The two houses, now known as 4 and 6 Crispin Lane in Thornbury and the two other houses known as Crispin Lodge and Crispin Cottage were built on a single plot of land.  We have now traced several early indentures which takes the history of the plot back to the time of Queen Elizabeth the First.

On 6th January 1590 William Earle yeoman of Oldbury on Severn conveyed the property by deed poll to Richard Atkyns yeoman of Oldbury.  It was described as ‘all that his cottage containing the fourth part of a burgage with the little backside containing a quarter of an acre situate in the Town and Burrough of Thornbury between the tenement Guy Lawrence on the northwest part and certain ground called Trotters on the southeast side and a tenement of Henry Grainger on the southwest side and the street on the northwest side which then or late before were in the tenure or occupation of one John Wells’.

It is worth noting that in the same packet of deeds in Gloucester Records Office as the other documents mentioned below there was one earlier document which might also be connected to that property.  It was the probate record for Robert Putleye (Putley) dated 28th June 1586.  He refers to his little house and land which he bought from Maurice Trotman.  This is nothing to confirm any connection with the Crispin Lane property (apart from being in the same packet) but we know that there is a stone marker in the old Grammar School field (now Castle School 6th Form Centre) with the names of ‘Putleys’ and ‘Blakes’ inscribed on it.  We have assumed that this indicated some association with those families.

The deeds show that by 1618 the cottage was allowed to become ‘a ruinous toft and backsides’.  On the 25th April 1618 Christopher Atkyns and William Atkyns sons of Arnold Atkyns yeoman late of Filton deceased and Thomas Barton butcher of Thornbury sold the property to John Parker tailor of Thornbury for £10.  We suspect that Thomas Barton’s interest in the property is as a mortgagee.

John Parker – on 18th November 1628 John Parker, a tailor of Thornbury arranged a lease with Ursula Tayer (wife of Richard Tayer shoemaker), and their daughters, Kathleen and Agnes Tayer for ‘all that one tenement or cottage lately built by John Parker and a little garden or backside adjoining being about a quarter of an acre or thereabouts containing the fourth part of a burgage now in the tenure or occupation of Annanias Hewlett gentleman late in the tenure or occupation of Mary Lewis widow and which the said John Parker bought and purchased of Christopher Atkins, William Atkins and Thomas Barton butcher (except one little room adjoining to the dwelling house of said Annanias Hewlett).’

John’s wife was called Kathryn. On 16th May 1636 John Parker sold the property to John Downey and John Briggs, both labourers for £11.

John Downey and John Briggs – on 20th April 1642 John Downey and his wife, Joan and John Briggs and his wife, Agnes, sold the property to William Batt for £21.  Description as previous except Guy Lawrence’s property was now of Hugh Parnell and William Parker had taken over the tenement of Henry Grainger on the south west side.  The property was ‘now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Briggs.

William Batt – he was a clerk of Thornbury.  When he died the property appears to have descended to Benjamin Batt, presumably his son, and thence to Benjamin’s sister, Abigall Farmer.  By 1682 Abigall was a widow living in London and she sold the property to John Ashley.

John Ashley – John was described as a cordwainer of Henbury.  On 20th November 1682 John bought the property from Abigall Farmer widow of London and only sister and heir of Benjamin Batt late of Thornbury deceased who was son and heir of William Batt late of Thornbury deceased.  John paid £25 for the property described as ‘all that messuage or cottage and tenement with the appurtenances situate and being within the Town and Borough of Thornbury at or near a place called Blakes containing about the fourth part of a burgage wherein Richard Bainham now inhabiteth with the garden orchard backside‘.

John sold the property to Charles Cossham on 12th June 1690 and John was still being described as a cordwainer of Henbury.

