Richard Bailey




Richard Bailey 1817 - 1894

Richard Bailey was born in North Warnborough, a hamlet within the parish of Odiham, Hampshire. He was the eldest child of James Bailey , an agricultural labourer, and his wife Sarah Allen. They lived in a cottage in Poland Lane.

In 1841 Richard appears on the census returns for Folkestone, Kent, living at Grace Hill, with his wife Harriet and their daughter Harriet aged 2. All three are recorded as being born outside the county of Kent. Two further children are born: James, later in 1841 and Henry Cornelius in 1845. Shortly after this, Harriet dies leaving Richard a widower for the first time.

In 1847 there is a possible reference to him in the Surrey and Kentish Mercury newspaper, where a report dated 26th January states: 'On Sunday afternoon, Richard Bayley, a labourer residing in the Bail attempted suicide by suspending himself by the neck, but was prevented by timely interference. Jealousy was the cause assigned for the act.'

At the taking of the next census in 1851 he is still living in Folkestone, at 2 Turnpike Cottages, Lower Sandgate Road, with his second wife Sarah Ann, and several children. Sarah and one of the children, Ellen, are listed as being born in Bexhill, Sussex. Despite several searches no marriage has been found for Richard and Sarah Ann Barker. But there is a record of Sarah Ann Barker marrying Thomas Collins at St Peter's Church Bexhill in 1846. There are two children listed with Richard and Sarah in 1851. It seems that these are Henry Cornelius (Richard's son by his first wife Harriet), Ellen (her daughter by Thomas Collins) and Sarah Ann their first child together. Either Thomas Collins had died, leaving Sarah a widow, or she had left him in Bexhill, and moved to Folkestone.

In 1861 Richard and Sarah Ann are living in the High Street in Folkestone, in premises between the Bail Steps and the police station, with their family of two girls and three boys. Richard is now a gardener and bun seller. Previously he had been recorded as a labourer. Another boy and a girl are born, and then his occupation changes again. He had made enough money to try his hand as the licensee of the Jolly Sailor Pub at 16 The Stade. He took up the license in early 1865, and it was re named the Skylark after a local boat. He was fined on 2nd November 1865 for non payment of fees and replaced by William Spearpoint. The pub had a bad reputation, but this did improve and the name was changed again to the Jubilee. His brief spell as a publican is also recorded in the parish registers, when his daughter Harriet was christened in 1865.

Taking over the pub seemed to change his luck, and not for the better. His son Richard died in December 1864 aged 3, daughter Emma died in January 1865 aged 9, and he lost the pub in November the same year. In February 1870, his wife Sarah Ann died, leaving him to raise the children alone. She was buried in unconsecrated ground in Cheriton Road Cemetery. 

They had moved to Mill Bay from the the Skylark in the Stade, and one of their new neighbours was a newly widowed Irish woman Joannah Fitzgerald. Born in the same year as Sarah Ann, 1826, she was born Joannah Hart in Mitchelstown, County Cork, but had married a Fitzgerald, and moved to Folkestone in the past ten years. Richard Bailey and Joannah Fitzgerald married at the Parish Church, Folkestone on 14th August 1871.

They remained at Mill Bay for the rest of their lives.

Richard died in the Union Workhouse at Lyminge on January 24th 1894 and was buried at Cheriton Road Burial Ground on 27th January. He left all his goods to the value of 43 9s 5d to his wife, Joannah.

Joannah died on 20th July 1899 at home at 14 Mill Bay, and was buried on 2nd August at the Cheriton Road Burial Ground.

Last update : 1st May 2007