Samuel was a blacksmith born in Earthcott about 1801. We have not yet found any record of his marriage, but his wife was Sarah Cooper the daughter of Joseph Cooper and his wife Mary, nee Rosser. Sarah was born in Almondsbury between 1802 and 1806. Samuel and Sarah were living in the Borough area of Thornbury (around Horseshoe Lane) as early as 1827 when their daughter, Louisa, was baptised on 15th July. They had several other children including: Priscilla baptised on 9th November 1828, Clarissa baptised 8th May 1831, George born about 1837 but not baptised until 26th May 1858 when he was 21 and about to get married, Harriet born about 1834 but not baptised until 16 June 1852 and Alice born about 1843.
The 1840 Tithe Survey shows that 11 Horseshoe Lane occupied by Sarah Hughes. We are not sure if there is any connection between Sarah and the Samuel and Sarah Hughes who were occupying the house in the 1841 Census. Indeed it is possible that it was Samuel who had been the occupant of the house in the Tithe Survey, and that his name had been misread on the transcriptions as we have come across several other errors of this sort.
The 1841 census shows the house at 11 Horseshoe Lane occupied by Samuel Hughes, a blacksmith aged 30, and his wife, Sarah aged 30, and children: Louisa aged 14, Harriet aged 7 and George aged 4. Also living in the house was John Thurston, an agricultural labourer aged 16.
The 1851 Census shows Samuel and Sarah still living in the house. Both were aged 46 years. Also living there were their children, George aged 14 and Alice aged 8 and Mary Knight aged 2, a visitor from Rockhampton. In 1861 Census, Samuel and Sarah were still in the house, Samuel was a blacksmith, Sarah was a milliner and their daughter, Alice Cooper Hughes aged 17 was a dress and mantle maker.
By 1871, Samuel and Sarah had moved to St Mary Street where they were living opposite the The Plough at the house which later became known as 2 St Mary Street. Living with them were Henry Hall, a grandson aged 4 from Chepstow and Edward Trayhurn a widowed tailor aged 62. A 1877 Trade Directory shows ‘Hughes and Son’ were trading in St Mary Street as shoeing smiths.
Sarah died in 1879 aged 77. By 1881 Samuel was living in the Plough with his son, George Hughes, the beer house keeper. Samuel died 11th May 1884 aged 84 years at Newfoundland Street in Bristol. George’s death certificate shows that his daughter Louisa Knight (the wife of Thomas Knight) was with him at the time of his death. Samuel died in 1884 aged 84 years.
Of their children
George Hughes. George was born about 1837, the son of Samuel Hughes, blacksmith and his wife, Sarah (see above). In 1841 and 1851 he was living with his parents in 11 Horseshoe Lane. George was not baptised until 26th May 1858, presumably in preparation for his marriage to Susan Rudd which happened that year. Susan was the daughter of William Rudd, labourer.
In 1861 George and Susan were living in St Mary Street, in a house opposite The Plough which later became known as 2 St Mary Street. George was a blacksmith. The records show that Susan was born in Diss, Norfolk about 1828 and she already had a daughter Sarah Ann Rudd aged 13 who was living with them.
In 1871 the family had moved to the house which later became known as 8 St John Street and George was still working as a blacksmith. Susan was working as a laundress and Sarah had become a dress and mantle maker. The 1877 trade directory shows ‘Hughes and Son’ were trading in St Mary Street as shoeing smiths.
The Rate Books show George took over the Plough Inn by 1880, renting it from Abraham Cole. The 1881 census shows George as the beer house keeper there. Living with him were his wife, Susan and George’s father, Samuel Hughes aged 80, a retired blacksmith. In 1885 a little advert appearing in the Bristol Mercury informs that ‘LOST, from Thornbury, two COBS, one Gray Horse and one Dark Chestnut Grey Mare, the property of G. Hughes, Plough, Thornbury’.
George bought the pub when it was put up for sale on 1st September 1886 following the death of the owner, Abraham Cole. George was shown as the owner and occupier of the premises in the 1890 Rate book, but by the time of the 1891 census, he had given up as beer house keeper, although he was still boarding in the place. ‘Daniel Sykes and Co’, a Bristol Brewery company based in Redcliffe, became the owners. Susan died in March quarter 1891 aged 61 years.
By the time of the 1894 Rate Book George was living at the Court House, 2 St John Street which was owned by the Trustees of the late Abraham Cole. George married again in the December quarter 1895, this time to Sarah Ann Harris who was born in Stanton Drew about 1856. In 1901 George was living in the Court House, where he was running his own business as a carriage proprietor. George and Sarah had two boarders living with them. In a 1902 directory he is listed as having ‘traps etc for hire’. As far as we know, he carried on working and living in the Court House until he died in on 17th March 1906 aged 66 years. He was buried in the Thornbury Baptist Burial Ground. Probate of his will shows he left an estate of £224 8s 8d. Sarah Ann moved to take over the Castle Temperance Hotel in the High Street. She died on 22 January 1913 aged 55 years and she is buried in the same grave as her two sisters, Mary Matilda who had married Alfred W Sealey, and Selina Harris who had never married.
We know a little about two daughters of Samuel and Sarah
- Alice Cooper Hughes married Walter Hall. Read about Walter Hall and his wife Alice Cooper Hall
- Louisa Hughes married Thomas Knight. Read about Thomas and Louisa Knight