Sunday, January 23, 2011

Charles Kidgell and Sarah Ann Cashmore

Sarah Ann Cashmore - b 19 Dec 1831
in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England      
  Sarah Ann Cashmore is my Great-Great-Grandmother.  This picture was taken when she was still living in England, I would guess about the time she was married in 1853.  She joined the Church of Jesus Christ-of latter day Saints at age 19 in 1850. At that time she was living with her parents who did not join the Church until much later.     Her parents were Edward Cashmore and Maria Tomlinson.  Yes, the surname Tomlinson is in our line on Dad's (Vern W. Tomlinson) MATERNAL side.  
     Sarah Ann had quite a colorful life.  If we read her life history that was handed down by Great-Grandmother Sarah Ann Hepworth and Grandmother Ethel Tomlinson we would know of only one husband for Sarah Ann.  Actually, she had three husbands.  I found husband number two about six months ago (2010).  Her first husband, the love of her life, (my interjection here but, I sure he was) died at an early age. Her second husband she divorced (I have the divorce papers from 1877) and her third husband died of quite bizarre circumstances.   
    This life history will take several posting over the next few weeks.

This is my Great-Great-Grandfather Charles Kidgell.  Don't you think he is older than 20 years old?   If so, this picture was taken when in Utah after 1855.  It IS a photograph that has been treated by a different process that I can't recall at this writing.   I am very fortunate to have the original photo in my possession.  What a handsome man!
 Charles was born 21 August 1833 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
the same area as Sarah Ann. 
Charles Kidgell Jr. b21 August 1833
 Charles's parents were Charles Sr. and Caroline Loftus.  His mother died in 1845 when Charles was twelve years old.  He was their first child and only boy.  Five sisters followed Charles the youngest Helen, was one year old at his mothers passing, she died the next year in 1846.
     Charles joined the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints on the 22nd of April  1850.  He first heard the gospel preached by Mormon Elders on the street and became intensely interested.   After a thorough investigation he joined and it was at this time he met and courted Sarah Ann Cashmore.  

This is where Warwickshire is located; in the heart of England.  
Sarah Ann's father, Edward Cashmore was a Shoe Maker by trade.  He started repairing shoes at his home in England and developed his business into a shoe business that catered to the wealthier classes of people.   
      Charles Jr.'s father,  Charles Kidgell  was a jeweler most of his life.  He also was a pattern maker or designer and a gold chain maker while living in Warwickshire, England.  
Warwickshire is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. Even today, road signs at the county boundary describe Warwickshire as "Shakespeare's County"

This is the church Sarah Ann and Charles were married on Christmas day  1853.  Charles is 20 Years old, Sarah Ann is 22.  The  St. Thomas Church is in Bedford, Lancashire, England which really puzzles me.  The location of this church is quite a distants  from their home town of Birmingham, about 80 miles away.  
      In the 1851 England census shows Charles Jr. at age 16/17 (depending when the census was taken) living with his younger siblings, Henrietta age 15/16 and Ann age 12 .  Charles is making a living as an Engine Fitter and they are still living in Birmingham.   However, their father in 1851 is living in St. Helen, Lancashire, England which is nearer this church.  In 1851, Sarah Ann is living with her parents in Birmingham.  So, why they were married in Bedford, Lancashire, I do not have the answer. 

 About six months before their marriage Charles writes this letter to Sarah Ann in response to a card she had written to him.  It is written in beautiful handwriting! Notice the drawn picture of a flower in a pot. This original  letter is in my possession! 

Birmingham, England
17 June 1853
My dear Sarah Ann;
It is with pleasure that I take my pen to write a few lines to you as you wished me in answer to the card you gave me. 

                                                  SHALL I THEN BE DEAR AS NOW?
                                                    You profess that you adore me,
                                                    That I have your heart alone,
                                                    That within that heart no rival
                                                    Ever shall dare to hold a throne.
                                                   But when age my hair is turning 
                                                   And when altered is my brow,
                                                   Will your tone be then unchanging
                                                   Shall I then be dear as now?

 I will now proceed to answer these questions:  (1)I have always, as much as I have Professed; (2) You have my heart alone;   (3) for all the thrones in the world, as far as this world is concerned, I do not care a pin. 
I would not exchange my position, for what good would they be to me?

The prayer of my heart is to go on in the Kingdom of God and obtain Celestial salvation, and then go on progressing and  fulfilling all that the Lord shall appoint unto me as I may obtain thrones, powers, glories, kingdoms and worlds in eternity and through all eternity increase.  And no end, all in the Lord's own time, every man in is his own order. 

First Christ, the first fruits after those, they that are Christs's every man in his own order.  O, how this makes my heart to rejoice!  I feel to praise my God that he has raised up a prophet and established his Church and Kingdom and I have the opportunity
 of embracing the gospel.  And I know that it is the Church and Kingdom of God.  Besides it there is no other. 

I thank God for my body in this age of the world, when he is bringing about his great and mighty work, an age which most all kings (that is, kings of God) and prophets wished to live, but were not permitted.  They had their work to do and they did it.  But this is the
Last Dispensation.

The Last Dispensation includes all other dispensations, a time of restoring all the keys and powers, sealings, etc., as have been.  They have to be restored in this dispensation.  And things which never have been revealed to man on this earth, no, not from the Morning of Creation, have got to be revealed in dispensation.  O, what a glorious dispensation to live in!  It takes in all other dispensations, the works of all other prophets, and carries the work of redemption, or salvation, all through from the beginning.  Right through dawn to the winding up scene:  the end of wickedness, the resurrection of the dead, the millennium reign, the eternal judgments, the celestializing of this earth, fit for celestial beings to dwell upon. 

The Lord has set up his kingdom to bring about his salvation, and he will do it though all earth and hell oppose him.  So, my Dear, go on your way rejoicing.  Be firm and steadfast.  Though wicked men and devils try to usurp the power, it's in vain.  He who is Eternal has said you shall obtain. 

I rejoice to know that the Lord has revealed his gospel which will bind the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children.  (Fourth chapter of Malachi.)  And it also binds the hearts of the wives to their husbands and the hearts of the husbands to their wives.  I rejoice to know that there are principles in the gospel of Christ that will teach me how to appreciate the society of a wife, the worth and the value of a wife.  And I rejoice, hoping that we both may learn these glorious principles.  A good wife is better than all the gold of California and Australia put together.  They are filth and dross beside the side of a good wife. 

I think I must conclude, praying God, our Father, to bless us with his Spirit and lead us on in his kingdom and speedily gather us unto the land he has appointed for his Saints to gather, that we may be counted worthy of Eternal lives and each other's society and the ordinances of salvation in his house.  And may Zion soon be redeemed and rise and shine and put on her beautiful garments, her temples built and the Lord come and reign with his Saints.  May God bless you and me, and all his Saints, and gather us home.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

So, good night, my Dear.  
From Your Affectionate Lover,
Charles Kidgell.
Amazing,Great-Great-Grandfather Charles is 19 years old when he wrote this 'testimony' of his new found faith and expressing his love for Sarah Ann.  However, Charles did attend school. 
"Charles was educated in Birmingham at a private school and at an early age was an apprentice as an engine fitter and later as an engineer.  He became foreman over a shop that employed seventy men in Birmingham."  
 [History of Charles Kidgell Jr. - information comes from his daughter Sarah Ann Kidgell Hepworth my Great-grandmother]
What a guy!!!
Next post will be about their journey to Zion in 1855.