Tuesday, 1 September 2020

The Royalist 'Devil'

Memorial to Brian Cooke at Coates-by-Stowe

The Story Of How The Cooke Family Became Baronets

The history of the Cooke family has been covered extensively on this blog, but up to now we have never explored in full how a baronetcy came to be awarded to them. 

In this article we go back to the seventeenth century to look at the life of Brian Cooke Esq. and the events that led up to this honour being bestowed upon his descendants.

Once branded 'The Devil of Doncaster', Brian Cooke is at the centre of a tale of libel, money lending, Civil War, fines, nobility and loyalty worthy of any tabloid today. A tale that would end with the honour of a baronetcy.

Brian or Bryan?

Depending on the record referred to Brian sometimes appears as 'Brian', with an 'i', and sometimes as 'Bryan', with a 'y'. Either seems acceptable, but as Brian had a son of the same name it could get confusing later on. Therefore in this article, Brian Cooke Esq. will appear as 'Brian', with an 'i', as on his memorial, and his son will appear as 'Bryan', with a 'y'.


Brian Cooke Esq. 1570 - 1653
The Devil Of Doncaster
The Content Of The Poem
The Complaint
Bevett v Cooke
Cooke The Usurer
Marriage And Family
The Manor Of Sandal And Wheatley
Wealth And Public Offices
Brian Cooke Esq. - Royalist
Horses For The King
Defeat At Marston Moor
Fine And Pardon
The Commonwealth Of England
Bryan, George And Henry
The Restoration
The Baronetcy
The Coat Of Arms
Cooke / Copley Version
Examples Of The Arms
The Twelve Baronets
Sir Henry Cooke 2nd Baronet
Heirs And Descendants
The Devil Absolved
The Devil of Doncaster Poem
List of Co-conspirators

Brian Cooke Esq. 1570 - 1653

Brian Cooke was born in the year 1570 in Sandal, near Doncaster, however, his family can be traced back to Almholme near Arksey to at least the first half of the fifteenth century. Brian's ancestor Robert Cooke is the first of the Cooke line to be recorded. 

Brian's father was another Bryan, born in 1519 to William Cooke (b.1483). William Cooke's brother Lawrence (b.1480) was famously head of the Carmelite Priory at Doncaster from 1536 to 1538. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London for denying the King's supremacy during the Pilgimage of Grace, and was executed at Tyburn in 1540.

Graffiti carved into the wall of Beauchamp Tower,
Tower of London by Lawrence Cooke.
My own photo

Brian's mother isn't recorded but he and his seven siblings were brought up in Sandal, Doncaster.

It was around the early part of the seventeenth century that Brian began buying land around the north eastern parts of Doncaster. Of reasonable financial status Brian was known to be a lender of money, and it was this practice that almost cost him his reputation, for in 1613-14 he found himself branded 'The Devil of Doncaster' and the subject of a libellous poem.

The Devil Of Doncaster

The above woodcut from 1634, entitled 'The Devil of Usury', is from John Blaxton's pamphlet on loan sharks, 'The English Usurer'. The usurer is shown counting his money on the left saying "I say I will have all both use and principle", while on the right the top pig says "Mine is the Usurers defect, to root in earth, wallow in mire." The pig at the bottom is saying "Living spare me, and Dead share me." 

In November 1613 a libellous song/poem emerged, apparently aimed at Brian Cooke and instigated by one or more disgruntled debtors. Thomas Bevett, Original* Bellamy and twelve other collaborators, ten of which were musicians, performed by singing or reading the poem aloud in public places around Yorkshire and north Nottinghamshire.

The practice of distributing libellous poems began in the early Stuart era when speaking out on political issues was censored. Manuscript verses though could be easily produced and passed from hand to hand with much less risk. These 'libels' as they were known, described a range of unauthorized and controversial writings aimed at individuals or on various political subjects. Many of these types of poems tended to be quite crude and bawdy, but the libel written about Bryan Cooke showed some considerable style in its rhythm and rhyme. The poem, which can be read at the end of this article, may have been sung to a popular tune of the time, or just read aloud. It was no doubt performed in the home towns of the musicians, but more specifically it is known to have been performed at the inn of John Still in the village of 'Tuyworth', Torworth, north Nottinghamshire.

*The name 'Original' was first used by the Babington family of Rampton.

The Content Of The Poem

The poem is made up of twelve eight-line stanzas entitled 'The Devil of Doncaster'. It portrays Cooke as a usurer and thief, and was intended to cause harm to his reputation and good name.

The poem draws heavily on characters from classical mythology - Cerberus, Pluto, Rhadamanthus, and Mercury among them. In particular 'Bryanus' becomes an invented version of Briareus  - one of the three 100-armed, 50 headed Hecotoncheires (monstrous giants of Greek mythology). Other stanzas compare Bryan to certain creatures of prey, such as vultures and leeches, as in the excerpt below:

Like as the vulture feeds
On damned Titan's breast
So by his cruel deeds
Poor people be oppressed
Whilst any blood remains
This house leech will not stir
Blood sucking still sustains
This devil of Doncaster

The Complaint


Unsurprisingly, Brian Cooke, fearing for his reputation made a complaint to the Court of Star Chamber in 1614. He brought the complaint against Thomas Bevett, Original Bellamy and the twelve other co-conspirators who he claimed had 'defamed' him.

Cooke maintained that the men were motivated by "a long conceived and undeserved mallice" against him. He claimed they conspired to bring him into "disgrace, shame and reproche in the world" by the singing of a libellous poem over the course of four months; and he also alleged they aimed "to overthrow and take away his life if theye could". Actually the poem had little impact on Brian's life, given the prominent roles he would undertake later on in his career.

Bevett v Cooke

So what could have brought about the feud between Bevett, Bellamy and Brian Cooke? Just what sparked the dispute with Bevett is not clear, but in the case of Bellamy, evidence points to the fact that he might have defaulted on a loan from Cooke. It certainly seemed as though Bellamy was a man in need of money - in a further case in 1618 - 'Bellamy v Fretwell' - two defendants stated that the case was a vexatious attempt by Bellamy to "releeve his desperate and decayed estate". It could easily be the case that Thomas Bevett too had got into difficulties with Cooke over a loan given the nature of the poem he was instigated in.

Original Bellamy resided at Lambcote Grange, near Stainton. The Grange once belonged to Roche Abbey, but from 1570 was in the possession of the Bellamy family. 

