Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Hartfield. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hartfield. Show all posts

Friday, 8 April 2022

Arthur Edward Penfold - The Liverpool Cab Murder

Medlock Hotel Rumney Road
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Sue Adair -
Late 19th century public house built adjacent to Kirkdale Gaol which was built in 1818 and demolished in 1897. This land became Kirkdale Recreation Ground but hid a gruesome past.

Arthur Edward Penfold (b. 1859), son of William Penfold and Mary Ann Charlotte Gunn, brother of John Robert PenfoldFrederick William Penfold and Charles Penfold, was found guilty of the murder of an "unfortunate" (prostitute) Margaret Stewart alias Isabella Cowie [1] on 17 Dec 1890, at Liverpool Assizes on 7 Mar 1891 and sentenced to death.

In 1891, Arthur Edward Penfold (31), Grocer's porter, Single, born in Hartfield, Sussex, was listed as a Prisoner at Her Majesty's Prison Kirkdale Liverpool, a.k.a. the Kirkdale House of Correction. "Prisoners had to work, and the treadmill (Penal treadmill) used for grinding corn was the largest in the country, needing the efforts of 130 prisoners a day to keep it running." Kirkdale had one of the highest death rates in the country for a prison.

What brought him there was widely reported in the press, but to summarise: Penfold had apparently been consorting with this woman, described as being "an inmate of a disorderly house", for five or six days before the date of the murder and, on the day in question, they'd gone out together. A witness said they were sober when they left in the afternoon. At 7:30pm they got a cab together and Penfold had asked the driver for Lambert Street. Upon arrival, Penfold told the cab driver that he had stabbed the woman and told him to call a policeman. The woman was taken to the Infirmary, but died shortly from the six stab wounds that had penetrated both her heart and liver.

The Indictment reads: "At Liverpool on the 17th December 1890, feloniously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought, did kill and murder one Margaret Stewart alias Isabella Cowie." Penfold was tried before The Honourable Sir John C Day, Knight (Sir John Charles Frederick Sigismund Day of whom it was writ, "The readiness with which he resorted to the severest punishments, including lashes, earned him a fearsome reputation and the nickname 'Judgment Day'.")

A later report relates that, "On one occasion when visiting the unfortunate man at Kirkdale, I asked him, "How come you to do it? Did you not know what you were about?" He said he didn't know why he did it or when, or even where it was done, his memory entirely left him: but he knew as soon as the fateful act was committed what he had done, and he could not forgive himself."

