Samuel Merriman Richards 1799 - 1866
part one

"The King Pin"

25.12.1799Samuel Merriman Richards, the son of William Richards and his wife Sarah Richards nee Merriman, was baptised at St. Peters parish church.  Old Radford.

From henceforth he will be given the nickname of "Sam the King Pin".  This is because he links in the relationships positively.

He was an older brother of my direct ancestor Mathew Richards baptised 1808.

26.11.1821.  He married Dorothy Chambers at St. Patrick's parish church, Nuthall. At that time he was a coal miner.

20.03.1824.  We know that they had a daughter Eliza Richards baptised this date at Cossall.

14.09.1826.  His wife Dorothy Richards nee Chambers was buried this date aged 35 years.  (1827?)   The place of abode at her death was Awsworth.

So Samuel Merriman Richards was left a widower with a baby daughter aged two and a half years.

Consequently he married for a second time.

1828.  St. Patrick's parish church, Nuthall.  The banns were called at Nuthall parish church for Samuel Richards and Elizabeth Longdon, both of Nuthall parish on Sundays 27. 4. 1828, 4. 5. 1828 and 11. 5. 1828 by the rector.  Samuel's status was not given, neither was his occupation.

The Bishops Transcripts may reveal additional information.

1807. 31 December. Elizabeth Longdon was baptised at St. Leodegarius parish church, Basford. Her parents were Joseph and Lydia Longdale. These parents baptised several children at St. Leodegarius but the name mainly appears as yet on Elizabeth's baptismal record it was recorded as Longden. However there were no other Longdens' so we can be certain that the writer of her baptismal entry made a clerical spelling error and that her correct name was Longdale.

1828.  27 April, 4 and 11 May.  Banns of marriage called at Nuthall parish church by the rector Chas. Nixon.

1828.  12 May.  Samuel Merriman Richards married Elizabeth Longdon at Nuthall parish church.   Both were said to be of Nuthall parish but neither status nor occupations were recorded.  The witnesses to the marriage were John Richards and Mary Richards and this information is the "vital clue".  They are husband and wife and are relatives of Samuel Merriman Richards.

The most important piece of information from this marriage entry in the parish register is that John Richards signed his name.

What a bonus - this will become his identity card from now on - fantastic!  We are winning!  This is John "the Rogue" Richards.

The witness Mary Richards is nee Wilcockson and she married John Richards, (alias John "the Rogue" Richards) on
1 September 1825.  The signatures prove it.

When he married Elizabeth Longdon, poor Samuel could only put his 'x', the cross is very wavy, maybe he was nervous.

However there is evidence from the 1842 report on the Employment of Children, page 307, number 166, that Samuel Richards was at that time aged 40 years of age and that he first went down the pit when he was eight years old.  Note his son Levi Richards also gave evidence and he is referred to as number 167 in that report.

So from this report we know that he made his mark!  Fancy he had been down the pit for twenty one years when he married Elizabeth Longdon.  How did he find time to meet her?

John Richards has written his signature with confidence and it is stylish.  Maybe he had received an education.

Who were John and Mary Richards that witnessed Samuel Merriman Richards wedding in 1828?

Let's return to the year 1825 to John Richards marriage to Mary Wilcockson.  This marriage took place at Nuthall parish church on the 1 September 1825 after banns called.

John Richards was from Nuthall but Mary Wilcockson was from Greasley.  Their witnesses were William and Ann White.  The former was the parish clerk and Ann White may have been his wife.  John Richards signs his name!  The signature is identical to the witness at Samuel Merriman Richards wedding, not so fluent but he was getting married and nerves or drink may have affected him slightly.

Also Mary Wilcockson then became Mary Richards after her marriage.  She is a witness to the second marriage of Samuel Merriman Richards.

In 1822,  Amy Richards married Adcock Barton at Nuthall parish church on the 24 July 1822, by licence.  The witnesses were John Richards and William White the parish clerk.

Amy Richards was the daughter of Mathew Richards and Amy Richards formerly Calladine and granddaughter of Mathew Richards and Mary Richards nee Sore.

The witness John Richards was undoubtedly the brother of the bride Amy Richards.  He is the same John Richards that witnessed Samuel Merriman Richards wedding and the same man who married Mary Wilcockson.  The signature in 1822 is not as fluent as in 1828 but he was six years younger.

