Monday, 9 May 2016

And finally Charlie Ross gets some mentions.

Photo: Mary Atkins Ross (left) and Elizabeth Atkins Cox (right) with at back, Elizabeth's daughters, circa, 1935.

I had been planning a trip to Gladstone for a few days to pore over old copies of The Areas Express and Farmer's Journal, which was the paper covering Gladstone and the area where Charlie Ross lived and worked, when Trove began putting it online and thus saved me a little bit of travel and a great deal of work.

Trove is a godsend for research where instead of scouring page after page in a library, you type in a name and a time-frame and it brings it all up.

I have picked up a few snippets already and await further published notices, articles and advertising as the process continues and while I doubt there will be much that is substantial, given the low status of Charlie Ross, whatever comes will be appreciated and useful.

One thing which has become clear, and as the obituary suggested, was that Charlie Ross was very popular and much-liked in Gladstone, just as he had been in Port Pirie.  He was also involved in the community, putting his name to a list supporting the Mayor when he sought re-election in 1901.

And beyond formal notices he was called Charlie. But the first mention comes in 1887, a year before he married Mary Atkins, where he is cited in a theft case, in Laura, a small town in the Mid-North.

This is perhaps an indication that Charlie Ross travelled far and wide selling fish.  It seems Charlie had bought a gold pin which had been stolen, yet another indication that he was doing pretty well as a fish-hawker if he had five shillings, a goodly sum in the day and about a quarter of an average weekly wage,  to buy a gold pin, and perhaps it was a gift for Mary. Or perhaps it was for himself, as the pin had been stolen from a man.

However, hearing it had been stolen, Charlie returned the pin to the owner, so a man of conscience or pragmatism, or sense, it seems.



Tuesday, January 4.

(Before I.J. Cook, JP, and W. Wilson. JP.
A nice fellow servant - Laurence Axon, bootman, at the Laura Hotel, was brought up in custody of Water Policeman, Gallanto, charged with having stolen a gold pin, the property of Ernest Collins, barman, at the same hotel. 

Mister Collins identified the pin produced;  had missed it for some time but did not say anything about it. Saw it at Gladstone last Sunday with Charles Ross. By the Court, He had not given it to anyone or authorized anyone to remove it. 

Charles Ross, fisherman, Gladatone, had known prisoner a long time. Bought the pin produced from him at Hussey's Hotel, Gladstone, on January 1st, for five shillings. 

Afterwards heard that it had been stolen and gave it up to the owner, Ernest Collins, last


J. Gallanto, Water Police, stationed at Port Pirie, from information received arrested 

the prisoner at the Central Hotel, Port Pirie. Told him the charge and cautioned him in the

usual manner. He said "I don't care a  fi_-—Tn if I get 21 years," and afterwards said " If you found a pin in your room would you not keep it " 

Photo: Flora Ross Swincer, who was said to be the 'spitting image' of her grandfather, Charlie Ross, for whom we have no photograph.

It is also a reminder of how much we assume from our perspective of today. I had assumed, when I found that Charlie's business was listed with the Gladstone Council that he would have had a shop, but of course not, nothing so grand for someone of his social standing and even for the times.

Charlie would have taken the train to Port Pirie to buy his fish and carried it back, packed in ice, to hawk around Gladstone. One guesses, that even with ice available, as it must have been to make it possible to transport fish from so far and then sell it around the town, that Charlie probably had to make a couple of trips a week to Pirie to ensure the freshness of his fish.

Hawker's plied their various trades around towns, cities and country areas, and as has become clear, until ill health made it necessary for him to have a horse and cart, Charlie Ross, local fishmonger, pulled his own small cart around Gladstone, selling his fish. And no doubt this is how he met Mary Atkins and a relationship was made possible.

In many ways, they were both on the edge of the social strata, she as an unmarried mother of an illegitimate son, and he as a foreigner, and no doubt that played a part in their coming together, since options for marriage would have been limited, no matter how popular the Greek fishmonger might have been around town.

His accent, my aunt told me, was said to have been very heavy and no doubt it was more so then, before he married and set up home with Mary and had children. But, if he was popular around town and well-liked, as we can see he was, he must have had an engaging personality and Mary, feisty as she also appears to be, would not, I believe, have married him without liking him.

Each may have had reduced options in the marriage market, but finding each other was the foundation of my father's family. And none of it would have happened, without fish!

Perhaps more telling, was that four years before his death, a fund was set up to raise money to buy him a horse because his health had failed and he could no longer walk, pulling his cart, to sell his fish. Given that his death notice cited heart disease and asthma, it is pretty clear that he had failing health for quite some time, but, with the help of his fellow-citizens, continued to work as a fish hawker.

From The Areas Express:

The Ross Fund.

Subscriptions- are hereby invited for tihe

purpose of assisting Mr. Charlie Ross of

this town. Owing to. a recent severe ill

ness and general infirmity Mr. Ross finds ;

it impossible to carry on his business as

fish hawker, successfully, on foot. He

has. a cart and: harness and requires a horse

to complete the outfit and give him

another start. The smallest donation, will

be acceptable.


Mr Charlie Ross, of this town requires a horse, and is not in a position to buy one. The charitably disposed are appealed to elsewhere, and subscriptions may be sent to Mr H Cox, or this office. He who gives quickly gives twice.

July 10, 1903.

Owing to the efforts of Mr Cox, of this town he sum of five pounds has been collected for the purpose of buying a horse for Mr Charlie Ross to enable him to enable him to carry on his business as a fish hawker. Mr Cox succeeded in getting a suitable animal for four pounds and the balance has been expended in chaff.

Mr Eley has kindly consented to put on the first set of shoes, free of charge so that the unfortunate Charlie will have a fair start. Mr Ross desires us to tender his sincere thanks to all who subscribed. 

Henry Cox was married to Mary's sister, Elizabeth, and so Charlie's brother-in-law, which means helping him out is not surprising. However, it was the genera goodwill in Gladstone which made the fundraising successful.

In the same year, Charlie, perhaps unwell and feeling grumpy, put in a notice regarding animals straying onto his property.


Notice is hereby given that all dogs, pigs and poultry found trespassing on Allotment No. 39, (East Ward), town of Gladstone,  will be destroyed and all horses, sheep and cattle impounded.


Photo: Marriage certificate for Charlie Ross and Mary Atkins.

I had been hoping there would be a 'people piece' hidden somewhere, given that the paper began publishing more personal articles from 1902, and Charlie's obituary seemed to indicate that people would have greater knowledge and so details were omitted, but I am beginning to think that the reason why people had greater knowledge was because it was a small town and he was well known and people knew him and talked to him and knew about his life and that is why the obituary did not go into detail.

However, who can say what treasures might unfold as the Areas Express goes up online?

