In 1852 number 4 Castle Street, Thornbury was bought by Richard Scarlett and it was said at that time to be “now in the occupation of Frederick Scarlett.”
Richard Scarlett was born on December 13th 1790 and baptised 2nd January 1791 in Berkeley, the son of George Scarlett and Mary Ricketts of Berkeley, who had married on 5th April 1790.
On 11th October 1814 Richard Scarlett married Mary Hathway. The Land Tax records from 1819 to 1822 indicate that Richard was a tenant of William Rolph and living in the property which later became known as 37 High Street. A document available on the Ancestry website shows Richard became an articled clerk for William Rolph on 14th May 1818. It was agreed that
‘Richard Scarlett should well and truly serve the said William Rolph as his Clerk in the business profession and practice of an Attorney for and during the term of five years‘.
In 1821 Betty Hathway, Mary’s mother died and left her 19 guineas. It is possible that Mary also inherited some property from her father Daniel Hathway. Certainly the 1823 Land Tax Records show that property formerly owned by Daniel and Betty Hathway at 37 and 39 St Mary Street was then owned by Richard Scarlett.
The first child of Richard and Mary Scarlett was George Scarlett who was baptised 17th March 1816. We have been told that the photograph above on the right is of a portrait of ‘Master Scarlett’ and that this was in fact George Scarlett as a young child. James, the next son, was baptised 31st August 1817. Their first daughter, Anne, was baptised 17th October 1819. Maria, the second daughter, was baptised 30th June 1822. Richard and Mary baptised their son, Frederick Scarlett on 31st December 1823.
Richard Scarlett was in the Trade Directory of 1830 as an attorney.
The family then seemed to go through a very difficult time. Richard’s mother Mary died February 15th 1835. Richard and Mary’s son James was buried 12th June 1837 aged 20. Their daughter Maria died on 10th April 1840 aged only 18.
In the 1840 Tithe Survey and the 1841 Census Richard and Mary Scarlett were living in”The Villa” at the top of the High Street. Richard was described as a solicitor about 50 years of age and his wife Mary was about 55. George was about 20 years old and was an attorney’s clerk. Their other son Frederic was at a boarding school in Tottenham London. Richard was Mayor of Thornbury 1845-46. A newspaper report of 11th July 1840 describes more bad luck, an accident which cost the life of a young friend of the Scarlett family, and which also shows that the family were living somewhere in the Thornbury area.
A party of youngsters, three of the Scarletts – a daughter (presumably Jane) and two sons (George and a younger brother, presumably Frederic) were travelling in two phaetons with two daughters of Mr Osborne, a land agent of Elberton. They had gone to Cromhall Park and were going down Tortworth Hill. Emma Osborne was with James and Jane. Their horse became unmanageable and bolted down the hill. Frederic stopped it against a bank. The two young Scarletts were uninjured but Miss Osborne, aged only 18, had tried to jump clear. Her clothing caught in the wheel of the phaeton. She was dragged ten or twelve yards behind the carriage and was killed.
George Scarlett, the eldest son of Richard and Mary, died aged 34 and was buried on 21st December 1850.
In the Liverpool Mercury of September 5th 1851 there was a peculiar story about some sheep owned by Richard Scarlett which suggested that perhaps some one in the area had a grudge against Richard. Apparently some of his sheep were found to be in a very poor condition. It seems that the year before twenty sheep had had to be killed because they too were in a very poor condition. This time a more careful examination showed that the sheep had been cut under their tongues which prevented them from eating. We have seen no explanation of this in any other paper.
In the 1851 Census Frederic Scarlett, the youngest son, was living with his parents Mary and Richard in “The Villa” at the top of the High Street, which the Scarlett family rented from William Middleton Noel MP. Frederick married Mary Clark the daughter of Thomas Clarke in Berkeley on 17th June 1851. They rented the house at 4 Castle Street. It seems that Richard Scarlett when he bought 4 Castle Street in 1852 was buying a home for his son and daughter in law. Scribes Alcove records the death of Frederic Scarlett on February 27th 1859 aged only 35 years.
