The Cargills were the first known inhabitants of “The Gables”, the House on the corner of Main Street and Chapel Lane.  It was owned by that family between 1797 and 1884, when it was sold to James Thorpe .  A date stone records alterations in 1816 with the initials of James and Hannah Cargill.


The article was written by Rolf Vernon, local historian, in the 1980.  Census data from 1881 onwards has been added at the end of the article.


The Cargills of Coddington

The first date referring to the Cargill family in Coddington was 3rd Sept 1749, when Mary daughter of James and Mary Cargill was baptised; they had other children; their baptism dates were –

James 12th Jan 1754, Sarah 30th May 1756, Anne 13th Apr 1762, Robert 14th Oct 1765.

Of these children, Mary died in 1765 aged 18; Sarah in 1769 aged 13 and Anne in 1762 aged 3½, but the sons lasted much longer; James died 1832 (aged 80 years) and Robert died 1850 (aged 84 years).

James the father, died in Dec 1768 and in the February 1769 a daughter, Martha, was born.  The baptism register merely says “to Mary Cargill” which unless you look at the dates gives the impression of unmarried mother.  It would have been kinder to have put the late James and his wife Mary.  Mary the wife, now a widow, had lost her daughter Anne two years before, and her daughter Mary one year before; she had a new baby and two sons,  Robert 3yrs old and James 15 years to look after, although no doubt James was already working as a “farm boy”.  The parish made a “levy” to help her.

In 1788 a Thomas Cargill and his wife Hannah, had a son Samuel.  Perhaps Thomas was the son of James and Mary before they came to Coddington.  They disappeared from the records just as suddenly as they appeared.

In 1792 a daughter Mary was born to a Robert Cargill (he was probably the son of James and Mary) and to Ann his wife, but 17 years later a son, William was born to Robert and Mary Cargill.

There is no mention in the records of what happened to Robert’s earlier wife (if it was the same Robert) and to his daughter Mary.  Robert had married a Mary Kemp in 1808, but the register does not say whether he was a widower.  They had more children – 

William 1809, Robert 1811, John 1813, Anne 1815, and James 1820.

The father of this family, Robert was named in the baptism as “labourer”.  If he was the Robert born in 1769 (son of James and Mary) he had an older brother James, who made more impact on the records than all the rest of them put together, for it was he who lived in the house (perhaps enlarging it) that still exists called The Gables.

His initials and those of his wife Hannah are carved in a stone on a gable at the back of the house, “J and H C” with the date “1816” (this is now in the re-built barn but on the garden side circa 1998).  James did not build the house because in the deeds of 1774 it shows the house passing from Stephen Ashwell (the Ashwell s had been in Coddington certainly before 1603) to Gervaise Armstrong, “weaver”, the only weaver I have heard of in Coddington.  In 1797 the house passed from Armstrong to James Cargill, ” Yeoman”.  This last word, rather a vague one, was used in the main for small farmers with some private property.

James and Hannah had the following children: –

Elizabeth 1793, William 1795, Robert 1799 and John 1805.

In 1826 (beautifully written by a J Wilkinson) a survey of the parish was made for fixing the amount to be paid in rates. I have copied it out. In it I see that James Cargle ( it was Cargle at the time of the baptism of widow Gargill’s daughter Martha) owned a “house and premises and 33 acres of land and also occupied it himself. He let his two fields to a man called Cooper. In a similar rating survey in 1827 he was shown to be the owner and occupier of the house and premises mentioned above, but he was no longer the owner of fields, he “occupied them, but they belong to a Dr Bower and two vicars one of Flintham, the other of Kneeton, village between Newark and Nottingham. In the same list there was Robert Cargill, occupying a house and garden owned by Garrett Ordoyno.

By this time the widow Mary had died in 1794 and so had her daughter Martha in1812 aged 42. In August 1831 Newark court sentenced Andrew Brown to 3 months imprisonment in Southwell House of Correction for picking the pocket of Mr James Cargill of Coddington of three shillings.