From the Liverpool Mercury Tuesday, 23 Dec 1890

Inquiries yesterday resulted in little further information as to the identification of the murdered woman Stewart or Cowie. A considerable number of people have viewed her body, some of them have known her during the period of her life spent in Liverpool. Up till a late hour last evening she had not been identified, and her parentage and place of birth still remain a mystery. It is believed, however, that she was formerly resident in Glasgow or Edinburgh. As to her Liverpool life, it appears that until about five weeks ago the deceased woman was at a house of ill-fame in a court off Lambert Street. 
The following are the antecedents of Arthur Edward Penfold, the full and correct name of the accused, which form quite a melancholy story. He was the son of a tollgate keeper, and was born in Hartfield, a pretty rural village on the borders of the Ashdown Forest, in the north of Sussex. His parents are long since dead. He served in the 5th Lancers, and was invalided out of the service with heart disease and afterwards joined the Sussex Artillery Militia under the name of Peter Bright. He appears to have won the good opinion of everyone with whom he came in contact, but was liable to give way to drink, and when he had only a small quantity he was "like a madman." Generally a teetotaller, he appears to have periodically broken out, and then he would leave his situation, however profitable it was, and, without warning, go away, often turning up in a most deplorable state of destitution.  
Writing to his brother from Norwich Union Infirmary in 1888 [2], after speaking of his misery, the letter reads: "Sad to lead a life like this, you cannot wonder at my being laid up. What a fool I must be to do it when I might be settled down and comfortable. What a poor, weak-minded fool for yielding so easy to temptation. I feel as if there is no hope for me; it seems no use praying: there is no God to hear my prayer. I have sinned away my day of grace and must now take my chances. Oh that I had never left the proper path. It is too late for me now. I am glad you are all right, dear brother. Keep to that path and don't yield one inch to the devil, or he will surely soon be your master." 
He returned to East Grinstead after that, and his old master, hearing that he was again in the town, sent for him, and without asking any questions as to his career during his long absence at once installed him into the old place of grocer's and draper's porter. Several month ago he had another outbreak, and not returning with a horse and van to his employer's shop, information was given to the police. Penfold was discovered drugged and insensible on Tunbridge Wells Common, and the horse and van on another part of the common not under control. He then admitted that he had given way to drink and to immoral women, with whom he generally got associated after taking even a moderate amount of liquor. He was brought up at the East Grinstead Police Court, and the charge was withdrawn, and strange to say, there were two former employers whom he had in his freaks forsaken waiting to offer him a situation, even, as one of them said, "if Penfold had done a couple of months' imprisonment," He went back into the employment of the of the draper and grocer, however, and went on properly until a fortnight ago, when he was sent to Horley with the horse and van. The morning was bitterly cold, and it was snowing fast, and there is no doubt that Penfold indulged in a little intoxicant to warm him. As usual, it got over him, and when he put up the horse and cart at Horley, after collecting an amount of £18, he went off and was not heard of until his name was identified by the East Grinstead police in connection with the Liverpool tragedy. He was then "wanted" for stealing the £18 alluded to. It may be interesting to state that though such a trustworthy employee when he kept to his temperance pledge, he occasionally complained of pains in the head, and was sometimes strange in his manner. It seems also that his grandmother was subject to epilepsy, and his mother died in an epileptic fit.

In 1884, Penfold had been before the Magistrates on the charge of attempted suicide - dropped on the grounds of insanity. In fact, he had attempted to take his own life on two occasions, once he had gone onto London Bridge with the intention of jumping into the river, the other time he put poison in his coffee. 

Nor were those even Penfold's only brushes with the law, as noted on the record of the murder trial is a previous incarceration for 14 days at HM Prison, Lewes, having been found guilty at Brighton Petty Sessions, on 31 May 1886, of being drunk and assaulting a P.C., under the name of Arthur Carter

At the trial, "Dr James Morton, of Chelsea, deposed that he had known the prisoner's mother, brothers and other relatives for many years. [He said] they were all characterised by a tendency to nervous disease. The mother died at the age of 55 during a violent epileptic seizure. Witness knew two brothers of the prisoner. One showed great mental instability, and the slightest excitement, either from joy or grief, rendered him almost incomprehensible. That brother's child two years ago had attacks of epilepsy. Prisoner's elder brother had five children, and three witness had seen epileptic attacks." 

Another witness said, "... he has relatives who are idiots." "One of the prisoner's female cousins is an idiot, but not bad enough to be locked up." 

Charles Penfold, the prisoner's younger brother recounted that the prisoner had disappeared from his employment suddenly in 1879, when he joined the 5th Lancers, and that "If he took drink he very soon became irresponsible."

Frederick William Penfold, of her Majesty's navy at Portsmouth, spoke of having frequently noticed peculiarities about [the] prisoner. He stated that he had not seen the prisoner for over seven years.

The jury, without leaving the box, found Penfold guilty of murder and the sentence of the court was that he was to be hanged. 

A petition was got up with a plea of insanity against the death sentence.

Ian Waugh of Murder Research provided one of the last pieces of the puzzle through an item from The Liverpool Mercury of Friday, 27 Mar 1891: 
The Governor of Kirkdale Jail received the official document from the Home Office yesterday morning, announcing the respite of Arthur Edward Penfold, who was, at the recent assizes, found guilty of wilful murder. This decision of the Home Secretary was not only received with joy by Penfold himself, but by his brothers and others who, since the trial, have been indefatigable in their exertions to save the unfortunate man from the gallows.
Respite is not the same as commuting his sentence, it merely put it off.

