Sarah Ann Kay was born Jan 1857 in Lancaster, England possible Oldham. The prison says she lived in Manchester, Lancaster, England.
Sarah was married to James Messet and his father was Bernard Messet, and James brother Edward. They were all mentioned in the letter received and written. A Aunt Ellen Cain was also mentioned and a brother Edward Kay who went to Ireland. There are two hand written letters from her brother George Kay in his own hand writing. What a treasure to find for someone doing their genealogy.
Sarah requests to change her religion back to what it was when she was a child. These records are like an investigation checking to see what religion she was when she was born. I am not sure if they didn't believe her or if this was a procedure they had to follow.
Letters from her brother George Kay.
Oldham History: (Some from Wikipedia)
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, amid the Pennines and between the rivers Irk and Medlock ... Oldham was hit hard by the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861–1865, when supplies of raw cotton from the United States were cut off. ... In 1880, parts of the Hollinwood and Crossbank areas of Chadderton and Ashton-under-Lyne ...
Painting: Oldham from Glodwick by James Howe Carse (1831)
rom its founding in the 9th century until the Industrial Revolution, Oldham is believed to have been little more than a scattering of small and insignificant settlements spread across the moorland and dirt tracks that linked Manchester to York. Although not mentioned in the Domesday Book, Oldham does appear in legal documents from the Middle Ages, invariably recorded as territory under the control of minor ruling families and barons. In the 13th century, Oldham was documented as a manor held from the Crown by a family surnamed Oldham, whose seat was at Werneth Hall. Richard de Oldham was recorded as lord of the manor of Werneth/Oldham (1354). His daughter and heiress, Margery (d.1384), married John de Cudworth (d.1384), from whom descended the Cudworths of Werneth Hall who were successive lords of the manor. A Member of this family was James I's Chaplain, Ralph Cudworth (father of the Cambridge Platonist philosopher Ralph Cudworth). The Cudworths remained lords of the manor until their sale of the estate (1683) to Sir Ralph Assheton of Middleton.
Milbank Prison photos from 1820 -1910
I found a few newspaper articles on Sarah's crime.
I have traced her family history but I am not 100% sure the parents I found for her are her parents so I am not going to post them. I also do not know if her and her husband ever got back together, He was also in prison at the same time. If you read through the list of people writing her and look for her husband and will see it says prison by his name.
I hope her brother George who seemed to be so worried about and cared deeply for her had a great life.
What a sad but wonderfully told story of Sarah's life.
Below I posted a You Tube Video of the prison she was in and it's history.
Here's one more
This gentleman has many interesting videos I have watched several.