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John Marshall

1809 - 1891

Father John Marshall
Mother Hannah Prime
Wife Jane Fearn
Children John George, Sarah, Jane, Amanda, James, James, Lavinia, John


John was born in Elton in 1809, the son of John and Hannah, and baptised there on 30th July (1). He had two older brothers, Roger and James, and two older sisters, Mary and Sarah (2), however his sister Mary died before he was two (3). His brother Charles was born in 1814 (4), followed by Abraham in 1816 (5). His only younger sister Hannah was born in 1819 (6), before three more brothers - Daniel in 1822 (7), Jonathan in 1825 (8) and finally Henry in 1828 (9). His sister Hannah died a few months later (10), and then youngest brother Henry died at just a year old (11).

Nothing is known of John's early life, but by 1833, when his first son, John George, was born illegitimately, either he, or the childs mother, Jane Fearn, or both of them, were living in the workhouse in Alstonfield (12).

He stood by the mother of his child, but I can find no trace of a marriage. However their movements over the next five years are unknown, so its possible they married during this period. Certainly Jane had taken his surname by the time of their daughter Sarah's birth, in Clarkes Yard, Chesterfield, on 1st April 1838, when John was an excavator on the railways (13)(14).

He was soon on the move again, and by about 1840, when his next daughter Jane was born, he was back in Elton (15). The family appear in the census of the following year, by which time John had become a lead miner (16). His daughter Amanda was born a few months later (17), but he is believed to have been sent to prison for poaching, within a couple of months of her birth. (His possible criminal record is discussed below). He had a son James in 1844 (18), but he only survived a few months (19), so when he had another son the following year, he was also given the name James (20). His youngest daughter Lavinia was born in 1847 (21). Her baptism seems to have been something of a family affair, as John's brothers Charles and Jonathan also had children baptised at the same time! (33)(34)

Soon after this he was on the move again, this time to Litton Slack (22). However this was short lived and he had moved to Bamford by 1852, where his youngest son John was born (23). Its not known how long the family stayed in Bamford, but they moved down to Witney in Oxfordshire at some stage - possibly after the deaths of his father in 1853 (24), and his mother in 1855 (25). Certainly they were there by the time of the 1861 census, when John was described as a gamekeeper ("poacher turned..."?) (26). Again they didn't settle for too long, and by the next census in 1871 they were back up in Derbyshire, living in Sheldon, where John had gone back to into lead mining (27).

His last move was back home to Elton, where he was living by the next census of 1881 (28). His "wife" Jane died there in January 1891 (29)(30). It seems likely that either she had nursed John in old age, or that her death was a severe blow to him, as straight after her death, he moved into the workhouse at Bakewell, where he died two months later, on 18th March (31). He was buried in Elton 3 days later (32).

Was John a notorious poacher?

Its possible that John was convicted numerous times for poaching. However, there were many other people fitting the description "John Marshall of Elton" living around the same time as him.

In the Derby Mercury of 1st December 1841, the following appeared:

COMMITTED TO DERBY COUNTY GAOL
Abraham Marshall, of Elton, committed for three months, with hard labour, for poaching, and at the expiration of his imprisonment to find sureties for 12 months.
John Marshall, of Elton, committed for six months, with hard labour, for poaching, and at the expiration of his imprisonment to find sureties for two years.
Although Abraham was another common name in the Marshall family, on this date this can only have been Abraham, brother of John, the subject of this biography. Having received a longer sentence than Abraham, it would seem likely that it wasn't John's first offence.

The same paper, dated 19th June 1850 mentions:

