William Austin Anstee (ED 14)

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

ED 14. William Austin Anstee: He was born in c1818 in Kensworth/Elstree/Redbourne (sources differ) to parents William Anstee (ED 8) and Charlotte Hudson – he was clearly named after Charlotte‘s father Austin Hudson.

[Note: He should not be confused with William Anstee (BA 5 – b 1819 Kensworth, who is of the Barnet Anstees]

He married Eliza Dellor (b 1818, Hillborough Norfolk) on 26 July 1838 at All Souls, Marylebone, at the time he was “aged 21 a spinster butcher, father William Anstee [ED 8] butcher“. They had a daughter:

  • Eliza Georgina Anstee (b 1840 Marylebone, known as Georgina, appeared at the trial of her father in 1854 – see below. She was living at High Street, Barnet with her father in 1861. She married Frederick Milton in 1864 and died in 1867)

The ‘Hertford Mercury and Reformer‘ 31 March 1849 reported “the corner of the new church-yard. The ” smock frock” and his friend followed, and his merciless antagonists were soon fighting with their fists with savage earnestness. The other four men stood by some time, without attempting to interfere; but at last something like a general scuffle ensued, and it is said that the smock-frock man after knocking Brown down, kicked him as he lay on the ground. The police having arrived, Brown was conveyed to the verger’s cell, where his bruised form was extended senseless on a chest, and the ferocious man in the “wide-awake” and his friend were consigned to the station-house. Two surgeons were sent for-Mr. Lipscomb and Mr. Cobbold, and the wounded man was, under their instructions, removed to the Pea-Hen, where, it appears, he and his party had ” put up” on arriving in the town that morning. After he became restored to consciousness, his hurts were examined and declared not to be of a dangerous nature; and in the evening he left the town with his friends. Previous, however, to their departure, the two prisoners underwent a brief examination at the residence of the Mayor, and the whole mystery was then explained. The man in the smock-frock proved to be Mr. William Austin Anstie, a butcher, of Barnet, and his companion was his brother, Mr. Alfred Anstee [ED 22]. The lady who had received the drubbing in church was Mr. W. A. Anstie’s wife, who had taken the liberty of joining a pleasure party, whose destination was this town, without the knowledge and consent of her husband; and Mr. Brown was one of the artisans at present employed in decorating a new church at Barnet. The husband, it is stated, declared, that whilst he was inspecting the movements of the party in the Abbey Church, he saw his wife and Brown leave the rest, who were engaged in “waking the echos”and retreating behind one of the massive clusters of columns, indulge in a stolen kiss; on observing which, he rushed upon them and committed the assaults described. The others deny that there was anything improper in the behaviour of Brown and Mr. Anstie’s wife, towards each other; and say

The ‘Hertford Mercury and Reformer‘ 07 April 1849 reported “BOROUGH PETTY SESSIONS, March 30. Present: J. B. Nash,Esq., Mayor: J. T. Lipscomb, E. Langridge,F. Wheeler, and ‘T. Richardson, Esqs. THE ASSAULT IN THE ABBEY CHURCH. Mr. Kemp, solicitor, Bucklersbury, appeared on behalf of Brown, the person assaulted by Wm. Anstee in the church, and stated’ that his client was not in the court, but could be produced in a few minutes if his presence should be required. Mr. Kemp announced that no charge would be preferred in this Court against either of the Messrs. Anstee by Mr. Brown, as the highest penalty the Bench could inflict would be ridiculously inadequate to the injury done both’ in person and character. it, how ever Dr. Nicholson chose to take proceeding for punishing Mr. Wm. Anstee for his grossly improper conduct in church, the witnesses were in court and willing to state what they knew of the affair. Dr. Nicholson, who sat with the magistrates, explained that when the parties were first brought before the Mayor, he had intimated that us there appeared to have been considerable provocation given to Mr. William Anstee through the imprudent conduct of his wife, and as he (Dr. Nicholson) felt confident that the magistrates in fixing the punishment, would also take into consideration the time and place of the assault, he did not himself intend to institute any proceedings. If, however, no proceedings were to be taken against Mr. Anstee he should consider himself at liberty to take neps in the Exclessiastical Court against him for the serious offense of committing an outrageous assault within the House of God. Mr. Kemp said that there was a charge against Alfred Anstee [ED 22], arising out of the brawl, which would be proceeded with before this Bench, Whilst the brother, William Anstee, was engaged in the assault upon Brown, a person named Spooner endeavoured to prevent to continuance of the assault, and Alfred Anstee commence an attack upon Spooner, and after hitting him on the head and beating him upon the ground, pursued him with a whip-stock, with the intention of committing a more grievous assault. The Magistrates ordered the parties to come forward, Alfred Anstee was then charged by James George, Spooner, with an assault. The evidence not being conclusive, the Bench dismissed the case. Dr. Nicholson then stated that the proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Court will be stayed until he saw the course taken by Mr. Brown, as he had no desire to punish the defendant too heavily.

The ‘Hertford Mercury and Reformer‘ 16 June 1849 “SHERIFFS COURT.—WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13. [Before T. Sworder, Esq., Under-Sheriff.] THB ASSAULT AT ST. ALBAN’S ABBEY. William Brown v. William Austin Anstee This was an inquiry before the Sheriff, for the purpose of assessing damages for an assault committed by thedefendant In the Abbey at St. Alban’s, under rather singular circumstances.- -The case had been appointed for hearing in one of the Superior Courts where the defendant had allowed judgement to go by default. The case was thereupon sent down to the Sherif of this county for an enquiry before a jury for the purpose of determining the amount of damage which should be awarded. Damages were laid at 50l. Mr. Thomas a barrister, conducted the case for the plaintiff, and Mr. T. Chambers, barrister appeared for the defendant. Mr.Thomas detailed the circumstances of the case, and stated that he was informed that the defendant was a man of jealous, revengeful, and savage passions, in proof of which he mentioned that no later than the preceding day he was bound over to keep the peace towards his wife. He was a Master butcher at Barnet, but had recently had his name taken down from the front of his house and another put up with a view to make it appear that he was only a journeyman and thus to reduce the amount of damages. It appeared from the evidence of ‘Thomns Bullivent, the foreman of the works at Halley Church, that on Sunday 25th of March, himself, his wife, several young men employed at the church, defendants wife, and Ms. Dellar, her sister, determined to make an excursion to St. Alban’s, for the purpose of inspecting the ancient abbey in that town. A carriege and pair having been provided, six of the party crowded themselves into the interior of the carriage, while two (of the hardier sex) mounted the box. Nothing interrupted the progress of the holiday party. The coach arrived in safety at St. Alban’s and deposited its cargo at the Peahen, and the ” ladies and gentlemen” having partaken of a slight reflection, set out for the Abbey. After a considerable time spent in inspecting the architectural beauties of the place, under the guidance of two vergers the tranquillity of the company was suddenly disturbed, by,

In 1849 per the ‘Bell’s New Weekly Messenger‘ 11 November 1849 edition “William Austin Anstee Barnet butcher” was declared an insolvent debtor. In the 1851 Census William (as ‘Austin Anstee‘, born ‘Elstree’) was a ‘master butcher’ living at High Street, Barnet with his wife Eliza and their daughter. In August 1852 he appeared at the Old Bailey as a witness, where he stated “WILLIAM AUSTIN ANSTEE . I am a butcher, living at Highgate. The prisoner [William Hill] was in my service as a journeyman, from Christmas last—he used to take out meat and receive money from my customers—it was his duty to give the money he received to myself or my wife, the same day, when he returned from the customer—I have a customer of the name of Goodwin—in July last he owed me 4s. 7d.—I have never received that from the prisoner—I have also a customer named Howell, who owed me 9s. 10 1/2 d.—I have never received that from the prisoner—he left my service on the same day he received the money; he received both sums on the same day—he ought to have given me a week’s notice—he left without giving any—I gave information to the police, and he was taken at Barnet.”

