Agnes Bowkers’ Cat

I love the weird and wonderful and this story is definitely that.  I have taken most of the information from, Agnes Bowker’s Cat; Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England, by David Cressy.

Agnes Bowker, aged 27, daughter of Henry Bowker of Market Harborough, appeared before the archdeacon’s court on 22 January 1569 and testified: ‘that she was delivered of this monster (for so she called it) the 16th day of January between the hours of six and seven at night.’  Agnes also mentioned a certain Randal Dowley, servant to Edward Griffin, ‘had to do with her at Braybrooke over the porter’s ward at Michaelmas’ and that wasn’t the only occasion.  There were further encounters with Randal in the porter’s ward, in the maltmill and upon the grange leas as she was gathering sticks one month before pease harvest last past.  This would lead you to believe that Randal was the father of the ‘monster’ but you would be wrong because Agnes continued her testimony: ‘that a cat had to do with her six or seven times betwixt Michaelmas was twelthmonth and a month before Harborough fair last past’.  Agnes testimony also included an attempted suicide when Randal would not help her and ‘who utterly forsook her’.

Agnes returned to Harborough where she was examined by Mrs Roos, a local midwife.  Agnes returned to her a few days later in labour and Mrs Roos told the court, ‘she did feel a thing but whether it were child or water she could not tell’.  Mrs Roos also stated that Agnes already ‘hath had a child of late, and this is the afterbirth’.  Apparently the labour stopped but started again eight days later when Agnes was attended to by a different midwife, Elizabeth Harrison, from Great Bowden. This is Elizabeth’s testimony:

‘That on Tuesday the 11th of this January she (Elizabeth Harrison) was sent for by the wives of Harborough, Margery Slater being the messenger, to come to Agnes Bowker being in labour.  She saith that she asked this Agnes who was the father of her child…who answered it is one Randal Dowley, for he had had many times the use of her body carnally; and further (she) saith that the said Agnes told her these tales following.  There came to (Agnes) divers and sundry times a thing in the likeness of a bear, sometimes like a dog, sometimes like a man, and had the knowledge carnal of her body in every such shape.  Also she saith that Agnes Bowker told her that…as she walked abroad the country (she) met with an outlandish woman, a Dutch woman, and the stranger asked her the cause of her sadness.  Agnes answered, I have good cause for I am with child; then the stranger said, Nay thou art not with child, but what wilt thou give me, I will tell thee what thou art withal.  Then Agnes said I will give thee a penny, and so did, and the woman stranger said Thou art neither with man child nor woman child, but with a Mooncalf. And that thou shall know shortly, for thou hast gone forty weeks already, and thou shalt go eleven weeks longer, and then at the same hour the moon changeth or thereabout, get thee women about thee, for it shall fall from thee.’

In Agnes’ later testimony she mentioned a Mr Hugh Brady who she said dwelt in Harborough and ‘was schoolmaster there’.  Agnes accused him of being vicious and sleeping with his maids and when she told his wife, Brady ‘entreated her evil and there the falling sickness took her.  Agnes encountered Brady again at Braybrooke where he told her to go the grange yard.

‘She saith she went there and he came to her and cast her on the ground, and had his carnal pleasure upon her and bad her be merry, and he would get her a boy, and would send for her where she would live in better state all the days of her life.’  Brady asked her if her disease had gone and when Agnes relied no, he said she must be ruled by him, and have a child and then it would go.  Also, she must forsake God and all of his works and give herself wholly to the Devil.

So did Agnes give birth to a cat or monster?  The men of Harborough seem to have been a little less fanciful. The curate Christopher Pollard, along with George Walker, innholder, William Jenkinson and Edmund Goodyear of Harborough, baker, all testified that they saw bacon in the stomach of the cat and were convinced they were looking at a real cat – not some monster that Agnes had given birth to.  They further testified that Agnes had tried to borrow a neighbour’s cat which was now missing and they had no doubt as to where that cat had gone.

Ecclesiastical courts dealt with the ‘moral’ crimes of its parishioners, including adultery, witchcraft, prostitution and sex outside of marriage etc. and because of the nature of these cases these courts were also known as ‘the Bawdy Courts’.  Ecclesiastical courts were also responsible for the licensing of midwives who were expected to gain details of any illegitimate births and also to try and find out who the father was.  As this story shows, these court records can provide a fascinating window into the lives of your ancestors.

