Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The "other" Oscar Wilde's currying connection with Hertfordshire.

Oscar W Wild in 1879
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Some time ago I acquired this carte de visite as an example or the portrait work of Frederick Downer of Watford. The back is labelled "Oscar W. Wild - Oct 26 1879" and I decided I ought to ask myself a question - Who is he?

So I dug down into the census returns and other records and found he a member of the WILD family of Rickmansworth. His grandfather was Thomas Wild (1795-1871) who in 1851 was tanner at Mill End, Rickmansworth, employing 19 men, later becoming a farmer of 250 acres in the area.

Thomas had five sons. Two of his sons became significant tanners and curriers - Charles Wild (1820-1878) was employing 18 men and boys at Kingston on Thames in 1861 - but was buried at Rickmansworth. Alfred Wild (1821-1890) became a tanner, currier and shoemaker in the Windsor area - employing 51 men in 1851, later returning to Rickmansworth, where he died.. Another son Thomas Wild (1824-1887) was a master currier on a small scale in Watford High Street in 1861 and 1871.

Cornelius Wade Wild (1832-1917) and Edwards Wild (1835-1910) were significant farmers in the Rickmansworth area respectively running Shepperds Farm, Heronsgate (440 acres, 19 employees) and Stockers Farm, Batchworth (500 acres, 18 employees).

Oscar Wade Wild(e) (1858-1945) was the second son of Alfred Wild. He went to Oxford, where he added an "E" to become Oscar Wilde - a few year before the name became notorious because of the famous Oscar Wilde. He became a clergyman and was vicar of St Ives, Huntingdonshire from 1899-1930.

A Biography of Rev. Oscar Wade Wilde - A Wilde Goose Chase

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