Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Grand Hotel in Leicester

The Grand Hotel on Granby Street, designed by Cecil Ogden in 1898.

Occupying a prominent corner position in Granby Street the Grand Hotel serves to remind us of the scale of new hotels built at the end of the 19th Century. Built of red brick and stone in a grandiose style, it replaced the Blue Lion Coaching Inn, a Victorian public house, which was demolished along with the Carlton Hotel and the Conservative Club to make way for the Grand, one of Leicester’s premier hotels. The main part of the hotel was designed by Cecil Ogden in 1898 in a grand Franco-German Renaissance style reminiscent of the sixteenth century Two years later a corner addition was added by Amos Hall. The design here seems to have been influenced by the churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

A small hotel brochure from 1901 describes the hotel in glowing terms and it is clear which type of clientèle it attracted in its heyday: “Under its appropriate title ‘the Grand Hotel’ has formed the temporary home of the elite of English Society and of notabilities sojourning in Leicester. It is a favourite house with our Canadian and American cousins, and is generally admitted to be the finest hotel not only in Leicester, but in the Midlands’”

For its distinguished visitors it offered the best of amenities including a coffee room, drawing room and a Palm Court. One of the handsomest public rooms was the King’s Hall with walls and pillars decorated with Californian onyx and two large, carved, open, marble fire-places. Daily rates were from seven shillings and sixpence a day for sitting rooms and four shillings and sixpence a day for bedrooms. Visitors’ servants were charged five shillings a day for board and bedrooms were from two shillings and sixpence a day, according to position.

The hotel is now owned by Mercure Hotel Group and is called Mercure Leicester City Hotel. The hotel is now described as a place where ‘Victorian charm and elegance meets modern comfort’.


Banner, J. 1994 Out and About in Leicester, Leicester: Leicester City Council

Taylor, M. 1997 The Quality Of Leicester, Leicester: Leicester City Council.

Elizabeth Lefebure

Elizabeth Was the second wife of John Samworth.

In the English  Vlieland family this  seal is kept and treasured for it was thought to be the crest of Jerome Nicholas Vlieland .

But the Dutch center for heraldry found out is was the crest of the Lefevre family of Guernsey.
So how did this seal ended up in the Vlieland family? Who could it belong to?
Well the connection with the Lefebures as the original name of the Lefevres is from Elisabeth Lefebures.
She had a will dated 1824 and proved 1827.
She married on 8 December 1808 at St Alphage Church Greenwich when she was 48 years old with John Samworth of Greenwich Kent.
She is described as late Elizabeth Lefebure widow
This John Samworth had a son John Samworth junior by his first wife Ann Chapman born in 1790.
This son had a daughter Frances Elizabeth Samworth in 1825 and she married Jerome Nicholas Vlieland the younger or the vicar as we say.
The seal must have past down in  the family to Frances Elisabeth and with the passage of time in the Vlieland family.
So that was the story of the seal .But  Elizabeth was a story by herself 

Monday, 28 July 2014


As another gggson tells

..we have had an overnight stop in Margate - wanted to do this for years - and guess what? 12/13 the parade is now a little cafe.

So we are sitting here having a refreshing drink looking across at the sea front ... according to the lady who served us there is a relative of ours in her 90s who has been in here and tells them all about how it used to be.

The furthest pane of glass is an original pane and the rest all came in a bad storm it's a lovely little cafe called Huckleberrys.

I feel very privileged that I am sitting in the room of our ancestors it's quite an emotional feeling to think they walked on the same floor and maybe had the same views. I don't think it's as big as I expected but I can imagine it was very grand in its day...

To see 12/13 back to its 1880s/1905 purpose is brilliant. Incidentally. When I got this from Margaret I looked up the papers again:
Saturday 27 December 1862 Dover Express - The Gale of Saturday and Sunday - The force of wind was very great. Two large squares of glass in the window of Mr. Dunn, agent to the General Steam Navigation Company, on the Parade, were blown in... If that original (small pane) is that old.....!!

Friday, 25 July 2014

the Parade Margate

Thanks again Ray!

