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Richard Kingshott

This is a short page on the sad case of Richard Kingshott. Richard was my 4th cousin 4 times removed.

Richard was born in Cheam, Surrey, England in 1842 to parents James Kingshott and Elizabeth nee Luxford. He was baptised at Cheam on 26th June 1842 and grew up in various villages in the area, before settling in Kingston, Surrey. He trained to become a carpenter and joiner, a trade that he maintained throughout his life.

On 5th August 1866, at St James' Church, Camberwell, Surrey, Richard married a lady called Matilda Catchpole. He was married using a first name of Henry, which doesn't seem to feature in any documentation before or after the marriage. They are present, without children, in the 1871 census but left for America later that year. As far as I can ascertain Richard & Matilda did not have any surviving children.

Richard & Matilda's Marriage at St James, Camberwell, Surrey, England

Having arrived in the USA in 1871, Richard and Matilda make their way across the country to California. By 1878, Richard can be found in the city directory of Alameda, still working as a carpenter. They remained in that city until they died.

I have not managed to locate the actual death records for Matilda, but newspapers state that she died in San Francisco in 1895. After this, it seems that Richard slipped into a depression and may have been suffering from more acute mental illness.

In 1898 Richard is found in the newspapers having been accused of making faces at his female neighbours and calling them names. The newspaper account, from the Oakland Tribune of 9th August 1898, is reproduced here.

Richard's sad end came in 1902. Unable to deal with his own personal demons he committed suicide in the most unpleasant way imaginable, using a shotgun. Having attended shotgun suicides myself as a police officer, I can assure you that this is not a nice way to go. It is, however, instantaneous for the person concerned which is some small comfort.

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