annie Elizabeth. Fred and Ann (referred to as Rebecca) moved to La Quinta on Main Street, Broadway.

                                     

                                    Rebecca Stokes in the doorway of La Quinta on Main Street Broadway, with her grandchildren Ralph and Dolly Edwards:

                                    La Quinta

                                     

                                    Fred was a wheelwright employing one man on the 1881 census. In 1891 they were still in Broadway, Fred’s occupation was wheelwright and coach painter, as well as his fifteen year old son Frederick.

                                    In the Evesham Journal on Saturday 10 December 1892 it was reported that  “Two cases of scarlet fever, the children of Mr. Stokes, wheelwright, Broadway, were certified by Mr. C. W. Morris to be isolated.”

                                     

                                    Still in Broadway in 1901 and Fred’s son Albert was also a wheelwright.  By 1911 Fred and Rebecca had only one son living at home in Broadway, Reginald, who was a coach painter. Fred was still a wheelwright aged 65.

                                    Fred’s signature on the 1911 census:

                                    1911 La Quinta

                                    Rebecca died in 1912 and Fred in 1917.

                                    Fred Stokes:

                                    Fred Stokes

                                     

                                    In the book Evesham to Bredon From Old Photographs By Fred Archer:

                                    Stokes 1Stokes 2

                                    #6338
                                    TracyTracy
                                    Participant

                                      Albert Parker Edwards

                                      1876-1930

                                      Albert Parker Edwards

                                       

                                      Albert Parker Edwards, my great grandfather, was born in Aston, Warwickshire in 1876.  On the 1881 census he was living with his parents Enoch and Amelia in Bournebrook, Northfield, Worcestershire.  Enoch was a button tool maker at the time of the census.

                                      In 1890 Albert was indentured in an apprenticeship as a pawnbroker in Tipton, Staffordshire.

                                      1890 indenture

                                       

                                      On the 1891 census Albert was a lodger in Tipton at the home of Phoebe Levy, pawnbroker, and Alberts occupation was an apprentice.

                                      Albert married Annie Elizabeth Stokes in 1898 in Evesham, and their first son, my grandfather Albert Garnet Edwards (1898-1950), was born six months later in Crabbs Cross.  On the 1901 census, Annie was in hospital as a patient and Albert was living at Crabbs Cross with a boarder, his brother Garnet Edwards.  Their two year old son Albert Garnet was staying with his uncle Ralph, Albert Parkers brother, also in Crabbs Cross.

                                      Albert and Annie kept the Cricketers Arms hotel on Beoley Road in Redditch until around 1920. They had a further four children while living there: Doris May Edwards (1902-1974),  Ralph Clifford Edwards (1903-1988),  Ena Flora Edwards (1908-1983) and Osmond Edwards (1910-2000).

                                       

                                      In 1906 Albert was assaulted during an incident in the Cricketers Arms.

                                      Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger – Saturday 18 August 1906:

                                      1906 incident1906 assault

                                       

                                      In 1910 a gold medal was given to Albert Parker Edwards by Mr. Banks, a policeman, in Redditch for saving the life of his two children from drowning in a brook on the Proctor farm which adjoined The Cricketers Arms.  The story my father heard was that policeman Banks could not persuade the town of Redditch to come up with an award for Albert Parker Edwards so policeman Banks did it himself.  William Banks, police constable, was living on Beoley Road on the 1911 census. His son Thomas was aged 5 and his daughter Frances was 8.  It seems that when the father retired from the police he moved to Worcester. Thomas went into the hotel business and in 1939 was the manager of the Abbey hotel in Kenilworth. Frances married Edward Pardoe and was living along Redditch Road, Alvechurch in 1939.

                                      My grandmother Peggy had the gold medal put on a gold chain for me in the 1970s.  When I left England in the 1980s, I gave it back to her for safekeeping. When she died, the medal on the chain ended up in my fathers possession, who claims to have no knowledge that it was once given to me!

                                      The medal:

                                      1910 medal

                                      Albert Parker Edwards wearing the medal:

                                      APE wearing medal

                                       

                                      In 1921 Albert was at the The Royal Exchange hotel in Droitwich:

                                      Royal Exchange

                                       

                                      Between 1922 and 1927 Albert kept the Bear Hotel in Evesham:

                                      APE BearThe Bear

                                       

                                      Then Albert and Annie moved to the Red Lion at Astwood Bank:

                                      Red Lion

                                       

                                      Albert in the garden behind the Red Lion:

                                      APE Red Lion

                                       

                                      They stayed at the Red Lion until Albert Parker Edwards died on the 11th of February, 1930 aged 53.

