Sharpe, John Thomas

Birth 1876-11-23 5 St John's Road, Boston, Lincolnshire
Census 1881-- 5 St John's Road, Boston, Lincolnshire
Census 1891-- 5 St John's Road, Boston, Lincolnshire
Marriage 1896-8-23 Wesleyan Chapel, Boston, Lincolnshire
Census 1901-- 13 Mill Hill, Boston, Lincolnshire (Mill Hill was a cluster of buildings situated at the top end of Wide Bargate roughly opposite to the Red Cow pub on what is now a car park.)
Census 1911-- 36 Oxford Street, Boston, Lincolnshire
Occupation 1918-10- Claythorne Lane, Boston, Lincolnshire
Death 1945-2-19 Woodlands Court Nursing Home, Kirton, Lincolnshire


5 St John's Road, Boston, Lincolnshire


5 St John's Road, Boston, Lincolnshire


5 St John's Road, Boston, Lincolnshire


Wesleyan Chapel, Boston, Lincolnshire


13 Mill Hill, Boston, Lincolnshire (Mill Hill was a cluster of buildings situated at the top end of Wide Bargate roughly opposite to the Red Cow pub on what is now a car park.)


36 Oxford Street, Boston, Lincolnshire


Claythorne Lane, Boston, Lincolnshire


Woodlands Court Nursing Home, Kirton, Lincolnshire


A Boston Marriage That Failed

Boston Guardian - Saturday 01 September 1900

“A woman with a devil of a temper!”

“Poor Downtrodden Husband!”

“I have had to sit down like a child.”

At the Boston Borough Police to-day (Friday) -before Messrs J. Beaulah (in the chair), C. N. Hunn and W. Bedford

John Thomas Sharpe, labourer, 35, Fydell Street, was summoned by Martha Agnes Sharpe of 40. West Street, his wife, for persistent cruelty to her. and by such cruelty causing her to leave him and live separately and apart from him, and complainant applied for a separation order under the Summary Juriction (Married Women) Act, 1895.

Mr. W. H. Gane for the complainant, and Mr. H. Snaith for the defendant.

Mr. Gane, in stating the facts of the case, said that the defendant, after he was served with the summons, instead of waiting to allow the Court to decide whether he or his wife was in the wrong, instructed the Town Crier to “cry” his wife and state that he would not be answerable for her debts, which was done. That showed the disposition of the man, for as a matter of fact his wife had not got a penny into debt. He would prove that the defendant had been guilty of persistent cruelty, and on that ground she asked for judicial separation.

Martha Agnes Sharpe said: I am the wife of the defendant, and am now living with my father, Mr. Hudson, at No. 40. West-street. Boston. On Aug. 23rd, 1890, and were married at the Wesleyan Chape!, Boston. There are three children by the marriage. Frederick Aubrey Hudson, born 16th Nov., 1896; John Thomas Reginald, born 20th Nov., 1897; Sydney Lionel, born 4th Nov., 1899. A fortnight after we were married husband commenced ill-treating me. On Jan. 1897, one dinner time, he struck me and knocked about on the head on the stairs. That was on account of me asking him to take his boots off when he wanted to go upstairs. In March, 1897, threw some hot rice pudding in my face and scoulded it very badly, In May 1897 he threw a bucket of water all over me. In JUne 1897 he struck me and knocked me about the arms and head and kicked me on the legs.

Did that kind of treatment continue upto May Fair? – Yes. I left and went to my parents. I afterwards returned to my husband upon his promising to behave better towards me. On the 24th Jan. this year he struck me in the stomach and kicked me on the legs.

Where were you? – In bed. The blow in the stomach was a severe one. I was with child and it caused me to miscarry. He continued to ill-treat me during May, June and July.

Has his ill treatment always been of the same character? – Yes. On Sunday, 19th August, he struck me on the head, and I left him in consequence of that, as I am in the family way. My husband earns a pound a week with overtime. I have never contracted any debts. I ask for separation and the custody of the children.

Are you afraid to live with your husband? – Yes.

Is it a fact that you suffer from heart disease? – Yes.

