Edward Caldicott was born on 29 November 1846 to George Caldicott and Sarah Williams. He was their fifth child.
His father was the miller of Norton Mill, which was set beside Norton Brook near Norton, Radnorshire, Wales and was described locally as an industrious and honest man (Hereford Journal – Wednesday 18 June 1851, Page 3).
The family faced a disastrous event when Edward was aged just 4 when Norton Mill and the family’s cottage caught fire. Although the family were all safe, the loss to property was extensive and there were appeals for local benevolence to help them. The owner, Mr Richard Price rebuilt the mill and the family were still in residence by the 1861 Census.
In 1868, Edward married Mary Ann Watkins in Presteigne, Radnorshire, Wales and the couple went on to have 5 children – Annie Louisa, John, Ellen Rebecca, Sarah Elizabeth and Mary Ann.
The family took up residence at New Mill, Presteigne, a mill on the River Lugg, and Edward, following in his father’s footsteps, was the miller there.
Sadly, Mary Ann died on 16 May 1879, from tuberculosis, aged just 29; the couple had been married just over ten years and their children were aged between 11 and just a few months old.
At some point in the time following his wife’s death, Edward and his five children moved to the Midlands where he met his second wife, Agnes Harrison, whom he married on 20 May 1880 in Trinity Church, Birchfield, Staffordshire.
Edward and Agnes had eight children together, making Edward father to a grand total of thirteen. Their children were Edward Harold, Cecil George Garnet, Baron Thomas Wilfred, Oswald William Cornwall, Birdie Norah Constance, Lily Florence Winifred, Dora Beatrice and Margery Cora Gladys.
By the 1891 Census, Edward was the miller at New Hall Mill on Reddicap Hill at Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire where he lived and worked for several years.
By the turn of the century, Edward had moved to Walsall and was working as a Corn Miller. His son Edward Harold was also working as a Corn Mill Clerk. The 1901 Census shows that the family lived at 80 Countess Street.
By the 1911 Census there is some mystery surrounding Edward and his family. Edward was miller of Little Aston Mill, Mill Green, Aldridge back in Staffordshire. There is no mention of Agnes on Edward’s 1911 Census form, but I have not been able to find a death record. Edward is living with his daughter Lily Florence Winifred and also with a woman called Sarah Ann Gale, a widow, who is listed as his partner and has the occupation of assisting in the business. There is also listed a Rosa Lavnia Gale who is described as daughter – it is unclear if this is in relation to the head of the household, Edward which is how the Census form was intended to have been completed or the more likely explanation that this is in error and she is only the daughter of Sarah Ann.
Shortly after the 1911 Census was taken, however, Edward was to suffer a tragic untimely death in a fatal accident.
On 14 September 1911, he was on Blake Street in Sutton Coldfield, about 4 miles away from his home at Little Aston Mill, Aldridge. Whilst getting into his cart his foot got entangled in the reins. The horse, unfortunately, startled and bolted. Edward was thrown off the cart and was run over by the cart wheel as the horse ran forwards. He suffered huge internal injuries, and despite being taken immediately to Sutton Coldfield Hospital by a local farmer, Alfred Higgins, he died before he was consulted by a doctor.
Most of Edward’s children went on to become grocers a butcher or somehow linked to food manufacturing. None of his children were millers, so the legacy that had been passed for generations and from Edward’s own father, George, had come to an end.