Saturday, 25 July 2015

Kirby brothers—under the watch of New Scotland Yard

The following records are from the Criminal Record Office at New Scotland Yard. The records contain weekly lists of persons coming within the provisions of sections 5, 7 and 8 of the Prevention of Crimes Act, 1871, who have been discharged or are about to be discharged from prisons in England and Wales. The individuals are known as habitual offenders and we can therefore surmise that the purpose of the publishing the records might have been to give advance warning to local police and other authorities that they were about to return to the streets.
Within the records there are a number of records appertaining to members of the Kirby family.     
 
Above, the first page of an average week, this one ending January 15, 1927. The introductory notes provide us with a useful explanation of the abbreviations used in the columns of the records.
 
The record above is from Birmingham Magistrate’s Court and shows the conviction of a 23 year –old brass-caster man named Frederick Kirby on 23rd January 1909. He was convicted alongside an accomplice named George Bradnock, a 22 year old hawker, for ‘receiving’.

Details:  At Birmingham, on 17th January 1909 did feloniously break and enter the warehouse of the Calthorpe Motor Company, Limited and feloniously steal therein 20 inner tyres, 1 mortar radiator, 6 radiator frames, 4 towels and 12 steel drills, the goods of the said Calthorpe Motor Company, Limited.

This person is too old to have been one of the Kirby brothers or their father whose name was James. The Kirby surname could be significant or just a coincidence.     


2439-18.    James Kirby. Birmingham Prison. Registered no. 622

Date and place of Birth:         1899.  Birmingham   Height:      5 feet 4 and three quarters.

Complexion: Fair.              Hair:  Light brown   Eyes: Hazel.

Marks, peculiarities: Nil

Offence in full, place of conviction and Officer in case or place of Committal:

Shop breaking—Birmingham. Sess. (Birmingham)

Sentence and date of conviction:

8 months.  3-7-1919

Date of liberation, intended address and occupation:

23-1-1920. Birmingham. Caster. 

 

The above record from Birmingham Magistrate Court provides the details of the same conviction for James Kirby on 3rd July 1919 as well as the conviction of his brother Frederick and Fred’s accomplice in shop breaking, Albert Eaton:

James Kirby, 20, strip carter, 21 days or 40/-, Birmingham, 17 Jan,1918 (stealing two night shirts). Escort, Birmingham 28 Feb, 1919 (absentee). Case at Birmingham, 3 June 1919. Date of first reception in prison 27th May 1919.

Details: On 22nd May 1919, did break and enter the shop of John Frederick Lickorish and steal therein four gold signet rings, one card case, three gold ear-rings, one lady’s rolled gold watch and other articles, the goods of the said John Frederick Lickorish.

Pleaded guilty. 8 months hard labour.

Frederick Kirby, 19 caster. Birmingham 3rd June 1919. Date of first reception in prison 23rd May 1919. Bailed at court 3rd June 1919.

Details: On 23rd May 1919 did break and enter the shop of Arthur Edward Pawson and steal therein one shirt, one coat and other articles and 11/1 in money, the goods and moneys of the said Arthur Edward Pawson.

Guilty. 2 months hard labour. His accomplice Albert Eaton, a 21 year old miner, was found guilty of the same crime and also sentenced to 2 months hard labour.    

 

The misdemeanours of the Kirby brothers (continued)

 
15468-19.          Frederick Kirby. Parkhurst Prison. Registered no. 162

Date and place of Birth:         1903.  Birmingham   Height:      5 feet 6

Complexion: Fair.              Hair:  Auburn   Eyes: Light brown

Marks, peculiarities: Scar outer corner left eye. Woman’s head and shoulders. MAN’S RUIN rt., CLASPED SIM. SHIP, laurels, TRUE LOVE l. forearm

Offence in full, place of conviction and Officer in case or place of Committal:

Attempted shop breaking and unlawful wounding—Birmingham. Sess. (Birmingham)

Sentence and date of conviction:

3 years penal servitude.  2-7-1923

Date when penal servitude expires:

22-7-26 (21 days appellant)

Date of liberation, intended address and occupation:

23-10-1925. Birmingham. Caster. 
 

 
2439-18     James Kirby Born 1899 Birmingham  Height 5ft 4.  Fair complexion. Light brown hair.  Hazel eyes.

