John Thomas Boulton was born in Thornbury about 1833. The 1841 census shows he was the son of John and Elizabeth Boulton. John had married Elizabeth Thomas on 30th December 1822.
Although we haven’t traced the baptism record of their son, John Thomas, Scribes Alcove website shows the baptism records for their other children: Ann Newman Boulton baptised on 19th June 1825, Sarah Longden Boulton baptised on 30th December 1827, Hannah baptised on 17th October 1830, Elizabeth baptised on 20th March 1836, Rosina baptised on 8th July 1838, Emma baptised on 2nd October 1842 and Philip baptised on 13th April 1845.
In the 1841 census John was living with his parents in one of Stokefield Cottages in Castle Street which stood opposite the Chantry. His father was an agricultural labourer and John was aged 7.
By the time of the 1851 census John was out at work – he was a footman for Maurice F. S. Townsend, the Vicar of Thornbury and he was living in the Vicarage. In March quarter 1857 John Thomas Boulton had married Susannah Dawson in Marylebone district of London. Susannah was born about 1831 in Stanford, Berkshire. She was living there in the 1841 census with her parents, William Dawson, an agricultural labourer and his wife, Ann. The Townsend family had a house in Montagu Square in London so it was presumably his work for the Townsends in London that brought them together.
In 1861 John Thomas and Susannah were living near to the Apple Tree Inn, Cockmead on Kington Lane, close to where the town cemetery is now located. WE suspect that they were living at the house now called Vine Cottage. The record shows that John Thomas was aged 27, was then working as a butler and was born in Thornbury. Susannah was aged 27 born in Stanford in Berkshire. At the time of that census they had two children, William John aged 3 and Ann Elizabeth aged 1.
Other children were born soon after: Harry Dawson in 1863, Horace in 1864, John Thomas in 1866, Ralph in 1868 and Elizabeth Maud Mabel in 1871.
In the 1871 census, Susannah was living in the house which later became 38 Castle Street. She was living there with her seven children. They were William John aged 13, Anne Elizabeth aged 11, Harry Dawson aged 8, Horace aged 6, John Thomas aged 4, Ralph aged 2 and Elizabeth Mabel Mary aged 7 months. John Thomas senior was shown as a butler, living at the Vicarage. He died three years later in 1874 aged 41 years.
In the 1881 census Susannah was still in Castle Street. She was referred to as an annuitant so she presumably received a ‘pension’ from her husband’s work in the Vicarage. Considering she was a widow with seven children she seemed to have ensured that her children did well in life. Of her sons, Harry Dawson was working as an architect’s clerk, Horace as a saddler’s apprentice and John Thomas as a solicitor’s clerk. In 1886 Horace became a member of the Thornbury Detachment of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment. He had left the unit by 1891.
By 1891 only Harry Dawson, now a solicitor’s clerk and Elizabeth Maud Mabel, a pupil teacher, were living with her. Elizabeth was a pupil teacher at the National School until July 1892 when she was presented with a watch as an acknowledgement of her services. In August that year she became an assistant teacher of the Infants section of the School. She left the School in May 1897 to get married to Frederick Henry Burchell.
In 1893 Harry Boulton had completed an application for the right to vote, based on his occupation of a house in Castle Street, Thornbury. He had to produce receipts to prove his residence there.
There were obviously different laws then about the privacy of the ballot box because there is a note that he was a Conservative voter. Another son John Thomas Boulton was living at 10 Gloucester Road in 1891 with his sister Annie and her husband John Ford.
By 1894 Susannah and Harry had moved to 10 Gloucester Road taking over the tenancy there from John and Annie Ford, Susannah’s daughter. Harry is the tenant in the 1894 Rate Book and listed as living there on the 1896 Voter’s List. The photo on the right shows Harry in 1897 as a member of the Thornbury Society of Gleemen, a well-known choral society. We know that another son John Thomas Boulton was also musical as a series of letters in the parish magazine about the quality of the choir at St Mary’s in Thornbury brought a defence from John Thomas who appeared to be a leading member of the choir.
The 1901 census shows Susan Boulton, a widow aged 69 and describes her as being ‘supported by family’. She was living with her son, Harry Dawson Boulton, an accountant in a Solicitor’s Office aged 38. The same census shows another son John Thomas Boulton was a railway clerk at Wootton St Mary in Gloucestershire. John was living with his wife Mabel and four children.
Susannah died on October 14th 1907 aged 75. Her address was given as Gloucester Road.
Harry Dawson Boulton continued to live in number 10. He was known in the family, at least by one of his nieces, as Uncle Aichee. He is listed in several Thornbury Trade Directories, in 1905 as an accountant; from 1906 to 1909 he was the Deputy Superintendent of Births and Deaths, and in later directories as Registrar of Births and Deaths.
From 1913 onwards, he is noted as being Assistant Clerk to Thornbury Rural District Council and the Thornbury Union in addition to being Registrar. He finally resigned from public service in January 1924.
The rate books of 1905 and 1910 show that Harry was still living in number 10 Gloucester Road. The 1911 census shows Harry was living with his brother-in-law, Frederick Henry Burchell at ‘Glenthorne’, now 13 Gloucester Road. Number 10 Gloucester Road appears vacant.
Most of our sources up to 1923 show Harry to be in ‘Gloucester Road’ and the 1913 electoral register shows that he was a lodger in the home of his brother in law, Frederick Henry Burchell so we assume that he continued to live there.
Harry Dawson Boulton died aged 62 on 22 January 1925. Frederick Henry Burchell was his solicitor. His estate was valued at £5799 14s 6d. The Gazette of 1st February 1925 carried an obituary for Harry Boulton. It said that he had been assistant clerk to the Thornbury Board of Guardians and the Rural District Council for many years – in fact the article said that Harry had devoted the whole of his working life to those institutions. Comments were made about his quiet courtesy and kindness and a letter of condolence was sent to his sister, Mrs F H Burchell.
It is interesting to note that apart from Susannah and Harry, many other members of their family were associated with this area of Thornbury.
Two of Susannah’s children, her daughter, Annie (now Annie Ford) and her son, John Thomas Boulton, had lived in number 10 before Susannah. They were in the house in the 1891 Census. Another of Susannah’s daughters, Elizabeth Maud Mabel came to live next door in number 8 with her husband, Frederick Henry Burchell after they married in 1897. Philip Boulton married Rachel Mary Thurston in 1868.
Finally, Ralph Boulton also lived in Gloucester Road and we have written about him as a tenant of number 20. Read more about Ralph.