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Written by Neil WW Gilliat

William Gilliat was the oldest of the William / Elizabeth family and was twenty years old when his father died. He followed in his father's footsteps as a grazier. In 1785 he married Mary Jollands of Tatershall and left two sons, William (1785-1865) and Adkin Jollands (1793-1879), also two daughters Mary (1787- ?) and Ann (1789-1875), a son also named Adkin Jollands (1788-1792) died in infancy. William purchased and lived in the Manor House, Martin. Lincolnshire.

On his father's death William Jr. was left in a position where he was to run the family farm and help his mother Elizabeth to raise the rest of the large family. Around 1810 the old house at Scrivelsby was pulled down and William bought the Manor House at Martin a prosperous farming village west of Horncastle. Martin House was a huge house and William Gilliat's farm was quite extensive with 500 acres. In 1851 he was employing fifteen labourers, two female servants, a cook and one manservant. [ * Note by N. Gilliat: My wife and I traveled through Martin in the late 1990s and Martin Manor had been converted into, and was operating as, a home for the elderly and mentally disabled.] William was to die in his seventieth year in 1825.

William Gilliat lll. (1785-1865) the elder son married Lucy Barton (1787-1858) the help of four abourers.

Adkin Jollands Gilliat William II's second son, had married Sarah Jackson (1793-1881) and bought Scrafield House, at Hammeringham, Lincolnshire, a few miles east of Horncastle, a farm comprising of the whole parish and built anew in 1838. It was described as a commodious mansion, pleasantly situated in a well-wooded area. Adkin and his wife Sarah were to have twin daughters, Augusta Gilliat 1822 who married Wadham Floyer a member of a prominent old English family of Martin, Lincolnshire. Although it was condoned and widely practiced Maria Gilliat 1822 played double jeopardy and married her first cousin William Henry Gilliat, after the death of his first wife Elizabeth Crosbie. William only survived a year after his second marriage to Maria and a few years later Maria married another cousin, Henry Frances Connington a grandson of Samuel Gilliat the Surgeon of Horncastle.

William Gilliat III and his wife Lucy Barton, had six children, 3 sons and 3 daughters.

William Jollands Gilliat IV 1825-1893 was to marry Ellen Travers and they had 7 children all of whom were girls. Most of them married well but William was left without a male heir. The second son Atkin Gilliat 1829,did not marry. This left the descent of the name in the hands of John Barton Gilliat (1827-1893)who was somewhat of a black sheep. He had been slated to be educated as a clergyman. To every ones horror when he was still but sixteen years old it was learned that Mary Ann Lincoln, a maid at Martin Manor (some say she was a maid at Lincoln College where John was attending) was pregnant with his child. This was a great blow to the respectability of the family and as was often the practice in those days John became what is known as a 'remittance man', someone who receives a monthly remittance to distance themselves from the family. John however, must have been a very likeable young fellow and indeed an honorable one, for within a few years he had not only married Mary Ann Lincoln but also he was, to some extent, back in the good graces of his family. His Grandmother -Mary Jollands Gilliat, who was acting like a true forgiving Grandma, gave John Barton a large family bible. On the flyleaf is the following:- "The gift of his Grandmama Dec 13, 1848'.

John Barton farmed his father's land at Friskney. In his will his father,William left the land in trust. It was to be sold on John Barton's death and the proceeds to be shared equally between his children, lawfully begotten. Obviously John Barton was not trusted to get his hands on the land and also, poor George Lincoln, the illegitimate child, was not to partake of any of the good fortune. Mary Ann Lincoln was said to have claimed relationship to the great Abraham Lincoln. Her family was however, very poor and the likelihood of tracing any such relationship would be very small as few of the families registered the birth of their children before that time. However, Mary Ann Lincoln's christening, 26 Sept 1824, was registered at Thornton Le Fen, near Horncastle, Lincolnshire. By her father William Norton Lincoln and her mother Ann. Records of Abraham Lincoln's family has never been found although there is little reason to doubt he was from the Lincolns of Lincolnshire.

