Caroline Lumley or Lambley, dairymaid, glove-maker and laundress

Caroline Lumley was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother, born in 1834 in Rous Lench, Worcestershire. According to my tree, she was the third daughter of John Lumley, a farm labourer, and Ann Loyd, a “field woman”.

Rous Lench village green

The 1841 census shows the family living at Rous Lench, where John is an agricultural labourer.

In 1851, Caroline is sixteen and working as a glover. Caroline’s grandfather, Thomas Wright, is living with the family in Rous Lench. He is described as a pauper (labourer):

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1851 census,

But if he is Ann’s father, why was her name Loyd? Had she been married before?

I turned to TheGenealogist website, which is very good for Worcestershire parish records, and found the marriage of Thomas Wright and Mary Loyd in 1803, plus two more of their children, John and Sarah. So it looks as though Ann Loyd was actually Ann Wright. I will come back to her another day.

Caroline didn’t get married until October 1861, so she should have appeared in the 1861 census under her maiden name. By this time her father had died and her two sisters had married, so Caroline was on her own. I looked for any Carolines of the right age living in Rous Lench. Neither Findmypast nor Ancestry could find her (and other people’s family trees also had a gap for her in 1861). Then I tried the FamilySearch website, with no surname and just Rous Lench as place of birth. Success! She appeared as Caroline Langley, about nine miles away in Hanbury, where she was working as a dairymaid for a farmer called Samuel Willson.

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1861 census,

This is where she met Robert Butler, who was working as a cowman at a farm nearby.

Chicory flowers on a Hanbury footpath

They married at St Peter’s Church in Rous Lench on 27 October 1861.


Caroline, Robert, and their three daughters were living in Huddington in 1871. Caroline was listed in the census as a gloveress. By 1881 they were at Lower Crowle, and in 1891 Caroline was listed as a laundress.

We know how Caroline died because it was reported in the local papers in December 1895:

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Worcester Journal, 14 December 1895, Findmypast


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Worcestershire Chronicle, 14 December 1895, Findmypast
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Worcestershire Chronicle, 21 December 1895, Findmypast

Caroline was buried on 14 December at the church of St John the Baptist in Crowle.


Ari, this is how you are related to Caroline:

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Ann Willis of Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire


Ari’s 6x great-grandmother Ann Willis was born in Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire, in 1769. She was the second daughter of Edward Willis and Mary Marshall.

Grafton Flyford

Ann was baptised on 22 October 1769 at the church of St John the Baptist.

On 16 October 1792 she married agricultural labourer John Bishop at the same church, with her sister Mary acting as a witness. She and John had eight children between 1793 and 1813.

Ann died in October 1840 and was buried at the same church on 28 Oct.


Ari, this is how you are related to Ann:

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William Dancocks of Kempsey

One of Ari’s 6x great-grandfathers was William Dancocks. He was born in about 1756 in Kempsey, Worcestershire, the son of Elizabeth Dancocks, and baptised on 16 October 1761 at St Mary’s Church.


There are no records of William until his marriage in 1790 to Nancy Martin.

There is a record of a William Dancocks being sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for poaching, but the criminal register gives his age as 25, so maybe a grandson?

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Worcester Journal, 9 March 1837,
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England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791–1892,

The 1841 census shows that William was still working as an agricultural labourer at the age of 85.

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1841 census, Kempsey.


William died in December 1847, and was buried at St Mary’s. His death certificate and burial record gives his age as 96.

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Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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Florence May Waters of Worcestershire

Florence was one of Ari’s great-great-grandmothers, born in 1900 in the village of Himbleton, Worcestershire.


Her father was George Thomas Waters, and her mother was Mary James. Florence was their youngest child, and she can be seen in the 1901 census with her parents, two brothers and three sisters, living in Himbleton:

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The 1911 census shows that she was at school, aged 11.

