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The Warren Family

I have now finished, for the present at least my biographies of Ringstead People. I have been having a rapid look at the families of my own ancestor families from Ringstead. I have done it rapidly, using some bits from the Ringstead People biographies but concentrating on my own tree and the siblings. I am sure it has many errors and I was not going to put it on the site but decided some bits may be of interest to a few others. I am starting with the Warrens but will also do the Phillips, Andrews and Balls. Please do let me know of any additions or amendments.


Note. I have had problems with moving the tables with all the family details onto the website - it has made mincemeat of the formatting. I will try to sort it out soon!


The Warren Family


Tree of the  Warrens of before the move to Ringstead 


The Warren Family in Ringstead


Abt1779 – 13/05/1849

ANN Cattel

Abt1789 Irthlinboro’ – 20/07/1852 R



Abt1811 - 1890



Abt1814 - 1884



Abt1817 - 1900



Abt1819 -



Abt1822 -



Abt1824 -



Abt1827 -

Mary Ann


Abt1830 -




There had been Warrens in Ringstead in the early eighteenth century but they seem to disappear from the Parish records after 1723.

I have not yet found William’s baptism but we know from the census that he married Anne, who was born in Irthlingborough.  Earlier names in the Irthlingborough Registers include Lovell Warren which was also the name that William and his wife Ann gave to one of their children so it may be that William too came from the Irthlingborough area.

William married Ann(e) Cattel on 3rd March 1811 in Irthlingborough Parish Church. He was, in fact put down as “William Warren of Hargrave”, which is some 4 miles south-east of Ringstead and 8 miles east of Irthlingborough, but he was linked to the Irthlingborough Warrens. William and Anne’s first two children were born and baptised in Irthlingborough: George in about 1812 (baptised on 24th January 1813) and William in about 1814 (baptised on 15th January 1815).  At the first baptisms William was described as a shoemaker but at the second as a “Labourer in Husbandry”. Whatever the reason for the change, he remained a labourer for the rest of his life. Whatever his connections to the aristocratic de Warrens of Irthlingborough, William would have been like Hardy’s Durbeyfields, with only the name to tell of the past

It seems that soon after the second christening the family moved to Ringstead and the third child, Richard was born there in about 1817, and baptised on 1st February 1817 in the parish church.  Hannah followed in about 1819 (baptised 2nd December 1819), Sarah in about 1822 (baptised 10th February 1822), Lovell in about 1824 (baptised 5th December 1824),Isabella Elizabeth in about 1827 (baptised 9th October 1827) and  Mary Ann in about 1830 (baptised 5th November 1830).

At each christening, William is described as a labourer until, at his daughter Mary Ann’s baptism on November 5th 1830, he has become ‘cowkeeper’. This may just be a change of description for the same job but William was now approaching fifty years old and perhaps his experience had been rewarded or perhaps he was growing old and not up to the hard physical labour of arable farming. The cowkeeper was likely to have been employed as part of the commons system to look after the cows of the individual villagers who were entitled to use the common. The commons would usually consist of three types; the arable land (often divided into strips), the common meadowland and the common or waste. The ‘waste’ might be woods or roadside verges or common in the sense we use it today.

William would collect the cows from the closes and fields of the villagers and herd them on to the common grazing for the day. At the end of the day he would bring them back. The routine would vary with the seasons but it was an important part of village life.

Enclosure was still hanging over Ringstead and some ten years later the inevitable happened. When we look at the Enclosure map of 1841 we see the names of the old fields. There are Ham Meadow Short Meadow and Great Meadow along the Nene. There are also Middle Field and Round Field where presumably the arable strips had been. The execution of the award was: 

Proclaimed on Sunday the seventh day of March one thousand eight hundred and forty one at the Outer Door of the Church of the said Parish of Ringstead immediately after Divine Service as required by the said Local Act by me

Jno Baker

Clerk to Mr Archbould

Solicitor Thrapston

The parish had some 1,982 acres and by 1841 some 1594 of these were owned by eight people. The Lord of the Manor of Ringstead, Thomas Burton had 122 acres 1 rood and 32 perches and Charles Sackville-Germain, 5th Duke of Dorset, who was soon to die without heirs, some 227 acres. The largest landowner however became George Capron a London solicitor who held 802 acres and 3 perches. He had bought the former holdings of Coy, Disbrave, Shuttleworth (Lord of Cotton Manor), Blake, Lady Booth, Coleman, Sheepshanks, Bland, and the Ringstead Charity. He also bought Southwick Hall in 1841 and had acquired the manor of Stoke Doyle some ten years earlier.

Can we see what effect that this had on William and the other villagers because, we must remember, it was not necessarily only those whose main work was on the land who would be affected? Other would also use the common fields for stock, firewood, wild food, including rabbits and other meat. They would also by custom glean the field after harvest picking up the lost ears and grains. It was said that some families could feed themselves until Christmas on the gleanings.

What many expected, including some supporters of the Enclosure movement, was increased poverty for some agricultural workers, an increase in those who became reliant on the Poor Law and a flight from the land. Unfortunately without further evidence it is not usually possible to attribute any one event to Enclosure. Also far more detailed research would be needed although in general, throughout the country, historians agree that these things happened even though they may disagree on the degree of hardship and whether it was an essential change.

Daniel Ball, (the brother of John, who was killed in a Denford fire) was a shepherd with a large family, most of who were connected to the land. We have also seen that the majority of them had either emigrated or left Ringstead forever over the next twenty years. It seems unlikely that they were the only ones. How far this was due to the natural movement of population or to the increased mechanisation of farming will be difficult to assess. Perhaps by the accumulation of separate individual events we may get some idea of the truth.

When we read in the Parish Register for May 20th 1840: the following burial:

Thomas Bates otp aged 61 Buried in the churchyard without any service – fallen by his own hand on Sunday 17th May by cutting his own throat in a most deliberate manner. Verdict unsound mind.

Do we see someone who sees little for himself when Enclosure takes away his livelihood or could it be that life had become intolerable for other reasons? We can only guess. A surer measure would be to look at infant mortality, a good indicator of poverty in the twenty years either side of 1841. I have done a quick count of those under 16 years old at burial I have set out the results in the table below:




(under 16yrs)


1820 -1829



1830 - 1839



1841 Enclosure



1840 - 1849



1850 - 1859






Does it show an increase in child mortality due to Enclosure? One would expect health to be generally improving during the century away from the industrial cities but 1852 had 13 deaths which really skews the results and that could be due to one of the epidemics that still carried away many children. All we can say is that it is possible that Enclosure had some effect but we cannot be sure, without further research.

William was buried in Ringstead churchyard on May 13 1849 aged 69 years and His wife, Anne, followed him on June 20th 1852 aged 63 

The children of William and Anne(e) Warren

1 George Warren (abt 1812 - 1890)

George Warren

Abt1812 – 1890

Rebecca Meadows

Abt1808 – 1889

Louisa (Ruth?)

Abt 1834 - 1852


Abt 1836 - ??


Abt 1837 - ??


1840 - ??



George was born in Irthlingborough in about 1812 and baptised there on January 24th 1813. He moved with his parents William and Anne and his younger brother, William to Ringstead in about 1816 where the remainder of his siblings were born and baptised. It seems from his baptism that his father was originally a shoemaker but form 1815 he seems to have been a labourer for the rest of his life.

George married Rebecca Meadows in Ringstead on 15th October 1832 and the 1841 Ringstead Census has George (25) as a shoemaker with Rebecker (30) and their children. Ruth is 7 and a little confusing for she was perhaps baptised as Louisa on 22 May 1835 but the Higham Ferrars Wesleyan Circuit Baptismal Register also records the baptism of “Ruth, daughter of George shoemaker of the parish of Ringstead and Rebecca his wife born 1st August 1833 and baptised 14th June 1835”. There are also Samuel (5), William (3) and Joseph (11 months), the last two baptised together as Joseph and William 2nd August 1840). Living with them is William Meadows (15) a shoemaker. (1841 Census rounded ages)

By 1851 George (38) is now a butcher and Rebecca (40) a butcher’s wife, born in Titchmarsh. The children are Ruth (18), a lacemaker, Samuel (15) a shoemaker, William (13) a shoemaker, Joseph (11) a shoemaker and Racheal (4), all born in Ringstead.  It may be that Racheal died in 1852 although few details are given in the Ringstead Burial Register. In 1861 George (48) is back to being a shoemaker with his wife, Rebecca (51) and grandchildren Louisa Warren (10) and Alice Brown.