The Areas Express newspaper served the small towns and farming communities around Gladstone for over 70 years. It took a strong politically conservative stance, and included articles about a wide range of agricultural topics. The Express was a weekly through most of its existence, but was published twice-weekly from February 1878 to July 1886.
Booyoolie (later incorporated in the town of Gladstone) was specifically selected as the newspaper's base for its central position in the 'Areas' - newly opened agricultural lands in the mid-north of the state. Unlike most country newspapers of the time, the Express did not regularly print 'country correspondents' reports from nearby towns and districts until much later in its history. However, it did intermittently print news from a large number of towns and settlements. Most often covered (particularly in its early years) were Georgetown, Crystal Brook, Caltowie and Balaklava. News from Redhill and Port Germein was also regularly reported.

We know Charlie was in Gladstone by at least 1885 or 1886 because his obituary say he had spent 'more than twenty years' in the town and he married Mary Atkins in 1888. He died in 1907, at the age of 59, and so the focus of interest for him is the twenty or so years prior. Mary died at the age of 76 in 1937, so she had 30 years alone, before joining him in Gladstone Cemetery.

He is mentioned in a court report for 1889, when he and two others were charged with being the owners of unregistered dogs. His fine was substantial, some five shillings, probably a quarter of his weekly earnings,  so one presumes he was making a reasonable living selling fish although in 1889 he had just been married a year and was not supporting children.

Saturday, July 27, 1889.

Before Messrs B.J. Knight and E. Coe, J.P's.

Henry Cralib, Henry Gaunt and Charles Ross were charged with being the owners of six unregistered dogs. The two former cases were dismissed and Ross who pleaded guilty was fined 5s.

He gets another mention in 1891 for 'not having lights on a vehicle' so one presumes it was his cart, which he pulled, when hawking fish.

Gladstone Police Court. Wednesday, May 6, 1891.
(Before Messrs. L. McDougall and A.O. Catt, JP.

Charles Ross for a breach of the Lights on Vehicles Act was fined 1s and costs 11 shillings in all.

His wife, Mary, also makes the papers in a court report for 1898 for smacking a neighbour's child.

The evidence went to show that defendant 'smacked the bottom' of the said boy and a fine was inflicted.

We have seen quite a few indications that Mary Atkins Ross was, despite her petite stature, a  no-nonsense kind of person.

Photo: Ellen Street, Port Pirie's main street, where Charlie Ross would have gone to buy fish.

Like the newspapers in neighbouring districts during the 1870s and 1880s, the Express argued long and hard for the extension of the railway network to the districts it served. In 1877 a two page supplement was printed to cover a lively meeting about the subject held at Laura (14 July 1877). A second strongly held belief reflected views on making land purchase easier for intending farmers: '... in new countries railway construction should be carried out precedent to, or in company with, liberalized land laws ... ' (21 July 1877, p. 2). The newspaper suggested that Parliament needed to consult directly with the country people. 'It is rather amusing that while the House of Assembly, the press and the public are floundering about in the depths of the land question ... the only persons who could speak with authority on the debated points - the farmers themselves - are quietly ignored' (15 July 1882, p. 2).

From the start, the Areas Express had an outspoken editorial policy regarding political matters. The 19th century editors of the newspaper were keen analysts of contemporary politics. 'In the midst of the political stagnation which prevails, the Gumeracha election comes as a relief' (17 April 1880, p. 2). From 1905 there was a strong pre-occupation with the 'evils' of socialism. The Express fully supported the formation and activities of the Liberal Union - a conservative political organisation for women. Elections - local, state and federal - tended to be well covered, with profiles of the candidates and discussion of the platforms.

The Express did not focus as strongly on sport as did many country newspapers. The cricket teams of Gladstone are chronicled from 1878 and the local football club from 1880. In 1879 the newspaper reported on the first Great Northern Racing Club meeting in its 'Turf gossip' column (26 March 1879 p. 2). In 1882 the Express was outraged by a humorous article in Adelaide Punch suggesting there was not enough accommodation for visitors to the races, and that the 'palatial' Gladstone gaol could be used. The Express seemed to think the suggestion was a serious one (19 April 1882, p. 2). For a time from the mid-1880s regular sporting columns appeared. The bicycle craze reached Gladstone in 1898, leading to the formation of the Great Northern Bicycle Club (4 November 1898, p. 2).

While the information is not yet online there are indications that some of the Ross children are mentioned in the sports pages.

From 1902 the newspaper, like most country newspapers, began publishing more social and biographical articles. Detailed obituaries, descriptions of weddings and biographical sketches were printed. From 1924 to early 1925 a series of articles about old residents, titled '80 years or over', gave detailed information about the lives of ten elderly local men.

If only Charlie Ross had lived long enough to be included.

 The pages of the Express strongly reflected the agricultural nature of the community that it served. Beginning with reports of the Belalie Agricultural Society Show and the local harvest (8 October 1881, p. 2), the newspaper reflected the advances brought by mechanisation and the application of scientific principles. There were advertisements for tractors to replace horses and discussions on the use of super-phosphates and subterranean clover and a variety of other issues. The meetings of the Gladstone branch of the South Australian Farmers' Mutual Association were reported regularly throughout the life of the newspaper. In the Express's early years a column titled 'The Farmer' was published.

Photographs first appeared in the Areas Express in 1910. This included photographs of floods at Gladstone in that year which caused the deaths of two men (9 September 1910, p. 2). In September and October 1924, when the Gladstone Football team were the local premiers, front page photographs of the team and an historical photograph of the 1885 premiership team appeared. For a time in the mid-1920s many photographs were printed in the newspaper, mostly of individuals. During the Second World War these gave way to syndicated war photographs.

The newspaper was established by JSJ Pengelley and WJ Trembath. From October 1878 the proprietors were brothers David and Andrew Taylor and their brother-in-law David Bews of the Wallaroo Times. David Bews withdrew from the company at the end of 1880 and in December 1882 the newspaper passed to Gordon Kearney. In July 1887 Charles D Southcombe became publisher and printer and in April 1888 William Hancock took over the newspaper. From 1910 he entered into partnership with Sam Osborne of the Port Pirie advertiser and Woroora producer. In 1928 Hancock sold to Lester Judell. In August 1945 Judell retired to the city and his three newspapers, the Express, the Jamestown Agriculturist and Review, and the Laura Standard, were then run by managers in the three towns. In 1948 Judell amalgamated the three newspapers into the new Northern Review at Jamestown.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Tailors, tidbits and the times for the Mashford's in Devon.

Image: Marriage of John Mashford and Mary Cann, Coldridge.
Elizabeth Mashford's father was a tailor and so her life should have had a modicum of comfort, unless of course she was a 'poor relation' taken in and more of a Cinderella than a daughter of the house.

Although that remains conjecture, but we still have no answer as to why she appeared to be less literate than her siblings when the family was far from being the poorest of the poor.

