Elizabeth Mervin, 1836-1897: born in Shearsby, migrated to Ohio

Elizabeth Mervin was born in Shearsby, Leicestershire on 2 May 1836. Five years later on the census day of 1841 she could be found with her father, Thomas Mervin, a butcher, and mother Mary. There were two older brothers present: Thomas and George  and a younger sister Hannah. Another older brother, John, was in a village nearby. Over the following fifteen years the whole family upped sticks and migrated to the United States.

The family were mentioned as being in the village in newspaper notifications of land sales in the Autumn of 1833 where ‘a piece of rich land, used as garden ground, in Shearsby aforesaid, containing about one acre, now in the occupation of Marvin’ was included in the lots, according to the Northampton Mercury of 21 September that year.

By 1851 most of the Mervin family had moved from Butterpot Lane only as far as Crown Bank, round the corner and slightly uphill. On that census day Thomas and Mary were found with George, Hannah and 6 year old Emma just a few doors down from the Old Crown Public House. Thomas was still a butcher; George an agricultural labourer. Elizabeth was not present in the village that day. There must have been some members of the family were still in Shearsby on 24 October 1852 when Emma was belatedly baptised in the village church. That event recognised the 8 year-old Emma as a child of Shearsby, while being at the same time, poignantly perhaps, also a farewell from the family to their home.

Elizabeth’s father, Thomas Mervin, had been born in nearby Peatling Magna in 1791 and had married Mary Cox from Kimcote in January 1823. Their first child, John had been born the following year and was baptised in Shearsby on 8 February 1824. It seems likely that by 1841 he was living at the Soar Mill in Broughton Astley, along with William Messenger, another young man from a Shearsby family.

An earlier generation of Mervins had been associated with the village. George and Sarah Mervin baptised children in Shearsby church: George, (1766-1768); Sarah, 1768;  George, 1771, Sarah, 1774, Deborah, 1776; Mary, 1779. An Elizabeth Mervin (1763-1853) born in Shearsby, found in Arnesby in 1851 and who died in Peatling Magna in 1853 was probably a member of this family too.

Emigration records provide sparse details of who travelled when. John Mervin had led the way crossing in 1848, leaving his wife Elizabeth behind in Arnesby to cross later. 21 year old farm-hand George Mervin crossed alone to Cleveland in 1853. Other members of the Mervin family also crossed over the Atlantic during the 1850s. When A. J. Baughman wrote up his history of Huron County in 1909 he included Elizabeth’s son George William Brinson among the biographies of prominent citizens. In that sketch, and perhaps from George’s own recollections, it says that Elizabeth came to Ohio in 1855.

By 1860 most of Elizabeth’s family could be found in Greenwich Township, Huron, Ohio. Parents Thomas and Mary, along with siblings Thomas, George and Emma, were together just south of Lake Erie. Thomas was farming and his personal estate was valued at $400. Older brother John’s farm in Greenwich was valued higher at $1000. He was there with his wife Elizabeth and 6 children, four of them born in Ohio. This ‘Elizabeth Mervin’ was the Elizabeth Riley who married John Mervin in Hungarton, Leicestershire on 17 October 1848. She followed husband John in emigrating to the United States in 1850. Her voyage over was fraught with difficulties, taking over four months and involving three shipwrecks and probably care of her daughters Mary (1) and Sarah (3). There were a number of shipwrecks that year.

Elizabeth married James Brinson from Somerset, England on 5 June 1865, barely 2 months after the ending of the American Civil War. There is a naturalization record for a James Brinson in New York on 16 March 1853. After their marriage they moved from Greenwich to Ripley, Ohio and she lived there until her death, from a stroke, on 8 October 1897.  For most of that  time she attended an Episcopal church, but in 1891 she switched to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Shiloh.  It was in Shiloh that she was buried in 1897 . Her husband James had died two years previously in June 1895. James and Elizabeth had two children: Altha Phoebe (‘Phoebe’ after James’ mother) (1866-1952) and George William (1868-1929).

Elizabeth’s Shearsby-born brothers and sisters seem to have settled in Ohio. Hannah married James Thompson in 1874. before her marriage she had been keeping house for her brother Thomas who had land to farm in Montgomery Township, Wood. He later moved to Risingsun, where John Mervin also farmed. Brother George was later found in Longley; younger sister Emma married first John Jenney and then John Winder of New Orleans.

My thanks to Mervin family descendants in the USA, especially Matt, in putting together this account.

