We apologise that we have no photographs of this house and would love to hear from anyone who does! We are grateful to South Gloucestershire Council who allowed us access to those deeds and documents held by them relating to 57 St Mary Street.
A Supplementary Abstract of Title dated 1930 that details the entitlement of Arthur Land Honeyborne to this property indicates the lengthy history of this property. The Abstract starts with a reference to an an indenture made between Thomas Smith and William Greenfield that demised to William Greenfield from 15th May 1690 for a thousand years at a peppercorn rent. The property seems to have always been a leasehold one.
It seems possible that the Thomas Smith first mentioned here was an extensive land owner in this area. We have few records of this period and they are by no means explicit but a rent roll of 1670 refers to a Thomas Smith paying tax for several properties. It is not an uncommon name and we cannot be certain that the separate references relate to the same generation of Thomas Smith. With those caveats, we note that the records indicate the following properties:
“from Rotten Row extending to St Mary Street” owned by Thomas Smith for a property of 1/2 burgage previously associated with Henry Adeys. Rotten Row was an old name for Chapel Street and indicates that the land was at the top part of St Mary Street near the corner with Chapel Street.
“The west side of the same street” owned by Thomas Smith for his dwelling house and a burgage.
“Nelme Street alias the Back Street” owned by Elianor Powell, Thomas Smith and Judith Webb for 2 1/2 burgages. Nelme Street was an old name for what became Rock Street.
We have no record that shows when a house was built on the property. We do know that when it was conveyed to Morris Edmonds on 30th September 1859 the owner was William Ford of Brinsop and the property was described as number 145 on the Tithe Map. The Tithe Apportionment describes that property as a house and garden occupied by Hugh Davis and owned by William Ford. The earliest document we have in the deeds of 57 St Mary Street is dated 3rd August 1861.
We have some details of the people who owned this house and have outlined them below. The most striking thing about 57 St Mary Street is that from what seems to be the very earliest days right up to 1958, none of the owners lived in the house and for families such as the Honeybornes and the Cullimore it was only one of the many properties they owned.
We know from land tax and rent rolls that William Ford owned a property occupied by John Nelmes for many years, indeed back to the 1809 land tax when it was a property rated as 1/- but we cannot say what kind of property it was. It is interesting to note that in the same 1809 land tax John Nelmes occupied the neighbouring property owned by Mary Williams which was rated at the larger sum of 3/6. This appears to be what later became 55 St Mary Street. We know that the Williams family owned property in this part of St Mary Street.
On the 20th May 1749 when the neighbouring property (59 and 61 St Mary Street) was conveyed the adjoining property on the north side (which we assume would later become 57 St Mary Street) was said to be “lands of William Bigley and partly lands of Richard Williams”. At this point we do not have enough information to interpret all these facts and can merely note them for further research.
William Ford – the Abstract of Title of Arthur Land Honeyborne to this property refers to an “Indenture dated on or about 30th September 1859 expressed to be made between William Ford of parish of Brinsop in the county of Hereford yeoman and Harriett his wife and ….. Morris Edmonds. The 1861 census shows William Ford aged 53 a farmer of 280 acres living in Brinsop in Herefordshire with Harriett his wife aged 54. William was born in Thornbury and Harriett in Falfield. They had a daughter Harriett aged 19 also born in Falfield”. This William Ford would obviously not be old enough to have been the same William Ford who owned the property in 1809.
This William Ford was the son of a brazier and tin man, Robert Ford and his wife, Lucinda (nee Lucinda Maisie). He was born 11th October 1806 and baptised 14th January 1807. William had a very sad early life. His older brother Robert died 8th May 1807 aged three years and nine months, his mother Lucinda died the following year on September 5th 1808 aged 23 years, and finally father Robert died aged 32 in 1809. All these members of the family were buried in Thornbury churchyard. We assume that William remained in the area because another sibling, Mary Ford died in 1821 aged 16 years and was also buried in St Mary’s churchyard.
It is difficult to trace the whereabouts of a young orphan like William, although documents in the deeds of 34 High Street where William’s family lived refer to a William Ford of Falfield who may be connected. We have no further record of him until his marriage to Harriett Roach on April 21st 1831. At that time William Ford was said to be living in Rockhampton. The 1841 census shows the family living in Upleadon in Gloucestershire, and then by 1851 William was living in Brinsop and farming 273 acres. He lived with his wife Harriett and seven children, the oldest of who was Lucinda who was born in Brockhampton and aged 19 years.
Morris Edmonds – the deeds held by South Gloucestershire Council contain an indenture of 3rd August 1861 between Morris Edmonds a yeoman of Falfield who received £80 from John Honeyborne in payment for this “messuage or tenement wherein Joseph Isles butcher formerly inhabited and John Nelmes, Hugh Davis and Charles Hopton afterwards respectively dwelt and wherein Simon O’Reilly did then dwell with the outbuildings garden outlet and appurtenances thereto belonging.” The 1861 indenture refers to an earlier indenture dated 30th September 1859 between William and Harriett Ford and Morris Edmonds and makes it clear that Morris had become ‘vested’ in the property in St Mary Street.