In 1918 Florence married Alfred John Sheppard, a railway labourer. They had six children: Eileen Florence in 1918, Percival Alfred in 1920, Betty in 1921, Derek William George in 1923, James in 1926 and Kenneth in 1928.

Florence was only thirty when she died in Himbleton. The cause of death was cardiac failure and pneumonia. Her husband was present at her death.

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I wondered what had happened to the children, as Alfred wouldn’t have been able to look after them while working, and the oldest, Eileen, had only just turned twelve. Unfortunately, the 1931 census was destroyed by fire in 1942, so it’s not possible to glimpse the family in that year. By the time of the Second World War, only Eileen was living at home with her father in Huddington:

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1939 Register,

I haven’t been able to find any of the other children in the 1939 Register. Percival, aged nine, had been sent to an orphanage in Bristol, according to his grandson, Barry. At some point Betty emigrated to New Zealand, where she died in 2014. (No passenger records have been found.) Derek married twice and had a son. He died in Lincolnshire in 2001. James also went to New Zealand, showing up in the Electoral Rolls there as a driver, living at 99 Warspite Avenue, Porirua, in 1969 with his wife Joyce. (I haven’t found the passenger records for him either.) The youngest, Kenneth, has also been hard to trace as there were several people with the same name born in that year.

I am hoping to hear from any descendants of Florence who read this, and would especially love to know if a photo of her and her children exists anywhere.

Ari, this is how you are related to Florence:

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Francis Poole of Oddingley

So Ari now has a new baby sister, Eva Rose Gwendoline, and of course all of these people are her ancestors too. I think she is going to have her own blog, once I’ve found an alliterative name for it 🙂

One of Ari and Eva’s 7x great-grandfathers was a yeoman, Francis Poole, born in Oddingley, Worcestershire in about 1745, the father of Betty. I haven’t found his baptism yet, but he had a brother John (baptised in 1741) and a sister Mary (baptised in 1745), both in Oddingley.

The font at St James, Oddingley

Francis married twice. The first marriage was to Frances Hardwick, who died in May 1769. Unfortunately the marriage record only gives the day and month, not the year.

The second time was on 18 September 1770, to Elizabeth Colley, at St James in Oddingley.

Flowers in the porch, St James, Oddingley

Francis died in Oddingley in 1802, and left a will (proved 14 August 1802) which I obtained from the Worcestershire Archives. This helped me piece together lots of family information.

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He mentions the cottage, land and orchard that he is leaving to his son John. He mentions his daughters, Ann (the widow of Thomas Garfield), and Sarah (the wife of Thomas Trimnell). He also mentions his wife Elizabeth.

He mentions Betty in three places:

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One of the executors of the will was the vicar, George Parker, first victim of the Oddingley Murders.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Francis Poole:

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John Perkins and the Oddingley Murders

John Perkins was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, born in about 1772 (according to his burial record). He was a farmer, living in Oddingley, Worcestershire, and married to Betty Pool.

Pasture and Church Cottages, Oddingley, photographed in 2006 by Robin Baker,

A document titled “Worcester Cathedral Muniments B Class leases and charters” (held at Worcester Cathedral Library) contains the following details about the land leased by John Perkins (spelling as original):

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While researching Betty last week, I discovered a possible link to the Oddingley Murders. The first victim, Reverend George Parker, was the new local clergyman, and a dispute had arisen with the farmers over the paying of tithes.

“The tithe dispute deepened as the years passed, and by September 1805 of the seven ratepayers in Oddingley parish only two of them – Old Mr Hardcourt and John Perkins – could still sustain a conversation with Parker” (Peter Moore, Damn His Blood, p. 28).


The book Damn His Blood by Peter Moore contains plenty of references to John and Betty, supported by evidence from newspaper reports, court reports and witness testimony. The book is well worth reading, even if you’re not related to the people in it! It was very exciting to find that one of Ari’s ancestors had played a role in these events and that it had been recorded in this way. (See also The Trial of Thomas Clewes, Farmer, Charged with the Murder of Richard Heming, at Oddingley, Worcestershire, in June, 1806, Etc, printed by Edwin Lees, 1830, and A full and accurate account of the inquest held upon the remains of R. H., lately discovered in a barn at Oddingley … including particulars of the murder … of … G. Parker … 1806, printed by T. Eaton, 1830 on Google Books.)

