Sunday, 24 January 2010

Fred Archer (1857 - 1886), the world-famous Newmarket jockey - and another relative!

Facebook produces surprises. Yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to be contacted via facebook by a fellow fan and an especially thorough researcher of Frederick James (Fred) Archer (1857 - 1886), who was born at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and died (almost certainly by his own hand) at Falmouth House, Newmarket. Fred Archer was one of the most famous jockeys of all time and just one of his memorials is Fred Archer Way in Newmarket.

The illustration is the not very flattering cartoon of the unusually tall and thin Fred Archer as appeared in Vanity Fair in May, 1882. I own a copy.

Fred himself wasn't a relative of either Sue or I, but his wife, Helen Rose (Nellie) (née Dawson) (1861 - 1884), was a niece of Sue's ggg aunt and a first cousin of Sue's two step great-grandmothers. Moreover, Nellie's brother, John Alfred (Jack) Dawson (1855 - 1942), a racehorse trainer at Newmarket, married my brother-in-law's great aunt, Grace Hamilton Horsburgh Waugh (1858 - 1926), who was a daughter of James Waugh (1831 - 1905), a famous Scots-born Newmarket racehorse trainer, and a sister of several famous Waugh racehorse trainers and of Charles (Charlie) Waugh who lived and farmed at The Vineyards at Bottisham and was a Parish Councillor there.

Additionally, a grand-daughter of Fred and Nellie Archer - also a grand-daughter of Max Edward Oscar Tosetti (1845 - 1924), who lived for several years at Swaffham Prior Hall - married a distant Gardner cousin of mine whose ancestors farmed at Woodditton, Fen Ditton and Horningsea. It's a small world - and it's made smaller by research and contacts on the internet.

Fred and Nellie Archer lie buried at Newmarket Cemetery which in turn lies in the old Cambridgeshire part of Newmarket. But that's another story and a debate for another day.

Fred and Nellie Archer's gravestone is to the right.

Some of my research (mostly transcriptions of old Newmarket Journals) on Fred and Nellie Archer can be found at -

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