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The MICHAEL BELCHERS, Butchers and Farmers

Michael Belcher, 1793-1846, son of Michael Belcher “the elder” Michael Belcher was born to Michael “the elder” and Mary Belcher baptised at Gnosall on 17 Feb. 1793. He married Sarah Lathbury, born 1801 in Burton-on-Trent, at Castle Church, Stafford on 2 Feb. 1818. They had children as follows, with Michael’s given trade listed: Michael bapt. 16 Jan. 1819-1855 – farmer Margaret bapt. 2 April 1820 – butcher Sarah bapt 19.8.1822 – butcher Anne bapt. 29.2.1824 – butcher William bapt.13.2.1826 – farmer James bapt. 16.3.1827 – farmer Joseph bapt. 31.12.1828 – farmer Mary bapt 12.8.1833 – farmer Catharine bapt 16.3.1834 – farmer, butcher Henry bapt. 19.2.1837 – butcher Edward born 2.6.1840, bapt. 2.10.1841 – farmer The 1834 White’s Directory unsurprisingly lists him as a farmer and butcher. He was a member of the Gnosall Association for the Prosecution of Felons through the 1830s. The Tithes Awards of the late 1830s show him owning and occupying 1177 (House & Garden) and 1178 (Barn and Rickyard) on the High Street, just below what is now the Coop and he was there with his wife and children on the 1841 census, listed as a butcher. He also owned 2385 & 2387 (Ox Leasows) and rented fields and buildings from the Rev. William Hickin, the Bishop of Lichfield and John Webb. In December 1840, 59-year-old John Hall from the workhouse was found dead in a shed on Michael Belcher’s land at Coton. On 23 Feb. 1844 he was declared bankrupt: Rev. Fearon Jenkinson and farmer Joseph Parton were the trustees. Michael Belcher died on 5th March 1846, aged 53, and is buried in grave C-31 near Selman Street. Probate was granted on 4 June 1846. Lichfield, Staffordshire and administration granted to his widow Sarah Belcher (Farmer & Butcher) & signed by her and Michael Belcher of Gnosall, Butcher & Thomas Belcher of Gnosall, Farmer. The estate was under £200. Michael Belcher “the younger”, 1819-1855 This Michael Belcher was born to Michael and Sarah Belcher and baptised at Gnosall on 16 Jan. 1819. On 11 Jan. 1849 at Gnosall he married Mary Jane Hampton (born 1816 in Bath). She was a niece of John Willington of Wilbrighton Hall. The 1851 census shows him as a Farmer with 5 acres and two servants. He was living on High Street, with his wife Mary Jane, his widowed mother Sarah, his younger brothers Henry and Edward, a visitor Hannah Taylor from Wilbrighton (annuitant aged 65) and two teenage servants, John and Betsey Hill, from Dunston Heath, probably siblings. The boy was a cowman and the girl an indoor servant. He and Mary Jane had two children: Alice Jane baptised 31 August 1851 [father listed as butcher] George baptised 13 March 1853 [father farmer and butcher] However they both died young in April 1855 and were buried at St Lawrence, grave i-02: “Michael Belcher the younger who departed this life April the 11th 1855 aged 36 years Also Mary Jane his wife who departed this life April the 24th day of the same month, aged 46 years. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.” On 12th May 1855 the following advertisement appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser auctioning off the Belchers’ property and business: In 1861 George was at boarding school in Cannock and Alice Jane was at school and living with her unmarried aunt Katherine who was working in Newport as a milliner; in 1871 she and a 4-year-old nephew Edward were living in Peckham with their aunt Sarah, who was married to William Smith, a tax inspector. George wasn’t listed. Felicity Potter
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