The 1871 Census shows George (59) living in Chapel Road, with unmarried son Joseph (29), both shoemakers and grandchildren Alice Brown (17) doing shoework and Joseph Smith at 11 an agricultural labourer. Joseph Warren died and was buried aged 35 on 19th April 1875. Rebecca (60) is around the corner in Shop Street, acting as a nurse to one month old Sarah daughter of Charlotte and her husband Daniel Mayes

In 1881 Rebecca (73) is back with George (70) living in Chapel Road. He is now trying to make a living as a general dealer. Living with them are granddaughter Alice Manning (26) and visitor Ada Andrews (14), both shoe closers.

Rebecca died in April – June 1889, aged 81, and George about a year later in April -June 1890 aged 77 in the Thrapston District.


2 William Warren (abt 1814 - 1884)

William Warren

Abt 1814 – 1884

Ann Ball

Abt1819 – 1880

Daniel Clarke Warren

1842 – 02/01/1940

Married Eunice Knight

They had no children


William was the second and last child to be baptised in Irthlingborough before the family’s move to Ringstead. He was baptised there on 15th January 1815. He married Ann Ball, daughter of Thomas and Ann Ball (nee Childs) and sister of John Ball who married Susannah Phillips, on 20th May 1841 just  a couple of weeks before the 6th June Census night. In the Census we find that William is living in Ringstead away from his family, aged 25 and with a Sarah aged 20. His sister, Sarah, is 15 years old (rounded down) and with her parents so it seems likely that this is a mistake and Sarah should be Ann.

On 13th November 1842 the couple had their son, Daniel Clark Warren, christened in Ringstead Parish Church. It appears that he was their first and only child. William was described as a labourer. In the 1851 Census he is described as a road labourer. William is 36 and Ann is 31and Daniel is 8 years old. By 1861 still in Ringstead, William, 46, is now an agricultural labourer and Daniel is 18 years old and a shoemaker. Ann is 41 and appears to have never had paid work.

Daniel married Eunice Knight on 5th June 1885 in Ringstead and in 1871 William (57), still an agricultural labourer, and Ann (51) are living in Shop [High] Street. Living next door is Sarah Hackney (60) and next door to her Charles and Elizabeth Andrews and their family.

Ann Warren (nee Ball) died and was buried on 15th September 1880 in Ringstead churchyard. The 1881 Census has William, a widower; aged 66 is living with his son Daniel who is the parish clerk and a shoemaker and his wife Eunice in High Street, Ringstead. William died too, aged 70 and was buried in the churchyard, on October 23rd 1884.

Daniel Clarke Warren seems to have benefitted from being an only child, although born too soon to attend the Ringstead National School. He must have been literate for in the 1881 Census we see that he was, besides being a shoemaker, the Parish Clerk. If we look back in the Northampton Mercury of 4th October 1879 there had been a report of the Revising Barrister’s Court held in the police station in Thrapston [a courtroom was part of the building). The purpose of this court was to hear objections to people who were declared to have voting rights for the General Election. At this time the franchise for men was being extended, especially in the boroughs. For men in Ringstead the Second Reform Act of 1867 had extended male suffrage in boroughs to all householders with 12 months residency and to £10 lodgers. In the counties it was extended to owners of property worth £5 and £12 occupiers. These measures brought over a million new voters and meant that in the country as a whole one in three men could now vote.

The report states:

Ringstead. – The name of Daniel Clarke Warren, parish clerk in Ringstead, was objected to by Mr Roe [Liberal member for Oundle] and Mr Sherwood [Conservative member for Wellingborough] supported the claim. The Rev. E. Sandford, vicar of Denford cum Ringstead, gave evidence that he appointed the claimant and inducted him into the duties of his office. The witness also produces the parochial ward which showed that the claimant’s salary was derived from the letting of a piece of land of the extent of 1a. 2r. 2p. The land was let in allotments and realised about £6 per annum, the claimant himself taking the rent. The claim was allowed.

We can assume that Daniel voted Conservative at the next election which was held on 29th April 1880. In 1884 a Third Reform Act gave votes to householders and lodgers in counties who had been resident for 12 months. This meant that most men in Ringstead who were the “head of the household” could now vote so Daniel’s preferred status was soon overtaken.

We see that the Parish Clerk was a Church of England appointment and would often act as clerk to the vicar’s and also to the vestry. He would also assist in church services and lead the responses, although this was becoming less important as congregations became more literate and the services changed in character. It was becoming an archaic post and in 1894 the Local Government Act set up elected parish councils served by its own parish clerk.

Certainly by the 1891 Census Daniel (48) is just described as a shoemaker. He is with his wife, Eunice and nephew, Frances Chapman. Then years later they are living at 23 High Street (which is perhaps where they had been all the time) and we see that Daniel is still working as a shoemaker at home.

The 1911 Census tell us that the couple had been married for 45 years and had had no children. Daniel, at 68 is still a “shoe room man” which almost certainly means that he was working in a factory. The nephew, Frances Chapman became the manager of the Unity Distributive Co-operative and it seems likely that that is where Daniel was now working.

Eunice died two years later on December 12th 1913 aged 74 but Daniel lived on until the 2nd January 1940 when he was 97 years old. There is a small, but conspicuous, gravestone near the west end of the Ringstead Cemetery Chapel where the couple are laid.


3 RICHARD Warren (Abt 1817 - 1900)


Abt 1816 – 13/01/1900


Abt  1816 - 20/11/1902 


1840 - 1918


1841 – 22/06/1926


1844 - 1931

Sarah 27/10/1845 – 25/04/1846


04/05/1847 - ??


Abt 1852 - ??



Richard Warren was the first child of William and Ann who was born and baptised in Ringstead. The baptism was on 1st February 1817 in Ringstead Parish Church. Richard was to follow his father as a farm labourer. He married Elizabeth Hilson, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth. The family came from Hargrave (like Richard’s father) and the wedding was held there on 16th October 1837. The couple were both 20 years old and Richard’s occupation is given as labourer and Elizabeth’s as a lacemaker. Both signed the register with a mark (X).

In 1841 the young couple are living in Ringstead, a few doors from the Black Bull public house, in the Ringstead High Street. They have a daughter, Ann, just 11 months old, who had been baptised on June 19th 1840. The 1841 Census was held on the evening of June 6th so Ann’s birth would have been very close to the baptism.

In 1850 the whole village was astir and taking sides over the disappearance of Lydia Attley and the belief by many that her married lover, William Weekley Ball was her murderer. William tried to set up a false alibi of her being seen in Northampton and over the next fifty years other bodies were discovered and thought to be poor Lydia.

By 1851 Richard, still and agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth, a lacemaker, have 4 children: Anne (10), Thomas (9) and already a shoemaker, Elizabeth (7), and John (3), all born in Ringstead. Their baptisms do not appear in the parish registers but when we look at the Methodist Circuit baptisms we find that Ann was baptised on 8th October 1840, at 17 weeks old; Thomas on 25th March 1842 at 4 months 2 weeks, Elizabeth on 4th March 1844 at 8 weeks 3 days; Sarah on 28th November 1845 and born on 27th October 1845; John on 11th June 1847 and born 4th May 1847.

We see that Sarah is missing and when we look at the Ringstead Burial Register we see that she died aged six months and was buried in the churchyard on 25th April 1846. The register records that she had a “Wesleyan baptism as it [called]”. Was this move to the Wesleyans the influence of the Hilsons or the increasing appeal of the nonconformists to working people? Whellan’s Gazetteer and Directory of Northamptonshire for 1849 may give the answer for it states that, “A blacksmith’s shop has lately been converted into a Methodist Chapel, although there had been some form of chapel for some 50 years.

