Sunday, 30 March 2014

The family of the Revd Henry Clarke of Guisborough (1813-61)

I have just come across these notes made by the late Miss Grace Dixon, noted Guisborough historian.  They end with a lovely reminiscence of Guisborough in the early twentieth century:

Henry Clarke, master mariner of Whitby, died 1780.  Wife was Joan.

Henry Clarke, only son (presumably to have survived infancy?) married Elizabeth, who was buried in Guisborough 30/7/1827 aged 79, described as "widow of H. Clarke, late of Whitby"

Henry Clarke, solicitor, (1785-1862) married Elizabeth Hutchinson of Guisborough in 1811.  He had a brother John and 3 sisters.  He was in Guisborough in the early C19.
Elizabeth was born Guisborough and died 1862, aged 75, one week after her husband's death.
Both were buried in Guisborough.

Reverend Henry Clarke (1813-1861) not born Guisborough, married (1840) Catherine Francis Dawson, b Ripon.  She died 1852 aged 33.  First wife.

Henry Savile, b1841 married Helen Weatherill; 3 daughters
John William "Jock" (1842-1921) married Marjorie Gow of Cambs in 1877; no children
Rev Arthur Dawson b1843, living 1922.  Became priest in 1883, but in holy orders only until 1889
Francis (1845-1900) Professor of Music in Guisborough
Cecil James b1846
Catherine b1849
Reverend Henry married as his second wife Ann Louise Weatherill in 1857.  He became incumbent of St Nicholas, Guisborough, in 1836 when two of the Williamson family, father and son, curates, died of cholera.
He was the first incumbent to inhabit the new parsonage of Guisborough from 1859 but did not live to see it become a Rectory.
A plaque in Latin was erected to his memory on the south side of the chancel in the church.
Ann Louise Clarke survived her husband and remarried.

John William Clarke was the Land Agent to the Gisborough estate, and must have had many differences of opinion with Wm Richardson in the latter's work for Guisborough Council.  Mrs Channon [the late Mrs Diana Channon, daughter of William Richardson] remembers seeing Mr Clarke
"turn out of his stable yard at Kemplah House to go up to Gisborough Hall in a dogcart with a 'Tiger' with top hat and cockade on the back seat and a dalmatian dog running underneath.  All of them (except the dog) suitably clad.  A lovely sight."

Friday, 28 March 2014

Sir Thomas Layton finds himself before the Star Chamber, 1633

Sir Thomas Layton (1597?-1650) was the son of Charles Layton of Sexhow (d1617) and his wife Mary Milner of Skutterskelfe (c1568-1633).

Sir Thomas's grandfather, the lawyer Thomas Layton (1520-84), had left his family in a fine position through his years of private practice, public service and astute property dealings.  The marriage of Thomas's parents in 1594 had completed the work, reuniting the manors of Sexhow and Skutterskelfe under one ownership for the first time since the death of their ancestor John Gower in 1377. 

Sir Thomas came into his inheritance as a very young man on his father's death in 1617.  Just how young he was, is rather hard to say.  He is recorded in the 1612 Visitation [cf Graves' History of Cleveland] as being 15 years old and that would certainly accord with the transcription made of the baptismal register by J W Ord and by the Christian Inheritance Project; they disagree on the month (February or July) but they agree on the year.  The Victoria County History entry for East Layton in the parish of Stanwick St John states that he was 23 on his father's death [citing Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccclxvii, 93]; his parents married on 27 February 1594, so this is possible.

His father arranged for him to be married at a very young age – probably 16 (or at the most 19), for it was in 1613 that Charles settled the manor of Kirkby Sigston upon his son.  Thomas's wife was Mary Fairfax, daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Walton and Gilling Castle near Malton.  The Fairfax family had been suspected of Catholic sympathies over the years, but most of them had remained loyal to the Crown in the Northern Rebellion of 1569.  Sir Thomas Fairfax himself was a committed Protestant and so much trusted by government that he continued to hold office in spite of his wife's open Catholicism.  Catherine, daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, was a known recusant and her mother was accused of harbouring priests associated with the exiled Earl of Westmorland.  Catherine (who died in 1626) had sent two of her seven sons to Catholic seminaries on the Continent;  her daughter Mary's religious affiliations are unknown.

