Part 1 of this series ended with the death of James’ wife of 16 years, Susanna Hayden Sanders. The next chapter of James’ life was turbulent, as he faced significant legal, financial, and domestic challenges.
The first record of this period is the 1851 census.
We see from this census record that James was not present at the time the census was taken. The first listing is for his son John, age 15. There is a notation, “Hedd [Head] from home,” indicating that James was away for unknown reasons. The occupation is listed as “Farmer 13 acres & Carier [Carrier].” This occupation almost certainly applies to James, not his son John. The census enumerator has even written the occupation above the line on the form, possibly to make this clear.
This is the first indication that James had another occupation besides being a farmer. A Carrier was “a person who drove a vehicle used to transport goods.” In today’s terms, we would probably say he was in the freight and delivery business – the Victorian version of FedEx®. When James became a carrier is unknown, but if he was already working as a carrier in 1834, it would explain why he was in London when he married Susanna Hayden Sanders.
This detail from a village directory for Barley, Hertfordshire (more about that later) shows James’ delivery schedule. He probably had arrangements for lodging in London during his weekly visits.
We also see from the 1851 census that only three of the seven children are listed: John; George, age 14; and Fanny, age 6. By this time, son Alfred Hitch Casbon was working as a tailor in Derbyshire. Daughter Martha, age 12, can be found in the household of her maternal uncle Zacheriah Sanders on the 1851 Census. Sarah was with her maternal grandparents, John and Ann Sanders. I haven’t been able to locate the oldest daughter Ann, but I know from later records that she was alive. I wonder if these daughters were taken in by relatives after Susanna’s death, to ease the burden on James.
The census also shows us that James had a housekeeper, a maid, and two lodgers.
The first hint of financial troubles appears in 1851. This article from the Hertford Mercury shows that James was brought to court for a debt of 8£, 10s. I can’t be certain this is the same James, but based on later developments, it seems likely.
James married again, this time to Charlotte (Webb) Cheyney, a widow. They were married December 1, 1851, in Hackney, Middlesex, London. 
In 1853, James’ suffered a severe financial setback. He was unable to pay his debts and was placed in debtors’ prison in London. 
This article describes him as a farmer and general dealer, and gives him a London address. Is this the right James? Yes – the next article tells us enough to be certain.
This article tells us that James was “formerly of Meldreth, Cambridgeshire,” and a “Farmer, Carrier, Dealer in Hats, and General Dealer.” Other than saying he is “latterly out of business,” the articles don’t give an indication of how much debt he owed or to whom. I suspect that it was his business as a dealer, in hats or “general,” that got him in trouble. Later records, such as the directory entry, above, show that he continued to work as a carrier.
I don’t have access to the court records and don’t know how long he was imprisoned or how he settled the claims against him, but he apparently made it out of prison before November, 1854. In that month he was “charged by his wife with assaulting her and turning her out of doors.”
Although “cruel treatment was clearly proved,” James’ wife Charlotte is described as a “Tartar,” which was a term meaning “a person of bitter, irritable temper; especially, an irascible domineering woman; as. that man who marries a tartar is to be profoundly pitied.”
Besides telling us about the unhappy state of his third marriage, this article is the first record showing that James was no longer living in Meldreth. Sometime within the past few years he had relocated to Barley, a village in Hertfordshire, a village about 5 miles south of Meldreth.
The records do not show why he moved to Barley. However, the move was permanent. The 1861 census shows James, still employed as a carrier, living in Barley with his son John, also a carrier, and daughter Fanny.
Son George, a wheelwright, was also living in Barley in 1861, with his new in-laws.
Notably, James’ wife Charlotte is not seen in the 1861 census. I have not been able to find any record of her after the 1854 court case.
This census is also interesting in that James has a middle initial, “H.” Earlier records do not provide a middle name or initial for James. However, on his daughter Sarah’s marriage record of 1873 (after James’ death), her father’s name is recorded as “James Howse Casbon.” Howse was his mother Mary’s maiden name, so this is apparently the meaning of the “H” in the 1861 census.
I’ll end James’s story with another mystery about his middle initial. James was buried February 4, 1871 in Barley. The parish register for his burial shows his middle initial to be “I,” or possibly “J.”
The civil record of James’ death, lists his name as James Itchcock Casbon. There is no doubt this is the same James Casbon. Where did “Itchcock” come from? I have no idea.