Cressbrook Mill apprentices
Normal school register
Park School WWI troop
Obesity of military children in the 19th Century
| Cotton Apprentices
18 May 2005
Dear Sir or Madam, Having transcribed the admissions ledger of the RMA (1803-1880), Chelsea, I am adding data from the apprentices ledger. Many students, male and female, were apprenticed in the Chelsea, Pimlico and Westminster area. The trades covered included servants, shoemakers, cordwainers, boot closes, tailors, joiners etc. The names and addresses of the masters to whom the children were apprenticed are also registered. Is there in your collection a map of Chelsea for the period 1803-1880 available? It would be most interesting to see plot the spread of the RMA influence on the ever growing labour market of the early 19th century. Your help in this matter would be appreciated. Thank you.
27 May 2005
Mr. Goble, With reference to your e-mail enquiry of 25 May. According to an article about the district of Heyside by John Stafford in the Oldham Chronicle newspaper of 2 June 1934, Jonathon Buckley of Throstle's Nest, Bullcote, Heyside, was committed to Lancaster Assizes in 1830 and sentenced to two years imprisonment for the ill-treatment of his apprentices.
The Oldham Chronicle first appeared in 1854. Before that date, Oldham news was reported in the 'Manchester Guardian,' which is held at Manchester Archives & Local Studies, Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD (email@example.com).
I have photocopied a section of the 6" to the mile 1844 / 48 Ordnance Survey map showing Heyside. If you supply a postal address, I will send a copy of the map and also photocopies of other information about the area. I have been unable to discover figures for the population of Heyside in 1841. In the 1840's it was a small village on the road between Oldham and Royton, Royton Local History Society may be able to assist you further. The Secretary's name is Doug Ashmore (Tel. 0161 652 3050).
Jennifer Clark - Local Studies Assistant
27 May 2005
Jenifer, Thank you for the speedy response, and the offer of a map of the Heyside area. [Address supplied.] The apprentices from the RMA, Chelsea, were sent to various locations in the Manchester-Derby area. As soon as I have analyzed the ledger I will forward details of those apprentices sent to your area. The added note re the report of Jonathan Buckley and a possible source of a News Paper report is terrific news, we may strike lucky.
Thanks for your help
| Cressbrook Mill apprentices
11 May 2005
Art; At last I have finished the work. Please look at www.cressbrook.com/citydesk. As you will see, I have started on my 'Thank yous' and so want to know what you would like. Lee says we can do a link if you would like. The reference to 'city desk' is because we have used their free software. I have ordered from Derbyshire the report on the mill at Edale, which also used your (RMA) children.
I wrote to Peter asking if he would like it (a copy of the report) as you were away but did not hear back. I think he gets so much Spam messages get lost. I am enjoying your book; you capture the atmosphere.
11 May 2005
Jean; Thanks! I've checked the Cressbrook site and am impressed; it makes interesting reading. I should like to offer a couple of corrections to the paragraph introducing the child apprentices of the Royal Military Asylum (1803-1892). The name of the institution was changed to the Duke of York's Royal Military School in 1892, so it might confuse readers to write of the Duke of York's school as being 'of the Royal Military Asylum'. They were one and the same institution, which underwent a name change. Might I suggest that you make a clear distinction between the two? Secondly, the RMA (as it was in the beginning) was founded to care for, and educate, the children of soldiers, not sailors. The Royal Navy had its own institution for the children of the lower ranks long before the RMA came into existence.
I should appreciate credit given me to be linked to Peter; perhaps something after the fashion of "Thanks to A. W. Cockerill and Peter Goble who research the history of the military schools: the Royal Hibernian Military School and the RMA later renamed, as earlier noted, the Duke of York's Royal Military School."
I should appreciate your making a link to our two sites, which deal with different aspects of the schools' histories. My web site is to be found at http://www.achart.ca/york/index.html and Peter's at http://www.rma-searcher.co.uk/ Peter's is a genealogical website of interest to those with military forebears who seek connections through the military schools. My site deals with the histories of the two schools for which I draw extensively on Peter's research. I'll link the Cressbrook Mill history at http://www.cressbrook.com/citydesk/ if you wish.
On the subject of research, Peter would appreciate a copy of the Edale Mill report. I would, too, but I'll get a copy from him. I forwarded your e-mail to him. You're right about the spam; this could explain why your message got lost. He has now solved the problem so communication shouldn't be a difficulty in future.
11 May 2005
Art; As you know it's always difficult when you stray into the area of another's expertise. Re name of 'Duke of York's'. In the 'Dark satanic' boys version he refers to Duke of York's long before the dates you give, i.e. circa 1818.