Kirkdale Gaol was demolished in 1897, which is probably the reason Penfold was moved and he ended up at HM Prison Parkhurst, on the Isle of Wight. Parkhurst was subject to fierce criticism by the public, politicians and in the press for its harsh regime (including the use of leg irons initially). Obviously related to this move, was that his brother, Frederick William Penfold, relocated to the Isle of Wight in 1898. In the end his death sentence was never carried out, however, as Arthur Edward Penfold, Convict, died aged 41, at Parkhurst Prison, on 21 May 1900, from Peritonitis. There is reference on the death certificate of an inquest having been held on 23 May 1900. 

  1. One of the witnesses at the inquest had said that she'd seen a letter from the victim's mother, addressed to Margaret Cowie, so this may have been her real name. Searches reveal that death certificates have been issued in all three names: Margaret Stewart, Isabella Cowie and Margaret Cowie, all with year of birth calculated to 1867 from her supposed age of 23.
  2. Records show Arthur Penfold being admitted to, on 21 Jan 1888, and discharged from, on 11 Feb 1888, St Andrew's Workhouse, Norwich.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Frederick William Penfold and Harriet Mary Tubb

Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda SeanMD80 (talk) (Uploads), CC BY-SA 3.0

Frederick William Penfold (b. 20 Jul 1863) in Hartfield, Sussex, son of William Penfold and Mary Ann Charlotte Gunn (m. 1851), married Harriet Mary Tubb, daughter of Edward Tubb and Sarah Elizabeth Joy in Edmonton, north London (why that area is unclear), in the second quarter of 1888.

Frederick and Harriet had five children: 

  1. Harriet Mary Penfold Tubb b. 1884 Q4 in CHELSEA Vol 01A Page 338
  2. George Edward Penfold b. 7 Mar 1889 in SHEPPEY Vol 02A Page 892
  3. Grace Joy Penfold b. 27 Aug 1892 in DOVER Volume 02A Page 982
  4. Frederick William Penfold b. 8 Oct 1896 in FULHAM Vol 01A Page 305
  5. Bert Penfold b. 14 Aug 1898 in ISLE OF WIGHT Vol 02B Page 599
Looking at this succession of birth locations: i. Frederick's mother, Mary Ann Penfold (55) died in in Chelsea, in 1886, so it may well have been to her that Harriet had gone. Frederick's elder brother, John Robert Penfold, Boot Maker, was in Chelsea by 1891; ii. Sheppey makes sense that Harriet was able to return to her own mother for the birth of her first legitimate child; iii. this is the year after Frederick left the navy, so unsure why Dover (Harriet's mother's family, perhaps); iv. Fulham is where Frederick's younger brother Charles lived by 1897 and makes sense to go to his family for this birth, her own mother having died in 1895 and v. the Isle of Wight is where they'd moved in 1898.

Frederick William Penfold, had enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1878, at 15, as a Boy 2nd Class. His father had died in 1873, which may well have been motivation for going to sea. At that time he was 5ft tall, had dark brown hair, brown eyes and fair skin. He'd previously worked as a Gardener. Later, he grew to the lofty height of 5ft 5in and his complexion became ruddy. On 20 Jul 1881, his 18th birthday, Frederick signed up for a further 10 years.

