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Help and advice for Withycombe Raleigh - Henry Young's Family in 1851

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Henry and Catherine Young

1851 English Census: Withycombe, Devon

By Patricia Braga

The census includes the Christian name and surname of each person who was in the house on the night of 30 March 1851. Additional information is given which is invaluable to the family historian: relationship to the head of the family, age, occupation, place of birth. It often created some angst when servants who had carefully concealed their age for years now had to disclose it to the head of the household, who filled in the census return.

Withycombe, now engulfed by the town of Exmouth, was then a village of lace makers. It is situated two miles north-east of Exmouth, on the east side of the estuary of the River Exe. Looking west one sees the vast and forbidding bulk of Dartmoor, on the far side of which is Plymouth, where Henry and Catherine were married thirteen years earlier, in 1838.

Withycombe in 1850 was experiencing rapid growth. At the first English census of 1841, it had a population of 1922, and in 1850 was estimated to have more than 2300 people. (White's Devonshire Directory, 1850) There was a strong Plymouth Brethren community, which had its own burial ground. It was to this community that Henry addressed a pamphlet entitled A Letter Addressed to the Saints Meeting for Worship at --- Exmouth (London, 22 January 1846). He seems to have moved from Tunbridge Wells to Withycombe a little later, perhaps finding their fellowship congenial.

It appears that the Youngs lived at No. 131 Withycombe Village Road. In 2010, Fancyflours Cakes is just across the road at No. 134 and just down the road at 161 is Holly Tree Inn. (Check Google Maps: 'Withycombe Devon England').

131 Withycombe
            Name Relation       Age    Occupation    Where born
      M F    
  Henry Young Head 47      Fund holder East India
  Catherine A wife   35   Surrey Clapham
  Emily B dau   8   Devon Plymouth
  Henry Cath A son 7 months     Middlesex Lambton
  Catherine James    No   26    House servant    Herefordshire Eardisley East
  Eliza Farr No   22 do. Monmouthshire Grosmont
A Fund holder is someone who does not have land but has funds in government bonds, then known as consols or consolidated annuities. It signifies a man of means, but one who is not a landed gentleman. It is significant that Henry does not describe himself as 'gentleman', which his rank as a younger son of a baronet would certainly entitle him. At that time, the word 'gentleman' carried a significant social cachet, but one upon which Henry had turned his back.

Emily Baring Young later married John Feild Deck at Erme Dale near Riverton in New Zealand. They moved to Australia from New Zealand and lived at 251 Macquarie Street where Ernest Feild Deck was born in 1877. In 1880 they moved to Elizabeth Street Ashfield and named the house 'Withycombe'.

Brian Randell, 4 Mar 2010