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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Eliza Edwicker - Gamekeeper's Wife

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries.
Monument to Eliza Edwicker, St James the Less Churchyard, Stubbings, Berkshire.
"In loving memory of our mother Eliza the dearly beloved wife of  Charles Edwicker who fell alseep May 14th 1890 aged 55 years - The Lord is my Shepherd."
Eliza Edwicker was born Eliza Hilton in 1835 in Woolavington, Sussex, to Thomas Hilton, a farm labourer and his wife Ruth Hilton.
The first Census that I am able to locate eliza and her family on is the 1851 Census of Woolavington, Sussex.  At that time Eliza was 16 years old and living with her widowed father Thomas and her younger siblings Thomas and Charlotte.  Unfortunately I am unable to locate Eliza on the 1861 Census.
In 1865 in Chichester, Eliza married Charles Edwicker, a gamekeeper and son of William Edwicker, an agricultural labourer and his wife Ann Randall.  Eliza and Charles first child, a daughter eliza was born in 1867, followed by Ann in 1868 and lastly Fanny in 1870.  On the 1871 Census the family is living on the Bath Road in Wargrave.  By 1881, Eliza, Charles, Ann and Fanny had moved to Stubbings Cottages in Stubbings Berkshire.  Eliza Jr had gained empolyment as a nurse for Ann Firth, an 84 year old widow living at 37 Curzon Street in Derbyshire.
Life in the Edwicker household had to be a stressful one due to Charles's occupation as a Gamekeeper.  There were always poachers to be dealt with. 
 In 1883 Charles Edwicker found himself in front of the Summer Assizes on the charge of Unlawful shooting with a wilful intent to cause bodily harm.  The Slough, Eton and Windsor Obvserser reports on 7th July 1883 -
"A Case Of  Alleged Shooting - Charles Edwicker was charged with feloniously shooting Walter Edwards, with intent to do him some bodily harm, at Maidenhead Thicket, on 24th January 1883.  Mr. H. D. Greene. (instructed by Mr. Rawson, of Marlow), defended.  The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and prisoner was discharged."
Even one of my husband's ancestors Walter Turner had a run in with Charles Edwicker on 30th March 1885.  He was apparently caught trespassing on Maidenhead Thicket setting wires for rabbits.  His defence was that he was on his way to the brick kilns at Pinkney's Green.  Walter was fined 20s with 9s and 6d costs by the County Bench.  He was allowed time to pay.
In another case of poaching Charles Edwicker was threatened with bodily harm by those he apprehended.  The Slough Eton and Windsor Observer reported -
"Edwicker said that he saw the men ferretting and beating a bush with a stick each, and that he went up to them and said, 'You can't say I haven't caught you fair this time!.'  He added that William Cartland threatened to beat his brains out if he didn't forgive them."
On 14th May 1890, Eliza sadly passed away.
The 1891 Census shows the recently widowed Charles and his daughter Fanny still living at Stubbings Cottage.  At the age of 52 Charles is still working as the Maidenhead Thicket gamekeeper.
Eliza Jr is working as a domestic servant for the  Wilkinson family at Auckland house in Surrey.
I cannot locate Ann on the 1891 Census, but in 1901 she is working as a parlour maid for the Wainer family at 10 Brechin Place, Kensington, London.
In 1896 Fanny married Leonard Field, a farmer .
Charles Edwicker was to pass away in Newbury, Berkshire in 1909.  I have been unable to trace him on the 1901 Census.
Unfortunately I cannot seem to trace Eliza or Ann 1901.


  1. WOnder if Charles id buried in Newtown Road Cemetery, I must have a look.

  2. I always find your posts so interesting. Thanks for sharing your links on Taphophile Tragics!


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