                                      APE probate

                                      #6336
                                      TracyTracy
                                      Participant

                                        The Hamstall Ridware Connection

                                        Stubbs and Woods

                                        Hamstall RidwareHamstall Ridware

                                         

                                         

                                        Charles Tomlinson‘s (1847-1907) wife Emma Grattidge (1853-1911) was born in Wolverhampton, the daughter and youngest child of William Grattidge (1820-1887) born in Foston, Derbyshire, and Mary Stubbs (1819-1880), born in Burton on Trent, daughter of Solomon Stubbs.

                                        Solomon Stubbs (1781-1857) was born in Hamstall Ridware in 1781, the son of Samuel and Rebecca.  Samuel Stubbs (1743-) and Rebecca Wood (1754-) married in 1769 in Darlaston.  Samuel and Rebecca had six other children, all born in Darlaston. Sadly four of them died in infancy. Son John was born in 1779 in Darlaston and died two years later in Hamstall Ridware in 1781, the same year that Solomon was born there.

                                        But why did they move to Hamstall Ridware?

                                        Samuel Stubbs was born in 1743 in Curdworth, Warwickshire (near to Birmingham).  I had made a mistake on the tree (along with all of the public trees on the Ancestry website) and had Rebecca Wood born in Cheddleton, Staffordshire.  Rebecca Wood from Cheddleton was also born in 1843, the right age for the marriage.  The Rebecca Wood born in Darlaston in 1754 seemed too young, at just fifteen years old at the time of the marriage.  I couldn’t find any explanation for why a woman from Cheddleton would marry in Darlaston and then move to Hamstall Ridware.  People didn’t usually move around much other than intermarriage with neighbouring villages, especially women.  I had a closer look at the Darlaston Rebecca, and did a search on her father William Wood.  I found his 1784 will online in which he mentions his daughter Rebecca, wife of Samuel Stubbs.  Clearly the right Rebecca Wood was the one born in Darlaston, which made much more sense.

                                        An excerpt from William Wood’s 1784 will mentioning daughter Rebecca married to Samuel Stubbs:

                                        Wm Wood will

                                         

                                        But why did they move to Hamstall Ridware circa 1780?

                                        I had not intially noticed that Solomon Stubbs married again the year after his wife Phillis Lomas (1787-1844) died.  Solomon married Charlotte Bell in 1845 in Burton on Trent and on the marriage register, Solomon’s father Samuel Stubbs occupation was mentioned: Samuel was a buckle maker.

                                        Marriage of Solomon Stubbs and Charlotte Bell, father Samuel Stubbs buckle maker:

                                        Samuel Stubbs buckle maker

                                         

                                        A rudimentary search on buckle making in the late 1700s provided a possible answer as to why Samuel and Rebecca left Darlaston in 1781.  Shoe buckles had gone out of fashion, and by 1781 there were half as many buckle makers in Wolverhampton as there had been previously.

                                        “Where there were 127 buckle makers at work in Wolverhampton, 68 in Bilston and 58 in Birmingham in 1770, their numbers had halved in 1781.”

                                        via “historywebsite”(museum/metalware/steel)

                                        Steel buckles had been the height of fashion, and the trade became enormous in Wolverhampton.  Wolverhampton was a steel working town, renowned for its steel jewellery which was probably of many types.  The trade directories show great numbers of “buckle makers”.  Steel buckles were predominantly made in Wolverhampton: “from the late 1760s cut steel comes to the fore, from the thriving industry of the Wolverhampton area”. Bilston was also a great centre of buckle making, and other areas included Walsall. (It should be noted that Darlaston, Walsall, Bilston and Wolverhampton are all part of the same area)

                                        In 1860, writing in defence of the Wolverhampton Art School, George Wallis talks about the cut steel industry in Wolverhampton.  Referring to “the fine steel workers of the 17th and 18th centuries” he says: “Let them remember that 100 years ago [sc. c. 1760] a large trade existed with France and Spain in the fine steel goods of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, of which the latter were always allowed to be the best both in taste and workmanship.  … A century ago French and Spanish merchants had their houses and agencies at Birmingham for the purchase of the steel goods of Wolverhampton…..The Great Revolution in France put an end to the demand for fine steel goods for a time and hostile tariffs finished what revolution began”.

