25 May 1878 – Burglary against William Plaskett – 538 Mile End Road, Poplar, London

25 May 1878

Burglary against William Plaskett

538 Mile End Road, Poplar, London

Published in the East London Observer

Saturday 1 June 1878

Daring Burglary – Early on Saturday morning last the premises of Mr. Plaskett, Chronometer maker and jeweler, 538. Mile End-road, were entered from the back by burglars, who succeeded in getting clear with the whole stock of watches and jewelry, amounting in value to nearly £700. It is supposed, by the footprints on the garden bed, that there were three in number. Considerable force must have been used in breaking open the kitchen the door with a “jemmy” and it is evident that murder might have resulted had the burglars been disturbed, by the fact that they had removed a formidable chopper and a “lignum vitre” towel roller from below into the shop. So quietly did they execute their work that the inmates, who slept overhead with the door wide open, were not the least disturbed, and the robbery was not discovered until the kitchen door was found in the morning to be tied from the outside, sure of time to escape. They left behind a silk neckerchief, by which it is possible a clue may be obtained. The police have a suspicion of the parties concerned in the robbery. Several attempts have been made during the past year to effect an entrance to the same premises, and upon a previous occasion a man was nearly captured. We may add that some Mr. Plaskett’s friends, being desirous of expressing their sympathy with him in a practical form, have made an appeal to raise funds on his behalf, and we are pleased to learn that up to the present it has been generously responded to. Mr. S. Allen, of Canal-road, Mile End, is the treasurer.

£700 in 1878 is in 2013 worth £67000.00

Published in the East London Observer
Published in the East London Observer

Stephen and Yhana is the official You Tube channel for the author’s blogs and websites (Stephen Robert Kuta), a shared adventure with his daughter.
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James Edward Plaskett & HMS FIDELITY

James Edward Plaskett

Able Seaman

1920 – 1943

 1st cousin 3x removed

James Edward Plaskett was one of seven children to Annie (nee: Town) and William Reuben J Plaskett, he was born in Dagenham, Essex in 1920.

Little is known about James because a lot of records from this period are still closed, I know more about the ship he died on during WW2. So in memory of James and the other 368 men who died this is a brief story of HMS FIDELITY.

HMS FIDELITY

1920 – 1943

2,456 ton Special Service Vessel

 

On 28 Dec, 1942, HMS Fidelity (D 57) (Lt C.A.M. Costa) fell behind the convoy ONS-154 due to engine troubles and streamed its torpedo nets, which brought down her speed to 2-3 knots. The next day, the commander decided to head for the Azores and launched her motor torpedo boat HMS MTB-107 and a Kingfisher floatplane for anti-submarine patrol. The aircraft spotted the lifeboats of Empire Shackleton which were towed by the two landing craft to HMS Fidelity. The 44 survivors were picked up and the aircraft and the landing craft were lifted aboard again.

At 21.38 hours on 29 December, U-225 (Leimkühler) fired the stern torpedo at HMS Fidelity, but missed. U-615 (Kapitzky) observed the suspicous vessel during the day and attacked her with five single torpedoes between 22.00 and 23.00 hours, but they either missed or were caught by the torpedo nets. At 16.38 hours on 30 December, the vessel was finally hit by two torpedoes from U-435 and sank immediately after heavy detonations. The U-boat reported a surprising high number of survivors on overcrowded rafts and swimming in the water, none of them were rescued and all drowned in the worsening weather. 274 crew members, 51 Royal Marines and the 44 survivors were lost. The landing craft HMS LCV-752 and HMS LCV-754 on board were lost with the ship. The engines of the MTB broke down and the crew of eight men was later rescued by HMCS Woodstock (K 238) (T/A/Cdr G.H. Griffiths, RCN), which then scuttled the disabled vessel. They were the only survivors apart from two men that had been picked up by HMCS St Laurent (H 83) (A/Cdr G.S. Windeyer, RCN) after the other Kingfisher floatplane from the vessel crashed on take off on 28 December.

Source: http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/2560.html

A list of 326 Men who were associated with the vessel: http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship2560.html


Stephen and Yhana is the official You Tube channel for the author’s blogs and websites (Stephen Robert Kuta), a shared adventure with his daughter.
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Clock (made by my 11th x Grt Grand Uncle)That Predates London Fire Sells For Record $286,000

Clock That Predates London Fire Sells For Record $286,000

A rare and important lantern clock, dating back to the reign of James I

William Bowyer – Clockmaker

11th Grt Grand Uncle

Engraved with a "Memento Mori? (Remember your mortality)

Engraved with a “Memento Mori? (Remember your mortality)

(1603?1625), was sold for $286,000 at Bonhams on June 19 ? a world record price for a clock of this kind.

