Cloudesley Association member Matilda has kindly sent us these photos of a memorial which she found at Highgate cemetery - the Western part, right at the top near the labyrinth.

Craghill Memorial 2

Craghill Inscription


















The memorial is interesting in several respects.  It is marked "Sacred to the Memory of William Crachill (sic), Esq, of Cloudesley Terrace" (which is what caught Matilda's attention).  A search on Ancestry, however, revealed no "Crachill"s.  Instead, it seems the William is actually William Cragshill, who, sure enough, lived at 8 Cloudesley Terrace (the original name of the line of houses on the west side of Liverpool Road, adjacent to Cloudesley Square).  The memorial also mentions William's wife Caroline, described as his "Relict", who died just 10 months later.  It also mentions two daughters, Dinah and Louisa.  But Ancestry reveals that they were daughters of William's first wife, Elizabeth, who died in 1835, and is not mentioned anywhere on the memorial (she was buried at St Luke, Finsbury).  

By the 1851 census, Louisa has married William Johnson, a silversmith, and they are living at 17 Canonbury Villas, together with Dinah, who, remarkably, is listed as a "general servant"!  This must surely be a mistake - by the 1871 census they are all still living together, now at Hawthorne House, Green Lanes, and both William and Dinah are listed as "House Property".  By this time Louisa has given birth to a daughter Emily, who later goes on to marry Ormond Lewis Watkins, both also mentioned at the base of the memorial.

There is not much information about the patriarch William Crachill/Craghill on Ancestry.  Presumably the confusion over his surname arises from the curlicue on the letter G having dropped off the name on the memorial, although as Matilda points out, this must have happened three times!  In the 1851 census he is listed simply as a "House Proprietor" and his probate record of 1862 states that he died with "effects of less than £800".  However, we do have a fascinating mention of him in the proceedings of the Old Bailey for 1847:


1st March 1847

Reference Number



Guilty > lesser offence



709. FREDERICK OSBORNE was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of William Craghill, at St. Mary, Islington, on the 21st of Feb., and stealing therein 3 gowns, value 10l.; 1 apron, 6d. 3 shawls, 2l. 10s.; 7 handkerchiefs, 1l.; 1 pair of trowsers, 1l.; 2 waistcoats, 2l. 6s.; and 2 rows of beads, 4s.; the goods of the said William Craghill.

WILLIAM CRAGHILL . I live at Hemingford-terrace—I keep the house—it is in the parish of St. Mary, Islington. On Sunday evening, the 21st of Feb., I went out to church with my wife—I left nobody in the house—I left it quite secure, and double-locked the door—I am certain of that—I returned about half-past eight o'clock, and found the door on the single lock—on entering I found everything deranged, and the parlour and bed-room drawers all turned inside out—I missed the articles named in the indictment, and found them at the police-station—I have seen them since—they belong to me and my wife.

PAUL PRITCHARD (police-constable N 237.) On the 21st of Feb., about half-past seven o'clock in the evening, I saw the prisoner in the Caledonian-road, about three quarters of a mile from Mr. Craghill's, and going from there—he had this bundle on his head—I stopped him, and asked what he had got—he said, "A coat and waistcoat"—I asked how he came by them—he said he had them from his mother—I asked where she lived—he said he could not tell me the name of the street—I asked him to show me—he said he could not—I found all these things in the bundle, except three handkerchiefs and a watch, which were in his pocket, with a box of lucifer matches.

GUILTY of stealing only. Aged 14.— Transported for Seven Years.

Before Lord Chief Baron Pollock.


Although he is living at the time in Hemingford Terrace (presumably a part of today's Hemingford Road), this must surely be the same William Craghill - he also lived in Theberton Street for a time.  Most delightfully for the purposes of this website, the Old Bailey proceedings were recorded by none other than our old friend Henry Buckler, who must have been there at the time!  As to the somewhat draconian sentence of 7 years transportation to Australia meted out to the hapless 14 year old thief Frederick Osborne, we know that a similar fate befell the thief of a handerchief from Jevon Harper, also documented here in the website.  As Matilda points out, this was common practice at the time under the 1717 Transportation Act.

Finally, Jenny has tracked down William's father, also called William, as the owner of the Angel Inn in Lower Tooting - our William was most probably born there.  Here's a rather fine watercolour of the inn circa 1850, courtesy of Stephen Harris:

Angel Inn


Update 1.4.21.  Here's another of Matilda's Highgate Cemetery graves - the last resting place of Thomas Heath of 35 Thornhill Road.

Another grave