In the 1861 Census the couple have only John (13 and a shoemaker) and Eunice (8) at home. From now on Elizabeth is shown as being born in Stanwick. Of course the original Elizabeth may have died and Richard re-married and there is an Elizabeth Warren who was buried on 8th January 1860 but she was 56 so I think can be discounted and I can find no evidence of a second marriage for Richard (and Stanwick is only some 4 miles from Hargrave).

A few years later Richard played an important part in resurrecting the case of Lydia Attley. According to the Eastern Counties Gazette of February 20th:

On Thursday the 4thday of February inst., a man named Warren was engaged in cleaning out a dike which lies at the side of a lane leading from Denford to Keystone and opening into the Denford road near Mr. Peach’s farm. As Warren proceeded with his work, his spade struck against a hard substance buried in the ground buried at about two feet from the surface. The man paused, and manipulating very carefully with his implement, soon unearthed first the skull (split by the spade), and secondly the weird form of a human skeleton, nearly complete and buried with the face downwards, the toes and front of the skull being pressed firmly into the soil. It is a remarkable fact that the heels of this skeleton were close together as if they had been originally and forcibly placed in that position. It lay facing nearly due north and south and in moist boggy earth which received and retained the impression of the bones

At the committal trial in Thrapston in 1864 Richard Warren, who was the labourer mentioned, said that he had dug up the skull on Wednesday 3rdFebruary at about five o’clock in the evening. He said that it was about five feet from the stool of the hedge and about one foot from the side of the ditch. He tells the court that the road had been bad for many years after the common land there had been enclosed. He was also asked about a skeleton dug up in Little Addington parish which had also been thought to have been Lydia’s. He stated that he knew nothing about this but it does show that people were convinced that Lydia was buried somewhere and were constantly expecting her body to turn up.

Richard ran to Denford Vicarage which was nearby and the Reverend Percival Sandilands sent a message to J. G. Leete , surgeon, at Raunds, who examined the skeleton and pronounced it a female of middle height who had been interred for a period of thirteen or fourteen years. Even today forensic scientists would not be able to be so definite. Obviously the good doctor had a very clear idea of who he thought it might be. The area was always boggy so little used except by the farmer and at the time of Lydia’s disappearance was a ‘quagmire composed of an agreeable mixture of mud and water of a depth of several feet. The other clinching argument, that this was Lydia, was that the skull had a missing tooth.

Henry Dix, Lydia’s brother-in-law, gave his account of the extraction at the trial. She had most of her teeth, and, as we have heard was proud of them. According to his testimony Lydia had come to him about a fortnight before her disappearance to ask him to extract a tooth, the third one on the left hand side of her jaw. He was unwilling to do it because she was ‘very large in the family way’. She insisted and he drew the tooth, which was double but he could not remember if it was fanged. ‘She sat on the ground and I stood before her’ and... ‘I drew the tooth with a pair of nippers’. Henry stated that he told these facts to Inspector Williamson at the time of the discovery.

John Hill, who had stalked the couple the night before, also stated that at about six o’clock the next morning he had seen William coming from the direction of Ringstead lime kiln with a hoe in his hand

At the trial of William Weekley Ball, one of the witnesses Richard, in his testimony told of his find but he also, perhaps, betrayed a nostalgia for the times before Enclosure came to the parish.

 His testimony was recorded in the Northampton Mercury on 27th February 1864

I am a labourer at Ringstead and have lived there forty-seven years. I recollect the Ringstead fields before they were enclosed. I know the road leading from Mr Peach’s house towards Keyston. That was in an open field state long before the enclosures, with a hedge of the Denford side but none on the Ringstead side. For a long time after the enclosure was a very rough bad road. In the present month I was in the employ of Mr Peach. On Wednesday 3rd, I was set to digging out the ditch on Keystone Lane. I was digging the ditch on the Ringstead side, which, with the hedge, was made after the enclosure.

John Hill, another labourer who gave evidence, also recalls that the field was enclosed in 1840. It was obviously a change that was still an important event in their lives.

In some ways the changes to the world that the Ringstead villagers inhabited in the nineteenth century was even greater than in the following hundred years. Change, although not necessarily predictable became expected, as the way of the world in the years after Victoria. For those agricultural labourers who had grown up with the settled certainties of rural life the industrialisation of the English landscape came as a profound shock.

A young man, writing in 1820 some thirty miles downstream in the land between the Nene and the Welland bitterly wrote of the impact on the village life:

                                There once were lanes in nature’s freedom dropt,

                                 There once were paths that every valley wound –Inclosure came, and every path was stopt;

Each tyrant fix’d his sign where paths were found,

To hint a trespass now who cross’d the ground:

Justice is made to speak as they command;

The high road now must be each stinted bound:

- Inclosure, thou’rt a curse upon the land,

And tasteless was the wretch who thy existence plann’d

 This attitude is important because it is the voice of one of those affected. It is a rare report from an agricultural labouring man, even if a very unusual one. He goes on to say, ‘And parish –slaves must live as parish-kings allow.’ It is little wonder that John Clare’s rich patron preferred the descriptions of nature and found verses like this too radical.

Ringstead had originally been mooted for enclosure in the late eighteenth century but it was not until towards the middle of the nineteenth that it finally happened, although all around them had earlier succumbed.

One by one the parishes all around had fallen: Woodford in 1764, Denford in 1765, Raunds in 1797, Great Addington in 1803, Islip in 1804, and Little Addington in 1830. Of these the large parish of Raunds put up the most resistance and its smaller commoners and landowners counter-petitioned. When they were ignored there were riots led by the village women and shoemakers who pulled down fences and dismantled gates with which they made huge bonfires and celebrated long into the night. Nevertheless the enclosure went ahead and, finally, only Ringstead stood alone.

The Ringstead Commons came under the aegis of the Raunds Manor Court and Ringstead men railed against the orders and fines that were imposed upon them for overstocking or releasing their stock from the pound without paying the fine due. A recent study of Commoners, much of it based on Northamptonshire by J.M. Neeson has shown that right up to enclosure there was a sophisticated system of rights and obligations which affected most of the villagers. There were haywards and fieldsmen who tried to ensure that land was not overgrazed and that stock was kept healthy and also to ensure that ancient rights were protected. In the mid eighteenth century a number of Ringstead men were fined in the Raunds Court. Neelson records that James Weekley was regularly fined both for trespass and for pound breach and two Ringstead farmers were fined for neglecting and refusing to scour the watercourse running from Lubering Spring in Ringstead to Oak Ditch in Raunds ‘to the very great detriment and damage of the Meadow ground belonging to the inhabitants of Raunds’. It was not a free-for-all and even the disputes were part of the fabric of village life. Enclosure supporters naturally tended to disparage the old agriculture. What even some of these supporters did allow was that enclosure brought many of those who depended on the commons into destitution and the workhouse.

We can only guess at what Richard and the other villagers would have made of all this. What was life like for agricultural labourers before enclosure? What changed in their lives as a result? The first thing to say is that it is sometimes alleged that it was the end of the peasant farmer in England. What the term peasant really meant was that paid employment was only one strand of the work that a ‘commoner’ family did to keep from want and starvation. So the shoemakers and lacemakers might keep a cow on the common or have a small piece of the arable common land or a woman might collect firewood. Also men and women would take rabbits and birds as well as mushrooms and berries. Suddenly these ‘rights’ were taken away and, as Clare writes, the land was protected by the law from those who thought it was part of their birthright. This is why poachers were often supported by the villagers. They saw it as a man taking his due.

I picture it rather like an old woman living in the house that she and her ancestors had lived in for generations. It is rather tumbledown and has few modern conveniences and she is cajoled or forced to leave it and go into a residential home. Now she is well fed and warm but she has lost her independence, the thing that gave her life meaning. This is only a partial analogy for, at enclosure, many lost not only their independence but their livelihoods as well.