12-13 The Parade Margate

Watching the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, much was made of a city that had constantly managed to 'reinvent' itself as the Clyde first embraced steam; to become a major shipping centre and now has embraced commerce. This is a story of a shop and a family that did the same. The blog celebrates the lives of Jerome and his extended families and this building is the bricks that formed one of them. 12 and 13 the Parade, Margate, home of four generations of Thomas Dunn. This is the story of a shop that also 'reinvents' itself.

The blog has written about Thomas Dunn and his time on SS Atlantic before. His Granddad, another Thomas Dunn, had left his family (including HIS Granddad Thomas Dunn) moved from his family in the Glaven Valley, North Norfolk to London where he married Elizabeth Brothers in London on 7th March 1819 at St. Anne's, Westminster and the family (including son Thomas Robert) moved on to Margate by 1830. Thomas is selling his shoes from the Coach Office in Duke Street Margate, perhaps trying to get the less 'well heeled' passengers to buy. The days of the coach were numbered.

Margate was a day trip by 'hoy' from London, although the last couple of miles of, effectively, open sea were hard. The new steam 'packets' (called that because they carried the mail 'packets'), made the journey by sea quicker and easier.

By the 1820’s many London workers were taking the Margate Steamer for a Sunday day trip. It is no surprise that Thomas is the ultimate signatory to a notice of 15th August 1829 requesting that a meeting be called to discuss setting up a steampacket company. He moves to a shop on the corner of the Parade. It is in site of the new pier, next to the Royal York Hotel and the site of the first medicinal 'baths' in Margate; a well known recreation for the gentry; just the type of person who would want good quality boots - he must have hoped.

Thomas becomes the Company secretary of this brand new steam packet company and, though the 1832 Pigot & Co. Directory shows Dunn, T. Boot & Shoe Maker at the Parade, still also selling his shoes and boots from the coach station, he is also selling tickets for the new steampacket service from the shop (or perhaps Elizabeth is selling them, since he also still deals with the coach passengers),

In 1809 Marine Parade in Margate, on the sea front was widened and until 1878 most visitors to the town would arrive via paddle steamers through the Jetty. The Parade area was thus the focal point of the town, with the Lower High Street shops, the main access point to the sea front sharing in its popularity as the transport centre for the horse brakes, trams and local buses meeting the steam packets from London.

Thomas was occupying the corner site facing the jetty of the main access point for visitors to the town and was thus on the most ‘visible’ site of the town. In later years the shop would feature heavily in Margate postcards.

He had not been running his shop at the Parade for long when a man of note in Margate, described in the newspapers of the time as a man of “ardent exertions, public spirited ... a leading public character, desirous of advancing the general good, or as a kind and sincere relation, and most staunch and upright friend”, died. The funeral of the late lamented Dr. Jarvis, of Margate, took place at St. John's, Margate, on the 26th of March 1833.

Jacksons Oxford Journal noted that “The procession was attended by all the authorities of the town, and every family of respectability in the place, the shopkeepers and tradesmen closing their windows on that occasion. The wealth and prosperity to which the town of Margate has arrived is mainly to be attributed” to him. It was not the last time that Thomas would ‘close up’ for such a well attended funeral. Dr Jarvis's portrait still hangs in the Old Town Hall, Margate.

The Kentish Gazette of Friday 5 April 1833 reports that- John Holliday, charged with stealing at Margate, a quantity of Shoes, the property of Thomas Dunn is transported for seven years and on Tuesday 08 April 1834 the same paper reports that Henry Cobb, for stealing three pair of shoes, the property of Thomas Dunn. is given "two months' imprisonment and hard labor". Perhaps it is not surprising that the list of the Constables for Margate's new Police Force in 1836 includes Thomas. The cells and the Court, forming part of the Town Hall building, are just around the corner.

Thomas's business is expanding and the local papers show an auction by Mr I Marsh on June 15th, 1837, at Dunn's Coach Office, Marine Parade, a variety of unredeemed pledges. Acting as a debt collector in other cases, by 1843 the papers report that particulars of the sale of the broken up timbers of the oak-built ship " Burhampooter " 550 tons burden "may be known of Mr. Dunn, Parade, Margate"

Indeed, the marriage cert of son Thomas Robert shows him as coal merchant. As an officer of the steamship company, who purchased much coal, Thomas was getting his 'percentage' from various places. By 1849, not only was son Thomas Robert unemployed for over a year (he had returned to London and even tried selling brooms from door to door, but the steampacket company was wound up. Thomas Robert then died; under thirty, leaving three young children including first born Thomas.

