Much of what follows is taken from Henry’s own Journal. His reminiscences were written down but there is no indication how long after the event so perhaps we should allow for a little embellishment. Nevertheless he must have been made of iron to withstand the following adversities of his childhood; as he put it “the unseen hand of God protected me in the hour of danger”:-
He was born in the Birmingham area on 31st October 1810 to a Richard and Mary and was christened on 13th October 1811 at St John, Coventry. He was the third son but neither of the others had survived. When he was small he was taken to live with an aunt and uncle near Coventry, ostensibly to go to school. His uncle had other ideas and the only schooling he received was Sunday School “two or three times a quarter”. Instead he had to do farm work, dressed in a smock frock and nailed boots.
He was knocked down by a horse which ran over him, a rampaging cow attacked him and tossed him up two or three times against the ceiling [this when he was seven - it was three weeks before he could get about “a little”]. Wasps stung him badly enough to render him unconscious to the extent that he was not expected to live. To cap it all he caught smallpox at the same time as his two younger brothers who both died from it.
So he was brought up in the school of hard knocks, or as his uncle put it “I will make a man of him”! That included getting up at five to walk four miles to work and following the plough for six hours a day. Then he had to sell potatoes at the market and take milk to the City. He was seldom in bed before nine, and on Saturday not until midnight or later. In a sense his uncle achieved his object because Henry describes how he acted like a man at the age of nine. Eventually he went home [he does not say where that was] but became estranged from his father and left to live and work in Worcester. By this time he had gained a positive spiritual development within the Methodist congregation and looking to the future he booked a passage to America which he did not take. He had broken his journey to the port of Liverpool to stay with his grandmother “in Cheshire” where he heard that his mother was ill, so he decided to return to see her at Bromsgove, between Birmingham and Worcester. To see his mother he walked the 72 miles between 6 am Sunday and 10 am the next day, sleeping en route; he gives the mileage for each day and where he rested - these are accurate and make Acton by Nantwich the likely place where his grandmother lived. He remains at home until early in 1829 when he moved to Evesham twenty miles South.
[On 24th August 1828 Mary, daughter of Richard and Mary GIBMAN was christened at Bromsgrove. That is an IGI transcription and I am sure it is an error. It is significant as to his parents names; see Antecedents below]
Aged 18, after a nine month courtship, he marries a butcher’s daughter, Lucy TAYLOR in Worcester at St John’s on 7th October 1829. They live at Evesham and have two children, Hannah who lives only from 23rd August to 6th October 1830 and James born 30th July 1832. He dies on 7th April 1834 and they are both buried at St Peter, Bengeworth, Evesham
[on 10th October 1830 and 10th April 1834 respectively].
Shortly after, they move east to Stamford, Lincolnshire; in a Directory for 1835 there is ”S Gidman” a Dyer in the High Street.
Here tragedy struck again - their third child Henry was born on 7th October 1834 but he died on 19th October; worse, Lucy survived only three days after his birth. The reminiscences say these events occurred at Evesham but that is unlikely because baby Henry was baptised at St Michael, Stamford on 7th October and buried there on 21st October. His mother had been buried in the same place on 15th October; she was 28. Unfortunately the marriage had not been happy since after only six months of it Henry was of the opinion that “it was too late to repent so I made up my mind not to complain but to bear my lot”. Needless to say, Lucy’s version is not recorded.
[Henry’s journal between 1835 and 1849 is either missing or was not written]
The place, Stamford, is confirmed by a report in the "Stamford Mercury" of 17th October 1834. It says the birth of Henry was premature as a distressing consequence of an event which took place on 6th October. That was reported in the paper of 10th October under the heading "Another Death from a Pugilistic Contest". A Coroner's inquest had been held the day after a young man died in an extended fight. Unfortunately Henry had been watching that and had at first instance been apprehended as the "Second" to the man who caused the death - it seems a "Second" could also be charged with manslaughter. Luckily the coroner was legally advised that the evidence was not strong enough to place Henry in that position and he was immediately discharged. The culprit was later acquitted in his trial at Lincoln Assizes.
It was in Stamford that he joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1835 with a view to serving in it and two years later he gained his license to preach. On 3rd May 1836 he married Ann FOISTER and on 14th September 1840 Richard Henry was born. In the 1841 census he is a Dyer in the same street as given in the 1835 directory. Wife Ann and baby Richard are with him. By 1846 they had moved 20 miles in a north west direction as Henry is in a directory as a Dyer and Hatter in Market Place, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire [see his advertisement below Henry 1810 Flyer]. Their second child Lucy Ann was born on 25th February 1847 and her birth is registered in that area.
