John Richards (1796 to 1875)

"John the Rogue"

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As is my usual style in giving each person researched a "nickname" I have given him the name "John the Rogue "

"We are all omnibuses in which our ancestors ride, and every now and then one of them sticks his head out and embarrasses us"
(A nineteenth century American humourist - Oliver Wendell Holmes).

John Richards 1796 to 1875 of Kimberley in parish of Greasley.

He fits into my Richards Family Tree in that he was the grandson of Mathew Richards - the First (17?? to 1800) and Mary Richards formerly Sore.  His parents were Mathew and Amy Richards formerly Calladine.

Where John Richards was born has not yet been established but he told the 1851 censor that he was born in Nuthall.  I conject he was born in the village of Awsworth.

His signature is his identity card to us and it is quite impressive.  Unfortunately I cannot reproduce it in this text but we have photocopies of it.

A 1986 image of the Nelson Inn with Morris Dancers - they 
perform each year on the lawn in front of the Inn. It is now 
known as the Nelson and Railway Inn. After the railway 
came to Kimberley it was called: The Lord Nelson and Railway Hotel.

1825.  1 SeptemberNuthall, Nottinghamshire.
John Richards married Mary Wilcockson at St. Patrick's parish church, Nuthall.   John Richards was of the Nuthall parish whilst Mary Wilcockson was of Greasley.  Their witnesses were Ann and William White the parish clerk.

1826.  18 JulyNuthall, Nottinghamshire.
His son Henry Wilcockson Richards was baptised at St. Patrick's parish church.

1833.  22 MayAwsworth, Nottinghamshire.
John's mother, Amy Richards formerly Calladine was buried in the churchyard at Awsworth.

1839John Richards lived in his fathers property at Kimberley.  The previous occupant, according to John's fathers Will was Andrew Hodgkinson.

1839.  13 February. Mathew Richards, the father of John Richards bequeaths this House that John Richards resides in to his grand daughter Mary Barton, daughter of Aaron Leivers Barton and Catharine formerly Richards.

John Richards inherits Two Properties from his father in Kimberley.

1839 to 1853.  The investigation continues to try to trace the whereabouts of John "The Rogue" Richards during this period of time.

1839.  There is evidence from his fathers Will information that he resided in Edinboro Row, Kimberley.  The year 1853 is the year when his two daughters Mary and Eliza were baptised at Kimberley Church.  Their mothers name was given as Millicent Radford now Richards of Edinboro Row, occupation Farmer.

A full scale enquiry has been carried out to find the marriage between John Richards and Millicent Radford.  This research has meant all the Registers in the Parishes around Kimberley (Greasley Parish) being trawled and the Superintendent Registrars of local Registration Districts being consulted.  It has been a long search but success has been achieved.

1840.  21 February.  The death of Mathew Richards, father of John (The Rogue) Richards occurred and he was buried on the 25 February 1840 in the Churchyard at Awsworth.

1852.  29 December.  The marriage between John Richards and Millicent Radford took place at St. Mary's Parish Church, in the County Town of Nottingham.

On the marriage certificate John Richards is a Widower of Full age, a Traveller residing at Fine Street.  His father is Mathew Richards, deceased, a Victualler.  Millicent Radford was a Spinster of Full age and also lived at Fine Street.  Her father is John Radford, deceased, a Labourer.  John signed his name but Millicent made her mark.  The two witnesses were John Radford who signed and Phoebe Haywood who made her mark.

It is interesting to note that both John and Millicent were living in Fine Street, presumably together, because there is evidence available to the effect that some years earlier Mary Fisher formerly Richards, the sister of John "The Rogue" Richards, also lived in Fine Street.

John's story is full of intrigue from 1840 onwards to 1853 and we may never know the full story of his 'romance' with his future wife Millicent Radford who was of course his servant girl at the Nelson Inn, but we do know they eventually marry and live happily ever after at Edinboro Row.

Additional information has come to light through the purchase of his two daughters birth certificates, which helps us to continue his journey from 1839 and to link us to the in Kimberley.

1.11.1838 to 31.10.1839. - Electoral Roll for Greasley Parish.

Mathew Richards.  Abode:  Awsworth.  Freehold HouseS.  Location: Kimberley.
John Richards.   Abode:  Kimberley.  Freehold House.  Location : Kimberley.

This information clearly defines that Mathew Richards owns his EIGHT Houses and lives in Awsworth.  We have evidence from other records that he is in fact living at The Jolly Colliers Inn, Awsworth at this time.  His Will gives us a census for Edinboro Row in 1839.

Of course John (The Rogue) Richards is the son of this Mathew Richards (The Speculator).  He is allowed to Vote in Greasley because he has a Freehold House at Kimberley.

