Author Topic: Denbighshire Directory Lookup Please  (Read 2768 times)

Offline HenryvonBlumenthal

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Re: Denbighshire Directory Lookup Please
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 07 December 17 22:11 GMT (UK) »
Hi, I do hope that 9 years later you get this.
I am the great nephew of Thomas Henry Ascroft (Harry), a most disreputable man. I can shed some light on the story.

He was the son of Alderman Peter Ascroft, Mayor of Bootle. In 1900 he got the maid, Nellie Foley, pregnant, and promised to marry her. He didn't dare tell his father so  after the baby was born in 1901 he married her in the name of Harry Trevor. He paid money to her for a while but eventually fell for someone else and the payments petered out. Possibly the someone else was Annie Grasby, or perhaps Annie came later. Anyhow, Nellie heard he had got married.

She confronted his father in 1905 and Harry denied being married to her. His father launched a case for jactitation of marriage, which Harry lost. The court recognized her marriage thus negating any other. It caused a sensation. Harry had by this time run up debts, the courta case had cost a fortune and Nellie was after him for alimony. So he sold his birthright (10 houses worth £2000 - I reckon about £500,000 in today's purchasing power) to his mother for £500 in cash. She gave him the money in a café on Chester Station and he then took Annie and her daughter Maidie to Glasgow to board a ship for New York. In order to evade the press and the creditors they used the name Bennett. In June 1906 in America, he got Annie pregnant. They returned to England in September and after moving about a bit ended up in Colwyn Bay.

They bought a smart carriage and two horses, and Harry used his remaining cash to set up a fishmonger and deli business. To put his creditors off the sent it was fronted by Annie and a bloke they met at the Windsor house where they were staying called Charles Hennessey. The business was advertised as "Grasby and Hennessey". In March 1907 Harry Vaughan Ascroft was born. In June the creditors caught up with Harry and had him arrested. He was locked up in Carnarvon Gaol for six weeks while the horses, carriage and fishmonger's effects, plus all his furniture, were sold. Presumably Annie departed forthwith, for at that point I lose sight of her.

Harry claimed in court to have married Annie "in Scotland" but was vague about the details. She called herself Annie Ascroft for a while.

I know nothing of what happened tio Maidie and Harry Vaughan Ascroft. Harry himself married a gain in 1914 to Phylliss Gouldon, at Marylebone Registry office, but I haven't been able to find anything about her either.

In 1915 he signed up for the call-up list but when called up in 1918 he deliberately gave the wrong address so that his call up was delayed. He was fined for this and entered the Army under a cloud. He completed training in time to be discharged conveniently as the war ended.

After that I have no idea what happened except that he died in 1932. My grandmother, his sister Esith May Woods (nee Ascroft), never mentioned him to me.

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