Anne Stubbs lived in Skelton parish during some of her adult life. It is difficult to determine where Anne was born as her age is not specified on any documentation . An assumption can be made that she was born around 1760. The first evidence we find about Anne’s life is 5 May1782 when her son John was christened in Skelton parish. The records list his birth as illegitimate. John did not survive beyond infancy, dying aged 11 months on 2 April 1783 in the village of Unthank within Skelton parish. There is no evidence to be found of Anne Stubbs being given financial assistance with this child. Anne had a further illegitimate child, a daughter, Mary, christened in the parish, on 30 November 1788. She did get financial help with Mary.
Anne Stubbs’ name appears on the bills of the Vestry Clerk Isaac Dodd in 1789. Payments vary in amounts and cover different time periods. The voucher of May 30th 1789 is typical of those found with Isaac Dodd’s name on:-
Received of Isaac Dodd the sum of one pounds and five shillings for the use of Ann Stubbs being one shilling per week since the 4th Dec due 28 June. Rec’d by me Anne stubbs [signed by Anne]
The Overseer of the poor and Churchwarden account book shows Ann’s name on a list of poor chargeable to the parish in the year 1789.
The list is as follows:-
- Mary Teasdale £0.4s.0
- Elizabeth Gill £0.2s.6
- Hannah Dalton £0.2s.6
- John Bell £0.1s.11
- Mary Lowden £0.1s.0
- Jane Bowman £0.1s.3
- John Mulcaster £0.1s,6
- Jane Varah children £0.2s.6
- Jane Sewell child £0.1s.0
- Ann Stubbs child £0.1s.0
Earlier that year on 10 May Ann Stubbs wrote to Isaac Dodd. The letter, addressed to the Black Bull Inn, Penrith, reads: ‘Friend Isaac This comes to let you know that I desire that you will not fail either coming or sending the money to Thos Dockerow [Thomas Dockray] for the rent is to be paid at whitsunday and I desire that you would get the shilling from Sally Eoutledge [Routledge] that is dew to me———————So no more for present from yours Anne Stubbs ‘ (image above)
Most parochial matters were administered by the parish but the county became involved in legal matters such as vagrancy. The Vagrancy Act 1744 allowed people to be apprehended for various reasons, among them wandering and begging. It is for this that Anne was brought before Joseph Potts, Justice of the Peace, on 2 March 1792 for him to discharge his duty. The written account of Anne’s miscreation is on a standard pre- printed form with strikeouts and inserts as needed:
‘Where as Ann Stubbs was apprehended in the said Botchergate Quarter as a rogue and vagabond wandering and begging there; and upon examination of the said Ann Stubbs taken upon oath by me Joseph Potts Esquire one of his Majesty’s Justice of the Peace in and for the said County of Cumberland which examination is here upon indorsed. It doth appear that the lawful settlement of her, the said Ann Stubbs is at the Parish of Skelton in the said County of Cumberland. Therefore to require you the said constables of Botchergate Quarter to convey the said Ann Stubbs to the said Parish town of Skelton Cumberland to which she is to be sent. To deliver her to the constable and other officer of the said place of Skelton within the said County of Cumberland together with the pass and duplicate of the examination of the said Ann Stubbs to be provided for according to law. And you the said Churchwardens, Overseers of the Poor are hereby required to receive the said Ann Stubbs and provide for her.’
The examination of Ann Dodd under oath determined where her right of settlement was. The account is hand written and difficult to read in parts (image below) Anne appears to tell them that she had been living at Wardle Hall, Unthank, for one year. John Wilson being a yeoman there. She believed her legal settlement to be in the parish of Skelton. Any other views as to what she thinks of her present situation or an explanation as to her presence in Carlisle are not recorded. Was Anne’s daughter alive and left at Skelton? Was she looking for work or visiting relatives?. She may just have been trying to get back to Skelton. Her apprehension may have afforded her free assistance home.
The rest of her life is a conundrum. A baptism in Skelton parish of a Mary Ann Stubbs in March 1814 may be her daughter Mary’s child but this is just conjecture.
A further voucher PR 10/V20 1796-7 shows that a Mary Stubbs was having her board paid for at William Hogg’s for 1 week at £0.1s.11 and Joseph Nelson’s at £0.1s 6d a week for 24 and a half weeks amounting to £1.16s.9d. This is most likely Anne Stubbs'[ daughter
Joseph Potts Esq was Mayor of Carlisle three times as well as Justice of the Peace. He died in February 1793.
PR 10/78-79, Removal warrants for vagabonds 1787-1792
PR 10/V/15, Poor law Vouchers and Small Bills
PR 10/81, Overseer of Poor and Churchwarden account book 1734-1817
The Register of the Parish Church of Skelton 1580-1812 Baptisms, Burials and marriages
This is a work-in-progress, subject to change as new research is conducted.