Very few of the owners of the property that later became 7 Chapel Street in Thornbury ever lived in it. Of the owners that we know about only Thomas Walker and Celia Walker, the butchers owned the property for some of the time that they were living there. Click here to read about Thomas and Celia Walker
Of the other tenants, we know of:
Jane Banks – Jane was listed as living in the middle part of the property in 1817 when the property was sold by Robert Caddy to Robert Hopkins. We believe that Jane was a spinster. She was baptised on 12th October 1777, and the baptism record notes that her mother was Elizabeth Walker. This might suggest that there was a connection between Jane and the Thomas Walker who owned the property and lived in the adjoining part of it. It is unusual for a baptism to give a mother’s maiden name and not mention father’s name. This suggests that Elizabeth Walker was unmarried. There are no other obvious siblings of Jane Banks which might support this theory. There was a likely Elizabeth Walker baptised 20th March 1745 to Thomas and Mary Walker (nee Taylor) and it is possible therefore that Jane was a sister of Thomas Walker snr, and therefore a cousin of Thomas Walker jnr who owned the property at the time Jane was living there.
Jane seems to have been a regular recipient of the mayors charity, receiving a coat and gowns from 1821 through to 1843. At the time of the 1841 census Jane was living in one of the Stafford’s almshouse near the bottom of St Mary Street. She was listed as being aged 73 and sharing the property with Benjamin Nelmes aged 10. According to Scribes Alcove website Jane was aged 70 when she died at The Poor House and she was buried on 8th October 1846.
John Trayhurn – John was listed as living in part of the property at the time of the 1840 Tithe Survey. He was also shown as a tenant when the property was sold by Robert Hopkins to Thomas Morgan on 3rd December 1840. He might have been listed as living here in the 1841 census. Click here to read more
At this stage we are not sure who lived in 7 Chapel Street during the 1850s and 1860s when the property was converted into three cottages by Thomas Morgan.
At the time that Thomas Morgan, the owner of the property, wrote his will in 1869, the property was occupied by William Harvey, Daniel Gough and John Williams as tenants. Of these we can only clearly identify Daniel Gough:
Daniel Gough – the 1871 census shows Daniel and his family living in one of the houses. Daniel was a cordwainer aged 54 from Thornbury living with his wife, Elizabeth aged 50 from Bristol and their children: Henry a labourer aged 18 , George aged 13, Laura aged 11 and Matilda aged 8 all born in Gloucester. Daniel was baptised on 5th May 1817. According to family trees on the Ancestry website his parents were William Gough, a cordwainer and Jane Huish.
The 1841 census shows Daniel and Elizabeth Gough living in St Mary Street with little Elizabeth Gough who was aged 1. They were living in the house of Daniel’s mother, Jane, who was a charwoman aged 68 and Samuel Gough a shoemaker aged 36 whom we assume is Daniel’s brother. Daniel is also shown as being a shoemaker. Daniel Gough appears as a shoe maker in the trade directory for Thornbury of 1842.
The 1851 census shows Daniel and Elizabeth living in Union Street, Gloucester. Daniel was a cordwainer aged 33 and Elizabeth was aged 29 and born in Bristol. Their daughter Elizabeth was then aged 11 and born in Newport, Monmouth and they had three other children: Daniel aged 8 born in Thornbury, Fanny aged 2 born in Clevedon and Tabitha aged 1 month born in Gloucester.
We are not sure when Daniel and Elizabeth married. We have been unable to find any marriage before 1841. We note that various family trees on the Ancestry website have accepted that their marriage is the one shown in Free BMDs as being between Daniel Gough and Elizabeth Ford in Gloucester in 1855.
There are a couple of references to Daniel in the minutes of the Thornbury Union. On 11th June 1858 that Daniel is receiving relief at Gloucester and applied there for money to enable him to pay the fares for himself and his family to move to Bristol. The Board replied that they could not provide him with the means of travel. The 1861 census shows the family still in Gloucester. Daniel’s wife, Elizabeth, is now working as a shoe binder. Their daughter Elizabeth has left home to get married. They now have four extra children living them: Henry aged 7, Emma aged 5, George aged 2 and Laura aged 3 months.
On 18th June 1862 a letter was laid before the Poor Relief Board from a Mr I Hearne of Gloucester applying £10 to enable Daniel Gough a shoemaker of Thornbury to emigrate to Australia. He never did get there as by 1871 he was living back in Thornbury.
The 1881 census shows Daniel living in Horseshoe Lane. He appears to be lodging with William Cornock and none of Daniel’s family are living with him. We can’t find any death of Elizabeth before 1881 and it seems possible that she went to live in London. There is a married Elizabeth Gough who is working as a nurse in Chelsea. Daniel died aged 68 and was buried on 18th May 1886 at the Union Workhouse.
