On this page we have summarised what we know of the various people associated with the property, other than the owners.
Isaac Shill – Isaac was living in the property in 1776. Isaac was baptised on 22nd February 1749 at Tytherington. His parents were Henry and Anne Shill (note some of the family used the name of Shield rather than Shill).
On 29th November 1775 Isaac married Martha Knott at Thornbury. They had several children: Elizabeth born on 20th January 1776 and baptised on 24th March 1776, Thomas baptised on 1st April 1778, another Thomas born on 27th July 1781 and baptised on 9th September 1781, Anne born on 3rd May 1783 and baptised on 29th June 1783 and Anna born on 22nd August 1785 and baptised on 16th July 1786.
Joseph Walker – we know that Joseph was living in the property around 1780. He was a butcher. We suspect that Joseph was baptised on 2nd March 1753, the son of Thomas Walker and his wife, Mary. On 5th December 1775 Joseph married Martha Hollister, a widow from Alveston. They had several children: Joseph born on 23rd September 1778 who died as an infant and buried on 8th March 1779 and twins, Unity and Ursula born on 2nd March 1780 and baptised on 9th July 1780. Ursula died as an infant and was buried on 21st July 1780. Another Ursula was baptised on 22nd January 1783 and she was buried on 28th January 1783.
Joseph died aged 58 and was buried on 7th February 1812. Martha died aged 76 and was buried on 22nd January 1829.
Robert Wiltshire – Robert was living in the property for several years at some time between 1780 and 1798. He married Elizabeth Saunders in Thornbury on 30th November 1784 and they had at least two children: Mary born on 29th February 1788 and baptised on 4th May 1788 and William born on 5th January 1793 and baptised on 8th May 1793. There may have been one more child: Amy Wiltshire was born on 20th November 1785 and baptised on 28th December 1785. However the Scribes Alcove website’s transcription shows her parents as being Robert and Anne.
On 28th October 1798, Robert had an accident in Iron Acton according to the burial record he was ‘suffocated and drowned’. An inquest was held. He was buried aged 41.
We have a copy of the document summarising the ‘Charities vested in and under the Management of the Corporation’. This shows that in 1815 the house and butchers shop at 8 St Mary Street was then occupied by Elizabeth Wiltshire at a rent of six guineas per annum. Elizabeth appears to have moved elsewhere in 1822 when Joseph Walker took over the property. Elizabeth died aged 74 and was buried on 12th January 1834.
William Parker – the land tax records show William was the tenant of the property in 1821. The 1822 record refers to the tenant as being ‘late William Parker’ but we don’t know if that meant he had died or just moved away. We suspect that William might have been the same William Parker who was an innkeeper in Thornbury when he and his wife, Frances, baptised their son, William, in Thornbury on 6th December 1818. The Mayors Accounts show that William had been paying the rent charge on the property known as the Crown (later known as 25 High Street) from 1813 to 1818. Frances died aged 48 on 22nd May 1827.
John Withers – an extract taken from the will of the owner, William Hawkins, dated 1827 mentions that the house was occupied by someone called Withers (the forename was left blank). The land tax and rent roll records show that it was John Withers who was occupying the property during the period 1824 – 1832. We don’t know any more about John to identify him, although we note he is likely to be the same person who was occupying 55 St Mary Street in 1819 to 1823.
James Morgan – the 1840 Tithe Survey which shows it was then occupied by James. Unfortunately we don’t know anything about James to identify him.
In the 1841 census the house appears to be unoccupied.
William Henry Portman Woodland – the 1851 census appears to show that the house was occupied by a schoolmaster, William Woodland, his family, five boarding scholars including one local boy, Jonathan Luce aged 12 from Grovesend and a general servant Jane Gough aged 15. This may mean that the house was run as a private school or it may be that there was some connection with Attwells School next door. The schoolmaster and schoolmistress of Attwells School, Henry Carter and his wife, Ann, were living at the school. It would be surprising that Attwells School had three schoolteachers, but perhaps William was relieving Ann Carter who was on ‘maternity leave’ as she had a lot of young children around this time.
