go to history of this house

John and Hester Maishment – in 1841 the house was occupied by this Maishment family – click here to read more

William Harvey – although it is far from certain, we believe that William was living in the house in the 1851 census.  William was a journeyman blacksmith aged 30 living with his wife, Eliza aged 35 from Oldbury and their children: George aged 12 (who was born in Bristol), Charlotte aged 6 and Sarah Ann aged 5 months.  The family were being visited by Henry, an agricultural labourer and Fanny Sansum and their daughter, Alsea aged 3.  William’s brother, Anselm Harvey, a mason aged 28 and his son, Henry aged 2 were living in the same house or next door.

William Harvey was baptised on 16th October 1820, the son of George Harvey, a labourer and his wife Catherine from Kington.  Anselm was baptised on 24th April 1823.  In 1841 George and Catherine and their family, including William, were listed as living in Gillingstool.

We had some difficulty in identifying the members of this family.  The birth certificate of Charlotte Harvey born on 21st March 1845 shows that she was the daughter of William and Eliza (nee Prewett).  Subsequently, we found that Eliza Prewett was born 23rd January 1811 and baptised on 24th February 1811, the daughter of John Prewett, a mariner and his wife, Sarah.  When we looked for Eliza’s parents in the 1841 census, we found Sarah, now a widow living there with a household which included William Harvey, a blacksmith aged 20 – we had initially thought this was a different William Harvey, but then realised he was recorded TWICE.  The William Harvey living with Sarah Prewett in Oldbury was the same person as the one also listed as living with his own parents in Gillingstool.  We also found that there was a Eliza Edwards (aged 24) living with there with her children – Mary aged 4 and George aged 2.  The Scribes Alcove website shows that Mary and George Edwards were born in Bristol and baptised in Oldbury and they were the children of Thomas Edwards, a mariner and his wife, Eliza.  It looks likely that Eliza Prewett married Thomas Edwards before 1836 (when Mary was baptised) and they had the two children before Thomas died (there are a couple of possible deaths of Thomas Edwards in Bristol in 1839), and that Eliza then went back to live with her mother at the time of the 1841 census.  Here she met William Harvey whom she later married.  This has been confirmed by the details shown on the marriage certificate.  It shows that on 29th September 1851 William Harvey, the son of George Harvey married Eliza Edwards, a widow and the daughter of John Prewett, a mariner.  William was shown as a blacksmith aged 30 and Eliza a semptress aged 36.  They were living at Horsefair in Bristol at the time and the marriage took place at St James Church, Bristol.

Anselm Harvey married Maria Poole, daughter of Thomas Poole, labourer on 10th April 1847.  Maria died a few years later and was buried on 5th October 1850 aged 33 years.

We are not sure what happened to William and Eliza as neither of them appear in the 1861 census.  There is the death of a William Harvey in Thornbury in 1856, but he was aged 66.  A Eliza Harvey died in 1858.  We know that Anselm re-married.  In December qtr 1853 he married Rebecca Osborne who was born in Cam.  Anselm and Rebecca settled in Castle Street with Rebecca’s parents, William Osborne, a carpenter, and his wife, Ann, a laundress.  They were living there in 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses.  Anselm died and was buried on 25th January 1883 aged 59 years.  He was buried in the same grave as Maria, his first wife, in Thornbury St Marys Churchyard.

Elizabeth and Hannah Dyer – the 1859 and 1862 rate books show the house was owned and occupied by ‘Mrs Dyer’.  She also owned the two cottages further down Gillingstool Hill which had been built by Thomas Wise in 1824.  The 1861 census shows the house was occupied by Elizabeth Dyer, a proprietor of houses, aged 80 years born in Thornbury and her unmarried daughter Hannah, aged 42 born in Bristol.

