Second Generation: John Roberts Warner < William Warner

My 4th great granduncle (5th great uncle)

John Roberts Warner is my fifth great uncle, the son of William Warner and Elizabeth White, and the youngest brother of my fourth great grandfather, William Warner. He was born in Howden, Yorkshire on May 9, 1796 and baptized there on November 13, 1796.

He married a woman named Ann, but we don’t know where or when. He would work as a flax dresser and they lived, over the course of their lives, in Howden, Selby, and Hull. They had no children, as far as we know.

John died in Selby, Yorkshire in 1870.

It appears that John and Ann lived in extreme poverty, especially in their later years. He may have been in ill health, given that his work as a flax dresser, separating the coarse part of the flax so that it is ready to be spun, was notoriously unhealthy. Inhaling the unprocessed flax resulted in a chronic pulmonary ailment known as “flax dresser’s disease.”

By 1866, when John was 70, they were penniless and dependent on the the town of Selby, which wanted to get rid of the burden of supporting them.

Town officials tried to shift the responsibility elsewhere and so, in February of 1866, two local Justices of the Peace ordered the couple deported to Howden, where John was from. The authorities in Howden, who didn’t want them either, appealed the order. John and Ann had, in fairness, spent much of their lives in Selby.

The following order appears in the judicial records of the West Riding of Yorkshire (Pontefract Sessions 9th, April 1866):1

Click to enlarge

Here is the transcript:

Howden & Selby

ORDERED that the appeal of the Overseers of the poor of the township of Howden in the East Riding of the County of York against an adjudication and order under the hands and seals of Richard Brooke, clerk, and George Whitehead Esquire two of her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the West Riding of the County of York bearing date the Nineteenth day of February last, made for the removal of John Roberts Warner Flax dresser aged seventy years and Ann his wife from the township of Selby in the said West Riding to Howden aforesaid:— be respited until the next General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be holden at Bradford in and for the said West Riding.

Yorkshire Quarter Session Records, Pontefract Sesssion, 9th April 1866 (p 280)

Howden won out in the end. Both John and Ann died in Selby, she a year later and he three years later.


1 Ancestry.com. Yorkshire, England, Quarter Session Records, 1637-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: West Riding Quarter Sessions, Order Books, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England.