Sarah Cullingford was a native of Hedenham, about four miles from Ellingham and ten miles from Kirby Cane in Norfolk. She was the fifth of seven children, with two older brothers and four sisters. When Sarah was nine years old her mother died: we don’t know how. Sarah’s father did not re-marry. He and the children, including Sarah, would have to share in the household tasks and the care of her younger sisters, Elizabeth aged seven and Mary aged four.
Sarah married Henry Crickmore in 1815 and they settled in his birthplace, Ellingham, where their children William, Sarah and Henry were born. By 1821 the family were in Kirby Cane where Sarah gave birth to twins Daniel and John in 1821 and her youngest child Jarvis in 1824.
The 1841 census paints a rosy picture of a happy, thriving family.
Sarah is living in Kirby Cane with her husband, their 20-year-old daughter Sarah and her son Robert aged 5 months. On Bungay Road – next to the pub! – sons William and Henry Crickmore, aged about 25 and 20, are keeping house together.
Daniel, John and Jarvis have all left home and are living and working on different farms. Daniel is farthest away in Suffolk. John is working at the same farm as his relatives William Knights and Elizabeth Fisk – three young people literally making hay! Sarah’s Aunt Phebe and her husband, who glories in the name of Jarvis Baltitude, have charge of Jarvis who is working on their farm.
Years of sorrow
However, the next few years must have been full of sorrow for Sarah and Henry. In 1842 they lost their only daughter Sarah to “dropsy”. This would have been a symptom rather than a cause of death: we would call it oedema and it can be the result of many types of illness. She was 24.
In 1845 their son Daniel died aged 23.
By the time of the 1851 census it seems that Sarah and Henry have parted – though they are still living in the same area and their grandchildren appear to visit back and forth. There is no source of income recorded for Sarah, so we must assume that Henry was still supporting her financially.
Sarah and her orphaned grandson Robert live just a few doors away from her son Henry and his family. John with his wife Amy is in Kirby Cane raising a family and Jarvis, the youngest son, is living in Beccles, Suffolk in a lodging house.
The eldest boy, William, is not to be found anywhere in the 1851 census. His wife died in 1859 and he died in 1860 leaving five children to be cared for by the extended family.
In the 1861 census Sarah’s grandchildren Robert and Maria Alice are with her. The little girl is the youngest of William’s children. She may have been just visiting: her four siblings are living with their Grandfather Henry at the family farm nearby. Robert, who has always lived with his grandmother, is now 20 and working as a carter.
In 1865 Sarah died at the age of 73.
Mother of Henry, daughter of William Cullingford and Elizabeth Hanworth
Born Sarah Cullingford on 4 March 1793 in Hedenham, Norfolk
Married Henry Crickmore II on 12 November 1815
Buried 14 August 1865