Sunday, 9 December 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - John Elstob Hutton

Today is Black Sheep Sunday.  This is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Geneabloggers to help give people ideas about what to post on their sites.  If I've done it right my blog should appear in a roll call of similarly headed blogs on their site.  Let's give it a try ...

My chosen Black Sheep is John Elstob Hutton.  He is my 1st cousin 4 x removed and he lived in Hartlepool, Durham from 1834 to 1866.  John was the second son of Robert Elstob Hutton (1804-1858) the brother of my bigamist 3x great-grandfather Fred.  Robert, unlike his brother, appears to have made a good life for himself, moving to Hartlepool from Sunderland in around 1840.  He was a master mariner, ship's captain, ship owner and in later life a local councillor.  The family lived on Cliff Terrace, near to the church of St Hilda on the headland.

Cliff Terrace, Hartlepool (from Geograph © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)
I found this entry for Robert in a local trade directory dated 1858.
1858 Post Office Directory for Durham, entry for Hartlepool (from Historical Directories)
Robert appears to have passed the roles described above on to his son, John, on his death.  Prior to Robert's death in 1858, when John was about 24 years old, John had been listed in the 1851 census returns as a shipping clerk.  I have also found evidence ("Narrative of the Royal Scottish volunteer review in Holyrood park" by Ernest Ralph Vernon on Google books) that he was a member of the local volunteer regiment, the 4th Durham (Hartlepool).  So far he sounds like a fine upstanding young middle class man, nice house, nice job, living with his mum ...

However my next encounter with him was on the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) website.

York Herald 1 Dec 1866 (from BNA)
Oh dear ... he's gone and run off with the takings! 

John was not married and I can find no further sign of him in this country.  Was the responsibility of the job(s) too much for him?  What did he do with the money? I wonder where he went? 

Fortunately for his family there were still several other respectable sons who continued to support their mother until her death.  They did seem to move from Hartlepool though, to London, Darlington and South Shields - maybe to get away from the gossip?

4 comments:

Grant Davis said...

Interesting article. Where oh where did John go? There are always so many unanswered questions even when you do find them. :-)

Olivia Twist said...

I just discovered a great free online resource for searching archived USA based small town newspapers (news, photos, obituaries, etc) via the website of archiving company Small Town Paper’s website. It’s definitely worth checking out!

http://www.smalltownpapers.com

Historian said...

Thanks for the tip Olivia.

Historian said...

I found John Elstob Hutton!
http://barnsleyhistorian.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/news-flash-black-sheep-found-in-bristol.html