By the way, did you notice that the girl Caroline Fellows, mentioned in the girl's story you quoted, as being transferred from another Mill? The files from Derbyshire have not arrived from them yet because, I think, they're very big. Why? I shall never know as Westminster's a lot more manageable. I hope you do not mind, if for this reason, I send them to you as I think your server is more tolerant. I think Peter has not always received what I sent.
I have heard separately from Peter who has been down to Kew. Will let you know when I'm back from Spain in July! I will, with pleasure, put in your links but your offer to do the same had better wait until all the amendments have been made.
12 May 2005
Jean, You are correct. The RMA was known locally and among the children themselves as the Duke of York's school from the beginning. It was always referred to that way although its official title until 1892 was the Royal Military Asylum.
16 May 2005
Art, Sorry the scan is not yet with you but Derbyshire had trouble sending it. They said my server could not take it. They have put it in 5 slices on a disc, so tomorrow I'll send it to lee who will shrink it for you.
Re your comments re RMA/Duke of York's. Peter sent me ages ago a picture of the main facade of the RMA dated 1820 captioned ' The Duke of York's School, Chelsea' It is up on www.cressbrook.com/citydesk. Now you can see why I was [and still am] confused
16 May 2005
Jean, I poured over your website with interest; congratulations. The images of the RMA property, Chelsea, and of the children help make the site interesting. I read the report of the 'investigators' following the mill fire at wherever it was - I don't have the site open at the moment. I'm a little apprehensive about the 'goodness' of the report of how highly this or that master thought of this or that apprentice. I find this aspect of the report suspicious and wonder if it struck you the same way. I mean, when you compare this with the ghastly record of the Heyside journeymen cotton weavers with their apprentices you have to wonder.
17 May 2005
Art, Agree with you that the Parish Supervisors really did not want to know the truth. They had hundreds of kids to get rid of! Off the record, when you get the complete History you will recognize that the 'Head in the Sand' philosophy still exists. Last Sunday they unveiled a recently reframed 'eulogy' signed by the 'workers' when Henry McConnel retired. around 1867.
I know that some of the oldies in the village, only some half a dozen remain, are not so impressed. Their g-grandparents were working at 11 at that time! Difficult for us to judge but I am very conscious of the people who lived in this cottage without water, bathrooms, electricity or central heating, but then no one had these things!
17 May 2005
Hi, In the 1891 census I have found a Balaclava Marsh age in the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea. Is there any further information you can give me for my family history i.e. for what reason was he there? Where did he go on leaving? Were any addresses supplied? I would be grateful for anything you can supply. Thank you.
18 May 2005
Maureen, Should you require a print of the pages, the service is available from the National Archives. The Ledger is delicate. The cost for scanning the two pages is £15 plus postage. WO143/80 Admissions DYRMS 1880-1918 page commencing REGT No 10117 and the name Geo YEARSLEY. Thank you for the correction, I now know he is Balaclava MARSH. Admit No 10125; on 30 Jan 1891, a protestant age 10 yrs & 1 month. Father Staff Sergeant Charles R, Army Service Corps. Deceased. Mother Sarah alive Discharged 22 December 1894. Delivered to his mother.
Write to the Bursar, Mr. R. Say, The Duke of York's School, Dover, KENT. Give the details I have added above and most importantly, your relationship. There may be some information re your relative still filed away. If you go to www.achart.ca you will find full details of the history of the RMA later the Duke of York's Royal Military School. Any images of Balaclava in the uniform of the RMA or copies of other RMA ephemera would be appreciated
22 May 2005
Thank you so much for a marvellous site. Searching for my great great
grandfather, (John Jerram) just putting his name and date of birth in Google, brought me to the RMA entry for him and a brother, aged 5 and 9. Now you have set me off on another trail - his father's name is given, so presumably he too was in the army, and deceased... Your final note about "Jas." "Is this short for Jarvis, or James perhaps?" you
have probably had many e-mails about by now - it is a normal abbreviation
for James, here in the UK, as in Geo. for George, Hy. for Harry/Henry,
Thos. for Thomas etc. I haven't a clue what to do about the information
I've found, but I presume next stop is Kew! Thank you once more
22 May 2005
Laura, Thanks for you message. If you are referring to John (your g-g-grandfather)
and his older brother Robert (Jerram). they are indeed on the RMA register.
Their father and mother - Private Charles Jerram of the Coldstream Guards
and his wife Elizabeth – were still alive when the boys entered
the RMA the same day, 16 March 1817. The elder boy, Robert was 'delivered
into the care of his friends' at age 13 on 3 Sept 1821. John Jerram enlisted
in the 3 Foot Guards at age 14 on 14 Sept 1826. Your next step in following
John's military career is to check the muster rolls of the 3 Foot Guards
for 1826 to find out what happened to him and the rolls of the Coldstream
Guards for his father. They might well be kept at Kew. One of the research
helpers will give you a hand for your further research. Did I write to
you about this before? If so, I cannot find a record of what I wrote.