These changes were imposed by the wealthy on the poor and, at the same time, they also brought in more and more terrible punishments for those who challenged the new order. Of course at the same time we have the steady mechanisation of farming, meaning fewer workers on the land. The lot of the agricultural labourer, never an easy one, became desperate.

As a result there was, throughout the century, migration to the large towns and cities, emigration to Australia, Canada and the United States and insurrection by agricultural labourers which reached their height in the Captain Swing riots of 1830. Northamptonshire, although not at the forefront of these riots, which were centred along the south coast and as far north as Buckinghamshire, was affected by the unrest. A group of ten men from Finedon were brought to trial in 1831 for breaking up a farmer’s threshing machine. There were also isolated cases of rick burning and other damage throughout the early part of the century as demonstrated by the 1824 ‘Arson’ poster that we showed in the first John Ball biography.

That poster offered a reward of sixty guineas, a considerable sum of money. It would be the equivalent of some £2,500 today, or, because incomes have increased faster than costs, the wages of a craftsman, in 1824, for some eighteen months. It must be remembered that the French Revolution was not too far in the past and risings throughout Europe were not so distant in the future. Many people in the Establishment feared that England was on the brink of revolution.

As I have tried briefly to show it was a very different world from that after Enclosure, both in the look of the countryside and in the way the agricultural community went about its day-to-day business. It has been described by J.L. & Barbara Hammond in the following words:

The old village was under the shadow of the squire and the parson, and there were many ways in which these powers controlled and hampered its pleasures and habits: there were quarrels, too, between farmers and cottagers and there are many complaints that the farmers tried to take the lion’s shares of the commons but, whatever the pressure outside and whatever the bickering within, it remains true that the common field system formed a world in which the villagers lived their own lives and cultivated the soil on a basis of independence.

By 1871, excitement over, Richard (55) and Elizabeth (56) are on their own living in London End and ten years later they are still in London End and at 64 Richard is still a farm labourer.  Their son, Thomas and his family are only a few doors away.

 In 1891 Richard is shown as a retired farm labourer aged 74. It is quite unusual for labourers to be shown as having retired so perhaps he was now incapable of work. The couple are living in Pearce’s Row in Church Street.

Richard just saw the start of the new century for he died on 13th January 1900 and was buried some 5 days later in Ringstead Cemetery (Grave 189). In the 1901 Census his widow Elizabeth, aged 85, is living with her granddaughter Elizabeth Ellen at 10 London End. At some stage after this she went into the Thrapston Union Workhouse which she would have dreaded but was becoming more of a cottage hospital for the elderly and infirm. It may be that she only went in for treatment, just before her death, because the Northampton Mercury of 26th December 1902 in a review of the year reported:

Elizabeth Warren of Ringstead died from a fractured thigh occasioned by an accidental fall on November 5th aged 86

She died in the Thrapston Union Workhouse on 20th November 1902 and was buried in Ringstead Cemetery (grave 153).


4 Hannah Warren (abt 1819 – 1877 tbc)

Joseph Bird (1)

? – 1850

Hannah Warren

1819 – 1877

John Tomlin (2)

Abt1811 - 1877

George Bird Warren Abt1844 - ?

Married Mary Ann Jones and had at least 8 children.



Hannah was baptised on 2nd December 1819 and in the 1841 Census, is a servant aged 21 for farmer, Richard Haynes and his wife Mary in High Street in Raunds. She had an illegitimate son, George Bird Warren, baptised in Ringstead Church on 30th May 1844 (born 17th May) and a note has been added in the Register, “reputed father Joseph Bird of Raunds”. The couple did marry on 16th September 1844 where it gives Hannah’s father as John Warren but I think this is a mistake. I also believe that Joseph died a just a few years later and was buried on 24th October 1850 in Raunds. [There is some confusion here because there is a Joseph Bird living with his wife Frances in Rotton Row in Raunds (where Hannah is in 1851). He has a rounded down age of 20 but is a butcher with two very young children and the family are in later Censuses. I have not found a probable alternative Joseph Bird although the lack of information provided by the 1841 Census may be responsible for this.]

We find Hannah Bird, aged 31 as a widow and working as a charwoman in the 1851 Census, living in Rotton Row, in Raunds. Her sister, Elizabeth Phillips (nee Warren and recently married) is staying with her.

In July- Sept 1854 Hannah Bird married John Tomlin (Vol. 3b p287 line 18) in the Thrapston District and in 1861 we find the couple, John 48 and Hannah 40, living in Rotton Row with Hannah’s son George Bird Warren, now 17 and a shoemaker and Joseph’s sister Mary A Tomlin aged 45.

By 1871 Hannah is 52 and a washerwoman and John (56) an agricultural labourer still living in Rotton Row in Raunds. The couple seem both to have died in the October – December 1877 period.

Hannah and Joseph’s son George Bird Warren married May Ann Jones (born about 1842 in Ringstead) in October – December 1865. They had at least eight children. One of them, born in 1868 was Mary Hannah Bird Warren and I think the news report of the Thrapston Petty Sessions which was in the Northampton Mercury of 8th December 1888 was about her and her parents:


Charles Wilmot, Raunds, shoe riveter, was charged by Hannah Bird Warren, single woman, with common assault, at Raunds, on the 24th November last. – Complainant deposed that herself and her mother were at home on the night in question, when they heard someone outside the door. On prosecuting there they found two men with a pail. One of them (defendant) struck complainant on the eye, and afterwards assaulted her mother. On going to her mother’s assistance defendant commenced beating complainant about with his fist. On her father going to her assistance defendant also threw a pailful of water over them both. Defendant pleaded guilty. He was fined 20s., with 9s. 6d. costs, and 4s. witnesses expenses making 33s 6d. altogether.


5 Sarah Warren (Abt 1822 –?)

Sarah Warren

Abt1822 – 1874 tbc



Sarah was born in about 1822 and baptised in Ringstead on 10th February 1822. In the 1841 Ringstead Census her age (which should be about 19) has been rounded down to 15. In 1851, however, she is shown as 29 and living with her widowed mother, Ann, now a “housekeeper pauper”. Sarah is an unmarried lacemaker and living with them is Anne’s unmarried daughter Mary Ann (20) and her child Eleanor (2). Both of the sisters are lacemakers.

I have not found her in the 1861 Census but in 1871 she is staying with her sister Mary Tassell at Green End, St Neots. She is 49 and unmarried no occupation is shown for her

I have not managed to find Sarah positively after that but she may be the Sarah Warren (born about 1820) who died in Jan- Mar 1874 in the St Neots district..


6 Lovell Warren (Abt 1824 - ?)

William Cobley (1)

28/01/1802– 1848

Elizabeth Whiteman

Abt1804 – 1860

Lovell Warren (2)

Abt1824 – 1857?

7 children


Lovell was a family name stretching back in the Warren family tree. Many of the Warren branches adopted this practice so there are a number of Lovell Warrens from Southend to Northampton and further afield.  He was baptised on December 5th 1824 in Ringstead Parish Church.

I have not found him in the 1841 Census when he would have been about 17 or 18. There is a Lovell Warren aged 20, a shoemaker, living in Lovell Yard in Liverpool but I think it more likely that he was the son of Thomas Warren, a shoe manufacturer, who married Harriet Bailey in 1844 in Liverpool.

We know that he married Elizabeth Cobley on 17th June 1850. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry Whiteman and the widow of William Cobley who she had married in Ringstead on October 14th 1823. Lovell is a coal dealer in the 1851 Ringstead Census and we see that Elizabeth, at 43, is his senior by some 17 years and has her four children by her first marriage living with them. William and Elizabeth Cobley had had seven children but three had died in their first two years of life. William had been buried on 11th October 1848 and Elizabeth had re-married less than two years later to the much younger man.

It seems probable that Lovell died in October-December 1857 although I have not proved this and he was not buried in Ringstead. Elizabeth died, aged 56 and was buried in Ringstead on January 8th 1860.

