Richard Quin – Richard took over The Swan in 1881, initially as the tenant of Austin Grove. When the property was put up for sale again in June 1882 Richard bought the property. Click here to read about The Swan
Census records indicate that Richard was born in County Meath, Ireland about 1835. We don’t know anything about Richard’s early life. The Bristol Mercury reported on 10th December 1870 that Richard had taken over the licence of the George and Dragon in Winterbourne. The 1871 Census shows Richard was an innkeeper at ‘The Dragon inn’ Winterbourne. He was aged 34 and born in Ireland living with his wife, Elizabeth aged 38 who was born in Bristol. We suspect that Richard had married Elizabeth Watkins in the Clifton area in 1870.
Elizabeth Quin died on 19th August 1879 at the George and Dragon Inn in Winterbourne. Her will was proved on 2nd October by her husband Richard Quin a licensed victualler and sole executor.
In March quarter 1880 Richard married Elizabeth Mary Offer. On August 23rd 1880 it was reported that the application for an outdoor licence for the publican Richard Quin of Winterbourne was opposed because the premises were said to be unsuitable. It was said that Richard had kept other premises without a complaint and the objection was refused.
The 1881 Census shows Richard and his family had moved to The Swan at Thornbury. In the census he was described as a grocer and beer retailer aged 45. His wife was Elizabeth aged 32 born in Winterbourne and they had twin sons, Richard jnr and Hugh Sutley both aged 5 months (born on 4th November 1880). Also living with Richard and Elizabeth were Elizabeth’s widowed father, Christopher Offer a wheelwright aged 82 and her unmarried sister, Elizabeth, aged 50 and Richard’s step-daughter, Mary E. Offer aged 9 who was born in Winterbourne. Richard had married Elizabeth Mary Offer in the Barton Regis area in 1880.
The Quins moved to Thornbury shortly after the 1881 Census. Richard was shown as running the Swan Hotel and Posting House when it was put up for sale in June 1882 and he purchased it at the auction for £1660. Their third son, Oswald Wyndham, was born in Thornbury on 27th January 1882. Their daughter, Daisy Louise was baptised in Thornbury on 17th December 1884 at which time Richard was described as a hotel keeper. The 1885 and 1890 Rate Books show him as owner and occupier of the Swan Hotel on the High Street, but we know from the Petty Sessional records that he sold it to the Anglo-Bavarian brewery in 1890. The trade directories at that time describe the Swan as a ‘family and commercial hotel and posting house’.
Richard also played a role in the community. He was appointed as an overseer of the poor in 1890 and in 1892. He tried unsuccessfully to become parish councillor in 1894.
The 1891 Census shows Richard and ‘Mary E’ still lived at the Swan Hotel. They were living there with their four children, Mary’s sister, Elizabeth and a domestic servant, Emily Alway aged 21 from Tockington.
It is an interesting sign of the times that in 1898 Richard was advertising The Swan as being ‘suitable for lady and gentleman cyclists’.
He was still listed in the 1899 trade directory and 1899 Rate Book as being at this address. Entries in the trade directories suggests that Richard was also a wine and spirit dealer. He claimed to be the first retailer in the West of England to import Jamesons’ Dublin Whiskey.
The records of Thornbury Grammar School show that twins, Richard and Hugh, were admitted there in May 1895 and Oswald started there on 3rd January 1896. The records of the Thornbury Parish Fire Brigade show that both Oswald and Hugh Quin enrolled in the service at the first meeting in 1899 and Oswald was one of eight men to be given uniforms bought by the Parish in February 1900.
The little photograph above is labelled ‘Richard Quin’. We assume that this would have been Richard Quin junior as the person shown is too young to be the father. The image was extracted from a photograph of Thornbury Gleemen taken in 1896. The Gleemen were a singing group who sang in and around Thornbury for many years.
Richard gave up the hotel business in September 1899 after 18 years running the Swan. There was a sale of effects belonging to the Swan on 23rd October 1899. Click on the thumbnail image on the right to see the full details of the sale. It shows the sale included several horse-drawn traps and equipment which indicates that they had made their own beer on the premises. Local people seemed sorry to see the Quins retire and a committee was formed, a collection made and Richard and his wife were presented with a piano and an address signed by 100 inhabitants as a sign of their appreciation.
The 1901 Census shows him living at 10 The Plain. He was described as aged 65, living on his own means and born in County Meath, Ireland. He was living with his wife, Elizabeth aged 50 born in Winterbourne and their children: Oswald W, a draper’s apprentice aged 19 and Daisy L a dressmaker aged 16, both of whom were born in Thornbury. Richard is listed as living there in trade directories in 1902 and 1904. Although listed in the 1904 directory, we think Richard and Elizabeth moved away from Thornbury in 1903. Richard is listed as being the landlord of the Crown Hotel in Gosditch Street in Cirencester in 1903 and 1906.
Their daughter, Daisy Louise, married Wilfred George Bridges in Thornbury in 1908. Wilfred was an automobile engineer who came from Cirencester. The two of them settled to live in Cirencester and the 1911 Census shows them living there in 14 Gloucester Street with their son, Wilfred Thomas Richard Bridges.
Elizabeth Mary died in Cirencester aged 59 in December quarter 1906 and Richard died there aged 76 on 11th May 1911.
The Gloucestershire Pubs website shows Oswald took over the Crown in Cirencester from his father as he is listed as the landlord in 1913. In the First World War, Oswald served in the Grenadier Guards. His enlistment papers show that he described himself as ‘a Clerk’ living at The Crown in Cirencester in October 1914. He spent long periods serving in France and was wounded in the neck and chin 1916. He was discharged in 1919. He later moved to London where he married Winifred Cox in Chelsea in 1923. Oswald’s brother, Hugh married Louisa Edwards in Wolverhampton in 1914.