12th August 1874 – 1st July 1900

Town Sergeant/Sergeant at Mace is one of the oldest job titles of the Town of Ipswich. Dating back to the time of Town Bailiffs, following the first Royal Charter of 1200. The Sergeant was employed to carry out the duties and enforcement of the laws and wishes of the governance of the Town. As Sergeant they were to carry the insignia of the town and to carry the royal mace (1665). Held ahead of the first citizen in parades and precessions. The sergeant at mace is responsible for civic and ceremonial role of the first citizen. Over the past 800 years the Sergeant would be responsible for the smooth running of the halls and the running of meetings of the Town, acting as toastmaster and attendant of the court. (Session Court and Council). Carrying the Sword of Justice for the Session Court and Royal Mace for Council meetings, calling order for the start and finish of the meetings.

Since 1836 Mayors had replaced Bailiffs in the town, with the Sergeants duties being transferred to serve the Mayors, acting as mayor’s attendants. For Civic parades Two Town Sergeants carrying maces (the Borough/Town have two Royal Maces) The sword of Justice carried by the Town Crier who would lead the procession with Mayor and civic party behind. The Sergeants were present at every significant event of the town, from Royal visits, Proclamations, unveilings, openings, Council meetings in the Borough and escort for the Mayor for Town and County events.


Born: 6th February 1832, Hatfield Peverel, Essex.

Baptised: 29th March 1832, at All Saints Church, Terling, Essex.


Father: Samuel Hicks, born 1796, Fairstead, Essex, baptised 21st February 1796, at St. Mary the Virgin Church, Fairstead. A farm bailiff. Samuel Hicks died 26th June 1877, at Myland, Colchester, Essex. Laid to rest at St. Michael’s Churchyard, Mile End, Colchester.


Mother: Mary Hicks (nee Stokes), born 1802, Terling, Essex.


Sister: Caroline Hicks, born 1838, Hatfield Peverel, baptised 29th November 1854, at St. Mary the Virgin Church, Kelvedon. Caroline Hicks died March 1863, Kelvedon. Laid to rest 13th March 1863, at St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Kelvedon.




1841   Thorpe Street, Thorpe le Soken, Essex.

Charles was 10 years old. He was a student/boarder at an independent boys’ school with sixteen boys.


1851   Crabb’s Farm, Kelvedon, Essex.

Charles was 19 years old, an Agricultural Labourer. He was living with his parents and sister.

Samuel, 52, a Farm Bailiff – 90 acres – employing 4 men and 1 boy.

Mary, 50.

Mary, 13.

1 lodger.


1861   299, Woodbridge Road, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.

Charles was 29 years old, a Butler. He was married and head of the household.

Eliza, 27.

Ellen, 2.

Charles, 1.


1871   5, Hyde Park Place, St. Marylebone, Middlesex.

Charles was 35 years old, a Butler. He was one of eight servants of 64 year old, The Right Hon. Thomas Milner Gibson, of land and funded property.


In 1871, Charles’s family were residing at the family home – 106, Fore Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.

Eliza, 34, a Greengrocer.

Ellen, 12.

Charles, 11.

1 female domestic servant.


1881   11, William Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.

Charles was 45 years old, a Sergeant-at-Mace. He was married and head of the household.

Eliza, 44.

George, 21, a Solicitor’s Clerk.

Maud, 3.


1891   11, William Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.

Charles was 57 years old, a Sergeant-at-Mace. He was married and head of the household.

Eliza, 55.

Maud, 13.


1901   11, William Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.

Charles was 69 years old, an Ex- Town Sergeant. He was married and head of the household.

Eliza, 67.

Maud, 23, a Domestic Servant.

grandson – Herbert Charles Hicks, 3, born Ipswich.


On the 9th February 1858, at St. Nicholas Church, Brighton, East Sussex, 26 year old Charles, a Servant, of 2, Hampton Place, married 26 year old Eliza Stebbings, of 114, Marine Parade, Brighton, born 1834, Norton, Suffolk, baptised 4th May 1834, at St. Andrew’s Church, Norton, Suffolk – daughter of Isaac and Hannah Stebbings, of Norton.


Father: Isaac Stebbings, born 1800, Stowlangtoft, Suffolk. Isaac was a gardener and Norton St. Andrew’s parish clerk for 35 years. Isaac Stebbings died 14th January 1883, at Norton.

Mother: Hannah Stebbings (nee Jeffery), born 7th May 1801, Hartest, Suffolk, baptised 24th May 1801, at All Saints’ Church, Hartest. Hannah Stebbings died 1885, Norton.


