Number 13 Horseshoe Lane was one of a block of four terraced cottages. We have been frustrated by the difficulty in obtaining any photographs of these properties. We have one small image on the page covering the history of the row – click on the link above to see this image.
We have been given a good description of the houses by Win Jenkins (nee Webb) who was brought up in one of them as a child. Click here to read Win’s description
We don’t know when the houses were built. In the 1840 Tithe Survey, the houses were part of Plot 133 which also included the four similar houses in Rock Street referred to above. All these houses were owned by Mary Wilkes. Number 13 was occupied by William Matthews.
William Matthews – the 1840 Tithe Survey and 1841 census both show William Matthews occupying a house in Horseshoe Lane. The census shows William to be a journeyman shoemaker aged 30 living with his wife, Ann, aged 35 and children: Henry aged 10, Thomas aged 6, William aged 4 and George aged 2. They seem to be sharing the house with Susan Watkins aged 30 and her son, William aged 5.
William was born in Taunton, Somerset about 1806. He was the son of Thomas Matthews, a cordwainer. On 15th August 1844 he married Ann Tudor in Thornbury St Marys Church. They had at least four children, but there may have been another. The parish records shows that William and Ann had an earlier William baptised on 8th September 1833 who must have died. Ann died in 1842 and William re-married on 11th August 1844. His new wife was Mildred Hopton, the daughter of John Hopton, a gamekeeper.
In 1851 William and Mildred are living at 49 St Marys Street with children: William and Priscilla who is shown on the census as aged 14, but whose birth was registered in 1846 making her only 4 or 5! The 1861 census shows the family have now moved to Alveston. Priscilla is now aged 16 and they have a new son, Eli aged 10. Their son, William, had died just before the census on 4th March 1861 aged 6 years. In 1871 William and Mildred are still living in Alveston with Eli, another cordwainer aged 19. William died in 1883 aged 72.
William Comeley – in 1851 the house appears to be occupied by William Comeley, an agricultural labourer aged 35, his wife, Mary, a washer and ironer aged 32, and their children: Ellen aged 11 from Rangeworthy, Charles aged 7 from Charfield, Elizabeth aged 4 and William aged 1, both from Thornbury.
William was born about 1815, the son of Joseph Comeley, a labourer from Purton in Wiltshire. He married Mary Anne Roberts on 24th December 1837 at Thornbury St Mary’s Church. Mary Anne was the daughter of Thomas Roberts, a labourer from Charfield. At the time of the marriage William was working as a servant. William appears to have been in trouble with the police. On the 1st January 1841 he was charged at Gloucester Assizes with an oath for suspicion of felony in stealing a wether sheep at Tytherington the property of John Sainsbury.
When three of their children, Elizabeth Ann, William and Mary Ann, were baptised in Thornbury on 5th September 1855, their address was given as the Thornbury Union. In 1861 the family are listed as living in Horseshoe Lane with their children: Charles, an agricultural labourer aged 18 from, Charfield, Elizabeth aged 14, William aged 12, Mary aged 8, Hannah aged 5 and Emma aged 1 month, all from Thornbury. Their daughter, Emma, was baptised on 5th March 1861 and she died aged only 10 months and was buried on 22nd December 1861.
In 1871 William, Mary Ann, Charles and Hannah were all living in 49 St Mary Street. Charles had become a labourer like his father. In 1875 he got in trouble with the police again. He was charged at Gloucester Quarter Sessions on 3rd January 1876 with stealing at Alveston on 29th August 1875 one shirt and one pair of stockings the property of Mark Gunter and three stockings the property of Elizabeth Grace Gunter. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 6 months hard labour. William was described as being aged 59, height 5ft 4 inches, dark brown hair, brown eyes, oval visage and fresh complexion. The police report suggests that he was a widower and his next of kin was his son, Charles, who was living at Gloucester Road, Thornbury.
