Ifould, Henry (1825-1869), the Builder of the Cricketers Inn

Ifould, Henry (1825-1869), the Builder of the Cricketers Inn

Henry Ifould




Richard Ifould born abt 1785 Mapledurwell

Elizabeth Etherington born 1789 Hawkley

They were both living in Steep at the time of their wedding at Steep church on 6th April 1815.


Henry Ifould was the second son of Richard and Elizabeth Ifould. There were at least six other siblings in the family of whom Henry was their fifth child and second son. He had been born about 1825 and baptised at Steep church.

1841 Census

The 1841 Census shows Richard and Elizabeth living at the western end of Steep parish, near Rothercombe. Of their children, all but their youngest, William, had moved on.

At this time, Henry was aged about 15, living and probably working at Church Farm in Steep for farmer Hori Hetherington (possibly Etherington) who may have been a relative.

Henry married twice.

His first marriage was to Caroline Luckins.

The 1841 Census lists a ‘Carolin Luckin’ 15 working as a female servant in the household of Benjamin Challen 45 yeoman of Brook House, Cocking, Midhurst district. Given that Caroline’s daughter, Charlotte, was born six years later in the Midhurst district, this may well have been her mother. If this is the case, then Caroline Luckins may have been born around 1826.

1847 First Marriage

14th December 1847 Henry Ifold married Caroline Luckins, servant, at Steep church. The marriage register lists her father as James Luckins, soldier.

Caroline was a resident of Steep and of full age at the time of the marriage.

Henry was a resident of Petersfield, of full age, and a labourer.

They had at least one, possibly two children: Charlotte born 1847 (third quarter) before their marriage and William born in April 1849.

1849 Death of First Wife

Caroline died in 1849 (4th quarter). This was only a few months after the birth of her son William in Petersfield.

There is no record of Caroline’s burial in the Steep church registers, so it may have taken place in Petersfield, indicating that perhaps the couple were living there at the time.

1851 Census

Henry was a widower living alone in the Spain in Petersfield and a working maltster. His surname has been incorrectly transcribed as ‘Hould’ in the census record. There were at least three public houses in or near The Spain area of Petersfield and more around the Market Square, so plenty of opportunity for Henry to refine his craft in one or more of these.

His children aged 3 and 2 years were boarders nearby at the house of (wood) turner Richard Pullen and his wife Hannah. Mr Pullen’s two sons, who were a cabinet maker and a turner, were also at the house.

1855 Second Marriage

Henry then married a second time in 1855 to labourer’s daughter Esther Betsworth of Steep born about 1832 in Steep. She was possibly the daughter of labourer William Betsworth and his wife Mary of Steep.

Henry and Esther would go on to have at least five children, some of whom were baptised at Steep church: Thomas Jesse born abt. 1859, Edward John bapt. 1860, Alfred born abt. 1863, Alice born abt. 1865 and Albert William bapt. 1867.

1859 Building of the Cricketers Inn, Steep

By 1859, Henry Ifould had built a new public house in Steep called The Cricketers Inn. When he applied for a spirit licence, it was stated that the house offered good accommodation with eight rooms, stabling for six horses, a chaise house and it occupied a central position. A testimonial had been submitted to the magistrates bench, signed by both churchwardens and respectable inhabitants of the parish who had raised no objection. Mr Minty, a local solicitor, supported his application. Henry was duly granted a licence in September 1859.

White’s Trade Directory of 1859 for Petersfield  lists Henry amongst the postmen for the surrounding villages of Petersfield, indicating that he was probably also running a shop/post office from the site of, or near the pub and taking the post to and from Petersfield.

Very old postcard of Cricketers Inn from Harrow Collection
Possibly 1900s or earlier


1861 Census

The 1861 Census of Steep has the family surname incorrectly transcribed as ‘Hold’ for Henry Ifould’s family, also for his parents Richard and Elizabeth. Henry and Esther Ifould were living with their young sons Jesse 2 and Edward 8 months, on ‘Church Common’, probably at the newly built Cricketers Inn. Henry’s daughter Charlotte 13 was with them, but not his son William from his first marriage. No doubt, Charlotte was useful for helping out with the young children and with chores at the pub. Henry was listed as ‘innkeeper’.

