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Charles Hitchcock (b. ~1791)

Charles Hitchcock was born in the small village of Dedham, Essex, and is believed to be the first of Alfred Hitchcock's ancestors to work as a fishmonger.

At the time Charles lived in Dedham, the population was around 1,400 people. Charles' ancestors had lived in Dedham for over 150 years and, along with his younger brother, he may have been the first of the Hitchcocks to move to London.

He married Jemima Spooner prior to the birth of their first son, Charles, who died as an infant. The couple then had three daughters — Susannah, Emma and Sarah — in Dedham. It seems the family then moved towards the London area in 1824, following in the footsteps of his brother Joseph who married Jane Swadken and had moved to Bermondsey, London. Charles' daughter Emma was baptised in Barking in August 1824, and her father's occupation was listed as "labourer".

The couple had one further child — director Alfred Hitchcock's grandfather Joseph — before Jemima died in 1835, by which time they appear to have settled in Stratford.

Charles remarried in 1836 to Sarah Pike at a ceremony in Bermondsey and it seems highly likely that his sister-in-law Jane[1] was the Jane Hitchcock who witnessed the marriage.

By 1838, Charles had established a fishmongery business in Stratford. As was traditional at the time, his male children worked in the family business and they also expanded into retailing fruit and vegetables. By the time Alfred Hitchcock's father William moved to Salmon Lane, Limehouse, other members of the family had already established thriving fishmongeries elsewhere in London area.

Charles likely died in 1858.



  • born around 1791 in Dedham



Charles was married twice, with Sarah being the mother of his youngest 3 children.

It is currently believed that Jemima Spooner (b. ~1796) was his first wife, with a marriage recorded in Dedham on 02/Jun/1818. Jemima was baptised in Great Wigborough, a village approximately 15 miles southwest of Dedham. A likely death record in 1835 has been found in the West Ham district for Jemima, although the age given is 33 (Jemima would have been nearer 38 by then).[2]

His second marriage was to Sarah Pike and this was most likely Sarah Ann Pike, born 03/Apr/1810. She was the daughter of linen draper Edward Pike (b. ~1780) and Dinah Willder (b. ~1780), who married on 02/May/1805 at St James Garlickhithe, London.

Unfortunately for researchers, this second marriage took place a few months before the Marriage Act 1836 came into effect and so there is no detailed marriage certificate that would confirm the actual identity of Sarah Pike beyond reasonable doubt. At present, it has not been possible to link the Richard Pike who witnessed the wedding back to Sarah Ann Pike.[3]

Jemima Spooner (b. ~1796)

  • born around 1796
  • daughter of Robert Spooner[4] and Susanna Spooner[5]
  • baptised 15/Jun/1796 in Great Wigborough, Essex
  • married 02/Jun/1818 to Charles Hitchcock at St. Mary the Virgin, Dedham, Essex
  • likely died 1835 and was buried on 29/Oct/1835 at Brickfield's Congregational Chapel, Stratford

Sarah Ann Pike (b. 1810)


Children of Jemima Spooner and Charles Hitchcock

Charles Hitchcock (b. 1819)

  • born 1819
  • baptised 15/Nov/1819 at St. Mary the Virgin, Dedham
  • died 1821, aged 21 months
  • buried 16/Apr/1821 at St. Mary the Virgin, Dedham

Susannah Hitchcock (b. ~1823)

  • born around 1823 in Dedham, Essex
  • possibly died 1856 in Sudbury, Suffolk[7]

Emma Hitchcock (b. ~1823)

  • born around 1823 in the Lexden district, possibly in Dedham[8]
  • baptised 29/Aug/1824 at St. Margaret, Barking, Essex[9]
  • probably died 1891

Sarah Hitchcock (b. ~1824)

Joseph William Hitchcock (b. 1830)

Children of Sarah Ann Pike and Charles Hitchcock

Charles William Hitchcock (b. 1838)

Mary Emily Hitchcock (b. 1840)

  • born 30/Jan/1840 in Stratford[15]
  • baptised 11/Mar/1840 at St. John's Parish Church, Stratford[16]

Enoch Hitchcock (b. 1844)


  • very likely died 1858[20]

Family Tree



Known facts about Charles' life:

  • 1791: his estimated year of birth in Dedham, Essex
  • 18??: he marries his first wife (presumably in Dedham), most likely Jemima Spooner in 1818
  • 1823: estimated year of birth for his daughter Susannah, who was born in Dedham
  • 1824: estimated year of birth for his daughter Sarah, who was most likely born in Dedham
  • 1829: estimated year of birth for his son Joseph, who was born in Stratford
  • 1835: death of Jemima Hitchcock, who is buried in Stratford
  • 1836: he married Sarah Pike on April 24th at Saint Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, and the witnesses were Jane Hitchcock and Richard Pike
  • 1838: his son Charles William is born in Stratford
  • 1840: his daughter Mary Emily is born in Stratford
  • 1841: he is living as a fishmonger at Maryland Point, Stratford
  • 1844: his son Enoch is born in Stratford
  • 1851: he is living as a fishmonger at Maryland Point, Stratford
  • 1858: his most likely year of death

Census Data


  • address: Maryland Point, Stratford.
  • Charles Hitchcock (50), occupation: fishmonger
  • Sarah Hitchcock (31), wife
  • Sarah Hitchcock (17), daughter
  • Susannah Hitchcock (17), daughter
  • Joseph Hitchcock (10), son
  • Charles Hitchcock (2), son
  • Mary Hitchcock (1), daughter


Son Joseph has already entered the family trade.

