The two houses, 8 and 10 Chapel Street in Thornbury had a shared history and were generally sold as a pair. We know they each had only four rooms. However we know very little about what the houses looked like and would appreciate any photographs or information to clarify the point. This tiny extract from an aerial photograph shows the Wheatsheaf public house in its distinctive black and white “Tudor” style. The two long buildings next to that are the skittle alley and buildings of the pub. To the left of that is the white house that is definitely 8 Chapel Street. Number 10 Chapel Street may be either part of that white building or the darker one next to it. Both houses were demolished in the 1960s and were replaced by a public housing scheme.
Of the people who lived in number 10 Chapel street we know of –
John Cullimore. In the 1840 Tithe Survey this was occupied by John Cullimore. We are not sure which John Cullimore this was. However he may have been a labourer lodging with Thomas and Elizabeth Savery in 34 Castle Street by the 1841 census. He may have died aged about 81 in August 1841.
Thomas Wetmore. The 1841 census shows that this property was occupied by Thomas Wetmore a tailor aged 36 with his wife Sarah aged 37 and their children Matilda aged 7, Frances aged 5, Elizabeth aged 3 and Eliza aged 1. They had two lodgers Henry Alway aged 15 an apprentice tailor and Robert Barrett aged 18 a tailor. Thomas Wetmore may have been born in Lodden in Norfolk. Click here to read more
William Howard. The 1851 census shows that William Howard an agricultural labourer aged 59 lived in the property with his wife Hannah, a charwoman aged 56. Their son Stephen aged 16 was an agricultural labourer. A younger son George was a scholar aged 12. Read more about William Howard. By 1859 the family had moved to 6 Upper Bath Road.
The 1851 census shows William Howard then aged 59 and an agricultural labourer lived in 10 Chapel Street with his wife Hannah, a charwoman aged 56. Their son Stephen aged 16 was an agricultural labourer.
William died aged 79 and was buried on 16th January 1869 at Oldbury. In the 1871 census Hannah was living in one of the Sir John Stafford’s Almshouses in St Mary Street. She died aged 83 in the Union Workhouse on 28th November 1879 and was buried at Thornbury on 4th December 1879.
Hester and Samuel Spill. The 1861 census shows that Samuel Spill and his wife Hester lived in the house that became 10 Chapel Street. Samuel was baptised on 18th March 1821 and was the son of Thomas Spill a cordwainer and his wife whose name was rather interestingly ‘Olynthyan’.
In the 1841 census Samuel was already living away from home and was living in 51 High Street where he was a servant to Stephen Hignell a mealman. He married Hester Walker the daughter of William Walker in Bedminster on 10th August 1845. Their son Thomas was born in Thornbury in 1846. Their daughter Elizabeth Olinthia was baptised on 27th August 1848. Elizabeth died in 1849 aged nine months and was buried on 24th April. A second son George Henry Spill was baptised on 4th August 1850. The 1851 census shows that the couple lived in St Mary Street. Samuel was a grocer’s porter aged 30 and their sons Thomas and George were five years and three months respectively. They had another daughter Jane who was baptised on 7th December 1856 and a son William on 7th December 1856.
The 1861 census shows that the family had moved to 10 Chapel Street and that they were living with three of their children; George aged 11, Jane aged 9 and William aged 5. Samuel was 41 and working as a warehouseman. Hester was 44 years old. By 1871 Hester was working as a laundress with her 18 year old daughter Jane. Samuel was still a grocer’s porter and their sons William and George aged 15 and 20 had become an errand boy and a grocer’s porter. Sadly William died aged 16 and was buried on 28th April 1872. Later that year on 11th August their son George Joseph Spill married Jane Hinder, the daughter of James Hinder.
Samuel Spill died aged 55 years and was buried on 11th April 1875. The 1881 census shows that Hester continued to live at 10 Chapel Street with her unmarried son Thomas who was 36 years old. The 1891 census shows that they were still living in the same house; Hester Spill was a widow aged 76 and Thomas was a general labourer aged 45 and single.
Hester died in 1896 aged 79. George Walker a retired butcher who was a widower aged 61 may have been living in the same household as the Spills. The census seems to indicate that his household and that of Hester and Thomas each occupied four rooms. The 1901 census shows Thomas was lodging at 47 St Mary Street.
In 1899 and 1900 the rate books indicate that this building was “occupied” by the Thornbury District Council. The 1901 census records it as uninhabited.
