The people who lived in the property later to be called 1 Saw Mill Lane included;

Jane Hopkins – the Tithe Apportionment Survey appears to show that Jane was living in Saw Mill Lane in Thornbury at the time the details were collected, probably one or two years before the survey was published in 1840.

The 1841 census shows Jane was aged 60 of independent means and living in a house in Castle Street (although at the time of this census it was referred to as the High Street).  Her sister, Ann Hopkins was living with her aged 52.

Jane and Ann were daughters of Stephen and Mary Hopkins.  Jane was born on 9 March 1781 and Ann on 11 September 1787.  Ann died on 26 October 1843 aged 56 years.  She was buried in Thornbury, although the burial record gives her abode at the time as Bristol.  In the Census of 1851 Jane was still in Castle Street.  She is shown as a ‘visitor’ in a house near to the Vicarage – there is no head of the household to show who owned the house.  Jane is described as an annuitant.  Jane died in 1860 and was buried on 20 May 1860 aged 79 years.

Joseph Underhill – in the 1841 census, the house was occupied by Joseph Underhill, a male servant aged 30 and his wife, Hester aged 25 with three children: Elizabeth aged 4, Joseph aged 2 and Isabella aged 1.  They were still living there in the 1851 census which shows Joseph as a coachman aged 41 from Tetbury.  Esther (as spelled in this census) was aged 40 from Wickwar.  Family trees shown on the Ancestry website show her maiden name was Philpot.  Their children were Joseph aged 12, Isabel aged 10, William 8, Frances M. aged 6, all born in Thornbury.  Sadly their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, had died in December 1949 aged only 12 years.

By 1861 the family had moved to Soapers Lane with their children, William aged 19 an agricultural labourer, and Isabella a dressmaker aged 20, and a grandchild, Mary Elizabeth aged 2.  The 1871 census shows Joseph and Hester were living in Soapers Lane with just their grand-daughter, Mary now aged 12. Joseph was now described as a labourer.  The Mayors’ Accounts Book shows that he moved to 17 St Mary Street in 1872 and they carried on living there until his death on 5th July 1877 aged 67 years.  

The 1881 census shows Hester continued to live there alone, although the Mayors Accounts Book shows she left about 1881.  She died on March 23rd 1885 aged 76 years.

Their son Joseph also became a coachman as his father had been for a time.  In 1891 he and his family were living in 4 Pullins Green – read more

Charles and Jane Limbrick – in 1861 the house was occupied by Charles Limbrick a journeyman stone mason aged 28 from Thornbury.  Also living there were his wife, Jane aged 33 from Thornbury and sister in law, Ann Judge, a house servant aged 21 from Tytherington and a boarder, William Allway a married gardener aged 60 from Shiplake in Oxfordshire.

Charles was baptised on 23rd February 1834, the son of Joseph Limbrick, a mason and Jane.  In 1851 the Limbrick family were living in Castle Street.  Charles married Jane Judge in Thornbury on 19 May 1855.  Jane was born about 1829, the daughter of George Judge, a labourer and his wife, Mary. The later censuses gave her place of birth as Shellards Lane, Olveston.

Tragically Charles was to die on 14 December 1862 aged 28 years, leaving Jane pregnant.  Their daughter, Alice Jane, was baptised on 1st July 1863.  The 1871 census shows Jane had moved from Saw Mill Lane and become a housekeeper for William Evans Shepherd in the High Street.  Young Alice was living with her widowed grandmother, Mary Judge, in Crossways.  Also living in this house was Jane’s sister, Ann, now married to George Barton, an agricultural labourer.

The 1881 census shows Jane living in Castle Street at the Savings Bank with her daughter, Alice.  Jane is listed as a housekeeper, and Alice as a housemaid (out of employ).  Alice Jane eventually moved to London and the 1901 census shows her married to a police constable, George Mair, and living in Battersea with him and their two children.  We are not sure what happened to Jane after 1881.

Samuel Newman – The 1876 rate book shows that John Grove owned a house and stable here and they were rented by Samuel Newman.  Samuel was a master farrier born in Thornbury and the son of Aaron Newman.  Although we are not completely certain which house in the Rate Book was 2 Saw Mill Lane and which was number 4, we believe that Samuel had been living with his father at 4 Saw Mill Lane.  It seems that Samuel at some point moved to the slightly larger property which had stabling for his trade.

The 1871 census shows that Samuel and his family were living in the house.  Their son James was a tailor aged 17, Daniel an apprentice blacksmith aged 16, and Stephen an errand boy aged 14.  There is evidence to suggest that Samuel, like his father, may have changed the emphasis of his occupation in his later years.  All the census records up to 1871 show him as a farrier.  However he is described as a veterinary surgeon in the 1875 trade directory (which was printed after his death) and when his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Newman, a servant, married George William Spencer, a coach maker.  In 1875 Samuel was also described as a veterinary surgeon.

Samuel died on August 30th 1876 aged 57 and Ann died April 11th 1878 aged 52 years.  They were buried in the same grave as Samuel’s parents in St Mary’s Churchyard.

Henry Bennett – The 1880 rate book says that Henry Bennett is renting the property.  He does not appear in the 1881 Census in Thornbury.