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Oh Lord save us!  A great pestilence is upon us.

Reports reached London in 1347 of a terrifying and incurable disease which was spreading from the East.  It reached England in 1348 and is thought to have killed millions of people.  There are three different types of plague; bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic.  The most common variant is the bubonic plague where buboes Bubonic-plagueappear in the neck, armpits and groin areas which oozed blood and pus when opened. It is thought the plague which hit England was the Bubonic Plague and there were sporadic outbreaks between 1348 until the last in 1665-1666 (The Great Plague of London).  There were (known) outbreaks of the plague in Market Harborough in 1609, 1625, 1641 and 1645.  In 1609 the Townsmen’s Accounts record the provisions made for an outbreak of plague in the town.  Mr Walker’s bill details; aquavitie, saffron, cinnamon, orange, ginger, frankincense, nutmegs, cloves and mace, just to name some of the exotic spices listed which were thought to help cure the plague.  Although there isn’t any mention of the cause of deaths in the burial register, in 1625 there were 33 burials recorded, compared to 14 in 1626. During the outbreak of 1641 the minister recorded who had died of the plague in the parish register (spelling as in the parish register).

Anne Townsend a stranger who came from Stonie Stratford and brought with her the plague to the towne who lodged at one wid: Nowelle at the sign of the Meeremaide and infected first that house wt the pestilence and there dyed and was buried July 19 1641

Goodith Pickering the daughter Gilbert Pickering and sister to widow Nowill dyed of the plague and was buried July 31

John the sonne of widow Makkernes dyed of the plague and was buried August the first.

Mary Nowell widow and hostis of the meeremaide dyed of the plague and was buried August 5th

John Glover hostler at the Meeremaide dyed of the plague and was buried August 5th

Francis Yates widow hostis of the Talbott and sister to widow Nowill of the Meermaide dyed of the plague and was buried August the 10th

Christopher Mackernes sonne of wid: Mackernes dyed of the plague and was buried August 12th

Joseph Mackernes sonne of wid Mackernes dyed of the plague and was buried August 13

Edward Chapman the sonne of Edward Chapman dyed of the plague and was buried 15th of August

Sarah Mills daughter of John Mills dyed of the plague and was buried August 18th

In 1645, the plague returned:

Anne Tomlin the daughter of Robert Tomlyn shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried August 30

George Tomlyn the sonne of Robert Tomlin shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried August 30

Thomas Tomlin the sonne of Robert Tomlyn shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 13th

Mary (?) daughter of John (?) shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 13th

Mary Tomlyn the daughter of Robert Tomlin shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 14th

Susanna Tomlyn the daughter of Robert Tomlyn shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 16th

Ffrancis (?) dyed of the plague and was buried October the first

Thomas Miller the sonne of Thomas Miller dyed of the plague and was buried October 12th

John the sonne of John Hoyt shoemaker dyed of the plague October 26th

The poor Tomlyn family were hit particularly hard – I’ll have to look into them at a later date.  A total of 41 burials were recorded in that year.  There were other burials in between the ones mentioned above but they were not recorded as having ‘dyed of the plague’.

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The Battle of Waterloo

RoyalEng1813From: British Military Uniforms by James Laver, published by Penguin

I already have a house full of books and you can’t see the floor of my office as it is covered in piles of books waiting to find a space on the overflowing bookshelves.  The other Saturday, on my way back home, I passed by a book fair and no, I didn’t resist going in, it didn’t even cross my mind to.  Oh what a joy! I was in there for hours, happily browsing and wondering how much could I afford to (or get away with) spending.  There was a sensible moment when I wondered where I was going to put any new additions but it went quickly away.  There were some wonderful old, leather-bound books and many on local history – and yes, I may have bought one or two (OK – it was a few more than two) but I thought I restrained myself rather well considering how many I could have bought.  One of the books I picked up was ‘British Military Uniforms’ by James Laver, which has colour plates showing the early uniforms of the British Army regiments and as it is the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, I thought my next post should be about that.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on 18 June 1815, in what is now Belgium, between the French and the British and Allied Army. The Seventh Coalition was comprised of forces from the UK, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick, Nassau and Prussia.  Gebhard von Blϋcher commanded the Prussian army and a multi-national army was under the command of the Duke of Wellington. The coalition had around 68,000 troops and the French army around 73,000.  According to the Duke of Wellington, the battle was ‘the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life’.  Blϋcher and Wellington’s victory halted Napoleon’s dream of European domination and he was exiled to St Helena where he died in 1821.


