John Turner Anstee (PO 14)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Potsgrove Anstees. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Potsgrove Anstees fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

PO 14. John Turner Anstee: He was born in 1835 to John Anstee (PO 6) and Sarah Turner – he was a boot closer in the 1851 Census. The ‘Coventry Times‘ 07 April 1858 reported “John Anstey pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting Police-constable Holden, on the 9th of September.— The constable said he was on duty in Much Park-street on the day in question, and saw two men fighting; he interfered, and took one into custody, whereupon the defendant struck him three times on the head and threw him down. Defendant had been out of the way till within the last few days.— The Magistrates ordered him’ to pay a fine of 10s, and costs, or be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for 28 days. -A friend in Court advanced 6s., and he was allowed 14 days to pay the remainder.“. 

He married Mary Ann Hirons [Hiorns] in 1862 in Coventry, where he was a “boot closer from Much Park Street” – “Marriage: the 20th [Jan 1862] inst., at St. Michael’s Church, Mr. John Turner Anstey to Miss Mary Ann Hirons, both of this city.“. They had children: 

  • William Henry Anstee (PO 24 – b 1862 Coventry); 
  • John Anstee (PO 25 – b 1865 Bedworth); 
  • Richard Anstee (b 1867 Bedworth, a labourer living with his parents in 1891 – married Mary Ann Watts? and in the 1911 Census they were living at 73 Crafton St Leicester with a step daughter Ellen Elizabeth Watts (b 1886) – he was a wool sorter);
  • Hercules Anstee (PO 26 – b 1869 Bedworth);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1871); and 
  • Martha Anstey (b 1872, a silk winder living with parents in 1891).

The ‘Coventry Herald‘ 12 September 1862 reported “ASSAULTING THE POLICE.-John Anstey, boot closer, was charged with assaulting Police Constable Wormald while in the execution of his duty, at half-past five o’clock on Tuesday morning. Prisoner pleaded not guilty. It appered that Anstey was fighting in High-street, Hill-fields, with a man named Isaiah Hoderiu. Police Constable Wormald was on duty in the street, and took Anstey into custody on a charge of fighting, and on the way to the Station-house he put his feet between the legs of the Cometable and threw him down on his back. Ordered to pay a fine of 10s. and costs, amounting altogether to 19s.6d Allowed a week to get the money.”.

In March 1865 “John Anstey was charged with being drunk in Much Park-Street Tuesday night. Promising not to offend again, the defendant was discharged“. Soon afterwards the family moved to King Street, Bedworth, Foleshill in Warwickshire.

In 1872 “John Anstey, cordwainer of Bedworth, pleaded guilty to being drunk and riotous in Bulkington Lane“. His wife died in 1879 “aged 38“ and by the 1881 Census the family had fallen on hard times and were living at Foleshill Union Workhouse, he was described as a “widower and a boot closer“.

In 1891 they were at White Friars Lane, Coventry and his wife was now “Rebecca Anstey (b 1834)” – also with them was a grandson Joseph Galvin. 

He was buried in London Road Cemetery, Coventry in 1897 “aged 63“ and his widow Rebecca was buried 5 December 1900 as a Catholic at Most Holy Sacrament & St Osburg.

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