A UK researcher , Peter Selley, came up with  a bit more information, including the following tidbits referring to John Mashford's apple tree,  and his 'seat' in the Church. He also said, tailors were often highly valued members in a village and taking it further, one can assume,  given their profession, involved across the social spectrum if their skills were good.

He wrote:

Here is another bit of info from a memorandum which I noted in the Coldridge Church Register which I copied out a couple of months back but it may be relevant.


The second seat under the gallery on the north side of this church for women next to the seat that belongs to Frost (?) belongs to John Mashford for the house adjoining the pound in the town. Being at his own expense for making it by the liberty of the minister and church wardens May the 10th 1817.

“Frost” is probably correct being a farm in Coldridge and I think that having a pew in those days was a perk of land owners who paid  tythes to the parish.

Just before I hit the send button i thought I ought to check out the apprentice registers on Ancestry and there is this entry:
Sept 18 1757 John Mashford of Coleridge sergemaker – Fran(ci)s Canne   (Coleridge transcribed as Cotheridge). Francis Canne being his apprentice.
NB: This brings in the connection for Elizabeth's mother, Mary Cann Mashford. 

Image: Elizabeth Mashford, baptism, Coldridge.
I would imagine that this would be JM the tailor’s grandfather. That this chap had an apprentice shows some social standing.

This may interest you – some of the glass is early 16th century


A Remarkable Fact”

“On an apple tree belonging to Mr John Mashford Coldridge might be seen last week ripe fruit and full blow blossom”

The Western Times (Exeter, England), Saturday, October 11, 1834; pg. 3; Issue 354. British Newspapers, Part III: 1780-1950.


I found the following on another website regarding the 'life of a tailor, in Devon, at the same time John Mashford was plying his trade.


By 1881, William Hornsey Gamlen was a substantial figure in Devon. He was a Magistrate who had passed a lifetime as a farmer in Devon.


He was a member of the Devonshire Association and in 1880, gave an address to the members describing life on a mid-Devon farm in the 1820s . His style of writing is simple and direct and his listeners must have known that they were sharing the personal experiences of his youth as he took them back to the time when he was a teenager:


"The farm boys usually wore a fustian* jacket and waistcoat, leather breeches and shoes; boots were never worn; pieces of bag were tied round the ankles as a sort of gaiter and called "kitty bats" to keep the earth out of the shoes. These shoes, made of hide leather, were washed every Saturday night, and well-greased after being dried, and in time became almost as stiff and hard as wood.


The village tailor used to go to the farmhouses, and make and mend the boys' clothes with materials kept for the purpose, and received eight pence and sometimes a shilling a day and his food for doing this. He sat on the kitchen table at his work, and kept the mistress employed in supplying his requirements of more cloth, thread, buttons etc. till her patience was well worn. On one occasion, in hot weather, an apprentice girl whispered "Missus, missus, the tailor is asleep!" and received for answer: "Hush! for patience' sake don't wake him; I've had plague enough with him already."

In some places, the shoemaker too went to the houses and mended what required repair from a stock of leather kept for him."

In earlier time, tailors visited their clients in their own homes so the terrible conditions under which the actual work was carried out were seldom revealed. In this picture, we see an entire family huddled as close to the window as they can get, struggling to complete military uniforms for delivery in less than 24 hours.


Ready-made clothing is so easy to obtain today that we have forgotten how our ancestors coped with the problem of obtaining decent clothing. Old wills frequently show bequests of clothing.  

Until the end of the 19th century, working women would have made their own garments or, for special occasions, enlisted the help of the village dressmaker who also made stays and bonnets. Fabric was used and re-used and skilfully repaired if damaged, before being cut down to make children's clothing. Even so, women did visit men's tailors because they provided an essential service - they had the facility to bleach out colour and to dye garments black - absolutely essential following a death in the family.

Men's shirts were made at home. These were long garments, the back tails being drawn up between the legs as an alternative to modern underpants during the day. At night, the front and back tails were let down and the same garment was used as a night shirt. The village tailor provided suits for weddings (which a man would continue to use on Sundays for years after), working trousers and waistcoats. Stockings for all the family were knitted at home and boots, shoes or clogs came from the village shoemaker.

The 1851 census gives a figure of 599 for the population of the village of Atherington and its environs. No less than 5 tailors served the needs of this comparatively small population - Robert Gibbs, George Loosemore and Richard Slee all had tailoring businesses of their own, providing competition for George Stedeford, who in the absence of a son of his own, took his grandson Thomas Beer into partnership in his declining years. Two dressmakers - Mary Ann Govier and Sally Loosemore were on hand to cut down adult clothing for children or to provide finery or mourning clothes for the women of the village.

Below, birth/baptism records for Elizabeth's siblings.


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Drowning, destitution and determination.

Photo: Bundaleer Station, 1870.

I have had little time in recent months to do any work on ancestry as we have returned to Australia to live after more than five years in Malawi and things have been busy to say the least.

But cousin Luke has kept up the good work with a few more bits of information which explain the 'missing' first child of Edward and Hannah, Henry Edward, whom, it seems, drowned in a waterhole after the family had moved to Clare. Born in Adelaide, in March 1843,  two months after Edward and Hannah married,  Henry Edward was seven when he died.

In addition, it now looks like Elizabeth Mashford Lewis went to Melbourne with her husband, Peter and returned alone, seeking support in 1853, one presumes after Lewis deserted her. There is a possible death record for Peter Lewis from Victoria,  but it has not been confirmed.

And with an Atkins still working at Bundaleer Staton until 1860,  it sounds as if Elizabeth spent quite a lot of time on her own with her growing family and her young stepchildren, in the first years of her marriage to Edward Atkins.  It cannot have been easy in the Wirrabarra Forest, pregnant and caring for so many children, and one can only assume she was strong, resilient, courageous and tough!

Photo: Settlers with local Aborigines.

From fellow researcher, Luke Scane-Harris:

As for the family tree I was going to the State Library and State Archives last year and did find out some more family information. I found an “Abstract of an inquisition taken before Edward Burton Gleeson JP at Clare on the 30th Day of November 1850.”  It appears that Edward and Hannah Atkins first son Henry Edward Atkins died of drowning. The young boy walked off without anyone knowing went swimming in a water hole somewhere around Clare, and drowned.
I also found out that upon Elizabeth Lewis (Mashford) returned from Melbourne in 1853, after Peter Lewis deserted her, she made an application at the Destitute Board for relief.
I also found out that the Ledgers for Bundaleer Station still exist. It appears that Edward Atkins, (or at least a person with the last name of Atkins), was still working at Bundaleer Station after the family moved to White Forrest, but he was going home for the birth of Elizabeth and Mary Atkins and then returning to Bundaleer Station. His name seems to disappear after 1860. This means Elizabeth Mashford was alone looking after the children and the stepchildren by herself. I am beginning to get a feeling that Edward Atkins was an illegal squatter living in the Wirrabara Forrest.i

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Ruminations and fancies on the 'noble connections' story surrounding Elizabeth Mashford.

