A Veterinary Surgeon, a Chief Inspector for the East Suffolk County Council, and Inspector for the Ipswich Corporation.


Born: 30th April 1864, Ipswich.

Baptised: 2nd July 1864, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich.


Father: Alfred Shorten, born 11th December 1828, Ipswich, baptised 17th February 1831, St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. Alfred was admitted a member of the R.C.V.S., London in 1849. He and his brother Charles went into a business partnership together as Veterinary Surgeons, Livery Stable Keepers and Shoeing Smiths, at Museum Street. The brothers went their separate ways in 1857. Alfred established his own business practice and enjoyed a high reputation for his ability both in the town and country. He also became an Inspector of Cattle and an author of Pleuro-pneumonia in Cattle. Alfred Shorten died 1st May 1886, from apoplexy at his residence 14, Museum Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section L.

Mother: Eleanor Shorten (nee Corbyn), born 1st March 1834, Lowestoft, Suffolk, registered at the High Street Baptist Chapel, Lowestoft. Eleanor was 12 years old when she was baptised on the 20th March 1846, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. Eleanor Shorten died 12th November 1900, at her residence 4, Redan Street, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich. Laid to rest 15th November 1900 at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section L.


Sister: Kate Shorten, born 1857, Stratford St. Mary, Suffolk. On the 16th October 1878, at Sproughton Church, Suffolk, conducted by the Reverend J. Waters, Kate, of 14, Museum Street, Ipswich, married Alfred Edward Dale Stearn, of Church Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich, born 1857, Ipswich, baptised 10th April 1857, at St. Clement’s Church, Ipswich. Kate and Alfred had 1 son. Alfred was a builder, decorator and plumber and lead, glass, oil and colour merchant– own account – employer, of King Street and Upper Brook Street, Ipswich. Alfred died 9th August 1906, from a serious illness at his residence, Westlyn, Norwich Road, Ipswich. Funeral service held on the 11th August 1906, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich and conducted by the Reverend William Edward Fletcher. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section L, in a grave lined by Mr. R.C. Notcutt with evergreen and brightened with choice white flowers and on the south side of his father’s grave. Kate Stearn died 4th August 1923, at her residence Netherland, 316, Norwich Road, Ipswich.



1871   14, Museum Street, St, Matthew’s, Ipswich.

Alfred was 6 years old and living with his parents.

Alfred, 42, a Veterinary Surgeon.


1 cook.

1 housemaid.


1881   Blake Street, St. Mary’s, Bridgewater, Somerset.

Alfred was 16 years old, a Veterinary Pupil. He was living with his employer 33 year old, Edwin Ware, a Veterinary Surgeon, and his young family.


1891   14, Museum Street, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.

Alfred was 26 years old, a Veterinary Surgeon – own account – employer. He was married and head of the household.

Clara, 33.

1 female general servant.


Messrs. George Stoodley and William Batty Harmston’s circus had had a very successful season of between 8 – 9 weeks on their first visit to Ipswich. There was a full house for the last evening, before the Stoodley and Harmston’s circus would open on Saturday, on the Castle Hill at Norwich. After the various artistes had performed, the conundrum contest came on. Mr. George Stoodley proceeded to read out all the conundrums mainly based on the circus which evoked different degrees of applause from the audience. Twelve year old Alfred’s conundrum was chosen as the best “Why would you imagine Funny Hall not to be a Pharisee? – Because he never appears to be Sadducee (sad you see).” Alfred received a silver goblet as his prize amidst much applause. East Anglian Daily Times – Thursday, 21st December 1876.


Alfred was first educated at Dedham Grammar School, Essex, before continuing his education at the London Veterinary Colleges. On Saturday, 5th April 1884, Alfred passed his second examination, embracing anatomy, comparative anatomy, physiology, and histology before the Board of Examiners of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Alfred obtained with distinction the degree of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, London – M.R.C.V.S., London. Alfred also became a fellow of the Veterinary Medical Association. He returned to Ipswich to help his father in his veterinary, livery and shoeing smith establishment.

In May 1886, Alfred’s father suddenly died leaving Alfred unexpectedly placed in possession of his father’s veterinary business at Museum Street.

In June 1886, Alfred placed an announcement in the local papers to inform everyone that he felt justified in stating that he had passed all the stringent examinations and was familiar with the most recent discoveries in the science of medicine and surgery and was duly qualified to practise, but he felt he had limited practical experience. He therefore had made arrangements with Major John Baldock, an Inspecting Army Veterinary Surgeon, who had 35 years’ experience. Major John Baldock had had the confidence of Alfred’s late father and often accompanied him for consultation in difficult cases. The services of Mr. John Taylor, who had for some time been an able assistant, were also retained.

Alfred hoped that these arrangements, and by carefulness and close attention to each department, the Veterinary, the Livery, the Shoeing, to secure the generous support that has for so many years been so kindly accorded to his late father. The premises having recently been much extended, increased facilities are provided especially for the Livery department, as well as for the Monthly Sale of Horses, held the last Tuesday in every month by Messrs. Sexton and Grimwade. The Ipswich Journal – Thursday, 17th June 1886.


