The London Metropolitan Archives have a record of him having some form of insurance in 1815 for Shoreditch School in Kingsland Road. This probably refers to the Shoreditch Workhouse which "included an infirmary and apothecary. In 1813 James Parkinson was appointed as parish surgeon, apothecary and man-midwife. He established a separate fever block in the workhouse, the first in London, for the segregation of infectious patients, particularly those suffering from cholera. In 1817 he published an "Essay on the Shaking Palsy" in which he described the condition we now call Parkinson's Disease".
(Source : www.workhouses.org.uk/Shoreditch).
Was young Clifford working there at the time, perhaps in an administrative capacity ?
He must have been an educated man as at some point before 1823 he had become the parish clerk at St Leonard's, Shoreditch. Among other responsibilities he acted as witness at marriages and issued couples with certificates. The first time he attended The Old Bailey was as a witness in a bigamy trial in 1823 when he gave evidence that he had completed this particular marriage certificate showing the accused claiming to be a bachelor. The accused was found guilty of bigamy and transported for 7 years!
In September of the same year he was involved in what he thought was an attempt to rob him of a £20 note. The article (left) outlines the case. After deliberating for two hours, the jury found the accused NOT GUILTY. My reading of the article in the newspaper is that Clifford was probably the worse for wear and had been drinking so the evidence was rather confused and rambling.
However, evidence was given of a disagreement between the Vicar and the Trustees over who should appoint the parish clerk which the Vicar had won in the Courts. The insinuation was that this charge against Clifford was a conspiracy by the Trustees to remove him from his office and, in fact, this was a stitch-up. The Court ruled that there was no proof of the money coming into the hands of the prisoner and he was found NOT GUILTY.
Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, London, just south of the Thames. It housed a variety of prisoners over the centuries but it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London's debtors. The prison became known around the world in the 19th century through the writing of Charles Dickens, whose father was sent there in 1824, when Dickens was 12, for a debt to a baker.
It appears he became a school teacher at the Chertsey Union Workhouse and his appointment was confirmed on Tuesday 5th January 1847. Four days later he was dead.
FATAL ACCIDENT GREAT SOUTH-WEST RAILWAY
Amongst the passengers by the half past five train from Nine Elms was an elderly person of respectable appearance, whom we understand has been since been identified as the schoolmaster at the Chertsey Union. This person had paid his fare to Weybridge, which is the nearest station to Chertsey.
Although the name of the station was called out repeatedly, and several passengers alighted, the deceased, who was seated at the extreme end of a second class carriage by himself, and most probably dozing, did not become aware of the fact until after the train was in motion. He instantly opened the door ...... whether the deceased had failed to loosen his hold of the carriage, or had got any portion of his dress entangled with it, is not known, but it is quite certain that he must have been speedily thrown down between the platform and the metals, and dragged several yards, as at the spot where he had attempted to get out was found the iron heel of one of his boots, firmly driven into the edge of the platform, and from thence, for nearly twenty yards, brick work was grazed and besmeared with blood.
No intimation of an accident having occurred had suggested itself to the servants in attendance at the station until one of the passengers, crossing the rails after the train had left, heard a groan, and upon the porter and others proceeding to the spot they found the deceased lying upon his face, and as they approached him he turned over and expired. The left leg and thigh had been torn from the hip, the right leg was broken in three places and the foot was all but separated.
The London Daily News continues ....... The deceased was conveyed with the greatest care to the station, and the attendance of a surgeon procured speedily as possible; but of course his services were of no avail. The body, it appears, was afterwards taken to the Hand and Spear tavern, adjoining the station, but the landlord refused to receive it.
A report from the Morning Post at the inquest into his death : The representative from the train company said that when the Queen travelled on their line a communication had been kept up by a bell, but the machinery was liable to get out of order and was of little use. It was the earnest wish of all the railway companies to find out a plan of communication between the guards, drivers, and the passengers.
The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death," at the same time stating that the company's servants were not in the slightest degree to blame.
Harriett died of bronchitis aged 75 in Lambeth district in February 1861, five years before the death of her sister Sarah, and was buried at Norwood Cemetery in Lambeth. Her death certificate describes her deceased husband as "Clerk at Shoreditch Church". Perhaps he may have continued in this role after all ....... or perhaps the informant didn't want to put schoolmaster in a workhouse ?
The Executor of both sisters' Wills was Thomas Ross, five times Mayor of Hastings, who I featured in week 29.