McCann, Macann, or Maccann? in Concertina History Posted June 22, 2015 · Edited June 22, 2015 by Myrtle's cook THE DEATH OF MINNIE MACCANN In searching for a burial record for JHM amongst the burial registers and parish records of Liverpool I have also kept an eye open for additional details for these two parties. Burial of Minnie MacCann West Derby Cemetery Burial no. 28175 March 4th 1908 Aged 47 years Residence: Mill Road Infirmary Rank or profession: ‘---‘ [just a line] District of Everton Mode of burial: single Location: Section 2: grave 1793 Ceremony by Rev N H Harpur (Liverpool Libraries reference: 283 West Derby 10/1/5) Comments: - West Derby Cemetery is one of a number of large municipal cemeteries laid out on the edge of the city of Liverpool in the 19th century as the city’s population began to exponentially increase. - Mill Road Infirmary was part of the West Derby Union which oversaw the work houses and public hospitals until 1929 when the Local Government Act transferred these responsibilities to local authorities. - Her grave is in a Church of England section and was a ‘free ground’ burials (as distinct from burials where the plot had been purchased). I visited the site on Saturday and located her plot, which is unmarked and sits between a number of other unmarked graves. A rather forlorn end for Minnie. I am not so sure she would be pleased to know that another concertina player was taking an interest in her(?) - The Rev Harpur seems to have presided over the great majority of Anglican burials at this cemetery. THE WEDDING OF JHM AND SARAH JANE KENNERLEY (much of this information is available on line and will have been seen by Crane Driver and others already) The banns were read on 5th, 12th and 19th of April by Rev Cuffe, the incumbent of St Stephens (where they were to be married). The Banns Record records John Henry McCann (widower) and Sarah Jane Kennerley (s) Wedding 11:30 April 22nd. Note that it is John HENRY in the Banns. (Liverpool Libraries ref: 283/GRO/3/3) The Marriage records both JHM and Sarah as resident at 3 Minshull Str at the time of marriage. The ceremony was not performed by the vicar of St Stephens who had read the banns (Rev Cuffe) but instead by Rev H R Parnell of St Marys, Edge Hill. The record states that Sarah’s father was Thomas Kennerley, boiler maker (deceased). It also has the correction of Henry to Hillam for JHM mentioned previously in this discussion thread. The witnesses are William Noble and Sarah Love. (Liverpool libraries ref: 283/GRO/5/3) Comments: -The correction of JHM’s middle name on the marriage record would seem to be that of an error carried over from the banns. - St Stephen’s was the closest Church of England church to Minshull Str (probably about 2 or 3 minute’s walk); St Mary’s, Edge Hill is only a fraction further away. ( see http://www.liverpoolhistoryprojects.co.uk/liverpoolaz/R7.htmtiles P7, R7, P6) St Stephens seems to have been an unusually quiet church in terms of weddings, with only 9 in 1908, whilst there were 47 in the nearby St Marys, Edge Hill. Within the parish records for both churches there is no reason given for Rev Parnell presiding over ceremonies in place of Rev Cuffe (the Rev Cuffe presides over the Easter service the preceding Sunday and is back in the pulpit the Sunday following the wedding). Of the 9 weddings performed in 1908 Rev Cuffe presides over six, with Rev Parnell presiding over two others and another vicar the ninth. The various parish minute books etc of the period record a declining congregation and a church operating on a constant deficit. Neither JHM or Sarah are listed amongst the Communicants of St Stephens in the earliest surviving register covering 1913-43 (Liverpool Library Reference 283 GRO/8/1), so this would seem to be a quiet church of convenience rather than the church to which they belonged (although accepting that much can happen over five years). Turning to the witnesses, William Noble and the improbably named witness for a wedding ‘Sarah Love’. I did wonder if they might have been serial or ’professional’ witnesses, but their names do not appear as witnesses to any other weddings taking place in either St Stephens and St Mary’s in 1908. On closer investigation it is most likely that this William Noble is a resident of the nearby and affluent Faulkner Square (no. 33) and whilst not a member of St Stephen’s congregation (he’s not in the in 1913 Communicants Register) he financially contributed to this church. In the various censuses, directories etc he is listed as a retired officer of private means (b.1839) and a former treasurer of the city’s harbour board (a position of some importance). How he might have come to know JHM (or Sarah) we can only guess – perhaps a pupil? Following the speculation above concerning JHM’s relationship with alcohol in later life, I cannot resist raising the very outside possibility that the witnessing William Noble may have been an Evangelical preacher of that name spearheading a the ‘Blue Ribbon [temperance] Movement’ that was doing the rounds of English meeting halls and mission chapels at the time. Had JHM become a convert in his battle with the drink and perhaps provided William Noble with a sound track to his lectures and preaching? JHM records in an interview that he enjoyed playing spiritual music at services on long sea passages (http://www.concertina.com/maccann-duet/howtoplay/images/P08.htm). For the avoidance of doubt this suggestion is made with tongue firmly in cheek! Turning to Sarah Love. We do not find her listed amongst St Stephen’s communicants in the churche’s 1913-43 Register so might assume her to be a friend of Sarah or JHM. There are a number of possibilities listed in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, amongst them: A Sarah Jane Love, aged 35 in 1911, a housekeeper in nearby 5 prospect Vale; Sarah Love, aged 48 in 1901 and resident in nearby 29 Sidney Place (apparently a housewife); Sarah Love, aged 23, Chandlers Assistant and head of household, resident at nearby Low Hill. If she were any of these three, then it implies that Sarah Kennerley is of a similar rather modest background. The day of the wedding was a Wednesday, not unprecedented, although the local norm of the time would seem to have been Saturdays going from the parish registers. Perhaps earnings from a Saturday’s engagements were too important to be sacrificed for a musician – whether busking to football crowds or playing in pubs (and it might be noted that a significant number of pubs in the Liverpool city centre and outlying boroughs had concert rooms attached and presented bills similar to the larger music halls albeit with more modest line ups and a more bawdy clientele). Overall one cannot but feel that there is an almost indecent haste with which JHM and Sarah are rushing to tie the knot, with Banns read only a month after Minnie’s burial. Ironically this proximity makes me think it increasingly likely that this Minnie is JHM’s second ‘wife’, and both he and Sarah had been impatiently waiting for her passing in order to get married. Barely a redeeming feature, but the wedding has the feel of a rather low key event.