                                         

                                        The next search on buckle makers, Wolverhampton and Hamstall Ridware revealed an unexpected connecting link.

                                        In Riotous Assemblies: Popular Protest in Hanoverian England by Adrian Randall:

                                        Riotous AssemblesHamstall Ridware

                                        In Walsall in 1750 on “Restoration Day” a crowd numbering 300 assembled, mostly buckle makers,  singing  Jacobite songs and other rebellious and riotous acts.  The government was particularly worried about a curious meeting known as the “Jubilee” in Hamstall Ridware, which may have been part of a conspiracy for a Jacobite uprising.

                                         

                                        But this was thirty years before Samuel and Rebecca moved to Hamstall Ridware and does not help to explain why they moved there around 1780, although it does suggest connecting links.

                                        Rebecca’s father, William Wood, was a brickmaker.  This was stated at the beginning of his will.  On closer inspection of the will, he was a brickmaker who owned four acres of brick kilns, as well as dwelling houses, shops, barns, stables, a brewhouse, a malthouse, cattle and land.

                                        A page from the 1784 will of William Wood:

                                        will Wm Wood

                                         

                                        The 1784 will of William Wood of Darlaston:

                                        I William Wood the elder of Darlaston in the county of Stafford, brickmaker, being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding (praised be to god for the same) do make publish and declare my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) {after debts and funeral expense paid etc} I give to my loving wife Mary the use usage wear interest and enjoyment of all my goods chattels cattle stock in trade ~ money securities for money personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever to hold unto her my said wife for and during the term of her natural life providing she so long continues my widow and unmarried and from or after her decease or intermarriage with any future husband which shall first happen.

                                        Then I give all the said goods chattels cattle stock in trade money securites for money personal estate and effects unto my son Abraham Wood absolutely and forever. Also I give devise and bequeath unto my said wife Mary all that my messuages tenement or dwelling house together with the malthouse brewhouse barn stableyard garden and premises to the same belonging situate and being at Darlaston aforesaid and now in my own possession. Also all that messuage tenement or dwelling house together with the shop garden and premises with the appurtenances to the same ~ belonging situate in Darlaston aforesaid and now in the several holdings or occupation of George Knowles and Edward Knowles to hold the aforesaid premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances to my said wife Mary for and during the term of her natural life provided she so long continues my widow and unmarried. And from or after her decease or intermarriage with a future husband which shall first happen. Then I give and devise the aforesaid premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances unto my said son Abraham Wood his heirs and assigns forever.

                                        Also I give unto my said wife all that piece or parcel of land or ground inclosed and taken out of Heath Field in the parish of Darlaston aforesaid containing four acres or thereabouts (be the same more or less) upon which my brick kilns erected and now in my own possession. To hold unto my said wife Mary until my said son Abraham attains his age of twenty one years if she so long continues my widow and unmarried as aforesaid and from and immediately after my said son Abraham attaining his age of twenty one years or my said wife marrying again as aforesaid which shall first happen then I give the said piece or parcel of land or ground and premises unto my said son Abraham his heirs and assigns forever.

                                        And I do hereby charge all the aforesaid premises with the payment of the sum of twenty pounds a piece to each of my daughters namely Elizabeth the wife of Ambrose Dudall and Rebecca the wife of Samuel Stubbs which said sum of twenty pounds each I devise may be paid to them by my said son Abraham when and so soon as he attains his age of twenty one years provided always and my mind and will is that if my said son Abraham should happen to depart this life without leaving issue of his body lawfully begotten before he attains his age of twenty one years then I give and devise all the aforesaid premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances so given to my said son Abraham as aforesaid unto my said son William Wood and my said daughter Elizabeth Dudall and Rebecca Stubbs their heirs and assigns forever equally divided among them share and share alike as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. And lastly I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said wife Mary and my said son Abraham executrix and executor of this my will.

                                         

                                         

                                        The marriage of William Wood (1725-1784) and Mary Clews (1715-1798) in 1749 was in Hamstall Ridware.

