Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Bransdale - Eastside

Bransdale – Eastside

Bransdale is a idyllic community of scattered farmsteads. It seems to have always been the case. Eastside and Westside were once two separate townships belonging to two separate parishes before they were merge into Bransdale-cum-Farndale in 18731“Parishes: Kirkby Moorside | British History Online.” 2021. British-History.ac.uk <https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/north/vol1/pp511-517#h3-0003> [accessed 17 June 2021].

You would have thought that crime would have been a rare occurrence in this remote dale, but in 1838, three characters, 18 year old Moses Crabtree from Baildon, Edward Taylor, 21, from Sedburgh, and Robert Miller, 31, from Ashford, ended being transported for ten years after committing two robberies in the dale.

How they came to be together in Bransdale is intriguing and beckons further research but on the night of Monday 27th August, they broke into the farmhouse of John Tinsley who lived in the Westside and stole four shirts, two pairs of shoes, and a cloth shawl, which they hid at various parts of the moors. In the 1841 census, Tinsley, aged 55, is living at Low Helm House, with  Margaret 50 and Jane, aged 20, I assume wife and daughter2HO 107 / 1263 / 7.

The following morning, they appeared at a small shop owned by a Mr. Strickland who is also described as a miller, asking for some tobacco. I assume this is Bransdale Mill. The time is four o’clock in the morning and from the newspaper report, this doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to be up and about at this hour. Crabtree offered a shilling in payment but Strickland had to go and get some change. When he came back, he noticed his watch was missing. Challenged, Crabtree did a runner.

Crabtree, Taylor, and Miller were found guilty of various charges of felony and aiding and abetting at the North-riding Sessions in York. They were sentenced to be transported for ten years3“North-riding Sessions.” Yorkshire Gazette, October 20, 1838, 3+. British Library Newspapers (accessed June 17, 2021). https://link-gale.com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/JE3230839253/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=e8f8dad2..

I wonder if they ever returned to England.







2 responses to “Bransdale – Eastside”

  1. John avatar

    Interesting. A quick dig turned up this website ……..https://convictrecords.com.au/ . It would appear they all travelled to Australia in 1839, Crabtree on the Marquis of Hastings, Miller & Taylor on the Barossa later in the year.

  2. Fhithich avatar

    Thanks John. I wonder what happened to them after 10 years. I believe they had a choice of a return ticket or a pardon and settling there. I’ve updated the convictrecords.co.au website with the transcript of the newspaper report. Might be useful for one of their descendants.

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