Of the 4 children in the 1851 Census (Samuel 18, Louisa (12), Joseph (8) and Martha (4) it is Louisa who led the most extraordinary life. We have outlined her story in Ringstead People 2 in the chapter on people who were forced for some reason to go into the workhouse. She married John Tomlin a brickmaker from Raunds who seems to have abandoned her with two children. She had to go into Thrapston Workhouse where she took up with another, seemingly unpleasant, man called Edwin Goldsborough. They went on the tramp, the older child finding her way back to Louisa’s sister, and trying to unload the four-year old boy at Bourn Workhouse in Lincolnshire, but without success. The couple ended up in Stamford and Louisa sat on a footbridge with her young son as the snow fell. He rolled off the bridge into the stream and was drowned. Louisa was accused of his murder but was acquitted and moved back to Raunds and went on to marry twice more before dying in Wellingborough Workhouse.

7 Elizabeth Warren (Abt1827 – 1901)

WILLIAM Phillips (1)

Abt 1830 Raunds – Jan-Mar 1861


Abt 1827 – 1901

Joseph Smith (2)

Abt 1837 – 1895


Abt 1853 - ?? 


Abt 1855 - ??

Married John Ball


Abt 1858 -??


Abt 1859 - ??


Abt 1860 - ??

Ellen Elizabeth

Abt 1862 - ??

Mary Ann

Abt 1868 - ?? 


Abt 1870 - ??


Abt 1873 - ??



Elizabeth was christened Isabella Warren on October 9th 1827 in Ringstead church. In 1841 she is 13 and living with her parents, William and Anne and her sisters Sarah (15) and Ann (9).

On 12th August 1850 she married William Phillips in Ringstead but, perhaps surprisingly, in the 1851 Census, aged 21, she was staying with her widowed sister, Hannah Bird, in Rotton Row in Raunds.  Hannah is a charwoman and Elizabeth is a lacemaker (which was a rapidly declining industry). Meanwhile William appears to be living with his older sister Sarah and her husband William Lyon at 35 Grey Friars Walk in Bedford. Of course the Census is only a very brief snapshot of people’s lives so it could be a fleeting visit but he is show as a lodger. He is working as a shoemaker.

William had been born in Raunds in about 1830 (not to be confused with William Phillips, his cousin – son of Samuel) and baptised there on 12th June 1831.  In 1841 he was with his widowed mother Elizabeth (nee Rands) and his siblings in Workhouse Yard in Raunds

Any lodging was probably only short term and the couple had five children. A son, John, was born in Ringstead in about 1853 but the other children, Susannah (born 1854), Rachel  (about 1857), Alfred (about 1859) and William (1861), were all born in Raunds. On 19th February 1860 the children, Alfred, Rachel, Susannah and John had all been baptised by the curate C.F. Porter in Raunds Parish Church.

Unfortunately William died a year later and was buried in Raunds churchyard on the 14th February 1861 so the couple were never together in a Census. He was just 32 years old and in 1861 the newly widowed Elizabeth is living in Raunds with her five children John, Susannah, Rachel, Alfred and William. The youngest, William, is only nine weeks old and has been named after his dead father. It would have been clear to Elizabeth that she was destined for the workhouse unless she married and on 31st May 1864 the widow, Elizabeth Phillips, a shoe closer, married bachelor Joseph Smith, a local shoemaker. Joseph was at least 5 years younger than Elizabeth although the difference seems to stretch as the Censuses go by: 1871 5 years; 1881 7 years, 1891 9 years. (7 seems about right). Elizabeth signed her name in the Register but Joseph just put his mark.

In 1871 the couple are living at Hill End, Raunds. Joseph (33) is a shoemaker and Elizabeth (38) is a shoe closer. Living with them are three of Elizabeth’s children from her previous marriage; Rachel (14), a shoe closer; Alfred (12) an agricultural labourer and William (10) a shoe closer. There are also three new children. The oldest of these, Ellen Smith, is in the next Census named Ellen Phillips. She is too young to be the child of William Phillips so it may be she was illegitimate born before Elizabeth’s second marriage. When we look back in the Baptism Register we find shortly after her mother’s second marriage, on 3rd July 1864, that Ellen Elizabeth Phillips was baptised. Her parent is “Elizabeth Phillips, widow, now the wife of Joseph Smith”. There are also two children of the second marriage, Mary Ann (3) and Frederick Smith (1).

By 1881 only Ellen (18) of the Phillips family is living with Joseph and Elizabeth. There is one addition to the Smith Family, Samuel, who is eight years old. There is also a 3 week year old baby, Martha Phillips, born in Chelveston. Martha is the illegitimate daughter of Ellen, born in Chelveston, but baptised Martha Lizzie Phillips in Raunds on the 22nd August 1881. Was Ellen one of the many vulnerable young women and girls who went into service away from home and became pregnant? [Ellen later married Walter Higby].

Ten years later Joseph (54) and still a shoemaker, and Elizabeth (63) are living in Bass Yard in Raunds. Only Frederick (21) a shoemaker and Samuel (18), a leather clicker, are still at home.

Joseph died in May 1895 and was buried in Raunds churchyard on May 23rd 1895, aged 58 and Elizabeth died in Thrapston Union Workhouse and was also buried in Raunds on 2nd February 1901, aged 70, (the National Register says 75 and this is probably close to the mark.)

[Note: This Elizabeth Warren was the sister of Richard Warren who was the father of the Elizabeth Warren who married Charles Andrews.]


8 Mary Ann Warren (Abt1830 - 1908)


Mary Ann Warren

Abt1830 – 1908


George Tassell

? - ?


Abt1849 - ?? 


Abt 1853 - ?


Abt1857 - ?


Abt 1860 - ?

Mary L.

Abt1872 - ?


Abt1874 - ?


Abt1876 - ?


Abt1877 - ?


Abt1879 - ?



Mary Ann Warren was baptised in Ringstead Church on 5th November 1830. In the 1841 Census she is just named as Ann, aged 9 and living with her parents William and Ann and older sisters, Sarah and Elizabeth.

Her father died in May 1849 and on 5th April she had a daughter, Ellen, christened. It also says that she was admitted to the church on 9th September 1849. In 1851 Mary Ann is living with her widowed mother Anne who is a housekeeper and pauper. Mary’s daughter, Eleanor is now 2. Mary and her sister Sarah are both lacemakers, a craft that was very much on the wane in Ringstead.

On 20th June 1852 her mother, aged 63, was buried in Ringstead churchyard and a few months later in October – December Mary Ann married George Tassell. At some point, not long after the marriage they moved to Green End in St Neots in Huntingdonshire. In 1861 George was an agricultural labourer and beside Mary Ann’s daughter Ellen Warren they had three children: William (7), Emily (3) and George (1) al born in St Neots.

By 1871 they were still living in Green End but George (41) had become a “Paper Maker” and his “daughter” Ellen was a “Paper Folder”. Living with them are their children George (11), Mary L. (8), Annie (7), Lillie (5), Arthur (3). Next in the list comes Sarah Warren the “wife’s sister” (49) and then son Walter Tassell (2). I think this is probably a mistake in sorting out the order rather than an example of polygamy.  All the children apart from Ellen have been born in St. Neots.

By 1881 George is still a labourer in a paper mill and Mary is now working as a charwoman. The oldest two girls at him, Annie (17) and Lillie (15) are working as rag cutters for the paper mill and Arthur W. is a paper cutter. Walter (12), Ada (9), Eliza M.A. (4) are all “scholars”.

By 1891 still in Green End, George now 62 is an agricultural labourer, May Ann 63 is not doing paid work, Ada (18) is a nurse – domestic servant and Eliza (14) has no occupation.

George Tassell died in and in 1901, perhaps surprisingly, Mary Ann aged 71 is living on her own means. With her are daughter Mary (34) with her husband Alfred Rawlings (35), a paper maker born in Eaton Socon (Bedfordshire but now joined onto St Neots. There are also grandchildren Eva (7) and Victor (6) Asbury, both born in Hackney in London.

