Early indentures and other documents show that the three properties on St Mary street (numbers 19, 21 and 23) and other properties to the rear of these three were built on a single burgage plot bordered by St Mary Street, Horseshoe Lane, St John Street and the house later known as number 17 St Mary Street.  From these documents we have therefore been able to get a better picture of the early history of the property, its owners and occupants.

The earliest document so far found which can clearly be linked with these properties is an indenture dated 31st March 1697.

This indenture was made ‘between William Trotman of Thornbury, taylor, and Joseph Trotman of Thornbury, shoemaker, grandsons of Ursula Arnold late of Thornbury, widow deceased sole daughter and heir of William Ryder late of Thornbury, gentleman deceased, and sister and heir of Thomas Ryder deceased, son of the said William Ryder of the one part and Jonathan Barton of Thornbury shoemaker of the other part‘.

This shows us that in 1697 William and Joseph Trotman were selling property that they inherited from their grandmother Ursula Arnold.  It does say that Ursula herself was the heiress of both her father and her brother but we suspect that the property in question was not part that of her inheritance from them.  We have speculated below how Ursula may have acquired the property.

The next passage shows us in some detail how big the property was:

All that messuage or tenement with the appurtenances situate standing and being within the borough of Thornbury in a street there called St Mary Street als Back Street wherein Robert Baker and Thomas Hill formerly dwelt and wherein the said Ursula Arnold lately dwelt and wherein Henry Harris and John Holder now inhabiteth with the curtillage or backside gardens and orchard and all outhouses and buildings to the same adjoining and belonging containing in the whole by estimation one burgage and extending forward to the aforesaid street on the westward side and extending backwards unto a street there called St Johns Street on the eastwards side and adjoining to a house belonging to the poor of Thornbury and now in the tenure of one William Russell on the northward side and to a lane or highway leading from St Mary Street aforesaid towards a place called Gillingstool on the southward side thereof which said messuage or tenement curtillage and premises are situate and being within the Borough of Thornbury and now by deed indentured conveyed by the said Ursula Arnold unto them the said William Trotman and Joseph Trotman and their heirs and assigns for ever and now are in the tenure or occupation of the said William Trotman and Joseph Trotman  their tenants or assigns“.

In today’s terms this piece of land is very impressive and would be very valuable.  It includes the land on which there are three properties in St Mary Street which are now shops and a passage through to Aldi.  It extends far back, following the course of what was then a much longer Horseshoe Lane and includes the site of what later became a terrace of six houses in Pullins Green.

Of the various people mentioned in this indenture, we know that:

William Ryder was Mayor of Thornbury in 1610/11 and 1617/18.  We know from his last will dated 20th October 1632 that William had married a Johan Baker and that they had two children: Thomas and Ursula.  In his will William refers to a property he owns in Rockhampton which is being rented out – he doesn’t mentions that he owns the property in which he and Johan were living.  It is interesting to note that Johan was previously married to a Mr Baker with whom she had at least three children – Arthur, John and Mary Baker.  This is just speculation, but it is possible that the Robert Baker who is mentioned in the indenture as having lived in the house may have been her first husband and Johan may had been left the house on her husband’s death and then passed it on to Ursula.

We suspect Ursula married Richard Arnold (and we think he would be the same person as ‘Richard Arnalld’ listed as being Mayor of Thornbury in 1654/55 and 1665/66).  Although we haven’t seen the will there is the one for Richard Arnold of Thornbury included in the list of Gloucester Wills in 1668.  We have also seen on the Internet a reference to a court case involving Ursula Arnold.  ‘On 28 November 1682 Thomas Smith of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, yeoman, said that he was approached by Richard Arnold who wished to lease from him a house in Thornbury.  Thomas, esteeming Richard to be an indigent person, required him to find some other party who would agree to pay the rent.   Richard prevailed upon his mother Ursula Arnold to enter with him into a seven year lease which was signed with Thomas Smith on 26 February 1674.  The rents were frequently overdue and Thomas had frequently to importune Ursula.  At the time of the court case Richard owed 14 pounds for two years’ rent and Ursula pleaded the Statute of Limitations, saying that Richard had become insolvent’.

