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The Phillips Family

As with the other famlies this is very much a rough draft without the pictures and with some formatting problems. I hope people will offer amendments corrections and additions to



The Phillips/Philips Family

Ann (1)

Abt 1762 (from burial age – 24/02/1811

Henry Phillips

Abt 1763 (from burial age) – 21/10/1842

Elizabeth Fryar (2?)

?? – ??


Ann Laxton (3?)

?? -1840 Denford

(Stated in Ringstead Register at time of Henry’s death)

Elizabeth 1791 - 1797



1793 – 1794 tbc



1793 –  pre1841

Married Elizabeth Rands



1795 - ??


William 1798 - ??

Samuel 1800 - 1801


Samuel 1802 tbc –30/08/1854

Married Mary Beeby (tbc)

All children appear to be from first marriage



Henry Phillips was, I think, born in about 1763. This is from his death at 79 years old on 21st October 1842. I have not found his baptism (1841 Census would have rounded his age). He married Ann (I have not found marriage) and had at least 7 children with her before her death on 24th February 1811. A Henry Phillips married Elizabeth Fryar on24th January 1813. Could this be the same Henry? I have not found a death for Elizabeth Fryar/Phillips yet but at the burial of Henry on 21st October 1842 in Ringstead it states that his wife Ann had been buried in Denford in 1840. There is a marriage for a Henry Philips at Denford on 29th September 1833 to Ann Laxton. Is it possible that Ann was Henry’s third wife? Or did Elizabeth Fryar marry a different Henry Philips? Certainly the evidence points to the two Anns   being wives of Henry. We need further checks on Elizabeth

It seems likely that Henry’s later marriage(s) were to brides past child bearing age (even if Henry wasn’t) and all the children of Henry are with his first wife Ann.

Children of Henry and Ann

Elizabeth Abt 1791 – 22/02/1797

Elizabeth was baptised on 27th March 1791 in Ringstead church and buried there (daughter of Henry and Ann) on 22nd February 1797.

Mary (Easter 1793 – 1794?)

The brief life of Mary is a little confusing. The baptism register states that she was baptised in November 1794 but was the sister of John born about Easter 1793. It seems possible that she was John’s twin and the baptism is at or just before her death. (There is another Mary baptised in 1795


John Phillips Abt 1793 – pre 1841

John Phillips

1793 -  pre 1841


Elizabeth Rands

Abt 1793 – Oct – Dec 1869



Abt 1823 – J-M 1886

Married William Lyon


No children


1826 –  04/02/1910



Edward Linnell

(14 children tbc)


Abt 1830 –

Married Edward Clark



No children


Abt 1831 –

Married Elizabeth Warren



6 children


Abt 1838 -  1909 tbc

Northampton Dist.

Did not marry    

2 children



John Phillips was baptised in Ringstead church on 31st March 1793, the son of Henry and Ann.  His mother, Ann, died on the 24th February 1811 aged 49 and it appears that his father, Henry, married Elizabeth Fryar on 24th January 1813 in Raunds. It may be that Elizabeth also died and he married for a third time to Ann Laxton in Denford on 29th September 1833 and she too died in 1840 and was buried in Denford.

He married Elizabeth Rands on 27th October 1817 in Raunds Church. Elizabeth had been born in Fen Drayton in Cambridgeshire. The couple had 5 children, Sarah born about 1823, Susannah Catherine on 10th November 1826, Elizabeth in abt 1829, William in abt 1831 and Ann in abt 1837. John may have died at some point, before the 1841 Census but I now think it more likely that he is the John Phillips who was buried in Raunds Churchyard, aged 56, on 18th April 1847.  Where was he in 1841? I now also believe, following the work Waterloo Men of Northamptonshire by Martin Aaron that he may have served at Waterloo and was badly injured, possibly losing an arm, so was he out begging and missed the Census?

In 1841 John’s widow, Elizabeth, aged 45, is living with her children, Sarah (15), Elizabeth (12), William (10), and Ann (3). Susannah, aged 14 is working in the Red House pub in Raunds – she later married Edward Linnell and emigrated to Australia.

By 1851 Elizabeth is acting as a housekeeper for John Noble, a 62 year old shoemaker, living in Rotton (or Rotten) Row in Raunds. Her daughter Ann (13) is the only child still living with her mother and is working as a shoe closer.

By 1861 Elizabeth (65) is a lacemaker and with Ann (23 – a boot closer) is staying with her daughter Elizabeth (32 – a dressmaker) and her husband Edward Clark (33) a shoemaker.

Elizabeth died in Oct – Dec 1869, aged 76 in the Thrapston District.


John and Elizabeth’s children

Sarah (Abt 1826 - 1886)


Abt 1823 – Jan – Mar 1886 Northampton

William Lyon

Abt 1823 -

No children


Sarah was the second oldest child of John and Elizabeth, born in Raunds in about 1823. John and Elizabeth had been married in 1817 so it may be that there were other children who did not survive infancy. It is possible that there were other problems because the female children of the marriage were unusually infertile. John had died young and the 1841 Census finds Sarah, aged 15, living with her widowed mother and 3 siblings, Elizabeth (12), William (10) and Ann (5) in Workhouse Yard, Raunds.

Two years later in Jan – Mar 1843 Sarah married William Lyon in the Thrapston District. He was a similar age to Sarah and had been born in Bedford and it was there that the couple moved. The 1851 Census shows them living at 35 Greyfriars Walk, Bedford, both aged 28. William is a tailor. Living with them is Sarah’s younger brother William Phillips, aged 20, and working as a shoemaker.

By 1861 the couple had moved to 88.45 Russell Street, Northampton. William is still a tailor and now Sarah is shown as a tailoress. Living in the same house, but probably in a separate apartment are Henry Page, a boot blocker (blacker?) (39) and Elizabeth Henman, dressmaker, (29).

By 1871 William Lyon is described as a journeyman tailor which implies that he did not have his own premises but worked for somebody else, and there is no occupation shown for Sarah. Could it be that they had a business which had failed? Certainly they have moved to 36 Wellington Street in Northampton and again are sharing the house with another couple.

William died in March 1876, aged 53, and 1853 and the widowed Sarah, now 58, is, by 1881, living at 26 Upper Mounts, Northampton with her widowed sister, Elizabeth, 52, also a tailoress. Elizabeth is the head of the household. Sarah is not shown as having any occupation but perhaps she now helped her sister. Also in the household is Ann (43) their unmarried sister and nephew Charles Phillips (13) and niece Sarah (8). There is also John Hart, a shoe riveter living in the house.

Sarah Lyon died in Jan – March 1886 in Northampton 

Susannah (Abt 1826 Raunds – 04/02/1910 Australia)

Edward Lennell (1)

24/11/1818 - 1866

Susannah Phillips

Abt 1826 – 04/02/1910 Australia

George Arthur (2)





John P

1848 - 50

Elizabeth 1850 - ??


1851 - 1851

Sarah Catherine 1853 -??


William 1855 - ??

Frederick 1857 - ??

Thomas 1859 - ??

Mary Ann

1862 - ??


1864 - ??


Possible son of 2nd marr.



