THE IFOULD/IFOLD FAMILY OF STEEP
Five generations of Ifoulds have lived in the parish of Steep, initially working as agricultural labourers, cowmen, or carters on local farms, then later becoming gardeners and more. Over the years, their somewhat unusual surname has been recorded in various ways. A number of them have shown a willingness to strike out for something new, or an ability grasp an opportunity and make a success of it. Certain shared character traits have emerged such as adaptability, tenacity and ability for hard work, along with the use of wits and intelligence to effect advancement.
Richard and Elizabeth Ifold 1815 and earlier
Richard was the first of those with the Ifold/Ifould surname to turn up in Steep. At some point before 1815, he made the twenty five mile journey from a small village near Basingstoke in the north of Hampshire, to the village of Steep. Born In Mapledurwell about 1785, his parents had been James Ifould born around 1755 and Diana née Crasswell born 1753. His father had died in 1796 and Perhaps thinking that his birth area could offer him little opportunity, Richard probably moved south in search of work. Arriving in Steep, he worked as an agricultural labourer and met Elizabeth Etherington who had been born about 1789 at Hawkley. At the age of about 30, he married 26 year old Elizabeth in Steep church on 6th April 1815.
Richard and Elizabeth had at least seven children most of whom were baptised at Steep church: Sarah, bapt. 1816, Mary bapt. 1818, Charlotte bapt. 1820, James bapt. 1823, Henry bapt. 1825, Elizabeth bapt. 1828 and William born about 1831.
Steep Tithe Map 1839-1841, the 1841 Census and the Ifold Family in 1841
The Tithe Award for Steep shows that plot 288 was owned by Steep Parish, indicating that it was part of the Common land. This plot was denoted as ‘Cottage and Garden’. It was occupied by one ‘Richard Highfield’. Might this have been Richard ‘Ifold’ whose name had been mis transcribed? The Ifold/Ifould surname would be mis transcribed in many of the census records too. If this was in fact the case, it shows that Richard had perhaps built a squatter’s house on this plot by 1841. When the 1841 census enumerator denoted the Ifold family as living ‘on the Common’ and near Ridge Farm, he may in fact have been referring to this plot. Richard, it seems, was not going to pay out money for the rental of a cottage. There were few available anyway. He had been proactive and built a house for himself and his family. He had only one remaining son living with him by the 1841 census. The cottage may well therefore have been built at an earlier stage after his 1815 marriage, when the family had a number of children living with them. Accommodation was needed.
The 1841 Census of Steep shows that only Richard and Elizabeth and their ten year old youngest child William, were living in their cottage on the Common. Presumably, the others had all moved on to work elsewhere. Some however were still within the village of Steep.
1851 Census Richard and Elizabeth
The 1851 Census of Steep incorrectly lists the family surname as Ivall. Richard and Elizabeth by then were in their sixties. They were living in a house denoted only as on ‘Steep Common’. It may well have been on the site of the house that was later known as Rose Cottage. Richard was still listed as an agricultural labourer. Their son William continued to be with them.
James Ifould born about 1823, elder son of Richard and Elizabeth
Born about 1823, James, was Richard and Elizabeth’s fourth child and eldest son. He married Jane Lake of Buriton in 1845. He was an agricultural labourer. By 1851 the couple were living in Sandsbury Lane in the Dunhill area of Steep with their two sons, James Edward aged 5 years and William aged one. James and Jane Ifold/Ifould would eventually have at least six children who were baptised at Steep church: James bapt. 1846, William bapt. 1849, Emily bapt. 1852, George bapt. 1855, John bapt. 1858, and Thomas Frank bapt. 1860.
Henry Ifould baptised 1825, son of Richard and Elizabeth
Baptised at Steep church on 28th July 1825, Henry Ifould was a younger brother of James and Richard’s second son. Henry married twice. On 14th December 1847 at Steep church, he married soldier’s daughter Caroline Luckins of Steep. They had at least one, possibly two children: Charlotte born 1847 a few weeks before the marriage and always known as Charlotte Luckins; and William born 1849. Henry’s wife Caroline died in 1849 not long after the birth of William.
At the 1851 Census Henry Ifould was a widower living alone in the Spain in Petersfield and a working maltster. His children were boarders nearby at the house of wood turner Richard Pullen and his wife Hannah.
Henry Ifould’s second marriage and children
Henry then married a second time in 1855 to labourer’s daughter Esther Betsworth of Steep. She was possibly the daughter of labourer William Betsworth and his wife Mary of Steep. Henry and Esther would 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.
