The earliest records of any Honeybornes in the Thornbury area were in the 1780s when Henry and Martha ‘Honeyburne’ baptized their children in St Mary’s Church.  Note that the Honeyborne name is spelt in several different ways and when referring to a record we have tried to reflect the spelling in that record.

This is a long page covering four generations of the family associated with Morton.  We start with Henry and Martha Honeyborne, but you can click on any of the other three names below to skip to the other generations.

John and Sophia Honeyborne – Morton and Rockhampton mason

Henry and Ann Honeyborne – Morton pig butcher

Thomas Henry and Sarah Ann Honeyborne – Morton pig butcher and innkeeper

Henry and Martha Honeyborne – the first Honeybornes

Henry and Martha ‘Honeyburne’ baptized their daughter, Elizabeth Honeyburne at St Mary’s on 29th June 1783.  Elizabeth was born December 25th 1782.  Henry ‘Honeybourn’ their son was born on 5th October 1786 and baptized on 10th December 1786.  John ‘Honeyborn’ was born on 22nd October 1788 and baptized on 14th December 1788.  Adam ‘Honyborn’ was baptised 16th February 1798.

Based on his age at death Henry would have been born about 1748.  We note that there was a ‘Henery Honiborne’ son of  Henery and Ann Honiborn baptized in Loders in Dorset on 20th January 1748.  We have no evidence at this time as to whether it was the same Henry Honeyborne.

We weren’t sure where Henry and Martha came from and why they moved to Morton.  We found that there was a Henry Honeborn who married Martha Arnold in Bromyard in Hereford in 1782.  We are grateful to a descendent of the Honeyborne family for confirming the link between this marriage and the Morton Honeybornes.  She found a Martha Arnold baptised in Rockhampton on June 5th 1757.  She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Arnold.  After a lot of research she found that Henry and Martha were the witnesses at the marriage of Martha Arnold’s brother Richard to Sarah Thompson, in Rockhampton in 1795.

It hasn’t been established as to why Martha was in Bromyard.

We do not know anything about Henry before his marriage but is possible that he moved to Thornbury with a sister because there is a record of a Mary Honeyburne marrying Thomas Fowler in Thornbury in 1787.

Henry and Martha had another son, Adam, baptized in St Mary’s Church on 16th February 1798.

The Land Tax records for ‘Moorton’ in 1797 show ‘Henry Honeburn’ paid 9d tax for a property that he owned.  We do not know at this stage what property this was.  It is described as ‘part’ followed by a list of people (William Osborn, George Rolph, William Weeks and Thomas Collins) who are also said to own ‘part’.  If it was originally one piece of land it must have been sold off in differently sized parcels as the owners are paying very different rates of tax.  In 1809 and 1810 Henry ‘Honyborn’ was occupying a property in Morton called ‘Brewtons’ valued at 3/- for Land Tax.  This was owned by John Davis.

The Land Tax records for Morton in 1814 show that ‘Henry Honyborn’ owned and occupied a property in Morton for which he paid 9d.  In the same year Henry ‘Honiborn’ occupied owned another property in Morton valued at 3/- which was owned by John Davis

Henry Honeyborn of Moreton was aged 71 when he was buried on 31st October 1819.  Henry left a will but unfortunately we have not been able to see the details.  An Abstract of Title dated 10th January 1850 refers to Henry’s will.  It says that he left a piece of land of 2 perches (approx 50 sq metres) which was part of the Tiltfield lying between The Coombe and Eastlands Hill.  This was left to Martha and then to their son, John.  We do not know if Henry left any other property.

We know a little about Henry and Martha’s children;

Elizabeth Honeyborne was baptized on 29th June 1783.  She had a son Matthew born on 31st August 1808 and baptized on 6th February 1809 before she married Matthew Barrett in 1817.  Young Matthew Honeyborn died aged 10 and was buried on 20th June 1819.  Matthew and Elizabeth Barrett had five other children.  In 1851 Matthew and Elizabeth were living with their son Matthew Barrett at Woodbine Cottage, The Hackett where Matthew Barrett senior was a farmer of 14 acres.  Elizabeth died aged 79 and was buried on 5th March 1862

Henry Honeyborne was born 5th October 1785.  We know nothing about his occupation or what property he inherited from his father.  He died aged 50 and was buried on 6th April 1835.  His address was noted as ‘Morton’.

