Chitterne Now and Then
Blog Archive - October 2013

Tuesday 22nd October 2013 - Death of Henry Hull

Another mystery has been solved thanks to H & W! The wonders of the internet and the online archives of old newspapers have provided this report of Henry Hull's death from the Devizes Gazette and Herald dated 28th January 1841.

It's funny how things sometimes happen in groups. Earlier this year, in May, KS passed me a letter from AM of Banbury asking about Henry Hull, landlord of the King's Head and his family, and when I replied I decided to send her a photo of Henry's tombstone in St Mary's graveyard. It is a large flat stone slab set into the grass behind the chancel, but usually covered with moss and rabbit droppings so I cleaned it up and highlighted the inscription with chalk in order to take the photo. Then later, in September, I had a visit from B & PO'N who were also looking into the Hull family so I sent them a copy of it too; but all this time I had no clue as to just exactly how Henry had died. All I knew from the coroner's report was that he had died accidentally. It was only by a chance mention of archived newspaper reports from H & W that I thought of asking them if there was a report about Henry Hull, and lo and behold back it came the same day!

Through contact with AM we now know that Henry Hull was born 2nd November 1795 in Landford, Wiltshire. He married Elizabeth Poolman of Chitterne St Mary on 21st October 1822 at St Thomas' Church, Salisbury. Henry and Elizabeth had seven children, four boys and three girls. Their third daughter, Selina, was baptised at Chitterne St Mary in 1828, so presumably the family were living in Chitterne then, maybe at the King's Head. In those days the King's Head was leased from the Lord of the Manor by the Wallis family who grew the barley, malted it in the village and brewed their own beer.

Saturday 19th October 2013 - William and Ela Longespee Book

I'm back from a few days being immersed in stitching projects at Dillington House in Somerset, but I couldn't quite get away from history. It followed me there on my new iPad in the form of an interesting email from an American lady, who was coming to England the following week. SS wanted to soak up medieval atmosphere for a book she is writing for pre-teens on William Longespee and Ela of Salisbury. I was very intrigued of course but when I tried to reply I was thwarted by the device, which wouldn't allow my email to go.

SS plans to visit Salisbury, Old Sarum and Lacock, and walk ancient by-ways from Old Sarum to Amesbury and also asked where she could see an example of a medieval open field system. SH, a descendant of William and Ela who I met earlier this year at Old Sarum, helped on the latter by consulting a friend of hers, who pointed out that open field is more commonly known as ridge and furrow, and that Mick Aston's book on Archeology would be a good place to start. None of this info could I pass on to SS! Very frustrating. However since I came back I've been able to contact SS, suggest some visits she might make, and introduce her to SH. It turns out that the two may be related through their connection to William and Ela, although SS hadn't mentioned this in her first email. I am hoping she will fill me in on the results of her visit to England.

Tuesday 1st October 2013 - Bidden Lane Query 2

The last paragraph of my previous blog brought an almost immediate response from J & RR, otherwise known as Holmes and Watson. This what they said:

Just had the blog entry about the Australian soldier and I’ve been thinking about it. You know you’ve got William Bacon and Alice in the marked house in Canner’s book, but as you say, he was himself in the war, so he couldn’t be there in 1917. Now I’ve had a look at the 1911 and he and Alice in 1911 were staying with her father Mark Drewett, but at what appears to be some way from this house. What about William Bacon’s mother, who was Ellen Bacon, by that time married to Isaac Poolman? They are living next door to the Found family in 1911, that’s the James who married Susannah apparently – there’s his mother Elizabeth, sister Susanna (is she the Susannah in Canner?) and James, single at that time.

You are looking for an elderly couple and that fits, and also they did have a daughter Rhoda Mary Poolman (in the book!) – she’s not in Chitterne in 1911, away working in Salisbury at the White Hart Hotel, and she married Mr. Gleeson in 1913. He would have been away aboard the KGV during the war probably, so she may well have been staying with her parents, as noted in Canner. And maybe that also fits with the chapel-goers – if William, Ellen’s son was, then maybe it was the same with Ellen?

Aren't they amazing? The Australian soldier had mentioned in one of his letters home that:

"The old lady is always telling her daughter that I am to be her Australian soldier boy. Of course it never goes any further as there is one overseas waiting. So I had better watch my Ps and Qs won't I?"
Hence the reason H & W were seeking a family with a marriageable daughter with a boyfriend overseas. I passed all this on to RK, the lady in Australia and she was quite clearly very pleased as she'd almost given up hope. However, further down the line we have hit a small snag. It seems, thanks again to H & W, that Rhoda Mary was not only married to a Robert David Gleeson by 1917, but they also had a child, Frederick Alfred Gleeson born August 1914 in Portsmouth and baptised in Chitterne in October that year. The transcription of Canner's Visiting Book by the WFHS has a mistake in the record of this particular family, Frederick has been noted as the husband of Rhoda when really he is her son, so I was unaware of a son's existence until H & W delved into their records. What this now means is that Rhoda is less likely to be the daughter of the family mentioned by the Australian soldier, so I am again searching for a likely couple with a daughter...could it be the Cooper family, who lived in number 63 in 1925 and had one daughter, Annie, who worked for the Wallises at The Manor as a domestic? The story continues...

'Nother quick response from H & W: "No, it’s not likely to be Annie – Henry (Kitley, who Annie married in 1918) did join the army in 1915 I think but was not fit for service and so was released in 1916."

And yet another from H & W. I'm leaving in all H's asides so you can see what I have to put up with from this pair!!: "Only just noticed I am amazing, Sue? I’m really, really disappointed – I thought you’d been dazzled by my genius all this time! Howls of derision from W at this – what can she be getting at? Seriously, we are still of the opinion that the Bacon connection is correct, even though there is young Frederick to take into account. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that this Australian soldier – sorry to keep referring thus to him, but I don’t appear to have a name for him – you’d think he’d have done the decent thing and said “that nice Mrs. Poolman takes us in for Sunday tea, and she’s got a very comely daughter Rhoda too” in one of his letters instead of leaving us with this mystery. It was ever thus, I suppose – no thought at all for those of us coming along behind, trying to fit these pieces together."

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