(This biography is taken from Ringstead People and is by Robyn and Ted Knight)

Villagers in the nineteenth century wanted to emphasise continuity rather than difference when naming their children. This is the story of another Susannah Phillips who was the aunt of her namesake who married John Ball. In old age this Susannah was known as Tiny Grandma rather as Susannah Ball was called Little Granny. But there, the similarities end. This fascinating life story was sent to me by Robyn and Ned Knight and they have kindly allowed me to use it here. Susannah was born in Raunds but her parents came from Ringstead so she wins her place here. 

Susannah, or Susannah Catherine as she was sometimes known, was born on 10th November 1826, according to a family member’s Birthday Book, and was christened on 24 December, 1826, at Raunds, Northamptonshire, England. Susannah always stated that she was born at Thrapston, which is about 4 kilometres from the village of Raunds. Her parents were John Phillips and Elizabeth nee Rands. At the age of 14, at the time of the 1841 Census, Susannah was working as a servant at a Public House called The Red House in Raunds.

On 16 October, 1843, at St. Mary’s Church of England, Leighton, Huntingdonshire, England, Susannah married Edward Linnell, Labourer, son of Edward Linnell and Sarah (née Coe). Edward was born on 24th November 1818 and is Edward Linnell and 23 years old living with his family in Leighton Bromswold in 1841. As far as can be determined, there were no children, for Susannah and Edward, born in England, prior to their departure for Australia, although her death certificate states that she had lost 5 sons and a daughter. Two sons were born and lost in Australia, leaving 4 children possibly born and died in England or on board ship.

Susannah and Edward travelled to South Australia on La Belle Alliance, initially leaving London on 28th February 1847. The ship proceeded as far as Madeira (Portugal), where a heavy gale damaged the upper rigging of the ship, forcing her return to Plymouth for repair. The voyage recommenced on 4 April, 1847, arriving in Adelaide on 5th July 1847, where she ran aground. She was refloated and arrived at the Queen’s Wharf on the morning of 7th July 1847. On their arrival Edward and Susannah were recorded as ‘Edwd Linnel and wife’. After arrival in South Australia, the name was mostly recorded as ‘Lennell’.

Edward found labouring work at Pine Forest, South Australia, where their first two Australian children, John Phillips Lennell (1848) and Elizabeth Lennell (1850) were born. Unfortunately, John Phillips died as a result of Hydrocephalus (Water on the Brain) in 1850 at Enfield, South Australia.  A second John was born in Munno Para in 1851, but he survived only 5 days, suffering convulsions. Another daughter, Sarah Catherine (Kate), was born at Little Para in 1853, and a son William was born at Munno Para in 1855. The family then moved towards Virginia, with son Frederick being born at Gawler Plains in 1857, however, their next son Thomas was born in Adelaide in 1859. By 1862, the family was living at Farrell’s Flat, daughter Mary Ann being born at Mintaro. The last child, Matilda was born in Kooringa (the original name for Burra, a major South Australian Copper mining town) in 1864, where Edward had found employment as a teamster.

Susannah was tragically left widowed in 1866, when Edward unexpectedly died from Pericarditis, in Kooringa. Her family ranged from 16 year old Elizabeth to 2 year old Matilda and the family were in dire straits. This situation was remedied on Christmas Day, 1866, when Susannah married, at Kooringa, recently widowed, Tribute mining team leader, George Arthur, a Cornishman, the father of six surviving children. George’s youngest boy was also two years old. Susannah’s 16 year old daughter Elizabeth married too that day to George Holmes, also a miner. The combined family then moved to Moonta Mines where George Arthur worked. (There is no recorded issue from this marriage, although Susannah’s death certificate states that she had one deceased son from the marriage.)

Adopting the religion of her Cornish husband, Susannah became very active in her local church, becoming a Sunday School Teacher at the East Moonta Primitive Methodist Church. She had no formal education, and at the time of both her marriages, was unable to sign her name.

Tragically, in 1872, her daughter Elizabeth Holmes died at the Doora Mine, near Kadina, leaving two surviving children. Her son-in-law, George Holmes, who quickly remarried to provide a mother for his children, later died tragically in 1895, in a mine accident in Broken Hill, in which a number of former Copper Triangle miners were also killed.

Daughter Kate married, in 1872, James Henry Brown, who, although described as a miner on his marriage certificate, was a horseman of note, and who was eventually to take charge of the Wallaroo Mines’ stables. James made the famous Easter horse and trap trip to Adelaide to register a mining claim for Captain Hancock, the mine manager.

Her son, William, married at Moonta, in 1877, Sarah Jane Medlen, known as Jane. Several of their children succumbed to Typhoid at Moonta Mines, and they moved, initially to Adelaide, and then to Kanowna, in Western Australia. Son, Thomas, was ambitious, and after his marriage to Susanna Coad in 1881in Adelaide, and after working at various mines in South Australia, he moved to Boulder, Western Australia where he became a Mine Manager and a Councillor.

Frederick remained at Moonta Mines, after marrying Emma Jerram in 1877, and several of his children worked in the mines. His first born son, Edward Austin Lennell married Florence May Verran, daughter of John Verran, who became a Premier of South Australia. Two of Frederick’s sons served in the First World War, one, Leigh Treweek Lennell lost an arm in the fighting, and the other, Fred Jerram Lennell, is buried with Susannah at the Moonta Cemetery.

Mary Ann married William Curnow, another Cornish Miner, in 1879 at Moonta, and, after George Arthur’s’ death in 1895, Susannah lived with them in Wattle Street near the East Moonta Church. She was living with them at her death on 4 February 1910.

Six months after her stepfather’s death, Matilda, Susannah’s youngest daughter, at 30 years old, married Jonathon Sanders, a miner, at Wallaroo Mines. Jonathan, and later Matilda, was very active in the Salvation Army, and they moved to Port Pirie. (Jonathan’s nephew, Charlie Sanders was a well known Moonta character, whose loss of an arm at 8 years old did not impede his active life.)

Susannah Arthur is remembered in her obituary as ‘an old and highly respected resident of the district’. She became a legend in her family and was described by her family as tiny Grandma Arthur, and her photograph shows a short, but quite round lady. Susannah’s family was very important to her and she would be proud of her family’s achievements. She is the ancestor of war servicemen (one paying the ultimate sacrifice), doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, businessmen, miners, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, three Mail Medallists (for Australian Rules football in South Australia), and a prominent Australian Football League (AFL) footballer. A significant number of her descendants were, and are, in community work in some way, and many are keen sportspeople.

Susannah was buried in an unmarked grave (Row 6, Plot 306) at Moonta Cemetery.  Her descendants, after a family gathering in Moonta in 1997, placed a headstone to honour her memory.


Elizabeth (Abt 1829 - ??)

Elizabeth Phillips

Abt 1830 - ??

Edward Clarke

Abt 1828 –May – June 1878

No children


Elizabeth was born in about 1830 and baptised in Raunds on 15th August 1830 (also check 15/04). By 1841 she is aged 12 and living in Workhouse Yard, Raunds with her widowed mother, Elizabeth, and her three siblings.