Please enlighten me.
25 May 2005
Thank you so much for the information. I assumed Charles was dead. I have John Jerram later on - he joined the 2nd Life Guards as a farrier, which seems a bit of a leap from the foot? But it has to be him, I think, identical birth date and name. He's been very tricky to research - the first we knew he was in the military, was when it appeared on one of his children's birth certificates. Then I found him on census as a retired army pensioner...However, I had never found his baptism, nor been able to attach him to any parents or family, until I found your entry. I do have his papers now from his time in the 2nd Life Guards (25 years) as I paid a researcher.
You hadn't received an email from me before - sorry if I confused you
by the reference to the abbreviation for "James" (Jas.). A page on your website queried what "Jas." stood for, and I was answering that. Do I take it I can find out more about him in his youth from the Coldstream Guards records - presumably at Kew? I will probably have to pay a researcher again, so I will have to be careful to know what to ask for. And I've assumed his father Charles was also in the army - but then, I also mistakenly thought he was a deceased soldier. I
would love to look up any records for him also. A truly marvellous site,
thank you so much. And how brilliant that a simple Google search on a
name took me straight to it.
25 May 2005
Do excuse parts of my last e-mail - the questions - I have just re-read your email properly and see that you have already answered those points! Terribly sorry, I was in an awful rush. John joined the Life Guards in 1832 so must have been in the third foot briefly before then. Will tell the researcher to track him! Thanks again
23 May 2005
Laura, If John joined the Life Guards in 1832, it must have been his son, Henry Jerram, who joined the RMA (entry No. 7876) at age 7 years and 8 months on 29 March 1855. Are you aware of this? Check the RMA register yourself. Henry's father is registered as Pte John Jerram of the 2nd Life Guards. John was alive at the time. His wife, Mary, was registered as deceased. Henry Jerram became a monitor at the Normal School on 27 July 1863, which meant he was headed for a pretty decent career in teaching and probably became an army schoolmaster sergeant. (See my book The Charity of Mars for a description of the training of army schoolmasters). Regarding John (and Henry for that matter), I take it you are aware you can obtain a copy of the Petition for a Soldier's Son,
which gives considerable information on the family of the applicant.
Attached is a copy of page 1 of my own petition made in 1937 to give
you some idea what to expect. The school's petition records go back to
1803. You need to quote the name, entry number (I've given you Henry's.
John's registration number is 4139) and state your relationship to them.
You should write to Mr. R. Say, Bursar, Duke of York's Royal Military
School, Dover, Kent, CT15 5EQ, England. A small donation for the service
might work wonders. Anyway, let me know if Henry is yet another forebear
in your paternal line and his relationship to you – g-grandfather
perhaps? Peter and I would be most interested.
24 May 2005
No, I didn't know this. I found John's children and then a couple more
when I finally got the family together for the first time on census in
1861, when it came on line. No Henry was ever there (now I know why!) I could see then that John was a widow - later he married again. He still "blacksmithed" for quite a while after he left the army, despite the lumbago which saw him leave and get his pension. I had found a Henry Jerram leaving the same regiment, as John joined, and he was born same area as John. I wondered if it was an uncle - as I said, I've never yet been able to link John to any family, despite finding Henry's. Sounding more likely now you have found a son of the same name. John is my g-g-grandfather. I traced him through my great grandmother, Elizabeth. I was set on tracking them because we have a photograph of her and she looks just like my mother and myself. I paid a researcher for John's 3rd
foot career and his father Charles' records. Now I'll be on the hunt
again thanks to your new information!
We are terribly proud of John. I have found horses in all branches
of the family, which explains why our generation appears to have been born saying "horse". As a little girl, I spurned the Barbie ponies and insisted on having Action Man's Life Guard horse, with all the equipment - I loved it and it's the only toy I've kept. I wrote to the Queen admiring her soldier's horses and had a letter back...and now bizarrely I've found this connection. Elizabeth died young, when my grandfather was only 5, but seems to have left a great impression on him as "a lady". At first I found John on her marriage certificate as "blacksmith".
No-one had any idea he was in the army.
My mother is in her eighties and very pleased and excited, just sorry
grandfather (also an accomplished horse man) didn't know. I have found
a lovely picture online of a farrier in the 2nd Life Guards (1902) (you
can't print it off, unfortunately) and am determined to find one I can
buy for my mother to put on her wall. Thank you so very much for the
information, I would assume my emails would go into a black hole as you
must be far too busy to cope with all the queries. I will let you know
what I find and hope it may be useful.
