Biographies

Charles Caldicott – 1857 – 1914 – Gainsborough News Publisher and Gainsborough Trinity FC Chairman

Charles Caldicott was born in April 1857 to William Hargrave Caldicott and Eliza Newball in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, a part of the prominent publishing family of Gainsborough responsible for producing the Gainsborough News and linked to Gainsborough Trinity Football Club (See Gainsborough Caldicotts – Prominent Newspaper Publishers and Gainsborough Caldicotts – Owners of Trinity Football Club).

Charles Caldicott

He married Mary Ann Dook, daughter of James, in Gainsborough in January 1881 and the couple went on to have seven children, Constance, Hilda Jane, William Hargrave, Gertrude Mary, Sybil, Harold Harrison and Charles Hubert.

Mary Ann Dook b1855
Mary Ann Dook, wife of Charles Caldicott

Constance Caldicott was born on 23 October 1881 and lived at 55, Morton Terrace, Gainsborough for most of her life. She never married and died in The Bromhead Nursing Home, Lincoln, aged 72, on 23 February 1954, leaving £4054 18s. 4d. to her brother, William Hargrave. Her brother-in-law, the husband of Hilda Jane, Rev. James George Morton Howard, was one of the officiating clergy at her funeral, at All Saints’ Church, Gainsborough.

Hilda Jane Caldicott was born in July 1883 and married a clergyman, Rev. James George Morton Howard at Holy Trinity Church, Gainsborough in October 1911 at which her sisters, Constance and Gertrude were bridesmaids. She died at Fulford Hospital, York on 10 April 1961, aged 77, leaving £3638 3s. 2d. to her husband.

Gertrude Mary Caldicott was born on 24 January 1888 and like her sister, Constance lived in Gainsborough all her life and remained a spinster. She was a charitable woman and was organiser of the League of Pity. She died on 15 September 1977, aged 89.

Gertrude Mary Caldicott, b1888
Gertrude Mary Caldicott, daughter of Charles Caldicott and Mary Ann Dook.

Sybil Caldicott and Harold Harrison Caldicott sadly died as children. Sybil was born in January 1890 and died in October 1897, aged just seven. Harold Harrison was born on 7 October 1891 and was buried on 12 October 1891.

Happily, Charles and Mary Ann did go on to have one more son, Charles Hubert who was born on 23 December 1892. Charles Hubert and his older brother, William Hargrave, born on 28 November 1885, went on to take over the family business and continue its success in printing and newspaper publishing.

Charles Caldicott continued the family publishing and printing business in Gainsborough producing many publications, including the Gainsborough News and the Caldicotts’ Directory – see Gainsborough Caldicotts – Prominent Newspaper Publishers for more information about his career and the Caldicotts’ publishing business.

He branched out from publishing in 1888 when he bought the Trent Foundry, Gainsborough as part of a consortium with his brother, Thomas Newball Caldicott. Charles was Managing Director and you can read more about the venture in Thomas Newball Caldicott – 1862 – 1935 – Successful Ironmonger.

He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, of which he was once president, and the Tradesmen’s Association. When the Trent Packet Company was floated he became a director.

But he also took an active part in his community in many other ways as well.

He was churchwarden at Holy Trinity church and a sidesman there for many years.

In 1896 he served on the Grand Jury at the Lindsay Epiphany Quarter Sessions where there were a harrowing number of cases involving assault of women and children, which were said to be on the increase in Lincolnshire at the time, and many would not have gone through the courts at all.

Following in his father’s footsteps he also served his community, serving as Worshipful Master of the Yarborough Freemason Lodge in 1903.

But one of his biggest passions was football and Charles was chairman of Gainsborough Trinity Football Club for many years – for the full story of how Charles and other members of his family were involved in the club see Gainsborough Caldicotts – Owners of Trinity Football Club.

Throughout much of their life, Charles and his family lived in Northolme Villa, a semi-detached residence, which can be seen marked on the map below.

Northolme, Gainsborough - Map 1886

Dramatically, there was a paraffin lamp explosion in Northolme on 3 August 1902 and the home narrowly avoided being engulfed in flames. The lamp, which was fixed on the staircase, exploded with a loud report, and the blazing oil was scattered about, setting fire to various articles. Fortunately Captain Jecock, Supt Edgley and others were soon on the scene and subdued the flames, but not before considerable damage was done.

Just over a week later Charles sold the property by auction on 11 August 1902, presumably having cleaned up any damage from the fire!

By the 1911 Census, Charles was living in Chesleigh, situated in North Marsh Road, Gainsborough. In later years, the building became the local maternity home, and, more recently, a dance school. Sadly, it is now in the process of being demolished.

Charles died on 1 June 1914 in Gainsborough, leaving the sizeable sum of £15,801 3s. 2d. (worth more than £680,000 in today’s money) to his widow, Mary Ann and children, William Hargrave, Constance and Charles Hubert.

His funeral took place at Holy Trinity, Gainsborough, where he had served as churchwarden and sidesman, and was extremely well attended by representatives of many organisations from Gainsborough and the surrounding area.

Gainsborough Parish Church

A requiem was said on by his son-in-law, the husband of Hilda Jane, the Rev. James George Morton Howard. The service was held at 1.30 with the Brethren of the Lodges of Freemasons lining the entrance to the church until the arrival of the chief mourners. He was buried in Gainsborough General Cemetery and the customary Mason’s ceremonial took place, the Oration being delivered by the Chaplain, Bro. Webb, and as the Masonic Ritual prescribes, each of the brethren placed a sprig of acacia upon the coffin.

This article has been produced largely because of research undertaken by Gainsborough Heritage Association. I would like to give warm and sincere thanks to the volunteers who committed their time to discovering a treasure trove of stories and information.

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