James Gay – Accident on Dublin Bridge, Mullingar 1940

Story of James Joseph Gay, aged approximately 17 in 1940 and working as a messenger boy.


Mullingar District Court
Interesting Cases.

The Attorney General at the suit of Supt. P. J Glynn prosecuted Wm. Morris, Ranelagh, Dublin for that he alleged at the Dublin Bridge on 31st July he did drive a lorry at speed or in a manner dangerous to the public.
Mr. T J Dowdall, LL-D, defended.

James Gay, messenger boy for Mr. Graham said he quitted work at 1p.m on 31st July. On his way home he had to pass the Dublin Bridge. He dismounted from his bicycle at the foot of the bridge. He saw a lorry coming from the Dublin side over the bridge, and it was going at a very fast pace. It was on the centre of the road first and then swerved towards witness [sic] and hit the wall. It rebounded from the wall, swung round and the back of it hit the wall again further back. Some portion of the lorry hit him and knocked him on the path – injuring his foot, shin and knees. His bicycle was damaged and he was not yet able to resume work. The lorry contained bottles and boxes.

Mr. Dowdall did not cross-examine.

Cllr. Crowley, Springfield, said on the day of the collision he was twenty yards down the bridge on the town side. He heard the noise of a lorry coming over the bridge, the lorry gave three or four bounds as it came over the bridge, the brakes were applied and the lorry skidded into the wall.

To the Justice – Witness said it was a dry day. He saw young Gay coming up the hill and after the lorry hit the wall he saw young Gay leaning over the wall. He spoke to him and the boy complained of his knee.

Mr. Dowdall did not cross-examine.

Guard John McDonagh swore he investigated this occurrence. The lorry travelled for 124 feet after crossing the bridge. It then hit the wall in two places. Young Gay’s bicycle was badly damaged. The driver was sober and said that for some reason he lost control of the lorry. It was his first time in Mullingar.

Morris, in evidence said he was 22 years driving and never had an accident before. He did not know the bridge was dangerous and when he came over the bridge and saw what it was like he applied his brakes and skidded. He attributed the skid to the melting tar. There was no danger sign coming to the bridge. He knew his employer’s insurance company were looking after young Gay.

Supt. Glynn – Didn’t you see that now famous sign 150 yards up on the Dublin road – “Mullingar – Go Slow”?

Witness –No.

Mr. Dowdall said there should be a danger sign there, This man did the perfectly natural thing in applying his brakes when he saw danger.

The justice said that on payment of 10/- expenses he would dismiss the case under the Probation of Offenders Act. He added that it was a horrible, bridge.

Sourced from Irish Newspaper Archives. April 2014. www.irishnewsarchive.com

1845, James Hunt m. Ada Spencer

NB: This page is incomplete.

James Hunt

Parents: Thomas Hunt & Ann (Hunt) 
Birth: Abt. 1826 Loughborough, Leicestershire, England
Death: 25 Nov 1905 Leicester, Leicestershire, England

Ada Spencer

Parents: James Spencer & Elizabeth Smith
Birth: 1823 Hathern, Leicestershire, England
Death: 15 Jan 1908 Enderby, Leicestershire, England


6th Jan 1845
Marriage of James Hunt and Ada Spencer at the Catholic Chapel, Loughborough.
The history webpage for St. Mary’s Loughborough describes that not long before this in 1834, Loughborough was still suffering anti-Catholic sentiment. Between 1834-1839 it says there were 63 baptisms in the town (presumably both child and adult) and so it was a growing community.

Leicester Chronicle – Saturday 11 January 1845

…At Loughborough, on Monday, at the Old Church, by the Rev. W. Robinson, Mr. John Coates, to Mary, daughter of Mr. Ward, Swan-street. Same day [6th January 1845], at the Catholic Chapel, Loughborough, Mr. James Hunt, to Ada Spencer.


Children of James Hunt and Ada Spencer

Name Dates Marriage
Ann Lillah Hunt 1845 –
Agnes Hunt 1849 –
Teresa Hunt 1850 –
Elizabeth Hunt 1852 –
Bertha Marie Hunt 1856 – 1935
Thomas Bernard Hunt 1858 – 1928
James Alphonso Hunt 1860 –
A Hunt 1864 –
George Hunt 1867 –


4 Dunkirk Street, Leicester, parish of St. Margaret.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
James Hunt Head married age 25 b. 1826 Loughborough, Leicestershire Woolsorter
Adah Hunt Wife married age 27 b. 1824 Hathern, Leicestershire -
Ann Lillah Hunt Daughter single age 5 b. 1846 Loughborough, Leicestershire Scholar
Agnes Hunt Daughter single age 3 b. 1848 All Saints, Leicestershire Scholar
Theresa Hunt Daughter single age 1 b. 1850 St Margaret, Leicestershire -
Maria Spencer Wife's Sister single age 17 b. 1834 Hathern, Leicestershire Glove mender

1915, James Kaveney m. Mary Fairlie

NB: This page is incomplete.


19 May 1915

Transcription of marriage registry entry [image]
Entry No 398
1915. on the Nineteenth day of May at 31 Gayfield Square, Edinburgh By Declaration in presence of William Anderson Cook (School Board) and Kate [unreadable] McLeod n Anderson.
James Kaveney, Sick Berth Steward, Bachelor age 28, residence H.M.S. Tyne, parents: Martin Kaveney, Inspector (Coal Mines) (deceased) and Ellen Kaveney [M.S.?] Kaveney (deceased)
Mary Mitchell, [no entry for employment],widow, age 33, residence 16 Barony Street, Edinburgh, parents: Henry Fairlie, Farmer and Agnes Fairlie [M.S.?] Galloway
Warrant of Sheriff Substitute of the Lothians & Peebles dated 7th July 1915
Registered 1915, July 7th At Edinburgh
[Margin note on the entry:]
The male contracting party, being on active service and unable to attend and sign the Registers, his name has been inserted by me. [?] Cameron. Asst. Registrar.

Dundee Courier – Thursday 27 May 1915

KAVENEY—MITCHELL.—At the Register Edinburgh, James Kaveney, S.B.S., H.M.S. Tyne, [missing characters] Minnie Fairlie. widow of Alexander Mitchell Carnoustie.

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000164/19150527/111/0006


James dies in Portobello, Edinburgh. His sister Annie Shakeshaft was present at his death but her niece Ursula Kaveney recounts that Annie had also spent time in Edinburgh looking after James while unwell.

19 Apr 1957

No Year Surname/Maiden Name Forename Mother's Surname Other Surnames Sex Age District City/County/MR GROS Data

transcript of Death Certificate [image]

1957 Deaths in the District of Canongate & Portobello in the city of Edinburgh
Name and surname: James Kaveney, Hospital Wardmaster (Retired), Widower of Mary Fairly [sic]
When and where died: 1957, April Nineteenth 6h 30m AM, 318 Milton Road East, Portobello
Sex: M
Age: 70 years [1887]
Name of father and mother: Martin Kaveney, Coal Miner (deceased),
Ellen Kaveney [? two characters ?] Burke (deceased)
Cause of death: Chronic Bronchitis and Myocardial Degeneration.
As cert. by Alan S Watson MB
Informant: A Shakeshaft, Sister, Present
Registrar: 1957, April 20th At Edinburgh. John D.A. Johnson, Asst. Registrar

1875, Thomas Bernard Hunt m. Ellen Taylor

NB: This page is incomplete.

Thomas Bernard (T.B.) Hunt

Parents: James Hunt & Ada Spencer
Birth: 28 Jan 1858  Loughborough, Leicestershire, England
Death: 20 Oct 1928 Leicester, Leicestershire, England

Ellen Taylor

Parents: Richard Taylor & Sarah Davis
Birth: Abt. 1858 Pilton, Rutland, England
Death: 12 Jun 1896 Leicester, Leicestershire, England

Children of T.B. Hunt and Ellen Taylor

Name Dates Marriage
Ernest Bernard Hunt 1876 – 1937 Lucy Broughton
Agnes Gertrude Hunt 1877 – William Thomas Brown
Edith Annie Hunt 1878 – 1953 -
Florence Georgina Hunt 1880 – 1965 William Andrew Nolan
Bertha Nellie Hunt 1880 – 1960 Spinster
Emma Theresa Hunt 1881 – 1955 Frederick James Salt
Henry Alphonsus Hunt 1885 – 1956 Took holy orders
Grace Lilian Hunt 1889 – 1974 Arthur Kaveney

Alice Elizabeth Raby, 1863 – 1933

Alice Raby’s family history.

Children of T.B. Hunt and Alice Raby

Name Dates Marriage
Bernard L Hunt 1899 – Louisa M Spence
Margaret E Hunt 1899 – 1973 Took holy orders
Winifred Jane Hunt 1901 – 1980 Philip Barrett Whale

1880, Martin Kaveney m. Ellen Burke

NB: This page is incomplete.

Martin Kaveney

Parents: Patrick Kaveney & unknown mother
Birth: c. 1849 Ireland
Death: 28 Feb 1890 Sedgefield, Durham, England

Ellen Burke

Parents: Michael Burk & Ann McHowe
Birth: 21 Jul 1858 Church Street, Silverdale, Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, England
Death: 25 Oct 1911 (Wolstanton, Staffordshire, England)



1 Nov 1880,
married, Roman Catholic Chapel Newcastle under Lyme,Staffordshire, England

Transcription of marriage certificate
1 Nov 1880 Marriage solemnized at the Roman Catholic Chapel Newcastle under Lyme, district of Newcastle under Lyme in County of Stafford.
Martin Kavenay, 28 years, bachelor, a collier, resident in Leycett, son of Patrick Kavenay (deceased), a labourer
Ellen Burke, 22 years, spinster, no occupation, resident in Keele, daughter of Michael Burke, a labourer.
Witness Austin Carney and Annie Bird.
Married in the Roman Catholic Chapel according to the Rite and Ceremonies of the Roman Catholics by Certificate by me M Maquire.

