John Close, 18161891 (aged 75 years)

Birth 1816
Baptism August 11, 1816 (aged 0)
Census 1841 1841 (aged 25 years)
Note: Living with parents and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland
Note 1842 (aged 26 years)

Note: He had a hand in The Book of the Chronicles : or, Winter Evening Tales of Westmorland.
Note 1846 (aged 30 years)

Note: Established himself as a printer and called himself "Poet Close".
Occupation
Printer at Town Head
1849 (aged 33 years)
Census 1851 1851 (aged 35 years)
Note: Living with parents and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.
Death of a fatherJarvis Close
August 13, 1853 (aged 37 years)
Death Index
Death Index

Note:

Jarvis Close (1786) Death Index

July / August / September 1853

Jarvis Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page 416

Burial of a fatherJarvis Close
after August 13, 1853 (aged 37 years)
Note:

Buried at the Wesleyan Methodist burial ground, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.

“His coffin was born by four nephews, all fine tall young men” written by son John “Poet” Close

Memorial Inscription on headstone reads:

In Memory of

Jarvis Close who died Aug XIII MDCCCLIII Aged LXVII years

Also of Elizabeth his wife who died Feb XXVII Aged LXXIX years

Photograph about 1855 (aged 39 years)

Note:

Poet Close at the lakes composing his Grand War Poem. Image taken from one of his books.

Probably around 1855, assuming the war in question is the Crimean.

Many thanks to Stephen Nelson for the scan.

MarriageEliza EarlyView this family
March 2, 1858 (aged 42 years)
Marriage Index
Marriage Index

Note:

John Close (1816) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

John Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633


Marriage Index
Marriage Index

Note:

Eliza Early (1826) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

Eliza Lowdon, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

Birth of a son
#1
Jarvis William Close
about 1858 (aged 42 years)
Birth Index
Birth Index

Note:

Jarvis William Close (1858) Birth Index

October / November / December 1858

Jarvis William Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 479

Note 1859 (aged 43 years)

Note: Taken to court at Liverpool for libel about a young lady of Kirkby Stephen district and fined £300 which caused him to be impoverished.
Birth of a daughter
#2
Elizabeth Close
July 8, 1860 (aged 44 years)
Birth Index
Birth Index

Note:

Elizabeth Close (1860) Birth Index

July / August / September 1860

Elizabeth Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 527

Note 1860 (aged 44 years)

Note:

Through the influence of Lord Lonsdale he was granted a Civil List Pension by Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister, but this was revoked and he was given £100 from the Royal Bounty in compensation.

He wrote of this “injustice” for the remainder of his life.

Death of a motherElizabeth Harker
February 27, 1861 (aged 45 years)
Note: Died at the home of daughter Ann near Appleby, Westmorland
Death Index
Death Index

Note:

Elizabeth Harker (1781) Death Index

January / February / March 1861

Elizabeth Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page 404

Burial of a motherElizabeth Harker
March 4, 1861 (aged 45 years)
Note:

Memorial Inscription on headstone reads:

In Memory of

Jarvis Close who died Aug XIII MDCCCLIII Aged LXVII years

Also of Elizabeth his wife who died Feb XXVII Aged LXXIX years

Photograph about 1861 (aged 45 years)

Note:

John Close shows how he is under attack.

Thanks to Sue Premru for the picture.

Census 1861 1861 (aged 45 years)
Note:

Living with wife Eliza and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. Printer and dealer in fancy wares.

Eliza's two children, John and Ann, from her previous marriage to Thomas Lowdon are present.

Photograph May 9, 1861 (aged 45 years)

Note:

Article on JPC and his pension woes, published by The Caledonian on 9 May 1861.

Many thanks to Sue Premru for the copy.

Note July 23, 1861 (aged 45 years)
Note: On 23rd July 1861 the question of John's pension was raised in the House of Commons. Sharon Close has sent a copy of the Hansard transcript which is available in John's Hall of Fame entry on the main Close Ancestry site.
Birth of a son
#3
Charles Musgrave Close
1862 (aged 46 years)
Birth Index
Birth Index

Note:

Charles Musgrave Close (1862) Birth Index

July / August / September 1862

Charles Musgrave Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 548

Note 1862 (aged 46 years)

Note: He's still at it with the Once a Year correspondence.
Note

Note:

As a young man John helped his father Jarvis with his butchers business but he mistakenly thought he had a talent to be a poet. At the age of 16 he started printing fly-sheets of his verses to sell at the markets and later progressed to writing books.

