LIFE GOES ON: AN INTRODUCTION

MY GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS

THE SIXTEEN FAMILIES

KNOTT - I - BOWLES - I - WATERS - I - HARRALL - I - PAGE - I - WISEMAN - I - CROSS - I - CARTER

CORNWELL - I - HUCKLE - I - MORTLOCK - I - MANSFIELD - I - REYNOLDS - I - CARTER - I - ANABLE - I - STEARN

CHRONOLOGY - I - DRAMATIS PERSONAE - I - WHERE PEOPLE CAME FROM - I - CALENDAR

MAP OF ELY - I - MAP OF MEDWAY
MAP OF CAMBRIDGE AND DISTRICT

THE WORKHOUSE

WORLD WAR I - I - WORLD WAR II

simonknott.co.uk I home I e-mail

LIFE GOES ON

Elijah Carter
born Wickhambrook, Suffolk, 1833
died Cambridgeshire?

on the Page family tree
part of the
Cross family story

married to Ann Convine

Father of Sarah Ann Carter

son of
James Carter
and Rhoda Symonds

Elijah Carter (1833-?). My Father's Mother's Mother's Mother's Father. My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather.

Elijah is a mysterious character. He spent most of his life in Prickwillow, out in the fens north of Ely, and claimed on the 1871 census to have been born in Prickwillow shortly before civil registration began. But there is no record of a baptism in the Ely Holy Trinity PRs, into which Prickwillow fell, or on the 1800-37 Cambridgeshire baptism index for any Elijah Carter in the first half of the 19th Century. Because of this, Elijah is not immediately apparent on either the 1841 or 1851 censuses, and apparently he first comes into the public record with his marriage to Ann Convine in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral on the 15th March 1856.

In fact, he was not really from Prickwillow at all. One clue to this is to be found on the 1851 census. The family of Ann Convine, Elijah's future wife, were living in Padnal, Prickwillow, next door to James and Rhoda Carter and their 19 year old daughter Sophia. The family were born in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, and the Wickhambrook parish registers reveal that Elijah Carter was the son of James and Rhoda, and was baptised in Wickhambrook on 7th July 1833.

However, after his marriage there are solid references to Elijah in abundance. He receives two mentions in the Cambridge Independent Press in 1858 alone for assaults on Prickwillow villagers, and there are further records of assaults in the 1860s and 1870s. The 1861 census for Ely is lost. When Elijah re-emerges on the census radar in 1871 he and Ann have three children aged between 7 and 16, and are living on the Waterside in the centre of Ely. The census claims that all the family were born in Prickwillow. Next door are the Cross family, and Elijah and Ann's daughter Sarah would later marry Thomas Cross, a son of that family, and they would be my great-great-grandparents.

There is a succession of reported offences and imprisonments in the 1870s, but Elijah was not at home for the 1881 census, when Ann described herself as the Head of the household, but as Married rather than Widowed. At the Bull Hotel in March, Cambridgeshire, an Elijah Carter of the right age gave his birthplace as Bury St Edmunds, the nearest town to Wickhambrook. It seems likely that this is our Elijah. Ann died in 1884, and after that there is no trace of Elijah, except for a brief intriguing glimpse of someone who is likely to be him being convicted of begging in central Cambridge in 1890.

Wickhambrook font
1833: Elijah was born in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, the son of James and Rhoda Carter, and baptised on 7th July at All Saints church.

 


1841 census:

Elijah was six years old at the time of the 1841 census. The Carter family were living in Coltsfoot Green, Wickhambrook, Suffolk.

His father James was not at home on the night of the census. His mother Rhoda was 30. There were two other children at home on the night of the census, Susan was 11 and Sophia was 9.

All the family were born in Suffolk.

 
 


1851 census:

Elijah was seventeen years old at the time of the 1851 census. He gave his occupation as agricultural labourer. He was a lodger in the household of Thomas Thorogood in Coltsfoot Green, Wickhambrook, Suffolk.

