We are not sure who lived in the house in the early years.
Daniel Iles (sometimes referred to as Daniel Isles) – we believe that the 1851 census shows the house was occupied by Daniel Iles, a master ropemaker aged 43 from Hawkesbury Upton, his wife, Mary, from Thornbury and their children: Ann aged 20, Frances aged 17, Hannah aged 11, Frederick aged 9 and Emily aged 6. In 1841 census the family were living at 48 High Street. There were 7 children living with them: Daniel aged 11, Mary Ann aged 10, Martha aged 7, Elizabeth aged 5, Lucy aged 3, Hannah aged 2 and Frederick aged 6 months. They seemed to have had another son, Frederick Slain Iles, was baptised on 8th June 1834 on the same day as his sister, Martha. The Land Tax records of 1831 and 1832 show Daniel was renting 48 High Street from that time.
In September 1859 Daniel was accidently killed when he fell from a potato cart being driven back from Bristol by Ephraim Wilson. He was buried on 15th September 1859. It was supposed that he was turning to look at Prewett’s omnibus which they were overtaking and he fell striking his head against the wheel. Although a doctor was called he was too badly injured for anything to be done and he was carried home where he died two hours later.
We don’t know what happened to Mary. Her daughter, Mary Ann emigrated to Australia with Sarah English. Mary Ann and Sarah sailed aboard ‘Busorah Merchant’ which sailed from Plymouth in January 1853 and arrived in Sydney on 19th March 1853. The Busorah Merchant was carrying 293 bounty immigrants, more than half of which were young single females. It was reported in the Empire newspaper in Sydney that Mary Ann married John Green, a farmer from Lincolnshire on 27th March 1858. Mary’s son, Frederick, went to London and became a pianoforte maker. He married an Ann Davis in 1862 and they were living in Deptford in 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses.
Ambrose Withers – Ambrose lived in the house for a long time – for at least 40 years from 1861 or earlier. Ambrose was baptised on 1st January 1823, the son of William Withers, a pig dealer and his wife, Ann (nee Millins).
In the 1841 census Ambrose was a blacksmith living in Colwell Street (now called The Plain) with his elder brothers, William and Edwin, both of whom were working as agricultural labourers. In 1841 Ambrose’s mother was a widow living in service in Cromhall where she was employed as a nurse by Slade Baker, a farmer.
In 1851 census Ambrose was living in Gillingstool with his widowed mother, Ann, who was a nurse. No occupation was shown against Ambrose who was aged 29. He was shown as a labourer on 2nd February 1857 when he married Hannah Bell. Hannah was aged 24, the daughter of Joseph Bell, a labourer. We are fortunate to have found a document at Gloucester Record Office which provides a description of Hannah in 1850. She had got into trouble with the Police accused of feloniously stealing 18lb weight of beef, the property of George Rice. She pleaded not guilty and was released by order of the Court without further charges. The record shows that Hannah was a servant aged 19, height 5ft 2inches, dark brown hair, dark hazel eyes, long visage and dark complexion with heavy eyebrows and she had a cut on the right first left finger and a dark spot in the corner of her right eye. At the time she was living at the White Hart and before that she was living for six months at Woolaston. The 1841 census shows Hannah in the Workhouse aged 8. Her parents were living at Crossways without any children at home. In the 1851 census Hannah is in the Workhouse with her son, Charles aged 2 months. Charles died aged 1 year and 4 months and was buried on 21st April 1852.
The 1861 census actually shows Ambrose and Hannah sharing a house with George Davis and his family, but we believe that it is likely that they were living in the part of the house which later became number 39 St Mary Street. The confusion being caused by the strange arrangement where the two houses numbers 37 and 39 share the same doorway on to the street. The census shows Ambrose was a journeyman blacksmith aged 39 living with Hannah aged 30 and Mary Ann aged 6 born in Rhymney, Monmouthshire, Albert aged 4, William aged 2, and Anne, his mother aged 82.
We note that Mary Ann was born in Wales about two years before Ambrose and Hannah’s marriage. She may be the Mary Ann Bell whose birth is registered in Abergavenny in June quarter 1855 and that she may have changed her name to Withers following Ambrose and Hannah’s marriage. Alternatively we note that there is the birth of a Mary Ann Withers registered in Abergavenny in 1854.
Ambrose’s mother died aged 85 and was buried on 31st May 1863 – she was buried at Thornbury St Marys Church, but the record shows she was living at Winterbourne at the time of her death.
The 1871 census shows the family still in St Mary Street. Ambrose was a journeyman blacksmith aged 49 living with Hannah a seamstress aged 40, Albert aged 13, William Henry aged 11, Elizabeth Jane aged 9, Louisa aged 7, Emily aged 5 and Ambrose aged 2. The 1876 rate book confirms that they were living in the house later known as 39 St Mary Street and they were still there in the 1881 and 1891 censuses. In 1881 Ambrose was a blacksmith aged 59 living with Hannah aged 49, Amelia a domestic servant aged 14, Ambrose aged 11 and Edward aged 9. In 1891 Ambrose was a journeyman blacksmith aged 68 living with just Hannah aged 53.
The Thornbury rate books lists Ambrose as still living in the house in 1899, and they were still there in the 1901 census, although the enumerator failed to enter their surnames, erroneously suggesting that they had the same surname as their neighbours, the Trayhurns.