Made by William Bowyer in 1623, the brass clock was estimated to fetch between $60/100,000 at Bonhams’ sale of fine clocks. The sale of 110 clocks made a total of $1,085,635.

“This magnificent lantern clock is undoubtedly one of the finest still in private hands today,” explained James Stratton, director of Bonhams’ clocks and watches department. “The date of manufacture of 1623 puts it firmly in the first few years of the production of the type of timekeeper that has come to be known as the English lantern clock. Horologically speaking, the clock predates the pendulum, the anchor escapement and rack striking.

“In a wider context, James I was King of England, the Clockmakers Company had not yet been established and the English Civil War, the Fire of London and the Great Plague were decades away. The engraved side doors of this clock are the only pair known to have survived from this First Period, and offer us two of the most memorable engraved pieces of brass in horology. I was not that surprised by the price. We were expecting it to do well.” – Bonhams

Engraved with a “Memento Mori” (Remember your mortality) scene of a skeleton with Biblical reference and, on the other side, Chronus walking with his scythe, the clock’s decoration reflects society’s widespread preoccupation with mortality and the afterlife during the Seventeenth Century. Puritans of this time were highly preoccupied with Divine Judgment and the afterlife. The clock dates from this period, when salvation of the soul was at the forefront of many peoples’ thoughts and actions.


Stephen and Yhana is the official You Tube channel for the author’s blogs and websites (Stephen Robert Kuta), a shared adventure with his daughter.
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369 dead and 10 survivors – The Story of HMS FIDELITY

On the 11th November is Remembrance Sunday, a day we should all reflect and look back on.

 On that SPECIAL day I am going to publish here on this blog the story of ‘James Edward Plaskett’ (1st cousin 3x removed) and the tragic tale of mutiny and disaster that was HMS FIDELITY. a 2,456 ton special service vessel which was sunk by U-435 on New Years Eve 1943 in the icy cold Atlantic Ocean. The disaster took with it 379 people of which only 10 people survived. James Edward Plaskett was 23 years old.

When researching your family history, it’s only a matter of time before you discover a war hero, or tragic stories of loss and disaster… If anyone has story to share, please, please do… I would love to hear them and include them here on my blog.


Stephen and Yhana is the official You Tube channel for the author’s blogs and websites (Stephen Robert Kuta), a shared adventure with his daughter.
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Robard Plasquet and St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre

Robard Plasquet and St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre

Robard Plasquet – 1568 – 1634 (11x Grt Grandfather, and founding father of all the South of England Plaskett’s)

The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy in French) in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the French Wars of Religion. Traditionally believed to have been instigated by Catherine de’ Medici, the mother of King Charles IX, the massacre took place four days after the wedding of the king’s sister Margaret to the Protestant Henry III of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France). This marriage was an occasion for which many of the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots had gathered in largely Catholic Paris.

The massacre began on 23 August 1572 (the eve of the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle), two days after the attempted assassination of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the military and political leader of the Huguenots. The king ordered the killing of a group of Huguenot leaders, including Coligny, and the slaughter spread throughout Paris. Lasting several weeks, the massacre expanded outward to other urban centers and the countryside. Modern estimates for the number of dead vary widely, from 5,000 to 30,000.

In 1572 Robard Plasquet (Robert Plaskett in English) would have been a mere 4 yrs old.  It is unclear if Robard was born here in England or in France, what is clear, is that currently no English baptism has been located for him or his three siblings. So in all probability Robard Plasquet was French by birth alongside his siblings and parents.

If this is true, then the family was still living in France when the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre occurred on the 23 August 1572.

Shortly after this dreadful day French Huguenot refugees began to flood into the country. An estimated 50,000 Protestant Walloons and Huguenots fled to England, about 10,000 of whom moved on to Ireland around the 1690s. In relative terms, this was one of the largest waves of immigration ever of a single ethnic community into Britain. Andrew Lortie (born André Lortie), a leading Huguenot theologian and writer who led the exiled community in London, became known for articulating their criticism of the Pope and the doctrine of transubstantiation during the Mass.

Of the refugees who arrived on the Kent coast, many gravitated towards Canterbury, then the county’s Calvinist hub. Many Walloon and Huguenot families were granted asylum there. Edward VI granted them the whole of the western crypt of Canterbury Cathedral for worship. This privilege in 1825 was reduced to the south aisle and in 1895 to the former chantry chapel of the Black Prince. Services are still held there in French according to the Reformed tradition every Sunday at 3 pm.