Father, now grandfather, Thomas bounced back. Particulars of the sale could be obtained from the Parade and he became agent for other companies. By now he was also sub-bailiff for Margate and the 1850 House of Commons papers shows fees paid to him of over £20 (a tidy sum). His other son George opened a successful butchers shop round the corner. It was a small shop and his wife's Mother and sister are staying at the Parade with the Dunn's. Grandson Thomas would also stay there on leave from his job as a boy sailor and the premises was obviously crowded.

As well as the court duties, the shop was now agency for the General Steam Navigation Company and, as a pillar of the community and one of the few able to vote in elections, Thomas was often appointed foreman of 'a respectable jury' for the inquest into a suicide (Kentish Gazette 1862). Another article of 1861 reports that "from the evidence of PC. Solly, who had the prisoner in charge, it appeared that while passing Mr. Dunn's, he threw his stick with great violence against the window (of Dunn's - the Parade) and broke it.. It was not the last broken window. On Saturday 27 December 1862 the Dover Express headlined The Gale of Saturday and Sunday - "The force of wind was very great. Two large squares of glass in the window of Mr. Dunn, agent to the General Steam Navigation Company, on the Parade, were blown in". We will return to those windows!

Throughout we have been referring to 12/13 the Parade. Thomas was, actually, the occupant of, what was then, 4 Marine Parade - though the Papers had called it "the Parade" for many years. On 14th February 1868 the Margate Council Committee decided that Marine Parade be renamed The Parade (from the telegraph station) and the houses renumbered. Number 4 Marine Parade formally becomes number 12 the Parade.

Grandson ‘Thomas Dunn Jr’ (as the papers refer to him), soon tires of Liverpool after the SS Atlantic disaster and moves with his family to Margate, first to Dane Hill Row and then to within yards of Granddad at 14 Marine Terrace. Thomas senior is now over 80 and hands over the agency to his grandson who moves into the Parade. By now the expanding family has also taken over the next door premises, number 13

In December 1878 Thomas junior is promoted, unanimously from second to first lieutenant by the Margate Borough Fire Brigade; an honorary unpaid office. He is a Burgess of the Town (a person with municipal authority/privileges/a vote). He speaks at the first general meeting of The Beaconsfield (Conservative) Working Mens Association in 1880 and becomes its secretary.

He is also making himself well known in the town, some would say infamous. In October 1881 Thomas junior was writing to fellow Burgesses questioning the Mayors use of funds and suggesting that he and an Alderman wish to censure him as Borough Officer and ‘shut him up’. He particularly questions £200 paid to the Mayor "for reception of the Yeomanry")

This does not stop the Watch Committee unanimously voting him as Collector of Taxes for Margate. The controversy has not ended though, since Thomas attempts to collect the taxes ‘by the book’ and the April 1887 papers record that he puts up a placard threatening non payers with distress warrants. A crowded meeting at the Town Hall where “all of whom condemned the action of Mr. Dunn for having without any apparent cause, endeavoured to depart from the practice of former years, which was that the taxes should be paid at commencement of the season.” Fortunately it seems that no one pushed his windows in.

It is difficult not to believe that, faced with crashing waves in the middle of the night and the water flooding in on his home and business, that Thomas’s mind did not flash back more than twenty five years to the sounds of the SS Atlantic as his friends drowned and the stewardess was washed from his arms to her death.

In 1887 Thomas, like his granddad before him, is appointed chairman of a coroners jury (for a suicide). In 1890 Thomas is Agent for the Dominion Line and is at 12 (and 13) the Parade, now the focal point in many Margate postcards. The property is in a prime position and the Whitstable and Herne Bay papers report a Margate occasion with a firework display “witnessed by an enormous crowd of several thousand people... Mr. Dunn's restaurant was illuminated with Chinese lanterns and vessels in the harbour were similarly decorated.” There are now eleven members of the family and three others at the property – including a housekeeper and an attendant. He is also running it as a lodging house and seeking a licensing extension “for ... those of his lodgers who were obliged to sleep out of the house.” It must have been crowded.