Cross-examined: I refused to get my husband’s tea ready on the 19th, becasue he declined to take some luggage to the station. He struck me and I struck him in defence with the defence. He struck me about the head again, and I threw some dirty water over him.

Did he get up and run you out of the room and box your ears? – No. He didn’t. He hit me on the head.

Did you clear all the money out of the house? – Yes and the next morning I left and went to my parents.

Then on the Friday you and your father cleared all the furniture and clothes out of the house> – Yes.

Left nothing but his tools? – Yes.

Did you find the furniture? – Yes. My father bought it all. My husband gave me no money to buy furniture with. The house was taken in my Father’s name. I am going to stay with my father if I get a separation.

Mr F. Hutson, tailor, West Street, the father of the complainant, stated that he took the house and provided all the furniture on the marriage of his daughter. His daughter had made complaints to him many times, and she had showed him the bruises on her body and legs. He had spoken to the defendant about it. In May 1898, When she left him, witness spoke to him about it, and on his promising to behave all right, he allowed his daughter to return to her husband. On the 20th Aug. his daughter came to his house with the children and had been living with him since.

Have you done everything to make them live happily together? – I have spent pounds on them.

Do you think they will live happily together now? – She shan’t live with him.

Is it true she had a miscarriage? – Yes. She nearly lost her life.

Upon whom did all the expense fall? – Upon me.

Mr Snaith: You say she shall not live with him? – She shan’t

She’s his wife? – She’s my daughter and she shan’t live with him. He is a bad scamp and the more I have done for him the worse he has been.

Thomas Marshall, Fydell Street, retired engine driver, who lives next door to the parties gave evidence to the effect that the complainant had frequently complained to him about her husband beating her. On one occasion he spoke to the defendant who said, I shall fetch the b____ out and do it again,”

This concluded the case for the complainant.

The defendant, called by Mr Snaith, stated that he earned 2s. a week and gave his wife 19s. for household expenses, until the four weeks, when owing to his wife earning money by taking in Sheffielders, he deducted 5s. His wife had conducted a greengrocery business, and there were debts amounting to £10. Before the marriage he spent £3 on crockery and other things, and he had bought a wringing machine afterwards. The other things he had bought in an underhand way. The father had bought the things and his wife had paid for them and then they said that the things belonged to them.

Ald. Bedford: You say you bought a wringing machine? Where is the bill? – My wife bought it. (Laughter.)

Defendant stated that with regard to Aug. 19th when the Sheffielders were in the house, he had been working all week and on the Sunday his wife ordered him to take some luggage to the station. He (defendant) told his wife that she ought to take the ‘bus. She turned sulky. She would not get the tea ready. He got it ready himself, and it aggravated her. He asked if she wanted any tea and she said she would get it when she liked. She then picked up a poker and struck him twice with it.

Mr Snaith: Did you strike her first? – Oh, no. She struck him on the shoulder making a big bruise which he had to get a friend to dress. He then only slapped her face, and she threw a lot of dirty water over him. He had never struck his wife once in his life, only slapped her face twice.

Defendant added that the last time he struck his wife was a year last September. She then struck her across the face with a brush and he slapped her in return.

What sort of tempered woman is your wife? – A very nasty tempered woman – very short. I am quite willing to take her back but not on the footing of being penned down by the father and mother-in-law. (Laughter.)

You think you mother-in-law is not different from the general run of mothers-in-law? – She has been dead on me from the first day I took my wife for a walk. (Laughter.)

Did you strike her in the stomach? – No, nor did I ever kick her. Her miscarriage was not caused by anything I did.

Cross-examined: You are a very ill-used man? (Laughter) – I have been very ill-used.

And you desire the sympathy of the courts? – I desire my rights.

Further cross-examined, the defendant denied throwing hot rice pudding at his wife. He had never kicked his wife. Marshall had never told him he ought to be ashamed of himself.

He is telling an untruth? – Yes. He has not sided with my wife. He has said, “She has a devil of a temper.” (Laughter.)

Is it true you sent the town crier round to “cry” your wife down? – Yes.