William and Mary Ann’s son, William, had married Hannah White on 5th December 1870. Hannah was the daughter of James White, a labourer. The 1871 census shows William and Hannah living in St Mary Street. William was a labourer aged 23, Hannah was a washerwoman aged 30 from Ledbury. They were living with two of Hannah’s children: Edward William aged 14 and Tom aged 4, both born in Thornbury. William died aged 26 years and was buried on 17th June 1874. The 1876, 1880 and 1885 rate books show Hannah living in 19 Horseshoe Lane. The 1881 census shows that Hannah had three of her children living with her: Tom White, a labourer, Alfred Charles baptised on 2nd June 1872 and Lily baptised on 1st November 1874.
In 1891 Hannah was a widow working as a charwoman in the Old Rectory Cottage. Her son, Alfred a painter’s labourer aged 18 was also living there. Hannah’s husband, William, died in 1874 aged 26. The 1899 the rate book says that Hannah Comeley has moved to 11 St John Street and the census of 1901 shows that the house was occupied by Hannah Comeley, a widowed charwoman aged 65. The rate book of 1905 shows that Hannah Comeley is still living in the house, but by 1910 she had moved to an almshouse at 7 St Mary Street and she was still there at the time of the 1911 census. By 1914 Hannah had moved to live in 6 Muir Street, West Ham which was the home of her son Edward William White. She died on 12th June 1914 in the Forest Gate Sick Home, West Ham.
Henry Cooper – in the 1871 census, the house appears occupied by Henry Cooper, a railway labourer aged 30 from Oldland Common, his wife, Ann a dressmaker aged 44 from Thornbury, and stepsons, Edwin and Alfred Martin aged 13 and 12.Henry was the son of John Cooper from Oldland Common. He married Ann in Thornbury on 23rd December 1869. Ann was a widow, her maiden name was Davis, the daughter of George Davis, shoemaker and his wife, Charlotte. Ann was baptised on 12th May 1822 which makes her a little older than she was claiming in the census and even older than Henry. She had previously been married in 1849 to Henry Martin, an ostler. In 1851 they were living in St Mary Street with their daughter, Fanny baptised on 29th December 1850. In 1861 they were still living in St Mary Street, but now had extra children: Sarah Ann baptised 10th May 1853, Edwin baptised 2nd June 1859 and Alfred baptised 3rd October 1860. Henry died aged 33 years and was buried on 9th August 1861. We don’t know what happened to family after the 1871 census. There is no sign of them living in Thornbury.
James Cornock – the 1880 rate book shows that James Cornock lived in number 13 Horseshoe Lane. The 1881 census shows James was a labourer aged 50 from Berkeley. He was living with his wife, Charlotte aged 40 from Thornbury and their children: Ada aged 6, William aged 5 and Hannah aged 2.
James was born in Alveston about 1828, the son of James Cornock, an agricultural labourer. In 1851 he was an agricultural labourer lodging with Mary Tovey. In the 1861 census he was an agricultural labourer sharing a house in Crossways with Thomas Strong. The 1871 census shows James as a boarder with Thomas Strong at Knapp Road.
James married on 8th October 1873. His wife was Charlotte Bray, the daughter of Joseph Bray, a labourer and his wife, Hannah from Hystfield near Ham Berkeley. Charlotte was born about 1833. In 1861 she was living in Newport with her widowed mother who was working as a nurse and two young children: Maria Bray was the daughter of Charlotte’s unmarried sister, Eliza, and Charles William was Charlotte’s son baptised in Berkeley on 24th April 1859.
Charlotte went on to have three, possibly four, further children with James. Edith Comfort was born in 1875 and baptised on 13th June. We are not sure whether this is the same person as described in the census as ‘Ada’ or whether Ada is another child whose birth we have not traced. Edith was married in 1896 using her full name ‘Edith Comfort’, but we have not found any trace of Edith in any of the censuses. It is possible that Ada was the name by which she was known within the family and local area. James and Charlotte’s other children were William James baptised on 24th December 1876 and Hannah Maria baptised on 1st June 1879.