Elijah gave his place of birth as Wickhambrook, Suffolk.

His father James was forty-eight years old. He gave his occupation as a labourer. The Carter family were living in Padnel Drove, Prickwillow, Ely. HIs mother Rhoda was 43 years old. There was one child at home on the night of the census, Elijah's older sister Sophie, was 19. All the family were born in Wickhambrook, Suffolk. Next door were the family of Ann Convine, who Elijah would marry in 1856.

 

1855: on 12th May, the Cambridge Independent Press reported that on May 7th Elijah Carter of Prickwillow had been charged with willful damage to a doorlock, the property of one William Convine of Prickwillow. Carter was confined during Sunday and as a consequence discharged upon payment of court costs and the cost of the damage, which were paid. William Convine was the father of Elijah's future wife Ann Convine.

1856: on the 15th March, Elijah married Ann Convine in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Ann had an illegitimate daughter. She was probably born about a year before they married. A second girl was born and baptised a year after the marriage, along with Ann's first daughter. Curiously, the first child was baptised under Ann's maiden name and without the mention of a father. We must assume that this girl was not Elijah's. The other daughter was recorded under the surname Carter.

1857: On 8th March, Ann and Elijah's daughter Eliza Susan was baptised along with Ann's illegitimate daughter Sophie in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. The family's address was given as Black Wing Drove.

1858: On 18th June the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Elijah Carter of Prickwillow had been charged with assault on Henry Bolton, butcher, also of Prickwillow. However, he failed to appear in court, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The same newspaper reported on 26th June that Elijah had receive a Fine of 2s 6d with Costs 7s 4d, or 10 days imprisonment. On the 30th October, a further report in the Cambridge Independent Press noted that Elijah had been convicted of assault on Mary Rust of Prickwillow. Fine 5s Costs 12s or 12 days imprisonment.

1860: the birth of Ann and Elijah's daughter Sarah Ann, my great-great-grandmother, was recorded in the fourth quarter of the year. There is no baptism record in the Ely Holy Trinity parish registers.

1861: on 8th March, Ann and Elijah's son James was baptised in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. He died, and was buried on 20th March, when his age was given as 'one week', though one month must have been intended.

1861 census: The 1861 census returns for Ely are lost. Elijah would have been about 26 years old at the time of the 1861 census.

1862: in February, Ann gave birth to a daughter. She was not baptised, and apparently not named, because her burial on 17th March was recorded as 'unnamed child, not baptised, aged 3 weeks'. The family address was Prickwillow.

1863: In March, Ann and Elijah's son James was born. He was given the same name as his brother who died as a baby in 1861. On 19th March he was baptised in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. However, he also died, and was buried on 25th April, when his age was given as one month.

1864: On 30th Jan the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Elijah Carter, labourer of Prickwillow had been convicted of using threatening language to Richard Thorpe, ordered to find sureties of 20, locked up in default. In March, Ann and Elijah had a son who they again called James, their third attempt at the name. He was baptised on 10th April in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral.

1867: On 28th April, the Cambridge Independent Press reported Elijah Carter, labourer of Holy Trinity, charged with wilful damage to a door, property of George Green of the same place. The case was adjourned, though there appears to be no further report.

 


1871 census:

Waterside

Elijah was thirty-six years old at the time of the 1871 census. He gave his occupation as labourer (general). The Carter family were living in Water Side, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

His wife Anne was 35. There were three children at home on the night of the census. Sophie was 16, Sarah was 11 and James was 7.

All the family were born in Prickwillow, Cambridgeshire, which is on the outskirts of Ely. The transcript for their entry is here. Interestingly, the Cross family lived next door, and Sarah would marry Thomas Cross, who was 19 at the time of the census.

 

1872: On 28th April, the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Elijah Carter, labourer of Holy Trinity, was charged with assault on Emma Hunt, a married woman. He was discharged with 6s 6d costs.

