Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Light absorbing ovines

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.


  1. You don't actually *have* all eight names, though, do you? That would make you sillier than Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

    I rather object to family trees for obvious feminist reasons, but my dad has no such qualms and has traced his paternal line back several centuries. Most of them were pipemakers living in Burscough, and at least one per generation died by falling into the Leeds Liverpool Canal while pissed. Good to know I have such a distinguished lineage.

  2. The eight aren't all mine, no ... self, sister, mum & dad, aunt & uncle + 2 cousins = 8.

    Q: Why can't you tell when Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is in the toilet? A: Because the p is silent. This joke was originally devised for Michelle Pfeiffer but it (just) transfers.

  3. My dad's done a lot of work tracing our genealogy, I understand I'm descended from Lady Jane Grey, of tea fame. I was always jealous of my friend at school because she was part gypsy, which sounded far more awesome to me.

  4. I'm not familiar with that Lady Jane Grey, just this one, who didn't have time to leave any descendents ...


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