                                        Wm Wood Mary Clews

                                         

                                        Mary was eleven years Williams senior, and it appears that they both came from Hamstall Ridware and moved to Darlaston after they married. Clearly Rebecca had extended family there (notwithstanding any possible connecting links between the Stubbs buckle makers of Darlaston and the Hamstall Ridware Jacobites thirty years prior).  When the buckle trade collapsed in Darlaston, they likely moved to find employment elsewhere, perhaps with the help of Rebecca’s family.

                                        I have not yet been able to find deaths recorded anywhere for either Samuel or Rebecca (there are a couple of deaths recorded for a Samuel Stubbs, one in 1809 in Wolverhampton, and one in 1810 in Birmingham but impossible to say which, if either, is the right one with the limited information, and difficult to know if they stayed in the Hamstall Ridware area or perhaps moved elsewhere)~ or find a reason for their son Solomon to be in Burton upon Trent, an evidently prosperous man with several properties including an earthenware business, as well as a land carrier business.

                                        #6334
                                        TracyTracy
                                        Participant

                                          The House on Penn Common

                                          Toi Fang and the Duke of Sutherland

                                           

                                          Tomlinsons

                                           

                                           

                                          Penn Common

                                          Grassholme

                                           

                                          Charles Tomlinson (1873-1929) my great grandfather, was born in Wolverhampton in 1873. His father Charles Tomlinson (1847-1907) was a licensed victualler or publican, or alternatively a vet/castrator. He married Emma Grattidge (1853-1911) in 1872. On the 1881 census they were living at The Wheel in Wolverhampton.

                                          Charles married Nellie Fisher (1877-1956) in Wolverhampton in 1896. In 1901 they were living next to the post office in Upper Penn, with children (Charles) Sidney Tomlinson (1896-1955), and Hilda Tomlinson (1898-1977) . Charles was a vet/castrator working on his own account.

                                          In 1911 their address was 4, Wakely Hill, Penn, and living with them were their children Hilda, Frank Tomlinson (1901-1975), (Dorothy) Phyllis Tomlinson (1905-1982), Nellie Tomlinson (1906-1978) and May Tomlinson (1910-1983). Charles was a castrator working on his own account.

                                          Charles and Nellie had a further four children: Charles Fisher Tomlinson (1911-1977), Margaret Tomlinson (1913-1989) (my grandmother Peggy), Major Tomlinson (1916-1984) and Norah Mary Tomlinson (1919-2010).

                                          My father told me that my grandmother had fallen down the well at the house on Penn Common in 1915 when she was two years old, and sent me a photo of her standing next to the well when she revisted the house at a much later date.

                                          Peggy next to the well on Penn Common:

                                          Peggy well Penn

                                           

                                          My grandmother Peggy told me that her father had had a racehorse called Toi Fang. She remembered the racing colours were sky blue and orange, and had a set of racing silks made which she sent to my father.
                                          Through a DNA match, I met Ian Tomlinson. Ian is the son of my fathers favourite cousin Roger, Frank’s son. Ian found some racing silks and sent a photo to my father (they are now in contact with each other as a result of my DNA match with Ian), wondering what they were.

                                          Toi Fang

                                           

                                          When Ian sent a photo of these racing silks, I had a look in the newspaper archives. In 1920 there are a number of mentions in the racing news of Mr C Tomlinson’s horse TOI FANG. I have not found any mention of Toi Fang in the newspapers in the following years.

                                          The Scotsman – Monday 12 July 1920:

                                          Toi Fang

                                           

                                           

                                          The other story that Ian Tomlinson recalled was about the house on Penn Common. Ian said he’d heard that the local titled person took Charles Tomlinson to court over building the house but that Tomlinson won the case because it was built on common land and was the first case of it’s kind.

                                          Penn Common

                                           

                                          Penn Common Right of Way Case:
                                          Staffordshire Advertiser March 9, 1912

                                          In the chancery division, on Tuesday, before Mr Justice Joyce, it was announced that a settlement had been arrived at of the Penn Common Right of Way case, the hearing of which occupied several days last month. The action was brought by the Duke of Sutherland (as Lord of the Manor of Penn) and Mr Harry Sydney Pitt (on behalf of himself and other freeholders of the manor having a right to pasturage on Penn Common) to restrain Mr James Lakin, Carlton House, Penn; Mr Charles Tomlinson, Mayfield Villa, Wakely Hill, Penn; and Mr Joseph Harold Simpkin, Dudley Road, Wolverhampton, from drawing building materials across the common, or otherwise causing injury to the soil.