John Honeyborne was born 22nd October 1788.  We have written in more detail about John below.

Adam Honeyborne was baptized 16th February 1798 at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury.  We do not know any more about him.


John and Sophia Honeyborne – Morton and Rockhampton mason

John ‘Honeyborn’ was born on 22nd October 1788 and baptized in Thornbury on 17th December 1788.  He was the son of Henry and Martha Honeyborn (see above).

On 26th October 1821 John married Sophia Watkins.  Sophia was born in Thornbury on 28th July 1799.  Her baptism record shows she was the natural daughter of Ann Watkins.

John and Sophia had two children baptized in Thornbury: Henry on 23rd October 1822 (when John was described as a husbandman living at Morton) and Ann on 19th November 1826.   Two others were baptized in Rockhampton: John on 29th May 1830 and Martha on 25th March 1832.  Both these records described John as a mason living in Rockhampton.

By 1840 John had moved back to Morton and acquired property.  The 1840 Tithe Survey shows John Honeyborne was the owner of plot 865 in Morton.  At that time the property was occupied by Samuel Walker who was listed in the 1841 as being a publican.  This pub is still operating and known by the name of the Anchor at Morton.

John lived next door on plot 864 which was described as a house and garden in Upper Morton.  The map accompanying the survey shows that this was a property fronting Backchurch Lane that is now known as Park Road.  We believe that John’s property was rebuilt about 1879 as two cottages now known as Millpond Cottages.

The 1841 census shows John Honeyborne was living near the Anchor and Morton Mill.  John was described as a mason aged 53.   He was living there with Sophia who was aged 40, Henry aged 15, Ann aged 13, John aged 12 and Martha aged 9.  Sarah Watkins was also living there.  Sarah was Sophia’s illegitimate daughter baptized in Thornbury on 27th April 1817 when Sophia was noted a living in Morton.

Sophia died in June quarter 1848 and John was buried on 19th April 1849.

Of their children:

Henry Honeyborne was baptized on 23rd October 1822.  We have written about Henry below.

Ann Honeyborne was baptized on 19th November 1826.  She married George Bell yeoman of Thornbury in 1852.  He was a labourer of Morton.  

John Honeyborne – baptised on 29th May 1830.  We have written about John and his family on a separate page.  Click here to read more

Martha Honeyborne was baptized on 25th March 1832.  She appears to have died in the fourth quarter of 1847.


Henry and Ann Honeyborne – Morton pig butcher etc

Henry was baptized in Thornbury on 23rd October 1822.  He was the son of John and Sophia Honeyborne (see above).

The 1841 census shows Henry living with his parents in Morton.  Both of his parents had died by 1849.  We believe that the 1851 Census shows that the ‘extended’ Honeyborne family may have moved into the property now known as The Anchor, although it does not seem to have been trading as a beer house.  After the 1841 Census the only records that we have seen up until 1868 merely mention that the premised was used as a pig butchery.

In 1851 the head of the household was Ann Ball, a widow aged 85.  Ann Ball was a widow when she married Samuel Ball on 13th October 1807.  Samuel Ball died aged 75 and was buried in Thornbury Baptist Church on 11th July 1836.  It seems unusual to describe Ann as head of the household.  She was the mother of Sophia Honeyborne and mother-in-law of John Honeyborne the previous occupants who had both died by 1851(see above).

Living in the same household with Ann Ball at the time of the census were her son Thomas Watkins, a pig butcher, and her grandson Henry Honeyborne, another pig butcher, aged 28 with his wife Ann and daughter Sophia.  Henry was the son of John and Sophia Honeyborne (nee Watkins) and would usually become the heir rather than his grandmother Ann Ball.

Henry Honeyborne had married Ann Watkins in the Bristol area on 23rd May 1847.  She was born on 17th July 1828 and baptized at Thornbury Baptist Church on 7th September 1828, the daughter of Thomas Watkins and his wife, Ann.  It is interesting to note that the couple were cousins as Thomas Watkins, Ann’s father, appears to be the brother of Henry Honeyborne’s mother Sophia nee Watkins.

