The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Skinner, John and Charlotte

Grave Number 167

John and Charlotte Skinner’s grave is at the east edge of the cemetery, under a yew tree, next to the Millers and Fosters graves.  The Fosters, Millers, Skinners were all in related trades – builders, upholsterers, tilers, and related by marriage

Bold = buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery

Plot 167 – John & Charlotte Skinner

Plot 166 – their daughter Mary Ann Charlotte Miller and husband Frederick Miller and daughter Eliza Jane


Plot 167 – John and Charlotte Skinner

John Skinner was a builder, tiler, master bricklayer employing 14 men in 1851. He was born in Kingsbury London 1797, son of Richard. Like many other tradesmen at the same time, he appears to have moved to Berkhamsted in the 1820s, when the canal and coming railway were improving communications, and new houses were being built.

He married Charlotte Rolfe of Tring in 1819 in Marylebone, aged 22 – she was born in 1797 in Tring, the daughter of Richard and Mary

They had at least 6 children, the younger five christened in Berkhamsted St Peters

  • Alfred b 1824, bricklayer apprentice 1841, died Ware 1880
  • Mary Ann Charlotte born 1826. Married Frederick Miller (broker, later upholsterer of Berkhamsted) in Portsmouth in1852. They had 2 daughters, one Eliza Jane died aged 6 and is buried with them, the other Kate, never married and lived with her mother until 1907 when her mother died, then moved to a boarding house in Boscombe run by a lady from Berkhamsted.
  • Francis born 1829 builder moved to Hackney London, then to Essex
  • Sarah Jane 1831 married Charles Cook (son of George and Margaret b Gaddesden 1827) at St Peters Berkhamsted in April 1858. In 1871 he was a dairyman of Ashley Green. Charles Cook’s father was a miller of Water Lane, his sisters Sarah and Margaret Cook never married and are buried in plot 4 of RLC
  • John Joseph born 1833, estate agent in High St Berkhamsted
  • Henry 1837, probably died before 1851
  • William Albert b 1840 married Maria Agnes Cook, daughter of John Cook baker and farmer of Ashley Green, and wife Elizabeth. became freemason 1867. His daughter Ellen was born in Dalston 1873, by 1881 he had died and his widow was staying with their three daughters in Chesham with her father John Cook and sister Elizabeth in the 1881 and 1891 census ; another daughter Charlotte stayed with other relatives. then by 1901, 1911 they were living in Wandsworth. Elizabeth and Ellen were single and assistant teachers, there was a grandson Eric son of Charlotte who married a brushmaker of Chesham. Note: in 1871, William Albert had young baby, their nurse was this researcher’s 5 x great grandmother Millicent Hawes of Chesham who was 71 at the time and still working

1832 John appears in poll-book in High St

1841 they lived in the High St

1851 High St


John died 26 August 1867 aged 70, he left under £4000.

His executors were his son Francis and son-in-law Charles Cook. There was a Chancery court case Miller v Cook and various references in legal docs, appear that Skinners’ daughter Mary Ann and her husband Frederick Miller brought (and won) against her brother Francis Skinner and brother-in-law Charles Cook of ‘inequitable dealings with the weak, poor and ignorant)

The houses he left the following were advertised in 1873 as a result of the case:

  • 2 dwelling houses, eleven quarters malting, cottage & yard in Chapel St
  • Baker’s shop and premises, 5 cottages and dwelling house, at Gravel Path
  • Six cottages and gardens at Pleasant Place, in the rear of above
  • Two cottages in Water lane
  • Four dwelling houses in the High St
  • Six cottages in the village of Northchurch fronting the turnpike road, and a cottage and thriving filbert orchard behind the same
  • The whole providing a rental of about £265 per annum

Charlotte died in 1872, aged 74/75. She was living with her son John Joseph in High St in 1871 census.

 Back to Biographies page