1873: On 29th March, the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Elijah Carter, labourer of Holy Trinity, was charged with assault on Michael Lupson of Ely, on the 25th inst. The defendant did not appear, but was sentenced to a month's imprisonment. On 13th December, the same newspaper reported that Robert Black, landlord of the Ship Inn, Waterside, Ely, charged Elijah Carter with assaulting him on the 3rd inst. Elijah was very drunk and very vociferous in the presence of the bench. The complainant stated that on the day in question the defendant came to his house and drank three half-pints, and because he (the complainant) would not draw him any more beer, he broke the mug and knocked him down. The defendant denied it, and said that Black was drunk, which was denied. Defendant was sentenced to a month's imprisonment, and on being removed he was very abusive, and was taken to prison by force, resisting all the way.

1875: On 12th June, the Cambridge Chronicle reported that Elijah had been drunk and riotous at Ely, 24th May, fined 10s, costs 13s 6d.

1876: On 8th January, the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Elijah Carter of Ely had appeared before Ely petty sessions charged with being drunk and riotous at Littleport on the 26th ult (ie Boxing Day). Having been frequently before the bench, he was committed for a month. On 1st April, Elijah appeared before the same court, and the same newspaper reported that he was brought up by PC Ellistone on a warrant for threatening Mary Green. In default of sureties he was committed for three months. On 9th December, the same newspaper reported that Elijah had appeared before the court charged for refusing to leave the Cutter public house at Ely, when requested by the landlord. Fined 2 10s and 14s 6d costs, in default a month's imprisonment.

1877: On 24th February, the Cambridge Chronicle reported that Elijah had been drunk at Ely on the 11th inst, fined 10s, costs 12s 6d in default committed 10 days.

1879: On 1st November, the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Elijah Carter of Ely, labourer, had appeared before Ely petty sessions for being drunk at Ely on 20th inst. He was fined 5s costs 3s 6d or 7 days, to be paid in a week.

 


1881 census:

Broad Street

Elijah did not appear at home on the night of the census. The Carter family was living in Broad Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

His wife Anne was 48 years old. She gave her status as Head of the Household, but as Married rather than Widowed.

There were two children living at home. Sarah was 21 and James was 16. All the family were born in Prickwillow, Cambridgeshire, which is on the outskirts of Ely. The transcript for their entry is here.

There is an Elijah Carter of the right age living at the Bull Inn, March, Cambridgeshire, and giving his occupation as an agricultural labourer. But he says he is unmarried, and gives his place of birth as Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, the nearest town to Wickhambrook, Suffolk. It may well be our Elijah.

1890: There is no certain trace of Elijah Carter after the 1881 census, but on the 15th November 1890 the Cambridge Independent Press recorded that Elijah Carter (55) of Ely, a rag and bone dealer, had appeared before Cambridge Borough police court charged with begging at the shop of Mr A Smith, bootmaker of St Andrew's Street... the prisoner pleaded guilty. PC Carter proved the offence. The prisoner, who has been previously convicted, was sentenced to seven days imprisonment with hard labour. Given that I have found the name Elijah Carter to be an unusual one in Cambridgeshire, that the age is approximately right and the place of residence is given as Ely, I feel this is very likely to be our Elijah, in which case he was still alive in November 1890.

   

 

LIFE GOES ON: AN INTRODUCTION

MY GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS

THE SIXTEEN FAMILIES

KNOTT - I - BOWLES - I - WATERS - I - HARRALL - I - PAGE - I - WISEMAN - I - CROSS - I - CARTER

CORNWELL - I - HUCKLE - I - MORTLOCK - I - MANSFIELD - I - REYNOLDS - I - CARTER - I - ANABLE - I - STEARN

CHRONOLOGY - I - DRAMATIS PERSONAE - I - WHERE PEOPLE CAME FROM - I - CALENDAR

MAP OF ELY - I - MAP OF MEDWAY
MAP OF CAMBRIDGE AND DISTRICT

THE WORKHOUSE

WORLD WAR I - I - WORLD WAR II

simonknott.co.uk I home I e-mail

LIFE GOES ON