In Oct – Dec 1848 she married Edward Clark in the Thrapston District. Edward, a year older than Elizabeth. By 1851 the young couple

Elizabeth was born in Raunds in about 1829, the second child of John and Elizabeth. John died before the first named Censuses and we find Elizabeth, aged 12, with her widowed mother and family in Workhouse Yard, Raunds in 1841. By 1851 her mother, aged 56 is a servant with John Noble (62) in Rotton Row in Raunds with only her daughter Ann  (13) living with her. Elizabeth has married  Stanwick born boot maker, Edward Clark in October – December 1848 and in 1851 is also in Rotton Row with her husband. He is, at 22, a shoemaker employing two men, and a few doors away is William Clark aged 61 a widower who is a bespoke shoemaker (CHECK if father). Elizabeth is a dressmaker. There are no children.

By 1861 John (33) is just shown as a shoemaker and Elizabeth is still a dressmaker. Her mother, now 65, is living with them and working as a lacemaker while sister Ann Phillips (23) is a boot closer. By 1871 they are still in Rotton Row and Ann (33 and probably sister of Elizabeth) – a boot closer. John (18 and probably nephew of Elizabeth – son of William Phillips & Elizabeth [nee Warren]) – a bootmaker and Charles Phillips (3) are also in the household. The first two are shown as boarders but Charles is Edward’s “nephew” which probably implies that the older relatives were paying for their keep. There are no children and it seems that the couple had no children of their own.

By 1881 Elizabeth is a widow living at 26 Upper Mounts, Northampton. When we trace back we find that John died  June 1878 in the Northampton District. It seems likely that the couple had moved to Northampton to start a new business and Edward had died soon after. Elizabeth (52) is now a tailoress and living with her are widowed sister Sarah Lyon (58) – no occupation shown, unmarried sister Ann (43) now a housemaid, nephew Charles Phillips (13) and Niece Sarah (8). John Hart (78??) is a shoe riveter who seems to be living in the same house.

By 1891 Elizabeth, now 61 is still a tailoress at 26 Upper Mount with sister Ann (52) no occupation shown, niece Sarah (18) also a tailoress and Charles Phillips, her nephew who is shown as four year old and born in Northampton. Is this another Charles or is it a mistake? There is also a lodger William Laird (?) 53 from Northampton, a  boot ?? (unreadable).

Although there are a few possible candidates I have not yet found Elizabeth either in the 1901 Census or in the register of deaths.


William (Abt 1831 - ??)

William Phillips (1)

Abt 1830 Raunds – Jan-Mar 1861

Elizabeth Warren

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 - ??



William was 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 is with his widowed mother Elizabeth (nee Rands) and his siblings in Workhouse Yard in Raunds

On 12th August 1850 he married Elizabeth Warren 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.

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 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 An (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]

Ann (Abt 1838 - 1909)

Ann Phillips

Abt 1838 – 1909 (tbc)

Did not marry

Charles Phillips

Jul-Sep 1867 – 1908 tbc

Married Jane

Sarah Phillips

1873 - ??

Married Solomon Thomas Sumpter 1892


Ann was the youngest daughter of John and Elizabeth and seems to have come some years after William. She was born in about 1838 and by 1851 was living with her 56 year old widowed mother, Elizabeth who is living in as a housekeeper  to sixty-two year old shoemaker, John Noble in Rotton Row in Raunds. By 1861 she is living with her sister Elizabeth and her husband Edward Clarke, still in Rotten (Rotton) Row. Ann’s mother, Elizabeth, aged 65 is also living in the house and is working as a lacemaker. Ann is now 23 and a boot closer.  She is unmarried and it seems that she stayed single throughout her life.

In 1871 Ann is still living with the Clarks in Rotten Row and working as a boot closer. Also living with them are John Phillips (18) born in Ringstead and a boot maker and nephew (of Edward Clark) Charles Phillips aged 3, born in Raunds.

By 1881 we can surmise that the Clarkes had move to Northampton and  Edward had died. Ann, now 43,  is living with widowed sisters Elizabeth Clarke (52) a tailoress and Sarah Lyon (58) at 26 Upper Mount, Northampton. Besides Ann there is also a nephew Charles Phillips, (13) and niece Sarah Phillips (8) both born in Northampton. By looking at the Raunds Registers we can see that Charles and Sarah are the illegitimate children of Ann. Charles was baptised on 13th October 1867 and Sarah on 1st June 1873. Her childless married sisters must have seen the bitter irony of this.

By 1891 Ann (52) with no occupation shown, is still living with sister Elizabeth Clarke, a tailoress, and niece, Sarah Phillips (18) and nephew Charles (4). The original Charles, in the 1881 Census, would now be23 so who is this new Charles? I think that it should be great nephew and this Charles (baptised in Northampton on 25th December 1886) is the son of the earlier Charles and his wife Jane.

I have not managed to find Ann in the 1901 Census but she may have died in Northampton, in April – June 1909 aged 71


Mary (24/11/1795 - ??)

Mary was born on 24th November 1795 and baptised on 13th April 1796. I have not managed to find any further details of the life of this second Mary


William (1798 - )

I have not managed to find any details on William

Samuel (1800 – 12/05/1801)

Samuel was baptised in Ringstead on 15th September 1800 and buried there on 12th May 1801.


Samuel (1802 tbc - ??)

Samuel Phillips

1802 -

Mary (Beeby??)

(Abt 1809 – 1865)




Abt 1829 -

(Sarah) Ann

Abt 1830 -


Abt 1834 -


Abt 1836 -

Mary Ann

Charity Beeby

Abt 1842 -

Charlotte Julia

Abt 1845





I have not found any sign of the baptism of this second Samuel so we can only deduce his birth and parentage from the later Censuses. Nor have I found his marriage but we know that by 1841 he had married Mary who was some five years his junior. It may be that she was Mary Beeby but this is only a deduction from the middle name given to one of her children. Although she is sometimes shown as coming from Ringstead she is also shown as being born in Titchmarsh and this seems her likely birthplace. There was a Mary Ann Beeby christened in Titchmarsh on 11th April 1809, the daughter of William and Sarah.

In the 1841 Census Samuel and Mary are living with his widowed father Henry, With them are their children William (born abt 1829), Sarah (abt 1831), Jane (abt 1834), Thomas (abt 1836) and Mary (abt 1839).

By 1851 Samuel, an agricultural labourer is 49 and Mary Ann is 42. Living with them are William (22) – also an agricultural labourer, Ann -presumably the Sarah in 1841 – (21), Jane (17), Thomas (15), a farm labourer. There are also now further children, Charity (9), and Charlotte (6).

On 30th August 1854 Samuel was buried in the Ringstead churchyard and in 1861 the widowed Mary is living in Ringstead with her children William, Jane, Thomas, Charity, Charlotte plus Henry and Mary. There are also two grandchildren David (6) and Owen (1).

Mary too died, aged 54, and was buried on 3rd February 1865 in the churchyard.