24 May 2005
Laura, I'm glad to have been of help. You're welcome. I try to answer
all correspondence, but post only a selection of the interesting ones.
Your inquiry for a RMA entrant, going back to the 1813, is for one of
the earliest we've had. Hence our interest. Your best chance of getting
a copy of the farrier of the 2nd Life Guards PC is the National Army
Museum, London. For what it's worth, Henry Jerram was the son of John & Mary
Jerram; no doubt about that. The surname and 2nd Life Guards connection
is proof of that.
| Korean War
6 May 2005
You might like to have a look at our website and maybe put in a link
on yours. It is www.bkva.co.uk and
I am the webmaster of Surrey West Branch (British Korean Veterans).
Thanks, Cyril Luger
6 May 2005
Cyril, I'm willing to make the link for which you ask on our www.achart.ca website,
but it has to be justified - as I'm sure you'll agree. I've been
to your site and, it seems to me, the only logical best reason for creating
a link would be if you have any ex-Dukies registered in your association. That
would be a good reason - and might even lead to writing an article being
posted on Duke of York boys being in the Korean War. I would need info from
you for such purpose. You would also need to make a link on your
website to the www.achart.ca site. The cc recipients of this exchange
are far-flung alumni interested in our site.
7 April 2005
Art, I get your point about ex-Dukes, but I regret that there is no
way I can find out from about 4000 members UK wide who is and who isn't.
I can ask in my branch but they were nearly all National Servicemen.
Keep up the good work and I'll keep an eye on your website from time
7 April 2005
Cyril, There is, perhaps, another way of finding out. I'll see what
I can do by posting a notice on a Dukie website (accessible only to Dukies)
and see what response it produces. I'll keep you posted.
Note to readers: if anyone knows of Dukies who served in the Korean
War please contact me.
| Normal school register
27 April 2005
Art, I have described the first page in the Normal School Ledger.
A first in every thing, numero uno, altogether there are 101 pages;
I'll do these first, purely out of interest. They can only get better.
I just thought that you would appreciate the standards of the Normal
School Students, The first of anything is a memorable occasion, but
the first in three fields takes some believing, me thinks he is
Australian, but no, he is from Leeds, perhaps he was referring to the
| Nuclear technology
11 May 2005
Art, I came across this statement on a chat site recently, is it basically
"However an industry insider explained to me that with the exception
of Canadian Candu reactors, all nuclear reactors run on enriched uranium.
There are only a few companies in the world who have the capability
of enriching uranium. That's where the bottleneck, if any, should occur."
12 May 2005
Note: I was for 15 years a consultant to the Canadian
nuclear industry (see www.achart.ca/publications/mathematics.html)
as well as a member of the National Technical Committee(on nuclear quality
assurance) for ten years. My background is in power engineering. I am not
a nuclear engineer.
Terry, What was stated is correct. CANDU fuel rods use 'unrefined uranium'
(although the uranium has to be extracted from yellowcake ore) and operate
in heavy water (as the moderator). Most other reactor designs (British,
American, Russian) are 'hot water reactors' (not heavy water) using carbon
control rods as the moderator and are, therefore, prone to meltdown as
happened at Chernobyl and Three-mile Island. The CANDU reactor would
never reach a meltdown state. On the other hand, serious damage can result
if things 'go wrong'. In my experience, the worst accident of any CANDU
reactor around the world is a spillage of heavy water, which is radioactive
making it a radiation hazard.
Hot water reactors - and similar designs
- all require the use of enriched uranium. I do not believe, however,
the statement that 'only a few reactors companies in the world' are
capable of enriching uranium. Enrichment is a technology generally known
and understood by nuclear
physicists world wide. I hope this answers your question.
| Park School Troop WWI
16 May 2005
I am trying to find out about all park school old boys I think it
might have been a troop from 1914 to 1919 war. I have a memorial plaque
that was made from the bell that hung at the school, that says for those
that gave their lives. the bell hung there from 1827 to 1919, any
information would be great, Thank you. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 May 2005
Sorry to tell you that we have no information on the old boys of Park
School who served in the 1914-1918 war. Depending on where you are -
the British Isles, North America, Downunder etc - you would first have
to get a line on Park School. Where is it? Does it still exist?
