Answers to Questions


James RICHARDSON, St Albans, 1841-86

December, 2009




Dot Tessier (larrytessier @t, from Suffolk, writes James Richardson on your website is my gt.grandfather's brother.  I know James was married to Eliza Heading and lived in Hertfordshire.  I knew he worked on the railway in London and died fairly young.  What I didn't know was that he was a Cricketer so I found this information interesting.  My only doubt is a brother (T Richardson) is mentioned in the obituary and the only brothers I know were, Charles, George and William, unless one of them went by a middle name.

I decided to carry out a quick check oat the census returns to confirm that the James Richardson in the Obituary was your relative - and it is clear that he was. I also scanned some of the press cuttings so that you can see the original.. However the census revealed several facts, such as he married twice, and that his second wife was heavily pregnant when he died - which might be why she is not mentioned as attending the funeral. I suspect that the reference to T. Richardson is an error or misunderstanding by the reporter.

As a result I decided to draw up a time line for James Richardson which I suspect will include some information new to you - which you may want to follow up.

Date   Family Information   Source
10th October 1841   James Richardson, son of John and Fanny Richardson, was baptised at St Albans Abbey.   familysearch (birth on FreeBMD)
1851 census   Aged 9 and living in Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans, with parents John and Fanny, and brothers Charles (16), George (9) and William (9).

[Fanny Hartwell, aged 4, was living in Old London Road with her parents Willaim and Elizabeth and sisters Emily, Sarah and Eliza.]

  Population ... in 1851: The St Albans Region also available from many other sources
1861 census   Aged 19 and lodging in London as a railway porter.   Ancestry
13th May 1865  

"The opening match of the newly-formed St. Albans Cricket Club was played on their ground in the Verulam-road on Monday. The weather was lovely; and the ground was in admirable condition, and decorated with the flags which marked the boundaries, it looked very pretty and inviting."

Joseph. Westell’s Eleven: J. Westell, T. Pearce, T. Herbert, W. Beaumont, Anstee, Bowen, W. Dixon, J. Glasscock, A. Gentle.

William. Westell’s Eleven: W. Westell, T. Grimstead, J. Richardson, T. Westell, Wright, Debenham, T. Oakley, Bayley, Perry, Turner. 

[This is the earliest press cutting I have indexed which refers to J. Richardson, and his name is mentioned in later reports relating to the Cricket Club.]

  Herts Advertiser
18th October 1866   John [sic] Richardson married Fanny Hartwell at St Albans [Abbey]

[I have not checked to see if the "John" error appears on the original certificate in the Abbey Registers or whether it is a later indexing error.]

Oct-Dec 1866   James Richardson married Fanny Hartwell   FreeBMD
30th August 1868   Sarah Anne Richardson baptised at St Albans Abbey   familysearch (birth on FreeBMD)
Oct-Dec 1869   Sarah Anne Richardson died   FreeBMD
25th September 1870   Minnie Maria Richardson baptised at St Albans Abbey   familysearch (birth on FreeBMD)
1871 census  

Aged 30 and living at Lattimore Road as a railway clerk, with wife Fanny (26) and daughter Minnie M D (8 months)

July-Sept 1873   Death of Fanny Richardson registered in St Albans area   FreeBMD
July-Sept 1876   James Richardson married Eliza Jane Heading in St Pancras registration district   FreeBMD
28th October 1877   Emily Jane Richardson baptised at St Albans Abbey   familysearch (birth on FreeBMD)
11th April 1880   Anne Thurza Richardson   baptised at St Albans Abbey   familysearch (birth on FreeBMD)
1881 census  

Aged 39  - Railway clerk living at  4 Park Terrace, Lattimore Road, with wife Eliza (24, born Rochester, USA) and children Minnie (10), Emily J (3) and Anne T (1) all born St Albans

["Jas Richardson" aged "39" incorrectly transcribed as "W Richardson" aged "29"  on both family search and Ancestry - which make it harder to locate the record - The "Jas" error is understandable as writing unclear - but the error of 29 in an inexcusable indexing error]

[The Heading Family were living in Inkerman Road, St Albans. They were Robert (48, born Berkhamsted, Unemployed Clerk). Thirza (wife, 48 born Cholesbury, Bucks) Children Anne E (26) and Walter (19) both born Rochester, USA) and Robert C (17), Albert E (14), Arthur G (12), Frederick J (9) and Blanch H (4) all rest born Redbourn or St Albans.]

21st June 1884  


Thanks to the admirable batting of Messrs W. T. Westell, T. Pearce and H. Freeman, a representative St Albans team achieved a victory which at one point in the game seemed very improbable, over a Harrow eleven, on Bernards Heath, St Albans, on Tuesday. This was the first match of the season on the Heath in direct connection with the St Albans Club, and as such it was watched with a good deal of interest. …

St Albans Team: W. Proctor, W. T. Westell, T. Pearce, J. Richardson, H. Freeman, F. Gentle, W. Westell, G. Hartley, J. King, F. Blanks, H. C. Webdale.

[This is the latest press cutting I have indexed which refers to J. Richardson, and he may well have played in later matched.]

  Herts Advertiser

31st March 1886   James Richardson died of consumption [T.B.] at his home in Lattimore Road, St Albans.   From press report
3rd April 1886   Obituary.   Herts Advertiser
5th April 1886   Buried at St Peters Church, St Albans.   From press report
10th April 1886   Account of Funeral.   Herts Advertiser
April-June 1886   Death registration of James Richardson in St Albans area.   FreeBMD
April-June 1886   Birth registration of James Robert Richardson in St Albans area.   FreeBMD
1891 Census   Eliza Richardson (widow) living in Lattimore Road, St Albans, with children Emily J (13), Annie T (11) and James R (4).   Ancestry



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