Samuel and Mary’s children

William (abt  1829 - )

 (Not to be confused with William son of John). This William never married and remained an agricultural labourer all his life


Sarah Ann (Abt 1830 – Apr – May 1897)

John Manning

Abt 1828 – 12/04/1911


Sarah Ann Phillips

1831 - 11/04/1897


Abt 1856 -


Abt 1857 - ??


Abt 1860 - ??



Sarah Ann was baptised in Ringstead on April 17th 1831 and by 1841 she was ten years old and living in Ringstead with parents, Samuel and Mary, and her siblings (and grandfather Henry Phillips).

However, at the trial of William Weekley Ball in 1864 she gave evidence that:

I am the wife of John Manning of Ringstead. I was living at Ringstead in 1850 [at the time of Lydia Attley’s disappearance: a body was discovered in 1864 which caused the trial of W.W. Ball]. Lydia Atley’s mother died in May 1850. Upon the death of the mother I went to sleep along with Lydia Atley. I slept with her every night up to the night of 22nd of July, when she was lost. She was then likely to be confined. On 22nd July she went to the shop for some soap, and soda, and rice. We were going to have a rice pudding next day. We were going to wash. I went down street with her for the tray. It was as near as I can guess about nine when she got back. She said she was got to go down street in a little time and she went out. I have never seen her since. . . Lydia Atley used to go about with herrings and oranges. I don’t think she ever went far about.

{Northampton Mercury27th February 1864)

From this we know that she was living with Lydia, probably trying to help her during the last weeks of her pregnancy. By 1851 Lydia had disappeared and Sarah Ann (called Ann in this Census), aged 21, was back with her family.

On 20th March 1854 she married local farm labourer, John Manning (son of Jacob and Rebecca). They had a son, Joseph, baptised on 21st March 1856 but he probably died in Jan – Mar 1860. By the 1861 Census the couple had two children living, Mary L. (4) and Rebecca (1), neither of whom appeared to have been christened. They are probably living in London End, in the poor housing where Lydia Attley and her family lived. By 1871 she is 40 years old and she and John, as always, an agricultural labourer, are shown as living in London End. Her daughter Mary Ann (14) is doing shoe work (probably at home or in a nearby small workshop) but ii year old Rebecca is still at school.

In the 1881 Census she is living in High Street and is recorded as Ann (50) and is with John (52). The two daughters have left home and in 1891 the aging couple are still living in the High Street and are now 63 and 62. They are sandwiched between Joseph Scholes, the baker and John Perry and his wife Martha who is a grocer and draper and a few doors down from the Post Office.

Sarah Ann died on 11th April 1897 and was buried in Ringstead Cemetery on the 14th April (Grave 206). John is in Thrapston Workhouse in the 1901 and 1911 Censuses. He died there, just after the Census was taken, on 12th April 1911. He was 82 and he too was buried in Ringstead Cemetery but in a different grave (53).

Jane (Abt 1834 -??)

Jane Phillips (Abt 1833 – 29/11/1893)

Did not marry


(1854 - ??)

Not sure if son


(1859 - ??)

Not sure if son


John Thomas

Abt 1866 – 06/06/1869



1868 - ??



Jane was baptised at Ringstead on 25th December 1833 and following the death of her father is living with her widowed mother and her siblings in Ringstead in the 1861 Census.  Jane is 27 and unmarried and it seems that she never married.

By 1871 she is living in Carlow Street with her brother William, who also remained single. She is acting as his housekeeper. Her younger siblings, Henry (20) and Mary Ann (17) are also living with William. There are also three younger nephews of William in the house: David (16), Owen (11) and Ralph (3). [Note: there is another Ralph Phillips born July – Sept 1867 son of Thomas and Mary] We do not know the relationship of these three to Jane. Are they nephews or Jane’s illegitimate sons? Boarding with them is an Oundle-born shoemaker, Alfred Wilson (28).

We know from the Ringstead Parish Registers that Jane had a son, John Thomas Phillips baptised on June 9th 1866 and buried on June 6th 1869 aged four years old. We also know from the 1881 Census, when Jane has become the “head of the household” that Ralph (born Oct – Dev 1868) is her “son”. But what about David (born about July – Aug 1854) and Owen (born July – Sept 1859)? We must assume, until we find otherwise, that they too are Jane’s children. The Northampton Mercury of 30th August 1879 reported on the Thrapston Petty Sessions of the 25th August:

Jane Phillips of Ringstead, described as a housekeeper, was charged with a similar offence [not sending a child to school] with regard to her child Ralph Phillips and an order was made for the child’s attendance at Ringstead National School each time the latter was open.

The 1881 Census also has Jane (48), unmarried and acting as housekeeper to Alfred Wilson (38). Ralph is now the only child living with Jane and it would seem that he is the son of Jane and Alfred.

By 1891 Jane (56) is shown as the head of the household, although with no occupation shown, and still living in Carlow Street. Ralph (22) her son, is a farm labourer.

Jane died on 28th November 1893 and was buried in Ringstead Cemetery on 2nd December 1893 (Grave 232).

{Note: David was, in 1901 Census, living at 22 Elland Lane, (Halifax?), Yorkshire with his Yorkshire-born wife, Hannah. Their occupations are difficult to decipher but he seems to be something to do with coal and Hannah with wool).

Thomas (Abt 1836 - )

Thomas Phillips  (Abt 1836 – 22/09/1864)

Did not marry or have children


Thomas was baptised at Ringstead on 20th March 1836 and was with his family in 1841 and 1851 when, aged 15, he was an agricultural labourer. In 1861 he was still an agricultural labourer, living in Ringstead with his widowed mother and his 6 siblings and 2 nephews.

He died in 1864 and was buried in Ringstead churchyard on 22nd September 1864 aged 28. As far as I can tell he was not married and had no children

Mary Ann (Abt 1839 – 1845)

Mary Ann Phillips (Abt 1839 – 26/08/1845)


Mary Ann was baptised in Ringstead on 26th May 1839 and was buried, aged 6, on 26th August 1845 in Ringstead churchyard.

Charity Beeby (1842 - 1925)

William Lee (1)

Charity Beebe Phillips

1842 - 1925

Thomas Smith (2)

Charity had no children (Thomas had one or more children by a previous marriage)


Charity Beebe Phillips was born in April 1842 and baptised at Ringstead on 17th April of the same year.  In 1851 she is living with her family and again in 1861 is with her widowed mother and her six siblings. In Jan – Feb 1865 she married William Lee who was from Holbeach in Lincolnshire in the Thrapston District (not in Ringstead Parish Church).

I have not managed to find the couple in the 1871 Census but perhaps they were on the road looking for work for by 1881 they are living at No. 5 Court 1 Lodge Lane in the St Alkmund parish of Derby. William Lee (38) is a general labourer and Charity (39) is a laundress. Boarding with them is a farm labourer David Croft (24) also born in Ringstead.

William Lee died in?? and by 1891 Charity Lee was back in Ringstead, a 48 year-old widow working as a charwoman. Washerwomen and charwomen tended to be at the bottom of the occupations for women and for the single woman was often one step from the workhouse. She is living in Shop [High] Street and she has boarding with her a 46 year-old shoemaker, Thomas Smith and his daughter Maria (11), both born in Ringstead.

