Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey's life left very little trace in the public records. We know that she married Robert Gregory in 1826 in Diseworth, Leicestershire, and from the census records in 1841 and 1851 we know that they had at least 6 children - Mary, Jane, John, Robert, Sarah and Ellen. Everything else has to be deduced from other sources.

It seems that Sarah was probably the sister of Joseph Harvey, a grocer with a shop in Market Place in Leicester. In the 1851 census Joseph had a nephew living with him, Robert Gregory, whose age corresponds with Sarah's son Robert (born 1835). He also had an employee, Thomas Brown Orton, who later married Sarah and Robert's daughter Sarah Gregory. And Joseph seems to have provided a character reference to Robert Gregory when he was tried for receiving stolen goods in 1838.

A newspaper item in the Leicester Chronicle, Saturday, November 27, 1841, notes the death "on 12th inst, Mrs Harvey, aged 74, mother of John and Joseph Harvey, grocers, Market-place". The only recorded death for that date which fits the description of Mrs Harvey is that of a Mary Harvey. And the only Mary I can find who married  a Harvey in Leicestershire in the period which would fit with Joseph's age is Mary Jarrom, who married Robert Harvey in April 1796. (This tallies with several online family trees which have Mary Jarrom and Robert Harvey as the parents of Joseph).

Long Whatton Baptist Chapel, built 1793
photo from Matt Fascione
Unfortunately I can't find any record of Joseph's birth, which would have been in about 1808 based on his age on the census and his age at death. But four children of a Robert and Mary Harvey were baptised in the Long Whatton Baptist church, Belton (the place where Joseph was born) according to the Non Conformist and Parochial registers - Peter (1799), John (1801), Sarah (1803) and Jane (1805).

The presence of John and Sarah in the list is interesting, especially since Sarah's date of birth would fit with Sarah Gregory nee Harvey. Joseph's absence from the same records could be explained by the fact that Robert Harvey died in 1808 (according to one on-line family tree which says the date is recorded in the Diseworth church). Possibly the crisis in the family somehow prevented him being baptised in the same church.

If Sarah was Joseph and John's sister, she seems to have had a much less successful life than her brothers, in worldly terms at least. Joseph married Selina Tyers in 1846, an event which was deemed important enough to be noted in the Leicester chronicle. Joseph's grocery business did well enough for him to employ several other people as shop assistants and servants, and when he died at the age of 73 he left an estate of nearly £600. Robert Gregory left no estate when he died at the age of 38.

Sarah herself seems to have died in Whetstone, near Blaby in Leicestershire, in May 1851. A brief notice in the Leicester Chronicle notes that "Mrs Gregory, sister of Mr J Harvey, grocer, died at Whetstone after a few days illness." She was 46. Her two youngest children, Sarah (11) and Ellen (10) were still living with her at home when the census was taken earlier in 1851. What became of them is a mystery. The young Sarah reappears when she married Thomas Orton in 1865, but I haven't been able to trace Ellen.

Sarah Harvey c 1805-1851(?)

Individual Summary27 July 2014

Name:Sarah HARVEY
Individual Facts
Birthca 1805Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Census1841 (circa age 36)Leicester, Leicestershire, England1
Census1851 (circa age 46)Whetston Leicestershire, England2
Deathposs 1851 (possibly age 46)Blaby, Leicestershire, England3
1. Robert GREGORY (1805-1843)
ChildrenSarah GREGORY (1840-1923)
 Mary GREGORY (1828-    )
 Jane GREGORY (1829-    )
 Robert GREGORY (1835-    )
 John GREGORY (1831-    )
 Ellen GREGORY (1841-    )
1. 1841, England, , ; digital image, 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010, ( : online 27 July 2014).
2. 1851 census, England, , ; digital image, 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005, ( : internet 26 July 2014).
 3. "FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]," database, Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006, ( online 26 July 2014), ; citing General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.

Robert Gregory c1805-1843

Individual Summary27 July 2014

Name:Robert GREGORY
Individual Facts
Birthca 1805Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Misc15 Oct 1838 (circa age 33)Tried for larceny?; Leicester, Leicestershire, England1
Death1843 (circa age 38)Leicestershire, England2
1. Sarah HARVEY (1805-1851)
ChildrenSarah GREGORY (1840-1923)
Mary GREGORY (1828-    )
Jane GREGORY (1829-    )
Robert GREGORY (1835-    )
John GREGORY (1831-    )
Ellen GREGORY (1841-    )
  1. "England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892," database, ( internet 20 June 2014)    2. Trustees of FreeBMD, "FreeBMD," database, FreeBMD ( internet 26 July 2014), 

More about Robert Gregory:

Sarah Gregory 1840-1923

Individual Summary27 July 2014
Name:Sarah GREGORY
Father:Robert GREGORY (1805-1843)
Mother:Sarah HARVEY (1805-1851)
Individual Facts
Birth1840Leicester, Leicestershire, England1
Census1841 (about age 1)Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Census1851 (about age 11)Whetstone, Leicestershire, England
Census1881 (about age 41)47 Wynford Street, Pendlebury, Salford, Lancashire
Census1901 (about age 61)Droylsden, Lancashire, England
Census1911 (about age 71)25 Medlock St, Droylsden, Lancashire, England
Death1923 (about age 83)Ashton, Lancashire, England1
1. Thomas Brown ORTON (1842-1918) married 7 March 1865
ChildrenPercy Gregory ORTON (1865- 1891  )
Albert Edwin ORTON (1867-1919   )
Ernest Frank ORTON (1869-    )
John Sidney ORTON (1870-    )
Augusta Eleanor ORTON (1873-    )
Charles Walter ORTON (1875-    )
Bertha Annie ORTON (1876-    )

1. "FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]," database, Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006, ( accessed ), ; citing General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.

