On 4th October 1847 Oliver George Mowatt sold the property, then known as the Beaufort Arms, to James Screen, a baker. After being a pub for at least 100 years, from 1847 the property was to become a bakery and it was used for this purpose for the next 100 years.
James Screen – the trade directories show that James was a baker from at least 1842 to 1856. James was born on 27th November 1809, the son of Thomas Screen, a labourer and his wife, Elizabeth nee Woodruffe. He was baptised on 31st May 1810. We don’t know when James married but his wife was called Ann. They had at least one daughter, Emma Ann baptised on 18th September 1831.
The land tax records of 1831 and 1832 and the 1840 Tithe Survey shows James was the occupant of the house later known as 62 High Street. By the 1841 Census he had moved away to the gabled house on the east side of the High Street which was later incorporated into the Exchange public house when it expanded in the 1890’s. The 1841 Census shows James a baker by that time and was living there with Ann and Emma.
Ann died aged 39 and was buried on 22nd October 1846 in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church in Thornbury. In 1847 he acquired the New Inn for £636 6s 0d and converted the buildings there to his bakery and shop. The 1851 Census shows James Screen living there. He was a widowed baker aged 41 employing 2 men and living with his daughter, Emma aged 17. In 1861 he was a baker aged 51 employing 3 men living with his daughter, Emma aged 29, a visitor Elizabeth Lowe aged 6 from Bristol, a house servant Jane Davis aged 16 and a baker, Caleb Adams aged 21 from Wiltshire.
On 23rd March 1871 James described as a baker and corn factor sold the property to William Vowles of Easton in Gordano for £1000. The property was now being described as ‘all that messuage dwelling house tenement shop bakehouse stables outhouses and hereditaments in which James Screen has carried on business for many years as a baker and corn factor’. The 1871 Census shows James was living at 36 High Street. He was described as a farmer aged 61 and employing one man. Emma was still living with him, now aged 39.
James died on 26th December 1878 aged 69. On 3rd September 1879 his daughter, Emma Ann married William Evans Shepherd, a widower and an accountant who lived in London, but had been born in Thornbury. In 1881 William was described as a tea traveller and the family were living in Camberwell, London. It is interesting to see that when Emma died although she was then living in Dulwich she left part of her considerable estate to be distributed in gifts to ‘necessitous men’ resident in the parish of Thornbury. Her trustees, the churchwardens of Thornbury and the deacons of the Baptist Church had to give preference to people connected or having been connected with the trade or business of baking. The first distribution was made in 1920. Click here to read about Emma and William Shepherd
William Vowles – on 23rd March 1871 William bought the bakery from James Screen. He paid £1000 for the property for which he had to take out various loans from Samuel Gath of Twerton, from Lady Browning (later Dame Deborah Browning of Exeter) and from Michael Castle of Clifton.
Although William managed to repay some of his loans he still owned a large sum to Dame Deborah Browning and he had run up large debts with a flour merchant, Albert Daniel Morton. On 25th March 1881 William was forced to sell the property to Ellis Hadley. William’s financial problems didn’t end here and he was eventually declared bankrupt in 1884. Click here to read more
The Hadleys – on 25th March 1881 Ellis Hadley bought the property. Ellis was a miller living in Berkeley and he seemed to let the property out to various bakers who presumably got their flour from him.
Ellis was born in Frampton on Severn about 1841, the son of William Pearce Hadley, a miller of Sea Mills, Berkeley and his wife, Hester. William had owned a number of properties in Silver Street, Thornbury in the 1870’s.
The 1851 Census shows him attending a boarding school in Prospect Place in Dursley. The 1861 census shows that he lived and worked with his father at their property at Sea Mills.
Ellis married Mary Phillips on 2nd November 1869 at Berkeley. He was already working as a miller like his father. Mary was born in Redwick, Monmouthshire about 1847, the daughter of Thomas Phillips, a farmer from Brown’s Mill, Berkeley. The 1871 Census shows Ellis and Mary living in Richmond Cottage, Berkeley. The 1881 Census shows Ellis was employing six men in his mills. Living with Ellis and Mary is a nephew called Charles Hadley aged 8. We believe this is Ellis Charles Henry Hadley who was born in 1873 (his marriage record shows that he was the son William Pearce Hadley, a farmer). Ellis was later to come to Thornbury to work in the bakery and is shown there in the 1891 census and then he took over the running of the bakery for a short time. See below for details of ‘Charles’ Hadley.
We know that Ellis Hadley continued to have property in Berkeley, either that he owned or rented. In January 1874 Simpson Charles Mallett was charged with trespassing with the intention of catching rabbits on Ellis’s property. In 1888 cattle fattened on his land was sold in Berkeley market.
In 1889 on May 11th the Birmingham Daily Post carried an article about the divorce of Ellis and Mary Hadley on the grounds of her adultery with Luce Gregory the son of the proprietor of the “Barclay Arms Hotel.” Mrs Hadley had said she had “gone to visit friends” the previous January but in fact she had stayed at the Clarence Hotel in Cheltenham with Mr Gregory. The petition for divorce was undefended.
The 1891 Census shows Ellis living in Berkeley with a housekeeper called ‘M. Peters’. On 30th May 1893 Ellis Hadley married Minnie Ellen Peters in Bristol.
