Read the history of the house

We have some information about the families who lived in what was once 2 Chapel Street in Thornbury.

John Walker.  From 1780 to at least 1783 the Kington Land Tax records show that John Walker was the tenant of the widow Hewett at a rent of 6s.  An abstract in the deeds of the Cock Inn (67 High Street) shows that on 26th April 1779 William Cowley bought the property next door to his property in the High Street with a view to extending The Cock.  The occupant of the property next door in the High Street was a tenant called John Walker who was a butcher.  We believe it is likely that this same John Walker then moved to become the tenant of Mary Hewett at what was later 2 Chapel Street.  It seems likely that this John Walker was buried on 6th September 1789 in Thornbury aged 38.  We think he was likely to have been John White Walker the son of Thomas and Mary Walker, which would make him the brother of Joseph Walker who lived at 13 St Mary Street and 8 and 10 St Mary Street.

John’s parents, Thomas and Mary Walker lived in a property near the corner of Chapel Street and what is now known as Rock Street that was previously occupied by Susannah Ward.  This property was divided into three by the next owner Mathew Mills and eventually became numbers 12-14 Chapel Street.

John Walker, his parents, and indeed most of his family, were all butchers.

Thomas Walker.  From 1784 the tenant of the widow Hewett in this property was shown as Thomas Walker.  Thomas may be the brother of the previous tenant John Walker.  A Thomas Walker married Hannah Knott on 13th March 1771.  The witnesses to the wedding were John Walker and Thomas Child (another butcher.  Thomas and Hannah were the parents of a third Thomas Walker born on 29th September 1774 who became another butcher and lived across the road in 7 Chapel Street with his wife Celia.  From at least 1812 Thomas and Hannah lived at 59 St Mary Street.

Isaac and Hannah Mullington.   Although Isaac lived in 2 Chapel Street in 1789 (at the time that the building next door was bought for the Wesleyan Chapel), the 1796 and 1797 Land Tax records show that Isaac was living at 41 High Street as a tenant of Thomas Barton.  Click here to read about Isaac Mullington

Francis Thomas.   From 1810 Francis Thomas was the tenant of the widow Hewett.  We have no record of Francis Thomas, although it is possible that by 1812 according to the Land Tax Records Francis Thomas was the tenant of another property, that owned by Abraham Riddiford.

John Virgo.  By 1822 John Virgo was the tenant of this property which was owned at that time by James Ford.  We believe that he was born about 1775.  This was probably John Virgo who married Sarah Cullimore on 2nd May 1802.  The witnesses to the marriage were Charles and Ann Gayner. John and Sarah were the parents of James Virgo born 2nd October 1803 (baptised 3rd September 1806) who later lived at Thornbury Cottage.  They also had two daughters, Sarah born 18th May 1806 (baptised 3rd September 1806) who later married Alexander Thorne and Elizabeth born 18th October 1811 (baptised 12 April 1812)who later married Joseph Collings.

We have land tax records from 1824 to 1832 that show that John Virgo continued to live in this property which was acquired by 1824 by George Rolph. In the 1841 census John Virgo was 66 years of age and a carpenter living with Sarah his wife then aged 65.  John Virgo may have died in Thornbury in 1847.  By 1851 the widowed Sarah then aged 77 was living with her daughter widowed daughter Louisa Collings at 71 High Street. Sarah died aged 85 and was buried in Thornbury on 27th January 1859.

Thomas Ann.  The 1851 census shows Thomas Ann was a builder employing three men and that he lived in this property with his wife Ann aged 38.  Thomas was born in Alveston about 1806.  He married Ann Wilkes on 4th July 1838 at St Andrews Church, Clifton.  Ann was baptised on 14th July 1813.   She was the daughter of Henry and Mary Wilkes.

In the 1841 census Thomas was a mason living at the house which later became number 31 St Mary Street, just a few doors away from where the family of his future wife was living (although Ann was not at home at the time of the census).

