Sunday 26 March 2023

Fred Shirt - A Dishonest Apprentice - A Long History of Thefts - November 1897 Sheffield

Over the last few years many thousands of historical newspapers have been scanned and digitalised. Sadly it many cases you need a subscription to access them. For the last few months I have had access to the British Newspaper Archive which I have to admit is a tremendous resource in research.

Last month I was bringing my maternal family history up to date and I found this cutting from the Evening Telegraph and Star dated 19th November 1897

Fred was my mothers maternal grandfather and my great grandfather. I never met him as he died in 1944 in Sheffield's Northern General Hospital from lung cancer. He was 67 years old. Needless to say until I read this cutting I was unware of my great grandfathers criminal past and I am sure my mother wasn't either. In fact was anyone? 

Fred did have a difficult and poverty stricken childhood but his spell in prison probably sorted him out so to speak. I cannot find any other record of criminal activity and in the same year he was released from prison 1898 he married Florence. They proceeded to have ten children but two died in infancy. One who did survive was his daughter and my grandmother Lily 


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