William Crickmore was the son of Henry Crickmore II and brother of Henry Crickmore III – as he is not a direct ancestor he has not been a subject of my rigorous research, but he certainly deserves some attention….
William seems to have been guilty of a breach of the 1835 Marriage Act, difficult legislation to understand in the twenty-first century! Amongst other provisions, this Act prohibited the marriage of a man with his deceased wife’s sister. Of course it all related to property, which probably was not a major consideration for our family.
Still it seems that William, his second wife Eliza, her sister Charlotte Fisk and brother George Spilling are all guilty of complicity in breaking the law.
Here is the marriage entry of William and Elisabeth Spilling in 1842:
And here is his marriage to Eliza Spilling in 1847:
Charlotte Spilling, older sister of both wives, married a Henry Fisk who was, thank goodness, no relation to anybody else we know. She has witnessed both marriages and clearly gone along with the false declaration of her brother-in-law William Crickmore’s bachelor status. This second marriage took place in the city of Norwich: perhaps they wanted to keep away from their home parish of Broome, where everyone would know the truth.
William has disappeared from the scene at the 1851 census, leaving his wife to go back to her parents and his older children to be looked after by other family members. There is a William Crickmore in prison at Norwich Castle: the ages don’t match, but maybe the prison authorities got it wrong. Of course it may well be an entirely different William Crickmore and there is some other reason for our William’s absence – more research needed here!
By 1858 William is back in Kirby Cane with another wife, Marianne. They have two daughters, Ellen and Maria Alice. Sadly Marianne would die in 1859 and William himself the year after. The five orphaned children would be looked after by their grandparents, Henry and Sarah Crickmore.