Also Mary Richards formerly Wilcockson signs her name at her marriage and at the wedding of Samuel Merriman Richards.  It is the same signature on each document.  This is further confirmation that we have identified the correct couple for the witnesses too Samuel Merriman Richards wedding.  Quite simply Samuel Merriman Richards was the uncle of both John and Amy Richards.

It is obvious that his witness John Richards had been educated - his signature was written with confidence and is stylish.  He wasn't a Collier, of that we are sure.  Really?

Let's go back to 1825 to John Richards marrying Mary Wilcockson at Nuthall Parish Church on the 1 September 1825 by Banns.  John Richards was from Nuthall but Mary Wilcockson was from Greasley.  Their witnesses were William and Ann White.  The latter named was the Parish Clerk, Ann may have been his wife.  Both John Richards and his bride Mary sign their names.  Each signature is identical to the signatures of the witnesses at the wedding of Samuel Richards and Elizabeth Longdale.

Admittedly the signature of John Richards was not so fluent but he was getting married !

From now on we will refer to this John Richards as "John The Rogue" for reasons which will be obvious when we tell his story.

Through evidence gained from the Will of Edward Richards, dated 3 May 1865 naming Samuel Merriman Richards as the Legatee, we gained the knowledge that Samuel Merriman Richards was still alive and residing in Ripley, Derbyshire on the day that Edward Richards made out his Will, whilst living on Ilkeston Road, Bloomsgrove, New Radford.  These two men were brothers.

Let us now look at the Census for Greasley in 1841, to see if we can trace Samuel Merriman Richards and his family.  We are in luck - Samuel is at home.  Let us open the door and meet all the new relations.

1841  Census Information.
Notts. Ref. HO.107 / 857.  page 45.  Hamlet of Kimberley in the Parish of Greasley.

Name Position M or Unm. Age Occupation Place of birth
Samuel Richards Head Marr. 37 years Coal Miner "Y" (means) Notts.
Eliza Richards Wife Marr. 35 years ? "Y" (means) Notts.
Levi Richards Son Unm. 12 years ? "Y" (means) Notts.
Sarah Ann Richards Dau. Unm. 9 years ? "Y" (means) Notts.
Henry Richards Son Unm. 6 years ? "Y" (means) Notts.

The ages for Samuel and his wife seem completely wrong.  Usually they are rounded up or down to the nearest "5" years.  Why his age was recorded as 37 years is odd - he should be 42 years.  His wife was Elizabeth not Eliza.

There is corroborative evidence that his wife at this time was Elizabeth Richards formerly Longden.  She was baptised Longdon on the 31 December 1807 at Basford St. Leodegarius.  Clearly there was some error because her parents were recorded as Joseph and Lydia Longdale.

The son of Samuel and Elizabeth Richards, namely Albert Richards who appears on the 1851 and 1861 Census missed out of the 1841 Census because he was baptised 2 July 1843.  It is most likely that he was born shortly before his baptism and certainly after the 1841 Census was taken.

Let's now return to Ripley to see if we can find the family in 1851.
1851.  Census Information.
Derbyshire.  Ref. HO.107 / 2145. page 131.  Ripley.  No detailed address given.

Name Position M or Unm. Age Occupation Place of birth
Samuel Richards Head Marr. 54 years Coal Miner Old Radford, Notts.
Eliza Richards Wife Marr. 40 years -- Basford,Notts.
Levi Richards Son Unm. 21 years Coal Miner Nuthall, Notts.
Sarah Ann Richards Dau. Unm. 20 years Worker at Candlework
Manufacturer
Greasley, Notts.
Albert Richards Son Unm. 8 years Scholar Greasley, Notts.

Once again the ages for Samuel Merriman Richards and his wife Elizabeth are confusing but we have established that he had the same wife from at least 1841 onwards.  Obviously he was more than 10 years older than Elizabeth.

Levi Richards their son was recorded as having been born in Nuthall.  In fact he was baptised on the 8 March 1829 at Awsworth, (in the Parish of Nuthall ).

We have now established that Levi was their first born child.  Their son Henry Richards bapt. 2nd. July 1834 at Kimberley had died.  The 1851 Census records his (Samuel Merriman Richards) correct place of birth as Old Radford.