Charles Cossham – according to the Wishful Thinking website Charles was baptised at Rangeworthy on 10th June 1663.  Charles was a clothworker of Thornbury on 12th June 1690 when he bought the property from John Ashley and his wife, Hannah, for £26 10s.  It was described as ‘all that messuage or tenement with appurtenances situate within the Town and Burrough of Thornbury at on or near a place called Blakes containing the fourth part of a burgage wherein one Richard Amos now inhabiteth with the garden orchard backside …. which said messuage tenement garden orchard and backside do adjoins to a messuage and lands of Hugh Parnell on the northeastward part thereof and to a messuage late in the tenure of William Parker deceased and now of John Parker on the southwestward part thereof and to certain closes grounds called Trotters on the southeastward part thereof and to a street or way there leading towards Blakes Bridge on the northwestward part thereof and were formerly the lands and inheritance of one John Parker and since of one John Downey and John Briggs or one of them and were by the said John Downey and John Briggs formerly granted and conveyed by fine and other rood in law unto one William Batt (since deceased) and his heirs in fee simple and were lately by one Abigall Farmer widow only sister and heir of Benjamin Batt deceased and son and heir of the said William Batt unto the said John Ashley and his heirs and are now in the tenure or occupation of the said John Ashley his tenant, tenants, assignee or assignees‘.

According to the Wishful Thinking website, Charles was buried on 26th November 1721.  In his will dated 24th November 1721 Charles gave his eldest son, Joseph one shilling, his daughter Anne was given his best featherbed and bedstead, his son Charles was given all his father’s wearing apparel, both linen and woollen, and his working tools, his other goods and chattels were left to his wife and then to his daughters Sarah and Anne.  He instructed his executors to arrange for his youngest son, George, to be put out to some convenient trade and when out of his time to give him £5.  As it was not mentioned in the will we suspect that there must have been some earlier provision which arranged for the property to descend to Charles’s son, Charles.

Charles’s son, George went on to marry Elizabeth Green in 1737, but she died in 1744. George married again to Hannah Helier.  We have a copy of a removal order dated 1747 which shows George and Hannah tried to move to live in Olveston, but there was concern that they might become chargeable to the Olveston Parish.  They were require to return to Thornbury where they later had three children, Thomas, William and Sarah.

Charles Cossham jnr – according to Susan Dean’s book ‘The Cossham Story’ Charles was born about 1693, the son of Charles Cossham and his wife, Sarah.  The IGI shows that Charles married Anne Packer on 13th December 1713 but in Susan Dean’s book she says that it was on 27th December 1713 and that Charles was aged 20.  They had two sons, George baptised on 3rd October 1714 and James baptised on 20th October 1721.  On 4th May 1722 three more of their children were baptised, Sarah, Charles and Joseph.  It appears that Charles’s wife, Anne, must have died as he re-married in Thornbury on 11th June 1729.  His second wife was Sarah Butler.

We know from other indentures that Charles came to own other property in Thornbury.  We are aware of an earlier indenture dated 6th November 1723 when Charles bought the property later known as 4 St John Street from Edward Hill of Longashton in Somerset, but we haven’t yet had chance to view this document at Gloucester Records Office.  An indenture dated 12th February 1729 shows Charles sold this property to Thomas Wetmore. Charles was described as a sawyer in that document.

According to the Wishful Thinking website, Charles was buried on 16th July 1742.  In his will dated 6th July 1742 Charles, a carpenter, left his son, George, his messuage tenement and garden late in the possession of Sarah Cossham widow deceased subject to the payment of £5 each to Charles’s wife, Sarah, son James and daughter Sarah.  He left George his great coat and to his son, James, he left all the rest of his clothes and working tools.

George Cossham – George inherited the house following his father’s death.  George came to own a lot of property in the Town.  Click here to read about George and his family

It appears from an 1883 Abstract that George Cossham rented the property to Thomas Hurley. George then divided this property into two distinct dwelling houses, one occupied by William Motley and the other by Thomas Cole.  We don’t know when he divided it.  It was however already two separate dwelling houses by the time George wrote his last will and testament on 21st November 1785.

George left the property occupied by Thomas Cole which became number 4 Crispin Lane in trust to one of his sons, Jesse Cossham.  Jesse was required to use the rents from this property (and the adjoining property) to provide an apprenticeship for George’s grandson, Thomas Cossham, the son of George’s son, John Goodenough Cossham who died in 1776.  The income from the rent was also to be used to provide Thomas with suitable wearing apparel during his apprenticeship and to pay £10 to Thomas’s twin sister, Betty.  The cottage was then left to Thomas Cossham, although if he died before then it was left to Thomas’s brother, another John Goodenough Cossham to whom the second property (later number 6 Crispin) was also left.

Click here to read more about 4 Crispin Lane

The other property (then occupied by William Motley) was left was left to George’s grandson, John Cossham, once he had come of age and after the various bequests had been satisfied.

Read more about 6 Crispin Lane