The Life and Times of Elizabeth Lake

This is the third in my new series of blogs that covers the life stories of my 16 Great Great Grandparents, so let me introduce Elizabeth Lake.

Elizabeth Lake was born 14th May 1845 in the Norfolk village of Attleborough, she was eldest of six children born to John Lake and Rebecca Lake nee Dixon. She was baptised in the beautiful village church of St. Mary’s, in Attleborough on 19th April 1846, the informant at the time of the Baptism was her Mother Rebecca Lake. Her Father John is listed as a Labourer on the Baptism record.

Elizabeth Lake Baptism

(Norfolk, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915)

St Marys Church Attleborough Norfolk

(St.Mary’s Church, Attleborough)

Elizabeth is listed in the 1851 Census with her parents John and Rebecca and her two sisters, Mary Ann Lake and Sarah Ann Lake, the family are living at Havenscroft Street, Attleborough.

1851 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1851

(Class: HO107; Piece: 1823; Folio: 17; Page: 14)

Between 1851 and 1861, the Lake family up sticks and move down from Norfolk to Essex, presumably for John Lake’s agricultural work. By 1861 the family are residing at South Ockendon in Essex, the family home was listed as Peacock Farm and Elizabeth Lake was listed as a House Maid working at Mollands Hall, for a Farmer called Abraham Manning. Not much further down the lane, Matthew Chiddicks was residing at Little Mollands Hall in 1861 and it is presumably here that their two paths crossed.

1861 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1861

(Class: RG 9; Piece: 1073; Folio: 60; Page: 6)

At the tender age of just 20, Elizabeth Married Matthew Chiddicks and the two were married at North Ockendon Parish Church on 7th October 1865. My original assumption had been that the couple had Married in South Ockendon, the Parish that they were living in at the time, but we can only speculate as to the reason they married in North Ockendon, rather than South Ockendon, the Parishes are that close together. All I can say is their first born child, William Chiddicks was born 18th March 1866.

Matthew Chiddicks Marriage Cert

(Elizabeth Lake Marriage Record)

Matthew Chiddicks Elizabeth Lake Marriage

(Original Parish Register entry -Essex Record Office; Chelmsford, Essex, England; Essex Church of England Parish Registers)

North Ockendon Church

(North Ockendon Church)

By 1871 Elizabeth is living at Plough Cottages in South Ockendon and her occupation is listed as a Farm Labourer’s Wife. She is listed at home with her Son William and two Daughter’s, Elizabeth and Louisa as well as her own Sister Louisa. Her husband Matthew is counted as living two doors away and is listed with Elizabeth’s own parents, John Lake and Rebecca Lake, the two families living just two doors away from each other.

The Chiddicks home on the left of the pub

(Plough Cottages are on the left of The Plough Public House in the picture)

1871 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1871

(Class: RG10; Piece: 1652; Folio: 76; Page: 5)

In 1881 Elizabeth and the family are living in James Row, South Ockendon, just off the main High Road and counted at home with Elizabeth are husband Matthew and children William aged 16, Elizabeth aged 12, Louisa aged 10, John aged 4 and Alice aged 1.

1881 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1881

(Class: RG11; Piece: 1752; Folio: 68; Page: 7)

By the time of the 1891 Census the Chiddicks family had grown quite considerably, the family home was still in the High Road, South Ockendon and living at home with Elizabeth and her husband Matthew are children William aged 25, Louisa aged 20, Polly aged 16, John aged 14, Alice aged 11 and Walter aged 8. Also listed living with the family at the time of the Census is Ethel Acton aged 10 who is listed as a visitor and is the future Niece of Louisa Chiddicks who later Marries William Acton. So we can see a family link and connection to the Acton Family from Sutton-at-Hone in Kent.

1891 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1891

(Class: RG12; Piece: 1375; Folio: 35; Page: 18)

1901 brings a big change to the Chiddicks ,as the family have upped sticks and moved from South Ockendon, in Essex, to Watford, in Hertfordshire, we can only presume it was for Elizabeth’s Husband Matthew’s, pursuit of work. Still living at home in the family home are Sons John Chiddicks and Walter Chiddicks. the family are living at 7, Harefield Terrace, Judge Street, Watford.

1901 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1901

(Class: RG13; Piece: 1316; Folio: 121; Page: 25)

In 1911, Elizabeth and Matthew are living alone in a 5 room house at 16 Southwold Road, Watford. Matthew is still working as a Labourer at the age of 67 and Elizabeth is still working at home carrying out her Domestic Duties.

16, Southwold Road, Watford (2)

(16, Southwold Road, Watford)

1911 Census

Elizabeth Lake Census Return 1911

(Class: RG14; Piece: 7699; Schedule Number: 125)

Sometime between the 1911 Census and Elizabeth’s sad Death in 1916, both Elizabeth and Matthew move to Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, at the time their Daughter Alice Dray (nee Chiddicks, was residing at 23, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, Beds.

23, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade (1)

(23, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade from my collection)

Elizabeth sadly died on 23rd September 1916 whilst at her Daughter Alice’s home of 23, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, Beds. The cause of Death was Malignant disease of the stomach and exhaustion, present at her Death and the person who registered the Death was her eldest Son, William Chiddicks.

Elizabeth Chiddicks Death Certificate

(Elizabeth Chiddicks Death Certificate)

Elizabeth was buried on 27th September 1916 at Drove Road Cemetery, Biggleswade in Plot Number 2125.

