Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Southampton with Ange and Paul

My cousin Linda has met Ange at last!  They've been hearing about each other for the past four years, since John and I met them and their husbands Peter and Paul in 2008.  And in 2009 I stayed with both cousins.  Both offered to make them my base, which was lovely.

Linda and Peter drove me down to Ange and Paul's place yesterday morning on their way to Brixham in Devon where they have booked a week's holiday.  They like exploring new places.

The photo of Ange and me was taken three years ago during my last visit.  This is the resting place of my great great grandfather George Henry Rose who died in 1901.  His sister in law Hannah Moody was Ange's great great grandmother.  So we are 4th cousins, but also very best friends.  We have a great deal in common, even though Ange is 10 years younger.

Yesterday afternoon, after the obligatory visit to the tea shop for coffee and cake, Ange introduced me to the local library which is very small, but I stayed to look at their local history collection and found quite a few useful books.  Trouble is with the libraries and archives, they will be closed on Monday and Tuesday next week for the Queen's Jubilee long weekend.  Fortunately the local museums and historic houses are open on the public holidays, so we will save visiting them until next week.  Ange likes being a tourist so she will come too.

Later I wrote to the Southern Evening Echo since they have a section called Your Hampshire Heritage.  I don't know how many of you know that before I left home, I researched and wrote a 19 page story called John Rose 1805-1884: opposition town crier.  I found most of the information online on Ancestry (births deaths and marriages, baptisms) and even more important, a great deal of  information in the Hampshire Advertiser between the 1830s and 1880s.  This publication is now on line in The British Newspaper Archives .  I found information about two tragedies in the family (one a man-slaughter indictment, although resolved as a tragic accident; the other a drowning), as well as plenty of fines and at least two periods of imprisonment, one for libel.

John Rose
And would you believe?  I had a phone call this morning from the journalist who writes the Your Hampshire Heritage section, and he is most interested in my story.  I'd said to him that I was prepared to write a shorter version suitable for the paper, and he asked for a photo of John Rose, and he will send a photographer out to take a photo of me!  That may not happen until I come back down here about 15th June.

I hope the graphic designers at the Echo can improve this photo better than I could.  A very distant cousin told me the portrait was hanging on the wall at her parent's place, and kindly took a photo of it for me, the next time she went to visit the "olds".

So I'll be busy tonight crafting a shorter story, with a suitable angle.

This morning (it's still Tuesday here), Ange drove me into the Civic Centre, and we had another obligatory coffee at the SeaCity Museum, a new museum about Southampton's maritime history and in particular this year, the centenary of the Titanic disaster.  We didn't visit the museum since it is open on the weekend and the public holidays next week.

After visiting Tourist Information within the Library to find maps and a bus timetable, we found our way to the Southampton Archives.  This contains parish records and much besides.  I was disappointed to find that the reports of the Southampton Quarter Sessions - where John Rose appeared often to answer charges of assault and selling "unstamped" newspapers - were not available.  I shall have to check the newspapers in the library around the dates I want.  I could well have missed some of the reports.  I especially want to find a report of his libel case in 1839.

I did have some unexpected success though.  Whilst checking the card index of births and burials, I found that my ancestor did not have 15 natural children by his two wives.  He had 17!!!!  I and others thought that Isabella (c1807-1850) had 12 children by him.  But I found two extras - Robert and Caroline.  Both had been born and died between the 1841 and 1851 census, so there was no record of them without trawling through every Rose birth to in Southampton to check their parentage.  

John Rose had three more children by his second wife Hannah Rawlence Rose, whom he married in 1855. And she had brought a five year old son to the marriage.  Hannah died in 1871 aged just 40, even younger than her predecessor.  Both are buried with John Rose at the Southampton Old Cemetery.

I stayed at the Archives until it closed at 4.00pm and found my way home by bus, quite easy really.  

Ange is a great cook.  We had lamb shanks for dinner tonight.  My favourite!

Paul has been sunbaking for the past few days and is quite brown - he doesn't care about cancer it seems - obviously it's not as prevalent in Britain as it is in Oz.  He has a wheelchair that tilts right back like a bed (John would be jealous) and goes to sleep in the sun.

I thought you'd like to see a poem that was on an original flyer that is also on my Facebook friend and distant cousin's parents wall.  It is a flyer about a "benefit" night for John Rose at Southampton's Theatre Royal in 1860, and includes a ditty written by him.  I am still attempting to find out why he would have been given a benefit night.  Here it is:

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