A knighthood was bought for Thomas from King James VI and I – knighthoods were in cheap and plentiful supply during the reigns of James and his son Charles I, who together created 3,281 knighthoods between 1603 and 1641.  It was a far cry from the knighthood bestowed on his great-grandfather Sir James Metcalfe of Nappa in Wensleydale.  Sir James had served on the Border under the future Richard III and held many high offices for the Crown – and probably fought at Flodden – before Henry VIII knighted him at Windsor at the age of 68.  Young Thomas was knighted in 1614, the year after his marriage [Victoria County History: Stanwick St John, citing Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccclxvii, 93].

The young couple must have begun a family immediately, because Sir Thomas was a grandfather before he was forty.  He had married his daughter Mary to Henry Foulis, son of Sir David Foulis, 1st Baronet of Ingleby, and their son David was baptised on 14 March 1633.

This connection with the Foulis family was to bring him to trial before the Star Chamber in 1633.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The interior of All Saints', Hutton Rudby

A few photographs of All Saints' from the collection of the Hutton Rudby History Society:

All Saints', Hutton Rudby c1890

This postcard is said to date from c1890.  You can see here that the pulpit (gift of Thomas Milner of Skutterskelfe) is on the left of the chancel in front of his burial place and the surscription above it.

All Saints', Hutton Rudby in early C20

This view was taken at much the same time – late 1890s or early 1900s – and apparently from the top of a ladder.  The side altar had not then been restored (the Lady Chapel took its present configuration in the 1923 restoration) and the "Sexhow pews" faced sideways towards the pulpit.  The absence of stained glass is very noticeable.

This photograph (posted previously in the piece about Thomas Milner) is of much later date and shows the pulpit moved to its present position and Thomas Milner's burial place not yet obscured by the organ.  The stained glass in the East window was given by Sir Robert Ropner in memory of his wife at the 1923 restoration.

And here is the East window in glorious colour:

The artist was John Charles Bewsey, who described it as "expressing the worship of Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, by the whole company of Saints, Evangelists, Apostles, Martyrs, Prophets, Doctors of the Church, Virgins and Confessors."

The upper range of figures shows from the left: St Jerome (in red) and St Ambrose; Mary, Mother of God; Christ in majesty; John the Baptist; St Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great.

The lower range of figures shows from the left: King Edward the Confessor, St Francis of Assisi and St Wilfrid; St Ethelreda of Ely, St George and St Monica; Christ crucified, with His Mother, St John and Mary Magdalene at His feet; St Joan of Arc, St Gilbert of Sempringham and St Catherine (with her wheel); St Sythe, St Oswald King of Northumbria and St Cuthbert (shown kneeling with Oswald's head.)

(Details taken from a fuller account in Canon D F Lickess' 'History and Guide' to the church)

There is a beautiful collection of photographs of the stained glass in the church on flickr – in fact it's easier to see details in that collection than if you stood in front of them!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Thomas Milner of Skutterskelfe: notes, sources & select bibliography

In order to make the preceding piece about Thomas Milner readable, I have moved a good bit of the detail into these notes.  Here you will find references, extra information and hyperlinks.

Thomas Sowthwaites alias Milner

In quoting the will I have generally modernised the spelling .  A few letters at the ends of the lines of writing are illegible because of the binding, and these I have indicated by square brackets. 
In the comment regarding his father-in-law's estate, 'unloving brethren' for 'loving brethren' is conjecture, but there are clearly a couple of illegible letters there.