Mary Ann died in October – December 1908 in St Neots. She was 78 years old.


Children of RICHARD and ELIZABETH Warren


RICHARD Warren (Abt 1817 - 1900)


Abt1816 – 13/01/1900


Abt 1816 - 20/11/1902



1840 - 1918


1841 – 22/06/1926


1844 - 1931

Sarah 27/10/1845 – 25/04/1846


04/05/1847 - ?


Abt 1852 - ?



1.Anne Warren (Abt 1840 - 1918)

Anne Warren

1840 – 1918

John Weekley

Abt1837 – 1903



Abt1859 -


1860 - 1861


1864 - ?


1866 - ?

Ellen E

1870 - ?

Ernest A.

Abt 1871 - ?

Violet A

Abt 1873 - ?

William W.

Abt 1875 - ?

George A.

Abt 1879 - ?



1881 - ?



Ann, first child of Richard and Elizabeth, was 11 months old when the 1841 Census was taken on June 6th. She had been baptised on June 19th 1840 so her birth must have been only a very short time before that. In 1851, aged 10, she is still with her parents and three younger siblings, Thomas (9), Elizabeth (7) and John (3).

In July - September 1858 she married local man, John Weekley, son of James and Elizabeth, and the 1861 Census finds them together in Ringstead. John is 23 and a shoemaker and Ann is 20 and they have their children Thomas (1) and George (8 months) with them. Sadly George died a few months later and was buried in Ringstead churchyard age one year on 21st October 1861.

By 1871 John (32) and still a shoemaker, and Ann (30) are still in Ringstead London End and the oldest child Thomas (11) is now an apprentice shoemaker. There are also three other children: Walter (7), Amos (4) and Ellen (1). Around them are Andrews, Mannings and Warrens. By 1881, still in London End, John (42) has become a hawker of coal. With John and Ann (41) are children Walter (16) and Amos (14) farm labourers, and Ernest (10), Violet (8), William (6), George (2) and Olive (8 weeks).

1891 and in London End, John (52) is back to being a shoemaker and with him and Ann (50) are unmarried children Ellen E. (21) a dressmaker, Ernest A. (20) a [shoe] riveter, Violet A. an army [shoe] closer, William W. (16) and George H.(12), farm labourers. Ten years later they are recorded at 1 London End and John (64) is a shoemaker, probably in a factory, and Ann (61) still has no paid occupation shown. The only child at home is George now 20 (?) who is a shoe riveter in a factory.

John died in April – June 1903 aged 65 and in 1911 Ann was 70 and living with her son George H. (32) an unemployed boot maker and his wife Clara M. from Salisbury in Wiltshire. They had been married 7 years and had three children who were with them Minnie L. (7), Charles V. (5) and Hugh C. (9 months). They are still living in London End.

Ann died, aged 79, in April – June 1918.


2 Thomas Warren (Abt 1841 - 1926)

Thomas Warrren

Dec1841 – 22/06/1926

Vashti Smith

Abt 1839 – 29/10/1914

Mary Ann

Abt 1862 - ?



11/05/1863 - ?



 Abt 1865 - ?



Abt1867 - ?

William Albert

Abt1870 - 1873



Abt 1874 - ?

William A.

1877 - ?



1880 -




Thomas had a Wesleyan baptism on 25th March 1842 when he was 4 months 2 weeks old which would mean that he was born around the 11th December 1841. He is with his family in 1851, aged 9 years old.  His father was an agricultural labourer but Thomas became a shoemaker.

He married Vashti Smith on 10th November 1860 in Raunds and we first find the couple living In Little London in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire in the 1861 Census. The couple are both 20 and Vashti’s place of birth is unknown. Next door is Joseph Smith and his family and Joseph is a skewer maker and his place of birth is also unknown. The name Vashti and Smith and the unknown birth places alert us to the fact that Vashti was probably from a gypsy family

With a little research we find that Vashti was the daughter of Robert and Rhoda Smith who had children born across Northamptonshire from Corby and Deene to Bulwick, Nassington and Wittering. In 1841 the family were in Glapthorn and Vashti was 2 years old. Later censuses reveal that Vashti was christened (as most Gypsy children were) in Corby on 3rd February 1839.

We do not if the family came through Ringstead, perhaps following the Nene Valley or if Thomas had gone to Melton Mowbray and met her there. The former seems the most likely and did he then travel with them up to Melton Mowbray.

We know that by1866 the family are back in Ringstead for Rhoda, born on May 11th 1863 was baptised there on January 1st 1866 (states born 11th May 1863) as was her younger sister Elizabeth. Another son, John, was baptised on December 25th 1867.

By the 1871 Census they are back in London End in Ringstead and it confirms that Vashti was born in Corby. It also shows that their eldest children, Mary Ann (9) and Rhoda (5) were born in Kingscliff where Vashti’s parents had settled. Writing of the period around 1900 James Roberts wrote in his Memoirs (transcribed by Canon John Bunyan):

I can recall the gypsy folk who came to settle in ‘Cliffe, they were all decent enough folk. I remember one of them in Particular, Tom Smith. He used to come each year for several weeks and then move on, making his quarters in Miss Dennis’s field just inside a tall hedge where now you go up to the cemetery.

The younger children are Elizabeth (5), John (3) and William A. (1), all born in Ringstead. Unfortunately there is a sad little entry in the burial register:

                William Albert Warren otp aged 3½ scalded to death July 5th 1873.

By 1881 Thomas (39) and Vashti (40) are still in London End. Thomas is a shoemaker and Vashti now states that she was born in King’s Cliffe. Mary Ann (19) and born in Leicester is a servant “out of place”, John Thomas (13) is a farmer’s boy, Matilda (7), William A (4) and Daniel (11? months) have all been born in Ringstead.

In 1891 they are still in London End, next to Peach’s Lodge in Denford Road. Thomas is 49 and an army shoemaker, Vashti, now born in Corby, is 50 and William (13), a farm labourer is the only child at home.

In 1901, they are living at 6 Denford Road. Both are shown as 59 and they now have sons William Albert (24) who works in a boot and shoe factory and Daniel (20) a shepherd on a farm, living with them.

The 1911 Census shows the couple, now alone, living in Denford Road. Thomas (68) is now a shoe hand and Vashti (70) is a “housewife”. They have had 9 children 3 of whom have died. The 1911 Census was the first one to be completed by the householder but the Enumerator, E. Cottingham, has filled it in on Thomas’s behalf. The house has 2 rooms.

Vashti died, aged 74, in on 29th October 1914 and Thomas lived on to be 84 before he died on 22nd June 1926. Both were buried in Ringstead Cemetery.


3 ELIZABETH Warren (1844 – 1931)

JOHN Andrews

?? – Pre 1846



JAMES Manning

Abt 1754 - ??

MARY Bosworth

Abt 1767 - ??


Abt 1779 - 1849



Abt 1789 - 1852


Abt 1780 HFerrers- 2/12/1863 Stanwick



Abt 1777 -14/10/1825 Stanwick



Abt 1798 – 7/06/1848 Boston, Lincs

SARAH Manning (Chambers)

4/04/1809 – 30/11/1875


Abt 1817 – 12/01/1900


Abt 1817 – 20/11/1902


08/08/1845 – 15/07/1890


1844 - 1931

Ada Maria



Annie Jane

George William

John Thomas


Mary Elizabeth

Lily Ethel

Eliza Ellen





[This similar to piece on Charles Andrews in Andrews Family. Note: This Elizabeth Warren’s father, Richard Warren was the brother of the Elizabeth Warren who married William Phillips]

Elizabeth was the third child of William and Elizabeth and she had a Wesleyan baptism [on the Higham Ferrers Circuit but probably held in Ringstead) on 4th March 1844 when she was 8 weeks 3 days old. In 1851 she was seven years old and living with her parents and 3 siblings, Anne (10), Thomas (9) and John (3) in Ringstead.

