We apologise that we have no decent photographs of these houses. We would love to hear from anyone who does! In the meantime we were delighted when we were given an aerial view of the top end of the street taken about 1950. The two houses that became 59 and 61 St Mary Street are the two buildings at the end of the terrace and are on the right of the photograph in the foreground. The Wheatsheaf pub in Chapel Street with its distinctive black and white upper storey appears to be just behind them at this angle. We were surprised to see that 61 High Street was a relatively small house compared to the larger 59 High Street. The bakehouse is clearly visible in the rear of the property.
In May 1955 The Gazette published a sale notice for the two properties following the death of the owner, G. H. Roberts. It described 59 st Mary Street as ‘a freehold property comprising substantially constructed dwelling house containing four bedrooms, box room, two sitting rooms, shop and the usual offices, together with well arranged outbuildings including Bake House, fitted Hawkins’ Patent Perfect double steam oven, Bread Room, Flour Store, Cart Houses, Stabling etc with entrances from both St Mary Street and Chapel Street’. Number 61 was described as a ‘Cottage let to Mr. H. C. Trayhurn at an inclusive rental of 6/- per week’. The asking price of number 59 with bakery was £1750. The asking price of number 61 was £500. Further information showed that the cottage had front sitting room, storeroom, kitchen, lean-to wash-house and two bedrooms.
We are grateful to South Gloucestershire Council who allowed us to copy the deeds of this properties. The records show that the two houses (later known as 59 and 61 St Mary Street) were originally on a single property which had a very long history, going back to the first part of the Eighteenth Century and probably long before that. It is interesting to see how very different this part of St Mary Street must once have looked. The original house obviously had a large area of ground attached to it on at least two sides. The ground was described as an orchard and a garden. In modern terms this original property extended from the top of St Mary Street to the junction with Chapel Street and back to Rock Street.
We have given below what we know about the owners of the two houses. Please click on the two links to read about the occupants of the houses
Joseph and Margaret Glover – the Glovers are the first family that we know to be associated with this property. On 20th March 1749 the heirs of Joseph Glover sold the property on which 59 and 61 St Mary Street later stood together with a large area of ground described as an orchard and garden. The heirs were said to be Alice Glover of Colliers Rents in Southwark in Surrey, a widow of Thomas Glover of Malmesbury in Wiltshire apothecary, Robert Tuck a gentleman of the same place and Margaret his wife, daughter and sole heire of Thomas Glover and his wife Alice and granddaughter and and heir of Joseph Glover late of Thornbury apothecary deceased and John Carleton of the same place and Mary his wife.
Joseph appears to have been mayor of Thornbury in 1695 and a witness to the will of William Grove in 1708. The memorial inscription on Thornbury Churchyard shows that Joseph Glover died in Thornbury in 1715 on December 2nd aged 66. His wife Margaret died aged 60 in 1722.
We know from the indenture of 1749 that Joseph and Margaret Glover had a son, Thomas, and they also had at least three daughters; Elizabeth Glover who died in March 1711, Anne Glover who married Peter Dore on 24th December 1716 and Mary Glover who married Ralph Grove the vicar of Thornbury on 2nd March 1704. The relationship between Mary and Anne is confirmed by the will of Anne Dore who died in Thornbury in 1755 leaving her “goods plates rings and money” to her two nieces the daughters of Thornbury’s late vicar Ralph Grove who had been married to her sister Mary. Ralph Grove was an incumbent in Thornbury from 1701 to 1728. Anne Dore died aged 72 on 13th January 1755 and was buried with her parents in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church in Thornbury.
Joseph’s son, Thomas, seems to have moved away from Thornbury. It is possible that he married Alice Sparrow in Sherston Magna in Wiltshire on 4th February 1705. The Ancestry website tells us that Thomas was an apothecary and surgeon in Malmesbury who in 1704 subscribed to the 39 Articles, and so was a member of the Church of England. Thomas and Alice Glover had a daughter called Margaret who married Robert Tuck. It seems likely that Robert Tuck, described in 1749 as a gentleman was an attorney who also lived in Malmesbury in 1841 as the Ancestry website shows that Harry Goldney paid to be his apprentice in that year.
