The 1883 Abstract which we have seen suggests that a house was built by George Cossham on the site of the present 6 Crispin Lane about 1782, or at least the house which George had built earlier had been ‘divided into two distinct tenements’. When George wrote his last will and testament in 1785 one of these tenements was occupied by William Motley and the other by Thomas Cole. Later references show that the house occupied by Thomas Cole became 4 Crispin Lane. We have therefore assumed that William Motley occupied the house which was to become 6 Crispin Lane. The 1782, 1783 and 1784 land tax records list William as a tenant of George Cossham. We don’t know when William moved away from the house, but he appears to have died aged 40 and was buried on 26th October 1801.
The Abstract shows that after William Motley, George’s grandson, John Goodenough Cossham lived there. He is listed as owning the property and living there in the land tax records from 1800 up to the time of his death in 1821.
From around 1820 there were three adjoining houses on the plot of garden and orchard (Plot 229 as it was known in the 1840 Tithe Survey). We believe that one of these houses is the present 6 Crispin Lane, the other two houses were demolished around 1902. We have listed below the families who we know occupied any of the three properties, but we can’t be sure which one they occupied.
James Williams – the 1822 land tax record lists James as tenant of one of the houses. He appears to have moved away and then returned from 1828 to 1832 (which is the last year for which we have land Tax records). We are unable to identify with certainty which James Williams lived there. However it is possible that this is the same James Williams who married Sarah, who later lived at 9 St Mary Street.
Samuel Price – the land tax records show that Samuel Price lived in one of the houses between 1823 and 1827. We don’t know any more about Samuel, except we note that a Samuel Price died aged 48 and was buried on 21st April 1837.
Joel and Mary Ann Savery – on 28th March 1824 Mary Ann Goodenough Cossham (the sister of John Goodenough Cossham the owner of the property) married Joel Savery. Joel and Mary Ann had at least four children: Mary Ann born about 1828, Joel baptised on 15th July 1832, John born about 1833 and William born about 1836.
The 1840 Tithe Survey and the 1841 census shows Joel living at 6 Crispin Lane. The census shows he was living there with their children: Mary Ann aged 12, John aged 7 and William aged 4. Their son, Joel was working as a servant of a farm in Kington. The 1851 census shows Joel was an agricultural labourer aged 50 born in Elberton and Mary Ann was aged 56. Their daughter, Mary Ann was living them a dressmaker aged 23. On 11th September 1851 Joel Jnr married Eliza Williams in Thornbury. Eliza was a widow, her father was William Boulton, a labourer.
In February 1855 it is noted that the Board of Guardians awarded Joel two loaves of bread as outdoor relief because he was prevented from carrying out his normal work by inclement weather. Joel died on 9th July 1859 aged 54 and was buried on 12th July 1859.
The 1861 census shows Mary Ann living at 6 Crispin Lane. She was described as a widowed semptress aged 70. She was sharing the house with her brother, John, a journeyman blacksmith aged 44 and a grand-daughter, Eliza Savery aged 6 (who was the daughter of William Savery). The 1871 census shows Mary Ann still living there and still working as a semptress, now aged 79. Eliza was still living with her and working as a general servant age 17. There were also two lodgers living with them, one of them Thomas Collins, a labourer, was to marry Eliza on 11th December 1875.
Thomas Collins – the 1881 Census shows that Thomas Collins (or Collings) and his wife, Eliza were now the main occupants of the house and that Mary Ann Savery was now boarding with them and said to be aged 85. Thomas and Eliza had three children by the time of the census: Ethel aged 7, William aged 4 and Mary Ann aged 1. Mary Ann Savery died aged 93 and was buried on 13th December 1881. Click here to read more
James Nelmes was a blacksmith, born in 1808, the son of James Nelmes (a member of the South Gloucestershire Militia) and his wife, Mary. The 1841 census shows that James Nelmes was probably living in the small house which then adjoined 6 Crispin Lane. He was living there with his wife, Louisa aged 24. By 1861 they had moved to the cottages in Pullins Green. By then he and Louisa had children; Leonard aged 6, Ellen, a dressmaker aged 18, and Emily aged 11. James died in 1873 aged 61 years. Click here to read more
William Hollister – the 1841 census shows William was an agricultural labourer aged 45 living with his wife, Ann, aged 36 and their children: Betsy aged 14, Sarah aged 11, Ann aged 5 and Elizabeth aged 15 months.
William was born in Weymouth about 1796. On 18th December 1826 he married Anne Bushell at Thornbury St Marys Church. They were living in Kington when their first child, Elizabeth, was baptised on 6th January 1828. By the time their second child, Sarah, was baptised on 27th December 1832 they were living in the Borough of Thornbury. Sarah must have died because they baptised another Sarah on 15th July 1832. On the same day they baptised a son, William. He died aged 1 year and four months, and was buried on 29th October 1833. Other children followed: Anne Maria baptised on 27th January 1836, Hezekiah baptised on 3rd March 1840, Hannah baptised on 29th December 1843 and finally another William baptised on 5th March 1847.
