Finally a breakthrough

I have managed to find birth, death and marriage certificates for all direct ancestors apart from Richard and Elizabeth (ne Whitley) Bolton. There are no entries in the death index that I have been able to find that seem right and the ones that were hopeful I ordered, but those had proved not to be the correct entries.

Every 6 months or so I have done a search in case new docuemnts had been put online and this week I finally had a break through. An entry on Find My Past in the Wiltshire Asylum Registers for a Richard Bolton, born 1812, are for a bootmaker – my Richard was a bootmaker – who had been sent to Roundway Asylum in May 1868 and had died on 11th May of maniacal exhaustion. His address was listed as William & Mary Yard, Little Putting St. On further research, this was a mistake by either whoever wrote the original entry or whoever transcribed it. William & Mary Yard was off Little Pulteney Street in Soho, London and is the general area that Richard and Elizabeth lived in during their years in London.

Now that the GRO offers instant download for many birth and death records at £2.50 each, it made sense to order a copy of the related entry. This did not give any more information but did reveal that an inquest was carried out. Searching the newspaper archive, I found a report of the inquest which gave the following information:

INQUEST ON A LUNATIC – An inquest was held by Mr. Wilson, coroner, at Fisherton House Asylum, on Tuesday, on the body of Richard Bolton, aged 56 years. The deceased was submitted to the asylum on Saturday last, from the workhouse of St James, Westminster. He was very feeble and delirious, and quite incoherent in his speech. He would not take food or stimulants. The attendant who slept in his room found him dead in his bed at 4 o’clock the next morning. He appeared to have died quietly from utter exhaustion. he was seen by the night watchman on Wednesday, at 12 o’clock, and again at three, when he was talking. Verdict, “Died from manical exhaustion.”

So, he was from Westminster, which fits, and was 56 years old, which also fits. I found an entry for Richard Bolton in the Poor Law Register of the insane poor at private establishments, 1849-1885 for Westminster on Ancestry, but further proof would obviously be helpful. So a visit to Westminster Archives appears to be in my future.

It is good to get one of my mysteries solved but now I need to find a death record for Elizabeth, who remains elusive.






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