Te Liverpool Mercury of Tuesday 30 November 1897 noted that “the front of the lower part of the-town is almost completely under water” and a Dalziel telegram spoke of “tons of water which have overflowed the Marine Drive and Parade”. £50,000+ of damage was caused and as the storm continued Margate lifeboat capsized killing nine. The memorial parade in 1897 for the dead lifeboatmen sees crowds of hundred and a grainy postcard shows family (?) watching from the door and one from the first floor bay window.

His ‘problems with the locals’ and the Mayor seem to be behind him. He has just been re-elected to the Executive Committee of his local Conservative Working Mens Club (and is about to visit his old wooden ship with them). He is still a Queens Collector of Taxes and after 16 years as Agent for the General Steam Navigation Company has ’passed down’ his grandfather’s agency to yet another generation – to his eldest, Walter. His son Thomas (a fourth generation at the Parade.has also ‘gone to sea’.

Saturday 07 January 1899 Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - a horse drawing a trolley belonging to Mr. Pettman, jibbed and commenced kicking while being driven across Parade. Getting one leg over a shaft, it was frightened and bolted, and, turning into Dukes Street it ran into Mr. Dunn's window, doing considerable damage. Those windows again!

That week, on a trip to see a daughter in London he has a serious stroke. He dies “On the 11th Jan, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Turner, New North Road, Islington”. His eldest son Walter, now agent, is present Paralysis was given as the cause of death “after a long illness”

Thomas had gone from ‘being’ a servant (a ships steward) to employing them; seen by many Victorians as the mark of attaining middle class status. Thomas, like his grandfather, is buried in Margate cemetery - Plot 5536, Section XIV. In 1905 spouse Annie is buried in the plot with him. The ashes of his son Thomas and his wife were interred there in the 1950’s.

For now, Annie was running the restaurant. Daughter Minnie, after the early death of her new husband farmer John Stokes comes back as assistant Manageress. Finally, though, the shop is sold after the death of Annie and the family leave Margate.

Son Walter had taken over a steampacket agency which had originally been entered into by great granddad at a time when it was the ‘new and fast’ method of transport. Now its day is ‘done’, his death certificate shows him as an omnibus conductor in London.

His Father Thomas Junior had also been in at the start of a new revolution as Petty Officer on on of the first transatlantic Steamships. Margate’s days as a steamship destination had all but gone and that part of Margate is now almost a beautiful backwater.

The (enlarged) property had become a shoe shop, sub bailiff’s office, pawn and property redemption office, tea room, lodging house, restaurant, and later a post office and telegraph office. When it was the subject of an article in Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine it was a shop selling ‘nick nacks’. Now it has returned to the function under which it appeared in many Kent papers for many years.

Another descendant of Thomas Dunn junior now confirms 2/13 the Parade is, again, a little cafe. She writes: “So we are sitting here having a refreshing drink looking across at the sea front ... according to the lady who served us there is a relative of ours in her 90s who has been in here and tells them all about how it used to be. The furthest pane of glass is an original pane and the rest all came in a bad storm it's a lovely little cafe called Huckleberrys.

I feel very privileged that I am sitting in the room of our ancestors it's quite an emotional feeling to think they walked on the same floor and maybe had the same views. I don't think it's as big as I expected but I can imagine it was very grand in its day.”

More on Thomas Dunn 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ethel Winifred White

Ethel Winifred White is born on 13th May 1881. 

 She is the daughter of Ethelbert Ernest White, master fishmonger, and granddaughter of Samuel Ethelbert White 
and Catherine Veri Vlieland. Coincidentally, this day, the 13th May is also to be the birthday of her son Ethelbert Blomfield’s future Wife, Queenie Maple. Even more of a coincidence Ethel’s family nickname is recorded as Queenie.

Ethel is registered as ‘Whyte’ 41 days after her birth – just before the family would have been fined for non-registration. Younger sister Dora (married name Dora Silk) is also registered as ‘Whyte’ in 1883.