The 1840 Tithe Survey shows William was living in one of the two cottages at the bottom of Gillingstool Hill which were owned by Thomas Wise.
In the 1851 census they were living in an unidentified house in the ‘Back Street’ somewhere between The Baths and the Seven Stars. William was an agricultural labourer aged 54 living with Ann aged 7 born in Newchurch, Gloucestershire and their children: Ezekiah aged 11, Hannah aged 7 and William aged 4.
Ann died aged 52 and was buried on 2nd April 1858. This was a bad year for William, possibly caused by his wife’s death. Newspaper reports show that he was charged with stabbing Joseph Gough. We are not sure which part of the town he was living at the time. It described in the report as ‘a low court’ occupied by several families. William was lodging there with his daughter , Ann, and Joseph Gough, the man with whom she had been cohabiting for a few months. It was said that William had been drinking all morning and returned home for dinner in a state of intoxication. There was a quarrel in which William swore at Joseph and his daughter. Joseph caught hold of William and went to throw him out of the house. William was apparently carrying the knife he used to cut bacon and he twice stabbed Joseph’s neck, severely wounding him. Joseph sought medical help and was taken to Bristol Infirmary. There was concern that he would not survive and William was told he would be hung if Joseph died.
William was found guilty of unlawfully wounding Joseph at Gloucester Assizes on 1st December 1858 and was sentenced to three months in prison, William having already been in prison for some time. Luckily for everyone Joseph had survived and he and Ann were married 11 months later on 11th September 1859.
The 1861 census shows William as an inmate of the Thornbury Workhouse. His son, William was also an inmate there aged 14. William snr died at the Workhouse aged 70 and was buried on 19th December 1866.
John Shea – the 1851 census shows John was living in one of the houses. John was a journeyman tailor and he and his wife, Mary continued living there at least up to the 1871 Census. Click here to read more
Edward Trayhurn – the 1851 census shows Edward living in one of the three houses with his family. Edward was a journeyman tailor aged 42 born in Thornbury. He was living with his wife, Eliza aged 41 born in Thornbury and their children: Elizabeth aged 13, Mary Ann aged 6 and Thomas aged 3.
Edward Trayhurn was born on 18th December 1808 and baptised on 5th February 1809. He was the first child of Thomas Trayhurn, a tailor and his second wife, Ann (nee Welsh). On 22nd June 1835 Edward married Eliza Birt in Thornbury. Eliza was born on 27th August 1808. She was the daughter of Joseph Birt and his wife. Click here to read about the Birts
Edward and Eliza had several children: Elizabeth Mary baptised on 6th August 1837,Mary Anne baptised on 24th November 1839 and she died aged 5 months and was buried on 10th March 1840, William baptised on 2nd January 1842 and died aged 1 year 6 months and was buried on 17th May 1843, Mary Anne baptised on 11th August 1844, Thomas baptised on 23rd April 1848 and he died aged 13 and was buried on 30th June 1861 and Susanna baptised on 15th September 1850 and she died aged 6 months and was buried on 26th January 1851.
In 1840 Tithe Survey shows Edward was living at 28 Castle Street. The 1841 census shows them living there. Edward was a tailor and he was living there with his wife, Eliza and daughter Elizabeth aged 4. We are indebted to Alison Bagnall for the information that on 26th September 1831 Edward Trayhurn a tailor was accused of stealing apples from an orchard belonging to Thomas Gwynn. Alison tells us that Edward Trayhurn was living opposite at the time and so the orchard was likely to be one attached to Porch House in Castle Street. Edward was given a month’s hard labour at Lawford’s Gate House of Correction in Bristol. It is an interesting example of the swift justice of the time. Edward was accused of stealing the apples on the Saturday night of 24th September and appeared in court and was sentenced on Monday 26th September. The courts would not be operating on a Sunday so the punishment could not have been much quicker.
The 1859 rate book shows Edward was living in Gillingstool. We think the house was one of the two cottages demolished in the 1890’s to enable the School to be extended. The 1861 census shows Edward living in St Mary Street – unfortunately we are unable to identify the house and it is possible that he was sharing a house with another family. Edward was a journeyman tailor aged 52 living with Eliza who was working as a tailoress aged 52 and their children: Mary Ann a dressmaker aged 16 and Thomas aged 13.
Eliza died aged 54 and was buried on 20th February 1863. Edward married for a second time on 15th May 1864. His wife was Mary Ann Niblett, the daughter of John Niblett a glazier. Mary Ann was baptised on 22nd October 1817, the daughter of John Niblett, a glazier and his wife Mary.
