Leah Yeomans birth date on the 1939 register is listed as 5 Jan 1896. However, on her official birth certificate, the year of birth is recorded as 1897. Since you would imagine a birth certificate to be more accurate, I’ve always recorded her year of birth as 1897. But as I was going through the records again, I wondered which was more accurate. Human error needs to be considered in both cases here.
It was only minutes later that I came across another example within the same family.
The marriage certificate of Leah Yeomans’ parents lists their year of marriage as 1874. Today, I found an image of the original marriage entry from the parish records that shows the year may actually be 1875.
In this case, the confusion stems from the year in the title being 1875 and the year within the entry as 1874. The other 3 entries on the image all have the same anomaly (both being recorded as 1875 and 1874). Fortunately I was able to see the previous & following pages and it seems to be an error only on this particular page – the title year should actually read 1874.
My decision is to record Leah Yeomans birth year as 1897 (since the year is repeated 3 times within the entry, it’s less likely to be a mistake) and her parents’ marriage as 1874.
When visiting the Derby Local Studies and Family History Library, I happened to mention my interest in ‘The Shamrock‘ and the enormously helpful staff located a map out the back – Map of the Boro’ of Derby shewing the number and position of Houses Licensed for the Sale of Intoxicating Drinks.
This map was produced seemingly to illustrate a problem. According to the figures, a total of 574 premises for a rather precise ‘estimated population’ of 103291 circa 1897, meant there was a licensed drinking house for roughly every 179 people. But not only does the map give me an insight to the lifestyle and issues of the area, it has also been helpful to pinpoint a more precise location for The Shamrock.
From research outlined in the previous post, The Shamrock was a licensed beerhouse located on Goodwin Street between 1857 and 1908. The map shows 5 establishments on Goodwin Street alone:
The key helpfully narrows things down by identifying each type of drinking house. Therefore, the location of The Shamrock must have been located at the triangle symbol:
Unfortunately the area was demolished in the 1930s so I am unable to visit the actual building, but having this map somehow makes me feel a little better about that.
Since at least 1842, William LAMB of Derby, had been recorded as a bricklayer. However in the 1871 census, he was recorded living at 59 & 60 Goodwin St “The Shamrock” and his profession was given as Bricklayer & Publican. It was common for innkeepers to have secondary jobs but it was the first mention of this family being involved with running a pub. Goodwin Street was located within the ‘slums of Derby’ which were later cleared in the 1930s. My initial search for this pub proved fruitless but over the years, I’ve managed to glean a little more information about this ‘phantom’ pub.
In 1872, an inquest was held ‘upon the body of Rebecca Lamb, aged 51 years, wife of William Henry Lamb, landlord of “The Shamrock” beerhouse, Goodwin-street, who died on the previous day [17th April]” and the findings published in The Derby Mercury.
In 1873, William Lamb of The Shamrock was among a number of ‘persons who had been called before the Bench to prove that their premises, if used for other than public-houses, would be rented at not less than 15 [pounds] a year” and received a renewal of their license.
These two newspaper clippings together tell me that The Shamrock was actually a licensed beerhouse. According to HistoryHouse.co.uk, beerhouses were “Premises which could sell only beer”.
The opening hours could be from 4am to 10pm. For a small fee of 2 guineas payable to the local excise officer, anyone could brew and sell beer. The excise licence would state whether the beer could be consumed on the premises (beerhouse) or as off-sales only (beershop). [HistoryHouse.co.uk]
An 1874 directory also lists The Shamrock as a beerhouse:
Whereas in 1878, another directory lists it as the ‘Shamrock Inn’:
The Shamrock is also recorded twice in The Illustrated History of Derby’s Pubs by Maxwell Craven which I located when visiting Derby Central Library. The first instance notes that it was almost certainly…
‘…named to encourage the colony of Irish families who in the early and mid-19th century lived (in some squalor, unfortunately) in this area, mainly in ‘Rookeries’ – grandish old houses split up by unscrupulous landlords. First recorded by name in 1874, but to be identified with the anonymous beerhouse listed at this address in 1857 and 1862. The name quite probably migrated with a landlord from King Street. Closed in 1908 after pressure from Mrs Boden and the Derby Temperance Association.’ pp. 135-6
[NB: “First recorded by name in 1874” – does this refer to the 1874 directory entry or more official records?]