We know that Morris Edmonds was a dealer from Rockhampton and the son of John Edmonds, a labourer and his wife Eleanor, nee Jones. On 18th May 1841 Morris married Elizabeth Lydiate, the daughter of John Lydiate, a farmer. The 1841 census shows that Morris Edmonds was aged 38 and a farmer in Rockhampton with his wife Elizabeth aged 21 and father John aged about 70 years. Morris’s mother Eleanor Edmonds had died in 1831 aged 64. By 1851 Morris still living in Falfield aged 50, was a widower and described as a teazel dealer (teazels were, and in some cases still are, used to raise the nap on cloth). He was living with his young daughter Elizabeth aged seven and his widowed father in law John Liddiatt (the spellings vary considerably) aged 68. By 1861 the census shows he was a land proprietor aged 60 living with his unmarried daughter aged 17 and father in law John Lidiate aged 78. His widowed sister Melborough Scott aged 62 had joined the household.
On 18th July 1874 the Bristol Mercury reported that Morris “a gentleman farmer residing at Falfield” was charged with being drunk on the highway at Falfield. Apparently he had attended Berkeley market and sold some pigs. He returned from market about 2pm and went to the house of Mr Andrews a licensed victualler in nearby Stone where he had a pint of beer. Soon after leaving he fell and cut his head and Mr. Andrews sent his brother with a trap to take him home. Morris was left near the Black Lion inn, where he drank spirits. Witnesses said he had been walking unsteadily. The defence stressed how respectable Mr Edmonds was and said that a man of 70 could not be expected to walk very steadily, especially after a fall. The magistrates dismissed the case and some people in court began to cheer the accused but were quickly quietened.
Melborough Scott died in 1875 aged 81. Morris died on 13th June 1876 aged 76. John Parry of Bristol a printer and George Taylor of Horseshoe Farm in Thornbury were his executors.
John Honeyborne – on 3rd August 1861 John bought the property for £80 from Morris Edmonds. John died on 29th December 1867 aged 38 and his wife, Emma, inherited all his properties. Emma re-married in St Paul’s Parish Church in Bristol on 15th May 1875. Her new husband was John Stevens. Click here to read more
John and Emma Stevens – are shown as owners of the two houses in the 1876 and 1880 Rate Books. John Stevens died in 1884 aged 49 and Emma died on 8th April 1885 aged 53. The ownership of their various properties transferred to Emma’s son, Austin John Honeyborne on 2nd August 1864. Click here to read more
Austin John and Maria Honeyborne – Austin was born in 1859, the son of John and Emma Honeyborne. In 1885 Austin John inherited the property belonging to his mother and stepfather. He had an accidental death in 1899 and Maria took over his property until she died in 1914. Following Maria’s death, the Honeyborne property was divided between the three sons. Arthur Land Honeyborne acquired a house in Bath Road occupied by Sherborne and Maggs, a trap-house in Bath Road occupied by Albert Bagg and 57 St Mary Street occupied by John Radford. Click here to read more
Arthur Land Honeyborne – when Arthur Land Honeyborne sold 57 St Mary Street to Edmund Cullimore on 22nd July 1930 he was living at 1 Herbert Street in Eastville, Bristol. He was described as a commercial traveller. Arthur was born in Bristol on 23rd May 1890 and was the son of Austin and Emma Honeyborne. The 1891 census shows him living in St Philips in Bristol with his family. In 1894 the family moved back to Thornbury and lived in 56 High Street. In 1899 when Arthur was only 10 years old his father was killed in an accident. His mother brought her young family to live in 6 Castle Street and the 1901 census shows that Arthur was a ten year old school boy. He was enrolled in Thornbury Grammar School in 1904. In 1911 they were living in the same house and Arthur had become a grocer’s assistant. Arthur Honeyborne married Gladys Salmon in Bristol in 1918. They had at least three sons; Reginald born 1920, Arthur born 1922 and Kenneth born 1924.
Edmund Cullimore – bought 57 St Mary Street in July 1930 from Arthur Land Honeyborne for £200. Edmund Cullmore was a major figure in Thornbury in his time. He was born in 1850 and during his ninety years he was a local politician, land owner and magistrate. His business interests led him to provide Thornbury with a cinema a brick and tile works and a sawmill. He also pioneered the bringing of electricity to Thornbury. Edmund died in 1941. Edmund’s will of 1939 appointed Helen Garfield Grace, Francis Henry Grace and Edmund Cullimore Grace as his trustees. Francis Grace died in 1949. Click here to read more
The house was put up for sale by auction in 1958 as part of the estate of Edmund Cullimore. It was described as ‘a terraced house with garden constructed of stone with roughcast front and tiled roof, known as 57 St Mary Street, Thornbury, comprising of two front sitting rooms, back kitchen with boiler and sink, two bedrooms and landing bedroom, outside W.C. It is let to Mrs McLoughlin at an inclusive rental of 10/- per week. Rateable value £11.’
On the second of February 1959 Helen Garfield Grace and Edmund Cullimore Grace sold the property to Beatrice Trayhurn for £100.
Beatrice Susannah and Henry Charles Thomas Trayhurn – Henry Charles Thomas Trayhurn married Beatrice Susanna Liddiatt in the Bristol on 6th September 1912. Click here to read more
Beatrice Trayhurn died 6th May 1960. Probate was granted on 31st May 1960. Administration of the estate was granted to Hugh Edward Wells a solicitor. Only her husband Thomas is listed in the Electoral Rolls of 1961 and he is shown as living in 57 St Mary Street where he still lived in the 1965 register. Their daughter Norah Ellen Green died on 13th July 1964. Thomas died at 60 St Bride’s Road Aberkenfig in Bridgend on 14th September 1966. On 20th December 1968 Hugh Wells the administrator of the estate sold 57 St Mary Street to Thornbury Rural District Council for £1,700.00. The house was demolished as part of the redevelopment of Thornbury to create a car park.