From the Mill to Monte Carlo

Our guest speaker in April was Anne Fletcher who took us on a journey from Bradford to Monte Carlo. Anne told us how a family story had been passed down through the generations. Her great great uncle Joseph Hobson Jagger, who went to Monte Carlo and ‘broke the bank.’

Life for Joseph in Bradford was that of a mill worker who later moved to a better house in the Manningham area. He started a small free lance business that was not a success. Joseph, a Methodist, went to Monte Carlo using his knowledge in engineering to try and make a lot of money. He didn’t squander his winnings but ensured that his family was looked after and he invested in quite a few properties in and around where his family lived.

Anne has researched online, in libraries, the Family History Centre in Wakefield looking at Deeds and Wills and newspaper reports to confirm the story. She also contacted a number of relatives. Gradually the story of ‘ breaking the bank,’ emerged and confirmation of the story was made.

The culmination of 10 years of research ended with Anne writing the story of Joseph Hobson Jagger and the publication of a book which received good reviews. Jonathan Foyle wrote, ‘ A thrilling true detective story that redefines family history. While Tracy Borman said, ‘ An utterly compelling and deeply personal account of a working class Victorian man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. In telling this story of her ancestor, the author brings to life one of the most transformative periods in British history. Her painstaking research is as fascinating as the tale itself. Not to be missed.’ Anne’s book is out in hardback with the paperback version coming out soon.