In 1846 he established himself as a printer in Kirkby Stephen and called himself "Poet" Close and his house "Poet's Hall".

His prolific publications included his annual "Christmas Book". In addition to his verses and stories these gave a revue of the year's events in the district and therefore contain much biographical information on the inhabitants of the district as well as on his family and relations.

In 1858 he married Eliza Early, a young widow who had three children and together they had five of their own. During the summer months John lived at Bowness where he had a bookstall at the boat-landing stage on Lake Windermere.

The Closes and the Barkers were ardent Methodists, several of them being local preachers for many years, However John was always making disparaging remarks about Methodists while at the same time writing about "good old John Barker". At one time his sister Ann, who was married to a local preacher, George Yare, wrote to him on behalf of their mother, asking him not to be so harsh on the Methodists.

He was in the habit of letting his pen run away with his discretion and so in 1859 was taken to court in Liverpool for libel for remarks he had made about a young lady of the Kirkby Stephen district. This resulted in £300 damages against him. He also had great difficulty making a living, however, he was in the habit of saying flattering things of those in authority and in high places.

In 1860, through the influence of Lord Lonsdale, Lord Carlisle and other gentlemen, he was granted a Civil List Pension by the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. When it was discovered by Parliament that his writing had no merit the pension was stopped and he was given £100 from the Royal Bounty by Lord Palmerston in compensation. He continued to write of this "injustice" for the remainder of his life.

Here's a little sample of his doggerel:

Around the gods, each seated on a throne,

The poets, crowned like royal kings they sat.

Around their heads a dazzling halo shone,

No needs of mortal robes, or any hat.

("Haloes, Not Hats")

... which has apparently appeared in an anthology of the best bad poetry out there...

Baptism of a sonCharles Musgrave Close
August 3, 1862 (aged 46 years)
Photograph about 1863 (aged 47 years)

Note:

Poet Close at home. Image taken from one of his books.

Probably around 1863.

Many thanks to Stephen Nelson for the scan.

Birth of a son
#4
Edward Horatio Close
October 20, 1864 (aged 48 years)
Birth Index
Birth Index

Note:

Edward Horatio Close (1864) Birth Index

October / November / December 1864

Edward Horatio Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 552

Baptism of a sonEdward Horatio Close
November 27, 1864 (aged 48 years)
Birth of a son
#5
Henry Cecil Close
about 1866 (aged 50 years)
Birth Index
Birth Index

Note:

Henry Cecil Close (1866) Birth Index

July / August / September 1866

Henry C Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 569

Note 1869 (aged 53 years)

Note: Publication of Poet Close's Grand Lake Book of 1869.
Photograph about 1870 (aged 54 years)

Note:

Photograph of The Waddle Family by John Poet Close.

Not sure when it was produced 1870 is a guess.

Many thanks to Stephen Nelson for the photograph.

Census 1871 1871 (aged 55 years)
Note:

Living with wife Eliza and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. Printer and news agent.

Eliza's two children, Mary and John, from her previous marriage to Thomas Lowdon are present.

Photograph 1871 (aged 55 years)

Note:

Photograph of the children of John "Poet" Close.

Taken around 1871.

Photograph 1873 (aged 57 years)

Note:

Photograph of John "Poet" Close.

Probably taken around 1873.

Photograph 1873 (aged 57 years)

Note:

John "Poet" Close Autograph Card.

Produced around 1873.

He sold autographed copies of these for 1 shilling each.


Note January 3, 1874 (aged 58 years)

Note:

Penrith Herald Jan 3 1874 Letters to the Editor

LORD LONSDALE'S KINDNESS TO POET CLOSE.

In the preface to Mr. CLOSE's Christmas Book, which he has just sent us, we find a sketch of the LOWTHER Family, and how kind his Lordship and his son were to the Poet when last at Kirkby Stephen. On their return to Lowther Castle, VISCOUNT LOWTHER sent Mr. CLOSE a box of game, containing 2 large hares and 2 fine pheasants. On Tuesday, Dec. 16th, a hamper came by rail, with a large Stilton cheese inside, with a paper upon it, with these words, "From the Hon. Hugh LOWTHER;" which kind present no little astonished and pleased Mr. and Mrs. CLOSE.

A READER OF THE HERALD.