Although the April 1881 census shows Ethelbert’s family at 9 Alfred St Lucas Terrace, Bow Aka St Mary Stratford-Le-Bow, Ethel is born a month later at 30 Wincott Street, Kennington Road, Lambeth, some way away. That address, at census date, had different unrelated people lodging there and does not seem to be a likely place for an expectant mother to be sent away to give birth. A lot of working late Victorians moved from place to place and the censuses can only give a snapshot of a short time in their lives.

By the time of the 1891 census they are at 50, Iliffe Street, Newington, Southwark and not far away ten years later at 162 Manor Place, Southwark. They soon settle down above their new shop at 171 Manor Place, Southwark and that is the address shown in the Parish Register when Ethel marries David William Dunn on 27 March 1902 by banns. The witnesses are SA White and E White. Their fathers are shown as: Thomas Dunn Deceased and Ethelbert Ernest White General Merchant Thomas Dunn, survivor of the SS Atlantic disaster who died in Margate in 1899, has also already featured in the blog.

Ethel had begun her working life in the family fish shop, as did two of her sisters. Not surprisingly with his shop downstairs curing its own fish, the smell was ‘strong’. The shop sold raw fish and cooked fish and chips (the latter cut on a fascinating old machine). Later on, in Croydon, two of the brothers would, themselves, own a fish shop not far away from, by then widowed, Ethel Winifred Dunn and her family.

The happy couple again move on. Baptism and birth certificates show them at 18 Handford Road, Clapham, 5 Leyton Park Road, Leyton and 12 Stansfield Road, Brixton before finally settling down in a new house at 66 Andalus Road, Stockwell, where son Ethelbert Blomfield Dunn (who has also featured in the blog) is born.

The family continues to grow. Ethel was one of 9 children and soon has eight of her own:

Dorothy Winifred: 23/06/1903 (Lambeth Jul/Sep 1903 vol 1d P 425)

Hilda May: 12/11/1904 (West Ham Oct/Dec 1904 vol 4a P302)

Elsie Kate: 27/12/1905 (Lambeth Jan/Mar 1906 vol 1d P 460)

Thomas William: 12/03/1908 (Lambeth Apr/Jun 1908 vol 1d P 366)

Ethelbert Blomfield: 04/01/1910 (Jan/Mar 1910 vol 1d P372)

Frederick Marshall: 04/09/1913 (Lambeth Jul/Sep 1913 vol 1d P764)

Alexander Wallace: 13/12/1914 (Lambeth Jan/Mar 1915 vol 1d P688)

Eva Doreen: 04/05/1917 (Croydon Apr/Jun 1917 vol 2a p 373)

Elsie, Thomas, Blom, Marshall and Alec had all been baptised at St Mary Kennington Park Road, Newington, Southwark. As you can see, the family has then moved, during World War One, to a new four storey house in Croydon. The children had meals in their nursery on the top floor and were called down to see their parents after dinner and before bed (effectively ‘for inspection’).

Husband David William, a licensed victualler, becomes an unpaid Special Constable. It is eighty years since David’s great great grandfather Thomas Dunn was a Constable in Margate. 

A vital link in the London to Brighton rail link in the mid-1800s, it became the largest town in Surrey. Although their Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon house is a block away from Addiscombe railway station, it is far more likely that David is guarding Croydon Airport, effectively, THE ‘London Airport’ for two world wars against the German aerial might. Croydon was bombed by Zeppelins in October 1915, and nine civilians died. It also received further raids in 1916.

The bombing of London, by zeppelins, with its consequent civilian death and destruction, though not as comprehensive as that in the second war, was in some ways more significant since people had only just got used to ‘flying machines’. To this day, nearly one hundred years later, refurbished London buildings carry a plaque proclaiming ‘attacked by zeppelin’.

Tthe first election in Britain where all adult men and some women could vote followed soon after the end of the Great War. Ethel Winifred was a registered voter for the Poll of December 1910. Within weeks she would be a widow.

David catches ‘Spanish’ flu. According to family history, he goes back on duty even though unwell and becomes simply another statistic of the world’s greatest great flu epidemic in which five percent of the entire world population died – even more than in the time of the black death.

The Great War caused fifteen million fatalities. Estimated deaths by flu at this time are between at least fifty up to one hundred million souls worldwide. India alone had between seventeen and twenty million deaths. 228,000 souls died in Britain during the pandemic.