Photo: Chanter's House, Ottery St Mary, home of the Coleridge family.

Having revisited the 'social status' of the Mashfords in recent weeks, it might be time to have another look at the family story, passed down through a number of ancestral lines, that Elizabeth Mashford was the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, and, one presumes Mary Cann although that is not necessarily a given.

It was not uncommon in the times for homes to be found for such illegitimate children and for the wealthy family to pay the foster parents for their care, co-operation and often silence.

I will just clarify, that my musings and meandering are without substance and are merely an exercise in pondering various possibilities which might explain a family story but probably do not.

The story has it that Elizabeth was the illegitimate daughter of a man of noble rank and that his mother, Lady Elizabeth, paid for the family to emigrate to Australia. A survey of the Cann family in Devon reveals that being employed as a servant was common for many. There is more chance than not, that Mary Cann Mashford worked as a servant before she married. No doubt a trawl of census records prior to 1818 would clarify this.

The Mashfords lived in Coldridge, Devon and until 1900 the village was called Coleridge.  Now, the label of 'noble' could have been something which morphed over time from a father who was not necessarily an aristocrat, but a wealthy or upper-class individual. However, let us begin at the 'top' so to speak.

There is a Dukedom for Coleridge, and John Taylor Coleridge, 1790-1876.

John Mashford married Mary Cann in 1818 and given varying dates for Elizabeth on census, marriage and death certificates, she was born sometime between 1818 and 1822, but, with a baptism record for 1820, we can assume either late 1818 or sometime in 1819 or 1820 and without a birth date, it cannot be verified.

In 1818, John Coleridge was 28 and had been married for two years to Mary Buchanan. His parents were James Coleridge and Frances Duke Taylor.

His first son, John Duke was born in 1820, and his second, Henry James in 1822, so they are about the same age as Elizabeth Mashford.

The problem with this local noble is that there is no Lady Elizabeth, although, having said that, the 'Lady' may apply but the Elizabeth was added later, by default, when the original name was forgotten. And the Lady being his mother could just as easily be the Lady as his wife, given the variation on themes which accompanies such oral histories.

It also does not make sense that Elizabeth would be 'sent on her way' in her late twenties. Why wait so long? More likely if she was fostered out, or even Mary's natural illegitimate daughter, that the money paid by her noble father enabled the Mashfords to start a new life in Australia. Not that John, George or Mary Cann got to live much of it, dying within three years of arrival.

The ancestral family home for the Coleridges was The Chanter's House, Ottery St. Mary, some 50 miles from Coleridge (Coldridge) but Sir John Taylor did not inherit the house until 1838 although he and his family may well have been living there before.

In the way of the times, Mary Cann could have been employed as a servant so far from home, or, regular contact was likely between the family and the village which shared their name.

Photo: The library at Chanter's House is my dream. The house was sold privately so it may still exist.

The Coleridges were one of Devon's oldest families after John Coleridge, the gifted son of a Crediton weaver, became headmaster of the Kings School and settled there in 1760 with his four daughters and eight sons. The most famous of them all was the youngest son, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born in 1772.

Another possible link is between John Coleridge, headmaster and John Mashford, schoolteacher.

The links with The Chanter's House, at Ottery St Mary date from 1796 when Samuel's second-eldest brother, James, a successful career soldier who married a local heiress bought one of the  grandest houses in town. Built in the 1340's as a chantry, a private chapel, the house was part of a group of buildings around the great 1th century church of St. Mary.

After the Reformation, the house passed to the Duke family, and it was from there, in 1645, that Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell directed the New Model Army's Civil War operations in the West Country.

 Sir John Taylor Coleridge,a High Court judge, and his son, John Duke Coleridge together planned the first modest extension, adding a new service range, a coach house and stables, and rebuilding the drawing room. The original 30 acres of grounds were also extended and landscaped. 

 John Duke Coleridge decided to create a country seat by rebuilding the family home which he inherited in 1876. He commissioned the architect William Butterfield to create a Victorian country mansion around the kernel of the original chantry building. The 1840s service wing was replaced with extensive new stables and service quarters, the entrance moved to the east, and an extra storey added to the old south-facing main fa├žade. The entire west wing was taken up by a huge library 90ft long, 33ft wide and 40ft high built to accommodate Lord Coleridge's collection of 24,000 books, and said to be the largest such room of any house west of Salisbury.

The other possible noble floating around the region, comes from John Mashford's parents, John Mashford and Mary Labbett who lived in Eggesford, Devon. Eggesford is a small parish, midway between Exmoor and Dartmoor. It was hardly even a village, more a collection of houses, whose inhabitants supported the 'big house,' Eggesford House, the residence of the Earls of Portsmouth.

However, the carryings on at Eggesford House, while making bastards likely, also made farming them out to faithful 'servants' unlikely, and the source of the 'bastards' in this case was not a nobleman, although those things also get mixed up, but the daughter of a lawyer, so middle class, married to a nobleman although none of the children were his, and the father of the bastards was another lawyer.

John Charles Wallop, 3rd Earl of Portsmouth (18 December 1767 – 14 July 1853), styled Viscount Lymington until 1797, was a British nobleman and recognised lunatic.
The Earl was known from an early age to have an unsound mind, and his estate was placed under the control of four trustees.  Portsmouth had periods of sanity but he indulged in bizarre and sadistic behaviour, whipping servants, beating horses and killing cattle with an axe. He was also obsessed with funerals and attended as many as he could, sometimes flogging the ringers with the bellrope afterwards.

In 1799 he married the Hon. Grace Norton, the sister of one of his trustees, William Norton, 2nd Baron Grantley. Portsmouth's younger brother, Hon. Newton Fellowes encouraged the marriage as Grace was 47 at the time and even though Portsmouth was only 31, an heir to displace him was unlikely.  Grace proved useful in managing the madman but by 1808 his manias were beyond even her control.

Grace died five years later and another trustee, John Hanson, saw an opportunity and put his daughter, Mary Anne forward. They married on March 7, 1814 with Lord Byron, another of Hanson's clients, giving the bride away.

Newton failed to have his brother declared insane and the new Countess quickly grew into her role by avoiding her husband and having an affair with William Alder, a lawyer, who fathered three children by her. So there is always the chance the children were fostered out.

A new commission de lunatico inquirendo took place in 1823, at the instigation of Portsmouth's nephew, Henry Wallop Fellowes, and it was revealed that the Earl had been badly mistreated by his new wife and her lover, who had spat on him and beaten him. He was adjudged to have been insane since 1809.

In 1828, his second marriage was annulled, and Mary Anne's children were declared bastards. A judgment for the £40,000 cost of the trial was issued against her, and she fled abroad. She later married Alder but there is no mention of the children. And since the children were declared bastards in 1828, one presumes, although it is not a given, that they were still with their mother.