John and Mary Lincoln must have remained close for they had 14 children including George Lincoln. It is strange that although we have all the details of the children's births as recorded in the Family Bible, little information of what happened to the children has been passed along other than Tom Atkin Gilliat who was my Grandfather (N.Gilliat). Not so strange, and maybe a reason for loosing touch, was the fortunes of this family branch declined with the falling farm economy of the times. It is believed that hard times forced some of the family to leave farming for other pursuits.

Tom Atkin (1858-1932) had some of his father's restless spirit and was bound that he was going to take up a career on the high seas. Much against his families wishes he was enrolled as an apprentice midshipman (Training Officer Cadet) and he put to sea on his first voyage, to Australia, in a sailing ship. Apparently he, and a fellow cadet,experienced a very rough time from the Captain who was a drunkard and spent his waking hours berating everyone, especially the cadets. When they reached Australia Tom and his friend had decided to jump ship. They were in luck for when they reached Australia they learned of an expedition, that was leaving at once for the outback in search of two well known explorers, that reportedly had been killed by Aborigines and the expedition was recruiting for riders to join the party. Tom was an excellent rider and they joined the group as it appeared to be a good place to hide, and they left immediately for the outback, he traveled under the alias of Tom Barton, his grandmother's name. Jumping ship was a serious breach of contract and they would have to be scarce for a minimum of five years. The expedition went north to what is now Northern Queensland. The expedition was mapping and surveying the territories as it went and named many of the geographic features often using the names of the crew for lack of other names to use. It is understood that the Gilliat Channels and the Gilliat mountains near Julia Creek, and east of Mount Isa, were named for Tom Gilliat and his presence with the survey crew. Although a cousin of Tom's a Richard Gilliat was also in the same territory and it has also been suggested that he was the person the river was named after. Regardless it is to the credit of both of them as pioneers in the outback of wild Australia. Tom remained in Queensland for about seven years in the outback and worked on the sheep stations and other such frontier employment. He received a notice in the Sydney paper for him to contact a lawyer to learn something of benefit to him. His father had died in a hunting accident when his shotgun went off while he was climbing over a fence. His friends had laid him on a wooden gate and carried him back to the house and his wife Mary Anne. Tom returned to England and set up farming at Hibalstow in Northern Lincolnshire near Brigg.

Maybe the sea had still some attraction for Tom as he married Sarah Ann Marjeson (1854-1941), the daughter of Captain Joshua Marjeson of Boston.(There is said to be a memorial window in the famous Boston Stump (Cathedral) to the Marjeson family) They had eight children, 6 sons and two daughters, all of whom survived,. Sarah was a very intelligent and a well educated lady and had been educated at Lincoln College.
Note from N.Gilliat: My grandfather had died when I was four and I do not remember him. I recall, as a very young boy, visiting my grand mother. Hanging on the living room wall of the old Edenthorpe Manor, was a boomerang and a coiled bullwhip, the only things left from his adventures in Australia. My wife and I traveled through Northern Queensland, in 1988. Flying to Mount Isa, and taking a car from there we traveled the Flinders Highway to Townsville. The country was a vast plain of semi arid country with a few sparse clumps of eucalyptus trees or bushes. We saw a couple of kangaroos, emus and the odd water buffalo but little of anything else for miles. We crossed the 'Gilliat Channels' that were almost dry as there had been no rain for five years. We turned off on a side road where a sign pointed to Gilliat. The town was in its last stages of becoming a ghost town. There was an old old hotel with a weathered sign that declared that this was the Eddington Arms. It was still operating and we called in to have an Aussie beer and meet the proprietor. Mrs. Malone was a wonderful lady who had lived in Gilliat for 41 years of her life and had seen it in its better days. But now, it seemed, to be almost desert and snakes. In fact she told us that a few days previously a snake had eaten a litter of pups while their dog had been away. There is a railroad-stopping place and a couple of sheep farms but just about everything else was gone. When and if it rains the Gilliat Channels flood and create a massive waterway that generally washes out parts of the railroad and the highway. The attached photo was sent to me and shows the highway after heavy rains in 1997 the road heads into what appears to be a lake. There is no bridge over the river as most of the time it is almost dry and when it floods the water could be a mile wide so the residents just wait until the water goes back down. The hotel closed its doors a few years after we were there and Mrs. Malone, who had kept in touch with us, passed away in the mid 90s. We have received the odd note from her granddaughter since we were there.