We know that William must have moved away to the Clifton area and later Australia from the birth records of his children. William was born in Exeter about 1790. In 1848 he married Elizabeth Hawtin, the daughter of Robert Hawtin, a previous schoolmaster at the Attwells Free School and his wife, Sarah. William was a widower at the time of the marriage and he was working as a clerk in Hay on Wye.
The 1851 census shows there was a big difference in age between William who was 61 and Elizabeth who was 21. They still managed to have four children: Ophelia Elizabeth baptised in Thornbury on 12th June 1850 and Olivia Julia Woodland born in 1855 and Olympia Maria born in 1856, both born in Clifton, and Ada born in Australia about 1859.
William died before the 1861 census which shows Elizabeth as a ‘schoolmaster’s widow’ living with her mother and her 3 youngest daughters in 7 St John Street. Her eldest daughter, Ophelia was living with her aunt and uncle, Alfred and Sarah Collings in the High Street. It is possible that William died in Australia as we can’t find any trace of his death in UK records.
The 1867 and 1869 rate books show that Elizabeth had moved to occupy a house on The Plain (where numbers 3 & 4 The Plain are now situated). She had left by 1871 when she moved to Lydling near Godalming where she was working as a district nurse. Her daughters, Olivia and Ada were living with her and still going to school. Ophelia had married a Thornbury butcher, Henry Luce in 1868 and they had taken over as occupants of the house on The Plain. It is interesting to see that Ophelia died aged only 21 and was buried on 24th March 1872 and Henry married Ophelia’s sister, Olivia in Southampton in 1881. The 1881 census Elizabeth Woodland had moved to Old Windsor where she was working as a monthly nurse and living on her own. By 1891 Henry and Olivia were living at 155 Derby Road and he and Olivia had two children: Ada Olivia aged 6 and Henry Woodland Luce aged 2, both born at Old Windsor.
Henry Martin and George Gazzard– an indenture dated 2nd February 1856 shows that Henry Martin and George Gazzard had taken over the property from Edwin Knapp who was shown as living there in an 1855 indenture. Click here to read about Henry Martin
James Gough – the 1861 census shows that the house was occupied by James Gough, a journeyman blacksmith aged 30 and his wife, Lucy aged 32 and their daughter, Mary Jane aged 8 months. James was baptised on 13th June 1833, the son of James Gough and his wife Harriett Howell. Five years after his birth, his father died in 1838 and his mother remarried in 1840, this time to George Birt. So James was brought up living with George and Harriett Birt and their ‘Birt’ children. In 1859, James married Lucy Dartnell. Lucy Dartnell came from Swansea and in 1851 census she was working as a cook in service on College Green in Bristol.
In 1861 James and Lucy were living at 13 St Mary Street and the 1871 census shows the family as still living in the same house, but now with an additional child: James George baptised on 3rd April 1870. The Goughs are also now sharing the house with 3 other families: Henry Shepherd, an unemployed and unmarried labourer aged 52 and his sister, Jane aged 73, shown as a housekeeper. Richard Greenwood, a wood sawyer aged 52 and his wife, Sophia aged 71 from Frocester. Charles Gibbs, a widowed cordwainer aged 49 and his daughter, Mary a dressmaker aged 23, Emily aged 15 and William aged 9.
The 1876 rate book and the 1881 census show that James and Lucy had moved to the house which later became known as 11 Gloucester Road. The census shows that James was an unemployed blacksmith and that their son, James was a shoemaker’s apprentice. They were still living in Gloucester Road in the 1885 rate book. James died aged 56 and was buried on 18th April 1890. wetmore
The 1890 rate book shows ‘Mrs Gough’ was now living in the house in St Mary Street, in a little house, since replaced by the public conveniences. She had taken over occupancy of the house after the death of her mother-in-law, Harriett Birt. Presumably she may have moved there to care for her mother before her death. The 1891 census shows she was living there with her young grandchildren: Ellen Wellington and Thomas John, the children of Lucy’s daughter Mary Jane. Lucy died aged 77 and was buried on 29th December1899.
