The earliest connection we have found so far between the Penduck family and the house that is now 2 Castle Street in Thornbury is to be found in the 1851 Census. In that Census Thomas Penduck then aged 47 and a master carpenter was married to Sarah aged 25. We have no evidence as to when the Penduck family bought the house but we assume that it must have been sold at much the same time that number 4 was sold by the executors of the will of the previous owner Henry Bingham, which would be about 1850. We know that the Penducks must have owned it because it was sold after Sarah Penduck’s death by her executors in accordance with her will. The 1830 Rent Roll which had additions made to it at a much later also says this house was owned by “late Henry Bingham” now Thomas Penduck.
Thomas Penduck was baptised Thomas Child Penduck. He was born on 24th March 1804, the son of Samuel Penduck and Fanny Child. Read more about the family . In the June quarter of 1843 he married Sarah Ann Payne who was born in Almondsbury about 1825, the daughter of William Payne and Hannah Young.
By the 1861 Census the house was occupied by Thomas Penduck now aged 57 who had become a cabinet maker “employing men”. Thomas’s wife, Sarah Ann Penduck, was 24 years younger than him and aged only at 33. She was born in Almondsbury. They had a lodger called Lawford Smith aged 14 who was an agricultural labourer.
The 1867 Rate Book says the occupant was still Thomas Penduck but by 1869 the Rate Book just says “Penduck.”
The reason for this change is that Thomas Penduck died December 22nd 1867 aged 63 years and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church in Thornbury. His will which was proved on 10th February 1868 left all his property to his wife Sarah.
The 1871 Rate Book shows that Mrs Penduck was the occupier of the house and of a garden. This is confirmed by the 1871 Census which showed Sarah Ann Penduck still lived here and was a widow aged 44. Sarah had apparently taken over the business because the Census showed her as a cabinet maker.
She was living with her nephews, William Payne aged 17 an apprentice cabinet maker born in Olveston and Hubert Payne aged 7 born in Bristol. Interestingly by this time Sarah had also adopted a son called William Penduck aged 10 who was born in Bristol. Later evidence shows that this boy was born William Johnson. It is possible that his birth was registered in the June quarter of 1860 in Bristol but the name is not uncommon and so this can only be a guess.
Because of the greater detail shown in the 1876 Rate Book we are sure that the Sarah Penduck actually owned this house but that she also rented a garden from E S Howard.
Sarah died on September 18th 1880 aged 55 and was buried with her husband.
Sarah Penduck’s will of 1880 appointed Joseph Young Sturge and William Harris Ponting as her executors and requested them to sell all her property and divide the proceeds equally amongst her two brothers, John Payne of London, a butler, William Henry Payne of Almondsbury a carpenter and William Edward Johnson, otherwise Penduck who was residing with her. The will was proved at Gloucester on 24th November.
The newspaper of 25th September 1880 carried a report of Mrs Penduck’s death by a seizure that Saturday. She was described as a widow who had carried out the business of cabinet maker in the town for many years and said she was generally respected.
The 1880 Rate Book shows that the occupier of the house is William Penduck and the owners are “The Representatives of the late Sarah Penduck.” The newspaper advertisement on the left shows the sale of Sarah’s effects in October 1880. She appears to have had rather an unusual bed.
In December the same year the newspaper advertised the auction of this considerable property of house, shop and garden. The advertisement on the right mentions that the property was partly occupied by J Y Sturge. In the 1881 Census the house was unoccupied. The 1885 Rate Book shows that the new owners of the property were Sarah’s brother’s John and William Payne and they rented the property to Mr J Y Sturge and William Penduck (Sarah’s “adopted son”. Mr Sturge had the house next door so we assume he was continuing to use the office premises at number 2. It is more likely that William Penduck was living there and presumably also trading.
In the December quarter of 1880 William Penduck (formerly William Johnson) married Elizabeth Harriett Collings, the daughter of Harris and Harriett Collings who owned the Black Lion Inn in Castle Street. When they were married in Bristol, the register shows that William was known as William Johnson. In the 1881 Census William and Elizabeth Johnson as they were then known were living with Elizabeth’s widowed mother in the Black Lion (now number 9 Castle Street). At this time William was only 20.
