The photo above shows a young family outside 27 St Mary Street. We are not sure when the photo was taken and who the family are. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who can tell us more!
The earliest record of any of the occupants of the house is found in the 1840 Tithe survey which shows the house was occupied by Martha Winstone. It appears likely that Martha was related in some way to Mary Wilkes, the owner of the property at that time. Mary’s sister was Sarah Winstone who was living in Tytherington. We don’t know anything about Martha to confirm or disprove this idea.
It is difficult to say who is living in the house in the 1841 census. It might be unoccupied or it might be occupied by a pauper, Sarah North, who was aged 75. It seems more likely that the house was vacant and that Sarah was sharing the house with one of her neighbours.
Samuel and Charlotte Barge – the 1851 census shows that Samuel Barge was living in the house. He was an agricultural labourer aged 67 from Thornbury living with his wife, Charlotte, a laundress aged 64, also from Thornbury, their daughter, Hannah also working as a laundress aged 44 and son, Thomas, an agricultural labourer aged 35. By 1861 Samuel had died and Charlotte was living in the same house with Hannah. Thomas had moved further up the street with Mary Bendall and her children. Click here to read more
George Ponting – an abstract of title for the house lists George Ponting as a tenant of the house before Alfred Stinchcombe. George was shown as the occupant in the 1867 rate book.
Alfred Stinchcombe – the 1871 and 1881 censuses and 1880 rate book show that the house is occupied by Alfred Stinchcombe and his family.
We think Alfred was Alfred James Stinchcombe whose birth was registered in Thornbury in 1845. The 1861 census shows he was an agricultural labourer born in Alveston. His parents were Francis Stinchcombe, a hurdle maker aged 45 from Hillesley and Hannah aged 45 from Hinton or Horton. The family was living in ‘Back Street’ which was an old name for what we now know as Rock Street.
By 1871 Alfred was married to Sarah who was born in Somerset about 1844. We think she could be Sarah Woodbridge. In the 1871 census Alfred and Sarah had 2 children: Blanche aged 2 and Charles aged 6 months. The 1881 census shows Alfred was working as a milkman aged 40. He was living with Sarah aged 36, Blanche aged 12, Charles aged 10, Laura aged 8, Albert aged 5 (born on 12th May 1875) , James aged 3 (noted as being an ‘imbecile from birth’ and Annie aged 1.
By 1885, Alfred had become innkeeper at the Wheatsheaf public house in Chapel Street. On 1st October 1886 there was a report in a newspaper to the effect that Charles Stinchcombe, Alfred and Sarah’s son, was working on a corn crusher for W G Salmon and he got his hand trapped in the machine and lost one of his fingers and severely crushed two others. The Stinchcombe’s ill luck continued and the move to the Wheatsheaf was not successful as the Bristol Mercury reported that in 1892 Alfred became bankrupt. His debts amounted to about £149. In court Alfred explained that he had commenced the business at the Wheatsheaf with £40 in capital and he had relied mainly on his wife to run the pub. Alfred blamed ‘bad trade’ and other problems following the sickness of a daughter and himself and the death of his wife in 1889 when she was aged 49. As a result he had to leave the Wheafsheaf and became a coachman. Another report from the Bristol Mercury shows that following his bankruptcy, Alfred was charged with assaulting George Henry Exell in the execution of his duties as bailiff. Whilst George was levying the defendant’s goods and seizing a gun and some saws, Alfred grabbed the gun and stuck George in the stomach with the muzzle and spat in his face and threatened ‘to do for him’. Alfred was fined 14 shillings including costs.
In the 1891 census Alfred had moved to live in 37 St Mary Street with his son, James aged 12. We don’t know what happened to Alfred. There is no sign of him in any of the Thornbury Rate Books from 1894 onwards.
Of their children
Blanche Stinchcombe had become a housemaid and lived in Clifton by 1891.
Charles Stinchcombe by 1901 had married Annie and they lived at Gloucester Road and in 4 Crispin Lane.
