Coupland disaster’s links to former Scarborough estate

YOUR ARTICLE of October 19 referring to the 150th anniversary of the Coupland disaster of November 2 1861 in which five men - three volunteers and two lifeboat men died is relevant to my research of the former Wheatcroft Estate - a private estate and farmland owned by the Tindall family which existed prior to the urbanisation of this part of Scarborough’s South Cliff in the early part of the 20th century.

Lord Charles Beauclerk’s heroic part in this rescue is well documented but I was interested to find when researching the Wheatcroft area that one of the men who died in this tragedy alongside Lord Beauclerk was 24 year old William Tindall (1837-1861), son of banker, John Tindall (1785-1844) of St Nicholas Cliff, a partner in Woodall, Tindall, Hebden & Co - forerunner to Barclays Bank - and the owner of the Wheatcroft Estate.

William Tindall’s body was never recovered from the sea, despite a £20 reward being offered. His death certificate reads.

When and where died: November 2 1861. In the sea, near the Spa, Scarborough.

Occupation: Son of John Tindall, Banker (deceased).

Cause of death: Crushed by the lifeboat in the sea whilst attempting to assist the crew.

Signature, description and residence of informant: George White present at the death, 59 Newborough Street, Scarborough.

When registered: Fourteenth November 1861.

William’s will was proved at York, February 11 1862, by his brother James Tindall, William Hebden (Banker) and John James Paul Moody (Solicitor). His estate was valued at about £30,000 - or in today’s terms about £1.5 million, which included the Wheatcroft Estate.

For identification, Wheatcroft Estate was bounded to the east by the cliffs (Wheatcroft Undercliff) and coastline and fronted Filey Road from approximately Sea Cliff Road to St Michael’s Church Lane.

After William’s death, under the terms of his 1858 will, the Wheatcroft Estate was held in trust by his mother Rachel Tindall, paying her an annuity until her death on December 7 1878. High Wheatcroft Farm, on the site of 94 Filey Road was tenanted and in the 1873 Return of Owners of Land register the estate was declared to be 23 acres one rod and 24 poles in size with a gross rental income of £72 per year.

Following Rachel Tindall’s death, new trustees were appointed and by 1899 Mary Spurgin (nee Tindall) - daughter of James Tindall - and Francis Humbert Taylor were the trustees of the Wheatcroft Estate. It was they who by 1929 had completed the sale of the estate in small parcels of land, creating today’s urban landscape.

Tracts were sold to private purchasers, developing to their own designs, and local builders - Abraham Moore and Tom Jaram being prominent builder/purchasers - leading to the diversity of styles in the area.

In 1928 Scarborough Corporation purchased 17,765 square yards of land adjoining South Cliff Golf Club and 2,934 square yards of land (now Sea Cliff Road car park) from the estate for the sum of £2,220 10 shillings.

William Tindall (1837-1861) and Mary Spurgin nee Tindall (1855-1951) their families and their ties to the Wheatcroft Estate is an interesting and as yet incomplete research project. There is a vast amount of information available on this important Scarborough family from shipbuilding family archives at County Records in Northallerton to a 1927 book by Christian Tindall in Scarborough Library - ‘The Tindalls of Scarborough, descendants of Ralph Tyndale, of North Grimston’.

Tim Owston’s website - - has not only touched on the descendants of Ralph Tyndale through the marriage into his family of Mary Tindall of North Grimston but in doing so connects this remarkable Tindall family all the way back to Prince John of Gaunt in his research project entitled King to Farmer.

I am sure that when John Beauclerk lays his wreath on November 2 2011, he will remember not only his own great grandfather, Lord Charles Beauclerk but also the young William Tindall and the other brave men whose families were unable to retrieve their bodies. And while they may have no earthly resting place, for William at least his lasting memorial is in the houses and roads created from the Wheatcroft Estate.

Mrs TA Hull

Wheatcroft Avenue