Hannah died in St Mary Street aged 71 and she was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 11th February 1904. Ambrose died in St Werburghs, Bristol in 1908 aged 85. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 22nd July 1908.
Charles Power – the 1905 rate book shows that Charles Power was living in the house. We suspect that this Charles is the son of George and Mary Power who lived at 2 Sawmill Lane and then moved to Castle Street. In 1901 Charles was an unmarried groom aged 27 living with his parents in Castle Street. It is possible that Charles married Rose Adey in the Dursley area later in 1901. An indenture dated 15th May 1903 shows Charles living as a tenant of 6 Pullins Green. We have no further record of Charles in Thornbury, apart from the fact that he was fined in Thornbury in June 1904 for keeping a dog without a licence.
Charles Hurn – Charles appears to have moved into the house from 31 St Mary Street about 1910. His name is crossed out in the 1910 electoral register against number 31 and shown as a ‘late’ entry against number 39. He is shown as living in this house in the 1911 census when he and his wife, Elizabeth, were living with their son, Henry, a house decorator aged 19. We believe that from 1917 onwards Charles shared the house with his daughter, Daisy, and her husband, Victor Henry Payne. Charles appears to have died in 1927 although the FreeBMD website shows his age as 87 which a few years older than Charles would have been based on the census records. Elizabeth died in 1926 aged 72. Daisy and Victor Payne carried on living in the house after Charles’s death. Click here to read more
Victor Henry and Daisy Elizabeth Payne – we think that ‘Henry’ as he appeared to have been called and Daisy lived in 39 st Mary Street with Charles Hurn following their marriage at Thornbury Register Office on 2nd January 1917. Daisy was the daughter of Charles Hurn who had been living in 39 St Mary Street for some time and they seemed to share his house until his death in 1927 and then they carried on living there until at least 1935.
‘Henry’ was born in Whitfield near Falfield on 24th August 1891, the son of George Payne and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Nelmes). The 1901 census shows him in the home of his uncle and aunt in Tutnall near Bromsgrove. In the 1911 census he was working as a colliery lampman in Rhymney, Monmouthshire. He was living at 15 Hill Street, Rhymney in the home of a Thornbury man, Thomas B. Jefferies and his family.
Henry was a private in the Berkshire Regiment when he married Daisy in 1917 and he was still a soldier on 7th July 1918 when their first child was baptised, a daughter called Freda Joyce. He was a carter when Cicely Elizabeth was baptised on 1st May 1921 and when Millicent Martha was baptised on 3rd December 1922. He was a labourer when George Frederick Charles was baptised on 6th April 1924 and Alice Margaret was baptised on 7th March 1926. The baptism of their youngest child, Lionel Victor Henry, shows he was a roadman by 2nd February 1934. The school records show that Freda was born on 3rd June 1918, Cicely on 8th February 1921, Millicent on 20th September 1922, George on 30th January 1924 and Margaret on 17th January 1926.Of their children, we know that on 30th November 1946 Margaret Alice married Erwin John Willcocks, a farmer from Devon. She was working as a shop assistant at the time of the marriage. On 25th April 1949 Millicent Martha married Percy Messenger, a quarryman from Grovesend and the son of Charles Messenger. She was also working as a shop assistant at the time of their marriage.
The 1938 electoral register shows the Payne family had moved one of the new council houses at 12 Market Site. The documents relating to the building of these new houses includes a reference to some of the houses there being specially designed for large families to deal with the over-crowding problem in Thornbury. It lists the Payne family as one of the larger families as it comprised the two parents and six children.
The special register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows Victor and Daisy living at 12 Market Site. Victor is described as a general labourer. Of their children, Freda is living with them and described as being in ‘Domestic Service’. George was described as being a labourer at a coal merchants. The details of the other children at home were ‘blacked out’.
By 1949 they had moved to 9 North Road. The photo shown above on the right was copied from a family tree on the Ancestry website. It was probably taken outside of 9 North Road.
Victor Henry died at Thornbury Hospital aged 83 and was buried on 9th December 1974. His address at that time was 36 Ashford Road, Patchway. Daisy died at Thornbury Hospital aged 84 and was buried on 8th June 1977.
William G. Brown – the register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war places William in one of the houses in the vicinity of 39 St Mary Street. We are not sure which house he lived in, but can’t fit him in any other house! William was a gas stoker born on 1st January 1897. He is not listed as living in Thornbury in the 1938 or 1946 electoral registers.
Arthur and Winifred Hill – lived in the house from about 1946 to about 1961. Arthur Raymond Hill was born in 1914, the son of Frank Hill and his wife, Elsie M (nee Lambert).
In 1932 Arthur married Winifred Mary Lambert. Winifred was born in Tytherington on 1st December 1910, the daughter of Henry and Annie Elizabeth Lambert. We don’t know if there was any connection between the two Lamberts, Elsie and Winifred. Their daughter, Joan Mary, was born on 16th September 1932. When Joan was admitted to the Council School in 1937 the family were living in Crossways, but they were living in St Mary Street in the 1946 electoral register. The record of Joan’s marriage to Dennis Arthur William Hiscock on 2nd September 1954 shows that Joan’s address was 39 St Mary Street. At that time, Arthur was a quarryman and Dennis was a lorry driver from Old Down. Dennis and Joan moved to live at 4 High Street. By 1965, Arthur and Winifred had moved to live in one of the new council houses in 76 Streamleaze.