Jesse Orchard. In the 1905 special drainage rate book Jesse Orchard lived here. He was still there in the 1907 poor rate book. By 1910 Jesse had moved to 61 St Mary Street. Click here to read about Jesse Orchard
Frederick and Julia Cann lived in this property from about 1910. They remained in the house until the death of Frederick in 1944. Frederick John was born in Thornbury in December 1872. In the 1881 census he was living with his parents, James a labourer aged 58 from Sandford in Devon and his wife Fanny aged 54 from Exeter St Thomas, Devon. By the 1891 Census Frederick had moved to Thornbury and he was a general gardener at Fairfield House.
Frederick John Cann married Julia Annie Showring in Bristol in June qtr 1897. They must have moved to 8 Upper Bath Road soon after their marriage as the Stinchcombes were still listed in the Voters List up to 1896. They were listed as living in 8 Upper Bath Road on the 1901 census which shows Fred Cann a general labourer aged 28 and his wife, Julia aged 28 from Winterbourne Down.
The Canns moved to 10 Chapel Street about 1908. The 1911 census shows that them there. The records of the Congregational Church show Frederick was the church’s caretaker. In 1910 he was paid £2 5s per quarter for this work and this rose to £2 11s per quarter. It seems that Julia was also involved in working for the church. The minutes record that she applied for the church to pay her national health insurance premium but it was found that she was ‘not an insurable person’.
The trade directory of 1916 says that Fred Cann was caretaker of the Cossham Hall.
The sale catalogue of Wednesday July 11th 1917 described the two cottages in Chapel Street that were to be sold by Messrs Crossman solicitors and Luce Young and Alpass auctioneers. Number 10 Chapel Street was described as: “Lot 7 A freehold Cottage and garden situate in Chapel Street Thornbury Glos and let to Mr F Cann upon a weekly tenancy at a rental of £7 16s 0d per annum landlord paying rates. The cottage contains front room kitchen and two bedrooms”
Julia died 22nd September 1938 aged 66 years. The register compiled in 1939 in preparation of the war shows ‘John F. Cann’ living there alone. He was described as a caretaker born on 26th October 1872. Frederick died on 26th October 1944 aged 71 years. They were buried in Thornbury Cemetery. Frederick’s obituary in the Gazette says that he had been caretaker at the Cossham Hall for 34 years, and of the Congregational Church for 35 years. The Probate Record says Frederick John Cann of Chapel Street Thornbury died on 25th October 1944 at the infirmary in Thornbury. Probate was granted on 18th December to Frederick Thomas Sainsbury a house decorator and Sidney Herbert Dearing a boot and shoe retailer. His effects were valued at £401 18s 2d.
Florence and Lawford Henry Blanchard. The 1946 electoral roll shows that 10 Chapel Street was occupied by Florence A Blanchard and Lawford H Blanchard.
He was born 18th May 1881 and he was the son of William Blanchard and Emily (nee Dust). William Blanchard died in 1897. Lawford was a brickyard labourer in the 1901 Census. Aged 19 he was living with his widowed mother and five younger siblings. His mother Emily was a tailoress but Lawford must have been a major breadwinner for the family. Ten years later the Census shows that he was still living with his widowed mother but he had become a “stationery engineman” in the quarry. By this time their financial situation might have improved as two more of the family were working. Christopher aged 21 was a blacksmith’s striker and Gilbert aged 19 was a general labourer. Since the last census Percy Blanchard had been born and was now aged 8. Florence’s father Thomas Dust also widowed was a general labourer who boarded with the family.
Lawford married to Florence White in 1911. We believe that the family moved to Tytherington. They had six children: Isabel Blanchard born 1912, Ronald Blanchard born 1913, Norman Blanchard born 1915, Joan Muriel Blanchard born in 1918, Elsie Kathleen Blanchard born 1921 and Alma Elizabeth Blanchard born in 1927.
They do not appear in the records for Thornbury until 1946. The couple were still living in 10 Chapel Street in 1958 when the property was sold to the Council for demolition. The Blanchards moved to Stafford Crescent. Lawford died in 1972 aged 91.
Of their children, Isabel may have married William Shepherd in Bristol in 1932. Joan married Thomas Green. Click here to read about Joan and Tom Green
Alma married Raymond Thomas Rugman on August Bank Holiday in 1947 at St Mary’s Church. Click here to read about the Rugmans