Christopher Crozier (1783-1839),Blacksmith, Brampton

Voucher PR60/21/13/5/52, 17 September 1817, Expenses to take Christopher Crozier from Carlisle to Newcastle

Christopher Crozier was a blacksmith by trade like his father William, and his brother William (1783-1856). Christopher and William were baptised on the same day 2 February 1783. Their mother was Arabella or Isabella Hetherington. Two other brothers Joseph (1790-1842) and Quintin (1788-1823) were also smiths: Joseph a blacksmith, and Quintin a whitesmith. All operated within the town of Brampton. Christopher also had 3 sisters: Mary (1784-1851), who married John Aikin; Isabella (b.1795) and Margaret (b.1798).[1]

A voucher for Brampton parish dated 17 September 1817 although torn and missing the lower half gives an insight into a brief period in Christopher’s life.[2] Expenses had been incurred by an unknown person for the taking of Christopher from Carlisle to Newcastle. They include:-
⦁ Burns Coach to Carlisle 2s 6d Driver 6d [Coach Carlisle to Newcastle[3]
⦁ Supper 1s 6d Ale 1s
⦁ Breakfast 1s 3d Gin 4d
⦁ Paid Wm Jackson Jailor 8s 6d
⦁ Turn key for Irons 2s
⦁ Hector Glendinning [blacksmith] for Iron Crozier 2s
⦁ Coach Fare to Newcastle £1.12s.
⦁ Bread cheese & Ale for Crozier at Carlisle 1s 2d

The assumption from the items on the voucher is that Christopher had committed a crime. Court records (15 April 1817) show that he was accused of larceny (theft), but received no punishment.[4 ] The Carlisle Patriot gives a little more information reporting that Christopher had stolen some bank notes and when asked how he would be tried replied ‘By the Spirit‘. No further court proceedings took place as he was considered not to be of sound mind.[5 ] It is possible that owing to his state of mind and his family being unable to help him that Christopher was placed in safe custody. Guidelines of the Safe Custody of Insane Persons Act 1800 allowed for this.[6]


Another voucher dated two years earlier (2 December 1815) is for eleven weeks board for Christopher Crozier at a cost of £4.8s.[7] The other named parties being Messrs Pow and Cook (grocers in Mosley Street, Newcastle) and Drs Wood and Glenton, which suggests this is not the first time that Christopher has had some aberration.[8] In 1817 there was no mental health facility near to Brampton, the nearby city of Carlisle’s Garlands Hospital not being opened until 1862. The Asylum at Warden Close, Newcastle was the nearest, where Dr J. Wood and Dr F. Glenton were physicians.

Examination of military records reveals that Christopher, like his brother William, joined the army on 26 September 1807 serving in the 1st Battalion, 5th Foot Regiment. The Peninsular War saw Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese force besiege Ciudad Rodrigo in Spain from 7-20 January 1812. One of those injured was Christopher, suffering a gunshot wound to the leg on 19 January 1812. He was considered unfit for further service and discharged on 1 April 1812. [9] Whether he suffered any mental affliction as well as physical injury as a result of his five and half years army service can only be speculated upon.

Voucher /21/13/5/114 5 January 2019 13 weeks Board for Christopher Crozier in the Lunatic Hospital

Problems with overcrowding at Warden Close Asylum in Newcastle may explain why another voucher for grocers, Pow and Cook dated 5 January 1818 is for 13 weeks board at a cost of £5.4s ‘for Christopher Crozier in the lunatic hospital. [10] Thomas Bells’s name appears on the back of the voucher. [11]

One more voucher headed ‘Parish of Brampton to Thos Bell’ suggests that Christopher recovered enough to return to his family in Brampton.[12] It is for 15s 9dExpenses when C Crozier returned’ on 11 July 1818. Christopher’s and Joseph’s names appear in the 1828-29 trade directories as blacksmiths at Back Street, Brampton, suggesting Christopher was either working or attempting to do so.[13]

Christopher Crozier died 1839. Quintin had already died in 1823. His brothers Joseph and William appear in the 1841 Census in Brampton, Joseph still a blacksmith with his wife Mary Moffit, William (who had also been injured during his army service in the 21st Foot Regiment) an Army Pensioner with his wife Susan.[14] Joseph died in 1842 and William in 1856. Mary, his sister, moved to Newcastle with her surviving children after her husband John Aikin’s death. [15]

Footnote
Dr James Wood died in 1822,[16 ]and Dr Frederick Glenton 1824.[17] Whilst they had their supporters, [18] in 1824 Newcastle City Council on advice given in a report into the running of Warden Close Lunatic Asylum concluded that it had been run as a private asylum for the benefit of the physicians and action was taken to redress this. The morals of treatment turned towards non restraint, provision of more space , land for gardens and access to sewing, music and reading. It eventually closed around 1855.[19]

Sources
[1] Cumbria Archives, PR 60/2, Brampton, St Martin Parish Register of Baptisms
[2] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/5/52 Brampton Poor Law Voucher, 7 September 1817
[3] Carlisle Patriot, 26 April 1817
[4] England & Wales Crime, Prisons Punishment 1770- 1935 Cumberland Court records, 15 April 1817, accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk, 20 April 2019
[5] Carlisle Patriot, 19 April 1817
[6] www.oldbaileyonline.org, accessed 20 April 2019
[7] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/5/22, Brampton Poor Law Voucher, 2 December 1815
[8] Tyne Mercury, Northumberland & Durham & Cumberland Gazette, 17 January 1804
[9] The National Archives, Kew, War Office Armed Forces Judge Advocate General and Related Bodies, 1807-1813, WO 121/129/134, Christopher Crozier, accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk, 20 April 2019
[10] Tyne and Wear Archive Service Catalogues, H O S N, St Nicholas Hospital Gosforth, 1829-2005
[11] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/5/114, Brampton Poor Law Voucher, 5 January 1818
[12] Cumbria Archive Service, PR60/21/13/65, Brampton Poor Law Voucher, 11 July 1818
[13] Parson W. M. & White, W. E., History, Directory & Gazetteer of the Counties of Cumberland & Westmorland (1829) . Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory Cheshire- Northumberland for 1828-29 (J Pigot & Co).
[14] The National Archives, Kew, War office Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General and Related Bodies, WO 97/1184C/227, William Crozier, 1821, accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk, 20 April 2019
[15] www.ancestry.co.uk, accessed 20 April 2019
[16] Tyne Mercury, Northumberland & Durham & Cumberland Gazette 11 February 1822
[17] Newcastle Courant 10 April 1824
[18] Tyne Mercury, Northumberland & Durham & Cumberland Gazette 19 February 1822
[19] Tyne and Wear Archive Service Catalogues H O S N, St Nicholas Hospital Gosforth 1829-2005

This is a work in progress subject to change with new research

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