John Bennett – by lease and release of 20th and 21st March 1749 the heirs of Joseph Glover conveyed this property to John Bennett. It was described as “all that messuage or tenement wherein the said John Bennett now dwelleth with the garden and orchard belonging and adjoining ” in a street called St Mary Street and adjoineth to a way called Rotton Row on the south side thereof and to a street called Nelmes Street otherwise Back Street on the east side thereof and to lands of William Bigley and partly to lands of Richard Williams on the north side.”
John Bennett was a carpenter. He and his wife Mary had a daughter Eleanor who was baptised on 10th June 1730. Eleanor married Thomas Penduck on 21st May 1750.
It seems likely that John Bennett was buried on 24th March 1760. This appears to be confirmed by a mention in the Court Rolls that in 1761 Mary Bennett was named amongst those required “to remove their Dung Hills from before their Doors and put out of the Public Streets within Fourteen days under the penalty of five shillings each they being within the Jurisdiction of this Court and Common Nuisances.” Mary Bennett the “relict of John Bennett” was buried in Thornbury on August 22nd 1777 aged 81. John Bennett had died intestate and his property was inherited by his daughter Eleanor Penduck.
Thomas Penduck – on 28th and 29th September 1795 Thomas Penduck and his wife Eleanor (the only daughter and heir at law of John Bennett) paid a fine to Thomas Rolph ( the solicitor representing the Manor of Thornbury) for the messuage in which John Bennett had lived and in which Thomas Penduck was then living. The property was said to have a stable, garden and orchard. This means that that the owner of the property was now Thomas Penduck.
Thomas Penduck was baptised in Thornbury on 21st April 1723. He was the son of John Penduck. He married Eleanor Bennett on 21st May 1750. They had a large number of children. Their son John Penduck was baptised 29th March 1751. A second son, John Penduck was baptised 5th November 1752. Both these first sons died in infancy. Thomas Penduck was baptised 26th January 1755. A third John Penduck was baptised 13h November 1757. Samuel was baptised on 22nd April 1764. A seventh child was born 24th October 1766 and baptised William. Eleanor Penduck was born on 15th April 1770 at which time her father was described as a tanner. The ninth child Ann was born 22nd November 1775. There was another child called Mary who married William Allen on 29th September 1783.
Thomas and Eleanor’s eldest son, Thomas Penduck, died leaving a son also called Thomas. The document of 1795 makes clear that Thomas Penduck and Eleanor had six surviving children ; three sons and three daughters by 1795. The sons were John Penduck a tailor of Old King Street in Bristol, William Penduck a wheelwright of “Moorton” near Thornbury and Samuel Penduck of Thornbury a carpenter. The daughters were Mary Allen, Eleanor Penduck and Ann Penduck.
The land tax records of 1800 show that Thomas Penduck owned and occupied a property in Thornbury for which he paid 2/- tax.
Thomas died aged 79 and was buried on 13th July 1800. His widow, Eleanor died aged 73 and was buried on 4th February 1803.
On 16th May 1803 Thomas Penduck’s six surviving children John Penduck, William Penduck, Samuel Penduck, Mary with her husband William Allen, Eleanor with her husband Thomas Ketterrell, and the widowed Ann Gibbs (whose husband was John Gibbs) sold the property to John Edmonds. Ann Gibbs died in March 1806 aged only 29.
The sale of the property to John Edmonds is interesting because one of the sons Samuel was related by marriage to John Edmunds and so the house was still to be owned by “family.” On 19th March 1788, Samuel had married Fanny, the daughter of Thomas and Ann Child. On 15th April 1792 John Edmunds had married Mary Child, another daughter of Thomas and Ann Child. Click here to read more about the later generations of Penduck
John and Mary Edmonds – on May 16th 1803 John Edmonds bought the property which was then occupied by John Tilley and Elizabeth Clutterbuck. John Edmonds was born in Thornbury on 4th January 1768 and baptised on 10th January 1768. He was the son of William Edmonds and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Browning).