Marks: JESS, EMILY and clasped hands rt., flower and bird of forearm.

Factory breaking (climbed hoarding at rear, broke window and released catch)

Sentenced to 12 months on 7-5-1930.  Released 6-3-1931 to 4/85 Lower Tower Street,       Birmingham, Trade—strip caster.

 
 
11140-24  Leonard Kirby  4624 Birmingham.  Born 1905 Birmingham. Height 5ft 3.  Fair complexion. Light brown hair.  Brown eyes.

Marks: Bust of man, snake, peacock. Japanese girl, etc., right arm, crucifix and Japanese girl left forearm.

Offence—Larceny (motor car) - Birmingham sessions.

Conviction – 6 months on 4-7-1932

Release date—5-12-32 to 3 back Coland Street, Birmingham. Trade—cook.

 

2563-25  John Thomas Kirby alias John Kirby 3274 Birmingham.  Born 1907 Birmingham. Height 5ft 4 and half inches.  Fair complexion. Brown hair.  Brown eyes.

Marks: Butterfly on right forearm.

Offence—Receiving 5 cases. Birmingham session (Solihull)

Conviction – 6 months on 18-1-1932

Release date—18-6-1932 to 43 Pritchett Street, Birmingham. Trade—motor mechanic.

 

Members of the Kirby family from Birmingham in the newspapers

21 July 1932
Western Daily Press - Bristol
 

21 March 1927
Dundee Evening Telegraph
 

Marriage certificate of Jesse Ensor and Hannah Finn, 24 December 1882


 

Annie Finn marries Jesse Ensor


Mary Jane Payne, nee. Finn had two older brothers, Thomas born 1867 and James born 1870 and an older sister named Annie born in 1862.

In the 1881 census the entire family was recorded at 22 Lench Street (I will refer to this family again in the next section of the book which traces them through the census records in more detail):

1881 census
 
James Finn, Head, Married, Male aged 47 Born in Ireland Labourer
Mary Finn, Wife aged 45 born in Ireland
Ann Finn, Daughter, aged 18 born in Birmingham, Dressmaker
Thomas Finn, Son, aged 14 born in Birmingham, Polisher (Artzn)
James Finn, Son, Male aged 10 born in Birmingham, Scholar
Mary Ann Finn, daughter, aged 9 born in Birmingham, Scholar
Thomas Ratchford, Boarder, aged 27 Birmingham, Cushioner - Gun Trade
Ellen Ratchford, Boarder, Female aged 22 born in Birmingham
John Ratchford, Boarder, born in Birmingham (age uncertain)
Henry Collins, Boarder, aged 18 born in Oxford, Coach Harness Work
Thomas Welsh, Boarder, Male aged 32, born in Ireland, Bricklayer Labourer
Edward Williams, Boarder, aged 20 born in Birmingham, Brass Caster
Evans Williams, Boarder, aged 18, born in Birmingham, Gun Barrel Filer

18 year old Anne Finn is recorded as a dressmaker in the census and another think to notice is the presence of Thomas and Ellen Ratchford and their son in the same household. We will discover shortly that Ellen Ratchford was a cousin of James Finn and one of four sisters who went to live in Cleveland, Ohio.

One year later, on 24 December 1882, Anne Finn (now calling herself Hannah Finn) married Jesse Ensor, a pearl button maker of back 13 Miller Street, at the parish church of St George, which was a C of E church in Newtown. Jesse Ensor’s father was also named Jesse Ensor and he was also a pearl button worker. The witnesses to the marriage were Ellen Ratchford and Thomas Barlow. Ellen Ratchford being the cousin of Anne’s father James, even though she was closer in age to Anne.

About 11 months before he married Hannah Finn, Jesse Ensor appeared before magistrates in Birmingham and was found guilty of ‘uttering counterfeit coin’. The term ‘uttering’ means putting counterfeit coin into circulation, it doesn't necessarily mean that he produced the coin, though he may have had the skills and means to produce coins being a pearl button cutter by the trade learnt from his father.