How often have you struck your wife? – I have only slapped her face twice.

All she has told the magistrates is untrue? – Yes nearly every word she has spoken.

And yet you want her back although she is such an untruthful woman? – Yes.

Although she is such a dreadful woman with a devil of a temper? (Laughter.) – Yes

She has always been at fault? – Well, she has always been the ringleader of mopst of our “do’s” I have had to sit down like a child and have the poker help over me. (Laughter.) They have had me like a child. (Laughter.)

Mr Gane: A most disobedient child. (Laughter)

Re-examined, the defendant stated that his wife and father had taken everything away. He had only one shirt and a pair of socks. (Laughter.)

Mr Snaith submitted that there was not sufficient evidence of cruelty to justify a speration order being granted. The parties would have got on alright if the father has not interfered with them.

The Court made an order of separation, gave his wife custody of the children and ordered the defendant to contribute 8s. weekly towards their maintenance, and to pay the costs £1 17s.

Boston Borough Police

Stamford Mercury - Friday 07 September 1900

John Thomas Sharp, labourer, Fydell-street, was charged with having been guilty persistent cruelty his wife, Martha Agnes Sharp, who applied tor judicial separation. Mr. W. H. Crane appeared for the complainant, and Mr.H.Snaith defended. Complainant said she and her husband were married the Wesleyan chapel Boston on August 23rd, 1890, and they had had three children. Defendant began ill treating her a fortnight after they were married. On various dates in 1897 he struck her on the head, threw some hot rice pudding in her face and scalded her, threw a bucket of water over her, and kicked her. In January last struck her on the stomach and kicked her on the legs, and caused her to miscarry. He also assaulted her August 19th, and she then went home to her parents. Cross-examined, she admitted that she struck the defendant and threw some water over him, but said she only did in self-defence.

—Mr.F.Hutson, tailor. West Street, the complainant’s father, and Thomas Marshall, retired engine-driver, Fydell-street, gave evidence in support of the charge.

—Defendant said on the date in August his wife struck him with a poker, and he slapped her face.

—The Magistrates grafted judicial separation, and ordered the defendant to allow his wife 8s. per week.

Sharpe, Frost and Strawberries

Boston Guardian - Saturday 15 February 1919

Spalding Betting Case

Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian - Saturday 10 January 1920


“Trap to Catch landlord”

Then it was alleged, continued -Mr. .Merry, that betting took place in the house between J. T. Sharpe, Boston, and Jack Harrod, of Spalding. Sharpe had been employed by the G.N.R. for years, and in the course of bis duties went to Spalding. Mr. Merry supposed he liked to do a little backing of horses, and going to the Greyhound he sometimes wrote out a betting telegram, but he was not a bookmaker as alleged, and never made any bets with the police officers at all. It was stated that on the Wednesday and Thursday these two policemen, decked out in khaki, made bets with Edwardes, but those bets were made outside, where the men went for the purpose, and that was offence, and it would be denied that the bets were made in the landlord’s presence. The policemen were sent to the house to make trap to catch the landlord, and they had very much exaggerated what took place in the house. Sharpe would tell them that he had not been to Spalding on Tuesday for years, and it was on Tuesday that he was alleged to have betted at the Greyhound. The only bets made were those made by the police agents at their own instigation, and they were completed outside. Mr. Harrod, a Spalding tradesman, would tell the jury that he did some betting, but that did direct with his bookmaker, and that he made no bets with Sharpe, although he handed to Sharpe a £1 note on a business transaction. Edwardes would tell them what took place outside the house with regard to bets which he was kind enough, at the request of the police officers, take andsend away for them. Mr. Merry contended that betting transactions only took place with the police agents, and that there was not sufficient evidence that the house was used for the purpose betting, or that the landlord knew anything about it if it was so used.



