The Underhill Family

Publicans of Thornbury

William Underhill 2016-10-25T14:25:13+00:00

William Underhill was born in 1843 and baptised on 10th September 1843 at Thornbury St Mary’s.  He was the son of Joseph Underhill, a servant and his wife, Esther (nee Philpot).  In 1851 the family lived in St John Street where Joseph was a coachman.  By 1861 the family had moved to Soapers Lane where Joseph was employed as a servant and William as an agricultural labourer.

In 1866 William married Annie Thomas in the Bristol area.  They continued to live in Thornbury where they had two sons: William Charles baptised on 5th July 1868 and Frederick Joseph baptised on 5th March 1871.  They also had one other son, Edward John who died on 22nd November 1873 aged 16 months.  In the 1871 Census William, Annie and their two sons, William and Frederick, were living in 5 Silver Street with Annie’s mother, Sarah Thomas.  William was employed as a labourer at that time.

The 1876 rate book shows 10 Upper Bath Road was occupied by William Underhill.  In the 1881 Census William Underhill was a labourer aged 37 living there with his wife, Annie aged 38 and their sons: Charles aged 12 and Frederick aged 10.  They were still living in 10 Upper Bath Road in the 1885 and 1887 rate books.  He was also using the stables at the rear of the property that had been the Beaufort Arms (57 High Street) so we assume that William had started his carrier business.

In 1888 William took over as licensee at the Queen’s Head in the High Street, but he continued to use the stables at the rear of the Beaufort Arms, presumably because the Queens Head didn’t have the required facilities there.  In the 1891 Census William is listed as a carrier aged 47 at the Queen’s Head Inn in the High Street and trade directories show that in addition to being the publican, William also operated a daily carrier service to Bristol.  The census shows that Charles and Frederick were living there and they seem to be working with their father. 

The 1901 census shows William was a carrier and innkeeper at the Queen’s Head.  Charles and Frederick have moved away, but both of them seemed to continue to be involved in the carrier and pub business.  Charles and then Frederick took over the running of the Porter Stores in Silver Street.  When Frederick died in 1902, William moved from the Queens Head to take over The Porter Stores.  He continued to run this until his death.  He died aged 67 and was buried on 4th January 1911.  Annie died aged 61 and was buried on 4th February 1904.

Charles Underhill was born on 8th May 1868 and baptised William Charles Underhill at St Mary’s in Thornbury on 5 July 1868.  His parents were William and Annie Underhill (see above).  William was a labourer at that time but in 1889 he took over as beer-house keeper at the ‘Queens Head’, situated on the corner of the High Street and Chapel Street.  Various directories and Charles’s marriage record show that William was also a carrier running a daily service to Bristol.

The Hoseshoe NL

The Horseshoe

Charles also acquired an interest in running pubs.  On 28 December 1893 he married Laura Wilson, the daughter of Thomas Wilson.  Thomas had been the licensee of ‘The Horseshoe’ from 1871 until his death in 1882.  The licence was then taken over first by his widow, Ann Marie, and then following her death in 1885 by her son, Henry Charles Wilson.  However in 1894 shortly after Charles and Laura’s marriage, Charles Underhill took over as beer-house keeper.  The Horseshoe was situated in the building now used as a kebab takeaway opposite the Heart Foundation shop in St Mary Street.  Click here to read more

Charles left The Horseshoe in 1898 and moved to ‘The Porter Stores‘, which is now known as ‘The Barrel’.  The 1899 Rate Book shows that Charles had given up The Porters Stores and it was taken over by his brother, Frederick.

When Charles left the Porter Stores in 1899 he moved to live in 20 Gloucester Road.  They were living there when they baptised their daughter, Irene Annie, on 19th September 1900.  The baptism record and the 1901 Census Record shows Charles had become a carrier.  We assume that he was working with his father on the daily service to Bristol.

We note by 1904 Charles and Laura had moved to Pullins Green and in the 1905 Rate Book he is living at 5 Horseshoe Lane, the cottage which faced on to Pullins Green.  Charles died aged only 41 and he was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 11th November 1909.  By 1910 his widow Laura was living next door to the Wheatsheaf in a house that later became 8 Chapel Street. According to the Electoral Rolls Laura lived in Chapel Street until about 1935.  She died in Bristol Royal Infirmary aged 69 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 29th March 1939.

Frederic1899 Horseshoe Inn sale 1899 Underhillk Joseph Underhill  Frederick Joseph was baptised on 5th March 1871.  His parents were William and Annie Underhill (see above).  He was brought up assisting his father in the carrier business and presumably helping him in the running of the Queens Head.

On 25th December 1896 Frederick married Eliza Jane Mills.  Eliza was baptised at Oldbury on 23rd September 1866, the daughter of Thomas Mills, a labourer and his wife, Maria.  They lived at Cowhill.

Frederick took over the running of the Porter Stores in 1899 when his brother, Charles, moved away.  Unfortunately, Frederick only managed to stick it out for a couple of years at the Porters Stores before he died aged only 31 and was buried on 23rd January 1902.

We note that Eliza re-married in 1909.  Her second husband was Charles James Biddle.  It appears that they married on the same day as Eliza’s younger sister, Lucy, so it may have been a double wedding.  The 1911 Census shows they were living at Littleton where Charles was a licensee farmer so we assume that they may have been living at the White Hart.

Eliza died on 14th May 1947 aged 80 of The Bungalow, Hardy Lane Tockington.

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