James and Charlotte continued to live in the house. In 1891 census shows James Cornock, a general labourer aged 60 from Alveston, his wife, Charlotte, a charwoman aged 40 from Berkeley and their daughters, Ada a domestic servant aged 17 and Hannah aged 12, both born in Thornbury. The 1894 Rate Bok shows James had moved to 1 Horseshoe Lane. James died aged 68 years and was buried on 28th December 1896. In 1901 Charlotte was living at 49 Bloy Street, Easton, Bristol with her married daughter, Annie Clarke. and her sister Hannah. Charlotte died in Bristol in 1909 aged 74.
William Young – the 1894 rate book shows the house was occupied by William Young. Unfortunately there were two people with that name living in Thornbury around that time and we don’t know which one lived here.
Mary Jane Gough – the 1899 rate book and the 1901 census show that the house was occupied by Mary Jane Gough a charwoman, aged 40, her children: John Thomas, an errand boy aged 15 and Elsie May aged 2.
Mary Jane was born in 1860, the daughter of James Gough, a blacksmith and his wife, Lucy. In 1861 and 1871 Mary Jane was living with her parents in 13 St Mary Street. By 1881 Mary Jane was working for Matilda J Reynolds as a general servant in Westbury on Trym. Mary Jane didn’t marry, but she did have at least 3 children: Ella Wellington Gough was baptised on 2nd March 1884, Thomas John Gough was baptised on 29th November 1885 and Elsie May Gough was baptised on 13th November 1898. The baptism records show that Mary Jane was living in Thornbury when all three were baptised. Mary Jane’s work still took her further away – in 1891 census she was working as a general servant for Frederick G. Salisbury, a solicitor, in 117 Redland Road, Bristol. At this time, Mary’s two children, Ella and Thomas John were living with their grandmother, Lucy Gough, in St Mary Street. We think that Mary may have been living in 20 Rock Street at the time of the 1926 Rate Book. Mary died in the Thornbury Infirmary aged 69 and was buried in the Cemetery on 22nd January 1930.
William Cornock – the 1911 census show that this William is a different person from the William Cornock who had been living at 11 Horseshoe Lane. This William was aged 44 , a general labourer with his wife Louisa aged 40 from Almondsbury and they had a son, Harold Ellis aged 8.
Herbert Thomas – the 1926 rate book shows that Herbert Thomas was the occupant of the house.
Eliza Maria Watson – the 1931 and 1935 electoral register show the house occupied by Eliza Maria Watson. According to Win Webb who lived next door, Eliza was a widow living with her daughter, Violet.
Eliza Maria Rugman was born in Thornbury in 1875, the daughter of Joseph Rugman, an agricultural labourer and his wife, Mary, who in 1881 were living at The Meads, Duckhole. Eliza had married David Cornelius S. Watson in the Merthyr Tydfil area in 1900. In the 1901 census they were living in Aberdare where David was a coal miner (below ground). Their first child, Ursula Mary was born in the Merthyr area in 1901. The family moved back to Thornbury by 1907 when Ursula started at the National School. Eliza was shown in the records as being Ursula’s parent which might suggest that David was not in Thornbury at that time. She was then living in Kington. When Ursula transferred to the Council Upper School in 1910, the family were living at Rock Street and David was listed as Ursula’s parent. The 1911 census suggests that Eliza was living at 7 Horseshoe Lane. Eliza was a married charwomen aged 35 born in Thornbury. She was living there with her daughter, Ursula Mary aged 8 and born in Birmingham and her son, Henry aged 2 and born in Thornbury.
The Council School records for Ursula show she left in 1913 to go to the Union which we assume was the Union Workhouse. Violet M was born on 6th June 1913 and the family were living in Horseshoe Lane when she started school in 1920. Violet left the Council School in 1924 with a scholarship to the Grammar School. We don’t know what happened to David. His great grandson was told that David was a professional soccer player at some time, but this hasn’t yet been confirmed. Eliza was living still in Horseshoe Lane in 1935 and 1935. We were told by Miss Higgins that Eliza worked for Mrs Mundy. By 1938 Eliza had moved to 7 St Mary Street and she was there in the 1939 register compiled in preparation for the war and the 1946 electoral register. Eliza died on 5th April 1949 aged 73 years and she was buried in Thornbury Cemetery. Violet married Charles E. Rosser from Alveston in 1933.
