Author Topic: Tragic tale of Frederick Cripps.  (Read 27587 times)

Offline wilcoxon

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Tragic tale of Frederick Cripps.
« on: Thursday 12 May 11 18:33 BST (UK) »
While I was searching the papers for anything on Sheringham fishing boats I found a report about a double suicide attempt.
I found the whole sad story and tried to trace the gentlemans life.
His wife Maria has so far proved quite elusive, probably her surname has been wrongly transcribed.
This is what I managed to put together. It really is quite tragic.
I must thank Tati for helping me with the census finds. They were quite difficult.

Frederick Cripps.

Frederick Cripps was born about 1836, he was the son of David, a hairdresser and Anne Louisa. In 1841 he was living at Bromells Road, Clapham, Surrey with his siblings Emily, Rosa ,Ellen and Isabella. None of the family were born in that county. Another son Robert was born around 1847,

 In 1851 the family are quite difficult to find, the name is  wrongly transcribed in so many ways.

By June qtr 1853 David had died and Anne Louisa remarried to Thomas Winter,

In 1861 only Frederick and Robert are with Thomas and Anne L Winter at Outwell Terrace Lambeth. Frederick has taken up his fathers trade as a hairdresser, he is born Finchley Middlesex. Thomas was born in Bath around 1809, he is a printer compositor,  Anne Louisa was born in Wiltshire around 1812. Various other census years have Frederick as being born in Highgate.

In 1871 before his marriage Frederick was living at 2 Courland Grove, Clapham. He is a hairdresser.
His sister Arabella is a barmaid, Ellen has no occupation and brother Robert has taken up his stepfathers trade as a  printer / compositor.
They are the stepchildren of Thomas Winter 64  a printer and his wife Ann L 65.

On 20 May 1872, at St Mary Newington, there was a marriage.
Frederick Cripps, full age, bachelor, Hairdresser, residence 9 Hanover St, father David William Cripps, Hairdresser
Maria Yaxley, full age, spinster, residence 9 Hanover St, father John Yaxley, Carpenter
Witnesses Robert Harford Winter and Arabella Cripps

By 1881 the couple are at 20 Bromells Road, Clapham. Maria was born in Yarmouth  There are no children with them, but his  sister Arabella James aged 40 born Lambeth, and two nieces  Harriet S  James aged 3 and Maria C aged 1 are with them. Frederick is still a hairdresser. Bromells Road is where the Cripps family lived in 1841.

1891 found Frederick and Maria living in 2 Claylands Road, Lambeth. He was a hairdresser, born Highgate London and Maria was born in Yarmouth, Norfolk.
It seems then that later they had chosen  to go back to Maria`s home town to live.

From then it seems life became difficult for the couple and newspaper reports tell a very sad story indeed.

Illustrated Police News 26 Sept 1896.

On the evening of Tuesday 14th September  a fisherman from Sheringham spotted a strange object in the sea opposite the Beeston Hills  near Cromer, he called a comrade for help and they waded in only to find it was an elderly couple, fully dressed - locked together in each others arms. They were brought to the shore but when Dr Sumpter arrived half an hour later he found the woman was dead, the man was very exhausted and he was taken  in custody to the Norwich  Prison  infirmary. The man stated that  he was Frederick Cripps  and the woman was his wife. They had been staying at Mrs Baldwins , West Street Cromer since 3 September, he had formerly had a business in London but had given it up about a year before and gone to reside in Yarmouth. Very few articles of value were found in their room and there was nothing on them when they were found in the water.   The man was in a very weak condition but it was  thought he would  be strong enough to appear before the magistrates the following week on a charge of  attempting to commit suicide. An open verdict was given on his wife.

Daily News  Wednesday, September 23, 1896

At the Police Courts the Cromer magistrates committed Frederick for trial on a charge of attempted suicide.  He was `late of London and a hairdresser`. At the time Fredrick appeared very ill and dazed and said he was truly sorry, that his wife had suggested they should commit suicide together as their means were exhausted and she could not endure the thought of the workhouse.
The Ipswich Journal Saturday, October 24, 1896
The warder on duty at the Norfolk Quarter Sessions on the Wednesday informed the magistrates that Frederick aged 66 had died on Tuesday morning at the prison.

Fredericks death was registered in Dec qtr at Norwich and a Maria Cripps aged 68 was registered Sept qtr at Erpingham.

Were the couple ever buried together as they wished to end their days or were they parted forever.

Census information is Crown Copyright (see:

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Offline purplekat

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Re: Tragic tale of Frederick Cripps.
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 12 May 11 18:55 BST (UK) »
ooh that's just so sad  :'(  :'(  :'(, he and his wife must have dreaded the thought of the workhouse.  I've recently read some awful accounts of life in the workhouse and the stories refered to 'the workhouse howl' which was apparently a common howl of despair made by inmates or former inmates.

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Offline MurphysLaw

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Re: Tragic tale of Frederick Cripps.
« Reply #2 on: Friday 13 May 11 14:41 BST (UK) »
thats so sad.....

i only hope they managed to find one anothers arms again.

If they didnt in body- then im sure they did in spirit... we always meet the ones we are with in life when we 'go upstairs'

Murphys of Croydon, Surrey, England.
James Murphy b.1898 d.1927 - PHOTOGRAPHS