This truly links the Greasley / Old Radford connection together and we can now be certain that his parents were indeed William Richards and Sarah Richards formerly Merriman married at Old Radford 1789 and lived in Greasley 1790 and were most certainly living in Old Radford in 1799.

The 1851 Census records Basford as Elizabeth's place of birth and not Kimberley.  They must have been confused.

Albert Richards, their son is said to be born in Greasley not Kimberley  Both may be correct because Kimberley was in the Parish of Greasley.

Henry Richards another of their sons according to the 1841 Census does not appear on the 1851 and 1861 Census because he had died.

Death.
Henry Richards of Kimberley buried at Greasley 15.12.1844 aged 10 years the son of Samuel Merriman Richards and Elizabeth Richards (nee Longdon - my wording).

Sarah Ann Richards their daughter was bapt. in Greasley too on the 6 January 1831 at Kimberley and possibly named after Gr.Annie Richards. (Sarah formerly Merriman).

Let us now look at the Census for Ripley in 1861, to see if we can trace Samuel Merriman Richards and his family.  We are in luck - Samuel is at home.  Let us open the door and meet all the new relations.

1861 Census Information.
Derbys.  Ref.: RG.9/2511.  Page 79.  No.139 on schedule.  Nottingham Road, Ripley. Derbys.

Name Position M or Unm. Age Occupation Place of birth
Samuel Richards Head Marr. 61 years Coal Miner Kimberley, Notts.
Eliza Richards Wife Marr. 48 years ? Kimberley, Notts.
Albert Richards Son Unm. 19 years Iron Moulder Kimberley, Notts.

This confirms that Samuel Merriman Richards was born in 1799, his birthday must be later on in the year but born in Kimberley (questionable)?

He was a Coal Miner.  According to his son's birth, the family were living in Kimberley in 1842 which is our next lead - 1841 Census Kimberley bound.  Please refer above to the 1841 census details.

Let's now return to Ripley to see if we can find the family in 1851.  I have included the 1851 census details above.

Lets now look at the 1871 Census for Ripley to see if there are any Richards around.

1871.Census Information.
Census.  Ripley. Derbys.  Ref. RG10. / 3587.  page 22.  No. on Schedule 206.  Nottingham Road, Ripley.

Name Position M or Unm. Age Occupation Place of birth
Elizabeth Richards Head Widow 55 years -- Basford, Notts.
Levi Hunt Lodger Marr. 31 years Miner Milford, Derbys.
Eliza Hunt Lodger Marr. 40 years -- Ilkeston, Derbys.

So poor old Elizabeth Richards was then a Widow and took in lodgers.  Her husband Samuel Merriman Richards had died.  There are no Richards left in Ripley in 1871.  So we now know that Samuel died between 3 May 1865, the date of his brother Edward Richards (Chelsea Pensioner) Will and 1871, the date of the Census.  He did not leave a WILL.  Did he live to inherit his brothers legacy ?

The two Hunt lodgers need to be identified because some years previously there was an Henry Hunt witnessing a WILL and Codicil of a Mathew Richards.

We have "Link up" through tracing Samuel Merriman Richards from his birth in Old Radford 1799 to his death in Ripley in the 1860's.

Putting the facts together.

20.12.1825.  Mathew Richards married Hannah Kerry at St. Patrick's Parish Church. Nuthall.  The witnesses were Henry Clay and William White, the Parish Clerk.  I believe that Mathew Richards and possibly Hannah Kerry lived at Awsworth which at that time was in the Parish of Nuthall.  Of course Mathew Richards was the brother of Samuel Merriman Richards.

Query:-  Did Mathew Richards live with his uncle / aunt Mathew and Amy Richards nee Calladine in 1825?

Did he work down the Flying Nancy Pit at Awsworth with his brother Samuel Merriman Richards around 1825 to 1829?

Between 1826 and 1829 Mathew and Hannah Richards nee Kerry produced two babies in Awsworth namely Sarah Richards bapt. 03.12.1826. and William Richards bapt. 19.07.1829.  Presumably Mathew and Hannah Richards nee Kerry named these, their first two children after the parents of Mathew Richards, both of whom were now deceased.

In March 1825, Samuel Merriman Richards lived at Cossall but his first wife Dorothy Richards formerly Chambers died and was buried in Awsworth in September 1827.  The burial record records her abode as Awsworth.