References

“History of Huron County, Ohio: Its Progress and Development, With Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens of the County. Vol. 2,” by Abraham J. Baughman

Elizabeth Mervin born in Shearsby and baptised in the village on 25 June 1837. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-KHYQ : 6 June 2018), Elizabeth Mervin, 25 Jun 1837; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 27, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Marriage of Thomas Mervin and Mary Cox, 27 January 1823. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP47-T33H : 6 June 2018), Thomas Mervin and Mary Cox, 27 Jan 1823; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Kimcote, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 22, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Thomas Mervin, born in Peatling Magna and baptised on 27 November 1791. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-F794 : 6 June 2018), Thomas Mervin, 27 Nov 1791; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Peatling Magna, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 7, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

John Marvin, born in 1824. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-QMQP : 6 June 2018), John Marvin, 8 Feb 1824; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 14, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

John Mervin in 1841. “England and Wales Census, 1841,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQYK-LFF : 13 December 2017), John Mervin in household of William Messenger, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, England; from “1841 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

John Mervin marries Elizabeth Riley. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP47-LLNW : 6 June 2018), John Mervin and Elisabeth Riley, 17 Oct 1848; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Hungarton with Twyford and Thorpe Satchville, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 11, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:27G1-335 : 11 March 2018), John Marvin, 1848; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .

John Mervin and family in 1860. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC2P-BJR : 13 December 2017), John Mervin, 1860.

James Brinson naturalization record. “New York Naturalization Index (Soundex), 1792-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVT7-H1K2 : 15 March 2018), James Brinson, 1853; citing Brooklyn, New York, New York, United States, Index to Naturalization Petitions filed in Federal, state and local court in New York, 1792-1906, NARA microfilm publication M1674 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 30; FHL microfilm 1,419,980.

Thomas Mervin (1828-1913). “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-SN21 : 6 June 2018), Thomas Mervin, 27 Nov 1831; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 22, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Emma Mervin baptised in 1852. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-616X : 6 June 2018), Emma Mervin, 24 Oct 1852; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 41, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X643-9VW : 9 March 2018), Thomas Mervin, 20 Mar 1913; citing Jackson, Seneca, Ohio, reference fn 18493; FHL microfilm 1,953,602.

George Mervin, 1831. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-XVTJ : 6 June 2018), George Mervin, 27 Nov 1831; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 22, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:275N-CY5 : 11 March 2018), George Mervin, 1853; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .

Hannah Mervin, 1840. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-BXKB : 6 June 2018), Hannah Marvin, 22 Mar 1840; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 30, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Elizabeth Mervin marries James Brinson. “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XDN2-BXJ : 10 February 2018), James Brinson and Elizabeth Mervin, 05 Jun 1865; citing Huron,Ohio, reference ; FHL microfilm 0410260 V. 1-2.

Death of Mary Mervin. “Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV2J-MRJQ : 11 July 2016), Mary Elizabeth Cox Mervin, 1889; Burial, Greenwich, Huron, Ohio, United States of America, Ninevah Cemetery; citing record ID 68758164, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

Death of Elizabeth Brinson. “Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVKX-YF9T : 11 July 2016), Elizabeth Mervin Brinson, 1897; Burial, Shiloh, Richland, Ohio, United States of America, Mount Hope Cemetery; citing record ID 43477696, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

“United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC2P-16D : 13 December 2017), Emma Mrvin in entry for Thomas Mervin, 1860.

“United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC2P-BJT : 13 December 2017), Elizabeth Mervin in entry for John Mervin, 1860.

Elizabeth Brinson entry on Find a Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/43477696/elizabeth-brinson

Hannah Mervin Thompson buried in greenwich, Ohio, 1924. “Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVKX-2T2R : 11 July 2016), Hannah Mervin Thompson, 1924; Burial, Greenwich, Huron, Ohio, United States of America, Ninevah Cemetery; citing record ID 40170047, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

Thomas and Hannah in Montgomery Township, Wood, Ohio in 1870. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6G7-91V : 12 April 2016), Thomas Mervin, Ohio, United States; citing p. 40, family 307, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,782.

Hannah Mervin married John Thompson. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2QCJ-5X5 : 10 December 2017), John Thompson and Hannah Mervin, 19 May 1874; citing Marriage, Wood, Ohio, United States, , Franklin County Genealogical & Historical Society, Columbus; FHL microfilm.

Mary Mervin, born in Arnesby, 1849. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-M54N : 6 June 2018), Mary Mervin, 6 May 1849; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Arnesby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 34, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

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Shearsby, 9 May 1856: Mr Goode leaves the farm

John Goode was 61 years old when he decided he could no longer keep up with the workload of his farm on Back Lane in Shearsby. Fellow-farmer William Messenger was asked to handle the disposal of the stock, put up for auction on 9 May 1856. The animals for sale included 41 wether and ewe tegs, 40 ewes with lambs, three rams and three barren theaves. There were also 11 calved and in-calved dairy cows and heifers, two more barren cows, four stirks, five yearlings, a bull and four yearling calves, eleven store pigs and one sow. Not counting the cart horse, half-bred black mare, very quiet to ride or drive and, in contrast, a very fast five year old pony.