Henry and Ann’s daughter Sophia was born December quarter 1848.  She was not baptized until 28th July 1877 when she was aged 28.

In 1856 Henry was described in a trade directory as a farmer, grocer and pork butcher.

The 1861 Census shows Henry Honeyborne was a pig butcher aged 38.  There is no mention in the census or in trade directories around this time to suggest that he was also running the beerhouse alongside his work as a butcher.  Henry and Ann were living there with four children and Ann’s father, Thomas Watkins, who was described as a retired butcher aged 67.  Like Sophia, the children were not baptized until they were adults: Thomas Henry born in 1851 and baptized on 6th April 1889, Ann Eliza born in 1856 and baptized at Rockhampton on 5th December 1876 (when she was the wife of William Ricketts) and Joseph born in 1859 and baptized on 25th July 1877.

Thomas Watkins died aged 66 and was buried in the Thornbury Independent Chapel on 21st September 1862.  In his will Thomas left his property at 32 St Mary Street to his daughter Ann.  This shop was initially used by Henry’s brother, John and his wife Emma.

The 1870 Kelly’s Directory lists Henry as beer retailer, grocer and pork butcher at Morton.  Thus we know that the Anchor was trading as a beer house at least from this time.  Of course he may have been running the beerhouse alongside the butchery ever since he took over the place.

The 1871 Census shows Henry ran a ‘bacon curer shop and beer house’ aged 48.  He was living there in Morton with Ann aged 42, Thomas Henry aged 19, Ann Eliza aged 14, Joseph aged 12, John aged 9, Levi aged 6, Alfred aged 4 and Edward aged 2 months.

In January 1876 the Anchor beerhouse licence was transferred from Henry Honeyborne to his son, Thomas Henry Honeyborne (see below).

The 1876 Rate Book shows Henry had moved to live in the shop now known as 32 St Mary Street.  The 1881 Census shows that Henry was a grocer aged 58 living there with Ann aged 52 and their children: John a grocer’s apprentice aged 19, Alfred aged 14 and Edward W aged 10.  Henry died on 13th April 1883 aged 60 and was buried on 16th April 1883.  His will was proved on 22nd August 1883 by his executors, his widow Ann, his son Thomas Henry, a pig butcher at Morton and William Till, a gentleman of Park Farm.  The estate was valued at £397 12s 2d.

Following his death there was a sale of Henry’s properties.  There was ‘a plot of warm, early market garden ground’ fronting Gloucester Road and Church Lane which contained 8 roods and 8 perches which was described as being ‘admirably adapted for the erection of cottages’.  Also a newly erected cottage with garden containing about 12 perches fronting Church Lane and adjoining the market garden and occupied by Daniel Long.  Also another cottage, adjoining the previous one with garden of about 11 perches and occupied by Charles Edmonds.  Interested parties were told to contact Thomas Honeyborne at the Anchor Inn in Morton

The 1885 Rate Book shows that Henry’s widow Ann Honeyborne was still living in the St Mary Street house.  In 1887 and 1890 the Rate Books show that Ann was letting out that property to George Henry Baylis.  The 1891 Census shows Ann as a retired grocer aged 62.  She was living in what was then described as Cockmead on Kington Lane but is now Vine Cottage.  She was living with her son, Edward W an assistant plumber aged 20.

Ann died on 7th January 1893 aged 64 and was buried on 12th January 1893.  Following her death her property was put up for sale on 28th February 1894 by her son, Thomas Henry Honeyborne, a pig butcher and John Taylor, a butcher.  The property was being occupied by Mr Clutterbuck, grocer at a reduced rent of £12 per annum.  An indenture dated 26th March 1894 shows that the property was sold to Richard Hobbs Smith for £160.  The proceeds of the sale were to be shared equally amongst Ann’s eight children (Sophia Walker, Thomas Henry Honeyborne, Ann Eliza Ricketts, Joseph Honeyborne, John Honeyborne, Levi Honeyborne, Alfred Honeyborne and Edward Watkins Honeyborne).