In 1861 she is not with her family but at 18 is a dairymaid working for Robert Knight a widowed farmer of 178 acres employing 6 labourers and 1 boy. There are also his unmarried son William (44) and daughter Mary (40). Elizabeth is described as a servant which probably means that she was living in (and perhaps helping Mary, who is shown as housekeeper, with the housework).

Elizabeth married Charles Andrews on 31st August 1866 at the Baptist Meeting House in Thrapston. It seems a little odd that it was held in Thrapston rather than Ringstead but I have not found any reason for this. Charles was a shoemaker and by 1871 the couple were living at 29 Shop (High) Street in Ringstead with their three children.

Ada, the oldest child had been born in about 1866, Annie in about 1868 and George in late 1870. Thomas followed in about 1873, Eunice Oct - Dec 1876 and Mary Lizzie in 1878. In 1881 they are still living in London End, the triangle of poor housing at the end of Back Lane where it joined the Denford Road. [Many members of the Phillips, Ball, Manning, Warren, Andrews families lived there]

Charles had had a difficult, impoverished childhood and unfortunately it seems to have affected his own behaviour as a husband and father.  The first time that his failings were recorded was possibly in the Northampton Mercury of 2nd August 1879. It reported that at the Thrapston Petty Sessions on July 28th:

John Andrews of Ringstead was charged with the same offence [neglected to have provided sufficient instruction for his child] with regard to two children belonging to him – a boy and a girl. Mr Knight [Relieving Officer] gave evidence as to insufficient attendance and a similar order was made in this case, the children to be sent to the National School.

“John” was one of a number of local parents prosecuted for not sending their children to school and the Education Acts were widely flouted by parents and farmers. It says John Andrews but certainly in the 1881 Census, Charles is the only adult male Andrews in Ringstead. The two children are likely to have been Annie and George.  Ada was old enough to have left school and Thomas would have probably been of school age and it would have provided a baby-sitting service or he was too young to be counted.

On Saturday 13th March 1880 the Mercury reported:

Charles Andrews, of Ringstead, was charged with non-compliance of an order made by the Bench, on 28th July last, with regard to the sending to school of his two children, George and Annie Andrews. Defendant did not appear, was fined 6d., and also sentenced to pay 4s. 6d. costs in each case. Inspector Tarry having informed the Bench that the defendant had no effects on which a distraint could be issued, he was committed for seven days in each case. The same defendant was also charged with neglecting to provide sufficient elementary education for his child, Mary Andrews and the Bench made a school attendance order in that case.

Later that year, on the 14th August 1880, the Northampton Mercury reported that Charles was again charged with a similar offence and it continued:

Charles Andrews, Ringstead was also charged with non-compliance with orders previously made by the Bench. In each case he was fined 6d., and ordered to pay 6s costs, or seven days imprisonment. He was allowed a fortnight in which to find the money.

In 1881 the family are together in London End and Charles (35) is an army bootmaker. The children Anne Jane (12), Thomas (8), Eunice (4) and Mary Lizzie (2) are all put down as “scholars”. Soon after this Charles abandoned his family for a time. The Northampton Mercury for 24th December 1881 when it reported that:

Charles Andrew of Ringstead, a Crispinite, [shoemaker: St. Crispin was the patron saint of shoemakers – term usually used in a derogatory way] was charged by Mr. R. Knight, relieving officer of the Thrapston Union, with neglecting to support and family, whereby they came chargeable to the Thrapston Union, on the 17th November last. It appeared that defendant absconded in November, and returned to Ringstead on the 15th of the present month. In the interim his wife and family had become chargeable to the Union; he was apprehended by Constable Brown. Before the desertion complaints had been made that the defendant was indolent and had neglected to supply his family with the ordinary means of subsistence. Defendant, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 14 days’ hard labour.

We see Elizabeth and her children family living in extreme poverty and Charles becoming less willing and able to provide for them. The Mercury for 20th November 1880 had reported:

We are pleased to announce that the army boot and shoe trade is fairly good in the town and that all hands are in full work.

The trade was very volatile with sudden depressions in work but it does seem that Charles did have the chance of work but perhaps because of drink and laziness did not support his wife and family.

Again the Mercury reported on 15th July 1882:

Charles Andrew [sic], Ringstead, was charged by Mr. R.P. Wakefield, master of the Thrapston Union with leaving his wife and children chargeable to the Union. Defendant was committed for seven days.

Things began to get worse because at a Special Petty Session on Tuesday 18th October 1887:

Charles Andrews, shoemaker, Raunds was charged, before Mr. J. Rennie Wilkinson and Mr. R. Eland with embezzling a quantity of leather entrusted to him to make up by Mr. George Shelton of Higham Ferrers in June last. – Prisoner who absconded at the time of the offence was committed and was arrested on his return home this week, was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour.

We see that over a period of some ten years at least Elizabeth was in constant financial trouble with Charles sometimes going off and leaving her to bring up the family on her own and with no alternative but to seek parish relief.

Charles died in Thrapston Union Workhouse in on 15th July 1890 aged just 44 and was buried in Raunds two days later. There is a note in the Burial Register that he had not been baptised.

 At about this time his son, George, who would have been about 20 years old, was fined, with two others, 15s. for being drunk and disorderly in Raunds. It must have been a very hard time for Elizabeth. By the 1891 Census, the newly widowed Elizabeth is living in Workhouse Yard in Raunds (This was presumably the site of a workhouse that pre-dated the building of Thrapston Union Workhouse.) Elizabeth is a shoe closer as are her children George (20), Eunice (17) and Elizabeth (12). Thomas (18) is a farm labourer and the two youngest children (Louise 9 and Eliza 6) are “scholars”. [I believe that “Louise” is a clerical mistake, it should be Lily E.].

By 1901 Elizabeth has moved back to Ringstead, living at 11 London End, with her daughter Mary Elizabeth Allen who at 20 is already widowed and her daughter Edith Annie Allen who is two years old. Next door (Number 10) is her elderly widowed mother, Elizabeth Warren with Elizabeth Andrew’s daughter Eliza Ellen (16) living with her.

By 1911 Elizabeth is a boarder at 73 Nene Cottages, Raunds with her daughter Lily Ethel and her husband Frederick Wilfred Smith and their children. Fred Smith is 34 and a welt sewer for Coggins and Sons and his wife, Lily is 29. They have been married 14 years and have had 5 children, 4 of whom are still living.

The Raunds Cemetery Register (kept in Raunds Town Hall) records that Elizabeth Andrews died in Marshalls Road, aged 87, and was buried on 31st March 1931 (grave 646 Raunds Cemetery Chapel). She is described as “housewife”.

I was told that this is a photograph of Susannah Phillips but it does not look like her and I wonder if it is of Elizabeth Andrews (nee Warren) who was Eunice Ball’s (nee Andrews)mother and lived in Marshalls Road at the time of her death (near Eunice).

4 Sarah (27/10/1845 – 25/04/1846)

Sarah had a Wesleyan baptism on 28th November 1845 and was born on 27th October 1845. Her death is recorded in the Ringstead Burial Register. She was just six months and was buried in the churchyard on 25th April 1846.

5 John (1847 - )

Harriett Lilley


Abt1847 - ?

John Warren


04/05/1847 - ?

Hortense Angelique Thironneau

Abt1848 - ?

William Lilley


Abt 1836 - 1888

John Lilley


Abt1877 - ?

Ann Elizabeth Lilley

Abt1879 - ?



Abt 1882 - ?



Abt 1888 - ?




John was born on 4th May 1847 and had a Wesleyan baptism on 11th June 1847. In the 1851 Ringstead Census he is three years old and is with his family .By 1861 only his younger sister Eunice (8) and him are still at home with their parents.

On 8th October 1866 he married Harriett Lilley, a woman from nearby Stanwick. She was the 20 year old daughter of shoemaker William Lilley and his wife Ann. The marriage was held in the Baptist Meeting House in Stanwick. The 1871 Census has the young couple together in London End in Ringstead. John is 23 and a shoemaker and Harriett is 24.

