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The will of Richard Williams indicates that he had been a new house on the site of an old house.  We have given brief details below of the various occupants known to have lived in the house as tenants since 1785.

Robert Wiltshire and John Tilly – the will of Richard Williams dated 30th September 1785 shows the house was then occupied by Robert Wiltshire and John Tilly.  We have insufficient information to identify precisely these two occupants.  We suspect however that Robert married Elizabeth Saunders in Thornbury on 30th November 1784.  Click here to read more

There was also a John Tilly (or Tilley) living in the Town in 1789 when John and Esther Tilly baptised their daughter, Hannah, on 22nd March 1789.  Click here to read more

Hannah Cullimore – an indenture dated 7th March 1793 (relating to the property next door) shows that Hannah Cullimore a spinster and others were living in this property.  We don’t know any more to positively identify Hannah.  It is possible that she was the unmarried mother of Unity Cullimore born on 19th October 1760 and baptised on 26th December 1760.  Unity married Thomas Winstone in 1790 and he is mentioned as being a tenant of the house in an indenture of 1805.  Hannah died aged 70 and was buried on 1st September 1799.

James Cullimore and Thomas Winstone – an indenture dated 25th March 1805 (relating to next door) mentions that James Cullimore and Thomas Winstone were living in 41 St Mary Street.  We don’t know any more about James Cullimore so can’t work out if there was any connection between him and Hannah Cullimore.  The indenture shows Thomas Winstone was buying the property later known as 43 & 45 St Mary Street.  Click here to read more

Martha Walker, James Cullimore and Prudence Rugman – in an indenture dated 27th November 1820 the house was occupied by Martha Walker and James Cullimore.  When Elizabeth Johnston wrote her will in 1831 she noted that Mary Walker had previously been living in the ‘two rooms on the ground floor’ and Prudence Rugman was living in the bedroom.  The 1841 census shows Prudence was still living there, now as a lodger with Elizabeth Binden.  Prudence was described as a pauper aged 65.  She died aged 78 and was buried on 5th November 1846.

Robert Sargent – the 1859 rate book and the 1861 census shows that the next occupant was we believe Robert Sargent.  He was to continue living in the house for the next 25 years.  Click here to read more

John Phillips – the 1885, 1887 and 1890 rate books show the house was occupied by John Phillips.  We assume this was John Isaac Phillips who we know more about elsewhere on the website.  Click here to read more

William Sims  – the 1891 census shows the house was occupied by William ‘Simms’, a dairyman aged 24.  William was living with his widowed mother, Grace aged 70 from Frampton Cotterell, a niece, Agnes Powers aged 14 and a lodger, Thomas Taylor, a general labourer aged 41.  Grace Sims was the widow of Samuel Sims who had lived at 8 St Mary Street.  Click here to read more

Walter Henry Kitley – the 1894 Rate Book gives just the name of ‘Kitley’ as being the house’s occupant.  This would have been Walter Henry Kitley who was listed as living in St Mary Street in the 1896 Voters List.

Walter Henry Kitley was born in Trowbridge about 1872.  He was the son of Joseph and Sarah A Kitley.  In 1881 Joseph was the manager of the White Hart Coffee Tavern in Bradford on Avon.  By 1891 Walter had left home and was living in Somerset Buildings, Bedminster in Bristol.  He was working as a grocer’s assistant.

On 23rd November 1892 Walter married Ellen Marshall Price, the daughter of George Price, in St Mary Redcliffe church in Bristol.  They presumably came to live in Thornbury soon after their marriage as they had two children born in Thornbury:  Leslie Walter baptised on 28th February 1895 and Mabel Winifred who was born on 26th April 1896 and baptised on 22nd May 1896.  These baptism records show that Walter was working as a milkman or milk seller.  Sadly baby Leslie appears to have died soon after his birth as his death was registered in Thornbury in the June quarter of 1895.

Presumably the Kitleys had moved away from St Mary Street by 1897 as the birth of their next child, Leonard Walter Kitley, was registered in Bristol.  Leonard was baptised at St Stephen’s Church in Bristol on 6th October 1897 having been born on 16th August 1897.

The 1901 census shows the family was living in 6 Rockleaze Road in Westbury on Trym, Bristol.  He was a manager of a dairy shop.  

Their fourth child Elsie Eveline Kitley was born in Bristol in 1899 but sadly died soon afterwards.  The 1911 census shows that the family lived at the New Inn in Freshford Somerset and that of the four children who had been born to the couple only two had survived and these were Mabel and Leonard.

We understand that the trade directories for Wiltshire of 1927 and 1931 shows that Walter Henry Kitley was a publican at the Masons Arms public house in East Street in Warminster.  We understand that they also ran pubs in both Devizes and in Hill Deverill as well as the Rose and Crown in Warminster, which was near the Mason’s public house.