Tom Atkin, after all the children were born, moved his family from Hibalstow to the Manor Farm at Edenthorpe, South Yorkshire. Tom used to say, "It is a poor farm that cannot support one idle man", but unfortunately times had changed and the farming economy, indeed most of the economy was seeing the hard days of the great deppression and general poor times.

Sydney (1885-1970) the oldest son, turned his back on the farm and moved to Liverpool and was involved with the ship building industry. He married Jane Jones and they raised a daughter and two sons. Gwyneth (1922-) who became a school teacher married Robin Davis a Welsh school teacher with a great outlook on life who unfortunately sucumbed to cancer, they had a daughter Julia E.(1957) Sydney's oldest son Sydney (1926-?) did go to sea and though torpedoed during the war went on to a carreer as Captain with the Blue Funnel lines sailing mostly in the Pacific. Sydney jnr. married Phyllis Gurkin and they had two daughters, Leslie (1949) and Christine (1954-). Sydney was to remarry Laka ??

William (1928-) married a Sally Dixon and they have a daughter Sandra (1959).

Thomas Atkin Gilliat (1887-1965) remained a farmer and evenually bought Bradholme Farm, near Thorne, Doncaster which is still in the family having been farmed by his son Charles and Margret Sauunders. They have two children Susan and Graham who married Jane Fox and now farms Bradholme, they have two children Paul C (1980) and James (1982).

Kate E Gilliat (1889-1973) known as Edith, was never married and I (N. Gilliat) knew the dear lady well as she helped raise me after my mother died of cancer. Edith experienced a great tragedy as a young lady, she was engaged to be married to the son of the local minister but he was killed in WWI. She died in Scarborough, Yorks in 1973.

Marjorie Irene Gilliat(1890-1979) known as Irene, went to Doncaster High Scool and then to Lincoln College from which she graduated as a teacher. She took up a teaching position in Shanghai China in the British Canton. She married a David Duguid (-1933) who was an engineer in the Chinese city who died in 1933. Leaving Marjorie Irene with two children David W.(1924) and Irene M (1927). World War II caught Margorie Irene and her daughter Irene in China, David was attending school in England, and they were interned by the Japanese. This is a story of real hardships in itself but they survived and returned to England after the war. Irene married James Kilpatrick and had a large family. They still live at the Meadows, Oxted, south of London. While David who specialised in accountancy and finance had a sucessful career in Scotland where he lives with his good wife Joyce Renard. David was recently invested with the Order of The British Empire by the Queen for his good works.

Clarence Gilliat (1892-1961) he was an exceptional horseman and on the outbreak of WWI he enlisted in the Yorkshire Dragoons a light Cavalry outfit. He was soon over in France where his horse was taken away and replaced with a bicycle. He survived the horrors of the war although he was wounded and gassed. He returned home and married Bertha Winn of Acombe Farm, Blaxton, Yorkshire (who had recently arrived from Canada where she was born) and they set up farming at Yew Tree Farm in the neighbouring village of Auckley. Clarence was highly involved in municipal politics and was for some years Chairman of the Doncaster Rural Council and a Magistrate of the court. They had three children and moved to Mossham Farm, Auckley.