Initially, the UK papers were censored, because of the hostilities. So, despite the severe outbreaks in Britain and France and the trenches, the first reports in the press were of the outbreak in Spain, in which one of the first fatalities was the King of Spain. Although the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, caught it (and survived) this was also suppressed and the name ‘Spanish Flu’ stuck. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles to end the World War.

As the war reached its final stages it seemed to be running its course. The end of the War, however, led to victory parties and more people on the streets. The second wave of ‘Spanish Flu’ was more virulent and now affected people in the prime of life. At its peak at the beginning of November 1918 approaching a quarter of a percent of the population of the UK died in a single week. Cinemas, Schools and Theatres closed, but still the virus spread.

After the lethal second wave struck in the autumn of 1918, the disease died down abruptly in Britain. New cases almost dropped to nothing. The end of the flu epidemic and the return to ‘normality’ was announced. The third wave began in February 1919 and killed more than a thousand in Manchester alone.

The Police Force was a ‘dangerous’ place for contagion. The first newspaper article that I researched noted that 1,400 Metropolitan Police had been off sick from influenza the previous day. Croydon was part of the Metropolitan Police Force.

Although the third wave was not as destructive as the second, this could have been because, this time round, some of the lessons had been learned; more people stayed in, less got infected. For a licensed victualler with eight young children; for a Special Constable in a situation where the force was overstretched, staying at home was probably not a ‘possibility’. The ‘third peak’ was the week that David William died.

David dies on 27/02/1919 was laid to rest in grave 10565 section K5 at Mitcham Road Cemetery on the following Wednesday – the fifth of March. It was one of nine funerals reported in that paper that day alone in that single cemetery (the following day there were almost double that number buried). Pages of deaths in the papers had been common throughout the war but so many were still dying that pages of such Cemetery Reports were in most papers every week.

Ethel Winifred is still under forty and has 8 young children to support, the youngest just about walking. Probate was granted promptly on 15th March. His net estate totalled £393.5 6d. The King instituted a silver medal for the longest serving unpaid Specials in September 1919. The family would not even get that. She had, I understand, a small pension from David William’s work but even her letters during the second World War make clear that “we can manage but have to look after every penny now”….

A widow for nearly a quarter of a century, Ethel lives the rest of her life in Croydon. She dies on Thursday the eight of July 1943, aged 61. Though suffering from diabetes and asthma, her death was a shock to her family. The war still raged and the family would not have a quiet time with their grief. Indeed, Croydon suffered a sharp daylight raid on the day following her death with the planes bombing and machine gunning the streets. An aircraft factory was hit.

Ethel Winifred Dunn was buried in plot N193 at St John the Evangelist Shirley, Croydon on 14 Jul 1943.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Lewis William Murrayton Murray

Alice Mary Snell marries Lewis William Murrayton Murray in January 1882
one of the witnesses was her dad - the other seems to be Catherine Veri Vlieland Snell her sister.
Allthough the name of the groom is extended we can tell you Lewis William Maurrayton Murray Whitford was his complete name .
Births Jun 1856 WHITFORD Lewis William Murrayton Murray Liskeard 5c 86 
1871 census: Lewis W M Murray; 2 Kimberley Place, Falmouth scholar age 14
1881 census: Penrith Liskeard Cornwall 24 farmer employing 2 men
Death: Lewis Murray Q2 1894 Age at Death:37 Liskeard Volume:5c Page 43

Note: surname of Whitford is housekeepers name. His sister Edith Jane is also registered as Edith Jane Whitford at Liskeard Q1 1858 vol 5c p90 and Emma Mary Whitford Liskeard Q2 1860 vol 5c p79 - alll 3 registered as Whitford is surely not a clerical error!

1861 census: Castle Villa, Castle Street, Liskeard age 4 with father William Murray 45 auctioneer sisters: Edith Jane Murray 3 and
Emma Mary Murray 7 PLUS: housekeeper Jane Whitford 29 and 2 servants

*in 1841 census William Murray 25 is at home at Church Street, Liskeard with his father also William
Murray n/t 1851 census
Children of Alice and Lewis are to be found in the census of 1891
1891 census: Pevrith Windsor, St Martin, East Looe Cornwall Lewis 35 farmer with spouse Alice 33
 - 3 sons William C S 8, George F 6, John C 4, all born St Martins, Cornwall and 2 servants
Births Dec 1882 Murray William Charles L Liskeard 5c 65
Births Sep 1884 Murray George Frederick Liskeard 5c 63
Births Dec 1886 Murray John Coxetter Liskeard 5c 61

The early life of Alice Mary Snell contained some turmoil , with the erratic behaviour of her father Charles Henry Snell, no doubt causing her much grief. Her problems would return.