Henry Ifould and 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 spirits 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.
Had Henry managed to raise the funds for this himself? Had he borrowed money? Or did he have a local backer? The answer is not known. It could be speculated that the Hawker family of Ashford Lodge may have promoted the idea in order to provide an alcoholic premises within the village, which was near their Ashford Lodge estate. It would cater for the needs of their visitors who came to partake in the sporting pursuits. It is known that cricket games took place on the Ashford Lodge estate. These seem to have given the pub its name. The present day Steep Cricket Club, with its ground at the other end of the village, was not formed until much later in 1893
1861 Census and Ifould family members in Steep
The 1861 Census of Steep has the family surname incorrectly transcribed as ‘Hold’ for both Richard and Henry Ifould’s families. Richard and Elizabeth were in their seventies and still living in a cottage on the Common. Elizabeth died the following year in January 1862 and was buried at Steep churchyard.
James Ifould’s family surname was incorrectly transcribed as ‘Hould’ in the 1861 Census. He was listed as a small farmer of four and a half acres with one agricultural labourer. He was denoted as living with his family at Lower Weston, Buriton parish. At that time, Buriton was a very big parish which extended around Petersfield and bordered Steep in the area of the present A272 road. It seems likely that James and his family were still living very near to Steep.
The Ifould family and the Steep Enclosures 1857-66
Henry Ifould seems to have made money from the Cricketers because in the negotiations started around 1857, prior to the final Enclosure of Steep Common in1866, it was agreed that Henry Ifould would purchase plots 59 and 60. 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. Henry also acquired Plot 60 which was the plot on which his elder brother James and his family were later living. This may have been the plot on which the present Myrtle Cottage (now 35 Church Road) was later built in 1887.
In 1866, the Common in Steep covered the area which is now occupied by Church Road with plots of land either side of it. It was sometimes referred to as Church Common. This Common was in addition to the area opposite Steep church, which is the Steep Common known today in the 21st century. Church Road did not exist in earlier times. It was merely a track across this earlier Common. When Church Common was enclosed in 1866, James and his father Richard, for a fee of £20, were able to keep the small houses they had built on their “garden” plots on the Common. These garden plots were more in the nature of what would be called allotments today. Rose Cottage and Myrtle Cottage, the present 33 and 35 Church Road, stand on those plots today. These houses stayed in the Ifould family ownership into the C20. They were occupied by various family members over the years. Myrtle Cottage was not built until 1887 but would have replaced the earlier dwelling.
Henry Ifould the Innkeeper
Henry Ifould’s business as innkeeper must have prospered as, at the 1866 Enclosures of Steep, he was able to pay £40 to retain possession of Plot 55 which was at the crossroads. (The land on which the pub stood.) Just before April 1867 there seems to have been 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 from Alfred Pocock back to Henry Ifould at that date. Kelly’s Post Office Directory of 1867 listed him as innkeeper of The Cricketers Inn on Steep Common.
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: the job had not been completed. The magistrates dismissed the case. Henry may have lost money in legal fees over this. The report of the case is in Hampshire Telegraph of 15th February 1867.
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.
1869 Death of Henry Ifould aged 43 years
Eight months later, Henry Ifould died. His burial on 22nd April 1869 at Steep church is recorded in the registers. He was aged about 43 years.
Henry’s widow Esther seemed to be living near the Dunhill area of Steep according to the 1871 Census. Her children Thomas Jesse, 12, Edward James, 10, Alfred, 8, Alice, 6 and Albert, 4, were with her. 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 Ifould’s children from his first marriage
Henry’s two children from his first marriage were not present in Steep 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. In the 1861 Census a William ‘Yould’ was listed as a 12 year old pupil at Churcher’s College in Petersfield. It is possible that this may have been Henry’s son whose name was again mis-transcribed. This was a private school. One wonders if he won a scholarship there or if a benefactor paid his fees. A William Ifould born 1849 in Petersfield later appears in the 1901 Census records as living in the Lewisham district of Kent and working on his own account as a civil engineer. This may have been him. He was married with one son.
Deaths of Richard and Elizabeth Ifould
James and Henry’s father, Richard, who had been the first of the family to appear in Steep, died aged 86 years in 1871 just before the Census. He was buried at Steep church on 15th March 1871. His wife Elizabeth had died nine years earlier aged 73 years. She had been buried at Steep church on 29th January 1862. Their deaths made it possible for other family members to occupy Rose Cottage.