Donald Clarence Gilliat. (1922-) the oldest was in the shop keeping business, or convenience stores, but he was never far from his agricultural roots and in his semi-retirement is an agriculture consultant. He married Edith Cranage and they had two sons John Gilliat who moved to Canada and was with the Royal Bank. He married Lynn Stanton and they have two children Richard (1976-) and Caroline (1979-). John and Lynn met while attending the Huddersfield Music College and both are accomplished musicians and play with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchastra.

John Gilliat 1924 Clarence's second son died in infancy from meningitis.

Neil William Winn Gilliat. 1928- the third son in Clarence's family attended Doncaster Grammer School during the WWII and joining the army spent time in an officer training programme and The Royal Highlanders, Black Watch only to be demobilised at the end of the war when the country was in economic crisis. Left for Canada where he married Jean Lowe the daughter of a retired farmer and a local school teacher. Probably the smartest thing in his life. Spent 24 years with the Alberta Government mostly in the Forest Service where he eventually became the Superintendent of the Slave Lake Forest. His last four years in government service was as a coordinator of a programe to improve the social and economic lot of a large area of Northern Alberta. The program had emphasis on working with the local Indian groups and bands very political, frustrating and stressfull. Enough is enough, and joining the private sector he and his wife bought a General Motors car and truck agency. Jean also owned and operated a retail store and other businesses. Neil was also founder of various enterprises, from the first wafer board plant in Alberta at Slave Lake, to the largest Malt plant in the world (see picture Westcan Malting Alix, Alberta) to Ceapro Inc. an oat cereal fractionation plant for cosmetics etc:. He served on various boards and government committees including the Alberta Heavy Oil Advisory Board. Now retired in Red Deer. Has written a couple of books and enjoying life in the slow lane. In 1992 he was awarded the Govenor General's medal for Community Service. Neil and Jean have two chidren James Neil Gilliat. 1956 who married Jill Seppola and they live in Calgary where they have two children Hugh 1983 and Robyn 1986. Jim has made his career in the oil industry and has lived many years in South East Asia and Dallas, USA. and has traveled widely around the world. Barbara Jean 1959 lives at Alix Alberta which is east of Red Deer and is a manager at the Westcan Malt Plant which has recently been completely bought out by Rahr Malting of Mineapolis.

Alfred Gilliat (1894-199?) Alfred moved as a young married man to Guelph, Ontario, Canada where he spent most of his life in the wholesale paper and stationary business. He was very interested in the family history and was a great friend of mine. He died in his nineties with a very sound mind. His Daughter Joy Gilliat and her husband Ernie Weiss still reside in the old 123 Oxford Street residence in Guelph. They have a family of two sons and two grandsons Joel and Eden Weiss.

Hugh Frederic Gilliat (1896-1976) known as Fred, assumed the role of the gentleman farmer and spent most of his life on the home farm at Edenthorpe. He married late in life to a lady from the Isle of Man. He enjoyed life and was a hail fellow well met.

William Jollands Gilliat (1900-1972) married Hilda M.Triffin (1904-?) and farmed the Yew Tree Farm, in Auckley, when Clarence moved to Mossham Farm in the same village. Later he bought a large farm near Driffield, Yorkshire, and was a very succesful farmer. They had one son David Gilliat (1937-) eventually he took over the farm and later married Barbara Wells. They have two children Ian (1965-) who now has taken over the farm and Helen (1969.)

The following is a series of stories written by Irene Duguid Kilpatrick. Her mother led a very interesting life and they both spent the Second World War interned by the Japanese in a notorious prison camp near Shanghai. Years later there was a film made about a young boy who was cut off from his parents while evacuating Shanghai and was captured and interned by the Japanese. It was a true story and he spent the next years in the same prisoner camp as Madge and her daughter Irene, who in later years acted as a consultant and advisor to the film company. They are simple family stories but I found them interesting because they give an insight into the everyday simple life in rural England in the late 1800s. It was also a time when agriculture was at a very low ebb and those of the family that had chosen to stay with a life on the farm spent some very lean years. It is credit to the family that they not only survived the bad times but also in most cases rebounded back to more prosperous times.