 
 
Jesse Ensor’s name appears on the same page in the court records as three other men found guilty of uttering counterfeit coins and his case is directly connected to at least one of them, a man named Samuel Harris. This is the transcription from the record of the case concerning Harris and Ensor, the term Summary I surmise refers to their previous criminal record:

No.83 Samuel Harris. Aged 20. Labourer.

Birmingham Summary—27th Nov., 1877, intent to commit a felony, 6 weeks’ H.L. ; 29th April 1878, J.O.A., stealing the sum of nine shillings and sixpence, 3 cal. Months’ H.L. : 2nd Nov., 1878, C.J.A., stealing three coats, 3 cal. Months’ H.L. : 16th May 1879, obscene language, 6 weeks’ Imp. Birmingham Sess.—1st Jan 1880, stealing a pair of trousers, 9 cal. Months’ H.L. and 2 years’ Supervision; 15th Nov 1880 assault, 2 cal. months’ H.L. : 5th May 1881, assault and assault, 3 cal months and 2 cal. Months’ H.L.

Date of Warrant 23rd December 1881.

When received into custody 8th December 1881.

Offence as charged in the Commitment: The said Samuel Harris did on the 22nd of November 1881, at the Parish of Aston, in the County of Warwick, unlawfully and knowingly utter one counterfeit florin, also for that, on the 7th of December, 1881, at the Borough of Birmingham, they, the said Samuel Harris and Jesse Ensor, did unlawfully and knowingly utter one counterfeit half-crown, and also for that they did unlawfully and knowingly have in their custody and possession at the time of such last-mentioned uttering one other counterfeit half-crown.

When tried and Sentenced—7th January 1882. Tried before the Recorder.  Verdict of the Jury —guilty of uttering counterfeit coin after previous conviction. Particulars of previous convictions charged in Indictment and proved in court—Birmingham Sess., 1st Jan 1880, stealing a pair of trousers, 9 cal. Months’ H.L. and two years’ supervision.

Sentence or Order of the Court—12 cal. months’ H.L. and 3 years’ Supervision of Police.

No.84 Jesse Ensor. Aged 22. Pearl button cutter.

Birmingham Summary—31st Dec., 1878, drunkenness, 10 days’ Imp. ; 5th Aug., 1880, assault, 21 days’ H.L.; 2nd Feb., 1881, assault, 1 cal. Month H.L.; 13th July, 1881, assault, 6 weeks’ H.L.

Date of Warrant: 23rd December 1881

When received into Custody: 8th December 1881 

Offence as charged in the Commitment. The said Samuel Harris did on the 22nd of November 1881, at the Parish of Aston, in the County of Warwick, unlawfully and knowingly utter one counterfeit florin, also for that, on the 7th of December, 1881, at the Borough of Birmingham, they, the said Samuel Harris and Jesse Ensor, did unlawfully and knowingly utter one counterfeit half-crown, and also for that they did unlawfully and knowingly have in their custody and possession at the time of such last-mentioned uttering one other counterfeit half-crown.

When tried and sentenced—7th January 1882. Tried before the Recorder. Verdict of the Jury —guilty of uttering counterfeit coin.

Sentence or Order of the Court—6 cal. months’ H.L.

We have learnt that Jesse Ensor married Hannah (aka Anne) Finn on 24 December 1882,  virtually twelve months after he was sentenced to 6 months of hard labour. On this evidence we don’t know whether Hannah knew Jesse before his sentence or met him later in 1882, though what is clear is that their marriage did not last long as according to the 1891 census the couple are living separately back with their respective families and Hannah has referred back to her maiden name of Anne Finn.   

The family of James and Mary Finn recorded in the 1891 census


The family of James and Mary Finn recorded in the 1891 census at 3 Little Shadwell Street, described as back of 91 Bath Street. The notable thing here is that their oldest daughter Annie Finn aged 28 is back with her parents and has reverted to her maiden name from Ensor. She is described as a brass polisher. James Finn is 52 years old, a bricklayer’s labourer born Ireland. His wife Mary aged 50 also born in Ireland. Two of their sons are also still in the household, Thomas aged 24 and James 21, both brass polishers. Their youngest daughter Mary Jane Finn is absent having married Fred Payne, but there are three male boarders, Matt Finch 46, Michael Fonday 25 and Thomas Welch 42, all three bricklayer’s labourers from Ireland.

 

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