A Manor Court admittance document shows that Mary Ann died before 1869. Edward was required to pay a fine on his admittance to a cottage and garden in two tenements at Gillingstool on the death of his late wife, before her marriage Mary Ann Niblett spinster. This reference shows that Mary Ann had inherited her parents cottage in Gillingstool and Edward acquired ownership through marriage.
The 1871 census shows Edward as a widower aged 62 lodging with Samuel Hughes next door to the Plough in St Mary Street. Edward died aged 72 and was buried on 24th June 1880.
Mark Thorn – in 1859 at the time of the sale of the property Mark was listed as being one of the tenant.
Elizabeth Harris – the 1876 rate book shows that ‘widow Harris’ was renting one of the houses. We believe that this was Elizabeth Harris, the widow of Jonah Harris who died in 1874. She appears to have occupied the end house in the row. The 1881 census shows Elizabeth was living in Horseshoe Lane, but after she married Frank Driscoll she returned with him to live in one of the houses according to the 1890 rate book and the 1891 census. Click here to read more
Thomas Ashcroft – the 1880 rate book and 1881 census show that Thomas Ashcroft as occupying one of the three houses. Click here to read more about the Ashcrofts
George Smart – the 1881 census shows George was living in one of the three houses. George was a labourer aged 21 living with his wife, Mary Ann aged 22 born in Hill. George was baptised on 6th July 1862, the son of William Smart, a labourer and his wife, Hannah. On 14th March 1881 George married Mary Ann Partridge. She was baptised at Hill on 14th November 1858, the daughter of John Partridge, a labourer and his wife, Caroline who lived at Oldbury on Severn.
By the 1891 census the Smarts had moved to 22 St Silas Place, Redcliffe in Bristol. Their first two children were born in Thornbury: Caroline baptised on 5th March 1882 and Thomas Henry baptised on 5th July 1885 when their address was at Crossways. They had three more children born in Bristol, Frederick, Martha and James. The 1901 census shows the family then living at 29 St Silas Street and George had become a Carter (Sanitary).
Edward Fowler – the 1876 and 1885 rate books show that Edward Fowler was living in one of the houses. In the 1880 rate book he was listed as living in 4 Crispin Lane. We are not sure whether this is a mistake or whether he did indeed move between the houses. Click here to read more
Alfred Purnell – the 1885 rate book shows that one of the three houses was occupied by a person called ‘Purnell’. He is also referred to in this manner in the last will and testament of Henry Knapp. However an indenture of mortgage dated 1889 shows that it was Alfred Purnell. We suspect that this is Alfred Purnell, the son of Alfred Purnell and his wife, Sarah who were living at Crossways. However in the 1881 and 1891 censuses they were living in Bristol.
Joseph Pym – the 1885 and 1890 rate books show that Joseph Pym was a tenant of one of three houses. The 1891 suggests that it was the middle one. The census shows that Joseph was a gardener aged 68 born in Thornbury. He was living there with his wife, Elizabeth, who was aged 66 and born in Chepstow. Elizabeth was buried on 2nd November 1892 aged 69 years and Joseph died in Thornbury Union Workhouse on 27th December 1899 aged 77 years. Click here to read more
George Harris – the 1890 and 1894 rate books and the 1891 census show that George Harris was renting one of the houses. He appears to have occupied the end house in the row. This is the same house that his mother had rented for a short time around 1876. In 1890 and 1894 George’s mother was living next door with her second husband, Frank Driscoll. Click here to read about George Harris
William Webb – the 1899 and 1900 rate books list William Webb as the tenant of one of the houses. Click here to read more
Charles Stinchcombe – the 1900 rate book lists Charles as a tenant of one of the houses. The 1901 census shows him living at Coombe Cottage. He appears to have moved to 4 Crispin Lane by 1909. Click here to read more
Around 1902 the three houses were acquired by the Tucker Brothers, a local building firm. They demolished two of the houses and built a stable and coach-house on the land and used the site as as a builders yard. They let out the remaining house which we believe became 6 Crispin Lane. The following three families were known to have been tenants of the Tucker Brothers:
Frederick Holley – Frederick was a baker and confectioner. He moved his family from Eastwood Park to 6 Crispin Lane at some time between 1902 and 1905. Click here to read about the Holley family
Ernest and Alice Hughes – Ernest moved his family to 6 Crispin Lane when he started working at the Saw Mill about 1931. Click here to read about the Hughes family
Harold and Elsie Ellis – when the Hughes family moved in 1936, the house was taken over over ‘Pat’ and Elsie Ellis – Read more about the Ellis family
In more recent times, the stable and coach-house were converted into dwelling houses called ‘Crispin Lodge’ and ‘Crispin Cottage’. We know nothing about the owners or occupants of these properties. We heard that 6 Crispin Lane was occupied by Miss or Mrs Flynn and that she later exchanged houses with Geoff & Wendy Barratt who were living in St John Street.