James Carrington

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Born: 2nd Jan 1868 Died: 7th Oct 1917 Married: Phoebe Chettleburgh Mother: Phoebe Smith Father: Henry Carrington Descendant: Geoff Carrington
Census 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921

James Carrington was born in Norwich on the 2nd January 1868 (see the oddly named birth certificate below), and was christened on the 1st December 1869 at St Mark's Lakenham at the same time as his brother Frederic (born Jan 9th, 1866).

His parents were Henry Carrington and Phoebe Smith, and he was listed in the 1881 census as living with them in 2 Wellington Terrace in Norwich.

Birth Certificate for James Carrington

The birth certificate of James Carrington is transcribed here (Mancroft is on the West side of Norwich):

Registration District Norwich
1868 BIRTH in the Sub-district of Mancroft in the City and in the County of the City of Norwich
No When and where born Name, if any Sex Name and surname of father Name, surname,and maiden name of mother Occupation of father Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
467 Second February 1868
Jane Girl Henry Carrington Phoebe Carrington
Formerly Smith
Starch Labourer X The mark of Phoebe Carrington
Holls Brewery, Norwich
Twelth February 1868

Clearly, at this point you are thinking that this must be the wrong person, since sex change operations were not really popular in 1868! However, the following notes attached to the birth certificate show that there was a mistake, but not how this was made!

In No. 467. Col. 2 for Jane read James and in Col.3 for Girl read Boy.Corrected on the 27th February 1903. By me Geo. R. Cooke Superintendent Registrar. On production of a Statutory Declaration made by Phoebe Carrington and Eliza Bunting.

Here Phoebe Carrington is his mother (who it has taken 35 years to noticed her daughter is in fact a son - presumably she couldn't read the birth certificate) and who is Eliza Bunting? I reckon that this is Eliza Carrington, James's sister.

By the 1891 census he was staying at 10 Sandsfield Lane in Gainsborough as a boarder. He was 23 and was working as an advertising agent, one of his fellow boarders was Joseph Dye (born circa 1867), also an advertising agent, and also born in Norwich (I believe his family came from Lakenham in Norwich).

First Marriage

On the 27th November 1897 he married a widow, Ellen Butterfield (nee Walmsley) in Blackburn, she was the Inn Keeper at the Ship Inn.

1897. Marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of St John in the County of Blackburn
When Married. Name and Surname. Age Condition. Rank or Profession Residence at the Time of Marriage Father's Name and Surname Rank or Profession of Father

Twenty Fourth December 1863

James Carrington 31 years Bachelor Painter 36 Brown Street, Blackburn Henry Carrington Gardener
Ellen Butterfield 41 years Widow Inn-Keeper 151 Penny Street, Blackburn William Henry Walmsley (deceased) Book-keeper
Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church by license by me J.B.Barratt
This marriage was solemnized between us James Carrington In the Presence of us John Dulle? Hindle
Ellen Butterfield Louisa Hindle

In 1901 he was still living with his wife Ellen Butterfield in Blackburn, where he was listed as a beer seller (working on his own account) occupying the Ship Inn at 151 Penny Street. Ellen was 12 years his senior, and was a native of Blackburn.

Ellen died on the 28th July 1907, her probate read:

CARRINGTON Ellen of the "Ship" inn 151 Penny-street Blackburn (wife of James Carrington) died 28 July 1907 Administration Lancaster 14 August to the said James Carrington innkeeper Effects £545 10s. 4d.

The Ship Inn has long since disappeared.

Second Marriage

He was married to Phoebe Chettleburgh on the 9th December 1909, and had two children Geoff Carrington Geoff and Maud. At the time of his marriage he was listed as already being a widower, and his profession was a "painter". We do not know if this meant a picture painter or a decorator! Possibly if the former then that might be related to him being an advertising agent in 1891.

His address at this date was given as 10 Carshalton Road, Lakenham, Norwich. His marriage certificate lists Frederick and Eliza Bunting as witnesses. It is highly likely that Eliza was in fact this sister (and hence Frederick was his brother in law).

By 1911 he had moved to 47 Southwell Road, Norwich.


He had three children with his wife Phoebe: Hilda, Geoff and Maud.

Hilda was 6 months old at the time of the 1911 census, she was born in 1910, but died in 1911.

  • Hilda Carrington, born 1910, died 1911
  • James Geoffrey Carrington born 2nd Nov 1911 at 47 Southwell road, Norwich.
  • Maud Eliza Carrington, born 6 Jan 1913, married Arthur S. Barker in 1934 Norwich, died reg. Jan 1994, Ipswich.

When James and Phoebe died, Maud was a baby and was brought up by the next door neighbours.


James died two years after his wife on the 7th October 1917 at 47 Southwell Road at the age of 49. According to the death certificate (below) he was a licensed victualler, and he died of Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis). The signature, description and residence of the informant was given as M.A.L.Spencer (sister) in attendance, 10 Carshalton road, Norwich. James had a sister called Mary Ann (born around 1876), and I assume that this is the sister referred to.

His son Geoff also contracted tuberculosis, and had to move to a sanatorium to recover.

Registration District Norwich
1917 DEATH in the Sub-district of West Wymer in the County of the City of Norwich C.B.
No When and where died Name and surname Sex Age Occupations Cause of Death Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
75 Seventh October 1917.

47 Southwell road

James Carrington Male 49 Licensed Victualler Phthisis Pulmonalis, Certified by R. Fox M.D. M.A.L.Spencer in attendance
10 Carshalton Road, Norwich
Eighth October 1917

Probate was complete on the 30th October 1917 - he left everything to Frederick Carrington (mill hand) and George William Spencer (gunsmith). Frederick is likely to be his brother, and George William Spencer is likely to be the husband of his sister Mary Ann Carrington.

Other Information

In 1881, 151 Penny Street, Blackburn was occupied by Thomas Parsons and his family. No signs of an Ellen though. He was a beer seller and mason, although it doesn't appear to have been a pub at that time.

FreeBMD lists the registration information for his marriages:

Marriages December 1897, James Carrington and Ellen Butterfield (Blackburn, Volume 8e, Page 530).

Marriages December 1909, James Carrington and Phoebe Annie Chettleburgh (Norwich, Volume 4b, Page 441).


Currently this is the only photograph we have of him (pictured holding his son Geoff and his wife Phoebe is holding Maud):


Other Records

  • his first marriage to Ellen Butterfield, registered in the December 1897 in the district of Blackburn (Volume 8e, page 530).