Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Move To Birmingham.

  Richard White gets married

  On 8 February 1853, William's fourth son, married Harrieta Oliver, born in 1831 in the nearby village of Tysoe. She was the daughter of Richard Oliver, born in 1785 in Tysoe, and his wife Hannah who had been born in 1791 in Stratford On Avon. The wedding did not take place in Shotteswell but in the Baptist Chapel in Shipston-on-Stour. The marriage certificate described Richard as a "Farmer", coming from "Shotswell near Banbury". The fathers' professions are given as "Farmer" for William White and "Baker" for Richard Oliver. The wedding was witnessed by a William Heritage and Richard's sister, Joice. The marriage was performed by Charles Wright, the Registrar. The place of marriage is surprising given the White family's previous firm Anglican beliefs but it may be that the Olivers were non-Conformist and that the couple were married in Shipston to fulfill the wishes of Harrieta's family.
  William's second son, William, had married Temperance Batchelor, from Bourton in Oxfordshire, on 23 May 1844 and the 1851 census finds them also living in Hardwick Road in Neithrop with William working, like his older brother, as a publican . With them were their three children, Emelia (age 3), Caroline (aged 2) and William Elijah, born in 1850. Temperance died tragically in spring 1852 and William's death was registered in April 1858 at Banbury. In the 1861 census, William Elijah was recorded as living with his uncle, Nathaniel Carpenter, in Bourton. Nathaniel, who originated from Northamptonshire, was the husband of Jemima, Temperance's sister, and was a farmer of 23 acres. Jemima and Nathaniel had three children living with them on their farm (Charles, aged 24, James, aged 19 and Emma, aged 17).

  Richard and Harrieta go to Birmingham

  Some time between their wedding in 1853 and the 1861 census, Richard and Harrieta left the rural life of south Warwickshire and set up home in Birmingham. The reasons for doing so are not known now but may have been related to the financial consequences on his father's farm of the general faltering rural economy following the repeal of The Corn Laws as described above or perhaps a disagreement between Richard and his father about his decision to marry into a Non-Conformist family. The first reason is the most likely, for between 1851 and 1861, something terrible seems to have happened so that Old William's status changed from that of "farmer" of a considerable acreage to "agricultural labourer" - he appears to have lost the farm. It my be that his sons left and as a consequence he could not continue to manage the farm or, conversely, that he lost the farm and his sons decided to start a new life in the towns and cities. William's wife, Elizabeth, died in 1860 and her funeral took place at St. Laurence Church on 1 June 1860. By the 1861 census we find that not only had Richard departed for Birmingham but his youngest son, George Henry, had also moved there. Thomas, William's third son, is not found in the 1861 census and I have not found what happened to him in any records. John Cox, now recorded as being an "agricultural labourer", was also living in Neithrop with his wife Mary and his son William as well as his two daughters, Ann (in the previous census named as Anna Marion), aged 14 and eight year old Sarah
  William himself was living in High Street in Shotteswell with his daughter, Joice, then aged 28. Ten years later, the 1871 census seems to indicate that Wiiliam's situation was even more diminished, he was still living with Joice and his occupation was described as "receiving parish relief" - a substantially reduced status when compared with that of twenty years before when he farmed 138 acres and employed men. 
  Also living with them was Richard Hughes, the son of one of William's other daughters, Sarah, and Richard Slicer Hughes, a baker from Twyford MIll in Buckinghamshire. Young Richard had been born in 1859 in Launton, a village on the outskirts of Bicester, and he had an older sister, Eliza E, who had been born in 1854. Their father had died by the 1871 census although that of 1861 shows that Sarah and Richard Senior had been living quite comfortably in Launton and had a young general servant with them in their home, called Charlotte Foster. Sarah herself is next found in the 1881 census, living in Aston Manor, near Birmingham, and is the head of the family, living with her daughter, Eliza and her husband, Henry Hilary Duval, who had been born in Leek in Staffordshire in 1853 and who was working as a leather dresser, as well as their two year old daughter, Annie Marion who had been born in Aston. Sarah stayed with her daughter's family when they moved, first to Worcester where 5 more children were born to them, a second having already been born in Aston, John Henry, in 1881. These children were:- Ethel Maud (born 1884), Jessie Fanny (1885), Harry Austin (1886), Rose Lily (1888) and Albert Edwin (born 1889) and then to Frome in Somerset where they were living by the 1891 census. Sarah died in March 1900 at the age of 77, still with her family in Frome. I am not sure of the fate of young Richard Hughes after 1871.
  Old William White eventually died, aged 80, in Shotteswell on 1 January 1873 and his death certificate records the cause of death as "gasteric (sic) fever Certified". The informant was Ann Walden who was present at the death and William's occupation is recorded as "farmer". The death was registered at Cropredy, sub-district of Banbury on 3 January 1873 and his funeral was held at St. Laurence Church in Shotteswell on 6 January.
  It is interesting that no member of his family registered the death and it does not seem that Joice who had been loyal for many years was with him. Indeed she had got married at the age of 43 to James Bonner in June 1874 and in the 1881 census was recorded as living at No. 6 Bear Garden Road, Neithrop with her husband who was working as a builder's clerk. James was 12 years older than Joice and had been born in Boddicott in Oxfordshire. It is pleasing to think that this woman who turns up in this history from time to time seemed to have found happiness with a man at last - she had done her share for her family - witnessing her brother Richard's potentially controversial wedding, looking after her widowed sister's oldest son and taking care of her elderly father, in poor circumstances, over many years. Of the many characters I have come across in the history of the White family, Joice, I think, is one of my favourites. 
  Sadly, James died in 1888, his death being registered at Banbury in April 1888. Joice is next to be found in the 1891 census living with her eldest sister, Mary, and her eldest brother, John Cox, all widowed and living in the village of Broughton, near Banbury. Mary was described as a licensed victualler and John as a retired farmer. Mary had married Thomas Bull, who had been born in the Oxfordshire village of North Newington in 1820 and they lived at Lodge Farm in Horley, according to the 1861 census. At that time he was recorded as a farmer but in the census ten years previous he was described as an innkeeper of The Woolpack Inn in Horse Fair in north Banbury. Clearly inn keeping suited the couple more than farming for this was what they had returned to in the 1871 census and Thomas Bull was then the innkeeper at The Saye and Sele Arms in the village of  Broughton which is still in business today. It is part of The Broughton Estate, the ancestral home of Lord and Lady Saye and Sele and the family seat of the Fiennes family from 1377. The couple lived at that inn until they both died. They do not seem to have had any children. Thomas died in 1884, his death being registered at Banbury in July 1884.
  Joice died in 1893, her death being registered at Banbury in October 1893. John Cox died in 1898, his death being registered in the January to March quarter of that year. Mary outlived all her siblings apart from the much younger George Henry by dying at the age of 80, her death being registered at Banbury in the first quarter of 1899.

