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Full notes on Charles Cross/Lechmere

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  • Hi Gary. Just so we understand each other, this will give some indication why I tend to go back and re-check people's research for my own satisfaction. No doubt you do the same thing.

    Recently, you and Ed took offense when I innocently asked how certain you were that PC Thomas Cross was the shoemaker's son from Stretton Sugwas. 'Of courses he was from Hereford!'

    Yet, when one digs through the old archives, it's not unusual to find posts like these--even from people firmly in the Lechmere camp.

    Concerning Thomas Cross, by 'Lechmere,' Post #67:

    Originally posted by Lechmere View Post
    I have his marriage and death certificates.
    He was 26 in 1861 - the 36 is an error.
    I think he died in 1869 and I think they married in 1857.
    I will dig them out and check.

    He was based at Leman Street as that is his address on his marriage certificate - presumably a section house.
    I seem to think he was actually from Hertfordshire but I may be wrong.
    His father's name is obviously on the marriage certificate.

    I have looked at his family before and can't remember what I found - I will try and dig out whatever I have.

    My original assumption was that he knew his much older new wife from Herefordshire but I found out that wasn't the case - he definately wasn't from Herefordshire.

    Or this, Post #96:

    Originally posted by Lechmere View Post
    Mary Jane was definately Charles Lechmere's child - she was registered as his anyway.
    His sister Emily is difficlut to trace - I have some leads that I am looking into.
    I am fairly certain she didn't call herself Cross though.

    Thomas Cross's 1861 census entry is not very well compiled. It has his age wrong, his village and county are wrong I think, and his wife's children are listed as Cross when they should be Lechmere. Sloppy work that has caused confusion.
    So those who are 'certain' now, don't appear to have been so certain in the past.

    That said, the marriage cert show TC was the son of a shoemaker named Thomas from Hereford, so that is the only document I know with the right age that unequivocally links him to the man from Stretton Sugwas.

    It's interesting to note, however, that there was another Thomas Cross, shoemaker, who had a son, Thomas, the exact same age as the Stretton Sugwas one, living only 6 miles away in the 1851 census, so the possibility of an accidental 'hit' is not all that unbelievable. This can't be the right man, however, since this other Thomas was still living there in 1861. His father changed occupations from shoes to cider.

    Like I said originally. I accept that you have the right guy. But check, re-check, question 'certainties,' don't get bullied into accepting the party line without independent confirmation.

    Years ago three articles appeared in "Ripper" magazines touting Hyam Hyams as a suspect. Years later, research seemed to show it wasn't the right Hyam Hyams.

    Last edited by rjpalmer; 10-01-2021, 05:41 AM.


    • Originally posted by Sally View Post

      Well, perhaps. But perhaps not - perhaps John Lechmere divorced her. It was possible, you know, although realistically only by the husband. Very unlikely for the working class - they couldn't afford it - and the only reason I mention it as a possibility here is because of Lechmere's grand connections. I've seem a great many of them, including those paid for by better off members of a family - presumably to avoid any whiff of scandal. Alternatively, I don't think John Lechmere and his wife were the only couple who decided to live apart and start new lives in an age when anonymity was a lot easier - bigamy was more common than we might suppose. I'm not sure it makes Cross's Mum and Dad particularly unusual.

      Here is a woman who was found guilty of bigamy in Leeds in 1886.

      His Lordship found the case "spiteful and vindictive." Her husband had mistreated her and then deserted her for eight years, leaving her to fend for herself, and when he later found she had remarried, prosecuted her. As was not uncommon, she waited seven years before she remarried.

      Although she was found guilty, the jury asked for leniency, and his Lordship sentenced the woman to a mere thirty-minutes imprisonment.

      The courtroom erupted in cheers.

      I do not think it is a coincidence that Maria Lechmere waited eight years to remarry and will leave it up to you whether we are similarly "interfering with her happiness" to treat her second and third marriages as untoward, though I suppose some might object on religious principles if they are so inclined to see this as a moral issue.

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