For many, many years (until the advent of the internet) the only Jeapeses I knew, or knew of, were ones I was directly related to. Then suddenly, around the mid-nineties, others started getting in touch. Eventually it was even possible to piece together a fairly sketchy history of the Jeapes family. It still seems odd to see a first name that isn't one of a repertoire of eight (nine if you include my lovely wife) appended to my surname.
Like Jesse Jeapes, for instance, who lived in the mid nineteenth century and who had four daughters.
And today I learnt that Jesse was a policeman, constable no. C146 to be precise. (Unless, of course, there were two Jesse Jeapeses, which isn’t impossible.) A right little thief taker he was too, being cited as a witness in 13 of the 19 cases you get if you enter JEAPES as a search term in the Proceedings of the Old Bailey.
George Jeapes, a witness in two cases, was constable D152. We’re a law abiding lot.
Apart that is from William Jeapes (17) who on 25 February 1895 pleaded guilty to a burglary in the dwelling-house of John Campbell Wells, and stealing a purse, a pair of stockings, a pair of gloves, and £2 10s. in money. I am shocked, shocked to my core. Mind you, I happen to know there was a William Jeapes who was a company director in 1929, so maybe he went straight. The little brute got six months hard labour so maybe some good came of it.
Henry Jeapes, witness in a fraud case of 16 November 1903, was an accountant, so there are black sheep in every family.