Elizabeth was the widow of Thomas Dyer.  They were both born in Gloucester.  Thomas was born about 1784 and Elizabeth born about 1782.  We don’t know when they married or Elizabeth’s maiden name.  Their daughter, Hannah was born in Bristol about 1819.  The 1841 census shows that Thomas aged 54 and Elizabeth aged 60 were both toll keepers at the Prince Street Bridge toll house.  They had three children living with them: Hannah aged 23, Thomas a ropemaker aged 21 and George an apprentice shoemaker aged 18.  It is interesting that the toll house on Prince Bridge had been burnt down in the Bristol Riots of November 1831.  We do not know if the Dyers had been living there at that time.  It is worth noting that there is a record on the Bristol Lost Pubs website of Thomas Dyer as publican at the Seahorse in Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol in 1830.  We don’t know whether this is the same Thomas.

The 1851 census shows Thomas and Elizabeth were listed in the Toll House in Wapping in Bristol.  We assume that this is the Prince Street Bridge toll house where they were in 1841.  Thomas was the toll keeper aged 67.  Elizabeth was aged 70 and she appears to have retired as Thomas is sharing the toll keeping with someone else.  Hannah is still living with them, unmarried and aged 30.

The family must have moved shortly after this census as Thomas died on 5th March 1853 aged 68 years and is buried in Thornbury St Mary’s Churchyard.

Elizabeth died in Thornbury on 20th February 1870 aged 88 years and she is also buried in St Mary’s Churchyard.  In the 1871 and 1881 censuses show that Hannah was still living in the house at Gillingstool, but she was sharing it with Bernard Symes (see below).  We are puzzled by Hannah’s relationship to the Symes’s, even if there is a relationship at all.  The 1871 census doesn’t given us any clue, but in 1881 Hannah is described as ‘Mother-in-law’ to Bernard and the word ‘Step’ was written in the relationship column but this was crossed through.  We cannot see how she can be Bernard’s mother in law in the usual sense, or step mother.  One possible explanation is that having no next-of-kin’ herself Hannah chose to leave her property to Bernard, which is what she seems to have done.

At some time between 1867 and 1876, the two cottages on Gillingstool Hill were sold to Samuel Collings.  Hannah became the owner of Gillingstool Cottage.  Hannah died on 14th July 1885 aged 67 years.  The burial register shows that Bernard Symes had to register the burial under the 1880 Burial Act – we assume that this meant that Hannah wanted to be buried without the rites of the Church of England.  

Her funeral took place at the Congregational Church in Thornbury, but she was buried in the grave with her parents in Thornbury St Mary’s Churchyard.  In her will dated 16th July 1879, Hannah left her estate to Laura Symes, the wife of Bernard Symes, a tailor.  We haven’t been able to establish the relationship between Hannah and Laura, although the Symes family had been living with her for many years prior to her death.

Bernard Symes – in the 1871 and 1881 censuses Bernard Symes, a tailor, is sharing the house with Hannah Dyer (see above).  Click here to read more

Anne Morton (or Moreton) – in 1891 the house was occupied by Anne Morton, a widow aged 50 from Cromhall, her son, Joseph Halley Morton a solicitor’s clerk aged 17 and daughter Caroline Augusta, a pupil school teacher aged 16.  The 1887 and 1890 rate books show the occupant was ‘Daniel Moreton’ which we are puzzled by.  Ann’s maiden name was Daniells and in 1859 she married Daniel Morton who was a farmer.  In 1861 they were living at Fowlers Farm, Charfield.  Daniel died in 1876 aged 42.  In 1881 Ann was living with her children at Heath End Farm, Cromhall.  She was assisted in the running of the 120 acre farm by her son, William and two farm men.

‘Ann Moreton’ is listed as the tenant of the house in the 1894 rate book.  Joseph was mentioned in the voters list 1896 as being in Gillingstool, although he seems to have moved that year to 24 Castle Street.  Anne died in 1899 aged 61.

George Edward Moon – the 1899 rate book shows the house was occupied by George Edward Moon.  George was born in Stroud about 1870, and by 1894 he had come to Thornbury where he married Sarah Elizabeth White from Dursley.  They had 3 children: Dorothy Irene V born in 1895, John Edward G born in 1896, and Mildred Grace born in 1898.  By the 1901 census they had moved to Roundway near Devizes where George was employed as a tailor’s foreman.

Ernest Murray Roll of HonourErnest Edward Murray – in 1901 the house was occupied by Ernest E. Murray a journeyman tailor aged 32 from Dublin, Ireland and his wife, Louisa aged 33 from Leaford in Hampshire.

Ernest was listed as living in Gillingstool in the 1896 voters list and he is shown in the 1905 and 1910 rate books as being the occupant of the house.  Ernest married Louisa Pike near Stockbridge in Hampshire in 1897.  They must have settled in Ernest’s house in Gillingstool.  He is listed as living there in 1899, 1904 and 1910 trade directories and Ernest, and Louisa were listed as living there in 1918 and 1921 electoral registers.  Ernest’s sister, Emma, is also listed in the 1918 and 1921 registers, but we believe that she was living in another house in Gillingstool, called Normandy, with her cousin, Frank Harvey Beaumont

The 1911 census indicates that they didn’t have any children.  At the outbreak of the First World War, Ernest was in the Army Reserve and he immediately volunteered for service.  His obituary mentioned that he had served in the 4th Gloucestershire Regiment throughout the war.  We have a newspaper report of him being sent home on sick leave after fourteen months in France.

In 1931 and 1935 just Ernest and Louisa were living in the house.  By 1936 they had both moved to Crossways.  We know from the newspaper reports that ‘Edward’ as he seems to have been called was an active member of the Castle Cricket Club.  He was also for some years chairman of the town football club, a member of the British Legion and a teacher at the Church Sunday School. 

Emma was born about 1874 in Dublin.  In 1881 she was living with her widowed mother, Sarah, a shopkeeper at Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol.  Following her mother’s death Emma lived with her cousin Frank Harvey Beaumont, in Ealing and then Willesdon.  In early 1900’s they both moved to live in Gillngstool in a newly erected house called Normandy.

Emma died on 29th November 1925 aged 52 years.  She is buried in the same grave as her cousin, Frank Harvey Beaumont who died on January 29th 1929 aged 73 years.

Ernest died aged 69.  He was living in Crossways when he died and he was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 10th January 1939.

In 1946, the electoral register just shows Louisa living at Heath View, Crossways.  She is also buried in the same grave in Thornbury Cemetery having died on 24th December 1948 aged 83 years.

The Bulls – we understand that a family of Bulls occupied the house in the 1930’s.  They had a son remembered as a bit of a ‘bully’ at the Council School but we can find no trace of him in the school records.  The 1935 electoral registers shows that Thomas Samuel and Emily Bull were living in Gillingstool with Ronald Glenthorne.  Thomas Bull worked for the auctioneers and was regularly seen at Thornbury Market organising the animals in their pens.  It was assumed he went to other markets to do the same work on other days.  In 1938 Thomas and Emily were still there, but Ronald was now in the High Street with his wife, Isabel Nora (nee Mahagan).

The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows Thomas was a county court bailiff born on 17th May 1877.  The 1891 census shows that Thomas then aged only 13 was already employed in the boot and shoe industry as a cutter.  He was living with his family in St Pauls in Bristol.  His parents Thomas and Jane also worked in the boot and shoe industry and had six children in this census.

Thomas Samuel Bull married Emily Tabb in the Bristol area on 17th September 1900.  Emily was born on 30th July 1877.  The 1911 census for Wales shows the family living in Loughor in Carmarthanshire.   By this time they had had four children, one of whom had died.  Their eldest son Thomas aged 12 was born in  Swansea in 1899.  The registration of his birth shows his name as Tabb.  Vivian Bull was aged 10 in the 1911 census and was born in Bristol.  Reginald  aged 8 in the census was also born in Bristol in 1903.  We have been unable to confirm the registration of the births of these two boys but the report of their father’s death confirms that they and their younger brother Ronald all attended their father’s funeral.  Ronald Glenthorne was born in Llanelly area on 1st June 1911.  In 1936 he married Isobel Nora Mahagan in Thornbury and they were listed as living in 19 High Street above Thompson’s Bottom Shop in the special register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war.

Thomas and Emily were still in Gillingstool Cottage in 1946, but that year Thomas died aged 68.  He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 16th November 1946.  The report of his death said that Thomas had been Hon.  Sec. of The Thornbury Branch of the British Legion for ten years.

Emily carried on living there.  She died in 1952 aged 77 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 26th July 1952.