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(1) … What will I find next ?

Posted by Big John on November 18, 2013

This rather fierce looking old boy is my great-great-uncle Jesse who was born in 1841…

Jesse 001 (244x390) (244x390)

My ancestors had been farming folk ever since the 16th century and I suspect that they were a pretty ‘rough and ready’ bunch, the first one recorded as appearing in court was a ‘Yeoman’ John, it was in 1762 and for debt, although he was said to .. “have possessed a large stock of corn, hay and cattle” ..  and Jesse’s father John (born 1816) died in 1876 .. “as a result of being thrown to the ground” .. in what was probably a drunken brawl, and his older brother John died in 1879, when an inquest at the local workhouse revealed that .. “he had died from injuries received on the railway” .. It would seem that he had fallen asleep (probably drunk) .. “alongside the rail” .. and been struck by a train ! In 1868 he had been .. “sentenced to two months hard labour” .. when found guilty of larceny.

Now I knew that old John had ‘done time’, but I had to wonder what he had done that had deserved two months on the treadmill, turning ‘the crank’ or possibly breaking rocks ? .. Well I found out when trawling the web for more family history I came across this newspaper report of December 1867 …

newspaper 1868 (800x510)

(click on image to enlarge)

Blimey ! … He is described as .. “a respectable farmer” .. “charged with having stolen an overcoat, value £2.” (approx. £150 retail price today). It’s a good thing that he left the gloves, scarf and hat in the pub, or goodness knows what sentence he would have received.  :-)

Now before I leave my family’s somewhat ‘unsavoury’ past, I must report that my internet delve into history brought to light another sinner. This was old Jesse’s great uncle Simeon who was born in 1802, and in 1886 at the age of 84 pleaded guilty to the charge of ..”Attempting to commit an un-natural offence” .. He was discharged on a surety of £10 .. “to come up for judgement when called upon“. No details are recorded of the ‘offence’ nor any sentence, so we can only guess what happened to the old bugger, but he was 84 years of age, so the mind boggles, but, then again, the charge did say …

…  “Attempting” !

4 Responses to “(1) … What will I find next ?”

  1. I have found that, in researching my ancestors, it is best to be careful what I wish for. lol

  2. Grannymar said

    Sure what of life if we have no skeletons in the cupboard!

  3. rummuser said

    I am already a great grand uncle and I can assure you that my great grand sons, nephews and nieces will not need to troll the internet to discover unsavoury things about their progenitors. In my family there are enough stories to fill a few novels.

  4. In our family closet is the tale of a mother-daughter team who burned down a hotel because the manager refused to let them ply their trade inside. I looked no further after discovering that bit of mischief.

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