Read about the OWNERS of 43 High Street, 

The following people or families were known to have occupied the property as tenants:

William Grove – an indenture dated 5th April 1760 shows the property is occupied by William Grove, a shoemaker, as tenant to Jonathan Blanch.

According to his age at his death, William was born about 1707.  It is likely therefore that he was the William Grove, the son of William Grove, baptised on 2nd January 1707.  Read more about William Grove

John Whitfield – the 1775 and 1780 Land Tax records show that John was the tenant of William Taylor.  We note that a John Whitfield married Martha Riddiford of Rockhampton on 29th July 1777.  William Taylor was one of the witnesses at the wedding so it probably is the same person.

Jacob Young – the last will and testament of William Taylor, the owner of the property in 1799 refers to Jacob Young being the tenant of the house in the High Street.  The 1800 Land Tax record also shows Jacob as tenant.  Jacob was still living there in 1808 when he was mentioned in the last will and testament of James Taylor who had been left the property by his father.

On 25th November 1793 Jacob married Jane Ingram who was a widow (and presumably the wife of William Ingram who had died in Thornbury in 1789 after moving there from Bristol).  Jacob’s address was Alveston at that time.  On 26th February 1806 Jacob wrote his will leaving his estate to his wife, Jane and appointing her sole executrix.  By the time Jacob died in 1814, Jane had pre-deceased him and his next of kin was his brother, Samuel Young.  The will describes Jacob as a shopkeeper.  He owned one close of ground called Emletts in Tytherington.

William Long – William’s name is listed in an abstract of title as having been a tenant there after Jacob Young.

William Radford Wilcox – the 1830 Land Tax record shows the property was occupied by William Wilcox as a tenant of Thomas Mowatt.  He was not there in 1831 and 1832 Land Tax records, when he was living at a house owned by William Jones.  On 2nd August 1831 William married Harriett Dix in St George, Bristol.  Harriett was the daughter of Robert and Mary Dix.  William was described as a draper at the time of the marriage.  They had at least five children, Harriett Dix Wilcox born on 17th August 1832 and baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Mangotsfield on 13th September 1832, Henry Wilcox who according to Wesleyan records mentioned in an Ancestry family tree was born in Thornbury on 11th July 1834 and baptised on 18th September 1834, Emily Wilcox born on 15th April 1836 and baptised at Wesleyan Methodist Church at Mangotsfield on 3rd June 1836, Helen Wilcox born in 1838 and Mary Ann born in Thornbury in 1840.  We have been told by his great grandson (Alexander McKenzie) that he has a birth certificate showing Henry was born in Thornbury.  The FreeBMD website shows Helen’s birth was also registered there.

William was trading as a grocer in Thornbury in December 1834 when he was charged with using defective weights in his shop (as were most of the other traders in the town!).  He was was fined 5/- with 8/- costs.  The 1839 Thornbury trade directory lists William as being a grocer and draper in the High Street.  In the 1840 Tithe Survey William R. Wilcox is listed as the tenant of 43 High Street.

The 1841 Census shows William and Harriett were living at High Street, Wickwar and William was trading as a draper and grocer there.  They had two children living with them: Ellen aged 8 and Mary Ann aged 1.  Two of the other children, Henry aged 6 and Emily aged 5, were at John Lane’s school in the building now known as 4 High Street, Thornbury.

The Manchester Times Gazette dated 26th March 1842 reported the dissolution of the partnership of William Radford Wilcox and William Jones Junr of Pontypool, linen drapers.  William’s death was registered in Chipping Sodbury in 1843.  The Bristol Mercury of 12th December 1846 records the sale of a large property in Wickwar comprising a shop and house with 6 bedrooms formerly in the occupation of William Radford Wilcox so it would appear that he was living here at the time of his death.  The 1851 Census shows Harriett, his widow, as an annuitant aged 45, living at 5 Somerset Street, St Pauls, Bristol with her children, Harriett who was a governess aged 18, Henry who worked as a clerk to a glass dealer aged 16, Emily aged 14 and Helen aged 13.  Elizabeth Dix aged 47 was visiting Harriett.  Harriett’s other daughter, Mary Ann, was living with Harriett’s brother, George Dix in Bristol.