Bellamy was no stranger to enemies either, although these were prepared to go further than merely make up libellous rhymes against him. In 'Bellamy v Waterhouse' (1610), he claims of his riotous enemies "being all armed and weaponed" gathered at the gates of his house "showting, halloweing and sometymes singing... to the great terrour, feare, and annoyance of your said subjectes reste and others of his family."

In a further clash with Cooke in 1621 the Journals of the House of Lords state that Bellamy (who was by now "one of the yeomen of his majesty's guard") had been arrested in Nottinghamshire "at the suit of Bryan Cooke and others." Had his debts finally caught up with him? In the end both men appeared before the Lords, Bryan Cooke "to answer for the contempt".

Depiction of the House of Lords in the seventeenth century


Cooke The Usurer

The outcome of 'Bevett v Cooke' 1614 sadly isn't known, but could Brian really have deserved the title of the 'Devil of Doncaster'? Well it seems that Cooke was no pushover when it came to recovering money from his debtors, and Bellamy wasn't the only one to complain about Cooke's harsh practices.

In the case of 'Cooke v Shepperde', George Shepperde stated the terms of a loan he received from Cooke, but Cooke's summary of it was rejected by Shepperde, asserting "the said Compleynant goeth aboute to make a praye of the defendant."

Whatever the truth about Cooke's treatment of his debtors, the unfortunate business of the libellous poem seems to have been a passing incident that had little bearing on his future successes.

The Devil of Doncaster poem in full can be found at the end of this article along with a full list of the co-conspirators.

Marriage And Family

Brian Cooke married Sarah Ryley in 1615. Sarah was born in 1599 in Doncaster, the second daughter of Henry Ryley, Alderman and Mayor of Doncaster in the year 1605. Henry's wife was Margaret, and Sarah was sole heir to Henry's estate as her elder sister, Margaret had died in 1602. 

Brian and Sarah had nine children. The records of these children are sometimes confused with many online and book sources unable to agree on the details. However, as most of the children were Christened at St George's church in Doncaster it has been possible to get a more accurate sense of names and dates from the parish registers; the list is as follows:

  1. Alice (b.01/1617)(d.27/02/17)
  2. Susan (b.1618) 
  3. Bryan (b.1620)(d.06/01/1661)
  4. Sarah (bap.07/05/1622)
  5. William (b.1623) died young
  6. Margaret (b.1625)
  7. George (b.1628)(d.16/10/1683)
  8. Henry (bap.29/101633)(d.1689)


As mentioned earlier, the Cooke family can be traced back to Almolme in the early 15th century. One of the later Cooke's - Edward (born about 1452), became Mayor of Doncaster between 1504 and 1508. Edward Cooke lived at Arksey Hall, and later Moat Hills near Bentley. It was this Edward who was father to Lawrence and William Cooke - Lawrence of the Carmelite Priory, who was executed at Tyburn. William however, had a quieter life. It was his Son Bryan (b.1519) who first lived at Sandal.

The Manor Of Sandal And Wheatley

The manor of Sandal (sometimes written as Sandall) and Wheatley consisted of two townships on the south side of the River Don, to the east of Doncaster, separated by about a mile of open countryside. In 1311 John de Sandal was granted a licence to crenellate (fortify) Wheatley Hall. This Wheatley Hall seems to have been a medieval forerunner to the later, Jacobean Hall built by Brian Cooke's son, Henry. However, without any archaeological evidence to back up the existence of a medieval hall, it is hard to say if indeed there ever was one. 

Should it have existed, the fourteenth century hall was probably of wooden construction and may have been surrounded by a moat, to protect against flooding from the nearby river. It may have existed in the same location as the later hall, making it relatively easy to demolish in the seventeenth century and build an entirely new house without incorporating any of the original construction. 

Records don't give the location of Cooke's residence in Sandal, it may have been the fourteenth century hall, or it may have been another residence in the village of Sandal itself, aka Long Sandall.

1854 map showing the locations of Wheatley Hall (ringed in blue) and
the old village of Long Sandall (ringed in red). 

It was in Sandal that Brian Cooke was born in 1570. It seems likely that he stayed on in the house occupied by his father, or at least in the area of Sandal. Brian's children were all born here, and in time the family would come to own the very manor itself.

Wealth And Public Offices

By 1623 Brian Cooke had shaken off any harm done to his reputation (if indeed there was any) by the infamous 'Devil of Doncaster' libel, and was elected Mayor of Doncaster. A further term in this role came in 1630. 

As well as being elected Mayor, Cooke was also a J. P., an Alderman, Chamberlain, and Capital Burgess. Brian Cooke Esq. became one of Doncaster's most successful merchant elites with aspirations to rise to the ranks of landed gentry. 

Brian became Lord of the Manor of Sandal in 1636, and in 1639 he bought the manor of Langthwaite and Tilts (south of Adwick). This was the first of three manors bought by the Cooke family. Brian's sons Bryan and Henry bought the manor of Arksey with Bentley in 1654/55 from Sir Arthur Ingram for £4,800. Following that, the manor of Wheatley was bought in 1658 by Henry Cooke from Viscountess Carlingford and the Earl of Dumfries for £3,000. In the space of two decades the Cooke family had acquired estates of over 4,000 acres.

The manor of Langthwaite and Tilts in 1849,
Part of Bentley can be seen in the bottom right corner

For all the successes of Brian Cooke and his sons, the family would pay a heavy price for their allegiance to the crown during the English Civil War, a price that would ultimately be rewarded with a baronetcy.  

Brian Cooke Esq. - Royalist

The history of the English Civil War is well documented elsewhere and we need not go into too much detail of it here, instead we will concern our focus on the activities of Brian Cooke and his eldest son, Bryan.

King Charles I

In its simplest terms, the Civil War began in August 1642 and was fought between the Royalists (Cavaliers) - for King Charles I, and the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) - headed by Oliver Cromwell. Each side wanted supremacy in governing the country, the King wanted an absolute monarchy, where he would hold supreme and absolute powers. The Parliamentarians on the other hand wanted a constitutional monarchy - the King being the Head of State, but with the limits of constitution, ultimately sharing power with the government. 

In Yorkshire the two opposing forces were headed by the Earl of Newcastle (William Cavendish) for the Royalists, and Sir Thomas Fairfax for the Parliamentarians, and it is these two who feature most in the Civil War history of the Cooke family.