1871 James and Jane Ifould at Rose Cottage
1871 found Richard’s eldest son 49 year old James, agricultural labourer, living on the Common with his wife Jane. This may probably have been at Rose Cottage. Their four sons aged between 10 and 21 years were also with them. James’s 25 year old elder son, also James, was living next door, perhaps at Myrtle Cottage, with wife Charlotte and children Annie, 7, and William aged one.
Annie was not actually James junior’s daughter but Annie Moss West, Charlotte’s child, who had been born in 1864 in the Farnborough district, four years before she married James Ifould in 1868. Annie’s middle name might suggest that she was connected to one of the members of the Moss families of Steep, Petersfield and Froxfield of the time.
In the household of the older James there were three wage earners – James himself, plus sons William, 21, gardener, and George, 15, carter. One wonders whether this family may have been helping to support the widowed Esther and her children.
The elder James’s youngest son, Thomas Frank Ifould, was baptised at All Saints’ on 2nd September 1860. In the family, he was always known as Frank. A few weeks short of his 20th birthday in 1880, he would marry 17 year old Laura White of Sheet. On census day 1881 they and baby daughter Alice were living at Church Farm, where Thomas was working as a cowman.
Later, at the end of the nineteenth century, Church Farm would be bought by Bedales School. The building known as Steephurst was originally the farmhouse for Church Farm.
1881 Census Esther Ifould, and the two James Ifoulds
The 46 year old widowed Esther was found living on Steep Common in the 1881 Census, probably still in the Dunhill area. Her surname has been mis-transcribed as ‘Gould’. She was surviving as a charwoman. 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.
By 1881 the younger James (born abt 1846 & son of James senior) and his family had moved on to a cottage at Lowsley, near Bramshott, where he was working as a carter and agricultural labourer.
James senior (born abt 1823) continued to live on Steep Common in 1881, with wife Jane and remaining unmarried son John aged 22 years, who was still with them. Both father and son were agricultural labourers. The family is listed as living in one the cottages on Steep Common, It may have been Rose Cottage but it is not entirely clear from the census listing which only denotes the cottages as ‘on the common’. This time their family name has been mis-transcribed as ‘Mould’. Their son John would go on to marry Jane White in 1884 in the Petersfield district. Sadly he died aged only 28 years in 1888 and was buried at Steep church.
The 1891 census and the Ifould family in Steep
By the 1891 census James senior (born abt 1823) and Jane were living on the Common probably at Rose Cottage, with Jane Ifould the widow of their son John in the cottage next door, probably Myrtle Cottage. Widow Jane was a general domestic servant. James aged 66 years continued as an agricultural labourer.
(Thomas) Frank and Laura Ifould in 1891
The elder James’s son (Thomas) Frank (born 1860) and wife Laura were at Tanyard Cottages in 1891 with their children Alice 11, Agnes 7, Bessie 2, and Mabel Annie 7 months. Thomas’s occupation was General Labourer.
Edith Emily Ifould born 1882
Thomas Frank and Laura Ifould had had a daughter named Edith Emily who had been born in 1882. She was baptised in March 1882 but died around August 1884 at the age of 2½ years. Her burial was recorded in the Steep church registers. Owners of the house named Restalls in 2021 discovered a cracked stone plinth inscribed ‘Edith Emily Ifould’ at the house. It is therefore believed that Thomas Frank and his family may have lived at Restalls at the time of Edith Emily’s death. This would have been when Restalls was two tenement cottages and known only as ‘Near the Church’ on records. Perhaps the plinth was originally placed in the garden in memory of the child. Or it may have been intended as a grave marker, but was left behind at Restalls when Thomas Frank and his family moved on. By 1891 the family had moved to Tanyard Cottages in Sheet and in 1901 they were at Portslade by the Sea in Sussex. They had returned to Steep by 1911.
Thomas and Laura’s daughter Bessie Gladys was baptised at Steep church in 1888. One of her descendants has been in touch with Steep History Group. By 1893 when twins John and Ellen were born, Thomas described himself as cowman in their baptism entry of the Steep church register. Another daughter, Gertrude Emma was born in 1897. Their eldest child Alice is listed as ‘wife’s daughter’ in the 1891 Census.
