The Craxford Family Magazine Olive Pages

{$text['mgr_olive1']} Rutland 4

A letter to Henry Craxford from his aunt

by Lizzie Craxford. Transcribed by Ivor Craxford


The envelope

The following letter was written in the summer of 1945by Lizzie Craxford, who was born in 1870, to her great nephew Henry Craxford. She was already 75 years of age and her often harrowing account of her life is quite remarkable in its clarity and also of considerable family interest. The letter has been preserved by Henry's son, Ivor.

The text of the letter

1 Cromer Terrace
Mount Preston
Leeds 2

June 45

Dear Henry

I was pleased to get your interesting letter. I had been asking about you and Nellie had told me about your coming change. I hope and think it will be a change for the better.

Harriet Cotterill, Lizzie Craxford's grandmother

Harriet Cotterell

I will do my best to give you what information I can about our family history, but I am afraid it will not be a great deal. I can tell you with certainty that my father was born in Rutland, at a village called Barrowden, near Oakham; and my grandfather, Robert Craxford was born in the same village. I do not know that he had any brothers, I never heard of any; he had two sons, my father and my uncle John, who both went to sea as young men, and were away for years. Finally my father left the navy, bought himself out and came home. Uncle John went down with his vessel and was drowned; he left a widow but no family, so we can trace nothing there: after leaving the sea my father had a small bakery for a while, but baking did not suit him, so he gave it up and got his first place on the railway at Derby, Chatson sidings just outside Derby Station, and was there for years, and it was there that your father was born in 1862. Then my father had a better post at Wolverhampton, as foreman at the goods station, with a number of men under him, so that meant moving to live there, which we did: your father would be about 7 years old then.

Charles Craxford, Henry's father

Charles Craxford

That was my fathers first place, and it was there that I was born, and where that terrible epidemic of smallpox broke out, which cost my fatherís life.

It was a hard time for my mother, in a strange town where she had not a friend, and left with 2 little children so she left the place and came back to Derby to live with my grandmother and aunt Hannah, who was a young woman working in a silk mill: your father had gone to Birmingham to stay with uncle George, who wished to keep him to teach him his trade.

We lived in Derby till my mother married again, in 1874 and that brought us to Leeds.

Henry in uniform: WW1

Henry Craxford in uniform

Your father lived at Birmingham till he was nearly 21, when he came at his request to live with us in Leeds: that was my last year at school, I was thirteen, and I was 16 when he married your mother: it was four years before Florrie was born, so that brought me up to 20. Then best advice I can give you is when you have a chance to go and visit Rutland, go and see the registrar of births and deaths at Oakham, where they will keep records, but you must go back before 1870, and you may find the name of my grandfatherís father. This young man may be a descendant of some cousin.

I think that is the best I can do, but if there is anything I can tell you more, be sure to ask me when you come. I shall look forward to seeing you.

I cannot say I have been keeping well, I have been in poor health for a few weeks, and the doctor coming: the trouble is in my legs and feet, the doctor says it is phlebitis, and the only cure is to have a month in bed, which is very difficult for me, being alone, for that person upstairs is no good at all. I am trying to get her out. Nellie suggested my going to stay with them for a few weeks, and the doctor thinks it is a good plan, but there are difficulties in the way; I cannot go just yet, and they have been so busy with Ednaís wedding.

I have not been out for over 6 weeks, as I cannot get any shoes on: the doctor is giving me good medicine, and he says this morning there is an improvement. So I am doing the best I can, and I have a few good friends who help me all they can.

I am glad you are keeping well; give my love to them all, and I am sending you all the good wishes I can think of for your new situation.

With love from your affectionate

Aunt Lizzie

Continued in column 2...

The letter

Ivor Craxford

Ivor Craxford

Please contact us

emailIf you have any questions or comments about the information on this site in general, or you have further information regarding this article, please contact us at Alan. We look forward to hearing from you.

Added: September 12th 2005
Updated: March 26th 2012

Return to Top of Page

Translate this page:

SSL Certificate

Internet Beacon Diamond Site - 2010

© The Craxford Family Genealogy Magazine and individual copyright holders.
Edited and maintained by Alan D. Craxford 2005 - 2020. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.
You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.

Search the Craxford Family Magazine powered by FreeFind
Optimal screen resolution is 1680 x 1050 and above
This page has been designed to display on mobile phone screens
- landscape orientation recommended
Hosted By eUKhost logo UK Web Hosting and

This site powered by The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding ©, v. 10.1.3cx, written by Darrin Lythgoe 2001-2020.