Died October 5th 1849
Above: Emma, the third child born to Julia after her husband’s death, 10 years before
George Pike was born in 1822 and died in the 1849 outbreak, aged only 27. Because his father, also George, was a “ community-spirited man’, however we know more about this family, than many other victims of the cholera.
Young George was born to George Pike and his wife Catherine (Nesbit) in 1822. His father was born in Wooler in 1795 and baptised in the Presbyterian Chapel there, on 6th September 1795. He was the son of Edward and Margaret Pike. Young George’s mother, Catherine was born in Harbottle, just south of the Scottish Border, now in the Northumberland National Park. She was baptised on 13/12/1800 to George and Catherine Nesbit. The sponsors at her christening were The Honourable James and Mary Dormer, and it took place in the Catholic Church of St Mary’s, now the Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick.
The only marriage record we could find for a Catherine Nesbit and a George Pike was in Alnwick on 15/6/1827, when little George was five ? On the 1841 census George Snr was living in Market Street, Alnwick with his wife Catherine ( both 40) and a daughter Elizabeth (20). He was a bookseller and Catherine was a grocer. In 1848, George was elected as an overseer of the poor of Alnwick.
Meanwhile George Jnr was living alone in rooms in Clayport Street, sharing a house with the Geggie family. He was working as a book binder. There was a thriving book printing trade in Alnwick at that time, but he could have been working for his father. ( See letter head over). George Jnr married Julia Rogerson at the register office in Alnwick, on 21st February 1846. They were living in Pottergate Row when their first child, Julia was born seven months later. Catherine was their second daughter born in 1848, and their third daughter Ann was born in 1850, after her father had died from Cholera on 5th October 1849. Poor Julia was left a widow with three small daughters.
The 1851 census, which carried more information that the first in 1841 tells us that Julia was now living with her three small daughters in Clayport St, near the junction with Dispensary St and running a grocer shop. Also in 1851 George Snr, now age 50, was living in Green Batt, with his wife, Catherine and niece Elizabeth, so Elizabeth was not their daughter after all, and she was born in Scotland.
On the 1852 voters list for Alnwick, George Pike was running an inn and was a bookseller, but he also owned a house in Hope Lane, perhaps this was really the house in Green Batt. George was a member of the “Oddfellows” in the Percy Lodge and belonged to the Northumberland Rifles, a company of volunteers, where he was a sergeant, despite being middle aged.
Catherine Pike died on the 8th July 1854 age 58, “much respected wife of book-seller Mr George Pike.” On the 1861 census George Pike was widowed living with a house keeper. He was still a bookseller and Inn keeper, probably the Queen’s Head in Market Street. George name was mentioned in a lot of inquests that were held in the Star Inn so he must have moved in the 1860s. This was probably after he had married again to Susan Coxon, the proprietor of the Star Inn. They married in Newcastle, on the 16th February 1862.
Later that year George was involved in plans to build a branch line of the railway between Alnwick and his home town of Wooler. He was a member of the Local Board of Health and involved in the Mechanics Institute, in Percy Street. He was the host of a special testimonial and dinner held in the Star Inn in 1868, in honour of Mr George Tate. Many of the town’s dignitaries attended including R Middlemas, FR Wilson and G Armstrong. His death at the Star Inn, Fenkle St was reported in the local paper on the 4th June 1870. The book shop he had run for over 40 years was a flourishing business, and was sold by his executors to Mr George Challoner of Newcastle.
George Jnr’s widow Julia meanwhile had increased her family, which must have caused raised eyebrows. By 1861 she had given birth to George Rogerson Pike (10/1852) and Mary Rogerson Pike (1/1856), Rogerson being her maiden name. There was no mention of the father’s name. In 1859 she also gave birth to Emma Rogerson Pike but Emma does not appear in any other records.
Julia married a William Tate in Newcastle in 1865 when she was 40 years old. He must have died as Julia married again in 1868 to a William Elliott. In 1871 Julia was living in Pauperhaugh, near Rothbury with two children Marcy (Mary?) Pike 16 and Bobrey (Barbara?) Tate 5. Julias third husband was a carrier. Julia ended up living with Barbara’s family, also called Tate. Barbara’s husband, Ralph Tate was a coal miner in County Durham.
What a chequered life Julia had led!