The Bartons – we know from the document mentioned above that Jonathon Barton a shoemaker of Thornbury purchased the property in 1697.  We are fortunate to have been sent a lot of information about the Barton family by Richard Barton who has pulled together a considerable amount of information about the family.  Unfortunately at this stage we cannot identify this Jonathan in the family.  There were several Johns and Jonathans around at this time but the none of them are shown in the notes as being a shoemaker.

The next document relating to the property is the will of John Barton butcher of Thornbury written on 20th May 1727.

The will says: ‘Item I give and devise unto my loving wife Sarah Barton all and singular my messuages lands and tenements whatsoever and wheresoever with their and every of their appurtenances and to hold unto my said wife for and during the time of her natural life. And from and after her decease I give my messuage or tenement situate in Thornbury aforesaid in a street there called the Back Street wherein one Ursula Arnold, widow deceased lately dwelt with the garden orchard ground outhouses and appurtenances to the same messuage or tenement belonging to my son Jonathan Barton‘.

John left another ‘messuage and tenement wherein William Poney barber now dwelleth situated in Thornbury aforesaid with the appurtenances unto my son Thomas Barton‘.  We think this property was in Chipping Street (now Silver Street).

John Barton was baptised on 28th August 1673 at Thornbury, the son of John Barton, a butcher and his wife, Mary (nee Thurston).  The younger John married Sarah Winstone of Wotton-under-Edge at Stone Parish Church on 30th April 1700.  Her name was given in the Stone Register as “Ann Winston”.  The marriage allegation was dated 29th April and they were both described as of Wotton-under-Edge, he being twenty-four and she being twenty-one years old.  Their first child, Mary, was baptised at Wotton-under-Edge Parish Church in 1701 but other baptisms between 1702 and 1717 took place at Thornbury.  They had at least ten children.  Their sons Thomas and Jonathan both became butchers.  John was buried on 28th August 1727 at Thornbury and his widow, Sarah, was buried on 8th May 1745 at Thornbury.

Jonathan Barton – he inherited the property from his father, John Barton, following his death in 1727.  Jonathan Barton was baptised on 16th October 1705.  He became a butcher in Thornbury. On 24th January 1731 he married Mehitibel Hughes at Thornbury.  It doesn’t appear that Jonathan lived in the property.  He appears to have owned two other properties in the High Street (with access on to Soapers Lane) which he purchased from his brother Thomas Barton.  In his will dated 28th January 1769 he left these properties to his daughter, Ann and his son Thomas.  He was buried on 9th April 1773 at Thornbury.

Indentures made 4th and 5th May 1758 show Jonathan Barton had sold his property in St Mary Street to Simeon Tompkins yeoman of Rangeworthy for £126.  These indentures give the following full description of the property and its occupancy.  

All that messuage or tenement with the appurtenances situate standing and being within the Borough of Thornbury in a street there called St Mary Street als Back Street formerly in the tenure or occupation of Robert Baker and Thomas Hill afterwards of Ursula Arnold sometime since of Henry Harris and John Holder and now of Joseph Thurston with the curtillage or backside gardens and orchard and all outhouses and buildings to the same adjoining and belonging containing in the whole by estimation one burgage and extending forwards to the aforesaid street on the westward side and extending backwards unto a street there called St Johns Street on the eastward side and adjoining to a house belonging to the poor of Thornbury formerly in the tenure of one William Russell and now of John Facey on the northward side and to a lane or highway leading from St Mary Street towards a place called Gillingstool on the southward side thereof which said messuage or tenement curtillage and premises are situate and being within the borough of Thornbury and were by John Barton father of the said Jonathan Barton in and by his last will and testament in writing bearing date on or about 21st August 1727 given and devised (amongst other things) to him the said Jonathan Barton and his heirs forever as in and by the said will which was duly proved in the Consistory Court of Gloucester‘.

The Tompkins – Simeon Tompkins purchased the property in 1758 from Jonathan Barton.  Simeon was the son of Thomas Tompkins and his wife, Alice (nee Rawlings).  He married Sarah Thurston in Thornbury on 6th April 1729 and they had a son, Thomas baptised in Thornbury on 15th September 1732.  His will dated 1775 mentions four other sons; Paul, Mark, Levy and Luke.  The IGI tells us that of these Paul was baptised about 1739, Mark about 1736, Levy about 1742 and Luke about 1737.  However we have not yet been able to corroborate this.