Children of Michael Kaveney and Ellen Burke

Name Dates Marriage
Mary Ellen Kaveney 1881 – 1969 James Spencer Hobson 1909
Ann Kaveney 1883 – 1977 Frederick Shakeshaft 1931
Thomas Kaveney 1885 – 1885 Died
James Kaveney 1887 – Mary (Minnie) Fairlie 1915
Arthur Kaveney 1888 – 1972 Grace Hunt 1912


03 April 1881 England Census: Ford’s Croft, Wolstanton – Knutton, Staffordshire

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Martin Caveny Head Married age 29 b.1852 Ireland Coal Miner
Ellen Caveny Wife Married age 23 b.1858 Ireland [sic] -

Jul-Sep 1881.
Birth of daughter Mary Ellen,  [Ford’s Croft] Wolstanton, Staffs. Birth cert. required.

Staffordshire Sentinel – Tuesday 06 December 1881

(Before T. F. Twemlow, J. Alcock, J. T. Arlidge, and H. T Davenport, Esqrs., and Key. V. G. Yonge.)
Quarrelsome Neighbours.— A woman named Ellen Kaveney summoned a neighbour named Elizabeth Bishop for assault. There was cross summons —Kaveney stated that on the 18th ult. [Lat. Ultimo mense, last month] she went for some water to a spout at Ford’s Croft, when defendant threw a bucketful over her — The Bench dismissed the cross summons, and ordered defendant pay the costs (10s. 6d.), and bound her over in her husband’s security in the sum of £5 to keep the peace for three months.

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000346/18811206/023/0003

1881-1883, Martin and Ellen take the family to County Durham where Martin works for a time at least at “George Pit”, Great Lumley.  Here two children are born.


10 Dec 1883.
Birth of daughter Ann Kaveney

Transcription of Birth Certificate
10 December 1883, George Pit, Lumley.
Ann, girl, to Martin Kaveney, coal miner, and Ellen Kaveney, formerly Burke. Informant Martin Kaveney, father, resident George Pit, Lumley. Registered 8 Jan 1884.


22 Oct 1885.
Birth of son Thomas Kaveney. St Cuthbert Roman Catholic Church, Chester-le-Street, Durham

Transcription of Baptism record
Caveney. Die 22 Oct 1885 natus et die 15 November 1855 baptizatus est Thoma[s] Caveney filius Martin et Ellen Caveney (olim Burke) conjugum:  a me H J Blunden. Patrinus fuit William Fitzsimmon Matrina fuit Mary Ann Caveney
Caveney. Born on the day 22 Oct 1885 and baptized on the day 15 November 1855 is Thomas Caveney son of Martin and Ellen Caveney (formerly Burke) who are married. By me HJ Blunden. Godfather William Fitzsimmon Godmother Mary Ann Caveney.

Notice the Godmother is given as Mary Ann Caveney. Presently although she can be traced through her subsequent marriage, she can’t so far be linked to Martin Kaveney.

Thomas dies within a short time. England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915

Name: Thomas Kaveney
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1885
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1885
Age at Death: 0
Registration District: Chester le Street
Inferred County: Durham
Volume: 10a Page: 247


Oct-Dec 1887.
Birth of son James Kaveney. Copy of certificate required, England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915.

Name: James Kavenay
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1886
Registration District: Newcastle under Lyme
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume: 6b Page: 53


30 June 1888.
Birth of son Arthur Kaveney. Arthur is born in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Transcription of Birth Certificate
30 June 1888, Deansgate Newcastle Arthur, boy to Martin Kaveney, coal miner, and Ellen Kaveney formerly Burke. Informant Ellen Kaveney, mother, Deansgate Newcastle.
Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

It might be assumed that Ellen returns to her parents for the birth of Arthur but Martin is still in Durham.

Nov 1888.
Martin Kaveney takes ill and Ellen has him admitted to the Durham County Lunatic Asylum in Sedgefield. Martin suffers hallucinations and Ellen is fearful of his condition. It seems she has returned to Durham by this time as she is the informant on his admission details.


28 Feb 1890.
Martin dies Sedgefield Asylum. Medical notes indicate a general paralysis for 15 months and finally convulsions in the last 48 hours.

Transcription of Death Certificate
28 February 1890. County Lunatic Asylum, Sedgefield. Martin Kaveney, male, 41 years [1849], formerly a coal miner at George Pit, Lumley, Chester le Street. General paralysis 15 months, convulsions 48 hours. George Ford present at death, county lunatic asylum.


After the death of Martin, Ellen returns to Staffordshire and lives with her parents again.

5 April 1891, England Census

House of Michael Burke, Rosemary Hill, Trentham, Clayton Griffith, Stone, Silverdale, Staffordshire

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Michael Burke Head married age 60 b.1831 Ireland Outdoor Porter
Ann Burke Wife married age 61 b.1830 Newcastle, Staffordshire -
Arthur Burke Son single age 24 b.1867 Newcastle, Staffordshire Land Drainer
Ellen Burke Daughter widow age 29 b.1862 Newcastle, Staffordshire Char Woman
Mary E Kaveney Granddaughter single age 9 b.1882 Wolstanton, Staffordshire Scholar
Annie Kaveney Granddaughter single age 7 b.1884 Lumley, Chester le Street, Durham Scholar
Arthur Kaveney Grandson single age 3 b.1888 Newcastle, Staffordshire -


31 March 1901, England Census
8 Bailey Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Arthur Burke Head single age 32 b. 1869 Newcastle, Staffordshire Agricultrual
Ellen Kaveney Sister Widow age 43 b. 1858 Newcastle, Staffordshire -
Mary E Kaveney Niece Single age 19 b. 1882 Silverdale,
Annie Kaveney Niece Single age 17 b. 1884 Lumley, Durham Tailoress
James Kaveney Nephew - age 14 b. 1887 Newcastle, Staffordshire Factory [Cotton] Hand
Arthur Kaveney Nephew - age 12 b. 1889 Newcastle, Staffordshire -


Jul-Sep 1909.
Daughter Mary Ellen marries James Spencer Hobson in Newcastle-under-Lyme

Surname Forename(s) Spouse's
Year Church/Register Office Registers At/Region Reference
KAVENEY Mary E HOBSON James S 1909 Civil Marriage

Source: www.ukbmdcertificateordering.co.uk/certapp.php?type=marriages&data=KAVENEY%7cMary%20E%7cHOBSON%7cJames%20S%7cCivil%20Marriage%20%28Newcastle-Under-Lyme%29%20%7cNewcastle-Under-Lyme%7c1909%7c1909%7c%7cNL%3aR%2f22%2f99%7cK%7c120%7cstaffordshire%7cNL&lang=


02 Apr 1911, England Census

Ellen Burke:
County Lunatic Asylum, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Ellen Kaveney Patient Widowed age 52 b. 1859 Newcastle, Staffordshire -

Ellen’s infirmity is given as “Lunatic at 49″ (in 1908). The entry also provides that she was married 30 years previously, has five children by the marriage and at this time one has died (Thomas).

Mary Ellen Hobson, not yet found

Anne Kaveney:
Nantwich Union Workhouse, Worleston, Cheshire

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Annie Kaveney Servant Single age 26 b. 1885 Lumley, Durham Hospital Nurse

James Kaveney, not yet found.

Arthur Kaveney:
12 Ann St, Leicester

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Arthur Kaveney Boarder Single age 23 b. 1888 Newcastle Under
Lyme, Staffordshire
Dental Mechanic

25 Oct 1911.
Ellen Burke dies.


6 May 1912.
Son Arthur Kaveney marries Grace Hunt in Leicester.


May 1915.
Son James Kaveney marries Mary (Minnie) Fairlie, widow.


Oct-Dec 1931.
Daughter Ann marries Frederick Shakeshaft in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Surname Forename(s) Surname Forename(s) Church / Register Office Registers At Reference
KAVENEY Ann SHAKESHAFT Frederick Nantwich, Civil Marriage Cheshire Central NA/57/64

England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005 about Annie Kaveney: Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1931, Registration District: Nantwich, Inferred County: Cheshire,Volume Number: 8a, Page Number: 698.


19 Apr 1957
Death of son James Kaveney in Portobello, Edinburgh. His sister Annie was present. Ursula Kaveney (Gaye) recalls that Annie went to stay with James for a period during his illness.

1912, Arthur Kaveney m. Grace Hunt

NB: This page is incomplete.

Arthur Kaveney

Parents: Martin Kaveney & Ellen Burke
Birth: 30 Jun 1888 Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, England
Death: 02 Feb 1972 Ashton, Lancashire, England

Grace Lilian Hunt

Parents: Thomas Bernard Hunt & Ellen Taylor
Birth: 06 May 1889 Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Death: 01 Mar 1974 Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England

Married 6th May 1912, Holy Cross Chapel, Roman Catholic, Leicester, Leicestershire, England 

Transcription of marriage certificate
6 May 1912 at Holy Cross Chapel Wellington Street, Leicester.
Arthur Kaveney, 24 years, bachelor, dental mechanic, resident Wigston Street, Leicester, son of Martin Kaveney ‘deceased’, a coal miner to Grace Lilian Hunt, 23 years, spinster, no occupation, resident Wigston Street, Leicester, daughter of Thomas Bernard Hunt, a fishmonger.
Witness Thomas Raby, Annie Kaveney.
Married in the Holy Cross Chapel according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Roman Catholics by Certificate [illegible word] by me. Vincent McNabb R.C. Priest

Thomas Raby is, as yet, unidentified is most likely to be related to Grace’s step-mother Alice Elizabeth Raby. Annie Kaveney is Arthur’s sister.