                                          The real point in dispute was whether there was a public highway for all purposes running by the side of the defendants land from the Turf Tavern past the golf club to the Barley Mow.
                                          Mr Hughes, KC for the plaintiffs, now stated that the parties had been in consultation, and had come to terms, the substance of which was that the defendants admitted that there was no public right of way, and that they were granted a private way. This, he thought, would involve the granting of some deed or deeds to express the rights of the parties, and he suggested that the documents should be be settled by some counsel to be mutually agreed upon.

                                          His lordship observed that the question of coal was probably the important point. Mr Younger said Mr Tomlinson was a freeholder, and the plaintiffs could not mine under him. Mr Hughes: The coal actually under his house is his, and, of course, subsidence might be produced by taking away coal some distance away. I think some document is required to determine his actual rights.
                                          Mr Younger said he wanted to avoid anything that would increase the costs, but, after further discussion, it was agreed that Mr John Dixon (an expert on mineral rights), or failing him, another counsel satisfactory to both parties, should be invited to settle the terms scheduled in the agreement, in order to prevent any further dispute.

                                           

                                          Penn Common case

                                           

                                          The name of the house is Grassholme.  The address of Mayfield Villas is the house they were living in while building Grassholme, which I assume they had not yet moved in to at the time of the newspaper article in March 1912.

                                           

                                           

                                          What my grandmother didn’t tell anyone was how her father died in 1929:

                                           

                                          1929 Charles Tomlinson

                                           

                                           

                                          On the 1921 census, Charles, Nellie and eight of their children were living at 269 Coleman Street, Wolverhampton.

                                          1921 census Tomlinson

                                           

                                           

                                          They were living on Coleman Street in 1915 when Charles was fined for staying open late.

                                          Staffordshire Advertiser – Saturday 13 February 1915:

                                           

                                          1915 butcher fined

                                           

                                          What is not yet clear is why they moved from the house on Penn Common sometime between 1912 and 1915. And why did he have a racehorse in 1920?

                                          #6333
                                          TracyTracy
                                          Participant

                                            The Grattidge Family

                                             

                                            The first Grattidge to appear in our tree was Emma Grattidge (1853-1911) who married Charles Tomlinson (1847-1907) in 1872.

                                            Charles Tomlinson (1873-1929) was their son and he married my great grandmother Nellie Fisher. Their daughter Margaret (later Peggy Edwards) was my grandmother on my fathers side.

                                            Emma Grattidge was born in Wolverhampton, the daughter and youngest child of William Grattidge (1820-1887) born in Foston, Derbyshire, and Mary Stubbs, born in Burton on Trent, daughter of Solomon Stubbs, a land carrier. William and Mary married at St Modwens church, Burton on Trent, in 1839. It’s unclear why they moved to Wolverhampton. On the 1841 census William was employed as an agent, and their first son William was nine months old. Thereafter, William was a licensed victuallar or innkeeper.

                                            William Grattidge was born in Foston, Derbyshire in 1820. His parents were Thomas Grattidge, farmer (1779-1843) and Ann Gerrard (1789-1822) from Ellastone. Thomas and Ann married in 1813 in Ellastone. They had five children before Ann died at the age of 25:

                                            Bessy was born in 1815, Thomas in 1818, William in 1820, and Daniel Augustus and Frederick were twins born in 1822. They were all born in Foston. (records say Foston, Foston and Scropton, or Scropton)

                                            On the 1841 census Thomas had nine people additional to family living at the farm in Foston, presumably agricultural labourers and help.

                                            After Ann died, Thomas had three children with Kezia Gibbs (30 years his junior) before marrying her in 1836, then had a further four with her before dying in 1843. Then Kezia married Thomas’s nephew Frederick Augustus Grattidge (born in 1816 in Stafford) in London in 1847 and had two more!

                                             

                                            The siblings of William Grattidge (my 3x great grandfather):

                                             

                                            Frederick Grattidge (1822-1872) was a schoolmaster and never married. He died at the age of 49 in Tamworth at his twin brother Daniels address.

                                            Daniel Augustus Grattidge (1822-1903) was a grocer at Gungate in Tamworth.

                                            Thomas Grattidge (1818-1871) married in Derby, and then emigrated to Illinois, USA.