This information would be given prior to the death of John Richards first wife Mary Richards formerly Wilcockson on the 3 November 1838.  He owns ONE House in Kimberley and presumably lives in it with his wife Mary and their son Henry Wilcockson Richards in November 1838 and prior.

183913 FebruaryMathew Richards "Will" states that John Richards lives at Edinboro Row - we assume after the death of his wife Mary he moves, temporary into one of the cottages.  Andrew Hodgkinson was the previous occupier of this cottage, announced Mathew Richards. He must have only recently vacated this cottage (February 1839) because the Will has been altered by the Solicitor.  John's wife had only been dead for three months at the time the Will was written.

John Richards may still have owned his House in Kimberley and let it for a short time.

184013 May.  By this time John Richards' affair with Millicent Radford has begun.  From subsequent Census information we discover that Millicent Radford was a Servant Girl in the Household of John Richards at Kimberley Flatt.  At that time John's occupation was that of a Publican.

1846.  The Tithe Award reveals that John Richards owned the Nelson Inn at Kimberley.

According to the 1841 Census, John Richards resided at Kimberley Flatt, in the parish of Greasley.  The data records.
John Richards.  45 yrs.  Publican.
Henry Richards. 14 yrs.  Son.
Millicent Radford.  25 yrs.  Female servant.  Born:  Y. (Bulwell).
Mary Radford.  3 months.
Ruth Farnsworth.  15 yrs.  Female servant.
John Barton.  15 yrs.
Caroline Barton.  10 yrs.

Research has revealed that Mary Radford aged 3 months recorded in this Household was in fact the illegitimate daughter of John Richards and his female servant Millicent Radford.  Subsequently he married Millicent.

The two Barton children recorded were the children of Amy Barton formerly Richards and consequently were the nephew and niece of John Richards.  The Will of John Richards dated 1864 reveals that Mary Radford was his illegitimate daughter.

1841.  From the Census information we have positive evidence that he knew his Female servant very well - Millicent Radford - and had an affair with her, subsequently fathering her two daughters.  The fact that his first daughter is 3 months old on the night of the 7 June 1841, tells us that she was conceived in June 1840, presumably then Millicent Radford was a female servant at the Inn, which reveals a clue as to when John Richards became a Publican.

John's son Henry still resides with him, having been baptised 18 July 1826 at Greasley Parish Church as Henry Wilcockson Richards the son of John and Mary Richards nee Wilcockson.  At the time of this baptism John Richards is recorded as a Collier.  The two Barton children staying with them are obviously his nephew and niece.

1.11.1840 to 31.10.1841  Greasley Electoral Roll.

John Richards.  Abode:  Kimberley.  Freehold HouseS.  Location: Kimberley.

This reveals HouseS in Kimberley, but exactly how many we are unable to clarify.

John's father, Mathew Richards (The Speculator) died in February 1840 and left John 'Two' Houses at Edinboro Row.

What we have not yet established is, "has John in fact now got Three Houses in Kimberley?"

184113.2.1841  Mary Richards Radford was born at KimberleyMillicent Radford registers her birth at the Basford Registry Office on the 13 March 1841 and states she still lives at Kimberley.  The name of the father is not recorded but she names her baby Mary Richards Radford so this discloses that John Richards was her father.  Subsequently we have proved conclusively this to be correct by documentary evidence from the Will of John Richards.

His second daughter Eliza (illegitimate) was born circa 1842 in Greasley and the presumption is that she was born at the Nelson Inn, like her sister Mary in 1841.

Consequently it seems that it is pre 30 November 1843 when John Richards moves out of the Nelson Inn.  The mystery is why did he not marry Millicent Radford earlier than he did?  Why the wait?  The Intrigue begins!

1.11.1840 to 31.10.1841  Let's study again the Electoral Roll for the Parish of Greasley for this year.

This document records:
John Richards.  abode:  Kimberley.  Property:  Freehold HouseS  at Kimberley.

With the knowledge now gained from our research into John and Millicent Richards we have proved beyond doubt that John Richards lives at the Nelson Inn in Kimberley from at least June 1840 when Millicent became pregnant.

The Freehold HouseS that are being referred to as owned by John Richards can be defined as follows:

The House mentioned on the Electoral Roll for the year 1.11.1838 to 31.10.1839 is believed to be owned by John and Mary Richards formerly Wilcockson, his first wife, but remembering the status of "the wife" at this time, it would be owned by John.  After her death in November 1838, we believe that he sells this House, although at present we can neither prove nor disprove this fact.

There is evidence from his father Mathew Richards "Will" that John, his son, moves into Edinboro Row by the 13 February 1839 moving into Andrew Hodgkinson'S previous dwelling.  This was perhaps a "Temporary Abode" for John Richards.  It is reasonable to suppose that he purchased the Nelson Inn with the proceeds of this particular property (House).  Perhaps he had a mortgage!

