CRICKITT, Charles Alexander (1736-1803), of Smith's Hall, nr. Chipping Ongar, Essex
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Family and Education
b. 12 Jan. 1736, nephew of Capt. Charles Alexander, whom he suc. at Smith’s Hall; and all his children were given Alexander as middle name. educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1748-50. m. 24 Nov. 1767, Sarah Dolby of Brises, Kelvedon Hatch, Essex, 4s. 7da.
Recorder, Ipswich 1787- d.; receiver of the land tax for E. Suff. 1794- d.1
The Crickitt family were of Flemish extraction, settled at Colchester since the end of the 16th century.2 In the 18th century they had a connexion with Doctors’ Commons; Charles Alexander Crickitt is described in his marriage notice in the Gentleman’s Magazine as of Doctors’ Commons; and in his obituary notice3 as ‘a proctor in Doctors’ Commons’; and his eldest son, also Charles Alexander Crickitt, was admitted to Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1786.
Crickitt was a banker at Colchester from about 1774; on 10 Jan. 1786 the Ipswich Town and County Bank of Messrs. Crickitt, Truelove [?Truslow] and Kerridge was opened; he was also a partner in a Chelmsford bank with a branch at Maldon. Crickitt’s bank at Ipswich was the bank of ‘the Blues’, while that of the Quaker family of Alexander and Cornwall was the bank of ‘the Yellows’; and it was through their bank that the financial side of the election of 1784 was transacted for the Yellows. The poll was fixed for Saturday, 3 April, and on Friday evening, in consequence of one of the Yellow candidates declining, the two parties agreed to join in support of Middleton (‘Blue’) and Cator (‘Yellow’) ‘and no contest was expected till the arrival of Mr. Crickitt on that evening’; many of the voters ‘did not hear of his arrival till the next morning’.4 He obviously stood without any chance of immediate return, but to secure the basis for petitioning against Cator. Bamber Gascoyne sen., who was a friend of Crickitt’s, managed his petition, and with Gascoyne’s encouragement Crickitt applied to John Strutt to act as his nominee on the House of Commons committee.5 Gascoyne wrote to Strutt, 26 May: ‘I do believe he [Crickitt] will drive Cator out—nay it will not surprise me if Cator gives up, for I never saw a man so frightened in my life. Crickitt is in great spirits.’ Cator was unseated; did not stand again; but there was a contest which Crickitt won easily.
In the House Crickitt adhered to Pitt; voted for his scheme of parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785; for Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786; and with Pitt during the Regency crisis, 1788-9. There is no record of his having spoken in his first Parliament.
He died 16 Jan. 1803.
Ref Volumes: 1754-1790
Author: Sir Lewis Namier
- 1. W. R. Ward. English Land Tax, 165, 173 n. 1; A. G. E. Jones, ‘Early Banking in Ipswich’, N Q. cxcvi, 402-5, dates his appointment 1795.
- 2. Reg. of Baptisms in Dutch Church, Colchester, 1645-1728 (Huguenot Soc. xii). The name was spelled in many ways, e.g. Kriket.
- 3. Gent. Mag. 1803, p. 92.
- 4. A. Luders, Controverted Elections, i. 34-35.
- 5. Crickitt to Strutt, 24 and 30 May, 1 June 1784, Strutt mss.