George Wetmore – the 1876 rate book shows that George Wetmore was living in the house. We assume that this was George Wetmore who was baptised on 15th May 1844, the son of Thomas Wetmore, a tailor and his wife, Sarah. In 1861 George was living with his widowed mother in 13 St John Street. Click here to read more
George married Hester Ann Sweatman on 29th August 1876. Hester was the daughter of William Sweatman, a baker and Ann (nee Blake). Hester was born in Marshfield about 1845. In the 1876 Rate Book Hester was listed as the tenant of 33 High Street and she is listed as a confectioner in the High Street in a trade directory of that time.
George and Hester had George William Hastings baptised on 16th December 1877, Matilda Rose baptised on 1st June 1879 and Edith Jane baptised on 6th February 1881.
We don’t think George stayed in 13 St Mary Street for long. The 1877 rate book shows him in nearby Silver Street. In the 1881 they were living at 21 High Street – George was a master tailor and Hester was a confectioner. The 1891 census shows the family had moved to 76 Ranelagh Terrace, Leamington in Warwickshire and they had a new son, Leamington aged 4. Their son, George William Hastings had joined the Coldstream Guards and served in South Africa during the Boer War. He reached the rank of Sergeant by 1899 and he was discharged ‘by purchase’ in 1903.
By 1901 George snr had returned to live in Crossways, Thornbury with his young son, Leamington a carpenter’s apprentice aged 14. Hester was not living with George at the time and we have been unable to find her in the census. Her death was registered in Bristol in 1903 aged 58. By the 1910 rate book George had moved to 38 Castle Street. The 1911 Census shows that George had remarried. He and Sarah nee Sarah Parker Walters had been married for two years, since the March quarter of 1909. George was 64 but was still working as a tailor. We are not sure what happened to George. We know that his death was registered in the Thornbury District in 1919 aged 75, but the Prewett’s directories of 1914 – 1916 only show ‘Mrs Wetmore’ as living in Castle Street and no mention of George.
George Mills – the 1880 rate book shows the house occupied by ‘George Mills and others’. The 1881 census only shows George Mills and his family, but the notice of sale when the house was put up for auction on 27th January 1883 also mentions ‘Mrs Sims‘. We suspect that Mrs Sims was the widow of Samuel Sims – click here to read more
George Mills was a mason aged 54 living with his wife, Sarah aged 60 and children: Georgina aged 22, Charles a mason aged 19, James aged 5 and Robert aged 3, and a grand-daughter, Florence Morgan aged 7, and 2 visitors, Hannah Workman a married lady aged 24 from Wotton Under Edge and Julia Vines, an unmarried lady aged 19 also from Wotton Under Edge. The census indicates that James and Robert are the sons of George and Sarah. However the baptism records of these children show that they were actually the sons of the couple’s unmarried daughter Georgina. It is also noticeable that in other censuses “Sarah” is known as “Martha” although it appears that this is the same person.
In 1851 George was living in Gillingstool, Thornbury with his widowed father Michael and his brothers Jacob and William. We are not able to trace George and Martha’s marriage. The 1861 census shows they were living in ‘Sibland ‘ but we believe that they were living in the house in Gillingstool which later became known as Appledore. They were living with their children Amelia aged 8, Elizabeth aged 7, Anna Maria aged 4 and Georgina aged 2. In 1871 they were in the same house, with Hannah aged 15, Georgina aged 12 and Charles John aged 9. The 1885 rate book shows George as the tenant of one of the little houses which later became part of 7 Silver Street. George Mills died on 31st January 1891. The 1891 census shows Robert Mills aged 13 and James Mills aged 15 living with their widowed grandmother, Martha Mills aged 69 years. The 1894 rate book shows that Martha Mills was living in Horse Shoe Lane in a house owned by Edward Wise. However, when she died on 23rd June 1900 her address was given as St Mary Street Thornbury.
Grace Sims – we know from the 1885 rate book that the property was occupied by Grace Sims. Click here to read more about Grace
During the period when it was owned by the Roman Catholic Church and it was occupied during this period by members of the clergy and various housekeepers or caretakers until the new church was built in Castle Street in the early 60’s.