Joseph Young Sturge was living at Oriel House in Castle Street in the Census of 1861. This Census shows that Joseph Young Sturge was an architect and surveyor who was born in the area of Sea Mills in Bristol and that his wife Caroline also came from Bristol. At that time they had four children; Elizabeth aged 10 who was born in Tooting, Francis aged eight from Bishopston and Henry aged five and Caroline aged one, both born in Thornbury. They had two servants.
Joseph Young Sturge was born on 6th October 1823 and baptised in Bristol.
Joseph was a tenant of Wigmore House in Castle Street, Thornbury from about 1867 to about 1875.
His parents were Young Sturge and his wife Sarah. Young Sturge himself was also from Bristol and as early as 1804 his family were living at West Hay in Westbury on Trym in Bristol. Young Sturge and Sarah moved to Tockington near Thornbury and in 1841 he was a surveyor at Woodhouse.
Joseph Young Sturge married Caroline Harwood at Frenchay Friends’ Meeting House on 11th February 1845. Joseph lived at 9 South Well Street in Bristol at the time of their marriage. Caroline Harwood was born 25th October 1822 the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Harwood. Samuel was a leather factor. Caroline lived at Portland Square in Bristol at the time of her marriage. The 1851 Census shows that the couple had set up home in the Endscombe area of Bath. At that time Joseph was aged 27 years old and Caroline 28. They had a son called Charles Joseph aged six and a daughter Elizabeth aged seven months. Joseph was a landed proprietor.
By 1856 Joseph and Caroline Sturge had moved to Thornbury and Joseph was advertised in the Trade Directory as a Land Surveyor. Presumably at this time they were living in Oriel House. A newspaper advertisement of 28th October 1865 says that two adjoining houses in Castle Street were for sale. These appear to be what are now numbers 8 and 6 Castle Street – otherwise known as Oriel House and Oriel Cottage. The larger one, now number 8, was said to be in the occupation of Joseph Young Sturge.
The 1867 and 1869 Rate Books show that Joseph Young Sturge had moved to Wigmore House.
The 1871 Census shows that Joseph was aged 47 and Caroline was 48. At this time they had four children living with them; Elizabeth aged 20, Francis aged 18 was articled to a solicitor, Mary aged 15 was a scholar as was her 11 year old sister Caroline. They also had a two year old grand daughter Gertrude Mable Sturge living with them.
By the Rate Book of 1876 the house was no longer occupied by Joseph Young Sturge but by Elizabeth Cornock. The same Rate Book shows that the Sturge family had moved to The Close House in the High Street which they were renting a house from William Osborne Maclaine. The trade directory for 1877 gives his address as The Close but it also suggests that Joseph had an office in Castle Street. At this time Joseph’s listed occupations were land agent, surveyor and insurance agent for Royal Fire and Life.
Joseph was also the Superintendent of the Sunday School. In 1924 Edmund Cullimore described him as a “man of kindly disposition and much beloved by his scholars.” Edmund wrote of things that Joseph did besides teaching scriptures and hymns to the children in his Sunday School- ” he gave us many treats which we very much appreciated. One of these consisted in a journey (in Mr Baylis’s two wagons) to Sharpness Docks and Pleasure Gardens.”
Caroline the 18 year old daughter of Joseph Young and Caroline Sturge died on January 8th 1878. By 1880 the Rate Books show that he had returned to Castle Street, this time to what became number 4 Castle Street and that he was renting that house from Richard Scarlett.
Joseph Young Sturge died 27th December 1891 aged 68 years. We have a newspaper report of his funeral in 1892.
“The prevailing sickness of the past month has resulted in the death of some of the oldest and most respected Parishioners, leaving a gap which, so to speak, can never be filled.
It was with deep regret that the news was received on Sunday, December 27th, of the death of Mr. J. Y. STURGE, after an illness of only a fortnight’s duration, at his residence in Castle Street.
By his death, the parish has suffered a severe loss. For nearly thirty years he was senior churchwarden of the Parish Church, and has done much towards maintaining the fabric of the Church. He also took great interest in the Sunday and Day Schools, being Superintendent of the former for many years, and Treasurer of the latter until his death. In him the sick and poor had a true friend, and one who was always caring for their welfare.
As a token of esteem in which the deceased was held, the bells of the Parish Church were half muffled for the Evening Service: and the singing of Christmas Carols, which was to have taken place after Evensong, was postponed until after the Epiphany.