Children of Arthur Kaveney and Grace Hunt

Name Dates Marriage
Ellen Mary Kaveney 1913 – 1991 George Clarey 1940
Francis (Frank) Dominic Kaveney 1914 – 1934
Joseph Hugo Kaveney 1915 – 2004 Joan Lister 1947
Margaret Mary Kaveney 1918 – 2003
Brigid Theresa Kaveney 1921 – 2006 Dennis Crocker 1942
Winifred Mary Kaveney 1923 – 1997 Peter Pausey 1951 (divorced)
Mary Colette Kaveney 1924 – 2001 Sydney Ballands 1949
Ursula Agnes Kaveney 1928 – James Gaye 1951


Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 15 July 1921

Infant Welfare Centre. —Bishop Stortford Centre, the sixth size in the county, has made the best attendance record, the total being 4,315, average of 88.
At the “baby day” celebration the following were the prizewinners :
— Papers on health and mothercraft. 1, Mrs. Guyver; 2, Mrs. Sutherland ;3, Mrs. Lilley.
— Regular weighing. 1, V. Biggs; 2, E. Piper; 3. L. Cloughly.
— Regular attendance. Equal 1, Mrs. Wedlock and Mrs. Mrs. Thurgood; 3, Mrs. 4, Mrs. Lilley.
— Best attendance nursery. 1, R. Thurgood
— Flower competition 1, N. Thurgood; 2, V. Guyver.
— Plain needlework. 1, Mrs. Sutherland; 2, Mrs. Larrett.
— OveralL Mrs. Smith; 2, Mrs. Mansfield. —Frock. 1, Mis, Sutherland.
Crochet coat. 1, Mrs. Kaveney.
— Father’s ingenuity competition. 1, Mr. Emerson.
— Ladies’ competition. 1, Mrs. Lacey
— Papers on “my ideal cottage.” 1, Mrs. Bush; 2. Mrs. A. Ellis.

Connections to Raby family Leicester.

Ursula Agnes Kaveney

dau. to Arthur Kaveney and Grace Lillian Hunt.

Grace Lillian Hunt, b. 1889 Leicester – d. 1974 Bishops Stortford

Youngest dau. to Thomas Bernard Hunt and Ellen Taylor (1858-1896).

  • Ernest Bernard Hunt 1876-1937
  • Agnes Gertrude Hunt 1877-
  • Edith Annie Hunt 1878-1953
  • Florence Georgina Hunt 1880-1965
  • Bertha Nellie Hunt 1880-1960
  • Emma Theresa Hunt 1881-1955
  • Henry Alphonsus Hunt 1885-1956 (Monsignor Hunt)
  • Grace Lilian Hunt 1889-1974

After the death of Ellen Taylor in 1896, T.B. Hunt remarried in 1897 to his second wife Alice Elizabeth Raby. They had three further children.

Alice Elizabeth Raby, b.1860 Leicester, d. 1933 Leicester.


Alice Elizabeth Raby_1904 at wedding of Florence Hunt (step daughter) to William Andrew Nolan.

Alice Elizabeth Raby_1904 at wedding of Florence Hunt (step daughter) to William Andrew Nolan.

dau. to Jane Raby.
m. 1897, Thomas Bernard Hunt. Step-mother to Grace.

  • Bernard Leo Hunt 1899
  • Margaret E Hunt 1899–1973 (Ursuline Convent, Forest Gate, London)
  • Winifred Jane Hunt 1901 – 1980

Aged 8 when her father remarried, Grace knew Alice as her mother for a considerable part of her childhood years and grew up with her half-siblings from Thomas and Alice’s marriage. Two of her own daughters to Arthur Kaveney are later named Margaret (Meg) and Winifred (Winnie).

Birth, 1860 Leicester.

Birth certificate for Alice:
Registration District of Leicester, 1860 Birth in sub-district of East Leicester.

When and where born: First November 1860; 150 Wharf Street
Sex: Girl
Name and Surname of father:
Occupation of father:
Sig. description and residence of informant: Jane Raby, mother, 150 Wharf Street, Leicester
When registered: Seventh November 1860

Census information

Alice is recorded in the following census entries prior to her marriage to T.B. Hunt:

1861, 23 Grafton Place, Leicester.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Jane Raby Head unmarried age 32 b. 1829 Warwick Dressmaker
John T Raby Son - age 9 b. 1852 Nottingham Scholar
Alice E Raby Daughter age 5 ms b. 1860 Leicester -
(Census scheduled to be taken 7th April.)

1871, 40 Watling Street, Leicester.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Jane Raby head unmarried age 42 b. 1829 Leicester Dame School
John Raby son unmarried age 19 b. 1852 Leicester Rail Porter
Alice Raby dau. unmarried age 9 b. 1862 Leicester Scholar
Albert Raby son age 5 b. 1866 Leicester -

Living with Jane and her family are Jane’s siblings. This helps identify her family group and later her parents:

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Richard Raby brother unmarried age 37 b. 1834 Leicester Mechanic
Alice Raby sister unmarried age 39 b. 1832 Leicester -
George Raby brother unmarried age 34 b. 1837 Leicester Mechanic

1881, 56 Mostyn St. Leicester.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Jane Rabey head unmarried age 52 b.1829 Warwickshire Hosiery Hand
John T. Rabey son unmarried age 29 b. 1852 Nottinghamshire Warehouseman
Alice E. Rabey dau. unmarried age 20 b. 1861 Leicestershire Laundry
(Cotton Warehouse)
Albert W. Rabey son unmarried age 15 b. 1866 Leicestershire Porter in
Elastic Warehouse

1884, brother Albert dies.

1891, 5 Wilne Street, St Margaret, Leicester.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Jane Raby Head single age 62 b. 1829 Warwickshire Shirt maker.
Alice Raby sister single age 59 b. 1832 Leicestershire -
Richard Raby brother single age 57 b. 1834 Leicestershire Mechanic (assistant)
John Thos Raby son single age 39 b. 1852 Nottinghamshire Warehouseman
Alice E Raby daughter single age 29 b. 1862 Leicestershire Fancy Hosiery

Jane Raby (b. 1829 Warwickshire)

dau. to William Raby and Elizabeth

Jane Raby is recorded as having three children.

From the census information for Alice it’s seen that Jane was born 1829 in Warwickshire (allowing for the 1871 census being in error) and that she had siblings Alice b. 1832 Leicester, Richard b. 1834 in Leicester and George b. 1837 in Leicester. She is listed as unmarried.

Searching for this family group of siblings on census records before 1861 the following appear:

1841, Mansfield St., St Margaret with Bishops Fee, Leicester

Name Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
William Raby age 45 b.1796 not in Leicestershire Iron Turner
Elizebeth [sic] Raby age 45 b.1796 not in Leicestershire -
Jane Raby age 13 b.1828 not in Leicestershire -
Alice Raby age 10 b.1831 Leicestershire -
George Raby age 6 b.1835 Leicestershire -
Richard Raby age 6 b.1835 Leicestershire -
Martha Raby age 65 b.1776 not in Leicestershire -

1851, 20 Mansfield Street Leicester.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
William Raby Head married age 56 b.1795 Manchester, Lancashire Engineer
Elizabeth Raby Wife married age 57 b.1794 Bascote, Warwickshire -
Jane Raby Daughter single age 23 b.1828 Warwick, Warwickshire Dress maker
Alice Raby Daughter single age 20 b.1831 Leicester -
Richard Raby Son single age 17 b.1834 Leicester Bobin polisher
George Raby Son single age 14 b.1837 Leicester -

1861, 23 Grafton Place Leicester. See Alice Raby for census.

1866, Christening of Albert William “England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index,

name: Albert William Raby
gender: Male
baptism/christening date: 26 Aug 1866
birth date: -
birthplace: -
death date: -
name note: -
race: -
father's name: William Manton Raby
father's birthplace: -
father's age: -
mother's name: Jane
mother's birthplace: -
mother's age: -

Source: FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J7MY-MK)

It is not clear if the father’s name is genuinely “William Manton Raby” since Jane Raby is unmarried or that the name is “William Manton” and “Raby” is included because she is unmarried. Birth certificate required.

1871, 40 Watling Street, Leicester. See Alice Raby for census.

1881, 56 Mostyn St. Leicester. See Alice Raby for census.

1891, 5 Wilne Street, St Margaret, Leicester. See Alice Raby for census.

1901, 5 Wilne Street, St Margaret, Leicester.

The entry appears to be incorrect in that the enumerator may have confused Jane’s son John as the head of the house and then duplicated his entry. The marital status for “Jane” is changed from “M” (married) to “unmarr” or “widow” but it is not clear:

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
John T Raby
Head [unlcear] age 73 b. 1828 Warwickshire -
John T Raby Son single age 49 b. 1852 Nottingham Railway goods porter.
Alice Raby Sister single age 63 b. 1838 Leicester

1907, An England and Wales Death Index

Entry for Q3 1907 lists a Jane Raby b. c. 1830 dying in Leicestershire. Certificate required.

Other clues for Jane.

A search of the Warwickshire, England, Baptisms, 1813-1910 sourced from Warwickshire Anglican Registers. Warwick, England: Warwickshire County Record Office provides a record for the baptism of Jane Raby:

Name: Jane Raby
Parish: Warwick, St Mary
Baptism Date: 5 May 1829
Father's Name: William Raby
Mother's Name: Elizabeth Raby
Father's Occupation: Engineer

In addition to this the registers provide another, earlier, child, Helen Raby:

Name: Helen Raby
Parish: Warwick, St Mary
Baptism Date: 24 Sep 1826
Father's Name: William Raby
Mother's Name: Elizabeth Raby
Father's Occupation: Iron Turner

The entries ties Helen and Jane together with their residence as Saltisford (Warwickshire) and William’s profession as “Iron Turner”/Engineer, which fits with Jane’s father’s occupation in the 1841 and 1851 census above but also for the information about William Raby below.

William Raby b. 1794-6 Lancashire – 1868 Leicester.

son of Martha (Raby), assumed.

m. 1825 Elizabeth Ducket , Warwick


Helen Raby, 1826 Saltisford Warwickshire
Jane Raby, 1829 Saltisford Warwickshire
Alice Raby, c.1831, Leicester
Richard Raby, 1834, Leicester
George Raby, c.1837, Leicester

It might be assumed that Martha in the 1841 census is William’s mother being some 30 years his elder and unlikely to be a sister. The details of 1841 census did not include relationships so it is not impossible that she is some other relation.