Charity married Thomas Smith in Jan – Feb 1892 in the Thrapston District (again not Ringstead church) and by 1901 they are living at 17 Church Street in Ringstead with Marie, now 21, a boot closer Ten years later Charity is still with Thomas Smith. He is an unemployed “handsewn army boot maker” but there is no occupation shown for the 69 year old Charity. They have been married 20 years and, not surprisingly, have had no children. In fact it seems that Charity had no children although we cannot be certain that she gave birth to some who did not survive infancy.

Charity died in March 1925 aged 82 in the Thrapston District.

Charlotte Julia (1845 -1915)

Charlotte Julia Phillips

1845 - 1915

John Stimson

Abt 1843 – 1912

No children found


Charlotte Julia was born in Jan – Mar 1845 and baptised at Ringstead on 4th October 1845 (when she was 7 months old). Charlotte, like her older sister, Charity, was with her parents and then widowed mother in the 1851 and 1861 Censuses.

Like Charity she married a Lincolnshire man, this time from Crowland. Was there something that drew the Lincolnshire men to the Ringstead area for work or was it just coincidence? Like Charity she too went north after her marriage but this time to Barnsley to the West Riding of Yorkshire, where in 1871 Charlotte (26) is living at 36 Boundary Street as the wife of John Stimson (28) a brickyard labourer.

In fact they did not marry until Jul – Sep 1873 in the Barnsley District. By 1881 John (38) is a coal miner living with Charlotte (34, she seemed to lose a couple of years at this point – no occupation) at 23 Pindar Oaks Street in Barnsley. In 1891 they have moved just around the corner into 35 Tune Street in Barnsley and John (47) is a colliery labourer. Once again it appears that they have had no children. By 1901 they are at the same address and John (58) appears to be a coal mine hewer.

John probably died in Barnsley in Apr – Jun 1912 but is looks as if Charlotte then returned home to Northamptonshire and died in the Thrapston District on 14th March 1915, (Need to check Probate Calendar for Charlotte – Probate date 18 May 1915 Peterborough Registry)


Henry (1849 –)

Henry Phillips

1849 - 1904

Sarah Hall

Abt 1847 – 1922

No children found


Henry was probably born Apr – Jun 1849 and was with his parents Samuel and Mary Ann in 1851 and with the widowed Mary Ann in 1861. By 1871 his eldest brother William (41) is shown as the head of the family with sister Jane (33) as the housekeeper.  Henry (20) is a???.

In Apr – Jun 1883 Henry married Sarah Hall, born in Raunds, in the Thrapston District and by 1891 they are living at 5, Court 2, Gold Street, Wellingborough. Henry (35) is a farm labourer and Sarah (37) has no paid occupation shown. There are no children shown. If this is the correct couple there is some confusion about their ages. Henry should be about 41/42 and Sarah a year or two older

By 1901 the couple appear to be in Thrapston Union Workhouse. Henry is shown as a horsekeeper on a farm aged 53 while Sarah (55) has no occupation shown. Possibly a decline in agriculture was the problem or perhaps William was suffering with some illness for on 24th September 1904, aged 57 he died in the Thrapston Workhouse. He was buried in Ringstead Cemetery on 28th September.

Sarah, his wife, also died in Thrapston Workhouse (which would have become more of a cottage hospital for the elderly) on 6th February 1922 aged 76 and appears to have been buried in Ringstead Cemetery (grave 683) on the same day.

[Need to check Henry again to be sure have right couple]


Mary (Abt 1853 – 1939 tbc)

Mary Ann Phillips

Abt 1853 – Dec 1939 tbc


Owen Archer

Abt 1853 – Oct – Dec 1895


Abt 1872 - ??


Abt 1873 - ??


Abt 1875


1880 - ??

George Horace

Abt 1882 -??



[Not to be confused with Mary Ann Phillips, born about 1856, the daughter of Thomas and Mary.]

Mary was baptised at Ringstead on 11th September 1853, probably soon after her birth and by 1871 she is aged 7 and living with her widowed mother Mary Ann and 6 siblings and 2 nephews. By 1871 she is a shoe worker, living in Carlow Street, Ringstead, with her eldest brother, William (41) who is unmarried and has sister, Jane, (33) as his housekeeper. Also living with them are siblings Henry (20) as well as nephews David, Owen, and Ralph (and boarder Alfred Wilson 28).

In Oct – Dec of the same year as this Census, Mary married Owen Archer. The 1881 Census reveals Mary with her husband, Owen Archer, who is an ironstone labourer. They also have four children, Elizabeth (9), Walter (8), William (6) and Joseph (1). Mary’s oldest brother, William, 53 and unmarried, is living with them in Ringstead High Street.

By 1891 Owen (37) has become an army shoemaker but Mary is still shown without any paid occupation. Children, Walter (19) and William (16) are army shoemakers, and Joseph (11) and youngest child Horace are not yet working.

Owen Archer died on 1st December 1898: [he left a will: probate date 3 November 1902, Peterborough Registry].

In 1901 Mary, now a widow, aged 47 is living at No. 4 Sawford’s Yard, High Street, Ringstead. She still has no paid occupation shown. George Horace Archer, her son, is 19 and a shoemaker, working at home is also living with her. There is also a Mary Ann Dicks, a visitor, and a boot closer living with her. {A Dicks family; William (49) and Mary Ann (43) live next door in No. 1The Terrace.]

By 1911 Mary Ann, 57, is still a widow with no occupation. George Horace Archer, her son, is 28 and now a handsewn army bootmaker, working at home. They have 3 rooms in High Street, Ringstead.

Mary probably died in December 1939 (Thrapston District) aged 86.

Children of William and Elizabeth Phillips


William Phillips (1)

Abt 1830 Raunds - 1861

Elizabeth Warren

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 - ??




John Phillips (Abt 1853 - )

John Phillips

Abt 1853 - ??

Sarah Leeson

Abt 1850 - ??





Abt 1869-

John William

Abt 1873-


Abt 1877-


Abt 1878-


1880 -




The life of John Phillips is a little unclear. In 1861 he is with his widowed mother, Elizabeth, who is living in Raunds. He is 8 years old but is the eldest in the family. The other children are Susanna 6, Rachel 4, Alfred 2 and William 9 weeks. William, the father, had died earlier in the year and the Elizabeth had little chance to work with such a young family. Only Elizabeth and John were born in Ringstead, the rest in Raunds.

Elizabeth married Edward Clark and in 1871 John is living with his mother and her new husband in Rotton Row in Raunds. Elizabeth’s unmarried sister Ann (33) and her son Charles (3) are also living with the Clarks. John, like his stepfather is a bootmaker. What has happened to John’s younger brothers and sisters? We will look at those in each child’s biography.

We cannot be sure but it seems likely that John moved to Northampton to find work and in Jan – Mar 1873 married Sarah Leeson there (tbc). In 1881, aged 29, he is living at 13 Commercial Street, in Northampton and is a boot riveter. Sarah (30), his wife, is shown as being born in Long Buckby. With them are William (13), George (12), John William (8), Rose (4), Elizabeth (3) and John (7 months). William and George were born in Long Buckby, John William in the St Giles parish and the rest in the All Saints parish of Northampton.

