My husband is Michael Murray and his grandfather was Maurice John Arthur Murray.
Maurice had a sister, Mary Ann Jannette Murray who was born on this day, 23rd February 1884.
Click here to read Mary Ann Jannette's story..
Mary Ann Jannette Murray and Maurice John Arthur Murray were baptised in St Botolph's Church in Aldgate, London.
Mary Ann Jannette and Maurice John Arthur were the children of James William Murray and Kezia Penn. All their children were baptised at St Botolph's and the records of the baptisms are in the parish registers.
Edward William Murray 1872
Alice Mary Murray 1874
Esther Rose Murray 1877
Maurice John Arthur Murray 1880
Mary Ann Jannette Murray 1884
Elizabeth Maria Murray 1885
George Henry Murray 1887
Francis Murray 1890
Florence Louise Murray 1890
Amy Ellen Murray 1893
Edith Nelly Murray 1896
There has been a church on the St Botolph's site since Saxon times and the Saxon foundations were excavated when the present church was built. The church was re-built in the early thirteenth century and survived the Great Fire of London (1666). However, by the early eighteenth century St. Botolph's had fallen into disrepair and the decision was made to build a new church. The old church was demolished in 1725 and the present church was completed in 1729. The building was designed by James Gould in the classical style. Unusually, the tower is at the East End with the chancel underneath. The font, pulpit and organ all date from the eighteenth century.
So, Michael's grandfather and all his grandfather's siblings were baptised in the eighteenth century font at St Botolph's.
The great actor Edward Alleyn, contemporary of William Shakespeare, was baptised at St Botolph's in 1566 and the poet John Keats was actually baptised in the present font in 1795.
Sir John Cass 1661 - 1718
Inside St Botolph's church there is a memorial to Sir John Cass who was a was a merchant, politician and philanthropist. He served as both Alderman and Sheriff of the City of London; he was also MP for the City and knighted in 1712.
In 1709, Cass founded a school for fifty boys and forty girls in buildings in the churchyard of St Botolph's, Aldgate. He planned to leave all his property to the school but when he died of a brain haemorrhage in 1718 he'd only initialled three pages of his Will. His heirs contested the Will and it took thirty years before the Court of Chancery found in favour of the school and the endowment re-commenced.
Fast forward to about 1890 to find that Maurice John Arthur Murray was a pupil at Sir John Cass School.
This is according to Michael's mum, Rose Murray. She told us that her father was a pupil at the school for which his parents paid a small amount of money each week.
The Sir John Cass Foundation exists to this day and provides education for young people in London through grants and its support for a number of institutions bearing Sir John Cass’s name. The school building attended by Maurice John Arthur Murray remains but is now used for the Sir John Cass primary school.
In his turn, Michael Murray (my husband) attended Sir John Cass School for his secondary education. This cheeky chap in his Sir John Cass school uniform is Michael in about 1959. And outside the school, on a walk down Memory Lane a couple of years ago.
Founder’s Day takes place at Sir John Cass School every year as near as possible to Sir John Cass’s birthday on 20th February. When Michael attended the school, the pupils were told that when Sir John Cass died suddenly in the middle of signing his Will his quill pen was stained red with his blood. So, each year on Founder's Day the pupils wore a red feather to honour Sir John Cass and the tradition continues to this day.
In 1908, my grandparents were married at this parish church in Royston, near Barnsley, Yorkshire.
My grandmother was Elsie Smith, a self-employed confectioner and my grandfather was Sidney Henry Buckle, a coal miner.
Elsie was twenty three years old and Sid was twenty seven when they married.
They rented a house together in Church Street, Royston and settled down to family life.
Except there was no family and the years passed by and they had no children.
Then in 1921, when Sid was forty and Elsie was thirty six they had a baby.
The baby was named Vernon and he was baptised in the same parish church where they were married.
Unfortunately, Vernon soon developed a fatal illness and Sid and Elsie were back at the church only one month later on 7th February for the baby's funeral.
This must have been a traumatic episode for the new parents. After waiting for so long, only to have their baby snatched away at such a young age.
They probably gave up all hope of having a child. Even these days, forty and thirty six is mature for a first child.
In my family history box I've a copy of the Church Magazine for 1921 which includes the record of the happy day of Vernon's baptism.
I don't have a copy of the next issue of the magazine but it presumably recorded poor little Vernon's sad demise.
Then, in March 1924, what must have seemed like a miracle happened.
Elsie was delivered of another baby: a healthy boy who (eventually) became my dad. He was named Norman and he too was christened in the parish church.
This lovely photo is Sid and Elsie and Norman. They continued to live in Royston although they moved to a larger house in Church Hill.
Elsie stopped selling sweets but Sid continued to work in the coal industry alongside his brothers, his father and his grandfather. Sid had a skilled job as a rope splicer which meant he had to maintain the cables that were used in the machinery for hauling the coal.
A family story tells that one day at the pit Sidney noticed there was a serious flaw in the cable he was working on. This was reported to the company and a terrible disaster was averted. As a reward for his vigilance the grateful management awarded him a bottle of wine every year at Christmas.
Sid liked a drink but wine was not on the list of his preferred beverages. Beer and stout were more to his taste.
In 1935, Norman passed his eleven plus and attended the local grammar school at Normanton.
He was studious, worked hard and passed his School Certificate. At the age of sixteen he was offered employment as a clerk in the Public Health Department of the West Riding County Council thus breaking three generations of the family's tradition of going down the pit.
If you would like to read more about Norman you might like to take a look at my I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety blog.
Elsie and Sid lived at Church Hill in Royston for the remainder of their lives together. Elsie died from cancer in 1952. Sid moved into a smaller property and lived on his own for the rest of his life. He died in 1969 aged eighty eight years.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
When you've a few minutes to spare please visit my website http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for details of all the ebooks I've published including the best-selling detective novel A Single To Filey by Michael Murray.
My childhood memories are from the 1950s and I recalled them for my ebook "Cabbage and Semolina".
Lots of readers told me they'd enjoyed "Cabbage and Semolina" so I'm pleased to offer some more reminiscences and anecdotes from both the 1950s and the 1960s in my new ebook "Jam for Tea".
"Jam for Tea" includes:
Pounds, Shillings and Pence.
"Jam for Tea" is available at Amazon Kindle and is in Kindle Unlimited.
The UK link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jam-Tea-Cathy-Murray-ebook/dp/B01BCQD8HW
I hope you enjoy reading my recollections and that my book prompts some of your own memories too.
"Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" has sixty five 4 and 5 star customer reviews at Amazon. Many thanks to readers of this blog who've downloaded the book and posted a review.
The link for "Cabbage and Semolina" is