Biographies

Clement Guest Caldecott – 1869 – 1935 – Half-brother of Randolph Caldecott and Pharmaceutical Chemist

Chemist Shop

Clement Guest Caldecott was born in 1860 in Chester, Cheshire. He was the third child of John Caldecott, accountant of Chester, and his second wife, Maria Guest and twin to Florence Guest Caldecott.

John Caldecott first married Mary Dinah Brookes on 27 Sep 1842 and the couple had seven children – John George, William Brookes, Randolph (famous children’s illustrator and artist), Sophia, Elizabeth and Alfred (famous philospher).

Mary Dinah sadly died aged 31 in 1852 and John remarried to Maria on 7 December 1854. The couple had Josiah Guest Caldecott, who died in Chicago on 23 October 1892, aged just 36.

Grave of Josiah Guest Caldecott in Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois.

The couple’s second child was Maria Caldecott who also died young on 28 May 1876, aged 18.

Clement trained as a chemist whilst working for John Shone, a chemist based in Whitchurch, Shropshire. He qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist in 1882 with the South London College of Chemistry & Pharmacy, also receiving medals in chemistry and botany.

He then moved to Wrexham to open his own chemist shop where in 1894 he appeared as a witness at the inquest into the death of John Edward Williams, a local tailor. Clement had sold him some cyanide for the cleaning of gold braiding but it seems that he then ingested some in an attempt to relieve the effects of alcohol but he overdosed and he died from poisoning. The verdict of the inquest was death by misadventure.

On 16 July 1895 at St Paul’s Church, Onslow Square, Kensington Clement Guest Caldecott married Frances Eleanor Scott, daughter of deceased paper manufacturer, Samuel Scott.

St Paul's Onslow Square
St Paul’s Church, Onslow Square, Kensington

The couple had just one daughter, Eleanor St. George Caldecott born on 23 April 1900 at Wrexham, Denbighshire. Eleanor married twice, to Robert B Wood in 1938 and to Robert C Matson in 1957 and died, aged 99 in 1999.

Clement worked as a chemist and photographic dealer in Wrexham for the rest of his life. Frances died on 28 May 1934, aged 73 in Wrexham and Clement died just under a year later on 18 March 1935, also in Wrexham. They had been living at 48, Gerald Street, Wrexham at the end of their life. Both left their estates to their daughter, Eleanor.

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