On the 1 September 1825, John Richards alias John The Rogue married Mary Wilcockson at St. Patrick's Parish Church, Nuthall .  John The Rogue was the son Mathew and Amy Richards formerly Calladine the Licensee of the Jolly Colliers, Awsworth from 1810 to 1841 and possibly before 1810.  Query the 1810 date.?

Consequently it follows that John Richards alias "John The Rogue" was first cousin to Samuel Merriman Richards and his brother Mathew Richards.

In 1825 all three were Colliers, a fact proved by baptismal records.  They could all have worked at the Flying Nancy Pit at Awsworth owned by North and Co.

It is interesting to note that all these three men had Wiliam White the Parish Clerk to witness their respective marriages. vis. Samuel in 1821, John in 1825 and Mathew in 1825.  Of course the Parish Clerk would witness many marriages but for sure the White's were friends of John and Mary Richards nee Wilcockson because Ann White also witnesses.  Presumably Ann White was the wife of the Parish Clerk.  I wonder if she was a Wilcockson prior to her marriage.?

Between 1826 and 1829 Mathew and Hannah Richards nee Kerry produced two babies in Awsworth namely Sarah Richards bapt. 03.12.1826. and William Richards bapt. 19.07.1829.  Presumably Mathew and Hannah Richards nee Kerry named these, their first two children after the parents of Mathew Richards, both of whom were now deceased.

In 1828 Samuel Merriman Richards remarried at St. Patrick's Parish Church, Nuthall to Elizabeth Longdon on the 12 May 1828.  The record states that he was of this (Nuthall ) Parish.

Their son Levi Richards was baptised 8 March 1829 at Awsworth Parish Church and confirmed the abode of Samuel Merriman Richards as Awsworth.

Both Samuel Merriman Richards and his brother Mathew Richards were quoted on all the baptismal records as Colliers.

Let's attend Samuel Merriman Richards two marriage ceremonies and meet his witnesses.

In 1821 Amy Richards, Thomas Whysall and Wiliam White witnessed and in 1828 John Richards and Mary Richards witnessed.  Who were these witnesses?  William White was the Parish Clerk.

Amy Richards was the daughter of Mathew and Amy Richards of the Jolly Colliers and sister to John The Rogue Richards.  She married at Nuthall on the 24 July 1822 to Adcock Barton, a Baker by trade.

From details obtained from a Marriage Bond at Nottingham University dated 23 July 1822, the day prior to their marriage, we discover present : Adcock Barton of the Parish of Nuthall, Baker and Mathew Richards of Nuthall, Collier, presumably the father of Amy Richards who put his cross.  The marriage of Amy Richards and Adcock Barton to take place at Nuthall.  Both over 21 years and single.

Thomas Whysall was the husband of Elizabeth Richards, daughter of Mathew and Amy Richards of the Jolly Colliers and sister to both Amy and John The Rogue. He married Elizabeth Richards on Xmas Day 1817 at Nuthall .

John Richards and Mary Richards who witnessed the second marriage were husband and wife, John being John The Rogue, son of Mathew and Amy Richards of the Jolly Colliers and Mary his wife being nee Wilcockson.  He married Mary Wilcockson on the 1 September 1825.  This couples signatures match the 1828 signatures on Samuel Merriman Richards and Elizabeth Longdons marriage certificate.

Therefore we have proved beyond reasonable doubt that Samuel Merriman Richards married twice.  The witnesses connect him to the line of Mathew and Mary Richards formerly Sore of Strelley, they being grandparents to all five. vis. John The Rogue Richards, Samuel Merriman Richards, Mathew Richards, Amy Richards and Elizabeth Richards.  It was as they say, a family affair - the two marriages.

Samuel Merriman Richards has brought the Richards saga to life.  He has proved to be The King Pin.  He is the only person yet discovered to date who can positively 'Link the Chain' together with Mathew and Mary Richards formerly Sore and Strelley.

His story is now almost complete and will make an interesting and rewarding chapter in the Richards Family History.  What better title to have chosen for his chapter than, Samuel Merriman Richards - The King Pin.!

