Who were Edward and Mary Cridge?
by Monica Hammond
Edward Cridge was born in England in 1817. His mother died when he was quite young, so he was raised in a single-parent family. After grammar school, Edward went on to get a degree in mathematics. In the same year that he got his degree, he passed a theological exam and was ordained into the Church of England. After three years as a minister at Christ Church in Essex, he heard about the chance to minister at a new parish – the “Chaplaincy of Vancouvers Island” (The Home: p. 20). He would have to leave England in less than one month.
He had been working with Mary Winmill in Essex for some time and had grown to love her. He asked her to marry him and go with him to Vancouver Island. She said yes. Three weeks later, in September 1854, Edward and Mary Cridge embarked on their voyage to the other side of the world.
Even as a young man, Edward had an interest in helping people and building communities. He raised support for victims of the Irish potato famine of the 1840s, and organized a musical society while at college. Mary had also been active in community-minded work. This social awareness on the part of both Edward and Mary Cridge would have a great impact on the fledgling community they were about to join: Victoria.
This piece is based on the work of Vernon Storey, Terry Worobetz and Henry Kennedy in their book The Home: Orphans’ Home to Family Centre: 1873 to 1998. Copies of the book are available for purchase at The Cridge Centre for the Family.