Dragoon1815There is a lot of information online about the Battle of Waterloo, including which regiments were involved and how the battle unfolded.  The National Army Museum is commemorating the battle through its ‘Waterloo 200’ project and includes a Waterloo 200 Descendants book which is an e-book featuring stories of the soldiers who fought at the battle.  If you think one of your ancestors was at the battle, Ancestry has recently digitised the Muster Books and Pay Lists, series WO 12, held at The National Archives (TNA).  These records detail the pay and enlistment records between 1812 and 1817 so include those for the men who fought at the Battle of Waterloo.  Findmypast has the Waterloo Medal Roll which details over 36,000 men of all ranks; the Waterloo Roll Call which details of officers and non-commissioned officers and men who fought at Waterloo and were subsequently commissioned and the British Army service records (1760-1915) which has service histories of soldiers on its website as well as other record sets which will help trace your soldier ancestor.

There was a small newspaper clipping in the book:

‘Infantry Debreeched

Today is not only the anniversary of Waterloo but it is memorable as the day that the British Infantry first put on trousers.

On June 18 1823 the order came from the Commander in Chief the Duke of York: “His Majesty has been pleased to approve of the discontinuance of breeches and leggings and shoes as part of the clothing of the infantry soldiers; and of blue grey cloth trousers and half boots being substituted.”

You would have thought that the infantry would have been pleased to give up their purple breeches, white leggings up to the thigh and purple garters under the knee.  But the order caused an uproar far worse than the one that is going to break out on the day they order the Highland Brigade to wear identical tartans.  The order of June 18 went on to say that from now on the soldiers would be expected to provide their own waistcoats ‘in order to indemnify the colonels’.  The waistcoat money would be stopped from their shilling a day pay.’

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7th Leicesters at Dinner April 1915

I love days like today.  You look out of the one window and there is a beautiful blue sky and sunshine; you look out of another window and see a dark and stormy sky heading straight for you.  When it arrives, it brings torrential downpours, thunder, lightning and even hail and then it’s gone and blue skies appear again.  A perfect day to stay in, drink tea and write.7Leics_reduced Here we have a postcard I picked up of the ‘7th Leicester’s at Dinner, April 1915’. This Battalion was formed at Leicester in September 1914 and moved to Aldershot.  In April 1915 the Battalion was transferred to the 110th Brigade of 37th Division and was moved to Salisbury Plain.  This photograph could have been taken either at Aldershot before they were moved and transferred or at Salisbury Plain.  I think it is probably the latter.  In July 1915, the men were sent to France and saw action on the Western Front.  They were transferred again; this time the 110th Brigade (the Leicester Tigers Brigade) was transferred from the 37th to the 21st Division and once again was engaged in action.

This list of battles is from the Long Long Trail website.

The Battle of Albert*
The Battle of Bazentin Ridge*
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Morval* in which the Division captured Geudecourt
The Battle of Le Transloy*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
The First Battle of the Scarpe**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe**
The flanking operations around Bullecourt**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Arras offensive 1917
The Battle of Polygon Wood***
The Battle of Broodseinde***
The Second Battle of Passchendaele***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres
The Cambrai Operations

The Battle of St Quentin+
The First Battle of Bapaume+
The battles marked + are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Messines=
The Second Battle of Kemmel=
The battles marked = are phases of the Battles of the Lys 1918
The Battle of the Aisne 1918
The Battle of Albert++
The Second Battle of Bapaume++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Epehy^
The Battle of the St Quentin Canal^
The Battle of Cambrai 1918^
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Selle, a phase of the Final Advance in Picardy

Also on the Long Long Trail website it states, “In all the 21st Division had suffered the loss of 55581 killed, wounded and missing”. I wonder how many of the men in the photo sat having their dinner in April 1915 made it home.