John Thomas Sharpe, of 53. Threadneedle Street, Boston, said he completed 26 years service with the G.N.R. Company at Christmas. He denied being a bookmaker, but said had done a little betting by telegram or letter with a registered bookmaker. He went to Spalding three or four days a week in connection with his duty on the railway, but had not been then on a Tuesday for 14 years, and if Sergt. Dunham said he was there Tuesday, the 18th Nov., it was not true. He was there on Wednesday, the 19th. He had a contract for 1,500 potato boxes with the landlord or the Greyhound and Sam Tennant. Smith, the landlord, paid him £5 on account, and he produced the receipt. He denied saying anything to Edwardes about making bet. He took a £1 note from Mr. Harrod that day on account of a pair of scales. He had never taken money from Harrod or anybody else for betting. On the Thursday Sergt. Dunham offered him money, but said. “I am not a bookmaker. What I do I send away on wire.” There was a conversation with Dunham, and they left the room. Saunders and also left the room. Witness had never seen a betting transaction in the Inn.



The jury , after an absence of ten minutes, returned a verdict of “Not guilty” which was received with some applause at the back of the court.

Creditors' Meetings - Boston Box-maker

Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian - Saturday 09 September 1922

At the office of the Official Receiver, West Street, Boston, Monday, the first meeting was held of the creditors John Thomas Sharpe, residing at 53, Threadneedle Street, Boston, and carrying on business in Craythorpe Lane as a box-maker. The statement affairs shows liabilities of £268 4s 5d. and assets £29, leaving deficiency of £239 4s. 5s[sic]. The alleged causes of failure are: “Illness of wife, keeping grown-up sons (two) unemployed after discharge from the Army for about two years, loss on fruit, and heavy expenses of family of twelve children.”

The debtor, whose ago is 45, states that he was apprenticed florist for 6 years, and after completion of apprenticeship he was employed by the Boston Gas Company as a labourer for two years. He then entered the service of the Great Northern Railway at Boston, and from March, 1899 to the present time ho has been in their employ as a lamp cleaner. In October, 1918, began business on his own account Claythorne Lane, Boston, as a box-maker with about £25 capital given to him by his wife. He conducted his business at a warehouse which had been unoccupied for some months. He personally superintended his business, but during the day was engaged the Great Northern Railway. He carried on his business in the name Sharpe and Son, and one of his sons assisted him. This son is about 18 years of age and received a weekly wage, but was not partner in any way. He has done a little fruit and vegetable selling.

No resolution was passed, and the estate remains the hands of the Official Receiver, whose deputy, Mr. N. Temple, presided at the meeting.

Goods Sold

Boston Guardian - Saturday 08 October 1927

Baxter and Son. Coal Merchants. Boston. sued John Thomas Sharpe, Spain Lane, railway employee, for £1 3s. 3d., price of half-a-ton of coal.

Judgment for plaintiffs.

In Memoriam

Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian - Saturday 23 February 1946

SHARPE. In ever affectionate memory of a dear husband and father. John Thomas Sharpe, who departed this life Feb. 19th. 1945 Time rolls on. but memories last. —From loving wife, sons and daughters. Boston.

Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian - Saturday 24 February 1945

THE DEATH occurred on Monday, at Woodlands Court, Kirton, of Mr. John Thomas Sharpe, aged . 68, of 20, Spain Lane. Boston. He had been in Boston General Hospital for three weeks before going Woodlands Court. He had been ill for a considerable time. A Bostonian by birth, Mr. Sharpe lived in the town all his life. He worked for 45 years in the engineering department of the L.N.E.R. He will remembered by many people as the man who rode a tricycle and carried small black dog in the basket. He leaves widow, Mrs. Agnes Sharpe, and a family of six sons and five daughters. The funeral service preceding the interment at Boston Cemetery took Place yesterday (Thursday) In the Parish Church, when the Rev. A. J. Couling officiated. The mourners were: Mrs. Sharpe (widow), Mr. Aubrey Sharpe (son), Dollie, Reg, Flo and Syd (sons and daughters), Grace. Claude. Nora, George. Joe, and Kate (brothers and sisters), Ada, Gladys, Chrissie and Kitty, (daughters-in-law), Henry (son. in-law), Raymond (grandson). The , undertakers were Messrs. H. k Tweedy & Sons, Wormgate.