Therefore the Freehold HouseS referred to on the Electoral Roll for the Parish of Greasley for the year 1.11.1840 to 31.10.1841 refer to the TWO HouseS that he has inherited from his father, Mathew Richards in February 1840.

At least this reasoning is sound and makes sense.!

Hence he would be eligible to Vote in the Parish of Greasley because he lives at the Nelson Inn and has inherited TWO HouseS at Edinboro Row.

The Electoral Roll for the Parish of Greasley for the year 1.11.1841 to 31.10.1842 records :

Mark Richards.  abode:  Awsworth.  Property:  Freehold House at Kimberley
John Richards.  abode:  Kimberley.  Property:  Freehold House at Kimberley

This reveals 'new' information.

Mark Richards still lives at The Jolly Colliers but now Owns only One House at Kimberley.

John Richards still lives at Kimberley but now Owns only One House at Kimberley.

It seems that both John and Mark have each sold one of the Houses in Edinboro Row that they inherited from their father.  When this information was given for the purposes of the Electoral Roll both John and his brother Mark Richards were PublicanS, which is evidence gained from the Probate Document of Mathew Richards "Will" of 20.2.1841 and also the 1841 Census for Kimberley dated 7.6.1841.

The Electoral Roll for the Parish of Greasley for the year 30.11.1843 to 1.12.1844 reveals that the status quo is maintained as far as Mark Richards is concerned.

However new vital information is revealed concerning John Richards in that he is no longer recorded as being eligible to Vote and the inference is that he has now sold the second House that he inherited from his father.  Mark Richards continues being the Liceensee of The Jolly Colliers at Awsworth and only has One Freehold House in Kimberley, the document states.

This proves that the previous Electoral Roll (1.11.1841 to 31.10.1842) stating House instead of HouseS is correct and not an error.  The same reasoning applies to John Richards.

The fact that John Richards is not mentioned and is not eligible for the Vote in the Parish of Greasley raises the query, why?

Quite simply he has moved out of the Nelson Inn and has put John Stirland in charge as Licensee, although he still owns the Inn, a fact confirmed by the 1846 Tithe Award.

By 1844 he became an illegitimate father for the second time.  Why did they not marry ?

It is now obvious that John Richards has sold his remaining House in Edinboro Row and that is why he does not get a Vote in Greasley.  He still Owns the Nelson Inn in Kimberley.  We believe that the boundaries change here for the 'wards' and that the Nelson Inn comes under the Parish of Nuthall.  This makes sense and would give John Richards a Vote in the Parish of Nuthall for this year but this presumption has still to be investigated.

Although at present we can neither prove nor disprove it, there is a suspicion that he sold his remaining property (House) in Edinboro Row to enable him to purchase another property, possibly in the Parish of Nuthall.

The next document to provide evidence of the whereabouts or otherwise of John and Mark Richards is the Electoral Roll for Greasley for the year 30.11.1845 to 1.12.1846.

This document reveals :
Mark Richards.  abode:  Awsworth.  Property: Freehold House in Kimberley.
Joseph Leivers.  abode:  Kimberley.  Property: Freehold House in Kimberley.
John Leivers.  abode: Kimberley.  Property:  Freehold House in Kimberley.

The evidence from this document is that Mark Richards still lived at The Jolly Colliers at Awsworth and ONLY had ONE House in Kimberley which is more corroboration that he has sold one of the Properties that he inherited from his father in 1839.

Again there is no mention of John Richards which is also more corroboration that he has NO Properties in Kimberley, although he still OWNS the Nelson Inn in Kimberley.  Clearly he lives elsewhere, not in the Parish of Greasley.

Although he still owns the Nelson Inn he does not get a Vote in the Parish of Greasley, therefore the Nelson Inn must be in the Parish of Nuthall, or a 'ward' therein.

However we need some corroboration of this fact.  Perhaps the Quarter Session Licensing Justices Records if they survive will help us.

The Leivers have been included in the above data for the very good reason that a comparison is to be made between the Electoral Roll for this year with the 1846 Tithe Award for Kimberley in the Parish of Greasley.

The 1844 Trade Directory states that John Stirland is the Licensee.  This is more evidence and confirmation that John Richards does not now live here, John does not get a Vote in Greasley in the year 30.11.1844 to 1.12.1845, which also confirms that he has now left the Nelson Inn and has moved out of the Parish.  The same criteria applies to the previous year 30.11.1843 to 1.12.1844 when likewise he does not get a Vote in Greasley.

The 1846 Enclosure Award reveals John Richards, Nelson Inn of Kimberley, also Malthouse and garden, in the Parish of Greasley.