Glossary:

  • Theaves: 1 – 2 year old ewes.
  • Tegs: sheep in their second year.
  • Stirks: 1-2 year old heifers.

70 acres of well fenced and watered ‘superior grassland’ was also to be put up for sale later in that month. Some of this pasture may once have been covered by woodland, as in December 1845 there had been an auction of timber from trees grown by Mr. Goode in Shearsby and a Mr. Gardner in Peatling Magna. This sale may have been a consequence of the break-up of the widespread estate of Mr. John Clarke of Peatling Parva. Before 1843 Goode had been a tenant of one of the farms on this estate and could have taken the opportunity of the auctions following Clarke’s death to acquire the land he had been farming.

The 1850s were particularly troublesome for the Goode family. Not only did John Goode have his long-standing disability to contend with (after losing a foot in an accident with agricultural machinery), but he had to appear twice in court. Once as a plaintiff having to bring charges of theft against his son Richard  in January 1856 after earlier having to stand by his wife accused of shoplifting back in 1853.

John Goode had been in Shearsby since at least September 1836 when he obtained a game license while a resident in the village. He was originally from Hinckley in Leicestershire. He was baptised in St. Mary’s Church there on 11 June 1794 by his parents John and Susannah. There is a marriage recorded between a John Goode and Mary Percivel in Wolvey, Warwickshire on 21 October 1819. Their children were Richard (1820-1866), Susannah (1823-), baptised in the High Cross area of Leicester and Caroline (1840-), baptised in Shearsby.

Richard Goode led a troubled life and was often in trouble with the law. His sister Susannah married James Williams in Shearsby in 1844 and lived there until her death in 1895.

His post-farming retirement was cut short after little more than three years when he died in 1859. He was buried in the village churchyard in September of that year. His wife Mary also died before the year was out and was buried in the village churchyard on 29 December 1859.

“Multiple Classified ads.” Leicester Chronicle, May 3, 1856. British Library Newspapers (accessed February 12, 2019). http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/96LcR7.

“ADJOURNED EASTER SESSIONS.” Leicester Chronicle, 21 May 1853, p. [1]. British Library Newspapers, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/9JotF9. Accessed 1 Mar. 2019.

“Sale of Extensive Freehold Estates”. The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, December 09, 1843; pg. [1]

John Goode baptised in Hinckley, 1794. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPWB-BN86 : 6 June 2018), John Goode, 11 Jun 1794; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

John Goode and Mary Percival, married 21 Oct 1819 “England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NV45-3T5 : 10 February 2018), John Goode and Mary Percival, 21 Oct 1819; citing Wolvey,Warwick,England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 502,907.

John Goode buried in Shearsby Sepember 1859. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP43-YSPK : 6 June 2018), John Goode, 28 Sep 1859; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Burial, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 37, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“Oak, Ash and Elm Timber” Leicester Chronicle, 29 Nov. 1845, p. [1]+. British Library Newspapers, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/9KkrE0. Accessed 3 Mar. 2019.

Leicester Chronicle (Leicester, England), Saturday, September 10, 1836, Vol. 25, Issue 1347, p.[1].

Mary Goode charged with felony. The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, April 30, 1853;

Mary Goode died December 1859. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP43-YS5V : 6 June 2018), Mary Goode, 29 Dec 1859; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Burial, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 38, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Leicester Town Hall, 16 May 1853: The case is a very distressing one

Court reporter: The Easter Sessions of the court at Leicester re-commenced after their adjournment on Monday 16th May. A jury was sworn in and heard first the case against James Pipes (45) who quickly pleaded guilty of stealing some deal boards from the timber merchant William Winterton. Pipes was sentenced to four months hard labour.

The court then turned to the case of Mary Goode, a 53 year old farmer’s wife from Shearsby, who was charged with stealing from Stevenson and Leigh’s drapers shop in town. She had originally been called to appear at the Town Hall in Leicester on 25 April charged with stealing two table cloths and some glasses from the Wellington Castle Inn and two dresses from Thomas Stevenson, draper of Market Street, but had since been out on bail.  Mr. Simpson conducted the prosecution and Mr. O’Brien the defence.

Joseph Trueman Stevenson (20): About mid-day on 23 April the defendant came into my father’s shop. I served her with some articles which came to 2s, 11 1/2d. She then asked to look at some prints and delaines, which I showed her. She chose one of the dresses, for which she paid a shilling and asked for the others to be put aside to remain until the rest were paid. She then left the shop.

Mr. Simpson: What happened next?

