Southend tragedy, 1856.

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Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby wullie m » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:25 pm

Folks, this from the Greenock Telegraph, 24 Dec' 1856.
Grace Meek the pregnant wife of James Meek, fisherman, Southend, Kintyre, died of shock after a fight on the road behind their house between James Blair an Irish fisherman & John McCormick, a farm servant, who was stabbed 14 times. Mrs Meek had assisted McCormick & Blair was apprehended.
Found her death, Grace Meek 32, dau' of John McKeich, shepherd & Mary McKeich & wife of James Meek, died 13 Dec' 1856, buried at Killean.
Any further details would be appreciated.

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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby Shona » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:32 pm

Grace McKeich married James Meek on 20 May 1851 in Southend parish.

In 1851, Grace was living and working at Drumavouline in Southend parish. James Meek was visiting Drumavouline when the census was taken, but at a different household.

At the time, there were 38 people living in Drumavouline in four separate households.

Alexander Dempsay, head, married, 36, fisherman, b Ireland
Polly Dempsay, wife, 35, b Ireland
Rosetta Dempsay, dau, 13, b Ireland
John Dempsay, son, 10, b Ireland
Mary Dempsay, dau, 5, b Ireland
Daniel Dempsay, son, 2, b Ireland
John Curry, brother-in-law, 29, fisherman, b Ireland
Alexander Curry, brother-in-law, 22, fisherman, b Ireland
James Meek, visitor, single, 22, fisherman, b Ireland

Duncan McNaught, head, farmer of 100 acres, b Southend
Barbara McNaught, wife, 35, b Southend
George McNaught, son, 14, school, b Southend
Thomas McNaught, son, 12, school, b Southend
Duncan McNaught, son, 8, school, b Southend
Catharine McNaught, dau, 6, school, b Southend
John McNaught, son, 3, b Southend
Neil McNaught, son, 1, b Southend
Alexander Crawford, farm labourer, 22, b Southend
Donald McLean, farm labourer, 24, b Southend
Mary A Love, widow, 28, gen servant, b Ireland
Grace McKeich, single, 27, gen servant, b Campbeltown

The other two households were that of James McMillian, a blacksmith, and Mary McCaulay, a farm labourer's wife.

Grace Meek's death record says she died at Druimvuline and that she was the daughter of John and Mary McKeich. Her husband James Meek was the death informant.
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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby Shona » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:09 am

James Blair was 18 when he assaulted John McCormick junior on 12 December 1856 on the Glenbreckie Road near Drumavuline inn the parish of Southend. He was admitted to Inveraray Jail on 3 April 1857. He was tried by Lord Handyside and jury on 16 April 1857, found guilty and sentenced to four years penal servitude. He was removed from Inveraray on 2 June to be taken to Wakefield prison. James, a labourer, was born in Co Antrim and a resident of Campbeltown at the time the assault took place. James was more than likely in prison in Campbeltown before being transferred to Inveraray for trial.
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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby wullie m » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:28 pm

Shona, thanks for that, you're a star. A sorry business. :(

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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby Shona » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:38 pm

A wee bit more...

Grace and James had a son named William baptised in Southend parish on 26 April 1855.

I wonder if the two Meeks in this household are Grace and James's children, too. It seems likelt, don't you think?

1861

Lephenmore, Saddell parish

Margaret McLean, head, 46, retired farm servant, b Killean
John McLean, son, 17, ag lab, b Campbeltown
Mary McKeich, sister, 32, farm servant, b Killean
Mary Meek, niece, 9, scholar, b Campbeltown
John Meek, nephew, 7, scholar, b Southend

Here is the same family 10 years earlier:

And this is the family in 1851

Lephenmore Farm

Mary McKeith, head, 65, country service in youth, b Killean
Margaret McKeith, dau, farm servant, b Killean
Mary McKeith, dau, farm servant, b Killean
Archibald McKeith, 23, son, ag lab, b Killean
John McLean, grandson, 7, b Campbeltown

There is a death of a Mary McKeich on 12 May 1857 at Gelncaradale in Saddle and Skipness parish. She was 73. Her parents were Francis Munro and Christian McDougall. Husband was John McKeich and the informant was Arch's Keith, son.

It looks as if Grace's husband, James Meek, remarried as there is a record of him marrying Ellen McFadyan in Campbeltown on 25 May 1858. There's a Helen Meek baptised in the town on 26 August 1861, parents James and Helen McFadyen.
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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby wullie m » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Thanks once again, probably the only family of Meek's in Kintyre Shona.
Do you think Ballycastle would be James's likely birthplace?

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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby Shona » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:32 pm

Yes, the Meeks were thin on the ground in Kintyre. Lots more of them in Ireland, though, with a good many from Antrim. Of course, there has been a long association between people from the Glens of Antrim and Kintyre, especially Southend parish.

As we know, James Meek married again after Grace's tragic death. In 1861, his second wife, Helen, was living in Lorne Street with a son named Henry, who was 1.

Henry enlisted with Scottish Rifles at the age of 18 years and 3 months on 26 January 1878. He enlisted in Glasgow, his occupation was 'rope spinner' and his next of kin was his sister, Helen.
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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby howlsatthemoon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:56 pm

Think this should now be in the Kintyre Genealogy section, as it has gone way off the original topic.
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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby Board Admin » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:34 pm

Now moved to Genealogy..
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Re: Southend tragedy, 1856.

Postby wullie m » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:08 pm

Shona, checked https://familysearch.org Henry Meek appears in the 1891 census for Campbeltown and also appears to have a Chelsea military pensioner.

1891 Census, Shore Street, Campbeltown.
Henry Meek, 38, masons labourer,
Catherine Meek, 42, wife,
James Devine,
Margaret Devine,

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