There are many website dedicated to commemorating WW1.  As mentioned above the Long Long Trail is an excellent website to find out about soldiers, regiments battles and more.  The National Archives has a guide on how to research a British Army soldier on its website.  For those interested in the Leicester Tigers, the Leicestershire Regiment Soldiers of WW1 website has loads of photographs.  The website was established in 2013 and the aim is to try and identify as many of the men in the images as possible.

The Royal Leicestershire Regiment was an infantry regiment in the British Army, with a history going back to 1688. It saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated into The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964.  The Regimental Museum occupies six galleries on the upper floor of Newarke House, Leicester.  The ground floor of the museum displays artefacts and memorabilia relating to the social history of the City of Leicester.  Outside Newarke Houses flies the Regimental flag, and two cannons which were captured at Sevastopol during the Crimean War can be seen each side of the entrance.

On the Royal Leicestershire Regiment website there is an online database which has over 65,000 records, containing names, ranks, regimental numbers, photographs, small biographies and more information to help find family members and friends who may have served in the regiment. The Green Tiger is the journal of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment. It has recorded events and news about the Regiment since 1904, and from 1964 it has been the newsletter for the old comrades of the Regimental Association.  There is an online database which contains scanned editions of every issue (when published). Publication was limited during WW1 and WW2 and for a period it was only a brief newsletter. There is also a database where you can search for any medals or honours awarded to members of the regiment.  Access to these databases is also available at the museum.

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James Dodds

JamesDoddsA while ago I came across this photograph on Ebay.  A fine, handsome chap named James Dodds, with his birthdate conveniently written.  It’s not often you come across photos with names and dates and I felt sorry for him thinking he must belong to someone’s family.  So who was James Dodds?  On the back of the photo is ‘Curren (or Currey), Bath St. Bolton 1866’.  If we take the date to be when the photo was taken this would put James at 19 years old and in Bolton, Lancashire.
A search on FreeBMD doesn’t really come up with anything obvious for this James – possibilities yes but nothing stands out as the births seem to be concentrated in the north east of England.  It’s possible his birth wasn’t listed as in the early days of registration it wasn’t unusual for a birth not to be registered as the onus was on the registrar rather than the parents to register the birth.  It wasn’t until the early 1870s that more births were registered as the parents could be fined for failing to register the birth within a given time period.

A look at the 1861 census finds a James Dodds born in West Ord, Northumberland, aged 13, living as a lodger with the Harrison household.  Also listed is a George Heppell Dodds, aged 15, born in West Ord, Northumberland.  Where are the parents and why are the boys living in Over Hulton?  Let’s go back 10 years to the 1851 census.  In this we find James with John aged 34, born Nutfield, Ann aged 32, born Hexham, Hannah aged 10 , John aged 8, Adam aged 7, George H aged 5, James aged 3, Elisabeth aged 2 and Ann aged 8 months.  All of the children were born in West Ord.  That’s a lot of children in a short time – poor Ann must have been worn out.  John is a farm steward and they must have been fairly comfortable as they also had a house servant living with them at the time Ann Thompson aged 18.  There is no doubt this is the same James Dodds in Bolton in 1866.

In the 1871 census George and James are living at Holly Bank, Over Hulton.  George is listed as the head of the household and aged 25.  James is described as his brother and is aged 23.  They have a sister who has joined them – Jane aged 19, all of them described as born in Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland.  The lads must have had a decent education as George is a cashier and James a book keeper – both working for a collier.  Jane is a housekeeper, probably looking after the house and her brothers.

In 1881 James has married Adelaide and they are living in Warrington.  They now have a son John aged 1.  Things are looking good for them as they have 2 servants living with them – Annie Worlsey and Emma Mainwaring. James works as a clerk/secretary to a public iron works.

James and Adelaide are living in Lymm, Cheshire in 1891.  A place I know well as a large part of my father’s side are from Warburton, a small village not far from Lymm.  I wonder if he and my great grandfather Abraham Collins ever came across each other, perhaps in the pub on a market day.  Back to James who is now a Tanner Master.  Their son John is aged 11 and has been joined by Annie aged 9; Adelaide Mary aged 7, Percy Lomax aged 4 ; Marjorie aged 2 and James H aged just 9 months. Adelaide isn’t stinting on the domestic help as she has 3 servants with her: Ada Partington, Annie Hopkins and Mary Abbot.

