There is much information written about the life and works of Alfred Caldecott and rightly deserved as tribute to the life of this highly accomplished philosopher and author. As this website is based around my One-Name Study which is largely based on genealogical research, I will base this mini-biography of Alfred Caldecott mainly on the information which can be obtained from the records used in genealogy. If you would like to find out more about the life and works of Alfred Caldecott I have added some excellent links at the bottom of this article.
Alfred Caldecott was the fourth son born to John Caldecott and Mary Dinah Brookes. He was born on 9th November 1850 in Crook Street, Chester and was christened on 9th March 1851.
His father, John was, at this point working as a retail hatter, but was later to become an influential accountant, insurance and estate agent. John and Mary went on to have two more children Elizabeth and Harold.
Sadly, on the 21st August 1852, Alfred’s mother, Mary Dinah Brookes passed away, aged just 31. Alfred was just two years old when he lost his mother.
John remarried two years later on 7th December 1854 to Maria Guest and went on to have six more children – Josiah Guest, Maria, twins Clement Guest and Florence Guest, Constance Guest and Amelia Guest.
Alfred was educated at King Henry VIII’s School in Chester and like his brother, Randolph, was made head boy. Upon leaving school he was admitted to St John’ College, Cambridge to read Moral Sciences Tripos and he received his BA with first class honours in 1880. He became a fellow for St John’s College. He then gained his Masters Degree in 1883 from London University for which he was awarded gold medal.
Alfred followed a calling to become a clergyman. He was ordained deacon at Lichfield Cathedral in 1880.
He was then ordained fully as priest in 1882 in Ely, Cambridgeshire. He received his Bachelor of Divinity from London University in 1892 and a Doctorate of Divinity in 1900.
On 13 February 1884, at St James Church, Croydon, Alfred married Amy Louisa Arnold, daughter of clergyman, Charles Maddock Arnold. Alfred was aged 33 and Amy, 29. The couple never had children.
Alfred wrote several books on religious matters during his lifetime and also collaborated with his brother Randolph Caldecott to write a book called Aesop’s Fables, for which he translated the fables from the original Greek.
Alfred Caldecott was a supporter of women’s suffrage and in 1910 he attended the Houses of Parliament with suffragette mother and daughter Elizabeth and Louisa Garrett Anderson to put forward the case for women to have the vote.
Amy Louisa died on 10 January 1933 at Palmerstone House, 26 Clarence Road, Southsea, Hampshire, aged 78. Alfred died three years later, on 8 February 1936, at the Grosvenor Hotel, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, aged 85. The estate of the couple was managed by the solicitor son of Alfred’s sister Sophia, John Randolph Anthony.
For further information about the life and works of Alfred Caldecott see –