Until the 1960s there was a terrace of small houses on the West side of Gloucester Road in Thornbury.These cottages later became known as numbers 1 to 11 Gloucester Road. We know a little about the owners of the terrace, including the Wilmot family. Click here to read about about the owners of this row of houses
We have been able to trace some of the occupants of the cottage that became number 5 Gloucester Road in the census, land tax and other records.
Mary Lanfear (or Landfear) – Mary is shown as living in the cottage in Gloucester Road in the 1840 Tithe Survey. At the time of the 1841 Census Mary was living in Gillingstool Hill. She was a charwoman aged 40, with Mary Ann aged 20, Louise aged 12, Rosina aged 11, Charles aged 1 and George aged 10 months. We know that little George was Mary’s grandson, baptised in Thornbury on 16th August 1840 and that he was the illegitimate son of Mary Ann. Charles was also baptised the same day and he was said to be the son of Mary – we don’t know whether this meant another child of Mary Ann’s or of her mother, Mary. When Charles married in 1861 it was noted that he was the son of Nicholas Lanfear, a labourer.
Mary Lanfear was the daughter of Thomas Limbrick, a labourer and was born about 1796. Mary’s first husband was Nicholas Lanfear. They were married on June 8th 1818 at St Mary de Lode in Gloucester. We are very grateful to Janine Manville for this and other information.
The Lanfear family appears to have moved around the area. The 1851 census seems to indicate that their daughter Edith was born in Tiverton. However the census also shows that this was in the county of Gloucestershire. At this time we do not know where was intended – possibly this was an error for Taynton in Gloucestershire. The 1861 census shows that Edith was born in Cheltenham. When Mary and Nicholas’s daughter, Rosina Landfear, was baptised in St Mary’s Church in Thornbury on 28th March 1830 their residence was shown to be Milbury Heath.
We have learned from a descendant of the family that Mary Lanfear’s first husband Nicholas Lanfear (or Landfear etc) was transported for sheep stealing with an accomplice called Henry Tudor.
We were told that the sheep, a ewe, was the property of Edward Doward an inn-keeper and landowner of Alveston. The Gloucester Assize records confirm that on 11th August 1832 Nicholas Landfear then aged 37 was convicted of stealing a sheep worth £40 and sentenced to be transported for life. He sailed to Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) on 31st December 1832 aboard the Jupiter along with 168 other convicts. He arrived there on 31st August 1833. We would love to hear more of this story which is noteworthy because we were also told that sentence was passed just after the punishment for sheep stealing was changed to transportation. Prior to that, it seems, the punishment was hanging. We understand Nicholas was given a ‘ticket for leave’ in 1845, but we know nothing more of him after that.
On 6th November 1836 Mary’s two year old son James was buried in Thornbury. We do not know who was James’s father.
Mary Lanfear married Henry Sargent, a carpenter, on 4th January 1847 and they lived at 10 Upper Bath Road. Henry was the son of Richard Sargent.
Of the children of Mary and Nicholas Lanfear.
- Mary Ann. On 12th February 1844 Mary Ann Landfear, (sic) married William Voice of Thornbury a labourer. He was also living with the family when they were living in Gillingstool Hill in 1841. This was interestingly a double wedding.
- Louisa Landfear and William Riddiford were witnesses to the above marriage and were also married on 12th February 1844 with Mary Ann and William Voice as witnesses.
- Edith married George Gough junior on 2nd November 1851 in St Mary’s Church.
In the 1841 and 1851 census, the house appears to have been unoccupied.
William Spencer – In 1861, the house was occupied by William Spencer, aged 39, a gardener born in Kington Langley, Wiltshire and his wife, Elizabeth aged 47 born in Bishops Tawton, Devon. Also living there were their 3 children, Thomas F aged 10 born in Weston, Emma G aged 7 and Ellen A aged 4, both born in Alderley and a visitor, Helen Pullen, a groom aged 15.
In 1871, the house was yet again unoccupied! The 1876 Special Drainage District rate book just tells us that the occupier at that time had the surname of Harris.
Mary Jane Collings – by the census of 1891 this house was occupied by a Mary J Collings, a pauper aged 31 born in Thornbury, living with her three children, Florence Mary W. aged five, and George E. aged three, both born in Thornbury and Arthur E. aged less than one year and born in South Wales.
Mary was described as a wife in the census, but there is no sign of her husband. Mary Jane Bevan had married George Wheeler Collings in Thornbury in 1884. Mary was the daughter of Edwin and Elizabeth Bevan from 32 Castle Street and she was born in Thornbury in 1859. Her father Edwin was a mason. In 1881 Mary had been working in Kingston upon Thames in London as a general servant. We have some evidence that after her marriage in 1884 the couple lived in Thornbury for a time. Not only were the births of two of their children registered in Thornbury but the records of what became the United Reformed Church in Thornbury also show that on 26th November 1885 Florence Mary Wheeler Collings was baptised by her parents Mr and Mrs G Collings who lived in the High Street in Thornbury. The rate books suggest that this was the house that became 34 High Street.
