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Biddy the Chiver’s Khazi

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  • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Can anyone point me in the direction of an online or hard copy version of this:


    Ó Conchubhair, P.,

    Thá Sinn Ocrach: Ballylongford and the Great Famine (self-published, Ballylongford, 1997)


    I found a copy on Abe Books!

    I suspect that the famine had something, directly or indirectly, to do with the Enrights’ move to Wales. And I further suspect that the fact that they weren’t entirely welcome in their new home may have contributed to the development of Biddy’s persecution complex.

    Click image for larger version

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    • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
      Can anyone point me in the direction of an online or hard copy version of this:


      Ó Conchubhair, P.,

      Thá Sinn Ocrach: Ballylongford and the Great Famine (self-published, Ballylongford, 1997)


      The pamphlet arrived today. It’s a typical amateur local history title, mainly a collection of quotes and transcriptions of various contemporary documents with some connecting narrative.

      The only references to any Enrights are in the appendices, one of which lists houses in the Lenamore area ‘knocked’ or ‘fallen’ as a result of the famine. There are four Enright houses in the list, those of Margaret, Catherine, Dennis and ‘Batt’, and one belonging to a Michael Mulvihill - a Catherine Mulvihill was a witness to the marriage of Patrick and Bridget Enright in Crickhowell, the other witness was a Margaret Enright.

      In addition, there were a number of presumably better off Enrights who contributed to the Ballylongford Parish Relief Fund in 1846.

      Patrick and Bridget had been born during, or just after, the famine years. Whether their emigration to Wales had been as a direct result of the famine or was part of subsequent ‘chain migration’* I don’t (yet) know. But I suspect that the displacement of her family may have been at least partially responsible for a sense of not belonging that contributed to Biddy’s ‘Chiverishness’.

      *Described by the Canadian historian Bruce Elliot as a pattern in which ‘one emigrant is followed by another, who is followed by others in turn, draw[ing] upon kin groups...’

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      • Above (next post) is Arthur Harding’s handwritten description of Biddy the Chiver, which is very close to the version published in ‘East End Underworld...’ The main difference is Harding’s claim that one of the reasons he didn’t follow up on his attraction to Biddy was that she was living with a ‘decent’ man who had his own business. Bearing in mind that it seems that Thomas O’Rourke was the father of Biddy’s child Mary, born in 1901, six years or so before Bridget and he had married - when Harding was in his mid-teens - you have to wonder whether the decent businessman really existed. It’s possible that he hooked up with Biddy at some point while O’Rourke was away at His Majesty’s Pleasure, I suppose.

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        • Click image for larger version

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          • I wonder who the ‘friends’ mentioned in the Stone notes were:

            Mr Evans,
            28, Mitchell Street,
            St. Luke’s,
            London.

            Mr and Mrs Bradley,
            Invicta Road,
            Stone,
            Kent.

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            • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
              I wonder who the ‘friends’ mentioned in the Stone notes were:

              Mr Evans,
              28, Mitchell Street,
              St. Luke’s,
              London.

              Mr and Mrs Bradley,
              Invicta Road,
              Stone,
              Kent.
              There was a George J. Evans, a Ladies’ Blouse Cutter, living in the Mitchell Street Flats, 28/30, Mitchell Street in 1901. He seems the best fit for Biddy’s ‘friend’, but who was he and how did he know her? George was born ca 1872, was married to Rosina and had two children, George and Rosina in 1901.

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              • It seems unlikely that Biddy would have had personal friends in Stone. I suspect Mr and Mrs Bradley may have been connected to the asylum in some way - social workers of some kind?

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                • There were Bradley families at two addresses in Invicta Rd.

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                  • That handwritten letter looks modern? Writing style looks modern and it looks like a modern writing tool was used? Not a pen or fountain pen? Or pencil?
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                    • Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                      That handwritten letter looks modern? Writing style looks modern and it looks like a modern writing tool was used? Not a pen or fountain pen? Or pencil?
                      Yes, written by Arthur Harding in the 1970s most likely. The historian Raphael Samuel interviewed him in the 70s and the result of those interviews was the book East End Underworld: Chapters in the Life of Arthur Harding, which was published in 1981.

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                      • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                        There were Bradley families at two addresses in Invicta Rd.
                        That’s interesting. What were their occupations?

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                        • Fitter at cement works
                          Cement labourer


                          I don't know if this made them hardened criminals.

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                          • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                            Fitter at cement works
                            Cement labourer


                            I don't know if this made them hardened criminals.
                            It’s possible, but there’s no concrete evidence.

                            I notice that George’s wife Louisa (née Baltzer?) was born in Stepney. Not sure that’s the right spelling of her maiden name.

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                            • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                              It’s possible, but there’s no concrete evidence.

                              I notice that George’s wife Louisa (née Baltzer?) was born in Stepney. Not sure that’s the right spelling of her maiden name.
                              Baltzar possibly? Born in Mile End in 1864, MMN Patar. Very exotic.

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                              • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                                Baltzar possibly? Born in Mile End in 1864, MMN Patar. Very exotic.
                                Parents, Heinrich, a German sugar baker, and Catharina Petri. Resident in Grove Street, STGITE in 1871. That sounds more like it.

                                So, did Louisa go off the rails a bit and chum up with the Chiver?

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