John Castle (1819 – 1888): Timeline – Writing Lives

John Castle (1819 – 1888): Timeline


1819: Born, Great Coggeshall, Essex

1821: Moved to fathers native Soulbury

1823: Father dies of ‘inflammation of the body’ aged 27. Sisters Hannah and Elizabeth also died the cause of death is undisclosed. Following the deaths moved with his father’s sister to Hertfordshire leaving the rest of the family

1827 (estimated): Sent to writing school

1828 (estimated): Sent to Messrs William and Charles Beckwiths Silk Factory to become a draw boy

1835: Involved in an incident when reluctantly ‘rooking’ whereby an associate John Carter is paralysed by falling from a tree. John Carter later becomes an important artist using just his mouth.

Autumn; saves the life of sixty year old John Nicholas by pulling him from a river

Winter; Messrs W. and C. Beckwith fail leaving John jobless and the silk trade in troubling times nationally. Following this John returns to his native Coggeshall. Upon arrival John and his brother joined the local union

1836 – 1837: At some point John Castle becomes godfather James Collins whose father was in Chelmsford Gaol

1837, 7th February: Sent to Leighton Buzzard union arriving less than a week later

John Castle finds out his father had a sister Marin and subsequently meets his cousins George and Sarah Grace

April; dismissed from the union having spoken out of turn to the Chairman of the board of Guardians

May; takes up a post as a porter in London with help from his father’s sister Alice

1840: John moves to Colchester to be reunited with his brother and take up his old trade of weaving. Works for Messrs Henderson and Co. No. 1 Gutter Lane

1842: Married to Elizabeth Sandford, Sudbury, Suffolk

1844, January 17th : Wife Elizabeth dies. She was buried in Stockwell Chapel Yard

August 14th ; remarries to Esther Groves. In marrying John relinquishes the care of his deceased wife’s two siblings

1844 – 1845: Sometime between his second marriage and the birth of his first daughter John’s friend John Carter dies

1845, June: Birth of first child Rachel

1845 – 1850: Birth of two more children a daughter Esther and a son John. Two years separates their births however the dates are not specified. John dies at the age of just three months

1850, March: John writes a letter and delivers it to Dr. Williams (Mayor) with the intention of collecting funds to send a party to London to find workers to keep the factory he works at alive. He achieves success gathering money all over town. After this John travels to London himself to persuade a company to take over his factory, he succeeds and Messrs Campbell & Co. take over making John foreman

May; John’s mother dies

1850 – 1857: John and family moved from their country house to Abbey gate Terrace in Colchester. The factory was also moved to Stanwell Street.

1857: Rachel dies aged twelve after a severe back injury causes he to develop abscesses

1857 – 1861: Second daughter Esther dies. The date is not specified but it is believed to be closer to 1861

1861, January: Mr. Dand calls John to the first meeting discussing the idea of a co-operative

2nd August; the Colchester co-operative society is established

1862, 22nd August: John is presented with a silver timepiece for his services to the society and its successful development

1864: Death of daughter Alice. Birth date unknown

1871, July: Wrote his account

1888: Died








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