Mary Berry’s ancestors in the newspapers: Christopher Berry and Robert Houghton

Posted on September 11th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Mary BerryMary Berry uncovered some fascinating newspaper articles during her Who Do You Think You Are? episode, revealing shocking information about her ancestors Christopher Berry and Robert Houghton.

 

Christopher Berry declared bankrupt in 1811

On Saturday 14 November 1811, the Norfolk Chronicle printed the following announcement about Christopher Berry, Mary Berry’s great-great-great-grandfather.

He was described as a ‘bookseller, printer, stationer, dealer and chapman’ who had been ‘declared a bankrupt’. Because of his bankruptcy, people indebted to him were advised not to pay Christopher Berry, but to give notice to two Norwich attorneys instead.

Christopher Berry, Mary Berry's ancestor was declared bankrupt in the Norwich Chronicle.

Norfolk Chronicle – Saturday 16 November 1811
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Baker Robert Houghton and the substandard bread

Another Norfolk-based newspaper, the Norfolk News, published a story about Mary Berry’s great-great-grandfather Robert Houghton in 1855.

Robert Houghton was a baker. He had his own bakery shop in Norwich and, as this newspaper article shows, also supplied the local workhouse with bread. The Norfolk News reported that, in February 1855, the inmates of the workhouse complained about the bread he was baking.

The paupers apparently stated that ‘it is so bad that we do not know how to eat it’.  According to the newspaper article, however, ‘on inspection, the bread was found to be very good, and the matter was therefore dropped’.

Robert Houghton, Mary Berry's ancestor, was accused of baking substandard bread in the Norfolk News.
Norfolk News – Saturday 10 February 1855
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

View the whole newspaper page

 

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