Maltby, Thomas

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                                          PEOPLE OF THE PAST
                                           Thomas Maltby

Our story begins on the coast of France when Thomas Maltby, an English seaman, was captured by the French and held prisoner. During the long years as a prisoner of war, Maltby spent a lot of time thinking about his wife and his son. His son was growing up and he was missing it.

Thomas Baker Maltby, son of this English seafarer, was born in Durham, England in 1792. He was educated at a local grammar school and apprenticed for ten years before becoming a joiner and cabinet maker. But the salt air caught his nostrils and he, like his father before him, was drawn to the sea where he would follow the winds of fortune and fate. For three years he served as an apprentice seaman and for another three years he was a regular seaman. During this time he met and married Margaret Kerton of England. His tour of duty as a seaman took him around the world and he, like many others, had visited the port of Miramichi.

There was a bright future here in this developing colony. So in 1817 Thomas and Margaret Maltby came to settle at what is now Newcastle. When Thomas constructed his home it was one of only three-the others belonging to H. McCullam and John Ledden - in what is now a sizeable town.

Thomas and Margaret had two daughters and four sons. Mary Ann married Hiram Fish and died at seventy-five years of age. Margaret married Charles Simonds and died in London, England in 1899. Robert moved to California where he died at forty-two years of age. John also heard the call to “go west young man” and moved to Seattle, Wash. George died in Newcastle at eleven years of age.

The sixth child, Thomas, is worthy of some attention. He was born in Newcastle and educated at local schools. At twelve years of age began to apprentice in the carpenter and joiner trade with his father. By 1841 he was self-employed at his trade as a ship’s carpenter at Russell’s (Beaubear’s) Island. In 1835 he started an undertaking business with his father. He was very proud to have been chosen to make the coffin for King Julian, Chief of all the Micmac Indians.

In 1840 Thomas took for his wife, Mary Morgan who had come to Miramichi from Belfast, Ireland in 1820. In 1843 they returned to Newcastle from Beaubear’s Island and they settled there permanently. He started his own ship-carpentry business. Thomas and Mary had six children. George died at four years. Benjamin died in 1869 at 28 years. Robert died at seven and a half years and Thomas at twenty-five. Charles moved to Nelson, B. C. and William died in 1898 at forty-nine years of age.

Mary died quite young and in 1853 Thomas married for a second time. He and Margaret A. Klymes, the new Mrs. Maltby, had five children. John Kerton died in 1871 at seventeen years. Richard Leighton, Sept. 8, 1856 went into business with his father. Hiram Baker was born in 1859 and moved to Campbellton where he became an undertaker. Arthur A. died in his first year in 1862. Mary M. was born in 1863.

Mrs. Maltby died in June, 1893. Thomas died March 14, 1900 at which time he was the oldest resident of Newcastle.

Some attention should be given to Richard Leighton Maltby who became a prominent citizen of Newcastle. Richard was educated at Harkins Academy. After his formal education was completed he, like his father and grandfather, apprenticed in the carpenter and joiner trade. He followed this line of work for sixteen years.

In 1880 he became an undertaker in Newcastle. Eight years later he entered a partnership with his father. They dealt in mill and steamship supplies, heating apparatus, plumbing supplies and undertaking.

While successfully making his way in the business world, Richard Maltby was also active in the military. In 1872 he joined the 73rd Battalion under Captain Ramsay. Unfortunately the group disbanded later that year. In 1873 he joined the Newcastle Field Battery under Captain (later Colonel) Call. On January 28, 1875 he went to Bathurst with the battery and for forty-two days guarded the jail during the school riot at Caraquette. In August of that year he was made bombardier and a year later was promoted to the rank of corporal.

He continued to work at his military career. On November 22, 1876 he went to the Royal School of Artillery where he enrolled in a three-month course. In 1878 he was promoted to sergeant and in 1892 became a lieutenant. Two years later he was promoted to Captain and was placed in charge of the Twelfth Field Battery. In 1897 he returned to the Royal School Artillery in Quebec. While there he was promoted to major and given command of the battery which consisted of four guns and 102 officers and men.

On November 5, 1880 Richard Leighton Maltby married Margaret Weston. They had two children: Mary Edith and Hiram Kerton.

by Andrew Fraser

Source: Northumberland News – June 08, 1983

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