Eliza and Charles had three children:


Ellen Caroline Hicks, born 19th June 1858, Norton, baptised 18th July 1858, at St. Andrew’s Church, Norton. On the 25th November 1880, at St. Nicholas Church, Ipswich, by the Reverend C. Ward, Ellen married Charles James Eaton, born 1858, Ipswich, baptised 24th January 1858, St. Nicholas Church, Ipswich. Ellen and Charles had four children. Charles was a postmaster for the Post Office. Employment took the Eaton family to reside across the country. Ellen Eaton died December 1927, of 27, Eversley Road, Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex. Laid to rest Saturday, 10th December 1927, at the Borough Cemetery. Charles Eaton died 19th October 1936, of 31, St. John’s Road, Ipswich.


Charles William Stokes Hicks, born 1859, Ipswich, baptised 1st January 1860, at St. Helen’s Church, Ipswich. Charles Hicks died 28th August 1888, of St. Margaret’s, Ipswich. Laid to rest 1st September 1888 at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Maud Mary Hicks, born 1878, Ipswich. Maud had a son, Herbert Charles Hicks in 1898. In 1902, Maud married Charles Spencer Crick, born 1877, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. Maud and Charles had two daughters. Herbert became part of the Crick family. Charles was a wheelwright for an implement manufacturer. Maud Crick died 1911, Bury St. Edmunds. Charles Crick died 1952, Cambridge. Laid to rest 1st January 1953, Cambridgeshire.


On Wednesday, 12th August 1874, a quarterly meeting of the Town Council was held at the Town Hall. The Mayor of Ipswich, Dr. Barrington Chevallier was in the chair. The General Purposes Committee reported that in pursuance of the resolution of the Council, they caused advertisements to be inserted in the local newspapers for applications for the appointment of Sergeant-at-Mace, and in reply received interest from: Charles Garlett, Navarre Street; Henry Philip Arthur, St. Helen’s Street; Philip Leggett Groom, 1, Lancaster Road; Henry Kersey, 38, Chenery Street; Charles Groom, 22, St. Helen’s Street; John Hayho, 22, Withipoll Street; Charles Hicks, 106, Fore Street; William Ellis, 5, Christchurch Street; Edward Pepper, 5, New Cardinal Street.

After careful consideration, the Committee were of the opinion that William Ellis, Charles Groom and Charles Hicks were the best qualified for the office. They, therefore, submitted their names to the Council to select from.

Alderman Edward Grimwade proposed the appointment of Charles Hicks as Sergeant-at-Mace, remarking that from the positions he had held, he was a proper person indeed for the office.

Mr. Benjamin Page Grimsey seconded the nomination, which was confirmed. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 15th August 1874


On Wednesday, 20th June 1900, a special meeting of the Ipswich Town Council was held at the Town Hall, with the Mayor of Ipswich, William Alfred Churchman and the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Edwin Perkins Ridley. The Estate Committee reported to the meeting that Mr. Charles Hicks, one of the Town Sergeants was 67 years of age, now felt unable, from infirmity, to efficiently carry out all the office duties.

Charles was receiving 30s. a week with livery, and £2 10s. a quarter in lieu of fees for preparing for and attending meetings which are not connected with the Corporation. The Committee recommended that his wages from the 1st July 1900 be reduced to 15s. a week, that he be required to attend only between the hours of twelve and three, and that Charles have such livery as the Committee from time to time think necessary.

Mr. Robert Stocker Paul moved the report’s adoption, with the alternation that Mr. Charles Hicks’s wages be 18s, instead of 15s. He mentioned that the Mayor, William Churchman had taken a very active part in this matter, and if his Worship approved of the increase it must be right. Mr. Owen Turner seconded, remarking that Mr. Charles Hicks had been a hard-working servant of the Council. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 23rd June 1900


Eliza Hicks died Wednesday, 12th November 1902, at her residence 11, William Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich. An inquest was held on the 12th November before the Coronor for Ipswich Mr. Henry Mason Jackaman. Cause of death was expressed as syncope.


An inquest was held at the Higher Grade School on Wednesday evening, before the Borough Coroner, Mr. Henry Mason Jackaman, on view of the body of Eliza Hicks. Charles deposed that his deceased wife was in her usual health on the previous day; she did her work in the house and had retired to bed at 10:15, having previously partaken of bread, meat and beer. Eliza slept in a room by herself. Charles heard nothing until half-past six on Wednesday morning, at that time he thought he heard moaning or groaning. Charles went to his wife’s room and called to her; unable to get a reply he summoned a neighbour, Mrs. Emily Goshaw (wife of Joseph Goshaw), of William Street. Together they returned to Eliza’s room; the body being warm, Emily tried to lift Eliza’s arms, but there was no sign of life. Mr. Samuel Oliver Eades, after hearing all the evidence, expressed the opinion that the cause of death was syncope. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly. E.A.D.T. – Thursday, 13th November 1902.


Charles Hicks died Thursday, 6th January 1910, at his residence 11, William Street, Ipswich – of chronic rheumatism and gangrene. Charles’s daughter Ellen Caroline Eaton, of 7, Railway Road, Kings Lynn, Norfolk was present at the death.




Image courtesy of Mr. A. Gilbert – Ipswich Borough Council.   for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

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