Charles Henry Whiting 1819-1892

Parents: Joseph Whiting and Sarah Farecloth (1)
Born: 4th May 1819 in Burton End, Haverhill. (1)
Baptised: 16th May 1819 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. (1)
Married: Mary Ann Poole, spinster, of Burton End, daughter of George Poole, weaver, deceased, on 30th April 1843 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by William and Harriet Poole.(2,3)
Children: Joseph Whiting b.1844
Died: 4th February 1892 in Sturmer. Buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 8th February 1892. (4,5)

Bio: On the 1841 census, Charles is living next door to his parents in Burton End and his occupation is given as weaver. This changes for the next census in 1851 by which time he has married Mary Ann Pool and they have a son, Joseph. He is now a labourer, still in Burton End.

There is no trace of Charles or his family on the 1861 census. It appears from family trees online that Charles' son Joseph emmigrated to Australia in 1869, but I have been unable to verify this.

We do know, however, that in 1869 Charles was a beer retailer(9) and on the 1871 cenus Charles and his wife Mary Ann are living in Haverhill Hamlet and he is working as a beerseller. In White's Directory of 1874(7) and Kelly's Directories of 1875(8) and 1879 he is listed as a beer retailer in the Hamlet.(6) By the 1881 census he is a beerhouse keeper and is running the Hamlet Beerhouse, where he also lives.

Like another Whiting, George, who was also involved in the beer trade, Charles got into a few scrapes with the law on occasion. Along with several other Innkeepers he was caught out in 1878 trying to take advantage of the influx of trade brought about by Queen Victoria's Jubilee; 'Hedingham Petty Session.- August 9th. James Rowlinson and Charles Whiting, Innkeepers of Haverhill Hamlet, and John Curtis, Innkeeper, of Sturmer, were summoned for having certain eathenware measures in their possessiom which were unjust, on the 23rd July - defendants pleaded guilty.- it appeared that the mugs in question were either hired or borrowed for use upon Jubilee day and on the 1st August, and several of them were found to be from half-ounce to an ounce short. Each defendant was fined 1s and 11s 6d costs, which was paid.- Suppt. Elsey statuted that all Earthenware measures, even if correct, were illegal, as they could not be stamped with the stamp of the district.'(11)

Charles was also the victim, too, when some of his customers proved hard to handle after having had a few too many as happened in August 1887: "Refusing to Quit. - At the Heddingham Petty Session [Haverhill Hamlet was over the border in Essex at this time] on Tuesday, Wm Parker, labourer, Haverhill Hamlet, was charged with being drunk and disorderly and refusing to quit licensed premises at Haverhill, on August 1st. - Chas. Whiting, Innkeeper, Haverhill Hamlet, said: 'I have had trouble with defendant in my house several times before. On this occasion he came in with six others. He was not very drunk. He is a farm labourer. This was on the 1st August. There were several pints of beer called for, which I served. Soon after this, there was a noise, and I remarked to the mistress they had come in for a row, and said they should have no more beer. Defendant tried to go and draw the beer for himself. When they found they could not get any more at my house they fetched some from somewhere else and came to my house and drank it, and defendant would not leave. - The Bench fined the defendant £1 and 16s costs, or 14 days imprisonment. - At the same Session Wm. Payne, a respectable looking man, living at Sturmer, was charged with assaulting Charles Whiting, Innkeeper, Haverhill Hamlet, on the 1st August. - Charles Whiting, the complainant in the last case, said: On the 1st August defendant came in my house and called for a quart of beer, which I served him with. He refused to pay me for it, and said he would pay the mistress. As he did not pay for it I went to him and asked him for the money. He knocked me down twice. He was not so drunk that he did not know what he was doing. - Inspector Gillis said defendant had been in the employ of Mr. Gurteen for 17 years as a tailor. - The Chairman said the defendant was liable to a fine of £5. This being his first offence he would be fined £2 and 14s. costs."(14)

In Kelly's Directory of 1888 Charles is still listed as a beer retailer in Hamlet Road.(10) Along with William Warren he was caught sneaking a quick pint during prohibited hours on a sunday in May 1889 at the King's Head, run by Benjamin Smith, next year and had to pay 5s and 6s costs by way of a fine.(12)

The same year, Charles was again charged and found guilty of using incorrect measures at Hedingham Sessions. It is of particular interest, this time, that we get to find out the name of his pub: It was the Australian Arms, at Haverhill Hamlet. The building still exists to this day at 48-50 Hamlet Road, although the pub is now closed pending redevelopment. The account in the Essex Standard reads: 'INCORRECT MEASURES. - Charles Whiting (64), beerhouse keeper, of Haverhill Hamlet, was charged with having in his possession for use two measures, intended to represent quart measures, which were unjust, at Haverhill Hamlet, on the 3rd May. The case was proved by P.s J C Taylor, stationed at Great Bardfield, who said he visited the Australian Arms, Haverhill Hamlet, occupied by the defendant where, in the kitchen, were kept for use in trade a number of earthen measures. Amongst them he found two which were represented as quart measures, and he found one 2 1/2 ounces wrong, and the other 1 1/2 ounces wrong, against the purchasers. There were other measures, which were all right. Defendant said he was very sorry, but did not know but what the two were correct [sic]. Mr Taylor said the defendant should have seen that the mugs in respect of which he was summoned were all right. He had had warning. Defendant said he had been in the trade 24 years, and had never been seen before a bench until he came to the Hedingham Court. THE CLERK - you have been here before. THE CHAIRMAN said the defendant had not taken the warnings that had been given to him, and he would be fined £2 and 16s. costs. Last time he was fined £1 and no doubt next time he would be fined £4 if he did not pay attention to it. Defendant paid £2 on account and promised to pay the remainder in the afternoon.'(13) The age given for Charles is about five years out here. Another notable piece of information is a reference to his years in the business. This places him starting out in the pub-trade around 1865, which is confirmed by his son's marriage entry in 1866. Judging by his forgetfulness concerning his previous conviction he appears to have been blessed with a rather short memory, or perhaps he was hoping the Clerk had one!

Sadly, not long after this incident Charles' wife Mary Ann died at the age of 66 and was buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 24th June 1889.

Perhaps this, plus his several brushes with the law and possibly his own health problems made him decide to pack up his inn-keeping business. The 1891 census finds Charles listed as a widower and retired innkeeper and boarding with the Tarvin family in Bumpstead Road, Sturmer. The Tarvins were the family that his older sister Lucy had married into. It was here that he spent his last year before dying in Sturmer in February 1892. He was buried at Haverhill Cemetery.(5)


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p23 of 37
(3) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1843, Risbridge district, Volume 12 Page 517
(4) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1892, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 557
(5) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref. 1904.
(6) Kelly's Directory 1879, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.841.
(7) White's Directory 1874, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.494.
(8) Kelly's Directory 1875, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.815.
(9) Post Office Directory 1869, Haverhill, p.804
(10) Kelly's Directory 1888, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.994
(11) The Essex Standard, Saturday, 13th August 1887, p.3, issue 2957. C19th British Library Newspapers: part II
(12) The Essex Standard, Saturday, 25th May 1889, p.6, issue 3050. C19th British Library Newspapers: part II
(13) The Essex Standard, Saturday, 1st June 1889, p.8, issue 3051. C19th British Library Newspapers: part II
(14) Bury Free Press, 27th August 1887, p.9,