When George Rolph wrote his last will in 1792, he mentioned that John was occupying his property at 7 High Street.
John married Mary Child on 15th April 1792. Mary was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Child baptised in January 1760. John and Mary Edmonds had three children: Thomas baptised on 10th October 1792, John baptised on 21st June 1795 and Mary Child Edmonds baptised on 8th June 1797.
John worked as a cooper in Thornbury and from 1803 to 1807 he was Mayor of the Town. He died aged 42 and was buried on 21st February 1808. In his will he records that the dwelling house which he bought from Samuel Penduck ‘wherein Thomas Penduck deceased lately inhabited and Eleanor Penduck his widow afterwards dwelt and by me lately converted into two messuages and wherein John Tilly and Hester Clutterbuck do now dwell and also all that new erected messuage or dwelling house on the southward side of the said two last mentioned messuages and wherein William Lippiatt doth now dwell with the gardens orchard and appurtenances to the same messuage adjoining and belonging all which same messuages gardens orchard and premises are situate and being in the Town and Borough of Thornbury aforesaid on the Eastward side and upper part of a certain street there called the Back Street otherwise Saint Mary’s Street’. He arranged for this property to be used by ‘Mary Edmonds my wife for and during the term of her natural life and from and immediately after her decease unto my youngest son John Edmonds and his heirs for ever’.
Thus John now had three houses on the site of the one house he had purchased from Samuel Penduck. The house he built in the early 1800’s was the house that became 61 St Mary Street. The house that became number 59 had originally been the one dwelling house but was at this time converted into two. Note that the orchard referred to in John Edmond’s will was the part of the land at the rear of the houses later used for the building of the Congregational Church in 1825.
We know from John’s will that they lived in a house now known as 5 High Street owned by his wife, Mary and that John had recently purchased the house next door to this house from Thomas Rolph and converted into into two houses now known as 3 and 3A High Street.
We have learned that John’s heir, younger son also called called John Edmonds had left Thornbury. The indenture of 26th September 1820 which conveys ownership of these properties to Thomas Smith from John Edmond’s brother and heir Thomas Edmonds says that John was formerly a carpenter but since a private in the First Regiment of Royal Scots.
There was a letter found in the safe of the United Reformed Church in December 2011 from a comrade of John Edmonds in the army. They both appear to have been in the Second Battalion of the Royal Scots. The letter was sent from Trichinopoly in South Eastern India in July 1822. We believe that this is now called Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, and that the British Army had a garrison there.
The writer of the letter describes John on his death bed talking about his mother, sister Mary and brother Thomas, whom the writer appears to have known. The letter goes on to say how John was buried without a coffin but wrapped in his blanket and the grave filled with sand. It is difficult to read the signature on the letter but it might be C or G Tindall. It is possible that this is the Charles Tindall (or Tyndale) living in Crossways Lane in 1851 Census, where he was listed as a cordwainer and Chelsea Pensioner.
This letter was sent to John’s mother Mary Edmonds and with it was a copy of John’s will. Anyone who would like to see copies of these documents should contact Thornbury Roots. In the will John left all his property and the money he had with him and the pay owing to him to his comrade “John Joice.” The letter explains that John’s actual intention was to leave his property in India to his comrade but all his property in England to his mother and after her death to his sister Mary. The copy of the will appears to be dealing only with John’s money and possessions in India which were left to his John Joice. The will was made in 1816 and John Edmonds died on 18th November 1816 of the “bowel complaint.” This is likely to have been Cholera, which was reported in 1814 in the 1st Battalion 9th Regiment of Native Infantry and which indeed spread from India, eventually reaching Europe by the 1820’s.
The story connected to the letter is a heart breaking one for many reasons. Mary’s husband had died in 1808 leaving property to his son John who had died only eight years later in 1816. She had not only the two deaths to cope with but had to sort out the financial position. To settle the estate she had to write all the way to India, which she had done, according to the letter on 30th June 1821. The reply was written in July 1822 and the writer appears to have dealt with the matter as quickly as he could. We do not know when she received it or whether it helped her situation when she did get the reply, as her son John does not seem to have made his intentions very clear. The letter itself, with its vivid picture of her son being buried in a hole and then apparently forgotten by the young man who had looked after him in his last illness, must have made painful reading. Mary Edmonds died in January 1833 aged 75 years.
