David Brickley, though a fairly recent ancestor, remains a mystery. I would love to investigate further and in person if I am ever able.
David was born in Ireland, at Cullinagh, County Cork in 1819 and married Ellen Dady in Bradford in 1847. Between those dates I have found nothing about him, unless he is the David Brickley who was on trial in 1831 and again in 1846. Unfortunately, even if he was the same David Brickley, the records don’t give any details of his alleged crimes or punishments.
I had at first assumed that David emigrated to England, like many others, because of the Great Famine and this may be so. But maybe it’s not so simple, if he had been in prison in Ireland. Did he need to leave the country? Had his crime made Ireland too hot to hold him?
Whatever caused him to come to England, he found work in the mills of Bradford and started to raise a family. But he also joined the West Yorkshire Rifle Regiment of Militia, and it was clearly an important part of his life. His son Thomas would later give his father’s occupation as “soldier” rather than mill-worker. Could there have been a connection with one of the three militias in County Cork?
In 1854 Ellen died, leaving four children under the age of six. Unusually, David seems to have looked after the children by himself for a number of years. He married Elizabeth Riley in 1862, when the youngest child, our ancestor Catherine, would be ten. It does not seem that there were any children from the second marriage. Elizabeth was also from Ireland, probably a member of the large Irish community in Bradford.
Although he was only a working man, David managed to get on in England sufficiently well to leave a will with an estate of £89 12s. This would be equivalent to about £44,780.00 in 2019, according to the excellent website Measuring Worth. And where did that money come from?
So many questions – watch this space for any future answers!
Father of Catherine Brickley and son of Jacob and Ellen Brickley
Born in Cullinagh and baptised on 25 September 1819 at Lislee, Cork, Ireland
Emigrated to England sometime before 1847
Married Ellen Dady in July-September 1847, then Elizabeth Riley in 1862, both in Bradford
Died 29 January 1889 according to the record of administration of his estate