In the 1861 Census a William ‘Yould’ was recorded as a 12 year old pupil at Churchers College in Petersfield. It is possible that this may have been Henry’s son, whose name was again mis-transcribed. Churchers was a school which had originally have been set up in the eighteenth century to educate a small number of sons of poor families. By 1861, the school would also have taken fee paying pupils. If William ‘Yould’ was Henry’s son, did he win a scholarship to the school, or was someone paying his fees?

1857-1866 Steep Enclosures

Henry seems to have made money from the Cricketers because in the negotiations prior to the Enclosure of Steep Common, it was agreed that Henry Ifould would purchase plots 59 and 60. These were the Rose Cottage and Myrtle Cottage sites. He agreed to pay £20 to his father Richard Ifold, the existing occupant of Plot 59. Richard and his wife Elizabeth also had the right to live in their cottage on this plot until they both died. They agreed to pay Henry an annual rent of £1 13s 5d every 25th March (Lady Day). By the same scheme, Henry also acquired Plot 60 on which his elder brother James and his family were later living. He paid James £7 3s 6d for the plot. In return, James had to pay Henry an annual rent of 11s 6d. Henry also agreed to pay £24 15s to the Valuer of the Enclosure Award as a contribution to the cost of the Enclosures. These were sizeable sums for a man of his standing to be paying out, but he would now be looking forward to an annual additional income from these rents.

At the Enclosures large areas of this common land were enclosed and allocated for a fee to land owners. The labourers, who had previously used the common, were allocated parcels of land for use as allotments on which they could grow produce to supplement their income.

Henry Ifould seems to have had sufficient money too by 1866 to be able to pay £40 to retain possession of Plot 55 which was the Cricketers plot at the crossroads.  In effect, he bought the land on which his pub stood.

Court case 1 – February 1867

February 1867 saw Henry Ifould taking one Henry Millard to court for breach of contract in an argument over an agreement to fell wood in a copse: It was alleged that Millard had been hired to fell wood in the copse but then not completed the job. The magistrates dismissed the case. Henry may have lost money in legal fees over this. Was he beginning to over stretch himself financially? The report of the case is in Hampshire Telegraph of 15th February 1867.

A Spell Away from the Pub at the start of 1867, returning April 1867

Just before April 1867 there was a period when Henry was no longer the innkeeper. A Hampshire Telegraph report of 13th April 1867 states that the licence of the Cricketers Inn, Steep was transferred back from Alfred Pocock to Henry Ifould at that date. Alfred Pocock was the blacksmith whose family blacksmith’s shop was opposite the Cricketers Inn at the same corner. He seems to have had a short spell as landlord while Henry was away.

The birth of Henry and Esther’s youngest child Albert William occurred on 30th June 1867 at Mapledurwell, the home of Henry’s grandparents. This was a small village, 25 miles away, south east of Basingstoke in the north of Hampshire. Henry’s grandparents had died long before this time, but there were probably still relatives living there. Did Esther go to live at Mapledurwell, or to visit the relatives while Henry was away? Did they both go? Henry had returned by April 1867.

Kelly’s Post Office Directory of 1867 listed him as innkeeper of The Cricketers Inn on Steep Common.

Yet just two years later Henry would be dead.

Court Case 2 – August 1868

In another case, the local Petty Sessions record for 1867-70 at Hampshire Record Office lists Thomas Jenner, Police Constable at Petersfield, stating that on 30th August 1868 he saw a man ‘believed to be Carpenter’ leaving the Cricketers Inn at Steep at about 10.50am with a can in his hand. Henry Ifould was convicted of selling beer on a Sunday morning. He was found guilty and sentenced to pay £1, with 9 shillings and 6 pence costs, or he could plead distress, or serve two months in prison.