Photo: Elizabeth Mashford Lewis Atkins.

Photo: William Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon.

The other possibility, remote as it may be, is the Earl of Devon. The family seat was Tiverton, some 22 miles from Coldridge, although there were no doubt various country estates and homes where the family could have lived which might have been even closer to Coldridge.
But dates do not fit for the 11th Earl, as he was born in 1807 and would have been either 11, 13, or 15 when Elizabeth Mashford was born, depending on which date is correct. His wife was a Lady Elizabeth but they did not marry until 1830 when Elizabeth was either 10, 12 or 7 and unlikely to be playing around with the Duke. And since his first son was born in 1832, not much chance there either and he died in 1853 so not likely any shenanigans given age differences with either Mary Cann Mashford or her daughter.

But, if we go back to the 10th Earl of Devon, William Courtenay, 1777-1859, we have him aged 41 in 1818, the earliest possible birth date for Elizabeth Not only was he an acceptable age, he also had a wife called, Elizabeth - Lady Elizabeth Ruth Scott. But she was his second wife, and they did not marry until 1849.

And, since the story said it was his mother, but it could well have been a wife, the other factor with this contender is that his mother was called Elizabeth, but she died in 1815 and was well out of the picture even before Elizabeth was born.

His first wife, Henrietta died in 1839 and he remarried ten years later, two years after the Mashfords had set sail for South Australia.

William Courtenay and Elizabeth Scott married on January 30, 1849 and given his age, 72,  there were no children. This is hardly surprising, despite the fact that Elizabeth Scott was only 35 years old, although since her birth date is not absolute, she may well have been closer to 40 and unable to have children even if the Earl had been up to it.

Elizabeth was from Ireland, the daughter of a Reverend and with aristocratic connections. Perhaps Courtenay had met her in Ireland where there were family estates. Why she married so late in life for someone of her rank and times is a question to which I have no answer. Elizabeth's birth is given circa. 1814 and she died 100 years later.

Perhaps Elizabeth had been his lover for some years and, on hearing of the bastard daughter, decided that she and her family were best removed. Or, perhaps Elizabeth was something of a puritan and that was why she had not previously married and, when she did, it was to a man with whom there was going to be no sexual relationship. The courtship may have lasted for years and one of her conditions might have been - remove your past and the stain of the bastard daughter.

It does not make a lot of sense given that she would have no heirs and the succession was assured anyway with three sons from Courtenay's first marriage. But, who knows and it is certainly possible, although, in the way of these things, probably highly unlikely.

The Debrett's entry:
DEVON, Earl of," His lordship's predecessor was his father, William, 10th Earl of Devon. He was b. June 19, 1777, and succeeded his cousin, May 26, 1835; was a Governor of the Charterhouse and High Steward of the University of Oxford :
m. 1st, Nov. 29, 1804, Lady Harriet (the Peerage source gives the name Henrietta which is no doubt correct) Leslie, daughter of Sir Lucas Pepys, Bart, and Eliza-beth, (in her own right) Countess of Rothes, (she d. 1839), having had issue four sons and one daughter; 2ndly, Jan. 30, 1849, Elizabeth Ruth, (laughter of the Rev. John Middleton Scott; and d. March 19, 1859, without having had any issue from 2nd marriage.
DEVON, Countess of, " ELIZABETH RUTH, daughter of the Rev. John Middleton Scott and of Lady Arabella BarbaraBrabazon, daughter of the 8th Earl of Meath; m. 1849, as his 2nd wife, the 10th Earl of Devon, who d. 1859.

 Mary Cann is shown on an 1841 census as aged, 48, which has her born in 1793, some 15 years younger than the Duke, and somewhere between 25 and 29 when Elizabeth was born. John and Mary married in 1818, which is the earliest possible birth date for Elizabeth, when Mary was 25.

I am inclined to think, given that we now know the Mashfords were literate, that Elizabeth Mashford Atkins and her family, knew what her age was and 1818 is likely to be the correct date as recorded on her death certificate.

Was it possible that Mary was working for the Courtenay family and fell pregnant by the Earl of Devon? Possibly.  It was certainly extremely common for the times. His wife, Henrietta had given birth to five children in nine years - 1807, 1809, 1811, 1813 and 1816, an average of two years between each pregnancy. And then no more.

Henrietta was 39 and while perhaps at the end of her child-bearing years, perhaps not, and it simply indicated the end of their sexual life. Their third son had died in 1814 at the age of eight months and perhaps a variety of factors were at play.

Bedding a housemaid was common even when sexual relations were maintained, and even more likely if they were not. And Mary was more than old enough to  make up her own mind about what she did and with whom.

Having said that, Mary Cann was connected with pubs through her family and later, as a publican, and may have been working in a local establishment where this nobleman or some other, stayed, while visiting the area. It may have been a one-night stand although that really puts paid to the Mashford's being paid to leave theory, or an occasional dalliance where there was a case for who the father might be. We shall never know, I am sure.

We do not have a birth record for Elizabeth but if she was born in 1818,  then, with a May 29, wedding date, it means Mary was pregnant before she married John Mashford or the birth was premature. Now, of course the most likely scenario was that if Mary was pregnant before marriage then the baby was John's. But that is not a given.

In addition, as the daughter of a Reverend, perhaps Lady Elizabeth wanted an end to the 'bastard story' and any rumours and did make funds available to have the entire family sent to the other side of the globe. If the wealth arrived in such a fashion it could explain why Elizabeth's education had been neglected and why her brothers, who would have handled the money, had the funds to set themselves up in South Australia. It might also explain why George was so solicitous of his older sister and stood in her defence.

In addition, the fact that Mary Cann Mashford, as recorded in the Montefiore court case, said she had also been looking for a job as a servant, suggests that she had previous experience, and one could surmise, with highly respectable former employers.

We have, therefore, a potential noble father, a time-frame which works, a Lady Elizabeth in the picture who could more plausibly have been involved at packing off the Mashfords at so late a date, and a possible scenario, and we have Lady Elizabeth as mother even though she had departed the scene long before Elizabeth was born. But such is the stuff of family stories and oral recounting.

So, while all of this is pure conjecture and no more than a bit of interesting history, here is where we are at with research and questions raised about the Mashfords and the possibility that there is some truth in Elizabeth's story:

1. The Mashfords had the money to get the immediate family and possibly others, some fourteen in all, to South Australia. Even with assisted passage it means they were not poor. Did that money come from tailoring and being a publican?

2. George and John Mashford had connections to upper class individuals both in South Australia and in England, which indicates they had a modicum of social standing. There was more flexibility in the colonies but it is clear the relationships predated this time.

3. George Mashford took a large sum of money to SA and by the time he died three years later had a considerable estate to hand on to his family. The tenant living on his property was Lavington Glyde, who was from Devon and the upper rungs of the social ladder.

