Job & Ann Dickens
Headstone text reads…
In Loving Memory of JOB DICKENS OF TITTON GREEN WHO DIED JANY 16TH 1886, AGED 71 YEARS
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD: YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT, FOR THEY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS
ALSO OF ANN DICKENS WIDOW OF THE ABOVE, WHO FELL ASLEEP FEBY 4TH 1906, AGED 83 YEARS.
JUST AS I AM WITHOUT ONE PLEA
BUT THAT THY BLOOD WAS SHED FOR ME.
Job Dickens was born sometime in 1814 in Warwickshire. Records show that he was baptised on 4th September 1814 at Ettington, Warwickshire (Ettington is south of Stratford and Compton Verney - not far from the Fosse Way)
His parents were Thomas & Charlotte. Thomas was baptised on 19th October 1783 at Peopleton, Worcestershire & he married Charlotte Miles on 4th May 1807 at Ettington, Warwickshire.
The Census for 1841 shows that Job, then aged 25, was working as a Blacksmith and living in Charlton (Hartlebury) with the Ryland family (William Ryland was also a Blacksmith).
Job was recorded in the 1851 & 1861 Census returns as still living with the Ryland family. William Ryland was widowed by the 1851 Census, and in the 1861 Census is recorded as both blacksmith and farmer of 25 acres, employing 2 men and 1 boy.
On 1st September 1870 at the age of 56, Job married Ann Yapp, at Hartlebury. Ann was born at Puddleton, Herefordshire and baptised there on 21 May 1822. Ann appears to have gone into “service”. In the 1841 Census she is recorded, aged 18, as a servant for the Dansey family at Easton Court, Little Hereford (near Ludlow).
By the 1851 Census she is employed as a cook with the Jervis family at 22 St. George Sq, Claines. She was obviously considered to be a good cook, because the 1861 Census records that she had become the cook at Astley Hall for Thomas Lea (landholder and fund holder), and his wife Lavinia (magistrate). They were employing several other servants in addition to Ann.
Following their marriage in 1870, the 1871 Census records that Job and Ann Dickens were living at Titton. The 1881 census shows that they had remained at Titton, and Job is recorded as a Blacksmith and Grocer.
Job’s occupation as a Blacksmith is also confirmed in the Kelly's Directory for 1870 & 1876.
The 1870 edition of Kelly’s Directory provides a fascinating description of Hartlebury, and lists notable residents – see the transcription below.
It appears that Job Dickens also had the right to vote. In 1879 his “House & Shop” at Titton fell within the qualification of “Voters as occupiers of rateable value of £12 and under £50 rental”.
Listed for 1882, in the Ombersley Polling District, Job, still living at Titton, qualified to vote by virtue of freehold cottages at Low Hill (based on “voters in respect of property, including occupiers at a rent of £50 and upwards”).
The freehold cottages at Low Hill gave Job the necessary qualification to vote in the 1885-86 listing for The Western or Bewdley Division of Worcestershire, Hartlebury Polling District.
Job Dickens died on 16 Jan 1886 (age 72). He is buried at St. James. His Will was proved at Worcester on 16 July 1886 by his wife Ann Dickens. His personal estate is recorded as £30.
Following her husband’s death, Ann continued to live at Titton, and is listed in the 1891 Census as a Provision dealer (a widow, living alone)
Ann herself died on 4th Feb 1906 aged 83
Kelly’s Directory – 1870
The description of Hartlebury in the 1870 edition of Kelly’s Directory gives an interesting insight into the world that Job & Ann Dickens inhabited in the Village.
“Hartlebury is a village, railway station, parish and polling place for the Western division of the county; it is distant 24 ¾ miles from Birmingham, 137 ¼ from London, 10 ½ from Dudley, 2 miles east from Stourport, 5 ¾ north-west from Droitwich, 11 ¼ north from Worcester, and 3 ¾ south from Kidderminster, in the hundred of Lower Oswaldslow, Droitwich union and county court district, rural deanery of Kidderminster, and archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester.
The West Midland railway station is 1 mile from the village.
The church of St. James, rebuilt in 1836 is a handsome Gothic stone building, having a tower with clock and 6 bells, nave, aisles and chancel. The register dates from the year 1540. The living is a rectory, yearly value £1,765, exclusive of glebe, in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester, and held by the Rev. Thomas Baker, M.A., of Christ’s College, Cambridge, honorary canon of Worcester and rural dean.
There is a Free Grammar School, chartered by Queen Elizabeth in 1560, and there is also a small Endowed School. The Independents have a chapel here. The yearly income of the charities is £20.
In the hamlet of Wilden are iron works, near the Worcestershire and Staffordshire Canal.
Hartlebury Castle, the seat of the Bishop of Worcester, stands in a park to the west of the village. The Bishop of Worcester is lord of the manor.
The principal landowner is Thomas Wheeler, Esq.
The soil is light. The chief crops are wheat, barley and potatoes.
The population in 1861 was 2,115, and the acreage is 5,474. The population of Hartlebury township is 1,853 and the acreage is 5,138; Upper Mitton 262, acreage 336.
The principal hamlets are Crossway Green, Norchard and Waresley, half a mile south; Chadwick, Titton and Lincomb, 1 mile south-west, near the river Severn; and Charlton, Wilden and Upper Mitton, a mile and a half north-west; Torton and Low Hill, half a mile north.
Parish Clerk, Joseph Cooke
There is a post office letter box in the village. Letters through Kidderminster arrive at 8am; dispatched at 5.30pm; except on Sundays, then at 11.10am.
Queen Elizabeth’s Free Grammar School,
Rev. John Walter Lee, M.A. headmaster;
Mr. George Edwin Tarlton, second master
Railway Station, Robert P. Grove, station master
Among the Private Residents listed were:
Enoch Baldwin at Upper Mitton, and George Baldwin at Wilden
Mr Thomas Millichip at Goldness House
The Very Reverend John Peel D.D. (Dean of Worcester) at Waresley House
John Watson Esq. J.P. at Waresely Court
Right Reverend Dr. Henry Philpott, Lord Bishop of Worcester
Among the businesses listed were:
E.P. & W. Baldwin – charcoal, iron & tin plate manufacturers at Wilden Works
George Blount at the Bay Horse
Edward Cooper at the Talbot (also recorded as coal merchant, farmer & dealer in and agent for manures)
Miss Emma Cooper at the Mare & Colt (was she related to Edward at the Talbot?)
Mrs Mary Holloway at the White Hart
Joseph Maiden at the Mitre Oak
Note - Interestingly Mrs. Elizabeth Baynton is recorded as a cider retailer. This is likely to be the mother of Pheobe Pass (see separate record)