Jane Coles – in the 1938 electoral register the house was occupied by Jane Coles. The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows Jane was living in the house on her own and that she was born on 10th August 1873. From this information and the names of the step-children living with the Coles in the 1911 census we deduced that Jane was Jane Powell born in the Dursley area in 1873.
Win Jenkins who lived next door as a child told us that she remembers Jane was always dressed in black. Jane was a widow, her husband was Henry Alfred Coles who died in 1912 aged 38. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 21st March 1912. At the time of his death they were living at 49 St Mary Street. The 1911 census shows Henry was a gardener from Quainton, Bucks. He and Jane were living there with three step-children: Ethel Powell aged 11 and Mildred Powell aged 9, both born in Uley and Edith Powell aged 8 who was born in Hambrook.
The school admission records show the names of these children as Coles. Ethel was born on 14th January 1900 and Mildred born on 8th June 1901. The family were living on St Mary Street when they both started the Council Upper School in 1909 although the records suggest the children had been transferred from Downend School. Jane was living at 49 St Mary Street in the 1918 electoral register and subsequent registers until she appears in Horseshoe Lane. She died in Thornbury Infirmary aged 69 and was buried on 28th May 1943.
The Le Feuvres – in WWII the house was occupied by a family who came over from Guernsey. The memorial in Thornbury Cemetery says that Sergeant Alfred J. P. Le Feuvre served in the Pioneer Corps and died on 20th October 1944 aged 48. His name appears on the World War II Memorial in St Mary’s Church in Thornbury.
We believe that Alfred was born in 1895 in St Peter Port in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. His parents were Alfred John Le Feuvre and Florence May nee Whitford. The 1901 Census shows that his address was 2 Albert Terrace Burnt Lane St Peter Port in Guernsey. In the 1911 Census he was still in St Peter Port in Guernsey and was a jobbing gardener aged 16 living at Vauvert Street. We understand from his grandson that Alfred Le Feuvre was stationed in Thornbury with the Maritime Regiment. He thought that it would be a pleasant and safe place for his family and so he brought them to Thornbury. We have a photograph dated 3rd September 1940 that appears to indicate that Alfred served in the 6th Wiltshire Regiment and was stationed in Ratfyn in Wiltshire at one time during World War II. The image on the left above is a thumbnail photograph of Alfred with his regiment. Please click on it to see a larger photograph. Alfred is in the back row, the third soldier from the left. We were told by a former neighbour that Alfred’s wife and children returned home to Guernsey after the War.
Albert Henry Webb – Albert was born on 16th September 1920, the son of Henry and Jane Webb who lived in number 15 Horseshoe Lane. Click here to read about the Webb family
Bert went to Thornbury Grammar School. During the War he met May Evelyn Moore, a young lady from Folkestone who was sent to work in the aeroplane factory at Patchway. She was lodging with the Longden family in 14 Rock Street. After Bert and May married in December 1944 they had a flat above a jewellers in the High Street but then moved to the house at 13 Horseshoe Lane. They later moved to North Road and then Eastland Road.
The Daniels – the 1950 electoral register shows the house occupied by Charles Thomas Ivor Daniels and his wife, Maud Emily. On 11th December 1948, Charles then aged 23, had married Maud Emily Taylor aged 23. Charles was an engineer’s labourer of Ivy Cottage, Tytherington, the son of James Daniels, a boilerman. Maud was a butcher living in St Mary Street, the daughter of Frank Graham Taylor, a tailor. By 1954 the Daniels had moved to Park View Road.
The Moormans – the house was occupied by the Moormans in the 1950’s. They had moved there from Lower Morton where they were living in 1950. The 1954 and 1958 electoral registers show Henry and Louisa Moorman living there, but by 1961 they had moved to Eastland Avenue and the 1965 and 1970 registers show Louisa was living alone at 38 Gloucester Road.
Henry married Louisa Cousins in 1910. They had at least one child: Edith Louisa born on 3rd November 1921 and the National School records show the family were living in Oldbury Lane when Edith started at the school in 1927.
Henry died on 21st March 1968 aged 75 years. Louisa died on 9th April 1974 aged 86 years.