                             Sir Thomas Fairfax                                 The Earl of Newcastle                             

Horses For The King

Brian Cooke and his family were firm Royalists and such was their position and wealth that they were compelled to contribute to the cause. Just before war broke out Brian's daughter Sarah married John Copley Esq. on the 20th of April 1642. Copley was in the regiment of Sir William Savile under Lord Newcastle. In June 1642 Brian Cooke sent several horses to the King's forces under the command of his new son-in-law Copley. 

In late 1642 a system of investigating people's wealth was introduced, the purpose of which was to force loans to fund parliament, the money would be paid back annually with interest. Brian Cooke's estate was assessed by Sir Thomas Fairfax and £100 was demanded. A party of horse was sent to collect the money, but Cooke resisted and was forced to defend his house. The town of Doncaster rose to his assistance and disarmed the party. They immediately sent word to Lord Newcastle, (who had recently advanced into Yorkshire) asking for forces, which were sent, under the command of Captain Howard.

In January 1643 Fairfax was victorious at the Battle of Leeds and the King's party was forced to retreat to York. Cooke fled to Pontefract castle, a Royalist stronghold, no doubt fearful of reprisal for the unpaid loan. Fairfax sent Major-General John Gifford to Doncaster to set guards on his house. Gifford seized all Cooke's property and he was forced to pay £1600 to recover all that had been seized. 

Pontefract Castle

Later in 1643 the Earl of Newcastle having made gains in the county, found himself with insufficient troops to hold the entire area. Cooke was required to send in trained-band horse (companies of part-time militia), which he did, and maintained for the entire war, in the troop of Sir John Gooderic. He also supplied the army with money to the value of £480.

Defeat At Marston Moor

In 1644 Thomas Fairfax and the Earl of Leven held siege to York and the King's nephew Prince Rupert rode north to relieve the city. With the Royalists in decline, Brian Cooke and his son Bryan, took all they had and went to York. They stayed there until after the infamous Battle of Marston Moor on the 2nd of July - the largest battle of the whole war. The Royalists lost the north during this battle, York surrendered and the Earl of Newcastle went into exile. Following the battle, the Cooke's went first to Pontefract Castle, then Tickhill Castle until it was taken, before returning home.


The Battle of Marston Moor


With the north now in the hands of parliament, Royalist supporters such as the Cooke's were made to pay. Brian Cooke was charged with assisting King Charles I on the following grounds:

  • That he had been in actual service and taken up arms for the King, against Parliament.
  • That he sent horses and arms to the Earls of Cumberland and Newcastle, for the service of the King against Parliament.
  • That he furnished his son-in-law, Mr. John Copley with men and horses to furnish his troop under Lord Newcastle.
  • That he had been a commissioner for raising and regulating assessments for the maintenance of Lord Newcastle's army against Parliament.
  • That in Lent last (1644), when the Lord Fairfax came from Hull, he left his house and went to York, and continued there until the battle of Hesham Moor*, and then went to Pontefract Castle, and so to Tickhill, until the castle was taken, and then home.

Cooke's property was confiscated in an act called 'sequestration', which meant 'the legal possession of assets'. Among the assets taken by the committee in Lincoln was an estate valued at £200.

*Hesham Moor was the original name for Marston Moor.

Fine And Pardon

In November 1646 Cooke was pardoned and was able to retrieve his confiscated property to the tune of a fine of £1,460. The condition of the pardon also meant he was compelled to pay £100 per annum settled on the parish church at Arksey; in all this amounted to just over £2,333. Further to this, in 1647 Cooke was called upon for his 'fifth and twentieth part', which cost him £1000 more; the record doesn't state what this was actually for, but it is clear from this that Brian Cooke was having to pay a heavy price for his loyalty to the King.

Brian wasn't the only member of his family to be paying the price of a Royalist in a land controlled by Parliament, his son Bryan too found that his future career was in severe jeopardy for his loyalties. Twenty seven year old Bryan had intentions of becoming a lawyer and barrister, and had been a student at the Inner Temple since 1637. But due to his Royalist loyalties he was prevented from passing and being called to the bar, effectively losing the ten years education he had gained under the society.


Further pain was to come for the father and son; in December 1647 Brian's wife Sarah died at the age of 48, she was buried at St George's Church, Doncaster. Then, just six months later in June 1648 Royalists sneaked into the now Parliamentary held garrison of Pontefract Castle and took control. It was found that Brian and his son had corresponded with those Royalists that took the castle, and Brian was ordered to be sequestered, which meant his estates were confiscated yet again and he was effectively banished from Yorkshire - ordered to leave his place of abode and go to Lincolnshire. His son Bryan though, was banished from the whole country and ordered to go overseas for four years. Just where he went is not recorded.

Brian went to the village of Coates-by-Stow in Lincolnshire, to the home of his daughter Susan and her husband Charles Butler. 

Meanwhile, King Charles I had been handed over to Parliament by the Scots during a second wave of civil war, and was executed in January 1649. Oliver Cromwell was proclaimed 'Lord Protector' over the new 'Commonwealth of England'. The King's heir, Charles II became King of Scotland following his father's death. 

Oliver Cromwell

The Commonwealth Of England

Under the Commonwealth of England in 1649, Brian Cooke was called upon for a review of his estate, and in 1650 he was glad to compound (pay a fine) to retrieve it; this cost him just over £373. Another estate was taken in 1651 which cost him £530 in fines.

Further to this there was another estate under sequestration valued at £100, taken in October 1650. Cromwell gave the estate away to some of his officers, however Brian's son George was able to retrieve it in 1658 for the cost of around £1000. 

Two years later in 1653 Brian Cooke died in Coates-by-Stow at the age of 83. He was buried at nearby St Edith's church, where an alabaster memorial to him can be found to this day. All that remains of the village now is the church, a farm, a hall and some cottages.

Memorial to Bryan Cooke
St Edith's church, Coates-by-Stow, Lincolnshire
Photo courtesy of JMC4-Church Explorer on flikr

The inscription reads as follows:
Here lyeth ye body of Brian Cooke of Doncaster in the county of Yorke Esq who by Sara his wife, daughter & heire of Henry Riley Gent had issue

Brian, Alice who died young, William who died young, Susan, George, Sara, Henry, Margaret. 

He dyed upon the 27th of December 1653, in the eightith yeare of his age. 

For the original photo of Bryan Cooke's memorial plus other photos of St Edith's Church at Coates-by-Stow use the link below to go to the owner's photostream on flikr.