The second instance suggests it was a separate establishment located at 34 King Street from at least 1850 to 1852:
“Possibly later renamed the Mechanics’ Arms; it seems not unlikely that the landlord took the name with him to Goodwin Street, first recorded by name only a few years later.” p. 136
Although the Lambs are recorded at the same address in the 1861 census, there is no mention of the Shamrock or any publican profession. The King Street incarnation of the Mechanics’ Arms appears in newspapers in 1862 under landlady Emily Bates [was she the Shamrock’s original landlord?]. It’s still possible that The Shamrock was operating but not recorded at the time of the 1861 census and that William Lamb was the landlord who took the name from King to Goodwin Street. As yet, there is no evidence that the Lamb family ever lived on King Street so we may never know.
At midnight on 21 October 1877, three police officers went to a house in Court No. 2, Rivett St and found a woman, Sarah Sharratt, bleeding from about ten wounds on the head and arm. She had been attacked by our dear Hannah ROLLETT [alias LAMB]. “[The woman] stated that because she interfered when her daughter and the prisoner were quarrelling, the latter attacked her with a drinking glass, which she broke by the violence of her blows” (Nottinghamshire Guardian 26 October 1877, p2 col3).
Hannah had been quarrelling with Sharratt’s daughter all day and threatened to throw the mother and daughter out of the house which they all lodged at together. The middle-aged woman “said she could not do so, and as alleged, [Hannah] then ran upstairs, and, after throwing the contents of a slop-pail upon her, struck her repeatedly on the head with a drinking glass, which broke with her violence… [Hannah] was arrested at an adjoining house the same evening. She was under the influence of drink, and had her hand cut so badly that a doctor had to be sent for” (Sheffield Daily Telegraph 08 November 1877, p7 col6). “Previous convictions being proved against the prisoner, she was sentenced to six months’ hard labour” (Sheffield Independent 09 November 1877, p2 col2).
Of course I wanted to know more about these previous convictions but despite the Calendars of Prisoners being available online for the period 1761 to 1888, I have been unable to find Hannah or Alexander’s prison records. My visit to the record office in Derby proved fruitless too – perhaps the office in Matlock has more as there is no mention of records being destroyed.
Note: the newspaper reports record the street as being River, Rivet and Rivett St. Rivett St was located off Siddals Road. Since River Street is closest to her other addresses and Alexander is reported as being picked up drunk & disorderly on Rivers St in 1881- I am making the presumption that River Street is where the attack occurred.
Locate prison/quarter session records for Hannah & Alexander
If you lived in the West End of Derby in the 19th century, you were considered to live in the slums. It is here that the families I’ve researched lived mainly in what was known as court housing (see Discover Liverpool for a good explanation of this type of housing).
An article on the Derby Telegraph site mentions that this area was part of an 1849 report to the General Board of Health on “The Sewerage, Drainage and Supply of Water and the Sanitary Conditions of the Inhabitants of Derby”;
In Willow Row, Court 1, 103 inhabitants shared two privies and residents reported that milk would turn to curd when mixed with water from the communal pump…
Observations of Walker Lane, where 75 cases of typhus fever were reported between June 15 and September 14, 1847, were: “The houses are of the most inferior description and the inhabitants of a piece with their houses; to crown all, there are lodging houses, which are the principal headquarters of vagrants, and of those comers and goers who, for reasons best known to themselves, prefer darkness to light.”
It is in these conditions that Hannah Bates, William Lamb (& their families) lived most of their lives. The slum clearances of the 1930s mean that the court housing is now long gone but it’s important to keep these living conditions in mind when researching the people of the area and trying to understand their lives.