However if it had not been for his brother Edward Richards the Chelsea Pensioner of the White Horse Inn leaving him a legacy and informing us that Samuel lived at Ripley, Derbys.  in the 1860s, we may never have discovered his whereabouts.  It was the 1861 Census that revealed his actual place of birth correctly as Old Radford as per the Ripley Census.

The 1851 Ripley Census got it wrong.  How lucky that he lived to tell us the truth.  Whether or not he lived to inherit his brothers legacy has still to be researched.

This chapter has got to be the most interesting and rewarding piece of research yet done.  It is fantastic how it all developed and linked positively in so many different ways to Mathew and Mary Richards formerly Sore of Strelley.

In conclusion, the Vital clues that have been discovered are as follows:
1.  The witnesses to the two marriages of Samuel Merriman Richards.
2Edward Richards legacy of the 1860's revealing that the 'King Pin was still alive.
3.  The clue left by Edward Richards that his brother Samuel was at Ripley in the 1860s.
4.  The 1861 Census that revealed he was born at Old Radford.
5.  The fact that he has Merriman for his second name linked the parentage together for sure.
6.  With the Merriman name actually confirmed as part of the tree, we discover through extensive research into the Merriman family that William Richards the Blacksmith, who is the father of Samuel Merriman Richards, witnessed several Merriman documents which revealed him as a Blacksmith.  This information that he was a Blacksmith by trade is confirmed on brother Mathew Richards second marriage document.  This Blacksmith clue was an exciting discovery and so Vital to the story.
7.  The Radford Poor Law Records were also Vital.  They revealed a Stapleford link up to discover and prove that the mother of William Richards the Blacksmith was Mary Richards formerly Sore.

In 1841 Samuel Merriman Richards and his wife Elizabeth nee Longdon lived at Kimberley Flatt with their children Levi, Sarah Ann and Henry Richards.

His first wife Dorothy Richards nee Chambers was buried 14 September 1826 at Awsworth aged 35 years.

Also in Ripley in 1851 we find Samuel Merriman Richards and his wife Elizabeth.  Obviously these Richards families had moved to Ripley with their jobs.  They are all Coal Miners and obviously all work down the same pit.

Samuel Merriman Richards and his family remain in Ripley, a fact confirmed by the 1861 and 1871 Census information but John Richards and Mark Richards move back into Notts..

We will now visit Ripley Cemetery situated on Cemetery Road, Ripley, Derbys.  This cemetery was opened in 1858.  We are searching for the "King Pins'" grave.  We are in luck!.

We find it as Grave Number 269 owned by the Council.  There is no monument erected and we discover that he is buried in "unconsecrated ground" - he was a Non - Conformist.  We discover that he was buried on the 17 June 1866 as Samuel Richards, Miner of Nottingham Road, Ripley aged 59 years.  His burial ceremony was conducted by Thomas Hopkinson, Minister.

We discover that subsequently there were three little babies buried in the same grave who at present appear to be totally unconnected with "Samuel Merriman Richards"

1.  James Sneath, aged 02 years buried 05.06.1866.
2.  Alice Bowyer, aged 01 month buried 12.09.1907.
3.  Still born of George and Florence Croft buried 20.01.1908.

While we are in the cemetery we will look for the grave of his Widow, Elizabeth Richards formerly Longden.  We know that she is not buried with her husband.  Again we are in luck.  We find her buried alone in Grave No. 179, another Council owned grave.  There is no monument erected and she too is buried in "unconsecrated ground".  She was buried as Elizabeth Richards, Widow aged 65 years on the 25 January 1873, having died at her home at Loweshill, Ripley, Derbys.  The Officiating Minister was John Whitcombe.

Let's now look at these two burials, ask some questions and make some comments.

1.  Merriman was not included on his burial certificate.  This need not cause any concern because on most documents that we have examined concerning him during his life, almost without exception he is recorded as Samuel Richards.
2.  His age at death was incorrectly recorded as 59 years when in fact he was in his 67th year, having been baptised Xmas Day 1799.
3.  He was still a Coal Miner.
4.  He died at his home in Nottingham Road, Ripley - the 1861 Census confirms his place of abode.
5.  His burial in "Unconsecrated" ground at Ripley Cemetery confirms that he was a Non Conformist.  There may be more corroborative evidence of these facts in the documentation retained by the local Superintendent Registrar.  There may have been some limited newspaper coverage of his death.
6Thomas Hopkinson was the Officiating Minister at his interment so a Trade Directory would identify the Non Conformist Chapel that he belonged to.
7.  The Richards did not purchase the grave - the Council owned it, therefore the three babies buried alongside him are unrelated.  There is a strong possibility that it was a Paupers grave.