The 1901 census and the Ifould family in Steep
The 1901 Census saw the elder James (born abt 1832) aged around 78 years continuing to be an agricultural labourer. He and his 74 year old wife Jane were living at Rose Cottage in Steep. With them were their youngest son (Thomas) Frank, now aged 40 years and a farm labourer, and his 10 year old daughter Mabel. The latter two may just have been visiting them, as Thomas Frank’s wife, Laura, with children Bessie, John, Ellen and Gertrude were at 2 Crown Road, Portslade by Sea, in the Brighton area of East Sussex. Their surname was mis-transcribed as ‘Hould’ in the 1901 Census.
The elder James’s wife Jane died in January 1905 and was buried at Steep church on 27th. A month later, the rest of Thomas Frank’s family seems to have returned to Steep and to have taken up residence at Rose Cottage. Children John, Ellen and Gertrude were admitted to Steep School on 21st February 1905. The following year in November 1906, Ellen left school ‘to help mother’. Frank and Laura’s youngest child Fred was born at the end of 1906, so it is perhaps not surprising that Ellen’s help was required at home. The family would also have been caring for (Thomas) Frank’s father James, who was by then in his eighties. Fred was baptised at Steep church on 20th January 1907. John left Steep school at the age of fourteen years to do garden work in March of that year. His father (Thomas) Frank would list himself as a gardener in the coming 1911 Census. It may have been that John went to assist his father who had become a gardener by this time.
A number of former farm labourers in Steep changed to becoming gardeners in the late nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries. The work of a gardener was probably less harsh than that of a farm labourer. There were several large houses in the area that required gardeners. Bedales School also employed gardeners.
Fred Ifould born around 1907 was the youngest son of (Thomas) Frank and Laura Ifould. He was the father of Dave Ifould who has contributed information on the history of Steep website.
(Thomas) Frank’s father James died in April 1910, allegedly aged 87 years according to the church burial register.
The beginning of 1910 saw the tragedy of (Thomas) Frank’s twin daughter Ellen’s suicide. Aged 17 years, she and her boyfriend Harry Moss killed themselves on the railway line not far from Petersfield Station. Their story is told at https://historyofsteep.co.uk/portfolio/ellen-ifould-and-harry-moss-tragic-lovers-of-steep-january-1911/
Ellen was buried at Steep church on 12th January 1910.
The Ifould family in Steep and 1911 census
Ellen’s twin brother John had moved to live and work at Bedales School in Steep, where he was listed as a pantry boy in 1911. The census for that year found only Thomas Frank and Laura at Rose Cottage with the two youngest children: 13 year old Gertrude and 4 year old Fred. Their older children seem to have been working away from home. Their elder daughter Agnes was married and living in Portsmouth.
In 1911 Laura Ifould, the first wife of (Thomas) Frank Ifould of Rose Cottage died aged 47 years. She was buried at Steep churchyard. Three years later at the start of 1914, the 49 year old (Thomas) Frank married again to 38 year old widow Ellen (Nell) Soar of Thanet. The marriage took place at Steep church. A year later they had a son named Henry who was baptised at Steep church. (Thomas) Frank continued to be a gardener.
The Steep Ifould family and WWI
Two members of the local Ifould families lost their lives during WWI. Their names are on the two Steep War Memorials at Mill Lane and at Steep church. The full stories of John and Frank Ifould can be found in David Erskine-Hill’s book ‘Steep Roll of Honour 1914-1918’ £10 see: https://historyofsteep.co.uk/archive/there-are-a-number-of-books-about-the-many-aspects-of-the-history-of-steep-and-those-who-have-lived-here-the-list-is-by-no-means-exhaustive/
Corporal John William Frank Ifould born 1892
Corporal John William Frank Ifould of the 2nd Battalion Australian Imperial Force was killed in action aged 27 years on 24th June 1916. He was the twin son of Thomas Frank and Laura Ifould and had been born in 1892, the brother of Ellen who had tragically committed suicide in 1910. John had become a ship’s steward and travelled to Australia. Almost as soon as he arrived there, war was declared and he joined the Australian Imperial Force, with whom he was sent to Gallipoli and saw action there. His unit was then sent to France where he died in 1916. He was buried in ‘Y’ Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal 1914-20 and the Victory Medal 1914-19.
An officer wrote to John Ifould’s parents as follows:
“I found him to be one of my most reliable N.C.Os. I can assure you it is with the most profound personal sympathy I write these few lines. When our Colonel heard of the boy’s death he was deeply grieved, for he too, just the same as the rest of us, had a great opinion of him. Our Corporal, though careful, was never known to shirk from duty. All we can think is the Almighty thought fit to take him, and fate gripped him……The Chaplain says it was with very genuine regret that all those who were associated with the deceased soldier heard of his death. From the friends who were at the graveside he heard what a favourite he was with officers and men.”