We know from the burial record that Simeon was a gardener.  His will describes him as a yeoman.  The will also mentions various pieces of land that Simeon owned.  This included two closes called Comb Leaze in Thornbury, tenanted by William Greenwood, which Simeon left to his son Thomas.

According to the terms of the will, Thomas was also to inherit the property where Simeon lived, which we believe to be this property in St Mary Street, and a third property, a copyhold cottage with closes of ground in the parish of Thornbury which Simeon had bought from John Cook.

We have other records connecting Simeon to properties.  In 1754 Richard Wilkins‘ will mention that Simeon occupied a property that he (Richard Wilkins) then owned.  Richard also left closes of land to his daughter Mary Bingham called Grove, Broadleaze and Little Paddock which were tenanted by Simeon Tompkins

Simeon Tompkins was buried in Rangeworthy on 8th December 1774.  The Thornbury Land Tax records show that from 1780 to 1783 his widow Sarah Tompkins owned a property which appears to be in the St Mary Street area of the town. In 1780 the occupant was William Taylor and in 1781 to 1783 the occupant was Thomas Liddiatt.  We suspect that Sarah died around 1783 as the property was sold by her son, Thomas, in 1784.  At that time Thomas Liddiatt was said to be the occupant.  We know from the description of the property when sold in 1784 that this is the same property purchased by Simeon in 1758.

Thomas Tomkins married Sarah Tayler in Thornbury on 6th February 1758.  He was described a yeoman of Keynsham in 1784.  Levy Tompkins married Sarah Partridge in 1776 in Iron Acton.

The next document which we have seen is an indenture made 24th March 1784 between Thomas Tompkins of the parish of Keynsham in the county of Somerset yeoman of the one part and Robert Caddy of the town of Thornbury in the County of Gloucester dealer and chapman of the other part.  It refers to:

All that messuage or tenement with the appurtenances situate standing and being within the Borough of Thornbury in a street there called St Mary Street als Back Street late in the occupation of Thomas Liddiatt with the curtillage or backside gardens and orchard and outhouses and buildings to the same adjoining and belonging containing with whole by estimation one burgage and extending forwards to the aforesaid street on the westward side and extending backwards unto a street there called St John Street on the eastward side and adjoining to a house belonging to the poor of Thornbury now in the tenure of Susannah Facey on the northward side and to a lane or highway leading from St Mary Street towards a place called Gillingstool on the southward side thereof which said messuage or tenement curtillage and premises are situate and being within the Borough of Thornbury‘.

The next document which we have seen is an indenture made 15th November 1817 between Robert Caddy of Thornbury yeoman of the one part and James Pearce and Thomas Pearce both of the parish of Berkeley gentlemen of the other part.  Robert arranged with the Pearces for a loan of £400 for which he was putting up his property as security.  It was described as:

All that messuage or tenement with appurtenances situate in Thornbury in a certain street there called St Mary Street alias the Back Street containing the whole by estimation one burgage and extending forwards to the aforesaid street on the westward side and extending backwards into a street there called St Johns Street on the eastward side and adjoining to a house belonging to the poor of Thornbury formerly in tenure of Susannah Facey but now of (blank) on the northward side and to a lane or highway leading from St Mary Street towards a place called Gillingstool on the southward side thereof which said messuage or tenement curtillage and premises are situate in the Borough of Thornbury and are now in the possession of Robert Caddy and also all outhouses etc etc’.

The next document is an indenture dated 5th and 6th December 1823 between Ann Caddy widow of the one part, Hester Caddy spinster of the second part, John Clark Wilkins, an auctioneer and Elizabeth his wife of the third part and Daniel Burchell of the fourth part.  Daniel bought the property for £400.  The description was the same as the one above dated 1817 except John Edmonds was now noted to have replaced Susannah Facey next door and Ann Caddy and Hester Caddy were the occupants of the property being sold.

Thus Daniel Burchell had acquired a burgage plot in 1823 with plenty of scope for development.  We know from other indentures that shortly after 1817 he built 21 and 23 St Mary Street.  Click here to read more

He also built the six cottages on the lower end of the burgage plot which fronted Pullins Green which became numbered 2 – 12 Pullin Green.

He built the two houses fronting Horseshoe Lane which later became known as 2 and 4 Horseshoe Lane.

He built more two houses in Horseshoe Lane immediately behind 23 St Mary Street which later became known as Marylands.

Click here to read more about the history of 19 St Mary Street