The grant of wardship and marriage of Thomas Milner to Thomas Laton [sic]:
Grants in November 1534
33. Thos. Laton. Annuity of 3l. issuing from a third part of certain lands specified in Faceby, Yarum, Carlton, Semar', Broughton, and the reversion of the manor of Skutterskelf in Cleveland, Yorks., which lately belonged to Thos. Lyndley, deceased; during the minority of Thos. Milner, kinsman and heir of the said Thomas; with the wardship and marriage of the said heir. Del. Westm., 24 Nov. 26 Hen. VIII.—S.B. Pat. p. 1, m. 4.
cf: Henry VIII: November 1534, 26-30, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 7: 1534 (1883), pp. 550-560 online here

The marriage of Mary Milner and Charles Layton
Details of an Indenture dated 11 July 11 James (1613) citing the Indenture of Covenants bearing date 26 Feb 37 Eliz (1594) between Charles Layton of the one part and John Constable of Dromonby, Nich. Gower of Staynesby, Esqres., Will. Baite and Tho. Baite of West Laithes, John Constable of Lasinby, Tho. Warcopp of East Tanf[eild], Leon. Baite of West Laithes, gentlemen, and John Milner of Whitwell, gent. can be found in Quarter Sessions Records (ed Rev J C Atkinson) vol 4 (North Riding Records), p141

Friday, 14 March 2014

Thomas Milner of Skutterskelfe: the life & times of a Tudor gentleman

Thomas Milner of Skutterskelfe, a gentleman of about sixty-four years of age, made his will on 28 June 1589, the year after the Spanish Armada.  He had inherited his mother's share of the estate of his grandfather, Thomas Lindley, including one-third of the manor of Skutterskelfe where he lived with his wife Frances Bate and their daughter Mary, aged twenty-one. 

He does not seem to have been suffering from ill health when he made his will – simply describing himself as "whole of mind and remembrance thanks be given to God" – and was possibly prompted to do so because of his extreme irritation at the behaviour of his wife's family over the estate of his father-in-law, who had recently died.  Thomas's will, after careful directions for his burial in All Saints' at Hutton Rudby and legacies to the church (with forthright comments about the current incumbent and his predecessors), proceeds with a bequest to his wife:
"my best breeding mare, my best nag to ride upon, with five of my best kine."
This is immediately followed by a confirmation that she is to have
"all such things as in right she ought in conscience to have and be answered of"
continuing, in a fling against his mother-in-law (for how could he leave his wife his father-in-law's goods?)
"either of mine, or of the goods of her father to whom she was executor, and got nothing thereby of things certainly known to be embezzled at the death of her father by her mother as may appear by a note [in] writing set down whereof she should have had a part, and got nothing through the greedy dealings of her [un]loving brethren, and the witness of some of no great honesty nor yet true feelings therein"
After this, he continues with the disposal of the residue of his estate to his wife and daughter, a legacy to the poor of the parish, and bequests and legacies to family, servants and godchildren.  His will, and the surscription set above his burial place in accordance with its provisions, provide us with valuable details of his family and a picture of gentry life in Cleveland in the sixteenth century.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Arthur John Richardson of Guisborough 1895-1915

This verse was found by the late Miss Grace Dixon among the Chaloner papers, according to a note in my files.

It relates to "Jock" Richardson of Miltoun House, Guisborough.  He was in barracks in Newcastle, training for the Front, when he died of meningitis a few weeks before his twentieth birthday.

The lines, written by his great-uncle George Buchannan of Whitby, must echo the feelings of many families whose loved ones died in uniform, but not in action:

2nd Lieut. A. J. B. (Jock) Richardson
Obt. Jan. 4th, 1915

Not on the battle field, yet none the less
He died for England: in her hour of stress
And peril, his young life he freely gave,
And rests with honour in his quiet grave.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Charles William Southeran 1875-1916

I post here a piece sent to me by John Nichols with the story of his grandfather.  The jolly photograph seems particularly poignant:

The face behind a name on the Hutton Rudby War Memorial
“Private Charles William Southeran, 5705. 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, formerly 28674 Yorkshire Regiment. Killed 5 November 1916.
Born Stokesley (Yorks), Enlisted Stokesley, Resided Hutton Rudby RSO
Charles William Southeran 1875-1916

Charles William (centre) was my maternal grandfather. He was born in Stokesley in 1875 so the time of Attestation on the 16th December 1915 he was 39 years and six months old.

