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We know from early documents relating to the property that this property was originally a brewhouse attached to another house (later known as 5 Horseshoe Lane) owned by the Smith family, and that it was later to become a stable.  By 1794 the stable had been converted to a house.  At that time the house was owned by Ann Child.  Click here to read about these families and later owners of the house

Ann Child died on 4th April 1794 aged 64.  In her will written in 1794, she left her daughter, Ann Child, (the wife of Jesse Cossham) the ‘small tenement or dwelling house (formerly a stable) where Betty Bedggood doth now inhabit’ for her natural life, but after her death the property was to given to Ann’s daughter, Ann Child Cossham and her heirs.

In 1799 Thomas Smith Child (who owned number 5 and had an expectation of part-owning number 7 if his sister and her daughter died without issue) noted in his will that number 7 was then occupied by Edward Wyatt.  We note that there was an Edward Wyatt buried in Thornbury on 8th September 1818.  He was aged 67 years.

An indenture dated 1824 shows that Charles and Sarah Hopton were then occupying the house.  Charles was the son of Sarah Hopton.  The 1840 Tithe Survey shows the house was owned by Thomas Wise, and occupied by Sarah Hopton:

Sarah Hopton – Sarah was the widow of a game keeper called John Hopton.  We think her maiden name was Sarah Gwilliam and she had married John in Newland, Gloucestershire on 13th October 1792.  John was baptised in Frocester on 15th October 1759, the son of William Hopton and his first wife, Mary.  John and Sarah had one child, William Gwilliam Hopton baptised in Newland on 18th August 1793.  The family then seemed to move to Slimbridge where a daughter, Sarah, was baptised on 30th August 1796 and a son, Charles baptised on 17th November 1799.

John and Sarah then moved to Thornbury where a son, John, was baptised on 25th October 1800.  Their other children were daughters; Mary baptised on 24th October 1802 and Mary Ann baptised on 28th July 1805 and finally Mildred born on 28 March 1808 and baptised on 12th June 1808.

John described his occupation as a labourer in some church records, although the marriage record of his daughter, Mildred, notes he was a gamekeeper.  John died and was buried on 30th August 1808 aged 48 years.

The land tax records from 1824 show that John and Sarah’s son, Charles Hopton, lived in a property owned by Thomas Wise that had a rateable value of 2s.  This appears to be 7 Horseshoe Lane and the land tax records continue to show Charles Hopton’s name until at least 1832.  We believe that after this time Charles moved to 21 St John Street which he actually bought in 1834.  Sarah, his mother, appears to have continued to live in 7 Horseshoe Lane.

The 1840 Tithe Map and 1841 census show Sarah living in Horseshoe Lane in the house later known as number 7.  In 1841 she was described as a pauper aged 78 years.  Living with her was Mildred, a charwoman aged 25, and Charles aged 11.  Mildred was her daughter who was to marry William Matthews, a cordwainer (shoemaker) on 11 August 1844.  Charles was Sarah’s grandson, the son of her son, Charles, who was living in St John Street – click here to read about this Charles Hopton 

Sarah died on 21st February 1845 in Thornbury of “natural decay.”  She was buried on 26th February 1845 aged 83 years.

Joseph Mabbott – in 1851 census the house appears to be occupied by Joseph Mabbott, an agricultural labourer aged 52, his wife, Sarah aged 49 from Stone, and daughter Eliza aged 17, and a granddaughter, Mary Ann aged 9.
Joseph was born on 15th June 1798 and baptised at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury on 1st August 1798.  He was the son of John and Hannah Mabbott.  In 1841 Joseph was living in St John Street – he was an agricultural labourer aged 42, living with was his wife Sarah aged 38.  Their children were Maria aged 18, John aged 14, Annas aged 12, Frances aged 10, Eliza aged 7, Emma aged 4 and Mary Ann aged 1.  Maria was the unmarried mother of Mary Ann who was living with Joseph and Sarah in 1851.  Maria was living in the ‘Poor House’ when Mary Ann was born in 1842.

In 1861 Joseph and Sarah were living in St John Street.  In 1871 they were living in what we believe to 2 Saw Mill Lane with their grand-daughter Emma Greenman aged 16.  Joseph died aged 79 years and was buried in Thornbury on 26th November 1877.  Sarah died aged 78 years and was buried in Thornbury on 4th December 1880.  Sara’s address at the time of her death was the Thornbury Union Workhouse.

Henry Withers – in 1861 census the house appears to be occupied by Henry Withers, a gardener aged 54 and his wife, Sarah aged 56 from Alveston, and children: Frederick a house painter aged 22, Anne a dressmaker aged 18, Isabella aged 14, and a grand-daughter Anna Louisa Turvey aged 3.

In the 1851 census Henry was a groom aged 44 living in Castle Street with Sarah, a schoolmistress aged 46, and their children: Henry aged 14, Frederick aged 12, Ann aged 8, Joseph aged 7, and Isabella aged 4.  They had at least one more child: Edward born about 1839 and he was baptised with their other children on 10th December 1848.