Joseph Stevenson: About a quarter of an hour later Serjeant Smith come into the shop bringing with him two dresses, a delaine and a print, which he said where my father’s property. I was surprised to see that it was the same dress I had shown to Mrs. Goode. I checked the stock and found that these two dresses were missing. The one shilling dress that Mrs. Goode had paid for was still in the shop, waiting on the back shelf.

Court reporter: I am not the fashion correspondent, but readers might want to know that delaines are a British mixture of cotton and worsted (wool) that aim to imitate the softness and drape of the more luxurious French pure-wool fabrics. Since the 1840s steam-fixed colours have been used to create colourful blocked patterns that can be applied by hand or machine.

Mr. O’Brien: These two dresses, one taken by the defendant and the other left remaining on the shelf; were they of the same design?

Joseph Stevenson: The designs were different. To be honest, I did not notice anything was missing at all until Serjeant Smith came in.

Serjeant Smith: On Monday 25th April I was in search of the prisoner and I waited for her to come out of Stevenson’s shop. I apprehended her and took her to the Station-house. There I searched the basket she was carrying and found the two dresses in front of you. She told me some story about having purchased the print at Geary and Laxton’s shop three months ago and that she had brought it with her to town to be made up. She said the same about the delaine dress. I saw Stevenson’s name on one of them and promptly charged her with stealing them.

Mr. O’Brien: Geary and Laxton trade from next door to Stevenson’s, don’t they? Her account is not unlikely.

Serjeant Smith: That used to be the case, sir, but Stevenson’s have moved premises recently and they are no longer neighbours.

Mr. O’Brien: This is clearly a very distressing case. I stand here on behalf of a woman who for the past thirty years has been the wife of a substantial farmer in Shearsby, where she has always shown a good character for honesty and respectability. Members of the jury, I hope that you will take no notice of any exaggerated accounts that you may have heard or read about, but rather consider if there cannot be found some reasonable ground for supposing that, at the time of taking the goods in question, the prisoner had no intention to commit a felony.

Now if we were trying Mary Goode here on the woollen dress alone I do not believe that any jury would consider that consider a theft to have taken place. After all, one dress was paid for and one dress was taken away. With regard to the print, there were five or six other sales assistants working in the shop that day. There is nothing to show that it was not purchased earlier in the day from one of them, nor, in fact, that it had not been bought three months ago. There are doubtless many similar prints on the shop shelves that have been there some time.

I hope to bring witnesses to show you that this woman is one of good character, but was at times not mistress of her own actions through taking a certain drug. Something  administered at first for medicinal purposes, but which is not easy to break from the practice of taking when once commenced.

As to the statement that she made to Serjeant Smith; that should be taken with great forbearance, for, members of the jury, you must consider what her state of mind was when she found herself in the grasp of a policeman. If anything was said then that now appears at variance with the truth it should be treated with kind understanding.

A number of her friends and neighbours have come forwards to bear testimony of Mary Goode’s character and reputation:

John Williams: I am a farmer and grocer living on Crown Bank in Shearsby. I have known Mary Goode for these last twenty-five years, ever since she came to the village. Her character has been good for all that time. She has recently had to buy opium from my grocer’s shop, which she does in a regular way.

Thomas Ladkin: I am the landlord of the New Inn at Shearsby. I have known Mary Goode for thirty years and she has always borne a very good character.

John Elliott: I am a butcher living in Hill Street in Shearsby. I have known her for twenty-five years and she has always had a good character for honesty.

Thomas Hunt: I am a shoemaker by trade and live in School Square in Shearsby. I have know Mary Goode for all my life and she has had an honest character all that time.

James Williams: I am also a farmer in Shearsby and have known Mary Goode for thirty-five years. I have the same opinion of her as my neighbours have already put forward.

Court reporter:  As a matter of discretion in my published account in the newspaper I omitted to mention that this witness was married to Susannah Goode and so knew the accused as his mother-in-law.

Samuel Collins: I now live and own land in Leicester, but am originally from Hillmorton in Warwickshire, the same county as Mrs. Goode.  I have known her since she was a girl. In all that time I have never heard anything against her.

Court reporter: The Recorder summed up, and the jury found her guilty, with a recommendation to mercy on account of her previous good character. She was sentenced to six months hard labour.

Exercise

In his account you can observe O’Brien at work as a skilled orator at work in trying to defend his client. According to Aristotle he had three main tools at his disposal when presenting his argument:

  1. ethos – appeal to the integrity and expertise of the speaker
  2. logos – an appeal to appropriate and logical arguments
  3. pathos – an appeal to the audience’s sympathies

Look back over O’Brien’s address to the jury. Can you see which of these tools he is making use of?

References

“ADJOURNED EASTER SESSIONS.” Leicester Chronicle, 21 May 1853, p. [1]. British Library Newspapers, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/9KNGj2. Accessed 2 Mar. 2019.