In 1881 He was living at Enterpen but by 1891 he was at Hill House, Middleton on Leven where he was farming with his father Robert. It appears he was one of seven children, one of whom, Robert Wetherill, is shown at right. Charles’ father Robert (Snr) was married to Isabella, née Wetherill.

In 1908 Charles William married Mary (Polly) Bellerby who had moved to Hutton Rudby from Seaham Harbour sometime after 1901.

In 1911 they were living at North Side, Hutton Rudby and they went on to have three girls:
Mary (who married John Henry (Jack) Bainbridge from Hutton), Emily (who married Arthur Henry Wilson and farmed at Tanton) and my mother Dorothy born in, 1914, (who married Arthur Norman Nichols from Seamer).

Charles was Mobilised on 13th June 1916, Posted on 14th June when he had a medical at Richmond. He was age 40, stood 5ft 4in high and weighed 10 stone. He was posted to the 3rd Btn Yorkshire Regiment on 28th August 1916.

His short career went as follows: Posted 10th October 1916, transferred to 7 6th Dirham Light Infantry on 18th October and Killed in Action 5th November 1916.

Brother Robert Attested 12th November 1914 aged 35yrs nine months. He and his wife Mary Jane lived on Rudby Hill, Hutton Rudby. He survived service with the Bedford Regiment in 1915, the Essex regiment in 1916 and the Northumberland Fusiliers from May 1917. It is believed he served in Mesopotamia and is recorded as embarking for UK from India in June 1919 and being Demobilised in August 1919. He was awarded a 5% disablement allowance due to “Nervous debility” due to service in Mesopotamia.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Smallpox by hospital-acquired infection in Hutton Rudby in 1893

Two rather dark tales from the newspapers:

Northern Echo
Monday 2 October 1893
Stokesley Guardians 
A case of scarlet fever was reported at Great Ayton, a case of typhoid fever at Stokesley, and a case of smallpox at Hutton Rudby.  
It was decided that the authorities of the Bradford Fever Hospital be written to informing them that a case of smallpox had occurred at Hutton Rudby through their allowing a nurse in their institution to leave without having her clothing disinfected.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough
Thursday 25 May 1893
Selling a Mare for Ten shillings 
This morning at Stockton a hawker named Christopher Smith, of Hutton Rudby, was charged with working a mare while in an unfit state. 
Inspector Cape said he saw a bay mare belonging to defendant yoked in a cart in Bishop-street on the 17th inst., and he noticed that the animal was very lame.  The mare was subsequently condemned by Mr Awde, veterinary surgeon, as unfit to work.
Defendant pleaded for clemency on the ground that he had complied with Mr Cape's instructions regarding the animal, and had sold it at considerable sacrifice.  He gave £7 for the mare, and sold it for 10s. 
Defendant was fined £3, including costs.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Lady Falkland's connection to the scandalous Josie Mansfield

The increasing availability of newspaper archives online has enabled me to find out considerably more about Mary Reade of New York, the wife of Byron Plantagenet Cary 12th Viscount Falkland – and to find out about her brother, whose story would have made an excellent plot-line in Downton Abbey ...

Such a riveting tale couldn't be resisted, though its link with Cleveland history is tenuous.  My excuse is that the following newspaper account also tells us about Mary, whose philanthropy and kindness were much appreciated in Hutton Rudby.