By: Irene Duguid Kilpatrick.

My mother, Marjorie (Madge) Irene Gilliat Duguid was born on a Fen farm, in Lincolnshire; during her long life she traveled all over the world, lived and worked in China for twenty five years through civil wars, invasions and internment by the Japanese and was a marvelous teller of tales.
Madge was born in1880 the fourth of eight children born to Tom Adkin Gilliat and Sarah Ann Marjason (daughter of Captain Josiah Marjason of Boston). The Gilliat name was well known in Lincolnshire, the family being landowners reportedly of Huguenot descent; two branches of the family eventually going south to Surrey and London to become Bankers in the City of London. The firm of John K Gilliat was bought up by Arbuthnot Latham, Bankers in 1944.

Madge's father Tom Adkin Gilliat, born at Boston on the 2nd of May 1857 was the eighth child (out of twelve) of John Barton Gilliat and Mary Lincoln. He was sent to a private school 'The Bishop of Wainfleet's School'in Lincoln and like many of the boys he carved his name on an oak panel that, years later, was read by his wife to be, and his daughter Madge while they attended The Diocesan Ladies Training College For Teachers which eventually occupied the same school building. Sarah Marjason was one of the first of the young ladies to attend this newly set up college. She was a model student and became Head of the College and was constantly pointed out as a paragon of industry and goodness to her very different daughter who followed her mother's career as a teacher in 1908. Madge remembers weeping in the train when she first set off to be a college student, but being cheered by a lady in the carriage who predicted she would have a lovely time in Lincoln, which she did.

The young ladies attended the Cathedral service daily sitting in for the choir boys when they sickened with the inevitable childhood deceases. There was and still is a theological college in the town, as the ordinands walked passed the students walking in crocodile the young ladies were ordered to open their umbrellas and put them up like shields of the Roman Legions. Madge was embarrassed when one young man whistled and called her name, especially as she had been calling herself Marjorie at college, it was more elegant. The brash ordinand was their parson's son and her elder sister Edith's beau.

Pa would regale the family with tales of his adventurous youth much to the disproval of his wife. They never failed to revel in the story of a day long fist-fight he had with another young man who insisted his name was Tom Adkin Gilliat and not Pa's (it was eventually discovered they were cousins and both were called Tom Adkin Gilliat) The fist fight took place all around the little town of Horncastle starting at the pub. Little Madge was shopping with her mother for goods to be sent home the shopkeeper asked if it were the same Gilliat who had been in the fight, "Oh yes it was my Pa" spoke up Madge to her mother's annoyance.

Tom's father, John Barton Gilliat, Gentleman (as his tombstone reads) married Maryann Lincoln after the birth of their first child George Lincoln, who never took the Gilliat name as he was illegitimate. Mary Anne worked at the College in Oxford presumably as a servant where John was studying, although the family always said she was a farmer's daughter and probably was. The marriage was thoroughly disproved of by John's family who paid him to stay away and have no contact with the rest of the Gilliats who lived at Marten Hall and Scrafield House near Horncastle. The couple had twelve children and ten survived childhood, they were all privately educated so the money paid them by the family must have been quite generous. John Barton was killed while hunting 1874. His body was brought back to the house on a field gate. This was at Friskeney. Maryann died at a quarter to six in the morning of August 2nd 1870. Madge never knew her grandparents and sadly regretted it. She always claimed that Maryann Lincoln, who came from Wisbech, was of the same family as Abraham Lincoln; considering the small population of the villagers in that part of England in the 19th century it is quite likely.