Harriett had an older brother called William Lilley who married Hortense Thironneau, the daughter of René Thironneau, a French teacher on Christmas Day 1873. This time the wedding was held in Stanwick Parish Church.

Hortense Angelique Thironneau had been born at Honfleur in Calvados in northern France and must have seen an exotic presence in Stanwick

It is only when we get to the next Census that we realise that something quite unexpected has happened. William Lilley is 46 and shown and married but living on his own with his widowed mother Ann in Stanwick. His sister Harriett Warren is 34 and acting as a housekeeper for William Dunkley a 33 year old stationary engine driver from Wollaston and his young family at 138 Newcomen Road in Wellingborough.

Looking for John Warren we finally find him living at 18 Shakespeare Street in Garston, Lancashire. With him and shown as his wife is Hortense Lilley, born in France and two children: John Lilley, aged 4 also born in France and Ann Elizabeth Lilley aged 2 and born in Goole in Yorkshire. John is shown as a general labourer and boarding with them is George Collins, also a general labourer from Northamptonshire (it could be a phonetic attempt at Wollaston).

It looks as if the couple have deserted their spouses and run away together and John is having to work as a labourer.

On the 12th June 1888 Hortense’s husband, William Lilley, died aged 52 years old in Stanwick. The death was registered by his brother-in-law Thomas Clark and the cause of death was “Apoplexy - 7 hours”. I have not found Harriett after 1881 but there seems the possibility that she had emigrated.

In 1891 John Warren (43), a shoemaker again, and Hortense Lilley (41) are recorded twice at their home of 276 Northfield Road, Everton, Liverpool. Hortense has recorded herself as a widow so she knew of William Lilley’s death and in the column for relationship to John has been put “Caretaker” which is also her occupation. Her son John (14) is a confectioner. He and his mother are both put down as born in France but as British Subjects. Annie (born in Goole) is 12 and there are two new children, Eunice 9 born in Garston and Thomas 3 born in Liverpool. They are all put down as children of John Warren (as head of household) but oddly also all have the surname Lilley. The other entry for them is almost identical, although Hortense is 42 and Eunice has become Emma H. and is born in Liverpool.

I have not found the family yet in 1891 but in 1901 John Warren, aged 53, is shown as married but is on his own living at 266 Northfield Road North (not 276). He is a shoemaker working at home on his own account.  


John Warren with Hortense and 4 children (from left) Eunice, Thomas, John and Ann Elizabeth

Taken about 1890

The 1911 Census confirms that John, now 63 is living at 266 Northfield Road North in Liverpool. He states that he is a boot repairer on his own account, working at home and was born in Northamptonshire. Living with him is his 33 year old son John who is assisting in the boot repair business. He was born in France but is a “British Subject by Parentage”. With John Jnr is his 38 year old wife Ruth, born in Liverpool and their three children, the oldest two, George (7) and Edwin (6) born in Douglas on the isle of Man and Harold, the youngest, born in Liverpool. John Snr. States (and then crosses out for it only applies to females) that he has been married 35 years and has had 5 children, 4 of whom have survived. This seems an amalgam of the two marriages. There is no sign of Hortense. [Could she be on IOM with son?]

When we look around we do find Angelique H. Warren, 65 and married for 38 years with 5 children, 4 of whom have survived. She is living with her daughter Ann E.  and her husband John E. Sunners. Ann is 32 and her 35 year old husband is a mechanical engineer in a Biscuit Manufactory. They have had 3 children two of whom have survived: John E. (9) and Charles M. (2 months) both born in Liverpool. Living with them is John’s brother Charles C. Sunners aged 33 who is a jockey. It may be that Hortense was staying with her daughter to help her out with her new baby.


Ann Elizabeth (wife of John Sunners)

There is obviously much more to this story but I have not yet found the couple’s deaths and we will leave it there for the moment.


Hortense in old age.


5 Eunice Warren (1852 - ?)

Eunice Warren

1852 – 1828 tbc

Joseph Huber

Abt 1853 - ?


1882 - 1896


1883 - ?


Eunice Warren is another child of Richard and Elizabeth who seems to have led an interesting life, but unfortunately one that we have not fully discovered.

She was born in Oct-Dec1852 and in 1861, aged 8 is with her parents, Richard and Elizabeth, and brother John (13). By 1871, aged 18, she has become a domestic servant at 7 Castilian Street in Northampton. She is working for William Seamark, a draper and his wife Eliza.

It appears that she married Joseph Huber in Jan – March 1881 in Northampton. Joseph was born in Bedford, the son of Conrad Huber a German immigrant.  On July 28th 1843  a Conrad, Huber, a clockmaker,  had a settlement examination by the Bedford Magistrates to check that he was not going to be a call on the Poor Law.  He stated:

I am a foreigner and was born at Lenzkirch in the County of Neustadt in the Kingdom of Germany on 1st November 1820 and am the son of Conrad Huber of the town of Neustadt in the County of Neustadt, out of business and mary his wife. I now rent a house in Gadsby Street in the parish of St Paul of Mr Barrand at the rent of £10 per annum. I entered upon it at Lady Day last and have the sole occupation thereof. I was married on 25th July instant at the office of the Superintendant Registrar in Potter Street to Sarah Elizabeth Roberts of St Paul, spinster.

It may be that this was the father of Conrad, who was Joseph’s father (or he could have married twice. On the 31st March 1867 Conrad Huber of Offa-street Bedoord died and on February 4th 1871 “Alice Poole, widow of the late Mr C. Huber” died, aged 40, in Albert Street in Bedford

So Joseph and his brother John were orphaned and taken in by their Uncle, Benjamin Quenby. In the 1871 Census the two boys aged 14 and 12 are with their uncle at 27 Princes Street, Bedford. In 1873 John was apprenticed to a stonemason for seven years and Joseph to Joseph Lilley a builder and carpenter of St Peter, Bedford for 5 years. Their apprenticeships were supported by a Bedford charity set up by Rev. Robert Bamford by his will of 1720.

At first I could not find the Joseph and Eunice in the next two Censuses. This was merely because the Ancestry website (and the original 1881 Enumerator) had mistranscribed their names.

In 1881 Joseph (24) is living with Emma [sic] (25) at 35 Cavendish Street in Bedford. Joseph, following his apprenticeship, is a carpenter and joiner. By 1891 they have moved to 69 Queen Street in Bedford. Joseph (34) is still a carpenter and he and Eunice have two daughters, Alice (9) and Elizabeth (8) both born in Bedford (St Peter). Unfortunately, in April - June 1896, Alice died.

The 1898 Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire has Joseph Huber as a “shopkpr. & beer retailer” at 69 Queen Street. This may have been a short term project for in the 1901 Census the couple are living at 35 St. Cuthbert Street in Bedford. Joseph, aged 44 is a joiner and carpenter and Eunice is 45 (although actually nearer 47 or 48). There are no children still at home. I think their only living daughter, Elizabeth, now 18 is a visitor with James and Maria Joyce in Kettering, Northamptonshire although I have not worked out any relationship with the Joyces. There is a servant, Mabel Randall (16) from Burton Latimer. We realise that the couple (and presumably mainly Eunice) are running a boarding house for there are two families both with no fathers present. One is a 37 year old widow, living on her own means with a 13 year old son born in New Zealand and there is also 33 year old married woman, living on her own means who was born in India. She had five children ranging from 8 to 14 all born in places in India.

Once again I have failed to find them in the 1911 Census but there are one or two possible sighting. On 26th September 1906 an Elizabeth Huber married Herbert John Buckley in Pietermaritzburg in Natal, South Africa. She was 23, born in about 1883 so she was the correct age for our Elizabeth Huber. Further, on July 25th 1928, the Natal Witness newspaper in their Deaths column listed a Eunice Huber who died in her 74th year at her residence in Currie Road, Durban in South Africa. She is described as the beloved wife of Joseph Huber, formerly of “Maritzburg”.

Could it be our Huber family?

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