Author Topic: William Westacott of Chittlehampton  (Read 1007 times)

Offline frian

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William Westacott of Chittlehampton
« on: Tuesday 18 February 14 17:46 GMT (UK) »
I have been following this man who married my relative Ann Jane Pearson in Swansea in 1877.  There are several problems with researching him.  The first is that there are two people called William Westacott, both born in the Chittlehampton area in c.1853 (both there on the 1871 census), and both moved to Swansea in the 1870s.  My William was a tailor whom I believe to be the son of George Westacott tailor of Chittelhampton (details on marriage certificate and identification from census and newspapers).  The other is a labourer.  This is important since William Westacott the tailor embarked on a life of crime (Barnstaple Quarter Sessions 1875, Swansea Quarter Sessions 1877 (twice) Swansea Assizes 1878 (this followed by a spell in prison).  Then the whole family moved to Wednesbury in the West Midlands (assumed the name of West - there on the 1881 census). And finally another appearance in court in 1882.  Then silence.  What happened to him then?  Has anyone else attempted to unravel this man and his criminal record?  The Victorian newspapers are very helpful but do sensationalise him and describe him as a most desperate character wanted in several counties for unsolved burglaries.  There's at least one tree on an...try which confuses the two Williams (I'm not surprised).  I'd happily share what I've found so far with other researchers.
frian

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Offline jacquelineve

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Re: William Westacott of Chittlehampton
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 18 February 14 18:33 GMT (UK) »

  Could this be another child  Georgina E Westacott 1882 Wednesbury

Info WestMid  BMD
Jackie
Dudley Worcs:Ellis Durkin Oakley Rich Smith
Baggot Saunders Turner Williams Hobbs
Harts Hill: Baggot Wright

Tipton:Whitehouse (boatman) Timmins
Yorkshire:Littlewood Wilcockson
Derbyshire:Wilcockson

Derby Belper:Spencer
Herefordshire Brampton Bryan:-Turner

Worcs. Hereford. Gloucs.
Hodgetts




Radnorshire: Meredith
Bristol Somerset: Box

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Offline ciderdrinker

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Re: William Westacott of Chittlehampton
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 19 February 14 11:13 GMT (UK) »
Hi
Georgina Esther died back in Swansea Dec 1882 ,so they must have moved back.
Possible remarriage for Annie Sep 1886 Cardiff to John Fleming Patton
1891 census Craddock st Cardiff
John F Patton 30 / fitter Scotland
Annie 28 Manchester
John F 3 Cardiff
Gladys V 2
George RA 3mths.

Ciderdrinker

Offline frian

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Re: William Westacott of Chittlehampton
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 19 February 14 12:38 GMT (UK) »
Thank you both so much.  I hadn't thought to look for another child born in Wednesbury (I found two young Westacotts with their Pearson grandparents on the 1891 census for Swansea, so thought that was it).  That may also explain why when Annie was brought before the Police Court in Wednesbury in May 1882 (alongside her husband) he was remanded in custody and she was released without charge.
I did wonder if Annie married again, since I couldn't find her death - and now it very much looks as if she did (she was born in Manchester in 1860 before the family moved to Swansea).
I'm still left wondering what happened to William Westacott.  A few years earlier and he would have been transported to Australia as an habitual offender.....
But you have given me several new leads.  Help appreciated.
frian

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Re: William Westacott of Chittlehampton
« Reply #4 on: Friday 08 December 17 15:57 GMT (UK) »
Just in case anyone is interested - since posting this, I have discovered that William Westacott became an habitual criminal.  It's a rather sad life of offending, trial, conviction and prison sentence repeated over and over again.  He had spells in various prisons (including Dartmoor) and the most recent record I have of him is in 1917 (List of Habitual Criminals) where he was at HM Prison, Camp Hill, Isle of Wight.  What proved hard to locate him was the fact that he used several aliases - John Johnson, John Williams, William Saunders and finally William Johnson.  I was greatly helped by discovering him on a Calendar of Prisoners (Quarter Sessions in West Bromwich in 1902) which gave a detailed list of his twelve previous convictions back to 1877, and the alias he used each time.  But still not found his death.  He was due to be released in 1918.
Ian