Frederick William Penfold's Naval Career:

In 1881, Frederick William Penfold (18), Signal boy from Hartfield, Sussex, was listed under Royal Navy At Sea, Ships and Overseas Establishments with HMS Northampton, in Camber, Bermuda (Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda)

  • 16 Dec 1882 - 2 Apr 1884 - HMS Duncan (1859) which had been flag ship at Sheerness since 1879. (Exactly the right time and place for Frederick to meet Harriet, who was born and lived in Sheerness. Harriet's father, Edward Tubb, died in Jan 1884. We might conclude that Harriet, 16, sought solace in Frederick.)
  • 3 Apr 1884 - 30 Jun 1886HMS Carysfort (1878), which in 1884 and 1885, landed men for the naval brigade at Sudan (during the Mahdist War, which claimed the life of Gordon of Khartoum). During this time, there is a note on Frederick's service record saying "Mily Gaol Alexandria 42 days" (Gabbari military prison, Alexandria, Egypt). Doesn't give the exact dates or what for, but 42 days is unlikely to be too serious. Drunk maybe? Apr 1886 Mediterranean. 8 May 1886 Serving in Greek Waters. 19 Jun 1886 Malta.

Crossing Malta's Grand Harbour by Water Taxi

In 1891, Frederick W Penfold (27), Qualified signalman, married, is a 'Member of crew' of HMS Excellent in Portsmouth Harbour. Harriet Mary Penfold (26), Harriet M Penfold (6) and George E Penfold (2) were visiting Harriet's widowed mother, Sarah E Tubb (61) at her lodgings in Trinity Road, Minster in Sheppey.

In 1898, George Edward Penfold, son of Frederick William Penfold, Commercial Agent, of 22 West Street, Newport, was enrolled at the Newport Board School in Newport, Isle of Wight. His previous school was Board School Southsea.

But the next record we find, is on 22 Sep 1899, when George Penfold, aged 9, from Barnardo Homes, sails to Toronto, Canada on the vessel Arawa. "According to the Barnardo records [Grace Joy] was admitted to the Barnardo's Homes in England on July 22, 1899 at the age of 7 with her brother George." [Source]

In 1901, Harriet M Penfold (32) still listed as married, was at 49, Trafalgar Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, with Frederick W Penfold (4). George E Penfold, in 1901, then 12, was listed as a Domestic in the household of a David White from Scotland, in Assiniboia EastNorthwest Territories, Canada. 

Frederick William Penfold, then a house painter (journeyman) of 2 Seagrave Rd, Fulham, died, aged 37, on 7 Apr 1901, of a cerebral hemorrhage (stroke) in Fulham Infirmary. His elder brother, John Robert Penfold of 52, Hogarth Buildings, Westminster is listed as the informant and was in attendance.

We read here that, "According to family hearsay Fredrick left the family at some stage prior to his death and Harriett could not keep the family together and it seems that her son George was put into a Barnardo’s Home and sent to Canada in 1899 at the age of 10." And, sadly, the trail of records does bear this out.

On 31 July 1904, G J Penfold (11) Female (Grace Joy) from Barnardo Homes sailed to Toronto, Canada on the vessel RMS Southwark.

Then on 3 May 1907, the youngest, Bert Penfold (8) from Barnardo Homes sailed to Toronto, Canada on the vessel SS Dominion.

So it wasn't just George who was sent to Barnardo Homes, but three of the children: George, Grace and Bert, who became Home Children sent to Canada: "​From the late 1860s right up to 1948, over 100,000 children of all ages were emigrated right across Canada, from the United Kingdom, to be used as indentured farm workers and domestics. Believed by Canadians to be orphans, only approximately 12 percent truly were". "For the most part, these children were not picked up from the streets but came from intact families, who, through sickness or even death of one of their parents, had fallen on hard times."

In Oct 1910, Harriet Mary Penfold (40) Domestic and Frederick William Penfold (13) at School, make their way to Quebec, Canada (and apparently on to Bracebridge, Ontario) on the vessel Lake Manitoba, travelling steerage from Liverpool. Next to Harriet's name is the stamp, British Bonus Allowed, which was was a commission paid by the Canadian government's Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents (not to the immigrants themselves).

