• Born 1808, daughter of Quakers Joseph Rickman (d.1808) and Sarah Rickman, who were second cousins.
  • Known as 'Aunt Rick', she became a guardian to her older sister's children, after the latter's death in 1842, and sole guardian after her brother-in-law's death in 1852.
  • Died May 1892, aged ~84.

Aunt Rickman.jpg

From 1852, she was sole guardian to the surviving children of John Barton Senior (1789-1852) and Fanny Rickman (1807-1842) (her sister):

She lived with them at Chicester (at East Leigh?) until summer 1858, then moved to Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton; then to Eaton Place, Brighton a.k.a. 2 Clarendon Terrace, Brighton. In ~1868 Josephine, with Elizabeth and Emily, moved to Spring Cottage, Tunbridge Wells, and stayed there until ~1875. It was probably these 'Aunts' who subsequently (before October 1890) moved to Thornhaugh, Croydon, where Elizabeth and Emily seem to have stayed after Aunt Rick's death (her funeral was at Shirley on the east side of Croydon), until at least Christmas 1902.


Mentions in *Memoirs of John Barton:

"My mother had but one sister of her own, one who still lives through God’s goodness to be the object of love to a large and devoted circle of grand-nephews and nieces who all vie in showing love and honour to dear “Aunt Rick”."

"Owing to the fact of my maternal grandmother’s second marriage, our “Aunt Phena” [probably a curious mistake: in every other place she is mentioned she is called 'Aunt Rick', as above; John's sister was known as Aunt Phena] as we always called her, spent the greater part of her time with her married sister and new brother in their country home and was the frequent companion of my father in his rides and walks, sharing in his botanical pursuits in which she took a keen delight and helping him in all his other work."

"Happily for us, God who thus so sorely visited us, spared our dear aunt to take on Mother’s place to us eight children and to be a comfort to our poor bereaved father."

"In the autumn of this same year [1855] I paid my first visit to the English Lakes in company with Aunt Rick, my sister Bessie and Cousin Lucy Barton as she then was. The Finch’s of Staines joined us there and had lodgings near to us on the Chapel Hill. We spent a fortnight at Ambleside and another week at Portinscale near Keswick."

"Early in September [1857] we broke up our reading party and I went down to Edinburgh to meet Aunt Rick and my three elder sisters also my brother Gerard and his wife who had arranged to go with me on a three week trip through the Western Highlands."

"I prayed about it and told the Lord I was willing to go if only He would make it clear to me that it was His will for me. Then I wrote to different friends, Harry Wright I remember for one and to my new but already dear friend Catherine Wigram for another, also to my Aunt Rick, whose wishes I felt to be as binding and sacred as those of a mother in such a matter – and received most kind and encouraging replies from all."

"It was this link to Brighton and the friendships I thus began to form there which I think mainly determined my Aunt Rick to move thither with my five sisters from Chichester which they did the following summer [1858], taking a house first in Upper Rock Gardens and afterwards removing to Eaton Place farther up the East Cliff and so our circle of friendships came gradually to widen and the blessing which God had so graciously bestowed on me came to be shared by them also."

"Dear Fred and Fanny came up to join me shortly after and we had some nice times together and later on Aunt Rick and the rest of Eaton Place party joined us at Ambleside and we stayed at Harrison’s lodgings on the Chapel Hill."

Mentions in *Memoirs of Emily Elliott:

"On March 9th [1864] we sailed in a P. & O. steamer for Marseilles. I was very delicate at this time; and your Father's tender nursing and care saved me a bad illness. As he carried me on shore at Marseilles, he said I must have lost two stone in weight on the voyage. We went straight to Nice, where my parents and sisters were wintering - and I leave you all to imagine my joy in seeing how thoroughly your dear Father was appreciated by them all; and taken to their hearts as a son and brother. MyFather, who was not easily pleased, said he thanked God for having given him such a son-in-law! After a fortnights good nursing, on terra firma, I was nearly well again; and we moved on to England, where at 2 Clarendon Terrace, Brighton, I was very warmly welcomed by dear Aunt Rickman, and Father's five sisters, all of whom were then unmarried." p43