Other evidence of the Walloons and Huguenots in Canterbury includes a block of houses in Turnagain Lane, where weavers’ windows survive on the top floor, as many Huguenots worked as weavers. The Weavers, a half-timbered house by the river, was the site of a weaving school from the late 16th century to about 1830. (It has been adapted as a restaurant. The house derives its name from a weaving school which was moved there in the last years of the 19th century, reviving an earlier use.) Others refugees practiced the variety of occupations necessary to sustain the community as distinct from the indigenous population. Such economic separation was the condition of the refugees’ initial acceptance in the City. They also settled elsewhere in Kent, particularly Sandwich, Faversham and Maidstone—towns in which there used to be refugee churches.

The French Protestant Church of London was established by Royal Charter in 1550. It is now located at Soho Square. Huguenot refugees flocked to Shoreditch, London. They established a major weaving industry in and around Spitalfields in East London. In Wandsworth, their gardening skills benefited the Battersea market gardens. The Old Truman Brewery, then known as the Black Eagle Brewery, was founded in 1724. The flight of Huguenot refugees from Tours, France drew off most of the workers of its great silk mills which they had built.

Other Huguenots arriving in England settled in Bedfordshire, which was at the time the main center of England’s lace industry. Huguenots greatly contributed to the development of lace-making in Bedfordshire, with many families settling in Cranfield, Bedford and Luton. Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich, which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers. The French added to the existing immigrant population, then comprising about a third of the population of the city.

It is commonly believed that our Plaskett ancestors arrived in Southampton, Hampshire in the late 16th century where an established Walloon and Huguenot church existed. They later moved across Hampshire and into Wiltshire and London.

Robard Plasquet’s father is recorded as being married in Charke, Titchfield, Hampshire in 1575… This was probably his second marriage, no evidence currently exists for his first marriage (probably in France), but we know a previous marriage existed because Robard was born in 1568. Robard had three siblings: Cooke, Jone and Thamer Plaskett, these may have been half siblings, through his father’s second marriage?!?

What happened to Robard Plasquet’s Mother?

We can only guess: perhaps she died during the St. Bartholomew’s massacre, and because of this the remaining family fled with their lives.

Sadly no name is recorded in the English Archives for Robard’s father, mother or step mother… Robard’s step mother on the other hand was simply known as: ‘WIDOW PLASKETT’, after the death of her husband in Titchfield, Hampshire, England in 1591.

After 1602, the family relocated to Downton, Wiltshire, England and began to adopt a more English way of life including using an English variation of their name… ‘ROBERT PLASKETT’, as he was now known became the forefather of all the South of England’s Plaskett descendants.

He was married twice, both of whom were probably English Women, his first wife was Alles Brokes and they married on the 16th February 1589 in Titchfield, Hampshire, England. What became of Alles is not known but she must have died young either through child birth (which was common) or perhaps even plague which was rearing its ugly head on and off throughout the 16th century.

His second wife we know simply as ‘EDITH’, no surname for her has been recorded?!?

They married on the 6th April 1602 in Titchfield, Hampshire, England.

Robert and Edith Plaskett are known to have had two children Frauncys ‘Francis’ Plaskett who was baptised on the 23 July 1603 in Church of St. Lawrence, Downton, Wiltshire, England and Roger Plaskett who was baptized on the 16th February 1606 also in the Church of St. Lawrence, Downton, Wiltshire, England.

Frauncys ‘Francis’ Plaskett is my 10x Grt Grandfather and he went on to marry Christabell Bowne in 1629 and they had 8 known children. It is not known if Roger had any children or if he was ever married.

Robert Plaskett’s stepmother Widow Plaskett died in April 1608 and was buried on the 20 April 1608 aged 53 yrs in the Church of St. Lawrence, Downton, Wiltshire, England.

Robert Plaskett lived until he was 66 years old, and was buried on the 15 October 1634, his wife Edith died four years later and was buried on the 19th October 1638, they both now rest together in the Church of St. Lawrence, Downton, Wiltshire, England.

My research into these incredible people continues, what they must have gone through during this turbulent time in our history is unimaginable. Watching your loved ones die on the streets of Paris, and on the streets of many other French cities and towns on that fateful day 23 August 1572 – the day that went down in history and became known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre

It’s a story and a piece of history that intrigues me, and it’s their story and it’s a story we may truly never know the harsh realities off. The only understanding off it is to look at the history of that day, and the events that would have shaped their lives, and the lives of their descendants forever.


Stephen and Yhana is the official You Tube channel for the author’s blogs and websites (Stephen Robert Kuta), a shared adventure with his daughter.
Featuring: Days Out in the UK / History / Genealogy / Virtual Walks / Virtual Cycling / Travel and so much more. Feel free to visit, subscribe and watch out for all of our upcoming episodes.


How you can easily create beautiful art for your home or your loved ones by Peter Black, founder of – Charmaché Art and Craft