Len Ethels Wedding 900-1

Len & Ethel’s wedding

We are grateful to Kevan Corcoran for the above photograph which was taken at the wedding of Leonard Kitley and Ethel Pearce in 1930.  Walter Kitley appears on the back row,second right next to the bride.  He is wearing a bowler hat.  In front of Walter, wearing white and carrying flowers is Mabel Winifred Kitley.   In the front row and seated on the far left is Walter’s wife Ellen.

Probate records show that Walter Henry Kitley of the Churchill Arms in West Lavington in Wiltshire died on 12th May 1938.  Probate was granted to Ellen Marshall Kitley widow.

Albert and Mary Bagg – Albert was living in the house with his wife, Mary, in the 1901 census.  Albert was a dairyman aged 28 from Topsham in Devon.  Mary was aged 29 from Exeter.  They had one son, Cecil Albert, who was born in Clifton on 1st January 1900.  Albert married Mary Burrow in St Thomas’s registration district of Devon in 1898.

The trade directories of 1902, 1904 and 1914 show that Albert ran a shop in St Mary Street, presumably in his home.  They had a second son, Stanley Edward born on 30th November 1902 and a daughter, Dorothy baptised on 9th May 1906.  We don’t know when the Baggs left Thornbury or where they went.  We know that by 1918 they had moved to the High Street and they were still being listed there in the 1921 Electoral Register.  They had moved away by the 1931 Register. 

Austin and Ethel Collins – Austin and Ethel lived in the house from about 1921 to about 1935 when they moved to the new council houses at the Market Estate.  Austin Thomas Collins was born on 11th October 1888 and baptised on 11th November 1889, the son of Thomas and Eliza Collins.  He became known locally by the name of ‘Lebby’.  On 7th September 1914 Lebby married Ethel Cullimore who was living at Marlwood.  She was born in Iron Acton about 1891, the daughter of Anthony William Cullimore, a gardener and his wife, Emily.   In the 1911 Ethel was in service at Marlwood, the home of William Wills.

The special register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows Austin and Ethel living at 7 Market Site.  Austin was described as a mason working for the County Council.  Austin died aged 69 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 26th September 1959.  Ethel was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 24th September 1964 aged 73.

Dick and Violet Lansdown – the house was occupied by Dick and Violet Lansdown from about 1938 to the late 1950’s.  Dick was born in Thornbury on 24th November 1901.  In 1926 he married Violet Rawle in the Bristol area.  She was born on 6th November 1904.

Dick and Violet were living somewhere in Rock Street when their son, Desmond Dick, started at the Council Infants School in 1930.  Desmond was born on 9th December 1926.  Their daughter, Pamela Jean, was born on 2nd August 1930 and baptised on 31st August 1930 at which time Dick was working as a labourer.  The family continued to live in Rock Street until at least 1937.  We have been told by Win Jenkins, a reliable source, that the Lansdowns lived at 19 Horseshoe Lane for a short time before their move to 41 St Mary Street.  They were living in 41 St Mary Street in 1939 when the register was compiled in preparation for the war.   It was noted that Dick was a ‘heavy worker, builder and labourer and he also worked in the Auxiliary Fire Service.  Their daughter, Pamela, was also living there and there was one other person, probably their son, Desmond, but his name is blacked out in the register.

By 1949 Desmond had married Melitta Magdalena Elizabeth Joan and they had a daughter, Susan Pamela Kathleen.  At that time they were living with his parents but they later moved to Park View Avenue.  On 5th January 1952 Pamela Jean married Jeffrey Otley, a clerk from Talbot End, Cromhall.  At that time Dick was a store clerk and Pamela was working as a shorthand typist.  Jeffrey and Pamela were living with her parents in 1955 when their daughter, Angela Jean, was born, but by 1958 they were living in Hawthorn Crescent.

We have come across a reference to the Lansdowns in the Thornbury Magazine dated July 1995 written by ‘B.M.’ who was Dick Lansdown’s nephew.  In the article he recalled ‘These small houses had a ground floor ceiling height of just over six and a half feet.  An oak beam linked one house to its neighbour and was a nuisance being below the ceiling in the rooms at the front of the houses.  There were steps leading from the kitchen to the gardens at the rear which were some five to six feet higher than the fronts.  As my uncle was a part-time fireman we had an alarm bell (wired to the station) and this was just inside our front door.  My uncle, in response to the alarm, would put his uniform on and meet the fire engine near the Barrel pub if it came up the main street, or run after it if the call came from the ‘Farmer one cow’ direction.  My cousin Desmond Lansdown was ten years older than me and was the centre forward for Thornbury whose matches were held in the ‘playing fields’.  When I went back to St Mary Street during my National Service in the RAF, I didn’t bend enough to clear the beam and I broke off the electric bulb with my flat hat.  The toilets were at the end of the garden path, there was no bathroom.  Happy days!  My uncle and aunt moved to Down Road, Alveston, when our home was demolished‘.

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