Hester Wheelwrights In Askett

A Memory of Askett

My g grandfather William Hester was born and brought up at Askett. Like his father and grandfather, he was a wheelwright. Fortunately for him there was insufficient work for all the family members to be employed as wheelwrights in the village so he set up practice in Princes Risborough. In this way he escaped the typhus epidemic of 1852-3 that killed the entire family remaining in the village. Those who died, together with my ggrandfather, who died in 1875, are buried in the Baptist burial ground in Princes Risborough. The houses the family lived in are across from the pub and are now joined into one known as Shumac. I have the document showing the house was mortgage in 1853 for fifty pounds! My grandfather showed me the spot on the road where mail and other items would be left while the village was in quaranteen. I have not been able to find out anything about the typhus outbreak and wonder if there is any history of it. Contemporary newspapers make no mention of it that I have found. The family was very active in the Baptist chapel in Princes Risborough. My ggrandfather's first wife died of typhus. He married a girl from Haddenham and they moved to set up business as village carpenter and wheelwright at West Wycombe, where he died.

A memory shared by Brian Hester , on Jun 13th, 2010.

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