Thomas Eddington

Thomas Eddington as a Gleeman

Thomas Eddington lived in the house later called 28 Castle Street in Thornbury.   The 1876 rate book shows that it was owned at that time by George Danvers Crossman.  It seems that Thomas Eddington eventually bought the property because the 1885, 1890 and 1894 rate books show that he owned  two properties (28 and 28A).  He appears to have occupied one while the other was occupied by James Telling (or Tilling).

The 1891 census shows Thomas Eddington lived in the larger property.  He was a 59 year old house decorator with a wife Elizabeth and their five children.  Edward, the eldest son was 26 and a printer and stationer and solicitor’s clerk.  Charles was 23 and a printer and compositor.  Robert who was a carpenter was aged 20.  Ellen was 18 and not at work.  William aged 14 was still at school.  They had an eight year old child called Mary Baker visiting them.

The photograph on the left is of Thomas Eddington in 1896.  It appeared with the rest of the Gleemen on a testimonial to Henry Privett Thurston in appreciation of the work he had done for the Gleemen Society, a singing group that was well known in Thornbury and the surrounding area.  The family seems to have musical talent.  The testimonial includes photos of Charles (shown here below right) and even young William.

The censuses show that Thomas was the son of William and Jane Eddington (nee Tanner).   In 1841 Thomas’s father, William Eddington, was a plasterer, but by 1851 he described himself as a painter aged 49 who was born in Berkeley in Gloucestershire.  His son Thomas assisted him in the business.  The family lived in “Colwell Street” which is now known as “The Plain”.

According to the I. G. I. Thomas Eddington married Elizabeth Webb in Bristol in the parish of St Phillip and St Jacob on 27th October 1853.  Elizabeth was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Webb of Crossways.  In the Census of 1841 she was living with them and her siblings, Henry, Ellen and Ann.

It would seem from the baptism record of Elwin Eddington that their first home was in Kington near Thornbury.  However, by 1858 when Harry was baptised they were living in Thornbury.  The Census of 1861 shows that Thomas and Elizabeth Eddington had moved to the property at 28 Castle Street.  In this Census Thomas was described as a painter employing one man and aged 29 years.  Elizabeth was 27 years old and had been born at Crossways.  They had two sons at this time; Elwin aged six and Harry aged two.  They also had a lodger, Elizabeth’s father, John Webb aged 63 and a carpenter.

By 1871 Thomas employed four men and one boy.  He and his wife Elizabeth had seven children.  Elwin was aged 16 and had no occupation.  It is possible that he was the boy that was employed. Harry, Ann, Edward and Ellen were described as scholars.  The two youngest, Charles aged two and Robert aged six months, were still at home. Elizabeth Chisholm a niece aged 18 was visiting the family.

As was only too common at this time at this time the Eddingtons lost at least two of their children.  Their first daughter called Ellen died on November 22nd 1872 aged six years.  Another daughter, Amy, died on May 29th 1880 aged 18 years.

In the Census 1881 Thomas was described as a painter rather than a plasterer.  Harry aged 22 was assisting him in the business.  The younger children Charles, Robert, Ellen and William were all of school age.  Elizabeth Chisholm now aged 28 was still living with the family.

In 1891 Thomas aged 59 was a house decorator.  Elizabeth was 57 year old.  Their children were now nearly all working. Edward had become a printer and solicitors’ clerk.  Charles was a printer and Robert was a carpenter.  Ellen aged 18 had no occupation.  William aged 14 was still at school.  At this time they had Mary Baker aged eight year and from Cheltenham staying with them.

Thomas Eddington died on September 6th 1896 aged 66 years.  In his memory a wooden press was placed in the vestry of St Mary’s Church in Thornbury with the inscription “In memory of Thomas Henry Eddington for 43 years a Member of this Choir.  At Rest September 6th 1896.

The report of his funeral in the Bristol Mercury said that Thomas was “well respected by all classes of the community” and that “nearly every shopkeeper and many of the private residents showed signs of mourning.”  After the funeral at St Mary’s Church there was a procession headed by the choir and the clergy to the cemetery in Kington Lane.

The 1899 Rate Book shows that the two properties were now owned by Elizabeth Eddington; one of these was occupied by Elizabeth herself and one was occupied by James Tilling.

The 1901 Census shows that Elizabeth was now a widow living on her own means with her son William aged 24 a tailor and Kate Hoptroff aged 27 who was a lodger.  Kate was a schoolmistress at the National School from Croombridge in Kent.   Elizabeth Eddington died October 21st 1908 aged 74 years.

An advertisement in the Gazette of November 7th 1908 reported on the sale of the estate left by her and her husband Thomas.  This included the property occupied by E.J. Sainsbury that is now known as 28 Castle Street.

Of their children

Edward – Edward was baptised on 7th August 1864.  There is a note in the Accounts of the Feoffees of Thornbury Grammar School dated 1875 that Edward was to be given the next vacant place at the School.  In the 1891 Census Edward was a stationer and printer and solicitor’s clerk living with his parents at 28 Castle Street.