1825 Oct 28, St Mary, Warwick

A record in the Warwickshire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1910 can be found for:

“William Raby, bachelor, of this parish St Mary, Warwick and Elizabeth Duckett spinster of this parish were married in this Church by License with consent of [blank] this twenty eighth day of October in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty five by me John Boudier Vicar. This marriage was solemnized between us William Raby signed Elizabeth Duckett her mark in presence of John (Southy) Martha (Southy)”

This in itself does not help provide a relationship since it does not place this William as born in Lancashire, however it is known that Jane Raby’s younger sister in 1826 and then Jane herself in 1829 were christened in this church to parents William and Elizabeth Raby. See baptism records.

The 1841, 1851 censuses (above) and 1861 census (below) entries confirm this relationship and places of birth for William in Manchester, Lancashire and Elizabeth in Bascote Warwickshire. So it would seem William Raby moved from Lancashire to Warwickshire where he married Elizabeth, had two daughters and then they moved to Leicester.

1841, Mansfield St., St Margaret with Bishops Fee, Leicester: see Jane Raby for census.

1851, 20 Mansfield Street Leicester: see Jane Raby for census.

1861, 20 Mansfield Street, Leicester:

Name Relation Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
William Raby Head age 67 b.1794 Manchester Engineer
Elizth Raby Wife age 68 b.1793 Bascote Warwickshire -
Alice Raby Daughter age 30 b.1831 Leicester House Servant
Richard Raby Son age 27 b.1834 Leicester Engine Feeder
George Raby Son age 23 b.1838 Leicester Wood and Iron Turner

1861-1868 wife Elizabeth dies, see William’s Probate record below.

An England and Wales Death Index entry for Q2 1868 lists an Elizabeth Raby b. 1793 dying in Cambridgeshire. Certificate required, Cambridge has not been related to before.

1868 Dec 12, Leicester, William died.

William Raby’s probate (England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966) reads:

“RABY William. 19 January. Letters of Administration of the Personal estate and effects of William Raby late of Leicester in the County of Leicester Engineer a Widower deceased who died 12 December 1868 at Leicester to Richard Raby of Watling Street Leicester aforesaid Mechanic the Son and one of the Next of Kin of the said Deceased he having first sworn. Effects under £300.”

1871, Alice, Richard and George are recorded on the census living with their sister Jane Raby (as Head). See Alice Raby, dau. to Jane, above.

1881, 40 Watling Street, Leicester

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Richard Raby Head single age 47 b.1834 Leicester Mechanic (Spinning)
Alice Raby Sister single age 49 b.1832 Leicester Laundress

1881, 5 Grafton Place, Leicester.

George is married to Sarah Ann Ellis (ne Neal) who already has a family.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
George Raby Head Married age 44 b.1837 Leicestershire Mechanic Cotton Works
Sarah Ann Raby Wife Married age 46 b.1835 Leicestershire Fancy Box Maker
Elizabeth Ann Ellis Neal Daughter in Law single age 15 b.1866 Leicestershire Counter Hand
Cotton Work
Lucy Ellis Neal Daughter in Law single age 13 b.1868 Leicestershire Fancy Box Maker
Fredr. Mark Ellis Neal Son in Law single age 9 b.1872 Leicestershire Scholar

1891, again Alice and Richard live with Jane and her family. See Alice Raby, dau. to Jane, above.

1894, England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 has a death for Richard Raby, Q4 1898 in Leicester. (Leicester, p.150). Cerificate required.

1901, Alice lives with Jane. See Jane Raby above.

William and Martha Raby

Turning to where William descended from, the information at hand can be summarized as:
Born William Raby, probably to a mother named Martha, in Lancashire, probably Manchester and from census ages, sometime 1794-1796. He has an ‘engineering’ background.
A search of birth records for births of a child “Raby”, Lancashire about this period provides the following results among others:

Year Name Christening Christening place Father Mother
1792 John Raby 22 April 1792 Blackburn, Lancashire, England William Raby Martha
*1794 William Rabecy 13 July 1794 CATHEDRAL,MANCHESTER,LANCASHIRE,ENGLAND Willm. Rabecy Martha

Source: https://familysearch.org/ “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975″

*Although the spelling in the transcription records appears wrong in the 1794 record for William Rabecy, this is not an uncommon error and in some sources marked questionable because of legibility. It is not unlikely then that this is William Raby son of Martha.
If this is the case then it also provides us with William’s father who is also named William Raby.

See also the entry here for a John Raby b. 1792, Blackburn.

1792 Pallot’s Marriage Index for England 1780-1837, Lancashire Marriage records and Banns records all have entries for the marriage of a William Raby of Blackburn, a joiner to Martha Physic of Tatham 24th March 1792 in Tatham Lancashire. In the presence of James Smith and Richard Raby (see also Richard Raby, below).

1773, Lancashire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, provides an entry for Martha’s birth in the parish records of Tatham:

Christening 1773. Martha daughter of Henry Physick, baptised 17th January.

Martha, and so possibly her husband William, also lived in Leicester according to the 1841 census. Not knowing when they moved, a search for children born in Leicestershire on the off-chance they had children there, provides the following entries for children of William and Martha Raby:

Year Name Birth Christening place Father Mother
1812 Winifred Raby 10 January 1812 16 February 1812: SAINT MARY DE CASTRO,LEICESTER,LEICESTER, ENGLAND Wm. Raby Martha
1817 James Raby - 26 October 1817: SAINT MARY DE CASTRO,LEICESTER,LEICESTER, ENGLAND Wm. Raby Martha

Source: https://familysearch.org/ “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975″

It should also be noted for the sake of completeness that there is also a record of a Winifred Raby born to a William and Martha Raby recorded in the “Warwickshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812″ at Bedworth, 19 Nov 1809. This is some 20 miles from Saltisford where son William and Elizabeth lived at the time of their first children, daughters Helen and Jane.

Ann Raby.

William and Martha probably had a daughter, Ann (1804-1831).

Leicester Journal – Friday 23 September 1831

On Sunday the 11th, Ann, second daughter of Mr. William Raby, of this town, aged 27. She had been afflicted with dropsy for eight years, during which period she had been tapped many times. She died quite resigned to the will of her Creator, on whom she fully relied.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000205/18310923/025/0003

This also provides space for at least one other child, a daughter between the son William b. 1794, if not before him, and Ann b. 1804 as the ‘second daughter’.

1839, England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 has a death for William Raby, Q1 1839 in Leicester. (Leicester, p.61)

1841, Martha appears on the census in her son William’s household, Mansfield St., St Margaret with Bishops Fee, Leicester: see Jane Raby for census.

1851, no census record found for Martha Raby born in Lancashire but there is a record of Martha Raby born Todmorden, Yorkshire living at93 Welford Road, Leicester.

Name Relation Status Age YoB Birthplace Occupation
Martha Raby Head Widow aged 77 b.1774 Todmordon, Yorkshire, England Pauper
Kezia Miller Lodger Widow aged 68 b.1783 Stoke Golding, Leicestershire Pauper

Pauper normally meaning “supported by parish charity”

This entry, seemingly, if correct, likely casts a previously strong candidate for Martha Physic into some doubt. Perhaps the enumerator misheard “Tatham” for “Todmorden”? However, later facts and relationship events provide still strong evidence that this line for William and Martha remains correct.

1855, England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 has a death for Martha Raby, Q3 1855 in Leicester. (Leicester, p.84)

The 1794 Christening record of William Rabecy, is not evidence in itself that these are the same William and Martha Raby parents to the William Raby, father of Jane.
It’s now necessary to make a diversion and look at another resident of Leicester, Richard Raby.

Taking these records in the whole it is possible to build a possible picture of a family unit being:

  • William Raby a joiner of Blackburn, Lancs m. 1792 to Martha Raby of Tatham, Lancs. Martha lives with son William in Leicester and later dies there.
  • Son John born 1792 in Blackburn.
  • Son William born 1794 Manchester. m. Elizabeth Duckett,in Warwickshire. Parents of Jane Raby. Return to Leicester.
  • Dau. Unknown name born before Ann in 1804.
  • Dau. Ann born Lancashire or Leicester 1804. Dies 1831 Leicester.
  • At some point between 1794-1812 William and Martha move to Leicester.
  • Dau. Winifred born 1812 Leicester.
  • Son James born 1817 Leicester.

Also recall that William and Martha’s marriage witness included a Richard Raby. This is likely to be William’s brother as might be shown below, although it is now necessary to make a small diversion.

Roman Catholicism.

Returning to the family of Thomas Bernard Hunt it is important to know that his marriage to Ellen Taylor was in Holy Cross Church Leicester – the “Roman Catholic Chapel” in Leicester.
In early the 19th century Roman Catholicism was still somewhat stigmatised even though penal laws were beginning to be relaxed. The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 removed the most substantial restrictions on Roman Catholicism that existed in the United Kingdom. It was common in times before T.B.’s marriage to Ellen Taylor for Roman Catholics to marry in both Church of England and Catholic ceremonies. By 1875 when they married, emancipation of Catholics had occurred and with civil registration, Catholic marriages and baptisms took place more freely. However, before this though, with T.B. Hunt’s, Ellen Taylor’s and Alice Raby’s own families, Established Church ceremonies did not necessarily demonstrate the religious persuasion of the individuals. Thomas, Ellen and Alice demonstrate their Catholicism in their marriage ceremonies.

Turning to the Raby’s in Leicester, in particular with respect to Catholicism we find reference to a Richard Raby. Various sources cite one Richard Raby as a prominent member of Leicester society and influential in the Catholic community.

A History of the County of Leicester: volume 4 – The City of Leicester

…In 1798, under Father Francis Xavier Chappell O.P., the first permanent chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, was established on the upper floor of a building in an entry off Causeway Lane. Considerable secrecy was always preserved about its exact whereabouts. Services were held there until 1850. The building remained in existence until 1939, as part of a factory. Early in the 19th century masses were said in a warehouse belonging to Richard Raby, a prominent Leicester Roman Catholic, near the old Vauxhall gardens; it seems that the Causeway Lane chapel had become too small to house the growing Roman Catholic population which sprang up probably as the result of the establishment of the permanent chapel.
In 1815 Father Benedict Caestryck O.P. came to Leicester as head of the Dominican mission and during his period of office the first church of Holy Cross was built. The land was given by Richard Raby, and lay between New Walk and Wellington Street. The red brick church was begun in 1817 to the designs of Joseph Ireland. It was very small, having neither chancel nor Lady chapel, and no priory buildings were erected until 1824, when Father Caestryck built a house for the priest to the south-east. The chancel and Lady chapel were built in 1848. In 1861 the quadrangle formed by the church and the priory buildings was completed in its present form [continues]

Source: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66584

Richard Raby (the Elder), b. 1774 d. 1837

From the history of Catholicism in Leicester it appears Richard Raby was a successful businessman in the town in the early part of the 19th century and this provides a number of clues as to his origins and background. Principally he his a worsted spinner from Lancashire who establishes a successful business in Leicester but tragedy strikes his family.

Move from Preston after 1796

Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser, CORRESPONDENCE – Saturday 02 October 1852

Sir,- I was much interested in reading your paper entitled “Preston Forty-three Years ago,” and can fully confirm what Preston was at the period referred to. My recollection carried me back to the year 1796, when the father of the present Earl of Derby was first elected M.P. for the borough. At that time the Market-place, with two or three exceptions, was composed of places of business. These exceptions were the residences of E. Pedder, Esq., adjoining the Cross Keys Inn, and that of Mr. Alderman Fisher, at the corner of New-street. The alderman was a retired watchmaker, and somewhat of a pedagogue in his way; his precise but incorrect mode of pronouncing certain words, especially America, which he called Ameri-ca, earned for him the cognomen of “Judge Fisher.” The principle tradesman of the Market-place then was Mr. Richard Atherton (father-in-law of Sir Jas. Allan Parke), who bought the Greenbank estate, and built thereon a neat residence, surrounded with gardens and shrubberies, which he had laid out in a tasteful manner. Spittal’s Moss was then a waste piece of ground. Mr. John Horrocks having, however, erected a cotton factory thereon, streets of houses sprung up, and the spot became a colony for his workpeople. The building of this factory was followed by others in the same immediate locality, principally by the same enterprising individual, and by Messrs. Ryley and Paley. There was also a worsted factory built in the same neighbourhood, by a Mr. Barrow, who had for his partner Mr. Richard Raby; but the concern not answering, it was given up, and Mr. Raby removed to Leicester, where he successfully conducted a similar business for many years. […Continues…] Hoping these rough notes may prove interesting to your readers, though penned by a native, who has been a non-resident freeman for more than forty years, I subscribe myself,
Your constant and A PRESTONIAN. September 29, 1852

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000099/18521002/020/0006

1804. It seems from the following article in 1804 that the partnership mentioned in the 1852 article above might be a second partnership from a former one dissolved in 1804, since this notice mentions a third partner, although he may just have been omitted from recollection by the correspondent.

Lancaster Gazette – Saturday 11 February 1804

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, THAT the PARTNERSHIP lately subsisting between THOMAS BARROW, JAMES MACNEAL, and RICHARD RABY, all of Preston in the county of Lancaster, worsted-spinners, under the firm of Messrs. BARROW, MACNEAL, and RABY was DISSOLVED on the 22d [sic] day of DECEMBER last, by mutual consent : And that the business will, in future, be carried on by the said THOMAS BARROW and RICHARD RABY only, who are duly authorised to receive and discharge all debts belonging the late co-partnership. Dated the 2d [sic] day of February, in the year of our Lord 1804. THOMAS BARROW, JAMES MACNEAL, RICHARD RABY. Witness:- H.DEWHURST.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000488/18040211/003/0002

1807. Without notices about the second partnership, it seems that Richard moved to Leicester sometime after 1804 and before 1814 when another notice appears for company partnership dissolution in Leicester. However, an article in the Lancaster Gazette suggests he had an interest in Lancashire at least until 1807.

Lancaster Gazette – Saturday 24 October 1807

At the house of Mr. ISAAC ROBINSON, the Mitre Inn, in Lancaster, on Friday the 30th day of October inst. at six o’clock in the evening;
ALL that FREEHOLD CLOSE of GROUND, known by the name of MILL FIELD, situate at Skerton, near Lancaster, adjoining Skerton Green; containing, by admeasurement, [2??? S1p]. statute measure, and now in the occupation of Richard Raby. For further particulars apply to Mr. PARK, solicitor, Lancaster. LANCASTER, OCT 8, 1807.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000488/18071024/003/0001

1814. Dissolution of partnership in Leicester.

Leicester Journal – Friday 15 April 1814

NOTICE is hereby given, that in the partnership trade of Worsted Spinners, carried on in the Borough of Leicester, in the County of Leicestershire, under the firm of RICHARD RABY and Co. [??] Richard Raby, of the Borough of Leicester aforesaid, Worsted Spinner, and John Carr, of the City of Coventry, watchmaker, was this day dissolved by mutual consent, as and from the 31st of December last. All persons indebted to the said co-partnership trade, are requested to pay their respective debts to the said Richard Raby, who is duly authorized to receive the same; and all persons having any claim or demand upon the said co-partnership trade, are desired to apply to the said Richard Raby for payment thereof. As witness our hands this 28th day of March, 1814. RICHARD RABY. JOHN CARR. Witness hereto. – Mark Pea[s]man.

1815 m. Elizabeth Walker b. 1779, d. 1855 Munich

Either, through maintaining contact with the North West, perhaps by visits to family or on business, or perhaps even through an already established relationship before he left for Leicester, Richard married, in Preston a year later.

Leicester Journal – Friday 20 January 1815

January 20, 1815 MARRIED
On the 17th instant, at Preston, in Lancashire, Mr. Richard Raby, super worsted manufacturer of this town, to Miss E. Walker of the former place.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000205/18150120/028/0003

Lancaster Gazette – Saturday 28 January 1815

.. On Monday se’nnight [i.e. last week], Mr Richard Raby, of Leicester, to Miss Walker, of Preston, milliner.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000488/18150128/006/0003

1816. Birth of son Richard (the Younger).
1818. Birth of son John.
1821. Birth of only daughter Eliza. See death notice of Eliza below, 1855.

Various trade journals and index references provide continuous evidence of business:


Publication Title: 1822 Pigot’s Directory Norfolk, Leicestershire and Rutland plus Peterborough and Wisbech. p. 216
Name: Richard Raby
Street Address: Bath-gardens [Leicster]
Entry: Manufacturers of Hosiery (Imitation Knit)


Publication Title: 1828 Pigot’s Directory of Leicestershire
Name: Richard Raby
Street Address: Bath gardens, Leicester
Entry: Worsted Spinners

1829 Richard supports Catholic Emancipation.

Leicester Chronicle – Saturday 21 February 1829

A REQUISITION (of which the following is a Copy) having been sent to the Mayor, & he having declined to comply therewith, we, whose names are attached thereto, hereby give notice, the a PUBLIC MEETING for the purposes stated in the Requisition will be held on MONDAY Next, February 23, at the BELL HOTEL. The Chair will be taken at twelve precisely.
Copy of the Requisition.
We the undersigned request you will call a Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town and Vicinity of Leicester, to take into consideration the propriety of addressing His Majesty or Petitioning either House of Parliament, in support of those Measures which His Majesty’s Ministers are about to submit to Parliament for the Emancipation of our Roman Catholic fellow subjects. 12th February.
[11 names], Richard Raby, [53 names]

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000172/18290221/027/0003

1830. UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893. p 111

Name: Richard Raby
Place of Abode: Bath lane
Trade: Worsted Spinner
Kind of Freehold: House.
Poll Year: 1830
Borough: Leicester
County: Leicestershire

1835. A son to Richard can be identified through Articles of Clerkship.

302 Richd. Raby Junr. to Wm. Freer Filed this 27 day of February 1835.
In the King’s Bench
John Bass Hanbury of Leicester in the County of Leicester Gentleman maketh oath and saith that by Articles of Agreement indented bearing date the eighteenth of this instant February and made between William Freer of Leicester aforesaid Gentleman on of the Attornies of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench at Westminster of the one part and Richard Raby the Younger of Leicester aforesaid Gentleman and Richard Raby the Elder of Leicester aforesaid Worsted Spinner ([sic]Father of the said Richard Raby the younger of the other part The said Richard Raby the Younger with the consent and approbation of the said Richard Raby the Elder did put and place and bind himself Clerk to the said William Freer to serve him in the practice and profession of an attorney at Law from the day of the date of the said Articles for and during and until the full end and term of five years from thenceforth next ensuring and fully to be complete and ended And [sic] the Richard Raby the Younger as his clerk accordingly.
And this Deponent further saith that the said Article [were] on the eighteenth of this Instant February (being the day they bear date) actually signed sealed and delivered and executed in due form of law by the said William Freer Richard Raby the Younger and Richard Raby the Elder in the presence of Francis Raby of Leicester aforesaid Worsted Spinner and that the several names “Willm. Freer” “Richard Raby Junr.” and “Richard Raby” set and subscribed opposite to the several seals affixed to the said Articles as the parties executing the same are of the respective hand writing of the said William Freer, Richard Raby the Younger and Richard Raby the Elder And that the names “J. Bass Hanbury” and “Francis Raby” set and subscribed as Witnesses to the due execution of the said Articles are of the proper hand writing of this Deponent and the said Francis Raby respectively. Sworn at Leicester aforesaid the twenty fifth day of February One thousand eight hundred and thirty five Before me

Source: The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Court of King’s Bench: Plea Side: Affidavits of Due Execution of Articles of Clerkship, Series III; Class: KB 107; Piece: 1.

No other reference to Francis Raby has been found yet and so his relationship is not known.

1837. 27 January, Richard dies in Leicester.