Bryan, George And Henry

Bryan, the banished eldest son of Brian Cooke, returned to England in 1652; his father had died a year later and as the eldest son Bryan was heir to his father's estates. England was now under Cromwellian rule but a Royalist uprising in March 1655 led to a Decimation Tax being introduced. The tax was a levy on Royalists, or suspected Royalists. Bryan Cooke didn't escape Decimation and was ordered to pay the sum of £150. The Decimation Tax was short-lived, and by the end of 1656 it had been abolished.

Despite Bryan and his younger brother George being sequestered, they bought the Manor of Arksey with Bentley from Sir Arthur Ingram on the 20th of February 1654 for the sum of £4,800.  

As stated earlier, in 1658 the Wheatley Estate was purchased by Henry Cooke, youngest brother of Bryan and George, this would become the future family seat of the Cooke's.

The Restoration

Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell died from natural causes in September 1658, he was 59 years old. Cromwell was given an elaborate funeral at Westminster Abbey, where he was buried. He was succeeded by his son Richard Cromwell, but with no power base in Parliament or the Army, he resigned in May 1659, ending the Protectorate. 

With the ending of Parliamentary rule the Cooke's were able to return to Yorkshire. During the years following Cromwell's death, both Bryan and George had been engaged in the business of George Booth (1st Baron Delamer) and George Monck (1st Duke of Albemarle), who were actively involved in the Royalist movement to restore the King to the throne. 

After reaching agreement on how he could rule in cooperation with Parliament, in May 1660 King Charles II was invited to return to England from the Netherlands, where he had been in exile. On the 23rd of April 1661 King Charles II was crowned in Westminster Abbey, finally restoring the Monarchy to the British Isles.

King Charles II

The coronation followed the posthumous execution of Oliver Cromwell in January 1661, just over two years after his death. His body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, it was then hanged in chains at Tyburn and then thrown into a pit. His head was cut off and displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685.

A death mask of Oliver Cromwell.
My own photo

Following the Restoration Lord Langdale was made Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Doncaster Corporation raised a troop of horse, of which they invited George Cooke to be Captain. He accepted the invitation, which cost him almost £300 initially, and further expense came during the several years he continued in the post. 

All in all, it was estimated that the Civil War cost the Cooke family around £15,000 in losses and expenses, as well as the younger Bryan Cooke losing his preferred career as a lawyer.   

The Baronetcy

In recognition of the sufferings and loyalty shown to the Crown during the civil war, on the 10th of May 1661 King Charles II awarded George Cooke a baronetcy. His elder brother Bryan missed out on the title by five months, having died in January that year at the age of 40. George, as the second eldest son took the baronetcy which, being an hereditary title, would pass down through subsequent generations of male heirs. 

Bust of Sir George
1st Baronet Wheatley.
My own photo

The Coat Of Arms

It is difficult to say with any certainty how old the Cooke coat of arms are. It seems that even the Cooke's themselves didn't even know they had arms to bear at one time. 

In 1635 Brian Cooke applied to the norroy King to know what arms he may bear. Instead of being 'granted' arms, it was 'confirmed' that the family already had lawful heraldic insignia. This was confirmation that he was descended from ancestors who already had the right to a coat of armour. We can only hazard a guess at which ancestor may have been granted these arms, but as Brian's Great Grandfather Edward Cooke was Mayor of Doncaster between 1504 and 1508, it could be to him the family owes its thanks.

As with all coats of arms, the Cooke insignia is described in precise terms, which requires a little explaining in order to understand the terminology. The arms are described thus:
Arms. Or, a chevron gules between two lions passant guardant sable, armed of the first.

Crest. Out of a mural crown, argent, a lion issuant as in the arms, gorged with a ducal coronet or.

There are variations to this description, but they all amount to the same image of it.

Below is a copy of the Arms and Crest, labelled to illustrate and explain the description above. 


Essentially, the main escutcheon (shield) that holds the coat of arms is gold in colour. It has a red chevron in the centre with two black lions, one above and one below. The lions are walking with their right forelegs raised, they are also facing forward and showing their teeth and claws. Lions symbolise nobility, courage, Royalty, strength and valour, and are the most frequently used bearing in heraldry. Missing from the description is the small shield in the top left corner, this is an 'inescutcheon' and contains the hand of Ulster, which is traditionally the badge of a baronet, and would not have been present when the original arms were granted. 

Above the arms is the crest, this shows a lion emerging from an embattled silver crown, which is a token of civic honour. Around the lion's neck is a gold coronet decorated with strawberry leaves.

Cooke / Copley Version

Cooke/Copley Coat of Arms from 1683.
My own copy 

This later version of the coat of arms has been divided to include the arms of another family. In this case I believe the arms on the right belong to the Copley family. This 'marshalling', or combining of two arms occurs at the marriage of two families of nobility. The owner of this version would have been the third baronet, Sir George Cooke (Grandson of Brian Cooke), who lived between 1662 and 1732. George married Katherine Copley, daughter of Godfrey Copley of Sprotborough in 1683.

Examples Of The Arms

The Cooke arms are displayed in various places around Arksey and further afield. Two examples can be found in Arksey church; the first is on the memorial to Sir George Cooke, situated in the 'Cooke' or 'Lady' chapel, in the north transept.

Coat of Arms displayed above the George Cooke memorial in Arksey church.
My own photo

Also on display high up in the nave is the Cooke shield. This is one of many armorial shields on display, attributed to manorial families in the area.

Cooke shield in Arksey church.
My own photo

The Cooke shield in the nave of Arksey church.
My own photo

There are two further examples of the Cooke arms on the exterior of buildings in Arksey, although weathering has deteriorated one of them badly, and the other has disappeared altogether. The one still visible can be seen at the Almshouses, across the road from the church entrance. It is situated above the inscription over the entrance gate, and although badly eroded, traces of the chevron in the centre can still be made out.

Cooke arms above the Almshouses gateway.
My own photo

The other example was above the door of the old school. There is just an empty pediment there now, but it can be seen in its weathered state on this photo from 1906.

Cooke arms displayed above the old school doorway in 1906.
From a photo by kind courtesy of The Village Teapot, Arksey

Finally, the Cooke arms are also to be found on the memorial to Brian Cooke at St Edith's Church, Coates-by-Stowe, in Lincolnshire. Again, a certain amount of wear and tear is affecting it, but traces of colour can be seen in it. This is another example of arms that have been marshalled, i.e. divided to show the union with another family. The right side of the shield would have originally borne the Ryley arms, but they have completely worn away now. Interestingly, this coat of arms would not bear the badge of a baronet as the baronetcy was not awarded to the family until eight years after Brian's death.

