The two photographs here both feature 23 High Street. In the photo above, 23 High Street is the small building in the centre of the photo. This was taken in the early 1900s when the shop was an ironmongers run by Charles King. In the colour photograph below on the left 23 High Street is the large three story blue property with gabled windows. It was probably taken in the late 1960’s when the shop was split into two units, with a tobacconist and confectionery shop run by Charlie Baldwin on the left and part of the Coop store on the right.
We haven’t seen the deeds of this property. Our knowledge is based on the 1840 Tithe Survey and the earlier land tax and rent roll records.
Based on the names of the people known to be associated with the neighbouring properties, we suspect that the 1670 rent roll shows that John Horwood owned the property let to Elizabeth Somers was noted as being half a burgage. We don’t know anything about these people.
In the last will of John Burroughs of Eastwood who died in 1741 he directed that “all that my messuage, tenement or inn in the town of Thornbury in the county of Gloucester called Fore Street House, wherein one Christopher Raymond now lives” should be put into the hands of trustees for the benefit of John’s children, John and Mary and then left to them when the son John attained the age of twenty one. Initially we were unable to identify this property but comparisons of the poor rate assessment lists for that period and those of 1769 have enabled us to locate the site of this inn and go back even earlier into its history.
The Hewetts – the poor rate assessment lists from 1717 to 1737 indicate that the property was owned by various members of the Hewett family. Joseph Hewett is first mentioned in 1717 when he had a tenant, Joseph Player. Joseph is shown as the payee in 1727 and 1728 and Mary Hewett in 1730. We suspect that this is Joseph Hewett, the son of John and Martha Hewett. We assume that Mary was the second wife of Joseph, so presumably Joseph had died. In 1735 to 1737 Joanna Hewett is listed as the payee – she was the daughter of Joseph and his first wife who had died giving birth to Joanna.
We are not sure if the Hewetts lived in the property or let it to tenants. ‘Mrs Raymond’ is shown as a tenant in 1731 and Sarah Collins in 1738.
JOHN BURROUGHS – John appears to have acquired the property at 23 High Street from the Hewetts in the late 1730’s. The 1739 poor rate listing shows the payee of the rate as Christopher Raymond but his name is crossed through and is replaced by ‘Esther Burrows for late Hewetts’. The 1740 poor rate listing shows John ‘Burrows’ as the payee. The 1741 listing shows Christopher Raymond as payee.
We don’t know how John came to own the property in Thornbury as he seemed to come from the Rockhampton area and he was living at Eastwood when he wrote his last will.
John Burroughs married Hester Taylor at Rockhampton Church on 21st April 1720. The baptism records of that church show that they had Sarah baptised on 9th January 1721, Hester baptised on 2nd September 1723 and Ann baptised on 11th November 1725. We know from his last will and the monumental inscription in Thornbury St Mary Church that they had other children, John, Mary and Hannah (who died in 1737 aged 6). John died on 3rd December 1741 aged 51 and was buried in St Marys Church on 7th December 1741.
Following John’s death the poor rate payee is shown as his widow, under various spellings of her name – Hester Burruss and Hester Borrows. We believe Hester was the Hester ‘Burrows’ buried on 6th April 1744.
Between 1744 and 1747 the property appears to have been let to Peter Park who is listed the payee for ‘Burrows’. We know that Peter was living next door at 25 High Street in 1749. Peter was replaced in 23 High Street by John Cook. He is listed as tenant of John and Mary Burrows from 1748 to 1753. We do not have any further listings until 1769 so we do not know when the Burrows sold the property and how it passed to Sarah Bingham, and Mary Linke (see below) .
THE LINKES and CORNOCKS
The poor assessment records in the 1769 and 1770 and the land tax record of 1775 indicate that the property then owned by Nicholas Cornock had previously been owned by the Linke (or Lynk) family.
The last will of Mary Link (or Linke) who died on 10th September 1769 shows that she had purchased the property from Sarah Bingham. In the will she left the property in which she was living to her nephew Nicholas Cornock, the son of her brother William Cornock. Mary was married to Thomas Linke who was baptised in Oldbury on 24th April 1691, the son of Thomas and Sarah Linke. Thomas’s father died aged 36 in 1694.
We know from the memorial inscriptions in St Mary’s Church that Thomas Link’s first wife was called Elizabeth, with whom he had at least three children: Elizabeth baptised at Oldbury on 19th April 1715, Susannah baptised there on 9th October 1717 and Hester baptised there on 17th June 1720. Elizabeth died on 11th May 1723 aged 35. We are not sure when Thomas married Mary Cornock, but note there is a possible entry in the IGI which show Thomas Link marrying ‘Mary Cor’ in Gloucester on 22nd October 1724.
