The Smiths and Childs – from the early documents relating to the house, it was the home of the Smith family as early as 1700. Thomas Smith the elder passed the house to his son, Thomas Smith the younger who passed it on to his daughter, Ann. She married a schoolmaster Timothy Child and we know that they spent some time following the marriage in 1758 living in Frampton Cotterell where their first three children were baptised. By 1770 the Childs had moved back to live in Horseshoe Lane.
Timothy and Ann Child passed the property on to their son, Thomas Smith Child who lived in the house with his wife, Rebecca. When Thomas died in 1799 the land tax records show Rebecca continued living there until about 1809 when she returned to live in Winterbourne. The Gloucester Journal of 3rd May 1813 reported the death of Rebecca Child then aged 37 “at her sister’s house at White’s Hill near Winterbourne, after a long and severe affliction of two years”. Rebecca was described as the widow of Thomas Child, schoolmaster of Thornbury. Click here to read about these families and later owners of the house
From 1810 the land tax records show that the house was then let out to tenants:
William Carter – the land tax records of 1810 and 1814 list William was the tenant of Rebecca Child.
Charles Woodward – the land tax records list Charles as tenant of Thomas Child, the owner of the house in 1819. Click here to read more about Charles
Daniel Burchell – an indenture dated 1824 shows that Daniel had previously been living in the house as a tenant of Thomas Smith Child. Click here to read about Daniel
Thomas Wise – the 1840 Tithe Survey shows the two houses (5 & 7 Horseshoe Lane) were owned by Thomas Wise, and that he occupied one and the other was occupied by Sarah Hopton. We assume it was number 5 which Thomas and his wife occupied up to 1871. Click here to read about Thomas
Lewis and Anne Wallington – took over number 5 from Anne’s father, Thomas Wise from about 1871 and they continued to live there until the late 1880’s. Click here to read more
Joseph Underhill – the 1887 rate book shows the house was occupied by Joseph Underhill. We suspect that Joseph was the person who was living living in 4 Pullins Green. Click here to read more
George & Martha Mills – the 1890 rate book shows that the house was occupied by George Mills. In 1891 census the house was occupied by Martha Mills, a widowed laundress aged 69 and her grandsons, James aged 15 who was working for his grandmother and Robert a gardener’s boy aged 12.
Martha had been born in Thornbury about 1822. We have not been able to trace her maiden name or her marriage to George Mills. In the 1851 census, George was an unmarried journeyman mason living with his widowed father, Michael, in Gillingstool in 1851. George and Martha’s first child, Amelia, was baptised in Crossways in September 1852. They had several other children. Elizabeth was baptised at Crossways on 9th August 1854. Anna Maria was baptised in Thornbury on 4th January 1857, but this does not indicate a move necessarily as Georgina was baptised on 11th April 1860 in Crossways. Charles John baptised on 5th October 1862. They also had one more daughter, Hannah Maria born in December quarter 1856. Hannah is not living with the family in the 1861 census but does appear in the 1871 census.
In 1861 the family were living at Sibland. George is shown as aged 29 and Martha aged 38. In 1871 George and Martha are listed under Gillingstool, although George is now shown as aged 45 and Martha aged 51. The 1881 census shows the family have now moved to St Mary Street. There are several worries about the detail shown on this census. George is shown as a mason aged 54 which fits. His wife, however is shown as ‘Sarah’ aged 60. It is possible that she used the names of Martha and Sarah, or that the enumerator made a simple mistake. She is listed under the name of Martha in the 1891 census and in the burial record showing she was buried on 23rd June 1900 aged 78 years when it was recorded that she was living in St Mary Street.
The 1881 census record also shows that George and Sarah had two sons, James aged 5 and Robert aged 3. These are unlikely to have been Martha’s children as she would have been in her late 50’s by the time they were born and we know that in the parish register Robert is shown as being the son of their unmarried daughter, Georgina. In 1891 census James and Robert are shown as grandsons of the widowed Martha and James’s occupation is working for grandmother. The word “domestic” appears as a note so we must assume that he was caring full time for her. George died aged 64 years and was buried on 31st January 1891. Martha carried on living in the house and is listed there in the 1894 rate book. She died aged 78 and was buried on 23rd June 1900. Her address at that time was St Mary Street.
In the 1901 census the house appears to be vacant.
William Charles Underhill – the 1905 rate book shows William Charles Underhill was living there. Click here to read about the Underhills
We think the house was void in the 1910 rate book.
Reginald Henry Duffett – the 1911 census shows that Reginald was occupying the house. He was a butcher’s assistant aged 25 from Topsham in Devon. He was living with his wife, Ethel Maud aged 28, also from Topsham.
The Bennetts – the next family known to have occupied the house was that of William Frederick and Emily Mary Bennett. William was born in Haresfield, Gloucestershire about 1874, the son of Frederick Bennett, a butcher. He married Emily Mary Rugman in Thornbury on 25th April 1896. Emily was baptised on 31 December 1876, the daughter of Tom Rugman, a labourer and his wife, Fanny, from Morton. Click here to read more
The Bonds – the 1950 electoral register shows that the house was now occupied by John and Louisa Bond. A few years later they moved to 4 Horseshoe Lane, and number 5 was taken over by their son, Frederick and his wife, Maud. Click here to read more
The Greens – around 1969/1970 the house was occupied by Tom and Joan Green. They moved to Stafford Crescent when the house was due for demolition. Joan has fond memories of the house, particularly the large garden which stretched along the back of the Old School House and widened to give access to Gillingstool Hill. Obviously Thomas Wise had combined his garden plot shown in the 1840 Tithe Map (Plot 127) with the house garden. Click here to read more