The properties that became 10A, 12 and 14 Chapel Street in Thornbury had a shared history.  They occupied a lot of land that is shown as plot 116 on the Tithe Survey map of 1840 shown here on the left.
Click here to read about the early history and owners of this property

We believe that number 14 Chapel Street in Thornbury was part of plot 116 in the Tithe Survey of 1840 and that it was occupied by John Beale.

John Beale.  The 1841 census appears to confirm that John Beale and his family lived in this house next door to John Gough who lived at 16 Chapel Street.  John Beale was then about 40 years of age and he was a shoemaker.  His wife Elizabeth was also about 40.  They had a son called Orlando who was about 15 years old and who was apprenticed as a shoemaker.  They had two daughters Mercy Ann aged eight and Mary Ann aged five.

John Adnams, a member of the Thornbury Museum’s Research Group, believes that John Beale probably married Elizabeth Hancock on 13th December 1819 in Bristol.  Elizabeth may have been the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Hancock of Cowhll.  It seems that before John and Elizabeth Beale came to live in Chapel Street they lived in Cowhill which is in the area of Oldbury on Severn.  Their first child was baptised Hetty Wither Beale on 18th March 1821.  A son Edwin Collett Beale was baptised 1823.  The second son Joseph (baptised 1827) died in 1829.  Another son also called Joseph was baptised 1830 and died 1834.  Mercy Ann who was in the Census of 1841 aged eight was baptised on 5th May 1833 while the family lived in Cowhill.  However when Mary Anne was baptised on 13th December 1835 the family had moved into Thornbury.

By 1851 John and Elizabeth were living in the house alone.  John aged 50 was born in Bristol and Elizabeth aged 50 was born in Cowhill.  They were alone because two more of their children had died, Mary Ann Beale in 1843 aged seven and her sister Mercy Ann Beale aged 12 years.  Mercy was buried in Oldbury on 18th August 1845.

The two sons had left home.  Orlando had joined the marines.  He was in the barracks for the Royal Marine Artillery in Portsmouth.  Their other son, Edwin had married Sarah Price and they were living in St John Street (in a house that we have not yet identified) with their two children Mary Ann aged five and Alfred aged one.

The records indicate that the couple were far from prosperous.  Elizabeth qualified to receive something (probably a dress and shawl) from the Mayor’s Charity in 1861.  This was one a well known charity in Thornbury and it often consisted of clothing given to deserving poor people at Christmas time.  Click here to read about the Mayor’s Gift.

Subsequent censuses show that John and Elizabeth Beale continued to live in this house in Chapel Street.  Elizabeth died in 1866 and was buried in Thornbury on 4th April.  The 1871 census shows that John Beale now aged 70 was still a cordwainer and that he was a widower.  John Beale died and was buried in Thornbury aged 89 on 21 Jan 1889.

Of their surviving children;
Orlando Beale died in 1869 aged 43 and his death was registered at Portsea Island in Hampshire.  He had married Sarah Smith in 1861 in Portsea and they had three children; Edwin (1863) , Annie (1865) and Albert (1867).

Edwin Collett Beale died aged 32 and was buried in Thornbury on 8th May 1855.  His widow Sarah married James Smith on 13th March 1858.


Charles and Elizabeth Stephens.  The 1891 census shows that the occupants of the house in Chapel Street were Elizabeth Stephens a widow aged 67 a charwoman and her son Charles who was a general labourer.

Elizabeth was the widow of Thomas Stephens a stone mason.  It seems likely that Thomas Stephens married Elizabeth Pullen on 22nd May 1843.  We believe that their son Charles was born in Alveston.

We are grateful to Rosemary King of Alveston for bringing to our attention a newspaper article that may indicate that the Stephens’ family had a problem.  The article in the Bristol Mercury and Evening Post of December 7th 1880 concerned Thomas Stephens a master mason and Mark Williams a builder and contractor both living in Alveston.  Thomas’s story was that he undertook to repair a cottage in Alveston owned by Mark Williams and agreed to replace window frames and floorboards.  Mark Williams felt the arrangement was that Thomas Stephens would get the wood for the floor boards himself and he was angry when Thomas took the wood from his (Mark’s) yard instead.  Mark went around to Thomas Stephen’s yard and took it back.  This kind of argument often leads to quarrels and sometimes to violence.  In Thomas Stephen’s case the reaction was more dramatic.  Some time ago he had had small pox and excitement apparently over stimulated his brain (together with some alcohol).  Thomas Stephens walked up and in front of Mark William’s house threatening to kill him.  He must have frightened himself with the strength of his emotions as he reported in to the Thornbury police station and showed them the knife with which he intended to kill Mark Williams.  The situation ended with a violent struggle between Thomas Stephens and the three policemen who came to apprehend him and were forced to tie him with a rope.