Private Frank Ifould born about 1891
Private Frank Ifould 2nd Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment died of wounds aged 26 years on 21st January 1918. He was born in Sussex about 1891, the son of George and Emma Ifould. His father George had been born in Steep. Frank was a cousin of John Ifould. He had attended Steep school and been a choir boy at Steep church. His parents were later living at Penn’s Road in Petersfield. Frank joined the army in 1907, serving in South Africa, Mauritius and India. His unit was at Gallipoli in 1915 where he was severely wounded. Having recovered, he saw service in France and Flanders. He won the Military Medal for gallantry at Cambrai in 1917 for saving an officer and carrying messages under very heavy shell and machine gun fire. He was wounded on 20th January 1918 and died the following day. He was buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium. In addition to his Military Medal, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal 1914-20 and the Victory Medal 1914-19.
Frank Ifould’s name is also on the Petersfield War Memorial.
An officer wrote the following to Frank’s mother:
“It is my painful duty to write and tell you of the death of your son. He died a glorious death. He was badly wounded, taken to hospital as quickly as possible and there passed away the following morning. A shell landed near our company office and killed three men and wounded your son. He was one of the bravest runners in the battalion and well earned the decoration conferred upon him.”
The Ifould family in Steep after WWI
After WWI, the local Electoral Registers show that (Thomas) Frank and Ellen Ifould were living at Rose Cottage in Steep between 1919 and 1931. The 1939 Register shows that they were still there at the start of WWII. 26 year old housewife Irene Gillam and a child were living there with them. These may have been family members or evacuees. (Thomas) Frank was by this time a retired gardener. There were still other Ifould family members living locally too. Gardener Henry Ifould, born 1914, and his wife Elizabeth were at Oakley Cottage in Steep. There were other Ifoulds at Liphook, Bramshott and in West Sussex.
(Thomas) Frank Ifould died aged 82 years in 1943 and was buried at Steep churchyard. Ellen may have left Rose Cottage after the death of her husband. Her death is recorded in the Horsham district in 1954 aged 79 yrs.
In the second quarter of 1932, Fred Ifould, son of Thomas Frank and Laura married Flora Edith Ayres in the Sevenoaks district of Kent. Fred was the youngest son of (Thomas) Frank’s first marriage. Fred and Flora’s son, David Richard Geoffrey Ifould, was baptised at Steep church in October 1944. The family were living at Luton at the time. Given that Fred was listed as ‘Corporal/gardener’ in the church baptism register, perhaps he had been posted to Luton on WWII military duties. His son David had been born in the Luton district in the first quarter of 1944.
Fred and Flora had moved around as gardener and housekeeper to various gentlemen and large country houses. Fred was working at Emmetts at Ide Hill near Sevenoaks when his father died. He then returned to Steep at some point after the death of his father . He became a groundsman at the newly opened Petersfield Secondary School.
In October 1966, 22 year old David Ifould was married to Lynne Brading at Steep church. Both of the young people lived in Steep. Fred was still alive at the time of the Dave and Lynne’s wedding and listed as ‘groundsman’.
The Sale of Rose Cottage
David and Lynne Ifould had two children: Sally and Richard, both of whom were baptised at Steep church in 1970 and 1971. At the time, the family were living at Alresford with Dave working as a groundsman. Some point after this, Dave and Lynne seem to have come to live at Steep, where they lived for 25 years, but not at Rose Cottage. Dave worked with Hampshire County Council Education Department, employed on mobile grounds maintenance all over the county. Many older residents of the village remember Dave and Lynne. They were well known locally. However, in the 1990s they too moved on.
Flora Edith had died in 1977 in the Petersfield district. Fred continued at Rose Cottage after his wife’s death, until it became too difficult for him to cope alone. He then moved to Steep Almshouses and later into a care home. Fred died in the Petersfield district in 1989 aged about 82 years.
After almost 150 years, Rose Cottage ceased to be the Ifould family house in Steep. It was sold.
Rose Cottage had once been a small three roomed, single storey thatched dwelling, built on the wastes of Steep common perhaps around the start of the nineteenth century. The thatch had been replaced by a corrugated metal roof in the twentieth century. After its sale around 1990 the house was considerably extended by the new occupant, who has since moved on. The present house now bears little resemblance to the original old dwelling.