Henry Herbert – The 1885 rate book shows that this house was being rented from John Grove by Henry Herbert.  Henry and his wife seem to have moved very frequently.  In 1871 Henry had been living in Pound House near Thornbury Castle, and in the 1876 rate book he was at number 5 Rock Street.  In the 1881 census Henry was living on Gillingstool Hill near to the Council School and, although he was 77 years old, he was still working as a labourer living with his 72 year old wife Mary Ann.

Charles Reeves – The rate book of 1890 shows that Charles Reeves was renting this house from James Bevan.  In the 1891 census, Charles was a sawyer aged 27 from Oldbury living with his wife, Mary aged 26 from Morton and their daughter,  Annie Victoria aged 3 and Lily Louisa aged 10 months.  Click here to read more

James Clutterbuck – The rate books of 1894 to 1905 show that James Clutterbuck rented the house from James Bevan.  The census in 1901 gives more details of James Clutterbuck, a postman and shoemaker aged 38, his wife, Florence aged 26 and their 4 daughters, Olive M aged 9, Daisy L aged 7, Mabel V aged 5 and Sarah aged 1.  Click here to read more

Aaron Henry Soanes – the rate book of 1910 shows only that the tenant is called “Soanes”.  The 1911 census shows that Aaron Henry Sloanes, a general labourer aged 45 was living there.  He was born in forest Hill, Oxford.  He was living there with his wife, Rosina aged 38 from Berkeley and their children: Elizabeth Maud aged 11, Ellen Catherine aged 6 and Hetty Elaine aged 5, all born in Berkeley and James William John aged 1 born in Thornbury.  The Council School records show that the family moved to Thornbury from Sharpness around 1906.  By 1916 they had moved to St Mary Street.  They had had another son, George born in 1911.

Tom White – from about 1919 to about 1935 Tom White lived in the house with his family.  Read more about Tom

John Henry and May Pearson – ‘Harry’ and May were listed in 1935 electoral register.  We believe John ‘Harry’ was the John Henry Pearson born on 7th July 1901.  He was the son of Cecil Pearson, tailor from Scotland and his wife, Margaret from Ireland who were living in Castle Street at the time of the 1901 census.  According to the trade directories, Cecil moved to Crossways by 1904, and they were still living there when Harry started at the Council Upper School in 1908.

We are not sure when, and who, Harry married.  They seems to have at least three children: Jeanette Beatrice born on 9th March 1925, Constance Mary born 28th February 1926 and John Maurice born on 18th September 1927.  When Jeanette and Constance started at Council Upper School in 1929 the family were living in John Street.  The school records show they left the district in 1930, yet had returned by 1934 when John Maurice started at Council Upper School.  They didn’t stay long as they left the district again in 1935.

William and Winifred Stewart – William Charles and Winifred were living in the house in 1938 and 1939. William, known locally as ‘Bill’ was the son of Charles John Stewart, a collier and his wife, Florence Edith (nee Loveridge).  William was born in Cinderford on 18th July 1911.  He started work in the coal mines, but later moved across the Severn to Thornbury to look for work.  In one of his jobs he worked on the construction of the new section of the A38 road which by-passed Thornbury.

1932 wedding Bill Stewart & Winnie BennettL with namesOn 30th July 1932, Bill married Winifred Eliza Bennett.  Please click on the photograph on the left for details.  She was born on 30th January 1907, the daughter of William and Emily Bennett who lived at 5 Horseshoe Lane.  In 1935 William and Winifred Stewart were living in Horse Shoe Lane, presumably with her parents.  They had one son, Clive Edward born in 1936, before Winifred died of T.B. in 1943.  Winifred was in Over Hospital, Gloucester when she died aged 35.  She was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 20th December 1943.

In the Second World War, Bill joined the Retained National Fire Service and saw action fighting fires in the blitz attacks of Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.  Whilst working on the South Coast he met the lady was was to become his second wife, Violet Carr.  At the end of the War, Bill joined the Cullimore Brickworks and Saw Mills empire, but continued as a part-time fireman in the town.  Bill and Violet settled to live at 10 St Mary Street where they were living there from about 1940 to at least 1958.  They had a son, Michael John in 1949.  The 1965 electoral register shows they had moved to the new council houses at 54 Streamleaze.  In the 1960s he was back in uniform full-time – as chief fire officer at Oldbury Power Station.  In 1971, on his retirement from Oldbury job and from the Thornbury Brigade – by which time he was station officer – he was awarded the British Empire Medal.

Bill Stewart obit 2000

Bill Stewart – obituary in Gazette 2000

Bill died on 23rd May 2000 aged 88 years.  Please click on the image of the newspaper tribute to him on his death which is here on the left.

Violet Stewart died on 9th October 2002 aged 88 years.

Frank Worthy Holpin – the 1946 electoral register shows the house was occupied by Frank Worthy Holpin and his wife, Florence.  Click here to read more

The Steers – Raymond and Doris Steer were occupying the house in the 1954 electoral register.  According to Ron Holpin, Raymond was a boat builder, presumably working for Francis Grace who had adapted the saw mill for this trade.  They had a son called Bernard.