When Tom Gilliat left school he was apprenticed to a shipmaster in Boston to be a cadet on a sailing ship, it cost his father 100 guineas. Tom and another cadet set sail for Sydney. The Captain was a brutish drunkard who beat the boys whenever he was drunk which was most of the time. Life was so awful the two lads jumped the ship at Sydney and set off for Queensland. As they had broken their contracts the authorities wanted them so they changed their names. Tom took the name of a cousin Clark. (My information was Barton) Being a country boy and a good rider he soon got a job on a sheep station and worked as a jackaroo for seven years up near Mt. Isa, which was (gold and copper) mining country. A small town of a few houses and a mine was on the railway, east of Mt. Isa and was called Gilliat , Tom said he named it. Until his indenture to the shipmaster for seven years had passed he could not return to Boston, anyway he enjoyed the life and freedom of farming in Queensland. At last a notice appeared in a Sydney newspaper reading "Would Tom Adkin Gilliat (or Clark) contact Messrs (a Solicitor) to learn something to his advantage". This he did to discover his father had died and he had inherited some money. So armed with his only possessions a bullwhip and an Aborigine warrior's boomerang, heavily blood stained, he returned to Lincolnshire.

Soon after his return he met Sarah Marjason daughter of Captain Marjason who later retired from the seas and set up as a Shipwright in Boston, he was a Freemason the square and compass is carved on his tombstone in Boston Parish Churchyard. Sarah's brother Samuel was an architect who eventually became Town Clerk of Boston. Tom and Sarah were married at Boston Parish Church on the 29th January 1885 and Sydney Barton Gilliat was born on December 18th of that same year.

Tom and Sarah set up a farm on the Fens at Monksthorpe near Seacroft. Tom believed he could be a gentleman farmer like his father. One of his favourite sayings was "a poor farm that can't support one idle man". But times had changed and money went feeding the growing family so they moved to a poorer farm near Louth, Lincshire and eventually to Hibblestow where Billy the youngest of the eight children was born.

Living on the cold windy fens was hard but Madge loved the long vistas of the flat country. many years later when she arrived in China on the flat deltas of the Yangtse she always felt at home as it reminded her of the low fertile fen lands of Linconshire. Madge remembered walking to school across the fields and over the dykes with her younger brothers, Alf and Clarry, carrying their lunches with them. When some Gypsy children stole their food the schoolteacher, a disorganised bachelor cut up some chunks of bread and cheese for them. Their old sheep dog followed them to school whenever he could, patiently sitting outside the door until the bell went, mean while Pa rampaged around the farm looking for the dog to drive the sheep. On the long walk home from school Clarry would lark about pretending to fall into the dyke until one day after shouting "I am going to fall in, I am going to fall in" and scaring Madge and Alf to tears, he did, and had to be pulled out by an irate farm labourer and carried home howling and freezing cold. Farm labourers had a cold miserable low paid job on fen farms. One young man on their farm hung himself in his misery, the family was terribly shocked but conditions did not improve much, there was so little money in farming.

The winters seemed to be so much colder than they are now as everyone could skate, and races and skating parties on the fens took place frequently throughout the winter. Madge said her mother was a beautiful skater and her father was terribly proud skating with her and showing her off on the icy fens. To learn to skate so well they must have had many cold winters as there were no ice rinks to learn skating on in those days, just icy weather and frozen ponds and fens.

Just after Billy was born in 1900 the family moved into Yorkshire to a farm beside the Church in Armthorpe a small village of 300 souls four miles west of Doncaster.