If this is the correct family then the first two children predate the marriage and also mean that John was only about 16 at the time of William’s birth. All this is possible but where was Sarah and the two children in the 1871 Census? When we look at the 1871 Long Buckby Census we find Sarah Leeson, 21 and an unmarried washerwoman, living with her parents Robert Leeson and agricultural labourer and his wife Maria who is a nurse. Also living with them are grandsons William Leeson (4) and George J Leeson (1). These are obviously the children of Sarah. It seems most probable that Sarah had these children before she met John and then he married her and took the 2 boys as his own (this needs to be checked).

I have not found John or Sarah in the 1891 or 1901 Censuses but in the 1901 Census Sarah appears to be the Sarah Phillips (53 and married) living at 66 Gladstone Terrace in Long Buckby. She is a charwoman born in Long Buckby and living with her are her children Elizabeth, 22 a furrier, and George (29), a postman and his wife Martha and 2 year old daughter Elizabeth. (Note: IN 1891 George may be the George Phillips , 20 and born in Long Buckby, who is a Gunner in the Royal Artillery in the barracks in Nether Hallam, Sheffield).

In 1911 I think that John is the John Phippls (58), a lift [heel] make born in Raunds living at 39 Gladstone Terrace, in Northampton with wife Sarah (62) and born in Long Buckby. Living with them are three grandchildren, Rose Brown (14), Lily Brown (12) and Lynne (?) Phippls. They have 4 rooms. The 1911 Census was the first one completed on a form by the people themselves and I think John struggled. His swapping of letters may have had him diagnosed as dyslexic today.

They have been married 39 years (which would be about right) and have had seven children all of whom were still living.

So where was the family in 1891? Another son, John William Phillips completed a Census form in 1911. He was living in 37 Berkey (Berkeley?) Street in Sheffield with wife Annie and daughter Elsie. Does this hint (along with George’s presence there in the army in1891) that the family were in Sheffield in 1891 and for some reason John, the father, was also there in 1901? Much more work needs to be done.


Susanna (h) Phillips (Abt 1855 - 1944)

This is partly based on the life of John Ball in Ringstead People and a fuller version of him and his death is in the Ball Family document.

Thomas Ball

Abt 1818 - 1891

Ann(e) Childs

Abt 1823 - 1912

William Phillips

Abt 1831 - 1861

Elizabeth Warren

1827 – Jan -Mar 1901

John Ball

Abt 1853 – 21/09/1886

Susannah Phillips

10/09/1854 (Raunds) - 19/07/1944

Elizabeth (Eliza)

Abt 1875 -

George Henry (Harry)

Abt 1878 – 20/04/1932


Abt 1879 – 15/10/1918


Abt 1882 -08/02/1953

Susannah Phillips was one of those nineteenth century women, not uncommon, for whom marriage was a short interlude between maidenhood and widowhood. Her husband was born and died in the heart of Victoria’s reign but Susannah lived to see another, more terrible, world emerge.

In 1861 she is 6 years old and living with her widowed mother, Elizabeth, and her other siblings: John (8), Rachel (4), Alfred 2 and William 9 weeks. Her mother is only 33 and it must have been a terrible time for the young family.

 It would have been clear to Elizabeth that she was destined for the workhouse unless she married and in April – June 1864 she married local shoemaker, Joseph Smith. Joseph was at least 5 years younger than Elizabeth although the difference seems to stretch as the Censuses go by.

By 1871 Joseph and Elizabeth Smith are living in Hill End Raunds with the youngest three Phillips children of Elizabeth and three new Smith children of Elizabeth’s second marriage. Of Susannah, who would have been about 16 there is no sign. One possibility is a Susan Smith living at No 38 Church Street, East Dereham in Norfolk. She is a domestic servant for Joseph Head (?), who is manager of a drapery shop, and his wife Sarah. Susan, however, is shown as 18 and the place of birth in Northamptonshire is not decipherable. It could be Ringstead but it could be many places.

We do know that on 14thSeptember 1874 Susannah married local Raunds man, John Ball, in Ringstead Parish Church. Neither could write their signatures. He is stated to be a labourer which may mean that he is still an agricultural labourer but if that is true, at some point over the next decade, John becomes a labourer in one of the limestone quarries in the area.

It is likely that John was part of a gang removing this overburden. The simplest, quickest way of doing this was to undermine the soil with picks and shovels rather as the sea undermines a cliff. Then the soil above would slip and fall and could be shovelled up and carted away. It was an easier as well as being a faster method of working, and the labourers would almost certainly be on very hard piece rates. It is easy to see how there was always the temptation to remove too much from the foot of the overburden. We also know, from his death certificate that, on the 21st September 1886 at Islip, John Ball was ‘accidentally killed by a fall of earth in a limestone pit’.

Searching the Northampton Mercury we find on October 2nd 1886 that a brief paragraph reports the Inquest. It was held just one day after his death. It states:

ACCIDENTAL DEATH. – An Inquest was held at the Bakers Arms, Woodford on the 22nd inst., before Mr. Parker, on the body of John Ball, labourer, who was accidentally killed by a fall of earth. It appears that the deceased, who was 34 years of age, was engaged in removing earth in a pit, in the parish of Islip, along with several other labourers. On the morning of the 21st he had undermined a piece of earth and several tons fell suddenly on him, killing him on the spot.- A verdict of accidental death was returned. 

John, in his quest to better himself and his family had lost his life. For his wife Susannah there was not only the grief and emotional loss of a young wife with a young family but also the prospect of grinding poverty with the spectre of the workhouse hanging over their lives. It is her life we must now follow to see how she coped with this tragedy and its financial consequences.

In 1881 Susannah, or Susan, as she usually calls herself in the Censuses, had no paid job recorded but by 1891, some five years after her husband’s death, she is an Army Boot Closer. In the early part of the century it was to lacemaking that the women looked to help them avoid the workhouse. As this declined they went on to the tough work of closing boots, for the Raunds and Ringstead area’s main work was for the army and navy.

She had moved back to Finding Terrace, Raunds, where she lived with her three sons. George Henry, at 13, was an errand boy, but Thomas, aged 12, has as his occupation ‘Rivetter and school’ and John is at school. Her daughter, Eliza, is away in Knotting Bedfordshire where she is listed as a visitor and an ‘Army Boot Closer’. It is likely that Susan, like most of the women would collect, or get one of her children to collect, the cut leather pieces, or perhaps they would be brought by a sort of outwork agent, and the completed uppers would be taken back to the factory.

H.E. Bates writes of this period in The Feast of July. He tells of family competing with family to get the available work in one of the depressions that the industry suffered between conflicts. The father sends his daughter to find them work:

By chance, every few days, Wainwright would hear of a hope of work in towns across the Valley: a pair or two in Orlingford, a dozen at Nenborough, something at Evensford, A chance at Addington, nine miles away. ‘Git the truck out. Nip through Chapel Yard. Go down by Long Hedges or somebody will twig you. And git back before dinner if you can.’ 