====================

Given the number of CAPITAL letters there are in this, one has to assume that the anonymous reader was JPC himself.

Photograph about 1875 (aged 59 years)
Note: Photograph of John Close at Bowness in about 1875.
Photograph
Photograph

Note: The plate is from a 1975 book of photos of old Windermere called "Fenty's Album". According to the book the original print was in Windermere library back then.
Photograph May 14, 1880 (aged 64 years)

Note:

Poem written by JPC, and published in the Ambleside Herald on 22 May 1880.

Many thanks to Sue Premru for the copy.

Census 1881 1881 (aged 65 years)
Note:

Living with wife Eliza and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. Bookseller and stationer.

Seems to be a granddaughter, Kate E Stonehouse present who is probably the daughter of either Mary or Ann Lowdon from Eliza's first marriage, since Elizabeth Close is unmarried at this time.

Later living at “Poet’s Hall”, New Terrace, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.

Note 1883 (aged 67 years)

Note: Publication of The Satirist or Every Man in his Humour.
Occupation
Author and Poet, Poets Hall, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.
1885 (aged 69 years)
Note 1885 (aged 69 years)

Note: Publication of Poet Close's Christmas Book of 1885.
Death February 15, 1891 (aged 75 years)
Death Index
Death Index

Note:

John Close (1816) Death Index

January / February / March 1891

John Close, Aged 74, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 474

Burial after February 15, 1891 (on the date of death)
Will March 24, 1891 (1 month after death)

Note:

Summary of the Will of John Close of Town Head, Kirkby Stephen, Bookseller & Stationer. Drawn 6 May 1890. Proved 24 Mar 1891. Effects & Value of Estate = £41.18.1d. Executor: Son Henry Cecil Close of Preston, Lancs. Postal Clerk.

To youngest son Henry Cecil Close whole of Property including 4 houses on Townhead all customary Hold under Lord Hothfield of Appleby Castle.

Remainder of Personal Property to Henry Cecil if still alive otherwise to wife Eliza Close

Photograph about 1915 (23 years after death)

Note:

Postcard of John Close selling his books at Windermere.

Appears to be one of a series. This one is postmarked 1915, which is 24 years after his death.

Family with parents
father
1841 Census
17861853
Birth: about 1786Dyke Heads, Gunnerside, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
Death: August 13, 1853Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
mother
1841 Census
17811861
Birth: about 1781Swaledale, Yorkshire, England
Death: February 27, 1861Appleby-in-Westmorland, Westmorland, England
Marriage
Marriage: November 9, 1815Church of St Andrew, Grinton, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
14 months
himself
Mannexs History 1849
18161891
Birth: 1816Gunnerside, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
Death: February 15, 1891Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
4 years
younger sister
1841 Census
18191903
Birth: 1819Crosby Garrett, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Death: 1903Culgaith, Penrith, Cumberland, England
Family with Eliza Early
himself
Mannexs History 1849
18161891
Birth: 1816Gunnerside, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
Death: February 15, 1891Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
wife
1861 Census
18261899
Birth: about 1826Marylebone, London, Middlesex, England
Death: October 9, 1899Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Marriage
Marriage: March 2, 1858Brough under Stainmore, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Westmorland, England
10 months
son
1881 Census (page 1)
18581899
Birth: about 1858Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Death: 1899Carlisle, Cumberland, England
3 years
daughter
1861 Census
18601934
Birth: July 8, 1860Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Death: August 1934Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
3 years
son
1881 Census (page 1)
18621895
Birth: 1862Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Death: 1895Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England
3 years
son
1871 Census
18641926
Birth: October 20, 1864Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Death: 1926Croft House, Market Street, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
2 years
son
1871 Census
18661900
Birth: about 1866Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Death: August 31, 1900Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Thomas Lowdon + Eliza Early
partner’s partner
wife
1861 Census
18261899
Birth: about 1826Marylebone, London, Middlesex, England
Death: October 9, 1899Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Marriage
Marriage: about 1850Marylebone, London, Middlesex, England
2 years
step-daughter
1871 Census
1851
Birth: about 1851London, Middlesex, England
3 years
step-son
1861 Census
1853
Birth: about 1853St Martin in the Fields, London, Middlesex, England
3 years
step-daughter
1861 Census
1855
Birth: about 1855Hellbeck, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
Census 1841

Living with parents and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland

Note

He had a hand in The Book of the Chronicles : or, Winter Evening Tales of Westmorland.