4. Elizabeth's sister, Jane, married the son of an Irish nobleman, which was certainly possible for the times, more so in the colonies,  but more likely indicates a moderate level of social standing and certainly education. Mary Ann married a William Mollison Strachan, from Scotland, who sounds as if he was above servant status.

5. Elizabeth's siblings all seem to have been reasonably if not highly literate but there remain questions as to whether Elizabeth was literate to any substantial degree. Why would this be so? As the oldest child and eldest daughter she should have been as literate as her siblings.

6. Elizabeth agreed to work as a servant for a noted South Australian, the Montefiore's while en route to Adelaide. This suggests that she was a fairly respectable person even though still a servant.

7. Elizabeth took work as a servant in SA and married  servant while her brother George set himself up as some sort of professional and brother John, had premises as  tailor. Her two sisters had the funds to travel to Melbourne and to make a number of trips back and forth to Adelaide. Why was Elizabeth working as a menial servant when the rest of her family were doing much better? Although supposedly her mother also planned to take work as a servant which raises new questions.

8. Elizabeth left Adelaide after her brothers and her mother had died and either she had left her husband, Peter Lewis or he had left her. Why did she not move to be with her sisters?

It is the discrepancies in the fortunes of the siblings which makes one wonder if there was something 'different' about Elizabeth, i.e. less respectable.

Fellow researcher, Luke Atkins Harris offers his thoughts on the mystery:




As to Elizabeth Mashford and the story of her illegitimacy. I do not think the story will ever be resolved and I do not think she was an illegitimate daughter to a wealthy nobleman in England. However, I do believe there is something behind the story.
I agree with you that the Mashford did have more money than one expected. Where they got that money from I really do not know. Unless Mary Cann’s husband, John Mashford, because he was the oldest son, inherited land from his father. Upon his death Mary Cann got the land and she sold it to Josiah Mashford. It is just a thought and I do not know if this happened where to find the evidence.
It seems to me that if Elizabeth Mashford was illegitimate and she was an embarrassment to one “Lady Elizabeth” why wait until she was an adult to move her out of Devon. Unless, as you suggested, she started to make waves.
There is no birth certificate for Elizabeth Mashford because compulsory registration of English births, marriages and deaths did not occur in England until I think c1836. As Elizabeth was born in c1820 there would be no civil birth certificate for her. As to her age yes it is confusing because there are different records, but the best one to go by would be her baptism record because the date was written by the local priest who would have known the date when she was baptised.

NB: We need to check if there are birth certificates for the other children and if Elizabeth's is missing that raises questions.
It makes no sense to me that if somebody wanted to get rid of Elizabeth Mashford from Devon why send the whole family out to South Australia. There must have been thousands of illegitimate babies in England at this time.
Furthermore, in the two newspaper story in TROVE about her court battle with Joseph Barrow Montefiore one of the story speaks about an Aunty (I have never found who this Aunty was) but the story also stated there were 14 other people on board the same ship who were connected to the Mashford family.
Thus the Mashford family did have an extended family in South Australia. If some wealthy nobleman wanted to get rid of the Mashford family why send out about 20 odd people to South Australia? The story does not make any sense to me.
However, as stated, I do believe there is something to the story and I am thinking it goes back to c1856 when George Mashford will was settled. It never made any sense to me as why all of a sudden Elizabeth Lewis (Mashford) just took off with her two sons and moved to Rocky River. Why Rocky River? Why not stay in Adelaide where she could find employment, why not move to Victoria where her sister were living for extra family support? But why go all the way to Rocky River?
Was Elizabeth Mashford involved in some sort of social scandal with a notable person in Adelaide around 1856? Peter Lewis had deserted her so in her mind she was a free woman. It is clear that George May Mashford knew both George Aldridge and especially Lavington Glyde. Lavington Glyde would have known many notable people in Adelaide.
When Elizabeth Lewis returned to Adelaide from Melbourne, after Peter Lewis deserted her, did she end up living with her brother in his house acting as a servant and she knew Lavington Glyde on a personal level?
I find it interesting that after Elizabeth Lewis left Adelaide in 1856. Lavington Glyde entered political life in 1857 by representing East Torrens in the House of Assembly.  Was this purely coincidental? If there were rumours about Elizabeth Lewis, due to a real or a false accusation, did she seek the help of Lavington Glyde? Or conversely, did Lavington Glyde agree to help her on the proviso she left Adelaide with a letter of introduction and a reference to Herbert Bristow Hughes of Rocky River?
Both Lavington Glyde and Herbert Bristow Hughes may have known one another. Lavington Glyde knew John Bristow Hughes (Herbert’s brother) as both Lavington Glyde and John Bristow Hughes were Members of the Electoral District of East Torrens.  Both men served as Treasurer. John Bristow Hughes in the Torrens Ministry in 1857 and Lavington Glyde was Treasurer under the Premiership of Francis Dutton.  Both Lavington Glyde and Herbert Bristow Hughes were wealthy and well known men in South Australia.

Lavington Glyde would have known people such as George Fife Angas, Henry Ayers, George Goyder, Robert Barr Smith and Thomas Elder all notable South Australia. Thus did Elizabeth Mashford embark upon an affair with some famous South Australian or was she accused of having an affair with some famous South Australian?
This could be the reason why Elizabeth Lewis moved to Rocky River. There was some sort of scandal with her and a famous South Australian. She had to be moved from Adelaide to stop embarrassment. She was given a letter of introduction and a reference to Herbert Bristow Hughes of Rocky River?  There was a position of employment awaiting her and hence the reason why she did not move to Victoria to be with her sisters, or anywhere else, because there was no job to go to and she could not stay in Adelaide.
Thus it was not Elizabeth Mashford who was an illegitimate child, but it was either:-
·        Her who had an illegitimate child in South Australia and the family oral history has become disordered over time?
·        Or she was accused of having an illegitimate child?
·        Or she was just attacked with rumours that she was an illegitimate child and was convinced to leave Adelaide because it was causing embarrassment for some well-known South Australia?
Thus it just could be the case that Elizabeth Mashford told her children that she was accused of being an illegitimate child in England and she was forced to leave. In turn, her children would say to their children “that mum told us that she was an illegitimate child” and over time what was once an accusation due to some rumour or scandal that really happened in Adelaide has become an historical family history fact that Elizabeth Mashford was an illegitimate child and was forced to leave Devon?
To my mind, all scenarios are plausible although experience so far has taught me that details are usually general right although often about the wrong person.

I don't think there is any doubt that there was an issue of illegitimacy involving Elizabeth, whether for herself or a child although I still think it is the former.

Elizabeth as Mary Cann's illegitimate child to someone notable and wealthy, or Elizabeth as an illegitimate child of someone notable and wealthy who was fostered, could explain how the Mashfords had more money than one would expect and better connections than one would expect for a humble Devon family.