Albert Stinchcombe – born on 12th May 1876. He joined the Royal Navy in August 1890. When he joined the service he was described as a milk boy 5ft 2 inches, brown hair, grey eyes and fresh complexion. When he was aged 18, he signed on for 12 years. He was then 5ft 6 1/2 inches. He started as Boy 2nd Class and rose through the ranks to Able Seaman. He left the Navy in May 1905. During his service the records show he had at least 6 periods in the cells. Albert must have missed his life on the sea as in 1911 he re-enrolled, initially for a period of four years, but because of the War he served until February 1919. After leaving the Royal Navy in 1919 Albert served as an Able Seaman in the merchant navy at least until 1921. The image on the right shows Albert at that time.
Henry Williams – we are puzzled by the entry in the 1876 Rate Book which gives the name of Henry Williams as the occupant. Alfred Stinchcombe was there in the 1871 census and in the 1880 Rate Book. We cannot find any other reference to Henry which might help identify him and explain this entry. Alfred Stinchcombe is not listed as living anywhere else in 1876.
Charles White – the 1885 rate book shows that Charles White as the occupant of the house and he is shown in all the Rate Books up to 1910 which the last book we have seen. They are also both listed in the electoral registers as living in St Mary Street up to 1931 so presumably they carried on living in 27 St Mary Street.
Charles was born in New Passage, Redwick about 1853, the son of James White, a mariner from Newport, Monmouthshire and his wife, Hester. In 1861 census they are shown as living in Redwick. By 1871 the family had moved to Littleton. Charles had started working as a labourer, although he was soon to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a mariner. Charles’s brother, Moses White, is well known for having a boat called ‘Matilda’ which sailed between Lydney and Oldbury with cargoes of coal.
In 1874, Charles married Harriett Moxham. The 1880 rate book Charles is shown as living in Soaper’s Lane in the house owned by Jane Ellis. The 1881 census shows Charles and Harriett living in 29 St Mary Street. He was a mariner aged 28 born in New Passage. Harriett was aged 30 born in Thornbury. Their children were Hester aged 4, James aged 3 (noted as being an imbecile from birth), and Annie aged 1.
The 1885 and 1890 rate book show that they moved next door to number 27 St Mary Street. The 1891 census shows Charles away from home, presumably at sea. Harriett was aged 38 living with children: Ester aged 14, James aged 12 (noted as being an ‘imbecile since childhood’), Annie aged 11, Fanny aged 8, Thomas Charles aged 4 and Lily aged 2. Charles appears to have given up being a sailor and boatman. By the time their daughter, Lilly, was baptised in 1898, Charles is shown as being a labourer and this is confirmed in the 1901 census which shows Charles as a general labourer. At this time he and Harriett were living with their children: Annie aged 21, Thomas aged 14, Lilly aged 12, Harry aged 10 and Bessie aged 5.
We know from the 1905 and 1910 rate books that Charles and Harriett continued living in the same house. In the 1911 census they were living there with their sons, Tom a wood sawyer aged 24 and Henry a labourer aged 20 and their daughter, Bessie aged 16.
They were still there when the house was put up for sale in 1918 and they are shown in the electoral registers up to 1931 as living in St Mary Street. The 1927 electoral register shows that William Livall (who was married to their daughter, Bessie) was living in the house with them and William and Bessie continued to be listed as living in St Mary Street up to 1935 so we assume that they carried on living in Charles and Harriett’s house. Harriett died in 1931 aged 79 (the Gazette reported her age as 82). We suspect Charles died in 1933 aged 81, but there was also a possible death registered in 1937 aged 85.
Of their children, Thomas Charles married Florence May Wheeler and settled in Sawmill Lane and then Crispin Lane. Harry married Kate Maishment and settled to live in 11 St John Street. Click here to read more
William Livall – at the time the house was sold by Annie Lawrence to Cyril Mark Williams in 1936 it was occupied by William Livall. William was married to Bessie, the daughter of the previous occupant, Charles White (see above).
Cyril and Hilda Williams – lived in the house from 1938 until 1965/6. Click here to read more