Our next reliable source of the occupants is the 1876 rate book which lists Amelia Parsons, Joseph Davis and Thomas Facey as the occupants:
Amelia Parsons – the 1876 and 1880 rate books show one of the cottages occupied by Amelia Parsons. The 1881 census shows she was living in one of the three houses at the Back of the Exchange in St Mary Street. Click here to read more
Joseph Davis – the 1876 and 1880 rate books show Joseph Davis was now occupying the cottage previously occupied by Amelia Parsons. The 1881 census shows Joseph was a hawker aged 40 from Cirencester living with his wife, Ellen aged 26 from Thornbury and children, Joseph aged 12 born in Lechlade, Rebecca aged 10, Elizabeth aged 7 and Mary Jane aged 1, all born in Thornbury. Joseph died aged 44 and was buried on 4th July 1885. In 1891 Census the widowed Ellen Davis was a hawker living with her parents (Robert and Jemima Dixon) and her daughter ‘Keeley’ in the same house in Chapel Street. Click here to read more
Thomas Facey – the 1876 rate book shows Thomas was occupying one of the cottages. Thomas was born on 9th April 1797 and baptised in Thornbury on 14th February 1798. He was the son of Thomas Facey and his wife, Martha (nee Rymer). Click here to read more
George Cornock – the 1880 and 1885 rate books show George Cornock was living in one of the cottages, the one previously occupied by Thomas Facey. The 1881 census shows George was an agricultural labourer aged 45 born in Alveston. His wife was Jane was 45 from Olveston. Their children were William aged 13, Eleanor M aged 9, Charles aged 7, Sarah Ann aged 5 and John aged 3. By the 1891 census the family had moved to 20 Rock Street – click here to read more
Robert Dixon – the 1885 and 1890 rate books list Robert as the tenant of the house. We suspect that he may have moved there to join his daughter, Ellen, whose husband, Joseph Davis, had died in July 1885. The 1891 census shows that Robert was hawker. Click here to read more
Martha Skuse – the 1890 rate book shows that Martha was living there. The 1891 census shows Martha was a needlewoman aged 47 with her sons, Samuel George aged 12 born in Tytherington and Arthur aged 9 born in Thornbury. Martha Haynes had married to John Skuse, a labourer in the Thornbury area in 1871. They had at least three children: William John Jones baptised on 1st April 1875, Samuel George baptised on 5th February 1882 and Arthur Skuse baptised on 28th February 1883 when their address was noted as ‘Bath Road’.
On 2nd June 1879 Martha was caught stealing two ducklings. She was sentenced to 14 days in Gloucester Prison. The record describes her as a dressmaker aged 35 and she was 5ft 2.5 inches tall with dark brown hair.
The 1881 census shows that John and Martha were living in Crossways Lane, Thornbury, although they must have spent some time in Birmingham where their son, William was born in 1876. Their other son, Samuel was aged 2 born in Tytherington. The 1881 census also shows John was a farm labourer aged 35 born in Tytherington and Martha was working as a dressmaker aged 37.
The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post of October 17th 1885 reported that Martha Skuse of Thornbury was charged with stealing a half hundredweight of coal from the Thornbury Grammar schoolroom. At eight o’clock in the morning Mr H Baylis saw her leaving the house with a bundle which she dropped and sat on when she saw Mr Baylis watching her. She pleaded guilty and as it was her second offence she was sentenced to 14 days hard labour.
A family tree on Ancestry website says that John Skuse died in December quarter 1886 aged 40. In 1895 Martha was fined 5/- for not sending her child to school. We don’t know what happened to Martha and her children, although the family trees on Ancestry suggest she may have emigrated to Australia or New Zealand.
At the time the properties were sold to James Merrett Michael in 1892, the most westerly cottage (i.e. the one adjoining the side entrance to the Exchange) was occupied by ‘Joe Davis’. At the time the three properties were sold to Richard Hobbs Smith in 1894 the tenants were noted as being Robert Dixon, George Ford and William Ryan. Both Robert Dixon and William Ryan were related to Joseph Davis by marriage. Click here to read about William RyanFrom 1894 onwards, the property was absorbed into The Exchange Hotel complex which was created by Richard Hobbs Smith. He converted the buildings into storerooms and harness rooms which adjoined the stables. There were several doorways between the stables and store rooms and these can still be seen today by visiting Shellys Cafe. We are not sure when the property ceased being used in this way.
Post War occupants: The 1946 electoral register shows that the end part of the building near the Exchange side entrance was called ‘Exchange Cottage’ and was occupied by Diana Georgina and Nellie Maria Garrett. We have been told that Julie Garrett also lived here.
Nellie Henderson married Austin Gilbert Garrett, a farmer, in the Bristol area in 1915 and their first daughter, Diana Georgina was born there and baptised on 10th March 1916. Austin and Nellie also had a son, David M born on 28th July 1917. The Council School records show that the family moved to Thornbury from Upton Cheyney in 1925 when their address was shown as being ‘Pullins Green’. However the family moved on to Iron Acton after only a short time in Thornbury. Their third child was Julie Garrett who according to the records of the Council School was born on 29th July 1922.
Austin died aged 40 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 12th February 1926. Nellie and the children were living at Spar Cottage, Crossways when Julie started at the Council Infants School in 1927 and when she started at the Upper School in 1929. The 1931 and 1935 electoral registers show Nellie still living in Crossways.
Their son, David Matthew Garrett was working in the bakery run by Ernest Joseph Pearce in John Street. His employer was charged with employing a young person under the age of 18 to work at night. David died on 4th April 1943 aged 25 when he was a Sergeant Pilot in the Royal Air Force on active service. We don’t know any details of his death, but the burial record shows he died at Windrush in Oxon. David was brought back to be buried in Thornbury Cemetery. By 1950 the Garretts had moved to 19 Eastlands Avenue. Nellie died on 9th October 1968 aged 87.
Dovetail Antiques – this small antiques shop was set up by David Goode in the early 1970’s. David was the son of George and Beatrice Goode who were living at 62 High Street. Beatrice eventually took over the antique business from David. Click here to read more
Rendezvous Cafe – we remember visiting this little cafe on the corner of Chapel Street and St Mary Street. We have been told that it was run by a Mrs King who lived in Oldbury.
The Opticians – in the 1990s, maybe earlier, Jurgen K Lueck set up his opticians business in the two units which had been the cafe. We are not sure if there were any businesses there between these two. In 2010 after Jurgen retired, the business was taken over in December by ‘Johnson and Furze’ run by Michael Johnson and his wife, Hayley (nee Furze).