Image Display
click to increase frame size
First image in set Andrew and Betsy Nichols Last image in set
  Andrew Nichols was born in 1841 to a family of agricultural labourers in Castlethorpe. He was the youngest of seven children of John and Elizabeth Nichols. She and her daughters of course at that time were lacemakers. Andrew was working on the land by the time he was 10, but then seized the chance for better pay and conditions and got a job as a striker at the railway carriage and waggon works at Wolverton. A striker worked in the blacksmiths’ shop as a labourer to the blacksmith where he would have struck the hot iron for the blacksmith to work on. I understand the blacksmiths’ shop can still be found in the car park of Tesco built on the old Works’ site.

Andrew married Betsy Maria Rainbow in 14th July 1863. She was the daughter of Thomas Rainbow and Ruth nee Carter of Hanslope and was one of 11 children. They were agricultural labourers and lacemakers too, like so many ordinary people at the time. One story passed down in the family was how, when bobbin lace went out of fashion due to the new and cheaper machine made lace, the ladies burned the hated lace pillows and bobbins on the fire.

Andrew and Betsy had 6 children. They also headed to Wolverton to work, the boys as printers and the girls as envelope makers for Mc Corquodale’s.

Andrew and Betsey lived in the High Street at Hanslope but seem to have moved house by each census. By 1901 they were living next door but one to the shop kept by Julia Varley.

Andrew Nichols died in 1912 and Betsy continued to live in the High Street. House title deeds show she was a tenant at (present day) number 9 High Street in 1930; the actual date of her death is not known but she was visited by her great grandson Roy Payne with his parents Walter and Grace Payne at number 9 during the 1930s.

This photograph possibly dates from Andrew and Betsy’s wedding in 1863.

  Source: Trudie Mundell who provided the narrative above year: 1863  

This image is included in the following additional sets:

  Additions - 2009Groups, families

(Click on set name to see thumbnails of images in set)