William Caldicott and his family contributed hugely to the city of Worcester throughout the 19th century through their service on the council and in other areas of community life. However, William’s legacy was not only to impact Worcester but was to reach far and wide across the globe.
William was born in 1818 to William and Sarah in Long Marston, which at the time was located in within the county of Gloucestershire.
By 1841 the census reveals him living in Shipston on Stour and his trade was a glover. He married Matilda Bayliss in April of that year in Worcester.
William and Matilda had six sons, Alfred James, Herbert, Walter, Henry, William Homer and Harvey.
Alfred James Caldicott was born on 26 November 1842 and married Maria Turner Mayne in October 1865. He became a renowned composer and died on 24 October 1897.
Herbert Caldicott was born in 1843 and married Edith Harriet Cornish in April 1885. He joined the hop merchants family business and died on 22 August 1898.
Walter Caldicott was born in October 1845 and married Margaret Elizabeth Teague on 24 July 1883. He also worked for the family hop merchants business and died in Sep 1916.
Henry Caldicott was born in October 1847 and married Rebecca Jane E Mayne in April 1879. He became a solicitor and died on 7 June 1881.
William Homer Caldicott was born on 13 April 1854 and married Adelaide Alice Seaman on 7 June 1887. He worked in the family business as a hop merchant and died on 9 August 1930.
Harvey Caldicott was born on 22 September 1858 and married Blanche Edith Child in Oct 1882. He worked as an Engineer in the British Colonies and died on 27 May 1955.
By the time William had reached his 30s, the 1851 Census shows he was living in Claines, just outside the city of Worcester and had moved into the hop sales industry and was working as a hop merchant’s clerk.
By the 1961 Census he had become a hop and seed merchant himself and was in partnership with Mr. John Kitchen. Eventually, William was to be the sole owner and his sons grew up to join the business as hop merchants also.
However, William was not only an important figure in Worcester commerce but also served his community in many ways.
In July 1864 he served on the Grand Jury for the City Sessions.
In December that year he was also initiated into theB Semper Fidelis Freemasons Lodge.
Then in November 1871 he was elected as a Liberal councillor for the Claines Ward, another step some of his sons would emulate, as both Herbert and Walter became councillors also, although their politics differed from that of their father as they were Conservatives. Later in life, William changed his own political views and also became Conservative, maybe due to the influence of his sons.
Interestingly, he did not seek higher office unlike his sons who the positions of Mayor and Sheriff and also shrank from holding office within his Freemason Lodge, despite being the oldest member by the time he passed away.
On 12 February 1878, Matilda sadly died suddenly at the age of 58. She was buried at St George’s Church.
William remarried on 26 April 1883 at St Leonards Church, Streatham, London to Anne Theresa Price, daughter of Thomas Spiers Price, glove manufacturer.
It is interesting to note that two years before they were married, Anne appeared on the 1881 Census as housekeeper for the household of William.
The couple were blessed with two daughters, Elsie Annie, who was born in 1884, but sadly died as an infant and Dorothy Ida.
Dorothy Ida Caldicott was born on 22 October 1887 and married Charles Leslie Cox CBE. She died on 21 January 1978.
William died on 26 August 1902, aged about 84. He had suffered from a small paralytic stroke on the Christmas of 1900 and from that time grew weaker until after a few days confined to bed he died on senile decay.
His funeral was held at Astwood Cemetery on 5 September 1902 and was well attended by Freemasons, Hop Merchants and Councillors. In his obituary, the Worcestershire Chronicle said that William Caldicott
…had evidently, however, instilled a desire for useful public works in his sons, and the family Caldicott will be long remembered in Worcester as one which has rendered signal service to the city.
Featured image courtesy of Bromyard and District Local History Society, Herefordshire