It would also explain the discrepancies between Elizabeth's expectations, fortunes and education.
We are unlikely to ever know but the conjecture remains an interesting exercise.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

More Mashford musings

Photo: Elizabeth Mashford Lewis Atkins, circa 1870.

I have a few bits and pieces to add to our slowly growing story of the Mashfords. This from a Mashford family connection in the UK, Peter Selley:

I have had a few more thoughts about the Mashfords of Coldridge, 5 miles from where I live.

For various reasons I doubt they originated in or had any connection with Lincolnshire.

I haven’t been able to confirm that that Elizabeth Mashford’s grandfather, John (1771-1834), was Parish Clerk at Coldridge; but his younger son Josiah Mashford (1798-1871) certainly was (1861 census and Will).

NB: I have a copy of the Will and just have to work out how to post it.

I suspect that George May Mashford b 1825 was named after George May who was a cordwainer (shoe maker) in Coldridge where he died aged 43 in December 1823. It seems that although married, he had no children. (In 1802 George May married Agnes Passmore in Bondleigh: a Stephen Cann was a witness, and George’s apprentice was Peter Cann Passmore, so they may be related to Mary (Cann) Mashford.)

NB: I came across this information regarding Peter Cann sometime ago and think he is related.
In 1841, Widow Mary Mashford, a publican, was living in Coldridge with three daughters Elizabeth (21), Mary Ann (10) and Jane (8). Her sons were out to work – John Cann (18) was an apprentice to William Clotworthy a tailor in Zeal Monachorum, George May (16) was apprenticed to John Harris, publican of the Taw Bridge Inn, West of Coldridge. Josiah Labbett (13) was a servant at Birch Farm near East Leigh, South of Coldridge.
In 1841 Josiah Mashford (Mary’s brother in law) was also a publican (and shoe maker) in Coldridge, probably at the “Ring of Bells”.

Photo: Elizabeth circa 1870 with her son, James Haynes Atkins.

A mystery is how or why Mary should take her family to South Australia without either having a contact there, or emigrating with another man. A possible explanation for Elizabeth’s illegitimacy story would be if her mother arrived with or associated with a man who was not Elizabeth’s father?

All things are possible when it comes to sifting through the past but it seems difficult to believe that Mary arrived with another man and even if she did, that it would impact Elizabeth who was then 27 years old. 

I am not convinced Elizabeth was illegitimate, although that is the family story. From my understanding illegitimacy was shameful for the times and did impact class. Elizabeth may have been a poor relation; a poor illegitimate relation - both of which would make her a lower class than the others, or she may not.

But we have since gone on to establish that both George May and John Cann Mashford, her brothers, were upper working or even lower middle class, which leaves our Elizabeth where? Again, there is always the possibility of poor relations but at this point, there seems no reason to believe that Elizabeth was not the daughter of John Mashford and Mary Cann.

There was a controversy surrounding Elizabeth when she arrive in South Australia over the fact that, supposedly, she had agreed en route to take a job with the Montefiore's, a prominent family.

The South Australian Tuesday 30th March 1847 p 5Elizabeth Mashford, aged 25, Was charged, under the Masters' end Servants' Act, with having broken her agreement to eater the service of J. B. Montefiore, Esq. The young woman had been engaged on board the Princess Royal, as housemaid, for one month, and was to have come to her place in two or three days after the agreement, but did not do so. Her wages were to have been £16 per year. The mother of the defendant stated that she had sought an engagement for herself also at Mr Montefiore's, and not succeeding in her application, induced her daughter not to go. His Worship, after some comments on the law between master and servant, told the defendant that, in consequence of the intercession of Mr Montefiore, he should award to her a much lighter punishment than it was within his discretion to do, viz., two days imprisonment.

The Montefiore's were Jewish and perhaps that was why Elizabeth changed her mind, but what it says is that the Mashford's were not amongst the lowest of the low and the poorest of the poor, even if Elizabeth was thinking of working as a servant, which, in fact, she ultimately did.

I do begin to wonder though what was different about Elizabeth given that both of her brothers were seemingly possessed of some wealth and considered respectable and one sister went on to marry someone from the upper echelons of society.

Jane Mashford married George O'Brien in St James's Church, Melbourne on February 23, 1853. George O'Brien was the fifth son of Admiral Robert O'Brien, born at Dromoland Castle, County Clare in 1822. He was thus the grandson of a baronet, and through him a direct descendant of a dynasty of Irish kings. Moreover he was first cousin to the thirteenth Lord Inchiquin who succeeded to that title in 1855.

We have here, Elizabeth facing life as a servant, and marrying one, and her sisters not! Why? She was the eldest and generally in a family of the times, that confers even more rank, but her destiny was servitude.

It is another reason to question whether or not Elizabeth was the natural born daughter of John and Mary even though every indication is that she probably was. Unless, perhaps, she was Mary's illegitimate daughter to said nobleman, as the family story recounts, and the money which helped the family in general and got them to Australia, had come, over the years, from Elizabeth's natural father.

In the way of the times, this money would not necessarily have gone to Elizabeth herself, but to her half-brothers, and given the closeness of her relationship with George, and perhaps his guilt, it would or could explain why she was looked after in his Will.

Illegitimacy, even with a noble father, still conferred lower rank and the fact that she married Peter Lewis, a servant, offers some insight into her position. It may not have been a ranking in the past, or it may well have bee, but when she got to Australia, it was.

There has also been a suggestion that Elizabeth was not literate, when clearly, her siblings were. Was it why she 'married down?'

As Kylie wrote previously:

I have never considered our Mashfords as poor, in fact I suspect that they were reasonably well off whilst John was alive.  He was a tailor and all of his sons ended up with trades, and all the children appear literate.  Naturally the death of the male in the family at an early age would have significantly reduced their ability to maintain their lifestyle.  We don’t know their condition before John’s death.  We do know that Mary had no servants in 1841, however she had a 20 year old daughter,  a 12 year old and 7 year old.  Josiah’s female servant was only 15.  His daughter was 10, his son was 15 and he may have been a student. 

Whilst I consider them reasonably well off I do not think that they were of a class that would have employed a servant to prevent a daughter having to get her hands dirty, they were upper working class, bordering on lower middle class.  So the fact that Josiah employed a female servant may have been necessity, not an indication of wealth.  Mary and Elizabeth running a public house would have been equivalent to Josiah’s wife and the female servant.

This is an idea of the makeup of Coldrige.  There are three public houses and all except Mary’s were a secondary occupation.    George Mashford lived in an another section of the parish and may not have been training with Josiah who already had two apprentices. 

From the 8 pages of the 1841 census of people in the section of Coldridge Parish that includes both Mary and Josiah Mashford.