Cooke/Ryley arms at Coates-by-Stowe, Lincs.
From a photo courtesy of JMC4-Church Explorer on flikr


The Twelve Baronets

With the Civil War behind them, the Cooke family could turn their attentions to more benevolent pursuits. One of the last things Bryan Cooke did before his death in early 1661, was to build the Almshouses in Arksey in 1660. These twelve dwellings were built as a charitable home for the poorest and oldest people of the parish.

Cooke's Almshouses built 1660.
My own photo

Further to this Bryan also left a bequest in his will of 3 January 1660 for the rectory to be placed in the hands of five trustees who would manage the Almshouses, pay the stipend of a vicar, and pay the salary of a school master.

Sir George Cooke, Bryan's younger brother and 1st baronet died unmarried on the 16th of October 1683, at the age of 55. He also left a bequest in his will to provide a school house. The school house was built that same year on land adjoining the Almshouses, most of the cost being endowed by the Cooke Charity trustees.

The Endowed School in 1895

Sir George was buried in an underground vault at Arksey church following his death in 1683. As mentioned before, a magnificent memorial was placed in the Cooke chapel which features a bust of Sir George.

Memorial of Sir George Cooke, Arksey church.
My own photo

The Latin inscription underneath the memorial translates as follows:
'In this tomb rests the body of George Cooke, baronet, in the county of York and of Wheatley, who died a bachelor the sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord 1683.

And here waits for resurrection and mercy.' 

For more on Cooke's Almshouses go to The Almshouses. 

For more on the Endowed School go to Educating Arksey.

Sir Henry Cooke 2nd Baronet

With Sir George now dead and having no heir, the baronetcy was inherited by younger brother Henry, who became the 2nd Baronet Wheatley. 

Henry Cooke was just fifteen years old when his father Brian was sequestered to Lincolnshire in 1648, to the home of his daughter Susan in Coates-by-Stow. Henry went with his father and while there met and married his first wife Diana Butler, who was the sister of his brother-in-law Charles Butler, Susan's husband. They married on the 29th of August 1659. By 1666 Henry and Diana were living at Carlinghow Old Hall, west of Batley in West Yorkshire. 

Carlinghow Old Hall

While living at Carlinghow, Henry developed the first documented coal mine in Batley in 1677, which was at White Lee. 

Henry and Diana had seven children between 1661 and 1667 as follows:

  1. Bryan (bap.21/03/1661)(d.2/6/1662)
  2. George (b.1662)(d.05/10/1732)
  3. Jane (bap.18/05/1664)(d.27/08/1664)
  4. Henry (b.26/05/1665)(d.02/05/1717)
  5. Sarah (b.04/07/1666)(d.02/07/1689)
  6. Catherine (b.11/10/1667)(07/11/1704)
  7. Anthony (b.25/12/1667)(d.03/04/1690) 

Following the birth of Anthony on Christmas Day 1667, Diana died the following January 5th 1668.

It wasn't long before Henry remarried. His second marriage, to Anne Stanhope, took place on the 10th of February 1669 at Sprotborough. Anne was the daughter of William Stanhope of Lindby, Nottinghamshire, half brother of the first Earl of Chesterfield. There were no children from this marriage and the couple continued to live at Carlinghow until Henry's brother Sir George died in 1683.

Lady Cooke
Thought to be Henry's first wife Diana, but as she 
was never 'Lady Cooke' it is more likely to be a
portrait of Anne Stanhope  

Becoming the 2nd Baronet of Wheatley, Henry moved his family back to Doncaster and into the newly built Wheatley Hall. 

Wheatley Hall

Wheatley Hall was a magnificent Jacobean mansion, built between the old manors of Sandal and Wheatley, close to the River Don. It would remain the family seat of the Cooke Baronets into the twentieth century until it was abandoned in 1907. 

When Sir Henry died in 1689 he was buried at Arksey. His wife Anne died in January 1686 and was also buried at Arksey.

For the full history of Wheatley Hall go to Wheatley Hall.

For more on Carlinghow Old Hall use the following link Carlinghow Old Hall.

For more on Cooke burials at Arksey go to Cooke Family Burials At Arksey.

For more on the Cooke vault in Arksey church go to Secrets Of The Vault.

Heirs And Descendants

Following the death of Sir Henry, his second son George became the 3rd baronet, and so continued the line of hereditary baronets which would total twelve in all. The last baronet of this line, Sir David William Perceval Cooke died in 2017 and was buried in the Cooke vault at Arksey church. He died without a male heir and so the baronetcy passed to a distant cousin, Anthony Edmund Cooke-Yarborough, who is descended from the 3rd baronet, Sir George Cooke. 

For a full outline of the intervening baronets go to Cooke Family History.  

Below is a pedigree chart of all the Cooke baronets, and below that another charting the descent of the Cooke-Yarborough family:

The 'Devil' Absolved

So ends our look at the extraordinary life of Brian Cooke Esq. and how his actions during the Civil War led to a baronetcy for his descendants. I think we can safely say that he managed to shake off the dubious title of the 'Devil of Doncaster', which probably said more about his accusers than Brian himself. Whatever the truth, he absolved himself by standing firm by the King when it mattered and was rightly rewarded for it.

The Cooke's generosity towards the poor of Arksey places them on a much revered pedestal, which is recognised to the present day. I think that goes to prove there were never any 'Devils' in the Cooke family, only 'Angels'. 


The Devil Of Doncaster Poem

The following is a full transcription of the libellous poem written against Brian Cooke Esq. This is a modernized translation of the original.

