G G Grandfather – George Tebb – a short and troubled life?

St Peter and St Paul's Church in Ormskirk. St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Ormskirk. George Tebb was born to William Tebb and Margaret Crompton in 1841 in Bootle cum Linacre, Lancashire and was baptised on 2 July 1841 in Ormskirk, at the church of St Peter and St Paul. George was the second boy born to William and Margaret… a previous child, also George, was born to them in 1838 who died within a month of his birth. This new child, George, was never registered… it wasn’t compulsory at that time… but was baptised so that, should he not survive he would be able to be buried within the churchyard, I suppose.

Happily George did survive… he appears in the census of 1841 at the age of 3 or 8 months (unclear) living in Banks’s Cottages, Walton on the Hill, Bootle cum Linacre, Lancashire with his parents. He has an older sister, Ann (aged 2), and Peter Crompton (aged 15), a tailor, his mother’s brother living in the household. In the neighbourhood are a variety of trades represented – brickmakers and bricklayers, shoemakers, a bellhanger, a stone mason, an excavator and labourers. (NB- the entry has been transcribed as ‘Jebb’ on the Ancestry website).

By 1851 George’s father, William, has sadly died in 1849 when George was 8 years old, and the family is now living in Chapel Lane, with his grandfather, Ralph Crompton. He now has a younger brother, William, who is two years his junior. His Aunt Alice, Margaret’s sister, is also living in the household is a tailor and there is a visitor, William Woodcock, who is a farmer. Alice would marry William Woodcock the following year.

At this point I noted the absence of Ann, his older sister. I wondered if she had, perhaps, died but no -she had been sent to live with her Aunt Ann Brown (nee Tebb) Brown in Yorkshire. Ann Tebb (born in Raskelf in 16 Nov 1810, baptised on 18 Nov in Raskelf, Yorks) was Ann’s father’s older sister. She had married George Brown on 19 Jan 1833 – he was a tailor and draper. By 1871 he employed 3 men and a boy. Ann was with them and an assistant in the business from 1851 when she was counted in the census through to 1871. Young Ann later married Simeon Marshall Bolton from Knaresborough, Yorkshire who was 11 years her senior and a draper by trade. It was his third marriage as his previous wives had died. They were well off and had a series of houses in the Knaresborough area in which they took boarders. She worked with him in the business and never returned to Lancashire to live. However, by 1911 they seem to have lost all their money and were caretakers living in Harrogate.

So, George had lost both his father and his sister at a young age… I wonder how he viewed the world at that time? It must have seemed a harsh place. He had aunts and uncles nearby, however, his mother’s siblings including Peter and her youngest brother, Thomas along with her sisters. The same year that he lost his father, young George was to gain a new aunt because Thomas Crompton married an Elizabeth Fox, who, it must be assumed, enjoyed a close friendship with George… as we’ll see later!

However, moving along to 1861 George is in the 18th Hussars and is stationed at Aldershot, Surrey/Hampshire. His rank was Private and Mr R. Knox was his Commanding Officer, a Lieutenant Colonel from Ireland. Currently I can find out little about his military service and may need to go to London to find records that will tell me what happened to him – as he certainly wasn’t in the army for very long. Had he joined the army to escape from a troubling situation… we’ll never know now but it seems that it could have been a possibility.

It may be that George served in Madras, India but if so, he wasn’t there very long as the life of a soldier abroad seemingly wasn’t the life for him… and he was clearly not fully committed to the life.

When he came out of the army isn’t known… but could the death of his uncle, Thomas Crompton have had anything to do with his decision to leave?

Anyway, he returned to his Lancashire roots and set himself up as a tailor …and also decided to marry Elizabeth Crompton (nee Fox) who was his mother’s former daughter in law and nine years older than himself. This was a complex relationship then…

The complex relationship between George and Elizabeth Fox

The complex relationship between George and Elizabeth Fox

They married on 18 Jul 1869 St Mary the Virgin, Prescot, and fairly soon Elizabeth was delivered of a son – William Thomas who was born around 1869/70 but whom they don’t seem to have registered. However, he was baptized on 13 Feb 1870 at the church of St Thomas in Eccleston. Sadly, though, their first born child died the same year in the summer time.

By 1871 the couple were living in 9 Brooke Street, Eccleston, St Helens along with Elizabeth’s daughters Ellen, Mary and Elizabeth from her first marriage to Thomas Crompton. The census return for this particular year is very faded and unclear and it is difficult to read much detail at all. That he was a tailor at this time, however, is clear enough to see and that they lived at 9 Brook Street with George’s step children.

Clearly they were trying for more children and a daughter, Ann, was born in the spring of 1871 and some time after the 2 Apr when the census was taken she was baptized on 16 Aug 1871. However, she died before the year was over… in both cases burial records are not currently available. Then in July of 1872 Elizabeth gave birth to George on 27 July and they must have felt that he was perhaps going to be a third child that they might lose… but this wasn’t the case and little George was baptized on 22 Dec 1872 at the church of St Thomas, Eccleston.

Eight years following the birth of their son, George, however, George (Snr) had not to enjoy long with his family as he died in Nov 1880 in the Workhouse Hospital at Whiston, Lancashire. The death certificate states that he died of ‘mania and apoplexy’ – a very sad state of mind and a futher indication of the mental difficulties experienced by many members of the Tebb family. He was buried in St Helens Cemetery on 8 Nov 1880. The family were not well off and George was buried in a grave that hadn’t been paid for, a pauper’s grave, along with four others.

Elizabeth, now a widow, went on to marry for a third time…in 1882 she married John Naylor but only enjoyed 4 years of marriage as she died on Christmas Day 1886 and was buried on New Year’s Eve in a grave with other members of the Naylor family.

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