Interesting that I started this rambling to talk about my Culpin ancestors - and I've hardly mentioned them recently.
So, to remedy this, let me leave the Constables in Stretham for a moment and pass comment on the best Monumental Inscription it has been my pleasure to collect:-
"A light is from the household gone;
A voice we loved is stilled.
A place is vacant in the home
That never can be filled.
Not lost, but gone before."
So says the gravestone of Millice Campbell Culpin, my great-great grandfather. He was born in 1841 in St Ives and spent his life as a blacksmith/agricultural implement maker; married to Naomi Fordham they had eleven children between 1864 and 1887. Sadly he took his own life in January 1899; the verdict of the Inquest jury being that the balance of his mind was disturbed.
According to the newspaper report (Hunts County News) : " He was a man of fine stature, but for three years had suffered from heart disease and diabetes, and these complaints had evidently unhinged his mind. "
The family lived on The Quadrant in St Ives and I think their house, complete with outbuildings which could have housed the forge, are still there; I really ought to take my camera next time I go out there.