Leicester Chronicle – Saturday 04 February 1837

FUNERAL OF THE LATE Mr. RABY. – The remains of Mr. Raby, of Bath-lane, were interred in a vault at the Catholic chapel, in Wellington-street, on Thursday last. He was followed to the grave by a large concourse of persons. Mr. Stone, his attorney, and Messrs. John and William Biggs, his executors, were present at the funeral; together with other gentlemen. The chapel was crowded to excess, and the Rev. Mr. Hulme pronounced an impressive oration over the tomb.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000172/18370204/012/0003

Preston Chronicle – Saturday 04 February 1837

On Friday, the 27th inst., much respected, aged 63, Mr. Richard Raby, worsted spinner, of Bath Lane, Leicester. Mr. Raby was a native of Lancashire, but had resided in Leicester about thirty years, and had been long celebrated for his superior manufacture of worsted. As a practical machinist he had few equals, and when a very young man, filled important situations in several of the most extensive manufactories [sic] in Lancashire. He was a man of enlarged benevolence, and his loss will be deeply deplored among the poor of the religious body (Roman Catholics) to which he belonged.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000099/18370204/007/0003

Married before the introduction of civil registration, there seems no civil records of children to Richard and Elizabeth and, suspecting their strong beliefs in their Catholic faith perhaps, there also as yet don’t appear to be any Anglican or non-Conformist parish records in Leicester either. And so the next document of use is Richards Will which is available from the National Archives.

1837. Will of Richard Raby, Worsted Spinner of Leicester , Leicestershire
Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers. Will of Richard Raby, Worsted Spinner of Leicester , Leicestershire.

Collection: Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Date range: 07 April 1837 – 07 April 1837 Reference:PROB 11/1877/79 Subjects:Wills and probate.

This will confirms his wife as Elizabeth but also provides some additional information.
It provides also for:
… and I give unto my brother William Raby unto my Nephews William Raby and James Raby and my Nieces [Ann or Alice] Raby, Mary Raby and Winifred Raby the sum of one hundred pounds apiece[.] I give unto my brother John the sum of three hundred pounds and unto my Nephew Richard Raby and my Niece [Alice] Raby the sum of two hundred pounds each… unto my Nephew George Stephen [Moorby]

Source: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D285707

The reference to his brother William (i.e. William and Martha) and their children sons and nieces: William (known), James (known), Ann (known but died 1831 before will enacted?), Mary (unknown but possibly the missing elder sister to Ann) and Winifred brings the relationship into some clarity. It also links to another brother John, probably his children, RIchard’s other nephews and nieces.

1855. Death of daughter Eliza and wife Elizabeth Walker.

Leicester Chronicle – Saturday 14 April 1855

On Tuesday at the convent of the Order of St. Benedict, near Stone, Aulton, Staffordshire, Eliza, only daughter of the late Mr. Richard Raby, of this town, in her 34th year.

Leicester Chronicle – Saturday 17 November 1855

On the 8th inst., at Munich [see son Richard Raby], after a short illness, in her 76th year, Elizabeth relict [widow] of the late Mr Richard Raby, of Bath-place , in this town.

Summary of Richard and Elizabeth
Richard Raby 1774 – 1837
Elizabeth Walker 1799-1855 m. Preston 1815
Richard Raby 1816 – 1881
John Raby 1818 – 1837
(Unknown) Raby 1819 – (referenced by death notices of son John)
Eliza Raby 1821 – 1855

Richard Raby (the Younger) b. before 1818, probably 1816, Leicester, d. 1881 Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Son to Richard Raby (elder) and Elizabeth Walker

A succinct description of Richard Raby the Younger can be found here:

Gillow’s Biographical Dictionary of the English Catholics

Raby, Richard born 1818, eldest son of Richard Raby, of Bath Place, Leicester, woollen manufacturer, and of his wife, Elizabeth, was educated at Stonyhurst, whither he went Sept. 2 5, 1829. Some years after his father’s death, in 1837, he left Leicester, and settled at Munich, Bavaria, where he engaged in professional and literary pursuits. He died there, Aug. 3, 1881, aged 63.

Source: http://www.peterjtyldesley.com/gillow/pages/Raby_Richard.html

1829-1831. Stonyhurst, Lancashire.

Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe, Lancashire is a Roman Catholic Jesuit college that, in 1794, moved to England from the continent as other Catholic colleges did at various times. This places links to both the religious faith of Richard’s family but also his roots back to Lancashire through his father. The archivist at Stonyhurst, David Knight, has been kind enough to confirm that Richard entered the school on 25 September 1829 (aged 11, by calculation) and left on 4 August 1831 (aged 14, by calculation).

However, there is no more detail on record and there is only Gillow’s reference to a birth year at this time. Later, reporting on his younger brother’s untimely death in 1837, he describes him, John, as just turned 19, this would make almost a twin which is unlikely as there is no reference to this obvious situation. So it is more likely Richard the Younger was born before 1818, or he got his brother’s age wrong.

1835. Richard the Younger is indentured to William Freer as a legal clerk for five years. It isn’t known if he completed his apprenticeship.

1837. February, death of father, Richard Raby the Elder.

1837. September, death of brother, John Raby.

1837. 30 September. Letter to Leicester Mercury in defence of Roman Catholicism.

Leicestershire Mercury – Saturday 30 September 1837

Dear Sir,- A person adopting the signature of Philoveritas took upon himself in last week’s ‘Journal’ to remark on a recent letter of mine in reply to a malicious and disgraceful attack made on the Catholic body and Pastor in this town, With the accustomed audacity of his party he quietly professes to rid himself of my observations as a tissue of “turgid declamation” having no “point or purpose” and without “one substantive proposition” fit only to be passed over in silence, and so forthwith proceeds to refer to a former letter of his totally unknown to me in which he ably argues that the Catholic Religion is not a religion of conscience and that it possesses no charitable benevolence, which allegations he avers [sic] neither I nor any one professing my creed has been able to disprove. [continues]

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000298/18370930/016/0002

1837. 21st October. Letter to Leicester Mercury in defence of Roman Catholicism.

Leicestershire Mercury, 21st Oct 1837

Sir, -Whoever you are, under an ungenerous disguise, have made it your business to fasten upon me at a time when I deemed myself called upon to vindicate my religion from cowardly and pointed slanders which, especially when the occasion is considered, were a sad reflection on the individual from whom they emanated, and which to my knowledge were a source of the deepest disgust to many respectable and honest members of the church you profess to advocate…[continues]

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000298/18371021/011/0002

1839. 18th January. Repeal of the Corn Laws.

Leicester Journal – Friday 18 January 1839

To Thomas Stokes, Esq. Mayor.
WE, the undersigned, respectfully request you convene a Public Meeting of the Inhabitants of this Borough, to consider the propriety of petitioning both Houses Parliament for repeal of the Corn Laws.
… Richard Raby …
In compliance with the above requisition, I hereby appoint Public Meeting of the Inhabitants of this Borough, to be held at the Town Hall, Monday the 27th day January instant, Six o’clock in the evening. Thos. Stokes, Mayor. Leicester, January , 1839.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000205/18390118/036/0002

1839. 08 February. Response in the Leicester Journal.

Leicester Journal – Friday 08 February 1839

In another portion of our journal, will found a letter, signed by Mr. R. Raby, professedly in reply to observations ours upon the Roman Catholic Institute, and the religion established to promote. A perusal of that letter by any of our readers will convince them that it is not necessary for us to offer any lengthened comment upon its tenor. Its only apparent object is criticise the literature and style argument adopted in these columns, in reference to the Popish Creed. Our readers will estimate Mr. Raby’s critical powers at their proper value, and they will judge something of his good taste and powers of argument from the style of his letter have nothing to do with either. [continues]

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000205/18390208/005/0003

1839. 22 February

Leicester Journal – Friday 22 February 1839

Sir, The state of my health has, for some time, obliged to refrain from engaging either in political or theological discussion—although distressed, almost agonised at the wreckless and unceasing attempts, which are daily made, to destroy the sacred Institutions of our country.
But I was effectually roused from somewhat necessary state repose, by the letter of a Mr. Raby, inserted your last week’s Journal, who ventured to attack certain observations which you had made a Roman Catholic Institution, entitled The Catholic Institute.” Had Mr. Raby’s letter been signed “Rabid,” the epithet would, in some measure, have justly characterised the composition.

1843. 3rd February. In defence of Catholicism.

Leicester Journal, 3rd Feb 1843

In spite of Mr. Richard Raby’s severe flagellation, we advise Mr. Mursell to proceed with bis subject, heedless of the ‘ eye’ or the * tail’ of the • greatest patriot of modern times.’
The following extract from Mr. Raby’s recently published letter to Mr. Mursill, ‘on certain passages of his Thoughts on Ireland,’ certainly exhibits great soreness on the part of the Roman Catholic community ; we confess, however, that we cannot sympathise with them, particularly since they have aided and abetted in the abuse which some the dissenters have, for the last few years, been lavishing on the Church England. [continues]

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000205/18430203/007/0002

1843. 10 February. Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society

Leicester Journal – Friday 10 February 1843

The President then called Mr. Raby to read bis paper “Secular Learning of the Anglo-Saxons.”
Mr. Raby opened his essay by stating that it was his purpose offer sketch of the proficiency attained in the several branches of pro lane learning by our Anglo Saxon ancestors during the first and most flourishing period of their dominion in England. “Our Saxon ancestors are those whose memories are most cherished in our popular sympathies: their stock we are proud to trace our purest descent —to their laws and institutions we turn when would explore the parent source of those of our day whose meridian perfection is peculiar national glory. Our great writers and orators aspire to fix for themselves the solidest fame are careful to endow their style with enduring strength from that “well of English undefiled,” which our chief critics tell us is the Saxon; but the era of which 1 now treat is especially dear to our historical renown. [continues]

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000205/18430210/010/0003

1843. 25 February. Gettting ready to depart Leicester.

An advertisement for Richard’s early publications:

Leicestershire Mercury – Saturday 25 February 1843

A FEW Parting Observations on the Rev. J. Mursell’s Appendix.
by RICHARD RABY. Printed Waddington, High Street.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000298/18430225/068/0002

1843. 24th July. Dissolution of Partnership.