In 1882 on May 4th there was a report of the transfer of the license of the Black Lion from William (who was then described as William Penduck) to Charles Liddiatt.
The 1890 Rate Book shows a change. Number 2 Castle Street was still owned by the Paynes and Sturge had his office there but the other tenant is now William Hatcher. The Penduck family (in the Rate Book William was again called William Penduck) seems to have moved to the house next door which later became known as 15 The Plain and was then owned by Francis Gayner. This move may have been occasioned by the death of Elizabeth’s mother and the subsequent sale of The Black Lion. Elizabeth would have been an heiress of Harris Collings, her father, after her mother’s death.
The 1891 Census appears to confirm this move because there was now a household between Francis Sturge’s home and William Penduck’s and this is indeed that of William Hatcher a labourer.
William Penduck was living in a smaller property of only four rooms. Another family may be sharing the house with him in another four rooms. By this time William was 29 and his occupation, like that of his adoptive family, was a cabinet maker. His wife Elizabeth was born in Newport in Wales and was ten years older than him, 39.
By this time they had four children; Ethel aged 6 Arthur aged 7, Blanch aged 4 and Hector aged 3. It is interesting to note that in the Census the surname of the family including the children was Penduck. The records of their baptisms are rather different and somewhat confusing. Ethel Harriett Johnson was baptised on 1st October 1882, the daughter of William, a cabinet maker and his wife Elizabeth. Arthur Penduck Johnson was baptised on 11th September 1883. Blanche Penduck Johnson was baptised 14th May 1887. They had two other sons, both called Hector Harris Johnson. The first was born in the June quarter of 1885 and died shortly afterwards. The second was born in the June quarter of 1888.
William’s obituary shows in earlier days he had been a ‘useful member of Thornbury Rugby XV’ and that he had joined the Thornbury Volunteer Corps. We also know from the records of Thornbury Cricket Club that William played for the club in 1884. He seems to have been an all round sportsman as he appeared in a photograph of Thornbury Football Team taken in 1902. At that time he was a linesman. Although the 1902 photograph was not very clear we were able to use the image to identify him in a photo of the Thornbury rugby team taken in the mid 1880s. We have copied the image on the right below from that photo.
It seems likely that the family moved into 2 Castle Street in 1894. The 1894 Rate Book appears to show a change of occupier and William Penduck is listed as the occupant of the house in the Spring of that year. At this time the property was said to be owned by W Payne and W H Ponting.
The 1901 Census shows that the Penduck family prospered. William S Penduck was a 39 year old cabinet maker and furniture dealer and his wife Elizabeth Penduck was said to be 46 years old. They had three children at home; Ethel Penduck aged 18, Arthur Penduck aged 17 solicitor’s clerk and Hector Penduck aged 12. They also had a boarder Mabel Bishop 20 years old and a school teacher. The Rate Book shows the owner of the property in 1905 was W H Ponting. The 1910 Rate Book says William Penduck lived in a property owned by late Hammond. See the photograph on the left below. This shows William Penduck’s advert for his business as cabinet maker which appeared in a booklet published after 1904 but before 1910.
The 1911 Census shows William Penduck then aged 62 with his wife Bessie aged 56. William was a cabinet maker and Bessie helped him in the business. Their three children also all worked in the family business- Ethel aged 27, Arthur aged 26 and Hector aged 22.
The first tragedy to strike the family was the death of their younger son Hector aged only 26 in February 1915. Hector died of “a somewhat severe but short illness”. However he was accorded a full military funeral because he was a member of the detachment of the 2nd South Gloucestershire Hospital, Southmead and Maudlin Street and thus was a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps. The report of the funeral in The Gazette said that as well as friends and family about 100 of the Medical Corps attended the funeral procession. He was buried under the name of Hector Penduck Johnson in Thornbury Cemetery on 5th February 1915. Click on the photograph above right for a larger image of the funeral procession near St Mary’s Church. Click on the thumbnail image on the left to see a postcard photo of the grave covered with the funeral tributes.