The 1846 Tithe Award for Kimberley in the Parish of Greasley reveals John Richards as Owner and John Stirland as occupier of No. 252 on the Plan which is the Nelson Inn / garden / Malthouse - 37 perches.

Consequently, we have positive evidence and confirmation that John Richards owned the Nelson Inn at Kimberley, but by 1846 he did not occupy it.

By on site visits to the Nelson Inn at Kimberley it has been established that it still survives and that its location was Kimberley Flatt and the pub is now named the Nelson and Railway Public House.  It has been the subject of additional structural alteration.

The 1851 Census reveals John Richards, a Widower, living with his brother Mark Richards in Glass House Yard, Awsworth, in the Parish of Nuthall.  By this time John Richards occupation was recorded as Railway Gateman.

The 1861 Census reveals that John Richards had remarried ... at last Millicent !
John Richards  Marr.  65 yrs.  gardener.  Born:  Nuthall.
Milicent Richards  Marr.  48 yrs.  Born:  Bulwell.

There is no mention of Mary Radford because quite simply she had married.

31.7.1853.  Mary Richards daughter of Millicent Radford now Richards, abode Edinboro Row. occupn. Farmer.  Entry no. 174. in the Parish Register.

31.7.1853.  Eliza Richards daughter of Millicent Radford now Richards, abode Edinboro Row. occupn. Farmer. Entry no. 175. in the Parish Register.

So both his illegitimate daughters were baptised on the same date and it is speculation that John and Millicent waited until they were married before they baptised these two daughters.

The Census for 1871 confirms that both these daughters were born in Greasley.

On the 24.10.1859 Eliza Richards Radford aged 17 years, a Spinster of Kimberley married John Soar aged 21 years, a Bachelor and Coal Miner of Kimberley.  The marriage was at Greasley Parish Church and the witnesses were Robert Hinds, Mary Richards Radford and the Parish Clerk Joseph AttenboroughJohn Soars father was also named John Soar and he too was a Coal Miner.

On the 25.12.1860.  Mary Radford aged 20 years, a Spinster married Robert Hinds aged 26 years, a Bachelor and Coal Miner. of Kimberley.  Her father was recorded as John Richards a gardener whilst Robert Hinds father was Joseph Hinds a FWK. The marriage was at Greasley Parish Church and the witnesses were John Soar, Eliza Soar and John Attenborough the Parish Clerk.

Of course Eliza Soar was Mary Radford's sister, her husband being John Soar.

These two marriages provide proof that Mary and Eliza Richards Radford were the children of John Richards.

On the 13.04.1864.  John Richards made his Will, see copy below.  He was a gardener and admitted that he had two daughters.  His "Will" is dated 13 April 1864.  He lived another 11 years.

"This is the last Will and testament of me John Richards of Kimberley in the County of Nottingham, gardener.

I devise and bequeath all the real and personal estate to which I shall be entitled at my decease unto my wife Millicent for her life and after her decease.  I devise my Dwelling House with the garden and appurtenances thereto belonging in Kimberley aforesaid now Unoccupied (1864) and adjoining on the north to the DwellingHouse in which I NOW reside (free from any mortgage or other debt or sum of money) to my daughter Eliza the wife of John Soar and I devise and bequeath all the residue of my real and personal estate subject nevertheless to and I charge the said with the payment of my debts including mortgage, debts, funeral and testamentary expenses in ???? of the Dwellinghouse, hereditaments and premises devised to my daughter Eliza Soar, unto my daughter Mary Hinds absolutely.

I appoint the said John Soar and Robert Hinds to be Executors of my Will in witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand this 13th day of April 1864.
Signed : John Richards.

Signed by the said Testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of US present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other leave subscribed our names as witnesses:
H.C.F.CurtisWilliam Harwood.

Jumping to 1864 when John Richards wrote his "Will" we discover that he admits fathering Mary Radford and we can calculate that June 1840 was the approximate conceivement date.  In the same document he also admits fathering ElizaKimberley Church registers stating that the two girls were baptised as follows :

By 1864 he is married to Millicent according to his "Will" but at the time of the 1851 Census he is recorded as a Widower staying with his brother Mark Richards at The Jolly Colliers in Awsworth.  It is because he fathers two children to Millicent outside of marriage that we nick name him "John the Rogue".

Millicent Richards formerly Radford is buried in Kimberley Cemetery which was opened on the 7th. November 1883. She was buried in Grave No. 1185. on the 21st January 1893, aged 79 years.  At that time the cost of internment was six shillings.

On the 10 May 1875.  John Richards was buried in Awsworth Churchyard aged 79 years.  No gravestone found.

Thank you John Richards for witnessing Samuel Merriman Richards second marriage.  We have enjoyed your chapter immensely!

"Good night and God Bless - Life's work well done John ! "

John Richards (1796 to 1875)

"John the Rogue"


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Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 28 August 2003