“TOWN HALL, MONDAY, APRIL 25.” Leicester Chronicle, 30 Apr. 1853. British Library Newspapers, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/9MJvD6. Accessed 5 Mar. 2019.

James Williams and Susannah Goode, married 8 Dec 1844 “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4W-28MS : 6 June 2018), James Williams and Susannah Goode, 8 Dec 1844; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 13, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

BAXTER, D.A., 2017. A cultural history of dress and fashion. Volume 5, In the age of Empire. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Image: Leicester Guildhall, then acting as the Town Hall, by Alice Mary Hobson – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/39000/39000-h/39000-h.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38712967

SP625914: Bull Hooks, ‘an ancient enclosure’

Thomas Mitchell and John Ward were the overseers of the poor for the parish of Shearsby at the time of the Enclosure Act in 1773. Among its many provisions, the enclosure re-allocated lands to these overseers and their successors to manage for the benefit of the parish in exchange for other pieces previously held. One field, called Bull Hooks, was particularly identified for that purpose.

The land was described as ‘an ancient enclosure’, so must have been marked out and known by that name before 1773. It was bounded by the Turnpike Road to the west and south and now sits between The Old Road and the modern line of the A5199. To its north and east was land allotted to George Turville and to the west by land allotted to Richard Turville. The area amounted to 3 roods and 26 perches. Bounding the field were mounds and fences which Mitchell and Ward, as overseers and George Turville were required to maintain.

The land may have stayed in village hands until the assets of many local charities were liquidated to fund the extension of the Lutterworth Union in taking on the role of supporting the poor in the surrounding villages. The proceeds from this field and other properties whose rents supported the work of the overseers was distributed at different times in the year, like the St. Thomas Day distribution of fuel to act as a winter fuel allowance. In the parochial returns sent in to the House of Commons in 1818 Shearsby’s poor, at 23 people out of 260 amounted to between 8% and 9% of the village population.

John Ward was born in Shearsby and baptised in the village church on 9 May 1742. His parents were William and Ann Ward. ‘Thomas Mitchell’ is a common name in eighteenth-century Leicestershire, but the one born nearest to Shearsby would have been son of James Mitchel of Kibworth Beauchamp, baptised on 25 Jun 1714.

References

“England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-FLKQ : 6 June 2018), John Ward, 9 May 1742; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4S-RTG2 : 6 June 2018), Thomas Mitchel, 25 Jun 1714; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Great Britain (1818). A digest of parochial returns made to the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the Education of the Poor, Vol. 1. London, House of Commons [online]  accessed 01/11/2018

Thomas Ward, 1774-1841. Shearsby Miller

Thomas Ward was the son on William and Ann Ward and christened in Shearsby on 11 December 1774. Three years later his brother William was also born and christened in the village. Both brothers lived in the village: William, a farmer, was found in Back Street in 1841. On William’s death in 1847 a joint gravestone was set up for them in the churchyard.

Thomas married Ann Simonds in Shearsby on 02 Feb 1818. She may have been the Ann Simons christened in the Lutterworth Independent Chapel on 29 May 1798. Their daughter Elizabeth Simons Ward was christened in the village in January 1819.

In the 1841 Census Thomas was living in Mill Street and stated his occupation as as miller. Also in the household were Ann (~65), Elizabeth (~20) and two stocking-makers, Alice (55) and Mary (22) Allen. John Wylde, also living in Mill Street, was also noted as a miller, as his father had also been before his untimely death.

It was only shortly after the census, on 28 April, that Thomas died and he was buried in the village churchyard on 2 May 1841.

References

“England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-KH22 : 6 June 2018), Thos Ward, 11 Dec 1774; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-5PM6 : 6 June 2018), William Ward, 1 Dec 1777; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

“England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NK5D-K8N : 10 February 2018), Thomas Ward and Ann Simonds, 02 Feb 1818; citing Shearsby,Leicester,England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 585,287, 595,767.

“England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JW8X-8DH : 11 February 2018, Elizabeth Simons Ward, 03 Jan 1819); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 595,767

“England and Wales Census, 1841,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQYK-BFR : 13 December 2017), Ann Ward in household of Thomas Ward, Knaptoft, Leicestershire, England; from “1841 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast(http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

“England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4Q-T312 : 6 June 2018), Thomas Ward, 2 May 1841; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Burial, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 24, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Shearsby, New Inn, July 1842: A crowd of between 50 and 60 people assembled and dared the police to take any of them

Lutterworth Petty Sessions, Thursday July 28. (Before J. A. Arnold and R. Gough, Esqrs.)