Hector’s brother Arthur Edward Penduck took after his father and got involved in various sports in the Town. We know from the records of the Thornbury Football Club that Arthur was playing for the club in the late 1890s. The records of the Thornbury Cricket Club show that Arthur was also very active in the cricket club and much appreciated by them. The following thumbnail sketch was written about him by Edgar Mervyn Grace and we are grateful to Les Summerfield, the Cricket Club and Mike Grace for allowing us to use these notes which use his nickname Archie or Arch:
“Archie Penduck – Archie, or as he was more often called ‘Arch’ whose father, W. Penduck first played for Thornbury in 1884, started his career with the Castle Cricket Club in early 1900s. Tall, athletic, a good sound batsman with lots of strokes, he had a lovely bowling action with a medium run-up and bowling a good length at just over medium pace and using his full height he took heaps of cheap wickets. For two or three years Archie was professional to the Grange Club in Scotland. In August 1919 he had the great misfortune to fracture his left elbow when playing a bumper and was out of the 1st XI for a season. As he did not play after August Bank Holiday that year his figures were really exceptional – batting 17 innings 314 runs average 20.90. Top of the bowling with 82 wickets at a cost of 6.20 runs apiece; his best performances were: 6 for 16 v Imperial; 8 for 33 v Cotham; 6 for 20 v Dursley; 6 for 24 v Shirehampton; 6 for 27 v United Banks; and 5 for 15 v Frenchay – some of the strongest teams of the day. Archie had an outstanding bowling performance in 1906 when bowling from the Garage end he captured all ten wickets for 15 runs.”
During the War, Arthur Edward enlisted at Bristol on 14th November 1914 and was sent to an RAMC Hospital. When he enlisted he was described as a footman aged 28 years four months. The medical examination describes him as 6ft, 168 lbs, 37.5 inch chest when expanded with 2.5 inch range and good physical development. The slightly damaged photograph on the left was taken in 1915 and shows an unnamed Penduck boy who we think must have been Arthur.
It seems Arthur was transferred to Royal Air Force Reserve in May 1919. He had his own medical problems and was admitted to hospital four times. We have further details about his army record and if any of his family contact us we would be glad to pass them on. He died on 5th December 1924 aged 40 years.
On May 31st 1917 William Penduck met with a rather nasty accident. It seems from the newspaper reports of the time that William had been in the habit of coming to Mr Cullimore’s sawmill off St John Street to use the lathe for wood turning. He was found there lying face down and stripped of nearly all his clothing. The drive belt needed to be put on to work the lathe and William must have climbed a ladder to see to it. He had been wearing an apron which must have got caught in the lathe. Apparently it was the custom at the mill to put the drive belt on for the lathe while the machinery was still turned on. The Coroners’ Court determined that the deceased met his death from a fractured skull and other injuries was caused accidentally by being caught in machinery.
The newspaper reports of the inquest and William’s funeral are very interesting as they refer to him as William Penduck Johnson and his death was registered under that name. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery under the name of William Penduck Johnson on 4th June 1917. The use of this name could be because the “adoption” by Sarah Penduck must not have been a formal one and it was still felt that legally his name was Johnson rather than Penduck.
William’s wife, Elizabeth Penduck died in 1921 aged 78. Her name at her death was registered as Elizabeth Penduck. She was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 31st October 1921. Arthur or “Archie” Penduck died on 5th December 1924 aged 40. It is interesting to note that when we photographed the military headstone of his brother, Hector, in Thornbury Cemetery in 2006 Arthur’s name was recorded as Archie and included on the headstone with details of his death. When we took another photo in 2014, a new headstone was been erected on which Hector’s initials had been corrected from H. J. to H. H. and Archie’s details were missing.
Ethel Harriett Penduck was listed in the 1939 register compiled in preparation for the war. She was unmarried and lodging with Sidney and Alice Taylor at 2 Saw Mill Lane.