It is interesting that the property was conveyed before these letters were received, actually in 1820 in two separate agreements of 13th April and 26th September respectively to Thomas Smith by Thomas Edmonds (the only brother of John Edmonds junior). This may mean that it was only after the first transaction that the question of legality arose.
At this time these houses were described as follows; First “all that newly erected messuage or dwellinghouse wherein William Lippiatt many years since inhabited, Thomas Barge since dwelt, and Simon Slade doth now dwell“
And then “All that late messuage or dwellinghouse wherein Thomas Penduck deceased lately inhabited and Eleanor Penduck his widow afterwards dwelt and by the said John Edmonds the testator converted into two messuages and wherein John Tilley and Hester Clutterbuck lately inhabited and wherein Thomas Walker and Enoch Binden do now dwell with the garden and appurtenances (save and except such part and parts of the said garden the reversion whereof hath been lately sold and conveyed to Daniel Pitcher)”
Thomas Smith – in 1820 by two separate transactions of 13th April and 26th September Thomas Smith bought both the messuage that had been converted into two messuages AND the new house he had erected on the south part of the garden. By 1840 in an indenture of mortgage with Thomas Rolph the “new house” had become “all that newly erected messuage or dwellinghouse wherein William Lippiatt many years since inhabited Thomas Barge since dwelt Simon Slade afterwards dwelt Thomas Screen lately dwelt and ….Johnson doth now dwell with the outbuildings and apprts… which said garden contains by admeasurement seven perches or thereabouts and measured in length eastward from the front of the messuage to the burying belonging to the Independent Chapel seventy eight feet and in breadth northward 29 feet six inches which said messuage garden and premises are situate lying and being in St Mary Street and adjoin to the said first mentioned messuages.”
The 1840 Tithe Survey shows the three houses as Plot 146 and confirms that it was owned by Thomas Smith and occupied by William Hughes, Thomas Osborne and Thomas Screen.
We know from an abstract of title that on 29th and 30th April 1819 Thomas Smith, a tailor, had bought the property later known as 32 High Street for £370. The rent roll records show that Thomas had been living in that house from at least 1809 as tenant to Ann Cossham. The abstract shows that Thomas had borrowed £200 from John Tompkins of Brislington gentleman, but although he had paid the interest of the loan, he had failed to repay the capital sum. Thomas arranged another loan of £250 with Samuel Leonard of Hill, yeoman to enable him to repay the debt to John Tompkins and ‘to supply his other occasions’.
Thomas also acquired other properties in St Mary Street and outside of the town. The tithe map of 1840 shows that he also owned a pair of cottages in Gillingstool that later became known as Appledore and The Dingle. His financial problems continued. In 1841 he was declared bankrupt and the Bristol Times and Mercury dated 30th October 1841 had a report of the following public auction:
‘Lot 1. All those three freehold messuages or dwelling houses situate in St Mary Street in the Town of Thornbury with the gardens and appurtenances thereto respectively belonging now in the respective occupations of George Johnson, Thomas Osborne and William Hughes as yearly tenants at the annual rents of £6, £5 and £5. This lot will be sold subject to a mortgage thereon for securing £150 with interest at 5 per cent from 3rd December 1838′.
The article also shows that Thomas was also selling the two cottages in Gillingstool that were now described as being near ‘Worgan’s Well’ and occupied by Meshach Bendell and Henry James. The shop and dwelling house on the High Street occupied by Samuel Smith, a draper was also to be sold..
When Thomas was declared bankrupt he was described as being a ‘tailor, draper, dealer and chapman’.
