RINGHAM, Henry

1806 - 1866

Not an artist but a wood carver. Henry Ringham was born at Barkham, Lincolshire in 1806, son of Thomas Ringham (1778-1857) and his wife Sarah née Watkins (1780-1854). He married at St Margaret's Ipswich on 11 February 1830, Sarah Leech and in 1851 a 45 year old builder employing 20 men, living at Carr Street, Ipswich with his 49 year old wife Sarah, who was born at Otley, Suffolk, their two children Mary Ann 20 and William Henry 18, a wood carver, with Henry sen's. younger brother, 39 year old John Ringham, also born at Barkham and was a carpenter. By 1861 they had moved to St John's Road, Ipswich when Henry was a builder & carver employing 49 people, with his wife Sarah and daughter Mary. Henry Ringham, was perhaps the finest church woodcarver of the 19th Century. He exhibited 'an ancient Buffet, restored by H. Ringham' at the Suffolk Fine Arts Society held at the New Lecture Hall of the Mechanics' Institute in August 1850. His work is found all over East Anglia, but most notably in the churches of Woolpit and Combs, where it is almost impossible to tell the difference between Ringham's work and the surviving bench ends of the 15th Century. Henry was building the extraordinary Gothic House further down St John's Road, but was bankrupted and couple never got to live in 'Gothic House' which was sold to pay creditors and an auction of his stock-in-trade from Trafalgar Road was held by Garrod & Turner in April 1862. Henry was buried in Ipswich Old Cemetery on 4 April 1866, aged 59 and although there is no headstone for Henry Ringham in the Old Cemetery, the road which connects St John's Road to Cauldwell Hall Road is named Ringham Road in his honour. His wife Sarah was buried in Ipswich Old Cemetery in October 1899 aged 82 [sic].