I should think your first line of inquiry would
be in the school records. Many schools and institutions formed troops
and larger formations for military service during WWI. Think of the
Bantam battalions out of Liverpool and North East England, for example,
the Univ. of Toronto Medical Faculty (formed a medical unit, I believe,
though I might be mistaken here). More info is needed to suggest leads
you might follow. First, however, tell me more about Park School: where?
history? continuing existence? etc.
| Obesity of military children
in the 19th Century
3 April 2005
Ian, (Army Catering Corps contact) I am researching the Royal Hibernian
Military School, Dublin. see www.rhms-searcher.co.uk and www.achart.ca
In 1877, there was a change of policy re. catering and a new diet
was introduced. As a result and, for the next 60 years, additional
data was entered into the ledgers: On admission, each entrant's height,
weight and chest measurements were included; i.e. from 1 January 1847
to 31 December 1907. This provides an invaluable source of data re.
the physical measurements of children in the range of 7 to 11
years admitted during that period. The data will be of interest to
researchers doing physiological research.
In 1927, a reference appears in the minutes of the Board of Commissioners
of the Duke of York's School – with references to the Gordon Boys
School, Woking, and the Royal Victoria School, Dunblane – suggesting
a change of diet and also to measure the boys. I'm finding
it difficult to locate where these records might be if they exist at
From 1959 to 1962, I was ration NCO for 3 Division, Bulford, Wilts,
and from 1968, Hospital Steward at BMH Cyprus. This meant accounting
for the rations issued to the Hospital Catering Department per the ration
scales of that time. At Bulford I used the bed (or ration) state to calculate
the rations to be issued. Tithe set issue was, for example, 1/7th oz
tea daily and 2/7th of an egg, 1 oz sugar and so on. I might be way out,
but I little realized then how useful that same information would be
now. There was a living-out allowance of 6/- per day; also in my mind
is a cash figure of about 3/5d per day.
Can you tell me where I might find details of these ration scales as
well as the daily allowance per day for man or boy? We are doing research
on the 'obesity factor' during the Victorian age during the period 1847
to 1907; another change occurred in 1927 as I've indicated. Having this
data would be, as I said earlier, invaluable for anyone researching the
obesity of children in contemporary children of an equivalent age group.
| Royal Hibernian Military
11 May 2005
Art, My apologies for leaving it so long to thank you for the book. Uncle
[Michael – last known living Royal Hibernian] going into respite
for two weeks next Sunday and my sister, Pat, and I are taking the opportunity
to have a break in the sun. Haven't read the book yet, but I have
to say that it's beautifully presented. I'm looking forward to reading
it while I'm away. When I come back, I intend to reply to Dan Kirwan's
letter to Uncle Michael. I'm afraid Uncle has gone beyond the letter
writing stage. If he made the effort, he could probably make a
fist of writing a few lines, but he just doesn't do anything that requires
One matter that keeps popping in and out of my mind re the articles
on your website. Ireland didn't become a Republic in 1922. Had
dominion status until Republic declared (in Canada) in 1948. Most
people wouldn't notice, but I thought I had better bring it to your
attention. Peter sent me some pictures and data on CD, too.
25 April 2005 8:13 AM
I found your site because I wanted to purchase
a copy of The Charity
of Mars. I live in Toronto and am researching the Royal Victoria
Patriotic Asylum set up after the Crimean War in 1857. I want
to compare the two schools.
Can you please let me know how to get a copy of your book? For
your information a Patricia Lin, PhD Student out of California, has written
her dissertation on the RMA from it's inception to around 1820. If
you want the reference let me know.
25 April 2005 12:14 PM
Linda, Thanks for your inquiry. If you send me a cheque or money order
to 98 Maria's Quay, Cobourg, ON K9A 5R6 I'll mail you a copy. I'll need
your street address.
I have a copy of Pat Lin's dissertation. She sent it to me about a
year after she finished it. I urged her to get it published in a book
form. Her references to the RMA, though specific, she quotes to support
her thesis on the social aspects stemming from the military necessities
of the French wars (1793-1815). I believe that my book Sons of the
Brave (1984 Secker & Warburg), which is more in the nature of
the story of rather than a history, might have influenced her choice
of thesis. I'm pleased to note that a number of social historians have
embarked on related projects: Howard Clarke, is researching a doctoral
thesis on the Royal Hibernian Military School, Dublin; Jean Stone is
working on the history of the cotton apprentices of the Cressbrook
Mill, Derbyshire; others are at work in the field too.
I'll be interested in your work on the RVPA. If I'm not mistaken, the
Royal Soldiers Daughters Home was an off-shoot of the RVPA: something
had to be done for the girls when they were unceremoniously excluded
from the RMA in the 1840s.
25 April 2005
Art, Thank you for your email. I will send you a cheque in the
mail and my address for your book. It's so nice not to have to pay
in US dollars! You are just around the corner from me! I am
in Don Mills. I will be in England at the Public Records Office
for 3 weeks from May 3 to 24 so I don't need your book until after
I get back.