We believe this Thomas was the tailor married to Sarah who had several children: twins, William and Thomas born on 31st May 1796, Samuel Court Smith born on 25th October 1802, Elizabeth born on 9th February 1804, Celia born on 30th September 1808, another Thomas born on 4th June 1811, another William baptised on 23rd March 1814, Sarah baptised on 15th January 1817, Charles Court Smith baptised on 5th September 1819 and Mary Ann baptised on 10th September 1823.
We note that there was the baptism of another child, Joseph, on 14th October 1827 who was said to be the son of Thomas Smith, the tailor and his wife, Sarah. We do not know at this stage whether Joseph is the son of the same Thomas and Sarah Smith whose first children were born over 30 years earlier.
John Carwardine – on the 4th of December 1834 Thomas Smith signed a note to confirm that he had borrowed £150 from John Carwardine of Bristol. By the 17th April 1837 this sum remained unpaid and an indenture of this date confirms that a mortgage was held by John Carwardine against these properties. On the 23rd February 1842 because of the then bankruptcy of Thomas Smith the ownership of the property was transferred to John Carwardine. John was a soap boiler and tallow chandler. Click here to read about the Carwardines
John retained the ownership of the property in St Mary Street until his death in 1863 and was then passed to John’s daughter Julia and her husband, Nicholas Grove.
We know from the census records that at least two of the houses in St Mary Street were used as lodging houses and that they had a large number of lodgers on census night. The 1876 rate book show that the three properties were then owned by Nicholas Grove.
Nicholas Cornock and Julia Grove – Nicholas was born on 22nd July 1800, the son of Thomas and Mary Grove. In the 1841 census Nicholas was a farmer aged 35 in Elberton with his brother John who was aged 30. On 17th September 1842 Nicholas married Julia Carwardine, the daughter of John Carwardine in the Clifton area. The 1851 census shows them living at Townsend Farm (60 acres) employing three men. It notes that Nicholas was born in Eastwood. In the 1861 census they are shown as living at Thornbury Farm (60 acres) employing two men. They had two children: Statira Elizabeth aged 4 and Austin Carwardine Freeman Grove aged 2. The 1871 census shows Nicholas and Julia living still there. He died on 19th December 1877 aged 77. Julia died on 27th January 1879 aged 59. In Julia’s will dated 25th November 1878 she left her three properties in trust to her son, Austin Carwardine Freeman Grove. Click here to read more
Austin Grove – the 1880 rate book shows the three properties were now owned by Nicholas’s son, Austin (who was baptised Austin Carwardine Freeman Grove on 19th January 1859). In December quarter 1880 Austin married Elizabeth Codrington in the Barton Regis area of Bristol. The 1881 census shows Austin was hotel keeper at the Swan in the High Street. He was living with Bessie aged 20 from Sodbury and her sister, Annie aged 16 and a general servant Ellen Derrick aged 18 from Parkwell in Somerset.
It appears from the various documents that Austin got into financial difficulties. He borrowed a substantial amount of money and couldn’t pay it back. On 21st April 1881 Austin Carwardine Grove sold the properties to Sidney Ponting. We don’t know where the Groves were after this time. Austin gave up running the Swan in 1881. Austin died in Edmonton area of London in 1925. He was aged 66.
Sydney Pointing – on 21st April 1881 Sydney Pointing of Oldbury upon Severn a carpenter bought the three messuages from Frederick Heygate Nunneley (the mortgagee) and Austin Carwardine Freeman Grove for £250. The property was described as “all that messuage or dwellinghouse wherein William Lippiatt many years since inhabited, Thomas Barge since dwelt, Simon Slade afterwards dwelt Thomas Screen and ,,,…..Johnson have since respectively dwelt and wherein Henry Baylis lately dwelt with the outbuildings garden and appurtenances thereto adjoining and belonging and now used and occupied therewith which said garden……are situate lying and being on the eastward side of the upper part of the Back Street.” “and also all that messuage or dwellinghouse wherein Thomas Penduck deceased formerly inhabited and Eleanor Penduck his widow afterwards and by John Edmonds deceased converted into two messuages and wherein John Tilley and Hester Clutterbuck formerly inhabited and wherein Thomas Walker and Enoch Binden since dwelt and then in the occupation of William Hughes and ….. Osborne but now of Mary King and Joseph Alexander as tenants.”
