We have written about the owners of the property on a separate webpage and many of the owners did actually live in the house. Click here to read about the OWNERS
We have listed below the various tenants of the property whose names we have found in the deeds, census records, the rate books and electoral registers. In some cases, particularly in the earlier times, we know very little about the people, apart from their names.
In the 1700’s there were two houses on this site.
John Taylor – the will of the owner of the two properties, John Smith, dated 1779 shows that John Taylor was the occupant of one of the houses. The land tax records show that John was living there in 1780 through to at least 1784. He may have been living there earlier and carried on later on as we do not have any other land tax records from that period.
Interestingly the land tax records from 1781 to 1784 show that John Taylor was the owner of the property, but none of the deeds show John Taylor as the owner. In 1784, the land tax record shows that the previous occupant of the house was ‘Late Sparkes’.
George Isles – the deeds suggest George Isles replaced John Taylor as an occupant of one of the houses. We don’t know anything about George, but there was a George Isles who was a butcher living with his wife, Ann, at Crossways in 1818 when their daughter, Ann, was baptised.
George Suggs – the will of the owner of the two properties, John Smith, dated 1779 shows George Suggs as the occupant of one of the houses. The 1800 land tax record shows George Suggs living in one of the houses as a tenant of Bedggood. George married Martha Cartwright 6th October 1800 in Thornbury. George was still listed as living in the house in 1809 Rent Roll. The Mayors Accounts Book 1819 shows that Martha Suggs was in receipt of a gown as part of the Mayor’s traditional issue of clothing to the poor at Christmas.
From about 1800 there was only one house:
James Gundry – the 1806 Indenture refers to the property as the one ‘where James Gundry, Gentleman, doth now dwell’. The 1809 and 1810 land tax records show the house was still occupied by James Gundry.
By 1812 William Shield had taken over and he was to remain there until 1826.
Ann Gardiner – the land tax records from 1827 to 1832 show Ann Gardiner as tenant.
Elizabeth Weeks – at the time of the 1840 Tithe Survey Elizabeth was shown as the occupant of the house.
Harriett Harvey – the 1881 census shows Harriett Harvey was lodging with Sarah Shield at 69 High Street. She was described as a milliner and dressmaker aged 65 from Banwell in Somerset.
Harriett was born about 1816, the daughter of William Harvey, a druggist and his wife, Ann. The Harveys had already moved to Thornbury by the time of the 1841 census when the family sharing the house at 52 High Street with James Williams and his family. By the 1851 census the Harveys had moved to 34 High Street. Both of Harriett’s parents died in 1856 and the rate books from 1856 through to 1867 show that Harriett was listed as the main tenant of the house. The 1861 census shows Harriett had taken over her father’s shop – she was described as a druggist and dressmaker. The 1871 census shows Harriett was lodging with Mary Cossham at 33 St Mary Street and she is described as just a dressmaker.
Harriett was still living at 69 High Street as a tenant at the time of the sale of the house in 1883 following the death of Sarah Shield. We don’t know whether she was allowed to continue living there or moved elsewhere. She died aged 72 and was buried on 15th October 1888. There was an inquest into the death, but we haven’t yet seen any details.
Leonard Pitcher – the rate books from 1899 to 1910 show the house was occupied by Leonard Pitcher. The 1911 census shows Leonard living there. He was described as a builder aged 38 living with his wife, Ellen also 38 and their daughter, Helen aged 6. A Congregational Minister, William Johnstone was boarding with them. He was aged 25 and was born in Nottingham. Leonard was still living in the house in 1919 when it was sold by Francis Gayner to Marjorie Ann Smith. Click here to read more
Wilfred John Edmonds – the 1926 rate book shows the property was occupied by Wilfred Edmonds. It mistakenly refers to the owner as Mrs F. Gayner instead of Mrs Marjorie Ann Smith.
Wilfred was born in Bristol in 1902, the only son of William J Edmonds of Lodore Road, Fishponds. In 1923 he married Ivy Ruth Pitcher, the daughter of Edgar Walter Pitcher and his wife, Caroline (nee Staley). They had two daughters: Rosemary Caroline born in Thornbury in 1927 and Marjorie Ruth born in Thornbury in 1930. The 1931 and 1932 electoral register shows the Edmonds were living in Gloucester Road. By the time of the 1935 register they had moved away from Thornbury.