#52ancestors (Wk12): Membership – Arthur Vickery

The case of my 2x great grand uncle Arthur Vickery is of particular interest because he married somewhat beyond the immediate agricultural labourer set of his family in Elvetham, Hampshire, UK where he was raised. In doing so he could be said to secure membership of wholly different ‘set’ by marrying the daughter of a central London portmanteau (luggage) maker – whether that be for long distance travel, or for some kind of professional occupation, such as a doctor. I never saw that coming! Membership is the theme that I’m unpacking for this week’s post. In later census returns her father (Walter William Arthur) was also referred to as a packing case and trunk maker, and crucially, an employer, not a worker.

Arthur Vickery was born in late 1870 in the Hartley Wintney district of Hampshire. His parents, my 3x great grandparents were William Vickery [19 June, 1831 (Crondall, Hampshire) – 10 January, 1908 (Elvetham, Hampshire)] & Charlotte Varndell [17 May, 1834 (Elvetham, Hampshire) – 13 January, 1915 (Winchfield, Hampshire)]. The agricultural family lived at Hartfordbridge, presumably on the lane leading to Elvetham. Arthur is listed there on the 1871 Census and 1881 Census, and was one of ten siblings including Alfred, my 2x great grandfather (see later).

Arthur had already moved many miles away to start learning the ropes on his chosen gamekeeping trade by the time of the 1891 Census. He was gamekeeper’s assistant at an estate called Hall Place, at Godden Green, near Sevenoaks, Kent, working for a Henry King. The census had been confusing for a while as it gives his ‘where born’ as Reading, Berkshire. I’ve come to realise that thinking forward to today, whenever I am asked where I come from, I always say that I am from between Reading, Berkshire and Aldershot, Hampshire – so that may also explain the anomaly. Years later Arthur went on to become a gamekeeper in his own right back in Hampshire.

Arthur married Alice Eliza, whose maiden surname was by some quirk similarly ‘Arthur’ on 1 April, 1899. The setting by his family’s standards was majestic – Christ Church, Marylebone, London. Alice had been a domestic servant for a clerk in holy orders, a member of the clergy from Ireland who lived on Fairfax Road, Hampstead. When she was younger, her family had lived in well-to-do surrounds on Park Road off leafy Regent’s Park! Her parents had later lived in various residences in the same Dorset Square area between Madame Tussauds and Marylebone Station, just off Baker Street.

While not having climbed the social ladder by massive proportions, he does appear to have assumed membership of a very different set from the relatively limited horizons of the Elvetham farming estate where most of the rest of his family lived, and stretched his horizons.

Arthur and his new wife Alice did set up home back in Hampshire, but under their own steam. Arthur became a gamekeeper on a property called Beechenwood Farm, on the rolling Hampshire fields between Odiham and Crondall, about seven miles from his childhood home at Elvetham.

It is not particularly clear what became of the couple, or when Arthur died. The couple had a daughter, Amy Florence Vickery, who was born on 29 May, 1901 in Marylebone, central London. She went on to marry a butcher by the name of Fred Gillman on 20 November, 1919 in Gloucestershire. By the 1921 Census, her mother Alice appears to be widowed, to have packed her cases and to have followed her to Gloucestershire. In the 1939 Register, she is living with her son-in-law and grandchildren in the county, although her daughter is living a few miles away at the time working in domestic service. Other electoral registers either side show Alice, together with Amy and her husband living as one family unit. Alice Vickery died in the summer of 1958.

Snapshot of Arthur’s siblings

To provide some kind of snapshot of how Arthur had somehow secured membership of a different kind of ‘life’, here is a brief rundown of his brothers & sisters:

  • Eldest sister Sarah Ann Vickery (1853-1936) married John Heathers an agricultural labourer on one of the local Elvetham farms;
  • Next born John Vickery (1859-1936) married Alice Richardson (1863-1933). He was a horseman on one of the farms local to Elvetham;
  • Third eldest Fanny Vickery (1861-1916) married James Hooker (1853-1910). He was a carter on a local Elvetham farm;
  • Fourth eldest William Vickery (1862-1896) stayed local to Elvetham and worked as an agricultural labourer. He married Elisabeth Burmingham (1866-1947), but he had died by the age of 34;
  • Next born Thomas Vickery (1867-1943) strayed a few miles. He was a brewer’s drayman. He married Annie Bailey Smith (1871-1930), and they lived in Farnborough, Hampshire;
  • Next to be born after Arthur was my 2x great grandfather Alfred Vickery (1873-1947) who married Rhoda Phillips (1876-1958). He began as an agricultural labourer, before moving into forestry, moving over towards Eversley and Little Sandhurst;
  • Next born was brother Herbert James Vickery (1878-1942) who married Jane Knight (1876-1942). He was a farm and builder’s labourer, but they moved six or so miles to Odiham, Hampshire;
  • The youngest sister was Alice Flora Vickery (1879-1952) who married Samuel Russ (1865-1944). He was a farm labourer working local to Elvetham;
  • Youngest sibling was Charles Vickery (1881-1940) who married Millie Kate Hazell (1883-1966). He was a farm labourer, living first in Odiham, then a little further afield in Alton Hampshire.

Thank you for your interest in my #52ancestors posts. If you have any information that sheds any further light on anything I have shared, or if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Case closed for this week!


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