Joseph Bott and Ebenezer Tristram Jones were charged with assaulting Superintendent Frie. Defendents had been ejected for making a disturbance at the New Inn, Shearsby; subsequently a crowd of between fifty and sixty people assembled and dared the police to take any of them. Jones, taking an active part, was secured. An attempt was then made to rescue him; and Bott, being one of the leaders, was taken into custody, and conveyed to the lock-up. Convicted in penalty and costs 10s. each.

The name ‘Ebenezer Tristram Jones’ is surprisingly common in Leicester, from whence he and presumably Bott came. The 50 or 60 people who assembled so quickly may have been more local though.

The following year Superintendent Frie had again to deal with disorderly drunkenness in Shearsby, apprehending Job Whitmore, William Bottrell and Thomas Hardy on the morning of the 4th July. They were brought before the justices at the Lutterworth Petty Sessions on 20 July and each fined 3s with costs of 5s 4d.

The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, July 30, 1842;

The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, March 04, 1837

The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, June 10, 1843

The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, July 22, 1843, p2.

Job Whitmore living in Hill Street, Shearsby in 1841. “England and Wales Census, 1841,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQYK-1WC : 13 December 2017), Job Whitmore, Knaptoft, Leicestershire, England; from “1841 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

Thomas Hardy, born in Shearsby in 1822. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-SYPQ : 6 June 2018), Thomas Hardy, 16 Jun 1822; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 12, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

William Bottrell living in Butter Pot Lane, Shearsby in 1841. “England and Wales Census, 1841,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQY2-M3C : 13 December 2017), William Bottrell, Knaptoft, Leicestershire, England; from “1841 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

Oadby, 4 September 1867: Properties of Thomas Simons auctioned

On the 3rd of July 1867 Mr. Thomas Simons died at the advanced age of 94.  A few years earlier the census had found him living on London Road, Oadby as a retired grocer with 10 year-old Jane Simons (his nephew Richard’s daughter), and a servant from Lutterworth. Back in 1851 he had been living in Main Street, Oadby, unmarried, with his younger sister Susannah. Susannah had died in March 1856 and been buried in Shearsby. Their father was Thomas Simons, long-time clerk to the village of Shearsby, who had also lived to a good age.

In September 1867 the properties of Thomas Simons in Oadby and Shearsby were put up for auction at the White Horse Inn, Oadby. There were to be two lots of Oadby properties and three lots for those in Shearsby.

The Robert Simons mentioned had been born in 1811, probably in Oadby, and had, in May 1842, married Mary Williams (b.1817), from Shearsby. In 1851 he was living in Oadby as a beer seller and grocer. He died and was buried in Shearsby in 1872.

Oadby

Lot 1. All that brick-built dwelling House and Shop, with suitable offices at the back thereof, situate and being in the centre of the pleasant village of Oadby aforesaid, with a large productive garden at the back thereof, late in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Simons, deceased.

And also all those three messuages or tenements, adjoining the above, fronting to the main street, with two Workshops and good Gardens at the back thereof, the whole containing a frontage of about 82 feet.

Lot 2. All that Dwelling House, with Grocer’s Shop, Bakehouse, Stable, Piggeries, and numerous out-offices, together with a good garden at the back thereof, situate in the main street, in Oadby, aforesaid, for several years in the occupation of Mr. Robert Simons, containing a frontage of about 54 feet.

Shearsby

Lot 1. All those three messuages or tenements, with Cow-house, Piggeries, and other Out-offices, together with a productive Orchard and Garden, situate in the centre of the village of Shearsby aforesaid, containing three roods or thereabouts, and now in the several occupations of Richard Simons, William Deacon and – Lee, and containing a frontage of 129 feet or thereabouts.

Lot 2. All that piece or parcel of land, situate at the upper-end of the village of Shearsby aforesaid, near the mill, and now in the occupation of Richard Simons, containing one acre or thereabouts.

Lot 3. All those two messuages or tenements, with out-offices, garden and yard attached, situate at the top of the main street of Shearsby aforesaid, now in the occupation of Thomas Simons, and containing a frontage of 47 feet or thereabouts.

References

The Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury (Leicester, England), Saturday, August 31, 1867;

The Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury (Leicester, England), Saturday, July 06, 1867; pg. 8

“England and Wales Census, 1861,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://www.familysearch.org/frontier/search-artifact/ark:/61903/1:1:M75P-Q5K December 2017), Thomas Simons, Oadby, Leicestershire, England; from “1861 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO RG 9, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

 

Shearsby, 4 December 1843: the late Mr. Read, deceased

It fell to friend and fellow-farmer Richard Messenger to manage the disposal of the estate of Thomas Read after his death on 12 November 1843. He arranged the burial in the Shearsby church-yard and, the following month, supervised the sale of ‘the whole of the livestock, hay, farming implements, household furniture, brewing and dairy utensils, etc.’ which was held over two days on the late grazier’s premises in Back Street. Thomas Read’s farm neighboured that of John Goode.