The 1885 rate book confirms that the three houses had been acquired by Sidney Pointing. The 1881 census shows Sydney Pointing was a 37 year old wheelwright living in Oldbury on Severn with his wife Elizabeth aged 39. Both the Pointings were from Somerset, he from Compton Dando and she from Highbridge. We assume Sydney was the Sidney Pointing who married Elizabeth Pointing in Weston Super Mare on 25th December 1869. The IGI record shows Sydney’s father was George Pointing and Elizabeth’s father was Thomas Pointing. Sydney and Elizabeth had a five year old daughter Florence who was born in Thornbury. Sadly Elizabeth died in 1885 aged only 43. The 1891 census shows that Sydney had moved to Keynsham where he was living with a new wife Clara from Colerne.
Thomas Pointing – on 28th October 1886 Sydney Pointing who was still living in Oldbury sold the properties to Thomas Pointing for £80. We assume that Thomas was the father of Sydney’s first wife, Elizabeth, who died in 1885. Thomas was described as a hay dealer and living in the “new” house of the three properties, previously occupied by William Lippiatt, Thomas Barge, Simon Slade, Thomas Screen, …..Johnson and Henry Baylis. The other two properties were now occupied by Thomas Powell and William Vizzard.
Thomas was born about 1813 in Compton Dando in Somerset. The 1851 census shows Thomas was a railway station clerk aged 39 living in High Street, Wickwar with his wife, Mary aged 38 from Wickwar and their children: Elizabeth aged 9 born in Highbridge, Susan aged 7 born in Wiltshire, John aged 5 born in Berkeley and Sarah aged 1 born in Wickwar. Thomas’s first wife, Mary, died in 1858 and he married again the same year. His second wife was Sarah Ann Harvey whom he married in the Bristol area.
In the 1861 census Thomas was a butcher and haulier aged 48. He was living in the High Street in Wickwar with his wife, Sarah Ann who was aged 46 from Worle and their children: John aged 15 born in Berkeley, Susan aged 17 born in Wiltshire, Sarah aged 11 born in Wickwar, Laura aged 8 also born in Wickwar and two lodgers. By 1871 Thomas and the family had moved to Thornbury. The census shows Thomas was now the innkeeper at the ‘Ale and Porter Stores‘ in Silver Street. The 1881 census shows Thomas and Sarah Ann still living there. Living with them were their daughter, Laura M aged 28 and their grand-daughter, Annie Adlam Pointing aged 7. Annie was the daughter of Alfred James Pointing and their daughter Susan Sophia (nee Pointing) who had married in Bristol in 1871. Susan had died aged 32 and was buried on 26th July 1876. We know from the licensing records that Thomas transferred the licence at the Porter Stores to Joseph Honeyborne in 1882, but Thomas became the licensee again in 1884 until 1887. On 5th September 1887 Thomas Pointing was described as a hay dealer when he sold the two properties to Thomas Morgan (see below).
The 1891 census shows that Thomas was living in St Mary Street. He was working as a hay and straw dealer aged 78 from Compton Dando in Somerset and living there with his wife, Sarah who was 75. Thomas died on 11th September 1893 aged 81 and was buried on 15th September 1893. Sarah Ann died aged 80 and was buried on 4th June 1895.
Thomas Morgan – on the 5th September 1887 Thomas Pointing, a hay dealer, sold two properties to Thomas Morgan a painter. The properties were then clearly described as the messuage that John Edmonds had converted into two messuages and which were now or late inhabited by Thomas Powell and William Vizzard as tenants. The 1887 and 1890 rate books confirmed that the house later known as 59 was owned and occupied by Thomas Morgan – click here to read more. The other property the “new house” (later known as 61 St Mary street) appears to have remained in the occupation of Thomas Pointing, according to the Rate Books.