In Armthorpe, they settled down to a more stable and prosperous life, becoming interested and integrated with village life. Sarah's rosewood piano was constantly borrowed for village occasions. She was the first reader of the new Daily Mail newspaper, which was passed around the village after she had read it. Pa would not read it! Tom on the other hand was very involved in the village reading room which had been set up by public subscription, it was what we would now call an Adult Education Centre, to try to improve the education of the farm men in the district. To his family he was a true Victorian father strict and fierce to his children expecting immediate obedience. Despite all this discipline the boys were a lively lot always up to something. One night when Pa was at the reading room sons Tom, Sydney and Clarry climbed up on the roof of the farm house and tried to walk upright along the pointing. Madge, the lookout, heard Pa's footsteps as he returned home and shouted a warning. In their haste to get down Tom and Sydney slid off the roof landing in a heap in front of their furious father, another thrashing all round. Their farm was owned by Earl Fittzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse, which was the largest private house in England. Armthorpe was then a pretty village set in a completely rural setting dominated by the pleasant town of Doncaster to quote Sir Walter Scott in Ivanhoe. The Fitzwilliams were good landlords but money was scarce and the farms became very run down. However, when coal was discovered nearby the fortunes of the Fitzwilliams changed and many improvements were made to their farms to the benefit of the tenants but the mines were a blight on the countryside. Armthorpe is now just a sprawling suburb of the industrial town of Doncaster.

Besides raising and educating eight children Sarah bred Old English Sheep dog puppies and word of the beauty of the pups spread through the riding. Lady Fitzwilliam herself came down to select two puppies for herself. She arrived unexpectedly, it was the day Mother was to take the family out to visit a neighbouring family. It had taken hours of work calling in the boys and helping the girls to dress them in their best clothes, to keep them clean they were made to sit on a low wall bordering the garden. When the Fitzwilliam carriage arrived the children had a front row view, Lady Fitzwilliam remarked "what beautiful children" to Sarah, who according to Madge looked amazed and said nothing. Sarah was a quiet reserved women fond of playing the piano and singing duets with Tom, although Tom always grumbled at the gloomy songs she chose.

Old Bob the father of the litter was a larger than usual Old English Sheepdog with one blue eye and one gray eye, he spent a good deal of his time lying on top of the low wall bordering the garden at the entrance to the Armthorpe village, greeting every member of the family and neighbors as they came in but only entered the house behind Pa's footsteps. Mother disliked the neighbours habit of calling the dog "old Bob Gilliat's" she felt it brought them all down to his level. Madge said she often sat on the garden wall waiting for the older boys to come from school leaning against the old dog and talking to her friends. She was sitting on the wall when the relief of Mafeking was announced to the village by cheering and waving boys and young men running up the village street. People came out of their houses to see what was going on, it was very exciting. When Queen Victoria died everyone in the village poured passed her and Old Bob Gilliat to read the Daily Mail's account of her death.

Madge and her elder sister Edith and the younger boys went to school in Armthorpe, the older boys went to school in Doncaster. When she was twelve, and Edith was thirteen, they sat for a scholarship at the newly opened Doncaster High School for girls. They were both awarded a scholarship, Edith did not want to go but Madge accepted with joy. Part of the scholarship was the purchase price of a new bicycle to ride the four miles to school each day. Madge and Pa went into Doncaster to choose the new cycle. Madge chose a green Rudge Whitworth, the scholarship money was five pounds and this did not stretch to include the newly invented gears so Pa paid the extra to the great delight of all the family who all had a go on the new bike.

The High school changed Madge's life. She loved the variety of activities, singing in the Parish Church in Doncaster and playing field hockey, acting in plays. One of the plays was "The Pilgrimage Of Grace" by Rev. Edward Gilliat, Assistant Head Master of Harrow School. The Headmistress called Madge in "surely this is a relation of your father's", Madge had no idea and on inquiring at home mother said yes he was related and that was that. "I quite understand" said the Head Mistress who had hoped to start a fruitful correspondence with the author of the play, Madge did not understand why her Mother would not allow the school to contact the Rev. E. Gilliat until many years later. Sarah was very proud and very genteel and did not like their somewhat reduced circumstances to be brought to the notice of rich and famous relations. Every Christmas Pa's Aunt King sent a trunk full of "dreadful rubbish", according to Mother but "wonderful things" to the children who pounced on the trunk to see what the old lady had directed her maid to pack for 'those poor children of Tom's.