More about Sarah Gregory
A romance in a grocers' shop?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Robert Gregory - a lucky escape

While looking for information about Sarah Gregory's father, Robert Gregory (born c 1806), I came across these interesting snippets of news.

The first comes from "The Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser", February 16, 1833, Issue 1169

"Robert Gregory, ostler, was charged by his master with embezzling 8s. The prisoner said he would repay the money if the complainant would take him on again. "I doubt you'd take him in again" said Mr Ald. Lovell. Remanded."
Eight shillings was quite a large sum in those days. Happily for Robert Gregory, his employer seems to have been more lenient than most. The same newspaper reported a week later, Saturday February 23, 1833:

"Robert Gregory (remanded last week) was discharged, his late employer, Mr Buckley Ward, declining to proceed further against him."

The Market Place, Leicester
photo from Djiin 76 on Flickr
Whether this was the same Robert Gregory who later became Sarah's father I have no way of knowing. However, this next piece of news contains a clue which suggests that this time it was quite likely to be Sarah's father Robert:

From the Leicester Chronicle, Saturday, September 29, 1838, Issue 1454

"Robert and William Gregory, of Waterloo St., brothers, were charged with having the following articles in their possession under suspicious circumstances:- A brass kettle holding about five pints; a hand saw; a damask table cloth, 3 3/4 yards long by 2 2/3 yards; one calico sheet, 2 yards long by 1 7/8 yards' one ditto, about two yards square; part of ditto, 2 yards long by 1 1/4 yards; one clean cotton pillow case, and one ditto dirty.
The plea that the prisoners made was their mother had sent the goods from Birmingham to William at Leicester and he had given them to Robert Gregory. Mr Harvey, Market Place, said the latter had lived with him two years and was punctual, sober and honest. - Remanded."

Entrance to Market Place, Leicester, c 1904
Photo from Djinn 76 on Flickr
Later on the same page is the note:

"Robert Gregory, who was brought before the bench on Friday, was discharged. - William Gregory, Rachel Freer and William Gannon were remanded for further examination."

It seems quite probable that this is 'our' Robert Gregory. He married Sarah Harvey in 1826, and so Mr Harvey of Market Place was almost certainly his brother in law, Joseph Harvey.

Apparently it wasn't long before Robert needed Mr Harvey's good services again:

From the Leicester Chronicle, Saturday October 20, 1838, Issue 1457

"Robert Gregory was charged with receiving a quantity of articles of dress belonging to Miss Alice Fox of Castle Donington, knowing them to be stolen. The prisoner, in his defence, maintained the account he gave to the magistrate - that his brother had brought the property for him to sell, telling him that it belonged to their mother who wished it to be sold. Mr Harvey, grocer, Market-place, gave him a good character. Mr Sheen said that during the time Gregory had been in the service of Mr John Ellis, at the Railway Station, both he and Mr Ellis found him to be a steady, honest industrious man. The Jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to two months hard labour - two weeks solitary confinement: the Chairman ... that the punishment was slight on account of his good character."

Two months of hard labour may not seem a 'slight' punishment. But given the crimes with which he was charged, Robert was very fortunate not to have been transported, as the following story illustrates. In 1843, the year that Robert died, two brothers named William and Thomas Gregory appeared in court in Worcester:

From The Leicester Chronicle, Saturday January 14, 1843, issue 1676

"Caution to shopmen: At the Worcester City Sessions on Monday week, two young men, named Thos. and William Gregory, drapers assistants, formerly residents of Leicester, were placed at the bar, the former charged upon three indictments of purloining silk goods to a considerable amount, the property of his employers, Messrs Hill and Turley, and the latter with feloniously receiving some pieces of silk from his brother. To each of the indictments the prisoners pleaded guilty. The Recorder, in passing sentence, observed, that the course they had adopted in pleading guilty was a very wise one, as this most serious charge, as far as he was able to judge from the depositions, was exceedingly clear against them: and it was the more serious with regard to Thomas Gregory inasmuch as he had violated the trust reposed in him as servant of the prosecutors. He then sentenced Thomas Gregory to a fortnight's solitary confinement for each of the first two indictments, and, in conjunction with William Gregory, to be afterwards transported for seven years."

Whether this is the same William Gregory as in the earlier stories is impossible to tell. Perhaps not, as his convict transportation records show that he and Thomas were in their early twenties at the time. They were sent to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) and from there to Geelong in Victoria. The last trace I've found of them is in 1846 when they absconded from their employer while still convicts.