Major John Baldock, born 1831, Cropwell Butler, Nottinghamshire, a farmer’s son. In April 1863, at Bangalore, Madras, India, John, of the Army Veterinary Dept., married Susan Baldock (nee Willmott), born 14th November 1841, Sherborne, Dorset. They had 8 children. On John’s retirement from the Army Veterinary Dept., the Baldock made their family home at 107, Christchurch Street, Ipswich. John Baldock died 13th October 1905, of pneumonia, at Old Bank House, Long Street, Sherbourne, Dorsetshire. Susan Baldock – died 3rd September 1916, at the Vicarage, Yeovil, Somerset, the home of her daughter and son-in-law – Mary Kathleen Sydenham (nee Baldock) and the Reverend Herbert Cecil Sydenham, vicar at Yeovil.

 John and Susan’s son Charley Blair Baldock, born August 1866, Bangalore, India, was educated at Ipswich School. He joined the Army in 1885. On the 19th October 1915, Charley died from Dysentery, aged 49. He was ranked a Lieutenant Colonel for the 108th Indian Infantry, Military Administrator Kamaran Cde. Charley is commemorated on the Maala Memorial No. 2. Aden, Yemen and Ipswich School WW1 War Memorial.


Alfred Shorten, held many public appointments including Chief Inspector for the East Suffolk County Council, and Inspector for the Ipswich Corporation, Inspector under the Diseases of Animals Act for the Board of Agriculture, and was a member of various Boards of Guardians. It was resolved that Alfred should be appointed veterinary surgeon, in the place of his late father, for the Bosmere and Claydon and Samford Union on Saturday, 12th June 1886, at a meeting of the Executive Committee under the Contagious Disease (Animals) Act, at the County Hall. The Committee’s comments on the loss of Alfred Shorten senior was entered into the minutes and a copy sent to Mrs. Eleanor Shorten. The Ipswich Journal – Tuesday, 15th June 1886.


On Wednesday, 5th October 1887, at St. Mary le Tower Church, Ipswich, officiated by the Reverend W. E. Layton, Alfred married Clara Read, born 1857, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich, baptised 28th March 1858, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich – daughter of Edward Thomas Read and Susannah Read, of 16, Northgate Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


Father: Edward Thomas Read, born April 1819, St. Pancras, London. Edward was Freeman by birth of the Borough of Ipswich. Edward was a high-class tailor – own account and employer. Edward was a member of the Conservative Party; in November 1884 he was elected as a representative of the Middle Ward for 3 years. Edward Read died 17th July 1903, at his residence 16, Northgate Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery.

Mother: Susannah Read (nee Archer), born 1822, St. Lawrence, Ipswich, baptised 9th June 1822, at St. Lawrence Church. Susannah Read died April 1868, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Alfred Shorten and Henry Phillip became partners in February 1891 they formed the firm of Messrs. Shorten and Phillips, at 14, Museum Street, became an extensive town and country practice, a shoeing forge and livery stables. They also continued the repository for the sale of horses which was held every Tuesday, at Museum Street, the sale by auction included horses, harness and carriages etc., auctioneers’ Messrs. Sexton and Grimwade, of Wherstead, Suffolk and Colchester, Essex.


Alfred and Henry Phillips attended the half-yearly meeting of the Eastern Counties’ Veterinary Medical Society, held at the White Horse Hotel, Ipswich, on Wednesday, 22nd February 1893 for all veterinary surgeons from all parts of Suffolk and Norfolk. Eleven new members were elected, and Mr. F. Low was re-elected at President. Alfred was one of three gentlemen elected as Vice-President. Norwich Mercury – Saturday, 25th February 1893.


Alfred was not a well man, for nine years, Alfred had suffered from hemorrhage of the lungs, attacks of illness frequently prostrated him, leaving him barely able to walk about. He was fortunate in having an active and capable partner as Henry Phillips, who relieved him of the weight of responsibility.

The final illness began in June 1896, by the latter part of the summer Alfred was spent some time in Felixstowe in the hope of the sea air there might assist in restoring him to health, but this hope was not realised. For many weeks before he died Alfred was confined to bed and attended to by – Mr. George Sampson and by Doctor William Alfred Elliston in consultation. Clara nursed her husband with unremitting devotion until death occurred.


Alfred Shorten died Monday, 30th November 1896, at his residence “Ardvoulan” Russell Road, Ipswich. Laid to rest Friday, 4th December 1896, at Ipswich Old Cemetery, in a brick grave situated next to that of his father. The funeral service having been held at St. Mary Elms Church, conducted by the Vicar the Reverend Adalbert Wilheim Vandenbergh.


Probate to Clara Shorten – widow.


To provide company and to give care to the recently widowed Clara Shorten, her spinster maternal aunt Mary Archer lived with her at “Ardvoulan” Russell Road, Ipswich. After the death of Mary Archer, Clara lived with her widowed sister-in-law Kate Stearn at the Stearn’s family home ‘Netherlands’ Norwich Road, Ipswich.


Clara Shorten died 5th June 1941, of 316, Norwich Road, Ipswich.


SOURCES:   used for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.


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