I haven’t found John’s baptism or parents yet, so the first we know of him is the marriage to Betty in 1803, which is mentioned in Moore’s book.

“John Perkins, an impetuous single-minded man in his twenties, had lived in the village for the past decade and had recently assumed control of Oddingley Lane Farm” (p. 39).

These men “were tenant farmers who paid annual rent to Lord Foley in exchange for their houses and the right to farm the attached land on leases of eight years. … Tenancies were rarely available and hard to win, with aspiring farmers needing to be diplomatic, forceful, well connected and hard-working to succeed” (p. 39).

On 22 June, two days before the first of the two murders, “John and Betty Perkins would have been among the congregation at Parker’s final service … where there had been disquieting whisperings in the pews” (p. 94).

The murder took place on 24 June 1806 (Midsummer Day).  Peter Moore describes the village that day, with “… scores of parishioners at work in the meadows. Most were preparing for the clover harvest or hacking at thistles and weeds. … John Perkins, another farmer, was tending a bonfire outside Oddingley Lane Farm” (p. 8). The farm was “a quarter of a mile south of the village crossroads” (p. 93). “Perkins had decided not to travel to Bromsgrove for the annual fair” (p. 93). “One of his meadows had been blighted by an outbreak of a weed known as cammock or rest harrow. … From the middle of the afternoon onwards, he busied himself in the field, hacking at the plant” (p. 95).

Mary Delany. Ononis Fruticosa. Rest Harrow. 1778. Collage of coloured papers, with bodycolour and watercolour, on black ink background. British Museum.

“At around four thirty in the afternoon Perkins gathered the cammock into a heap, and at five o’clock he set his little bonfire alight. He did not hear anything unusual. There was just the dim rustle of a harvest scythe, the occasional sweep or creak of a wheelbarrow, and the gentle sound of birdsong. … Unlike James Tustin and the two butchers half a mile away at Pound Farm, he did not hear the blast of a shotgun or Reverend Parker’s piercing, desperate cry of murder” (p. 95).

“John Perkins learnt of the murder at about half past five … when ‘a little girl’ appeared in his field. She told Perkins that the Reverend had been shot and Mrs Parker would like to see him ‘directly’. Perkins threw down his tools and ran into the lane, leaving the bonfire burning behind him” (p. 99).

“At the rectory Perkins found Mary Parker in the garden. She was leaning against a set of milk pails in the yard. ‘For God’s sake!’ she cried when she saw Perkins. ‘Go to Mr Pyndar [a justice of the peace] directly, for I have no friend but you and him” (p. 99).

John did this.

“Betty Perkins had learnt the news of the murder at the same time as her husband and at about 5.30 p.m. had set off for the glebe fields to see Parker’s body” (p. 102). Betty lent James Tustin a horse to go after the murderer, but his mistress, Mrs Barnett, had prevented him from going. (Betty told Rev. Reginald Pyndar this on 29 June, when he was collecting evidence in the case.)

At seven o’clock that evening, Thomas Colwell, a carpenter, “called at the rectory and found John Perkins comforting Mary Parker. Colwell told them both that he thought Richard Heming was Reverend Parker’s murderer” (p. 113).

“In mid-May John Perkins had noticed Heming pacing back and forth in Barnett’s fields, where a faggot of thorns and a bolting of straw had been thrown down into the ditch adjoining the glebe meadows. Parker had also seen Heming nearby and had asked Perkins if he knew what the man was doing. The farmer had been unable to supply an answer” (p. 116).