An indenture of May 1st 1893 shows that Thomas Morgan sold to Charles William Powell ” a messuage or dwellinghouse and shop with the yard and garden…in the occupation of Daniel Ball as yearly tenant and by the said Thomas Morgan lately erected on the site of the all that messuage or dwelling house wherein Thomas Penduck deceased formerly inhabited” etc.
We know from a later abstract that Thomas re-built number 61 in 1891.
Thomas Morgan died on 11th September 1893, having made a will appointing Edward James and William Ridgmont his trustees. Edward James and William Ridgmont then sold the remaining part of the property, the messuage previously occupied by William Lippiatt, Thomas Barge, Simon Slade, Thomas Screen,,,,…..Johnson, Henry Baylis and finally Thomas Morgan.
Charles William Powell – by an indenture of May 1st 1893 Thomas Morgan sold to Charles William Powell the house and shop he had recently erected on the site of the messuage that John Edmonds had once converted into two houses. On the 29th September 1894 the trustees of Thomas Morgan sold Charles the second property that Thomas Morgan himself had occupied. This change was reflected in the 1894 rate book which shows that Charles had become the owner of both houses, 59 and 61 St Mary Street and he continued to own them both up to the 1910 rate book. The books also indicate that Charles was living in number 59 in 1890, 1894 and 1899 and both 59 and 61 in 1905. The 1901 census shows Charles was a steam riser aged 68 born in Uley living in number 59 with his children: Henry aged 20, Amelia aged 27 and Emma aged 27 and one boarder and three lodgers.
Charles William was born in Uley about 1835. He was the son of James Powell and his wife, Ann Maria. In the 1841 census the family lived in Uley where Charles’s father was a farmer. By the 1851 Census the family had moved to Bristol and were living at 14 William Street, St Phillips in Bristol. Charles’s father was a cordwainer, his mother was a dressmaker and Charles was employed as a labourer. The 1861 census shows the family were now living at 4 William Street. On October 8th 1864 Charles married Emma Flook and the 1871 census shows them living at 5 William Street, although they seem to be sharing the house with another family. Charles was working for the Midland Railway as a steam raiser living with Emma who was working as a shoe binder and their children: William J aged six Annie aged four and Ada M aged two months.
By the 1881 census the family had moved to Thornbury. Charles was an engine cleaner aged 48 living at Gillingstool Road. He was living with his wife, Emma aged 42 and their children: William J a labourer aged 16, Annie aged 14, Ada Maria aged 10, Amelia and Emma both aged 8, George aged 6, Thomas M aged 4 and Henry aged 7 months. In the 1891 census they were listed as living in Crossways. Charles was an engine cleaner and steam riser living with Ada a school teacher aged 20, Amelia and Emma aged 18, George aged 16, Thomas aged 14 and Henry aged 11.
There was a report in the Bristol Times and Mercury in 1897 showing that Charles and Emma had separated after 33 years of marriage. Charles had agreed to provide Emma with six shillings per week for her maintenance, but Emma claimed that was insufficient and was claiming 16 shillings each week. The Court dismissed her application for more money.
Various Thornbury trade directories show that Amelia and Emma traded as shoemakers and operated a boot and shoe shop, presumably in 59 St Mary Street. They were listed in this way from 1897 to 1904. In July 1904 Charles applied for a bakehouse to be built at the rear of his premises. It is interesting to note that the application stated that the water required for the baking process had to be obtained ‘from the tap in St Mary Street’.
A conveyance of 8th November 1909 transferred to ownership of 59 and 61 St Mary Street from Charles Powell to his daughters Amelia and Emma.
The 1911 census shows that Charles had retired. He was living at his house with children: Emma and Amelia, both 37 and son, Harry aged 30. Emma was not at home. There were two boarders, including George Henry Roberts, a baker aged 41 (who took over the property from the Powells) and a lodger, Henry Liddiatt, a labourer aged 35 who was born in Thornbury and a visitor, Emma F. L. Collins a dairy shop assistant aged 25 from Bristol. Charles was listed as a market gardener in the 1914 trade directory. Charles died in Thornbury aged 85. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 23rd August 1917. Emma Powell died in November 1932 in Birmingham and Amelia died aged 64 on 28th February 1938. Both of the daughters had appointed George Henry Roberts as their executor and on 8th July 1942 George vested himself of their property.
