Herbert Caldicott was a councillor for Worcester for many years like his brother, Walter and his father William. He held the offices of Chamberlain, Sheriff, Mayor, and Magistrate and also had musical and sporting talents. His contributions to Worcester and its community were immense and he truly was a figurehead of Victorian Worcester Society.
Herbert was born in about 1843, in Worcester to William Caldicott and Matilda Caldicott (formerly Bayliss). He was their second of six sons.
His musical talents emerged early as he joined the Worcester Cathedral Choir as a boy and aged 12 he performed a duet his brother Alfred James in the Harmonic Society’s Concert at the Music Hall to which an encore was insisted upon. As an adult he went on to perform many solos for the Worcester Musical Society, enjoying participating with his brother, the renowned composer, Alfred James and his wife, Maria Turner (formerly Mayne), who was a highly regarded soprano.
Herbert was also a member of the Worcester Rowing Club and competed with his brothers Harry and Walter in many of the Worcester Regattas.
Herbert was a Hop Merchant who worked for his father’s successful family business
In August 1873, when Herbert was aged 30 he was badly assaulted by Henry Corbett, a local shoemaker. Herbert was walking down New Road, near the cricket club in Worcester at about 11pm when he heard the cries of “Murder!” On going to investigate he saw six or seven men surrounding another man who was down on the ground. Henry Corbett was there and when he saw Herbert approaching he stepped over the man on the ground and seized hold of Herbert’s coat, tearing the buttons off, and also knocked off his hat. Herbert decided to leave at this point, concerned he was going to receive rough treatment, but Corbett pursued him and struck him in the face with a thick stick causing injuries to his nose, lip and eye which bled profusely. Corbett was found guilty and sentenced to heavy fines or in default imprisonment and hard labour.
Herbert married Edith Harriet Cornish, daughter of John Cornish, farmer, in April 1885 in Wellington, Somerset. The couple had four daughters, Mabel Antoinette, Margery and twins, Lilian Edith and Norah.
Mabel Antoinette Caldicott was born on 21 February 1886 and married Frederick V C Giddins. She died in December 1970.
Margery Caldicott was born on 16 December 1887 and married Percy William Trew. She was a successful actress and died on 25 May 1974.
Lilian Edith Caldicott was born on 21 May 1894 and married Russell Myles Thompson. She was also an actress and died on 9 August 1978.
Norah Caldicott was also born on 21 May 1894 and married Georges Louis Jules Emmanuel Pigache. However, this marriage did not last as Norah was one of four wives of Pigache. He remarried just a few years later, and it seems likely that this was while he was still married to Norah. She died on 10 April 1977.
Herbert was successfully elected as a Conservative Worcester councillor for the Claines Ward in June 1879. Interestingly his father, William Caldicott had been a liberal councillor for Worcester but became a member of the Conservative party later on in life, perhaps because of the influence of Herbert and his brothers.
Just five years later he was elected as Chamberlain for the city. Two years later he became Sheriff, usually a post which is deputy to the Mayor. In 1887 he held the office as Mayor for the customary year. He continued to hold various roles and positions within the city including Magistrate for the rest of his life.
On 26 June 1891 Herbert’s home, The Chase, Barbourne was burgled whilst he and his family were away on their summer holidays. AB pair of plated candlesticks and a silver mug, which stood upon the piano, were stolen but they were of little value. There was no clue to the identity of the thief.
In the summer of 1895, the health of Herbert began to decline. Aged 52, he suffered an internal haemorrhage which made him seriously ill for a time. He did recover, but died three years later, on 22 August 1898, aged just 55.