Children of Henry and Ann Honeyborne

We have written below about Thomas Henry Honeyborne who took over Henry’s business.  Of their other children:

Sophia Honeyborne

Sophia was born in 1849 and baptized 25th July 1877.  In the census of 1861 she was aged 12 and described as a scholar living with family in Gloucester Road.  By 1871 she was living with her aunt Emma Honeyborn in St Mary Street in Thornbury.  She was married on 1st January 1879 to Walter George Walker a butcher at St James Church in Bristol.  He was the son of George Walker and his wife Kezia.  By the census of 1881 they lived in Crossways Lane with their daughter Ada Mabel aged 2.  In 1891 they lived in Eastland Hill with Kezia and five children.  Two of their sons, Albert Henry and Alfred Levi, served in the First World War and are mentioned on Thornbury Roots.

 Joseph Honeyborne

Joseph was the second son of Henry and Ann Honeyborne.  He was born about 1859 but not baptized until 25th July 1877 when he was aged 18.   Click here to read more

Ann Eliza Honeyborne

She was born in 1856 and married William Ricketts on 19th September 1876 in Bristol.  The 1891 Census shows he was a licensed victualler in the New Inn in Shepperdine near Thornbury. William had got the licence for the pub in July 1882.  Ann Eliza died in Thornbury in 1903

John Honeyborne

John was born in 1862.  He married Amelia Kear in Wales in 1890.  Of their children- Norah was born 24th January 1892  in the Chipping Sodbury area.  Howard John was born 30th July 1893 in the Wickwar area.  Sidney Clifford was born on 3th November 1904 in the Wickwar area.

Levi Honeyborne

Levi was born in 1864.  By 1881 he was a saddler aged 17 in Cardiff.  By 1891 he was a harness maker in Chelsea London living with his wife Hannah M.

Alfred Honeyborne

His birth was registered in the June quarter of 1866.  He was a tailor and married Isabel Rose Godding in Kensal Green in London on 18th December 1897.  By 1901 they had two daughters and lived in Paddington.

Edward Watkins Honeyborne

Edward was born in 1871.  He was a plumber and gas fitter.  He worked for Ponting in Thornbury when he served in WWI.  He married Sarah Ann Bruce in Chatham in August 1894.  The births of his children were registered in Chatham and Bethnal Green


Thomas Henry and Sarah Ann Honeyborne – pork butcher and innkeeper

Thomas Henry was the eldest son of Henry and Ann Honeyborne (see above).  He was born in 1851 but not baptized until 6th April 1889,

In January 1876 the Anchor beerhouse licence was transferred from Henry Honeyborne to Thomas Henry Honeyborne.

On 11th February 1879 Thomas married Sarah Ann Phillips in Berkeley.  Sarah Ann was baptized on 8th August 1847.  She was the daughter of George Phillips, a farmer and his wife Ann who lived at Hystfield.

Thomas Henry and Sarah Ann had a daughter, Clara, baptized on 21st July 1880.   The 1881 Census lists Thomas Henry Honeyborne as a butcher and inn keeper and describes the property as ‘The Anchor’.  He was living there with Sarah Ann and Clara.

They went on to have several more children: Ada Annie baptized on 1st June 1881 (she died aged three and was buried on 5th May 1884), Ellen baptized on 2nd August 1882, Jessie Matilda baptized on 5th March 1884, Annie Susan baptized on 22nd April 1885 and Walter Thomas baptized on 26th May 1886.  It is interesting to note that all the baptism up to 1885 referred to Thomas Henry as a butcher and only the last baptism refers to him as a butcher and publican.

We note from other newspaper reports that Thomas was elected constable of Morton in 1882 and 1888.

The 1891 Census shows Thomas Henry was a butcher and innkeeper.  All the children were living with them except Annie who was with her maternal grandmother in Berkeley.

By 1901 Thomas was concentrating on being the innkeeper.  His nephew, Henry Joseph (the son of Thomas’s brother Joseph) was the butcher’s assistant.  Ellen had become a dress maker and Jessie and Annie were draper’s assistants.  The 1911 Census describes Thomas as a licensed victualler and says Clara was assisting him in the business.  Ellen, Jessie and Annie had the same occupations.  There was no mention of it being a butcher’s and trade directories from 1899 onward describe Thomas as a beer retailer or publican not a butcher.

Thomas Henry died aged 70 and was buried on 6th March 1922 when he was still living at the Anchor.  Sarah died aged 86 year at Weymouth Road, Frome and was buried in Thornbury on 24th January 1934.