William Anstey (DY 54)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Dyrham Ansteys. 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 Dyrham Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

DY 54. William Anstey: He was born in q3 1852 in Dyrham, baptised 17 October 1852 in Dyrham, to parents George Anstey (DY 31) and Harriet Payne (though some sources say he was born in Doynton – his year of birth seems to move a lot, from 1852 to 1855 to 1861 by the 1891 Census).

He was living with family at Barley Close, Wapley and Codrington in 1881. He was accused in 1881 of indecently assaulting Mary Ann Lawrence whist at his brother George (DY 53)‘s farm – the ‘Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser‘ 09 April 1881 “ACQUITTED. William Anstey (18 [see above note]), indicted for indecently assaulting and beating Mary Ann Lawrence, at Corsham, on the morning of the 6th of January, pleaded not guilty. The prosecutrix, a girl of 15 year, was in January in the service of the prisoner’s brother, Mr. George Anstey, and on the night of the 5th of that month She slept in the next room to that occupied by the prisoner. He had to pass through her room to get to his, but according to her evidence he returned to her room after the lapse of a few minutes, put out the light and committed the assault with which he was charged. The next morning she complained to her mistress, and got a neighbour to write to her mother. The children were sleeping in the next room to hers, and her master and mistress a few yards off. For the defence Mrs. George Anstie swore that on the 2nd of January the complainant told her that the the prisoner had knocked at the bedroom wall and asked her if she was asleep. Witness offered her another room, but she refused to change. The girl did not complain to her on the 6th of January of the assault, but did so on the following day. Mrs. Sawyer, wife of a carter deposed that the complainant told her that Mr. George Anstie [DY 53] was as bad as his brother (the prisoner). The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was acquitted.“.

He was still living with his family at Barley Close Farm, Wapley in 1891, by now ‘married’ according to the census – though this may be incorrect.

Anybody who can add anything to this account, or finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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