On 24th April 1897 Ellis died aged 55 in Sea Mills Berkeley. He was buried at Stone Church. He left his property to his widow, Minnie Ellen Hadley (shown in the 1901 Census as being born in Chew Magna). An advertisement in the newspaper the following year shows that his property in Berkeley was sold off. The rate books up to 1910 continue to show that Mrs Hadley was the owner. We know from correspondence held by the Thompson family that Albert Thompson was renting the property from Minnie Ellen Hadley in 1914 and that he bought the property from her on 24th June 1921. Minnie Ellen died 6th March 1938 in Kew Gardens, Surrey.
Francis William Marment – the 1885 and 1887 Rate Books show that the bakery was occupied by Francis William Marment as the tenant of Ellis Hadley.
Francis was born about 1858 in Bristol, the son of William Marment, a stone mason. On 25th February 1885 Frederick married Laura Avery, the daughter of Frederick Avery, a railway guard. They had twin daughters, Frances Mabel and Elsie Rose both baptised on 19th May 1886, but they only survived for a very short time. Elsie lasted 2 weeks and was buried on 24th May 1886 and Frances lasted 3 weeks and was buried on 3rd June 1886.
In 1886 Francis was convicted and fined for offences under the Weights and Measures Act.
Francis and Laura didn’t stay in Thornbury very long after the death of the twins, although Franics Marment’s name appears in the Trade Directory of 1889 as a baker in the High Street. In the 1891 Census they were living in 30 Digby Street, Bristol – William was a baker aged 33, Laurel aged 31 both born in Bristol and their son, Archibald aged ‘4 or 5’ also born there.
George Denman – the 1891 Census shows the bakery was occupied by George Denman who was a baker from North Curry in Somerset. The Trade directories of 1897 and 1899 show that George Denman was a baker in the High Street. They also show that Charles Hadley was baker and confectioner at the same time. It is not clear whether they both worked as bakers or whether (as we believe more likely) Charles Hadley owned the business but George Denman was the baker. George Denman was declared bankrupt in 1898. Click here to read more
Charles Hadley – the 1894 and 1899 Rate Books show that the bakery was occupied by Charles Hadley. The 1896 Voters List for Thornbury shows that this is likely to be Ellis Charles Henry Hadley, the nephew of the bakery’s owner, Ellis Hadley (see above). He is listed in trade directories as trading in the High Street in 1897 and 1899 as a baker and confectioner.
On 26th November 1896 Charles married Katherine Elizabeth Young in Alveston. Katherine was the daughter of Henry Young, a farmer. The 1901 Census shows that Charles and Katherine were living at Latteridge. Charles was born in Cam and working as a confectioner and Katherine was born in Rudgeway about 1875.
William John Bennett – on 9th December 1899 the bakery was leased to William John Bennett. The 1901 Census shows him as a baker and confectioner aged 29 from Minchinhampton living with his wife, Amelia aged 33 from Mangotsfield, and brother in law W. T Miller who was a florist aged 32 also from Mangotsfield.
William was born in Minchinhampton about 1873, the son of John Henry Bennett, a blacksmith and veterinary and his wife, Esther A Essex. The 1891 Census shows William was working as a baker and lodging in High Street, Portishead. William had married Amelia Miller in the Bedminster area of Bristol in 1897. William appears in the 1902 and 1904 trade directories as trading in the High Street. It is possible that William was trading from premises at 49 High Street as he had arranged a five year lease for that property on 18th December 1901.
On 27th October 1904 the lease for 67 High Street was assigned to Charles Bennett. We are not sure of the relationship, if any, between William and Charles.
By 1911 Census William and Amelia had moved to 35 North View, Westbury on Trym where he was working as a baker and confectioner. Their nephew, Herbert Miller was living with them – he was a baker and confectioner aged 16 born in Portishead. William died in 1917 aged 45. Click on the thumbnail on the left above to see an advert for William’s business.
Charles Bennett – on 27th October 1904 the lease was assigned by William John Bennett to Charles Bennett. The 1911 Census shows us that Charles was aged 62 and born in Avening near Stroud. Charles was living with his wife, Edith aged 50 also from Avening and their children: Wilfred a baker and confectioner assisting his father, aged 23 born in Portbury and daughter, Edith who was aged 21 and born in Cirencester.
We are not sure of the relationship between William and Charles. We suspect that William was Charles’s nephew. Charles was the son of Henry Bennett, a blacksmith and his wife, Sarah. Charles had a brother, John, who was a blacksmith and may well have been William’s father.
In 1891 Charles a baker and corn dealer living in Cirencester. We suspect that it was Charles who married Edith Jenkins in the Barton Regis area of Bristol in 1886. By the 1901 Census he was described as a farmer living at Hailey Farm, Sapperton.
We understand that Charles surrendered the lease of 67 High Street on 4th October 1912 and he must have moved away from Thornbury. Click on the thumbnail on the right to see an advert for Charles’s business.
Albert Ernest Thompson – Albert moved from Hawksbury Upton to set up his bakery business in 1912. Albert and his family were to run the business there for almost 50 years and they also acquired another shop further down the High Street. The shop at 67 High Street became known as Thompsons ‘top shop’. Albert’s sons, Henry and Denis joined the business and carried it on after his death. They continued trading here until about 1959. Click here to read about the Thompson’s bakery and family