COMMITTED TO DERBY COUNTY GAOL
John Marshall, of Elton, one month and hard labour, or pay 1 16s, for trespass.
On 24th January 1855, the Mercury reported from Bakewell Petty Sessions:
John Marshall and Henry Knowles appeared to a summons, charging them with having unlawfully used a net, for the taking of game, on Sunday the 7th instant, in a field in the occupation of Mr John Allsop, at Elton, the land being the property of Mr Thornhill. In this case the last named gentleman declined to set magisterially, and the same offer was made to defendants as in the last case [In the previous report the defendants were offered the choice of the case being heard by the one magistrate, or have the case adjourned until the next sitting]. Marshall and Knowles were youths of about fifteen, and their parents who were present, prefered their cases to be at once proceeded with. George Webster, a keeper, proved that on the day above mentioned, he saw the two defendants and two other boys in Mr Allsop's field, where they had a hare net set in a gap, and they were evidently beating for a hare; they were when first seen by witness about two yards from the net, and when they found they were seen, they all ran away, and Marshall who had the net dropped it; (the net was here produced, and was a regular hare net, and a keeper present said it was strong enough to hold a sheep) witness spoke to the boys, but they made no reply but ran off. Both lads had said on Friday (the day of the hearing) that they had been beating for a hare and were guilty. The mother of Knowles admitted to two of her boys having been present, but denied all knowledge respecting the net, and added she had never allowed a hare to be brought into her house in her life. The boys were convicted, it being Sunday poaching, in 5 between them, and 14s 6d expenses each. Mrs Knowles paid the money, and was told by the Bench that she was worse than her children; she was also cautioned not to let them appear here again.
This youth was obviously not the same John Marshall as the first two cases. Going by his age he was either the one born 1842, son of another John Marshall, who was cousin of the John Marshall this page is about; or he was the one born 1838, son of Abraham Marshall from the first case above in 1841.

No more newspaper reports have been found until one from 31st October 1877, again from the Derby Mercury:

John Marshall and John Stone, miners of Elton were summoned for night poaching at Manston-lane, near Youlgreave, on the 18th of October. Marshall did not appear. Marshall was fined 5 and costs, 10s 6d, or two months; Stone 40s and costs, 9s, 6d, or one month.
There were too many differnet John Stones living in Elton to use his appearance to help to decide which John Marshall was involved. All that can be said is that once again John Marshall got a tougher sentence than his co-defendant, probably indicating that he had more of a record.

Just a few months later on 13th February 1878, the Mercury included the snippet:

John Marshall, of Elton, was charged with being drunk and riotous at Elton, on Saturday, February 9th, and fined 10s and costs 10s 6d, or seven days.
A little over a year later, on 26th March 1879, the Mercury again carried a story:
NIGHT POACHING AT HARTHILL - GAMEKEEPER CENSURED
At the same Sessions, John Marshall, alias "Midge", and John Marshall, alias "Spring", both of Elton, were charged with night poaching at Harthill, on the 8th instant, and the former with assaulting two gamekeepers, named respectively George and Arthur Webster, at the same time and place. "Midge" also charged the two Websters with unlawfully assaukting him on the same occasion. Mr Brown, of Stockport, appeared for the two Marshalls. It appeared from the evidence that a desperate struggle took place between these poachers and the keepers. The charges of assault were dismissed on both sides, and the Bench sentenced Marshall, alias "Midge" to one month's imprisonment with hard labour, and Marshall, alias "Spring" to seven days imprisonment. This was "Midge's" fourteenth appearance for offences against game laws, and he was now let off so lightly on account of the serious injuries he had received. The Bench censured the keepers.
A few months later on September 10th that year, again in the Mercury:
John Marshall, jun, of Elton, who has just served a term of imprisonment for night poaching, was fined 2 and 15s costs for game trespass on land in the occupation of William Bourcan at Middleton by Youlgreave, on 21st August. John Slater, of Middleton, farm servant, said that, as he was passing along the road, he saw defendant in an adjoining field setting a net, and spoke to him. This is the 16th conviction against the defendant.
The fact that this John Marshal was called junior implies that he may be the John, son of John, that was just a youth in the report of 1855, and the fact that it was his 16th conviction implies that he was the John known as "Midge", whose 14th conviction was just a few months earlier.

Just a fortnight later, another report in the Mercury:

DRUNKENNESS AT NEWHAVEN FAIR
Thomas Gould, of Warslow, was charged with being drunk and refusing to quit licensed premises at Newhaven on the 9th inst. Fined 10s and costs. Walter Austin, of White Cliff, Parwich was charged with a similar offence. Fined 10s and costs. William Heathcote, of Elton, was fined 5s and costs for being drunk on the same occasion. John Marshall of Elton, who did not appear, and who is said to be well known to the police at Bakewell, was fined 1 and costs for being drunk and disorderly at the same time and place.
A couple of years later, again in the Mercury, dated 7th December 1881:
A POACHER'S TWENTIETH CONVICTION
John Marshall, alias "Midge" of Elton, was charged by Police constable Andrews with being in the unlawful possession of a rabbit on the highway at Bakewell, on 21st Nov. Defendant did not appear. The officer stated that he met Marshall, who had a snap dog with him. He found a rabbit in one pocket. The Chairman said it appeared that this was Marshall's twentieth appearance before the Court for various offences. The full penalty, 5 and costs, would therefore be imposed.
Finally, on 21st January 1885, the Mercury included this:
AN OLD POACHER NEATLY CAUGHT
At the Petty Sessions on Friday John Marshall alias "Midge", of Elton, 24 times previously convicted of poaching and other offences, was charged by Police constable Andrews, of Bakewell, with being in possession of a poaching net on the highway at Bakewell, and which he was suspected of having used for the purpose of taking game. Defendant did not appear. The officer noticed that "Midge" was suspiciously bulky, and on examination a poaching net 100 yards in length was found coiled around his body. Fined 2 and costs, or one month's imprisonemtn in default, the net to be forfeited
Although there is a coincidental gap in the reports at the time that John, the subject of this biography, lived away from Elton, the most likely scenario seems to be that "Midge" was the son of his cousin John. However, the earliest two reports, especially the one with his brother Abraham, seem likely to relate to John Marshall, the subject of this page. Unless court records come to light which show the exact age of the defendant, then it will probably never be completely resolved.


Brief details of his children:



Sources:

  1. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    [Baptisms 1809, July] 30 John Son of John & Hannah Marshall
  2. See his parents' pages for deatils
  3. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    [Burials 1811] April 8th Mary Datr of John & Hannah Marshall
  4. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    10 April
    [1814]
    Charles
    Son of
    John
    and
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner
  5. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    11 Augst
    [1816]
    Abraham
    Son of
    John
    and
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner
  6. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    14 Feb:
    [1819]
    Hannah
    Daugr of
    John
    and
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner
  7. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    20 Oct
    [1822]
    Daniel
    son of
    John
    and
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner
  8. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    20 Apr:
    [1825]
    Jonathan
    son of
    John
    and
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner
  9. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    7 Sep
    [1828]
    Henry
    son of
    John
    and
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner
  10. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    Name Abode When buried Age
    Hannah Marshall Elton May 11
    [1829]
    9
  11. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    Name Abode When buried Age
    Henry Marshall Elton Sep 10
    [1829]
    1
  12. Parish Register of St Peter, Alstonfield, Staffordshire contains the following baptism entry from 1833 :
    When baptised
    Childs Christian Name
    Parents Christian Name
    Parents Surname
    Abode
    Quality, Trade or Profession
    June 9
    Jno Geo
    son of
    Jane
    &
    John
    Fearn
     