With Richard the Elder now dead the partnership seems to have been taken over by Elizabeth his wife and Richard the Younger but in 1843 this is now dissolved.

Birmingham Gazette – Monday 24 July 1843

July 15.—Elizabeth Raby, Richard Raby, and Thomas Podd Leicester, worsted-spinners and manufacturers.

Thomas Podd was also a witness at the coroner’s inquest into the death of Richard and Elizabeth’s son John Raby.

1849. Richard is in Munich by this time.

Leicestershire Mercury – Saturday 26 May 1849. Advertisement.

Just Published, THE ENGLISH POPE, ADRIAN IV., Historical Sketch. RICHARD RABY, Munich, Price 3s., in 8vo, superfine paper, bound in cloth. London: Richardson and Son, 172, Fleet-street, and Derby.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000298/18490526/051/0002

The book is available on-line at the Gutenberg Project : Pope Adrian IV. An Historical Sketch

1855. Death of mother Elizabeth Walker in Munich and sister Eliza Raby in England.

Richard’s intellectual standing

Richard was well known in the English Catholic community still and was also teaching after his move to Germany. He published a number of books, mainly historical and religious and had supportive reviews. However, one critic stands out.

He was considered as tutor for Lord Acton but somewhat negatively dismissed by the later highly respected Catholic historian:

“While Acton was in Edinburgh, his applications to three Cambridge colleges were turned down because he was a Catholic. The idea of going to Germany was then discussed between his mother and Anna, Countess Arco, her Munich cousin. At first they thought of his living with a young Catholic Englishman, Richard Raby, son of a Leicester cloth manufacturer, who lived in Munich as a writer and tutor and took in young Englishmen on cultural tours. Acton was horrified by the idea; he did not care for Raby, and, what was worse, two of his fellow students at Dr. Logan’s whom he disliked would also be there….
…Acton pleaded with Lord Granville [step-father] to send him to Döllinger and not to Raby, ‘at most a moderately good master in classics, and a person in whose hands I would not willingly place the direction of my reading…'”

Source: “Lord Acton” By Roland Hill. pp.25-26.

1858 Letter from Lord Acton to Richard Simpson.

Lord Acton is not impressed with Richard Raby:

“1 October 1858, 16 Bruton St. Friday morning.
My dear Simpson,…
… I see by the Register that Raby makes more impression than some of your own articles. It is wonderful what nonsense people will bear in foreign history and politics.”

Simpson responds 15 Nov 1858 :

“Dear Acton…
….There is a certain spirit in Raby that finds admirers – an unctuous assumption of right, Dominus vobiscum, Benedicte, Hosanna – that take all pious old women by the beard & hold them tight.”

Source: “The Correspondence of LORD ACTON and RICHARD SIMPSON” Altholz & McElrath, Cambridge University Press, 1971. p 84.

1881. Richard dies in Munich age 65 (b. 1816)

Nottingham Evening Post – Wednesday 24 August 1881

Professor Richard Raby, who died Munich on August 3rd, in his 65th year, was one of the few Englishmen holding academical office in Germany. He was born at Leicester, and originally devoted himself to scientific studies, but the early death of his elder [sic, younger] brother obliged him to undertake the management of his father’s manufactory [sic], which had fallen into disorder. After the sale of the concern, Mr. Raby went to live Belgium, but about 1842 or 1843 went to Munich, where he lived until his death. He established a school, which was attended chiefly by English and Spanish youths, and he was afterwards called to a chair at the well known Royal Maximilianeum. He wrote a great deal for English serials, amongst others for the Roman Catholic “Rambler.” In 1849 he published Pope Adrian IV., an Historical Sketch,” and in 1866 appeared a second edition of Suso’s “Little Book of Eternal Wisdom.” A selection of readings in English prose and verse, for the higher classes schools, was published by him Freilburg in 1871.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000321/18810824/037/0004

John Raby

Son to Richard Raby (elder) and Elizabeth Walker

John Raby 1818-1837 On his departure for Spain 1836

John Raby 1818-1837
On his departure for Spain 1836

A portrait of John passed through to Grace Lilian Hunt and then Margaret Kaveney.
The back of the portrait is inscribed “John Raby Took his Departure for Spain March 20 1836″.

None of the history so far recorded gives evidence for who John Raby is. However, the date of 1836 and destination Spain suggest that he joined the British (or Auxillary) Legion fighting in the Carlist wars in the Peninsular. This was not an official British army in that it was mostly comprised of volunteers.

Newspaper accounts of his untimely death in a riding accident on his return from Spain provide a wealth of information: that he was the younger brother of Richard Raby and had on October 1836 just turned 18. There was a coroners inquest into the circumstances of his death.
They tell of an otherwise unknown brother who was ill suffering in the latter stages of consumption.

1818. Birth.

1836. 20th March, leaves for Spain.
This is the inscription on the reverse of the portrait.Raby_John_1836_reverse003

1836. Enlist to the 8th Scottish Infantry 24 March and is wounded not long after.

RABY, Ensign, 8th Regt. 24th March 36— wounded 6th June 36- resigned 37.

Source: History of the British legion, and war in Spain Publ. in parts. Alexander Somerville – 1 January 1839. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=feqoaaaaqaaj&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en_gb&pg=gbs.pa706

1837 February, father Richard dies.

1837 September. Dies, riding accident, Leicester.

There are very detailed newspaper reports concerning the death of John and the subsequent Coroner’s inquiry at the Red Cow. These also provide information about his character and family. Link to newspaper reports following the Coroner’s inquest.

Leicestershire Mercury – Saturday 09 September 1837

An anonymous piece of poetry is published in the Leicestershire Mercury.

Original Poetry

Come! let the tear of sympathy shed
For one who now lies number’d with the dead;
Who, when the morning sun shed forth its ray,
In health and spirits, rose to spend the day
In spreading joy around — on every side—
In which, his youthful spirits took a pride.
Pleased with the strength to which he had resource,
Upon his horse pursued his joyous course.
Ere night o’er earth her sable mantle spread.
His strength has vanish’d, and his soul has fled.
Where death and sorrow never more shall reign,
Where there are no more tears, and no more pain.
How sad his end! how true doth it appear,
That man can never tell when death is near.
Behold the contrast! See the awful change,
Which death hath made. He now no more can range
Where pleasure on this joyous earth is found,
And nature spreads her beauties all around.
The teeth are clenched; the tongue lies dumb between,
And death spread o’er the countenance is seen.
May mourning friends and near relations find
That comfort which religion yields the mind.
Amid their sorrow may their souls adore
The God of him who breathes the air no more.
Let friendly feeling try to sooth the pain.
Which in a mother’s heart must still remain.
Oh! God of mercy! from whom blessings flow,
Console her mournful spirits, calm her woe ;
In mercy wipe her flowing tears away,
Teach her from the heart to say
“It is thy will, O! Lord, and be it done,
I, to thy mercy, now resign my son.”

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Other death notices announcing the John’s death:

Leicester Chronicle – Saturday 09 September 1837

On Tuesday, in the 19th year of his age, John, second son of the late Richard Raby, Esq. of Bath-lane, worsted-spinner. The circumstances attendant upon the death of the deceased ate re-corded in a preceding page.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000172/18370909/012/0003

Coventry Herald – Friday 15 September 1837

On the 5th inst., aged 19, (in consequence of being thrown from his horse,) Mr. John Raby, second son of the late Mr. Richard Raby, of Leicester.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000384/18370915/031/0004

Newspaper reports on the death of Mr. John Raby, Leicester, 1818-1837

Leicester Chronicle, 9th Sep 1837


On Tuesday night, the intelligence reached this town that Mr. John Raby, the second son of the late Richard Raby, Esq. of Bath-lane, had been thrown from his horse while riding on the Hinckley-road, and was killed by a fracture of the skull; and on the following morning the fatal accident became generally known throughout the town, and excited deep regret and sympathy, the deceased being of a family much respected in Leicester. He was himself well known in our streets, possessing a commanding figure, and a manly gallant bearing. Although only in the nineteenth year of his age, he measured in height six feet two inches, and was well-proportioned, weighing upwards of thirteen stone. Of a bold and adventurous disposition, at the early age of seventeen he entered the British Legion as a lieutenant under General Evans, and was twice wounded during twelve months’ hard and dangerous service in the Peninsula, (for which, by the was, he never received one farthing). Had he perished abroad, it was a fate which his friends at home were prepared to expect; but having returned in safety, his untimely and unexpected death is a severe shock to his surviving relatives.

On Wednesday afternoon at 5 o’clock, an inquest was held on the body, at the Red Cow public house, on the road from Leicester to Hinckley, about four miles distant from the former place. The jury having been sworn by Mr. John Gregory, the coroner, they proceeded to view the body, which was lying in an upper room of the house. The countenance of the deceased was remarkably placid, and the features still retained that beauty for which they were in life distinguished.

Mr. Richard Raby, the elder brother of the deceased, deposed, that in October last his brother was eighteen years of age. When in the British Legion, he was exposed to severe privations; and to allay the cravings of hunger, and as a solace in the midst of other hardships, he had recourse to smoking. This practice became a habit, and he did not lay it aside on his return to his own country; but, owing to a domestic affliction, he was unable to indulge in it at home. Their younger brother was labouring under consumption, and it was considered objectionable to have any tobacco-smoking in the house: the deceased, therefore, was accustomed to visit some village or way-side public house twice or thrice a-week, that he might enjoy his favourite habit. It was with this object that he left home on Tuesday afternoon, between three and four o’clock. He rode out on a grey mare; a quiet, steady, tractable, sure-footed animal, but with a tendency to shy, and in late rather irritable, owing to a stab in the fleshy part of the hind leg, which it received about a month ago, while turned out in the field; the wound, in the witness’s opinion, having been purposely inflicted by some cruel individual. The deceased was a good rider, but venturesome, and fond of trying experiments on the temper and qualities of his horse. He was not a horse-soldier when in the army: he was in the infantry – in the 8th regiment.