In 1911, Fred Penfold (listed as born 1897, but immigration year 1910) was in Guelph, Wellington South, Ontario, Canada in a household with two English ladies: Letia Camocott (b. 1865) and Alice Merridon (b. 1873) Lodger. It doesn't say in what capacity, but as he would then be 15, presumably Fred was either working for them or elsewhere and boarding there. Meanwhile Bert Penfold (12) that year was a Boarder in the household of Canadian couple, George Gilbert (b. 1873) and his wife, Etta, in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.

All three boys: George Edward, Frederick William Jr and Bert, it seems served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, during World War I.

Grace Penfold (23) married Benjamin Folie (24), son of George Folie, on 10 Aug 1914 in Toronto, Canada. On the marriage record however, in the space where her parents names should be, it has 'unknown' written across the space, so I think we have to assume that her mother had not reencountered her.

In 1916, H M Penfold (48) Female (Harriet Mary) - immigration year 1910 - was in the household of Englishman, Charles M C Westaway (32) in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, seemingly employed as Housekeeper.  

Harriet Mary Penfold (née Tubb) died, aged 67, on 27 Aug 1934 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon.

Their name liveth forever

Sunday, 3 April 2022

William Penfold and Mary Ann Charlotte Gunn

Lingfield, Surrey
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Peter Trimming -
Looking towards the Grade I listed church of St. Peter & St. Paul.

William Penfold (bap. 5 Nov 1826 at St Mary the Virgin, Hartfield), son of William Penfold and Hannah Humphrey (m. 1821) married Mary Ann Charlotte Gunn (bap. 25 Jul 1830 at St Nicholas Church, Chiswick), daughter of Robert Gunn and Dinah Powell (m. 1812) at St Peter and St Paul, Lingfield, Surrey on 11 Oct 1851. Witnesses were Thomas and Hannah Tharp.

William and Mary Ann had nine children:
  1. Jane Penfold b. 1853 D Quarter in EAST GRINSTED UNION Volume 02B Page 94, bap. 30 Oct 1853 at St Peter and St PaulLingfield, Surrey
  2. William Robert Penfold b. 1855 D Quarter in CROYDON SURREY Volume 02A Page 123, bap. 20 Jan 1856 in Croydon, Surrey, died 1856 J Quarter Volume 02A Page 82, buried on 13 Apr 1856 in Croydon, Surrey.
  3. John Robert Penfold b. 1857 J Quarter in EAST GRINSTEAD Volume 02B Page 98, bap. 24 May 1857 at St Mary the Virgin, Hartfield
  4. Arthur Edward Penfold b. 1859 J Quarter in EAST GRINSTEAD Volume 02B Page 99, bap. 5 Jun 1859 at St Mary the Virgin, Hartfield
  5. Amelia Dinah Penfold b. 1861 S Quarter in EAST GRINSTEAD Volume 02B Page 104, died, age 5, in 1867 J Quarter Volume 02B Page 74
  6. Frederick William Penfold b. 20 Jul 1863 in EAST GRINSTEAD Volume 02B Page 105
  7. Charles Penfold b. 1865 D Qtr in EAST GRINSTEAD Vol 02B Page 104
  8. Thomas Penfold b. 1868 J Quarter in EAST GRINSTEAD Vol 02B Page 111
  9. George Albert Penfold b. 1870 S Quarter in EAST GRINSTEAD Volume 02B Page 114, died, age 3, in 1874 J Quarter Volume 02B Page 82
In 1861, William Penfold (34) Agricultural Labourer was living in Hartfield Green, Hartfield, East Grinstead, Sussex with wife Mary Ann Penfold (30), Jane Penfold (7), John Penfold (4) and Arthur Edward Penfold (2).

In 1871, still in Hartfield Green, Hartfield, Sussex, were William Penfold (44), Mary Ann C Penfold (40), John R (14), Arthur E (11), Frederick W (7), Charles (5), Thomas (3), George A (0) and Henry Care (15) Nephew.

William Penfold died, aged 46, and was buried in Hartfield on 1 Mar 1873.