On 15th September 1894 Edward married Ellen Wells a widow aged 35.  Her father was John Savery who had a blacksmith’s business which became well known in Thornbury.  She had first married Charles WilliamE Edddington 1900 Wells, a printer and solicitor’s clerk, in the Thornbury area in 1886.  Charles had died on January 10th 1887 aged 27 and was buried in Thornbury Churchyard.

The 1890 Rate Book shows Edward and Ellen (under her name of Ellen Savery) were listed as tenants of a property at 19 High Street.  The 1891 Census shows Ellen Wells living there with her daughter, Nellie Wells aged 3.

In 1893 the Bristol Mercury indicates that Edward Eddington had inherited the family’s musical skills.  An article on October 7th refers to a concert at St Mary’s church in which Edward sang a duet with Henry Privett Thurston.

The 1894 Rate Book shows that Edward as tenant of 19 High Street.  Edward and Ellen had one daughter, Amy, baptised on 5th April 1896.

The 1901 Census shows that Edward and Ellen were living at 19 High Street.  Edward was a solicitor’s clerk still as well as a printer and stationer.  It is likely that Ellen ran the stationer’s business.

On the right we have an advertisement dated 1900.  The couple had two daughters; Nellie Wells aged 13 who was a child of Ellen’s earlier marriage and Amy Eddington then aged 5.

Ellen died on 13th May 1902 aged 41 and she was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 17th May 1902.

In 1903 Edward married Florence Louisa Bennett in the Swindon area.  The family left Thornbury in 1906.  According to a record on the Ancestry website their daughter Amy was admitted to a school in London on 2nd April 1906.  Her address was hard to read but seems to be 19 Binden (?) Road.

Charles Eddington Gleeman

Charles Eddington Gleeman

The Ancestry website has another school record for Amy Eddingon in London.  She was admitted to St Dunstan’s Road School in 1909.  It is very interesting to see that the record gives her father’s name as James.  However her address was given as 28 St Dunstan’s Road which is the address the family lived in in 1911.  Amy died in Fulham in 1911.

The 1911 Census shows Edward is listed as a visitor living with his brother, William Eddington at 28 Castle Street.  He is described as a laundry proprietor.  Florence was living at 28 St Dunstans Road, Hammersmith with Edward’s brother, Robert, a laundry proprietor aged 40 and their cousin Elizabeth Chisholm.  Edward died on 24th November 1918 whilst living at the St Dunstan’s Road address in Hammersmith and the administration of his estate was granted to Florence.  She must have moved back to Swindon at some time because she died there on 10th July 1947.  Elizaberh Chisholm moved back to Thornbury at some time as she is recorded as living in Castle Street when she was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 31st December 1930 aged 85.

Ellen Eddington. Ellen was baptised on August 5th 1866 in Thornbury.   Ellen died in 1872 aged only six years.

Charles Eddington. Charles was born in Thornbury 8th April 1868 (see a photograph of Charles Eddington above)  Read about Charles Eddington

Ellen Eddington and her husband Leonard Pitcher

Ellen Eddington.  A second daughter called Ellen Eddington was born on 10th November 1872 and baptised on 11th December 1872 in Thornbury. On 7th September 1899, after the death of her father, she married Leonard Pitcher the son of another well known figure in Thornbury, the builder Walter William Pitcher.  The marriage took place in St Mary’s Church.  

A photograph of Ellen and Leonard appears here below on the left.  Click here to read about Ellen Eddington.

Robert Eddington – Robert was born on 27th September 1870 and  baptised on 4th December 1870.  In 1891 he was living at home with his parents and working as a carpenter.  In 1901 Robert was a wood joiner boarding in Grosvenor Road, Cheltenham.  By 1910 he had moved to London to join his brother Edward and his wife.  In 1910 they were living in Fulham.  The 1911 Census shows them living at 28 St Dunstans Road, Hammersmith.  Robert is described as a laundry proprietor, presumably sharing the business with Edward and their cousin, Elizabeth Chisholm.  Robert died in Southmead Hospital aged 81.  He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 18th May 1951.

William Eddington – continued to live at 28 Castle Street.  He was born on 28th July 1876 and he became a tailor.  We know that in 1891 he was apprenticed to Thomas Cox Smith the tailor at Porch House in Castle Street.  A newspaper cutting given to us by a former resident of Castle Street, Mrs Cochrane, shows that William earned two shillings (10 pence) a week for his first year which rose to 8/6 (42 1/2 pence) a week for the fifth year of the apprenticeship.  He worked from 7am to 7pm but was allowed one hour for dinner and 30 minutes each for a breakfast and tea break.

We know from a newspaper report by Wallace Phillips that William Eddington played football for Thornbury A.F.C and was in the team of 1899.  At least two of the Eddingtons also played rugby football and were in the team of 1886.  However we do not know if one of these was William.