There were factories that began at six in the morning and sometimes she was out in the darkness running with bread in her hands. 

Bates was writing of the Higham Ferrers/Rushden area so we can only guess that it was a similar story in Ringstead and Raunds. Certainly, in Woodford, Richard Roe, who was born in 1826, was a ‘sprigging boy’ for his father at the tender age of 6, he was flat-seam sewing at 8 and putting tongues in jockey boots when nine. He walked each day to collect his work. Incidentally, Eric Humphries tells us that, later, Richard became a prominent politician in Northampton.


Susannah  Has imprint of Cyril Vorley, Raunds 




Susan continues until 1911 in Hill Street Raunds as a boot closer living with her two unmarried children Eliza, 36, a closer, and George, 33, a clicker and nephew Harold aged 9. Susan worked ‘at home’ but her two children worked in Boot Manufacture in one of the nearby factories.

She lost her son Thomas, who was killed in the First World War in Belgium, on Tuesday 15th October 1918 aged 38. George also died in 1932. Susan was my great grandmother and was known in the family as ‘Little Granny’ She died on 19thJuly 1944 and is buried in Raunds Cemetery with her son George. Her husband was buried in Ringstead but is remembered on the gravestone at Raunds. She lived with John for some ten years and without him for a further forty-eight.


Rachel Phillips (Abt 1858 - )

Rachel Phillips

Abt 1858 - 1935

Frederick Allen

Abt 1856 - 1930


b abt 1876

Joseph b Abt 1880

John b abt 1880

William b Abt 1882

Walter b abt 1886

Albert b abt 1888

Lily Beatrice abt1890

Frederick b abt 1892

Arthur b abt 1893


B abt 1896


B abt 1899






Rachel was born in about 1856 and was with her recently widowed mother, Elizabeth and her family in 1861. By 1871 her mother had re-married, to Joseph Smith, and Rachel now 14 was the oldest of Elizabeth’s children to still with their stepfather. Also in the family are Alfred (12) and William 10). There is also Ellen Smith (8) but I believe that she should be Ellen Phillips and she is so named in the next Census. She is the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth, born between marriages. Finally there are two other Smith children, Mary A. 93) and Frederick (1).

By 1881 Rachel (24) is living as the head of the family in Marshalls Road in Raunds. Rachel is unmarried and working as a boot closer, probably at home. Living with her are her sons, Charles (5), Joseph (1) and John (5 months), all born in Raunds. Also boarding with Rachel is locally born boot closer, Frederick Allen (26).

In April – June 1884 Rachel married Frederick Allen and in the 1891 Census we find Rachel (35), a shoe closer, with husband Frederick Allen (35), a shoemaker. Living with them in Bass’s Yard, Raunds are children Charles (15), Joseph (12), Jack (10), William (8), Walter (5), Albert (3), and Lily (1). Charles, the eldest son is a shoemaker and Joseph is a shoe finisher. All have the surname Allen and perhaps they were all the couple’s children, or perhaps they just adopted Joseph’s name. Living next door is Rachel’s mother and stepfather, Joseph Smith.

In 1901 the Allens are living in Back Hill, off Grove Street, in Raunds. Rachel is 44 and has no paid occupation, and Frederick is a shoe riveter.  The children at home are Joseph (21), John Henry (20), Bill (18), Walter (15), Albert (13) Beatrice (11) and Frederick (8).

In the 1911 Census we find that Rachel has had 14 children, 4 of whom have died. Frederick (56) is a handsewn man in a boot and shoe manufactory. Rachel (54) and Frederick have been married 32 years (I think more like 27 actually). The children still at home are all unmarried. Joe (31) is a pressman, William (28), Frederick (18) and Arthur (176) all work in a boot and shoe factory; Lily Beatrice (21) is a “mother help” and Kate (15) also works in a factory. Only the youngest son, Earnest (12) is still at school. They are living in s six-room house at 20 (check number) Marshalls Road, Raunds.

At some point after this Rachel and Frederick decided to make a new life in Australia. It may be that at least one child, Albert, either went with them or perhaps even went first. We do know that the couple died in the suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria; Frederick 1930 in Northcote, aged 73 and Rachel in 1835 in Thornbury aged 76. [Albert, their son, died at Warragul some 65 miles south-east of Melbourne in 1985.


Alfred Phillips (Abt 1859 - )

Ada Harper (1)


Alfred Phillips

Abt 1859 - ??

Kate Harper Jones (2)

Abt 1866 - ??



1881 - ??

Martha A

Abt1883 - ??

George H

Abt 1887 - ??

John W.

Abt 1891 - ??


Abt 1894 - ??

Doris E.

Abt 1898 - ??

Walter A

Abt 1906 - ??

Marjorie P.

Abt 1910 - ??



Alfred was born in about 1859 in Raunds and by 1861 is living with his recently widowed mother and his family. By 1871 he is with Elizabeth’s second husband, Joseph Smith and her new family.

In Oct – Dec 1879 he married Ada Harper who was from Bolnhurst in Bedfordshire. Ada, in 1871 is 11 years old and living with her grandparents, George and Ann Harper at 8 High Street, Bolnhurst. (I have not yet found Ada’s parents). George and Ann had another daughter, Hannah who married George Jones and they are living with their family at 10 High Street. Part of this family is Kate Harper Jones who is 5 years old. Kate later figures in Alfred’s story.

In 1881 Alfred (22) had become an ironstone labourer and is living in Ringstead with his wife Ada (21) and a child Margaret (1) born in Raunds.

By 1891 Alfred (32) had become a factory hand, living with Ada (31) who is a boot closer. With them are their children Margaret (11), Martha Annie (8), George Harper (4) and John William (3 months). They are now living in Hill Street, Raunds. On 16th February 1894 the Northampton Mercury reported an accident to one of the Phillips’s sons:

The other day a severe accident befell a lad named George Phillips, a son of Mr Alfred Phillips. A slab of stone, it appears, was standing up edgewise against the wall, and the lad, who is eight years of age, pulled it away a bit to look behind, when it fell on him and badly fractured one of his thighs. [George survived, married Annie Drage in 1906 and in the 1911 Census is a Manager of Boot Factory, living in Eastfield Road, Wollaston.]

In Oct – Dec 1895 Ada died, aged just 36 and Alfred was left with his young family. Meanwhile Kate Harper Jones had been working as a general domestic servant for John Bailey a tailor employing one man, living at 30 Alma Street, Luton and his wife Matilda who significantly was born in Bolnhurst. By 1891 Kate is a domestic servant for Peter Alexander, a ribbon and cotton merchant at Irvine Villa, Luton. Is it possible that Kate, after the death of Ada came to Raunds to look after her dead cousin’s children?

What we do know is that Alfred Phillips married Kate Harper Jones in April – Jun 1897. He already had a workshop employing people. At the meeting of the Raunds Urban District Council on Monday 10th September 1900 they agreed to:

. . . the recommendation that Mr. A. Phillips be called upon to provide proper sanitary conveniences to his workshop in Pond Close. – It was further decided to restrain Mr. Phillips from raising the water course any further as a “tip” and to call upon him to make the watercourse its proper width, to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.