Let's now look at Elizabeths' burial and see what she is telling us so that we can say 'Good-Bye' to her and end her journey.  The fact that she was a Widow would seem to identify her as the wife of Samuel Merriman Richards.

Her age admitted is correct.  She was eight years younger than Samuel having been baptised Elizabeth Longdon on the 31 December 1807 at St. Leodegarius Parish Church, Basford.

She died at Loweshill, Ripley.  The 1871 Census records her as living at Nottingham Road, Ripley.  However there is evidence confirmed by the Superintendent of the Ripley Cemetery to the effect that the road from Heanor to the Market Place is named Nottingham Road but on leaving the Market Place towards Alfreton the road becomes Loweshill.

So were the two addresses as one and the same or did Elizabeth move house?  Was she living with a relative at the time of her death - perhaps her daughter Sarah Ann.

Some time ago the 1871 Census was trawled for all the Richards living in Ripley resulting in the knowledge that Elizabeth Richards nee Longdon was the only one residing there.  If Sarah Ann their daughter married perhaps her family will now be discovered on the 1871 Census for "Lowes Hill".

Sadly Elizabeth isn't buried with her husband Sam - another mystery!  Why did they create a new grave for her when there was space in her late husband Sam's grave for her?  There were two babies interred with Samuel in 1907 and 1908 - surely there would have been room for Elizabeth! (two babies must equal one adult burial.)

The current Superintendent says they buried them anywhere in those days.
The grave is again Council owned.  Clearly they were poor.  No monument on their graves.  (paupers graves).
She is buried in Unconsecrated ground and she was a Non Conformist, like Samuel.
The Officiating Minister John Whitcombe performed her burial ceremony and a Trade Directory will identify the Chapel that she attended.

Their respective Death Certificates have been purchased from the Registrar for the Sub - District of Ripley in the Belper Registration District.  Consequently the following additional information has been obtained.

Samuel Richards is Number 333 in the Register and died on the 12 June 1866 at Nottingham Road, Ripley.  His age is recorded as 59 years, a Coal Miner whose cause of death was Asthma Certified.

The informant was Levi Richards who made his 'mark' and the document states that Levi was present at the death.  The evidence points overwhelmingly to the fact that Levi Richards was the son of the deceased.  The death was registered on the 17 June 1866 which was the date of the funeral.

Elizabeth Richards is Number 291 in the Register and died on the 22 January 1873 at Lowes Hill, Ripley.  Her age is initially recorded as 65 years which is of course her correct age.  She was the widow of Samuel Richards, Coal Miner and the cause of her death is recorded as Pulmonary Emphysema some years Valvular Disease of Heart - Certified.

The informant was Thomas Stacey who was present at her death and he lived at Lowes Hill, Ripley.  The death was registered on the 23 January 1873.

The document records additional information as follows : "In No. 291, Col. 4. for 65 substitute 55. Corrected on the 24 January 1873 by me John Hawkins, Registrar in the presence of Thomas Stacey, S. Stacey.  Both present at the death."

Clearly there is an error here.  The age at death should have been 65 years.

Sadly Samuel Merriman Richards did not live to Inherit his legacy from brother Edward Richards, the Chelsea Pensioner of the White Horse Inn?  He died two months prior to brother Edward, who died 28 August 1866 at Radford.  Although Edward must have been aware of his brother's death, he didn't add a Codicil to his Will.  Perhaps he himself was too ill to bother !

Nevertheless, thanks Edward Richards for your kind thought, it brought the story of

Samuel Merriman Richards - The King Pin to life!

Good Night and God Bless You.

Footnote
Please refer to part two of this chapter for a bit of additional information relating to a couple of children of
Samuel Merriman Richards and his wife Elizabeth.

Samuel Merriman Richards 1799 - 1866
part one

"The King Pin"


Email: ronstan@richardsbygonetimes.co.uk

Home Page: http://www.richardsbygonetimes.co.uk/

Created 2 December 2003
Last updated: 19 February 2007