  • address: Maryland Point, Stratford
  • Charles Hitchcock (60), occupation: fishmonger
  • Sarah Hitchcock (41), wife
  • Susannah Hitchcock (28), daughter
  • Joseph Hitchcock (21), son, occupation: fishmonger
  • Charles Hitchcock (12), son, occupation: scholar
  • Mary E. Hitchcock (10), daughter, occupation: scholar
  • Enoch Hitchcock (6), son, occupation: scholar
  • Sarah Hitchcock (28), daughter


Charles has died and Sarah is continuing to run the business with two of her sons.

  • address: 1 Leytonstone Road, Stratford
  • Sarah Hitchcock (52), widow, occupation: greengrocer
  • Charles W. Hitchcock (22), son, occupation: greengrocer
  • Enoch Hitchcock (16), son, occupation: greengrocer

Research Documents

Jemima Hitchcock (b. ~1796) née Spooner

Marriage at St. Mary the Virgin, Dedham (02/Jun/1818):

Likely death registry entry from 1835 (West Ham), although the age given is 33 rather than 38:

Sarah Pike


Research Notes

  • Very little online archive data found, other than 2 census returns.
  • There are no obvious census entries in West Ham for Charles' wife Sarah after 1861. There is an entry for a Sarah Hitchcock (aged 63) in the 1871 Census, but she is listed as an inmate of the West Ham Union Workhouse, which opened in 1841 (see The Workhouse) — this would imply her children aren't supporting her in her old age, which seems unlikely.
  • Another possible match for Charles' second wife is the Ann Sarah Pike born 13/Nov/1812, daughter of James and Sarah Pike. Although younger than the Sarah Hitchcock shown on the Census records, she does have a brother named Richard Pike (b. 1813) which fits with the Richard Pike who witnessed the marriage. Ann Sarah Pike was baptised in December 1812 in the West Drayton parish. Father James Pike was a labourer and it seems the family migrated to Devon for James to work as an agricultural labourer during the summer months as Richard was baptised in Devon in July 1813. She may have married cordwainer William Pyror (born around 1802 in Rochester, Kent).

Notes & References

  1. Wife of Joseph Hitchcock (b. ~1829).
  2. The Jemima Jane Hitchcock who died 1839 in Bermondsey was the daughter of his brother Joseph Hitchcock (b. ~1804), who was also born in Dedham, and his wife Jane Swadken (b. ~1805).
  3. Linking Sarah Ann Pike to a relative named Richard would help confirm her as Charles' second wife.
  4. Possibly the son of William Spooner and Sara How, who married 1724 in Great Wigborough, Essex. Likely died 1849 in the Lexden district of Essex.
  5. Likely died 1839 in the Lexden district of Essex.
  6. Many thanks to Angie, who happens to be a second cousin (once removed) of Alfred Hitchcock for this information. Bermondsey is just a few miles south of Stratford.
  7. Death of Susannah Hitchcock registered Q2 1956 Sudbury, which is about 15 miles from Dedham.
  8. Birth registered Q4 1823 Lexden
  9. Source: SEAX D/P 81/1/14, page 103. Parents are named as labourer Charles and Jemima Hitchcock of Great Ilford. Great Ilford is 4 miles east of Stratford and 8 miles east of Bermondsey.
  10. Death registered Q1. 1891 West Ham.
  11. Birth registered as Charles William Hitchcock in Q2 1838 West Ham. See: England & Wales births 1837-2006 > volume 12 > page 264 > line 152.
  12. Source: SEAX D/P 601/1/1, page 44
  13. Marriage registered Q2 1866 Shoreditch.
  14. Death registered Q2 1894 West Ham. See: England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 > volume 4A > page 111 > line 369
  15. Birth of Mary Emily Hitchcock registered Q1 1840 West Ham
  16. Source: SEAX D/P 601/1/1, page 59
  17. Birth registered as Enoch (or possibly Enock) Hitchcock [Q2 1844 West Ham]. See: England & Wales births 1837-2006 > volume 12 > page 294 > line 33
  18. Source: SEAX D/P 601/1/1, page 111
  19. Marriage registered Q2 1862 Shoreditch. See: England & Wales marriages 1837-2008 > Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records > volume 1C > page 475 > line 7
  20. Death registered Q4 1858 West Ham. See: England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 > volume 4A > page 1 > line 14