George Henry Roberts – the 1910 rate book shows that a bake-house and coach house had been built on the property owned by Charles Powell and that G. H. Roberts was occupying those buildings. The 1911 census shows George Henry was shown to be a boarder lodging with Charles William Powell, who also lived at 59 St Mary Street. George Roberts was an unmarried baker aged 41 born in Saul.
George was born in Saul on 29th November 1869. The 1871 census shows that he was the son of Susanna Roberts then aged 29 and her husband, also called George. George senior was not at home during the 1871 census but his occupation was a mariner and so he was presumably at sea. Young George was one year old in the census and had a sister Emma aged 6. George junior was living with both his parents in the 1881 census. By the 1891 census George had become a baker and was living with his sister Emma in Frammilode.
The 1901 census shows that George aged 31 was still living at Frammilode with his sister Emma but that she had married and was now Emma Page. Emma had married Edwin Page in 1892. Also in the household were Emma’s two children Lillian and Hilda Page aged seven and two years respectively.
George paid off the mortgage on the property on 26th July 1948.
Lots of locals have told us about ‘Roberts – the Midnight Baker’ and how he used to seen around the district delivering his bread during the night. He used to ride around the farms in the night on his horse and trap. After each farmer gave him a tipple of cider to send him on his way, he found it difficult to stay awake and it was said that the horse used to guide its own way back to St Mary Street. On one occasion we have been told that he fell off and broke his arm. He also used to sell his bread in the shop fronting St Mary Street and bake it in the buildings in the yard behind the shop.
We have also been told he was a single man living with a housekeeper, possibly his sister. This may well be the case as the death of his widowed sister Emma Page was registered in Thornbury in 1951. She was then aged 75.
George Roberts died intestate on 13th March 1955. The administrators of his estate were his nephew and niece Hilda Francis Emmilene Cripps and Ivan George Page and they sold 59 and 61 St Mary Street to Jack Judd on 9th August 1955.
Jack Lewis Judd and Eileen M Judd – Jack Lewis Judd a solicitor bought 59 and 61 St Mary Street on 9th August 1955 for £1175. Jack had married Eileen Alpass in Thornbury in December 1946 at St Mary’s church in Berkeley.
Jack was born August 1st 1909 in Brighton in Sussex. He was the son of John Frederick Judd of the Limes in Brackley Northants and his wife Lydia Catherine. His wife Eileeen was the daughter of Mr J R J Alpass of Berkeley. Jack became clerk to Thornbury Rural District Council in 1940.
Prior to moving to St Mary Street the Judds had lived at the Old Malt House in Morton and were there in 1942 when Nelson Higgins moved to help Mr Judd at a time when the house was being used by evacuees from areas of the country under threat of being bombed. They continued to live at the Malt House for some time and their daughter Lydia Mary was born there in November 1949. Indeed we know from documents in possession of South Gloucestershire Council that the Judds were living at the Old Malt House in 1955 when Jack bought 59 and 61 St Mary Street from Hilda Cripps and Ivan Page, the administrators of the will of George Roberts.
The 1958 electoral registers show Jack and his wife Eileen were living at ‘Berkeley House, St Mary Street’. We know from a street map and other documents that Berkeley House was the name given to 59 St Mary Street. The Judds were also listed as living there in the 1961 and 1965 electoral register. We know from the compulsory purchase order listings made by the District Council in 1965 that number ’59 (Berkeley House) and 61 St Mary Street’ were owned by J. L. Judd. John was Clerk to Thornbury District Council in the 1960’s. On 31st March 1967 Jack Lewis Judd who then lived in 59 St Mary Street conveyed both 59 and 61 St Mary Street to Thornbury District Council as part of the redevelopment plan for £8,750. Jack died in the Cheltenham District in 1995.
The properties were demolished to make space for the car park which is still there.
We have given above what we know about the owners of the two houses. Please click on the two links to read about the occupants of the houses