Arthur Edwin Collings appears to have been born in South Wales about 1890 and so we must assume that the family moved there for a period. Arthur was possibly born in Ynysbwl near Pontypridd in Carmarthen. The family must have returned to Thornbury about 1890. However we can find no sign of George Wheeler Collings in Thornbury. There was a “George Collins” from Cardiff who was a pauper inmate of the workhouse in Thornbury in the Census of 1891. He was married and a watchmaker.
In the census of 1901, Mary was still in the house working as a seamstress and described as a “plain needleworker. ” Her two sons, Ernest G aged 13, an errand boy and Arthur E aged 10 were living with her. There was also a boarder, James H Allway a 25 year old tailor from Thornbury. In the 1911 Census Mary Jane had moved to live in 11 Gloucester Road.
The records of the United Reformed church in Thornbury have an entry that might provide a clue as to why Mary Jane remained married but alone for so long. “George Collins” aged 76 died on 12th March 1934 at Gloucestershire County Mental Asylum in Barnwood. However despite our searches, we have been unable to trace any evidence that this is the same person.
Louisa Savery – In 1910 the rate book says that Louisa Savery is the tenant. The 1911 census shows Louisa was a widow aged 74 living on an allowance from her family. She was born in Oldbury and had been married to Mark Savery, the ironmonger at 13 The Plain. Click here to read more
Florence Dixon – The last will and testament of Mary Ann Wilmot written in 1914 refers to the occupant of the house as being ‘Hannah Dixon’. We believe this is a mistake and it was Florence who is listed in the electoral registers for Gloucester Road from 1918 to 1932. She was shown as living in this house in 1924 when the whole row of cottages were put up for sale and listed as living there in the 1926 Rate Book. She died in 1934 aged 63. The photo on the left shows Florence with her grandson, George. Click here to read more about Florence
Reginald Maurice Poulton – The next family we have traced is that of Reginald Poulton. In 1935, the names of Reginald and Elizabeth Emily Poulton first appear in the electoral registers. Reg was a master gardener, the son of Maurice John Poulton, a Thornbury chimney sweep. He had married Elizabeth Emily Fox in the Gloucester area in 1933. They had 2 children, Diane Elizabeth born on 3rd December 1934 and Ingram John born in 1938. When Diane was admitted to the Council School in 1938, her address was at Gloucester Road. John told us he was born in 5 Gloucester Road and lived there for about two and half years.
In July 1946 Reg and ‘Eliza’ were divorced. The report of the divorce in July 1946 said that Reg lived in St Mary Street. He later seems to be living in number 42 Castle Street with the Eddington family.
Eliza re-married in the Forest of Dean in 1948. Her new husband was Ivor F. W. Cleaves. By 1958 there is no sign of Reginald in Thornbury. Reginald died in March 1982 aged 71 years.
R. Roberts – a document relating to the Wilmot properties shows that a person called ‘R. Roberts’ was living in this house about 1942 when the document was written. We do not know any more.
Edward Barlett Saniger (or Sanigar) – a notice printed in the Western Daily Press on 31st January 1945 shows that Edward died at ‘3 Gloucester Road’ on 29th January 1945. He was aged 93. Edward was baptised on 2nd June 1852, the son of Edward Bartlett Sanigar and his wife, Susanna who were farming in Oldbury. Thus Edward was the brother of Martha Sanigar who had lived in 20 Gloucester Road in the early 1900s. In 1897 Edward married Bessie Baker in the Keynsham area, possibly at Compton Dando, Bessie’s birthplace. In 1901 he was farming in Shipperdine with his wife, Bessie. Bessie died in 1902 aged 42. In the 1911 census Edward was a widower, retired farmer living at 2 The Avenue, Bishopston.
Mary Louise Clutterbuck – The next occupant of the house was Mary Louise Clutterbuck (shown in the photo above on the right). She is listed as living there in the 1946 electoral register. Her grandson, Henry Smith, told us that he was living opposite in 16 Gloucester Road when she moved to the house then known as number 3. Mary had moved from 13 St Mary Street where she had a small greengrocers shop.
Henry and Mabel Woodward – The next family shown in the electoral registers is that of Henry and Mabel D. Woodward who moved to Gloucester Road from Woodford. They first appear in 1952. Mabel died in Thornbury Hospital on 12th January 1959 aged 74 and she was buried at Mangotsfield. Within a year or two Henry had moved with his two children to a house in Whitewall Lane.
Mabel Davies – In 1962, a Mabel Davies is shown in the electoral registers as living in the house. She is not there in 1965 and there are no further occupants until the house is demolished.