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  1. #1
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    Default Blyth News. 21 April 1894

    In the issue of the Blyth News of 21 April 1894 there is a report of a committee meeting in which the names "Prof Gilbertson" and "Robert and James Gilbertson of North Seaton" are mentioned. Can someone please tell me name of the organisation of which this was a meeting ?

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    It was a complimentary banquet in honour of Scribe Fraser, the Wood Hut Scribe (?) held at the Mechanic's Hall, Bedlington.

    There is a long, flowery report of the occasion, too long to quote here but worth reading!

    Peter

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    Thank you, Peter. Is there any indication who organised the event?
    My interest is in Prof Gilbertson (this may have been a courtesy title). His association with a particular organisation may give a clue to his identity. I suspect he could have been the father of Robert and James Gilbertson who were also at the event.

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    Scribe Fraser, the Wood Hut Scribe, was a journalist on the Blyth News. His column - a compendium of local news items and comment - appears on page 7 of the issue you mention. The report of the banquet suggests it could have been to celebrate his promotion to a more senior position - though as it was quite long I only skimmed through it and might have missed the point a bit.

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    The people mentioned as committee members for the banquet – Mr James Smith, Mr Lattey & Mr A Fairbairn – all seem to be connected to the Bedlington Liberal Association. There is an article in the Morpeth Herald 10 Nov 1894 naming James Latty as Treasurer of the Association, James Smith was appointed Secretary, and Andrew Fairbairn was a committee member who seemed to do a lot of proposing or seconding.

    The report of the banquet itself though states that ‘men of all sections of political opinion and religion were amongst the most pressing to do honour to the Wood Hut Scribe’

    From scanning a few reports I think Scribe (John?) Fraser had taken up a new post at the Blyth News, and on 7 April 1894 he set out a fairly long ‘manifesto’ about things like the living wage, etc. Within this it’s clear that he was a staunch advocate of friendly & benefit societies, including the Free Gardeners which was mentioned in the earlier post about William Gilbertson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentor boy View Post
    Thank you, Peter. Is there any indication who organised the event?
    My interest is in Prof Gilbertson (this may have been a courtesy title). His association with a particular organisation may give a clue to his identity. I suspect he could have been the father of Robert and James Gilbertson who were also at the event.
    A committee was formed by “The many friends and admirers of Scribe Fraser” to organise the event. Councillor James Jardin presided over the event and was supported by, among others, Prof. W Gilbertson. Robert and James Gilbertson were recorded as “among the company present”.

    In his column, Wood Hut Notes, in the Blyth News of 4th August 1894, Scribe Fraser mentions a Scribe Gilbertson(?)

    Is this your man?
    The 1891 Census has a William Gilbertson living in Seaton with wife and two sons, James and Robert. William is described as a botanist. The image of the census shows the word 'scient' (scientist?) next to his occupation. He may have been a professor, or simply referred to as such, because of his occupation.
    RG12 Piece 4260 Folio 70 Page 55

    Peter

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    Thanks, everyone, for you contributions.
    Yes, Peter, the 1891 reference is the man I am interested in. On every other census his occupation is some form of mine worker. I initially thought " botanist " was an anomaly, if not a complete mistake. Now, thanks to some very helpful assistance via another family history forum, I realise that William Gilbertson was probably a man of many parts. As well as being a member of the Order of Gardeners, he was also active in the spiritualist church, including leading seances. I think he may also have been involved in local politics, but I have yet to prove that.
    At the moment I am following up every lead, hoping either to substantiate or disprove my present tentative conclusions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentor boy View Post
    Thanks, everyone, for you contributions.
    Yes, Peter, the 1891 reference is the man I am interested in. On every other census his occupation is some form of mine worker. I initially thought " botanist " was an anomaly, if not a complete mistake. Now, thanks to some very helpful assistance via another family history forum, I realise that William Gilbertson was probably a man of many parts. As well as being a member of the Order of Gardeners, he was also active in the spiritualist church, including leading seances. I think he may also have been involved in local politics, but I have yet to prove that.
    At the moment I am following up every lead, hoping either to substantiate or disprove my present tentative conclusions.
    The quote re. the Spiritualist Church might help explain the following "Who will dare say at North Seaton that the Established Church there is in danger, not even Prof Gilbertson."
    John Fraser/Scribe Fraser had a lengthy column in the Blyth News in 1894 - casting an eye on "What's on in Blyth" at the time. Hard to describe the column - I've found it a great read.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  9. #9

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    Another possible reference?

    "However, North Seaton does not intend to confine itself to tea party trips, for it is whispered that Scribe Gilbertson is endeavouring to induce the Young Men's Mutual Improvemnt Society to solicit aid with a view to organise a party of Arctic explorers to improve upon Stanley's version of the North Pole."

    I thought of his column as "tongue in cheek" - but it's possibly deeper than that.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentor boy View Post
    I think he may also have been involved in local politics, but I have yet to prove that.
    Some time earlier, but the Morpeth Herald 14 Sep 1872 has a headline 'Demonstration at Blyth' about the miners from the Blyth district holding a meeting at the Central Hall, Waterloo, Blyth "for the purpose of advocating the claims of the miners and the working classes generally to vote in parliamentary elections". The collieries represented were West Sleekburn, Newsham, Barrington, Choppington, Hartford & Cramlington. A delegation from the Central Franchise Committee were present (whatever that was!) which included Andrew Fairbairn. Secretary - presumably the same man as at post #5 - and also Mr Wm Gilbertson. It doesn't give any further details about him but the implication is that he was from / representing Choppington. Your William was living at Scotland Gate at the time, so it seems likely to be him.

    The Morpeth Herald 03 Oct 1874 also mentions what may be him in connection with a government inquiry about the water supply around (amongst others) Choppington, Guide Post & Scotland Gate. "Mr Gilbertson of the Guide Post spoke to the bad supply at that place. When one of the three tanks was on, the other two were stopped, and when anything was wrong with the pumping engine, the water stopped. The colliery paid for their water, a sample of which he handed to the inspector".

    Morpeth Herald 07 December 1872 - ESTABLISHEMENT OF AN ORANGE LODGE AT MORPETH
    Mentions that a number of brethren of the No. 60 Choppington Lodge of the Loyal Orange Association of England met at the George & Dragon, Morpeth, and opened an Orange Lodge. A sick & Death fund is connected with the Lodge. William Newburn, Secretary, John Campbell, Treasurer, and William Gilbertson, Chaplain.

    Prior to this the Morpeth Herald 30 Sep 1871 mentions a meeting of the No 60 Loyal Orange Lodge at the Queens Head, Choppington Guide Post. "The chair was occupied by Mr W Gilbertson"

    Possibly also him? Morpeth Herald 08 Apr 1882 - A meeting of the North Northumberland Electoral & Land Reform Association was held in the house of Mr English, Widdrington, on Saturday night last, Mr Wm Gilbertson, president of the branch in the chair. A lengthy address was then given by Mr Robert Elliott of Choppington, well known local political orator.

    There are later references to Mr Gilbertson, but as Robert seems to have been quite political too (he became a councillor), its not clear which of them the articles refer to.
    Last edited by Jomot1; 19-01-2021 at 2:43 AM. Reason: typo

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