February 26th

On 26th February 1381, Archbishop of York Alexander Neville announced his intention to visit Beverley, provoking a mass walk-out of Beverley clergy, most going to Lincoln or London. Neville replaced them with vicars choral from York but failed in his power struggle.

On 26th February 1552, Sir Michael Stanhope was executed on Tower Hill, London, for instigating rebellion, and conspiring to murder John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Stanhope was a Nottinghamshire knight, twice Governor of Hull, where the townspeople complained to the Privy Council of his high-handedness. He also acquired a great deal of land after the Dissolution, including in Sutton-on-Hull.

On 26th February 1671, Robert Constable, Viscount Dunbar of Burton Constable, was indicted at Middlesex Sessions Court with the murder of Peter Varnall and confessed. Hi accomplices were Peter Savage and John Fennick. It seems that Varnall was the innocent victim of young aristos on a drunken spree.

On 26th February 1869, Christopher Sykes, MP for the East Riding of Yorkshire, moved the Bill which later in the year became the Sea Birds Preservation Act, supported by Rev HF Barnes-Lawrence of Bridlington. Up to 232,000 seabirds and eggs were killed, often shot for sport, each breeding season. This earned Sykes the nickname ‘The Gulls’ Friend’. See cartoon below.  Link is to film of ‘climmers’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5ynIfnmVK0

On 26th February 1903, Martin Samuelson, marine engineer, died at Hessle, aged 78. Owner of Martin Samuelson & Co, of Neptune Street, Hull, and later Sammy’s Point, who built hydraulic presses, steel boilers and early steel vessels, and the North Bridge. Hull councillor from 1853, Sheriff 1857, Mayor 1858, first colonel of Royal East Yorkshire Volunteer Artillery and JP. (born 2.1.1825 in Liverpool).

On 26th February 1914, the Coverdale family of Hollym played a football match against another family with 11 sons, the Charlesworths of Scunthorpe. The Coverdales won 3: 0.

On 26th February 1935, Thomas Edward Lawrence, known as T.E.Shaw, (‘Lawrence of Arabia’) left Bridlington when discharged from the RAF; he had been supervising armour-plating power launches for target practice. Whilst in Bridlington, he had lived at the Ozone Hotel, Bridlington (now Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club). There is a sundial dedicated to him in South Cliff Gardens.

On 26th February 1942, Pilot F/Sgt Reginald Francis Robb and 5 crew of Wellington bomber Z8536 took off from RAF Pocklington and crash landed at Yapham due to an engine fire. They jettisoned their bombs, but were caught in the blast and all the crew were lost. 4 are buried in Barmby Moor.

Christopher Sykes MP

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