Note

Established himself as a printer and called himself "Poet Close".

Census 1851

Living with parents and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.

Photograph

Poet Close at the lakes composing his Grand War Poem. Image taken from one of his books.

Probably around 1855, assuming the war in question is the Crimean.

Many thanks to Stephen Nelson for the scan.

Note

Taken to court at Liverpool for libel about a young lady of Kirkby Stephen district and fined £300 which caused him to be impoverished.

Note

Through the influence of Lord Lonsdale he was granted a Civil List Pension by Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister, but this was revoked and he was given £100 from the Royal Bounty in compensation.

He wrote of this “injustice” for the remainder of his life.

Photograph

John Close shows how he is under attack.

Thanks to Sue Premru for the picture.

Census 1861

Living with wife Eliza and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. Printer and dealer in fancy wares.

Eliza's two children, John and Ann, from her previous marriage to Thomas Lowdon are present.

Photograph

Article on JPC and his pension woes, published by The Caledonian on 9 May 1861.

Many thanks to Sue Premru for the copy.

Note

On 23rd July 1861 the question of John's pension was raised in the House of Commons. Sharon Close has sent a copy of the Hansard transcript which is available in John's Hall of Fame entry on the main Close Ancestry site.

Note

He's still at it with the Once a Year correspondence.

Photograph

Poet Close at home. Image taken from one of his books.

Probably around 1863.

Many thanks to Stephen Nelson for the scan.

Note

Publication of Poet Close's Grand Lake Book of 1869.

Photograph

Photograph of The Waddle Family by John Poet Close.

Not sure when it was produced 1870 is a guess.

Many thanks to Stephen Nelson for the photograph.

Census 1871

Living with wife Eliza and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. Printer and news agent.

Eliza's two children, Mary and John, from her previous marriage to Thomas Lowdon are present.

Photograph

Photograph of the children of John "Poet" Close.

Taken around 1871.

Photograph

Photograph of John "Poet" Close.

Probably taken around 1873.

Photograph

John "Poet" Close Autograph Card.

Produced around 1873.

He sold autographed copies of these for 1 shilling each.

Note

Penrith Herald Jan 3 1874 Letters to the Editor

LORD LONSDALE'S KINDNESS TO POET CLOSE.

In the preface to Mr. CLOSE's Christmas Book, which he has just sent us, we find a sketch of the LOWTHER Family, and how kind his Lordship and his son were to the Poet when last at Kirkby Stephen. On their return to Lowther Castle, VISCOUNT LOWTHER sent Mr. CLOSE a box of game, containing 2 large hares and 2 fine pheasants. On Tuesday, Dec. 16th, a hamper came by rail, with a large Stilton cheese inside, with a paper upon it, with these words, "From the Hon. Hugh LOWTHER;" which kind present no little astonished and pleased Mr. and Mrs. CLOSE.

A READER OF THE HERALD.

====================

Given the number of CAPITAL letters there are in this, one has to assume that the anonymous reader was JPC himself.

Photograph

Photograph of John Close at Bowness in about 1875.

Photograph

Poem written by JPC, and published in the Ambleside Herald on 22 May 1880.

Many thanks to Sue Premru for the copy.

Census 1881

Living with wife Eliza and family at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. Bookseller and stationer.

Seems to be a granddaughter, Kate E Stonehouse present who is probably the daughter of either Mary or Ann Lowdon from Eliza's first marriage, since Elizabeth Close is unmarried at this time.

Later living at “Poet’s Hall”, New Terrace, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.

Note

Publication of The Satirist or Every Man in his Humour.

Note

Publication of Poet Close's Christmas Book of 1885.

Note

As a young man John helped his father Jarvis with his butchers business but he mistakenly thought he had a talent to be a poet. At the age of 16 he started printing fly-sheets of his verses to sell at the markets and later progressed to writing books.

In 1846 he established himself as a printer in Kirkby Stephen and called himself "Poet" Close and his house "Poet's Hall".

His prolific publications included his annual "Christmas Book". In addition to his verses and stories these gave a revue of the year's events in the district and therefore contain much biographical information on the inhabitants of the district as well as on his family and relations.

In 1858 he married Eliza Early, a young widow who had three children and together they had five of their own. During the summer months John lived at Bowness where he had a bookstall at the boat-landing stage on Lake Windermere.

