Henry Crickmore II

Henry Crickmore II was the only child of his parents Henry I and Elizabeth Knights. His mother was in her late thirties when he was born: the same circumstances as myself. No doubt he too was spoilt, over-indulged, over-confident, over-opinionated and old for his years! His father was the eldest of seven children, so young Henry would, at least, have many aunts, uncles and cousins to bring him back down to earth.

Henry married Sarah Cullingford who came from Hedenham, a village not far from Ellingham where Henry lived and where they set up home together. They had six children over the next ten years and happily all survived infancy. Henry was a labourer – in rural Ellingham this would mean working on a farm.

At the time of the 1841 census, Henry is living in Kirby Cane with his wife Sarah, their 20-year-old daughter (another Sarah) and her son Robert aged 5 months. Nearby on Bungay Road are their sons William and Henry Crickmore, aged about 25 and 20, keeping house together. Their sons Daniel, John and Jarvis are living and working on different farms nearby.

Change and loss

By the time of the 1851 census, Henry’s life has completely changed: he is separated permanently from his wife. Sadly, two of their children have died: Sarah at the age of 24 in 1842 and Daniel aged 23 in 1845. Sarah’s son Robert is living with his grandmother. Of course we can’t know if this separation was a matter of convenience or if there had been an emotional break-up. The family do seem to have remained close.

Henry is living at Litchmore Lane, Kirby Cane, on the farm of 83-year-old widow Mary Norman. Mrs Norman is an in-law: her grand-daughter is married to Henry’s son William. So she is the maternal great-grandmother of Henry’s grandson William, who also lives with her. Charlotte Fisk, another of Mrs Norman’s great-grandchildren, is visiting on census night.

Henry’s status in the household is recorded as “servant”, which would indicate that Mrs Norman is employing him on her farm. However, his occupation was recorded as “farmer” on his son’s marriage record in 1847, and by now he is clearly running the farm.

A farming family

In the 1861 census, we find Henry established as head of the household at the Litchmore Lane farm. Mrs Norman, now aged 93, is living with her grand-daughter Mary Ann, who keeps a school at Broome.

Henry’s son William had died the year before and the orphaned children are now living with their grandfather. William Jnr, aged nineteen, was being trained to take over the farm and no doubt seventeen-year-old Clara was running the household and looking after the younger children, Henry aged 10 and five-year-old Ellen. Their sister Maria Alice, aged three, is with her Grandma Sarah and cousin Robert in Ellingham on census night but this may have been just a visit.

In 1864 Mary Norman died and the next year Henry’s wife Sarah also passed away. These two bereavements seem to have caused more changes in Henry’s life.

Certainly by the time of the 1871 census he has left the farm at Litchmore Lane. William is now running the farm; he is married and raising a family. His half-sister Maria Alice is still with him but Ellen is, I think, in service in Halesworth in Suffolk.

Final years

Henry seems to have taken the place of his late wife Sarah. He is now the head of the household in Ellingham and at the age of eighty is recorded on the census as an “agricultural labourer”. Living with him are his grandson Robert Crickmore and family. This arrangement may not have lasted long: we know that by the time of the 1881 census Robert and his family had moved to his wife’s birthplace, Broome.

Henry probably went to live with his youngest son Jarvis and his fine family (nine children) near  Bungay, just over the border in Suffolk. This theory is supported by the fact that Henry died at Mettingham, near Bungay, and it was Jarvis who administered his estate. He left £22 10s which was worth about £10,600 in the value of 2016 earnings.

Father of Henry, son of Henry and Elizabeth Crickmore 

Baptised Henry Crickmere on 4 Aug 1791 in Ellingham, Norfolk

Married Sarah Cullingford on 12 November 1815

Died 31 March 1876

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