Mary was related to Anna Livingstone Reade Street Morton (1846-1918), whose photograph you can find here.  She was the much admired wife of Levi P. Morton, Vice President of the United States.  So when Mary's brother married the woman who had been at the centre of a notorious New York murder, the newspapers were naturally very excited:

From The Day of New London, Connecticut: 16 October1891

Josie Mansfield Weds
Jim Fisk's Evil Genius Marries Once More
The Groom a New York Lawyer
His Name is Robert L. Reade, His Family Is a Well Known One, and He Is Alleged to Be a Relative of Mrs Levi P Morton

Paris, Oct 16. - Mrs Lawlor, formerly Miss Josie Mansfield, well known in New York twenty years ago, was married last Friday at St George's church, Hanover square, London, to Mr Robert L. Reade, of New York.  Mr Lawlor [sic – should read Mr Reade], brother of Lady Falkland, his mother and three members of the bride's family were present.  The couple are spending the honeymoon at Brighton.
Josie and Jim Fisk

New York, Oct 16.- The news that Josie Mansfield is married will set tongues wagging from one shore of America to the other.  The woman who was more discussed twenty years ago than any other person in the western hemisphere – the woman who inspired Edward S Stokes to kill Jim Fisk Jr – has again become staid and demure.

Josie Mansfield's History

It is not fair even to guess at Mrs Robert L. Reade's age.  She is as charming today as she was when she ensnared the gallant Colonel Jim Fisk, Jr., more than a score of years ago.  At that time her smart carriages, her gorgeous diamonds and her fetching gowns, all the gifts of Erie's king, were the talk of the city.  Her fame went abroad, too.  Her name was as well known in every backwoods hamlet as John L Sullivan's is today.  Bonnets and gowns and a certain mode of dressing the hair were named for her.

The Shooting of Fisk

Then Josie Mansfield and Jim Fisk quarreled and parted.  The King of Erie was jealous because his handsome friend and ex-partner, Ned Stokes, was too attentive to Josie and spent too many days and nights in the house Jim Fisk's money had furnished for her.

Then came bickerings, a threat of publishing all of Fisk's letters and telegrams to Josie, an injunction by which Fisk prevented Stokes from publishing them or any of them, and finally the shooting of Fisk by Stokes on the main stairway of the Grand Central hotel on Broadway.

Josie sued Colonel Fisk's widow for £200,000 she claimed the dead man owed her, but she did not win the suit.  Josie went to Boston, but she found that city too hot to live in.  Crowds followed her and hooted her in the streets.  Soon she fled to Paris.

She Was Once Reported Dead

It was reported three years ago that Josie was dead and had been secretly buried, but a reporter found her in the little bonbonniere she inhabited near the Boulevard Pereire.  She looked astonishing fresh and blooming, and her auburn hair was wound in a graceful knot upon the top of her head.

Josie Mansfield was married in 1864 to Frank Lawlor, an actor of some note.  She was then living in San Francisco with her parents, whose name was Warren.  Lawlor and Josie led a happy life until 1868, when he found that he could no longer live with her.

Josie had a hard time after that until she met Jim Fisk in the house of Mrs Annie Woods in 1870 and was introduced to him at her own request.  Lawlor died years ago.

Who Robert L. Reade Is

Robert L. Reade has a law office at 31 Nassau street.  He has always enjoyed too much money and too merry associates to become remarkably celebrated at the bar.  He is a short, thickset man with a rich red Burgundian complexion.  He looks like a man who has seen forty-five years or more.
The bridegroom's father was Robert Reade.  He was very wealthy, having been one of the first and most extensive property owners in Minneapolis.

He went to Paris in 1876 and was accidentally drowned.  Robert L. Reade remained in this city and practised law.  Mrs Reade and her daughters made their home in England.  The elder daughter, Miss Katharine, married General Francis Strachan, governor of the Burmudas.  Captain Byron Cary, aide-de-camp to General Strachan, fell in love with Mrs Strachan's pretty sister and married her.  By the death of his uncle Captain Cary succeeded to the title of Viscount Falkland five years ago.