In 1881, Mary Ann Penfold (50) widow, was living at the Old Turnpike House, Hartfield - a later newspaper article mentions that her late husband, William Penfold, had been the toll house keeper - with Thomas (13) and Charles Payne (9) Boarder. Frederick William Penfold (18) was with his ship at the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda; Charles Penfold (17) Grocer's assistant was living in Mitcham, Surrey in the household of his older brother, John Edward Penfold; there's no knowing where Arthur Edward Penfold was at that time.

Mary Ann Penfold died, aged 55, in 1886, in Chelsea. Newspaper reports indicate that she had died during an epileptic seizure.

So far, I've been unable to isolate records relating to Jane Penfold going forward, because there are too many with that name to tell which relate. 

The penultimate child, Thomas, born in 1868, does not appear anywhere on a census after 1881 at age 13 with his mother. There is however, a death of a Thomas Penfold, of the right age, then 19, born 1868, in 1887, in the district of St. George Hanover Square, which I believe relates. Later newspaper reports allude to the existence of four brothers, which would also support the theory that one (of the five that had survived infancy) had subsequently died.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

John Blackett and Maria Thompson and William Kenward

Church of St John at Hackney
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © PAUL FARMER -

Maria Thompson, daughter of Solomon Thompson Jnr and Maria Willis, married John Blackett, at the Church of St John-at-Hackney, on 6 Oct 1833. (John Blackett's birthplace is given as Spitalfields and there's a potential baptism at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch ;on 15 Aug 1811, which, if correct, would make him the son of a Joseph and Frances Blackett.)

So far, I have only found records relating to two children:

  1. Maria Blackett b. 16 Mar 1834, bap. 29 Jun 1834 at St Mary's, Whitechapel
  2. Henry Blackett born 1847 (mentioned only on 1851 census)
In 1841, Maria Blackett (25) Dressmaker - no sign of John or any child - was staying with her brother Daniel, in Cransley, Northamptonshire. 

In 1851, John and Maria Blackett were living in Wellington Place, Back Road, St George in the East with: John Blackett (39), Butcher; Maria (38); Henry Blackett (4) and George Collins (24), Carpenter, Widower, Lodger; John Nursey (18) Lodger and John Grant (25) Lodger.

In 1861, at 4, Back Road, St George in the East, were John Blackett (49) Butcher; Maria (47); William Hill Adcock (21) Bookseller's Assistant, Visitor (Maria's brother Daniel's wife's brother's son); Benjamin Thompson (19) Bricklayer, Nephew (her brother Daniel's son) and Henry M Thompson (10), Sugar Maker, Nephew [don't yet know whose son he was].

Then, John Blackett died in 1866, in St George in the East, aged 54.

In 1871, Maria Blackett (56) Widowed, Coffee-Shop Keeper from Cransley, Northamptonshire was living in the area of the Leather Market, Bermondsey, with George S Taylor (12) Nephew from Stepney, Middlesex. (George Taylor b. 1858 D Quarter in MILE END OLD TOWN Volume 01C Page 507, with mother's maiden name THOMPSON. I have not yet been able to find corroborating records to identify his parents.)

In the 2nd quarter of 1871, Maria Blackett remarried to widower, William Kenward, in St. Olave Southwark.

In 1881, William Kenward (73) House Agent from Hartfield, Sussex, was living at 17, Douglas Street, St Paul Deptford, Greenwich with Maud Kenward (68) from Cranley (sic), Northamptonshire and George S Saville (22), Nephew, Schoolmaster, from Stepney. [Need to see the original record to see if Maud is a transcription error and how Taylor can possibly become Saville.]

Maria Kenward died, age estimated to 76, in Greenwich in 1888.

William Kenward died at 86, in Greenwich in 1893.

Print Friendly and PDF

These pages are notes on work in progress, so expect changes as further research is done. Follow That Page can monitor changes.

Latest posts: