The William Muxlow on the Foston war memorial is listed as William Gamble (otherwise Muxlow) in the Book of Remembrance. William Hosiah Muxlow was born in Claypole 1881. His parents were Joseph Muxlow and Jane Gamble. They’d married a year before, but it seems that William opted to use his mother’s maiden name at times.
Jane Gamble was born in Syston c1842. In 1871 she was a ‘farm woman’ living with her married sister’s family in Thompson’s Yard, Barkston. In May 1880, when she married Joseph at Newark Register Office, she was living in Water Lane, Newark. She already had 3 daughters.
Joseph Muxlow was born in Allington c1845. After his mother Ann died in 1849 he was bought up by his father Ozias/Sias/Hosiah Muxlow. By 1861 they’d moved to Foston.
When he was about 16 Joseph lost a leg in an accident with a farm machine. In Jan 1862, when he was 17 and had already spent 2 weeks in prison, a policeman caught him on the road between Allington and Foston with 2 live chickens. Joseph was convicted of stealing them from William Hoyes in West Allington. He said he was going to sell them to buy a ferret. As he was known to be ‘much neglected’ by his father, with only straw to sleep on, Mr Hoyes did not press for heavy punishment. He was given another 2 weeks in prison.
The same year he absconded and was next heard of in 1863 when he was charged with stealing barley from Mr Fin. In Oct 1863 he ran off after stealing a watch from John Eminson of Allington on the highway. By this time he was described as a well-known thief and was imprisoned for 4 months with hard labour. In Dec 1865 he was charged (with William Singleton) of assaulting Joseph Daunt at Foston, but the case was dismissed.
He may have spent the next few years in Chesterfield, where a Joseph Muxlow was charged with various assaults and thefts. When he married Jane Gamble in 1880 he was living in Earldon Street, Newark and working as a chimney sweep.
In 1881 Joseph and Jane Muxlow were living in Main St, Claypole with her daughters.
In Jul 1883 while he was living in Marston he was given 3 months hard labour for stealing an iron kettle from George Winter.
In Mar 1884 he was bound over for using threats to David Patrick, joiner of Barkston. Muxlow had gone into Patrick’s shop one evening to examine a sofa. He asked why a tub he’d ordered wasn’t ready and told him he wanted a new, longer wooden leg making. When Patrick said he couldn’t do it until the end of the month Muxlow became abusive and threatened to batter his brains out.
In Jul 1884, while living in Ropsley, he was convicted of being drunk and disorderly and fined 10/ with another 11/6 costs or 1 month with hard labour.
In Feb 1885 Joe Muxlow, then of Little Humby, was fined 10/and 12/6 costs for being drunk on the highway at Ropsley. It being his 3rd offence.
In 1885, now of Harrowby, he was charged with indecent assault of his stepdaughter Hannah Thompson Gamble, who would have been about 14. The case was dismissed through lack of evidence.
In Oct 1886 he was charged with stealing sugar and tea at Foston.
In 1887 he was living in Barkston and twice charged with acting as a sweep without a certificate. He demanded that a cart was sent for him as he couldn’t walk to court with his wooden leg. Each time he was fined 10/ and costs.
In Jul 1889 he was bound over (£10) for assaulting and threatening his wife.
In Oct 1889 he was charged under the Highways Act with making a fire on the road at Foston on the night of Sat 28th Sep. At the time there was a disagreement between tradesmen in the village. George Smith had sold his bakery to Mr Knight for £110, saying he was going to leave the village, but then immediately set up again as a baker. Muxlow took a prominent part in a traditional (but illegal) ‘ran-tanning’. An effigy was made of Mr Smith and Muxlow went around the village knocking on doors until around 200 people were present. He then asked Alice Lound for a candle, set fire to the effigy and carried it about. On account of his long criminal record he was fined 36/6.
Ran-Tanning’ at Rampton, 1909. Picture the Past. Courtesy of Nottinghamshire County Council
In August 1890 Muxlow was charged with using threatening language to his neighbour John Wiseman, labourer. A police sergeant heard him say “If I wait for him 6 months I’ll kill him”. Muxlow claimed that Wiseman had thrashed his boy and assaulted his wife and he was “a little bit riled”. He was bound over to keep the peace for 6 months.
In 1891 they were living on the Great North Road in Foston. In March Joseph was charged with aggravated assault on his wife. She was defending William (about 9) after Joseph him on the head on finding that he wasn’t at school. Mrs Hazzard, who lived next door, testified that Jane had run into the street saying that he was going to hit her with a poker. He was sent to Lincoln Prison for 2 months hard labour. In August that year, William Hazzard was summoned for using threatening language to Muxlow. Neither of them turned up so the case was dismissed.
In Aug 1892 he was summoned again for assaulting his wife. She said he came home from birdtenting (bird scaring). After swearing at her, he hit her head against wall and went out. On his return he hit her with a kettle and threatened to kill her. He was so violent that her 15 year old daughter Martha spent the night in the yard in only her nightdress. William confirmed that Joseph was always assaulting his mother and had hit him. Joseph didn’t turn up to court and was given 2 months hard labour. The magistrates offered to bind him over to keep the peace if he threatened her again. :
Joseph died 1893 aged 48. In 1901 Jane was still living in Foston (probably the same house). The household included William (now a farm labourer), 2 Gamble grandsons and Hannah, who had married James Whitaker. Jane died in Jan 1903, aged 60.
Martha was in trouble in 1899
William Muxlow. In Mar 1903 William, known as Peggy (perhaps a nickname inherited from his father) was charged with stealing a bicycle worth 30/ belonging to John Gilbert of Foston. Muxlow borrowed the bike to see his sister but then sold it the next day to George Bellamy of Westborough for 10/. At the time he was a private in the 4th (Territorial) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment and said he was under orders for South Africa. He also blamed the drink.
He continued to work as a labourer in Foston and was fined for drunkenness in 1907 and 1910.
He was in Lincoln Prison in 1911. In June 1913 he was discovered robbing the home of Frank and Sarah Money in Burton Coggles. A neighbour tried to lock him in but he climbed out a bedroom window and was chased by men, women and schoolchildren from the village before being caught in a field and handed over to police. He admitted stealing money (£5 10/) and jewellery and was given 12 months hard labour.
By 1915 he was serving with 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers, having enlisted at Huntingdon using his mother’s maiden name and saying he was born in Grimsby. This regular army unit was in the line south of Ypres when Private Muxlow was killed in action on 30th March 1915, age (according to Army records) 35. His body was not identified and his name is on the Menin Gate in Ypres.