Two people were ordered to ride to Worcester to get a handbill printed with the murderer’s description, and “John Perkins and Thomas Colwell were ordered to take the road south, accompanied by George Day, Parker’s servant” (p. 123). Acting as deputised constables, they rode to Bredon’s Norton, home of Heming’s parents, and searched the house but found nothing. Pyndar asked John to lie in wait on the road between Droitwich and Oddingley, so that he could seize Heming if he came that way. Pyndar had also sent John to Droitwich to fetch a man called Baker, who was a professional thief taker.

Parker’s funeral took place on Friday 27 June, and John was in attendance.

“John and Betty Perkins were among the Parkers’ closest friends in the parish. Parker had officiated at their wedding, on 16 October 1803, at which Mary Parker had taken the unusual step of signing the register instead of Pardoe, the parish clerk. As Mary was illiterate she could only manage a dog-legged cross in the gap her husband left for her signature, but it was a symbolic act and enough to demonstrate the depth of trust and friendship between the couples” (p. 94).

Before the murder

In January 1806, Captain Samuel Evans, a retired military officer who leased Church Farm, had said to John Perkins: “Mr Parker is a very bad man. Nobody in the parish agrees with him.” Perkins didn’t agree and the Captain swore “Damn him! There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog” (p. 54).

On 7 April 1806 (Easter Monday) the annual vestry meeting had taken place. After an argument, the meeting “descended into chaos. The farmers stalked out, abandoning an event intended to bring parishioners together. John Perkins was the only one who stayed to speak to Parker, perhaps the only farmer he could still count as a friend” (p. 43).

That evening, the farmers were dining and drinking in God Speed the Plough in Tibberton (Oddingley had no pub of its own).


Various accounts of the evening were given by witnesses, mentioning John Perkins. According to Moore, Perkins “had only opted to join the dinner a few hours earlier at the insistence of Parker himself, who, anticipating intemperate words or scenes, had urged him to attend to defend his name” (p. 57).

perkins evidence 13 mar 1830
Staffordshire Advertiser, 13 March 1830,


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London Morning Chronicle, 2 Feb 1830,


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Worcester Herald, 6 Feb 1830, (William Barnett’s evidence)

The second murder

In January 1830 a second inquest was held, after the discovery of a body in a barn. The coroner, William Smith, invited John Perkins to this inquest. This is where John was able to give his account of what had happened in 1806.

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The Trial of Thomas Clewes
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A full and accurate account of the inquest

According to Peter Moore, John Perkins was in debt by 1815 and had lost his farm. This advert had appeared in the Worcester Journal in 1811:

john perkins 18 jul 1811


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Worcester Journal, 15 December 1825,

John died in Feb 1837 and was buried at Oddingley on 12 Feb.

Ari, this is how you are related to John:

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Betty Pool from Oddingley

Elizabeth (Betty) Pool was one of Ari’s 6x great-grandmothers. She was born in about 1774 in Oddingley, Worcestershire, which is “pleasantly situated about 3½ miles to the south-east of Droitwich on the slopes of a valley through which run the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Bristol and Birmingham branch of the Midland railway” (

Worcester and Birmingham Canal approaching Oddingley, Worcestershire

Betty married a farmer called John Perkins. Searching for the marriage on TheGenealogist website, I have just found two children I didn’t know about. Mary Perkins was born in 1807 in Oddingley, and John in 1809. The website also offered this possible marriage:

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TheGenealogist Potential Marriage SmartSearch

So now we have her surname, Pool, and I can try to find her parents.

There were three more children: Jane in 1814, Sarah in 1816, and Anne in 1821.

Oddingley is known for the “Oddingley Murders” in 1806 (see There is a John Perkins who gave evidence, but this may be a different person:

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Worcester Journal, 18 March 1830,

(Confirmation will need to wait until I write about John!) I have just ordered the book Damn His Blood: Being a True and Detailed History of the Most Barbarous and Inhumane Murder at Oddingley and the Quick and Awful Retribution (by Peter Moore) so will find out more!



