henry fulcher

Henry was born in Yaxley, Suffolk on 22 March 1843 and baptised at the church of St Mary on 4 June. He was one of ten children born to Thomas Fulcher and his wife Mary Hunt. Henry came from a farming family and helped on the family farm called Bridge House Farm on Yaxley Street. He married Sarah Edith Mallandaine on 5 December 1867 and following his marriage, he began working as a steward on the Yaxley Hall Estate.

This related branch of the Fulcher family has been traced back to the late 18th century in the county of Suffolk on the east coast of England.

thomas fulcher + charlotte nicholas

Thomas Fulcher was born in Weybread aboutt 1781 but his baptismal record has not been located and his parents remain unknown. Weybread was a small farming community located about 9 miles east of the market town of Diss and it was originally made up of four manors —the Rectory, Weybread Hall, Hoblins and Instead — that were later converted into farmhouses. The village also had a church, dating to Norman times, dedicated to St Andrew and by the mid 19th century, a National School and a small lending library. The church still stands today and is one of only 38 round tower churches remaining in Suffolk.

St Andrew, Weybread

Thomas was a farmer and likely leased a farm near the village. He married Charlotte Nicholas in the church of St Peter and St Paul in Weybread on 30 June 1801 and they had three children while living in Weybread but their baptism records have not been found to confirm the date. Charlotte was born about 1802, Thomas in 1804 and Ann in 1810.

Between 1810 and 1813, Thomas and his family moved from Weybread to Yaxley some 12 miles away. The reason for the move is unknown but Thomas may have taken up a more favourable leasehold in Yaxley. The parish of Yaxley had a population of 478 in 1822, most of whom were engaged in agriculture, and the majority of the land was owned by a few wealthy landowners who leased the approximately 26 farms to tenant farmers. By 1841, Yaxley was a thriving rural community that supported a corn mill, a blacksmith and wheelwright, two local shops, a public house, a grocer and draper and a large parish church.

Shortly after settling in Yaxley, their young daughter Ann died in 1813 and was buried in the church yard at St Mary’s. Thomas and Charlotte had four more children: Jane was baptised at St Mary on 22 January 1815, Robert Harley was baptised on 23 January 1816, John Nicholas was baptised on 17 May 1817 and Ann Elizabeth was baptised on 11 February 1819. No further records relating to John have been found and it is assumed he died in infancy.

Thomas Fulcher died in Yaxley aged only 42 years and was buried in St Mary’s church yard on 2 April 1823. No records have been found that shed light on what the family did after Thomas’ death but it is possible that his eldest son Thomas took over the lease hold and continued to farm to support his mother and sisters or they may have moved to a smaller holding.

Charlotte lost a third child when their eldest daughter Charlotte died in Yaxley on 21 October 1828, aged only 26 years, and was buried in the church yard at St Mary’s. Five years later, they celebrated the first family marriage when Thomas married Mary Hunt in Norwich in 1833. The couple returned to Yaxley following their marriage and went on to have ten children. Daughter Jane married William Whitmore in 1837 and moved to his home town of Stowmarket where he ran a draper’s shop.

By 1841, Thomas had taken over the family farm and Charlotte had moved to Stowmarket along with her youngest daughter, Ann Elizabeth. They appear in the 1841 Census on Ipswich Street in Stowmarket along with one general servant, Sarah Thing, and they were still there three years later when the 1844 Directory of Suffolk was published. They most likely followed Jane to Stowmarket following her marriage in 1837 or perhaps arrived a few years later to help after the birth of her daughters. In 1845, Ann married William Lankester, a farmer from Old Newton, and they had six children. After Ann Elizabeth married, Charlotte moved in with daughter Jane and her family and lived with them above the drapers shop in Stowmarket.

Robert Harley Fulcher has not yet been located in the 1841 Census but in 1851, he was also living in Stowmarket where he managed a Grocer’s Shop on Bury Street and employed two shop assistants. Sadly, Robert died three years later and was buried in the church yard at St Mary, Yaxley on 17 March 1854. He was only 37 years old.

Charlotte Fulcher had moved from Stowmarket to Mellis Hall along with her daughter Jane and lived there until her death. She died at Mellis in 1867, aged 87 years, and was buried next to her husband Thomas at St Mary, Yaxley on 23 September 1867.