In grisly Pluto's cell
Where Cerberus do wake
And Rhadamanthus dwell
And furious whips do shake
Devils on deceased men prey
But he I sing of here
Wastes living wights away
The Devil of Doncaster

The fiends infernal all
Were angels once I know
But through their pride did fall
From heaven to hell below
From heaven this never fell
Nor ever will come there
But was create in hell
Done, devil of Doncaster

No Catist pace can hold
With this great alchemist
Who turns time into gold
And silver when he list
From years months weeks and days
He extracts metal pure
Paracelsions all yield praise
To the devil of Doncaster

By mortgage, bills and bonds
Like conduit pipes he draws
From men their goods and lands
Into his gripping claws
Money by month or week
Pay double use before
You may here, if you seek
The devil of Doncaster

The use beforehand ta'en
He unto others lets
Which breeds new use again
And that new coin begets
Like wheat amongst the chaff
With sound coin rotten were
Is commonly put off
By the devil of Doncaster

Like as the vulture feeds
On damned Titan's breast
So by his cruel deeds
Poor people be oppressed
Whilst any blood remains
This house leech will not stir
Blood sucking still sustains
This devil of Doncaster

Such cruel crocodiles
Seeming compassionate
With feigned tears and wiles
Draw fools unto the bait
Then like Charbydis gulf
Men and means they devour
Not hell's mouth gapeth half
Like the devil of Doncaster

Break your bond but a day
A minute or an hour
Straight you become a prey
Briarus' hundred hands
Brianus passeth fair
A thousand limed wands
Sets the devil of Doncaster

Each where he baits for fish
Touch but his silver hook
Forthwith you're made a dish
Unto this ravening Cooke
No dog doth bite so sore
As doth the usurer
No devil deludeth more
Than the devil of Doncaster

Not winged Mercury
With his convenient fine
Can match in thievery
This nimble devil of mine
Books close he can convey
Through a strong study door
Door, bolts, and bars obey
This devil of Doncaster

Being once to entertain
Some worthy prelatate
Earth pots he doth disdain
And stole his neighbour's plate
But by chance being spied
From thence he flitted far
And ever since hath played
The devil of Doncaster

With theft he did begin
With cheating he proceeds
Too short his days of sin
Grow apace hempen weeds
And all young gentlemen
That holds your living dear
Before you bleed take heed
Of the devil of Doncaster

Translated by Ted McGee, University of Waterloo. 

List Of Co-conspirators


The following is a list of the fourteen defendants in the case of Bevett v Cooke 1614. Also listed are their places of abode and occupations.

Thomas Bevett  -  South Kirkby  -  Gentleman
Original Bellamy  -  Lambcote Grange  -  Gentleman
James Bird  -  Torworth  -  Musician
Ralph Bird  -  Torworth  -  Musician
Abraham Chambers  -  Pontefract  -  Musician
Humfrey Clemett  -  Stainforth  -  Musician
Edward Gressame  -  Stainforth  -  Musician
John Harrison  -  Pontefract  -  Musician
Thomas Harrison  -  Ponetract  - Musician
Thomas Hill  -  Pontefract  - Musician
Christopher Huscroft  -  Kirk Smeaton  - Yeoman
Thomas Key  -  Doncaster  -  Musician
Thomas Peate - Stainforth  -  Musician
John Still  - Torworth  -  Innkeeper  


The story of 'The Devil of Doncaster' was originally published online by Mark Chambers in 2016 and can be accessed at the following link:

Much of the information on the Cooke's involvement in the Civil War came from Joseph Hunter's South Yorkshire (1828/31), available at the following link:

Alison Vainlo 2020

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Waite House Farm

Waite House Farm 1939

An Ancient Farmhouse With A Tragic End

Some properties are interesting for their age, the people who have lived there, and sometimes because of something that happened there. In the case of Waite House Farm it has something of all three.

The history of Waite House Farm, near Barnby Dun, goes back further than you might imagine. A history full of past buildings and inhabitants. However, the farm has also seen tragedy; tragedy that led to it being abandoned for many years and finally demolished.

In this article we look at the history of Waite House Farm, and some of the people who lived there before moving on to the tragic events which led to its downfall.

Note: The first part of this article was first published on the post - Lanes Around Arksey. 


  • Locating Waite House Farm
  • Early History
  • Twentieth Century Occupants
  • Arthur and Blanche Parkin-Coates
  • Arthur W and Ida Parkin-Coates
  • Dark Days at Waite House Farm
  • Fire
  • Court Hearing
  • Subterfuge of a Friend
  • Suicide
  • The Trial
  • Aftermath
  • Newspaper Articles
  • A Personal Note

Locating Waite House Farm

1938 map showing location of Waite House Farm

The Waite House Farm discussed in this article doesn't exist today, although there is a new farm in its place. The above map shows the location of the farm in relation to the surrounding area. 

Lying in a field off Marsh Lane and Fordstead Lane, Waite House Farm faced Thorpe Marsh Power Station to the north, Pilkington's glass works to the south and was nearer Barnby Dun than Arksey, but still within the parameters of this blog, which covers the area up to the Lift Bridge at Barnby Dun and the River Don Navigation boundary. 

Lying quite near to the river Don, the farm must have been at considerable risk of flooding, especially before that stretch of river was straightened, as can be seen on the map of 1854 below. 

Early History

1854 map of Waite House Farm

The first reference to a dwelling at this site comes in 1540 under the name Thwate House. In 1580 the name is recorded as Twaithouse.

'Thwaite' means a piece of land cut off from the adjoining land - an enclosure or clearing. It comes from the Old Norse thveit and the Old English thwitan. Therefore 'Thwaite House' literally means 'house in the clearing'.

As with all names of antiquity there have been many variations recorded over the centuries, the main being whether the 'Th' is present or not; in the case of this dwelling, the 'Th' is usually dropped and Thwaite becomes Waite

Although we can't be certain, it may be the case that the first people to live there named the property after themselves. There is a burial record in the Barnby Dun parish registers for a William Waytt in 1604 who resided at Twyat House. So it could be the case that William was descended from the original family to live there.