Did Henry decide to take the option of serving two months in prison? If he did, then the two months of hard labour, which he would have endured there, may have been a contributory factor to his early death the following year. One would have thought however, he had the funds to pay.

April 1869 Death aged 43 years

Henry Ifould died on 17th April 1869 at the Cricketers Inn. His death was registered by 67 year old Mary Hall who was present at the time of death. Mary was the wife of agricultural labourer George Hall. The Halls lived in a nearby cottage. The cause of death was given on the death certificate as ‘phrenitis asthenia’. Phrenitis is an old term for delirium caused by an inflammation of the brain. Asthenia is debility or weakness. Today, the sorts of diseases which cause such a condition might be meningitis or encephalitis. Both can be caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. So it would seem that poor Henry Ifould succumbed to an infection which caused a fatal fever of the brain and sadly resulted in his death at a relatively young age.
One wonders whether Henry’s wife Esther and their children were present at the Cricketers at the time of his death, or was she away somewhere?  Mary Hall may well have been someone who helped out at the pub. The fact that it was Mary who was present with Henry at his death and that she also registered the death, perhaps indicates that Esther was not present in Steep at the time. This points to the fact that Henry’s infection and illness may well have come on rather suddenly.

Henry’s burial on 22nd April 1869 at Steep church is recorded in the registers. He was aged about 43 years.

Cricketers Inn old postcard possibly 1920s-1930s


Henry Ifould’s family after his death

It seems that initially, Esther may have tried to run the pub on her own after Henry’s death. She had five children between two and ten years old by this time. Life must have been difficult for the family and things became worse.

The following year in November 1870 Esther gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Hannah. The child must have been small or ill at birth, as she was given a private baptism on 9th November 1870 by the new Steep vicar William Hawker. She died three weeks later; her burial on 3rd December 1870 is recorded in the church registers. This birth must have contributed to Esther’s difficulties in running the pub alone. Not long after this, she was forced to give it up.

Alfred Pocock, blacksmith, who had been living in a cottage at Dunhill, again took over again as licensee of the Cricketers at the beginning of 1871.

On census day a few weeks later in 1871, Henry’s widow Esther and her family were living near the Dunhill area of Steep. It might be speculated that perhaps Esther and Alfred Pocock swapped houses. When he moved with his family to the pub, she may have moved to his cottage at Dunhill. Esther’s children Thomas Jesse, 12, Edward James, 10, Alfred, 8, Alice, 6 and Albert, 4, were with her at Dunhill in 1871. Rather sadly, she listed her occupation as ‘late innkeeper, at present none’. The sole earner in the family appears to have been twelve year old Thomas who was a ‘farmer’s boy’.

Henry’s two children from his first marriage were not present with Esther and the family in 1871. Charlotte Luckins Ifould had married one William Greentree of East Meon in 1869. The couple eventually lived at Milford, near Witley, in Surrey.

A journeyman carpenter named William Ifould, born Petersfield was living as a boarder in South Hayling in the 1871 Census. Could this have been Henry’s son William from his first marriage? At the age of two, William had been a boarder in the house of (wood) turner Richard Pullen in Petersfield in 1851. Did he perhaps grow up with Mr Pullen’s family and acquire his woodworking skills there? He may also have been educated at Churchers College.

1871 found Henry’s elder brother: 49 year old James, agricultural labourer, living on the Common with his wife Jane. This may probably have been at Rose Cottage. His parents had died, so Rose Cottage became available for occupation by their eldest son. James and Jane. Their four sons aged between 10 and 21 years were also with them. There were three wage earners in this household – James himself, plus sons William, 21, gardener, and George, 15, carter. One wonders whether this family might have been helping to support the widowed Esther and her children.

