Robert Riddick

Robert Riddick
Robert Riddick (1810-1894)

Robert Riddick was the first appointed schoolmaster for Gretna Green schoolhouse to reside at Kirkcroft. He is listed on the census for 1841 as living at Kirkcroft (schoolhouse) with his younger sister Janet.

Robert was born in Dalton, Dumfriesshire in 1810, the second of 10 siblings to Andrew and Jane Riddick.

The pupils at the school were aged between five and sixteen years old. A smaller school(greenhill) stood in the grounds of Gretna hall and took younger pupils.
Subjects taught were English,Greek, Latin, modern languages, maths, geography, history and catechism. The school hours were six hours a day in the winter and seven in the summer. The school closed for six weeks for harvest time. Punishments for naughty pupils were whipping, confinement or additional tasks. In 1836 there were forty eight males and twelve females in the school. By 1837 there were forty males and twenty nine females. Sunday school also took place in the classroom.
Mr Riddicks salary was £25.13.s3 ½d .

Mr Riddick does not appear in the census again until 1891 as living with two of his siblings at Brydekirk. He died in 1894 aged 85 and is buried in Annan cemetery in a paupers grave.

Robert Riddick’s parents and siblings.

James Barclay Riddick(1807-1848)
James (born in Dalton, Dumfriesshire) was the eldest child in the family. James seems to move to Stroud in Glocestershire where he is recorded as working as a travelling tea dealer, It was here that he met his future wife Sarah Nicholas (1813-1850) he may have worked in partnership with his with his brother Francis. James and Sarah had 4 children. James Barclay Riddick(1839-1909), Jane Riddick(1840-1920), Robert Riddick(1844-1908) and William Andrew Riddick(1845-1925)

William Riddick (1812-?)
William was born in Dalton, Dumfriesshire. There is a mention of a William Riddick being a tea dealer in Cirencester before moving to Wootton Bassett. He married Mary Ann Wallis in Wootton Bassett Wiltshire in 1834 , then next appears in Kirkpatrick Fleming living in railway cottages with his wife and then in the next census(1861) he is in Cargo (a suburb of Carlisle) . His job is shown as being a Labourer. He was probably a railway labourer, which would explain why he worked in several parts of the country. William and Mary Ann have no recorded children.

Isabella Riddick (1815 – ?)
Isabella Riddick was born about 1815 in Dalton, Dumfriesshire, she was the eldest of the five girls in the Riddick family. She married Andrew Beattie (a hand loom weaver) in 1840. The couple lived in Springfield near Gretna Green. The couple had 4 children, Robert Beattie(1842), Agnes Beattie(1844), Alexander Beattie(1848) and Andrew Beattie(1853). Isabella appears in the 1891 census aged 78. She also took in lodgers who were working on the railway.

Francis Riddick(1817-?)
Also known as Francis Barclay Riddick. Francis moved to Stroud in Gloucestershire where he works with his brother as a tea trader. In 1843 he married Sarah Maria Roberts. Francis and Sarah have 5 children Isabella Riddick (1847), Emily M Riddick (1848), Francis B Riddick (1850), John A Riddick (1852) and Edwin G Riddick (1854). The last 3 children were born on the Channel Islands. Francis Riddick does not appear on any more censuses after 1851. So he probably died sometime between 1854 and 1861.

Janet Riddick(1818-1852)
Janet Riddick appears in the 1841 census living with her brother Robert at the schoolhouse Graitney (or Gretna Green as it is now known). Janet married Archibald Glendining (a mason) in 1845. The couple lived at Headless Cross (near to Gretna Green marriage rooms) and had 3 children. George Glendining(1845), Andrew Glendining(1848) and John Glendining(1850). Janet died in 1852 and Archibald went on to remarry Elizabeth Armstrong in 1853.

Jane Riddick(1828-?)
Jane appears on the 1851 census working as a servant in the home of Clementina Maxwell. By 1861 she had moved back in with her mother and worked as a grocery shopkeeper. After the death of her mother in 1875 she ran the business alone. Her brother Joseph also lived with her. By the 1891 census, her brother Robert had moved into the home. Jane died in 1892.

Agnes Riddick(1829-?)
Agnes married William Smith Shannon in 1850. William and Agnes lived at Clayhouse Toll Bar near Annan where William worked as a toll collector. The couple had 11 children. Andrew Shannon(1851), Christopher Shannon(1853), Hannah Shannon(1856), Martin Shannan(1857), Mary Ann Shanna(1859), William Shannon(1860), Jane Shannon(1863), Agnes Shannon(1865), James Shannon(1868), Robert Shannon(1870) and Joseph Shannon(1873). In the 1881 census Agnes and William had moved to Moffat and William was working as a Carriage Hirer. The 1891 census shows William working as a bacon curer. Agnes and William appear in no further censuses.

Joseph Riddick(1832-1909)
Joseph was unmarried. He worked most of his life as a journeyman draper living in Brydekirk with his mother and sister Jane. In the last recorded census he is shown as being a caretaker for a hall in Brydekirk. He died in 1909 and is buried in Annan cemetery.

Mary Anne Riddick(1835-1857)
Mary Anne was born in Dalton, Dumfriesshire in 1835 and died in 1857 she is buried in Ruthwell cemetery. * Mary Anne was born in 1835. This would make her mother 50 years old at the time of birth – this is unlikely, so Mary Anne may have been born out of wedlock to one of the other children.