In 1849 and 1851 the trade directories show that Thomas was listed as a grocer and sundries dealer.  Thomas was a mason and so we assume that Ann Ann was running this shop.  Their daughter, Mary Ann, was born in September quarter 1851.

In the 1851 census when Thomas and Ann were living in Chapel Street, Thomas was a builder employing three men.  Ann died on 26th July 1856.  On her death, the houses she owned in St Mary Street (numbers 27, 29, 31, 53 and 55) were passed in trust for her daughter, Mary Ann Ann.

The 1861 census shows Thomas living in another house in St Mary Street – we believe it to be the house which later became known as 53 St Mary Street, a house which was also the inheritance of Mary Ann Ann.  Thomas was described as a master mason employing five men and two boys.  He was living with his daughter, Mary Ann aged nine and a housekeeper, Sarah Winstone aged 34. Sarah was the daughter of Mary Wilkes’s sister, also called Sarah.  The Minutes of the Corporation shows that Thomas was the mace bearer for many years.  The 1862 rate book shows Thomas had acquired six cottages in Gloucester Road (numbers 1 – 11) and 9 The Plain.   Thomas Ann was listed as a trustee of the British School in 1863.  Thomas died on 1st July 1864 aged 55.  Click here to read more about Thomas and his family

Thomas Facey.  The rate book of 1859 shows that Thomas was not only renting what became 2 Chapel Street from Jesse Cossham but that he was also renting a piece of land owned by Hester Allen and described as “the Orchard.”

The census shows that Thomas Facey was aged 64 and a carpenter who was born in Thornbury.  His wife Mary Ann was aged 54 and a grocer.  She had

been born in Crediton.  The household at this time included their children Anna Maria aged 18 a dressmaker, Arabella aged 16 an apprentice and Herbert Barrington Facey aged 13 a scholar.  Hester Allen a 60 year old semptress was described as a visitor.  The 1871 census shows that Thomas Facey, now a widower was continuing to occupy this house with his family. By 1876 Thomas had moved across the road to one of the three tenements then opposite the Wesleyan Chapel.  Click here to read about Thomas Facey and his family

Thomas Morgan.  In 1876 the rate books show that this property was occupied by Thomas Morgan and owned by Jesse Cossham.  The 1881 census confirms that Thomas Morgan lived in this property and that he was then aged 39.  He was a plumber and glazier born in Rockhampton and married to Ann aged 38 and born in Thornbury.  His daughter Mary Ann was aged 16 and a teacher at the British School.  Their son John Freem Morgan was a plumber’s apprentice. The other children were Thomas H. aged six, Ada aged two and Charles aged eleven months.

There are several people called Thomas Morgan in the Thornbury area around this period.  The 1851 census though shows a family living in Rockhampton which is where Thomas was born and so it would appear that this Thomas Morgan then aged nine year was the son of George Morgan a master tailor and his wife Hester.

Thomas was baptised in Rockhampton on 31st October 1841.  His baptism record confirms that he was the son of George Morgan, a tailor and his wife, Mary.  On 25th January 1864 Thomas married Anna Maria Facey in the Holy Trinity Church in the Bristol area.  He was aged 22 at the time of his marriage and Anna Maria also aged 22 gave her father’s name as Thomas Facey.  Anna Maria was baptised in Thornbury on 12th February 1843.  She was the daughter of the previous occupants of this house, Thomas Facey and his wife, Mary Ann.

Their daughter Mary Ann was born in 1864 and her birth was registered in the Thornbury area in the September quarter of 1864.  Thomas was shown as working as a glazier when his son John Trevor was baptised on 7th April 1867.  Arthur Henry was born on 24th May 1869 and he was baptised at the Methodist Church on 7th October 1869.  It is interesting to note that his parents were shown as ‘Henry and Anna Maria’.  Henry may have been Thomas’s second name.  The baptism records of the Methodist Church that we have seen so far do not show any other of their children baptised at that time and so we assume that Thomas and Anna Maria did not remain members of the Methodist Church.