I am a "mature" PhD history student at York University and
writing my dissertation on soldier's, sailor's, marine's widows in the
mid-nineteenth century in Britain. I came across lots of references
to the Patriotic Fund established during the Crimean War and the pensions
and schooling provided from the contributions to the fund. This
got me interested in state and charity military welfare.
I am challenging Lin's assertion that "citizenship" was an
outcome of these state schemes. I argue that it is another experiment
by the state for manning the navy and increasing army strength and to
appease the poor law contributors. Unlike the First World War when
conscription came in and voting rights (which Lin does not talk about)
nothing had changed in the structure of society for the rank and file
in the early nineteenth century – rankers were still subject
to floggings, continuous service and impressment. I can go on with
some other thoughts which my supervisor and I have discussed about Lin's
work but I don't want to bore you. What I am finding difficult to
find in my research, however, are marriage statistics for the navy,
marines and army from the end of the Napoleonic War to the Crimean War. It
is a shortcoming of Lin's work that she does not say who where the dependents
of the sailors receiving allotments. Any thoughts on marriage
rates or where I can find them?
| SS Pemberton 1849
13 May 2005
Hi, I have been reading up for a while on Royal Hibernian Military
School and surrounding history as I believe I had a relative that worked
there. The Dublin Directory of 1838 has Valentine Archer, Sergeant
Major, Royal Hibernian Military School. (Phoenix St Parish of St Michan?) His
wife was Jane Love. I also have records of his daughter (Mary) (Emily)
(Agnes) Archer arrived Port Phillip (Australia) 26 May 1849 in ship Pemberton
aged 18 as Governess or matron as one of the "Irish orphan girl" ships. This
one was carrying 24 girls from RHMS. Apart from family birth records,
the above directory is the only information I can find on Valentine. He
must have left some other military records at least. Can you please
offer any suggestions as to where I could search further.
13 May 2005
Don, Unfortunately, there are no records of the staff of the RHMS.
Art Cockerill, may be able to add to the Pemberton data, he does have
some info. If you know the Regiment of Valentine ARCHER, you could try
the National archives, in the WO index, locate the Muster Rolls for his
Regiment, then visit the National Archives at Kew, and view the records.
Another way is to join the yahoo Britregiments list, there may be others
searching that Regiment.
13 May 2005
Don, You are correct in your information about Sgt Archer's daughter.
She is on the passenger list of the SS Pemberton as shown in
the extract here:
Archer, Mary A
You will find the detailed list at www.achart.ca/hibernian/pemberton.html A
couple of observations here might help.
Her age is given as 21 whereas you give her age as 18. Along with Mary
Archibald, she is designated as 'Governors', which is an obvious a mistake
on the passenger list. She was a 'governess'. Had her father not
been on the staff of the RHMS, she would have left the school at age
14. Detailed below the passenger list is the name and address of the
person in Australia to whom she was apprenticed. Her employer's details
Gipps Land, Victoria
Peter Goble has given you a lead to getting further information
on Sgt Archer. With Stewart of Gipps Land, Victoria, you have a possible
lead through Australian genealogical records of the subsequent life
of Mary Archer.
Is it possible that Jane Love was Archer's second wife? Might that
explain why Mary Archer consented to ship with the other RHMS girls to
Australia on the SS Pemberton? I should appreciate learning from you
of any additional information you might find.
May 13, 2005
Don, Unfortunately, there are no records of the staff of the RHMS.
Art Cockerill, may be able to add to the Pemberton data, he does
have some info. If you know the Regiment of Valentine ARCHER, you could
try the National archives, in the WO index, locate the Muster
Rolls for his Regiment, then visit the National Archives at Kew, and
view the records. Another way is to join the yahoo Britregiments list,
there may be others searching that Regiment.
14 May 2005
Don. The response by Art Cockerill has bounced. Try this way.
15 May 2005
Gents, Thanks for your response to my email. I would appreciate
your further thoughts on the following:
1. Do you have any idea how I find what regiment Valentine was in? I
have been doing some research on Australian Army and starting to understand
the structure, but have no idea about Ireland.
2. I guess my most basic question is whether he would have been in
the British Army, or was there Irish army / police regiments?
3. Are there likely to be any particular regiments associated with
staffing RHMS? Is he likely to be Irish origin or something
4. Do I just have to hire someone to troll through all regiment lists
of the time?
5. Is it likely that Mary was schooled with the military orphans? If
so, would she show up on the list of enrolments (I haven't found
her in the lists I have seen in the Irish Genealogy magazine and books).