In the blog of woensdag 22 augustus 2012 we learned about her marriage to Lewis William Murrayton Murray on 28 Jan 1882. Lewis is born in Cornwall in 1856 and in the 1881 census is shown as a farmer employing 2 men. He dies in 1894 aged 37 leaving his wife with three young children. The story of what happens is tragic.

The 1891 census shows him at Pevrith Windsor, St Martin, East Looe Cornwall He is 35, a farmer with his spouse Alice Mary Snell 33 (daughter of Sarah Heath Vlieland). They have 3 sons William Charles 8, George Frederick 6, John Coxetter 4, all born St Martins, Cornwall and they have two servants.

The children are registered as follows:
q4 1882 Murray William Charles L Liskeard 5c 65
q3 1884 Murray George Frederick Liskeard 5c 63
q4 1886 Murray John Coxetter Liskeard 5c 61

He is a successful farmer and horse breeder. The Western Times of 07 August 1891 reports on the West of England Horse Show where his horses win prizes:

Hacks or Hunters 1st; £6 Lewis W Murray Looe -"The Dream"

Brood Mares calculated to produce hunters in foal; 3rd £1 Lewis William Murray Looe - "Village Girl"

He is also, unfortunately a drinker; seemingly on a 'too regular' basis. One visit to his local had tragic consequences! He is good friends with Joseph Congdon of Badham, Duloe and on 27th March 1894 they both seem to drink too much, ending up in The Bell Hotel at Liskeard.

19 April 1894 - Cornishman On a charge of the manslaughter of Lewis William Murray, Joseph Congdon, of Badham, Duloe, was on Thursday at Liskeard committed to the ensuing assizes

14 June 1894 - Western Morning News report of the Cornwall Summer Assizes which had resumed the previous day tells the story of his trial of "for the manslaughter of Lewis Wm. M. Murray" as does the Royal Cornwall Gazette, both in great depth. This is a summary of the various reports. Witnesses and reporters have differing accounts. This seems to be the most likely story:.

Murray, 37, "a gentleman farmer living near Looe" had long been a 'hard liver' and heavy drinker (rendering him more prone to erysipelas" an acute, febrile infectiousdisease, caused by a specific streptococcus, characterized by diffusely spreadingdeep-red inflammation). The accused was a man of means living in Liskeard. They met at the Barley Sheaf Liskeard after the cattle market where they had a good deal of drink.

They then both ended up at the Bell Hotel, Congdon considerably the worse for drink. Murray, it is suggested, was so drunk at the Bell Hotel that Congdon suggested that they went home together .... Murray shook him off and would not go. and Congdon had sat on the bench behind the door and fallen asleep . In due course someone, possibly Lewis, tried to wake him from his drunken sleep by shaking him by the arm and putting his hand on his his head.

...witnesses agree both prisoner and deceased were the worse for drink ... one saw the prisoner who was flourishing his stick hit the deceased with it...the two men closed, struggled and then Lewis fell either struck or passed close to the edge of the seat... bleeding from a wound over the left eyebrow. ... one witness said that Lewis thought "it was nothing" another that he told Congdon "You have struck me with a stick . I will make you pay for it" (three men, including Courtney Sergeant, Bell landlord, when cross-examined confirmed that they had not seen the actual blow)..

...both were turned out and Murray rode the three and a half miles home....widow Alice stated he came home at 11:15 PM ... following day ...complained of being distracted in the head which became very much swollen. On March 29th she called in Drs Bond and Harty. The wound was poulticed but Murray continued to get worse and on 2nd April he died.

Alice was, as you see above, called by the prosecution and reported a conversation with her husband's friend. to quote the Western Morning News: After the inquest prisoner called on her and said ... "I should not have done it if there had been anyone to take me away; but that is the worst of the Bell. They will let you do anything you like there...""

