William Whiting 1827-1894

Mr.Prycke, butcher, vs William Butler, (grandson and employee of William Whiting.)

The Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday 23rd May 1893, issue 5857, p.8.

Parents: Stephen Whiting and Elizabeth Chapman (1,2)
Born: 8th January 1827 in Haverhill.(13)
Baptised: 6th May 1828 at the Congregational Church, Haverhill.(13)
Married: Harriet Barber, spinster of Burton End, daughter of Isaac Barber, labourer, on 24th October 1847 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by Edward Barber and Lydia Barber (1,3)
Children: Eliza Whiting b.1848 (4,5)
Died: November 1894 in Haverhill. Buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 26th November 1894.(6,7)

Bio: The Congregational Church baptism registers give Williams birth and baptism dates, and name his parents as Stephen and Elizabeth.(13)

William is living with his family in Burton End at the time of the 1841 census. He marries a local girl, Harriet, also from Burton End and on the 1851 census they are living with William's father Stephen in Haverhill Road, Helion's Bumpstead. They have a daughter, Eliza, who was born in 1848 whilst they were living in Clements, Haverhill. William is working as an agricultural labourer.

William seems to be doing alright for himself, because on the 1861 census he is listed as being 'a farmer of 5 acres and 3 roods', which although fairly small for a farm is definitely a step up from being just a labourer on someone else's land. The family are living in Rookwood, Haverhill, and his wife and daughter are working as hair weavers. His father Stephen is living with them.

William's daughter Eliza married George Butler in 1868 (8), and went to live with him in Cambridgeshire. On the next two censuses, their children are staying with their grandparents. This could be coincidence, or they may have actually been living there full-time - impossible to tell. It would seem a trifle strange if this were the case.

So, on the 1871 census William is still a farmer of 5 acres and 3 roods, with Harriet working as a labourer. Their grandson William is living with them at Rookwood cottage in the part of Haverhill that came within the county of Essex at this time. Next door to them is Harriet's brother Isaac Barber and his wife Sarah.

William undertook a change of profession. In Kelly's Directory 1879 his is listed as a baker.(9) This is also his profession on the 1881 census. He is now living in Burton End, with wife and grandchildren William and Susannah. We know this is the same William as the Butler children are still living with them. In C.H.Cheven & Sons Almanack of 1887 William is living at 36 Burton working as a baker(11), as he is the next year in Kelly's 1888 Directory.(12) Later, 36 Burton End is recognized as a dwelling place and shop and he lives there in Haverhill at the time of the 1891 census with his wife and grandaughter Susannah, who is now a dressmaker. In White's Directory 1892, William is also listed as a baker in Burton End.(10)

William's grandson William Butler was also his assistant at the bakers. He appears on the 1891 census living at 8 Primrose Hill, Haverhill with his wife Mary Ann nee Darking, and young daughter Edith Violet Butler.

William Butler was involved in a court case in 1893 (see newspaper article on the left), whereby he was accused of not paying for meat from a local butcher, Mr.Pryke. He told the court that he had ordered it on behalf of his grandfather who he worked for, but William Whiting denied all knowledge of this, and seemed quite dismissive of his grandson, certainly not appearing to support him. It is possible that their relationship may have been compromised by this incident. Soon after this William Butler moved down to London.

This may not have been such a bad move career-wise as he can seen on the 1901 census living at 8 Corporation Street, Islington, working as a gold and silver refiner. His mother Eliza is living with him.

William died the year following the court case in November 1894. The only William dying in the Haverhill area around this time who is a candidate to be him was buried in Haverhill Cemetery on 26th November 1894. This William is listed as being a Farmer from Withersfield and not a baker, but his identity is confirmed by the fact that his wife Harriet who died several years later was buried in the same plot.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p23 of 37
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578
(3) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1847, Risbridge district, Volume 12 Page 809
(4) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p11 of 37
(5) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1848, Risbridge district, Volume 12 Page 418
(6) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref. 2156. http://www.haverhill-uk.com/pages/burial-records-137.htm
(7) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1894, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 350
(8) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1868, Cambridge district, Volume 3b Page 1137
(9) Kelly's Directory 1879, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.841.
(10) White's Directory 1892, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.384.
(11) C.H Cheven & Sons Almanack & Directory 1887, Haverhill.
(12) Kelly's Directory 1888, Suffolk, Haverhill, p.994
(13) Non-Conformist Baptism Register of the Congregational Church, Haverhill, RG4/1845/p11