Related To Mrs Levi P Morton

Mrs Reade spent last summer at Carlsbad with her cousin, Mrs Levi P Morton and her daughters.  Lawyer Robert L Reade went over to visit his mother in July.  There he met Josie Mansfield, who, in spite of her years, was as much of a belle as ever.  She called herself Mrs Frank Lawlor, and the number of her devoted admirers was legion.  Lawyer Reade was fascinated.  He urged the fair Josie to marry him, but she was coy.  She told him to take ample time and consider well what he was about to do.

Thereupon Mr Reade returned to this city and considered.  He gave a little dinner to a very few companions early in September.  After they had all dined well Reade said:
"I'm going to marry Josie Mansfield.  I'm drinking myself to death.  Well, Josie Mansfield is the only person who can save me.  I'll marry her if she'll let me, for I think she has been more sinned against than sinning."
Thereupon Mr Reade's chums told him that he was all right and drank his fiancee's health.
Three members of the bride's family were present at the ceremony, but the cable says nothing as to the presence of the bridegroom's mother, who has long occupied a very lofty social position in England.  Lady Falkland doubtless could not find time to assist at the wedding.

Four years later, the marriage was at an end:

Galveston Daily News, Saturday 9 November 1895

Josie Mansfield Divorced
New York, Nov 8. - The Herald says: The following notice has been printed in the official law journal of Paris: 
"From the judgment rendered adversely by the fourth chamber of the civil tribunal of the Seine on August 1, 1895, between Mme Helene Josephine Mansfield, widow of M Frank Lawler and wife by a second marriage of Mr Robert Livingstone Reade, the woman's legal residence being with her husband, but she residing, as a matter of fact, at 53 Rue Empere, Paris, and M Robert Livingstone Reade living in Paris at the Hotel Brighton, it appears that the divorce was granted between the Reades at the request and for the benefit of Mme Reade"

This wasn't the end of the story.  Two years afterwards, the newspapers – it was picked up by even the Teesdale Mercury – took up this story.  Here it is in one of the fuller reports:

Duluth Evening Herald, Friday 16 July 1897

Insane and Poor
Sad Condition of Robert Livingstone Reade Who Has Lost a Fortune
Drink and Chloral
His Wife is the Once Famous Josie Mansfield, Fisk's Fancy

New York, July 16. - Robert Livingstone Reade, a Yale alumnus, a lawyer, once reputed a millionaire, has been pronounced insane by a sheriff's jury.  His fortune has dwindled until his income is inconsiderable.  He owns a lot of valueless stocks and Western property mortgaged for nearly as much as it can bring in the market.  Mr Reade's mental infirmity is due to excessive drink and chloral.  He is actually confined in the Bloomington asylum, and a committee will be appointed by the court to take charge of his person and estate.
The petition to have him declared insane was made by Mrs. Reade.  Mrs Reade was Josie Mansfield, a woman whose career was a subject of world-wide gossip twenty-five years ago.  It was on her account that Edward S Stokes killed James Fisk.  Stokes met Fisk on the stairs of the Grand Central hotel.
Reade met her in the summer of 1891 and they were married in October of that year in London.  They soon disagreed and separated, Reade coming to New York and the woman staying in Paris.  She obtained a divorce in November 1895.  Reade contemplated suicide and would probably kill himself the doctor says, if not restrained.

In 1901, Edward S Stokes, the man who shot Jim Fisk Jr., died and the story was resurrected again.  According to a report in the Watertown Herald the following spring, Robert L Reade was "cured at Bloomingdale [and] married a good woman and is now a respected citizen".

I hope that report was true.  Reade died in January 1910.

Visit for this fascinating piece on Edward S Stokes.  It includes a still from the 1937 film based on the Fisk killing – I should think it's about time another film was made, or a tv drama - and a vivid piece of journalism from The Sun of New York, in which Josie Mansfield is described as "a fat Cleopatra."

H W Brands' The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield tells the story for a modern audience.