According to her age at death, Mary was born about 1687. Thomas and Mary had several children including, Thomas baptised at Oldbury on 13th December 1725, William baptised at Oldbury on 25th June 1727 and Sarah born in 1729. Of Thomas’s children, Susannah married William Cornock on 11th February 1739, Hester married William Osborne in Thornbury on 16th April 1759, Thomas died on 27th March 1752 aged 27, William died 15th March 1728 and Sarah died on 3rd October 1729 aged 5 months and one week.
Thomas died on 13th January 1759 aged 69. He was living at Oldbury at the time of his death so it seems unlikely that he lived in 23 High Street. He was described as a Gentleman on his gravestone and in other references. He was buried inside St Mary’s Church. Mary died on 10th September 1769 aged 82. By the time she died none of her children were still living and in her will dated 22nd April 1769 she left the house to her nephew Nicholas Cornock (the son of her late brother William) and made financial bequests to other nephews, John, Nicholas and William Cornock, sons of her late brother Nicholas Cornock and made other bequests to her nieces, Mary and Sarah, the daughters of her late brother William Cornock.
The property descended to Nicholas Cornock in 1769. The records relating to Nicholas suggest that he rented the property out, at least in 1769, 1770 and 1775. His tenant was John Salmon jnr. Read more about John Salmon
Nicholas Cornock died in 1775. He was unmarried and the land tax records from 1780 to 1783 show that the property had descended to William Cornock who was renting the property to Thomas Jones. We suspect that following Nicholas’s death the property would have been passed to Nicholas’s brother William Cornock and when he died in 1777 it descended to his son, William.
The 1784 land tax record shows that William was renting the property to someone called ‘Longman’.
William Millett – the land tax records show the property was owned and occupied by William Millett from 1796 to 1812. He was still owning it according to the 1812 record but at that time he was renting it to James Ford. We note that there was a William Millett mentioned in the last will of William Osborne as being the tenant at that time of the Close House, 42 High Street.
There were two William Milletts around in the Kington area at this time, a father and son. William senior came from Elberton and he married Mary Wetmore of Thornbury in St Mary’s Church on 7th January 1790. We are hoping to obtain a copy of the marriage settlement on our next visit to Gloucester Records Office. Mary died aged 58 and was buried on 5th August 1808. They must have had a son, William junior, soon after their marriage as William Millett junior married Mary Hignell in Thornbury on 28th June 1808. The baptism record of Sarah Hignell Millett born on 27th January 1810 and baptised on 24th April 1810 shows that William junior was a Yeoman living at Kington.
Maria Grove – the land tax records of 1819 to 1824 indicate that Maria Grove owned and occupied the property. Maria was baptised 15th March 1775, the daughter of Thomas Grove, a butcher. We don’t know much about Maria. She died aged 64 and was buried on 15th April 1839.
The Powells – the land tax records from 1825 show that John Powell had become the owner of the house. He also lived there at that time, but by 1827 George Powell was shown as the occupant. John was George’s father. John was still shown as the owner of the property in the 1840 Tithe Survey with George Powell as the occupant. Click here to read about John
The 1851 and 1861 censuses show that George was born in Compton in Gloucestershire about 1794. George Powell had married Anna Birt in Thornbury on 19th January 1828. Anna was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Birt who owned what became 14 The Plain. They had a daughter, Emma, born in Thornbury on 31st March 1833, but she was baptised at Paternoster Row Wesleyan Methodist Registry in London on 15th September 1834. When Emma married she used the name ‘Emma Birt Powell’. George and Anna also had two other children, Edwin who died in 1830 aged 9 months and Anna who died in 1832 aged 15 months.
The 1841 census shows George Powell was occupying 23 High Street. He was a tailor aged 47 living with his wife, Anna, aged 36 and their daughter, Emma aged 8. Also living there were two tailor’s apprentices, Thomas Anstey aged 19 and William Jones aged 16 and a female servant Emma Webb aged 16.
John Powell died in 1843 and although he shared the properties between his children, George Powell acquired the ownership of 23 High Street.
The 1851 census shows 23 High Street was unoccupied. In 1851 they were living at the house that Anna’s father had left her (now called 14 The Plain). George was a tailor employing 7 men, aged 57, Anna was aged 46 and Emma was ‘At home’ aged 16.
The 1859 Rate Book shows George owned several properties in Thornbury. He had taken over the ownership of 23 High Street from John Powell and this property was being let by George to Charles King. George also owned 14 The Plain and the adjoining property, 15 The Plain. We assume that they acquired these properties in some way following the death of Anna’s father, John Birt in 1840. George continued to own these properties until at least the 1867 Rate Book.
George and Anna’s daughter, Emma, married Ebenezer Vaughan Jenkins on 27th March 1855. George’s wife Anna died on 31st December 1855 aged 55. Her address was then Wellington Place, Ashley Road, Bristol which is where George was living in the 1861 census. He was described in the census as a retired tailor aged 67. In 1871 George was living with his daughter, Emma and her husband at Down House, Alveston. He died on 2nd April 1874 aged 81. Both George and Anna were buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in Thornbury.