In 1901 the couple are living in North Street in Raunds next to Robert Eady’s bakery, Alfred is now 43 and Kate 37. The children William (10), Sidney (7) and Doris (2) are all born in Raunds. Doris is obviously a child of the new marriage.  The Census also confirms that Alfred is now a boot and shoe manufacturer employing workers.

It may be that the problems with his workshop led him to move from Raunds. In the Friday 5th June 1903 issue of the Mercury it reported in the Wollaston section that:

On Friday evening a boy named William Phillips, second son of Mr. Phillips [I think this must be John William] shoe manufacturer was thrown from a horse belonging to his father and was somewhat severely injured. Private A. Drage rendered first-aid. The lad was afterwards conveyed home on the ambulance litter in an unconscious condition by Privates Kilsby, Perkins and Nutt. At home he was attended by Dr. Baxter. [I cannot find (John) William again.]

Again the Census in 1911 confirms that he had moved to Eastfield Road, Wollaston in Northamptonshire, He is now 51 years old and still a boot and shoe manufacturer, employing workers. His wife, Kate Harper Phillips is 45 and they have been married for 13 years and have had three children, all living. The children living with them are Sidney Arthur (17) a clicker, from the first marriage, Doris Eveline (12), Walter Alfred (5) and Marjory Pearl (1). The first two children were born in Raunds and the last two in Wollaston so it seems that the family moved there between 1901 and 1906. The house has 8 rooms so it is a substantial property.

We know more about Alfred’s business from an article/advertisement in the Shoe and Leather (& Allied Trades) News 1916 directory which has been put on the Rushden Research Group website.

This business was started by the present Managing Director some fourteen years ago; he having had a wide experience with several well known houses in the army district, ventured the ground work of this now progressive business in South Street, Wollaston.

It was not long before the premises were altogether too s mall, not having more than half the capacity to meet the requirements of all the customers. This was due to the excellent style and magnificent wearing qualities of the goods produce, the specialities of which were, and are, Army Bluchers, Napoleons, Wellingtons, Deck Slippers, and Pegged Bluchers of every description.

Some six years ago a new factory was built on the best and up-to-date principle, and is now fully equipped with high class machinery, which places them in a position to hold their own against all healthy competition.

The business was converted into a limited Company in 1915, with Mr Alfred Phillips as the Managing Director.

[Note: You will notice that many boot and shoe, and other, factories were built at this time with the zig-zag roof line shown in the photograph of Alfred’s factory. It was explained by my cousin Ivor Tilley that these are known as North Light factories because the northern side of the roof was glazed. This gave good overall lighting but as in artists’ studios it also gave a soft light without the sudden variations of direct sunlight and on some occasions blinding sun. Also I think it is possible that it reduced the risk of fire to which those tall factories which stored leather in the upper floor seemed prone. Certainly it would have made for a pleasanter working environment on hot days.]

William Phillips (Abt1861 -??)

For the moment at least William is something of a blank canvas.  He was born in Raunds in about 1861 and, aged 10, is with his mother, Elizabeth, and her second husband, Joseph Smith, in Hill End, Raunds in the 1871 Census. He is also probably the William Smith aged 20, boarding with William Hazeltine, a local shoemaker and his wife Sarah in 1881. There is no clear sighting of him after that.


Ellen Elizabeth Phillips (Oct–Dec 1862 -1929)

Ellen Elizabeth Phillips

Oct –Dec 1862 – March 1929

Walter William Higby

(Abt 1865 – 01/03/1940)


1881 - ??

Father unknown


Abt 1884 - ??

Walter W

Abt 1887 - ??

Arthur L

Abt 1888

John B

Abt 1890 –


Emily May Abt 1895 - ??


Abt 1898 – 03/05/1917



Ellen was the youngest child of William (?) and Elizabeth, born in Oct – Dec 1862. In 1871, aged 8 years, she is with her widowed mother and her second husband, Joseph Smith. She is shown as Ellen Smith in the 1871 Census but in 1881 she is shown as Ellen Phillips aged 18 years. It seems likely that she was the child of Elizabeth born before her second marriage. William, Elizabeth’s first husband died in Jan – Mar 1861 so over 18 months elapsed between his death and Ellen’s birth. Ellen could be an illegitimate child of Elizabeth but it may be that with the death of William the birth was registered late. This will need checking.

There is also another child, Martha Phillips, just 3 weeks old and born in Chelveston, a granddaughter of Joseph living in the household.  We discover later that this is the illegitimate of Ellen. Was she in service at Chelveston, and like many young women taken advantage of in her unprotected state?

In Oct- Dec 1887 she married Walter William Higby, a shoemaker born in Wiggington (Tring) in Hertfordshire. The wedding is in the Northampton District so it is possible that they met away from Raunds.

By 1891 the couple are living in High Street in Raunds. Walter (25) is a shoe riveter and Ellen (28) is a shoe closer. There are also 5 children: the oldest Martha, aged 10 comes last in the list as she is the “wife’s daughter”, born some 5 or 6 years before the marriage. The other children are Lizzie, who is 7 and so also predates the marriage by some 3 years but presumably is the daughter of the couple, Walter W. who is 4, Arthur L is 3 and John B is one.

In 1901 Walter (35) is a shoemaker working at home and Ellen (38) is still a “closer”. Martha has left

home but Lizzie (17) is also a closer. There is also Walter William (14), Arthur Lewis (12), John

Brackley (10), Emily May (6) and Ralph (3).    


The 1911 Census reveals that the couple have been married for 27 years (which would date the

marriage to 1884?) and have seven children, all of them still living. The children still at home are

Walter William (24), a shoe hand, John Brackley (20) a grocer’s assistant, Emily May (16) a domestic

servant and Ralph (13) still at school. The Census shows that they are living in a 5 bedroom house at

50 High Street Raunds.


Walter William Higby as part of the Raunds Town Football Club team which played in the Northants League   and won the Hinchingbrooke Cup 1910

Ralph Higby is in the young man with a tie in the centre standing and John Higby is on the right sitting on a chair by the women.

From Raunds, Picturing the Past by Hall, Harding and Putt p212. I think must have been taken in the years just before the First World War.


I would normally have ended the children’s stories there but some three years after the Census year

the First World War began and brought great sadness to the Higby family. All four sons served in the

War. The two eldest, Walter and Arthur Lewis survived although Walter spent some time as a

German prisoner-of-war. John Brackley Higby worked for the Raunds Distributive Cooperative

Society. He and his best friend Arthur Groom became engaged to two Barnes sisters from

Woodford. John died of his wounds on 15th March 1917 and is buried in Dernacourt Communal

Cemetery Extension in France. His fried Arthur Groom also died in the war.


His youngest brother, Ralph, also worked in the local Co-op. He took was fighting in France and he

died of his wounds a few weeks after John on 3rd May 1917. He has no known grave. The grieving

Higbys presented a pair of inscribed brass vases to St Peter’s Church on Trinity Sunday 1920. They

are also remembered on the family gravestone in Raunds Cemetery. Ellen died in March 1929 aged

66 and Walter on 1st March 1940 aged 74.

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