The 1859 Rate Book shows that Richard was renting a property at 37 High Street from the late William Rolph. This was Richard’s solicitor’s office which he continued using after he had entered into partnership with John Crowther Gwynn in 1873. The accommodation on the upper floors of this property were let out to tenants.
In the 1861 Census it appears that number 4 Castle Street was unoccupied. Mary, Frederick’s widow, and her young daughter Maria Ann had moved to live with her parents in law Richard and Mary Scarlett at “The Villa” in Thornbury. On the left we have a description of the Villa when it was put up for sale after the death of its owner William Middleton Noel in 1859.
Richard Scarlett’s wife Mary died on 10th December 1870 aged 86.
The 1871 Census shows that Richard describes him as a solicitor and farmer of 15 acres with two labourers. His grand-daughter Maria Ann was 18 and Maria Ann’s mother, Mary, Richard’s daughter in law, was 39. Mary died November 30th 1879 aged 48 years.
Richard continued to play a substantial roll in Thornbury life. On April 1st 1862 Richard Scarlett, the Superintendent Registrar of Thornbury, certified the Independent Chapel in Thornbury as a place of public worship registered for the solemnization of marriage.
On 15th July 1880 his grand-daughter Maria Scarlett married Samuel Stutchbury at Alveston. The wedding was reported in a newspaper of 19th July 1880 as follows;
“At Thornbury Mr Samuel Stutchbury of Rossbrook, Armagh Ireland to Maria, a daughter of the late Frederic Scarlett of Thornbury July 15“.
We understand from family papers that Maria refused to go to live in Samuel’s farm in Ireland and there is a nice little comment that Samuel was ‘hen pecked’.
Richard Scarlett was 90 when he died on July 1st 1881. The report of his funeral appeared in the newspaper on 7th July 1881. It described Richard as the Steward to the Lord of the Manor and said that his funeral was attended by the Mayor and the Corporation in their robes of office. Another report the following day said that he was the oldest Alderman of the town, Clerk to the Board of Guardians, Superintendent Registrar of the district and Actuary of the Savings Bank.
His will dated 19th June 1880 devised all his estate to John Crowther Gwynn and Thomas Clarke of Hazel House Blakeney gentlemen upon trust to sell the estate and, after paying the usual debts and expenses, to invest the money in order to provide an income for his granddaughter Maria Ann Scarlett for her life independent of her husband, if any. On 6th October 1881 probate of the abstracted will was granted to executors.
The children of Samuel and Maria Ann Stutchbury nee Scarlett were Mary Sarah Scarlett Stutchbury, Elsie Gertrude Scarlett Stutchbury and Helen Maud Scarlett Stutchbury.
On 18th March 1883 one of the trustees appointed by Richard Scarlett’s will, J C Gwynn died on 16th July 1883. John Cullimore of Chester was appointed to be a trustee in his place. On 23rd June 1888 Thomas Clarke retired from the office of trustee and John Crowther Gwynn junior was appointed.
Helen M S Stutchbury married Robert Alexander Kane Henderson on 11th July 1907. On 25th August 1908 John Cullimore and John Crowther Gwynn, Maria Stutchbury and her daughters all agreed that under the terms of Richard Scarletts will all the property could be shared between the sisters as tenants in common.
The abstract of title of 4 Castle Street dated 1919 refers to the title of Mrs Mary Kidd (nee Stutchbury), Miss E S Stutchbury and Mrs Henderson to a house in Castle Street in the occupation of Mr Fudge.
On April 15th 1919 the estate of the late Maria Ann Stutchbury was sold. This included properties in Alveston – “The Firs” (a 10 bed-roomed house with 5 acres of land opposite The Ship Inn in Alveston) with a gardener’s and a coachman’s cottages and another five cottages on Alveston Down. In Thornbury there was a shop (37 High Street), a dwelling house (4 Castle Street), a stable and garden adjoining Soaper’s Lane and two cottages in St Mary Street (numbers 37 and 39).