Charles King – the 1859 Rate Book shows Charles King was renting the property from George Powell. Charles was an ironmonger. At the top of this page is a photo which is thought to be of Charles standing in the street outside of his shop.
On 11th October 1909 Charles King, ironmonger sold 23 High Street to Francis Gayner, draper for £650. At the time of the purchase, Francis was already occupying the property next door at 25 High Street. Click here to read more
THE GAYNERS – on 11th October 1909 Charles King, ironmonger sold the property to Francis Gayner, draper for £650. At the time of the purchase, Francis already occupied the property adjoining on the south side. At some time after it was bought by Francis Gayner he had the property re-built. The photos on the top of the page show the differences in the two buildings.
We think that Francis divided the shop into two units. The right-hand unit he merged with his shop at City House and the left hand he let out to tenants, including those mentioned below.
William John Blizzard – ‘John’ was a hairdresser and tobacconist became a tenant of Francis Gayner. In 1910 he had married a widow, Cecilia Annette Sainsbury who had a child by her first marriage. We are not sure exactly when they moved to occupy 23 High Street. They had previously been located at Cecilia’s home, 2 High Street. A record of an application for exemption for military service in 1917 states he was living at Warrington House, Castle Street. We are not sure whether this was a mistake and meant Warrington House, High Street (the name by which 23 High Street became known) or that the name was used earlier in relation to 2 High Street. The Electoral Register for 1918 says only that their address was “High Street.”
We assume that John and Cecilia lived at 23 High Street until their deaths. John appears in trade directories as a hairdresser in the High Street until 1939. John died in Thornbury on 22nd February 1940 aged 59 and Cecily died in Thornbury on 13th February 1941 aged 64. Probate was granted to her son, Lionel Edward Sainsbury, hairdresser and tobacconist. He had married Ellen G Marklove in 1929 in the Sodbury area. The 1935 Kellys Directory shows Lionel as living in Alveston. Lionel died in 1944 aged 39. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 25th October 1944. The burial record shows he was still working as a hairdresser and that he died in the High Street, so it’s possible that Lionel continued living or working at 23 High Street until his death. Click here to read about the Blizzards
Charlie Baldwin – we are very grateful to Ron Holpin who wrote about Charlie Baldwin in his book ’50 years of Thornbury & District Skittles League’. Charlie was heavily involved with running the skittles league.
Charles Henry Alfred Baldwin was born in Gloucester in 1915. He was the son of Charles Baldwin and his wife Emily Ethel (nee Hemming). In 1935 Charlie married Elsie Rosina Mary Yates in Gloucester. Elsie was born in Gloucester area in 1916. She was the daughter of Ernest Yates and his wife, Sarah L. (nee Miller). Charlie and Elsie had one son, Timothy C born in Gloucester in 1944.
The photograph on the right in copied from Ron’s book. It shows Charlie and his son, Tim, outside the shop.
Ron Holpin says that Charlie and his family moved to Thornbury from Gloucester in 1948. Charlie had run his own building business in Gloucester for a number of years but failing health prompted him to sell up. He rented a tobacconist and confectionery shop at 23 High Street in Thornbury. He also had a gents’ hairdressers in the large room at the back of the shop, and a ladies’ hairdressers on the first floor. An advertisement in the programme for the Thornbury Flower Show of 1956 appears to indicate that the hairdressing side was run buy G Clarke. The 1962 programme tells us that G Clark, hairdresser, of the High Street had a private address of 48, Hawthorne Street Bristol 4.
Photographs of the shop show that Charlie only used the left hand portion of 23 High Street, the right hand portion being incorporated into the Co-op Store.
Unfortunately, over the next few years, Charlie’s health deteriorated even further he suffered from heart problems, and passed away on 15th January 1960 aged 42. The shop was still being advertised under the name of ‘C. H. Baldwin’ in the 1962 programme for the Thornbury Flower Show. The 1967 programme shows Mrs Baldwin had taken over the shop.
The electoral registers show that Elsie carried on living at 23 High Street, still being called ‘Warrington House’. She was there with Timothy and someone called Richard James in the 1970 electoral register. She died in 1980 aged 64. Her death was registered in Gloucester which might indicate she returned to live there.
On 24th August 1954 Lucy Gayner and her sons sold the property and the adjoining property (number 25 High Street) to the Bristol Co-operative Society. Both properties were combined with their two existing stores at 27 and 29 High Street.
On 31st March 1971 the Co-op sold all their properties (23 to 29 High Street) to the Thornbury District Council. They were all demolished and the site re-developed. 23 High Street was replaced by the Midland Bank, which later changed its name to the HSBC Bank.