After Betty’s husband John died in 1837 I think she went to live in Sale Green with her daughter Sarah, who had married John Tyler. This is where she was in the 1841 census:

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1841 census,

Betty died at Crowle two years later, on 13 January 1843, from breast cancer.

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The death was announced in the Worcester Journal.

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Worcester Journal, 2 February 1843,

She was buried in the churchyard at Oddingley on January 19th.


Ari, this is how you are related to Betty:

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John Tyler, carpenter

Ari’s 5x great-grandfather, John Tyler, was born in Huddington, Worcestershire, in 1811. I haven’t found his baptism or parents yet.

On 25 Nov 1833, he married Sarah Perkins at St John the Baptist in Crowle.

The church when we visited in October 2017.

The first record we can actually see is the 1841 census. This shows the family in Sale Green, with a daughter Mary (born in 1839), Sarah’s mother Elizabeth (Betty), and a ten-year-old, Mary Hughes.

Bluebells in Trench Wood, Sale Green.
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1841 census found on Findmypast (Ancestry had the name transcribed as Tigler).

John is working as an agricultural labourer. (It’s possible that they had a son, William, in 1836, baptised in Upton Snodsbury which is close by, and is also where Mary was baptised. If so, I am not sure what happened to William, but a later son was given William as a middle name.)

By the time of the next census, in 1851, two more children have been born, Ann (Angelina) and James. John is working as a carpenter, and they are still in Sale Green. By 1861 two more sons have been born, Frederick William and Caleb. (In 1871 we see that Frederick, now 19, is also a carpenter.) In 1881, the family is living next door to daughter Angelina, and two of her children (Fanny and Elizabeth Sheppard, age 12 and 10) are at John’s house. Two of John and Sarah’s sons, James and Caleb, are still at home and working as agricultural labourers.

The 1891 census shows John all alone, at the age of 79, and described as a retired carpenter. His death certificate shows that he died aged 84, on 26 May 1894. His son James was present at the death.

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He was buried at the church in Crowle on 31 May, and an announcement was placed in the Worcestershire Chronicle on 2 June.

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Ari, this is how you are related to John:

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Alice Robinson of Huddington

Ari’s 8x great-grandmother, Alice Robinson, was born in 1709 in Huddington, Worcestershire and christened on the 10th of April that year.

Huddington St James. Churchyard gate.

The year was remembered as being the coldest in Europe for 500 years (see this New Scientist article on the Great Frost).

Four scenes of war, poverty and death. 1709 etching by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli. British Museum Online Collection.

Alice was the daughter of John and Mary.

On 11 October 1731 she married John Day at the church in Huddington.


Their son George was born in 1732 and William (Ari’s 7x great-grandfather) in 1735.

Sadly, it looks as though Alice died giving birth to William. Her burial took place at the church on the same day as his baptism.

Ari, this is how you are related to Alice:

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Ann (Nancy) Martin of Kempsey

One of Ari’s 6x great-grandmothers was Ann (Nancy) Martin, who was born in 1770, probably at or near Kempsey in Worcestershire.

This reflected arch carries a footpath over the flooded Hatfield Brook near Kempsey church.

I haven’t found a record of her baptism yet, so I don’t know who her parents were.

In April 1790, she married William Dancocks, an agricultural labourer, at the church of St Mary in Kempsey.

Ann and William had seven children: William, James, Thomas, Charlotte, Sarah, Mary and Maria.

In April 1841 Ann was recorded in the census aged seventy, living in Kempsey with her husband and oldest son:

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1841 census,

Ann died ten years later and was buried in the churchyard in Kempsey on 24 March 1851.

A memorial to Sir Edmund Wylde, situated in the chancel of St Mary’s church, Kempsey. It dates from 1620. He became Sheriff of Worcestershire that year, and died in his first year in office.

Berrow’s Worcester Journal published a very interesting history of Kempsey on 22 December 1900, including this snippet:

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Ari, this is how you are related to Ann:

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