    Marshall
    Workhouse
    -
  13. Birth Certificate from Registration District of Chesterfield states:
    When and where born Name Sex  Name and surname of father Name, surname and maiden surname of mother Occupation of father Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
    First of
    April 1838
    at
    Clarkes yard
    Chesterfield
    Sarah Anne Girl John Marshall Jane
    Marshall
    formerly
    Fearn
    Railway
    Labourer
        x
    The mark of
    Jane Marshall
    Mother. Clarkes Yard
    Chesterfield
    Nineteenth
    of April
    1838
  14. Parish Register of St Mary & All Saints, Chesterfield contains the following baptism entry from 1838 :
    When baptised
    Childs Christian Name
    Parents Christian Name
    Parents Surname
    Abode
    Quality, Trade or Profession
    May
    6th
    Sarah
    Anne
    John
    Jane
    Marshall
    Chesterfield
    Excavator
  15. There is no baptism record for Jane in Elton, but she is claimed to have been born there in later censues, and there is an entry in the Index to Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations, for the birth of a Jane Marshall in the Registration District of Bakewell in the 3rd quarter of 1840.
  16. Census of 7th June 1841 reads:
    Place: Elton
    John Marshall 25 Miner Lead
    Jane Do 25  
    George Do 8  
    Sarah Do 3  
    Jane Do 10 months  
  17. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    Novr
    28th
    [1841]
    Amanada John
    &
    Jane
    Marshall Elton Miner
  18. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    Novr
    3rd
    [1844]
    James
    son of
    John
    &
    Jane
    Marshall Elton Miner
  19. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    Name Abode When buried Age
    James Marshall Elton Decr 23rd
    [1844]
    Inf
  20. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    Novr
    16th
    [1845]
    James
    son of
    John
    &
    Jane
    Marshall Elton Miner
  21. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    Aug
    15th
    [1847]
    Lavinia
    Dr of
    John
    &
    Jane
    Marshall Elton Miner
  22. Census of 30th March 1851 reads:
    Place: Litton Slack
    John Marshall Head Mar 40 Miner (Lead) Derby, Elton
    Jane Do Wife Mar 36 - - - wife Do Do
    George Do Son U 16 Spinner of Cotton Do Do
    Sarah Do Daur U 13 Do Do Do Do
    Jane Do Daur   11 Do Do Do Do
    Amanda Do Daur   9 Do Do Do Do
    James Do Son   6 - - - - - Do Do
    Lavinia Do Daur   3 - - - - - Do Do
    Mary Fearn [Lodger]   13 Spinner of Cotton Do Do
    Agnes Dale [???????] U 5 months - - - - - Do Do
  23. John is claimed to have been born in Bamford in later censues, and there is an entry in the Index to Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations, for the birth of a John Marshall in the Registration District of Chapel en le Frith in the 4th quarter of 1852.
  24. Death Certificate from Registration District of Bakewell states:
    When and where died Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description
    and residence of informant
    When registered
    Third
    January
    1853
    Elton
    John Marshall Male 76 years Miner Senile
    Debility
    Certified
    The mark of
    Hannah Marshall
    In attendance
    Elton
    Eighteenth
    January
    1853
  25. Death Certificate from Registration District of Bakewell states:
    When and where died Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description
    and residence of informant
    When registered
    Twentyninth
    September
    1855
    Elton
    Hannah Marshall Female 77 years Widow of
    John Marshall
    a Lead Miner
    Decay of Nature
    No Medical
    Attendant
    The mark of
    Ann Marshall
    Present at the death
    Elton
    Eighth
    October
    1855
  26. Census of 7th April 1861 reads:
    Place: Crawley, Witney, Oxfordshire
    John Marshall Head Mar 50 Game Keeper Elton, Derbyshire
    Jane Do Wife Mar 49   Heathcote, Derbyshire
    Amanda Do Daur Un 20   Elton, Do
    James Do Son Un 17 Assist his father Do, Do
    Liveinheir Do Daur Un 14   Do, Do
    John Do Son   9   Do, Do
  27. Census of 2nd April 1871 reads:
    Place: Road, Sheldon
    John Marshall Head Mar 61 Miner Elton, [Derbyshire]
    Jane do Wife Mar 57   Heathcote, do
    James do Son Unm 26 Miner Elton, do
    John do Son Unm 19 Miner Bamford, do
  28. Census of 3rd April 1881 reads:
    Place: Main Street W, Elton
    John Marshall Head Mar 73 Lead & Umber Miner [Derbyshire], [Elton]
    Jane Do Wife Mar 68                     Wife Do Do
    Samuel Staley Boarder   2   Cheshire, Stockport
    Sylance Hadfield Boarder W 83   Derbyshire, Elton
  29. Death Certificate from Registration District of Bakewell states:
    When and where died Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description
    and residence of informant
    When registered
    Fourteenth
    January
    1891
    Elton
    RSD
    Jane Marshall Female 78 years Wife of
    John
    Marshall
    a Lead Miner
    Bronchitis
    Certified by
    M Cantrell
    MRCS
    The mark of
    Jane Howard
    Daughter
    Present at the death
    111 Hare Lane
    Sheffield
    Fifteenth
    January
    1891
  30. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton contains the following burial entry from 1891 :
    Name
    Abode
    When buried
    Age
    Jane Marshall
    Elton
    Jany 18th
    78
  31. Death Certificate from Registration District of Bakewell states:
    When and where died Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description
    and residence of informant
    When registered
    Eighteenth
    March 1891
    Union
    Workhouse
    Bakewell
    RSD
    John Marshall Male 80 years General
    Labourer
    of
    Elton
    General
    Debility
    Certified by
    CW Evans
    MB
    Alfred Swain
    Master
    Union Workhouse
    Bakewell
    Twentieth
    March
    1891
  32. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton contains the following burial entry from 1891 :
    Name
    Abode
    When buried
    Age
    John Marshall
    Bakewell
    March 21
    82
  33. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    Aug
    15th
    [1847]
    Emma
    Dr of
    Charles
    &
    Ann
    Marshall Elton Miner
  34. Parish Register of All Saints, Elton includes the entry:
    When
    baptized  
    Child's
    Christian Name  
    Parents Name   Abode   Quality, Trade
    or
    Profession  
    Christian Surname
    Aug
    15th
    [1847]
    Alfred
    son of
    Jonathan
    &
    Hannah
    Marshall Elton Miner



Notes:


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