Advertisement in the Liverpool Mercury of 23rd February 1849.
On 5th March 1849 Henry and his family set sail for America on the ship “Elizabeth” from Liverpool. He served as the chaplain. He says there were 300 passengers nearly all of whom were emigrants who embarked at an Irish port. It was not a pleasant voyage, three days on the Irish Sea when “everyone” was sick, fair weather for three or four days then on 13th March a storm arose which continued on and off for three weeks. They disembarked in New York on 10th April. After enduring trying circumstances there they settled in Connecticut, Henry serving as pastor in various towns around Hartford. Their third child, Bramwell Carvosso was born on 10th December 1853 at Warren. His wife and three children all survived beyond Henry’s death at 65 of apoplexy, on 11th January 1876 at Pleasant Valley. An obituary refers to Ann as “the companion of all his toils in the work of Christ”.
I have not found either Ann or her son Richard on the 1880 US census although Richard was a Congregational minister in 1870 at Broome, Lisle NY and in 1900 he is at Preston, New London CT with wife Mary H and Theron L aged 26.
I think Lucy is on the 1880 census in Barkhamsted, CT living in the household of Wallace CASE. She is an unmarried schoolteacher born England aged “23”- I assume this is a transcription error for “33”. On 4th March 1876 Bramwell, also a teacher had married Frances CASE, aged 18 or 19, and they had a son Henry C[arvosso] born 17th June 1878. In 1880 they were living with her parents Orsmon CASE, a farmer, and his wife Ann.
The antecedents of Henry. He names neither his mother’s maiden surname nor the uncle and aunt. However a Richard married Mary SA[U]NDERS at St John Coventry on 9th February 1806. Moreover, they also had another son Henry baptised in the same church on 21st August 1806 and a Henry was buried on 10th September 1807 at St Martin Birmingham. At the same place, on 28th February 1810, a Richard was buried [as mentioned, our Henry was the third son]. A Hugh was christened in Holy Trinity, Warwick on 29th June 1819, perhaps one of the brothers who died from smallpox. Their father Richard could be the one buried on 26th July 1842 at Uppingham in Rutland aged 64; he would be born about 1778. In the 1841 census he is in Uppingham, Rutland aged 64, occupation a Dyer. He is with wife Mary 53 and daughter Mary 13. None of them were born in Rutland [the only information given about that in 1841]. The late David [see note below] has 9th November 1777 for his date of birth [or baptism], but no place.
At present I do not know about Richard’s parentage. I have only one other family in the area, John who married Elizabeth GILBERT or GILBURT at St Martin, Birmingham on 9th September 1782. In 1783, 1786 and 1789 respectively they had three children baptised in Birmingham - Joseph who died in 1786, John and Sarah. In March 1789 a 30 year old Elizabeth was buried in the same church as Joseph - St Peter and St Paul, Aston near Birmingham - and on the same day that Sarah was baptised, so it looks as if she died as a result of the birth.. Perhaps Sarah or brother John was the childless aunt or uncle that Henry went to live with although they could have been a couple on his mother’s side.
I have an 1851 census entry for a couple living in Manchester and the husband was born in Coventry - Henry 71 so born about 1780, wife Catherine 57 b Ireland. Her age matches the age 64 on her death certificate in 1858. His birthplace suggests there was another family in the area whom I have not located.
A report of a marriage between Richard and Mary EVANS at Acton St Mary, Cheshire on 30th December 1775 is a wrong attribution; the church register has been checked and the groom’s surname was GILL not GIDMAN..
A note written by Henry Carvosso in 1962 states his father believed his greatgrandfather was “Joshua born in Cheshire 1755, died 1822 aged 65”.
The late David suggests the grandmother who Henry stayed with in Cheshire was Catherine nee BAKER; he says she married Joshua at Frodsham on 17th May 1776. A Joshua and Catherine BAKER were married at Acton by Nantwich [see above] on 14 July 1776. “Joshua & Cath of Stoke” had a son James baptised there on 28th December 1777. This date seems to conflict with David’s suggestion that they were the parents of Richard and this needs to be looked into further.