Another rating assessment was made in 1836 and Hannah Cargill was now the farmer and head of the family. She owned and occupied the house and premises (no doubt what is now “The Gables” and farmed land still owned by the two vicars (of Kneeton and Flintham) and also a field owned by a wealthy landowner (who lived at Langford Hall) called Slingsby Duncombe Esq.

A Robert Cargill still occupied a “house and garden” owned by Garret Ordoyno and a Robert Cargill Jnr “occupied a house and garden owned by William Carby. The same rating was repeated in 1838, except that Duncombe’s field was now owned by a Burton.

In 1834 a Robert Cargill had married a Hannah Johnson. They had the following children: –

Susan 1835, William 1838, George 1840 (died in infancy).

Perhaps this is Robert Jnr who rented the house from William Carby. A John Cargill in1837 married Ann Drayton, they had a daughter Abigail in1838, but the do not seemed to have settled in the village.

In 1828 William( no doubt the son of Robert and Mary) had married Elizabeth Browne, their daughter Mary Ann was baptised in Coddington in 1839 and their son William 1841. It may be they had other children in the previous 11 years, if so there is no record of them in Coddington.

In June 1841 there was the first useful census for genealogists. There were four seperate “Cargill” households

1. Hannah 73 Farmer
William 40

[two other people were listed: Mary Cottam, age 70, independent, born Notts; Ann Saxby, aged 15, servant, born outside Notts.]

2. Robert 70
Ann 25

3. Robert 30 Ag Lab
Hannah 30
Susan 6
William 3

4. Elizabeth 25 [widow]
Mary Ann 1
William 2 months

NB Ages in the 1841 census were supposed to be rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 below (except for children) yet Hannah was detailed as “73”, her son, Will, was really 44¾!!  Robert (given 70, actually 74¾) was the son of the original James and Mary Cargill.  Robert’s wife Ann must have died but there is no record of her burial in Coddington.  The other Robert (aged 30 was 30!) and his wife Hannah and their two children were renting their house from William Carboy, who was a carpenter.

In the fourth household Elizabeth, who married William agricultural labourer in 1828, was probably left to look after her family while her husband worked elsewhere – or looked for work elsewhere.  This was one of the worst periods in English history for agricultural workers, but times began to improve a few years later.  This William (aged 32 in 1841) and his family do not appear in Coddington records again. He and his family no doubt settled elsewhere.

William (aged 44¾ in 1841 but recorded as 40) got married some time in the next few years, because in March 1850 saw the baptism of James, the son of William and Sarah Cargill, and in September of the same year Robert, agricultural labourer, born in 1765, died at the age of 84.  Two years before his death, his daughter Ann married William Pilgrim of Langford near Coddington, his occupation was given as “dressmaker”.  Whether the father had lived with the daughter after her marriage or on his own, it is not possible to say.

In 1851 another census came.  Exact ages were given and exact birthplaces.  There were only two Cargill households: –

1. William 55 Farmer (18 acres) Born Coddington
Sarah 44 Wife Goadby Leicestershire
James 1 Son Coddington

2. Robert 39 Farm labourer Coddington
Hannah 44 Wife ”
Susan 15 ”
William 13 Scholar ”

NB William had taken over from his mother as “farmer and householder”.  His mother had not died however.  She died two years later and the place of her death is rather worrying even after so many years.  She was buried in Coddington, but she died in Southwell.  Southwell is a very attractive little town near to Newark with a small but impressive Norman Minster.  However in the middle of the 19th century, it was known amongst the struggling masses around here as the whereabouts of two places that filled the local people with dread –

1. The prison (known as the “House of Correction”, like the American “Penitentiary”)

2. The Workhouse.

Of the two the later would be the most feared. It may have been that poor Hannah died in comfortable circumstances with friends or relations, or it may be that at 86, she was pushed out by her son. I hope not, though.