                                            Bessy Grattidge  (1815-1840) married John Buxton, farmer, in Ellastone in January 1838. They had three children before Bessy died in December 1840 at the age of 25: Henry in 1838, John in 1839, and Bessy Buxton in 1840. Bessy was baptised in January 1841. Presumably the birth of Bessy caused the death of Bessy the mother.

                                            Bessy Buxton’s gravestone:

                                            “Sacred to the memory of Bessy Buxton, the affectionate wife of John Buxton of Stanton She departed this life December 20th 1840, aged 25 years. “Husband, Farewell my life is Past, I loved you while life did last. Think on my children for my sake, And ever of them with I take.”

                                            20 Dec 1840, Ellastone, Staffordshire

                                            Bessy Buxton

                                             

                                            In the 1843 will of Thomas Grattidge, farmer of Foston, he leaves fifth shares of his estate, including freehold real estate at Findern,  to his wife Kezia, and sons William, Daniel, Frederick and Thomas. He mentions that the children of his late daughter Bessy, wife of John Buxton, will be taken care of by their father.  He leaves the farm to Keziah in confidence that she will maintain, support and educate his children with her.

                                            An excerpt from the will:

                                            I give and bequeath unto my dear wife Keziah Grattidge all my household goods and furniture, wearing apparel and plate and plated articles, linen, books, china, glass, and other household effects whatsoever, and also all my implements of husbandry, horses, cattle, hay, corn, crops and live and dead stock whatsoever, and also all the ready money that may be about my person or in my dwelling house at the time of my decease, …I also give my said wife the tenant right and possession of the farm in my occupation….

                                            A page from the 1843 will of Thomas Grattidge:

                                            1843 Thomas Grattidge

                                             

                                            William Grattidges half siblings (the offspring of Thomas Grattidge and Kezia Gibbs):

                                             

                                            Albert Grattidge (1842-1914) was a railway engine driver in Derby. In 1884 he was driving the train when an unfortunate accident occured outside Ambergate. Three children were blackberrying and crossed the rails in front of the train, and one little girl died.

                                            Albert Grattidge:

                                            Albert Grattidge

                                             

                                            George Grattidge (1826-1876) was baptised Gibbs as this was before Thomas married Kezia. He was a police inspector in Derby.

                                            George Grattidge:

                                            George Grattidge

                                             

                                            Edwin Grattidge (1837-1852) died at just 15 years old.

                                            Ann Grattidge (1835-) married Charles Fletcher, stone mason, and lived in Derby.

                                            Louisa Victoria Grattidge (1840-1869) was sadly another Grattidge woman who died young. Louisa married Emmanuel Brunt Cheesborough in 1860 in Derby. In 1861 Louisa and Emmanuel were living with her mother Kezia in Derby, with their two children Frederick and Ann Louisa. Emmanuel’s occupation was sawyer. (Kezia Gibbs second husband Frederick Augustus Grattidge was a timber merchant in Derby)

                                            At the time of her death in 1869, Emmanuel was the landlord of the White Hart public house at Bridgegate in Derby.

                                            The Derby Mercury of 17th November 1869:

                                            “On Wednesday morning Mr Coroner Vallack held an inquest in the Grand
                                            Jury-room, Town-hall, on the body of Louisa Victoria Cheeseborough, aged
                                            33, the wife of the landlord of the White Hart, Bridge-gate, who committed
                                            suicide by poisoning at an early hour on Sunday morning. The following
                                            evidence was taken:

                                            Mr Frederick Borough, surgeon, practising in Derby, deposed that he was
                                            called in to see the deceased about four o’clock on Sunday morning last. He
                                            accordingly examined the deceased and found the body quite warm, but dead.
                                            He afterwards made enquiries of the husband, who said that he was afraid
                                            that his wife had taken poison, also giving him at the same time the
                                            remains of some blue material in a cup. The aunt of the deceased’s husband
                                            told him that she had seen Mrs Cheeseborough put down a cup in the
                                            club-room, as though she had just taken it from her mouth. The witness took
                                            the liquid home with him, and informed them that an inquest would
                                            necessarily have to be held on Monday. He had made a post mortem
                                            examination of the body, and found that in the stomach there was a great
                                            deal of congestion. There were remains of food in the stomach and, having
                                            put the contents into a bottle, he took the stomach away. He also examined
                                            the heart and found it very pale and flabby. All the other organs were
                                            comparatively healthy; the liver was friable.

