Ann Megson, the daughter of Francis Megson, was born, lived and died within the City of York in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She was baptized in the parish church of St Olave in 1686: the year in which her father was churchwarden of the parish.
In November 1709 she married Edward Mould, a man of thirty, living in lodgings in Skeldergate, with an income of £100 a year. They married in haste: Edward pressed Anne to marry him when they knew little of each other – in fact, the marriage licence he obtained named her as 'Elizabeth Robinson'. Although witnesses said that he altered the name when Ann pointed out the error, she was recorded in the marriage register at Elvington as 'Ann Robinson'.
The marriage was not happy: within a week Ann had been badly beaten, had her wedding ring ripped from her finger (leaving her skin bruised and torn) and thrown down the stairs by her husband who then deserted her. What had happened? In the case Anne brought in the Church Courts, seeking separation and alimony from her husband, she claimed she had done nothing to provoke him.
Edward told another tale – he said that through a letter sent to their lodgings addressed to 'Mrs Ann Clerk' he had discovered his 'wife' was already married to Thomas Clerk: a soldier serving abroad.
The case remained in the courts for nearly two years and then disappeared before any sentence was reached – the couple probably made a private arrangement. We do not know what happened, and nothing more is heard of Edward Mould. The registers of St Olave's church, however, show that Ann, the daughter of Francis Megson, died in 1776 at the age of 91 (not 105 as her coffin claimed) and was buried in the churchyard of the church where she had been baptised, still calling herself Ann Mould (or Mowles).