“The Dead March in Saul” was played by the Organist, Mr. J. T. Chambers, at the close of the Service, while the Choir and Congregation remained standing……The Funeral took place on Wednesday, 30th December at 3.30 p.m. amid very heavy rain, a more miserable day could not have been chosen.”
A parish meeting was held on January 20th 1892 and the parish magazine reports that it was resolved to start a fund erect a stained glass window in his memory and to use any surplus money in buying books and kneelers for the ‘free seats’. Apparently this was a cause dear to his heart. The parish magazine of September 1892 referred to the fact that money had been raised and the artist commissioned for the window was Mr A. O. Hemming who had produced frescoes at a church in Folkestone. This appears to be a reference to a renowned Victorian artist Alfred Octavius Hemmings.
The Thornbury Parish Magazine of August 1892 reported that Mrs Sturge and the Miss Sturges had left Thornbury for Weston super Mare. Miss Sturge was presented with a bookcase and vase by her friends at the Sunday School and Mabel was givena bracelet by her friends in the parish.
The 1901 Census shows Caroline in Weston with her daughter Elizabeth aged 50, Mary aged 45 and her grand daughter Gertrude Mabel (known as Mabel) aged 32.
Caroline Sturge died on 16th September 1901.
Of their children
Charles Joseph Sturge was born in Bristol in 1845. In 1851 the Census showed that he lived in Lyncombe in Somerset with his parents and sister Elizabeth. By 1861 he was at school at Allesley Hall in Warwickshire. On September 27th 1867 he married Jane Isabella Kiddle in Lambeth. He was a warehouseman at that time. Charles had at least four children with his first wife Jane; Gertrude Mabel, Alice Maud, Mary Ellen and Albert. However he seems to have led an unsettled life and in 1887 he visited America. He returned to England but left for New Zealand after the death of his wife. He married Amy Walker in New Zealand in 1913 and died there in 1921.
Elizabeth Sturge was born in 1850 in Tooting in London. She was living with her parents and her brother Charles in Lyncombe and Widcome in 1851. She lived with her family in Thornbury in the Census of 1861. The 1871 Census shows that she remained in Thornbury where at the age of 20 she was unmarried and had no employment. In 1881 she was a nurse in the Middlesex Hospital in London. The Census confirms that she was born in Tooting in 1850/51. By 1891 she was a nursing sister in Whitechapel. By the Census of 1901 she was living with her widowed mother in Weston super Mare. In 1911 she lived with her sister Mary in Clevedon. Elizabeth died on 7th December 1920 at Jesmond Road in Clevedon and named her sister Mary and Stephenson Grace as executors.
Francis Sturge was born in 1852 in Batheaston. In the Censuses of 1861 and 1871 he lived with his family in Thornbury. He married Martha Ann Edwards of Frome in 1879. The Census of 1881 shows that he was a solicitor living in Westbury on Trym in Bristol with his wife and daughter. He died in Bristol in 1918.
Mary Sturge was born in 1855. In 1861 she was living with her parents in Thornbury. The 1871 Census shows that she continued to live with her parents and her sisters Elizabeth and Caroline and her brother Francis. In 1881 Mary was the only child to be living with her parents in Thornbury. In 1891 her niece Gertrude Mabel was living with her and her parents in Thornbury. By 1901 she had joined her widowed mother, her sister Elizabeth and her niece in Weston super Mare. In 1911 she lived in Clevedon with her sister Elizabeth. Mary Sturge died on 29th July 1929 at Jesmond Road in Clevedon. She named her niece Gertrude Mabel Sturge and James Edward Grace as exeutors.
Caroline Sturge was born in 1860 in Thornbury. In 1871 she was aged 11 and living with her parents in Thornbury.
Gertrude Mabel Sturge was actually a granddaughter. She was baptised 29th September 1868 to Charles Joseph Sturge and his wife Jane Holder. The 1871 Census shows her parents lived in Clapham in London but Gertrude Mabel was with her grandparents Joseph Young Sturge and Caroline in Thornbury. In the Census of 1881 she was at her school in Somerset. She appears never to have lived with her parents and never married. She died at a nursing home in Babbacombe on 16th June 1956. Probate was granted to Albert Harbottle and Edytha May Thomas.