general

1620 AND ALL THAT

     This year marks the 400 year anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey from England to America. It was in 1620 that an intrepid group of dissenters set sail across the Atlantic on what was then an incredibly dangerous journey. Underlying their journey was a belief that the reformation of English churches by Henry VIII and the creation of the Protestant Church of England was half-hearted and had resulted in something far too close to the original Catholic church, albeit with rules that suited the King and allowed him to divorce his wife in order to remarry.

     Although no detailed description of the original vessel exists, marine archaeologists estimate that the square-rigged sailing ship weighed about 180 tons and measured 90 feet (27 metres) long. In addition, some sources suggest that the Mayflower was constructed in Harwich, England, shortly before English merchant Christopher Jones purchased the vessel
     Some of the Pilgrims were brought from Holland on the Speedwell, a smaller vessel that accompanied the Mayflower on its initial departure from Southampton, England, on August 15, 1620. When the Speedwell proved unseaworthy and was twice forced to return to port, the Mayflower set out alone from Plymouth, England, on September 16, after taking on some of the smaller ship’s passengers and supplies. Among the Mayflower’s most-distinguished voyagers were William Bradford and Captain Myles Standish. 

     Chartered by a group of English merchants called the London Adventurers, the Mayflower was prevented by rough seas and storms from reaching the territory that had been granted in Virginia (a region then conceived of as much larger than the present-day U.S. state of Virginia, at the time including the Mayflower’s original destination in the area of the Hudson River in what is now New York state). Instead, after a 66-day voyage, it first landed November 21 on Cape Cod at what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the day after Christmas it deposited its 102 settlers nearby at the site of Plymouth. Before going ashore at Plymouth, Pilgrim leaders (including Bradford and William Brewster) drafted the Mayflower Compact, a brief 200-word document that was the first framework of government written and enacted in the territory that would later become the Unites States of America. The ship remained in port until the following April, when it left for England. The true fate of the vessel remains unknown; however, some historians argue that the Mayflower was scrapped for its timber, which was then used in the construction of a barn in Jordans, Buckinghamshire, England. 

     In 1957 the historic voyage of the Mayflower was commemorated when a replica of the original ship was built in England and sailed to Massachusetts in 53 days.

 

TAKING AVOIDING ACTION

When Winchester fell victim to an outbreak of the plague in 1666, country people bringing produce to market refused to enter the city and would only trade on a large stone slab near the West Gate. Any exchange of money would only take place after the coins had been soaked in bowls of vinegar in an attempt to stop the pestilence being transferred.

 

 

 

PARISHES

THE FIRST SURGERY

     In 1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman qualified to practise medicine, opened for business at 20, Upper Berkeley Street, London. She had passed the examination set by the Society of Apothecaries, who then changed the rules to stop more women gaining a licence.
Beginning the need for poor women to receive medical help, Elizabeth set up the St Mary’s Dispensary for Women and Children in 1866.She still did not have a medical degree, however, as British medical schools refused to admit her. She therefore learned French and applied to the Sorbonne in Paris, where, in 1870, she was at last awarded a doctorate of medicine.

 

THE PACKAGE HOLIDAY

     The first foreign package holiday for working class people set off on 17th May 1861, with 1,673 travellers from the Midlands and North of England going to Paris for a week. Pioneering travel agent Thomas Cook’s firm organised boat trains from London to Boulogne, and a further train to Paris. A return fare in Third Class cost £1..

 

FIND MY PAST

     Our members wondered what was happening recently when they went into the site and couldn’t believe their eyes. A couple even logged off and logged back in with the hope that what they were normally used to had disappeared and they were lost. “Help” was the cry and the new instructions had to be given as it was the usual site but had replaced its logo with a purple background and a choice of four colour schemes for the text and this is followed by a new slogan which further confuses one when it says ‘Where Will Your Past Take You’. One will gradually get used to the changed, but why can’t things have to be changed when they work perfectly well? Oh dear!

 

FROM THE PARISH REGISTERS OF 
ST GEORGE, HANOVER SQUARE, LONDON

2nd June, 1843
Alice Maud Mary, daughter of Her Majesty Queen Victoria and His Royal Highness Prince Albert. Buckingham Palace, born April 25th, 1843.

 

AN ODD PARISH REGISTER ENTRY

     An entry from the 1801 burial register of Creeting St Mary in Suffolk, reads:
Elizabeth alias ‘Sally’ Woods was a dwarf who lived in the lane on Creeting Hills, still named after her. When her cottage fell down, she lived on in the chimney and when she was buried, the length of her coffin was thee feet four inches, its width one foot one inch and a half, its depth one foot nine inches.

 

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

     Often when we are indexing records, we come across odd items in registers or pieces of paper. I came across probably the most bizarre one I have seen when indexing some Funeral Directors records recently.
* I direct my Executors to arrange that my body be dressed in a loose-fitting shroud so that I can use my arms.
* I direct my Executors  to arrange to have buried with me a light hammer through the handle of which passes a cord which is then tied around my wrist so that I could use the hammer to hit the inside of the coffin.
Can you get more bizarre than that!

 

information

YOU HAVE FOUND

OUR MAIN WEBSITE AND

THERE IS ALSO A SUPPLEMENT

ON FACEBOOK WITH LOTS MORE PHOTOGRAPHS AND DESCRIPTIONS

 

 

OPEN MEETINGS

on Tuesday 11th and 25th

IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 2020 

 

FREE WiFi - FREE PARKING

 

THE NUMBER OF VISITORS TO OUR WEBSITE IN THE PAST WEEK

was 4,013

and has now reached 715,3569

Total updated 3rd February, 2020

 

 

END OF WINDOWS 7

      Microsoft recently announced that it has officially begun the Windows 7 end of life. The company will stop supporting the system and will not be issuing any further updates. If things go awry and bugs develop we have to hope that our computer network manager will be able to rectify the problem. We will be using the current system as long as we can as to replace seven terminals to System 10 will be prohibitive costwise.

 

END OF THE ROAD

     Our many callers will have noticed that our regular updates over the last twelve months have not been so regular although we have averaged 9,000 plus each of the past three weeks. Unfortunately we have lost a member of my family which has thrown things a bit upside down. We hope to return to normal in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience.

 

REMEMBER

     Letters of Administration give very little information but do give the name or names of the people to whom administration of the estate was granted. Their relationship to the deceased is usually also given. The addresses supplied may prompt a census sear

 

OCCUPATIONS

cockney - As well as indicating a resident of London who was born within the sound of the bells of Bow church, the term was once used in contempt to describe an effeminate man.
coxcomb - A jester. In medieval times the word was used colloquially to mean enyone who made a fool of himself.
governor - Anyone in charge of others, but especially one who carries out the wishes of a higher body such as a king or a government department. Originally it meant someone who was put in place to direct the actions of others. It derives from the Latin 'gubernare' meaning 'steering'.
long day man - A cab driver who worked during daylight hours but extended work into the night time.
picker - Various trades. Someone who sorts or picks out items. Also a shuttle caster in a cotton mill. Also same as a linter. Also a worker on a stone quarry who opens up a rockface with a pick, ready for work by the sawer. Also a fruit picker. 

 

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