On 24 January the following year two fields were put up for sale at Robert Burdett’s New Inn by the trustees of the the will of Thomas Read. Pinfold Close (2 roods and 14 perches) and Townend Close (2 roods and 20 perches) were both at ‘the the north or bottom end’  of the parish.

The burial records have Thomas as being born around 1775. In census of 1841 he was living with Elizabeth and Susannah Read, both 40 in the census takers rounded figures. Elizabeth had been born in 1797 and Susannah  in 1801.  A child, Louisa Wylde, was also present. Ann Read (born 1809) had married John Wylde in August 1830, so Louisa would have been their child and grand-daughter to Thomas.

Thomas had other sons present in the village in 1841: Thomas, John and Ralph Hobill Read. Thomas has been christened in Shearsby on 20 November 1803, John in March 1806 and Ralph in 1817. Thomas was an agricultural labourer in 1841, married to Ann and living with his daughters Sarah (10), Ann (6), Mary (3) and Eliza (1).  Both John and Ralph were fellmongers, working in the leather trade. In 1841 John lived on Hill Street with his wife Hannah and their children John, Elizabeth, Jane and William.  While Ralph was in Mill Street with his wife Mary and son John. Ralph had married Mary Bindley in Shearsby on 17 April 1836.

Thomas and Elizabeth had other children: Elizabeth, christened 1797; Mary, christened 1811 and William, christened 1814, who later moved to Bitteswell and became a butcher. In January 1835 he had married Harriet Gilbert there.

Thomas had married Elizabeth Hobill in December 1796, but she had died in April 1837. She may have been the only child of Ralph and Susanna Hobill. Ralph Hobill had married Susanna Meadows in Shearsby in December 1770 and Elizabeth been christened on 9 February 1772.

Thomas Read’s gravestone poetically records his frustrations with the abilities of the local doctors, though it is not clear whether the complaints were for physical or emotional ailments:

Afflictions sore long time I bore,
Physicians were in vain;
Till God did please to give me ease,
And free me from all pain.

Shearsby memorials 039

Memorial for Elizabeth Read, wife of Thomas Read, Fellmonger, who departed this life April 9th, 1837, aged 65 years.

References

“Multiple Advertisements and Notices ”  The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, November 25, 1843;

“Multiple Classified ads.” Leicester Chronicle, January 20, 1844, [1]+. British Library Newspapers (accessed March 22, 2019).

Burial of Thomas Read, 1843. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4Q-B13P : 6 June 2018), Thomas Read, 15 Nov 1843; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Burial, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 25, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Thomas Read in 1841 Census. “England and Wales Census, 1841,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQYK-YBL : 10 April 2019), Thomas Read and Elizebth Read and Susannah Read and Louisa Wylde, Knaptoft, Leicestershire, England; from “1841 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast(http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

Marriage of Thomas Read and Elizabeth Hobill, 1796. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4W-QD1J : 6 June 2018), Thomas Read and Elizabeth Hobill, 29 Dec 1796; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 4, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Baptism of Elizabeth Hobill, Bruntingthorpe, 1772. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPWB-T3K8 : 6 June 2018), Elizabeth Hobill, 30 Apr 1772; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 1, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Baptism of Elizabeth Hobill, Shearsby, 1772.”England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-MKLZ : 6 June 2018), Elizabeth Hobill, 9 Feb 1772; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Burial of Elizabeth Read, 1837. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP43-1GYV : 6 June 2018), Elizabeth Read, 13 Apr 1837; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Burial, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 21, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Elizabeth Read, 1797. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-42NH : 6 June 2018), Elizabeth Read, 28 May 1797; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Thomas Read, 1803. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-CB2Q : 6 June 2018), Thomas Read, 20 Nov 1803; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

John Read christening 1806. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4M-S3TZ : 6 June 2018), John Read, 22 Mar 1806; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Ralph Hobill Read christened 1817. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-LSSS : 6 June 2018), Ralph Hobill Read, 9 Feb 1817; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 5, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Mary Read. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-D6FS : 6 June 2018), Mary Read, 1 Dec 1811; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page , Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

William Read. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW1-YGJ8 : 6 June 2018), William Read, 20 Mar 1814; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Baptism, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 2, Citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

Marriage of Ralph Hobill Read. “England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4H-FW7M : 6 June 2018), Ralph Hobill Read and Mary Bindley, 17 Apr 1836; records extracted by findmypast, images digitized by FamilySearch; citing Marriage Banns, Shearsby, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, page 18, citing the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, Wigston, UK.

