+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Canton, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default My great grandfather

    Hi. I've just joined the board. I've been exploring my family history for several decades now. Some years ago I was shocked to find my great grandfather, George Tidman, listed in the 1891 census as an inmate in Dartmoor Prison. From the sensationalistic newspaper accounts, he attempted to murder his girlfriend in March of 1882. I've found any number of newspaper accounts, but I don't know where to even begin to look for official records. The newspapers say that he was charged at the Coventry County Petty Sessions, and was committed to take his trial at the next Assizes.

    Apparently he was found guilty, and sentenced to 20 years. However, he was free in 1893, and in March of 1894 he marries my grandmother, Gertrude Bigrave--then in training to become a Salvation Army officer. The family soon immigrates to Canada, leaving this past behind. I am sure that neither my father, nor his father, was aware of any of this.

    In partial explanation of the early release I found a May 24 1889 Coventry Herald and Free Press newspaper article that reads as follows:

    "The Convict Tidman--At the Foleshill Board of Guardians on Wednesday the Rev. T. C. P. Pyemont presented for signature a memorial to the Home Secretary praying for a deduction in the sentence of a convict named Tidman, a native of Shilton, who was in 1872 (sic) committed for twenty tears for attempting to murder his wife (sic). The petition alleges inaccuracies in the evidence given at the trial, and points out mitigation circumstances which the memorialists believe would justify a reduction in the sentence. The petition, which has received the signatures of the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Leigh) and Colonel Woollcombe, was signed by the Chairman and several members of the Board."

    My guess is that this effort was ultimately successful. However, he was still in prison when the census was taken in 1891.

    I would really appreciate any suggestions for how to obtain more information about any of the above family mystery. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wairarapa New Zealand
    Posts
    8,710
    Thanks
    2,369
    Thanked 2,291 Times in 2,137 Posts

    Default

    Hi
    My searching so far hasn't turned up anything other than the newspaper articles
    Here is The National Archives research guide to prisons and prisoners which may help.
    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to christanel For This Useful Post:

    ptidman (31-05-2018)

  4. #3
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    2,699
    Thanks
    355
    Thanked 1,134 Times in 942 Posts

    Default

    Findmypast have a data set called

    England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935

    Within this there about 5 records for George Tidman.

    HO27 - Home Office: Criminal Registers, England And Wales, 1805-1892 - this lists his trial, his charge and his sentence

    HO 140 - A Calendar Of Prisoners Tried At The Assizes - this will tell you when and where he was arrested, and his age and occupation and few other bits and pieces.

    PCOM2 - Register Of Prisoners
    These are for two of the prisons he was in - Chatham and Pentonville. From the former's records you can see that he was transferred to Dartmoor in 1885. The latter's records include his photograph.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Megan Roberts For This Useful Post:

    ptidman (31-05-2018)

  6. #4
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Canton, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    It looks like I may need to subscribe to FindMyPast for a bit. What I am most interested in finding out about is an account of this petition and/or whatever lead to his early release.

  7. #5
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    2,699
    Thanks
    355
    Thanked 1,134 Times in 942 Posts

    Default

    This link to the National Archives site tells you what might be available in respect of criminal appeals (petitions), and where you would have to look.

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/h...es-after-1875/

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Megan Roberts For This Useful Post:

    ptidman (31-05-2018)

  9. #6
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Canton, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Roberts View Post
    This link to the National Archives site tells you what might be available in respect of criminal appeals (petitions), and where you would have to look.

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/h...es-after-1875/
    Eventually I get to this:

    "5. Criminal appeals cases

    5.1 Pre 1907

    Before 1907 rights of appeal were much more restricted and were heard by the Court for the Consideration of Crown Cases Reserved.

    This court’s order books only survive for 1853-1859 and are in KB 31. The pleadings of the court for 1848-1888 are in KB 30 but do not give the results of cases. You can browse both record series by year, but not by name."

    Which I think means, I'm out of luck. The appeal I'm looking for is after 1888.

    Thanks for your help. I did a one month subscription to Findmypast--worth it for the mug shot alone. That is quite a page to look at--pretty tough characters. My great grandpa looks lost.

  10. #7
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Canton, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ptidman View Post
    "The Convict Tidman--At the Foleshill Board of Guardians on Wednesday the Rev. T. C. P. Pyemont presented for signature a memorial to the Home Secretary praying for a reduction in the sentence of a convict named Tidman, ..."
    One remaining question that I have is whether the Home Secretary himself had the power to simply reduce his sentence. That seems to be what the petition is asking for--not an appeal, but a reduction in the sentence. And, if so, whether there is some record of such decisions. I see that there are Home Office records at the National Archives, but I'm stumped where exactly to look. I suspect it would require me or someone looking through the actual records.

  11. #8
    Loves to help with queries
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    England
    Posts
    119
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 70 Times in 60 Posts

    Default

    I'm not an expert, but it looks as though the most likely files would be the Home Office: Remissions and Pardons (HO 188), described as "Copies of warrants issued by the Home Secretary in exercise of the Royal Prerogative of mercy, granting pardon to a person wrongly convicted of a crime, commutation of a capital sentence to life imprisonment or a remission of a sentence imposed upon conviction".

    As you know he was still in prison in 1891 and free in 1893 then HO 188/1 seems the best bet: http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C1446222

    You can ask the Archives to check the records for you, which costs 8.40, and they should then advise if anything exists and if so what the cost of copying would be.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jomot1 For This Useful Post:

    christanel (01-06-2018), ptidman (11-06-2018)

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Select a file: