The Yeoman Family of Harton (1781-1803) | HEATHER'S HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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The Yeoman Family of Harton: Poignant Memorial to a family beset by Tragedy (1781-1803)
UPDATED: 09 OCTOBER 2021

Tablet George Yeoman and his family; his death in 1785 was followed by those of his five children (three in a shipwreck) so that on the death of his wife Ann in 1803,
'no vestige of the existence of this family remains, save this memorial';
a poignant text, accompanied by a dramatic carving of the shipwreck, signed by Regnart* of Clearland St, Peter F Ryder (An Archaeological Assessment: November 2006)

CONTEXT

This memorial stone in St Hilda's Church, South Shields is significant to Richard Scott (1740-1804). My research into the Yeoman family of several years ago and not yet on my website, is connected to 'The Green Family', a significant South Shields family for almost two centuries.

It was at a talk by Jean Stokes on the 18th September 2021 on 'The Farms of Harton' that I learned that they had been the occupants of Harton House Farm prior to Richard Scott. The gardens referenced in Richard Scott’s will and of which he was seemingly proud, were probably established by Ann Yeoman.

'my wife to hold, use and enjoy the dwelling house at Harton, wherein I now reside together with the immediate appurtances and two gardens'.

Owning a home at Westoe, where she died, perhaps Ann Yeoman found peace and solitude in the Harton House Farm gardens where she may have enjoyed family life with her five children who survived after her husband’s death in 1785.

Inscription

Transcription

To the Memory of Geo YEOMAN of Harton in the County Esqr. who died January the 23rd 1785 aged 42 years. Also of Esther his daughter an infant.

And of Ann his daughter who died on the 11th Novr1793 aged 18 Cut off by the corroding influence of a consumption just as she was entering a world in which her beauty her gentleness and accomplishments would have attracted universal esteem.

Likewise GEORGE JOHN & HENRY his sons who returning from Quebeck were shipwrecked on the Lands End on the 17th of December 1797.

George aged 23 John 20 Henry 18 years Which unhappy catastrophe while it filld the heart of their surviving parent with the most poignant sorrow diffused a gloom over the whole circle of the neighbourhood for those pleasing expectations which the manhood of George had alrady confirmed the less mature years of his brothers promised to fulfill.

Also to the memory of
an afflicted Parent's last remaining hope Thomas who died March 18th 1799 aged 18 years.
This monument the sad memorial of no common defastation is consecrated by the widowd wife and childless mother.
Stranger if thou hast met with affliction
Ponder o'er the rapid destruction of this once flourishing family And in contemplating the sorrows of a forlorn mother
Forget for a while thine Own.
On the 19th of March 1803
having borne with the meek and resigned Spirit of a Christian the repeated deprivations of her Husband and Children
it pleased God to call from this Trial
of her fortitude and submission.
ANN YEOMAN
The Wife and Mother of the above recorded deceased
Aged 60 Years
By whose death no vestige of the existence of this family remains
Save this poor memorial.

Shipwreck Lands' End 1797


Caledonian Mercury - Monday 25 December 1797 (British Newspaper Archive)

The fact that the ship on which Ann Yeoman's sons had sailed from the Tyne to Quebec and back belonged to her 'The Neried' questions her reasons for allowing them all to sail together especially given the high mortality rate within her family. George Yeoman, the Captain, was only aged twenty-three years. John Yeoman was apprenticed to Robert Robinson a City of Durham, Attorney on the 17th December 1791 so it is difficult to understand why he would benefit from a potentially hazardous voyage across the Atlantic. As ever, it is difficult to apply the norms of yesterday with those of today. In fact, during my research, I discovered a cousin of the tragic trio who was sent to South Shields from London two years later in 1800 to sea-bathe to improve his strength.

Family Tree

Ann Hunter (1740-1803) born Chollerton, Northumberland and married William Heath (-1772) in 1763 at Stamfordham, Northumberland on the 30th May 1763. Following his death in 1772, she married George Yeoman (1732-1785) at St John’s Church in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1773. They settled in Westoe (now part of South Shields) and were parents to:- George Yeoman (1776-1797); John Yeoman (1776-1797); Ann Yeoman (1778-1793); Esther Yeoman (1778-1781); Henry Yeoman (1779-1797); Thomas Yeoman (1781-1799).

REFERENCES

Charles Regnart (1759-1843) was the brother-in-law of Ann Yeoman, married to her sister, Esther Hunter (1752-1815); he was a famous London monumental sculptor and responsible for other memorials within the Church.
Family Tree from my Ancestry Tree
Images from 'FindmyPast'

Images of St Hilda's Church, Market Place, South Shields