William Read, 1851. “England and Wales Census, 1851,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SGFS-LDT : 1 November 2017), William Read, Bitteswell, Leicestershire, England; citing Bitteswell, Leicestershire, England, p. 3, from “1851 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

Leicestershire, May 1829: The crimes of horse, cattle and sheep-stealing having greatly increased…

How, in the days before a national police service, did communities like Shearsby in the early nineteenth-century respond to the threat of crime? One answer was to encourage mutual support through associations for the conviction of felons.

In May 1829 both Job and William Walker, of Shearsby, signed up to become founder members of the Leicestershire General Association for the Prosecution of Horse, Cattle and Sheep-Stealers. This organisation had been established as the “crimes of horse, cattle and sheep-stealing having greatly increased within the County of Leicester, and which the partial associations of small districts have proved inadequate to check, it has been thought that a general Association extending over the whole county, would, by providing a more effective means to detect offenders, materially tend to diminish the offences”.

Having decided to form this association, the organisers were keen to use the Social Media of the day; regional and local newspapers. Notices were placed in the Leicester Herald and Leicester Chronicle newspapers in the early Summer of 1829 that not only alerted the public to the existence of this association, but also highlighted an element of celebrity endorsement by listing the names of those members of the nobility and gentry already persuaded to sign up.

These included the Marquis of Hastings, Earl of Denbigh, Earl Howe and Lord Southampton; one Bart., twenty-four Esquires and a number of lesser ‘misters’. There were a number of people named as associated with places, like the Walkers of Shearsby. These seemed to form a network of South Leicestershire farmers, including R. Oldacres and J. Stevens of Arnesby, William Higgs of Mowesley; F. Breedon and J. Knight of Saddington; W. Hobill and J. Waldram of Bruntingthorpe; W. Hall and W. Wayte of Great Peatling among others.

There was, at this time, no national or even local police service covering the county. Prosecutions, such as that against the unfortunate Peberdy, had to be arranged and funded privately. It was also left to the Ross family themselves to raise a reward and appeal for information on the whereabouts of their absconding son George, who is presumed to have funded his plans to emigrate to America without the knowledge of his parents and employers.

Example of voluntarism and neighbourliness can be seen in the alert issued to readers of local newspapers about the impostor claiming to be the father of triplets.

References

The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, May 30, 1829

Leicester Herald (Leicester, England), Wednesday, June 3, 1829

Koyama, M. (2012) “Prosecution Associations in Industrial Revolution England: Private Providers of Public Goods?”, The Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 95-130.

Koyama, M. (2014) “The law & economics of private prosecutions in industrial revolution England”, Public Choice, vol. 159, no. 1, pp. 277-298.

“England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JWZY-4JT : 11 February 2018, Job Walker, 03 Mar 1782); citing SHEARSBY,LEICESTER,ENGLAND, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 585,287.

Shearsby, 14 April 1845: Mr Blockley leaves the farm

An auction was held at Thomas Blockley’s farm premises in Shearsby on 14 April 1845. The lots for sale give an idea of the style of agriculture being practiced in the parish in the mid-nineteenth century. They included:

  • 40 ewes and lambs
  • 55 lambhogs: 2nd year lambs
  • 4 shearhogs: lamb between first and second shearing
  • 1 dairy cow
  • 1 superior in-calved cow
  • 2 young cows (heifers), expecting their first calves
  • 2 sturk heifers: one to two years old
  • 5 2-year old steers: Defined by Baker (1854) as “a bullock, after it is one year old, till it enters its fourth year, when it is termed an ox”.
  • 3 yearling calves
  • 2 7-year old cart horses
  • 1 5-year old superior harness horse
  • 1 hackney mare
  • 1 foal, sired by Mundig
  • 2 pigs
  • 2 4 1/2 inch carts
  • Ploughs, harrows, horse tackle, etc.
  • 60 acres of grass-keeping rented until the 10th October

There is a mix here of sheep for grazing and other animal to support domestic consumption. The foal “by Mundig” (a horse well known in fox-hunting circles) may be an indicator of the social pursuits of its owner.

There were no members of the Blockley family present in the village when the 1841 Census was taken. They may have arrived since that date or merely been visiting elsewhere at the time. One William Blockley, born in nearby Bruntingthorpe in 1830, would have been a teenager at the time of this move. He married Elizabeth Bottrell, 4 years his younger and from Shearsby, in August 1851. They brought up a family in Bruntingthorpe.

References

The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Leicester, England), Saturday, April 05, 1845; pg. [1]

Baker, Anne Elizabeth (1854) Glossary of Northamptonshire words and phrases · 1st edition, London: J.R. Smith

 

Featured image: taken from page 415 of ‘Angol-Skóthoni napló 1858 és 1859 évekről