The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Rippon family

Grave Number 99

Clara Jane second daughter of Richard O. and Mary C Rippon died 23rd December 1895 aged 33. Emily Crofton Rippon who died in infancy. Richard Oliver Rippon died 7th October 1898 aged 67 Mary Charlotte Rippon the wife of above died 15th April 1910 aged 76

Arthur Keyser (who spent his youth at Kingshill in the 1870s) recalled ‘Mr Rippon, the chemist, small, spruce and spry, who always seemed shaped like a note of interrogation as we entered the shop, when he asked for and supplied us with news.’ The shop was clearly a meeting place – you could buy tickets from here for the Whit Monday event at Berkhamsted Castle in 1886.

Rippon was a tobacconist as well as a chemist and druggist; his shop, faced Castle Street. A Mr Rogers, surgeon dentist, used to be available every Thursday in the 1890’s for free consultations. (Richard himself was entered on the Dentists Register in 1878).

Emily Crofton died in 1867 age 6 weeks

In 1871, Richard, aged 39 (born in London) and Mary his wife, age 37 (born in South Shields, Durham) had 5 children living at home including Clara Jane.

In 1877, Richard undertook to ‘receive contributions for the purpose of enabling the churchwardens to employ a man regularly in the Cemetery, so that it may be kept in fitting order. Those who have friends or relatives buried there are particularly invited to contribute.’

He was a Trustee of Balshaw’s charity, and Treasurer of the Mechanics Institute. Rippon was clearly well-off and performed the role of money-lender – when George Lingard, the stone mason, went bankrupt in 1890, he owed Rippon over £1,000.

Richard was a keen Mason. In 1887, at ‘a juvenile branch of Oddfellows’ (Masons) met for a free tea at the George and Dragon Coffee Tavern (in Castle Street) and ‘the proceedings included songs, popular and characteristic and dissolving views, given by Mr Rippon.’

Richard Oliver died at Park View Cottage, Mary Charlotte at ‘Westoe’ in Kings Road.

Note also that Elizabeth Crofton Rippon, their daughter died in 1903 aged 35, and is buried nearby with her brother, who died in South Africa, aged 33. (x64) Their son Richard Waller, who lived in Shrublands Terrace, died in 1906 age 41, and Crofton Rippon in 1916 age 43. Marion Olive survived until 1939, when she died aged 59.

This headstone had cracked in two and was lying in pieces on the ground.  It was one of the 19 memorials conserved in 2018.

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