Posted by: Christine | June 24, 2012

Another Jeremiah

Jeremiah Madders are like buses – you don’t see one for ages and then two come along together. I recently wrote about the nasty death of Jeremiah Madder of Harwich, now it is the turn of one of my own relatives. I came across him in the Poll Books and Electoral Registers, which appeared on Ancestry recently  

Jeremiah Butcher Madder was born on 15th August 1818 in Brooke, Norfolk, so almost an exact contemporary of the other Jeremiah. He was the younger brother of William Madder – the Bury Beerhouse Keeper, and like him seems to have combined tailoring and selling beer.

In the 1841 census he was a twenty year old tailor, still living with his parents in Brooke (remember that adult ages were rounded down in this census – he would have been 22).

1841 Census – Jeremiah with parents James & Sophia in Brooke, Norfolk
(HO 107/756/2/9/10)

This entry took some finding; Ancestry had indexed Jeremiah as Sere Maddix, Findmypast as Tereh Madde.

By 1851 he appears to have married, although I have found no record of this. They were living in Withersdale in Suffolk. This is a strange entry. It is the first household in the enumeration district and the address given as “Road to Halesworth”. Jeremiah is a “Taylor” and together with his wife Ann, there are three nieces and a chambermaid.

Jeremiah in the 1851 Census
(HO 107/1796/203/1)

The first niece, Mary Riches, is the daughter of Jeremiah’s sister Sarah, who married Henry Riches, but who the others are I don’t know – perhaps relations of Ann. There might be one explanation why a man would be living in the edge of town with a houseful of women, but I don’t think we’ll go there!

Perhaps it was a pub, as, like his brother, Jeremiah soon moved into the beer business. He is listed in the Whites Directory for 1855 running the Five Bells Inn in Cavendish.

Whites 1855 Directory for Cavendish in Suffolk
( source – )

In the 1861 census he is listed as the publican of this Inn, still with wife Ann, but only one niece – Maria Chambers. One of the nieces in 1851 was a Susan Chambers, another relative of Ann?

1861 Census – Jeremiah in Cavendish
(RG 9/1132/19/9)

Newspaper reports of change of licenses show that he took on the Queens Head in Botesdale in December 1867 and left a year later.

Transfer of License for Queen’s Head Botesdale. Ipswich Journal 12 Dec 1868

I don’t know how many other Suffolk pubs he ran, but by 1871 he was living in Ipswich. He was lodging in Baldistones Yard, off Stoke Street, aged 48 and was “out of employment”. No wife – the census says he was unmarried, and no nieces! (One strange co-incidence is that Jeremiah’s brother William died in a house in Stoke Street, nearly twenty years later)

1871 Census – Jeremiah lodging in Ipswich
(RG 10/1751/102/4)

After that he disappears. No sign of death or marriage. No mention in a census. Not a trace of him anywhere. Interesting, but not unusual, and what about that Poll Book entry I mentioned?

Poll Books can be a useful source for placing a person in a certain place, at a certain time. Before the introduction of the secret ballot in 1872, men (and it was only men) over 21, voted in public and lists were produced of who voted for each candidate. These were the Poll Books and can date back to the early eighteenth century. They show the names of the voters and where they lived. Since the qualification for voting was ownership or rental of land over a certain value, the address of the land might be listed if it was in a different place.

Looking back over Jeremiah Madder’s history, you wouldn’t expect to find him in a Poll Book, but he appears – twice! He is on the list for Ashfield Magna in Suffolk for both the 1859 and 1868 parliamentary elections.

Opening page of 1868 Poll Book and entry for Jeremiah Madder in Ashfield Magna

As you can see, he voted for the Conservative candidates, who seem to have won a majority in that village. 

It is not the fact that he was living in Ashfield Magna that is puzzling, but his qualification for voting – property in Hickling, Norfolk. I have found no connection with that particular village to Jeremiah or any member of the Madder family. Not only is it some distance from where Jeremiah was living in Suffolk, it is in a completely different part of Norfolk to where he was born.

I tried to find a connection with Ashfield Magna (or Great Ashfield) and found a transcription of the 1865 Post Office Directory on the History of Suffolk website  which lists a Jeremiah Maddow as a beer retailer there. There is a small family of Maddows in Suffolk – probably an offshoot of Madder, but none are called Jeremiah. Since he is listed as a beer retailer, I think this must be my Jeremiah. I don’t know if this is a mistake in printing or transcription, but at least it places him there.

So, I have managed to find a lot of detail about this Jeremiah Madder, from a variety of sources: census, directories, newspapers and poll books. But in the process it has produced more problems. The genealogical hunt is never-ending and there is always something new to discover.

If you happen to see him anywhere – let me know!


  1. Is it the Kensington marriage in the June 1849 Q, or is that another Jeremiah?

    • No, the marriage in 1849 is that of Jeremiah Madder of Harwich, I refer to his death in the earlier post mentioned in this one.

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