Headstone for Frederick Grice in Great Ellingham Churchyard
The Frederick Grice buried in the churchyard of St James on August 12th, 1898 lived in Long Street, Great Ellingham for over thirty years.
However, it transpires that Frederick Grice was born in Wolferton, Norfolk, some 40 miles from Great Ellingham.
The 1891 census finds 52 year old widower Frederick Grice at 37 Long Street with his son George Chester Grice aged 13, and general servant 24 year old Annie Nobes (born Besthorpe). Frederick Grice is a farmer.
Ten years earlier, in 1881, the census shows Fredrick Grice, a farmer of 60 acres and an employer of three men, with his 40 year old wife Mary at a farm in Long Street. Unfortunately the census does not give the name of Frederick’s farm.
Son George Chester is then aged 3, and the couple also have a boarder, 28 year old Charles Le Grice (born Framlingham, Norfolk). Mary Grice was born in Nottinghamshire.
Born in February, 1878, George Chester Grice was baptised in the Parish Church at Great Ellingham six months’ later the on August 4th.
Two years earlier, Mary Grice gave birth to Mary Elizabeth on 18th April, 1876. She was baptised in the Parish Church on 2nd July of that year. Sadly, Mary Elizabeth died in the May of 1877 aged just one year. Her remains were buried in the churchyard on May 25th.
This census shows Frederick and Mary Grice in Great Ellingham with sons, Frederick C. aged 11, Thomas C. 10 and 8 year old Arthur C. The family have a servant, Norfolk born 17 year old Harriet Moore.
Like their mother, the children were all born in Nottinghamshire.
1862 to 1869: The Grice Family move to Great Ellingham
Frederick and Mary Grice brought their family to Great Ellingham sometime after the birth of Arthur (around 1862) and the baptism of their daughter Martha Ann, which took place in the Church of St James on Christmas Day 1869.
Sadly, Frederick and Mary buried their three week old daughter Martha Ann in the churchyard on January 3rd, 1870. I have already mentioned that the couple would later lose their second daughter Mary Elizabeth in 1877.
Chester and Grice
Given that their son George was given the name ‘George Chester’, and the census of 1871 gives the initial ‘C’ after the first names of Frederick, Thomas and Arthur, I think it very likely that Chester was the middle name of all the sons of Frederick and Mary. Further I suspect that ‘Chester’ is Mary’s maiden name.
This is confirmed by the registration of the marriage between Frederick Grice and Mary Chester in the Hull District between January to March 1859. I have little doubt that this is the marriage of the Frederick and Mary Grice who came to Great Ellingham.
Frederick’s wife Mary Grice died at the age of 42. She was buried on May 3rd, 1882 in the churchyard at Great Ellingham.
I have not found a corresponding headstone for Mary Grice in the churchyard. However, not all graves have a headstone. Furthermore, some of the headstones in the churchyard are very worn and illegible.
Cherry Tree Farm
An announcement in the Norfolk Chronicle of the 10th September, 1898, of an auction taking place in Great Ellingham tells us exactly where Frederick Grice’s farm was in Long Street.
Auctioneers, Salter & Simpson, were instructed by the executors of the late Frederick Grice to sell by auction livestock, an assortment of agricultural carriages, farming implements, machines etc together with various items of household furniture.
The sale would take place at Cherry Tree Farm on Monday, 19th September, 1898 at 1.30 pm.
Updated 08 March 2021
Great Ellingham Parish Registers Norfolk Record Office PD/609. Also available at FamilySearch.org https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=4J8C-CB7%3A29627201%3Fcc%3D1416598
1891 census RG12/1549/79A
1881 census RG11/1974/91
1871 census RG10/1841/83
Free BMD Website https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/information.pl?cite=Hzm7b0aCDxFv7xy88Mn6qQ&scan=1
Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette dated September 10th, 1898 viewed via British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ 8th March 2021