Miss Susanna Hitchcock deposed that she was the daughter of the landlord of the Red Cow. The deceased occasionally came to the house: he had been there five or six times during the summer. On Tuesday afternoon, a little before four o’clock, he came on horseback, and remained until past seven. He was smoking the greater part of the time, and had a glass or two of cold gin and water, but was perfectly sober when he left the house. Witness saw him depart. The saddle slipped to one side when he placed his foot in the stirrup, and the consequence was that he was nearly falling: his leg bending towards the ground, his trousers got dusty, and witness went into the house for a brush; but on her return he was mounted. Witness could not say whether or not he had tightened the girth in her absence. He rode off gently, but put the horse into a gallop before he reached the turn in the road, about a hundred yards distant from the house. Rather more than half an hour afterwards, he was brought back insensible, the blood flowing from his head; and at about a quarter past nine o’clock, he died. He never spoke or moved after he was brought back. A surgeon, the assistant of Mr. Paget, was brought over from Leicester; but the deceased was dead when he arrived.

Mr. William Jones, of Halford-street, Leicester, deposed, that he was a coach-maker, and assisted Mr. Miles in his business. On Tuesday night, he was returning from a cottage on the Forest, in a car, accompanied by two of Mr. Miles’s apprentices. At about twenty minutes past seven o’clock, they were opposite the house of William Kenworthy Walker, Esq. half-a-mile nearer to Leicester than the Red Cow. It was then dusk, but he was able to see that there was a man lying across the centre of the road, on his back. The horse in the car swang round, as if alarmed at the sight. Witness alighted, and found the person quite insensible. His dress was soiled and torn as if he had been dragged; there was a severe wound at the back of his head. -[The wound, we understand, was nearly three inches in diameter; and the skull was driven deeply in upon the brain.] – His hat was off: it was lying on the road, at the distance of ten or twelve yards, towards the Red Cow. There was a pool of blood, as large as a hat crown, near the head; and froth was issuing from one side of the mouth. A large dog was standing over him, which opposed witness’s approach; but he removed the body to the side of the road out of the carriage way, and then went to the house of Mr. Walker for assistance. Mr. W. advised the removal of the injured man to the Red Cow, and promptly dispatched three of his servants to carry this suggestion into effect. The man (whom witness had not then recognised) was lifted gently into the car, and conveyed to the Red Cow. Immediately Miss Hitchcock saw him, she exclaimed, “Oh ! it’s Mr. Raby !” and witness then recognised him as that gentleman. A stranger from Warwick, on horseback, called at the house; and on hearing the nature of the accident, he very kindly said he would gallop off to Leicester, and send a surgeon. Witness followed shortly afterwards, lest possibly the stranger might not keep his promise; but on arriving in Leicester, he found that a surgeon had gone off to the Red Cow.

William Branston deposed, that he was in Mr. Raby’s service. After the accident, the mare came to Leicester, and was brought to Mr. Raby’s house on Tuesday night. Witness examined the animal carefully, and found a wound on each hind leg, at the back part of the hock. There was also a wound on the hip; and the saddle was much scrubbed on the same side. The fore-knees of the mare were not injured. It appeared to him that the animal (owing perhaps to a sudden check) had come down upon its haunches, and then fallen upon the near side, with the left leg of the deceased undermost. In this view he was confirmed by the fact that the left ancle [sic], and the outside of the knee of the deceased, were much bruised and lacerated. The hat of the deceased having fallen off, his bare head had come into contact with the ground. Witness was inclined to think that the deceased had not been dragged, but had received all his injuries in the fall. The saddle was properly fitted on when the mare was brought to Mr. Raby’s; but, for anything that he knew to the contrary, it might have been re-girthed by the person who found it.

Mr. Thomas Podd stated, that he had put this question to the man, and he replied that he had not meddled with the saddle, but rode upon it to Mr. Raby’s just as he found it.

The jury, after a brief consultation, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

Mr. Walker was present during the inquest; and when Mr. Jones spoke in warm terms of the assistance which he had rendered on the previous evening, Mr. Richard Raby earnestly thanked him for his attention to his unfortunate brother in his dying moments. Mr. Walker replied that he had certainly done what he could, but it was no more than he was bound to do.

At the close of the inquest, the body was placed in a leaden coffin, and conveyed in a hearse to the Catholic chapel, as it was thought inexpedient (under the circumstances) to remove it to the house of Mrs. Raby, the bereaved mother of the deceased.


source: The British Newspaper Archive , brightsolid Newspaper Archive Limited. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000172/18370909/003/0001



Leicestershire Mercury – Saturday 09 September 1837

Fatal Accident

A very painful sensation was created in this town on Wednesday in consequence of a report that Mr. John Raby (lately a Lieutenant of the 8th Scotch Regiment of Infantry, in the British Legion,) had been killed on the Hinkley-road, about four miles from Leicester. Mr. Raby’s youth and fine, handsome figure (standing six feet two inches, though he had not completed his nineteenth year,) together with the fact of his having been in service in Spain, (where he was twice wounded) occasioned almost universal sympathy on the dreadful report of his untimely fate being confirmed. The inquest was held at the Red Cow, (W. K. Waker, Esq. and several friends of the deceased being present,) when the following particulars were elicited:

Owing to the privations of the campaign, (the forces frequently having to subsist on brandy and cigars alone for nearly two successive days,) Mr. Raby had contracted a habit of smoking which he was unable to indulge in at home in consequence of the illness of one of his brothers, who is in the last stage of consumption. On this account it was his practice to ride to a neighbouring village, once or twice a week, where he could indulge his propensity without annoying any one [sic], and among other places he often called at the Red Cow, on the Hinckley-road, about four miles from Leicester. On Tuesday afternoon he came on a grey mare, about four o’clock, and after enjoying his cigar, he left the Red Cow, soon after seven o’clock, being perfectly sober, to return to Leicester. Miss Susannah Hitchcock (the landlord’s daughter) noticed that the saddle slipped while he was mounting, so much so that his trousers were dirties; but on fetching a brush to clean them, he rejected her offer, and, being properly mounted, bade her good night, and rode off gently, though she heard him break into a gallop as soon as he had passed the turn in the road, about 100 yards from the house. In less than an hour he was brought back perfectly senseless, with a terrible wound at the back of his head. Mr. William Jones, of Halford-street, assistant to Mr. Miles, coach-maker, having found him weltering in his blood, in the middle of the road, nearly opposite to Mr. Walker’s house, his hat being picked up about a dozen yards nearer the Red Cow, and his clothes being very dirty, as if he had been dragged about. Mr. Jones, in company with two of Mr. Miles’s apprentices was proceeding towards Leicester in a car, and, after removing the deceased from the road to the causeway, he proceeded to the house of Mr. Walker, who advised him instantly to convey the unfortunate young gentleman to the Red Cow, and kindly offered every assistance, sending three of his men to lift the deceased into the car and to support him till they reached the house, where he was instantly put to bed, and attended with all the care kindness could dictate. Soon after the accident was discovered a traveller from Warwick rode up, who said he would hasten to Leicester for medical assistance, but the poor fellow breathed his last a few minutes before Mr. Paget’s assistant arrived, having lived about three quarters of an hour after he was brought to the house, though he never betrayed the least sensibility, a portion of his skull having been driven into the brain. As soon as Mr. Jones saw the poor fellow safely in bed, he proceeded to Leicester to inform his friends, keeping a look out for the mare, but saw nothing of her until he arrived at the toll-gate, where a number of people were standing around her, noticing he wound on her hip, which was then bleeding.

Mr. Richard Raby, the brother of the deceased, said that his unfortunate brother was a good horseman, but very venturesome and fond of trying experiments, which his relations had often cautioned him against. The mare was a very steady, sure-footed beast, her only fault being a tendency to shy; but owing to her having received a stab in the thick part of her hind leg, just under the flank, when she was in the field about a month ago, (which appeared to have been done deliberately,) she had become rather irritable, and would probably plunge if struck on the wound, which was doubtless still very tender.

William Branston, servant to Mr. Raby, stated that he had examined the mare, and found a wound on each hind hock, as if she had fallen on her near side, and wounded her hip. He had never seen the mare rear, but he was of the opinion that she had been pulled up sharply, and that she had fallen on her rider, having noticed while undressing the body, that the outside of the deceased’s left knee and ancle [sic] were much lacerated and swollen, which would correspond with the wounds on the mare.

The man who rode her from the toll-gate to Mr. Raby’s house, said that the saddle was in its proper place.

The animal was then brought from the stable for the inspection of the Jury, who were convinced that the accident had been caused in a manner described by the last witness, the near side of the saddle being also much rubbed.

After a few minutes consultation, the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, and the body was shortly afterwards conveyed to Holy Cross Chapel, where it was yesterday consigned to the family vault, constructed a few months ago to receive the remains of the father of this lamented youth.


source: The British Newspaper Archive , brightsolid Newspaper Archive Limited. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000298/18370909/010/0002

Gay family name

For the sake of clarity, we are talking here about the family name Gay, largely centred around Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland, and from there around the world. My family traces its roots to these Irish Midlands, documented only as far back as the early 19th century. Like so many other Irish families, it and those families we are joined to are now spread to other countries.

The surname Gay

The meaning of the family name Gay is a little obscure and might not be conclusive.  For many with obvious English or Norman descent then the association is normally made to the derivative from the Old French Gai or from any of the places in Normandy called “Gaye”, such as that in La Manche, where the place-name itself it is said derives from an early owner bearing a Germanic personal name beginning” Wai” or “Gai”.

Of course the Normans and English were in Ireland too and there may be some connection. The local history page of the Visit Mullingar website says:

The town takes its name from the Gaelic “An Muileann gCearr” meaning the left hand mill and is associated with a miracle that occurred at the mill.The town of Mullingar was founded by the Normans over 800 years ago.

The Norman settlement was a Manor and Borough with a castle, a parish church, Augustinian and Dominican monasteries, a hospital and a Frankhouse. The population of the borough was a mixture of Gaelic Irish and French, English, Welsh, Flemish and Breton immigrants.
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