We know that William’s only son, Henry, went on to become a photographer and landscape and portrait painter, initially in Bath and then with a studio at 50 Park Street in the 1870’s.  He had moved to Stroud in the 1881 Census and by the 1891 Census had settled in the house in Haw Lane, Olveston which had been left by his parents to his sisters.

Thomas Peters – the 1831 and 1832 Land Tax record show the house was occupied by Thomas Peters.  We note that Thomas was a bankrupt grocer in 1826.

William Thomas – the 1841 Census shows the property was occupied by William Thomas.  William was a grocer aged 20 born outside of Gloucestershire.  He had an apprentice Augustus Robinson aged 15 and a servant, Susanna Virgo aged 25 living with him.

William Thomas Tutt Winter – the 1851 Census shows William was a grocer and dealer aged 36 from Seaford in Sussex.  He was living there with his wife, Emily aged 29 from Middlesex and a servant, Hannah Harris aged 15 from Alveston.

William had married Emily Octavia Cook, a widow, in Bristol in 1850.  Emily Octavia Sanderson had married James Cook, a draper and grocer in Stroud area in 1846.  James and Emily must have moved to live in Thornbury as James had died there in 1847.  He was a draper aged 28 who had been living in Grovesend and he was buried on 28th March 1847.

William and Emily had at least five children: William Henry (‘Harry’) was baptised in Thornbury on 28th April 1852.   The baptism record of Harry shows William was a draper in Thornbury.  Two further children were baptised in Thornbury although the family had moved to Bristol when they were born: Annis Theresa was baptised on 31st October 1855 and Fanny Curtis was baptised there on 6th October 1861.  The baptism records show that William had become an innkeeper by that time.  The 1861 Census shows William was running the George at 4 Canons Marsh, Bristol with Emily and their children: Harry aged 7, Alfred aged 5, Annie aged 5 and Frank aged 1.  We can’t explain the differences between the baptism records and the census.  William died on 16th September 1865 at the Royal George Inn, Canons Marsh.

John Henry Dodd – the 1875 abstract of title mentions that a person called ‘Dodd’ was tenant of the property after William Wilcox and before Richard Ellis bought the property.  The 1892 abstract clarifies that it was John Henry Dodd.  This would appear to be John Dodd who is listed twice in the 1842 trade directory.  He was trading as a grocer and dealer in sundries and as a linen and woollen draper.  John was married to Mary Archer and they had at least two children: John Beck Dodd baptised on 8th May 1842 and Mary baptised on 7th July 1844 (when John was noted as being a miller living in Kington).  

James Eynon – the 1875 Abstract mentions that James Eynon was tenant after the person called Dodd and before Richard Ellis bought the property.  We don’t know any more about James.

Basil William Bryant – the 1910 Rate Book, the 1911 Census and 1916 Prewetts Directory show that Basil Bryant was trading at the shop and living in the house.  Basil was a draper and milliner.

Basil was born in Radstock in 1875, the son of Joseph Bryant, a grocer and draper and his wife, Ellen.  The 1891 Census shows Basil was attending a private school in St Johns Road, Clifton run by Samuel Brown.  In the 1901 Census he was a draper’s assistant in Cornhill in Bridgewater.  In 1903 Basil married Alice Maud Sherrin in Langport.
In 1911 Census Basil was a general draper aged 36 born in Radstock.  Alice was aged 41 born in Aller, Somerset.  Their daughter, Eileen Mary was aged 5 born in Totnes in Devon.

We are not sure what happened to the Bryants.  Presumably they gave up their lease of the property on 24th August 1916 when the property was being sold to Harry Talbot.  Basil was a party to that sale agreement.  The Bryants appear to have moved away from Thornbury by the time of the 1918 electoral register.  Basil died on 14th May 1934 aged 59 whilst living at 1 Henleaze Avenue, Bristol.

The Midwinters – the electoral registers show that in 1950 the flat above the shop was let to Francis Seymour Midwinter and his family.  Francis was an inspector in Gloucestershire Constabulary and based at Thornbury.  In 1950 Francis and his wife, Irene, were living in the flat with their son, Francis E.  Only Irene was living there in the 1954 register.  Click here to read more