The wider members of the Ifould family:
James Ifould, born about 1823, the eldest son of Richard Ifould of Steep, had at least six children who were baptised at Steep church: James Edward bapt. 1846, William bapt. 1849, Emily bapt. 1852, George bapt. 1855, John bapt. 1858, and Thomas Frank bapt. 1860. During the later nineteenth century, various members of James’s family and their descendants moved to live in the Chichester district of West Sussex and also further afield. A present day family member has undertaken extensive research into these family members.
James Edward Ifould born about 1846 – a Colourful Character
James Ifould junior, (baptised 1846), was the son of James senior (born 1823).
A family member related the following about James (junior.) He was married twice: in 1868 to Charlotte West in the Petersfield district, and then to Fanny Stevens in 1890 in the Midhurst district. Following the death of Fanny in 1897, James lived with a third common law wife named Rose. It was reported that James junior had a total of twenty one children, although not all of them were his.
James’s name also appeared in a court record on 5th January 1874 when he was in court in Winchester accused of stealing three penny pieces and other coins to the value of 19 shillings and 9 pence from Alfred Pocock at Steep. Alfred Pocock was the publican who had taken over the licence of the Cricketers Inn at Steep from the widowed Esther Ifould in 1871.
The incident had taken place at a harvest home in Steep on 7th October 1873. Alfred Pocock was running a lunch tent in which drinks and food were being served by Matilda, his daughter. A player named Reeks had ordered a beer, giving Matilda a sovereign. But then Reeks had to go to play cricket, so could not wait for the change. It was alleged that James Ifould had offered to take the money and give it to Reeks on his return from the game. The girl gave him the money. But when Reeks returned, Ifould denied that he had been given any money, saying that a policeman could come and search him if he wished. He was later summonsed, appeared at the magistrates court at Petersfield and was sent for trial at Winchester in January 1874. Matilda was crossed examined by the defence counsel and admitted that she did sometimes make mistakes with change. In the lack of clear evidence for conviction, Ifould was given the benefit of the doubt by the jury, who acquitted him of larceny.
Thirty years later, in September 1903 James junior and his common law wife Rose, were convicted of child cruelty at Chichester Petty Sessions. The case concerned 14 year old Sarah Stevens, who was the illegitimate daughter of James’s second wife Fanny Stevens, who had died in 1897. The NSPCC brought a case of appalling mistreatment against James Ifould and Rose, who were living in Bosham at the time. James was sentenced to one month in prison. The full report of this can be found in the Chichester and West Sussex Recorder of 23 September 1903.
When he was about 90 years old, James junior, was photographed by well-known Petworth photographer George Garland. This may have been when ‘Jimmy’ Ifould was working at West Lavant Farm, near Chichester. His photo appeared in the West Sussex Gazette possibly around 1936. There are similar images of Jimmy Ifould in the Garland collection at West Sussex Record Office in Chichester.
James junior was photographed at Rose Cottage Steep in 1937, standing between two others. A photo of Rose Cottage taken at the same time was labelled on the reverse: ‘Rose Cottage Steep 1937 from Nell and Frank’. It seems likely that Nell and Frank are the two who are with James junior in the photograph. They would have been James’s younger brother (Thomas) Frank, and (Thomas) Frank’s second wife Ellen. Nell (Ellen) appears in both the family group photo and the Rose Cottage photo of 1937, wearing the same dress.
James junior featured again in newspapers: in the West Sussex Gazette series of ‘Sussex Types’ in 1934 and in the Hampshire Telegraph of January 1939, when he was in his nineties. The Hamphire Telegraph report extolled his long life of working on the land. James Ifould junior died aged about 98 years in 1944 in the Chichester district.
If you are connected with the Ifould family of Steep, have more information about them, or would like to correct any errors in the above account, I would be glad to hear from you. See the ‘Contact Us’ section.
The two small cottages in Steep in which various members of the Ifould family lived between around 1840 and 2003 were Rose Cottage and Myrtle Cottage in Church Road. There is more about them here:
There is more about members of the Ifould family here:
Fran Box, Steep History Group
The above account and its pictures ©FrancesBox2021
Research by Ruth Whiting (former history teacher of Bedales School) – now deceased, not a relative of the Ifould family
Find My Past – census, birth, marriage and death records, electoral registers
Registers of All Saints’ church, Steep
Family history research from David Selby and Andrew Ifould who may have more information about other branches of the Ifould family
Conversations with Dave Ifould
Majority of research by Fran Box of Steep History Group