The family are living at Penketh House, Warrignton Road in 1901 and we find that James and Adelaide’s family has grown considerably.  John is now aged 21 and a farmer employing people; Annie is aged 19; Adelaide aged 17; Percy L aged 14; Marjorie ged 12; James H aged 10; Malcolm Fenton aged 6; along with 2 servants, Lilly Atherton and Annie Broome.  James is an Iron Manufacturer.

Sadly by 1911, it has ended for James and we find Adelaide listed as a widow.  She is still living at Penketh House on ‘private means’ with some of her children, Percy Lomax, Marjorie, James Hepple and Malcom Fenton.  She still doesn’t stint on help and has 3 servants with her; Rebecca Jackson, Mary Annie Hassall and Bertha Eaton.  Adelaide states she had 9 children 2 of whom have died.  Penketh House was a large property with 13 rooms.

Adelaide dies in 1926 aged 72.  A search found James and Adelaide were buried in St Mary’s Church, Lymm. Headstones can be incredibly informative in family history research and James and Adelaide’s headstone provides plenty of information about the family.  You can see the inscription on the Find a Grave website. So James and Adelaide had many children, some who married and had children of their own.  The questions are, why did James’ photo end up on Ebay and would any of his descendants like it back?

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Working Class Movement Library

One of my favourite archives is the Working Class Movement Library which holds a unique collection of material related to the lives of working class people and the labour movement. The library has a rich and varied collection of material consisting of books, pamphlets, archives, photographs, banners and posters which can help to provide useful information into working conditions in the past and help to create a picture of your ancestors’ lives.  Their Trade Union records are some of the earliest to survive and date from the 1820s.  Unfortunately the records are not indexed but if your ancestor was an active officer such as a Branch Secretary, they may appear in annual and quarterly reports or if they received sick pay or a pension they may also appear in the records.  The library is a registered charity and relies on donations.  Based in Salford, people are very welcome to make an appointment to visit the library and look through the records.

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Richard III

Richard was in Nottingham when he heard Henry Tudor was on his way through Wales.  Richard set out to meet him and arrived in Leicester where he stayed at a local inn due to Leicester Castle being in a state of decay.
The inn was originally called the White Boar but after Richard’s defeat the name was changed to the Blue Boar which was the badge of the Earl of Oxford, a BlueBoarsupporter of Henry Tudor.  Apparently Richard left his bed at the inn, no doubt thinking he would collect it when he returned, where it remained for many years being passed down to each successive landlord.  There is a story of how in 1613 Mistress Clarke, the landlord’s wife, found a hoard of gold coins hidden in the bedstead.  Stories of hidden wealth soon started and there was plot to rob the landlady.  At this time Mistress Clarke was a widow when she was choked to death by a housemaid who was eventually burnt at the stake for her crime.  There were also seven men who were hanged.  Richard left Leicester on 21 August 1485 and the forces met at the Battle of Bosworth.  After his defeat his body was brought back to Leicester where he was eventually interred in Greyfriars Friary.  The friary was broken up during the dissolution of the monasteries and it is thought some of the stones were used to repair St Martin’s Church which is now Leicester Cathedral.  Yesterday Richard’s remains were returned to just outside of Fenny Drayton to begin the procession to Leicester Cathedral.  He will lie in state for three days before being interred in the cathedral on Thursday.  You can find out more on the website.
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‘No means to bury’

It is inevitable that at some point in our family history research we will come across something we wish we hadn’t.  Whether it is a criminal, something else unsavoury or something tragic which fills our hearts with sadness. Although we wish we hadn’t uncovered it, it helps with understanding our family and who they were.

My grandmother, Lily Dulson, was one of 12 children. Lily was born in Manchester in 1898 to William and Annie Dulson who had married in 1895.  Their first child was called Martha, after William’s mother.  Martha was born and died in 1895 and was buried in a public grave, position number 18.  William was born next and then Lily.  The family lived in at least 5 different places in as many years.  John came next and more followed and I suspect where there are gaps there are either births I haven’t found yet or miscarriages.  The family continued to move almost every year, from one slum to another all around Manchester; it was inevitable that at some point they would end up in the workhouse.

