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Johnny Vegas's Bristol roots | by brizzle born and bred
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Johnny Vegas's Bristol roots

Northern Comic discovers his ancestors were Bristolians


Johnny Vegas has delved into his family's criminal past for a new ITV series, shown on Wednesday evening 6th Aug 2014.


In Secrets From The Clink, the 43-year-old comedian discovers that both his great-great-great-great grandfather Philip and his wife Ann Haines spent time behind bars for stealing and drunkenness.


Johnny's not so northern background revealed!


And in one big shock the St Helens-born comic discovers his roots are actually down south, with his inmate ancestors hailing from Bristol.


Not only was the St Helens funnyman shocked to learn that both his great-great-great-great grandfather Philip and his wife, Ann Haines, spent time in prison for stealing and drunkenness - but that Philip was a southerner to boot!


Johnny said: “This is taken from the Bristol Mercury. Bristol!


He said: 'That’s amazing! I thought I was pure blue blood northern. We’re southern! I’m going to have to pack up our belongings. They’re going to take my St Helens season ticket off me!'


For the show, Vegas - real name Michael Pennington – visits the record office in Bristol to find out that stealing a knife and some coins got Philip jailed for six months, with hard labour, after which he did not re-offend.


However, Ann was repeatedly imprisoned for drunkenness – with press reports of the time referring to her as an ‘inveterate drunk’ and ‘notorious drunkard.


Vegas added: 'I’ve made a career and been lauded for sending up what was a desperately sad outcome, for Ann. She was living it.


His ancestor was Ann Haines, a notorious lush who was jailed more than 100 times for public drunkenness.


A clearly troubled, widowed woman, Haines was destroyed by Victorian "justice" (though her daughter eventually escaped to respectability in St Helens via Leeds).


In the show, the family trees of the famous faces were traced back to reveal their shady histories, with the story of Johnny’s great-great-great-great grandmother Ann Haines the most notorious in his background.


A ‘notorious drunk’, Ann’s addiction and misdemeanours spiralled out of control after husband Philip died, and hearing the tales of her troubled life left the comic rather moved.


It was Philip’s eventual death in a poor house that led Ann’s life to unravel and saw her spend it in and out of prison, effectively serving a life sentence in a number of smaller stints.


This is the story of the HAYNES (HAINES) family.


Ann Haynes


HAYNES ( HAINES) family who lived most of the time in the St Philip & St Jacob parish of Bristol. We have the baptism records of the mother, Ann Prewet, in St George, Glos., in 1805, and of her future husband, Philip Haynes in St James' in 1803. They married at St Paul's church in August 1826.


In July 1835, Philip was convicted at the Bristol Quarter Sessions court of larceny of the person, and imprisoned (trying to find the Quarter Session record for this).


A few years after this, on the 1841 census, they are living at Sion Road, Bedford Place, St Philip & Jacob, with 5 children. Then, in 1847, Philip Haynes dies at the workhouse on Pennywell Road, St Philip and St Jacob. It is after this that Ann's life seems to spiral out of control.


From this time on, Ann Haynes/Haines appears repeatedly in newspaper articles (mainly from the Bristol Mercury and Western Daily Press) and becomes a notorious drunkard.


Throughout the rest of her life (she lives well in to her 80s) she goes in and out of prison and the workhouse, charged with drunk and disorderly behaviour, and becoming an infamous figure in the local area. At one point, she is charged with attempting to commit suicide, a pattern which is repeated later by her daughter Eliza.


1805 Ann Prewet St.George Glos born parents Daniel Prewet, Rachel Prewet, her ages given throughout her life seem to give her birth as close to 1801.


1803/4 Philip Haynes born St James, Bristol.


1826 Married St. Pauls Church August she was 21 he was 23.


1835 Philip Haynes convicted larceny of the person, stealing money from William Lasbury six months jail.


1841 at Sion Rd, Bedford Place,St. Philip and St.Jacob 5 Children she is now 36 he is now 38/37.




Thomas Haynes b 1827 aged 14 christened 11 May 1834 d 12th August 1897 in 1871 at Redcliffe Mead Lane, St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol with wife Martha (Hall) and son Henry.


Philip Haynes b 1834/5 aged 6 christened 11 May 1834 d 1847.


Mary Ann Haynes b 25 June 1826 aged 15.


Eliza Haynes b 11 Dec 1836 aged 4.


Richard Haynes b 1837? no birth record aged by census 1841, Philip and Ann Haines recorded Richard christening 1841 that would make him around 9 years of age, as census in 1851 at Clifton Workhouse.


1846 Ann Haynes already known as a notorious drunkard way before the death of her husband, first newspaper report.


1847 Philip Haynes dies at Pennywell Road Workhouse he is now 44.


1851 Eliza daughter at Clifton Workhouse now aged 14.


1851 Richard son at Clifton Workhouse now aged 9?.


1859 Richard Haynes son dies?


1851 Ann Haynes servant age 45 St Philips St Jacob, Russ Street for Henry Groves glass bottle maker? there appears to be an association with the glass industry with this family. (if this is the correct Ann Haynes).


1853 December just left jail after 5 months drunk, and has already been fined twice to be recommited to jail.


1855 Found lying in on the pavement in Lamb Street St. Judes drunk, given 7 days.


1860 Desperate drunkard to be jailed no time period given.


1861 March 21 days jail given for being drunk, just come out after 21 days,.


1861 July 150th court appearance living in the workhouse in the insane ward, she chats up the court officials and she says she is 61 years old, Ann is discharged to return to workhouse.


1865 Tries to jump off of St. Philips bridge (drunk) but was restrained, on bail prior to court appearance.


1869 Breaks plate glass window at the spirit vaults of Mr Johnston at Lawrence Hill after being refused drink, value £6. Sentenced to two months hard labour.


1871 "An unfortunate old critter" Ann Haines a funny little old lady, just out of jail, drunk again fined 20 shillings plus costs or a month in jail.


1872 September Ann Hains aged 74? (71) was found drunk in Corn Street "had some blue beer yesterday and it came over my head" she was put into the care of the workhouse authorities she said she would remain in the workhouse until she died.


1872 Drunk and disorderly fined 40 shillings plus costs or a month in jail.


1876 August, 5th court appearence in 10 days fined 10 s or 14 days in jail.


1881 Ann Haynes at Barton Regis Union Workhouse age 80.


1882 15th July last found court appearance for Ann Haynes sent back to the workhouse again, she would now be around 81 years old, she had over 200 court appearences, last reference to Ann Haynes (Haines).


At some point in Ann Haynes life she was committed to Shepton Mallet prison.


(Shepton Mallet prison was built in 1610 and was the country's oldest jail.)


Through out her appearances in court she had been a cheeky little lady although a complete public nuisance, she blamed her drinking on her mother who she said liked her beer.


No death record found, she must have died at the workhouse close to 1882 as her perpetual court appearances had stopped, a lot of workhouse records were destroyed during WW2.


The Life of Eliza Cox nee Haynes (a chip off the old block)


Eliza seems to be trapped in a similar cycle to her mother, although her story is more tragic, and she doesn't seem to have the same resilience and strength of character. In 1853, she is working as a prostitute, and is charged with attempting to rescue a companion from custody, and is imprisoned for 7 days. In 1867 she is committed for begging, having been found with a child in her arms. She is unmarried, trying to find records that would show that she has had an illegitimate child. She gets married to William Cox in 1857, and in 1861 she is charged with attempted suicide. (still trying to find records) she may have died young?.


Fortunately, there is a glimmer of hope in the story, as Eliza's sister, Mary Ann, marries a man named Richard Everson, a glass blower, and they move away from Bristol and settle in Lancashire, and seem to have a better quality of life. Mary Ann is the direct ancestor of the person who's family this is, so this is an important angle to the story, which is otherwise very bleak.


Eliza Haynes b 11 Dec 1836 daughter of Ann Haynes and Philip Haynes.


1841 Eliza Haynes at Sion Rd, Bedford Place,St. Philip and St. Jacob with Ann and Philip plus the rest of the children, age 4.


1851 Eliza Haynes at Clifton Workhouse now 14.


1853 October, Working as a prostitute would now be only 17 years old, fined 2s 6d plus costs or 7 days jail for attempting to release a companion from custody.


1856 Eliza Haynes with child in arms given 10 days for begging in Clifton she would now be 20 years old.


1857 Marries William Cox (Clifton)


1861 Eliza Cox aka Eliza Thomas found lying in the Frome river in a battered condition,on being taken to a local police station she attempted again to try and drown herself in a place called Whites pond.


She had recently had twins she said, and was ill and tired of life, she was discharged.


1861 Eliza Cox was a Pipe dealer she was at Pobjoy`s public house and was set upon by Ann Ramdray and Mary Ann Whittaker after a argument, this resulted in Eliza Cox attempting suicide in the Frome river.


1867 Eliza Cox charged with being drunk and disorderly and attempting suicide, tried to jump into the docks at Hotwells but landed on a shed roof, remanded for further enquiry. She would now be 29 years old.


1869 Death of a Eliza Cox born 1836 died 1869 aged 33 this would explain the absence of records after 1851.


1871 Just to confuse matters there is a William Cox and wife Eliza Cox birth 1839) at Little George street with 5 children, first one born 1858 that includes another Eliza Cox aged in 1871 as 2 years old, this maybe William Cox and Eliza Standerwick married 1854.


1884 Eliza Cox in court for concealing a birth in Avonmouth noted as a young woman (Eliza (Haynes) Cox`es daughter?


1892 Eliza Cox attempts suicide in Cumberland Basin, a well known drunk, given 14 days in jail with hard labour plus another 7 days for not paying a previous fine of 5 shillings , she would now be 56 years old. But this could be Eliza (Haynes) Cox`es daughter following the family path


Because of her condition and habits she would not have been recorded in any census or recorded her births, she also appeared to have used other names


William Cox is totaly obscure we know they married and that is it, to even find his age would need to have the marriage certificate.


If the Eliza Cox in 1892 is the correct Eliza Cox then she would have reached the age of 56 but i suspect she died in 1869.


She did say at some point that she had been working hard to correct her wayward mother.


This is the story of the HAYNES (HAINES) family. Mary Ann Haynes.


Fortunately, there is a glimmer of hope in the story, as Eliza's sister, Mary Ann, marries a man named Richard Everson, a glass blower, and they move away from Bristol and settle in Lancashire, and seem to have a better quality of life.


Bristol’s glasshouses dating back to the 18th century. In their time, the cones of these buildings - together with the towers and spires of Bristol’s churches - dominated Bristol’s skyline. At least 15 glasshouses are known to have been producing bottles, clear table glass and window glass.


Mary Ann is the direct ancestor of Johnny Vegas who's family this is, so this is an important angle to the story, which is otherwise very bleak.


Mary Ann Haynes born 25 June 1826 parents Phillip Haynes and Ann (Prewet) Haynes died Prescot, St Helens Lancashire 1911 aged 83.


1841 at Sion Road,Bedford Place,St. Philip and Jacob Bristol, Gloucestershire recorded in census age 15.


Married Richard Philips Everson b 1827/9 glass bottle maker in 1846, Richard Everson died Prescot, Lancashire 1893 aged 64.


Child Mary Ann Everson 1847 born in Bristol.


(see comments below from Liz Welch Hood)


Family left Bristol after 1847.


1851 at Crowthers Buildings, Hunslet, Leeds with Mary Ann Everson daughter aged 4, parents Richard aged 22 Ann aged 22.


1865 Mary Ann Everson daughter marries Henry Halton, bottle maker now Mary Ann Halton.


1881 Mary Ann Everson at 57 Kirkland St, Eccleston Richard now 54 Ann 53.


Two children still at home.


Richard Everson 22 Bottle maker b 1859 marries Alice Boardman 1881.


Joseph Everson 20 Bottle Maker b 1861 marries Mary? 1886 dies 1888 son Joseph born 1887.


1901 Mary Ann Everson widow at 155, Denton Green Lane, Prescot Lancashire occupation plain sewing now aged 70/5 birth year given as 1831.


1911 at 14 Cambridge Road, St Helens with son Richard and his wife Alice and six children birth date now 1829 age given as 82.


1911 census wrongly reports Richard married 39 years it should read 29 years.


1911 Mary Ann Everson dies Prescot Lancashire age given as 83 but it should be 85 if the 1926 birth date is correct.


Mary Ann Everson b 1847 daughter of Mary Ann Everson (Haynes).


Married 1865 to Henry Halton b 1844 dies 1918? aged 74 aprox.


1871 Mary Ann Halton at Eccleston with two children John and Henry.


1881 Mary Ann Halton at 71 Kirkland St, Eccleston, Lancashire Mary now 34 and Henry 37, mother at 57 Kirkland Street.


Six children


John Halton b 1868 aged 13


Henry Halton b 1872/1 aged 9


James Halton b 1873 aged 8


William Halton b 1877 aged 4


Joseph Halton b 1881 aged 0


Kirkland Street, St Helens had a large number of glass workers of many types in 1895 but no Halton names were there.


Census track after 1881 poor.


1921 Marry Ann Halton dies Prescot Lancashire 76 years old approx.


All dates and ages are as vague as usual but even more so here due to the life style of some of the characters, there is a lot more to this story somewhere.


information source: Bob Hopkins, St Helens Reporter, ITV.

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Taken on August 9, 2014