William Nicholson

Caroline Boddy (born Nicholson)

Alfred Boddy

Alfred Charles Boddy

Geoffrey Alfred Boddy

 William Nicholson (1782 - 1864)



1782 or 1783, Edenbridge, Kent



28 February 1802, to Catherine Saxby. Edenbridge, Kent






William (b. 1803)

John (b. 1804)

David (b.1806)

Harriet (b. 1808)

Mary (b. 1811)

Lucy (b 1813)

Catherine (b. 1814)

George (b. 1817)

Ann (b. 1821)

Caroline Augusta (b. 1822)

Joseph (1825)

Samuel (b. 1827)

    The  Book of Old-Time Trades and Tools, compiled by Anonymous,written during the md-Victorian era as a career guide for schoolboys, says the pretty market town of Edenbridge in Kent was noted for shoemakers who produced "strong, coarse hob-nailed shoes ...which are so much worn by waggoners and others".  One such shoemaker was William Nicholson, father of Caroline who met and married tax inspector George Boddy in London in 1847.  The trade of shoemaking ran the family - Censuses conducted in the UK from 1841 onwards show htat his eldest son William and his grandson Egbert were both shoemakers.  The 1851 Cenus noted that William himself was a "master shoemaker, employing 6 men".
At 19 years of age, William married an equally young woman from his own town - Catherine Saxby. Together, the couple had at least 12 children over a 24 year period, according to entries in the local Edenbridge parish register (See England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530-1980).  One unusual aspect from the registers is that most of the children weren't christened until many years after their birth, with a gap of 10+ years sometimes.  Maybe William belonged to a church which didn't believe in infant baptism (although none of the children appears to have had their christening delayed until adulthood).  He was probably a very religious person - a fellow Edenbridge man left William and three others in charge of a property in the town which the testator decreed had to be used for the  religous purposes of  "dissenters". (Dissenters were Protestant Christians who separated from the Church of England in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries).  And in the only surviving portrait we have (above), William is holding a book, possibly the family bible.
    In the UK Censuses of 1851 and 1861, the family is listed as living at two different addresses - 67 Edenbridge street (1851), then 119 High Street in 1861, by which time only their unmarried son William is registered as living with them. 

left: Edenbridge town centre

By the time of the 1871census, neither Catherine and William were registered - Catherine is believed to have died in 1863, William a year later.
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