The Closes and the Barkers were ardent Methodists, several of them being local preachers for many years, However John was always making disparaging remarks about Methodists while at the same time writing about "good old John Barker". At one time his sister Ann, who was married to a local preacher, George Yare, wrote to him on behalf of their mother, asking him not to be so harsh on the Methodists.

He was in the habit of letting his pen run away with his discretion and so in 1859 was taken to court in Liverpool for libel for remarks he had made about a young lady of the Kirkby Stephen district. This resulted in £300 damages against him. He also had great difficulty making a living, however, he was in the habit of saying flattering things of those in authority and in high places.

In 1860, through the influence of Lord Lonsdale, Lord Carlisle and other gentlemen, he was granted a Civil List Pension by the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. When it was discovered by Parliament that his writing had no merit the pension was stopped and he was given £100 from the Royal Bounty by Lord Palmerston in compensation. He continued to write of this "injustice" for the remainder of his life.

Here's a little sample of his doggerel:

Around the gods, each seated on a throne,

The poets, crowned like royal kings they sat.

Around their heads a dazzling halo shone,

No needs of mortal robes, or any hat.

("Haloes, Not Hats")

... which has apparently appeared in an anthology of the best bad poetry out there...

Will

Summary of the Will of John Close of Town Head, Kirkby Stephen, Bookseller & Stationer. Drawn 6 May 1890. Proved 24 Mar 1891. Effects & Value of Estate = £41.18.1d. Executor: Son Henry Cecil Close of Preston, Lancs. Postal Clerk.

To youngest son Henry Cecil Close whole of Property including 4 houses on Townhead all customary Hold under Lord Hothfield of Appleby Castle.

Remainder of Personal Property to Henry Cecil if still alive otherwise to wife Eliza Close

Photograph

Postcard of John Close selling his books at Windermere.

Appears to be one of a series. This one is postmarked 1915, which is 24 years after his death.

Census 1841
Occupation
Census 1851
Photograph
Marriage
Note:

John Close (1816) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

John Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

Marriage
Note:

Eliza Early (1826) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

Eliza Lowdon, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

Photograph
Census 1861
Photograph
Photograph
Note
Photograph
Census 1871
Photograph
Photograph
Photograph
Photograph
Photograph
Note: The plate is from a 1975 book of photos of old Windermere called "Fenty's Album". According to the book the original print was in Windermere library back then.
Photograph
Census 1881
Occupation
Note
Death
Note:

John Close (1816) Death Index

January / February / March 1891

John Close, Aged 74, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 474

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Note: The plate is from a 1975 book of photos of old Windermere called "Fenty's Album". According to the book the original print was in Windermere library back then.
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Note:

John Close (1816) Death Index

January / February / March 1891

John Close, Aged 74, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 474

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Note: The plate is from a 1975 book of photos of old Windermere called "Fenty's Album". According to the book the original print was in Windermere library back then.
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Note:

John Close (1816) Death Index

January / February / March 1891

John Close, Aged 74, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 474

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Note: The plate is from a 1975 book of photos of old Windermere called "Fenty's Album". According to the book the original print was in Windermere library back then.
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Note:

John Close (1816) Death Index

January / February / March 1891

John Close, Aged 74, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 474

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Note: The plate is from a 1975 book of photos of old Windermere called "Fenty's Album". According to the book the original print was in Windermere library back then.
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Note:

John Close (1816) Death Index

January / February / March 1891

John Close, Aged 74, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 474

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Note:

John Close (1816) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

John Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

Eliza Early (1826) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

Eliza Lowdon, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

Ann Close (1819) Marriage Index

October / November / December 1857

Ann Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b, Page: 863

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Note:

William George Yare (1823) Marriage Index

October / November / December 1857

William George Yare, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b, Page: 863

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Note:

John Close (1816) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

John Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

Eliza Early (1826) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

Eliza Lowdon, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

John Close (1816) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

John Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

Eliza Early (1826) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

Eliza Lowdon, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

John Close (1816) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

John Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

Eliza Early (1826) Marriage Index

January / February / March 1858

Eliza Lowdon, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b Page: 633

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Note:

Ann Close (1819) Marriage Index

October / November / December 1857

Ann Close, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b, Page: 863

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Note:

William George Yare (1823) Marriage Index

October / November / December 1857

William George Yare, East Ward, Westmorland

Volume: 10b, Page: 863