(Burial details provided by Biggleswade Town Council)

The story doesn’t end there, as I was able to find this wonderful Newspaper Announcement of Elizabeth Chiddicks funeral. The detail included is pheneomenal and includes every last detail.

Mrs Chiddicks Funeral

In case it’s not that easy to see on your viewing device, I have transcribed the newspaper entry for the Funeral Announcement here;

Funeral of Mrs Chiddicks

We regret to report the death this week of Mrs Chiddicks, the Mother of Mrs Dray, of 23, Shortmead Street. Deceased has suffered from an internal complaint and passed away on Saturday at her daughter’s residence. The funeral took place Wednesday at the cemetery. The cortege consisted of a glass hearse and two mourning coaches. The Vicar impressively officiated at the services inside the chapel and at the graveside. The Coffin was of plain elm with black and gilt furniture and was inscribed : “Elizabeth Chiddicks died 23rd September 1916 aged 71 years”. The mourners were Mr.M.Chiddicks (husband). Mr Wm Chiddicks, Mr. John Chiddicks and cyclist Walter Chiddicks 2/25th London Cyclist Battn, (sons), Mrs E.Goode, Mrs W.Acton, Mrs MA Steward and Mrs EA Dray (daughters), and Mr W.Acton (son in law). Among sympathisers present were Mrs W.T.Skipp and Mrs H.Endersby. Floral tributes of great beauty were inscribed thus: In ever fond remembrance from her sorrowing husband; “Rest in peace” –  With deepest sympathy and fondest memory, from her son and daughter; “Peace perfect peace” – in ever loving memory to our dear Mother, from her sorrowing son and daughter, Henry and Lizzie; “Thy will be done” – In loving memory of our dear mother, from Louie and William – With deepest sympathy, from her loving son Walter – With affectionate sympathy, from Jack, Kate and Reggie – In fond remembrance  to our dear grandma, from her grandchildren, Harry, Cissy and Harold – In fond remembrance to our dear grandma from her grandchildren Doris and Gerald – With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs Skipp, Messrs Styles and Son were the undertakers.

Whilst carrying out my research into the life of Elizabeth Lake and the Lake family in general, I was able to carry out some more detailed research into the Village that her family lived, Attleborough, in Norfolk.

The major employer in town is Banham Poultry and turkeys seem to feature quite prominently in the town history, as they appear on the town sign along with cider apples, as Gaymers Cider used to be in town too, but have long gone. All that’s left is Gaymers Meadows a park left to the people of Attleborough.

There has been a settlement in the vicinity since Saxon times and there has been a place of worship here since those times, but St Mary’s was built in the Norman period. There is one notable event in 1549 before my family were here, but still interesting. When the practice of enclosing off common land came in, the ordinary people of the country as a whole were not happy. A short lived revolt in the summer of 1549 started here. When the lord of Wilby Manor began fencing off parts of the commons of Attleborough and Hargham, the fury and anger against the landowning classes was unleashed. Attleborough men tore down these fences and hedges, the first demonstration of physical defiance. News of this soon travelled to the next town, Wymondham, where there happened to be a large gathering at Wymondham Abbey where they had been holding a special service. A chap named Robert Kemp latched on to this and led a huge band into rebellion. There was a battle at Dussingdale which is north of Norwich where between 2-3,000 men were killed by government forces. Attleborough men could well have been among them. This has become known as Ketts Rebellion. Needless to say he met an extremely unpleasant end being drawn and hung at Norwich Castle.

The first national Census, taken in 1801, listed the population of Attleborough as 1333 and by 1845 the population had grown to almost 2000, with an acreage of around 5,200 acres and a growing centre of trade and commerce. A thriving Market Town was developing and William White recorded in 1845 the following occupations:

2 Auctioneers, 6 Teachers, 5 Attorneys, 3 Bakers, 3, Blacksmiths, 6 Boot Makers, 4 Butchers, 3 Corn Millers, 33 Farmers, 4 Grocers, 2 Joiners, 2 Plumbers, 2 Saddlers,              2 Surgeons, 4 Tailors and 2 Watchmakers. All evidence of a thriving and growing community of which the Lake family were very much a part of.

There are some pictures of the Lake family homestead and surrounding area of the Village of Hargham which is where the Lake family originated from.

Church Cottages, Hargham, from T Tye. 1

(Church Cottages, Hargham – from Sue Lake)

Hargham, Church Cottages, 1, (BC)

(Hargham Church Cottage – from Sue Lake)

Swangey Cottage, F (BC)

(Swangey Cottage – from Sue Lake)

All My Blogs For Family Tree Magazine in one Handy Place

6 thoughts on “The Life and Times of Elizabeth Lake

  1. How very interesting – thank you for that.
    In a side shoot of my husband’s family tree there is a George Lake born 1874 in Attleborough to a John & Martha Lake so although not a direct ancestor your information of the lives lived & the history of the village & area was greatly appreciated. His direct ancestors hailed from all over Norfolk but that branch of the family were from Old Buckenham, so very close.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have loved reading your story. I have Lakes in Hargham and the surrounding area, but they don’t seem to be related to any that you have mentioned. I must also thank you for sharing the image of Church Cottages as I have an Aunt and Uncle recorded as living there in 1939 – Frederick & Agnes Saunders.

    Liked by 1 person

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