We are puzzled about when Sarah died.  The 1871 census shows a widowed Henry Withers living in Castle Street as a 64 year old labourer boarding with Charles Morgan.  However the only record of her possible death was in 1880 when a Sarah Withers died 74.  In 1881 there is a Henry Withers, a widowed gardener boarding at the Black Lion Inn, Castle Street. His age is shown as 70. Henry died in June quarter 1888 aged 81.

Matthew Marsh – the 1871 census shows the house was occupied by Matthew Marsh, a railway labourer aged 27 from Dorset, his wife, Sarah aged 20 from Portland, their son William aged 1 born in Thornbury and 2 lodgers who were also railway labourers.  This illustrates the fact that there was an influx of workers coming to the town to build the Yate to Thornbury branch line which opened officially on September 2nd 1872.  Presumably the labourers all moved on after this date.  Matthew and his family had moved to Lowton in Lancashire by 1881 where he had become an engine driver, a much more prestigious occupation.

Thomas Martin – the 1876 rate book shows that the house was occupied by Thomas Martin.  We don’t know any more about Thomas.

Susan Moxham – the 1885 rate book shows Susan was occupying the house.  The 1881 census shows Susan was a widow aged 52 living with her sons: Thomas aged 16, James aged 15 and Henry aged 10.

Susannah’s maiden name was Pearce.  She married Thomas Moxham in Thornbury in the December quarter 1849.  Thomas was a journeyman mason who was baptised on 17th September 1827, the son of Caroline Moxham.  In 1851 he and Susannah were living in 31 St Mary Street with their daughter Ellen.  They carried on living in the street, although they may have moved houses, in the 1861 and 1871 censuses.  During which period they had at least nine children: Ellen, Harriett, Fanny, Charles, Susannah, Sarah Ann, Thomas, James and Henry.  The baptism records of these children show Thomas as a labourer.

Thomas died aged 46 and was buried on 14th March 1873.  The 1876 rate book shows Susan living in one of the houses later given the name of Marylands (nos 8 & 10 Horseshoe Lane).  In the 1880 rate book she appears to have just vacated 15 Horseshoe Lane as her name is crossed out.  After spending time in 7 Horseshoe Lane, the 1890 rate book shows her living in 12 St Mary Street and then by the 1891 census she has moved to Soapers Lane.  The census shows Susannah as a charwoman aged 63 with her son, Henry a labourer aged 19.  Susan died aged 73 and was buried on 2nd February 1899.

Anne Wallington – the 1887 and 1890 rate books and 1891 census show Ann was living in this house.  Click here to read more about Anne

Ann McGreavy – in the 1899 rate book and the 1901 census the house is occupied by Ann McGreavy, a widowed charwoman aged 80 and born in Alveston and her unmarried daughter, Eliza, a dressmaker aged 38 who was born in London.  Note the spelling of the McGreavy surname varies a lot in different records, sometimes it is McGrevy and on one occasion MacGreavy.  It looks likely that Ann was the Ann Osborne who married Peter McGrevy in the Bedminster area in September quarter 1840.  We don’t know where they were living in the 1841 and 1851 censuses.  Peter died in December quarter 1858 in the St Saviours Registration District which includes Southwark which is where Ann’s daughter was born in 1858/9.

In 1861 Ann had returned home to Thornbury and she was now living in the Thornbury Union Workhouse with Eliza.  She is shown as working as a domestic servant.  By 1871, she had left the workhouse and was now living with Eliza in Gillingstool where Ann was working as a laundress.  In 1881 they are living in Gillingstool Road, although the census enumerator has written their surname as ‘McGrady’ and Eliza is now listed as ‘Alice E’, an unmarried dressmaker aged 22 with a daughter, Elsie E.  They are still in Gillingstool in 1891.

Ann was listed as living in 7 Horseshoe Lane in the 1905 rate book.  She appears as ‘Mrs McGrady’ in the 1909 Prewetts Almanac.  She died aged 87 and was buried on 16th April 1909.  Her address at the time of her death was in Rock Street.

Robert Long – the 1910 rate book shows that the house was occupied by Robert Long – click here to read more

The Watsons – the 1911 census shows the house was occupied by Eliza Maria Watson.  Click here to read more

The Neals – the house was occupied by the Neal family from the early 1920’s, possibly earlier, to the late 1950’s. Click here to read more

The Rugmans – following the Neals the next family to occupy the house was that of Maurice Rugman and his wife, Marina.  The electoral register shows them there in 1961.  In the 1958 electoral register Maurice was living at 17 Market Site.  In the June quarter that year Maurice married Marina E. J. Hobbs. Maurice and Marina has a son, Andrew, whilst living at Horseshoe Lane, and a daughter, Sandra, after they had moved to 15 Quarry Road, Alveston.

The Edwards – the 1965 electoral register shows Peter R and Margaret E Edwards were occupying the house.

The Reeves – Joan Green who lived next-door at number 5 remembers that David Reeves lived here with his wife.  In the 1970 electoral register David J & Pauline M Reeves are listed.

In the late 1960’s the house was earmarked for demolition in the plans for the re-development of the town centre.  At that time, the house was owned by Frederick George Bond who also owned number 5.

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