Annie was admitted to Withington Workhouse on 17 August 1910 with three of her children; John, Annie and Arthur.  As was the usual practise at that time, the family was split up.  Annie was allowed to keep Arthur with her as he was only two weeks old but little Annie was sent off on her own even though she was only aged 2; John was older, aged 10 and was sent to the boys section.  The family left on 16 November, apart from Annie.  There is a note in the column ‘allowed to leave child’.  Perhaps Annie was already ill because on 2 December she died in the workhouse.  The register has her father listed and an address and ‘no means to bury’.  Annie was buried in the workhouse grounds.

In the 1911 census the family are living at Prymme Street with only two children – Lily and John.  It states they have been married for 17 years and have had 9 children, 7 of whom have died and two who are living.  This isn’t true.  Their eldest son William is still alive as he marries in 1914 and his sister Lily and her future husband James Collins are the witnesses. The address he gives is 26 Melbourne Street, the same address as the family give in 1914. There is also a child in Crumpsall Workhouse, Mary Ellen, aged 5, who I believe to be their child.

More children followed and in 1913 we find the family in Salford Workhouse where Cyrus Dulson was born.  He was christened on 6 April 1913 at Stowell Memorial, Salford, Lancashire.  He was the child of William & Annie Dulson; William’s occupation was a Carter.  Their abode was the Salford Union Workhouse.  Things did not improve for the family. Cyrus Dulson died on 23 June 1914 at Manchester Withington Workhouse.  He was aged 1.  He was buried on 28 June. The place of burial is ‘Southern Friends’.  Annie Dulson died on 29 July 1914 in Manchester Withington Workhouse.  She was aged 2 months. The register shows Annie was buried on 4 August 1914 and the place of burial is ‘union’.  Her mother is shown as Annie Dulson of 26 Melbourne Street, Hulme and a note in the column states ‘no means to bury’.

The sporadic school records for some of the children also confirm an itinerant life; constantly moving from house to house and the workhouse.  Perhaps they were evicted or avoiding landlords with night time flits?  It must have been heart breaking for them all, losing one child after another and having ‘no means to bury’ them.  Lily married James Jesse Collins in 1914, she was aged 17; their first child did not survive but all of the ones which followed did.

If you have ancestors who were in the workhouse, one of the best websites is

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The October Fair

Market Harborough used to hold an annual fair in October.  The Fair would begin on 18th October, the eve of St Dionysius, and last for nine days.  It was something which was looked forward to for months.  The town would be packed with people and stalls selling produce.  Farmer’s waggons would bring in people from the surrounding villages and it would be impossible to move through the crowds of people.  There would be shows and stalls standing in the Square and High Street and around the Church.  Wombell’s Menagerie stood in the High Street and entertained the crowds by playing classical music.  There would be a Theatre of Varieties where you could see a whole range of plays in a half hour’s performance.  If you have an agricultural labourer or servant in your family, then this sort of fair is where domestic and farm servants were hired for the year.  Horses would be sold in the High Street; sheep would be sold on the Square and Cattle would be sold in Coventry Road, Fairfield Road and the Cricket Field.  Private houses would try and cash in on the extra people willing to spend their money by supplying ‘intoxicating liquors’ and were known as ‘Bough Houses’ because they hung evergreens above their doorways. No wonder it was looked forward to so much!

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William Bryan

One of the interesting headstones which survive in St Mary in Arden’s graveyards is this one:
To the Memory of
William Bryan
Late of Spode in the Parish
Of Clun County of Salop
Who died Suddenly
In Harborough
The 31st Day of July 1832
In the 42nd Year of his Age
And was Buried Here
Important business brought me down,
From Clun ton-ville to Harborough town;
A hundred miles from home
Being wearied much my health was gone,
I breathed my last for I was on
My journey to the tomb.
Let not my tender parents here,
My Brothers or my Sisters dear

My Wife or Children weep
The word divine predicts that we
Shall rise again and blessed be
Who do in Jesus sleep

It was such an informative headstone, I sent a photograph and transcript off to the Shropshire Family History Society, hoping he would belong to someone and he did!  William was from a farming family and I would guess he had come to Market Harborough for one of the markets to buy or sell sheep, cattle or horses.

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