Saye & Sele Arms 2012. The one storey extension at the right of the picture has been added since Mary Bull lived at the inn with her brother and sister.

  We do not know precisely when Richard and Harrieta arrived in Birmingham but the 1861 census records them as living at Ladywood Place in Ladywood. Richard is described as a "labourer" in the census. Their first son, Oliver, was born in 1863 in Edgbaston and the birth of his younger brother, John Henry, was registered in Kings Norton in the second quarter of 1868. The family was recorded as living at 4 Court in Parker Street in Edgbaston in the 1871 census. This was a back-to-back house but was probably quite uncramped as Richard and Harriet (which she appears to be known as by then) had just the two boys while some families at that time were trying to pack as many as ten children in that sort of property. Richard was then employed as a gardener - there would have been plenty of potential customers in the grand houses of surrounding, wealthy Edgbaston. Their own home lay just a short walk from The Oratory which had been founded by John Henry Newman, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, and Perrott's Folley, an Edgbaston landmark, could be seen from Parker Street - this was one of two structures in the area which are said to have impressed the young JRR Tolkein and inspired "the Two Towers" which appear in his "Lord Of The Rings" books.
  The family still lived in Parker Street in 1881 at 9 Court 7 House. Richard continued to be a gardener and Oliver had also taken up that work. Richard died suddenly on 18 August 1888, apparently at home in Parker Street and his death certificate gives the cause as "natural death syncope" and was issued by the coroner and registered on 24 August 1888.

  Going North

  The Whites, particularly those of old William's line, were gradually moving further and further away from Shotteswell. While John Cox had stayed in the Banbury area, his second son, Thomas Henry, found himself traveling even further afield than Birmingham. In 1871, we find him, as a 24 year old, living in lodgings in Chesterfield in Derbyshire in the home of James Stubbs in Louth Street and working as a coal miner. By the 1891 census he had moved to West Yorkshire and was living in the Wakefield area and still working as a miner. He was lodging in Sharlston as a lodger of the Webster family but by 1901, John Webster the head of family had died, and Thomas, then aged 55, had married his widow, Fanny Webster, aged 46 (born in Swinton) in 1893. Living with them were Fanny's children:- Gertrude, aged 12, Harriet (11) and Fanny (8), who were described as Thomas' step-daughters and the couple's shared children - Arthur, aged 6, and Eva, aged 4. In that census Thomas was described as a coal miner hewer. By 1911, the family had moved to Great Houghton, a mining village east of Barnsley, and also living with them there was 26 year old George Webster, Thomas' oldest stepson, who was also a coal miner. By then, the 16 year old Arthur was employed as a pit pony driver. Thomas died in 1916 at the age of 70, his death being registered at Hemsworth in June 1916. The Shotteswell Whites were spreading wider and wider.


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