In 1855 their house was transferred to J Cargill and Rev. J Cargill (where did he come from!) to William Cargill.  The first named had been dead since 1832 but perhaps his younger son John had become a minister; Rev. John Cargill.

In 1859 there was a baptism.  It was of Henrietta, daughter of William and Mary Cargill.  This William was probably the son of Robert and Hannah, born in 1838.  There is no way of knowing where he lived or what happened to him and his family.  Probably he brought his first child back to his home village specially to be baptised in his native village.  In the same year Susan the daughter of farm worker, Robert and Hannah his wife, married William Stewartson, a wheelwright of Coddington.  She too, like Ann in 1848 gave her occupation as “dressmaker”.

In the 1861 census, there are only two Cargill households in Coddington,

1. William 65 Farmer 20acres Coddington
Sarah 53 Wife Goadby Leicestershire
James 11 Son Coddington

2. Robert 50 Agricultural labourer Coddington
Hannah 54 Wife ”
William Stewartson Son in Law Kilburn
Susan Dressmaker Coddington
Hannah 2 Grand/daughter ”
Mary Jane 6mnths ” ”

NB The first family had not changed a great deal, apart from being 10 years older and they no longer had a servant.  The second family were also ten years older- which is not surprising!  William, their 13 yr-old “scholar” in 1851 had gone, no doubt to work elsewhere and Susan brought home her husband; they now had two daughters.  They must have been somewhat better off than many working-class folk as Robert and his daughter and his son in law were all bringing in some money.

In April 1869 Annie, daughter of James and Mary Cargill was baptised at Coddington Methodist Chapel.  James was the son of William the farmer.  He must have been only 19 yrs old.  In March 1871 they had a son James William and he was baptised at Coddington Church.

By the April 1871 census, for some inexplicable reason, the Cargills in Coddington are reduced to a single household and it is neither of those that existed ten years before.  There is no mention of William and his wife Sarah or of Robert and his wife Hannah, and their daughter, son-in-law and their children; nor do any of them appear in the subsequent registers of baptism, burials or marriages.  They must have left the village.

All that remains of the Cargills was one family-

James Cargill 21 Farmer 20acres Coddington
Mary 22 Wife Lincoln
Annie 2 Daughter Coddington
James William 1mnth Son ”
Alice Beckett 13 General servant Farndon

In November 1871 the house (now “The Gables” ) was transferred to James.  In 1873 he and his wife had a daughter, Elizabeth, who died in infancy.  In 1874 they had a son John, and in 1876 another son Arthur George.  In 1880 their son John died at the age of 6; in 1882 they had a daughter Susan Emma.  Things cannot have been going very well in farming, because in 1878 the property was mortgaged to a J.W.Smith; and six years later it was sold to James Thorpe, who was the Squire and lived in Coddington Hall.

“The Gables” after the Thorpe sale in 1918 was owned by Mrs Tallents from 1919 to 1964 and rented out to the Vicar for that period.

In 1979 the house was bought by Miss Mary McClun later Mrs Mary Mollison.

The only other references to the Cargills in the registers is of their burials, James’s wife Mary died in October 1889 aged 41, and their daughter Annie in the same year aged 21. there is no mention of James in the register. Their son Arthur George Cargill and his wife Agnes had a Daughter Eveline Annie in 1912, but no other children are recorded.

This record was compiled by Mr Rolf Vernon in 1980. 


Appended Data:

1881 Census:

Piece 3374, Folio 85 – pg10
Head: James Cargill M 31, born Coddington, farmer of 18a
Wife: Mary Cargill M 32, born Lincoln
Daughter: Annie Cargill 12, scholar born Coddington
Son: William Cargill 10, scholar born Coddington
Son: Arthur Cargill 4, scholar born Coddington
1891 and 1901 Census:
No Cargills are listed.


Trade Directory Data:

James Cargill listed as farmer: 1869,1872, 1979, 1881.