"On Xmas Eve 1869 your Father, Arthur and I landed in dear old England once more; and by evening found ourselves at Spring Cottage, Tunbridge Wells, with such a warm welcome from dear Aunt Rick, Aunts Bessie and Emily; who after spending 10 years in Brighton, made their home for 7 years at this pretty place. They had most lovingly given little Johnnie and Fred and Nurse Wilson a home for several months, and we found the former a splendid sturdy little chap of 3¼ years, in the greatest excitement at our return; jumping on the spring bed prepared for us, clapping his hands for joy. Fred was a lovely boy of 15 months old by now - and for the time had quite outgrown his delicacy. The beautiful and queenly Aunt Rick was Mother and Grandmother by turns to us all, and we had a very happy 2 or 3 weeks together. I remember that Arthur could hardly get dressed on Christmas morning for gazing out of the window at the wonderful white world on which his eyes now opened for the first time - for he had of course never seen snow lying in India." p60

"So he took a snug little house for us on Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, called 'Ernstein Villa', and settled us in there, before he left us on October 3rd [1871]. By this time Uncle Willy and little Isa and nurse had returned to India; and Aunt Mary to our parents at Nice the previous month; so it was a happy arrangement for me to be near dear Aunt Rick, and Aunts Bessie and Emily." p64

"We went to Keswick ourselves that July [1886] - and were afterwards at Ambleside with dear Aunt Rick and Alice for a spell." p94

"The following year (1888) we spent August again at Ambleside; and took Mrs. Cousins' lodgings, where Father had been with Aunt Rick in 1858." p95

"In March 1889 Father was asked if he would accept the Bishopric of Travancore; but declined. July 1889 we were again at Keswick; this time with Aunt Rick and Father's sisters at Mrs. Petits', close to St. John's Church." p95

"Jack was ordained on May 28 1890 at Chichester Cathedral, and we had quite a nice family gathering at the Old Hotel there for the Sunday - of Aunts and Uncle Joseph, and the girls and myself - arranged by dear Aunt Rick, with special care because your dear Father could not be present. I think too that our Jack was the first of her great-nephews to be ordained. That {p97} Sunday evening I went with Aunt Bessie to see the house built on the old Chichester Wall where your Grandfather Barton spent his last few years, and died." pp96-97

"In May 1892 the first great break came to us all; and the beloved 'Aunt Rick', who had 'mothered' eight of the Barton family, and 'grand-mothered' 44 of the rising generation received her call Home, and entered into her rest, aged 84. This rushing 20th Century will see no more of her calm dignified type we fear. You always felt in a cultured presence when with her; and that she was one whose chief life was lived in an atmosphere above this passing world; although she had no religious phraseology. Her sound judgment, unswayed by her heart, was such that every member of the family was guided by her more or less. She united a firm hand over her household with the gentlest manner, which made her truly an ideal Lady 'Mother'. Her servants adored her; and it was said they never left her but to marry or die. Dear old 'Wrapson' - whom she pensioned - lived 52 years in the family; and died about 1898 - aged I think 67.

She loved to talk of your Grandfather Barton – her only sister's Husband - to whom she felt she owed much of her education; having lived all his married life with him, and his widowed life also; and lived on after his death with his children by his request. She travelled abroad with him and her sister, when she was 20, in the days of Post chaises, and 'vetturinos', through France and Italy; and was his companion out riding when they settled in Hants, being a good horse-woman. {p101} Before Railways intersected, and bisected the country and the Penny Post came in, and before Electric wires circumnavigated the world in 3½ minutes, as now, driving this generation to live at a pace which bids fair to annihilate all leisure, and all time for meditation, this Brother and Sister-in-law had time to read and digest books of which present day folk have only time to read Reviews.

When this noble, queenly and much loved lady 'crossed the Bar' she seemed like a ship in full sail going into port, 'into the haven where she would be'; and none could wish to keep her, although her place in our circle can never more be filled. Father, Cecil and Jack went to Croydon to be present at the funeral at Shirley; and that afternoon the electric wires from the Far East brought news of the birth of our first grandchild - her first great-grand-niece - Doris - our Arthur's daughter, born May 21.
Uncle Handley Moule wrote the sweet lines which I append below, about the strange concurrence of these two events:

My dearest Millie,
I was thinking this afternoon of what I said to you on Sunday, about the sunset sky and the morning star, and in a quiet time in the 'Roundabout' I put the thought into verse (as overleaf), as a little message to you and dear John.
Yr. loving Brother

May 21. 1892
At noon your mother-friend you laid
Beneath the flowers to rest;
At eve the lightning-message play'd
From India to the West;
And grief forgot itself, and smiled
To hail your children's new-born child;
As if, at shut of summer day,
When all its joys were done,
The star of morning lit its ray
Above the fallen sun,
And lo, upon the darkling plain
The golden dawn came up again."" pp100-101