Madge loved Armthorpe, their farmhouse was in the center of the village and the farm fields ran down to the edge of the Doncaster Race course where the famous St. Ledger race meeting in the autumn brought the King and his court and all the fashionable people in the country. Madge with her family and friends would watch King Edward VIII arrive attended by his beautiful ladies and their gorgeous clothes. The King was jolly and loved playing practical jokes on his friends but was quite annoyed when one of his ladies tipped an ice cream down his back, he was the King and no one must ever forget it. A few weeks before his last illness Madge saw him climb slowly into his carriage and slump back into the seat with eyes closed, a tired old King. Sarah thoroughly disapproved of the first ladies in the King's circle and Madge's enthusiastic description of the lovely scarlet dress worn by Lily Langtree was received with disapproval and instructions, not to mention that women in my house. {Lily Langtree was a famous actress and the King's mistress}.

The First World War brought great tragedy to Armthorpe. Other young men from the small village. Of the family only Clarry went to the war as the others had to help on the farm. Clarry was a wonderful rider, he used to delight the village by riding his galloping horse, bareback and picking a hat off the grass or riding standing on the saddle. So he volunteered for the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons {cavalry} at the very start of the war. Almost immediately the regiment arrived in France and their horses were taken away from them and they were given bicycles. Clarry went in 1914 and came out in 1918, he was gassed and wounded but survived the whole four years suffering miserably in the trenches. On one leave he arrived home late at night. Mother went to the back door and there stood Clarry, filthy dirty in a long fur coat, tears streaming down his face. "I can not come in Mam I am all lice". Mother took him to the stables and father brought water and blankets. They washed him and dressed him in clean clothes and brought him into the kitchen, he was exhausted and terribly shocked by the awful things he had seen at the front. At the end of his few days leave he had to go back. Clarry was mother's favourite brother and she was terribly upset to see him in such a state, but he survived, although he died the youngest of all the Gilliats.

After the war Alfred and Fred helped their father breed thoroughbred hackney horses (light carriage horses with a fine gait) very delicate difficult creatures to train and rear.

Madge had been teaching in Spennymore a poor mining village in County Durham. There the poverty and misery of the miner's families really shocked her. The children came to school shoeless and badly clad for the bitter cold winters of the Northeast. Many of the children were sickly and tubercular. A little boy in a fit of coughing spewed blood all over his desk. Madge visited him at home and was distressed by the wretched conditions of the house and the tragic misery of the boy's mother trying to care for the dying child. Madge never forgot the poverty she witnessed in Durham at the time, later when she returned to teach in England after the Second World War she continually marveled at the lovely healthy children in her school.

The poverty of the North depressed her; she applied for a job teaching in Kent and Bexeleyheath, not a well off district but respectable working class where the holidays were taken in the hop fields.

It was there she saw an advertisement in The Daily Telegraph for teachers to go to China to teach in a school for Chinese children run by the Shanghai Municipal Council. Madge was 29 and the advertisement asked for teachers under 25 but as she looked young for her years Madge applied giving her age as 25 and she got the job. She set sale for Shanghai first class on the P&O liner Oriion in 1919.

  ELIZABETH GILLIAT 1757 - 1830 Elizabeth was the first daughter of William and Elizabeth and as was often the case in such large families the oldest daughter was often called upon to help raise the family. She spent her latter days living in Horncastle and she left over a thousand pounds in her will, funds that would indicate that she had been well provided for. She left the interest on a six hundred pounds investment to her brother James and her sister Ann who had married William Longstaff of Donnington on Bain, a small farming village some fifteen miles north of Horncastle. Provisions were made that on their death the money would be divided between the two sons of her sister Ann and William Longstaff. Elizabeth also sent various bequests for 'Mourning' which was a standard practice to pay for prayers for ones soul. And I also give unto him (Benjamin) and my brothers James and Joseph the sum of ten pounds a piece for mourning.
The Horncastle church carried what was known as a Preferment from the Gilliat family, which provided long-standing support for the Parish.


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