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Family history shocker!

(68 Posts)
FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 18:23:45

I've been researching my family for about 15 years but today I'm lost for words. My great great grandfather threw himself under a train at the turn of the century in his mid 60's. He and his wife had separated some 25 years beforehand. I found a number of newspaper reports suggesting a grim life of petty crime and general dissoluteness. But I have to admit I was gobsmacked to find at the age of 61 he was remanded to the Assizes for an 'unnatural act with a donkey'.

And even worse, he'd done 18 months hard labour 30 years previously for attempting it with a cow.

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 18:24:58

I could fill 2 whole episodes of 'Who do think you are?' on my own!

Shallishanti Thu 28-Aug-14 18:26:32

that is quite gobsmacking
am pondering the mechanics now

comfycushion Thu 28-Aug-14 18:26:36

Family trees are fun

MooseBeTimeForSpring Thu 28-Aug-14 18:28:24

I'm sure I'm not the only one who would suggest a stepladder ..

Oakmaiden Thu 28-Aug-14 18:30:21


Not exactly a pillar of the community then...

LittleBearPad Thu 28-Aug-14 18:30:27

shock grin

GimmeMySquash Thu 28-Aug-14 18:32:15

Blimey, what a shocker. Makes you wonder about all those Welch sheep jokes now.

MamadotheBUMP Thu 28-Aug-14 18:32:21


Apparently someone in my family ran off with the circus and then used to live in a cave with a monkey... Okaaaayy...

Fragglewump Thu 28-Aug-14 18:32:58

Is that true? If so I'm a little jealous - my family tree is very dull by comparison!!!

MrsBungle Thu 28-Aug-14 18:33:36


Onesleeptillwembley Thu 28-Aug-14 18:35:18

Hee haw ays got a stiffy in a farmyard. It's not a moo sing.
Sorry, couldn't resist - pretty impressive story though, op. you could dine out on that for years. grin


SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Thu 28-Aug-14 18:39:36

Maybe it's not as bad as you think ... perhaps the unnatural act was something wholesome, like teaching it to dance. <<helpful>>

Jbck Thu 28-Aug-14 18:48:31

Sorry to laugh but that is hysterical, not the throwing himself under a tree bit obviously.

Did you never think Auntie Flossie looked a bit odd grin

StrawberryCheese Thu 28-Aug-14 18:55:40

Blimey, I don't think they could show your family history on Who do you think they are? Or they would at least have to edit his 'hobby' out.

Fascinating though!

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 19:00:05

How do I tell my mum? Not sure she'll find it so amusing!

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Thu 28-Aug-14 19:02:47

So he was caught twice...

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 19:04:48

I've got the newspaper articles and everything. Plus he stole horse 'provender' (manure, I'm guessing) was cruel to horses and stole 4 cabbages. When he was asked what he had in his bag, he replied 'my lunch'. He also tried to pass off 'bad' half crowns for whiskey and ale, telling the pub landlord he found them 'on some leaves'. I have a grudging respect for him. Apart from the bestiality, obviously.

scrappydappydoo Thu 28-Aug-14 19:04:57

Umm - what an interesting relative. grin
Although I'm wondering (more grasping at straws) if 'unnatural act' might have meant something different back then

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 19:05:19

Yes, indeed penguin. What rotten luck.

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 19:09:19

I don't think so, scrappy. The first time it was described as 'an abominable crime' - he was prevented by being 'caught in the act by the cow keeper'. Had he been successful, it would have been life imprisonment .

somewherewest Thu 28-Aug-14 19:11:27

My family are allegedly descended from a murderer on the run who settled in that (very remote) part of Ireland back in the 19th century because he figured the police would never find him there. The murder victim was supposedly an oppressive English landlord, so nothing to be ashamed of as far as his Irish tenant farmer descendants were concerned!

Iwasinamandbunit Thu 28-Aug-14 19:13:32

My friends great great great grandfather was acquitted of the murder of his wife, he did do it though.

I have an ancestor who was a blacksmith, nothing very interesting I'm afraid.

JellySnakesLadderedTights Thu 28-Aug-14 19:18:38

I bet it was not very fun for your ancestors to live through at the time though sad

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