In the 1871 census Thomas was a plumber.  He and Anna Maria were living in 73 High Street with their children: Mary Ann aged six, John Trevor aged four and Arthur Henry aged two.  Click here to read about the Morgans

Their son Ernest George Morgan was baptised on 30th June at Downend in 1872.  The registration district was shown as Thornbury.

We assume that the Morgan family moved to Chapel Street about this time.

In the 1881 census Thomas and the family were shown to be living in Chapel Street, presumably at number 2 Chapel Street.  Thomas was a plumber and glazier and they now had five children living with them: Mary Ann, a teacher at the British School aged 16, John Trevor a plumber’s apprentice aged fourteen, Thomas Henry aged six, Ada Emily aged two and Charles aged eleven months.  We are grateful to Tony Cherry, who researched the history of the Council School (which used to be called the British School) for his book ‘The History of a School’.  Tony found a reference to Mary Ann in the school log books.  This showed that she was acting as a monitor in the school (effectively a classroom assistant) when she was recruited with a view to her training as a teacher.  Mary was just 14, only one year older than the oldest pupils.

In 1888 Mary Ann married Henry Liddiatt, a local watch and clock maker.

There are two other references in the log books which refer to the Morgan family.  Like many families in those days, they struggled to pay the fees for allowing their children to go to school – it is surprising to realise that parents could be fined for not ensuring their children attended school, but were still expected to pay 2d per week for each child for their education, even in state schools.  The log book show that on 11th September 1885: “Mrs Morgan refused to pay back fees, accordingly sent the three children home”. And in the following week “Henry and Elizabeth (Morgan) brought pence for last week and not this. I sent them home, Mrs Morgan came to ask why but refused to listen to anything more owing to her insolent manner”.

The 1885 Special Drainage Rate Book shows that Thomas Morgan was occupying two properties; one a house and garden owned by Jessie Cossham and the other the chapel building which was owned by the Trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel.  The Chapel had been advertised for sale in 1880 but we assume that it had not sold and remained the problem of the trustees of the chapel until 1888 when it was bought by Handel Cossham MP for the people of Thornbury.

During this period it must have been let for various uses and it seems that Thomas Morgan was using it for his business.

By the rate book of 1887 the house in Chapel Street was “void” and Thomas Morgan had moved into the High Street into a house that was owned by Hester Morgan.

By 1890 the rate book shows that Thomas and his family had moved again and lived at 59 St Mary Street.  The rate book shows the house was both owned and occupied by Thomas Morgan.  The 1891 census shows that Thomas was a plumber and painter aged 49 from Rockhampton.  He was living with his wife, Mary Ann Laura who was a grocer aged 50 from Thornbury and their children: George Ernest, a tailor’s apprentice aged 19 and Laura Arabella aged eight.

The 1901 census shows that Thomas aged 59 and Mary A. L. Morgan aged 60 were living in Redwick.  He was described as a retired grocer.

1891 16th april baylis sale

16th April 1891 Advertisement for sale

Walter Baylis.  The 1890 rate book shows a house and garden owned and occupied by Walter Baylis.  The 1891 census confirms this and shows that Walter Baylis a fly proprietor aged 45 and his wife Annie aged 48 were living in a household with two of their children (Elizabeth aged 21, a music teacher, and Howard aged 12) and a lodger, William Robson a grocer’s assistant.  Edward Luce and Pertwee advertised the auction on 16th April 1891 of this house which was said in the advertisement to be occupied by Walter Baylis.  It was described as a recently rebuilt house with a large garden, coach house and other outbuildings (see the full advertisement by clicking on the thumbnail image on the left).  Click here to read more

Francis James Williams. By the rate book of 1894 Laura Williams owned this property.  It was occupied by Francis James Williams who may have been her father.

We spent a lot of time trying to unravel the confusion caused by the fact that there were two Francis James Williams living in Thornbury in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, both born around the same time.  One of these was a sanitary inspector and surveyor, the other a seedsman and assistant overseer.  Click here to read about Francis James Williams

The building was demolished to make way for the Armstrong Hall development scheme

Click here to read about the Armstrong Hall

Read about the history of the house