Rebecca Couling: a Death Certificate, and a conviction for stealing beer

The GRO’s PDF pilot phase 1 ordering service for birth and death certificates has now come to an end but I managed to get an order in just before the deadline.  The PDF arrived within the stated time despite the warning that there could be a delay due to “high volumes of demand”.   I hope this becomes the standard service from the GRO – it must be much more efficient and cost effective.

Here is what I received – the death certificate of my 3x  great grandmother Rebecca Couling (nee Billing / Billings):

couling-death-certI haven’t actually gleaned much more information about Rebecca from this but I do now know that John, my 3x great grandfather died between 1851 and 1860 which should help me to locate his death.

Rebecca’s death comes just two years  after she appears to have been convicted of feloniously receiving stolen beer “well knowing it to be stolen”, as described in this report from the Reading Mercury on 23rd October 1858.

rebecca-couling-convictionThe sentence was one month’s imprisonment with the last week being solitary confinement.  I wonder if Rebecca regretted  receiving the beer which was presumably shared with one of the other accused, one Esther Smith ” a prostitute”.


About familyhistoryfootsteps

I'm enjoying early retirement! I have been researching my ancestry for several years and am interested in all aspects of family history especially local and social history.
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