The Colridge or Coldridge family and the England family
These two families are related by the marriage of William England to Susan Coldridge in 1844. We first heard of them from a lady in Canada who was descended from a sister of William England. A few years later we had a quite separate enquiry from a man in England who was descended from a daughter of the same William England. We were able to put them in touch with each other and learnt a lot from them while helping them in return.
John (1796-1877) and William (1799-1882) were brothers, born in Aylesbeare, but came here early in the the 19th century, and both married in Moreton – John married Lucy Starkey from Warwickshire in 1818, William married Maria Frost of Moreton in 1822. In the 1841 census both men were living in the centre of Moreton and employed as land-drainers, in 1851 they were both farming at Brinning. John and Lucy had no children; Lucy died in 1862 and John (then living in Ford Street) remarried soon after. William and Maria had several children but most of them died young – the survivors were another William (1822-1848), Mary Ann (b. 1831, married Wm Facey and moved to Cornwall) and another John (1842-?). William junior married Susan Coldridge and remained in Moreton, they had three daughters, but William died while they were still quite young, and Susan may sometimes have lived with her Coldridge relations in Cross Street. William Susan’s middle daughter, Harriet Colridge England, married John Dicker Small. Meanwhile the original John and William England remained in the neighbourhood; William and Maria died in Christow (but were buried in Moreton) and John died at Steward.
The Coldridges (or Colridges, both spellings appear)
The early history of the family is a series of John Colridges – we have John (1788-1843), his son John (1828-1883), and his grandson John (1859-1926) and his great grandson John (1889-1934). All these were buried here and all except the first were baptised here. The first three of these Johns were all carpenters, (see family tree). but the last was an innkeeper. The brothers of the third John were also carpenters, the last being Harry Carpenter, of whom we have a picture. Harry, like the other Colridge carpenters before him, was also the undertaker, and when the old General Baptist Chapel was given up he used part of it as a chapel of rest.
We also have some pictures of Len, who gave us a lot of our pictures of the fire engines and the fire brigade , including one showing him receiving a presentation on his retirement as chief of the fire service in 1962 after 37 years’ service. Len’s father Harry and son Michael were also firemen, as is Michael’s son Dave.
Looking at the directories and the census, we find the second John Colridge already a master carpenter in 1861 in Cross Street, and again in 1871, and in 1881 he is joined by his sons John, William and Henry in the Cross Street business. By 1891 the second John is dead, William and Henry are in Cross Street as carpenters, and the third John with his wife and son are also in Cross street at a different address, but the 1893 directory gives their business address as Ford street for William and Fore street for John; by 1902 John is at the Bell Inn, Henry is in Cross Street, William in Ford Street.