6. What triggers the thought of Valentine having a second wife? I
am not able to find/confirm any BDM records associated with any
of the family in Ireland. Thus I do not know if Valentine or
Jane were alive when Mary left Ireland, or anything about weddings
7. I have noticed the discrepancy in age and also a change in name
when she arrives in Australia, but feel there are so many similarities,
and scarcity of people in the area she settled in Australia, that it
is the same person. There is a trail of partial name changes through
BDM records and mostly Mary goes under the name of Emily. She
consistently records she was born in Phoenix Park Dublin, and her parents
are Valentine Archer (Teacher) and Jane (Love).
8. have been researching her Australian history for around 10 years
and have some pages of notes from BDM, public records, newspapers,
police records etc. Emily married 3 times. Are you interested
in any of this side, or just RHMS side?
15 May 2005
Answering your questions sequentially:
1. Valentine Archer was in a regiment of the British Army stationed
in Ireland. He would have left his regiment to join the staff of the
RHMS in the rank of Sergeant Schoolmaster, which narrows your field of
inquiry. To begin your search of Irish regiments stationed in Ireland,
connect with http://www.regiments.org/ There are some sites on the web
that specify which regts. were stationed where and when.
2. There was no Irish Army until at least 1924. Ireland was a Dominion
until 1948 when it became a republic. Archer could not have been in the
police. The RHMS was a military institution of the British Army.
3. The RHMS was staffed by personnel of units stationed in Ireland,
but not from particular units. I would not know if Archer was Irish.
He could have been, but not necessarily. During the 19th Century, Irish
recruits amounted to an average of 40% in the British Army.
4. Peter is more knowledgeable than am I when it comes to checking
regimental muster rolls, which is what you're referring to re. regimental
lists. Maybe Peter can comment.
5. If her father was on staff, Mary would almost certainly be educated
at the RHMS, at least until she was 14 or so. She might then have had
training as a governess while still living at home.
6. The fact that you identify Archer's wife as Jane Love. Why not Jane
Archer or Jane Love Archer? It's unusual to refer to a man's wife by
her maiden name, that's all.
7. Mary Archer was undoubtedly Sgt Archer's daughter. [I've already
questioned if she was Jane (nee?) Love's.]
8. I am most interested in Mary Archer's entire history, not simply
the RHMS part of it, so would appreciate anything else you can tell me.
She is the first of the SS Pemberton children about whose subsequent
history is known. It's worth a follow-up on the RHMS history site given
enough info to make an interesting report. Do you have an image of her?
15 May 2005
16 May 2005
Don, Forgive me in sticking my nose in. I am resident in Melbourne
Australia, and I'm guessing that your email address MAY put you
in the same locale. Then again I have been known to be wrong (many occasions).
You may have noticed my CC on mail from Art & Peter. Thinking to
yourself "I wonder who that is". Then again you probably
If I am repeating what you already know, I'm sorry. I have no access
nor interest in Genealogy, save to having an interest in Australian History
(All 200 years plus). One item or name that in your e-mail's could delay
search, is that Gipps Land is one word, Gippsland. It is the land area
directly to the East of Melbourne. Actually 30 Kms from Melb. city centre
begins Gippsland, West to East.
"The Mitchell Library" in Sydney is the oldest institution
in Aust. And has virtually ALL history of Australia from 1788 (Colonisation,
by the military and the "Prisoner of Mother England. POME")
This is thought to be the original title for the English migrant Pommy.
Another thought. Melbourne has "The immigration Museum" But
I think that may be only the later migrants. Still it may be worth
Don, A difficult task. The RHMS ledgers were partially destroyed by
fire in 1942 as were other documents in the WO (Military) series, and
to make things difficult, the crown decided not to keep the census records
The first ledger to which I have access dates from 1834, but
this is male entrants only. The register for female entrants is among
the missing. This ledger would have solved the problem, with date of
admission, Plea No. followed by a number 1 to four indicating 'parents
dead', 'father dead', 'mother dead' or 'both alive' followed by regiment
of the father and date of discharge.
I have checked the Latter Day Saints 'Vital Records' containing
marriage & Births
in Ireland with no success. Other documents to query are the Marriage
Certificate and the Birth Certificate of his daughter. Also the Latter
day Saints main site has a reference to Mary ARCHER, but no other
detail. Archer may have re-enlisted in the Veterans, Army pensioners.
Many went to Australia to act as security and guards for the transportees.
Another possibility is that he became a Chelsea Pensioner and possibly
ended his days as an Out-Pensioner rather than an In-pensioner (Living
in at the Royal Hospital)
I must assume that Valentine Archer did not go to Australia; and having
logged onto the National Archives web site. then the 1871 census. A search
of the census reveals quite a few ARCHERS, with the first name of Valentine.