1881 Census

Ten years later, the 46 year old Esther was found still living in the Dunhill area, near to Dunhill Farm at the 1881 census. This time, her surname has been mis-transcribed as ‘Gould’. She was surviving as a charwoman. One wonders whether Esther’s charwoman duties may have been at the nearby Cricketers Inn. Or possibly she may have worked at one of the four bigger houses/farmhouses clustered around the little Dunhill green. Her sons Edward and Alfred were working as under gardeners, 16 year old daughter Alice was a servant and 13 year old Albert was a groom. Her brother in law James and his wife Jane were still living not far away, possibly on the Rose Cottage plot. Their surname had been mis-transcribed as ‘Mould’.

1891 Census

By 1891 the sixty year old Esther had left Steep and moved to Sussex to live with her 28 year old married son Alfred and his wife Mary. Alfred was working as a gardener’s labourer. They were living at a cottage named Bohemia in the parish of Washington in the Thakeham district. Esther’s 26 year old daughter Alice had moved to London and was working as a cook for 22 year old law student Arthur Swann in the Lewisham district in 1891. She and her mother would later join forces. They were together again in London by 1901.

1901 Census

Esther had moved to Avenue Cottage, 7 Avenue Road, Southgate, Edmonton in Middlesex by 1901. She was aged about 69 years, living with her 36 year old unmarried daughter Alice. Both women were working as laundresses. Her brother in law, widower William Gregory aged 84, a retired coachman was also with them. Ever resourceful, it seems that Esther and her daughter were now surviving by taking in washing, and at the same time, supporting an elderly relative.

1907 Death of Esther Ifould

Esther Ifould died aged 74 in the 2nd quarter of 1907 in the Edmonton district of Middlesex.


Henry Ifould, son of an agricultural labourer, appears to have been the young entrepreneur of the mid nineteenth century Steep. He learnt the brewing trade as a young man and perhaps networked with the right kind of influential people. He may have borrowed or been given money for the erection of the Cricketers Inn; he could have used his own money too. There is no definite proof of the sourcing of his funds. He must have seen it as a good business opportunity to provide for the needs of guests of the Hawker family of Ashford Lodge. They stayed at their nearby house, which was just a few yards north of the Cricketers. It was used as a hunting lodge for the partaking of country sports and related pursuits. In addition, games of cricket were played on their land too – hence the name of the Inn. Refreshments were needed at the matches. The Cricketers licensee could either provide a beer tent, or players could repair to the pub before and afterwards. The pub offered additional accommodation for guests or travellers, with provision for stabling of six horses and a carriage. Henry acted too as the means for the collection and delivery of the post for Steep, which came through Petersfield. He may have run a basic post office from the shop next to the Cricketers.

At the same time as developing the hospitality interests at the pub, Henry took the opportunity of the negotiations for the Enclosures of the common land at Steep 1857-1866, to build a property portfolio for himself. It included the Cricketers Inn, an adjoining shop and the two cottages on Church Common in Steep named Rose Cottage and Myrtle Cottage. The latter two would remain in the occupancy of members of the Ifould family and their relatives for almost 150 years. It all seemed to happen in a relatively short space of time in the years between 1857 and 1868.

Other male members of the Ifould family lived fairly long lives for the times, but Henry died at the age of only 43 years. Did his business interests and financial worries cause him to burn out at a young age? He seems to have have succumbed to a serious illness which came on very suddenly.

Henry Ifould, like certain other members of the Ifould family seems to have displayed a readiness to seize a situation or an opportunity and to use it for advancement of the family circumstances. Like his nephew James Ifould born 1846, he may well have possessed a plausible quality that inspired the interest of others in his endeavours. His father Richard had already made the intrepid move from the small village of Mapledurwell, travelling 25 miles south to settle afresh and build a small family house in Steep. Henry had taken up challenge and continued the family quest towards greater advancement.

More about other licensees of the Cricketers Inn here:


There is more about other members of the Ifould families and their cottages here:







By Fran Box



Find My Past – Census, Birth, Marriage and Death Records

British Newspaper Archive

Registers of All Saints’ church, Steep

Information from Andrew Ifould

Research by Ruth Whiting

Majority of research by Fran Box