In court Thomas Stephens explained his health problems and claimed that he had not stolen the floorboards, in fact previously Mark Williams (Thomas claimed) had defrauded him of money.  The magistrates were unusually sympathetic as the prosecution withdrew the theft charge and Thomas Stephens was bound over to keep the peace on payment of £5 and £5 surety from another person.

The census of 1881 shows that the family continued to live in Alveston.  Thomas Stephens was aged 51.  Charles was aged 13 and still at school.  He had a sister Sarah who was a dressmaker.  We believe that Sarah Stephens married John Isaac Phillips in 1883.   John Phillips became the innkeeper at the Wheatsheaf in Chapel Street by 1894.

It seems likely that Thomas Stephens’ health problems continued.

Possibly when Thomas Stephens was admitted to hospital Elizabeth seems to have moved into 10A Chapel Street as her name appears in the rate book of 1887.  Thomas died in the Union Hospital (the Workhouse Hospital) aged 60 on 3rd October 1888.  The record says that he was “buried by son.”  We assume this means at his son’s expense.

After the death of Thomas Stephens his widow Elizabeth and their son Charles moved into 14 Chapel Street (as it later became known).  This was probably around 1890 and possibly soon after the death of the previous occupant in 1889.  Charles Stephens had a change of occupation and instead of being a general labourer he seems to have worked in a coal yard.  It is possible that this coal yard was the one in Chapel Street next to the Wheatsheaf, which was run by his brother in law, although we have no confirmation that it was the same coal yard.

The 1901 census shows that Charles then aged 36 was a foreman in a coal yard.  He was a single man living in four rooms with his widowed mother then aged 81.  The 1905 rate book confirms that Charles was a tenant of James Martin.  By 1910 James Martin had died and Charles was paying rent to Mrs Martin.

The 1911 census shows that Charles now aged 43 was continuing to live here with his widowed mother.

On 25th January 1914 he married a widow Elizabeth Prewett at the Tyndale Baptist Chapel, Whiteladies Road, Clifton.  Elizabeth and Charles lived at 6 Grove Road, Redland.  Charles’s mother Elizabeth seems to have continued to live in Thornbury as her death was registered there in 1917 aged 96.  Charles Stephens is not an uncommon name but is possible that Charles died in 1948 aged 78.  His widow Elizabeth died in Bristol on 20th October 1950 aged 92.

Webb.  By 1926 the rate book shows that this property was occupied by someone called Webb.  The person in the house next door (number 12 Chapel street is Henry Webb and we assume there was some connection.

Edith and Joseph Tandy.  The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war lists Joseph and Edith Tandy as living in 14 Chapel Street.  Joseph was a road labourer spreading tarmac worker born on 13th March 1909.  It was noted that during the war he served in the Gloucester Regiment. Edith was born on 10th June 1905.

From 1939 onwards to 1958, when the house was sold to the Council for redevelopment it was occupied by Edith and Joseph Tandy.

Joseph William Tandy was the son of Lewis and Nellie May Tandy.  He was baptised in St Mary’s Church in Thornbury on 27th April 1909.  The 1911 census shows that although Lewis was aged 56 he had only been married five years to Nellie and they had had four children, of whom one had died.  Joseph was the youngest of the surviving children and in the 1911 census he was aged just two years.  Lewis was a carter on a farm and the family lived outside Thornbury at Grovesend.

To avoid confusion it should be noted that Joseph’s father, Lewis Tandy had been married before.  He had married Harriett Mills in 1873.  They also had a son called Joseph.  The first Joseph Tandy served in the army for eight years in India and was called up for World War I.  He was shot in France in October 14th 1914 and died on October 28th.  His brother, (another son of Lewis and Harriett), Hubert Tandy also died in France.  Lewis Tandy (then a widower) aged 52 married Nellie Redding aged 27 on 17th June 1906 in St Mary’s Church in Thornbury.

Joseph William Tandy married Edith Hodges in 1935.

We understand from a family tree on the Ancestry website that Joseph Tandy died in 1985.  We would be very happy to learn more about this family.

Go to the early history of this plot and its owners