A closer view of the map image of Waite House in 1854

Although there has been a dwelling on the site for over 475 years, it hasn't always been the same property. Up until the 1990's the house which stood there was a large, red brick house with outbuildings, probably built in the mid 1800's; in fact the building on the 1854 map (above) looks like it could be the red brick property. It is impossible to know what previous buildings looked like but we can get a sense of past occupants from the Barnby Dun parish registers (which mention the house), the census, and electoral records. Early occupants from the parish registers are listed below, including the year of the record and how the property was referred to:

  • Thomson - 1687 - 'Wate House'
  • Auworth - 1719 - 'Wate House'
  • Owin - 1724 - 'Wayte House'
  • Scruton - 1734 - 'Wayte House'
  • Wilkinson - 1765 - 'Waite House'
  • Tomlinson - 1782 - 'Waithouse'
  • Parkin - 1791 - 'Whate Hows Thorpe'
  • Randy - 1805 - 'Wait House'
  • Ellis - 1813 - 'Waitehouse'
  • Stenton - 1881 - 'Waite House'
  • Kitchen - 1894 - 'Waite House'

One interesting note from the Arksey parish registers is tagged on to the burial of 'John Wilkinson of Waite House in the parish of Barnby Dun'. He was buried on January 11th 1765 and the note goes as follows:
'Memorandum that Mary his widow paid one shilling to Sir Brian Cooke Bart of Wheatley as an acknowledgement of a trespass for his corpse coming over Grumble Hurst and part of Arksey Ings to New Bridge and from thence to Arksey the same being no highway.' 
From this note it appears that in order for John Wilkinson's body to be transported to Arksey church for his burial, his widow had to pay to cross Sir Bryan Cooke's land as there was no through road to Arksey from Barnby Dun at that time and the only way to get to Arksey was to follow the back lanes. 

Twentieth Century Occupants

Waite House Farm in 1935

Picking up the thread of past occupants of Waite House, and by 1900 the red brick house would certainly have been in existence. The next owner was Arthur Firth who owned the property between 1901 and 1911. The next record is from 1913 and this introduces the Parkin-Coates family to Waite House.

Arthur and Blanche Parkin-Coates

Arthur Parkin-Coates was born in Thorpe in Balne, near Barnby Dun in 1878; he married Blanche Pearson in 1907. They had two children while still in Thorpe in Balne, Arthur William in 1908 and Kenneth in 1910. According to the 1911 census Kenneth suffered from paralysis from the age of 2 months (he was 9 months by the time of the census).

1911 census of Arthur Parkin-Coates

By 1913 the family had moved to Waite House and another child, Flora, was born in 1916.

Arthur died in 1953 but Blanche and Kenneth continued to live at Waite House into the early 1960's. Kenneth died in 1962 at the age of 51 and Blanche died in 1969, but by that time she was living elsewhere.

The other son Arthur William we come to next.

Arthur W and Ida Parkin-Coates

Arthur William Parkin-Coates, who was born in 1908, was brought up for the most part at Waite House Farm. In 1937 he married Ida Dodson (born 1905) and they moved to White House Farm off Bramwith Lane in Barnby Dun, where Arthur was a farmer. 

Arthur and Ida had three children, Alan Samuel in 1938, Rosamund Edna in 1940 and another son in 1944.

Thorpe Marsh Power Station, a familiar landmark on the horizon from Waite House Farm

Sometime in the early 1960's Waite House became vacant, possibly following the death of Arthur's brother Kenneth in 1962. As the house was still owned by the Parkin-Coateses Arthur decided to let one of his farm workers and his family live there.

At that time the house had no electricity, inside toilet or hot water supply. The toilet facilities were very basic and consisted of an outhouse with a pit underneath, over which was a 'seat' made of a wooden board with a hole in the centre. 

Pilkington's Glass works in 1935, Waite House Farm can just be seen on the upper right of this aerial view. Image from britainfromabove.org

Paraffin Tilley lamps were used for light, and food was kept fresh in a walk-in larder or cold store off the kitchen. The larder had a stone shelf for curing bacon, which hung from hooks above. Handmade butter was kept on slabs and the larder felt cold even on the hottest of days.

In 1965/66 Arthur had electricity and a bathroom installed in Waite House, this was in preparation for his son Alan to move into, and this brings us to the events of 1966 to 1968 and the end of Waite House.

Dark Days at Waite House Farm

Arthur Parkin-Coates's son Alan married Patricia Earnshaw of Almholme in early 1966, and they had two daughters by the end of 1967.

Waite House farm, which had been occupied for the previous few years by Archibald Robb, his wife, son George and two daughters was vacated as Mr Robb senior, who worked part-time for Arthur Parkin-Coates, was moving to Bentley to take up a job at the colliery. George Robb worked full time for Parkin Coates on his farm in Barnby Dun. The two families were good friends and the Robbs often made fun of Arthur's prolific swearing, making tape recordings of his conversations to play back and embarrass him with later.


Shortly after the Robbs moved out of Waite House in 1966 Arthur Parkin-Coates asked Archibald and George Robb to clear the grounds and burn a rotting straw stack, ready for when Alan and his wife moved in. 

Following this Parkin-Coates then made an insurance claim against the fired stack, in which he claimed he didn't know the cause of the fire. He was awarded around £275, however, the insurance company then decided to investigate the claim which led to the Robbs being accused of arson.

Court Hearing

At a hearing at Doncaster Magistrates Court in March 1967 Parkin-Coates and his son Alan gave evidence against the Robbs, with Arthur repeatedly claiming he did not give permission for the fire to be set. The claim was repeated in another hearing at the West Riding Quarter Sessions (the equivalent of a Crown Court today) the following month.

The outcome of the court case was that Archibald Robb was found guilty of arson and imprisoned for six months, while his son George was acquitted.

Subterfuge of a Friend

Following the court case a good friend of the Robbs, Mrs Mary O'Brien, who was convinced that Archibald was innocent, concocted a plan to trap Parkin-Coates.

She took a reel of tape to Doncaster Cattle Market where she confronted Mr Parkin-Coates. She told him the tape held the proof that he and his son had given permission for the straw stack to be burned down. In light of all the previous occasions his conversations had been recorded, Parkin-Coates believed Mrs O'Brien and paid her £50 for the tape, of which nothing of importance was on it.

Mrs O'Brien then took her story and the money to the police, who discovered Parkin-Coates trying to destroy the tape by burning it in a country lane on his way home. He was arrested.

Mrs O'Brien also went to the Robbs' solicitors, and as a result of her actions a re-trial was ordered.


Archibald Robb was released from prison having served three months of his sentence. Arthur and Alan Parkin-Coates however, were charged with fraud and perjury.

On the 23rd of July 1968, the night before the trial, Alan Parkin-Coates, who was 29, took a 12 bore shot gun into one of the outbuildings of Waite House Farm and committed suicide.

The Trial

The trial of Arthur Parkin-Coates was inevitably delayed following the tragic events at the farm, but did take place that October. 

At the trial Arthur William Parkin-Coates pleaded guilty to committing perjury at both hearings in March and April of 1967. He also pleaded guilty to obtaining just over £275 from the Royal Insurance Group by false pretences. 