The Electoral Roll shows that William’s wife was Mabel Eddington.  In 1907 William had married Mabel Catherine Bishop in the Long Ashton area.  On the 16th January 1909 they had a son Thomas Clement Eddington.

William eddington gleeman

William Eddington as a Gleeman

It seems likely that the property was sold to share the proceeds amongst the heirs because the 1910 Rate Book shows that Edwin Salmon now owned the house.  However it seems that William continued to live here and to rent the property.

The 1911 Census shows that William and Mabel were living in the house that is now 42 Castle Street.  They had been married for three years and had one child Thomas Clement Eddington aged 2.  They had a visitor Edward Eddington a laundry proprietor and Nellie Wells a draper’s assistant.

Bill Eddington

William Eddington

William Eddington a master tailor of Castle Street was granted a conditional exemption from the First World War.  The Gazette newspaper of September 1916 lists William as a member of 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.  The image on the left is taken from a photo of the volunteers and was marked with the name of ‘Bill Eddington’.

William was definitely living in Castle Street on 11th July 1917 because we have the Sale Catalogue for that date by Crossman’s solicitors and Luce Young and Alpass Auctioneers.  The catalogue has lot five “property of Mrs E J Salmon situate on the east side of Castle Street Thornbury in the occupation of Mr William Eddington for £16 0s 0d per annum.  The house contains front and back sitting rooms Kitchen back kitchen wash house and coal shed three bedrooms on first floor and two attics over and a large work shop.  There is a side entrance and gas and water are laid on.”

A second son Eric William Eddington was born in 1918 and his birth was registered in Thornbury.

In 1920 when Thomas Clement Eddington gained a scholarship and started at Thornbury Grammar School the family still lived in Castle Street.

William’s name continued to appear in the Electoral Rolls for Castle Street until at least 1946.

We have an image of a receipt on the right from William Eddington the tailor.  His address is Castle Street which at the time of the receipt (1921) would have been 42 Castle Street.  The receipt is for £8 for a black serge coat and skirt and is signed with thanks by C. Eddington.  This would appear to be William’s brother Charles who was a printer.  Perhaps Charles also helped with the accounts for the tailoring business.

In 1921 their son Eric started at St Mary’s School and his address at that time was Castle Street.  Eric left St Mary’s in 1929 to attend Thornbury Grammar School.

We also know that William’s first wife Mabel died in the Pilning area in 1922 aged 44.  She was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 27th December 1922.  In 1923 on February 3rd a sad story appeared in the Gazette.  It said that William Eddington had been a tailor for 18 years and that he had made a living out of it until 1920 when the depression in the agricultural industry badly affected the town and his business “began to fall off.”  He became bankrupt in 1923.  He had bought a property for £285 and there was still a mortgage on it for £250.  He did not think that the sale of the house would raise more than £250.  When William filed his petition for bankruptcy his wife Mabel had disappeared and she was later found drowned.

The records of St Mary’s Church in Thornbury show that at the age of 51 he remarried on 12th November 1927.  His second wife was Rose Fry aged 52, who was a spinster and the daughter of William Fry a farmer.  We believe that Rose may have been a servant for Major Mundy at Thornbury Farm.  Sadly Rose did not live very long and died aged only 54.  She was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 4th July 1929.  William’s third wife was Elizabeth James whom he married in the June quarter of 1937 in the Thornbury district.  We have not found the full record of the marriage at this time but it seems possible that Elizabeth was born in Paddington in London and was the daughter of a house-painter called Edward James and his wife Emily.  If this is the same Elizabeth she was a tailoress.

The register that was compiled in 1939 in the advent of war shows that the property now known as 42 Castle Street was occupied by William Eddington who was born on 31st July 1876 and was a journeyman tailor.  He was living there with his wife Elizabeth Mary who was born on 5th April 1897, his brother Robert Eddington a retired joiner who was born on 27th September 1870 and Emily James who was born on 7th January 1873 and who appears to be his mother in law.

Mrs Riddiford who is a long term resident of Castle Street remembered what was possibly the third Mrs Eddington.

In 1964 when we when came to live in Castle Street the house was occupied by Mrs Eddington the widow of one of the Eddingtons.  She had originally been employed as his housekeeper.  She was a very friendly lady and was always very nice.  She appeared to have very little financially.  Although well in her 70’s she did cleaning jobs and took in a lodger.  Her home was always spotless‘.

Read a little more about Elizabeth Eddington

Elwin Eddington.  Elwin was baptised in Thornbury on 5th November 1854.  At that time the family lived in Kington.  The 1881 Census shows him as a lodger in Wharf Road Newbury aged 26 and a painter.  He was living with the family of Thomas Rawlins a plumber.  At this stage we know nothing about Elwin Eddington.

Harry Eddington.  Harry was baptised in Thornbury on 10th November 1858.  Read about Harry Eddington 

The Rate Book of 1910 shows that Edwin Salmon came to own the properties at 28 Castle Street.