52 Ancestors #50 – Naughty – Thomas Edward Caddy [1835-1908]

Well, we might like to think that our ancestors were all good and proper, but every now and then we find out something that has us going ooooh waaaah! That was naughty! Yes, my 2x great-grandfather Thomas Edward Caddy was very naughty and fitted prompt number 50 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I’ve resurrected this post from 2013 and added new information as it came to light.

Thomas Edward Caddy was born in Ireland, 6 February 1835 to Joseph Caddy and Margaret Lean. He married Ellen Ryan in Galway on the 8th October 1856 and their first child Joseph Caddy was born there in 1857. I had been told that my great grandfather James Ryan Caddy was Irish, well technically he was as his parents were certainly Irish, but James was born in Congleton, Cheshire in England in 1859. Does that make him English or Irish?

I’ve had some great success with newspapers online over the years and I remember when I found this story, I didn’t want to share it online and upset my Uncle Ray Herbert who was at that stage, the only surviving member of my Herbert family. I hadn’t met any of the Caddy relatives other than John William Victor Caddy’s grandson John and being family historian’s themselves, this story intrigued them too. Uncle Ray, being the genealogist that he is, was always open to a good story and what happened in the past, happened and there’s nothing we can do about it.

As a member of the State Library of Western Australia, I logged in to the e-resources section of the website and went into the British Newspapers. There is no charge for this service if you have a current library card. My starting point was to see what I could find of the Caddy family in Cheshire where I’d found them living in the 1861 census. I was scanning the pages when the words Thomas Caddy, Sandbach, moulder, caught my eye in an article about Experiments in Coining and the Result. What is coining? A Google search soon revealed that it’s the production of making money and not by earning it the legal way!! It seems my 2 x great-grandfather was making it illegally. Counterfeit in fact!!

I’ve thought back on this over time and wonder how on earth he didn’t get transported out to Australia as a convict. The transportation system had stopped in NSW and Tasmania, but they were still sending men out to Western Australia up until 1868. Thomas had committed his crime in 1865. He must have had a kind judge!

The article read:-

Cheshire Observer and Chester, Birkenhead, Crewe and North Wales Times (Chester, England), Saturday, August 05, 1865; pg. 8; Issue 527. 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II.

EXPERIMENTS IN COINING AND THE RESULT – At the Police-office, Sandbach, on Monday (before G.W. Latham, Esq.) Thomas Caddy, a moulder, of Sandbach, and Helen, his wife, were brought up , the former charged with coining counterfeit bronze pennies, and the latter with passing them to Mr J. Dickinson, of the Wheat Sheaf, Sandbach, and remanded until the solicitor of the Mint had been communicated with. From the evidence it appeared that Mr Dickinson’s servants had received a large amount of the base coin during the last few weeks, and he had informed the police of the circumstance. Arrangements were made for the detection of the offender, and on Monday afternoon the prisoner’s son, aged nine years, paid three counterfeit pennies in payment for a pint of porter to Mr Dickinson. Information was at once given to Sergeant Hulme, who searched the prisoner’s house, where he found three more similar coins, a smelting furnace, crucibles, moulding boxes, coke, twelve new and good coins which had been used for patterns, besides a quantity of copper, brass, and powdered glass. Prisoner admitted the offence, stating he had been “experimenting, thinking if he could succeed he might obtain a situation in the Mint”. The magistrate accepted bail for the female prisoner.

Ellen would have been heavily pregnant with their first daughter Mary Ellen, or possibly had already given birth, as she was born in the 3rd Quarter of 1865 and christened on the 15th October 1865. There were 4 older boys, Joseph born 1857, who would have been the nine-year-old lad who bought the port from Mr Dickinson of The Wheatsheaf pub, James born 1859, Thomas born 1861 and William born 1863.

I found this photo on the internet of The Wheatsheaf in Cheshire. It’s quite an impressive looking building. If only I had known this on my visits to England in 1998 and 2002! Next time!!

The Wheatsheaf Sandbach

A little more super-sleuthing and I turned up this article. The name Denny is too close a coincidence not to be Thomas and Ellen Caddy.


Source: Cheshire Observer, Sandbach, Cheshire, Aug 19, 1865

More spelling differences –

The County of Chester General Quarter Sessions for the 14th August 1865 reveals that Thomas KEDDY, Feloniously making and counterfeiting ______ three pieces of false and counterfeit coin resembling and apparently intended to resemble _______ and pass for three pieces of the queen’s copper coin. Imprisoned for 6 months.

Ellen KEDDY, Feloniously making and counterfeiting three pieces of false and counterfeit coin resembling and apparently intended to resemble and pass for three pieces of the queen’s copper coin. Ellen was found “not guilty”.

Caddy, Thomas Edward imprisoned 6 months

So what about Ellen? She now has a husband in prison for six months and has to look after 5 children under 10. Was this what prompted them to move from Cheshire down to New Swindon, Wiltshire where their youngest daughter Jane Ann Caddy, was born in July 1867? Perhaps things got a bit uncomfortable for them in Cheshire.

On Jane’s birth certificate, Thomas’ occupation is given as Iron Moulder “journeyman”. A journeyman is someone who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman has to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master.

Caddy, Jane Ann

The family eventually made their way to Nottingham where they feature in the 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 census.

In 1884, Thomas Edward Caddy of No 1 Fountain Terrace Alfreton Rd, Nottingham, moulder, invented a fire bar. My Uncle Ray told me that the fire bar helped the ships to stay out at sea a lot longer and were used extensively during the war.

Source: Papers dated 21 August 1884 sent by Wendy Chapman, Victoria.

Thomas died in April 1908 at the age of 73 while Ellen was 85 when she passed. She had been living with her daughter Jane Fewkes, the wife of a jeweller.

Thomas and Ellen are both buried at the Church (Rock) Cemetery, Nottingham with their son, also named Thomas Edward who died in 1894.

Rock Cemetery

Photos courtesy John Mellors, Buckingham, England

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
This entry was posted in 52-Ancestors-52-Weeks, Blog, Caddy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to 52 Ancestors #50 – Naughty – Thomas Edward Caddy [1835-1908]

  1. tstatton says:

    Jenny what a fascinating read! I am so disappointed that I haven’t really turned up any ancestors who were naughty – well save one who got himself court-martialed and you read about that one next week. Thanks for sharing your interesting blogs.

  2. Eilene Lyon says:

    Now, a counterfeiter in the family tree is a unique bit! And especially since they were minting coins, not printing paper. Great story!

  3. kardu13 says:

    I am speechless. Haha. Love your research Jenny. What will ‘us followers’ do when 52 weeks are up?

  4. Pingback: Mary Ellen Caddy: born 1865 | jenealogyscrapbook

  5. Pingback: An Inventor | jenealogyscrapbook

  6. Pingback: Mary Ellen: b1865 | Caddy Scrapbook

  7. Pingback: An Inventor | Caddy Scrapbook

  8. john herbert says:

    This is what family history is all about, juicy stories. You must followup to find out the outcome of the court case. Can’t wait.

  9. raymond says:

    As my mother would say”well,i never.” what a find.Jenny,very interesting indeed,and Kids drinking at that age too.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I'd love to hear your comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s