                                            Hannah Stone, aunt of the deceased’s husband, said she acted as a servant
                                            in the house. On Saturday evening, while they were going to bed and whilst
                                            witness was undressing, the deceased came into the room, went up to the
                                            bedside, awoke her daughter, and whispered to her. but what she said the
                                            witness did not know. The child jumped out of bed, but the deceased closed
                                            the door and went away. The child followed her mother, and she also
                                            followed them to the deceased’s bed-room, but the door being closed, they
                                            then went to the club-room door and opening it they saw the deceased
                                            standing with a candle in one hand. The daughter stayed with her in the
                                            room whilst the witness went downstairs to fetch a candle for herself, and
                                            as she was returning up again she saw the deceased put a teacup on the
                                            table. The little girl began to scream, saying “Oh aunt, my mother is
                                            going, but don’t let her go”. The deceased then walked into her bed-room,
                                            and they went and stood at the door whilst the deceased undressed herself.
                                            The daughter and the witness then returned to their bed-room. Presently
                                            they went to see if the deceased was in bed, but she was sitting on the
                                            floor her arms on the bedside. Her husband was sitting in a chair fast
                                            asleep. The witness pulled her on the bed as well as she could.
                                            Ann Louisa Cheesborough, a little girl, said that the deceased was her
                                            mother. On Saturday evening last, about twenty minutes before eleven
                                            o’clock, she went to bed, leaving her mother and aunt downstairs. Her aunt
                                            came to bed as usual. By and bye, her mother came into her room – before
                                            the aunt had retired to rest – and awoke her. She told the witness, in a
                                            low voice, ‘that she should have all that she had got, adding that she
                                            should also leave her her watch, as she was going to die’. She did not tell
                                            her aunt what her mother had said, but followed her directly into the
                                            club-room, where she saw her drink something from a cup, which she
                                            afterwards placed on the table. Her mother then went into her own room and
                                            shut the door. She screamed and called her father, who was downstairs. He
                                            came up and went into her room. The witness then went to bed and fell
                                            asleep. She did not hear any noise or quarrelling in the house after going
                                            to bed.

                                            Police-constable Webster was on duty in Bridge-gate on Saturday evening
                                            last, about twenty minutes to one o’clock. He knew the White Hart
                                            public-house in Bridge-gate, and as he was approaching that place, he heard
                                            a woman scream as though at the back side of the house. The witness went to
                                            the door and heard the deceased keep saying ‘Will you be quiet and go to
                                            bed’. The reply was most disgusting, and the language which the
                                            police-constable said was uttered by the husband of the deceased, was
                                            immoral in the extreme. He heard the poor woman keep pressing her husband
                                            to go to bed quietly, and eventually he saw him through the keyhole of the
                                            door pass and go upstairs. his wife having gone up a minute or so before.
                                            Inspector Fearn deposed that on Sunday morning last, after he had heard of
                                            the deceased’s death from supposed poisoning, he went to Cheeseborough’s
                                            public house, and found in the club-room two nearly empty packets of
                                            Battie’s Lincoln Vermin Killer – each labelled poison.

                                            Several of the Jury here intimated that they had seen some marks on the
                                            deceased’s neck, as of blows, and expressing a desire that the surgeon
                                            should return, and re-examine the body. This was accordingly done, after
                                            which the following evidence was taken:

                                            Mr Borough said that he had examined the body of the deceased and observed
                                            a mark on the left side of the neck, which he considered had come on since
                                            death. He thought it was the commencement of decomposition.
                                            This was the evidence, after which the jury returned a verdict “that the
                                            deceased took poison whilst of unsound mind” and requested the Coroner to
                                            censure the deceased’s husband.

                                            The Coroner told Cheeseborough that he was a disgusting brute and that the
                                            jury only regretted that the law could not reach his brutal conduct.
                                            However he had had a narrow escape. It was their belief that his poor
                                            wife, who was driven to her own destruction by his brutal treatment, would
                                            have been a living woman that day except for his cowardly conduct towards
                                            her.

                                            The inquiry, which had lasted a considerable time, then closed.”

                                             

                                            In this article it says:

                                            “it was the “fourth or fifth remarkable and tragical event – some of which were of the worst description – that has taken place within the last twelve years at the White Hart and in the very room in which the unfortunate Louisa Cheesborough drew her last breath.”

                                            Sheffield Independent – Friday 12 November 1869:

                                            Louisa Cheesborough

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