Josiah Mashford publican and shoemaker – he had wife and two children plus a female servant and two apprentices.
Samuel Cann born 1797 – Shoemaker – he is a Cordwainer in 1851 who employs 7 men or women I am not sure.
Mary Mashford Publican

Another  3 shoemakers in separate houses
11  farmers
Minister of the Parish
5 carpenters
1 surgeon
10 weavers  in different houses
Blacksmith and Publican
1 independent person

Plus 10 male servants, 12 female servants, 11 apprentices and 39 ag labs and families.

I can’t tell if there was a weaver’s workshop there or if they were independent weavers.  There is no manager or anything listed in the village so I would guess they did piece work at home or they walked to another section of the parish I haven’t looked at.

From a random page on the internet I found this piece on public houses.  I did notice that there is no description of an inn or anything on any of these houses.  There is other places that are described as an Inn but not these so I suspect that they were not what we would consider a pub.

The publican in the past  In olden times the public house was literally that, a house that the public used. Most of our ancestors were poor, so the public house was used by the local community to gather and save lighting and heating their own homes.  Everything happened in the public house. The post was distributed from there, friendly societies set up, autopsy could be performed, courts held there by travelling judges and even hangings. The community could also show it’s allegiances by the signs they displayed outside their public houses.  Most public houses had a blacksmith attached and stables.

And Luke wrote:

That seems right to me about the birth date for Josiah Mashford. I have also never found any other children for John Mashford and Mary Labbett. I think Josiah Mashford married a Jane Shobrooke on the 1/10/1822. There seems to be a vast disarity in terms of wealth between John Mashford and his wife Mary Mashford nee Cann and his, may be, brother Josiah Mashford. In the 1841 census he seem to have other people living with him.

The 1841 census does not state the relationship to the head of the household as does the 1851 census does so it is hard to know who the other people were, but they might be servents because in the 1851 census Josiah Mashford does have servents living with him including a William Harris. I wonder if this Harriswas the same person who George Mashford lived with in the 1841 Census?

Josiah Mashford  son Joseph Mashford was the local schoolmaster in Coldridge as stated in the 1851 census. Furthermore in the 1851 census sample Josiah Mashford is listed as a farmer of 30 acres. This indicates to me wealth which does not seems to fit with our John Mashford and Mary Cann who's lifes comes across to me as somewhat poor or at least middle class. So this begs the question were John Mashford and Josiah Mashford brothers or unrelated people with the same last name.

However there is one thing to remember and that is when Elizabeth Mashford, Lewis, Atkins died her daughter Mary Ross asked the english papers to copy the obituary. This shows to me that Mary Ross knew her mother had family back in England so who were those family members. Did Elizabeth sometimes write to family members in England and Mary Ross knew about them?

The family members may belong to the Cann side and not the Masford side. Yes you are right, Mary Mashford nee Cann's brothers Richard and Stephen Cann are listed in the Bellings Directory 1857 Devon Heritage Website as Farmers, Maltsters and Brewer. So there may be a connection between the Mashford family as publicans and the Cann family.

This could be a birth for Josiah.  I have never found any other children for John Mashford and Mary Labbett.

In the 1841 census George Mashford is staying with a Publican (and Farrier I think) by the name of Harris.  He is just listed as an apprentice.  So he was most likely not living with Josiah but whether he was apprenticed to him is another matter.  Publican could be different from what we think of as a person running a Pub.  At this time it could just mean a house that was open to the public and they would serve beer and keep the fire going so that you didn’t have to heat and light your own house. 

The brew was still often brewed on the premises, so was relatively cheap.  Also there were some Mashfords or Cann that were brewers or some such related occupation so they may have got the brew from them.  I wonder if Harris was married to a daughter?  

I am just looking at the relationship between our John Mashford’s family and Josiah Mashford family. Now I think we may have, in the past, talked about a possible connection, but I cannot remember what the connection may have been.

 Anyway I have been looking at Josiah Mashford and yes  a Cordwainer is a shoe maker and was not George May Mashford a shoe maker which is from his death certificate. Also in the 1841 English census Josiah Mashford has his occupation as (I think it reads) Publican and shoemaker. Was not Mary Mashford nee Cann listed as a publican also in the 1841 census? Could Mary Mashford nee Cann be working for him after her husband John Mashford died?

Also I have confused myself I have a record on my Family tree maker that another possible brother of John Mashford is Robert Mashford, but I no longer know where I got this information from. The date for his birth is 1788, but if Robert Mashford was a son of John Mashford and Mary Labbett then he was born before the possible marriage of John Mashford and Mary Labbett which was in 1796.

As for Josiah Mashford (Maxwell) yes it is a close one but still a possibility. It could be if he was a drunk which there is a TROVE story about and his family had left him and he changed his name to Maxwell he just may have tried to covered his whole identity god knows he would have reasons to do so with his record. He may have told people he was from the Isle of Man. However, on the other hand it may be the wrong Josiah Mashford, but I have always found it strange there is no record for his death under the name of Mashford, but then again there is no death record for Edward Atkins either. So it does not really help much at this stage.
  The class system was very strong in England and that social aspect was just transferred to South Australia in the early 1800s. Even if Elizabeth Mashford, Lewis, Atkins was a servant that would just mean that men had trades and not allways women as there was not the same scope for women as there was foe men. However, if we look at the story again of Elizabeth and J.B Montefiore there is a clue about the class system. J.B Montefiore was upper class and he would not have hired Elizabeth Mashford if he thought she was a, well let’s say, a foul mouth dirty lower class servant. Elizabeth Mashford must have had some education and class even to be considered to be hired. The fact that she decided not to full fill her contact is not the point. The point is J.B Montefiore would not have consider her if she was from the lower class.
  MaryAnn and Jane Mashford travelled a few time to Melbourne. As far as I know people had to pay their own way interstate therefore they would have had money.
 John Cann Mashford worked from a shop as a tailor. There is no evidence that he owned the shop, but he may have rented it. Therefore money. Also do you both remember this ad below:- 

 George May Mashford had his executor as George Aldridge. If you look him up on TROVE he was a man or class and property. I do not think that George May Mashford would have named him as executor if he did not know him. Therefore the classes stayed together. And also George May Mashford in his will had his own house so he must have had some money.
Jane Mashford married George O’Brien. I know he was a painter, but he was also from an aristocratic background so he may have been a man of some standing and I do not think he would have married lower to his class.

So yes I now think the Mashford family were reasonable well off for their time. Why John Mashford’s brother, and I are pretty sure they were brother, ended up with 30 acres I do not know. John Mashford was the oldest. My date of birth for him is 1797 and the date for Josiah is 1798.

Maybe their father, John Mashford was a man of wealth and had land. When he died the land was divided between the two sons. Josiah Mashford listed himself as a shoe maker and publican in the 1841 census, but by 1851 he had 30 acres why? Did John Mashford sell his land and shortly after he died and left everything to his wife Mary Mashford nee Cann. Did the Mashford family bring the money out with them to SA? Just a thought.