In 1854 he was back in court, but on the wrong side. The ‘Hertford Mercury and Reformer‘ on 28 October 1854 reported “BARNET: CHEATING EXTRAORDINARY – William Austin Anstee appeared before the Bench on the 23rd instant to answer the charges reported by us last week with Mr Coleman barrister to defend him. After the facts stated by us had been proved, Mr Coleman urged that the guilty knowledge of the fraud was not brought home to the defendant and called Eliza G. Anstee, 14 years old, the defendant’s daughter, who deposed that she put one penny piece under the scale, unknown to any person, in consequence of her father remarking on the previous Saturday that it required nearly a penny piece to balance the scales. He had gone to town when she did so and no one saw her do it. She placed it just before the militia men went to the shop – two other witnesses were called to prove that Sheen had offered to withdraw from the prosecution if Anstee paid him 2l, but this Sheen emphatically denied. After the Bench had remained for nearly twenty minutes in consultation, Mr Philimore, addressing Anstee, remarked that there could be no doubt that a fraud had been committed in the sale of meat in the defendants shop, and that two penny pieces were placed under the scale to accomplish such fraud, was equally clear…after cautioning him as to his future conduct, the case was dismissed

Despite this report, in November 1854 (‘Worcestershire Chronicle‘ 15 November 1854) he was “committed for trial at St Albans Sessions for being a common law cheat, having knowingly had two pennies under his scales, whereby his customers were defrauded of their weight“. He was acquitted at trial in 1855, reason given being “no bill” (insufficient evidence).

His wife Eliza died in Barnet in 1859 so in 1861 he remarried Caroline Curtis (b 1821) at St John the Baptist, Great Marlborough Street, Westminster and he had further children in Barnet:

  • George Frederick William Anstee (ED 20 – b 1862);
  • Caroline Anstee (b 1864, married Samuel Wright in 1887 in Barnet, she was executor to her mother’s will in 1905 – see below); and
  • Francis Anstee (ED 21 – b 1865).

In the 1861 Census William  and Caroline were living at High Street, Barnet where he was a butcher. The ‘Barnet Press‘ 04 January 1862 reported “STEALING BEEF Drusilla Beech, an aged woman, was placed at the bar, charged with stealing a piece of beef, the property of Mr. Anstee, butcher of Highstreet, Barnet. Frederick Milton said that on Tuesday evening Mr. Anstee told him that some one had stolen a piece of beef from the front of the shop window, and told him to go in search of it, when he saw some one hurrying, through the alley close to the church, and he overtook the prisoner, no one else being near, but as he did not like to accuse her, he passed on and stopped at the end of the passage, but when the prisoner saw him stop she turned back, and he went after her and asked her what she had under her cloak ; she replied * She had nothing belonging to him. He told her that he must see what she had got, when he found the piece of beef under her cloak. She requested him to let her go. It was half round of beef. He told her she must go with him to Mr. Anstee; he sent after Mr. Anstee, and a police man coming up at the time, she was given into cuscody. Mr. Anstee deposed that he went to the Station house on Tuesday night, and saw the prisoner in Custody: he also saw the meat : the weight of it was about 203lbs. It was laying outside the shop window not a minute before he missed it ; the prisoner had not been in his shop ; the value of the meat was 13s. He did not wish to press the charge. The prisoner’s brother pleaded on her behalf, and said he had not seen her in trouble before. She had never been married, and was then living with him The prisoner preferred being tried by this Bench, and pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to seven days inprisonment

The ‘Herts Guardian, Agricultural Journal, and General Advertiser‘ 28 March 1863 reported “POLICE News.—On Wednesday last two lads were apprehended, charged with stealing 5lbs of fat. from the premises of Mr. Anstee butcher, Barnet. One of the lads was in the employ of the prosecutor, and he purloined the fat; the other one acting as accessary to the offence by disposing of it for 9d. They were taken before a magistrate and remanded till Monday next.

In the 1871 Census he was a “butcher and farmer of 61 acres” living with his family at High Street, Chipping Barnet, Barnet (with them was a ‘cousin’ Eliza Sutton‘). He was “a butcher age 56, privately baptised on his deathbed on 23 June 1874” in Christ Church, Barnet, where he was residing at his death. He died very soon after; executor to his will was his widow Caroline.

Caroline died in 1905 in Barnet living at Meadowside, Puller Road South Mimms. Probate was to her daughter Caroline Wright; in her will she also left “one or two properties which provided small rents” to her son George Frederick William Anstee (ED 20).

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