Dr William Hammond of Liskeard who performed the post mortem ...(said) deceaseds skull was the thinnest he had ever seen. It was semi transparent and a really violent blow must have fractured it. .... the liver spleen and kidneys were diseased ... caused by excessive dirinking ... never seen organs in such a state ...

The defence summarised that, though Congdon had struck out wildly with the stick and hit two of the company, there was no evidence that he had actually struck Lewis.

Character witnesses including his Vicar, Reverend Bush, and his Bank Manager reported Congdon "bore a high character as a peaceful good natured man incapable of an unkind action"

The Judge's summing up was that the jury had to decide whether Joseph Congdon had struck the blow (the fact that such a blow would not have killed a fit man was irrelevent) or whether Lewis was the aggressor and Lewis had struck his head on the bench and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty and prisoner was discharged.

And what of Alice Mary Murray (nee Snell)? Her words to Joseph Congdon at that meeting after the inquest sum it up: "You have left me in a dreadful place with three boys to bring up". Joseph had told her "I will help you. I will make recompense". Alice's Mother in Law Jane who had been present had said "You will have to Mr Congdon..." I have as yet been able to trace none of the four in subsequent censuses....

Joseph Congdon, of Badham, Duloe, was brought up under a coroner's warrant charging him with the manslaughter of Lewis WilUam Murray, of Penwith, St. Martin's. Mr. A. W. Yenning appeared for defendant, but preferred not to cross-examine the witnesses

from another blogger we received the following .

I recently read your blog post on the MURRAY family ( and it helped me understand on of George Worgan's daughters - hre name was Charlotte and she was William Murray's first wife. i cited you in the post:

Address: Murrayton House, St Martins, Looe PL13 1NZ,  Shown as the family address at the baptism of Lewis William Murrayton Murray, the ancestral home of the Murray family.  PIC 1
Murrayton House was built about 1854-64 as the country residence of the Murrays.  It is built with an outstanding view as the family’s country residence.View from the veranda, Murrayton - PIC 
The 1861 census shows William Murray Sr (born 1893) watch maker and Sherriff’s Officer, now a widower, in Castle Street, Liskeard with son William, also a watch maker next door at Castle Villa.  The Cornish Times carries notices that “MURRAYTON lodge ALL PERSONS who are desirous in future of bring admitted to the Grounds of the above place, must make application to the Proprietor at his residence Castle Villa”.
Although the local paper reports the Marriage in October 1842 “ On the 25th ult., at Liskeard, MR. WILLIAM MURRAY, jun., to MISS CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH WORGAN". (Cornwall OPC Register CRO Ref: DDP/126/1/26) the Marriage has broken down and William Junior is with his housekeeper Jane Whitford and their three children, including Lewis William Murrayton Murray.
The birth of Lewis is registered as “Lewis William Murrayton Murray Whitford” - q2 1856 Liskeard Volume 5C Page 86 and his baptism shows Mother: Jane - single woman of Borough; showing both his father's surname (Murray) and address (Murrayton).  The 1961 census acknowledges him as his son and three years later the parents marry.  The Marriage is announced in the 1894 paper “At the parish church of St. Martin’s-by-looe, October 20, by the Rev. Mr. Farwell, William Murray, Esq., jun., of Murrayton-lodge, Liskeard, to Jane, daughter of the late Captain Whitford”.
William dies on 18 Aug 1883 and is shown as “late of Murrayton Lodge”.  Jane dies 1 Aug 1922 and the probate confirms her address as, still, Murrayton. The picture shows her late in life “Mrs Murray and her daughter Mrs Boucher”. PIC
Murrayton Lodge is now owned by charity, Wild Futures.  The Monkey Sanctuary was founded in 1964 by Len Williams, father of classical guitarist John Williams, as a cooperative to care for rescued woolly monkeys.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Inquest on the late Mr Murray

Joseph Congdon, of Badham, Duloe, was brought up under a coroner's warrant charging him with the manslaughter of Lewis WilUam Murray, of Penwith, St. Martin's. Mr. A. W. Yenning appeared for defendant, but preferred not to cross-examine the witnesses