James Casbon, Farmer and Carrier, 1806-1871, Part 2

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.[1]

John C b abt 1835 1851 census Meld
Detail from 1851 census, Meldreth, Cambridgeshire. (Click on image to enlarge)

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.”[2] 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.[3] He probably had arrangements for lodging in London during his weekly visits.

Barley directory detail 1864
Detail from Barley (Hertfordshire) directory, 1864. (Click on image to enlarge)

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.[4] Daughter Martha, age 12, can be found in the household of her maternal uncle Zacheriah Sanders on the 1851 Census.[5] Sarah was with her maternal grandparents, John and Ann Sanders.[6] 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.[7] I can’t be certain this is the same James, but based on later developments, it seems likely.

Hertford Mercury 5Jul1851 James C owes 1l.10s
Article from Hertford Mercury, July 5, 1851. (Click on image to enlarge)

James married again, this time to Charlotte (Webb) Cheyney, a widow. They were married December 1, 1851, in Hackney, Middlesex, London. [8]

James C Charlotte Webb marriage 1851
Marriage record of James Casbon and Charlotte Webb Cheyney. (Click on image to enlarge)

In 1853, James’ suffered a severe financial setback. He was unable to pay his debts and was placed in debtors’ prison in London. [9]

Debtors prison Mar 1853
Article from The London Gazette, 20 Mar 1853. (Click on image to enlarge)

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.[10]

Debtors court appearance May 1853
Article from The London Gazette, 13 May 1853 (Click on image to enlarge)

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.”[11]

Hertford Mercury 25Nov1854
Article from the Hertford Mercury, 25 Nov 1854. (Click on image to enlarge)

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.”[12]

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.[13]

James H Casbon 1861 census detail Barley Detail from 1861 census, Barley, Hertfordshire. (Click on image to enlarge)

Son George, a wheelwright, was also living in Barley in 1861, with his new in-laws.[14]

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.”[15] 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.”[16]

James Casbon b.1806 burial 1871 Barley
Detail from Barley Parish registers, Burials 1871. (Click on image to enlarge)

The civil record of James’ death, lists his name as James Itchcock Casbon.[17] There is no doubt this is the same James Casbon. Where did “Itchcock” come from? I have no idea.

[1]  “1851 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, Findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : accessed 23 July 2016), entry for John Casbon, High Street, Meldreth; citing [The National Archives] PRO HO 107/1708/56, p. 5; Royston (Hertfordshire) registration district.
[2] “Victorian Occupations,” Carrier, London Census 1891 Transcription Blog (http://www.census1891.com/occupations-all.php : accessed 24 January 2017).
[3] “Barley,” History, Topography, & Directory of Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (London: 1864), p. 241; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com : accessed 24 January 2017).
[4] “1851 England, Scotland and Wales census,” Findmypast (accessed 9 August 2016), entry for Hitch Casbourn, Lodger, Street Side, Sandiacre, Derbyshire; citing [The National Archives] PRO HO 107/2141/241, p. 241 (stamped); Shardlow registration district.
[5] “1851 Census … ,” Findmypast (accessed 9 August 2016), entry for Martha Casbarn, Niece, Rowley Yard, St. Giles, Cambridge; citing [The National Archives] PRO HO 107/1760/867, p. 887 (stamped); Cambridge registration district.
[6] “1851 Census …,” Findmypast (accessed 13 January 2017), entry for Sarah Casbon, granddaughter, High Street, Royston, Hertfordshire; citing [The National Archives] PRO HO 107/1708/56, p. 423 (stamped); Royston registration district.
[7] “Hertford County Court.—Friday June 27,” Hertford (Hertfordshire, England) Mercury, 5 July 1851, No. 885, vol. 17, p. 4, col. 4,  James Mason v. James Casbon; online images, Findmypast (http://search.findmypast.com/search/bna : accessed 7 November 2016), British Newspapers 1710-1953.
[8] “London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921”, James Casbon – Charlotte Webb Cheney (1851), images and transcriptions, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 August 2016); citing London Metropolitan Archives.
[9] “Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors, ” The London Gazette, 20 Mar 1853, Issue 21,425, p. 943, col. 2; online archive (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/21425/page/943 – accessed 17 Jun 2016).
[10] “Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors, ” The London Gazette, 20 Mar 1853, Issue 21,425, p. 943, col. 2; online archive (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/21425/page/943 – accessed 17 Jun 2016).
[11] “Royston … Petty Sessions, Wednesday, November 15,” Hertford Mercury, 25 Nov 1854, p.3, col. 4; Findmypast (accessed 7 November 2016), British Newspapers 1710-1953.
[12] Zells’s Popular Encyclopedia: a Complete Dictionary of the English Language, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Zell, 1882), vol. 4, p. 2332, entry for “Tartar”; online image, Google Books (https://books.google.com : accessed 26 January 2017).
[13] “1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census,” Findmypast (accessed 2 August 2016), entry for James H Casbon, Chequer Corner, Barley, Hertfordshire; citing The National Archives, RG 9, piece 812, folio 85, p. 5; Royston registration district, ED 6, household 23.
[14] “1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census,” Findmypast (accessed 4 August 2016), entry for George Casbon (Son In Law), Smith End, Barley, Hertfordshire; citing The National Archives, RG 9, piece 812, folio 76, p. 14; Royston registration district, ED 5, household 77.
[15] St. Philips Dalson church, Hackney (London) parish, marriages 1873, Herbert EdmundLeader – Sarah Sanders Casbon, 28 Apr 1873; accessed in “London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921”, images and transcriptions, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 August 2016).
[16] Parish of Barley (Hertfordshire), Burials 1870-71, James I Casbon, 4 Feb 1871; accessed in “Hertfordshire Burials,” images and transcriptions, Findmypast (accessed 13 January 2017).
[17] “England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007,” James Itchcock Casbon, Deaths registered in January, February and March 1871, p. 56, col. 2; image and transcription, Findmypast (accessed 13 January 2017).
Advertisements

One thought on “James Casbon, Farmer and Carrier, 1806-1871, Part 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s