Above is a picture of the Tinworth family who lived in Jasmine Cottage in the High Street at Chrishall.

Edward Tinworth came from Elmdon and was a labourer when he married Sarah Hopwood at Chrishall on 1st May 1849.  Edward was 19 and Sarah just 16 when they were married at Chrishall Church by Godfrey Everth.  Edward’s father George, and Sarah’s father Henry, signed the register as did Charles Tinworth and Mary Ann Tinworth, brother and sister to Edward.  Well, when I say signed, they all made their mark of a cross.  We will hear more of Charles shortly.

We thought the photograph above was taken around 1912, but I wonder if it was actually taken in 1909 as that would have been Edward and Sarah’s Golden Wedding.  It certainly looks like an important family occasion with the girls arranged with Edward on the left and the boys with Sarah on the right.

The census entry for 1911 lists Edward Tinworth, 81, and Sarah his wife aged 79 living with son-in-law Enfield George Flack, aged 31, and daughter Mary Flack who was 29.  Can we work out any more family members from the photograph I wonder?!

The Elmdon Connection

elmdon essex

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Edward Tinworth was born in Elmdon on March 23rd 1830 to George Tinworth and Mary (nee Gamgee).  Edward’s father, George, went through various professions during the births of his eleven children from Labourer to Butcher, back to Labourer and then Carrier. Jean Robin goes into quite a lot of detail about the butchers’ shops in Elmdon – of which there were two.  However although George Tinworth lists himself as a butcher on one of the census returns, Jean Robin does not mention him in her book so he probably did not own a shop but maybe worked for one of the village butchers.

Sarah’s family, the Hopwoods, are to be found in many of the local villages including Ickleton, where Sarah was born, and especially Hinxton.  One of Sarah’s relations, George Hopwood, was also a Butcher in Elmdon and he did own his own shop.  He also expanded his business to being a beer-seller and carrier.  Unfortunately, this was his undoing as, while carrying a load in his cart to Wendon Lofts one day he slipped and was crushed by his own cart running over him.  I don’t know what relation George was to Sarah exactly.  If anyone knows, please let us know in the comments below this article!

However back to the Tinworths.  George and Mary Tinworth at Elmdon had another ten children besides Edward: George, John, Mary Ann, Charles, Joseph, Susannah, Sarah, James, Abel and Robert.

Edward, as we know, married and moved to Chrishall.  However his brothers Charles, James and Joseph all emigrated to Australia.  They were chasing gold!

The search for Gold

Charles Tinworth, born on 25 January 1833, Elizabeth his wife and young children sailed for Ballaarat near Melbourne in Australia to search for gold.  They left Elmdon in 1854 when Charles was just 21 years old.  His two brothers joined them a little later.  Charles and Elizabeth had a tough time living in a large tented village with all the other prospectors and at one point were declared bankrupt. However in the end, after twenty years, and collaborating with his brothers he did have success and in fact died a very wealthy man.

This whole story of Charles Tinworth and his search for gold is unearthed in the BBC programme ‘Who do you think you are’ when Craig Revel Horwood researches his family history and finds that Charles Tinworth is his 3 x great grandfather.  You can view the whole programme here until 12th August 2017: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08y6ct1/who-do-you-think-you-are-series-14-2-craig-revel-horwood#

Unfortunately the programme does not reveal when Charles Tinworth died so we don’t know whether the family pictured above knew of their wealthy relation at the time this photograph was taken.

tinworth circa1912 jasmine cottage high street

Click on this mini photo to see a larger version.

This Tinworth photograph has been in our collection for many years and I have always rather enjoyed the fact that it commemorates not only the Tinworth’s but their cat who is just entering the front door, probably intent on having tea!  Now with a little background tracing we can perhaps imagine some of the conversations that went on round the tea table with the awful accident that befell George and perhaps the excitement of the pioneering gold diggers.  Next time you pass Jasmine Cottage take a second glance and remember the Tinworths!