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Thomas Stainsby [sb.6.3]

Thomas Stainsby was the third child of Thomas Stainsby & Mary Lister born at Linthorpe & christened December 16th, 1843 at West Acklam, Yorks.

In 1851 Thomas was at home with his parents, brothers & sisters at Linthorpe, Yorks.

In 1861 he was still at home, now New Linthorpe, with his family & he was a silversmith’s apprentice.

Thomas was recorded as married to Mary Ann in the 1871 census, although no marriage record has been found. Mary Ann Corner was born c1846 at Marton, Middlesbrough, the daughter of Sarah Garnett & John Corner, a rail labourer. She had previously been married to William Henderson, the marriage having taken place in Hartlepool, Co Durham on April 5th, 1863. Mary & William had 2 children who were listed with Mary & Thomas Stainsby on the 1871 census as Mary Henderson (8) & John Henderson (4), both born in Middlesbrough. Thomas & Mary had a 6 month old son of their own, named Thomas! They were living at Surtees St, Bishop Auckland where Thomas was a watchmaker.

It appears that Thomas may have fallen foul of the law as the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough of April 6th, 1875 describes Thomas as a ‘bailee of a silver watch belonging to Wm Peacock of Stanhope which he fraudulently converted to his own use’.  Thomas failed to appear before the Durham Sessions & a warrant was issued for his apprehension & that of his bailee, Mr Graham (this could be either of the husbands of Thomas’ sisters Mary Ann & Elizabeth, both of whom were called Graham).   There are a number of  records pertaining to a Thomas Stainsby in the Police Gazette of 1875. The first article in May gives the following: ‘Description of THOMAS STAINSBY, a travelling watch maker, who failed to surrender himself at Durham Quarter Session on the 4th instant, to answer an indictment found against him for larceny as a bailee; 38 years of age, 5ft.5 inches high, fresh complexion, hazel eyes, rather full, brown hair, light whiskers all round the face, and proportionate figure; he lately resided at Middlesbrough.’  The second article in July 1875 states: ‘….from which place he absconded about the 2nd ultimo; and travels about the country cleaning and repairing clocks and watches; he is well known throughout the county of Durham. Information to be given to Superintendent Thubron, Durham County Constabulary, Stanhope, who holds a warrant for his apprehension.’  An entry at Durham Quarter  Sessions in October 1875 shows a Thomas Stainsby sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for larceny as a bailee. 

By 1881 Thomas was found in Kendal being convicted to 2 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 7  shillings.

On June 12th 1883 there was a marriage of a Thomas Stainsby, watchmaker, to Mrs Catherine Smith at the register office in Lancaster.

The Carlisle Express & Examiner of June 30th, 1883 carried a report on alleged larceny by a bailee at the Appleby Petty Sessions.  The bailee was Thomas Stainsby, a clock repairer who had lived in Appleby for about 3 years under the name of Thomas Lister.   He was accused of taking in watches for repair which he never returned & modifying them to sell on.   It was stated that the accused had been committed for similar offences in Co Durham in 1875.   On being apprehended at Lancaster Thomas admitted the charges.  There is a record of Thomas Stainsby being convicted in Westmorland to 15 months imprisonment for the offence of larceny whilst on bail on July 6th, 1883.  

The habitual criminals register reveals that Thomas was in trouble again in 1891.  He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in February 1891 & released in May 1892 when his destination on discharge was given as Kendal.  Interestingly Thomas was listed as Thomas Wilson, alias Illingworth and Stainsby.

What happened to Thomas after this time is unknown but at the time of son Stephen's marriage in 1896 he is stated to be deceased.

The children of Thomas Stainsby & Mary Ann Henderson (nee Corner) were:

sb.6.3.1 Thomas Stainsby born Oct-December 1870 at Bishop Auckland
sb.6.3.2 Mary Ann Stainsby born May 20th, 1872 at Bishop Auckland; died January 4th, 1956 at St James Hospital, Leeds
sb.6.3.3 Annie Elizabeth Stainsby born December 3rd, 1873 at Bishop Auckland; died April 4th, 1939 at Brighton
sb.6.3.4 Stephen Stainsby born June 15th, 1875 at Linthorpe, & christened July 1st, 1875 at Middlesbrough, N. Yorks; died 1933 at Sheffield, W. Yorks

In 1881 Mary was listed in the census as married to John Carter, born c1848 at Morley, Yorks, the son of Joseph Carter, a miner. They were living at Lumley St, Middlesbrough where John was a general labourer. Living with them were John Henderson, also a general labourer & the children of Thomas Stainsby & Mary, namely Thomas Stainsby (10), Mary Ann Stainsby (7), Annie Elizabeth Stainsby (6) & Stephen Stainsby (5). Mary Ann & John Carter had a daughter Hannah Carter (2). Marriage records indicate that Mary Ann married John Carter, a gardener, on November 26th, 1883 at St John’s Church, Middlesbrough. Intriguingly Mary Ann’s surname was given as Henderson, not Stainsby!

An article in the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough of June 4th, 1884 shows that Mary Ann & Thomas Stainsby’s son Thomas was destined to follow in his father’s criminal footsteps.  He appeared before the Middlesbrough police court charged with stealing a silver pencil case, a musical box, a pair of compasses, a pair of scissors, 2 candlesticks, 5 mugs & other articles from the shop of Mr Smithers, a glass & hardware merchant of Linthorpe Rd.  It appears that Thomas had for some time been employed to run errands for Mr Smithers & recently a number of things had gone missing.  The police on investigation found that the things had been taken home to Thomas’ step-father John Carter.  Carter confessed that he had hidden the pair of compasses in a flower bed in Albert Park.  Thomas was sent to an Industrial School until he reached the age of 16 & John Carter was sentenced to 2 months imprisonment with hard labour.

The school registers book for Appleby primary school show that Annie & Stephen Stainsby (father = Thomas Stainsby) were admitted in October 1886.  Their address was given as Bongate, Appleby.

At the time of the 1891 census Mary & John were living at 22 Albert Mews, Middlesbrough & John was still a general labourer. Mary’s son, John Henderson (24) was still living with them & he was a pipe moulder. Also living there were Mary’s son Thomas Stainsby (20), a general labourer, daughters Mary Stainsby (18), a laundry maid, & Annie Stainsby (17), a domestic servant & son Stephen Stainsby (15), a butcher. The Carter children now included Hannah (12), Joseph (9), Robert W (6), Alice Maud (5) & Violetta (3).

Mary Ann, aged 54, was buried on March 13th, 1900 at New Linthorpe Cemetery, Middlesbrough.

John Carter (53) remarried on October 22nd, 1900 at All Saints, Middlesbrough. His new wife was widow Jane Dennis, born c1865 at Pickering, Yorks. They were living at Middlesbrough in 1901 & John’s occupation was given as a chemical labourer. John’s children Robert (16), an ironworks labourer & Violetta (13) were the only family remaining at home at that time.

John’s wife Jane died in 1908 & at the time of the 1911 census John was boarding with Mary Goodwill & family at 23 Wood St, Middlesbrough.  He was now a joiner’s labourer.

John, aged 65, was buried on June 11th, 1911 at New Linthorpe Cemetery, Middlesbrough.


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