He was sentenced on October the 18th to a total of eighteen months in prison. The Judge, Mr Justice Shaw told Mr Parkin-Coates:
"Providence has punished you more than I can. The death of your son by his own hand was the result of your machinations and evil doing.
It is only that which makes it possible for me to pass a sentence which is far too light by itself."


Following Archibald Robb's release from prison, the family moved back to their native Scotland. Mr Robb had been deeply affected by his time in prison and never spoke about this dark period of his life again, he is now deceased.

Arthur William Parkin-Coates continued to live in Doncaster after he had served his term; he died in 1972 at the age of 63, Ida, his widow died in 1998.

As for Waite House Farm, it was abandoned shortly after Alan Parkin-Coates took his life, his widow and two young daughters moving on elsewhere. 

The house became derelict over time although the outbuildings continued to be used for farm storage. It was eventually demolished in the 1990's.

Google Earth image of the new farm at the Waite House Farm site in 2017

Today, a new farm stands in the footprint of Waite House Farm. Gone are the cooling towers of Thorpe Marsh from in front, and the hum of the glass factory behind. A new farm with a new outlook and a happier future one hopes.

Newspaper Articles

The following two newspaper articles from the 19th of October 1968 summarise the Parkin-Coates case, transcriptions are underneath.

Daily Mirror Saturday 19th October 1968

Perjury by a Father Drove His Son to Suicide

'A farmer's guilty secret made his son commit suicide and put an innocent man in jail.

And it took a woman's cunning to reveal the truth, a court heard yesterday.

The farmer, 60 year old Arthur Parkin-Coates of Barnby Dun, Doncaster, Yorks., was jailed for a total of eighteen months at Leeds Assizes.

He admitted committing perjury and obtaining £271 17s. 6d. from an insurance company by false pretences.

Mr. Harry Ognall, prosecuting, said that Parkin-Coates had allowed two of his farm workers - Archibald Robb and his son George - to burn down a rotting stack of straw and clover.

Then he put in an insurance claim, saying that he did not know the cause of the fire. In due course he was paid. 

But further inquiries were made, and the two Robbs were accused of arson.

Parkin-Coates and his son Alan gave evidence against them in court. The farmer repeatedly swore that he had not given permission for the fire, said Mr. Ognall.

Archibald Robb was jailed for six months. His son was acquitted.

But a friend of the Robbs, Mrs. Mary O'Brien was convinced that Mr. Robb was innocent. And she worked out a plan to trap Parkin-Coates - with the help of a reel of recording tape.


One day at Doncaster cattle market, Mrs. O'Brien went up to Parkin-Coates and took the reel of tape out of her handbag.

And she told the farmer that a recording on the tape proved beyond doubt that he and his son had given permission for the stack to be burned down. 

Parkin-Coates paid her £50 for the tape, which he took into a country lane and burned. In fact, nothing of importance was recorded on it.

Mrs. O'Brien went to the Robbs' solicitor. As a result a re-trial was ordered. Mr Robb was set free after three months in jail - and the Parkin-Coateses were charged.

On the day they were to appear in court Alan Parkin-Coates committed suicide leaving a widow and two young daughters.

Mr. Michael Walker, defending, claimed that Archibald Robb had blackmailed Parkin-Coates about the claim.

After reading a document, the Judge, Mr. Justice Shaw, said: "It gives some support to what you have been saying."


Sentencing Parkin-Coates, the Judge told him: "Providence has punished you more than I can. The death of your son by his own hand was the result of your machinations and evil doing.

It is only that which makes it possible for me to pass a sentence which is far too light by itself."

The Guardian Saturday 19th October 1968

Lies 'Imprisoned Innocent Man'

'An innocent man served three months of a six month prison sentence because of perjury by his employer, said Mr Harry Ognall, prosecuting at Leeds Assizes yesterday. He was freed after a friend led the employer into a trap. The employer's son, who was alleged to have been involved in his father's plot, killed himself.

Arthur William Parkin-Coates (60), a farmer, of White House Farm, Barnby Dun, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to committing perjury at Doncaster West Riding magistrates' court on March 30, 1967, and guilty to perjury at the West Riding Quarter Sessions on April 20, 1967. He received two concurrent sentences of 15 months' imprisonment.

He also pleaded guilty to obtaining £276 17s 6d from the Royal Insurance Group by false pretences, for which he received a consecutive sentence of three months' imprisonment, making 18 months in all.

Mr Ognall said Parkin-Coates was the owner of Wait House Farm. Archibald Robb was employed on a part-time basis and his son George on a full-time basis, the two Robbs fired a rotting stack at Wait House Farm with the assent of Parkin-Coates. Parkin-Coates submitted an insurance claim for the stack and later received the money. He told the insurance company that he did not know the cause of the fire.

The two Robbs appeared at West Riding magistrates' court on a charge of arson. Parkin-Coates said on oath that at no time had he given them permission to fire the stack.

At the West riding Quarter Sessions Parkin-Coates and his son gave evidence. Parkin-Coates maintained he had not given the Robbs permission to fire the stack. Archibald Robb was found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment and George Robb was found not guilty. Mrs Mary O'Brien, a friend of the Robb family told Parkin-Coates that she had a tape recording of his instructions to Robb and showed him a spool of tape which contained nothing of value. Parkin-Coates gave her £50 and then he destroyed the tape. Mrs O'Brien told the Robbs' solicitor.

Later the Court of Criminal Appeal ordered a new trial, in which no evidence was offered against Robb.

Mr Michael Walker, defending, claimed that Archibald Robb blackmailed Parkin-Coates about the claim.

Mr Justice Shaw told Parkin-Coates: "The death of your son was the result of your machinations and evil doings."



A Personal Note

Sometimes it can be hard to tell a story if there is a chance it could cause distress to living relatives of those involved in the story. It is certainly not my intention to upset anyone by bringing this 50 year story out into the open again. I have purposely not named anyone from the Parkin-Coates family who may be around today.

Although I already knew a little of what happened, the bulk of this story came from the daughter of Archibald Robb (who I thank most sincerely) who contacted me after seeing my earlier post about Waite House on the article Lanes Around Arksey. She also sent me one of the newspaper articles. 

I found the other newspaper article online at Newspapers.com, while genealogical, census and electoral register records were found at Ancestry.co.uk. As this information is already in the public domain I feel justified in posting it here.

Some events in history are tragic and filled with shame. But the actions of one man should not taint the lives of his descendants, but neither should they be hidden.

Alison Vainlo 2020