It is a long, slow job.
As Mary was aged 20 in 1849 I would estimate that her father would
be about 50 that year. The search I did was for Valentine ARCHER Born
1800 +-10 years The permanent staff of the RHMS were drawn from
all Regiments of the British Army. Many of the Regiments were of course
raised in Ireland. I will keep Valentine ARCHER at the top of
the list, and hope that something will strike. We are both very interested
in the female side of the RHMS; any information is welcome. Art, I
think, covers this well in his response earlier.
16 May 2005
Thanks for all responding - I have sent a separate email response
to Brian, before reading the rest. I am not sure if you are all interested,
but assume you will read or ignore as you like. Let me know if
you wish to drop out of the loop.
Just to explain myself a little, I am 44, live in Traralgon, Gippsland,
Victoria, Australia, and have two kids and a wife. About 13 years
ago when I stopped work to raise my oldest son, I started finding my
family tree (whilst he slept in the pram at the library). I am
not that interested in tracing back to Adam and Eve, and was more focusing
on what happened in Australia when the ancestors arrived. I was
also interested in what life held for the immigrants and why they left
their homeland. I am now back working full time, and have moved
on to fleshing out the local history about my ancestors as a hobby. My
latest research efforts are in local papers, local history books, public
records office, police records, land records, internet, RHMS etc. And
I tend to follow branches of history that have records to find, and
a bit of interest - thus Emily Archer. Archer is actually my wife's
ancestor but more interesting than mine.
I have been particular interested in the Archer family as she provided
a challenge in tracking BDM. She married three times, with various
slight name changes, and seemed to be a survivor through many struggles. I
have about 10 pages of research notes on her and family, but have never
written them into a cohesive story. I do not have a photo of her,
but have put out a call on the Gippsland History news email to see if
anyone else has. Until reading your information, I didn't think
of Emily (Mary) as a RHMS girl - she was a Matron on the Pemberton looking
after RHMS girls, and then a Governess when she arrived in Australia
but I presumed not an orphan - are you still interested?.
I am more than willing to share information with you. I might
start with a dot point chronology of her life, and could now add a fair
bit of local history to her story. I have attached a copy of my
research notes into her, and her "main" husband. Please
note that these have tit bits that are not likely to be related to our
interest area. You will also gather that I have copies of documents
that are only mentioned in the notes, and held at home. I will
recheck the Australian BDMs for her parents but figure my most likely
source of definitive info is to find his military record as other Irish
sources are rare, and Archer is not that rare in Britain. Is Sgt Archer
still considered to be in the Army when he work at RHMS?
I have started cruising www.regiments.org,
but I best get some rest before work tomorrow.
16 May 2005
17 May 2005
Don, Everything you share with us is of interest, no matter how slight.
I am convinced that you have details on the same Mary Archer who was
at the RHMS, Phoenix Park, and on the passenger list of the SS Pemberton.
I'll not dispute your contention that she was a matron even though appearing
on the passenger list as a 'governess'. It's quite probable that a) she
was designated 'matron' by the authorities on account of her age and
seniority among so many younger girls and woman b) she might have been
listed as an RHMS girl for the benefit of getting free passage to Australia
on the Pemberton.
Her story is an exciting one from the viewpoint of RHMS girls because,
unlike many of her contemporaries at the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea,
of whom we do have slight records, Mary is the first woman out of Phoenix
Park for whom we do now have a history. Her father would have retired
from his regiment to become a member of the staff of the RHMS under,
I believe, Commandant Columb (?).
You didn't answer my question about Jane Love. That had to have been
her maiden name. The Royal Hib authorities were very strict about engaging
married staff and wouldn't have countenanced any other relationship.
She could, however, have been Mary's stepmother. Any possibility of that?
It would be splendid if you could find an image of Mary Archer, of the
SS Pemberton or other ships of the period that brought immigrants to
Australia. I should like to write a short article on Mary Archer to post
on the RHMS page.
Art, Sorry for the oversight. I have two wedding certificates
for Emily Archer showing her father as Valentine Archer and her
mother as Jane Love (maiden name according to certificates). This does
not guarantee that Jane Love was her mother, but I think Emily BELIEVED
Jane to be her mother. These marriages occurred in 1875 (fathers
occupation stated as School master), 1883 (father stated as teacher).
The birth certificates of several of her children, and some of her
marriage certificates have her birth place recorded as Phoenix Park,
Dublin, Ireland. If Emily is correct, there is a fair chance that she
was born at RHMS and spent all her childhood there before leaving for