|Linda & Margaret at Corfe Castle|
|It's a steep climb to the Castle|
|Playing medieval games|
|Aaron Hardy's birth village|
My 2xgreat-grandfather, Aaron Hardy, a mariner was born in Corfe Castle, Dorset in 1826 to William Hardy, a labourer and his wife Mary (Whiterow/Whitrow). His mother died less than three years later. William continued to live there and was a carpenter in 1850.
Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror as a fortification on the Purbeck peninsular, and the village below has the same name. In Elizabeth 1's time, it passed into private hands. During the English Civil War, Cromwell's men "slighted" the castle by destroying much of it, making it non-functional as a fortification.
By 1841, young Aaron was a male servant in Radipole, Dorset. From there, it was less than a two-mile walk to Weymouth Harbour, so it is easy to imagine Aaron meeting Amelia Billett at the Old Harbour before 1850 when they married. By then Aaron, like his father-in-law William was a mariner.
Sometime between 1852 after their first two children were born and 1856, the family moved to Southampton. This, of course, was a bigger port by then. His daughter Agnes Mary (1858-1912) married George William Tucker (1856-1924) in 1881.
Our great grandparents Agnes and George W. Tucker must have been mortified when two years later Aaron was charged with being drunk and disorderly, having been held in the police lock-up overnight. By then he was a labourer, not a mariner. I have not yet been able to find records of any ship he served on.
Both Aaron and Amelia Hardy lived long lives in Southampton until Edward V11's reign.